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Charlie Banana 2-in-1 Training Pants

41ks1I822iL._AA160_What: The Charlie Banana 2-in-1 training pants are twice as nice because they also double as a reusable swim diaper! The outer layer is waterproof while the inside is a soft organic cotton lining. Available in 4 sizes to fit children 11-55 pounds in a variety of prints and colors.

Features: They can be used as daytime training pants OR a swim diaper. Easy to get on and off and economical compared to buying packs and packs and packs of disposable training pants!

Green Factor: Organic cotton and non-disposable

Bonus: If you buy them from Diapers.com on Amazon, you can get them for about $6 less than other online retailers

Find It Here: Amazon.com

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30% Off Sale on Eco Friendly Kids Clothes

logoLe Petit Organic specializes in super stylish children’s clothing that is also organic, eco-friendly or sustainable. This week, from May 22nd to May 26th, they are having a 30% off SITEWIDE SALE. Happy Memorial Day!

What: Big sale

How Much: 30% off sitewide

Code: “SALE”

Where: Le Petit Organic

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Eco-Friendlier Paper Straws

What:  Paper Straws

Features: Thick paper straws coated with food-grade wax to protect them from liquid. Yes, these are single-use items but if you are in a situation where you need straws and glass or steel straws are not an option (i.e. parties, large gatherings, house guests) this is a far better option than plastic straws, which are typically non-recyclable.

Green Factor: Biodegradable, compostable and made with food-grade soy inks

Bonus: Made in the USA by Aardvark Straws

Find It Here:  Amazon

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AlternaVites for Kids

What: AlternaVites Kids Multivitamin & Mineral Crystals

Features: AlternaVites Kids, with 17 vitamins and minerals, are sugar-free powder crystals that melt in your mouth. They come in two kid-friendly flavors and can be poured straight into your mouth or mixed into yogurts, puddings or smoothies or sprinkled on top of fruit. AlternaVites are an excellent alternative to chalky chewables or gummies that are high in sugar, low in nutrients and can stick to their teeth. For children ages 4 and up.

Green Factor: AlternaVites Kids does not contain artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives or flavors. Made from ingredients that are not derived from animals or animal by-products.

Bonus: Made in the USA. Free of the major food allergens (egg, fish, milk, soy, peanut, shellfish, tree nut, or wheat) and certified Kosher. They also make an adult version of AlternaVites that are excellent for people who have difficulty swallowing pills.

Discount: Enter ‘moms20′ at checkout at www.alternaVites.com to receive 20% off your order.

Find It Here: AlternaVites

Editors Note: My kids LOVE AlternaVites!

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Win: Kids 50+ UPF Organic Cotton Flap Hat

What: Flap Happy Hat

Features: Lightweight and machine-washable, Flap Happy’s Original UPF 50+ Organic Flap Hat for kids and babies provides excellent protection from damaging UV rays. The hat has a large brim to shade the face and the flap covers the ears and neck from the harsh rays of the sun with an elastic band to help fit snugly around the head.

Green Factor: The Flap Happy hat is chemical-free and made from 100% Organic Cotton.

Bonus: Made in the USA!

Find it Here: Flap Happy

Win It: We have partnered with Flap Happy to give away one  Original UPF 50+ Organic Flap Hat for kids

How: Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter FP12 as the giveaway name and tell us five products carried by Flap Happy (other than the Organic Flap hat), all of which can be found on Flap Happy‘s web site.

Extra Entries: To receive an extra entry, tweet about this giveaway (be sure to include @greenmomreview in your tweet) and fill out another entry form letting us know about your tweet (be sure to include YOUR Twitter name).

Giveaway ends at midnight on 5/25/12; $25 value ($17.95 + shipping). Open to residents of US only. Official Rules. 

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GLOB Natural Non-Toxic Paints

What: All natural, non-toxic paint

Features: Water-soluble, botanically crafted paints made from fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices with natural food-grade ingredients and organic extracts.  Similar to watercolors, GLOB paints can be used for a variety of arts and crafts activities.

Green Factor: Inexplicably, in the US, synthetic pigments that have never been tested for toxicity can be labeled “non-toxic ” simply because there is no data to prove otherwise. GLOB paints are free of the petrochemicals, formaldehyde and heavy metals like lead and cadmium that are found in many so-called “non-toxic” art pigments.

Bonus: GLOB’s annual School Giveaway provides free paints to schools, making safe, green art supplies available for creative programs.

Find It Here: GLOB

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Great Gifts: Eco-Friendly Dump Truck Toy

What: Green Toys Dump Truck

Features: This award-winning, eco-designed toy truck has no metal axles and a workable dumper that encourages motor skill development.

Green Factor: Made from 100 percent recycled plastic milk containers

Bonus: Made in the USA

Find It Here: Amazon.com

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Great Gifts: 50% Off Sale at Pure and Little

Pure and Little, purveyors of organic baby and toddler gear are having a SITEWIDE 50% off sale. It runs through Sunday, December 4th. Score some awesome (and affordable) holiday gifts and if you have any baby showers coming up, this is a great time to pick up something fabulous for the mama-to-be!

Find It Here: Pure and Little

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BPA Marketed to Children? Take Action!

In their new report, BPA in Kids’ Canned Foods, the Breast Cancer Fund has discovered BPA in six popular canned foods marketed directly to kids.

BPA, an endocrine-disrupting hormone, leaches from the lining of cans into canned foods and has been found in Elmo, Toy Story and Disney Princess Campbell’s soups, Chef Boyardee products and even in some organic canned foods like Annie’s Homegrown and Earth’s Best Organic.

This is very disturbing when you consider that BPA has been linked to early puberty (as well as breast cancer, obesity, learning disabilities, infertility, and more).

The physical and mental ramifications of early puberty are substantial. Girls who begin puberty at an early age are more likely to experience low self esteem, poor body image, and depression. Physical side effects include an increased risk for breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and elevated blood pressure.

And it’s not just girls who are affected. in 2010 Barack Obama’s President’s Cancer Panel acknowledged the links between BPA and undescended testicles and the penile birth defect hypospadias in newborn boys and infertility and erectile dysfunction in men.

So WHY is this clearly dangerous chemical found in the can liners of foods made for and marketed to children????

I hope you are as outraged as I am and will join us in telling these top canned goods manufacturers to stop marketing the dangerous BPA to our kids.

Let your voice be heard by signing this petition from Momsrising.org and then send a link to friends and family so they can sign it, too!

Learn More: Outrage! BPA is in Canned Foods for Kids, Even Organic

 

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Green Tips for Back-to-School

Greener Lunch

  • Pack your child’s lunch in reusable containers and use reusable water bottles. In doing so, you can help reduce the huge amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
  • Ask your kids’ school to source sustainable foods for cafeteria lunches, including locally grown or Rainforest Alliance Certified™ produce.
  • Pack fruit as a healthy alternative to chips, and you also save on the wasteful packaging!
  • If your school has a garden, consider collecting organic material in a compost bin in the cafeteria and creating fertilizer from lunchtime waste.

Greener Transport

  • Have your kids walk or ride their bikes to school if possible. Not only does this help reduce carbon emissions, but it is also good exercise for all of you
  • If you live too far from the school to make walking or bike riding an option, have your kids catch the school bus as opposed to driving them.
  • If you have to drive, arrange a carpool with other parents. Not only will this help reduce emissions, but it will also help minimize your gas costs.

Greener Waste

  • Remind your children to use both sides of the page when they’re writing or printing.
  • Don’t forget to recycle your own paper waste. Ask your kids’ school to start classroom and cafeteria recycling programs if they don’t already have them.

Greener Supplies

  • Save money and trees by purchasing textbooks second-hand.
  • Don’t throw away old text books — sell or donate them instead!
  • Try to use school supplies from last year; your kids don’t need new supplies every year!
  • Use refillable pens made from recycled plastic.
  • Use pencils made from Forest Stewardship Council certified wood.
  • Reuse last year’s backpacks and lunchboxes if they are still in good condition.
  • Choose recycled and/or Forest Stewardship Council / Rainforest Alliance Certified paper.

Greener Education

Thanks to The Rainforest Alliance for kindly providing these tips (I added a few of my own)

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School Uniform Shopping & Recycling

It’s back-to-school time and for us, that means it’s also time to get more school uniforms. Unfortunately, for the past few years, I’ve been coming across more and more brands of uniforms that are treated with anti-stain chemicals.

While the old formulation of Scotchgard stain repellent was discontinued because it was found to be bio-accumulative, persistent and basically unsafe for living things (as were other similar perfluorochemicals such as Teflon) there is a whole new crop of stain-resistance chemicals that are supposed to be safer. Why? Because they stay in the body for less time—and while it’s great that they stay in your body for less time, it’s still my preference that they not be in my body or the bodies of my children at all.

With that in mind, I always avoid clothing (as well as furniture and housewares) that touts it’s resistance to stains but it still concerns me that a lot of people don’t realize this isn’t necessarily the bonus it’s advertised to be. It’s a chemical that’s not really been proven 100% safe and it will be on your child’s skin five days a week for an entire school year.

Thanks but no thanks…

There are many brands of uniforms out there and I’ve definitely not researched them all but these are the brands I’ve opted not to buy because they have been treated with stain resistant chemicals:

Land’s End
Cherokee (Target)
George (WalMart)
Dickies
Classroom

These are the brands that do not, as far as I can tell, use stain-resistant chemicals:

Old Navy
Izod
Dockers
French Toast  (I saw one pair of French Toast pants being sold by an online uniform store that were treated with Scotchgard but none of the French Toast items I saw in stores or on the French Toast web site indicate any stain resistance treatment)

Recycle Those Uniforms

This spring, once it got warm, I took all my daughter’s winter khaki uniform pants and cut them into shorts and hemmed them with my sewing machine. I knew by the following winter they would be too short for her so this was an easy way to get more wear out of them. If you don’t sew, you can probably find an alteration shop that will do it for just a few dollars per pair.

I also look in consignment shops and thrift stores for gently worn khaki and navy pants and shorts for both kids and when the school has uniform swaps, I bring our too small stuff and trade up for bigger sizes.

While these things all save me money, they also conserve resources by employing the three R’s —reducing, reusing and recycling.

Happy non-toxic back to school!

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Way Basics Table & Chair Set

way-basics-table-setWhat: Children’s table and chairs (comes in white and multi-colors)

Features: Sustainably made from zBoard recycled paper, each piece is sturdy yet super lightweight—62% lighter than particleboard furniture. It’s also water resistant and sets up in minutes without tools (looking at you, IKEA!)

Green Factor: Unlike particleboard, which is what most commonly available non-plastic children’s table sets are made of, zBoard is toxin, VOC and formaldehyde-free and uses environmentally friendly and recyclable water-based glues so there is no chemical outgassing in your home.

Additionally, zBoards are made almost entirely (99%) from post-consumer recycled paper and do not consume additional trees and the enormous amounts of water needed to make virgin paper. Way’s zBoard furniture is 100% recyclable

Bonus: Way is a carbon neutral company and a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. In addition to table sets, they make really cool bookshelves and modular cube storage systems.

Find It Here: Buy directly from Way Basics or buy from Amazon and get free shipping when you spend over $25

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