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Climate Counts

climatecounts.jpgWhat: Climate Counts web site

Features: Keep tabs on your favorite companies and their efforts to address climate change with Climate Counts, a web site that scores their impact on the environment. Check the scorecard for a ranking of a company’s grade and the ways they’re reducing their carbon footprint (Kraft Foods, for example, is up 19 points from last year and is listed as ‘Striding’ toward their environmental goals. Sara Lee, on the other hand, is ‘Stuck’, meaning they have yet to take meaningful action on climate change)

Green Factor: The goal is clear (and green): to encourage awareness among consumers, and, in turn, within the companies themselves

Bonus: The site is full of information. Sign up for their newsletter, watch videos, contact companies directly, download a helpful iPhone app and more!

Find It Here: Climate Counts

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Box Appeal

multiboxes.pngCardboard—it ain’t just for boxes anymore.

Well, okay, so it is but these fun, functional boxes from Green Lullaby are a far cry from their boring brown counterparts. Designed for younger kids, MultiBoxes are made out of 100% corrugated, mostly recycled cardboard and are great for storing, stacking and sitting. They withstand up to 110 lbs. and are outfitted with two built-in handles and a sturdy lid. The tops and sides are brightly illustrated with kid-friendly shapes, letters and numbers, and each box is treated with a non-toxic, flame-retardant coating for longevity and durability. Kid appeal, eco-friendliness and hello? Extra storage—all in ONE box.

Find It Here: Green Lullaby

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Food, Inc ~ The Truth About What We Eat

Read it. See it. Change your life and the lives of your loved ones. Make a difference in your health and the health of the planet and our future. We CAN do it and most certainly we must make more informed choices.

Grocery stores are such an illusion. The waste in packaging, transporting products, the ingredients (and the real ingredient behind what is mysteriously listed on the label), shelf space and electricity, dated items going to the garbage (that’s mostly produce since the other stuff has a life span to practically last into our child’s adulthood), how the animals we consume are treated (you are what you eat), hormones shot into our animals and getting into our dairy and meats, genetic modifications to the DNA of the foods, the colors and additives and smells added that now seem normal to us. It’s all a strange place with food-like substances. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tempting Tiny Taste Buds

tinytastebudsjpg.jpgWe’ve featured amazing blenders that help you puree homemade baby food. We’ve featured little BPA-free containers in which to freeze your homemade baby food. And now? We’re featuring an e-book series to help you really kick ass at making that homemade baby food. You may not need help with the basics because cooking and pureeing squash? Not so hard—but how about advice on when and how to start your baby on solids? How about nutrition information? How about advice for dealing with feeding problems? Tips for spotting and avoiding allergies and/or digestive problems? Feeding your baby while traveling? Recipes for homemade finger foods? Recipes for special occasions? And of course, tons of recipes for baby food that doesn’t taste like the flavorless, vacuum-sealed, months old gunk from a jar? Christine Albury, mother of five and the author of Tempting Tiny Tastebuds pretty much covers it all and because we know a lot of our readers are DIY types who like to make their own baby food, we’ve partnered with Christine Albury to give away FIVE sets of her three e-books—Tempting Tiny Tastebuds, The Homemade Baby Food Recipes Annual – 2009 (More In Depth Nutrition Information, Tips and Recipes) and Best of Blog (The best articles and recipes from Christine Albury’s blog).

Find It Here: Homemade Baby Food Recipes

Win It: We’re giving away five sets of Christine Albury’s three e-books. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter BF6 as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: What are three types of recipes found on Christine’s web site? Enter by 6/30/09. $17 value for each set of e-books. Open to residents worldwide. Winner will be notified by email. Contest closed. Congrats to all five winners!

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A Greener Apple

green_apple-w150-h2000.jpgA Greener Apple (NYC) is the project of  New York City mom and producer/director Pamela French. She takes her camera to a variety of locales in New York City area for man/woman-on-the-street interviews asking people what they would do to make New York greener (A Greener Apple!) It’s actually very interesting to see where people’s heads are at in terms of greener living and what sorts of things they feel would make a difference. The responses range from highly aware and educated to flip and somewhat ignorant. Fortunately, Read the rest of this entry »

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Roast!

vegetables.jpgSometimes the ugliest* fruit is the sweetest. Sometimes the simplest preparation of meals are the most delicious.

Like roasting, for example… It is the easiest, simplest, quickest (and quite tasty) way to prepare vegetables. The method can be used on almost anything and it’s pretty much the same:

  • Cut up veggie into equal sizes.
  • Drizzle on oil and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle on grey salt or sea salt.
  • Lay it flat on a cookie sheet so they are not crowded.
  • Roast at 375F for 10 – 30 minutes until done, usually until they begin to brown.

Variations have to do with what vegetable, oil, and temperature.

  • You can roast at a higher heat, 425F, for less time. I usually choose that method.
  • You can toss in olive, coconut , walnut, macadamia nut, or sunflower oils. Don’t use corn or soybean oil or another GMO oil.
  • The big secret is not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise they will steam instead of roast.
  • Choice of vegetable or mix of vegetables is the biggest change.

Roasting enriches the flavor and deepens the color. It offers variety into our weekly menu and can be done for any seasonal vegetable. It is quick and easy, nutritious and delicious, and comprises of 3 ingredients and some heat.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Giveaway! Being Green DVD

beinggreen.jpgGot little ones? Trying to raise them green? Then you might consider adding Sesame Street’s new DVD, Being Green to your eco-teaching arsenal. Being Green stars ultra-cute actor Paul Rudd as Mr. Earth, who teaches Elmo and Abby Cadabby how to be environmentally conscious by recycling, re-using, and conserving water and energy.  In her desire to help Elmo to be more “green,” Abby accidentally turns Elmo the color GREEN and can’t remember how to change him back!  Fun and hilarity ensue and Abby eventually turns Elmo red again and Cookie Monster, Rosita, and Telly Monster pitch in, pledging to be eco-friendly because they LOVE the earth! As a special bonus feature, Being Green also contains 16 pages of downloadable activities and story sheets to extend the learning at home. In addition, Being Green is printed on 100% post-consumer recycled cardstock and is printed with soy-based ink and uses reduced-plastic as compared to other DVD cases. Once your kids have watched it eleventeen thousand times and have the being green thing down pat, pass it on to some other kids and keep the message going. We’re going to help five lucky readers get started by giving away five copies of Sesame Street’s Going Green. See details below!

Find It Here: Being Green

Win It: We’re giving away five copies of Going Green. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter GG6 as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: As Mr. Earth, what does Paul Rudd wear in Being Green? Enter by 6/6/09. $16 value. Open to residents of US. Winner will be notified by email. Contest closed. Congrats to our five winners!

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Live Chat with Expert from Whole Foods

whole-foods.jpgPlease join The Green Mom Review and The Motherhood for a live, online conversation on healthy, green living with an expert from Whole Foods at noon ET on Tuesday.

We’ll be talking about how we can eat better, save money and make healthier, greener choices for our families.

Live Chat Details

Guest Expert:  Mara Fleishman of Whole Foods Market.

Your Host: Janet, editor and co-founder of The Green Mom Review

The Time:  Tuesday, March 10th at noon ET

The Place: The Motherhood in the Healthy Moms, Healthy Families circle.

The Fab Giveaway:  Two lucky chat participants will each receive a “Whole Baby Bag” full of great products.

Put Tuesday, March 10th at noon ET on your calendar. See you there!!!

———

Edited to add: With nearly 500 guests sitting in on our chat with Mara Fleishman of Whole Foods, it was a big success. Thanks to everyone who dropped by to join us!

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Grocery Store Secrets

grocery-store-jpg.jpgWe were in the grocery store the other day. (Yes, now that our biz closed we have to go to one of those) I find them very surreal. There is very little real food—lots of things to fill the belly, and loads of chemicals, but very little nourishing food and a pretty “hospitalized” look to the whole thing. Sometimes I still feel like an alien dropped on a strange planet when I enter. Take a look the next time, think of yourself landing here looking for real nourishing foods and see what you think.

Anyway, we were at the bakery and it was the end of the day so they had just restocked their bread on the shelf. Other customers are pulling loaves in bags complaining that they are wet. Of course they were wet! We know to expect that based upon our experience running a grocery store, but maybe you didn’t know to expect that as a consumer. That leads us to our first “Grocery Store Secret”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Eco-Learning and Green Gaming!

ec.pngTeaching our children about caring for the planet has definitely become easier with the internet but it’s safe to assume all moms, green or not, harbor some concerns about the type of websites their children view. Well, way back in 1994, when the internet was barely a blip on the world’s radar screen, the awesome EcoKids was started as an online environmental educational program. This interactive and award-winning website offers topical games and activities that will encourage your kid to become a savvy environmentalist and it’s totally free!  No logins or passwords or special codes (that must be purchased along with a toy or stuffed animal) are needed to utilize this great green site.  Kids can pick from dozens of games in six different categories: Wildlife, Climate Change, Energy, The North, Waste, and Land Use and learn while they play. Oh, and if you find yourself playing the games or taking the quizzes along with your kids, don’t worry—we do it, too!

Find It Here: EcoKids Game and Activities

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Kids Healthwatch: Pesticide Exposure

Spending for organic food is worth it when it comes to our children. Their developing bodies are especially vulnerable to toxins found in our food and environment and switching to organic food has an immediate effect on the body. Within 36 hours, pesticides may no longer be detected in a child’s urine. On my website Project Green Girl, I have an article titled “Go Organic” which lists the produce with the highest levels of pesticides. This is a great list to start with and the cost is minimal.

Recent Studies:

  • A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tested 815 2-year olds, and found those with an organic dairy diet experienced less eczema and wheezing than those consuming non-organic dairy.
  • The BBC reported in 2006 that pesticide exposure from food can cause depression and memory problems.
  • An organic plant-based nutrition program is believed to help ADD sufferers.
  • Pesticide levels in children raise in the winter when more food is imported.
  • Amniotic fluid and breast milk can pass pesticides to the fetus and infant, so the mother should also follow an organic diet.

For more information:

Author Patricia Wooster is the founder of the Project Organic Eating blog, where healthy eating meets affordability! 

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Being Green in the Bad Economy

Wow, lots going on in the financial world. At this point I am glad I did not have my bathroom remodeled or buy that new digital camera. Looks like things are going to get tougher and tougher.

A lot of “green” products come with a higher price tag than cheap, made in China products. So how is one supposed to do their best to take care of the environment and be healthy when money holds you back?

1) Remember that there are many things you can do to be green that don’t cost anything…and may even save you money. Things like keeping your heat turned low, using low-flow shower heads and washing laundry with cold water will help the environment and you.

2) Consider alternatives to pricey products. I really like Method and Seventh Generation products…but there are plenty of recipes online for homemade cleaners that are VERY inexpensive. National Geographic’s Green Guide has some here.

3) Keep an eye out for sales and clearances on natural/green products. I have never paid full price for Tom’s of Maine toothpaste or any natural deodorant. Lesser known products such as these tend to be clearanced more often. I bought Tom’s toothpaste at CVS for 75% off and Kiss My Face roll-on deodorant for $2 at Target…which leads me to: Read the rest of this entry »

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