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Great Gifts: Electric Snow Thrower

What: Greenworks Electric Snow Thrower

Features: Is it time to clear snow in your neck of the woods? The Greenworks 12 amp electric snow thrower clears a 20-inch path at a depth of 10 inches and has a cord lock that holds an extension cord securely in place.

Green Factor: Zero carbon emissions and zero pollution because it doesn’t use gas. No smelly engine emissions, no trips to fill the gas can and no tune-ups!

Bonus: On sale for $159.99 with a fabulous 4 year warranty (twice the industry standard) plus FREE SHIPPING!

Find It Here:  Amazon

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Six Things Your New Baby Doesn’t Need

When I was pregnant with my first child, I thought I had a good idea of what babies needed until I went to a baby superstore for the first time.

Suddenly, I was faced with a ridiculous number of options and every product was marketed to seem like it was the MUST HAVE item that no parent should be without. Any possible issue that a new mom might encounter had a handy product solution that would make life SO! MUCH! BETTER!

I’m embarrassed to admit I fell for all of it…hook, line and Diaper Genie. I just didn’t know any better and frankly, being green wasn’t even on my radar back then. Fortunately, it didn’t take long for me to realize how un-green my baby’s world was but not before I made a more than a few mistakes and wasted a lot of money.

Learn from my experience and don’t bother with these baby items. You can use the money you will save to get baby gear that is safer and more eco-friendly!
Read the rest of this entry »

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A Green Nursery on a Budget

We all want a safe haven for our babies and giving them an eco-friendly space of their own is surely at the top of any green mom’s list BUT…we all know green can also cost a lot of green.

Fortunately, with a little creativity, perseverance and time, you can give your bundle of joy safe, eco-friendly accommodations without spending a fortune and I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to get started!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Glassen Insulated Reusable Travel Mug

glassen insulated coffee mugWhat: Grosche Glassen insulated glass travel mug

Features: This 12oz  travel mug is handmade of double-walled glass which helps keep your beverages hot. It has no metal or plastic parts and is a better fit for car drink holders than a standard coffee mug.

Green Factor: It’s made of glass so there is no leaching of chemicals into your beverages and the lid and grip are made of food-safe silicone. Since it’s reusable, you can also forgo the yucky styrofoam poison cups.

Bonus: Right now they’re 40% off at Amazon.com.

Editors Note: I got one of these for Christmas and I absolutely love it. It doesn’t leak and my coffee stays piping hot!

Find It Here: Amazon

 

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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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Vinegar: Over 400 Various & Versatile Uses

What: Before chemicals were king, people used natural products like vinegar for cleaning, cooking, preserving and health. This book is a great resource for all the different ways you can use vinegar as a natural alternative to numerous chemical products.

Features: This comprehensive guide covers all types and uses of vinegar. Contains a full index and whimsical illustrations make the book informative and fun.

Green Factor: Any time you can use something natural instead of a potentially dangerous chemical, it’s green. This book gives you over 400 ways to do that.

Bonus: Using vinegar instead of expensive chemical-based cleaners also saves you money!

Find It Here: Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

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$20 in Organic Coupons

• Get $6.00 worth of Annie’s coupons just for liking their Facebook page.

• Save $1.00 on a 4-pack of Stonyfield Farms YoBaby organic yogurt.

• Save up to $7.00 on Organic Valley products

• Save up to $6.00 on Simply Organic products

 

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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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Whole Foods Organic Strawberry Sale

Strawberries…they’re so delicious and good for you that it’s hard to imagine any reason to avoid them. Unfortunately, it’s a well-known fact in organic circles that conventional strawberries have an incredibly high pesticide load and are to be avoided like the plague. Lucky for strawberry-lovers like me, organic ones are commonly available theses days—for a premium, which means they’re usually really flippin’ expensive.

Tomorrow (4/29), however, Whole Foods is having a sale on organic strawberries. While supplies last, you can get a pound of delicious, antioxidant-rich, pesticide-free strawberries for the bargain price of $1.99. That’s $4 less than I usually pay and if my math is correct, an 80% discount. I plan to buy extra and freeze them for smoothies, which are my old stand-by when I find myself without any fresh fruits or vegetables for dinner.

Don’t forget, Friday 4/29. Enjoy!

Find It Here: Whole Foods

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Earth’s Best Coupons

Earth’s Best Organic makes more than just baby food. They also make baby cereal, baby and toddler snacks, infant formula and chlorine-free baby wipes and more.

I love that Earth’s Best provides coupons—I hang onto mine and use them when my grocery store has buy one, get one free so I really rake in the savings—always a nice bonus as organic foods tend to be a bit more expensive.

Find It Here: Earth’s Best Organic Coupons

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NextWorth at Target

What: NextWorth electronics trade-in program

Features: NextWorth is a program based out of Target retail stores where you can trade-in your old electronics & media (cell phones, iPods, game consoles, cameras & more) for a Target gift card. There are currently over 165 stores offering the program with more stores being added each week. Find a Store

Green Factor: NextWorth resells the devices and media  it buys from consumers, which helps to keep toxic electronics out of the wastestream and protects our air and groundwater.

Bonus: Get a quote for your item(s) right now

Find It Here: NextWorth

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Tell Washington to Dump Bottled Water

In the first three months of 2010 alone, the House of Representatives spent $190,000 taxpayer dollars on bottled water. Some quick math tells me that Congress is spending about $760,000 of our tax dollars a year on bottled water.

That’s a lot of money—money that could pay a lot of teachers’ salaries—so that our elected officials can sip on a product that’s both unnecessary AND bad for the planet.

Bottled water is not safer or healthier than tap water, and often comes from the tap anyway. It’s up to a staggering 1,900 times more expensive than tap water, and the energy needed to produce the plastic is enough to fuel nearly 3 million cars for a year. Additionally, nearly SIXTY BILLION plastic bottles are discarded as litter each year, ending up in landfills, lakes, streams and in gargantuan garbage whirlpools found in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Read the rest of this entry »

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