Teens & Tweens

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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Good For You Girls

What: Natural skin care products for girls

Features: Skin care made especially for girls to help clean, balance pH, clear blemishes and protect their delicate skin from the elements without harsh, toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Green Factor: Good For You Girls products are free of synthetics, petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates,dyes, hormone-disruptors and GMO’s plus the packaging is made from recycled materials and water-based inks.

Bonus: Good For You Girls products have a 100% money back guarantee and they’re vegan and cruelty-free.

Find It Here: Good For You Girls

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Giving Pillows

What: Pillow covers

Features: 18″ square pillow covers decorated with embroidered artwork and positive social/eco-conscious designs and messages. They come in 13 different designs.

Green Factor: Pillow covers are Oeko-Tex certified and made of 100% organic cotton.

Bonus: When you purchase a Giving Pillow cover, PB Teen will donate $5 to the charity associated with that pillow such as St. Judes Children’s Hospital, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, DoSomething.org and others. Some select pillows will have a tree planted by Trees for the Future.

Find It Here: Pottery Barn Teen

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Green Gifts for Tweens and Teens

green gifts for teens and tweensTweens, they’re not little kids anymore but they’re not teens yet either, which is exactly what makes it so hard to find eco-friendly, non-toxic holiday gifts for this age—and actual teens are not much easier! I know I can’t be the only parent in this position so we’ve put together a mini tween/teen gift guide. Hope you find it helpful!

Digital Gifts: Digital media is here to stay and tweens/teens are all about it. Consider iTunes gift cards for a variety of digital media and Amazon.com gift cards for e-books that can be read on an iPad or digital book reader. For teens, check out a Netflix subscription so they can download movies right to their computers, phones, etc.

Lessons or Classes: Does your tween/teen have an interest in something specific like cooking, sports, photography, crafts, writing, art or dance? Give the gift of learning with pre-paid classes in their area of interest! My daughter is in interested in improving her tumbling skills for cheerleading so I’m considering a couple months of prepaid back handspring classes at a local gymnastics school.

Movie Gift Cards: Have you been to a movie recently? It’s no longer the el cheapo grande form of entertainment that it once was so a gift card to a movie theater chain in your area will be much appreciated by teens!

Non-Toxic Nail Polish Sets: Most girls love nail polish but conventional polishes and removers are full of toxic chemicals that can and do find their way into their developing bodies. Instead, consider a set of nail polish from ZOYA. It’s vegan friendly and free of chemical bad actors like toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalates) and camphor. ZOYA offers a mindblowing 300 colors to choose from and has been awarded as the longest wearing natural nail polish by an independent panel in Women’s Health Magazine.

Arbor Skateboards and Snowboards: The Arbor Collective uses environmentally friendly, natural materials to produce snowboards, skateboards, and bamboo apparel. Even the basics are incredibly important to Arbor—they print on recycled paper only, use soy-based inks; recycle all office waste; and build out retail/office space and point of purchase displays with recycled and/or sustainable materials. Locate a retailer here.

Solar Lamp from IKEA: This funky Sunnan work lamp comes in a range of colors and best of all, it runs on solar power—a steal at $19.99!

Teens Turning Green Personal Care: Typically once the teen years hit, kids suddenly become a lot more interested in personal hygiene. Make sure they’re doing all that cleaning and scrubbing and deodorizing and moisturizing with safe, sustainable teen-approved products from Teens Turning Green

Upcycled Sweater: The cool thing about upcycled gifts like this sweater is that they are unique—every third girl at school isn’t going to be wearing the same thing! If that doesn’t suit her, do a search of “upcycle” at Etsy.com and see all the neat things that come up. Just make sure they’re non-toxic and eco-friendly!

Blank Nesting Dolls Kit: If you have an artistic, crafty tween/teen, these are super cool—blank nesting dolls created by Russian artisans that you can paint/design however you like. Imagine the possibilities! (Be sure to pick up some non-toxic waterbased paints and varnish if recipient doesn’t already have some).

Eco T-Shirts with Attitude: These cheeky certified-organic cotton tees are cool but probably better suited to the OLDER teen or young adult on your shopping list.

Dreambank: Does your tween or teen have a dream? Something special they want to do or achieve? Instead of giving them stuff, friends and family can contribute to their dream fund and do good at the same time because Dreambank contributes 10% of all net transaction revenue to six worthy charities.

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Lice Logic

lice_logic.jpgWhat: LiceLogic

Features: If you’ve got kids, there’s a fair chance you will eventually have a run in with head lice (if you haven’t already) and the only thing worse than having a case of it in your household are the conventional treatments used to get rid of it. I mean, who wants to dump a bunch of nasty chemicals on their child’s head? Enter LiceLogic and their line of non-toxic products, designed to not only treat head lice, but prevent it as well.

Green Factor: LiceLogic products are enzyme and plant-based, non-toxic and pesticide-free. They’re biodegradable, safe for infants and meet all FDA guidelines

Bonus: Ingredients such as peppermint and lemon mean no nasty chemical smell! And? LiceLogic makes house calls! Check their web site for details

Find It Here: LiceLogic

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WIN: Kiss Naturals DIY Kits

lip_balm_kit.jpgWhat: Kits to make natural lip balms, perfumes, bath fizzies and soaps

Features: Everything you need to make your own fun personal care goodies

Green Factor: Natural ingredients like shea butter, witch hazel, essential oils with no fillers, additives, dyes or synthetics

Bonus:  Fun to make at birthday parties and sleepovers!

Find It Here: Kiss Naturals

Win It: We’ve partnered with Kiss Naturals to give away a Bath Fizzie Kit and Lip Balm Kit to one randomly selected winner. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter KN12 as the giveaway name and tell us how long it takes to make lip balm and soap with a Kiss Naturals kit. Enter by 12/21/09. $35 value. Open to residents of US and Canada. Winner to be notified by email. Contest Closed.

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Green 101

back-to-school-green1.jpgIt’s that time of year again…the most wonderful time of the year, if your kids are heading back to the classroom. This fall marks the first year that both of my children are in school full-time, and I’m trying to make a conscious effort to make it a great green year. Here are some ways that we can all keep the earth in mind as we get our kids settled in to school again and throughout the year.

Use the goods you’ve already got – Take stock of what you’ve got at home and can use again (such as clothing, shoes, knapsacks and school supplies) before you buy everything new.

Reusable lunch containers – Instead of sending sandwiches and snacks in plastic baggies, I picked up a couple of sandwich containers, a compact water bottle and several small reusable containers to pack my kids’ lunches with. I’m not only curbing my household waste output this way, I’m saving money by not having to constantly buy plastic baggies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Favorite Things: EOS Smooth Sphere

eos-lipbalmsmoothsphere.JPGMy name is Janet and I’m a lip balm addict aficionado. My current balm of choice is the EOS (Evolution of Smooth) Smooth Sphere. Of course, I love it because it’s 100% natural with 95% organic ingredients but I also love it’s unique shape—inside it’s weirdly wonderful round case, the balm is shaped like an egg. Well, half an egg, actually, and applying it to my lips is oddly pleasant. In fact, I think I need some right now. Stop looking at me like that. I don’t have a problem. I can quit any time I want!

Find It Here: EOS

On Our Blog: One of the Easiest Ways to Go Green

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These Rejects Rock

rice-laptop-bag.pngWhen I buy Basmati rice, I get it in the big, ten-pound bags that are outfitted with handles, a zippered top and a colourful, festive elephant on the front. When I get home, I dump the rice in a reusable container and save the bag – they’re sturdy and durable, and they’re great for lugging groceries around in.

With that in mind, I love the thinking behind these factory-reject rice bags that have been re-fashioned into fun and funky laptop bags! The Child Health Site has seen the potential these awesome bags have to offer and have come up with a great way to stop the duds from winding up in a landfill somewhere. Why carry your computer around in a dull black bag like everyone else when you can have a bag that’s not only unique and stylish but recycled, as well?

Each bag is hand-held and has two zippered compartments and compared to other options that I’ve seen elsewhere, are reasonably priced at $22.95. They’re made and fairly traded in Thailand, and not only that—with each purchase, The Child Health Site donates 20 cents to The Bamboo Watch Ring, an organization that benefits children who are infected or affected by the HIV virus.

Find It Here: The Child Health Site

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Tween Beauty

61l7fsz44l_sl500_aa280_.jpgAfter reading the results of the study done by Environmental Working Group that illuminated just how many chemicals teen girls have in their bodies, many of which were due to their personal care products, I couldn’t help but think of my own daughter. She’s only eight and a half but I know that stage of hyper-showering and deodorizing and perfuming and overall grooming that tween and teen girls go through is just around the bend. I’ve wondered many times if I’d be able to find non-toxic personal care products for her that would serve her needs AND keep her body from becoming laden with so much toxic junk. It seems the folks behind tweenBeauty had the same thoughts—to curtail the toxins that are bombarding the bodies of girls at such a delicate time in their lives. Their line of personal care products designed just for tweens includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash and lip gloss and all of the are free of parabens, phthalates and sulfates and they’re vegan. Oh, and they smell absolutely delicious. How do I know this? Because I’ve been using my daughter’s tweenBeauty shampoo, conditoner and bodywash, too—but that’s just between us, okay?

 Find it Here: tweenBeauty

Win It: We’re giving away a tweenBeauty  gift set that includes a shampoo, conditioner, body wash and a tube of lip shine in a hand woven fair-trade bag. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter TB3 as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: tweenBeauty shampoos and conditioners are available in which scents? Open to US residents. Enter by 3/17/09. $25 value. Contest Closed. Congrats Stefanie!

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Last Minute Gift Idea: Muffatees!

ssmuffatees0.jpgAs someone born and raised in a warm part of California, I must say that when it comes to cold, I am a wimp. I admit it. I no likey the cold. And that means that when it dips below 70 degrees, I’m pulling out my jacket, gloves, scarf…and now….my muffatees too! Muffatees are these really cool fingerless gloves designed to give coverage to that little space between the top of your mitten and your jacket sleeve….because no one likes cold wrists, right?! Hand-knit by a woman’s collective in Peru, muffatees are made of super soft alpaca wool and available in sizes for mamas and children/toddlers. At $20 and under, they might just be the perfect holiday gift for the girlfriend/co-worker/niece/nephew that you need a present for, but just weren’t sure what to get. And if you pick up a pair for yourself, we’ll totally understand.

Find It Here: Go Baby 

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Bracelets That Speak

100letterbracelet.jpgShainsWare wants you to say it, wear it, mean it with their 100% recycled rubber bracelets. When I was teen hipster back in the nineties, if I could have worn a bracelet that said “save the dolphins” I probably would have. Thanks to ShainsWare, today’s kids, tweens and teens can make a personalized statement with these groovy bracelets by choosing from 9 different colors and inserting letters, numbers and icons that can be changed whenever they feel like it PLUS ShainsWare donates 10% of net profits to environmental organizations. With their totally unique and customizable bracelets, Shainsware has made environmentally conscious self-expression easy and cool!

Find It Here: ShainsWare

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