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Is Plastic Killing Your Sex Drive?

imagesWarnings about the danger of phthalates in plastics are once again in the news by way of a study recently presented by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

This time researchers have found a link between soft plastics such as those found in raincoats, rubber duckies, shower curtains and air mattresses* (PVC) and a reduced sex drive in women.

The primary reason for this is due to phthalates, which are already known to be endocrine disruptors that reduce testosterone levels in men, women and children and are associated with overall reproductive toxicity. However, the findings that women’s libidos can also be affected was revealed in a study by University of Rochester School of Medicine.

The findings noted each of the 360 women who participated in the study showed traces of phthalates in their urine. Those with the highest levels of phthalates were found to be two and a half times as likely to have lower libidos compared to those with the least. “They are throughout our environment and every single person studied showed measurable levels of these chemicals. So even at the levels found in the environment every day we are seeing an association with interest in sex,” said lead author, Dr. Emily Barrett, about the study’s findings.

If testosterone levels, declining sperm quality and feminization of males, early puberty in girls and an increased risk of diabetes weren’t enough to make all of us rethink what kind of plastics we use and bring into our homes, this new information will hopefully sway people to start rejecting these dangerous products by avoiding PVC and plastics marked with recycling label #3.

*Read our article about PVC-free air mattresses

 

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Make a No-Sew Fringed Scarf

fringe-scarfWhile a scarf is often a winter necessity for those of you above the Mason-Dixon, I’m more into scarves as a fashion accessory since it doesn’t get all that cold here in Florida. This simple tutorial is for a super stylish scarf that, weather notwithstanding, you can wear all year long.

Not only is this no-sew fringed scarf  really easy to make and very fashionable (fringe is EVERYWHERE right now), it’s also a great way to upcycle some of those unwanted t-shirts we all have clogging up our drawers!

And? They make great (read: inexpensive) holiday gifts!

You’ll Need:

•  One old T-Shirt – Bigger, wider  shirts will make allow you to make a longer scarf. Smaller,  more narrow shirts will make your scarf shorter.

•  Cloth Scissors – These will make cutting your fringe a lot easier.

Step 1:  Find a t-shirt that you won’t mind cutting up. If you don’t have one at home, you can pick up tons of them at the thrift store for almost nothing.

Step 2:  Cut horizontally across the shirt  just below the armholes, to create a rectangular tube. Then do the same just above the hem.

Step 3:  Start making vertical cuts all the way around the tube that extend from the raw edge upward. The longer the cut, the longer the fringe will be.  This is optional but if you want more fringe, you can cut strips on the opposite side as well.

Step 4:  Tug down on each strand to elongate it and curl the edges. You can also knot the ends of each strand for some extra detail.

scarf-pictures

You can find more t-shirt scarf ideas on here on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Bestfan.com

 

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Non-Toxic Air Mattresses (Updated)

These days, when you need an extra bed, you’re more likely to pull out an air mattress than a sofa sleeper and for camping, the inflatable air mattress is apt to be found on most packing lists.

The problem, however, is that these days they are almost universally made with PVC, which outgasses harmful fumes long after that telltale “new mattress smell” has dissipated and can contain lead.

A few years ago, those of us who objected to breathing in toxic fumes may have had little recourse other than to forgo the luxury of an air mattress and lump it—but we now have a few options:

The Aerobed Pakmat: It’s PVC and phthalate-free and made of 100% eco-friendly materials. Uses a hand pump instead of batteries or electricity to inflate and only takes about 60 seconds plus it weighs only 5 lbs and stores right inside it’s pump case. FREE SHIPPING on Amazon.com.

The Aerobed Ecolite: Made from eco-friendlier TPU instead of PVC, the Ecolite is phthalate-free and comes with a rechargeable pump. Unlike the Pakmat, it comes in twin and queen sizes and is 40% lighter than PVC air mattresses. Personally, I’d still go for the Pakmat because I’ve had several air mattress pumps die on me over the years.

Kelty Sleep Eazy: Made of 70D nylon with a TPU laminate, and includes a standard coil for support. The PVC-free Sleep Eazy is also a breeze to inflate thanks to the 6-volt rechargeable pump, which includes both a car and wall charger for versatile use. And to ensure compact storage, the airbed comes with a Kelty Binto storage bin.

Lake Timber Top Rubberized Fabric Air Mattress: Back before PVC was so ubiquitous, air mattresses were made of rubberized fabric and were reputedly super durable, in addition to being far more eco-friendly than their PVC counterparts. This rubberized fabric air mattress is the equivalent of a twin or single air mattress at 30″ X 72″ and can also be used in the water. Comes with a repair kit and is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on Amazon.com

I also found companies in Canada, the UK and Australia that carry rubberized cotton air mattresses. I will link to them for our non-American readers and anyone who might be interested in  placing an international order:

Home Hardware: The store I searched is in Toronto (but they have many locations in Canada) and they carry several rubberized cotton air mattresses that seem reasonably priced.

Amazon UK: They carry a couple different options in rubberized cotton air mattresses by a company called Highlander.

Discount Camping: This Australian store carries three different sizes of rubberized cotton air mattresses.

Happy PVC-free sleeping!

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Great Green Gifts for Her

recycled materials green gym bagThe Everything Fits Gym Bag

•  100% recycled polyester with polyester mesh
•  Vented outside compartment to hold shoes wet items, shoes or towel

This eco-chic bag will keep a girl organized with its roomy interior featuring a zippered pocket, an elastic pocket and a key tether. Includes an easy-reach outside pocket for water bottle, inside and outside holsters for cell phone and MP3 player and bottom adjustable straps for your yoga mat (not included). 18″L x 8½”W x 13″H.

Bonus: Free shipping!

Find it Here:  Gaiam


The Organic Chocolate Pleaser Kit

A pleasing assortment of organic and fair trade Gourmet Chocolate Goodness from California. Rich Rainforest Dark Fudge, exquisite raw chocolate hearts and brittle, lots of mouth-watering gourmet chocolate bars, tasty chocolate bites, plus amazing Lavender Truffle Hearts!

Bonus: Made in the USA

Find it Here: Kate’s Caring Gifts

 


Organic Cotton and Hemp Infinity Scarf
With the feel of linen, the rich color of silk and the strength of hemp, this versatile organic scarf works for all occasions and brightens any outfit with texture and pop. 42″ long and available in ten colors.

Bonus: Machine washable

Find It Here: Sprigs

 

 

 

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Win: Luxury Organic Cotton Sheet Set

What: Organic cotton sheets

Features: Super soft 300 thread count sateen cotton sheets. The fitted sheet is designed to accommodate mattresses up to 10″ thick. Available in sable or heather white.

Green Factor: Certified to the most stringent set of standards by GOTS, the Global Organic Textile Standards, Essentia’s sheets are made from 100% certified organic cotton. Organic cotton, grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemicals, is by far the best option for bedding because you sleep directly on it for hours at a time.

Find it Here: Essentia

Win It: We’ve partnered with Essentia to give away one set (queen, king or California king) of these awesome organic cotton sheets!

How: Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter ES12 as the giveaway name and tell us three products (other than sheets) carried by Essentia AND how many chemicals are contained in the ordinary memory foam mattress— all of which can be found on Essentia’s web site.

Giveaway ends at midnight on 4/23/12; $299 value. Open to residents of US and Canada only. Official Rules. THIS GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED. Congrats to Mary!

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).

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Reusable Coffee Filters

hempcoffefilter.jpgWhat: Hemp coffee filters

Features: These reusable coffee filters are easy to use—simply rinse clean with water or a bit of soap and let dry between brewing

Green Factor: Think of how many times a year you make a pot of coffee. How many paper coffee filters are you throwing away each year? Using a reusable coffee filter—like these, which are made of all-natural, plastic and chemical-free hemp—means fewer trees are harvested and less waste is produced.

Bonus: Available in two sizes, for less than ten bucks!

Find It Here: Nubius Organics

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The Six O’Clock Scramble

six-oclock-scramblecover3.jpgWhat: SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue!

Features: Aviva Goldfarb’s new cookbook, SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue!, is packed with ideas for preparing meals for busy families, as well as ways to eat with the environment in mind. Aviva dishes up tips on efficient meal planning, buying in bulk and freezing/storing meals. Also helpful are suggestions for weekly plans and shopping lists that will make the most of your grocery trips.

Green Factor: Teaches readers how to lessen their environmental footprint by eating seasonally, cutting out waste, knowing when to buy organic and by moving toward a slightly more vegetarian menu.

Bonus: Subscribe to The Scramble to receive weekly menu plans, newsletters and nutritional information. Create your own Recipe Box, search the database to customize your weekly dinner plan and organize your meals, all in one place!

Find It Here: The Six O’Clock Scramble

Win It: We’ve partnered with The Six O’Clock Scramble to give away a copy of SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue! PLUS a three-month subscription to The Scramble!

Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter SS04 as the giveaway name and tell us what magazine is giving the cookbook rave reviews. Giveaway ends 05/04/10; $37 value. Open to US & Canadian residents only. Official Rules. Giveaway has ended.

On our Blog: The Pollution INSIDE Your Home

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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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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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To Our Readers

wevemoved.jpgDue to a legal issue with the domain name greenmomfinds.com, we will be moving have moved to a new address. We ask that you please update your bookmarks and if you have one of our buttons, if you could point it at our new address, we would be eternally grateful. We’re very upset about having to move but we hope to make the transition as smooth as we can. Our main concern is our loyal readership—we don’t want to lose you!

If you have any questions, please feel to drop us a note.

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Win a Non-Toxic Crib and Mattress

kiwilogo.gifBabies breathe in whatever is in their mattresses so it’s important to have a non-toxic one if you can swing it. The same goes for cribs—you don’t want your baby mouthing toxic finishes on cribs or breathing in the outgassing formaldehyde used in certain kinds of wood.

KIWI Magazine is having a contest where you can win an eco-friendly crib matttress and crib. Just sign up for the KIWI Green Baby Shower newsletter and be entered in a giveaway to win a Q Collection Junior crib and Naturpedic crib mattress.

The Q Collection Junior crib features:

The Naturepedic mattress features:

  • Provides non-toxic fire protection and waterproofing
  • Certified organic cotton and environmentally friendly materials
  • Made, tested, and certified in the U.S.A.

Contest open until April 30, 2009. Good luck!

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Teaching Green

teacher-w180-h2000.jpgWorkbook pages, dittos, Xerox copies…paper, paper, paper!

Anyone who has a child in school knows about the deluge of paper sent home EVERY DAY. Honestly, much of it is needless. I’m not just saying that as the parental recipient of all this stuff, but as a teacher myself.

From the teacher’s standpoint, we have all this great information to share. We don’t want our students to miss a bit of it! I could honestly make a textbook sized handout of all the good info I find for my students. No one wants to shortchange education for green, so what do we do?

Read the rest of this entry »

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