Quantcast

Hidden Dangers in Your Baby’s Nursery

(click image to see at full size)

nursery-dangers

 

Eco-Friendlier Paper Straws

paper-strawsWhat:  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

What’s the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a growing problem in the northern Pacific Ocean and one that could dramatically alter life on our planet within the next 20 years.

garbage-in-ocean

“I remember the first time I felt it; I was paddling out on my surfboard and noticed a mushy, plastic-like substance sliding through my fingers. That’s what started my obsession with the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” says charity fundraiser and environmentalist Veronica Grey. “The patch is located between Hawaii and California in the northern Pacific Ocean, where millions of small bits of plastic have gathered in a vortex of ocean currents known as a gyre.”

“Fifteen years ago The Patch was the size Texas, but now it’s the size of the continental United States,” says Grey, who used her iPhone to shoot the documentary, which features renowned scientists, journalists and environmentalists.

Grey paired her professional skills with her personal passion for the ocean, creating the award-winning documentary “Aqua Seafoam Shame,” (www.Pacific-TV.com), which spotlights the mess in the ocean that has garnered precious little media attention, she says.

Plastic in the ocean has far-reaching implications that, if not addressed within 20 years, could change life on this planet, she says. To date, 177 species of sea life are known to ingest plastic; other species feed on those creatures, extending the chain of damage.

“People eat the seafood that eats plastic, and the planet gets its rain from the oceans, which are being polluted at an exponential rate,” she says. “We use significantly more of our planet’s surface as a dump than for growing food; this has to change.”

To begin addressing plastics pollution, Grey encourages people to use alternatives:

  • Americans buy 2 million bottles of water every five minutes; ditch disposable plastic bottles and carry reusable, refillable bottles.
  • Carry a cost-effective canvas bag instead getting disposable plastic bags at the grocery store. We waste 10 billion plastic bags every week!
  • Do not line your trash cans with plastic bags. Use paper bags or nothing.
  • Skip the lid on your to-go drinks. The paper cup is normally recyclable but the lid usually isn’t.
  • Remember that each and every time you flush; it all ends up in the ocean. Be mindful of what you toss in your toilet!

Solar Battery Charger

solar-battery-chargerWhat: Solar 11-in-1 Battery Charger

Features: This charger uses solar power to re-charge up to 11 NIMH or NiCad (D, C, AA and AAA) rechargeable batteries.

Green Factor: Rechargeable batteries can be used over and over and using a solar-powered charger is a greener choice than a standard charger—no electricity is used or required!

Bonus: Living in hurricane country, my family is well-acquainted with the issues that come with being out of power for extended periods of time—being able to recharge all those batteries we depend on when the power is down (and not likely to come back on for days) is a huge bonus!

Find It Here: Amazon.com (qualifies for free shipping!)

Is YOUR Fragrance on This List?

I really love things that smell good but in the past few years I’ve become keenly aware of just how toxic they can be and thus, I was compelled to search Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetic safety database and compile a list of the worst-scoring fragrances.

This means that based on their ingredients, these fragrances rated the highest in categories relating to cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity and/or developmental & reproductive toxicity—YIKES!

This list isn’t all inclusive of every fragrance out there and it only contains some of the ones that got the highest overall “hazard” scores (9 and 10) .

There are plenty that I didn’t list and many that have only slightly lower hazard scores so yourself a favor and check Skin Deep yourself to see where your scents and cosmetics rank. FYI…my fave scent scored a 6 out of 10 🙁

And now…

THE LIST

Read the rest of this entry »

Cool Craft: Cell Phone Charging Holder

Make a stylish cell phone holder to stash your cell phone and cord while charging your phone — from a LOTION BOTTLE. I love this idea because it keeps those annoying cords out of your way and you’ll be upcycling a plastic container into something useful!

Get the instructions at Make It and Love It

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!

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!

Bassinet: There really isn’t a more useless baby item. You might use one of these for a few months at best and then it’s just this big thing taking up space. Our house had small steps up and down into the living room so we couldn’t even move it into different areas of the house with any degree of ease. After, much frustration, I ended up getting a Moses basket from a friend. It was far more portable than a bassinet and a much greener, more natural option. Once I started using it, I promptly dropped the bassinet off at the local baby consignment shop and never looked back.

Baby Shoes: If your baby doesn’t walk, why does she/he need shoes? It’s kind of silly, isn’t it? And contrary to the older generation’s belief that shoes were a necessity for fledgling walkers, doctors now recommend otherwise:

Lynn T, Staheli, MD, director of Orthopedics at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, Seattle, states “Shoeless populations have fewer foot problems than their shoe counterparts. Babies who are just learning to walk should go barefoot, whenever possible, to maximize their balance and stability”.

If you don’t like the look of bare feet or plain socks, get some of these cute socks that look like shoes.

Fancy Baby Blankets: Babies shouldn’t sleep with blankets because they pose a smothering danger and the best blankets for swaddling are not the fluffy, fancy kind anyway so feel free to skip those altogether and get some organic cotton swaddling blankets instead.

Diaper Genie: This is a specialty garbage pail for disposing of diapers and uses special plastic bag refills that you need to buy over and over and over. If you choose to use disposable diapers, the greenest solution is to toss your dirty diapers into an outside trash can or if that’s not possible, a lidded trash can lined with a biodegradable and/or compostable trash bag that you can empty each day to keep the stinky diaper smell to a minimum. If you really can’t deal with any odor, use individual bags. Trust me, after you’ve run out of Diaper Genie bag refills and have to start buying them regularly, you’ll realize what a racket it is. Also? it’s hard to consign or pass on a used diaper contraption to someone else. Nobody wants them—believe me, I tried.

Special Baby Detergent: Standard laundry detergents contain a lot of chemicals and unhealthy chemical-based fragrances so those are not a good choice for washing baby’s clothing and linens but if you already use a biodegradable, fragrance and dye-free, hypoallergenic detergent like Seventh Generation, for example, you don’t need to buy a special detergent just for your baby’s laundry—they are overpriced and typically still not as good a choice for babies as an eco-friendly detergent.

Baby Wipe Warmer: I can see how someone might be swayed to get one of these but I can honestly tell you that neither of my babies ever freaked out over a cold wipe. Never. But on the off chance that you’re not totally convinced, you can always roll a wipe around in your clean hands to warm it up first. Really 🙂

Continue being eco-friendly after your baby outgrows the things you do buy and donate gently-used items to a domestic abuse shelter where baby gear is always needed. ADDED BONUS: Your charitable donations are tax-deductible! Keep that in mind when you file your income taxes next year!

Have some great alternatives to unnecessary baby items? Share them in the comments!

Check out my post on how to set up a green nursery on a budget!

 

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. 

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).

Newer Entries  ∞  Older Entries