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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.

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).

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 »

DVR Alert: What’s Really in Your Food?

It’s been four years since the film Food Inc. lifted the veil on America’s food industry and exposed how the nation’s food suppliers put profit ahead of the health of the consumer.

But Americans are still being served harmful foods including burgers made out of pink slime, chicken “marinated” in chlorine and injected with salt water with sodium content equivalent to a serving of fries, artificial flavoring in ice cream that is otherwise used in lice killer and carcinogens in bread commonly found on the kitchen table — most disturbing is the fact that these practices are all perfectly legal.

On Monday, February 27, the hosts of the talk show THE DOCTORS, along with special guest, chef Rocco DiSpirito, take a closer look at American food staples and examines the harmful additives and processes used to prepare them.

Burgers*  Would you eat a burger made out of “pink slime” the name given to the mechanically separated meat that’s treated with ammonia hydroxide to kill bacteria like E-coli?  McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King, once purveyors of pink slime, say they have discontinued their use of this meat, made from discarded beef (i.e. everything else from the cow that had been deemed inedible), but who still does? Schools serve it up daily in kids’ lunches. GROSS!

Chicken “To disinfect and cool chicken post slaughter, chickens are often soaked in a chlorine bath with a water-to-chlorine ratio up to 50 times more potent than the average swimming pool.  Then, to help hide the chlorine taste, the chickens are “plumped” with salt water, making the chickens larger in both weight and price.  Plus, via a scientific experiment, THE DOCTORS determined that chlorine baths may not even rid chicken of the bacteria the chlorine bath is supposed to prevent.

Ice Cream  One billion gallons of ice cream are consumed by Americans every year. The most popular flavor? Vanilla. Real vanilla beans are expensive, so to save money, many ice cream makers use a synthetic flavoring called piperonal which is also an ingredient in lice killer.

Bread  Many breads are made with potassium bromate, which has been banned in Canada and the UK and has been named a carcinogen by the EPA, but has been approved by the FDA.  Plus, azodicarbonamide, found in many manufactured donuts and hamburger buns – as well as plastics, rubber and foam – has been found to aggravate asthma symptoms and contribute respiratory problems in humans.

So, what do the doctors of THE DOCTORS recommend to avoid these harmful foods? Read the rest of this entry »

GLOB Natural Non-Toxic Paints

What: All natural, non-toxic paint

Features: Water-soluble, botanically crafted paints made from fruits, vegetables, flowers and spices with natural food-grade ingredients and organic extracts.  Similar to watercolors, GLOB paints can be used for a variety of arts and crafts activities.

Green Factor: Inexplicably, in the US, synthetic pigments that have never been tested for toxicity can be labeled “non-toxic ” simply because there is no data to prove otherwise. GLOB paints are free of the petrochemicals, formaldehyde and heavy metals like lead and cadmium that are found in many so-called “non-toxic” art pigments.

Bonus: GLOB’s annual School Giveaway provides free paints to schools, making safe, green art supplies available for creative programs.

Find It Here: GLOB

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

 

Great Gifts: Eco-Friendly Dump Truck Toy

What: Green Toys Dump Truck

Features: This award-winning, eco-designed toy truck has no metal axles and a workable dumper that encourages motor skill development.

Green Factor: Made from 100 percent recycled plastic milk containers

Bonus: Made in the USA

Find It Here: Amazon.com

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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