Whole World Gift Set Giveaway!

2295-07_21_08-large_cover.jpgWe love Barefoot Books. Their children’s titles are beautifully illustrated, unique and educational. Even more, we love giving away their children’s books to our wonderful readers! If you want a chance to win THREE of their eco children’s books, then you’re in luck because we are giving away…

Win It:  Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “BB33” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: name one other title available from Barefoot Books that looks interesting to you! One winner will be chosen to win all three books. U.S. and Canadian residents eligible. Enter by 10/29/08. Contest closed. Congrats Heather B.!

Kids Healthwatch: Pesticide Exposure

Spending for organic food is worth it when it comes to our children. Their developing bodies are especially vulnerable to toxins found in our food and environment and switching to organic food has an immediate effect on the body. Within 36 hours, pesticides may no longer be detected in a child’s urine. On my website Project Green Girl, I have an article titled “Go Organic” which lists the produce with the highest levels of pesticides. This is a great list to start with and the cost is minimal.

Recent Studies:

  • A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tested 815 2-year olds, and found those with an organic dairy diet experienced less eczema and wheezing than those consuming non-organic dairy.
  • The BBC reported in 2006 that pesticide exposure from food can cause depression and memory problems.
  • An organic plant-based nutrition program is believed to help ADD sufferers.
  • Pesticide levels in children raise in the winter when more food is imported.
  • Amniotic fluid and breast milk can pass pesticides to the fetus and infant, so the mother should also follow an organic diet.

For more information:

Author Patricia Wooster is the founder of the Project Organic Eating blog, where healthy eating meets affordability! 

The Power of Better World Shopping

bwsgcover.jpgWho knew something as simple as a list of companies could be so inspiring?  Can a list make that big of difference?  According to Ellis Jones’ incredibly compact, but informative book, The Better World Shopping Guide, a grocery list is not complete without this companion.  Jones’ has combined his 15 years of research and social responsibility to develop a book filled with an easy-to-understand ranking system for common products.  Everything from baby care, beer, and electronics to toys, seafood, and desserts, Jones has assigned a letter grade from A to F.  The letter grade ranks a company’s contribution, good or bad, to five issues: human rights, the environment, animal protection, community involvement, and social justice.  Wow!  That is lot of difference-making happening with our dollars. In the short time I have owned the book, already I find myself becoming a more issue-orientated shopper. For example, Kraft (as in macaroni and cheese) didn’t rank so well and I consider that fact when I’m shopping. Know what else is a good idea?  Voting—every day—with your dollar.  Now THAT is power!

Find It Here: The Better World Shopping Guide

Win It! We’re giving away a copy of The Better World Shopping Guide! Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “BW10” as the giveaway name and provide the answer to this question: what is one of the product categories in the book? North American residents eligible. Enter by 10/29/08. Contest closed. Congrats, Cathy!

Editor’s Note:  You’ll see in our left sidebar a promotional ad for a special on PBS’ Frontline called Heat: A Global Investigation that will begin airing on October 21. Global warming is an unparalleled threat to all life on planet Earth. We urge you to watch this show if you can!

Being Green in the Bad Economy

Wow, lots going on in the financial world. At this point I am glad I did not have my bathroom remodeled or buy that new digital camera. Looks like things are going to get tougher and tougher.

A lot of “green” products come with a higher price tag than cheap, made in China products. So how is one supposed to do their best to take care of the environment and be healthy when money holds you back?

1) Remember that there are many things you can do to be green that don’t cost anything…and may even save you money. Things like keeping your heat turned low, using low-flow shower heads and washing laundry with cold water will help the environment and you.

2) Consider alternatives to pricey products. I really like Method and Seventh Generation products…but there are plenty of recipes online for homemade cleaners that are VERY inexpensive. National Geographic’s Green Guide has some here.

3) Keep an eye out for sales and clearances on natural/green products. I have never paid full price for Tom’s of Maine toothpaste or any natural deodorant. Lesser known products such as these tend to be clearanced more often. I bought Tom’s toothpaste at CVS for 75% off and Kiss My Face roll-on deodorant for $2 at Target…which leads me to: Read the rest of this entry »

Baby Purity Conference

untitled.jpgCalling all Canadian mamas who love their babies and don’t want them exposed to toxins in our environment—Baby Purity is hosting an exciting conference on October 25, 2008 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Tickets are still available but they’re going fast. Don’t miss out on this fabulous opportunity to hear from experts such as Christopher Gavigan, Executive Director of Healthy Child Healthy World; Dr. Chantelle Mitchell, naturopathic physician; and Lisa Frack, parent activist with the Environmental Working Group. Learn about first foods for your baby, safe household products and good nutrition. Plus, have lunch, meet other like-minded mamas, learn about new products and get some cool (and green, of course) swag to take home. This isn’t the first time I’ve wished I lived in Canada. Heh! Joking. Kinda.

Find It Here: Baby Purity Mother’s Conference

Win It! We’re giving away two tickets to the Baby Purity Mother’s Conference! Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter “BP60” as the giveaway name and tell us why you want to go! Enter by 10/22/08.

Does Your Vacuum Cleaner Suck?

vacuum_cleaner.jpgIf you’re like me, an undomestic goddess of a kingdom comprised mostly of pet hair and assorted baby stuff, any help in biting back the dust is welcome. National Geographic’s Green Guide recently published an article on vacuum cleaners, including product comparisons and buying pointers. I dug that they say vacuums are super-easy to repair but that seldom happens. It could, however, probably save you some money, not to mention please Mother Earth (and who doesn’t like to keep on HER good side?) to try having the vacuum repaired or parts replaced (or do it yourself!) before you donate it to a thrift store, charity, or even “freecycle” it.  But if it’s time for a better vacuum or your household includes an asthma-and-allergies sufferer (like mine), take heart because today’s vacuum cleaning market lends credence to the idea that there’s a sucker born every minute—but this time, it’s in a good way! Some models with HEPA filters (sometimes pricier, sometimes not) even help whisk away and imprison the brain cell-killing chemicals in flame retardants, the hormone-tampering phthalates as well as the carcinogens and pesticides that sneak in from the outside world. I take safeguarding the environment seriously but I can’t resist one final pun—peruse The Green Guide and, for a more comprehensive list of vacuums’ green ratings, Consumer Reports. With these helpers, it’s sure to be a wind-wind situation when you choose your next vacuum cleaner!

Find it Here: The Green Guide

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