April 30, 2007

Check out our New Site SuperCoolPets.com and Win $50

Thanks for being an avid reader of our blog which is published by Blogpire Productions. We'd like to share with you a new title just launched today - SuperCoolPets.com. Blogpire started SuperCoolPets.com to help other pet owners find the pet products they really need, to help them stay away from the products that they don't, and to point out cool stuff along the way.

Want a really good reason to visit? If you sign up for the Super Cool Pets newsletter by using the form below or on the SuperCoolPets.com web site, you'll be eligible to win a $50 gift certificate from Amazon.com. That's right, all you have to do is sign up for the newsletter and be on the list when we pick the winner at the end of May.

So sign up below and visit Super Cool Pets for all the latest pet news, gadget, and toy fun!

Enter your Email

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April 30, 2007

Bag-E-Wash: Re-Use Plastic Baggies

packaging.jpgPlastic grocery bags have gotten a lot of press lately. San Francisco recently banned them; our own home city of Boston is talking about similar legislation. From our perspective, your best bet is not to use them at all. Invest in an EZ Bag (or a bunch of them, as we recently did).

But what about plastic baggies? They're convenient for storing and transporting food, and they seem more durable than your run-of-the-mill grocery bag. It's hard to eliminate their use completely. We suggest washing and re-using them.

We've written before about the wooden plastic bag dryer, a multi-pronged dowel which allows you to wash and air dry up to 8 plastic bags at a time.

Jeannie Piekos, founder of Bag-E-Wash, has another idea. She invented Bag-E-Wash, a product that allows you to wash plastic baggies in the dishwasher.

ArrowContinue reading: "Bag-E-Wash: Re-Use Plastic Baggies"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 24, 2007

Sckoon Organic Cotton Happy Lion

Rowr! Love this organic cotton lion plush toy from Sckoon Organics.

Made of 100% Certified Organic Egyptian Cotton and metal-free dyes, he's a perfect gift for babies. Plus, he's machine washable, and the more you wash him, the softer he gets.

At $12, he's also a steal.

Buy a Sckoon Organics Cotton Happy Lion for the expectant mom on your shopping list. Or buy one for yourself and you'll be happy, too.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 23, 2007

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, everyone, from all of us here at Really Natural.

Yep. We know we're a day late. We love you, but preferred to spend our Earth Day, well, outside enjoying it. We celebrated by taking a walk with friends, having dinner with family -- oh, and taking a quick trip to Home Depot to pick up our free compact fluorescent light bulb. (Russ used it to replace the bulb in our laundry closet -- perfect!)

It's pretty cool to see the attention that Earth Day is getting this year. Treehugger has been asking if recycling has jumped the shark, but our feeling is, the more folks who pay attention to reducing, reusing and yes, recycling, the better. Sure, we'd love to see a world where everyone's goal was no waste instead of less waste. But in the meantime, it feels good to know that folks are waking up to that fact that this Earth -- not to mention the condition in which we leave it to our kids and our kids' kids -- is our responsibility.

Let's hope all the attention translates to more than lip service. We wish you an excellent year!

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 20, 2007

$10 off Annie's Homegrown at Amazon

Are you as big a fan of Annie's Homegrown Mac and Cheese as we are? Well, it's your lucky day.

Now through April 30th, Amazon is offering $10 off purchases of $39 or more from Annie's Homegrown and Annie's Naturals. Stock up on Annie's Homegrown Shells and White Cheddar. Load up on Annie's Cheddar Bunnies.

Here's the Annie's Homegrown $10 off coupon. Be sure to enter the promotional code ANNIES77 at checkout.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

Weekend Reading: Amazon's Earth Day Reading List

Earth Day is big this year. Amazon has celebrated by creating a list of planet-friendly products from throughout their store.

I like their list of eco-friendly books and magazines, including This Moment on Earth by John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry, Design Like You Give a Damn by Architects for Humanity, and The Homeowner's Guide to Renewable Energy.

Check out Amazon's whole Earth Day reading list. Browse through their whole list of planet-friendly products at Amazon .

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 19, 2007

Comparing Rechargeable Candles

We wrote a few months back about Philips Aurelle Rechargeable LED Candles. Some twinkle for your next dinner party with the fire risk or messy melted wax. Well, since Philips introduced the Aurelle candles, we've come across a few other brands worth noting:

Viatek Rechargeable Candles
Sold in a six pack for $25, the candles (pictured at right) are the best deal we've found for LED rechargeable candles. The energy-efficient LED is a power saver -- each charge lasts for 12 hours.

The candles come with a 4.25" x 2.25" glass votive. The LED flickers just like a real candle. You see these in a lot of restaurants these days.

Buy Viatek rechargeable candles.

Brookstone's Flameless Wax Sensor Candles
B000EXUZSU.01-A31C4SAW3YCWWJ._SCLZZZZZZZ_V45608783_AA280_.jpgMade of real wax, these candles (pictured left) operate on four AA batteries - we recommend you use rechargeable ones. Not LED so not the most energy-efficient choice, though the candles do go out after two hours of use to save energy.

At $50, one of the priciest options. On the other hand, they look more natural than some of the LED versions. And they smell like vanilla. Buy Brookstone's Flameless Wax Sensor Candles.

Philips Aurelle LED Rechargeable Candles
B0009WRJ5S.01._SCMZZZZZZZ_AA160_.jpgPhilips Aurelle LED models, pictured at right, are also expensive, at $15 for an individual candles or $200 for a 10-pack. Charge lasts 10 hours. Lights twinkle invitingly.

Philips rechargeable LED candles also come in different shapes, including square, round, triangle and tulip.

Sharper Image Waxless LED Flameless Candle
B000GGUYIG.01-AFK4B2ETLE86K._SCMZZZZZZZ_V24029417_AA160_.jpgAt $20, this wax LED candle (pictured at left) uses 2 C batteries for a life of up to 350 hours. Not too shabby. And good looking, too.

Again, make sure you pick up rechargeable batteries, please. Buy the Sharper Image Waxless LED Flameless Candle.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 18, 2007

Kee-Ka Bodysuit, Bib and Burp Organic Gift Set


More Kee-Ka cuteness. The last piece in the care package Kee-Ka sent over was this adorable organic bodysuit, bib and burp cloth gift set. Like all Kee-Ka baby clothing, the organic baby gift set is made of 100% certified super-soft organic cotton. The snaps on the bodysuit are nickel-free. And the whole set is so soft you want to bury your face in it.

ArrowContinue reading: "Kee-Ka Bodysuit, Bib and Burp Organic Gift Set"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 17, 2007

Green Flags in The New York Times

To illustrate "The Greening of Geopolitics", Thomas Friedman's cover story for this past Sunday's New York Times Magazine, the Times commissioned 10 artists to design "green flags." Among the artists whose works are featured: Kiki Smith, Robert L. Lang, Carin Goldberg, and Casey Reas. Here are pictures of some of our favorites:

Cuartopiso's Green Flag

Ronan and Erwin Bouroullec's Flag

Robert L. Lang's Origami Flag (the Times site has a cool video showing how the flag was made)

An Homage to Rachel Carson by Carin Goldberg

Hope the New York Times posts a gallery of all ten flags soon. In the meantime, check out the slide show at the beginning of the Robert L. Lang video.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 16, 2007

Thomas Friedman's Geo-Green Strategy

Having effectively demonstrated that The World is Flat, Thomas Friedman is campaigning for energy independence. His cover article in this Sunday's New York Times makes the case that "going green" is the key to putting "our post-9/11 trauma and the divisiveness of the Bush years" behind us, that it will "reknit America at home, reconnect America abroad and restore America to its natural place in the global order — as the beacon of progress, hope and inspiration." ArrowContinue reading: "Thomas Friedman's Geo-Green Strategy"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

Lush Massage Bars - Sleepy Head and Wiccy Magic Muscles

LUSH products look funny - more like gourmet foods than skincare products - and I have to admit, that's a big part of what drew us into the store. But I'm a convert to their massage bars, which rank high on my list of favorite moisturizers for my itchy pregnant belly.

ArrowContinue reading: "Lush Massage Bars - Sleepy Head and Wiccy Magic Muscles"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 13, 2007

Weekend Reading: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth

0553381156.01._BO2,204,203,200_PIlitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_SH20_.jpgYou won't be surprised to learn that Russ and I are hoping for a natural childbirth. Other than pre-natal massage, my best discovery so far (thanks to Erin and Julie!) is Ina May's Guide to Childbirth.

Ina May Gaskin, author of Spiritual Midwifery, is one of the country's best known midwives. She practices on The Farm, a Tennessee commune where she and her colleagues have attended more than 2000 births. Their cesarean rate is among the lowest in the country; they're also one of the only places that delivers breech babies vaginally.

But that's not what makes Ina May's Guide to Childbirth so fantastic.

ArrowContinue reading: "Weekend Reading: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 12, 2007

Kee-Ka Organic Cotton Baby Blanket: Sweet!

Okay, what baby wouldn't want to swaddle up in this adorable Sweet Pea baby blankie from Kee-Ka? And what Really Natural mom wouldn't feel good knowing that her baby was cuddled up in 100% certified super-soft organic cotton, dyed using certified low-impact dyes.

The Sweet Pea Baby Blanket was included in the care package that Kristi from Kee-Ka sent over last week. Russ and I ooh'ed and ah'ed over the cute packaging (recycled, of course!), and I couldn't stop cooing over the softness of the blankie itself.

Our own little baby isn't due until July, but friends with kids have told us that a well-swaddled baby is a happy baby. And baby swaddled in the Kee-Ka baby blankie? I have to imagine s/he'd be happy indeed.

Get a Kee-Ka Organic Cotton Baby Blanket.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 11, 2007

EZ Bag Compact Grocery Bags

Tired of the paper or plastic dilemma? Get yourself an EZ Bag.

We were at a dinner party at Julie and Patrick's house on Friday. Another couple at the party regaled us with their plans for a green wedding this fall in Colorado. Among the items on their must-have list? Recycled paper invitations, a LEED-certified location, and EZ Bags for everyone.

Wait a minute, you say. What are EZ Bags? I'm glad you asked.

ArrowContinue reading: "EZ Bag Compact Grocery Bags"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 10, 2007

NYTimes on Socially Responsible Investing

tsnewnocerastill.162.jpgJoe Nocera takes aim at socially responsible investing in an article in the Saturday business section of the NYTimes. The article's title - "Well-Meaning but Misguided Stock Screens" - sums up his opinion pretty well.

ArrowContinue reading: "NYTimes on Socially Responsible Investing"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

Starbucks Plays It Green: Planet Green Game

starbuckslogo.gifStarbucks is teaming up with Global Green USA to illustrate the need to take action to put an end to global warming.

The company is sponsoring Planet Green, an online game which shows players simple steps they can take to reduce CO2 emissions in the town of Evergreen. You choose a character, pick your mode of transport (bonus points for 0 emissions modes like walking and biking), and you're off.

Hats off to Starbucks for its efforts to educate the public on the effects of global warming. (And thanks to Scott at Single Serve Espresso for letting us know about the Planet Green game.)

Play the Planet Green Game.

ArrowContinue reading: "Starbucks Plays It Green: Planet Green Game"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 9, 2007

RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier - On Sale for $330 (40% Off)

B000CP55VW.01-A3EGJ8JN2OW2WE._SCLZZZZZZZ_V25112185_AA280_.jpgHey folks, RabbitAir sale alert! Amazon has the air purifier on sale for $329.95, more than 40% off the retail price.

We've written about the RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier before and have received emails from readers raving about it. We're not sure if this sale has anything to do with the Easter holiday, but we recommend you get yours now before it's gone like the Easter bunny on Monday morning.

Buy the RabbitAir BioGP Air Purifier.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

Kee-Ka Goodies Have Arrived!

We mentioned last week that the folks at Kee-Ka had written to let us know they're launching new products for spring. Well, on Friday afternoon, we arrived home to discover our very own Kee-Ka care package. Thanks, Kee-Ka!

The packaging itself is worth writing about. Who wouldn't want to receive one of these cute boxes? Stay tuned this week to find out some of what was inside.

Learn more about Kee-Ka

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 6, 2007

Weekend Reading: Real Food Daily Cookbook by Ann Gentry

1580086187_01__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-dp-500-arrow,TopRight,45,-64_OU01_SCLZZZZZZZ_AA240_SH20_.jpgA Really Natural reader recently recommended Ann Gentry's Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian. We can understand why.

Vegetarianism is the new Prius, right?

ArrowContinue reading: "Weekend Reading: Real Food Daily Cookbook by Ann Gentry"

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 5, 2007

Kee-Ka Organic Baby and Toddler Clothes

OBB-monkey-ptitsinge.jpgRecently got an email from Kristi over at Kee-Ka announcing some new products they're introducing this spring. The Brooklyn-based is known for its organic baby and toddler clothing (including the adorable bib and burp cloth pictured at right).

According to Kristi, they're introducing a bunch of new styles, including towels, blankets, capes and baby bedding. They're also bringing out a line of accessories for "four-legged children." (My mom, whose dog has more toys than my sister and I did, will know exactly what she means.)

The new gear hasn't hit the Kee-Ka website yet, but we hear it's coming soon, and Kristi promises to send pictures and maybe even a sample or two. We'll let you know when we learn more.

Learn more about Kee-Ka organic baby and toddler clothing.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 4, 2007

Kitchen Compost Pails

If you're thinking about composting, you should also consider a kitchen compost pail so you can keep kitchen scraps for your compost pile. Here, the key is finding one that will fit on your countertop or underneath, store your scraps, and not smell up your kitchen.

I like this stainless steel compost pail from Nor Pro. It's small and sturdy, and traps odors with a small charcoal filter disk that fits in the lid. Moreover, it's easy to clean and won't chip as you transport it out to your compost pile or clean it in the sink.

I don't think I'd fill it the way they have in this picture, though. When you squish the top down, you're headed for some yuck.

Buy a Nor Pro Stainless Steel Compost Pail.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 3, 2007

Finding the Best Composter for You

B0001LELJY.01-AT39QKIE0XGB7._AA250_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpgThinking about composting this year? It isn't hard. Composters.com has some great info on how composting works, why to do it, what to do it with, and how to select the best composter for you. Among the gems:

Along with fuel efficiency, water conservation, and reduction in meat consumption, home composting is one of the most environmentally beneficial activities of modern society. Yard and food wastes make up approximately 30% of the waste stream in the US. Not only does composting sucessfully divert a significant portion of your family's waste stream from the landfill and water treatment facilities, it is a natural method of recycling organic materals into valuable humus. Finished compost is nutritious enough to use as a soil amendment, buffering the pH and helping to retain water in the soil. It can cool the soil's surface, and help mitigate erosion. Why buy topsoil when you create your own endless supply?
Purchasing a compost bin is as much a personal preference choice as it is a functional choice. While monetary considerations should always be taken into account, also think about such issues as visibility, aesthetics and capacity.... Some bins are more educational than others, a few require a bit more maintenance, while several allow participation by the whole family. Some are attractive. Others ugly. A few are actually fun, while a couple are virtually problem-free.

Here are a couple of our favorites:
Burpee Backyard Composter
(pictured right)- Burpees Backyard Composter is basically just what you picture when you picture a composter. Basic, durable, reliable. Relatively inexpensive compared to other models, but built to last. Easy to assemble and easy to use.

The Urban Compost Tumbler (small picture, left) - More expensive than some of the basic models out there, but it's got bells and whistles to make it worth your while. Easy to use - no turning - and easy to move around your yard, two things worth paying for.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking

April 2, 2007

Upside Down Tomato Garden

Here's another item on our gardening wishlist for summer: the upside down tomato garden.

Evidently, by allowing the vines to hang downward, you can eliminate the need for staking and grow up to four tomato plants upside down.

Learn more at Upside Down Tomato Garden.

Jess Brooks Permalink social bookmarking
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