October 31, 2007
October 30, 2007
Props to Ask Umbra and NatureMoms for offering suggestions on how to plan an eco-friendly Halloween.
Ask Umbra's column from this year focuses on green, safe, economical alternatives to Halloween candy or plastic toys:
You need something cheap that is easily available in bulk, and that is acceptable to children. What do kids want, if not silly toys and tasty candy? Pens and pencils, and tiny boxes of crayons, are a traditional, sort of academically focused item. You could also buy several boxes of fat markers and strew them about in baskets; if you combined all these drawing utensils, children of varying ages will be able to choose one they like. Small musical instruments like kazoos, mouth harps, and whistles could be fun, if they aren't made of toxic Chinese plastic. Stickers, temporary tattoos, and trading cards are small and cheap. You could look up a variety of knock-knock jokes at the library, pick 10, and print each one on 30 business card-sized papers. There, that's my big idea -- knock-knock jokes.
Last year's Halloween column, also a favorite, dished up this advice:
(M)ake a collection of things that you own and are ready to get rid of, like CDs, books, jewelry, trophies, trinkets, and the like. Put them in a treasure chest of your own devising and let the children choose one item each. Ooh, sparkly.
NatureMoms' article includes a list of eco-friendly Halloween candies, trick or treat bags, party treats, decorations, and Halloween costumes. Read more at NatureMoms.
October 29, 2007
Thanks to Jay, a big fan of electric cars, for sending this in on the new ZAP Xebra, which rolled out of factories in Shandong Province in China last week:
The new factory has the capacity to produce up to 4,000 vehicles per month, according to officials from ZAP and Shandong Jindalu Vehicle Company, Ltd. The modernized factory provides a more productive working environment with state-of-the-art automation as well as vehicle research, development and production capabilities.
Read the full ZAP Xebra press release.
October 29, 2007
Thinking about throwing an eco-friendly baby shower? Get tips from Wee Generation, a collaboration between Seventh Generation, Baby Style and Healthy World Healthy Child.
The site features a video of party planner Traci Phillips talking about how she planned a green baby shower for Sheryl Crow's son Wyatt. Among the tips:
- Use local foods
- Avoid paper products or use recycled, recyclable tableware
- Wrap presents in reusable grocery bags or cloth diapers tied with a bow
- Have guests sign an organic baby t-shirt instead of a guestbook
Get more tips and check out the video at Wee Generation.
October 25, 2007
What are those folks at Dancing Deer up to now? Just in time for Halloween, they're baking up candy corn sugar cookies.
Dancing Deer cookies are all natural, kosher, and completely delicious! Enter the promotional code GHOST7 at checkout between now and October 31st and get 20% off.
Available at Dancing Deer.
October 24, 2007
The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) is concerned about climate change. And they should be -- global warming from greenhouse gas emissions is the single largest threat to our environment today.
Let folks know you care about the planet with a cheeky "Hotter than I Should Be" t-shirt, available for a $50 donation to WWF's global warming site.
This would make a gift for that "Hotter than I Should Be" animal lover on your list. You can let them know you've noticed, and that you care about the planet.
Available at World Wildlife Fund.
October 23, 2007
Starting today or tomorrow, the Senate Agriculture Committee meets to finalize its version of the 2007 Farm Bill. It's not too late to call your Senators and ask 'em to make sure the Senate invests significant in improved access to healthy foods, protection of our air and water, increased opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers, and equitable program access for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Look up your Senators' contact info, call and ask to speak with the aide who works on the Farm Bill. Then ask him or her to ensure that the 2007 Farm Bill provides increased mandatory funding for your priorities, including:
* access to healthy foods,
* conservation programs,
* new markets, value-added enterprises, and local food systems,
* organic farming, and
* beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.
Healthy, local organic food is important, and it needs support. Voice yours now.
For more info, check out the Healthy Farm Bill website.
October 22, 2007
Alison Rothwell just wrote in to tell us about her new company, Arabella Miller, making organic cotton t-shirts for babies and toddlers. The shirts are made of organic cotton, and even organic ink. And the designs are awesome. Check out "Puppy Love," one of our favorites, at right.
Arabella Miller is located in the UK (and, alas, doesn't currently ship to US locations), but UK orders ship for free!
Order at Arabella Miller.
October 19, 2007
Speaking of Fair Trade Month, why not pick up a copy of Fair Trade: A Beginner's Guide by Jacqueline Decarlo. Here's the description from Amazon:
Grounded in the inspiring power of Fair Trade as a positive alternative to poverty, environmental destruction, and human exploitation, this enlightening book explains how we can make a difference. Providing an accessible explanation of the principles behind the movement and tracing its development into the powerful economic and social justice tool it is today.
Available at Fair Trade: A Beginner's Guide.
October 18, 2007
October is Fair Trade Month. And what better way to celebrate Fair Trade Month than by roasting your own fair trade coffee beans.
This highly rated Gene Cafe Drum Coffee Roaster comes with 9 lbs of fair trade coffee. Done.
Available from Seven Bridges Cooperative.
October 17, 2007
It must be fall. My skin has been dry. Not flaky dry, but just sort of, well, malnourished. Which is why I was so glad to remember the Rejuvenating Enzyme Mask the folks from Lily Organics sent a couple of months ago.
As far as I can tell, the mask is mostly honey -- a natural humectant which draws moisture to your skin. The mask also includes fruit enzymes from papaya and pineapple to dissolve dead skin cells, as well as comfrey, lily, horsetail and mint. According to the Lily website, this combination works to
remove the build up of dead skin cells, stimulate new cell growth, balance combination skin and regenerate damaged skin.
All I know is that I'm grateful for it.
The mask went on smooth, smelled great, and was easy to wear for the recommended 30 minutes. At the end, it washed off cleanly, and left my skin soft, shiny, smooth and moist.
Lily Organics Rejuvenating Enzyme Mask is all natural, and gentle enough to use everyday, even on sensitive skin.
Available at Lily Organics.
October 16, 2007
A belated shout out to former Vice President Al Gore for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Gore has brought much needed attention to the issue of global warming. We're glad he and, more importantly, the environment are finally getting the attention they deserve.
October 15, 2007
Having folks over for dinner? Looking for an alternative to disposable plastic plates and cups? We like to keep on hand a set of recycled plastic tableware - plates
- from Preserve by Recycline
Preserve Tableware is made from 100% recycled plastic, including recycled yogurt cups. It's reusable and dishwasher-safe. Don't feel like washing it? It's also recyclable (using #5 plastic).
The plates, cups and cutleryare sturdy enough for anything you can dish out. And they come in a range of colors and sizes so you can coordinate or mix and match.
Buy Preserve Plates, Cups and Cutlery.
October 12, 2007
Earlier this week, we mentioned Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots. Written by Kevin Danaher, Shannon Biggs and Jason Mark, the book includes essays and interviews describing how community groups, families, and individual citizens have taken action to protect their food and water, clean up their neighborhoods, and strengthen their local economies.
AlterNet's excerpt of an interview with Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute has me intrigued to read more.
Available at Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots
October 11, 2007
Looking for a healthy snack to replace your afternoon energy bar (or worse yet, a trip to the candy jar)? We recently came across Goody2Chews, a Canadian fruit and nut snack that may be the answer.
Goody2Chews come in three flavors: Yogurt, Caramel and Chocolate. We sampled all three, and especially liked the Chocolately and Caramel flavors. Each bag contains a single serving size of the candy-coated chews -- roughly a handful -- with a consistency not unlike the fruitier confections in a Russell Stover's gift sampler. It's like a hybrid between a Balance Bar and a handful of Viactiv calcium chews, only tastier. Each 2 oz bag of Goody2Chews has 200 calories and contains 10 grams of protein and 12% of your daily fiber. The single serving size makes them ideal for lunch boxes or as a snack to keep in the back of your desk. I could also see bringing them on a bike ride or hike!
Goody2Chews are produced in a facility that's gluten- and peanut-free. They don't take the place of actual fruits or nuts, but they're a nice nutritious alternative to more sugary or calorie-laden convenience snacks.
October 10, 2007
Kristi at Kee-Ka
wrote in last month to let us know they've launched their new website.
We're big fans of the Brooklyn-based company's organic cotton baby clothing and accessories (totally cute graphics and sooo soft!). The new site features Kee-Ka's new organic cotton crib bedding collection, hooded towels and even cute little tank tops for your pet! (We saw a sneak preview of the pet gear over the summer, and it's adorable!)
Check it out at Kee-Ka.
Read our reviews of Kee-Ka baby clothes and accessories:
Bodysuit, Bib and Burpcloth Gift Set
Organic Cotton Baby Blanket
October 9, 2007
AlterNet's top story comes from the new book Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots.
They excerpt an interview with Anuradha Mittal, Founder and Executive Director of the Oakland Institute, a non-profit research and advocacy organization that works to ensure public participation and democratic debate on crucial economic and social policy issues. Her take on the biggest problem in the U.S.:
(F)ood, instead of being about communities, is now about commodities. It is controlled, not by the family farm, growing food for families and communities, while maintaining bio-diversity; it has come to mean large corporate industrial agriculture farms, where machines have replaced farmers, where monocultures have replaced biodiversity, where corporate agribusiness has replaced family farms. What we see as a result is a disconnect between us and the food system where we have been reduced to mere consumers. So we have to rethink our relationship with the food system before we can effectively challenge that.
Read AlterNet's excerpt from Building the Green Economy.
Buy Building the Green Economy: Success Stories from the Grassroots.
October 8, 2007
Feeling good about yourself? Let folks know about it with a positive t-shirt from Tees for Change!
Shirts come emblazoned with affirmations like "Be Positive", "Live Fully" and "Today Matters." Shirts are made sustainably and a portion of the proceeds from each sale benefits nonprofit organizations dedicated to social change.
Continue reading: "Tees for Change - T-Shirts with a Positive Message"
October 5, 2007
October 3, 2007
Chocolate Lovers and Nutrition Buffs Unite! I've just discovered Adora Chocolate Calcium Supplements, and the world is a beautiful place.
As someone who struggles to get enough calcium in my diet through whole foods, I try to take a daily calcium supplement. Historically, I've rotated between Tums and Viactive, preferring chewable calcium supplements to the giant horsepill variety. I usually buy the chocolate or caramel flavor of Viactive, but have long felt that people who believe it tastes like real chocolate are kidding themselves. Well, as of right now, I am changing my tune: with Adora Chocolate Calcium Supplements, you can have your chocolate and your calcium, too.
Continue reading: "Adora Calcium Supplements: I'd Eat Them for Pleasure"
October 2, 2007
BPA-free drinking vessels aren't just for babies and grown-ups. Check out your toddler's sippy cups to make sure they don't contain the dangerous chemical compound found in hard plastics. (Here's how to tell.)
We first started paying attention to the risks of Bisphenol-A earlier this month when we realized the bottles we were using for our baby were made of the hard plastic associated with the chemical. We've since replaced our hard plastic baby bottles with BPA-free soft plastic bottles and recycled our old Nalgene bottles in favor of Klean Kanteen stainless steel water bottles. Next up? BPA-free stainless steel sippy cups.
The Klean Kanteen stainless steel sippy cup is safe and non-leaching, with no epoxy coating on the inside of the bottle. It comes with a non-leaching #5 polypropylene adaptor and #5 polypropylene sippy spout. (The Klean Kanteen Sippy Cup also works with the Avent Sippy Spouts - two of which are included - and is dishwasher safe. ) When your child outgrows the sippy spout, you can replace it with any other Klean Kanteen cap.
Available at Klean Kanteen.
October 1, 2007
Worried about Bisphenol-A from hard plastic
? Recycle your old Nalgene bottle
and pick up a stainless steel water bottle
We like these water bottles from Klean Kanteen. Choose from three sizes and cap styles.
Available at Klean Kanteen.