November 22, 2006

Green Baby Top Tomato Romper

More eco-friendly baby gear. Can you tell one of us has a baby shower to go to next weekend? Green Babies' "Eat Your Veggies" line puts the crunch into organic cotton baby wear. Ring spun cotton with natural snaps on the crotch. Made in the USA.

green babies hat.jpgAdd a red veggies hat and it's a perfect holiday gift set. Or baby shower present. Whichever comes first.

Available at Green Babies.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 13, 2006

Really Natural Holiday Gift Guide - Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift for Everyone

It's better to give than to receive. - Paul
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. - Churchill
Give a little bit, give a little bit of your love to me. - Supertramp

Yep. Deck the halls with boughs of evergreen, and potted holly plants. It's time for our holiday gift guides. Really Natural editors have scoured the Web (not to mention past and present gift guides posted by our fellow greenies over at The Green Guide, Treehugger, Grist, Co-op America, and the National Resources Defense Council) to come up with wish lists and holiday gift guides that will make your heart sing and help make the world a better place.

We'll be adding to these lists as the season progresses, so check back early and often. Happy Holidays!

For Her:

Green-knitwit-big.jpgKnitting Needle Bracelet from Australian artist and designer Liana Kabel. Made of recycled plastic knitting needles. $25. Ships from the Land Down Under and takes 1-3 weeks to get to the U.S. so order early.

Cashere Split Mittens (pictured above). Stewart+Brown cashmere is purchased and crafted in Mongolia by herders and weavers who continue to practice their centuries-old way of life. Available at Pangaya.

Recycled Magazine Evening Bag. Made in Brazil of recycled magazines. Looks a little bit like the Ecoist bags all the cool celebrity girls are wearing. Only it's even cooler. $72 at Wonders of the World.

Vintage Cotton and Hemp Lingerie. We're suckers for underpants. Honestly, who isn't?

Sugar Cane Jeans by Toyo. Vintage Japanese denim made with sugar cane fibers. Sweet! Don't like sugar cane in your denim? How about bamboo?

Green Toe Shoes by Simple. Know her shoe size? Green Toe shoes will tickle her feet. And the fact that they're designed for minimal environmental impact, using ingredients such as water-based cement, cork, jute, bamboo and crepe latex will tickle her heart.

Just about anything from Nest. This nifty little nonprofit web shop makes micro-loans to women artists and designers across the world, buys their goods and sells them to you, and uses the proceeds to make more micro-loans. Virtuous circle, indeed.

Tree-cycle Seatbelt Bags. Made of recycled seatbelts. I love you, baby. So buckle up.

For Him:

Solar Voltaic Backpack. Charge cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras, GPSs & MP3 players with this waterproof solar voltaic backpack.

Zia for Men Shaving Products. The man in my life raves about them. I like it that they're made using whole foods products and therapeutic-grade essential oils & herbal extracts, and that they're eco-friendly and cruelty-free (not tested on animals). The men's line is supposedly fragrance-free, but I think they smell terrific.

ductTri.jpgHow about a duct tape wallet? Buy one at the National Building Museum for $18. Or, make your own using the instructions on this site.

NoWet Green & Clean Car Wash, Wax and Sealant. According to their website, NoWet Green & Clean allows you to completely wash, wax, polish and seal any vehicle inside and out without water, saving 2,000 gallons of water with each 32 oz bottle. Because there's no rinsing, there's no run off of dirty contaminated water that pollutes our surface water tables. Plus, the product is bio-degradeable, VOC compliant and contains no petroleum-based products.

Cardboard Speakers by Muji. The name "MUJI" is derived from the Japanese phrase "Mujirushi Ryohin," meaning "No Brand Goods." Over the last 20 years, they have developed a worldwide following with a guiding philosophy that emphasizes innovative and simple materials, processes, and packaging. The resulting products are streamlined, environmentally friendly, and beautiful in their simplicity. Made of cardboard and electronic components. Available at the MoMA store.

Envirocycle Backyard Composter. Me strong man. Me make compost. The Envirocycle composter is the perfect urban composter. It produces quality compost quicker and easier than conventional composters by its rolling and mixing action which keeps the ingredients well mixed and aerated. The Envirocycle makes compost tea, a rich organic liquid plant food appreciated by gardeners everywhere.

For Baby:

Cheeky Baby and Mama's Belly shea butter creme and body oil. Available at Joli Bebe Boutique.

And for moms- and dads-to-be, allow us to recommendThe Complete Organic Pregnancy by Deirdre Dolan and Lexi Zissu. Great tips on how to make your home (and your pregnancy) safer by two journalists who were pregnant and figured it out for themselves.

Snuggly Organic Cotton Turtle. Take a 100% organic cotton shell, fill it with unbleached cotton clippings, embroider eyes for safety, and you have one of the most environmentally safe toys made in the world today. Hand crafted in Vermont, these animals are super-soft, adorable and best of all, machine washable and safe for all ages.

For Kids:

Organic Soul Rocker Kids Tees from JoMamaCo. For all those future punk rockers in the house.

A book about the child that you write and illustrate yourself. The joys from storebought toys and games can be fleeting. A gift like this is something your child will treasure and save forever.

Chew on This by Eric Schlosser. The author of Fast Food Nation dishes it up for kids. Read it together.

For Pets:

Recycled Cashmere Dog Sweaters from Deborah Lindquist. Spot deserves to be sexy. Woof. (Be sure to pick up one of Lindquist's matching sweaters or scarves for mom!)

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 19, 2006

JoMamaCo Organic Kids T-Shirts

Get us started on the organic kiddie clothes and we just can't stop.

Check out these itty-bitty hipster duds from JoMamaCo. All organic cotton t-shirts from a friendly and funky little Southern California company dedicated to earth-friendly apparel and products. Work-at-home moms started the company and still run it out of their homes. Their kids appear throughout the site modeling clothes and products.

We like the Soul Rebel t-shirt.

Available at JoMamaCo.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 9, 2006

Lunchbox Treat: Crispy Green Fruit Snacks

Trick or treat. Smell my feet. Give me some...freeze dried fruit?!

That's the message from Crispy Green, makers of a series of freeze dried fruit snacks, samples of which arrived at the Really Natural offices a couple of weeks ago. The company uses the same basic principles used by breakfast cereal makers to make the red berries in your Special K so tasty, and then packages the fruit in single-serving snack packs that make it easy to get your apples, peaches or apricots on the go. According to Crispy Green's press release, the snacks would make a "frighteningly healthy" alternative to sugary Halloween candy. We tried the snacks, and sent some home with our co-workers to see how their kids would like 'em.

Parents praised the convenience, healthfulness and simplicity of the product. Each snack package contains a single serving of fruit, the equivalent of which is listed on the package (e.g. one cup of apple, two apricots, or one medium peach). The ingredients are simple - just the fruit itself - and each bag contains 40 calories or less. Folks also liked the fruit's "lunchbox-ability" - unlike a regular peach which might squish or bruise on the way to work, or cut fruit, which would turn brown if left in a lunchbox all morning, the Crispy Peaches stay fresh, crunchy and delicious in their little vacuum sealed bags.

One colleague lamented all the packaging that goes into single serving snacks, but noted that Crispy Green is hardly the only snackmaker to go this route. And the fact is, single servings aren't just easy to pack; they also make it easy to monitor serving sizes.

Size-wise, folks noted that the individual snack bags of fruit work better as lunchbox addition than as a stand-alone snack. "If this was all my kids ate when they got home from school, they'd need to eat three packages." Then again, three servings of fruit vs. three chocolate chip cookies? You be the judge.

The final and most important question: How did they taste? Michelle's boys, Alex, Colin and Caleb, ages 5-9, loved 'em - for lunchboxes, an afternoon snack, or even Halloween. Caleb thinks they're better than a Snickers bar. Mike's kids said A-OK for lunch, but don't try to swap them for candy at the end of October. The grown-ups in the office were also big fans, though we weren't quite ready to give up the leftover candy. I liked mine in the morning over yogurt.

According to Crispy Green's website, the Trenton Times called the fruit snacks "one of the most wholesome new snacks to come out of New Jersey during the past few years." We find that statement itself kind of funny, but we don't doubt it.

Crispy Green fruit snacks cost $7.99 for a 6-pack or $81.50 for a case.

Available at Crispy Green.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

Snuggly Baby Gift: Organic Cotton Turtle

Need a baby gift? What's not to love about this cute and cuddly organic cotton turtle from 2kh?

100% organic cotton shell, fill it with unbleached cotton clippings, add embroidered eyes for safety, and you have one of the most environmentally safe toys made in the world today. Hand crafted in Vermont, these animals are super-soft, adorable and best of all, machine washable and safe for all ages.

The store also carries bears, whales, bunnies and elephants.

I want one for me.

Available at 2kh.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 29, 2006

Weekend Reading: Chew on This - Fast Food Nation for the Grade School Set

chew-on-this.jpgWhile parents are campaigning against junk food, Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser offers kids a digestible (though hardly palatable) look at the fast food industry in his new book Chew on This: Everything You Don't Want to Know about Fast Food.

Written with co-author Charles Wilson, the book adapts the lessons of Fast Food Nation for a kid-friendly look at the history of the fast food industry. The book looks at the nutritional content of a fast food meal, follows the 37-day life of a pre-McNugget chicken, and reveals how the fast food industry has studied child behavior and tailored its advertising and packaging (hello, Happy Meal toys) to attract a child audience. It also includes great information about the links between obesity, french fries and that Super Size Coke.

Buy it for your kids; read it as a family.

Availble at Chew on This.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 28, 2006

Parents Against Junk Food

We've read the news. 17% of children are overweight. Childhood obesity is growing at alarming rates. The Center for Disease Control predicts that one third of all children born in 2000 will contract diabetes. The question is, what can we do about it?

Received email from Christopher Kimball, the editor of Cook's Illustrated magazine, which included an answer: join Parents Against Junk Food. The nonprofit distributes a free monthly newsletter with recipe makeovers for such favorites as Mac and Cheese, quick (and healthier) weeknight meals like Skillet Lasagne, and recipes like "Wacky Cake" which you can cook with your kids.

Join Parents Against Junk Food.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

September 13, 2006

Really Green Playdough

LaLaNatural sells eco-friendly organic playdough. Available in Green (of course), as well as Lemony Yellow, Cinnamon Brown, Peachy Peach, Vanilly White, Berry Pink, and Purply Grape. Yum. Via GreatGreenBaby.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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