July 28, 2010

Bear Naked Cranberry Raisin Cereal: 100% Pure & Natural and Partnered with Terracycle

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Bear Naked Pure and Natural Cereal is delicious and of the same standards of naturalness you would expect from Bear Naked.

Ever since our very first batches of granola, we've been searching for ways to un-invent food and celebrate the variety Mother Nature provides...So as we thought about cereals, we felt they should be more than just hearty flakes. We wanted a mouthful of bearly processed goodies we could actually pronounce. And that's what you hold in your hands...A thoughtfully crafted blend of nature's boldest flavors, richest textures, mouthwatering aromas and REAL nutrition that makes your body smile.
In our camp, we believe every sunrise reveals a new adventure, and this cereal is for those of you who want to wake up and experience a pure and natural breakfas

At first glance, I was concerned this product did not contain organic ingredients, as there is no USDA label. Upon closer inspection, there are many organic ingredients, and I appreciate Bear Naked does not overstate this fact since the product is not 100% organic.

Another concern I have is with packaging. You only get 12.5 ounces per bag, which doesn't last long around my household, and the packaging is not recyclable. Bear Naked has teamed with Terracycle to address this issue.

Every year millions of non-recyclable bags and wrappers end up in landfills. TerraCycle and Bear Naked are committed to finding new uses for old bags and wrappers. As an eco-friendly innovator, TerraCycle will develop unique new products made from used bags and wrappers and upcycle them into shower curtains, tote bags and so much more
Although upcycling is probably better than recycling, the chances of these bags making it to Terracycle by the average consumer are slim compared to the recycling bin.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 26, 2010

The Best Natural Lotion for Dry Skin and Harsh Conditions: Weleda Skin Food

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I recently went on a backpacking trip in the wilderness. Four days of sun and wind exposure, as well as swimming, can wreck havoc on your skin. The best defense and treatment so your skin doesn't end up looking like and feeling like a weathered piece of leather is Weleda Skin Food. Not only does Skin Food nourish your skin, it protects it!

Dry, rough skin of any age gets indulgent moisture with this intensively nourishing, deeply hydrating cream. It's a unique, ultra-rich whole-body cream that deeply hydrates, restores and protects your skin. Stubborn dryness on your elbows, hands and feet are moisturized and conditioned with the essential fatty acids and vitamin E in our organic sunflower seed oil. Organic pansy is known for its mild antiseptic properties that calm dry irritation. Soothing rosemary leaf extract's mild antiseptic properties and the anti-inflammatory properties of Biodynamic® and organic calendula flower extract gently nourish and care for your skin. Deeply moisturized and protected, your skin looks soft and supple with a healthy glow. It's your recommended daily allowance of radiance, and it's just what you and your skin are craving.

I highly recommend Skin Food!  It saved my skin while in the wilderness, and it is also wonderful for regular use at home.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 23, 2010

Eco Luxury for Baby by Apple Park

If ever there was a portion of our population that needed and deserved eco-friendly products, it's the babies. Apple Park understands that by producing original products made from "organic, sustainable and recycled materials". We were sent two samples of these beautiful baby products that are truly luxurious:

Apple Park Deluxe Crib Blanket:

Luxurious, sensual and completely natural, these 100% organic cotton blankets trimmed with natural silk, are perfect for the crib or anytime.

Apple Park Apple Seed Rattle:

Leaf: natural silk and hemp blend
Apple: 100% organic cotton
Filling: sustainable corn fiber, 100% organic cotton fiber and recycled non-toxic plastic rattle
Mini Apple Box: 100% recycled paper printed with soy ink and finished with a grosgrain ribbon handle

The crib blanket is expensive, but sustainability does come at a cost and the rattle is quite affordable. I also like how the company includes and considers the packaging in their product descriptions. That is unusual and packaging is truly a part of an item's sustainability factor. Apple Park products are manufactured in their own certified organic factory in China.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 21, 2010

Natural Licorice: No High Fructose Corn Syrup

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The American Licorice Company has just released an all-natural licorice. This tasty product comes in two flavors:

This confection is made in the USA by a family-owned company.
-all natural ingredients
-no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
-no high fructose corn syrup
-low in fat, cholesterol and sodium
-vegetarian, vegan, and kosher

I liked both flavors, but I did prefer the strawberry. Licorice makes a great snack, but I wish the ingredients were organically-grown. There are organic licorices available; however, I have never tried them. 

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 14, 2010

Really Natural Personal Care: Kiss My Face Peace Castile Soap

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I've long been a fan of Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap for its versatility. From dog washing to dishes, there is nothing you can't do with castile soap. Kiss My Face has just introduced their own line of 100% natural all purpose castile soap. It comes on many flavors:

Give Peace Soap a chance! You'll love it. (Peace & love... some things never go out of style.) Combining organic olive oil with coconut, hemp and jojoba oils for luxurious lather and mildness, we have created a totally pleasurable cleaning experience- from head to toe, ceiling to floor, our castile soap cleans skin and much more. Veggie, countertop, dishes or sweater, it does it all and it does it better.

Castile soap has been used for centuries around the world, originating in the Castile region of Spain. This simple soap formula is so effective that it has changed little in 500 years.

One of the things I love about castile soap is it is safe for grey water systems and to use when camping or backpacking. I don't leave home without it when I head into the woods for an adventure.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 7, 2010

Natural Beauty: Handcrafted, Organic Based Cosmetics by Christopher Drummond

Even though I do not wear cosmetics on a regular basis, it is fun to find all-natural, handcrafted, vegan beauty products. Designed by a former model and professional makeup artist, Christopher Drummond Beauty goes "beyond mineral makeup" to create a safer product. We tested out two of Christopher's products:

Ultra-fine, milled mica powder. Light shimmer and radiant color to enhance your skin tone. A truly unique powder blush that imparts a flattering radiance to your cheeks. Remarkably silky texture for easy application and subtle shading. Accentuate cheekbones for a youthful look. Softer tones around the eyes to soften expression and rejuvenate.
This is lip gloss made for every woman. Not only does it have beautiful, transluscent color that is not too much, but not invisible; our formula is free of petroleum (a gasoline by-product), parabens, dyes, carmine, artificial dyes or fragrances. Our lip gloss is lightly scented with organic essential oil of blood orange that promotes healthy lips that appear fuller and more luscious. Naturally

Both of these products are great, high quality natural cosmetics. You can trust the ingredients. Whether you wear makeup every day or only on special occasions, your skin deserves the best.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 5, 2010

EWG Safe Sunscreen Recommendation: Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30

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The news on the safety of sunscreen is scary, especially the potential for sunscreen ingredients to cause cancer. One product my family relies on that made EWG's top list is Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free SPF 30.

This fragrance free, lightweight lotion for all-over use helps prevent sunburn with an effective, mineral-based, UVA & UVB broad-spectrum reflective barrier. Contains extracts of aloe vera, green tea and lavender soothe and repair, protecting sensitive skin against the free radical damage that often results from exposure to the sun. Formulated with natural titamium dioxide, this sunscreen lotion contains vitamin E, organic sunflower and jojoba oils plus organic green tea and organic aloe to care for sensitive, sun-exposed skin.

I've put this sunscreen to the test during backpacking trips, and it offers great protection under the harshest conditions.  EWG gave it an overall hazard score of 2.  Alba Botanica also makes a kids' version.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 2, 2010

4th of July Fun: EcoSMART "Organic" Natural Insect Repellant

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Fourth of July weekend is rapidly approaching, and I am sure you will be spending some time outside. From BBQs to fireworks, bugs can be a nuisance to your outdoor fun. Insect repellants containing the pesticide DEET are know to have adverse health effects, especially for children. One natural alternative is EcoSMART Organic Natural Insect Repellent.

Harnessing Nature's own defense against insects ― essential oils ― EcoSMART's non-toxic, botanical skin repellent is safe for use on children of all ages, and works as effectively as DEET and synthetic chemicals. A revolutionary plant based formula is the secret to the efficacy of EcoSMART's insect repellent. Unlike conventional DEET-based formulas, EcoSMART's patented technology uses 100 percent food grade ingredients to keep mosquitoes, gnats and more away for hours. It has a fresh, natural scent is non-oily and dries quickly.

Using rosemary, cinnamon, and lemongrass oils, this naturally-based repellant uses the word "organic" on it's label. That is my only problem with this product, as the ingredients are not certified organically-grown, and the word usage seems to be part of the marketing confusion many personal care products create for consumers.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 30, 2010

Green Party Solutions: Flings Pop-Up Recycling Container

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Every year, we celebrate our children's birthdays with a party by the river. It is always a challenge finding a suitable container to haul the recycling back up from the beach. Brown bags tear, especially if a little liquid drips into them, and plastic trash bags don't hold their shape when heavy bottles and cans are thrown in. It's a little trail to the beach, so hauling a trash can down is not really an option when we are already schlepping so many other party goods. Flings Pop-Up Recycle Container offers a solution:

New Flings Pop-Up Bins make trash and recycling collection easier in your home, at events, or when you're on the go. Flings start out flat for easy storing and portability, and then pop up in a flash whenever and wherever you need them. The decorative patterns are attractive for all occasions and help signal where the trash and recycling are supposed to go. Who ever though that trash and recycling could be so easy -- or so much fun?

These bins cost about $4 a piece, and I like that they are clearly labeled for recycling.  They are made from "biodegradable and recycled materials".  I do not like that they are intended for single use, although I think you can get several uses out of them. Personally, we will probably stick to our milk crate solution to recycling at our outdoor parties. Once a few bottles and cans end up in the crate, people get the idea of where recyclables go.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 28, 2010

Probiotics for When Antibiotics Are Necessary

It's been a week since I have been able to post, and I apologize to our readers. I had been suffering from an extremely painful sore throat and ear ache that led to four trips to the emergency room. Eventually, I was diagnosed with an abscess on my tonsil that had to be removed. Throughout all of the treatments, I was given heavy amounts of super antibiotics orally and intravenously. Today, I am slowly on the mend, but antibiotics are part of my life for the next two weeks.

One advice consistent from friends and doctors was to take Probiotics. We chose New Chapter Organics Probiotic All-Flora, Vegetarian Capsules

Probiotic All-Flora contains nine strains of live probiotics cultured together on a non-dairy whole-food medium and then combined with growth-stimulating prebiotic Organic Apples, and Organic Inulin sourced from Organic Jerusalem Artichokes. The live probiotics in Probiotic All-Flora, including revered probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Lactobacillus helveticus, help support optimal digestive and immune system function...


Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that occur naturally in the human intestinal tract. Foods "cultured" with beneficial strains of probiotics such as yogurt and kefir have been used throughout history to improve overall health and vitality, and today, there are many studies reinforcing their ability to balance and promote digestive health.* Probiotics also play an important role in modulating the immune system, 70% of which is located in the gut.

Antibiotics kill all of the bacteria in your body, both good and bad. You need to replenish the good bacteria while taking them and for awhile afterward.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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