Posts Tagged ‘environment’

Clean Water for Your Family

PicsArt_1408896150556

With all the different water options and filtration systems available, it can be confusing and difficult to decide what the safest, cleanest option is for your family.  Bottled waters range from “perfectly safe” to “no better than tap” to “unsafe for the environment”. In some cities tap water is deemed safe while in others it is said to be polluted with chemicals and possible bacteria. It is important to know where your water comes from and to take the necessary precautions to ensure it is as clean as possible. (You can visit http://water.epa.gov/ for all the latest water facts and information.) Luckily, this does not have to be an expensive task!

I was recently given the opportunity to check out the CamelBak Relay. This water filtration pitcher can deliver freshly filtered water 10x faster than the leading competitor.  It also does a more thorough job. It’s unique design allows it to filter as you fill the pitcher and then again as you pour yourself a glass of water.  Testing shows that 97% of chlorine, taste and odor is removed. The pitcher holds up to 10 cups of water and is designed to be space-saving, fitting inside most refrigerator doors. The lid is very secure with latches that lock on the sides, making it spill-proof.  I really like that the filter is made of plant-based activated carbon and that the pitcher is BPA free and dishwasher safe. Best of all, the Relay Fresh Filter lasts up to 4 months! That is twice as long as the leading competitor. It has a reminder dial on the top of the lid so you know what month you have to change it out.  For only $36.99, the CamelBak Relay is a great value for the price. Not to mention, you will save money and the planet by getting yourself a reusable water bottle…plus you’ll end up drinking more water. It’s a win-win! You can find the CamelBak Relay at Target, Amazon.com or CamelBak.com.

Advertisements

Final Ecocentric Mom Review

PicsArt_1407892165143

 

Yes, sadly, this will be my last Ecocentric Mom review. I have had such a great time being a part of the expert blogger team and receiving goodies to review and share with you, but my time has come to move on. This past year was a very busy one and after some R&R this Summer, I’ve realized the need to slow down a bit. With a new school year around the corner, I am looking forward to new projects and responsibilities. However, the focus on my priorities and time management will be much clearer. Family comes first and Ecocentric Mom has played a big role for me in making sure I do not forget that.

As a busy mom it can be difficult to find the time to ensure you are providing your family (and yourself!) with the healthiest and safest options. That’s where Ecocentric Mom subscription boxes can help. Every other month you will get a box of organic, natural and healthy products right at your doorstep. You can discover and learn about some of the healthiest snacks, safest bath products and cosmetics, and so much more.

Being a Birth and Postpartum Doula, I want to make sure I keep up-to-date with what’s out there for new moms and little ones too. So, without further ado, check out the great products I received in my July/August “Mom-to-Be” Ecocentric Mom Box…..

Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques Cream Foundation ~ this has become one of my favorite make-up lines thanks to Ecocentric Mom. I’ve tried their lipstick and glosses and love them. While I’m not a foundation fan, this stuff works great….super lightweight, all-natural and contains SPF-28. I received a 3 pack travel size worth $1.40.

Savannah Red Lip Balm ~ this balm comes in a variety of flavors. I received the Beautiful Sugar and love how it smells. Best of all, the natural and organic ingredients leave my lips feeling so soft. One tube of lip balm sells for $2.99. I also received a 20% online discount code.

Bears Beauty Belly Balm ~ This organic skincare line will be a great recommendation for my doula clients. Hand-made, chemical free and made with organic hemp oil, this vegan belly balm is a safe choice for your baby. I received a travel size balm worth $1.50 and a 15% online discount code.

Bathtime Baby Hair & Body Wash ~ Another great recommendation for my doula clients, this baby skincare line is free of parabens, glycols, petroleum, sulfates, fragrances, dyes, and all that toxic stuff that can be harsh and damaging to your baby’s delicate skin. It is made with organic plant and fruit extracts, nourishing vitamins, antioxidants, and other ingredients that are safe and gentle and care for your little one. Bathtime Baby is also made in the U.S.A., is vegan and comes in BPA & Phthalate free packaging. I received a 3 oz. bottle which sells for $7.50, along with a 20% online discount code.

Water Wipes All-Natural Baby Wipes ~ This is the second time I receive Water Wipes in my Ecocentric Mom Box…but I’m not complaining! In fact, they are the brand I recommend the most. These are truly the purest baby wipes ever…made with 99.9% water and just a drop of fruit extract. I received a 10 wipe travel pack which sells for 99 cents. They can now be found at most major retailers, including walgreens.com and diapers.com.

Happy Baby Meal Time Board Book ~ This adorable book would make a great gift for any new mom and baby, especially when it is time to introduce solid foods to your little one. The bright pictures and clever words will keep baby entertained and expose him or her to meal time fun and reading. The board book sells for $9.95.

eInvite Sample Personalized Cards & Stationery ~ I received 5 sample fold top cards and a 20% online discount code which introduced me to eInvite.com. The site offers a great line of personalized stationery. You will find baby related stationary, like shower invitations and birth announcements, all customizable and all made in the USA. Visit http://www.einvite.com for more info.

AROMAFLAGE Botanical Fragrance & Insect Repellent ~ Now that I’m back on the East Coast for the end of Summer and its humidity, I will definitely be putting this to use to keep those pesky mosquitoes away. It is free of synthetic fragrances, parabens and other toxic chemicals. The cedar wood, vanilla, citrus and Vitamin E combination even make it smell good, unlike most natural insect repellents. I received a travel size sample worth $3.75.

The Natural Suburban Spices and Teas ~ I received a sample of “Summer Herb Garden Savory Spice”, as well as “Need a Little Sunshine in my Day Tea.” While I have not used either yet, I love that they are handcrafted, all-organic blends. I also received a 20% online discount code.

Yogavive Apple Chips ~ Last, but certainly not least (considering I opened these first!), I received a regular bag of chocolate flavored apple chips. Not sure if it was the chocolate or the Yoga that caught my attention first. Regardless, this healthy snack is made with USDA certified organic Fuji apples and are 100% fat free…tasty too! A bag sells for $4.49.

There you have it…another box of great finds, thanks to Ecocentric Mom. If you are thinking of signing up for a subscription box service, I highly recommend you give them a try. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

For more information and to subscribe visit the Ecocentric Mom website.

DIY Summer Spruce-Up

PicsArt_1407184521662

As my vacation comes to an end, I already feel the anxiety of getting back to a dusty home and the back-to-school craze.  I’ve been a student and a teacher practically my whole life, making September a  month of new beginnings for me. Now with a school aged child the end of Summer and beginning of Fall continues to be my New Year and Spring Cleaning rolled into one.  I like to call it time for my “Summer Spruce-Up.”

Last Fall I began experimenting with several different homemade cleaner recipes. After much trial and error I found that all you really need is water, baking soda, vinegar and your favorite essential oil for scent. So as you clean out those rooms and closets to prepare for a new school year and scrub those floors after a Summer of trekking in pool water and mud, consider making your own eco-friendly household cleaners. This step-by-step easy guide to making your own cleaners from www.brightnest.com will help save you money and protect your family and the environment from toxins and chemicals found in conventional cleaning brands.

DIY-EcoFriendly-Cleaners-@BrightNest-Blog1

Plastic-Free with PackSack

A few weeks ago I shared an infographic and my thoughts on the use of plastic bags. (To read: Click Here.) So when I learned about PackSack, I knew I had to check out and share. The PackSack is a reusable, eco-friendly bag that is great for anything from grocery shopping to day outings. The company just started up in San Diego, CA and is making big moves to encourage the ban of plastic bags that too often end up in our oceans.

PicsArt_1403627442453

 

I love my PackSack. It is made of durable material and holds a lot…up to 45 lbs! The best part is that it rolls up and scrunches into a convenient little pouch that you can fit into your pocket. You can easily store a few in your glove compartment, which sure beats remembering to bring along big totes or paper bags. They even have their own draw string, making it so easy to carry around and store….

PicsArt_1403626651157

The PackSack line comes in a variety of colors and is very inexpensive.  You can order them online or find a retailer near you by visiting their website: www.thePackSack.com. They make being green so easy and fun….I highly recommend them!

You can also get more info by checking out the PackSack YouTube channel, following them on Twitter, their Facebook page, Instagram and Pinterest.

 

5 Tips to Green Your Summer Celebrations

Grilling season is here! With the excitement of picnics, parks and parties, it can be easy to overlook that your Summer celebration may be creating more waste. The sales of paper plates and napkins, plastic cups and utensils, bottles and cans of beverages go up in the summer and so does the amount of waste in our landfills. Understandably, dragging your finest china and cloth napkins to the beach or park is not as convenient. However there are some other easy and effective ways you can green up your BBQ festivities. In no particular order, here are the Top 5 reasons and ways to green up your grilling:

Gas Grill or Charcoal: Natural gas or propane is the more eco-conscious of the two.  While eco-friendly charcoal exists, grilling with gas is still considered to be better for the environment and your health, particularly if you are the chef! You will want to prevent you and your guests from inhaling carbon monoxide and other toxic chemicals released by charcoal briquettes and lighter fluids. Don’t forget to cook with the lid down as much as possible to preserve energy.

Shop Local and Sustainable: When shopping for meats, veggies and fruits for your celebration, hit up a local farmer’s market, if possible.  At the store, look for meats and produce that are organic, sustainable and have not traveled too much of a distance. By supporting local farmers and green businesses you are helping support the local economy, reducing negative environmental impacts, and adopting healthier habits through eating more naturally.

Make your own beverages: Instead of juice boxes, bottled waters and other beverages, why not bring a couple of pitchers? You can fit a nice sized pitcher or two in a cooler, or make sure you have enough ice, and serve up some refreshing homemade lemonade, sangria or even just water! If you plan to serve beer, look into a keg instead. You can bring enough recyclable cups for your guests and provide them with name labels so they won’t lose their drink.

basketAvoid plastics and other disposables: If you don’t mind reusables, which really are most cost effective and eco-friendly, bamboo utensils and plates are great. Another, more unique option is to use reusable, cloth place mats instead of paper or plastic plates. Once guests are done with their meal, they can even wipe up with them instead of paper napkins…two in one! If you really feel you must purchase paper or plastic products, find those that are biodegradable, recyclable, made without bleach or dyes, etc. Whatever you do to lessen the carbon footprint you make will help in some way.

Lastly, bring a separate container or bags: preferably in a different color, and encourage all your guests to help take care of the Earth by recycling!

~This article was originally featured on Green Deals.org

 

Easy Compost Tips

I have always wanted to start a compost, but just assumed it would be messy, stinky and too much work. When I ran across the following infographic, I realized I was being silly. RiverbendHome.com does a great job of breaking composting into 5 easy steps and I had to share. No more excuses! I am finally convinced and ready to start my own organic compost pile. Even better, by this time next year, I have high hopes my compost pile will help provide a beautiful organic garden.

March and April Goodies for Mom


unnamed

I’ve been enjoying some great new products the past couple of weeks, thanks to my Ecocentric Mom Discovery Box. Every other month I anticipate what new and useful products I’m going to find. With Mother’s Day coming up next month, you should really consider gifting yourself or a special mom in your life a subscription to Ecocentric Mom. Just look at all the amazing things I received in my March/April Box…

PicsArt_1397079674158

2 Degrees Food Bar ~It was a nice treat to find this healthy food bar in my Ecocentric Mom Box. I actually tried one for the first time just a few weeks ago and liked it very much. It’s not just tasty, but also vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and Kosher. The bars are made with Heritage Grains like quinoa, chia and millet. What I like most about 2 Degrees Food is that they donate a meal to a child in need for every bar sold. I received one bar in the Cherry Almond flavor which sells for $1.99.

BrewLeaf Organic Tea ~ I love trying new teas. I received a sample pack of caffeine-free Roman Provence Rooibos Tea by BrewLeaf. The tea leaves smelled fresh and the tea tasted fruity and yummy.  A regular 2 ounce bag can brew up to 25 cups and sells for $6.99 – $8.99. I also received a 20% online discount.

BluApple ~ Another great surprise! I’ve been meaning to purchase something to help my produce last a little longer in the fridge for a while now. BluApple is a safe and effective way to do just that. The apple-shaped blue gadget absorbs the ethylene gas that fruits and veggies emit, allowing them to last up to three times longer. I’m still testing the product out, but after a week my tomatoes still look good! A pack of 2 Bluapples sells for $9.99. I received one BluApple Sample Kit.

Oatmeal Grapefruit Face Wash Powder by Homespun Northwest ~ Talk about literally feeding your skin…this powder is made of ground organic oats, Kaolin clay and grapefruit essential oil. Just a pinch of it mixed in with a little water creates a face wash that is perfect for any skin type. Homespun Northwest also make a variety of natural and vegan, home, baby and other beauty products. I received a travel size of face wash powder which sells for $3.50. A regular 4 ounce size sells for $7 and there is a certified gluten-free version that sells for $8. I also got a 10% online discount code.

House Blend Organics Coconut Body Wash ~ Right now we have everything from coconut oil to coconut cereal in our home. A coconut body wash was very welcomed…and I am loving the House Blend Organics version. It has a nice, light coconut smell and rich lather that leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth. Best of all, its ingredient list simply consists of organic coconut, olive and jojoba oils, along with organic aloe vera and rosemary extract. This makes it a great choice for those suffering from dry skin and/or eczema and other skin issues. A regular 8 oz bottle sells for $14.95. I received a travel size bottle and a 15% online discount code.

MarieNatie All-Natural Lip Gloss ~ This came at the perfect time. I recently lost my favorite lip gloss and this Cotton Candy shade from MarieNatie matches almost perfectly. Best of all, it is free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances and dyes, phthalates and petro-chemicals. I’m going to have to check out the rest of the cosmetic line too. A full size lip gloss sells for $18. I received a travel size gloss, which sells for $5, and a 20% discount code.

Treefort Naturals Comfrey Salve ~ This all-purpose salve is sure to come in handy now that the warm weather is setting in and those pesky mosquitos and bug bites are coming back. The Comfrey Salve is handmade with natural and organic ingredients, containing only organic olive oil infused with comfrey and calendula, beeswax, and lavender essential oil. A full size tin sells for $8. I received a travel size tin and a 20% online discount.

Bach Original Flower Remedies ~ This line of natural remedies is a system of 38 plant and flower based essences developed by Dr. Bach. By placing a few drops in your water, you can help manage the emotional demands of everyday life. I received a bottle of Elm which “restores your normal strength and optimism when you are temporarily overwhelmed or burdened by responsibility.” This couldn’t have come at a better time! I’ve been extremely busy lately and counting down to my few days of break for the Easter holiday. Call it coincidence, but after a hectic week and placing a few drops in my water bottle each day, I did not feel as stressed and had a very productive and positive week. J I received a regular size bottle of essence, which sells for $19.98, and a $4 online coupon.

Powernap 2-CD Set ~ Someone is definitely trying to tell me to relax! 😉 I am definitely not much of a napper, but this CD set may convert me. In the first disc, you can choose from 3 long “naps” or two 5 minute programs. Each “nap” ends with chimes and a gentle voice to wake you. The second CD contains 19 songs with guitar and piano melodies that can help you sleep, relax, meditate, or even just get your creativity flowing. I actually plan to incorporate these CDS into the yoga classes I currently teach. The CD set sells for only $9.99.

Eco-Friendly Organic Acai Seed Bead Hair Barrette by Terri Jean’s Adornments ~ My daughter snagged this one from me! The hair barrette is very unique and I love knowing that it was designed with animals, nature and the environment in mind. It’s nice to see the growing trend in jewelry and accessories made with fruit seeds and other eco-friendly materials. One small barrette like this one sells for $5 on Etsy. I also received a 15% discount code.

Sport Suds Laundry Detergent ~ This detergent is formulated to completely get out odor-causing bacteria, oils and dirt from fabrics and leave them free of any residue. Best of all, it is biodegradable, made with natural ingredients and is non-toxic. I have yet to give this laundry detergent a try, but plan to use it this week on the hubby’s gym clothes. I received 2 sample packets and a 20% disount code. Prices for regular size jars, pouches and tubs range from $20.95-$59.95.

Along with discovering so many new and great products, I also received a $10 gift card for ESSIO, the world’s first aromatherapy diffuser for the shower.  Of course, my Ecocentric Mom box would not be complete without the March/April Expert Tips card. It included: Tips for a Safe and Non-Toxic Vacation by Kathy Scoleri and A Healthy and Tasty Lunch Recipe by Alysa Bajenaru.

This Mother’s Day, I highly recommend you give Ecocentric Mom a try. You end up getting so much more than you paid for…and who doesn’t love getting a surprise package in the mail? 😉