A guest post by Sam Peters
Over the last decade shopping for clothes, shoes, and anything in fashion has dramatically changed. It used to be all about what Bryant Park showed off on the runways during fashion week. But now with the economy making consumers budget friendly, and with the planet making people more eco-friendly, shopping is not like it was 10 years ago. If you have a family and you desire eco-friendly and affordable clothes, you don’t have to sacrifice. Now you can find both, and so much more than ever before.
No, we’re not talking about the guy from Captain Kangaroo, but that now you can buy jeans which are organically made. According to TheDailyGreen.com Pepe Jeans, as well as Levi have created lines of organically made eco-friendly jeans. The Pepe Jeans are made using an “ozone technology that greatly reduces the amount of water, energy and toxic chemicals used in the process”. Levis has what they call the “WaterLess jeans”. Citing the average pair of jeans uses 42 liters of water in the finishing process, but their WaterLess line reduces water use by 28-96%.
Eco-Friendly Little Ones
Feifei Sun of VanityFair.com writes about sisters Shivani and Neha Gupta and their frustration with not being able to find baby clothes that were eco-friendly and comfortable. Neha even stated that everything felt rough like a “potato sack”. So, they created their line of eco-friendly baby and toddler clothes called Sama Baby Organics. Some of the things you’ll find by them:
-Short sleeve $22.
-Long sleeve $26
-Baby tank tops $16.
-Baby blanket $42.
Coupons are cool! Who would have thought that those pesky little things your mother used to spend hours on cutting out of the paper and dragging to the grocery store would now be chic and in demand! It’s true though, coupons and shopping codes are all the rage. Even Good Morning America jumps on the bandwagon at GMA.yahoo.com with exclusive deals and codes for their viewing audience. Here you can find “must-have products for kids” and the deals and codes to go with them, or you can also check out popular code sites like:
And wesearch.about.com also lists:
Affording Name Brands
Maybe you want to step it up a notch and find high fashion without the high cost. You can go online and do simple searches like for Ralph Lauren promo and you will get access to places like DealSea or SaveYouShorts where you can get coupons and deals on virtually anything for 15%, or more. If you want to shop a little more broadly, you can also look for store promos like, Macy’s or other big names. Again you will find deals for $10 off, or coupons for 15% and up.
Frugal Living for Families
Ed Grabianowski of HowStuffWorks.com shares four frugal living ideas for families to try. Check these out and maybe save some money for your family.
1. Grow your own food.
2. Use the library for books and movies.
3. Ditch cable and watch TV online.
4. Move somewhere cheaper.
It is good to be both budget-friendly as well as eco-friendly. And with all the resources out there today, it can be easy to do.
I was completely shocked to read yesterday that a company actually plans to make perfumes for babies. WTH??? Babies already have such a sweet and unique smell. Why on earth would you want to cover up that deliciousness with an artificial scent that comes from a bottle? Why would you want your child to smell like the noxious perfume isle of a department store?
Well, I guess this is a case of “to each their own right”? Well, no it shouldn’t be in this case because perfumes are notorious for their nasty chemical ingredients and a company has no business IMO marketing something like this to be used on babies and small children. Perfumes have toxic chemicals that mimic hormones and chemicals that can cause allergic reactions (asthma, wheezing, headaches, and dermatitis). They are not a good idea for adults let alone developing children.
This is why Dolce and Gabbana (who plans to sell baby perfume soon) needs to be told that US parents won’t allow this tomfoolery. Their idea stinks! Please sign this petition from The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and send them a message loud and clear. Our babies will be exposed to numerous toxins all around them, we don’t need to add to that chemical burden with silly perfumes.
The Green Moms Weekly question for this week is “What are some simple tips to go green with your household cleaning?”
LOVE to talk about green cleaning. No really, could talk about it all day long. I do not understand why so many folks rely on mainstream cleaners with their noxious and toxic chemicals. The green stuff works just as well and it is safe for humans and safe for our planet. There is just no reason to buy up most of the stuff you will see in the cleaning isle of your conventional grocery store. NO REASON. And before anyone brings up price I will concede that bottle of mainstream all purpose cleaner “may” cost less than a bottle by Seventh Generation. But you don’t have to buy pricey bottled cleaners at all. Ever heard of vinegar, baking soda, lemons, borax and the like? Yeah, I thought so. Cheap and effective green cleaning for pennies.
Here is what I use in my house:
Vinegar - Words cannot describe how much I love to clean with vinegar. I keep it in a spray bottle under the kitchen sink and I use it all the time. I use it as an all purpose cleaner, floor cleaner, laminate floor cleaner, window and glass cleaner, and I use it as a follow up to baking soda in tubs, sinks, toilets, and showers. AND I also use it as a hair rinse for our No Poo routine. Just recently one of my kids got head lice (the offender shall remain nameless) but we used vinegar daily to dissolve the glue from the nits. We got the lice under quick control and no one else in the house got lice either. How much more amazing could this stuff be?
Baking Soda – A scrubbing powder for grime. I use it in tubs, toilets, showers, sinks, etc. It can also be mixed with essential oils to make a scented scrub. Just put it in a Ball jar, drop in some essential oils such as Tea Tree or Lavender, slap a sprouting lid on top of it for a homemade shaker! This can be used to deodorize carpets as well. Sprinkle and let sit for 20 minutes and then vacuum up.
Essential Oils – Many essential oils have antibacterial properties that make them perfect for cleaning. Plus they make the house smell great. My homemade kitchen floor cleaner is vinegar, water, and tea tree oil. My homemade shampoo is pure castile soap, water, and peppermint oil.
Pure Castile Soap – Safe, natural, and effective. We would be LOST without our big bottles of Dr. Bronners. In addition to adding it to homemade cleaners and shampoo I also use it in my washing machine and to clean my carpets with my SteamVac.
Borax – I use this in my dishwasher coupled with baking soda.
Natural and Green Cleaners to Purchase
I will on rare occasions buy a cleaner. Some of my faves are the Seventh Generation Cleaner with Lemongrass and Thyme that I linked to in the first paragraph and the Cedarwood and Sage Cleaner from Trader Joe’s. I really like both of those and will buy them when the mood strikes me.
If you need further help I have a FREE green cleaning ebook you can read with homemade cleaner recipes! I made it in 2009 but it is still relevant of course. Pass that link on to anyone you know who may benefit! I also like the book Creating Your Perfect Cleaning Schedule. It is not green per say but it has a great tips about getting it all done in less time.
So what do you use to clean your house? How do you keep it green?
Being in good health comes down to MANY things. One of those obviously is what fuel or food we put into our body. Another aspect is what we expose ourselves to… cleaners, home furnishings that off-gas, chemical air fresheners, etc. Yet another aspect that many often overlook is the beauty products that we may use on our bodies. What we choose in this regard is just as important as what food we choose to eat. It’s not enough to simply use an organic shampoo or homemade soap only to turn around and use hairspray or moisturizer filled with chemicals that can harm our skin or damage our health.
Sadly many of the products you find in the beauty department of your local WalMart or drug store are created with chemical ingredients that are linked to various cancers. Unlike food items, beauty products have no stamp of approval or disapproval from the FDA. Even if they did have a stamp of approval we see how well our government overseas junk food… NOT. Since we don’t truly know if the products we want to use are safe or effective, we have to do our own research. Always remember that whatever you put on (bath products, cosmetics, shampoo, soap) your body does absorb. So whatever materials are in that product could end up inside your body.
A Juice Beauty Product Profile
A good place to start when researching products is the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. By perusing this list you quickly see who is making products worth your time and money. One company that consistently rates very well is Juice Beauty. I was actually surprised by how well their organic beauty products score (low is good) because they are such a well known brand. For some reason I always figure the good stuff is some well kept secret due to low marketing budgets but Juice Beauty is highly visible (at least to me) and one of the safer choices we can make. Skin Deep tells that that most of their products score 1 or 2 which means low hazard.
They use certified organic ingredients so when you buy their Green Apple Peel for instance, you know the organic apple, lemon, grape, raw cane sugar and willow bark (sounds lovely doesn’t it?) in it, do not have harmful pesticides and agri chemicals. Same with the Cleansing Milk with raspberry and white grape juices, aloe vera, and nutrient-rich grapeseed oil. I love that they use ingredients that sound as though they could be a meal instead of a beauty product too. Their products do not have parabens, propylene or butylene glycols, petroleum, sulphates, PEGs, TEA, DEA, phthalates, GMO, silicones, artificial dyes or fragrances. You might pay a little more for organic, but isn’t your health and the health of your loved ones worth a few extra dollars? Of course it is.
Not only does switching to organic-based products help keep your skin and body toxin free, but it also can give your body some extra boosts. Did you know that many of the natural products contain vitamins and nutrients that help your body’s overall health? Just think about it… many of the ingredients are food/plant based and we know how rich they are in vitamins and nutrients and an estimated 64% of what you place on the skin is absorbed by it. It is fitting that truly conscious companies take us back to the roots of ancient beauty products. They were sourced from plant materials. From nature. Our ancestors knew that the best organic beauty products for your body were made from natural resources offered by the earth. Things really haven’t changed in that regard.
Another A+ for this particular company… they use recycled packaging, soy ink, and manufacture over 80% of their products with solar power.
For your best health, always buy organic. Look for the products that don’t contain preservatives, dyes or any other types of chemicals and preservatives. There is nothing wrong with wanting to look your and feel your best, but your health should be non negotiable.
The level of toxic chemicals in baby furniture is shocking. Sadly, most cribs on the market today are made of engineered woods like MDF and particleboard that contain formaldehyde and VOC-laden finishes. With newborns typically spending up to 16 hours a day sleeping, shopping for a safe crib is essential.
What Should You Look For?
Eco-friendly cribs can be found online and in major stores. When shopping for a crib, look for one that’s:
- Made of solid hardwood like maple
- Finished with non-toxic finishes
- Held together with non-toxic glues
Styles to Meet Every Taste
Green doesn’t have to mean ugly unfinished wood swimming in beige. Today’s eco-friendly cribs come in a wide variety of styles to suit every taste and budget. Here are some of my favorites:
I love the sleek lines and ultra-bold color choices of the Caravan Crib from Kalon Studios. It’s available in 100% raw maple with black, red, yellow, blue or green rails.
OK, I have to say that it looks a little like a fish tank to me, but it’s still cool. The durable half-inch, BPA-free, phthalate free, 100% recyclable clear acrylic front on the Roh crib from Spot On Square gives your baby a true “room with a view.”
Love the Muu panel system! Customize the crib to suit your taste and easily change the panel out if you decide to update your décor. A magnet system securely holds each MuuPanel in place but allows it to be easily replaced in seconds; no tools necessary. First child a boy and second one a girl? Switch the panel instead of buying a new piece of furniture—another eco-friendly feature!
The podcot is a cozy cocoon-shaped crib that’s thoroughly modern and easily converts into a toddler bed. I love the unique rounded appearance.
The Duc Duc Cabana Crib. I remember dreaming of having my very own canopy bed when I was a little girl. Why not start your little one off right with this dreamy canopy crib?
The Dakota collection is the first Graco baby furniture to be eco friendly. Selling at stores such as Wal-Mart and Target, it’s also one of the first green cribs that’s truly affordable.
Celery’s Lullaboo line of furniture includes this crib made from bamboo and low-VOC paint and finishes. It has adjustable supports that extend the sleeping platform as your baby grow. You can even swap out one of the end panels for a chalkboard. How clever is that?
The Solare crib from Q Collection is made of 100% locally-sourced solid ash and bentwood construction. Handmade in the USA, it was selected by treehugger.com as their “dark green” selection for new parents. My favorite part—the built in mobiles at each end.
See related article: Eco Friendly Highchairs
A Guest Post by Sheila Sundberg, one of the owners of StylishHome.com