Thursday, April 22, 2010
1. Natural skincare products
Look for natural ingredients in your family's skincare products. When buying shampoo, bubble bath, cleansers, hand sanitizers, hand soap and sunscreen, avoid parabens, synthetic colours and fragrances, sulfates, sodium laureth, and alcohol. There are lots of chemical-free alternatives proven to be equally as effective as their traditional counterparts plus they're hypo-allergenic and biodegradable too, so they don't upset the natural balance of the ecosystem. The all-natural Kids 3-in-1 Shampoo, Bubble Bath & Body Wash from Taslie is tearless and an economical option for little ones (refills available). Cleanwell hand sanitizer and Cleanwell foaming hand soap are free of triclosan, benzalkonium chloride and alcohol making them completely kid-safe, even if accidentally ingested. They've also been lab proven to kill 99.99% of germs on contact with a patented blend of essentials oils that harness the natural antiseptic power of thyme. For sunscreen, one of the best natural options for both adults and kids is Soleo Organics.
2. Greening everyday items
Reduce the amount of waste you generate by investing in quality eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items. Reduce your use of plastic wrap and foil for food preparation and storage by choosing a reusable, non-toxic alternative like eco food covers. Made of 100% food-safe silicone, these BPA-free food covers stretch to fit almost any size bowl or container and are oven-, microwave-, freezer- and dishwasher-safe. For lunch on the go, try a handy sandwich wrap you can use again and again. When shopping, Envirosax designer shopping bags are the most useable reusable shopping bags around. They fold down to the size of a piece of sushi so you can pop a couple in your bag or glove compartment and never go without. Trade in plastic produce bags for the irresistibly quirky organic cotton reusable produce & bulk bags decked out with original illustrations of toothy tomatoes, sleepy carrots, smiling toast and more.
3. Say goodbye to poison plastic
You know that new shower curtain smell? That smell is polyvinyl chloride, otherwise known as PVC or vinyl and is referred to as the poison plastic. PVC contains harmful chemicals, including phthalates, lead and cadmium which can be toxic to a child's health. Phthalates and other toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time (off-gassing) causing potential danger to children. Some of these chemicals can cause developmental damage as well as damage to the liver and central nervous, respiratory, and reproductive systems. PVC has even been linked to autism. A recent Swedish study published in Scientific American found that infants or toddlers who lived in a bedroom with vinyl or PVC flooring were twice as likely to have autism five years later than those with wood or linoleum floors. In addition to shower curtains and flooring, PVC is found in everything from mini-blinds to lunch bags. As an alternative to PVC shower curtains, this PVC-free EVA shower curtain features funky green frogs, and for lunch bags, you can't beat the insulated neoprene cow lunch bag.
4. BPA, no way
Bisphenol-A (BPA) has got a lot of bad press of late and rightly so - stay away from it. BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic, which is the material most plastic water bottles, baby bottles and food containers are made from. Recent research has shown the chemical, which mimics the hormone estrogen and is a known developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant, can leach from bottles or containers into the contents. Animal studies have linked low levels of BPA to hyperactivity, learning disabilities, early onset of puberty, increased diabetes risk, age-related neurodegenerative diseases, and certain cancers, including breast cancer. So play it safe and turn to alternatives like non-leaching stainless steel. The nesting trio of non-leaching stainless food storage containers is a great alternative to standard plastic containers. Instead of plastic dishes for kids, try the chic-looking stainless steel divided food tray. Watch out for more and more BPA-free plastics coming on the market, like the all-in-one Goodbyn lunch box or the fruit guard, ideal for protecting soft pears and peaches and the brainchild of three Vancouver emergency room doctors.
5. What's your product made of?
Choose products made of eco-friendly and sustainable materials and lower any possible negative impact on the environment. These adorable hand puppets are made of recycled wool sweaters. Bamboo is considered nature’s most sustainable and naturally regenerative resource. It's grown without fertilizers, pesticides or insecticides and is biodegradable. Plus it's hypoallergenic and softer than the softest cotton on the market - perfect for baby. Both the bamboo fitted crib sheet and bamboo cable knit swaddle blanket come in bright rainbow colours so there's no need to sacrifice style for sustainability.
Visit lavishandlime.com to start greening your world today! Lavish & Lime ships all across Canada and beyond. These are just some of the many baby steps we call can take to live life a little greener. If you have any ideas about greening your world, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Craft kits and science activity kits make great gifts and are ideal for special days with the kids, but what about doing projects on everyday days? We've found three fun crafts kids will love to make and use - and they all involve recycling easy to find items from around the house.
1. Recycled Rainbow Wind Sock
This is our favourite of the three not just because you have to eat ice cream to make it (well, actually that is the best reason) but because you can make it as vibrant as you want and watch the colours twirl in the wind. To make a colourful wind sock simply take an empty ice cream container and a few other bits from around the house. A bit of cutting and pasting and voila - you can make a pretty outdoor decoration to hang on your porch, outside a window, in a tree, wherever you'd like to look at a bit of moving colour.
Craft idea and photo from Preschoolrock.
2. Plastic Jug Ball Catcher
What better way to put your empty plastic milk jugs and bleach bottles to use than with a game of catch? You can make this funky ball and catcher set for one, or double up and make two catchers for two players and enjoy a proper game of catch. You make the ball out of newspaper and tape so you can decide how hard to make it. Ideal for preschoolers + up.
Craft idea and photo from Lakeshore Learning.
3. Milk Carton Truck
Boys love a good truck - and girls do too! This craft is not only fun to make but provides hours of enjoyment and endless play possibilities afterwards. All you need to make a class A dump truck is some straws, bamboo skewers, plastic bottle caps and milk or juice cartons - then go to it. Your little one will love decorating the finished product too.
Craft idea and photo from Origami Mommy.
For more green learning ideas, including eco activity and science kits, visit online eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any ideas about Earth Day crafts, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Just 3.9% of respondents of the Earth Day 2010 Survey conducted by eco-friendly boutique Lavish & Lime, said the impact of a product on the environment was more important than whether it was healthy for them. The online survey was conducted March 31-April 12 with 350 respondents across Canada taking part.
When asked to rate the importance of a product being natural/non-toxic and environmentally friendly 60% rated natural/non-toxic as extremely important. This figure jumped to 77% when respondents were asked about buying products for children. Less than half (45%) rated environmental friendliness as extremely important.
“People are naturally focused on self-preservation,” said Colin Campbell, founder of Lavish & Lime. “It’s human nature to look after ourselves first before everything else – including the earth. Hopefully, Earth Day next week (April 22nd) will be a reminder that we need to think about the consequences of our actions on the environment today, as our grand kids have to live with them tomorrow.”
As for paying the price to go green, close to half of all respondents (46%) would pay up to 20% more for an eco-friendly product that is biodegradable or made of recycled material over its conventional counterpart. More than a third (37%) would pay 50% more for a natural/non-toxic product that is chemical-free or made of natural material.
The push for reducing plastic shopping bag use appears to be working with 88% of respondents owning more than five reusable shopping bags or baskets. Nearly 9 out of 10 respondents (89%) support a ban on plastic shopping bags in their city.
More than half of respondents (55%) said they almost always reduce their consumption of water, electricity, etc., 79% said they almost always reuse lunch gear, older items, etc. and 94% said they almost always recycle newspapers, glass, etc. Other popular steps people are taking to greener living include: walking; using public transport; hanging clothes to dry; composting and less flushing.
For a complete summary of survey results, visit: lavishandlime.com/earthdaysurvey.
Established in 2007, Vancouver-based Lavish & Lime is a leading source for everyday eco-friendly products for greener living. Items are vetted by a review panel - experts at spotting unique and useful finds - and each product is either friendly to the environment, natural/non-toxic and/or made in Canada. Lavish & Lime can be found at lavishandlime.com.