Archives for November 2008

The Green Baby Guide Mailbox Fuels our Sunday Round-up

This week I’m sifting through our email inbox to let you know what’s going on in the green parenting world.

Not the Jet Set wrote us requesting a link exchange.  You’ll notice they’ve been added to our blogroll.  They’ve posted some great articles lately, such as ways to save money this winter and Can Kids Comprehend Value at Age 5?

Are you on our blogroll?  There are so many wonderful eco-conscious bloggers out there, and we may not have had a chance to add some of you to our blogroll.  If you don’t see your blog listed, please drop us a line and we’ll do a link exchange!
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Natural Wool Changing Pads and Baby Clothing from the Cozy Bunny (+ Giveaway!)

Ali Palmeri began making wool clothes and changing pads for her son when he was a little baby. “I’ve been opposed to having plastic be a regular part of his life, both for his own health and the health of the planet,” she says. Now she has her own company, the Cozy Bunny, offering handmade woolen changing pads, mattress protectors, and wool-cashmere baby pants and overalls made from recycled sweaters.

Palmeri loves the way wool keeps her baby warm, especially during the cold winter months ahead. “Another great aspect of wool is that is soaks up diaper accidents and is great for elimination communication,” she says. “Wool is absorbent and antimicrobial, so items only need to be laundered about once a month; otherwise, I just let them air dry.” She recommends washing her products on the gentle cycle and laying them flat to air dry.
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Gratitude, Green Living, and Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  While the mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie are key factors, I mainly love that we spend a whole day basking in thankfulness. 

Gratitude takes me beyond household chores, my desires for a dishwasher, and my fantasies of a foot massage.  It helps me to look into my son’s chocolate brown eyes and  take a moment to be humbled by what I already have. 

When I’m in a thankful state of mind, I’m not feeling urges to buy or impatience over what we don’t have. If we could all wander around in a constant state of gratitude, we’d most likely all have less stuff, more happiness, and a much cleaner planet. 

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Celebrate the Holidays with Delicious Recipes and Eco-friendly Paper Plates

Last summer I found out that Chinet, purveyor of paper plates, is actually a green company.  If you are planning on using paper products for holiday parties or even (gasp!) Thanksgiving dinner, why not choose plates made from 100 percent recycled materials such as repurposed milk cartons and cardboard?  Chinet’s plates are not only chlorine-free, they’re compostable, making them an eco-friendly choice for large gatherings.  (Note: I swear I don’t work for Chinet!  I am just impressed by their environmental efforts.  Their recipes look pretty tempting, too.)


Set the table with recycled plates!

If you visit Chinet’s website, you’ll even find some holiday recipes.  Here are just a few:
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Did You Buy an Organic Mattress for Your Baby?

 The truth is, I didn’t. I had no idea that the chemicals used to flameproof mattresses sometimes include arsenic and phosphorus.  Friends who purchased organic crib mattresses spent large amounts of money on their babies without a second thought.  At the time, an organic mattress seemed like an indulgence rather than a necessity.   It has only been in the last six months that I’ve read all the scary facts about traditional mattresses.

Will I buy an organic mattress with our second child?  Absolutely!  I’ve found a few eco-friendly mattresses that are in the $200-$300 dollar range and I’ll spring for one when the time comes.  

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Sunday Round Up: Green Bloggers Changing the World This Week

What a glorious and empowering week it’s been in green-blogger land! 

Crunchy Domestic Goddess has helped to shut down an offensive Motrin ad just by posting a few blogs voicing her opinion. The ad referred to baby-wearing (i.e., using a sling) as something that’s “in fashion” but horribly painful.  You’ll have to read the entire text of the ad to catch its condescending spirit, but it was pretty awful.  Within hours of blogging about it, this is the email that Crunchy Domestic Goddess received directly from the company.  Bravo! 

We also have to commend EnviroMom for being featured on Nightline in a story about household waste reduction.  Since Heather and Renee started the One Can a Month Challenge, they’ve been doling out great tips that have impacted hundreds if not thousands of families.  Check out their Nightline clip here. 

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Monkey Foot Designs Wet Bag Review and Giveaway

Monkey Foot Designs wet bags are different from the other bags we’ve discussed here on the Green Baby Guide.  Joy used a plastic bag to haul her wet diapers from daycare until she switched to a Bumkins Dirty Duds bag.  I’d always used a bag from a sporting goods store.  What sets the Monkey Foot bags apart from these other options?  They are much, much more stylish and beautiful. 

These custom-made bags are so nice that I almost hesitated using mine for wet diapers, but in the spirit of an honest review, I did.  I have the small bag ($16) in the sea coriander pattern.  When we went on an overnight trip last weekend, I took it along.  My daughter is mostly potty trained but still wears a diaper at night, so I brought just two cloth diapers.  They both fit in the small bag.  I’d recommend the small bag if you need to store just one or two diapers at a time.  The larger bag ($22) will hold four to five diapers, so it would work perfectly for daycare.
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Saving Money on Holiday Groceries

My life has become a bit easier this year with the addition of a freezer and makeshift pantry in our garage.  What a difference!  I’ve cut my grocery shopping trips down to one or two per month and been able to stock up on sale foods at peak times.  Our membership to a CSA fills in the fresh food gaps with local organic produce each week.

Since my state of mind has shifted toward stocking up, I realize that now is a great time to purchase sale priced products that will last for months.  After studying a few grocery store flyers, I’ve found myself stocking up on the following items:

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Brown Rice Protein Powder Boosts Nutrition in Baby Food

Back when I wrote my Fattening Baby, Naturally post, I was searching for alternatives to Pediasure.   Although Audrey’s pediatrician wanted her to drink Pediasure in order to gain some weight, I hesitated giving her something with non-organic dairy products, artificial flavors, sugar, and maltodextrin.  I ended up doing all sorts of things to boost the calories and fat in her diet, and I also made a discovery: MLO brown rice protein powder.

A 24-oz container of the powder costs about $10.  I found it in the health food section of my local grocery store.  It’s gluten-free, vegan, and contains two simple ingredients: rice protein concentrate and rice bran.  As rice is often a first food for babies, it seemed like the perfect thing to add to her food without bombarding her with unnatural or unhealthful ingredients.
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Cloth Diapers at Daycare

What happens when your daycare refuses to use cloth diapers?  You’ve made the costly investment in all the gear, found the most efficient way to wash them, and heartily enjoyed the whole experience…until you have to go back to work and send baby to a sitter. 

When we found out that our childcare center wouldn’t use cloth, it became part of our decision to switch.  It actually had a policy prohibiting the use of cloth diapers!  That daycare wasn’t a particularly good fit for Roscoe anyway, so it wasn’t a difficult choice. But what happens when you find the perfect care center for your child, except for the fact that cloth diapering isn’t accepted?

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