Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Babysitting

Baby Sitting

Baby Sitting

Of course every mom loves her children, but absence makes the heart grow fonder (as we all know).  Flowers and breakfast in bed might be classic Mother’s Day gifts, but if you want to give her a present she actually wants, nothing beats an hour or two of babysitting; especially if you let mom chose the day and time.

Whether she decides to spend the time getting her hair done, grabbing lunch with a friend or just taking a nap, it is a gift that is worth more than money itself.

Unconventional Gifts

For the Traveler

For the Traveler

Nothing says “I love you” like a gift that is specially tailored to the recipient.  If you’re mom isn’t the conventional type, she will surely see the thought behind an unusual gift.

We were lucky enough to be gifted a weekend of babysitting a few weeks ago, and I had the opportunity to try out The Pee Pocket, a single use product that helps you to go, On the Go.  We were driving through the mountains with no rest stop or gas station in sight, but there were plenty of trees to choose from.  Instead of popping a squat and hoping not to get too much splash-back, I decided to try out The Pee Pocket.  I’ve used other “female urinary devices”, and this one tops the list.  I was able to stay standing, avoid my feet and toss it into the recycling bin when we got home.

If your Mom loves to travel, I’m sure she would appreciate The Pee Pocket.

A Moment Alone

Even if you’re not in a position to offer babysitting, watching the kids while Mom gets something else done at home is still a golden ticket to her heart.  Whether you are making play-dough sculptures or reading books, a moment of respite to take a bath or fold laundry (without a toddler unfolding it in turn) is better than a bouquet of flowers.

Ecocentric “Mom Box” Subscription

Subscription Box

Subscription Box

I have always loved opening presents and if the mom in your life is the same, you might want to consider a gift that keeps on giving. While a house plant is one option, a subscription box is a great choice that doesn’t ask for anything in return.

Once you subscribe, your loved one will receive a new package periodically, based on the company. For the Green Mom, I recommend the Ecocentric Mom Box, which arrives every other month filled with healthy, non-toxic, eco-friendly, safe products.   They choose natural, organic and ethical items for each box, and each shipment includes a wide range of products, some full size and some sample size and all of them gentle on her body and the earth.

 Chores

Pulling weeds, making dinner, doing a load of laundry or dishes, or vacuuming the house are just a few chores that come to mind.  While a box of chocolate might taste like heaven going down, checking a few items off the to-do list are an even better Mother’s Day gesture.  Since the point is to recognize all the hard work and dedication it takes to be a good mom, doing a little grunt work will surely show her that her efforts are appreciated.

Perhaps better than doing an every-day chore is a tackling a project that has been on the to-do list for ages. So trim those hedges or clean out the garage and earn some serious brownie points without spending a dime.

Celebrating Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 with the goal of supporting environmental protection.  As Eco-Conscious parents, we try to make green choices every day, but any cause for celebration is more than welcome!  Here are a few ideas to help your family honor the Earth.

Let us know in the comments how you are celebrating Earth Day today!

 Choose Local

The farther food and other goods have to travel, the more carbon emission are released into the atmosphere.  Buying local not only reduces your own carbon footprint, but supports your community at the same time.

Whether you are visiting a farmer’s market or a shop that sells locally-made items, buying local also strengthen ties within the community and builds a happier, safer environment for your family.

Plant a Garden

Grow your own!

Grow your own!

Spring is here and planting season has begun!  Whether you have the space to commit to a whole garden, a small raised bed, or just a few pots, gardening is the perfect way to celebrate the Earth.

Gardening is a great way to spend time with your kids too, even if it’s just playing in the dirt and finding worms.  Older kids can help decide what to plant, plant seedling, water and pull weeds. Check our Ten Easy Ideas for Getting Your Children into the Garden for more ideas!

 

Visit a National Park

Sequoia Park with Slides

There are 58 National Parks in the US, and each one is worth a visit.  By introducing your kids to the beauty of nature, you can instill a respect for our nation’s green spaces and wildlife.  Visit http://findyourpark.com/ to find your closest National Park.

If you’re looking to stay a little closer to home, there are 6,624 state parks to choose from.  Whether you’re planning to do a little hiking or just have a picnic, supporting your state parks makes sure they are kept open for future generations.

Of course, we don’t want to overlook the green spaces in our own backyard.  So put on those walking shoes and visit one of your local parks today!

 

Buy Green

green parenting challengeMoney talks, and each time you choose Eco-Friendly products over their conventional counterparts, you’re sending a message that sustainability matters. The proof is in the availability of green products available at regular grocery stores.  It wasn’t that long ago that you’d have to visit a specialty store to find organic items!

If you’re looking for a few Eco-Friendly companies to support, check out our Earth Day Roundup!

More Ideas

As a blog dedicated to Eco-Concious parenting, our archives are full of great ideas for celebrating Earth Day, or just making your household a little more green.

Earth Day Roundup

Eco-Friendly Products

Earth Day is right around the corner, and here are some great green products we have been enjoying lately. We encourage you to check them out for yourself, and leave us a comment about what Eco-friendly items you are into these days!

Boob Nursing Wear

Nurse in Comfort

Nurse in Comfort

We have always been big supporters of breastfeeding, for so many reasons, and every breastfeeding Mama knows that the right support makes all the difference.  Whether it be your family, workplace,  local lactation consultant, or the new Mamava Lactation Station at the airport, every little bit of encouragement counts.

A little physical support doesn’t hurt either, especially when it comes to nursing bras.  Boob Fast Food T Shirt Bras are comfortable enough to sleep in.  And like all the Boob maternity and nursing apparel, they are made with sustainable materials like organic cotton, fleece made from recycled bottles.  And they only work with factories that adhere to their strict code of conduct to ensure their workers receive a decent pay.

Reusable Snack Bags

Reusable Snack Bags

Elonka Nichole Snack Bags

We’ve always preferred to reuse over recycle, which is why we think reusable snack and sandwich bags are an Eco-friendly must have.  The Elonka Nichole Reusable Snack Bags and Sandwich Bags are BPA free and can be wiped out or washed in the washing machine.  Best of all, they come in dozens of different fabric combinations.  The hardest part is choosing which design!

Deckopedia’s 50 Ways to Go Green

50 Ways To Go Green

50 Ways To Go Green

If you’re looking for ideas on how to make every day Earth Day, pick up a copy of Deckopedia’s 50 Ways to Go Green.  Each card in the deck highlights a different way to make your life more Eco-Friendly, from reducing your water consumption to saving on office supplies.

Even if you are already Eco-Warrior, you’ll find reminders and extra tips on each card that will inspire you to be a little bit greener every day.  We’ve been picking out a card every Sunday and spending the week focusing on the reasoning and tips outlined on that week’s card.

As an added bonus, 1% of the sales of 50 Ways to Go Green are donated to Grades of Green, a non-profit that provides free and easy access to the tools and information needed to green schools.

7AM Enfant Cold Weather Gear

7AM Enfant Easy Cover

Safe and Warm

It might be spring in parts of the country, but the cold isn’t over yet! 7 AM Enfant has tons of great vegan products to keep your babies and toddlers safe and warm in their strollers and car seats

Instead of bundling up and then struggling to strap your kids into their seats, you strap them in securely and then wrap them in one of 7AM Enfants many products. We’re particularly fond of the BeePOD for infants and the Easy Cover for toddlers.  They even have innovative hand-warmers that attach to your stroller to keep your own hands warm while walking.

 

 Silikids Sippy Cups

Silikids Training Cup

Glass and Silicone Sippy Cup

There are plenty of plastic kids wear in our cupboards, but now that the days of throwing sippy cups from the highchair are over, we’ve tried out a few glass alternatives.  Our favorite so far is the Silikids Glass Training Cup.  The silicone sleeve gives the glass some cushion if it’s knocked over, and the sippy top allows bigger sips than other training cups we’ve tried.  It’s not leak-proof (you can’t toss it in a lunch bag and expect everything to stay dry) but if left on it’s side on the carpet, doesn’t let out more than a drop.

Silicone does not contain BPA, bisphenol-A, lead, PVC or phthalates.  It doesn’t react with food or liquids (so no unwanted flavors are leeched) and is non-toxic and hypo-allergenic.  Silicone doesn’t promote bacteria or fungus growth, which is great if your kids are prone to hide their sippy cups randomly around the house like ours do.  It’s also recyclable, and if your local recycling center doesn’t accept silicone, you can send your Silikids products back to them and they’ll recycle it for you.

Branch Basics Cleaners

Branch Basics

Food Grade Cleaners

If you’re looking for cleaning supplies that are as safe for you as they are for the environment, we recommend Branch Basics.  The concept is that you only need one kind of cleaner for your whole house, diluted to suit the situation (bathroom, all-purpose, mirrors and glass, and hands).

The soap concentrate is made of food-grade non-GMO plant and mineral based ingredients and is biodegradable as well as 100% non-toxic.  It contains no fragrance, parabens, preservatives, harmful VOC, SLS, or triclosan and is BPA-free.  To top it off, it is cruelty-free and vegan.

Press Pouch Food Pouches

Press Pouch

Reusable Squeeze Pouch

Reusable snack bags might be the way to go for sandwiches and finger foods, but they aren’t the best choice for purees or yogurt.  Luckily, there have been a few reusable squeeze pouches that have hit the market lately.  Our favorite so far is the Press Pouch.  It is BPA, PCV and Phthalate Free. The bottom has a zip-lock style opening that is easy to fill and hasn’t once opened during feeding.

The two things I love most about the Press Pouch (besides being dishwasher safe) is that I have complete control over the ingredients that go into the contents of the puree, and I don’t have to wash it by hand since it is dishwasher safe.

Skylar Luna Organic Kids Sleepwear

Organic Cotton Pjs

Organic Cotton Pjs

There are many things to love about Skylar Luna‘s sleepwear for kids.  Beyond the adorable prints and close-fitting and comfortable styles, they are made from 100% organic cotton. Best of all, all of Skylar Luna’s pajamas are free of flame retardant chemicals, whose long-term effects are still unknown.

Each set is packaged in an Eco-friendly reusable linen bag, and has flat interior seams for extra comfort.  There are tons of choices of prints and designs for these two piece sets, from long-sleeves with pants to tank-tops with shorts.  You can purchase them directly from their website, or click here to buy on Amazon and support The Green Baby Guide at the same time!

And The Glob Colors Face Paint Winner Is…

Congratulations to Candace!  You have won a set of Glob Colors Face Paint!

Non-Nano Face Paint

Non-Nano Face Paint

Thank you to everyone that entered the giveaway.  Stay tuned for more opportunities in the next few weeks!

GLOB uses all natural pigments from a variety of different fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs such as beets, purple carrots, turmeric, cabbage, and chlorophyll. The cruelty-free, natural face paint does not contain titanium dioxide, synthetic dyes, petro-chemicals, or phthalates and is paraben and talc-free.

You can find other Glob Paints that aren’t just for faces, and more information on their website.

If you didn’t win and would still like your own set of Glob Colors Face Paint, click on the affiliate link and support The Green Baby Guide while you are at it!

Fun With April Fools

gbgaprilfools2015

Product Review and Giveaway: Glob Colors Face Paint

Non-Nano Face Paint

Non-Nano Face Paint

Glob Natural Non-Nano Face Paint

My kids were thrilled when the box containing face paint from Glob Colors arrived in the mail. They knew it meant I would be forced to paint their faces, which they had been inexplicably begging me to do for some time. I was pleased to discover that Glob Colors seemed to be truly “all natural”. Their website lists such delightful ingredients as purple carrots, red cabbage, chlorophyll and gardenia fruit among others. This plus the fact that they are free of many of the toxic chemicals found in conventional face paints such as titanium dioxide and are cruelty free sealed the deal for me. I was excited to paint some squirmy, sticky faces.

facepaintI chose my youngest daughter’s 5th birthday party guests as my test subjects. There were only 3 guests, so it wasn’t going to be too hard, or so I thought. One of the girls wanted a lot of blue on her face, so that was easy as one of the colors in the paint kit was a beautiful blue. Two of the kids then asked for rainbows on their cheeks. The colors in the Glob kit were not exactly “rainbow” material, they seemed more like “earth colors”, aside from the blue. I attempted to mix the colors in an effort to get green and orange only to end up with a sort of “terra cotta” rainbow springing from a white cloud. The kids were just excited to have their faces painted so I let it go, only to discover an hour later when the paint dried it turned into a vibrant, traditionally colored rainbow! The paints were no easier or harder to mix than regular face paints.

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Because of the excellent ingredients and the fact that, when dry, the paint looks great I would definitely purchase products from  Glob Colors in the future.

And if you still haven’t purchased Easter Egg Dye and are looking for something natural, try out Glob’s Natural Easter Egg Coloring Kit. Like the face paints, the egg dyes are made from herbs and plants (annatto, radish and cabbage), are non-toxic and CPSIA compliant. They are packaged in Post Consumer Waste Paper printed with vegetable inks.

 Glob Colors Face Paint Giveaway

We are giving away a set of Glob Colors Face Paint. You can enter our giveaway up to five times, and the last day of entry is Tuesday, April 7th, 2015. Entries must be received by 12:00 AM, PDT and is open to US residents only.

Eco-Friendly Easter Ideas

Spring is in the air and Easter is right around the corner.  Here are some wholesome alternatives to conventional Easter products that are a little better for you (and the environment), and just as colorful.  The snow has melted and it’s time to get outside and enjoy some fresh air!

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Natural Easter Egg Dye

Especially if your kids like to help out in the kitchen, start by making your own Easter Egg Dye using easy to find fruits and vegetables like beets, blueberries and onions.  It doesn’t take too much time or effort, and makes the egg-dying experiment a multi-step activity.

If you don’t have the time to create your own Easter Egg Dye, try out Glob’s Natural Easter Egg Coloring Kit. Their egg dyes are made from herbs and plants (annatto, radish and cabbage), are non-toxic and CPSIA compliant. They are packaged in Post Consumer Waste Paper printed with vegetable inks.

 

18-rabbits-bars

Chocolate Bunny Bars

18 Rabbits Bars

Instead of filling your kids baskets with chocolate bunnies, how about a healthier bunny-themed snack? We have been enjoying 18 Rabbit Bars lately, especially the Cherry, Dark Chocolate & Almond Bar.  They are made with organic ingredients and are delicious to boot!

18 Rabbits also donates 1% of their products to kids without access to affordable, nutritious food, which is a great message to share with your children.

Play Love Laugh Nail Polish

Kid-Friendly Nail Polish

Kid-Friendly Nail Polish

If you’re looking for something colorful for the Easter Bunny to leave in your kids’ basket, Play Love Laugh Nail Polish is a great eco-friendly choice.  You’d never guess it derives its bright colors from fruit and vegetables. Unlike conventional nail polish, it doesn’t contain acetone, acetates or alcohol.  Not only is it non-toxic, gluten-free and vegan, it peels right off nails – no nail polish remover necessary!

 

Natural Jelly Beans

Jelly Beans

Natural Jelly Beans

Easter wouldn’t be the same without jelly beans, but we aren’t fans of the artificial colors found in most brands.  We especially like Trader Joe’s Gourmet Jelly Beans.  They contain natural flavors, and are colored with fruit and vegetable based dyes. If you want organic jelly beans, Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans are a good, albeit less colorful, choice.

Snipe Game

Go on a Snipe Hunt!

Go on a Snipe Hunt!

Enjoying the outdoors is a big part of raising Eco-conscious kids, and spring is a great time to get out of the house and have some fun.

If your kids can’t get enough of Easter Egg hunting, or if eggs aren’t part of their diet, then send them on a Snipe Hunt instead. This Snipe Game sends your kids out as a team or opponents to find the hidden Snipes and return them to their nest. After a bit, the Snipes begin to chirp and light up to help the hunters find them.

 

Live Grass!

Live Grass!

Living Easter Basket

Back in 2009, Joy wrote a great post about making a living Easter Basket.  Although it might be too late to plant grass seeds, you could buy some to use instead of the plastic kind that just ends up in the trash. If you have pets, you could use Pet Grass and let them in on the Easter fun!

Fun With St. Patrick’s Day

Fun With St. Patrick's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas and Waxelene Giveaway!

Forget the candy hearts, those are so yesterday! There are plenty of other gift ideas that are bound to bring a smile to your loved one’s face.

Plantable Valentine’s Day Cards

For your Valentine

For your Valentine

These Valentine’s Day cards aren’t just for show. If you plant them in soil, they will turn into flowers! You can get a whole pack to hand out, or a couple just for your sweetheart. Either way, it’s a delightful change from the usual.

 

 

 

Fair Trade Chocolate

Try not to eat it the whole bag at once!

Try not to eat the whole bag at once!

If you’re going to give chocolate, why not make it Fair Trade and Non-GMO? barkTHINS are delicious and come in several different flavors.  I’ve seen the Dark Chocolate Almond with Sea Salt at Costco, or if you’re really in love buy the pack of 6 different varieties (Dark Chocolate Almond; Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed; Dark Chocolate Mint; Dark Chocolate Pretzel; Blueberry Quinoa with Agave; Dark Chocolate Toasted Coconut with Almonds)  You can also buy them .

 

 

Flowering Plant

african-violet

Blooms year round!

Flowers are always a safe bet, but why not try something that will outlast the week? A live flowering plant will bloom over and over, reminding your Valentine of your love year round. Trader Joe’s always has a huge selection this time of year, as will any super market.

 

 

 

Waxelene Giveaway!

Win This!

Win This!

To keep your lips kissably soft this Valentine’s Day, we are giving away a tube of Waxelene, a petroleum jelly alternative.

Waxelene is made of Organic Soy Oil, Beeswax, Organic Rosemary Oil, and Natural Vitamin E (from soybeans). Not only do they use natural and organic ingredients, but their jars are recyclable glass, the boxes are 100% recycled, and their facility is 100% wind-powered!

You can enter our giveaway up to four times, and the last day of entry is Friday, February 13th, 2015. Entries must be received by midnight, PDT.
Each comment counts as a single entry:

  1. Simply post a comment about the best Valentine’s Day gift you ever received and you’re entered in our contest
  2. Share any greenbabyguide.com blog post on FB and let us know which one you shared here in the comments
  3. Follow The Green Baby Guide on Twitter (and tell us about it in another comment)
  4. Visit the Waxelene website, come back and post a comment here on The Green Baby Guide saying what you like best about Waxelene

Remember, each comment you leave (up to four comments) is another entry! The winner will receive a tube of Waxelene. Open to US residents only.