Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mother's Day Gift Ideas!

Mother’s Day is coming up, and we have been digging around our site, conjuring up ideas from past gifts, and picking our friend’s brains for Mother’s Day gift ideas to share!  Because every mom has different hobbies, interests, and passion, we realize that the pursuit of the “perfect” gift is nearly impossible.  So with this in mind, we thought we would come up some gift ideas for 5 “mom personas”! Do you know one of these moms? Have another mom persona and great gift ideas!? Are you a little bit of each, haha!? Leave your comments and suggestions below…we’d all love to hear from you!

The On-the-Go Mom
                        Rebel Green ~ Reusable Lunch Bag w/ Reusable Napkin, Free Bird/Bad Habits         To-Go Ware ~ RePEat Bamboo Utensil Set with Merlot Holder

The Foodie Mom
  • Cast iron cookware!  Great for searing meats at high temperatures, frying fish, and even baking!  These pans retain heat well allowing for even cooking and they are lead and PFOA free.
  • If she loves to curl up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a good movie, how about great foodie classics like Chocolat or Julie and Julia!?
Lodge Cast Iron ~ Lodge Logic Cast Iron Skillet, 6-1/2"
The Fitness Mom
Klean Kanteen Classic ~ 27 ounce Stainless Steel Bottle with Sports Cap

The Outdoorsy Mom

     Sanctus Mundo ~ Stainless Steel Plate            Sanctus Mundo ~ Stainless Steel Mug                Sanctus Mundo ~ Stainless Steel Bowl

The New Mom
  • Glass baby bottles!  These are free of BPA, phthalates, lead, and PVC.  The cap is even made from BPA free #5 plastic!
  • A cute (and reusable!) lunch box
  • How about a "night off" by babysitting for her!
                          Lifefactory ~ 4 ounce Glass Baby Bottle w/ Nipple                  Beatrix NY ~ JuJu the Ladybug Lunch Box

Happy Mother's Day Shopping!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Fun in the Sun without the Chemicals and Burn!

Spring is in the air and in no time summer will be here! So ‘tis the season of swimsuits, sandy beaches, picnics, daytime walks, Vitamin D, and…sun protection! Below are some tips on how to have fun in the sun while fighting the burn and avoiding hazardous chemicals. 
One of the most obvious forms of sun protection (besides simply staying in the shade) is sunscreen, but there are a few things to keep in mind when buying and using sunscreen.

  1. Read the label. Not all sunscreens are made up of the same ingredients.  Some sunscreens contain potentially harmful chemicals that are best avoided.  As noted by the Environmental Working Group, it is a safer bet to steer clear of any sunscreens that contain oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate, or insect repellent, as these chemicals have been linked to an increased rate of cancer based on some laboratory studies.
  2. SPF 30. You will get much better UV protection from sunscreens with SPF 30 or above.  SPF 15 just is not strong enough.
  3. Repeat. Sunscreen should be reapplied every hour or two.  Don’t be fooled by “waterproof” or “water resistant” claims.  Sunscreen will wear off and leave you with a painful surprise, so reapplying frequently can help avoid burning.
  4. 30 minute rule. Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside.
  5. Avoid sprays and powders when possible. Due to inhalation, try avoiding spray and powder sunscreens. If this is all you have, spray the sunscreen on your hands first, then apply to your face!
Sunscreen is a necessary first step to protecting your skin from the sun, but there are several other practices we can adopt for a safer sunny days.

  1. Shade. Consider taking a picnic break in the shade while the sun is at its peak.  It is at this point in the day that UV rays are strongest, so it is the perfect time to sit in the shade of a tree and eat!
  2. BPA free bottles. Keeping our good health in mind, be sure to bring water bottles that are BPA free.  A Lifefactory glass bottle is a safer choice to help will keep you hydrated and safe.
  3. Clothes. Clothing will go a long way to help keep the sun at bay.  While outdoors, try to wear a long-sleeve lightweight shirt, hat, and sunglasses.

~ Jessica


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Make Every Day Earth Day!

With Earth Day just around the corner, we thought we'd share some  ways to make Earth Day every day instead of just one day a year. Below are some easy and useful ideas on how to add more “green” into your daily routine while also avoiding toxic chemicals!
Reusable snack bags ~ Because only about 1-3% of plastic bags end up getting recycled and since plastic is not biodegradable, using a reusable snack bag is a great eco-friendly alternative to help reduce the amount of waste you produce. Take a look at the type of reusable bag you use and check to make sure it is free from harmful chemicals like phthalates.

Reusable straws ~ Many people like to use straws to help keep their teeth clean but with plastic straws being thrown away, we end up getting the environment "dirty" at the expense of "clean" teeth. Instead of using a new straw every time you sip on a colored drink, try using reusable straws made from glass or stainless steel.

Reusable bamboo utensils ~ Plastic utensils are everywhere: when you order food to-go, at the office, and in schools. They often end up in the trash, so to help avoid this, use reusable utensils made from certified organic bamboo, a sustainable resource that does not jeopardize the environment when it’s grown.

Reusable food containers ~ Ever thought about bringing your own container for leftovers when you go out to eat? Instead of packing leftovers in containers provided by restaurants, try packing them in a glass or stainless steel food container—an eco-friendly and safe way to store your food.

Reusable water bottles ~ Buying a new plastic water bottle every day is neither cost effective nor good for the environment, since bottles are often tossed into trash bins. Switch to reusable water bottles made from BPA free glass or stainless steel as a safe, eco-friendly and non-toxic way to enjoy water and stay hydrated.

100% certified organic lunch bags ~ Replace brown paper bags and plastic bags with a reusable lunch bag made from 100% certified organic cotton. Methods used to grow organic cotton do not use toxic pesticides or fertilizers and have a lower environmental impact than conventional growing methods.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pink Slime and Our Industrial Food System

Lately, you may have heard a lot of buzz in the media about “pink slim”—a light pink goupy substance that has a resemblance to froyo, right?  But despite its “sweet” appearance, pink slime is far from froyo. It is a mixture of fatty beef trimmings that is puréed into a smooth paste and then added to ground beef as a filler, gross. The proper name for pink slime (as it has been dubbed by the media) is lean finely textured beef (LFTB).   The main producer of LFTB in America is Beef Products Inc., and they supply ground beef to everyone from fast food chains, to the National School Lunch Program, to retail grocery stores across the country.  No wonder it’s caught our attention!
If you have not heard of pink slime, you are not alone.  Up until the beginning of last month, LFTB was a relatively unknown term.  However, at the beginning of March an online petition demanding LFTB be removed from school lunches exploded on the scene, receiving hundreds of thousands of signatures.  Fast forward to the present and Beef Products Inc. is closing three of its four plants. Hm…must be something fishy.
Most would view this as a victory.  The people raised their voices and defended themselves against this potentially dangerous and unsavory product.  However, it turns out that the public’s reaction to LFTB may have been a little misguided.  It turns out that Beef Products Inc. prides itself on testing their product more frequently and for more pathogens than the government requires.  It is tested more frequently than other components of ground beef.  So could removing LFTB from ground beef make it less safe?
Not so fast. There are several reasons to object to “pink slime.”  First, LFTB is composed of the less expensive trimmings of the cow, it is not as high in protein as other cuts of beef.  Second, it may contain E. Coli.  Third, why was it not on meat packing labels? What else could be left out?  What are we actually consuming?
Finally, the time has come to properly label meat.
~ Jessica
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