Archives for August 2013

Jane Goodall Exclusive MG Interview

jane goodall reaches her hand out to touch the hand of a baby chimpanzee in the forestThe world has been fascinated with Jane Goodall for nearly 50 years, whether through her books, which detail profound discoveries linking primates to humans, or through television shows like “Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees,” which basically made her an international reality star in 1965.

Jane Goodall has been my hero since I was a child, so I jumped at the chance to interview her in 2012. We spoke by phone from her childhood home in Balmouth, England. She lives there the few weeks out of the year when she’s not traveling or visiting the Gombe Stream Reserve, where she began researching chimpanzees in 1960. Jane Goodall’s opinions about environmentalism, idealism and parenting informed, surprised and inspired me. [Read more…]

Five Minutes to Natural Skin Lightening

honey jar and half lemonAh, August. Back to work. Back to school. And looking back in the mirror is the evidence of how much fun I had in the sun this summer: Freckles, wrinkles and dark spots, especially on the sides of my face where my hat didn’t cover.

Once upon a time, I might have reached for a prescription or over-the-counter skin lightening cream to combat this kind of sun damage. But I know now that hydroquinone, their most common ingredient, has been linked to cancer and, ironically, ochronosis, also known as skin darkening. Yikes!

That’s why this DIY is such a relief: With two kitchen cabinet ingredients and five minutes, you can start the skin lightening process to naturally reduce dark spots for good. This is one of the easiest natural beauty DIYs I’ve ever tried, and trust me, it really works! [Read more…]

4 Reasons Derms Hate A Gel Manicure

Gel manicures last longer, it's true. But dermatologists hate them because of problems with infection, nail damage and cancer. Is a gel manicure worth it?People are all abuzz about the gel manicure, which lasts longer than regular nail polish and doesn’t chip. But do you know what really goes into the gel manicure process?

First, gel manicure polish is applied and “cured” under ultraviolet (UV) light. To take the gel manicure polish off, you have to soak the fingernails in acetone for 15 minutes. Newsflash: Acetone can cause serious skin irritation that’s not so pretty.

Need more reasons why you might want to stay away from the gel manicure? Take a look at these, from the American Academy of Dermatology. [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Approved: Kids Konserve

school-lunch-mommy-greenest-photoForget the mousetrap, I’m constantly looking for the best way to build a better school lunch. With three kids at three different school levels—elementary, middle and high school—and three completely different opinions about what makes a school lunch suck, I hated the morning school lunch scramble. Until now.

Kids Konserve changed all that. The company offers everything you need to pack the perfect waste-free school lunch: smush-proof food containers, reusable snack and sandwich bags, ice packs, drink bottles and lunch bags. Everything is stainless steel or BPA-free plastic, when plastic is necessary.

The products are perfectly designed with school lunch packing moms in mind. Case in point? A perfect trio of round containers that nest together when not in use. All products feature patterns and colors that range from first-grade friendly adorable to high-school ready.

I teamed up with Kids Konserve and the Best Lunch Box Ever cookbook to create an awesome Mommy Greenest giveaway that makes school lunch packing easy, and scored you 15% off! [Read more…]

Back to School Trick to Avoid PVC

blonde girl surrounded by African American and Latina girls eat lunch happily.Is your child’s backpack filled with dangerous chemicals? Each year, the Center for Health, Environment & Justice tests back to school products to help parents find safer back to school supplies for their kids.

This year, they found harmful levels of phthalates and vinyl in 20 popular back to school school products—including backpacks, lunchboxes, binders and raingear—at levels that would be illegal if the products were toys.  [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Approved: Topricin

topricin natural pain relief product groupingThere are so many owies in my house. From sunburns to bug bites to bruises and scrapes, my three kids are ever in need of natural pain relief. That’s why I was excited to discover natural pain relief in the form of Topricin, a new addition to my tried-and-true remedy of soap + water + bandage + kiss.

Designed by a New York dad, Topricin is a homeopathic, FDA-approved natural pain relief and healing cream that was awarded a patent for the treatment of fibromyalgia pain in 2010. [Read more…]

7 Steps to Avoid Lead Poisoning

Neurotoxic lead is virtually impossible to detect, without testing. Here are a few important things you can do to protect your family from lead poisoning.When I was a kid, one of the things I never understood was why we had to fill the pasta pot with cold water. If I filled it with the hot water that we’d been using to wash dishes, for example, I’d have to run the tap until it was cold again before I filled up the pot to cook.

I’m not even sure if my dad knew why he did this, it’s just the way it was supposed to be done. But now I know that using cold water in cooking is important because of one thing: Lead poisoning. [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Approved: LooHoos Dryer Balls

purple, blue and yellow wool dryer balls next to loohoos product boxWhen I first heard about LooHoos Wool Dryer Balls, I was skeptical. How could throwing a ball of wool into your dryer reduce drying time and static, and add softness to your clothes?

Then I tried them, adding three dryer balls to a full load. And lo and behold, my clothes were soft and static free in about 10 minutes less time than usual!

I hadn’t used dryer sheets since I learned about the artificial fragrance and toxic chemicals that go into most of them. And without dryer sheets clothes do tend to get a bit rough, so my family was thankful for an extra dose of softness. But for me, the real selling point of LooHoos Wool Dryer Balls was shortening our drying time. [Read more…]