Archives for November 2013

4 Tips to Nix Toxic Holiday Toys

pastel colored toy tea set on white backgroundYou’re making your list and checking it twice, but do you know what’s in those holidays toys? In 2008, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was passed to regulate lead and phthalates in toys and infant products after a public scare related to those made primarily in China. But it seems like each year another batch of tainted imported holiday toys is discovered here in the United States. Here are a four easy ways to tell which holiday toys are naughty and which are nice. [Read more…]

Cocktail Recipe Confession

hot toddy in glass with lemon slice and clovesI’m not a real blogger. I don’t share very much about my kids—my two teenagers would kill me if I posted a photo. Yes, I write a lot about the things I’m doing to keep my family healthy, but you don’t really see a lot of said family, do you? I don’t share many recipes (in all honesty, I’m not a very good cook). And I might use the opportunity of a pinkwashing post to share that my mother-in-law and aunt have both battled breast cancer, but I just can’t give a step-by-step account.

Perhaps it’s because I’m too old for social media. Maybe it’s because I was trained as a journalist to stay out of the first-person at all costs. Who knows? (And who cares?) But I’m sharing a little window into my personal world with this post.

You see, I have an alter ego. No, I’m not changing into a blonde wig any time soon, and nobody’s lining up for my autograph. But here’s my bloggy confession: Sometimes, on occasion, I sing. With real live musicians. In a band. And next to loving my family and typing on a keyboard, it is my absolute favorite thing in the world. Want to listen? [Read more…]

Upcycled, Recycled & Downcycled Defined

cream leather wristlet bag on mannequin hand against garden backgroundThis is perhaps my most common FAQ: What’s the difference between upcycling, recycling and downcycling? In a nutshell:

RECYCLING turns something into another product of equal value. Glass is a great example of this because it doesn’t degrade when it’s processed, it can be recycled endlessly into new glass.

DOWNCYCLING turns something into a product of lesser value. Paper is a good example here: Because it degrades with each process, the new paper that is becomes is typically thinner and weaker. The most recycled paper becomes… toilet paper.

UPCYCLING takes something of lesser value and turns it into something that has a higher value. A great example of this is upcycled fashion, in which a designer takes something like leather scraps that were trashed from another company’s project and turns them into–oh, say a wristlet purse like the Bird in Hand bag I just designed, which is available on Etsy! What do you think?!?!

MG in Green Child Magazine

holiday traditions

















“We asked some of our favorite eco-conscious mamas (and grandmas) to share their favorite holiday traditions with you!” -Green Child Magazine, Holiday 2013

Mommy Greenest Approved: Softcup

hand holding new pink rimmed reusable menstrual cupThis might be TMI. Male readers—do I have any?—may want to click away. But it’s not like it’s a secret: I’ve shared this information in the past, and this ancient YouTube video is still one of my most watched.

So here’s my confession: I love my reusable menstrual cup. Why? We can talk about the fact that it lessens my landfill load, and that using it negates any possibility of Toxic Shock Syndrome. But the biggest selling point for me is this: With a menstrual cup, I can forget about my period for up to 12 hours each day—for me, more than twice as long as a tampon. I empty it once in the morning and once before I go to bed at night. Yes, really.

But many of my friends and readers disagree. They’ve shared that they find menstrual cups uncomfortable and difficult to use. Ladies, I’ve found the solution! [Read more…]

This Girl Walks into An Eco-Party

“We were thrilled to be invited to Mommy Greenest’s festive holiday party last week at Give + Take, a great little clothing shop in Santa Monica. Not only did we enjoy some incredible organic hors d’oeuvres and herbal martinis, but were treated to mini eco-makeovers and manicures. We were also introduced to a whole range of eco-friendly products!” -Jordan Capatano and Jocelyn Dunn, This Girl Walks Into A Bar

Jumpstart to Sustainable Food Habits

vegetable stew with salad greens and pomegranate seedsFor years, I’ve been a total fan of Pamela Salzman, a certified holistic health counselor and a cooking instructor who shares healthful recipes and nutrition advice on her blog A mother of three, Pamela lives in Manhattan Beach, but teaches all over Southern California. She has inspired me to create more sustainable food habits with my family. Want to join in the fun? Follow the advice that Pamela shared exclusively with Mommy Greenest in this post, or better yet sign up for one of her amazing classes!

Much of the food we consume these days is a product of a broken and unsustainable food system. This food is dependent on foreign oil, depletes our soil, contaminates our water, is linked to obesity and disease, and uses enormous quantities of non-renewable resources.

Unfortunately, as an individual I may not be able to change the way animals are treated nor do I have an influence on whether or not food exists that is genetically modified. What I can do, however, is avoid using my dollars to support those industries, and I can teach my children to create more sustainable food habits. Here’s how: [Read more…]

How to Cook A Vegan Thanksgiving

vegan turkey on bed of spinach with gravyVegan Thanksgiving. Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? But that might be until you learn the truth about turkey: Most conventional birds have been inbred to the point that they can’t even reproduce naturally. And many are stuffed full of chemical fat-inducing hormones and pesticides—even before you stuff them.

The idea of giving up the bird comes with backers. Doctors say we should reduce meat consumption for optimal health. Scientists recently recommended halving meat consumption to reduce environmental impact. And vegans point out that giving up animal products positively contributes to the fight against global warming: Livestock and poultry production tipped the scales in 2009, claiming responsibility for 51% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Worldwatch Institute. Just reducing your meat consumption can really make a difference in your health and the health of the planet. Luckily, many traditional Thanksgiving dishes can be made vegan, with very little effort.

[Read more…]