Which means I am entirely too familiar with itching—and the over-the-counter remedies used to fight it. I’ve got sprays and creams and gels galore, but nothing seems to dull that scratching urge for long—until now. [Read more...]
You’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...]
I’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...]
This 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?!?!
This 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...]
For 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 PamelaSalzman.com. 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...]
Vegan 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.
Everybody’s looking for gift suggestions this time of year, and I’m no different—but I also want to share them. That’s why I gathered up some of my favorite eco-focused brands to give to some of my favorite bloggers and celebrities at the first annual Mommy Greenest Holiday Party, presented by DeVita Natural Skin Care and Color Cosmetics in Los Angeles on November 5th.
Guests like Shiva Rose (with her adorable daughter Charlotte), E! News’ Ashlan Gorse Cousteau, Catherine McCord of Weelicious, organic foods advocate Sara Snow (and beautiful baby Isla) and Sarah Jane Morris of “NCIS” enjoyed herbal martinis by ALTAR and cold-pressed juices from Evolution Fresh (find them and the new Evolution Harvest bars at Starbuck’s!) paired with local and sustainable foraged treats from Transitional Gastronomy.
And I discovered some of my favorite gifts for your favorite ecoista! So without further ado, here they are + TWO winners could score a $250 gift bag!
From a very young age, I talked the green talk. I grew up going to pow-wows and taking cross-country trips to the Badlands—my father was a professor at UCLA whose specialty is Native American literature. My nickname in college was, embarrassingly, Flower. But like many, my eco-focus stopped at water conservation and recycling. I bought conventional cleaning products because that’s what my family had always used—even though I saw the “natural” cleaners on the same shelf, I wrote their claims off as marketing rather than turning over the bottles and comparing ingredients.
I didn’t really make the connection between the environmental impact of how I lived until 2006, when I met Christopher Gavigan at Healthy Child, Healthy World (he went on to found The Honest Company with Jessica Alba). I was nine months pregnant with my third child, and we met to talk about my helping with publicity and marketing efforts for the organization once the baby was born.
Women are responsible for 85% of the buying decisions in a household. What we spend our money on matters.
So I started doing my own research. And I quickly realized how much of an impact what I bought for myself and my family could have on the environment—and the marketplace. Women are responsible for 85% of the buying decisions in a household. What we spend our money on matters.
As I learned more, I started applying this knowledge to my life. I wrote about eco-beauty for women’s magazines—and found it increasingly more difficult to write about conventional alternatives. I was asked to create a marketing campaign for a major denim label—and turned it down when I learned that takes an astounding one-third of a pound of toxic fertilizer to make one cotton t-shirt (keep that visual in mind the next time you go shopping).
How could I promote this stuff, with what I knew? That’s when I started The Big List of Things That Suck.