It’s easy to be green

There’s a new review site for the eco-conscious among us called Green Mom Finds. The site was created by Cristina and Izzy, and has four other moms (including myself) who contribute reviews on all of the great green things we’ve come across on our mothering journeys. I’m honored and excited to be apart of this site and wonderful group of women.

With all of the uncertainty about whether this or that product is safe, it’s nice to know there’s a place you can go to and find green items, tips and resources that other moms have tested and recommend. Check it out. I think you’ll like it. 🙂 Did I mention there are great green giveaways too? Oh yeah, there are. Thought you might like that. 😉

Green Tip of the Week #7 – Cold Wash

Another way to save energy is to wash your clothes, linens, etc. in cold water, instead of warm or hot. Generally speaking, cold water will get your laundry just as clean as warm or hot water will. Plus, cold water is less wearing on the clothes, keeping them looking like new longer. (Anything with stains should be pre-treated and/or soaked in advance.)

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂

Green Tip of the Week #6 – Think before you buy

Here’s something I recently came across (thanks to Jody) and thought it was good food for thought during this holiday consumerism season and always:

When you do acquire things, many of those things must ultimately be disposed of: given away, sold on eBay, thrown away or whatever. Some may be simply used up: a washing machine, for example. But still it must then be discarded.
It helps when you go to buy something—a book, a vase, a chair, a set of dishes, whatever—if you take a moment to decide how it will be disposed of. You can’t assume, by the way, that giving it away will automatically work: it might well be that the intended recipient will not want it when the time comes.
It will then perhaps occur to you that you can finesse the problem altogether by not getting the thing in the first place. — Later On : Managing Money post

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂

The (mostly) Green Girly Gift Guide and Giveaways

PLEASE NOTE: As of now, 12/19/07, this giveaway is now closed for entries. Thanks!

Green Girly Gift Guide

A few weeks ago I posted my holiday toy gift guide for kids, but now is the time to start thinking about yourself and all of the women (friends, aunts, grandmothers, mothers, sisters) on your list, because let’s face it, we women deserve some great gifts too! 🙂

In keeping with the crunchy spirit of reducing, reusing and recycling, I’m happy to say that most of the items in my girly gift guide are green (good for the environment). These gift ideas aren’t just for Christmas and Chanukah, they also make great birthday presents.

What could make a mostly green girly gift guide even better? How about the fact that this guide is chock full of great giveaways and coupon codes to help you with your holiday shopping or to score some cool stuff for yourself! 🙂 See the end of the guide for instructions on how you can have a chance to win one of the giveaways.

Lookin’ Good and Green

Choose happiness t-shirtTees for Change – Including positive messages like: “Choose Happiness,” “Live Mindfully,” and “Today Matters,” Tees for Change shirts ($28-$38) are out to make the world a better place. I don’t know about you, but I often need to remind myself that happiness is a choice. Rather than getting caught up in the moment or events of the day, I can decide to roll with the punches, laugh it off and choose happiness. That’s why the Choose Happiness shirt is my favorite. I love that these tees have such a great message for the person wearing them, as well as everyone he/she comes into contact with. Oh, and I’m also keen on the fact that they are the brainchild of a local mom who also had a home birth. A Boulder, Colorado-based company, Tees for Change is very eco-conscious. All of their tees are made from 100% organic cotton or 70% bamboo/30% organic cotton mix, are dyed with low impact dyes and screen-printed with water-based inks, and they plant a tree for every shirt sold. It’s a win-win and now you can win too with this giveaway!
– Coupon Code: For 15% off, use coupon code “goddess” at checkout.
– Win It! : I’m giving away (1) Tees for Change short-sleeved t-shirt of your choice

For the jewelry-lovers

  • BeadforLife unique necklaces and bracelets – “BeadforLife eradicates extreme poverty by creating bridges of understanding between impoverished Africans and concerned world citizens. Ugandan women turn colorful recycled paper into beautiful beads, and people who care open their hearts, homes and communities to buy and sell the beads. The beads thus become income, food, medicine, school fees — and hope. All profits from BeadforLife are invested in community development projects that generate income and help people work their way out of poverty.” Necklaces range in price from $10 to $30. Bracelets range in price from $5 to $15. They also sell loose beads (for use in making your own jewelry or other crafts) and gift certificates. I bought a few BeadforLife necklaces at a BeadforLife party I attended (and blogged about) a couple of years ago. I love that the pieces are beautiful, unique, made from recycled paper and are helping such a worthy cause. If you are in the Boulder, Colorado area, you can stop in the Bead for Life store to see all of their unique styles and colors.
  • Sea glass necklaceSea glass jewelry from Oceano (an Etsy store) – I remember my mom first introducing me to sea glass (broken pieces of glass that have been made smooth by the ocean) when I was a child. I always thought it was beautiful. I love that someone else appreciates the beauty of sea glass and thought of the wonderful idea of making it into jewelry. What a creative way to recycle/reuse discarded glass!


For the aspiring photographers

  • Photo cuff braceletsHere’s a unique gift idea that any aspiring photographer and/or mom would love to have – a Photo Cuff Bracelet from Mama Needs It. The Photo Cuffs are made of die cut vinyl (vegan friendly) and are a cool way for you to show off your favorite photos of your children, grandchildren, pets, whatever! I have the Chelsea Photo Cuff Bracelet and love it! Of course I have mine filled with pictures of Ava and Julian, but you can fill yours with whatever you like. I also like that you can swap out new photos whenever you choose.
    – Coupon Code:
    Receive 10% off any purchases from Mama Needs It by entering the discount code “CDGknowsgifts” at checkout.
    – Win It! : I’m giving away a $25 gift certificate to Mama Needs It
  • The holiday season generally means we moms will all be taking more pictures than usual. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to get those holiday photos printed and into an album, you might be interested in HP’s Photo Books. They are available in two sizes: 5″ x 7″ or 8.5″ x 11″ and a variety of colors. HP photo book“The HP Photo Book includes all the things you need: a professional looking hardcover photo book, easy to use layout and design software, and HP Advanced Photo Paper (12 sheets). Simply add your photos and creative touch, and you’re ready to go.” I like that they are also customizable and allow you to add more pages or mementos such as cards or invitations any time you like.
    – Coupon Code: To receive a 20% off coupon code (expires 12/31/07) for the Photo Books, visit Snap Shot Chronicles.
    – Win It! : I’m giving away 2 sets of Photo Books – (1) 8.5×11 size and one (1) 5×7 size in each set

For the Foodies on your list

  • What’s Cooking Weekly menu planning service will help you answer the age-old question of “What’s for dinner?” Each week there are five healthy meal recipes, as well as shopping lists, “Call the Kids” section with suggestions to get your children involved in the meal preparation, nutritional information and tips for eating foods in season. It is a mom-owned and operated business.
    I had the opportunity to give the service a try and was very impressed. The meals I made were all delicious and a big hit with my family. This is a great time-saver for anyone who has a million and one things to do every day and doesn’t necessarily have time to figure out what’s for dinner. The shopping lists are organized by grocery department and the recipes are easy to follow. I especially like the “Call the Kids” section to help get children more involved in their meal preparation. I find that my daughter enjoys her food more when she helps make it herself and she loves telling daddy, “I helped!”
    A What’s Cooking Weekly Subscription makes a great gift (and generates no waste – how cool is that?!). A 6-month subscription is only $35 – less than $6 per month!
    – Win It! : I’m giving away a 6-month subscription to What’s Cooking Weekly
  • BYOBagsBYO Bags – reusable mesh produce bags from What’s Cooking. These reusable mesh bags are a great way to cut down on the number of plastic bags used. They can easily be stuffed into your purse and pulled out in the produce aisle when you need them. $10 for 3 bags.
    – Coupon Code:
    To receive 10% off any purchases from What’s Cooking, enter the coupon code “Eat_Well” at checkout.

For the woman who has everything

  • Consider a gift subscription to Green Dimes – For only $15 $12 (reduced for the holiday season), GreenDimes pledges to “cut your junk mail up to 90%” and plant 10 trees.
    My mom bought me a subscription a while back and I really have noticed a reduction in our junk mail. Plus I love the fact that they plant trees for you.
  • What if there was a way to have a tree planted for every book you read? Now there is with Eco-Libris. “Every book you read was once a tree. Now you can plant a tree for every book you read” with Eco-Libris. Give an Eco-Libris gift certificate to the people you care about, with which they will be able to plant trees for the books they read. For every tree planted, Eco-Libris will send them an Eco-Libris sticker to display on their book’s sleeve. (Thanks to GreenStyleMom for bringing this cool site to my attention!)

Other sources for groovy green ideas

  • Green Feet – Green Feet is a groovy online store that is sure to have something for the women (men and children, too) on your list. bambu dishesThey carry the full Bambu line, which includes bamboo dishes, cutting boards, serving trays, baskets and more. Wonder what’s so great about bamboo? It’s durable, beautiful and sustainable. It’s a grass, not a wood, grows incredibly fast and never needs replanting. Green Feet carries all sorts of other cool things like jewelry made from a bike chain or a record, recycled sari purses, hemp bath pillows, aromatherapy diffusers, a kitchen compost crock, Coco Zum Chocolate Soap, water bottles, reusable bags and much, much more.
    – Coupon Code: 10% off your order. Use the code “Crunchy” during checkout. Not valid with other offers, sale items or memberships.
  • happy bagsReusable Bags – Reusable bags have come a long way, baby. Check out their Gift Ideas for Her and you might be surprised by the variety of hip reusable bags available. There are also some great reusable bottles, a reusable gift bag set, and a reusable bamboo utensil set.
    – Coupon Code:
    10% off your entire order. At checkout, enter the following code in the Gift Certificates/Discount Coupons section: “49c7fg” (note that it is case sensitive) – Good through Dec. 21. One use per customer.



For those who love the written word (magazine subscriptions for thinking mothers):

  • Mothering : Natural Family Living – Buy a one-year subscription at the reduced price of $19.95 (regularly $22.95) and you can order additional one-year subscriptions for friends and family for only $17 each.
    – Coupon Code: Use code X7DE in the promotional code box.
    Mothering also has a digital subscription option to help save the trees!
  • Brain, Child : The magazine for thinking mothers- A one-year subscription is just $17.95 for a full year of reading pleasure. (That’s 25% off the newsstand price)
    – Coupon Code: Use code MWX07 at the checkout.

Final thoughts

Don’t forget about Etsy: “Your place to buy and sell all things homemade” – Check out their gift guide page where you can search according to whom you are shopping for – women, men, babies, children (by age), etc. 🙂

Lastly, here are some other great places to look for unique gift ideas:

* flea markets
* closeout stores (I just saw bamboo cutting boards at Ross for more than 50% off retail)
* thrift stores (You never know what you’ll find!)

GROOVY GIVEAWAYS!

Win It!
There are four great giveaways mentioned above. You get to choose which ONE giveaway you want to enter. That’s right – you may only enter to win ONE of the four prizes. Please note that I’m doing these giveaways differently than I have in the past.

To try your hand at winning one, please send an email to cdggiveaway@gmail.com and make the subject line the name of ONE of the following giveaways:
– Tees for Change shirt
– What’s Cooking Weekly subscription
– Mama Needs It gift certificate
– HP Photo Books
(Only one email per person please)
To receive an additional five entries either post the Green Girly Gift Guide button on your blog and email me the link or tell five friends about this guide and cc me (cdggiveaway@gmail.com) on the email. The winners will be randomly selected using Random.org and posted on my blog, as well as notified via email. The deadline to enter is Wednesday, Dec. 19. Winners will be announced on Thursday, Dec. 20. Note: Prizes will be mailed after Christmas.

Good luck and happy green shopping! 🙂

Green tip of the week #5 – Creative uses for used wrapping paper

gift wrapThank you to Heather at October Daisy for this great holiday green tip.

Instead of throwing away all the holiday gift wrap most people accumulate from gift giving, save it! Run it through a paper shredder and use it to stuff gift bags or baskets. The finished result is beautiful!

And here are some more ideas:

Another use for use wrapping paper is when taking down your Christmas tree, use wrapping paper to wrap delicate ornaments, and to provide cushioning between ornaments wherever they are stored.

Also wrapping paper can be shredded and used to protect items you have to ship throughout the year.

Lastly, if you can’t find a use for the old wrapping paper, please recycle it, rather than throwing it in the trash. Check with your city to find out if wrapping paper is accepted in your recycling bin or if they have set up a special program for recycling it after the holidays (which is what my city does).

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂


Green tip of the week #4 – rechargeable batteries

rechargeable batteriesWith the holidays coming up and the myriad gifts that may require batteries – digital cameras, children’s toys, portable CD players or radios, and other electronics – how about spending a little extra money to buy rechargeable batteries?

From Wikipedia:
Rechargeable batteries can offer an economic benefit when used instead of one-time-use disposable batteries. Most rechargeable battery technology has been adapted into the standard “AA,” “AAA,” “C,” “sub-C,” “D,” and “9-volt” configurations that consumers are familiar with. While the rechargeable versions of these types of cells have a higher up-front cost than disposable batteries, rechargeable batteries can be discharged and recharged many times. Some manufacturers of NiMH type rechargeable batteries claim a lifespan up to 3000 charge cycles for their batteries.

Rechargeable batteries are also great for baby swings (that gobble up juice like nobody’s business) and household items like TV remote controls, alarm clocks and flashlights.

While rechargeable batteries aren’t the most exciting gift, they make a great stocking stuffer, will save you money over time and, perhaps most importantly, will help save planet Earth.

NOTE: Disposable one-time-use batteries should not be thrown into the trash. “Batteries are a unique product comprised of heavy metals and other elements that make things ‘portable.’ Some of these toxic heavy metals include nickel cadmium, alkaline, mercury, nickel metal hydride and lead acid, which can threaten our environment if not properly discarded.” For information about proper disposal of one-time-use batteries, visit Earth911.

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂


Green tip of the week #3 – ’tis the season

NaBloPoMo – Day 24

recycle

Because we have officially entered into the holiday season, a season traditionally filled with a lot of waste, I’m going to list more than one green tip today.

  • Every year, there are 2.65 billion holiday cards sold in the U.S. That’s enough to fill a football stadium field 10 stories high! Please look for cards that contain recycled content or are actually recycled materials. You can make your own cards out of scrap paper found around the house. You could use old cards as name tags for presents or for colorful artwork to decorate your house. Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
  • If you send holiday cards, look for ones made of recycled paper. Avoid cards with glossy, shiny or gold foil coatings since these cannot be recycled. Save the cards that you get in the mail, cut off the front pictures, and reuse as “postcards” next year. This saves on postage too. Or, send ”electronic cards” or make a phone call instead! Crunchy tip from Amy: Or, send a picture of the kids or a family picture instead of a card. Friends and family are often very happy to get new pictures of the kids, and these won’t be thrown into the trash.
  • If every American family wrapped just 3 presents in re-used materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields.
  • If you go out shopping, bring your own tote bags and avoid coming home with an armload of plastic bags holding just one item.

Tips found at Green holiday tips and recycling

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂


Green tip of the week #2 – fruit and veggie wash

fruits and vegetablesNaBloPoMo – Day 17

Green tip of the week:

If you can’t afford to buy organic produce, you can still clean up your conventional produce and remove dirt, pesticides, chemicals, and insect residue with your own fruit and veggie wash spray. All you need for this recipe is natural soap, vinegar and water.

Not sure how contaminated your produce is? Check out the dirty dozen list to see which fruits and veggies have the most/least amount of pesticides.

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂


Christmas came a little early

NaBloPoMo – Day 13

Artificial Christmas treeTwo weekends ago I managed to score a pretty sweet find off of Freecycle – a six-feet pre-lit artificial Christmas tree! The tree is about five years old and in great shape.

I’d been wanting to buy a larger tree for us since we moved into this house. The tree Jody and I bought in our early days together was a narrow one because we were renting such a tiny house and that was all we had room for. After our move here with a bigger living room, I thought it’d be fun to have a bigger tree and the pre-lit part was just an added bonus because now I won’t have to worry about stringing lights. 🙂

Of course the day we got it we set it up to make sure all of the pieces were there and the lights worked, etc. Then we got the flu and didn’t feel up to disassembling it, so the tree remained up in our living room for a few days. Ava was actually disappointed when Jody took it down, but was satisfied with the knowledge that we’d be setting it back up again in a few weeks.

We figured we would just Freecycle our old tree, but then the woman who gave us her’s mentioned to Jody that she was looking for a skinnier tree to fit into her house. He told me about it, so I emailed her back to see if she would like to have ours and she picked it up this weekend. We couldn’t have planned that better if we’d tried! 🙂

If you have an old artificial tree or other decorations that you are no longer using, think about Freecycling them or donating them to a charitable organization. It will no doubt make someone else happy and is good for the environment too!

And if you choose to get a real tree this holiday, be sure to recycle it. “With over 33 million real Christmas trees sold in North America every year, Christmas tree recycling is an important way to give a renewable, recyclable resource back to the environment.” Check out Earth 911 for a Christmas tree drop-off site in your area.

Green tip of the week #1 – save your leaves

compost pile

NaBloPoMo – Day 10

Green tip of the week:

When raking up your leaves this fall, be sure to set aside a bag or two to keep and use as “brown” (dry) material for your compost bin/pile throughout the coming year. That way you’ll always have some on-hand when you need it.

Have any green tips you’ve recently learned? Please email them to me and I may include your tip along with a link to your site or blog in a future post. 🙂