Recycling's great, but upcycling is both fun and productive! Baby food pouches may be slowly overtaking traditional glass jars when it comes to lil ones' pureed food, but that doesn't mean the ubiquitous jars aren't taking up precious space on mama's countertop. Before dumping them in the recycle bin, check out some interesting ways the jars can live a second life — your counter and the environment will thank you!
The other day I attempted an at-home pedicure, which left me light-headed from the fumes and my tot begging for sparkling toes too. After removing my smelly, toxic nail polish, I began searching for a kid-friendly solution for some much-needed nail-painting indulgence. After discovering Piggy Paint, the brainchild of smart mama Melanie Hurley, I was excited to give her "natural as mud" nail polish a try.
Made with all-natural ingredients — sans formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, biphenyl A, ethyl acetate, or acetone — the paints are hypoallergenic, making them perfect for just about everyone. With colors from neon to neutral, the polish is safe to use during pregnancy, and there's even a line just for your pooch. Eco-friendly and natural, the polish is also scratch- and chip-resistant.
When the polish arrived, my daughter couldn't contain herself, but I wanted to give Piggy Paint a trail run before glitzing up my tot. After tucking her in for the night, I gave my toes a new look and was amazed at the vibrant color of the polish and how it didn't smell at all. The next day, my daughter and I enjoyed a mini mani-pedi party without getting dizzy from the fumes or turning into a sticky nail polish mess. Her fingers and toes sparkled, and the polish looked great even after a couple days of toddler wear and tear. You can even glam your tot's nails further with the help of Piggy Paint nail art stickers or a veil of the brand's clear glitter, which may be all the enhancement your tot's nails need for Halloween.
There's nothing like a handmade costume! If you bring your child into the creation process, he'll wear that costume with pride as he trick-or-treats his way around the neighborhood. A cardboard box provides endless costume possibilities that can all be made with items you have around the house. With little more than a cardboard box, some paint, and some scissors, we've created a wearable airplane that is the perfect prop to support your lil aviator this Halloween. Best of all, the process is also a way to teach your tot about recycling, because even if he's reaching for the stars, he still needs to care about planet Earth!
If you think this eco-friendly planting party from Frog Prince Paperie is as green as it gets, then you're right . . . in every way but one. The always creative Paula Biggs of Frog Prince spent a grand total of $58 to throw the Summer outdoor birthday bash! Considering the number of cool details that filled the very hot (97-degree!) day, it's hard to believe that Paula filled the party with inexpensive paper products, thrift store containers, and, of course, lots of seeds to inspire little gardeners, creating a truly special event in the process. Keep clicking for all the details!
Source: Frog Prince Paperie
Moms want what's best for their lil ones, so is it possible that baby's using healthier products than mama? Today's New York Times looks at the skyrocketing growth in the sale of premium skin care products (including organic and natural products) — showing that sales have jumped 68 percent over the past five years, while baby care product sales have only increased 16 percent.
Needless to say, finding lotions and soaps free from parabens, sulfates, and phthalates costs significantly more than traditional options, but several moms interviewed in the article said they consider the purchases a necessity, not a luxury, for their tots. As one mama said:
"I am not necessarily into natural lines myself. But it was important for me to find pure and nontoxic products for my kids because I feel like their skin is so new."
What about your home — do your kids use healthier products than you do?
Where are busy moms supposed to turn when they want to create a healthy environment for their families, but don't have the time or the money to be running around town to get all the products they need? Believe it or not, they can now look to Jessica Alba to get the goods! The actress and mother of two — Honor, 3, and Haven, 7 months — recently gave birth to her third child, The Honest Company, a subscription-based, eco-friendly, and toxin-free baby-product and household-item company with Christopher Gavigan, the former CEO and author of Healthy Child, Healthy World. Though best known for her onscreen work in Fantastic Four and Dark Angel, Jessica's giving herself a bit of a career makeover, and I spoke with her about her new venture. Check out the highlights of our conversation below, and come back tomorrow for the rest of our conversation — including details about her upcoming book and her thoughts on the toughest part of motherhood.
On the current state of eco family living:
"For me, I felt that as a parent, it was confusing to filter through the clutter of what was truly eco, what eco meant, was it the packaging, or is it because of the ingredients that are inside. The greenwashing confusion for me as a parent was tough. Then there's a company that does a great detangler, and another company does a great shampoo, and another company does a great floor cleaner, and then another company would do a great dish soap. I would have to go to literally a minimum of 10 different brands — and they're all distributed in different places — to put together my house. And the other thing, unfortunately, is the price point for most of it is outside of what most people can afford. Just when it comes to the social injustice of, you can't really create the safest and most healthy home for kids unless you make a certain amount of money. Everyone should have access to healthy and safe products."
On why she wanted to start The Honest Company:
"It was a combination of wanting it all from one company, it all being really truly eco [and] healthy, and then it all being affordable. I've [also] found that when companies did take the time to do the right formulations, there's really no attention paid to beauty and the aesthetics of it. So when you look at it on the shelf next to a company that does pay attention, if it was eco, it was a green leaf, or it was beige, or it was oatmeal-colored. I'm a modern, colorful person and I like beautiful things. If I'm going to be changing my baby's diaper all day — which I am — or I'm going to be using household cleaners, I'd really like it to be aesthetically pleasing, if it can."
There's no better time to make the switch to green than when there's a new addition to the family. We turned to Alanna Stang, editor in chief of Martha Stewart's Whole Living magazine — who's first "Blue Issue" hits newsstands today — for some eco-friendly baby shower and new mom gift picks to help put the family on the road to sustainable living. Keep reading to check out her picks!
Photo by Mitchell Feinberg. Courtesy of Whole Living magazine’s April 2012 issue.
Going green has never been quite so hip, but is it worth the cost? Just last week Jessica Alba launched The Honest Company, an eco-friendly baby care line that is not only safe but affordable when compared to other organic diaper and skin care companies. But now one of my favorite organic nursery companies is changing course.
Canada's 3 Sprouts — the maker of adorable modern storage bins, hooded towels, and wall organizers — just announced that due to rising costs, they'll no longer be an organic line. In order to keep costs down — and, presumably, sales up — the company is switching to nonorganic cotton and new packaging for the coming year.
The change has me wondering if more mamas are switching away from organic given the state of the economy?
Jessica Alba is hoping to move off the red carpet and into your home. The actress and mother of two — Honor, 3, and Haven, 5 months — may be known best for showing off her impeccable figure in Fantastic Four and Little Fockers, but she's equally passionate about keeping toxins out of schools, homes, and work spaces.
This week, after stunning on the Golden Globes red carpet, Jessica launched The Honest Company, a subscription-based, eco-friendly, and toxic-free baby-products and household-items company. Working with Christopher Gavigan, the former CEO of Healthy Child, Healthy World and husband of Grey's Anatomy's Jessica Capshaw, the company's products include designer biodegradable diapers, all-natural wipes, shampoo, baby lotion, laundry detergent, sunscreen, and more. Based on her own experiences trying to find eco-friendly, child-safe, affordable products, Jessica is introducing the line through monthly subscriptions — they're currently offering a five-pack cleaning products package ($36) and a month's supply diaper bundle ($80), which will all be delivered directly to babies' nurseries.
What do you think? Could Jessica Alba's eco-friendly baby company take off?
We're excited to share this post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we will be bringing you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post from Stacie Lewis about her decision to use disposable diapers.
I use disposables. I believe they are easier, more convenient, faster and more hygienic than cloth. I like using them – at least, I like them as much as a parent can like a diaper. I have never considering changing. I have never tried cloth. Why would I?
My husband and I had one conversation about cloth vs disposable, three years ago before our daughter was born. It went as follows:
Me: (opening discussion by using the universal family signal: pressing mute on the TV remote) Honey, have you ever thought about cloth diapers?
Him: What?!? What are you talking about?
Me: You know, diapers that you wash after each use instead of throw out.
Him: (look of total confusion on his face) You wash them? Like in the washing machine? All that poo, in the washing machine?
Me: (nodding without enthusiasm) Yeah.
Him: Why would we do that?
Me: (puzzled) Um, I’m not sure.
Him: Well, there you have it. (grabs remote and unpresses mute)
A splinter of doubt needled me after I wrote my last post. In the post, I explained how it is possible to pull onesies down after poo explosions. Besides many parents declaring it a "life-changing" idea — and think of that what you will — quite a few others used the opportunity to praise cloth diapers: