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June 10th, 2013

Non-Toxic Summer Camp Supplies

Groovy Green Livin camp supplies

The lower bunk bed in my son’s bedroom is covered with summer camp supplies. Two of my boys are heading to overnight camp in a few days. The packing has begun, but there’s so much more to do to get them ready for 4 weeks away at overnight camp.

I’m trying my best to remain calm. This is my oldest’s third year at this camp and my middle son’s first year. Thankfully, there’s a level of comfort sending them to this camp-they’ll be with five of their cousins and it happens to be the camp that I went to as a child. But four weeks is a long time.

My job right now is to follow the camp packing list and fill two huge duffle bags to the brim with the ‘stuff’ the camp suggests bringing to camp. If you and/or your children have gone to camp (overnight or day camp) you know that most camps have a  “packing list”. This list includes a run down of everything you need to pack, from underwear to stamps.

Whether it’s day camp or overnight, sending a child to camp means giving up control for a few weeks. I know that they’re going to eat food that they probably wouldn’t find at home, but I’m OK with that. That’s what camp’s all about.

Non-Toxic Summer Camp Supplies

Every year I try to find a few must-have camp supplies that go into their duffle bag. Here’s what I’m sending this year.

Sunscreen

I’ve shared my favorite safe non-whitening sunscreens this year and one of the brands will be included in the camp duffle bags. Episencial Sunny Screen SPF 35 is a great choice for any camper.Groovy Green Livin Summer Camp Supplies
The price point is right at just $11.85 for 2.5 fluid ounces.
I have another sunscreen of choice for camp this year: Badger All Natural SunscreenGroovy Green Livin Camp Supplies
. I didn’t have a sample of this sunscreen when I was reviewing sunscreens, but now I do and I really like what they’ve done this year. The sunscreen is a new formulation and it’s easy to apply and non-greasy. That was my biggest complaint with the original Badger.

Bug Repellent

I’m sending them both to camp with a DEET free bug repellent. We’ve been using Buzzaway  for a few years and it really works. Groovy Green Livin Camp SuppliesThere are also natural ways to treat bug bites. Check out a few of my favorites HERE.

Groovy Green Livin Camp Supplies
Body Wash and Shampoo

Our go-to shampoo again this year is Earth Mama-Angel Baby Organic Angel Baby Shampoo & Body Wash. Body wash and shampoo together? We’re killing two birds with one stone! Maybe they’ll actually use it when they shower?

Mabel’s Labels 

Groovy Green Livin Camp Supplies

I’m a big fan of Mabel’s Labels for labeling clothing. Everything that goes to camp has to be labeled or it won’t make it home. My favorite labels are the Tag Mates which stick directly onto the clothing tag and don’t come off! This year I decided to get the  Limited Edition Camp Combo Packs which includes a variety of labels.

Chapstick

My kids actually requested chapstick this year and it’s on the packing list as “optional”. I’ve been using Eco Lips Sport Spf 30 Organic Lip Balm Tube Groovy Green Livin Camp Suppliesand just bought a few tubes for them to take with them to camp.

I’ll keep you posted on how the send off goes. I’m trying to keep it together.

If you’re interested, HERE are a few more summer camp essentials.

What camp supplies do you send with your kids to summer camp?

 

Disclosure: There are a few affiliate links in this post. Any purchases made will help support this blog. Thanks!
Photo credit: Stock Photo © mandygodbehear #6469765
 

 

 

May 26th, 2011

Green Summer Tips Not to Be Missed

Green summer tips

The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is thought of by many as the unofficial start of summer. School work is tapering down and the vacation season is about to kick in.

It’s the perfect time for a roundup of tips, suggestions and lists that will help keep you and your family healthy and safe this sensational summer

SUNSCREEN: 2011 SafeMama Safer Sunscreen Cheat Sheet

The SafeMama has created a comprehensive list of safe and rockin’ sunscreens that are not to be missed.  All the sunscreens she approves must be free of Parabens, Phthalates, PEG’s (polyethylene glycols), Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, SLS/SLES and other toxic chemicals.

SafeMama has done her homework. She has personally tried many of the sunscreens and gives honest feedback about application, protection and ingredients.

GRILLING: Greening Your Grilling

Fire it up safely this summer: before grilling check out these tips.

LAWN CARE: Lawn Care Quick Tips

Think before you apply pesticides to your lawn. Do you really want your children or pets rolling around in toxic chemicals? Is it worth exposing them to pesticides or herbicides so your lawn can look pristine?

GARAGE OR YARD SALE: 9 Tips for a Successful Garage or Yard Sale

Now that all of the spring cleaning is done (right?), what do you do with all the “stuff” you no longer need? Here’s some great advice from the Green and Clean Mom for having  a successful yard or garage sale.

FRUITS AND VEGGIES: Top 12 Fruits and Vegetables to Buy Organic

Its so nice to see all the locally grown fruits and vegetables starting to appear in the market. While buying organic is always the better option, it is impossible and cost prohibitive to buy everything organic. So how do we decide which fruits and vegetables to buy organic? Check out this handy dandy list of which fruits and vegetables have the most pesticides. The 2011 Guide will be out soon once USDA releases its latest round of produce testing.

Any other green summer tips to share?

If this post helped you, please share it. And please grab our RSS feed or sign up for free e-mail updates to get more Groovy Green info hot off the press! Thanks!

[Top photo used under Creative Commons from Lin Pernille/Flickr]

 

April 18th, 2011

B Kind 2 Earth Day

b kind 2 earth day

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970.  Fast forward 41 years and the celebration continues on Friday, April 22, 2011–just a few days away.  Nickelodeon, The Motherhood and The Natural Wildlife Federation have launched a pretty cool initiative this year: Be Kind 2 Earth Day.

Hopefully all of us can be a part of this national project- all you have to do is “like” B Kind 2 Earth Day on Facebook and by doing so you are pledging to do one nice thing for the Earth on April 22nd. No worries if you don’t have a Facebook account-you can still do something good for mother earth.

I think we can all commit to at least one green act of kindness towards the earth, no matter how big or small.earth day

The possibilities are infinite: go for a bike ride,  pick up garbage on the sidewalk, plant a garden, get a group of friends together and clean up a playground or park, take a walk, make a bird feeder.

This year I am pledging to keep my reusable bags in the front seat of my car so I actually remember them.  I am also going to refuse plastic straws at restaurants as part of  an initiative by Beth Terry over at My Plastic Free Life to get restaurants to stop automatically handing out plastic straws.

B Kind 2 Earth Day is keeping track of where all this kindness is happening-just add in your state and it will be included in the tally.  I am a state leader for Massachusetts, helping to spread the word about this wonderful project.

So this Friday, and every day, try to get outside and appreciate our planet. Just think-if everyone showed one act of kindness towards the earth the impact would be huge. Let’s take it one step beyond Earth Day and keep it going year round so our planet will be here for generations to come.

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?

Share this post to spread the word and get others to join in B Kind 2 Earth Day. Please grab our RSS feed or sign up for free e-mail updates to get more Groovy Green info hot off the press! Thanks!

[Photo used under Creative Commons from Woodleywonderworks/Flickr]

 

April 5th, 2011

5 cutting edge green inventions

green invention

Looking at the latest and greatest in green inventions, not only are they are pretty cool but they can also help reduce your carbon footprint.  Green inventions and clean technologies are popping up everywhere because inventors know that going green is good business.

There are so many to choose from, each attempting to make your life a bit simpler and a bit greener.  Not all will make it big-just a few of the many will catch on and go viral.

Hop on over to Eco Snobbery Sucks and take a look at my pick of 5 green inventions that are poised to go viral.

Let me know if you think any of the five have what it takes to make it big. I’ll let you know which is my favorite.

[ photo used under Creative Commons from O Palsson /Flickr]

January 10th, 2011

Top 10 Western U.S. Eco-Friendly Ski Resorts

Ski season 2011 is in full swing.  Here on the East Coast there is a mixture of  natural snow and the man-made stuff, making the conditions  perfect for any skier or rider.  Skiing truly is a great way for a family to spend quality time together in the great outdoors.

Wherever your skiing adventures take you, there are many ski resorts to choose from. Most of us choose a resort based upon location, but know little about the individual ski areas’ environmental practices and policies.

The Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition put together a guide of  the Top 10 and Worst 10 Western U.S. Ski Resorts based on the resorts environmental policies and practices. It is their mission to  provide ski areas with a standard on which to improve.

They used 4 categories to rank the resorts:

  • Habitat Protection
  • Protecting Watersheds
  • Addressing Global Climate Change
  • Environmental Practices and Policies

Here are the 2011 Top 10 Environmentally Friendly Ski Resorts:

  1. Squaw Valley-California
  2. Park City Mountain Resort-Utah
  3. Alpine Meadows Ski Area-California
  4. Aspen Mountain Ski Resort-Colorado
  5. Aspen Highlands Ski Resort-Colorado
  6. Buttermilk Mountain Ski Resort-Colorado
  7. Deer Valley Resort-Utah
  8. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort-Wyoming
  9. Sundance Resort-Utah
  10. Bogus Basin Mountain Resort-Idaho

According to Norma Ruth Ryan of the Colorado Wild (the umbrella organization for  the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition), for the time being they have no intention of expanding their report card into the Midwest or East Coast.

So I am starting my own Top East Coast Environmentally Friendly Ski Resorts list:

  1. Shawnee Peak in Bridgton, Maine is a wonderful family mountain. It has a long list of green initiatives, making it appear to be very eco-friendly.

Disclaimer: I didn’t use the same method used by the Ski Area Citizens’ Coalition to make this determination. We ski at this mountain on a regular basis and see first hand how conscientious the mountain truly is.

When planning a family vacation-choose your ski resort wisely. By making eco-friendly  choices, you can encourage the improvement of environmental business policies and practices at ski resorts.

Know any other great, green resorts that should be included?

Interested in the list of the the 10 Worst Ski Resorts-click HERE.

*Top photo used under Creative Commons from Planetlight

November 15th, 2010

Host a Party, Raise Awareness-Healthy Child Healthy World

Healthy Child Healthy World is a non-profit involved in  raising awareness and responsibility, inspiring parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. Their site provides a forum which informs and inspires millions of people to take action and create cleaner, greener, safer environments for children and families. It is a place to find up-to-date information on current topics concerning children and their environment. Healthy Child Healthy World is  my go-to site for so many topics.

I was thrilled when they asked me to host one of their Healthy Home Parties and then blog about it. These parties were created as way of educating and empowering family, friends, schools and the community to create healthy living environments for children.

One afternoon a big box arrived at my door and I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. I knew that Klean Kanteen and Luna were the biggie sponsors -but there were samples, coupons and information from so many others.

I was amazed to see how many companies had jumped on-board, offering samples and information -ready to make the world a safer place for our kids.

We were eager to try out the products and use the coupons. Each family was set up with a goody bag filled with an assortment of samples, coupons, information and instructions from me: try out the products and let me know what you think.

There is nothing like trying out a new, exciting product with your children-especially when there is no question that the products are completely non-toxic and safe.  Here are some of our children checking out the goods.  Sometimes a picture says a thousand words……..at least when sampling snacks is involved.

Here is one happy guy enjoying the Clif Kid Organic Twisted Fruit.  My kids loved these too.  Not only do they taste yummy they are also allergy friendly for those of us with food sensitivities in our families.

Nothing like some fun bubble bath from Yes to Carrots to provide hours of non-toxic entertainment in the tub.  Check out these two cuties on the right-someday they will be completely mortified that this photo was used.


These two red-headed brothers were willing to try all the samples their parents were willing to share. They admitted to loving the  Luna bars.

Lots of delicious samples were had by all.  Each sample was yet another example of how  snacks can be healthy, non-toxic and taste great.  I think they all agreed! The non-toxic bubble bath and floor cleaners were also a big hit.

My guys showing their support for Klean Kanteen water bottles.

There were many other products highlighted-cleaners, Klean Kanteen water bottles, CleanWell Hand Sanitizer and many others.  It was nice to share alternatives to the many harmful, toxic  products on the market.  Hopefully, with the information and coupons, we can all make at least one simple change that will create a safer world for us all.

If you are interested in hosting your very own Healthy Home Party click HERE.

September 29th, 2010

Green Teens Take on Abercrombie & Fitch

If you are in the 20 and under crowd, Abercrombie & Fitch is probably your go-to clothing store.  The store lures you in with its loud music, beautiful sales people, scantly clad mannequins and trendy fashions. As you walk by the store it is hard to miss the strong smell of fragrance wafting out the doors.  I have to admit, I like going in the store; I like the loud music and I like the clothes-but the smell is enough to make me want to hightail it out of there.

A&F has quite a reputation; accusations of discriminatory hiring practices and the use of ripped, naked models in advertising campaigns geared towards children and young adults.  Now they are adding “potentially poisoning employees and customers” to their growing list of reputation busters.

Turns out A&F is spraying its fragrance “Fierce” inside and outside its stores. Not only do they ask employees to spray the fragrance in and around the store, but they instruct them to wear it when they are working.  According to a new study by Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, A&F Fierce contains 11 secret chemicals not listed on the label, some of which are linked to asthma, allergies and sex hormone disruption.

Now the 20 and under crowd is outraged and ready to do something about it. Teens Turning Green is a national organization of youth transforming the world by working to eliminate toxic exposures that threaten our health and the environment. They are calling on A&F to stop spraying its fragrance.

As part of a joint effort, The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics sent a letter to the CEO of  A&F asking them to immediately stop this practice of spraying its stores and clothes with fragrance and, in the longer term, to reformulate its fragrances to remove hazardous chemicals and fully disclose all of the ingredients. A protest was held in front of A&F in San Francisco’s Westfield Mall on Tuesday, September 28, 2010.

WHAT YOU CAN DO?

 

  1. Sign the online petition to stop the spray.
  2. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has launched a social media blitz on Twitter and Facebook Wednesday to Friday (September 29 to October 1), demanding that A&F stop spraying. You can post a stop-the-spray message on the A&F’s  Facebook page and spread the word on Twitter. FYI-you have to “like” them on Facebook before you can comment.
  3. For more information on hidden chemicals in popular fragrances, refer back to the Campaigns Not so Sexy Report, and check out Teens Turning Green’s tips and materials for on-the-ground actions at A&F stores.
  4. Don’t buy it.

WATCH THIS :

Other related articles:

Abercrombie and Fitch (Deservedly) Earns Green Teens’  Wrath with Mall Protest

Abercrombie and Fitch -Stop the Spray

Hey Abercrombie and Fitch: Something Stinks

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I like to make noise and stir the pot especially when an issue hits home and effects the health of our families. Join me as I make some noise and share along the way tips for living a green and healthy life. Read more.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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Lori on ABC World News

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