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June 26th, 2017

Why Mineral Sunscreen is a Safer Choice

This time of year most of us are slathering on sunscreen before we head out the door. We all know how challenging it is to get our kids to wear sunscreen, but it’s a necessity if we want to avoid skin cancer. I’ve been forced to make the switch to a non-aerosol spray mineral sunscreen since that’s all my kids will wear.

The skin cancer risk increases for those who had at least five blistering sunburns when they were 15 to 20 years old. They have a 68 percent increased risk for common skin cancers like basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and an 80 percent increased risk of the deadlier melanoma by the time they reached middle age.

Time to #GiveChemicalsTheBird and make the switch to safer sunscreens! Click To Tweet

Mineral sunscreens are great for those with sensitive skin

Most traditional sunscreens use toxic chemical sunscreens that absorb and scatter the sun’s rays into the skin. Along with those ultraviolet (UV) rays, the chemicals are absorbed and can get into the bloodstream. The skin is the body’s largest organ—let’s protect it! Sunscreen chemicals can trigger allergies and other skin reactions. Since natural minerals reflect the UV rays and aren’t absorbed into the skin, they are much less likely to cause irritation. This makes mineral sunscreens a great choice for those with sensitive skin or anyone who wants to avoid synthetic chemicals.

Why Mineral Sunscreen is a Safer Choice Groovy Green Livin

Mineral sunscreens are immediately effective and don’t break down in the sun

Most of us have heard that we should wait 20 minutes after applying sunscreen before heading into the sun. Do you know why? The chemicals go through a reaction with your skin before they’re effective. Chemical sunscreens also break down quickly in the sun, requiring not-so-safe ingredients as stabilizers. Liquid plastics are also often added to keep the chemicals from being absorbed too quickly. Natural mineral sunscreens aren’t as complicated. They’re immediately effective and stay that way—no liquid plastics or toxins required.

Minerals sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection, naturally

Chemical sunscreens guard against the burning rays (UVB), but not all of them protect against early skin aging. It’s important to check the label to be sure a sunscreen provides natural broad-spectrum protection from both UVB (burning) rays, as well as the UVA (aging and damaging) rays, as zinc oxide does.

Mineral sunscreens are reef safe

Chemical-based sunscreens can cause harmful damage to the world’s coral reefs. By making the switch to a safer, mineral sunscreen you can help stop this damage.

Why I love Goddess Garden mineral sunscreen

Every year I do my best to test out several sunscreens and share my findings with you throughout the summer. Goddess Garden consistently makes it onto my “favorites” list over and over. Last year Goddess Garden was one of my Top Picks for Safe Sunscreens for Kids. This year Goddess Garden showed up as one of the top Safer Spray Sunscreens for Kids, Teens, and Adults in 2017.

Here are a few of my favorite Goddess Garden products:

Have you made the switch to mineral sunscreen?

Disclosure: Some links are affiliate links meaning,at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support! 


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May 25th, 2017

What to Bring to Summer Camp

Every morning one of my kids makes the countdown announcement: “Only ten more days until summer!” We still have a few more weeks of school here in the Northeast, but summer vacation is right around the corner. And everyone’s ready.

Once school winds down preparations for summer camp kick in. Woo hoo! I have such amazing memories of sleepaway camp. I secretly wish I was going too.

Over the years we’ve created an ongoing list of personal care products that my kids like AND use at camp. There are a few products that seem to work well year after year so we continue to use them. The list has been expanded to include a few newer products that look great on paper but still need to pass the kid test (come home used and loved).

Here are a few of our favorite summer camp suggestions

SHAMPOO: Acure Organics ($8)

summer camp Groovy Green LivinWe’ve been using Acure Organics Shampoo for a few years and everyone seems to love it. It comes in a flexible container which makes it easier to pack for summer camp.

Summer Camp Groovy Green LivinBUG REPELLENT: Kosmatology Bug Repellent Skin Balm ($8)

This year we’re trying Kosmatology DEET-Free Bug Repellent. I like that it comes in a stick, making it easy for the kids to apply on their own or carry in their pocket. I was recently introduced to Kosmotology and I’m really liking their products so far. They also have a hand sanitizer made with organic ingredients that we’ll be sending along.

Kosmatology DEET-Free Bug Repellent contains a mixture of organic herbs and essential oils which all have been shown to repel insects the natural way without the use of DEET. Seeing the MADE SAFE certification on the bug repellent was reassuring. MADE SAFE is America’s first nontoxic seal for products we use every day, from baby to personal care to household and beyond. They certify that products are made with safe ingredients not known or suspected to harm human health.

SUNSCREEN: Goddess Garden Organics Kids Sport Spray Sunscreen ($13)

summer camp Groovy Green Livin I’m not a fan of spray sunscreens but I’ve added this to the list since it’s the only type of sunscreen my kids will use.

Goddess Garden Kids Natural Sunscreen is our sunscreen of choice for camp this summer. The ingredients are safe and it doesn’t go on thick and white. In addition to the regular tube of sunscreen, it also comes in a pump bottle and a spray bottle.summer camp Groovy Green Livin

DENTAL FLOSS: Desert Essence  Dental Floss ($6)

Everyone should be flossing! Even at summer camp. Brushing your teeth without flossing is like cleaning 70% of your body. Many conventional dental floss brands can contain a Teflon coating, which can be toxic. Desert Essence Dental Floss is a naturally waxed floss that contains no alcohol or artificial detergents, colors or synthetic perfusummer camp Groovy Green Livinmes and no animal ingredients or testing.

SOAP: Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap ($11 for 2 bars)

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Bar Soaps are biodegradable, vegan, gentle and versatile. They can be used at summer camp as a body wash or for the face and hair!

If you need clothing labels I’ve got you covered!  

Groovy Green Livin Camp Supplies

Everything that goes to camp has to be labeled or it won’t make it home (sometimes it still doesn’t make it home!). I’ve been using Mabel’s Labels for labeling clothing for many years. I’ve tried different brands but they don’t seem to stay on the clothing as well after a few washes.  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.

Do you have any summer camp favorites to add to the list?

My list changes a bit each year. Here are a few summer camp favorites from years past:

January 25th, 2017

Best Non-Toxic Lip Balm for Kids and Adults

Raise your hand if your lips are chapped. I have tubes of lip balm everywhere, ready to be applied over and over throughout the day.

This is the time of year when many of us have dry, cracked lips. With the wind, snow, and lack of humidity, chapped lips are here to stay for a few more weeks. That leaves many of us searching for the best way to treat our lips with care.

There are plenty of lip balms out there, but not all are created equal.

Best Non-Toxic Lip Balm for Kids and Adults Groovy Green Livin

Many conventional lip balms contain petroleum byproducts which don’t belong on your lips. These petroleum based ingredients have many different names including:

  • Paraffin Wax
  • Mineral Oil
  • Toluene
  • Benzene

Petroleum products are possibly contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals and may also cause allergic reactions in some. The European Union has mandated that petrolatum used in cosmetics has to proven to be non-carcinogenic.

Since what you put on your lips goes into your body I’ve spent the past few weeks searching for a few safe, non-toxic lip balm options.

I have a few favorite lip balms to share with you.

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm

I’ve been a fan of everything made by Dr. Bronner’s for many years. Best Non-Toxic Lip Balm for Kids and Adults Groovy Green LivinDr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balms (Naked, Peppermint, Lemon Lime, Orange Ginger)  are some of my favorites. Made with organic beeswax, organic jojoba, avocado and hemp oils these are top notch. They’re also certified organic!

Badger Organic Lip Balm

Badger Organic Lip Balm actually moisturizes your lips rather than drying them out like other conventional lip balms. It goes on smoothly and is long-lasting with a fantastic texture and smell. There’s an unscented version for those who don’t want any fragrance. All the ingredients are good enough to eat.

LEAP Organics Lip Balm

LEAP Organics Eucalyptus, Mint, And Shea Butter Lip Balm is Certified Organic. With a combination of coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter this is a great lip balm. I’m a fan of the Eucalyptus Mint flavor.

Lulu Organics Lip Balm

I’m in love with Lulu Organics Ruby Mint Lip Balm. This company is a small, organic beauty company based in upstate New York. All products are handmade from simple and safe ingredients including organic hemp oil, organic olive oil, organic jojoba oil, organic almond oil, organic coconut oil and more! This is not a good choice for those with a nut allergy. It also comes in another flavor, Organic Cardamom Lip Balm.

If you really want to know what’s going in and on your body try making your own lip balm. I gave it a shot HERE.

I also have a few non-toxic lipstick suggestions. Check them out HERE.

Do you have a favorite lip balm? I would love to hear what you use and why.


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclosure: Some links on this page are affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. None of the companies have paid me, I just really like their products!
September 8th, 2016

3 Safer Laundry Detergents

 

 

3-safer-laundry-detergentsEvery summer all three of my boys go to sleepaway camp. When they come home their duffle bags are a disaster. Clothing is jammed inside mixed together with sand, dirt and other surprises. Laundry is one of my least favorite activities, but when my kids come from home from camp it’s a must.

When it comes to laundry detergents, some really are safer than others. Making your own is always the best option but isn’t for everyone (like me!). Instead, I’ve opted for investing the time to find safer brands that actually work.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Better Life Laundry Detergent, Lavender Grapefruit

I’ve been using Better Life products for many years. Better Life Laundry Detergent contains no harsh chemicals and has a lovely scent that’s not overpowering like so many conventional detergents. It works great on colors and fairly well on whites and received an “A” in EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

 Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder

Molly’s Suds Laundry Powder is amazing. I was introduced to this brand last year at ShiftCon. After meeting the founder and hearing her story, I was hooked.  This detergent doesn’t contain harsh chemicals, dyes and synthetic fragrance, toxins, preservatives, and GMOs. It’s also safe for septic systems and High Efficiency (HE) washers. I really want to try their Molly’s Suds All Sport Liquid Laundry WashIt received an “A” in EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

Green Shield Organic Laundry Detergent, Free & Clear

GreenShield Organic USDA Organic Free & Clear Laundry Detergent is a staple in my home. It was created by a dad on a mission to protect families from the harmful chemicals found in most cleaning products. Their products are certified organic, which means that their products must contain 95% or higher organic ingredients. It received an “A” in EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

What’s your favorite laundry detergent? I would love to hear!


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 Disclaimer: Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you), which in turn helps support this site. None of the companies I promote on this page have paid me, I just really like their products. Thank you! 
April 13th, 2016

Better Life Loves Target and Here’s Why

Better Life Loves Target Groovy Green Livin

Thank you to Better Life for sponsoring this post

Last week I had a few hours to kill while my son was at soccer practice. There was a Target nearby so I decided to run a few errands. While walking up and down the aisles at Target I was amazed by the number of organic and natural products displayed throughout the store. I was thrilled to see a brand that I’ve been using for many years prominently displayed on their shelves: Better Life!

Better Life Groovy Green Livin

For a limited time Better Life Natural Cleaning Products are being featured in the seasonal section of over 800 Target stores.

Why I Use Better Life

Some of my favorite non-toxic cleaning products are from Better Life. A few years ago I worked closely with the company as an official blogger. Do you remember when Better Life was on Shark Tank? They’ve really taken off with a new look and a new motto: “Safe for the Mess Makers (Not the Mess)”. Their products are plant-derived and are free of dyes, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and petroleum solvents. They’re also biodegradable, packaged in recyclable containers, and never tested on animals.

Created by two dads, Better Life has come up with a line of non-toxic cleaning products that keep kids, pets and the planet safe. And their ingredients are actually all listed on the label. Something you don’t always see on cleaning products since manufacturers are NOT required to list all ingredients. Not only are their products safe, but they don’t cost a fortune.

Enter the SweepstakesBetter Life Loves Target Groovy Green Livin

Better Life Natural Cleaning Products are now available in more Target stores than ever from March 27 through May 13.

They’re celebrating this partnership with a massive 6- week sweepstakes through May 13th.

To enter choose any of the options HERE, but keep in mind: sharing a photo of the Target display on the Better Life Facebook page, on Twitter, or on Instagram with the #BetterLifeLovesTarget hashtag will give you more entries. The more you share between March 27 and May 13, 2016 the more chances you have to win the Grand Prize!

Grand Prize: Better Life’s No Dirt Left Behind Kit valued at $139.49, a $500 Target gift card, and a gift basket of some of their favorite natural brands.

Head to the site to ENTER !

The winner will be drawn and announced at 5pm CST on Friday, May 13th

If you’re planning to head out to buy some of your favorite Better Life products don’t forget to print out a $1 off coupon.

Have you tried Better Life? What’s your favorite product? I’m loving the Floor Cleaner for my hardwood floors.


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclaimer: I’m working in partnership with Better Life for this post and I am compensated for my work. I also received several Better Life products to test out. The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

 

 

 

March 8th, 2016

It Can Be Done! Bringing Safe Deodorant to Students

It Can Be Done! Bringing Safe Deodorant to Students

This is a story about deodorant.

If you’ve been following along for a while, you know that one of my favorite sayings is “Together we can change the world“.

I’ve seen it happen over and over.

Here’s yet another example of how a small change can have a big impact-and the starring community in this story is none other than my very own.

Bringing Safe Deodorant Into the Schools

Here’s the back story.

In 5th grade all students in our community have the opportunity to watch a “puberty movie”. It’s a right of passage throughout our country for many kids about to reach puberty. The film talks about what to expect as they approach puberty. I’ve never had a problem with the content shared with the kids. It’s age appropriate and reinforces the information that they’re (hopefully) receiving at home.

Throughout the video there is mention that kids this age should start wearing deodorant. There was also mention of using an antiperspirant, which is not safe for any age.

Each of my sons walked away from that 18 minute video with one piece of information. They needed to start wearing deodorant immediately. They even came home with a sample to test out.

The sample was a conventional deodorant filled with all sorts of ingredients that I really didn’t want under their arms.

I wrote about my concerns. Twice. Which prompted discussions with the principal, community members and the PTA.

For many years the state was supplying samples of deodorant for the kids. And then there were budget cuts. After a tremendous effort was made by the PTA it turned out that the cost of supplying a safe, non-toxic, deodorant sample to the entire student population was cost prohibitive. As most of us know, the safer deodorants tend to be more pricey than the conventional deodorants and antiperspirants and many don’t come in sample size.

But the PTA didn’t give up. One of the board members graciously reached out to a contact at one of my favorites-Tom’s of Maine– and they agreed to help out and share their new Tom’s of Maine Wicked Cool! Boys and Girls Deodorants with our 5th graders!

This deodorant doesn’t contain aluminum, parabens, artificial fragrances, colors or preservatives. I couldn’t think of a better product to introduce young children to their first dose of deodorant.

As many of you know, I’ve been working with Tom’s of Maine as a brand ambassador and part of their Goodness Circle for the past two years. I love this company for so many reasons and the list just got longer.

Big shout-out to all the parent volunteers who made this happen and for Tom’s of Maine who was willing to invest in a group of kids. Many times that first sample is what they’ll end up using for many years to come. It’s nice to know that their first exposure to deodorant will be safe.

If you’re looking to find this deodorant, specifically made for teens, you can find it online or at your local Target.

Check out my list of safe deodorants for teens and tweens HERE.

Does your 5th graders watch the “puberty movie”? Do they come home with samples? I would love to hear about it.


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.



photo credit: Here they come!!!! via photopin (license)

January 27th, 2016

My Search for a Safe Mattress: Sleep on Latex Review

My Search for a Safe Mattress: Sleep on Latex Review Groovy Green Livin

Over the years I never gave much thought to mattresses. It was a place to rest our heads at night, with comfort being the prevailing factor. They were purchased on an as-needed basis.

And then I had a revelation. There’s so much more than comfort that needs to be taken into consideration when buying a new mattress for your bed. And it’s very confusing!

Here I was spending countless hours researching the safety of personal care products, cleaning products and food and I had never given a second thought to our mattress. Let’s face it, most of us spend a lot of time in bed. When it comes to infants and toddlers, they spend close to half of their early life in contact with a mattress. Americans age 15 and over spend on average about 8.8 hours sleeping.

The bad news is that a conventional mattress can contain a toxic combination of chemicals – from petrochemicals, to dyes and additives and chemical flame retardants. If we’re spending around 8 hours in bed each night that’s a lot of time spent breathing in whatever toxins your mattress is off-gassing.

The good news: there are safer options out there. Just as I began my search to replace an old mattress I was asked to review Pure Green by Sleep on Latex. Perfect timing. I was intrigued.

What is latex?

100% Natural latex is made with a milky white liquid that is extracted from a Hevea-Brasilienis tree, better known as a rubber tree. Rubber trees are native to South America and were spread around the world in the 19th century because of their great value. They are tapped in a very similar way to the way that maple trees are tapped for their maple syrup!

This is a very environmentally friendly way to create a material, because the trees must be grown for several years before they will yield latex, and then each tree can be used for up to twenty years. The process of harvesting natural latex is highly sustainable because it promotes the long-term growth of large numbers of trees. After the latex is collected from the rubber trees, it is thickened and then baked at very high temperatures. It then turns into the latex used to make my new Sleep on Latex mattress.

Sleep on Latex Mattress Review

The mattress came rolled up in a box. It was hard to imagine how a Pure Green 9 inch firm mattress fit into this box. But it did.My Search for a Safe Mattress Sleep on Latex Review Groovy Green Livin

Once unwrapped it very quickly sprang to life and was placed on our bed frame. I was grateful that there were no strong odors associated with this new addition to our bedroom. We couldn’t wait to try it out.

My Search for a Safe Mattress Sleep on Latex Review Groovy Green Livin

We crawled into bed that night after a great day skiing with the kids. The mattress was firm (there’s a choice of soft, medium and firm when ordering) and incredibly comfortable. Pure Green latex foam contains absolutely no synthetic latex or fillers. The covering is made from 100% cotton knit fabric made with GOTS certified organic yarn.

No toxic flame retardants

Sleep on Latex uses 100% New Zealand wool, which adds a thin layer of softness and comfort to the surface of the mattress.  The wool has inherent fire resistant properties and provides an effective fire barrier.  This allows the Pure Green™ Natural Latex Mattress to naturally comply with federal flammability regulations without the use of any fire retardant chemicals or barriers.

If you’re looking to dump your old mattress the Sleep on Latex site has great info on how to recycle your old mattress.

The cost

New mattresses are not inexpensive, but a safe, non-toxic selection is a good investment. The pricing is dependent upon the size and thickness and can range from $649.00 – $1,700.00 with free shipping.

Bottom Line: I really love this mattress. The materials used are pure, without any synthetic latex or fillers. It’s incredibly comfortable and there are no awful smells from off gassing. I was impressed by their use of organic cotton and 100% New Zealand wool as a fire barrier. The cost is a bit steep, with a queen, 9 inch mattress in the $1,200 range.

*If you have a latex allergy this clearly isn’t a good option for you! 

Are you looking for a new, safer mattress? What have you found?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclosure: Thank you to the kind folks at Sleep on Latex for sending me a mattress for review.  All opinions are my own. Always.

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About Lori

Hi! I’m Lori, a recovering attorney, writer, and mom to three boys. Join me as I uncover and share the latest info on healthy living. Learn more.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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