Many conventional bedding options contain formaldehyde and chemical dyes. Not good. Especially since most children spend a lot of time in their beds. My kids read in bed and they are just starting to sleep late. As teenagers I’m sure they’ll be in their beds a lot if they take after their mom or dad.
Organic bedding doesn’t contain any of the chemicals that regular bedding has.
I recently tested out organic bedding from another company that ended up on my bed. As I mentioned, I’m slowly replacing old sheets with organic bedding. My next move was to find an organic sheet set for my kids. The timing was perfect when ettitude asked me to test out a sheet set.
Ettitude is an Australian based company founded by Phoebe Yu. She launched the shop in 2008 with the vision of making eco conscious living easy, affordable, and rewarding through a convenient online shopping environment.
The site isn’t limited to organic bedding. Ettitude sells bath towels, clothing and accessories, eco gifts and much more. I’ll be reviewing and giving away some of their bamboo socks in a few weeks!
The sheets are unbelievably soft. So soft that I have to admit that I want them on my bed! They are made from 100% bamboo and are true 300 thread count. According to their site: “Bamboo fabric can adjust to your body temperature, all of our bamboo bedding has very fast natural wicking abilities that allow it to be 3-4 times more absorbent than other fabrics”
Bamboo is a renewable resource, capable of regenerating without replanting.
If you like soft, luxurious sheets these are for you. My son comments every night on how soft his sheets are.
Be prepared to fork over a few bucks for these sheets. They’re not inexpensive. Depending upon the size of your bed the sheets can range from $152 for a single bed set up to $203 for a king bed sheet set.
I have struggled over the years trying to find non-toxic body lotions that actually work. During the winter months my skin gets incredibly dry so lotion is a must. I know that making my own lotion from scratch is the best choice, but that just isn’t an option for me on many levels (time, interest, patience). So store-bought lotion is the route I’ve chosen.
Keeping in mind that our skin is our largest organ and happily soaks up toxic chemicals from all those products we are placing on our bodies, my quest to find a safe lotion was top priority. Using EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database as my guide I managed to find a few body lotions that passed the non-toxic test and have helped to keep my skin happy all winter.
My Picks for Non-Toxic Body Lotions
Emily Baby & Adult Skin Soother (Unscented)
This lotion is the absolute best for eczema. It was originally formulated for the company owner’s infant, Emily. There are are 5 natural, high quality ingredients. Nothing Else. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a zero (out of a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk)! After rubbing it on my son’s dry skin I use it on my hands. There is virtually no scent. Love this stuff.
Dolphin Organics Hypoallergenic Simply Citrus Body Lotion
Dolphin Organics line of products is marketed as ‘kids body care’ products, but our entire family uses them. The lotion is fantastic-wonderful scent and really does the job with no sticky leftovers. The lotion is somewhat thick so not a lot is needed for each application. This lotion was rated a one (zero being the least toxic) by Skin Deep.
This is another great non-toxic body lotion option that’s not just for babies. I actually use this on my face. It’s a tiny bit greasy, but at night it works well. It has a light vanilla orange scent that isn’t overpowering. The lotion is NSF certified for containing organic ingredients. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a zero (out of a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk).
Tata Harper Reparative Moisturizer
If you are prepared to fork over a few bucks Tata Harper is well worth the investment. I use this lotion only on my face since I’m trying to conserve the lotion and the container is relatively small. My kids don’t get to touch this one! The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a two (out of a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk).
I reviewed Juice Beauty products a while back and was excited to discover that their moisturizer contained sun protection. This moisturizer blends chemical-free broad specturm SPF 30, and antioxidant rich grape, aloe and pomegranate juices for all skin types. It’s best used on your face and neck. The Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database has rated this product a three (out of a scale of 0-10 for low to high risk).
The ESP family. Hannah, the company President, is in red.
Essential Safe Products(ESP) has been a long-time supporter of Groovy Green Livin and I’m honored to have them on board. The site was started by a Florida mother of six who has always been dedicated to providing a healthy and safe environment for her family. She created ESP as a one-stop, easy and friendly resource for those looking to learn about and lead a non-toxic lifestyle in the kitchen and on-the-go. The site is great-offering a large selection of kitchenware and many other products that are free from toxic chemicals.
The site is filled with many non-toxic and eco-friendly products. Slowly I’ve been replacing things in my home with safer alternatives and ESP’s been helping me through the process. I’ve been using the glass Lifefactory water bottle for quite a while and it’s wonderful. I also ordered a few stainless steel cookie sheets and finally ditched the last non-stick holdouts in my kitchen.
Replacing plastic cups
Over the years I’ve replaced our plastic kiddie cups with glass. We have some nice glasses that we keep higher up on the shelves and then there are the ‘kid’ friendly glasses that are strategically placed within reach for the shorter (aka those under 12) people in our house. The glasses on the lower shelves generally have a life expectancy under 1 month. They are dropped regularly and replaced frequently.
Stainless steel Klean Kanteen Pint Cup
When Hannah from Essential Safe Products offered to send me a Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Pint Cup I was so excited. Finally a solution to the frequent glass shattering on the kitchen floor. After using this cup for a few weeks I have fallen head-over-heels in love. It’s durable, reusable, BPA-free, stackable and can be thrown in the dishwasher with the rest of our Klean Kanteen water bottles. The cup is perfect for the beach -no paper or plastic cups needed-and it keeps our drinks nice and cold.
Everyone knows that an organic smoothie tastes better with a straw-or at least my kids think so.
Neil Patrick Harris
We’ve been trying to kick the plastic straw habit for quite some time, but to no avail. It’s hard to say no at a restaurant with three kids in tow. ESP to the rescue. I received 4 RSVP Endurance Stainless Steel Straws to try out. They are fantastic. I can throw them in my bag and they are ready for the next drink or smoothie that comes my way. They are dishwasher safe, reusable, and help our family avoid single-use plastic straws. My only concern is that they will get dirty or grimy inside over time and they’ll be impossible to clean-but it hasn’t happened yet.
Thanks to the generosity of the folks at ESP- they are giving one Groovy Green Livin reader:
After the birth of my third child I suffered from insomnia that lasted well beyond the newborn phase. For those of you who haven’t experienced insomnia it’s pretty awful. During that year (yes, 12 months) of sleepless nights there were times when I was able to fall right asleep, but would then wake up and stare at the ceiling for hours unable to fall back asleep. There were other times when I was unable to fall asleep from the get-go and would lie awake for hours listening to my husbands sleeping breath, feeling envious of his uncanny ability to fall asleep the minute his head hits the pillow. I was desperate to find a way out of this horrible, sleep-deprived state.
More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
Between 40% and 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
Women are up to twice as likely to suffer from insomnia than men.
Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. use prescription sleep aids.
I turned to a combination of natural, non-toxic remedies for insomnia that ultimately did the trick-it took time and it wasn’t easy. I’ve happily joined the ranks of ”those” people whose eyes close the minute their head hits the pillow.
Acupuncture has been a part of my life for many years. I have used it for everything from plantar fasciitis to the flu. I knew from past experience that acupuncture really worked, so it was worth a shot for insomnia.
Through the insertion of needles into pressure points around the body, acupuncture helps to activate the body’sqi (our bodies natural energy or life-force) throughout the body. Insomnia was letting me know that my body was out of balance.
Drink chamomile tea which contains tryptophan (also found in turkey), an amino acid known for its tranquilizing effects. When taken as a tea infusion, these properties act as a relaxant in our bodies and help to promote sleep.
During my stint with insomnia I turned immediately towards my yoga practice. Kripalu style yoga was a perfect fit at the time-a combination of relaxation, meditation and postures. There are so many different types of yoga so it’s important to find a practice that meets your needs. I also went regularly to my massage therapist.
When I’m desperate for relief I often find myself buying out the entire Whole Body section at Whole Foods. I’m not big on taking anything, but I decided to try out a few natural sleep aides to see if anything would help. I was most interested in finding something that wasn’t addictive or would cause grogginess in the morning. Most of the products I purchased contained valarian. Valarian is a flowering plant that is native to both Europe and Asia and is now also grown in North America, has long been used medicinally particularly for sleep.
The combination of all of these things helped me put an end to sleepless nights. The trick is to find a combination of remedies that work for you.
Have you ever had insomnia? What do you do to get a good night’s sleep?
This is a guest post from Cassidy Randall. Cassidy is the Campaign and Outreach Manager at Women’s Voices for the Earth, a national organization that works to eliminate toxic chemicals that harm women’s health.
Green Momma Party
Of course you want to protect your baby from toxic chemicals lurking in your home – who doesn’t? But trying to figure out what those harmful chemicals are, where they might be hiding, and finding the safe alternatives can get overwhelming, fast. And the thought of doing all that on your own? Forget it!
Detoxing your home shouldn’t be a chore. So make it a party instead! A Green Momma Party, that is.
What is a Green Momma Party?
Green Momma Parties make creating a non-toxic home fun with a room-by-room guide for eliminating harmful chemicals, do-it-yourself recipes, and how-to videos. And even better – this is a party with a purpose. By hosting or going to a Green Momma Party, you’re not just taking steps to detox your home – you’re raising your voice to demand safer products in the first place.
Women have some incredible power for making meaningful change when it comes to eliminating toxic chemicals that impact the health of our families. At a Green Momma Party, you’ll get the chance to use it.
Did you know that women make 85% of purchasing decisions? That’s a ton of consumer power that we can use to convince companies to make safe products. Or did you know that regardless of political party, women consistently rate chemicals in the environment as a top concern? That’s also a hefty amount of political power to influence legislators to protect your health. When you raise your voice, major corporations and national policy-makers listen.
So how does a party fit into this? The Green Momma Party Guide, free for download on Women’s Voices for the Earth’s website, has everything you need to host a fabulous party, including Five Take Action Tips for Busy Mommas. Taking action is actually built into the agenda, between the room-by-room guide to avoiding harmful chemicals and making your own DIY recipes for healthy products. After you and your party guests have learned about toxic chemicals to avoid and economical solutions from the room-by-room guide, you’ll be fired up to take action to ensure that toxic chemicals don’t end up in our products in the first place. With just the click of a button on a laptop or smartphone, you’re using your consumer power to tell companies you want safer products, and to tell legislators that you want them to protect your health.
And don’t underestimate the click of a button. Your voice matters, and when you raise it, major corporations and elected officials listen.
What’s in the Green Momma Party Guide:
Room-by-Room Guide of hidden hazards and practical solutions
Do-it-Yourself recipes & how-to videos for each recipe
Non-Toxic Shopping Guide
Five Take Action Tips for Green Mommas
How to Host a Green Momma Party
Discussion Guide for the host to keep the conversation flowing
Today I’m getting on an airplane with my oldest son to take him to overnight camp. He’s going for four weeks, two weeks longer then last year. I wish I could say that I’m not freaking out, but I am. Thankfully, there’s a level of comfort sending him to this camp-he’ll be with two of his cousins and it happens to be the camp that I spent most of my summers during my own childhood. But four weeks is a long time. There doesn’t seem to be any apprehension on his part-he’s excited, packed and ready to go.
We’ve been packing for weeks. Two huge duffel bags are filled to the brim with the ‘stuff’ the camp suggests bringing on their packing list. 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 everything to pack, from how many pairs of underwear to number of stamps.
Whether it’s day camp or overnight, when you send a child to camp it means giving up control over that child for a few weeks. They will eat what they want and probably do things that they wouldn’t normally do at home. That’s what camp’s all about.
There are few essentials that I’m sending with him to try to keep his camp experience as non-toxic , eco-friendly and green as possible.
I’m sending my son to camp with a DEET free bug repellant. Buzzaway is our bug spray of choice this year. It contains a blend of wintergreen, citronella, cedarwood, peppermint and lemongrass oils and it works well.
DEET is the most widely used insect repellent in the US and is the leading ingredient in most conventional bug repellants. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) claims that as long as consumers follow label directions, insect repellents containing DEET aren’t dangerous. The tricky part is following the directions-most of us don’t and we end up applying too much bug repellent and leave it on our skin for far too long. DEET then becomes highly toxic.
There are also natural ways to treat bug bites. Check out a few of my favorites HERE.
He’s going to camp this year with shampoo that doesn’t contain any toxic chemicals.
At our house it’s not uncommon to find us barbequing year round. We have been known to trudge out to the barbeque on snowy days just for the sake of a juicy veggie burger (is there such a thing?). But now that summer is upon us the barbeque is ready for constant action.
As delicious as grilling is, research has shown that cancer-causing compounds are formed when protein foods (meats, poultry, and fish) are cooked at high heat. HERE are a few tips to keep your grilling green and healthy.
While you’re cooking your food here is a list of a few green accessories to help you create a delicious and safe meal:
These 12 inch skewers are perfect for making shish kabobs. Use them for veggies, tofu and/or fish, chicken or any other meat. Soak them in warm water before grilling to prevent burning of the skewers. Bamboo is a great green alternative to other woods. It is a renewable resource, capable of regenerating without replanting and it also has amazing anti-bacterial properties!
Have you ever tried to grill with a spatula that’s too short? I have and it doesn’t work! The heat kicks in and the food falls. This grilling tool set is great since the tools are actually meant for grilling and are each 19 inches long. The combination of bamboo and stainless steel make the set pretty darn eco-friendly.
This pan is perfect for spreading out food that might otherwise fall through the cracks. It does have slits-but much smaller than the spaces found on the grill. The pan is made from one of my favorite materials, stainless steel. It’s also easy to clean.
I have such a hard time grilling fish. The fish sticks to the grates and I seem to lose half the fish in the fire. The fish basket is great-it elevates the fish, or any other food, off the grates so the food can’t stick and it won’t burn. Ingenious! This basket is made from stainless steel.
Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! Is grilling in the plans for the weekend?
Lori Popkewitz Alper, Founder and Editor of Groovy Green Livin, provides eco-wellness consulting for businesses, schools, homes and individuals; and inspiration for a greener lifestyle through her Groovy Green Livin blog and website. Read more….