Monday, February 25, 2008

which is greener?

if you aren't familiar with danny seo's blog "daily danny" check it out this week quiz week-which is greener?
he answers questions that we all ask ourselves on a regular basis:
so far:
paper vs. plastic
hand washing vs. dishwasher

you'll be surprised by the answers...

reduce recycling?

i'm not a huge new year's resolution girl. let's face it, i have enough guilt in my life. i don't need to add 'didn't fulfill new year's resolution...again' to my list. but this year we are really trying to stick with this new year's resolution, which is to pick 3 small places to be more green each month. for february one of our focuses (foci? whatever.) was to reduce our recycling. which sounds totally counter-intuitive right? but really that downcycling of the things you recycle takes a ton of energy. why not just buy things with less packaging? we investigated our top 3 offenders after careful recycling review. and they are:

1. plastic milk containers - if you have kids, it's OOC (out of control). we use 2 full gallons of milk per week. that's 2 plastic gallons. it's a lot. plus, even before this household initiative, these irritated me for the sheer fact that you put one of these in your recycling bag and it's almost totally full. annoying. so here are the options to reduce the plastic. and the annoyance.

cartons - bob swears the milk tastes "different" too bad bob. plus, being paper, it blocks the light and keeps the nutrients in. thats good for everyone.

glass bottles - you can get milk delivered. to your house. seriously. in glass milk containers. then when they do the next delivery, they pick up the glass bottles and clean and reuse them. so cool. you can also order lots of other things too, like half and half, butter, etc. crescent ridge dairy also sells at whole foods if you like the idea but don't want to deal with delivery. you pay an extra 1.00 at checkout and you get it back when you return the bottle.

2. plastic juice containers - ditto on these. cartons only.

3. little yogurt cups - toby is on a 95% yogurt diet. this means many many many individual serving cups in our recycling. those had to go. i bought some glad containers and buy the big ole things of yogurt at the store.

another big offender in our house is beer bottles. but i figure those can go out on the curb because there are those less fortunate than i who pick them up in the wee hours with their shopping carts and turn them in for 5 cents. i'm ok with that.

check out the offenders in your house, i bet you can reduce your recycling too. and then you can feel smug. like me. and if you have any thoughts on how to reduce recycling, please post them here!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

local greenie stores

it's so fun driving around new england finding eco-friendly stores, they seem to be just everywhere and they all have their own vibe and all the owners are so different and fantastic. i'm sure you all don't spend your free time checking out these stores so i thought i'd post them here in a condensed list. i am not limiting to stores that carry toby + rei merchandise, that would just be un-american. i am simply listing my massachusetts favorites. i'll do another post that includes the rest of new england soon i promise!

crunchy granola baby - salem ma.
i have so many nice things to say about this store and it's fantastically funny and verbose owner jennie. it's located in witch central, on washington street. this cute little store is jam packed with all things organic. when you walk into the store you feel like you walked right into someones house for coffee and you don't really want to leave. there is a large area in back for toddler art classes and a sitting area for moms to feed their babes. jennie is a big proponent of locally owned businesses, such as toby + rei and buddha belly skincare, but she carries her share of big names too, like under the nile, haba toys, kate quinn organics, bamboosa etc. the store also has lots of super crunchy classes, like natural childbirth classes and make your own cleaning supplies. did i say make your own cleaning supplies? what's crunchier than that? love it. you must go.

hatched - jamaica plain, ma.
this store is so FREAKIN cute! it's literally the size of my bedroom but it is so fun and bright and cheerful. they carry toys, baby clothes galore - including one of my personal fav's nui organics, shoes, eco-friendly diapering options etc. really nice staff and the owner liz is very cool, you would like her and her fantastic store.

greenward- cambridge, ma.
this store is a local media darling. i feel like i can't open a paper lately without seeing some item about greenward. the attention is well deserved. it's located on mass ave near porter square sort of underground (think laverne and shirleys apartment - the apartment before they moved to hollwood). husband and wife scott walker and simone alpen are the owners and they are way cooler than all of us i'm afraid. simone organizes the bizarre bazaar and scott is an urban planner turned retail store operator. they do such a fabulous job buying for this store, they have everything, from eco friendly greeting cards, to jewelry to natural cleaning products. it's everything eco under one very cool roof. check it out, all the local media peeps can't be wrong.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

bisphenol, babies and bottles - oh my!

i know, i know, something ELSE to worry about, bisphenol a. what the heck IS that? i mean, really, am i some chemist? but here's the scoop, it ain't good. and it's in most plastic baby bottles, nipples and pacifiers. the plastic leaches a chemical bisphenol a into the breast milk or formula or if you are britney, the coke in your kid's sippy. so i have done a little research on the alternatives for you, lovely reader, and of course i will start with the cutest option:
green to grow
these are hands down the cutest, and the colors are so pleasing. they aren't cheap my friends, $10.00 a bottle + separate nipples. but look, aren't they sweet? the little purple face? i love it! green to grow is also working on a sippy cup adapter for their bottles, but in the meantime avent makes a BPA free sippy spout that works with their 10oz bottles. so stay tuned.

born free
these are the plastic bisphenol a free versions. they sell in packs, so 8 bottles + 4 nipples + a sippy cup for $80.00. born free also has a glass bottle version. on the whole i felt that these are very functional looking, if you like that sort of thing. (can you tell which ones i purchased? i have such a good poker face)

nurture pure
this company makes glass baby bottles which is a great totally plastic free alternative. if you don't have to worry about daycare rules, clumsy husband etc. etc. on the plus side, it's a much cheaper option than the plastic mentioned above, $3.99 for an 8oz bottle and $3.50 for a 3 pack of silicone nipples. which brings me to my next point, which is:

silicone pacifiers. yes my friends, say goodbye to the wonderful and free pacifier you got at the hospital and run out and get silicone pacifiers. actually, wait...are those ones silicone? anyways...i checked out a mom site, safe mama, who lists all the BPA (get with the lingo would ya?) free pacifiers. thank god for the internet.

anyways here they are:

playtex “binky” (one piece silicone pacifier)
gerber silicone NUKs (all gerber pacifiers are free of polycarbonate plastic)
the first years soothies silicone pacifiers
vice versa binky w/ case
natural rubber natursutten pacifier

i had to include a picture of the vice versa binky because i'm not really sure if i love it or hate it? it looks like one of those candy rings you got when you were little with the candy jewel on it. you know what i'm talking about. don't act like you were some greenie your whole life.

you have to wonder when the rest of the baby bottle/sippy cup makers are going to get on the stick and make their own versions without this icky chemical. i'm 100% positive right now at the avent corporation they are having some sort of summit. i love it when the organic peeps can force a huge corporation to a meeting. there is justice. peace, out.