The Old Switcheroo

Getting green= by taking baby steps.  Here’s a quick and easy baby step for getting green and it involves your eyes.  Or, more accurately, making your eyes green.  No, that’s confusing, too.  I’m pulling the old switcheroo and suggesting that you pitch your old reliable mascara and try an organic one.

ImageIt’s not too crazy of an idea, because technically a tube of mascara should only last you about 3 or 4 months since the black goop gets dried out and harbors germs in there.  So you could try a tube of Physicians Formula (which can be found at Target, CVS, and Walgreens in the regular make-up aisle!) mascara and if you don’t like it, you could go back to your originating brand.  Why?—>

Physicians Formula Mascara is 100% organic, all-natural, and doesn’t test on animals in case that helps makes you feel warm and fuzzy about switching. 🙂  It doesn’t clump, it doesn’t flake, and it’s free of parabens (scary things your body actually absorbs), and the packaging all recyclable (double bonus).  I’ve been using mine for a week now, and the first thing I notice is that it’s super easy to put on with a slick, smooth formula.  It’s easier to take off in the evenings, and takes up the same amount of space in my makeup bag.  Easy peas-y.

Try it and let me know- are you game for taking the leap and trying an organic make-up product?  Most people are too chicken, and don’t want their money to be wasted.  After perusing a few make-up blogs, and some Youtube help (yes, they teach you to style your lashes with said product), every single person thought it worked out well.  What other daily organic products do you use?  How well do they compare to the chemical laced versions?

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Small Salve Step

A friend of mine (who isn’t tired of my lengthy “green” fact-fests) asked what type of baby or small-steps she could take without freaking out and reading every label.  Over-analyzing our lives is already work itself, no need to complicate things, I agree.  While I was finishing up my morning routine, I found just the thing.  Replacing this petrolatum product with this green salve.

 

First difference: the size of the product.  How long do people hold onto a jar of Vaseline anyhow? I couldn’t find an expiration date on mine, which could be good or bad depending on your opinion of the twinkie effect.  You literally use a dab of the salve, without adding a thick layer of greasiness.  The smaller size makes it just the thing to toss in a purse or pocket- even for a quick trail hike.

 

Next: actual effectiveness.  The reviews are hands down 5 out of 5 stars attesting to the Burt’s Bees Res-Q Ointment.  You can use this for anything you would normally use petroleum jelly for- and more even, like bruises and poison ivy.  The natural oils are absorbed by your skin to help heal.  We have a strict “no blood, no band-aid” rule in our house.  It’s easy to think a band-aid can fix everything, but if a paper cut or a small knick is bothering Sillyboy- he can just dab this on himself.

 

And, of course: it’s green.  Green all around.  The salve comes in a small metal green tin.  The salve itself is dark green color. And the ingredients inside are green- the first two ingredients are sweet almond oil and olive oil.  The ingredients on Vaseline= petrolatum is the active ingredient, and… nothing else is listed.

 

All in all, just try this small salve step.  If you can’t remember how old your petroleum jelly is, toss it anyways.  After my experience with spraying ethanol around the house, that is one less product I need to slather on.  What other baby steps can you take to turn one thing in your life into something green?

Product Purge

I keep reading and hearing the same advice: Start small. Don’t overdo it, because you will drive yourself crazy and give up.  When clearing out closets, drawers, and old bins of whoknowswhat- I’ve decided it’s better in waves.  That way I can get used to the idea – or completely forget about- the things I’ve banished to the garage to be donated and never seen again.  Things don’t come back from the garage!  Taking another cue from Healthy Child Healthy World, I’ve decided to go through all cleaning products and purge away.

I pulled everything out from under the kitchen sink, on shelves in the garage, and both bathrooms.  Then I’d toss it in a box if it a.) wasn’t used in the last month b.) was starting to separate or leak (note the rusted aerosol can below) or was c.) toxic. I ended up with this box of un-needed products:

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There is some wood varnish from early ’11 in there, some shoe polish from ’06, etc.   One product I was unsure about putting in the box was a spray bottle of room re-freshener.  You know, the type that kills the smelly particles and leaves the room fresh, while being pet and baby-safe.  Those claims are labeled on the front of the bottle along with scented “clean.”  Then I read the back of the label- “contains % of ethanol.”  Huh.  I’ve been spraying odor-killing, clean-scented ethanol on my couches, curtains, and pet beds?!  Insanity.

I’ve now got two bio-friendly cleaning products under my kitchen sink and am surprised (delighted!) how well they clean up baby-kid-dog-cat-mom messes easily.  No scary residue to worry about: Scotch-Brite botanical wipes, and Honest multi-surface cleaner.

ImageTake a look at what/how you clean your home- especially if you have kids and/or pets.  What do you use the most?  Can you replace it with a more green friendly product?  What can you do without?  Start small.

Being EcoMom Made Easy

Every time I visit a big box store, or even a grocery store,  I make a beeline for the HBA’s.  In retail talk, that’s Health and Beauty Accessories.  I look for organic, eco-friendly brands that I can find in other places.  I always hope that the one store will have a special little niche that has exactly what I’m looking for- at hopefully decent budget friendly prices.  But then I blame Missouri.  Not that I should- it can be really great at times.  But since we’re literally in the middle of everything, it takes awhile for trends and most brands to make their availability known here if they’re not sold at Walmart. (Thank goodness for Target!).

I feel so lucky to have the availability to ship whatever I want from online sites.  Luckily, EcoMom does a heft of work as well- by gathering all those organic, wooden, cloth, natural rubber, and earth happy products and putting them on their site.  They’re motto is “We do the research, so you don’t have to.”  Unlike a few other green sites that do the same thing, Ecomom has product reviews readily available (you can even volunteer for that).  They include upscale make-up for moms, books, kitchen gear, organizing tools, perfect giftsets, and even giftcards!  I’ve only ordered a few things so far, as I slowly replace each few plastic toys in our house with something better, but the quality is awesome so I really recommend them.  Where do you find green products?

 

Healthy Child Healthy World [useful printables link!]

Since I finally got around to testing out my free trial sizes of Honest products, I took the plunge and ordered my first set of diaper/wipes bundle and a home product bundle.  I’m excited to test out the sunscreen and multi-purpose cleaner the most!  The eco-green earth-friendly talk has been everywhere, with today being Earth Day and all.  The motivation behind a lot of movements was spurred on by Healthy Child Healthy World– a non-profit organization that is trying to promote a healthier environment for all kids (and families).

Former CEO of the company, Chris Gavigan, authored a highly revered book by the same name.  (I just grabbed it from the library today!).  The org has helped many families identify and remove harmful toxins in their lives to create lower allergy and asthmatic environments.  Healthy Child Healthy World works to educate families for the future of our children.  While perusing their site, I found a list of informational printables for you here.  You can print some out, or download the app to keep the pocket lists with you always.  They’ve already done the research for the healthiest brands- look for them by name.

Honest Good Stuff

Jessica Alba saw a need and fulfilled her goal of creating a company that provides chemical and toxic-free home and baby products at an affordable rate. Maybe you’ve heard of The Honest Company? The products are mailed to your home each month after subscribing, and you’re billed automatically each time.

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I’ve spied Jessica on Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and she’s visited many other tv shows promoting The Honest Company.  The products sound wonderful and look pretty – but even after reading other blogs’ reviews (themommareport, Blogher, Babycenter,  of their freebie trial packs, I had to check it out on my own.

My trial kit for the home products (balm, lotion, detergent, hand soap, shampoo), and the diaper pack (diapers & wipes) arrived just last night!  The mini-products came with a brochure from Alba and her business partner Chris Gavigan (Jessica Capshaw‘s husband) – *apologizing here for my blurry camera phone*

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The husband is worried that these earthy diapers won’t absorb well and we’ll be left to clean up twice the mess as we already do.  Here’s hoping they work out great- I have 7 days to test everything out and decide if I want to stay subscribed to both shipments, before they’re automatically sent out.  My favorite part of all the label reading are the wipes.

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Bonus points: Not tested on animals (they are working on being included in PETA’s safe list), Made in America, all-natural ingredients, durable cloth-like texture, and they’re flushable!  Win and win for everybody.