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You hear the staggering statistics on how many disposable diapers are thrown away per baby, per year, but rarely do the many wipes it takes to clean baby’s bottom get a mention, and yet, they get thrown away, as well! Addressing this issue head-on is Elements Naturals, who has developed the country’s first compostable, plant based baby wipes! Whether you choose to toss them in with your trash or compost the “wet” ones, you are making an environmentally-conscious decision to care for Mother Earth each and every time you use a wipe to clean your baby’s tushie or toddler’s hands and face! “Mom” found the Elements Naturals wipes to be extremely plush and soft, unlike some of the other wipes brands on the market, and loved the fact that they are formulated with Natural Products Association and ECOCERT certified ingredients.

Features of the 100% natural and compostable baby wipes:

• Natural and Naturally Derived Ingredients
• Compostable
• Chemical Free
• Fragrance Free
• Chlorine Free
• Resealable Pack
• 80 Unscented Wipes
• Larger Wipes (7.1” x 7.9”)
• Softer and Thicker Wipe Material

In addition to their eco-fabulous biodegradable wipes, Elements Naturals is adding the US’s first 100% natural and compostable disposable diaper to its product line! An essential green diapering tool for modern parents, the new Elements Naturals diapers are naturally hypoallergenic, dermatologist tested, super-absorbent, free of harsh synthetic chemicals, chlorine and fragrances and are made from compostable plant-based fibers from renewable resources — making it gentle enough for both babies and the planet.

While other disposable brands use absorbent polymers that can leave behind a messy crystal residue, Elements Naturals diapers are constructed with thermally neutral natural fibers, keeping baby’s bum cool, dry and crystal free. Its super absorbent core is totally chlorine free and is made with PEFC certified pulp from sustainably managed forests—helping prevent those unwanted leaks. Plus, Elements Naturals diapers provide maximum breathability due to the waterproof protective outer layer made of Non-GMO cornstarch. Unlike other eco disposable diapers on the market, Elements Naturals are made with re-positionable paper tabs with elastic support, providing freedom of movement and allowing the diaper to completely break down after 90 days.

Mom” loved how thick, absorbent, and sturdy the diapers are – they can hold large messes with ease, and do not leak. The fact that these diapers can be composted and are biodegradable is just wonderful!

Elements Naturals will first offer the diapers in two sizes, MIDI (for larger newborns and infants up to 6 months old) and MAXI (for infants and toddlers from 6 months to 2 years old).

For more information on Elements Naturals, please visit elementsnaturals.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Pack your child’s lunch in an extremely unique, hand-crafted lunchbox made from items that have been thrown away, such as juice containers, rice bags, and even advertising banners! Each creation from Bazura is truly one-of-a-kind, and makes quite the conversation piece! With each purchase, you are helping to provide a job for hundreds of women in the Phillipines who are part of a woman’s co-operative. BaZura.Biz works closely with these women to assist them as they transform garbage into practical, useful items that are used everyday!

More than just lunchboxes are created – the extensive collection from Bazura includes Messenger Bags, Backpacks, Pencil Bags, Diaper Bags, Duffel Bags, and even Bowling Bags! Bright and cheerful, each colorful piece is a work of art! Who knew trash could be this functional!

Mom” received the Lunchbox and Mini Lunchbox to use, and both are sturdy & perfect for keeping everything cool for lunch. With an easy-to-clean foil interior and inside slip pocket, each lunchbox can be packed accordingly – the Mini Lunchbox for snacks after-school, and the regular-sized lunchbox for lunchtime. Each one is available in 6 bold colors, including pink, red, green, blue, purple and orange.

Environmentally-conscious families will adore each and every product Bazura offers, and will love that they are helping to make a difference both locally and globally.

To learn more about Bazura.Biz, or to order your own lunchbox or bag, visit www.bazurashop.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

A Breath of Fresh Air – For Your Home or Office

Our use of household poisons and pollutants, building materials and a “keeping the outside out” mentality have contributed to the imbalance of our indoor environment. Ironically we are now seeing that bring the outside into our living and working spaces is “healing” the self-inflicted wounds of our technological advances. Bringing plants indoors can reduce symptomatic illnesses, just as reforesting gives back to the natural balance of oxygen and proper animal evolution of our outdoor global environment.

SICK BUILDING SYNDROME (SBS)

Definition: Since the mid-1980s, scientists have been studying a phenomenon known as “Sick Building Syndrome,” or SBS. Known to occur in many homes and offices, SBS surfaces when interior contaminants cause indoor air quality to deteriorate and cause illness. Some of the symptoms described by victims of SBS include dry cough, sneezing, itchy skin, fever, chills, headache, dizziness and nausea or eye, ear, nose and throat irritation.

Public Impact: Consider the public liability of having polluted office and store environments, with your customers breathing in fumes from materials stored, displayed or demonstrated in your business; as well as potentially toxic molds in the A/C systems. Proper use of phytoremediation can certainly lessen these hazards and at least allow your employees and shoppers to have the benefit of cleaner air.

Causes: According to Science Daily, indoor air can be up to 12 times more polluted than outdoor air in some areas. Pollutants called “Volatile Organic Compounds” (VOCs) such as benzene, xylene, hexane, heptane, octane, decane, trichloroethylene (TCE), and methylene chloride can emanate from popular household cleaners, computer printers, paints, varnishes, adhesives and even some carpeting and drapery. Pollens and molds are another SBS perpetrator.

PHYTOREMEDIATON (Restoring Balance through Use of Plants)

The Research: Studies conducted by Stanley J. Kays, Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia as well as NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) discovered that houseplants would actually improve building air quality and reduce the many problems associated with SBS.

The Recommendations: Scientists believe that phytoremediation may be the answer to healing structures that suffer from SBS. “We feel that future results will provide an even stronger argument that common indoor landscaping plants can be a very effective part of a system used to provide pollution free homes and work places, ” former NASA senior scientist Bill Wolverton explains.

Here were a few of the plants that the NASA-ALCA study claims plants helped remove:

The Plants:

English Ivy (Hedera Helix): An ivy that is native to Europe and some parts of Asia, English ivy can be used as an evergreen outdoor plant covering or indoors as a decorative plant that has the added benefit of cleaning the air.

Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii): There are over 30 varieties of this cheerful daisy, found originally throughout parts of South America, Africa and Asia. NASA showed this annual as extremely effective in removing benzene from the air.

Purple Heart Plant: This beautiful evergreen plant gained its name from the deep purple color of younger plants and the grayish-blue color of older plants. Purple heart plants can be used as an outdoor groundcover as well as planted indoors or hung in baskets, and can remove some VOCs.

Purple Waffle Plant (Hemigraphis alternate): Native to Indonesia and New Guinea, Dr. Kays’ study discovered that this plant is particularly helpful in removing a large number of VOCs from a home environment.

Philodendrons (P. cordatum, P. scandens, P. selloum): Native to tropical regions and the West Indies, several varieties of the large-lobed philodendron were determined by NASA to be the best houseplants for removing high concentrations of formaldehyde from the air.

Asparagus Fern (Asparagus densiflorus): Originating from South Africa, this plant is really no fern at all. While in its native country Asparagus Fern is considered an invasive weed, it is often used as a lovely ornamental plant in the United States. This fern can successfully clean the air of many VOCs.

Variegated Wax Plant (Hoya canosa): Originating from Australia and Asia, the Variegated Wax Plant has light pink, star-shaped flowers that make a lovely ornamental plant. A member of the milkweed family, this plant has the ability to filter out a multitude of VOCs.

While many of these plants are have the ability to successfully remove indoor air pollutants, it’s important to speak with a qualified horticulturist to make certain that whichever plants you bring into your home are safe around small children and pets. Also consider the use of water-based, eco-friendly house paints and varnishes that are free of VOCs and heavy metals, and use plant-based colorants instead. It may be more expensive but your well being is worth it.

About the Author

Sandy Andersen is a traveling insurance consultant from London, and a content contributor for companies providing public liability and home insurance quotes like the UK coverage specialist Policy Expert.

*Image: Red Gerbera Daisy by Andrea44/flickr.*

Environmentally-Friendly Cars For Moms

Few options exist for environmentally conscious moms who also need room for their children, groceries, and other luggage. A common solution to these space issues, after acquiring some cash for used cars with less space, has been purchasing a minivan. Typically a gas-guzzler given its size, the minivan also has the potential to carpool seven or eight people who potentially would have been driving their own cars. Eight cars averaging 24 miles per gallon will in actuality get about 4 miles per gallon collectively, carrying everyone individually. Though minivans themselves are not the most economical of options, their ability to take other cars off the road gives it potential as an eco-friendly commuter option.

But for those who are not consistently shuttling around other people who have their own cars, there are some other options for a spacious car that’s easy on fuel consumption. The Cadillac Escalade hybrid is stylish and offers the hauling capacity, safety, and bold aesthetics of a standard Escalade with and average between 25 and 30 highway mpg’s. Many of these models have 3rd row seating and a variety of entertainment options like XM radio, sound systems, and multiple DVD players to occupy the kids. Hybrid SUV’s offer minivan seating capacity and entertainment for children with reduced emissions.

For those who do not have a lot of children or a need to carry more than five people and a reasonable amount of groceries at any given time, even more economical vehicles are in production that could cut harmful gas emissions completely. The Ford Fusion Electric and Nissan Leaf are completely electric-powered and are on the horizon for production. Fun styling cues and zero emissions technology make these cars an attractive prospect for moms and kids. Current hybrid sedans like the Prius and Civic hybrid offer outstanding fuel consumption ranging from 40 to 70 miles per gallon. With plenty of trunk space and enough seating for the average family or friends from soccer practice, hybrid sedans and the upcoming all-electric Focus and Leaf could cut down on or completely do away with trips to the pump as well as harmful emissions.

About the Author

Paul is intrigued by all aspects of cars.In his spare time he helps the environment by getting rid of gas guzzling vehicles with this site.

*Image: Paul / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Environmental Awareness Starts At Home

Environmental awareness is a movement that has seen quite a surge in recent years. Society has become more aware that our planet is in danger and that it’s up to us to save it, especially since Earth has given us so much. But our efforts will be rendered moot or completely reversed if we don’t pass on this same awareness to the next generation. Teaching our kids about environmental awareness will ensure that their future is one filled with fresh air, clear skies and fresh, natural food.

Recycling

Recycling is often one of the first environmental lessons that we learn. It’s something that’s both easy to do and extremely necessary in order to keep unnecessary mountains of trash from accumulating in landfills and garbage dumps. Teach your kids how to properly separate plastics, glass, cardboard and other recyclable materials. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a recycling program, petition your neighbors and city officials and explain to them the importance of recycling. This will also teach your children how to work for progress in their neighborhood, their lives and their world.

Air Pollution

Breathing air filled with pollutants can lead to respiratory problems which can cost us thousands of dollars to treat and has the potential to effect us for the rest of our lives if it’s an especially serious respiratory problem. Teach your child about hybrid cars, even if you don’t drive one. Just because you don’t have something doesn’t mean that your child shouldn’t be aware of it. Take the bus or any other form of mass transportation with your child and explain the various advantages of this including saving money on gas, reducing the amount of harmful emissions in the air and saving on other car expenses. Biking is another excellent option to spend time with your child, exercise and teach them about saving the environment.

Education

Other things you can do is simply educate your child on the environment, the ecosystem and why it’s so important that these two remain in balance. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your child is learning about these things in school as they may or may not be getting a well-rounded education and therefore a well-rounded idea/opinion from their teachers.

Food

If you can, buy organic food or at least healthy food. Show your child the kinds of delicious and healthy foods that come straight from the earth rather than the unhealthy food that has been treated with chemicals and additives. Grow a small garden in your yard with your children and show them how fun it can be to grow your own food. There’s nothing more exciting than planting a seed, caring for it and watching it blossom into fruits and vegetables. Not only will this help educate your child, it will help save you money as well, and that’s another lesson that’s excellent for your child to learn.

Our efforts to save the environment shouldn’t end with us. The next generation should pass on the torch to their children and let the cycle continue. Recycling doesn’t have to be limited to the environment, it should be applied to our lives and future lives as well.

About the Author

This article was contributed by Jennifer Bell from Health Training Guide. Check out her site to learn more about optometry training and other exciting health careers.

Carpool to Save Money and the Environment

We live in a society that values individual freedoms, and this can be seen as both a blessing and a curse, especially when it comes to transportation. While it is certainly desirable to have the ability to hop in your car and head off into the sunset any time you like, you might be disappointed to find that everyone else had the same idea, leaving you stuck in gridlock rather than flying down the highway with the wind in your hair. And of course, there is the cost to consider, as well. Not only are automobiles themselves fairly pricy (even if you buy an economy car), but then there the attendant costs to consider. With fuel prices going up and petroleum deposits quickly becoming depleted, more and more people are seeking ways to cut their costs for transportation. But even more than that, people in general are becoming aware of the impact that burning fossil fuels has on the environment. Luckily, carpooling can address both issues in one fell swoop.

Consider for a moment how much you are currently spending on your daily drive. If you are one of the many people that have to make a long daily commute, then you are probably filling your tank at least once a week (maybe more). Depending on the size of your gas tank and the mileage you’re getting, you could be spending quite a bit at the pump these days to earn a paycheck (much of which goes right back into the tank, perpetuating a vicious cycle). But joining a carpool can really help you to spread out this expense. Even if you only drive with one other person in your office, you’ll cut your costs in half (and give yourself time to catch a few extra zees a couple days a week). In addition, many companies now offer incentives to employees that carpool. You could end up with gift certificates as a form of reimbursement, or even the ability to work from home or receive additional time off, all of which is good for your wallet (and your mental health). You might even receive some kind of break on your car insurance for cutting down on mileage.

But there is also the health of the planet to consider. When you and your coworkers decide to drive separately every day, each of you is spewing the same greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These toxic hydrocarbons not only harm you and others around you by polluting the air we breathe; they also contribute to holes in the ozone layer that are causing our planet to experience global warming, a shifting of climate patterns responsible for much of the extreme weather over the past several years. By carpooling, you and the others involved are doing your small part to ensure that the Earth will still be habitable for future generations.

There are many reasons why you might not want to give up even a modicum of your individual freedom in order to carpool. But when you think about how it can help the environment and provide for a safer and healthier atmosphere, as well as how much money it could save you at a time when budgets are tight for most people, you’ll realize that the benefits of such a move far outweigh any potential drawbacks.

About the Author

Sarah Danielson writes for CT Limo where you can find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs.

How to Reduce Your Pet’s Carbon Paw-Print

You wouldn’t think that a dog or cat could contribute that much to the degradation of the environment, but you might be surprised how much waste and pollution is associated with owning a pet. Certainly they don’t harm the environment to the same degree that humans do, but they eat processed foods (with manufactured packaging), they require heat and air conditioning, and even electric a Petsafe wireless fence in some cases. And then there is the huge number of plastic bags used every year for the disposal of pet waste. So if you’re looking to reduce your pet’s carbon paw-print as you find ways to embrace a greener lifestyle, here are some ways to do it.

The easiest place to start is with food. Most pet food is not actually that good for your pet to begin with. The main ingredient in the majority of dry kibble is corn, which is a filler that is largely devoid of nutritional value to your animal. And since there is as yet no approved organic pet food on the market, you’re better off skipping the manufactured foods and opting to make your own. Your vet can advise you as to what needs to be included in your pet’s diet; it will vary by animal, but it generally includes cooked meats and whole grains mixed with fruits and vegetables. You’ll probably have to give a daily vitamin, as well, to ensure that they’re receiving all the proper nutrients. The only problem here is dental care, since soft foods will become lodged in your pet’s teeth and lead to faster decay.

Another interesting idea is to compost your pet’s waste. This comes with an urgent disclaimer, though: you CANNOT, under any circumstances, use it in your garden! Domesticated animal waste is toxic to humans, so you should keep it far, far away from your fruit, veggies, and other edible plants. However, it’s not so bad if it seeps into the soil near your flower beds. You can safely compost by the following method: dig a hole in the ground that is large enough to place a plastic garbage bin in. Drill several holes in the side of the bin and put it in the ground, then place rocks or gravel in the bottom for drainage. Keep it covered at all times with the lid (it should be slightly above ground level). Place dog, cat, or other waste inside and add some water and septic starter (found at hardware stores). The waste will begin to break down and seep into the soil, greatly reducing not only the amount of waste in the trash, but also the number of plastic bags. You may also be able to train cats to use the toilet.

You can also reduce water waste by using a foaming, waterless shampoo (generally made from natural oils that are non-toxic to your pet), buy eco-friendly pet toys (like hemp rope, toys made from recycled plastic, and balls composed of non-toxic materials), and use ceramic food bowls instead of plastic ones (which may contain harmful BPAs and are almost certainly manufactured in a high-waste, high-pollution facility). In short, there are dozens of ways to reduce your pet’s carbon paw-print, and most of them will also improve the health of your best friend.

The first shoe to be introduced in the Cushe C.L.I.M.A.T.E. Project (Contains Low Impact Materials And Thinking Environmentally), the MJ Shucoon is in a class all by itself! For those who want to reduce their carbon footprint (literally!), the Shucoon offers both style and durability, cocooning your foot in comfort as you head outdoors this Spring.

The MJ Shucoon is made of a combination of 100% Organic Cotton, 70% Recycled Lycra, and 60% Recycled Jersey, and other environmentally-friendly materials, leaving a lighter footprint upon the Earth when worn. The MJ Shucoon is available in 4 flattering colors, including pink/purple, black, green, and off-white.

For more information on the Cushe C.L.I.M.A.T.E. Project, or to order, please visit www.cushe.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

For an aspiring Le’Artiste on your gift list this holiday season, Clementine Art offers a gift set brimming with everything a little one needs to imagine and create works of art! The gift set contains non-toxic Crayon Rocks, Markers, Paint, Modeling Dough, Glue, Crayons, which will definitely provide hours of creativity and fun, especially when the weather is chilly outside this winter! From finger painting & drawing to coloring & using the modeling dough for projects, the Clementine Art Gift Set is sure to inspire. Check out their art blog for craft ideas and projects to make with your little ones.

Clementine Art offers wholesome, clean, environmentally-friendly and safe art supplies for children (and adults!). All of the products are free of chemicals and petrochemicals, and parents will love that everything washes off of clothes easily! The art supplies are recommended for children ages 3+. This is definitely one of the top gifts to give this season!

Clementine Art can be found at national retail locations such as Whole Foods Market or online at www.clementineart.com.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*