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Auto Insurance: How Going Green Can Help

Even as recently as a few years ago, going green was viewed as a potentially expensive endeavor that was best left to those who had plenty of leisure time and expendable income to devote to the hobby of doing something good for the environment. But the green movement seems to have turned a corner over the course of the last decade, bringing with it a spate of innovations designed to reduce waste and pollution even while meeting the diverse needs of consumers. As a result, the marketplace has not only become flooded with eco-friendly products; the prices have also begun to come down. And the focus on greenhouse gases (not to mention the rising price of gas) has led to the mass production of hybrid and electric cars. But while you can certainly see how these automobiles save you money at the pump and even on taxes (with tax incentives and government rebates available), you might be a little uncertain as to how going green with your driving can save you on auto insurance.

To start with, there are more ways than one to go green. Purchasing a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, or fully electric vehicle is a good start. All of these can help to cut back on the harmful emissions that cause global warming, even as they allow you to save money and reduce your dependence on petroleum products. But can buying this type of car help you save on insurance? It’s possible. Most insurance companies will charge you based largely on the value and perceived safety of your vehicle, so it really doesn’t matter if you buy a green car or not – it only matters how much you spend on it and whether or not is has two doors or four. However, eco-friendly cars thus far seem to be less sporty than their gas-guzzling brethren, so in that respect you may save over buying, say, a two-door convertible with a V8 and a turbo.

And some forward-thinking insurance companies have actually decided to reward those drivers that make a sound purchase on behalf of the environment. Farmers Insurance, for one, now offers an “alternative fuel discount” for members that drive cars using hybrid, electric, ethanol, methanol, compressed natural gas, or propane engines (depending on your state of residence). You should check in with your insurance company to see if they give such a discount, or shop around for another provider that shares your green sensibilities (and supports eco-friendly drivers with a rate reduction).

But that’s not the only way to save on auto insurance through greener driving practices. By simply cutting back on the amount you drive (or to be more specific, your mileage) you may also be able to lower your insurance rates. Many companies looking to keep business during these tough economic times have decided to offer a pay-as-you-go insurance model that rewards members that drive less by cutting insurance 10-15%. You will have to install a data logging device (DLD) in your car to calculate your mileage and earn you savings. But you could become eligible by joining a carpool for work or finding ways to mix in public transportation part of the time, saving the Earth and your budget.

About the Author

Sarah Danielson writes for Breakdown Cover where you can find Liverpool Victoria Car Insurance and other great providers, rates, and guides.

Mom” was simply delighted to learn about JousJous, an eco-fabulous company who uses recycled materials to craft gorgeous jewelry pieces and accessories! Playful and fun, all of their jewelry is not only sustainable, but it is chic and fashionable for the modern, eco-conscious woman. In addition, “Mom” loves how durable the My Jelly Coins bracelet (pictured above) is – it is perfect for beachgoers or moms with busy toddlers! Handmade in Argentina, it is available in 5 bright colors to complement any sundress you may be rockin’ poolside this summer!

JousJous also offers a wonderful way to find the perfect accessory for any outfit through their handy “Shop by Occasion” tab, making it a breeze to locate that “must-have” item! Choose from “Night on the Town,” “Dressed to Kill,” “Lunch with the Girls,” or “Weekend at the Beach” to find stylish, eco-friendly jewelry for your next occasion.

Not only are their pieces beautiful and unique, they are affordable, as well! Whether you are boho or glam, the price is right on all of their gorgeous accessories. A couple of beauties that “Mom” is lovin’ at the moment include the Boho Necklace and the Rosario Bracelet.

For more information on the entire JousJous collection, or to learn more about how the company gives back to breast cancer research, visit www.jousjous.com.

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

Planet-friendly and practical, these 5 new baby must-haves for your newborn sweetheart are “Mom’s” latest favorites for outfitting a nursery.

Green Babies®
Just born! Green Babies™ body care products, including Baby Me Shampoo & Wash, Energizing Bubble Bath, Calming Bubble Bath, Smooth Me Detangler and Lotion Potion Moisturizer have now entered the world of fabulous eco-friendly care products for little ones. The new body care line is plant and fruit derived, vegan, hypo-allergenic and tear-free. Plus, everything smells delightful – leaving your baby smelling oh-so-sweet! Developed in the spirit that every baby is beautiful and deserves the best, safest and most irritant-free products that won’t break the budget, the products do not contain synthetic fragrances, dyes, sulfates, parabens or phthalates. The products are available at Whole Foods Markets throughout the Northeast, select specialty retail stores and online at www.greenbabies.com.

Delta Eco-Collection
Organize your child’s things in planet-friendly style! This unique nursery storage collection will help get rid of mommy guilt by helping the environment…and organizing the closets!

The Eco-Collection is the debut of Delta’s new storage/organization collection called S.O.S. (Store. Organize. Style). This eco-conscious collection uses 100% recycled cardboard and non-toxic inks, and is cute to boot! The 20 piece starter kit (available in pink, blue or green) retails for $40 and includes hangers, dividers, storage boxes and a hanging organizer. A true eco-mommy’s dream! Available at Wal-mart, making it a budget-conscious choice, as well.

Green to Grow®
Just the milk please; hold the chemicals! Green to Grow’s® range of BPA-free baby bottles includes bottles made from good, old fashioned glass and from PES plastic – a premium grade resin that has a denser molecular structure than other BPA-free plastics. PES outperforms other plastics because it is incredibly durable, heat resistant, and does not break down with repeated sterilization. With adorable designs on their bottles, sippy cups and stackables, this line is sure to be a family favorite!

Plus, Green to Grow® recently introduced Mellow™, which feature colic-relief nipples that are designed with an air vent built directly into the base of the nipple, allowing air to circulate into the bottle as baby feeds, equalizing pressure inside the bottle, and making it easier for baby to drink. With Mellow™, parents spend less time cleaning, assembling, (and even losing!) the many small pieces needed with other anti-colic systems, and more time loving and feeding their baby. The Mellow™ line is compatible with all Green to Grow® bottles for ease of use. Available online at www.greentogrow.com.

NurturMe

Bye-bye to heavy jars weighing down the diaper bag – hello to NurturMe! Convenient, healthy, and portable, NurturMe is the first and only certified-organic, all-natural, gluten-free baby food made from nutrient-rich, quick-dried fruits and vegetables. By quick-drying, rather than cooking, its ingredients, NurturMe preserves the vital nutrients and phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables, making it one of the most natural and nutritious baby foods available.

Each pouch of NurturMe may be mixed with breast milk, whole milk, formula or water in any amount or combination, enabling feedings to be customized completely to baby and mother’s needs. Designed for children from the age of four months to four years, NurturMe may also be sprinkled into grains, homemade purees, yogurts, apple sauce and macaroni & cheese to give them a delicious and nutritious boost. Available in four wholesome, baby-favorite flavors—Plump Peas, Scrumptious Squash, Crisp Apples and Hearty Sweet Potatoes, NurturMe products contain no added salts, sugars, colors or preservatives and all the fruits and vegetables used in NurturMe are sourced from certified-organic U.S. farms. NurturMe products are available at www.nurturme.com.

LifeNest Sleeping System
Safe sleep for baby, peace of mind for mom and dad! Created by renowned ear, nose and throat pediatric surgeon specialist, Dr. Jose Bensoussan, UBIMED’s patented LifeNest Sleeping System was specifically designed to ensure the highest level of comfort and safety for your infant while they rest.

The LifeNest’s curved mesh hammock cradles the baby’s head, maintaining the recommended baby-on-back sleeping position while allowing unrestricted movements. The elevated breathable hammock permits the free circulation of air via the venting channels to help prevent overheating and enables the baby to breathe freely even if they accidentally turn on their tummy. A second hammock is also built into the tight fitting mattress cover (available in a full line of fashionable colors to compliment any nursery), reinforcing strength and safety and prevents mattress cover entrapment and strangulation risks. Additionally, the mesh hammock of the LifeNest allows liquids and mucus to pass through it, helping to prevent against smothering.

Intended to be used for babies from birth to 5 months of age, the LifeNest fits securely on any standard crib, and comes with a convenient travel case, as it is easily portable making it ideal for parent’s on-the-go.

The LifeNest Sleeping System is available for purchase online at www.lifenest.com and at select retailers nationwide for $149.99.

*Companies mentioned above generously provided samples and images for this article.*

Visit SheKnows.com today to glean insight into creating a planet-friendly nursery for tots! “Mom’s” article, Create a Dream Green Nursery, was featured this week! Check out the article here.

*Image provided by Carousel Designs.*

Celebrate the Earth with a little planet-friendly FUN with the entire family! The following educational books and green games make for a wonderful evening of home spun entertainment while learning about Mother Earth at the same time.

Woodsy Words

Remember pick-up sticks? Taking the original game and making it both eco-friendly and educational, Woodsy Words builds reading skills with simple game play. To play, simply hold all the sticks in one hand and let them fall onto a flat surface. Then, select one stick – if you can extract it without moving any of the others, read the word printed on it and select another stick. Continue play until you bump another stick or get stuck on a word. The player with the most sticks at the end of the game wins! This new game features 30 Earth-friendly vocabulary words. The sticks are printed with vegetable ink on recycled paper. For ages 5+. www.educationalinsights.com

Smens® Pens

Can pens that are made from recycled newspapers smell fruity and delicious? Yes! Check out Smens, the latest release from the best-selling manufacturers of Smencils. Perfect for drawing, writing, and keeping score, Smens are available in gourmet scents including, Red Licorice, Creamsicle, Aloha, Mystery Scent, Banana fo Fana, Mocha, Passion Fruit, Ninja Berry, Pink Lemonade, and Black Licorice. Each Smen is individually wrapped in a stay-fresh biodegradable plastic tube and is guaranteed to keep its scent for two years. For ages 6+. www.educationalinsights.com

World Repair Kit by Serena & Lily

“I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing…in Perfect Harmony…” Inspire kids to make the world a better place this Earth Day with the unique World Repair Kit by Serena & Lily! The kit contains a 205 page guidebook that is chock full of earth-friendly ideas that you and your family can do together to make a difference. Big or small, every action counts, and kids can stamp their passport once each activity is completed. Ages 8+. www.serenaandlily.com

Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals; illustrated by Ashley Wolff

Compost Stew is a delightful alphabetical recipe that teaches youngsters how to create and use their very own home compost bin. With bouncy verses featuring items that will nourish Mother Earth and gorgeous illustrations that use recycled and found materials, this picture book furthers a timely message—to nurture and give back to the Earth.

Apple cores

Bananas, bruised

Coffee grounds with filters, used

Just add to the pot

and let it all rot

into Compost Stew!

Through Earth Day you can enter to win your very own copy of Compost Stew! Visit www.siddals.com.

Karaoke Fun with B. Okideoke

Sing along with the whole family while recording your voice with the B. Okideoke from B. Toys! Little ones can record a message or song, or sing along to 8 pre-recorded tunes. As B. Toys says, “Anything Worth Saying is Worth Saying Louder!” B eco-friendly too – the cool packaging is made from recycled paper and soy-based inks, and it wraps itself for an instant present, which Moms’ love! justb-byou.com

*Companies generously provided images and samples for this article.*

Finally! A set of tote bags that you won’t forget to take with you on your next trip to the grocery store! Let’s face it – the oversized tote bags sold at most grocery stores are bulky and don’t tuck away easily while at home, not to mention they are just not attractive at all. Yes, they do the job, but wouldn’t you rather carry a stylish, lightweight, and unobtrusive bag with you to carry your groceries home? Now you can – with Repax Reusable Bags!

Created by three savvy women, Repax Reusable Bags are a set of four environmentally-friendly, reusable, and brightly colored bags that come in their own compact pouch, meaning you can keep the bags tucked away in your purse, car, or backpack while on-the-go. Not just for shopping, the bags are perfect for carrying items to and from the gym, the beach, and even the mall. Each bag holds an impressive 20 lbs, and is washable, too, which is great!

Repax Reusable Bags are available in 5 brilliant, bold colors so you can’t miss them – choose from Mango, Grasshopper, Lagoon, Confetti, and Carnival. At just $19.95, these are a smart buy for any family!

In addition, Repax gives back to three worthy causes! To learn more about how you can Repax for a reason, check out their blog, or to purchase your own set of stylish reusable bags, please visit RepaxBags.com.

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

5 Easy Ways To Reduce Eco-Anxiety

By Jen Pleasants, Author of Bag Green Guilt, Five Easy Steps: Turn Eco-Anxiety Into Constructive Energy

Do you get a pit in your stomach when anyone mentions the oil spill in the Gulf? That’s eco-anxiety and it isn’t good for you or the planet. If I let myself, I would ball up in a fetal position just thinking about those sea turtles on fire as BP tries to burn off the oil. I am angry at BP for their carelessness, angry at myself for our dependence on oil, worried about the sea life, concerned for the livelihoods of the gulf residents and frustrated with how to change the situation. What is a girl to do with these toxic emotions? As the author of a book on how to turn eco-anxiety into constructive energy, I can share with you what I am doing to feel better to keep my own anxiety from increasing as oil gushes, glaciers melt and plastic soups swirl.

1. Breathe – take a BIG deep breath, now exhale! Breathing it turns out, is super important to help calm your nervous system and to relieve anxiety. Click here for breathing techniques to help you relax.

2. Acknowledge that you can’t do everything. Affirm that you can do something. You know it is true, but remind yourself, seriously, that you can’t do everything, but you can do some things, and that’s good enough. Acknowledge! Yet affirm that you can do something. Positive affirmations and visualizations are valuable tools to help create a better reality.

My friend Sandy at PeacefulDaily shared with me this amazing affirmation from world renowned Japanese Scientist Dr. Emoto and I am trying to say it daily to create positive change.

“We are not powerless we are powerful. Our united energy, speaking this prayer daily…multiple times daily…can literally shift the balance of destruction that is happening. We don’t have to know how…we just have to recognize that the power of love is greater than any other power active in the Universe today.”

“I send the energy of love and gratitude to the waters and all living creatures in the Gulf of Mexico and its surroundings. To the whales, dolphins, pelicans, fish, shellfish, planktons, corals, algae … to ALL living creatures… I am sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I Love You.”

Click here for more feel good affirmations.

3. Write down all (or just some) of the things that make you feel eco-anxious or guilty with regard to the oil spill. Click here to write on the wall of guilt.

4. Act – pick one thing to do that will help the environment that you aren’t already doing and start doing that one thing this week. Doing one thing well is much better then doing eight things poorly.

Did you know that when you stop buying plastics you help stop our reliance on oil? Check out this list from GOOD, which contains a list of things you didn’t know contained oil, or this list by the Daily Green, titled “7 Ways to Help with the Oil Spill.” Finally, click here for ideas on actions you can take to help ease other kinds of eco-anxiety.

5. Praise – make a mental note to say something positive to yourself, your family, your friends, your community, your company or your country whenever a step is taken in the right direction.

For more inspiration check out the book, Bag Green Guilt, Five Easy Steps: Turn Eco-Anxiety Into Constructive Energy, which is available at Amazon.com.

*Author provided tips and image for this article.*

This is a post written by Liz Cutten expressly for Tiny Green Mom. Liz runs FindAirlineCards, an airline rewards credit card site helping travelers save money on a daily basis.

6 Ways to Go Green on Vacation

Vacations are a time to get away from your stressful lives and enjoy yourself as a family, or even by yourself. What it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t just forget about helping the planet, which some people do. Instead, you’re going to want to keep some of these green tips in mind when you’re ready to go on your trip.

1. Consider your route – The longer you drive, the more gas you’re going to burn. Yes, I know that there are millions of people driving on a daily basis and many people have that, “I’m just one person mentality”, but many can make a difference. Try and vacation a hundred or so miles away from home, rather than thousands.

2. Research your hotels – Research the hotels that you’re going to be staying with. Are they going to be green friendly? Can you recycle? Do they do anything else to help the planet? Hotels like this generally love to advertise that they are “green.” You may find more than one, so make sure you get the best bang for your buck!

3. You don’t need to drive – According to some statistics that I had found online, the train is the best way to go when traveling across the country. They feature some of the lowest emissions per traveler in any other form of transport. This is a great way to enjoy the scenery and not worry about driving. Plus, you’re going to find that a train ticket is going to be much lower than a plane ticket.

4. Don’t forget about your home – When you leave, you have to remember your house is going to be unoccupied. You’re going to want to make sure that you turn your heat down to around 55-60, as well as make sure that turn down any electronics that you’re not going to be using such as your computer and more.

5. Be prepared with the supplies – Make sure that you bring some water bottles that you can refill on your trips. You will also want to bring other items such as a reusable bag if you’re going to be stopping at a local grocery store / farmer’s market to load up on supplies.

6. Buy locally – Since you’re going to be on vacation, I would advise that you purchase all your items locally. By purchasing from a local merchant, this means that you’re going to help out your eco-friendly footprint, since the items won’t be shipped from so far away.

See, you can still have fun, while helping the planet while you’re enjoying the mountains, oceans, or whatever may suit your fancy. Be sure to keep fun in mind, as well as the environment, so that you feel better when you get back home.

A BIG thanks to Liz Cutten for authoring this article for Tiny Green Mom!

*Image found on Flickr.com.*

The final countdown begins! Only 3 more days to enter to win the HGTV 2010 Green Home! If you haven’t entered yet, time is of the essence to win this gorgeous, eco-inspired home in New England, just outside of Cape Cod. “Mom” at Tiny Green Mom has been entering daily, crossing fingers & toes, wishing on stars… you get the idea!

To submit your entry, click here. Good luck!

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is loving these link picks!

An Australian blog featuring planet-friendly options down under on Growing Up Green.

Gardening tips to get the entire family involved on Friend of the Farmer.

Sprout Wellness review on Fig+Sage.

Tiny Tongs for tiny fingers on Baby Gear Mom.