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Heading to the beach this summer? Step out in eco-friendly style with these top picks for the planet-conscious beach gal on SheKnows.com! “Mom’s” article on Planet-Friendly Beach Finds was featured this week! Visit SheKnows.com.

*Image provided by Coolibar.*

Headed outdoors this summer with your children in tow calls for smart, sun-protective products! Tiny Green Mom has compiled the top five best picks for babies & kids that are planet-friendly and (dare we say it?) – sheer genius!

5 Eco-Friendly Outdoor Finds for Babies & Kids

Kushies Swimsuit Diaper

Could this adorable swim diaper be any more convenient? Kushies® has combined the typically awkward swim diaper and made it into a cute, reusable suit! Ingenious! Both planet-friendly and economical, the Kushies Swimsuit Diaper is must-have this summer for any family hitting the pool or beach. Available in sea-worthy designs, such as mermaids, the swimsuit diaper is easy to get on and off, and the wrap style design makes it a breeze to change your child. Plus, the adjustable waist with added ties provides a snug, secure fit as your child grows.

Kushies Easy Fold Baby Bed

Kushies® has done it again! They have created a wonderful solution for families headed to the beach or to play outdoors, but don’t want to place baby on a blanket alone. Kushies’ Easy Fold Baby Bed is simply ideal for traveling, is both lightweight and portable, and it fits easily into a standard suitcase to keep baby safe and secure when away from home. Expertly designed, this portable bed features UV protected fabric which keeps baby safe from the sun when in the sun. What’s not to love?

Goddess Garden All-Natural Kids Sunscreen SPF 30

Whether you spray it on with the convenient spray nozzle or rub it on, this SPF 30 All-Natural Kids Sunscreen from Goddess Garden offers your child full-body coverage in a sheer, non-whitening formula! Not too chalky or thick, this water-resistant sunscreen is dermatologist recommended and is made with 82% organic ingredients. “Mom” loves that not only does it glide on easily, it is free of synthetic ingredients and toxic chemicals. Plus, the sunscreen was recently top rated by the EWG in 2011 for its superior broad spectrum effectiveness and non-toxic formula. You will want to make sure it is tucked into your purse or beach bag this summer when headed outside with your little ones!

Mad Gab’s Natural Lip Balm

Protect your little one’s lips with Mad’s Gab’s Natural Lip Balm, which offer SPF 15 protection in a variety of flavors, such as Vanilla or spearmint. Even more kid-friendly – all of Mad Gab’s balms are named after a sea creature or animal, making it less of a struggle and a whole lot more fun to get your tots to put on their lip protection! Choose from a selection of Aquarium Smooches, such as Turtle Smooch or Zoo Smooches, such as Monkey Smooch. All Mad Gab’s lip balms are made with Organic palm oil, organic extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, flavor, organic hemp seed oil, vitamin E, and rosemary extract.

Coolibar Sun Blanket

Why didn’t we think of this? Every parent has covered their little one with a swaddling blanket or small quilt when in the sun to protect tender skin, but Coolibar has gone a step further by adding UPF 50+ protection! This ingenious Sun Blanket is made of Coolibar’s own ZnO Suntect fabric, in a lightweight, breathable cotton/bamboo/spandex blend. Super-soft and perfectly sized for little ones, the Coolibar Sun Blanket is available in four gorgeous summery colors: melon, white, crisp aqua, and morning sky.

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

Top Summer Eco-Beauty Must-Haves

Keep your skin balanced and beautiful this summer – naturally, of course! Tiny Green Mom has compiled the top summer eco-beauty must-haves to protect, soothe and brighten the skin – allowing you to put your best face forward each and every morning during the summer months!

suki® skincare

Concentrated Balancing Toner Formulated with white willow bark extract, this refreshing toner is an anti-inflammatory and contains anti-oxidants to soothe redness and inflammation after sun exposure.

Butter Cream Healing Salve This luxurious salve features organic lavender and chamomile extract to soothe and organic comfrey extract to heal sunburnt or chafing skin. It also helps with redness and irritation.

Bio-C 10% Formula Face Serum For those who have been in the sun, this lovely serum contains time-released vitamin C glucoside to even out the skin tone after tanning.

Renewal Bio-Resurfacing Facial PeelMom’s” new favorite beauty product of all time! This gentle peel contains apple enzymes to even out skin tone and cranberry glycolic acid to brighten the skin as well as diminish blemishes. It truly works miracles on your skin!

Shea Terra Organics

Ghassool L’eau De Fleur D’Oranger Purifying Paste New to the Shea Terra Organics line of amazing organic skincare products, this 100% natural paste is made with rare, active lava clay called Ghassool, which promotes the healing of cracks on the feet and hands, wounds and even acne. You can use all over for an at-home spa experience – simply apply the paste to the face and body, and rinse off thoroughly after 1o minutes. Your skin will feel luxurious and silky-soft!

Mad Gab’s Wildly Natural Bodycare

Mad Gab’s Hand Preserver Toss one of these tins into your purse or beach tote this summer for instant relief from dry, cracking hands! Available in Cranberry or Vanilla, this 100% natural balm contains Olive oil, Sweet almond oil, Beeswax, Shea butter, Vitamin E oil, and Essential oils, to protect and moisturize.

Goddess Garden

Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 Full-body coverage in a sheer, non-whitening formula, this water-resistant sunscreen is made with 82% organic ingredients. It glides on easily, offering effective natural sun protection, free of synthetic ingredients and toxic chemicals. It is “Mom’s” top pick for sun protection this summer!

Olìe Biologique

100% Organic Rosehip Oil Touted as Nature’s Miracle Worker, rosehip oil brightens and evens pigmentation, as well as heals sun damage. Rich in Vitamin C, this is the oil to moisturize with day and night during the summer! Plus, it helps to heal acne spots and fade scars.

*Companies generously provided images and samples for the above article.*

Adding Eco-Friendly Accessories to Your Style

Let’s face it. Fashion is important and most of us love to shop. However, it’s equally important to help the earth. The good news is that you can help your environment, even in your stiletto heels. The fashion industry continues to change its practices as consumers make sure that their styles are eco-friendly. As a consumer, you have the option to impact the planet by what you choose to purchase. Also shopping for hot deals and bargains will not only save you time and energy, but it will help you to be more frugal.

You may already have your green dress, pants, or even a top, but all you are missing are the accessories. The good news is that eco-friendly fashion trends are here to stay, and along with trends there are amazing green sites to explore. Here are some fantastic accessories and eco-friendly fashion sites that will make the fashionista in you happy that you can save the world while living in style at the same time.

1. The designer Beth Springer presents a mini messenger bag that has delightful pockets on the outside of the Italian leather bag. The adjustable shoulder strap is made from vegetable dyed Italian latigo leather. This cross body bag is perfect for trips – keep your wallet and other valuable fashion items safe.

2. Gorgeous and earthy, this silver leaf pendant is made with an ethically sourced sapphire. The sterling silver leaf shaped pendant is elegant and also hangs from a delicate sterling silver cable chain. Snatching up this necklace to add to your green outfit will automatically make your day happier.

3. Need some flip flops to wear with your new capris and tee during the summer time? Women’s Flippee Microperf flip flops are vegan shoes! No animal products or byproducts were used at all. In addition, the foot form inserts are made of post consumer recycled paper and water based glue is used to hold the shoe together. To add to the eco-friendly nature of these adorable flip flops, the sole of shoes are biodegradable. These shoes are definitely sole-filled with love for the earth and your feet!

4. Understanding a mom, there’s no doubt that you also want fashionable accessories for your tots. The Toddler Doodle shoes are made with washable suede and the soft linings of the shoe are made of certified organic cotton. Also, the soles are made of natural and recycled non marking rubber. Plus, is your little one learning to tie his or her shoes? The elastic laces are made from recycled PET and natural latex with a user friendly pull toggle to boot, literally.

5. Another “soleful” eco-friendly fashion accessory, Yellow Heeled Vegan Shoe Boots knows how to take our breath away with their yellow pumps and stylish buckle. Wear these heals with some black leggings, pants, or even a pair of skinny jeans to make a statement!

6. A soft and elegant make-up bag is what every girl desires to own. This Fair Trade Print Make-Up Purse has a waterproof liner, two separate zipped compartments, and an integral mirror. Carry this purse in your larger handbag or keep it at home to gaze at when refreshing your makeup.

7. By now we all know that Etsy has multiple sellers who offer eco-friendly products to purchase. Begin your green search by visiting giantdwarf’s shop, where you will find adorable and colorful Fleurette Cloches. Crafted from a collection of pristine recycled sweaters and vibrantly colored fancy felt, you will feel like an eco-diva in no time flat.

As you can see there are numerous fashion filled and eco-friendly sites that offer fashion accessories. By taking the time to fill your wardrobe with eco-friendly accessories, you’ll feel better about your purchases knowing that you have made a difference. Sustainable accessories support fashion, but they also support the earth.

About the Author

An ocean dreamer at heart and in real life, Sierra Greenman thrives on visiting and living near the beach and could never imagine herself anywhere else. She recently ventured out into the freelance world and now is a Freelance Writer and Social Media Specialist and absolutely loves it. Writing about fashion and style are one of her many passions. You can also find Sierra at her blog Ocean Dreams and follow her on Twitter @oceandreams4u. She also is a featured fashion blogger for JoeShopping.com.

Eco-Friendly Apps for Your iPad

Whether you are trying to save on gas, promote less paper waste, or find a fun way to help your kids understand their role in our ecosystem, you can do it all conveniently from your iPad. Many applications make going green both engaging and convenient at a couple dollars per app or often for free. With several new apps on the market you’ll want to know which ones are eco-friendly and available.

1. My Recycle List (free) allows you to locate the position of places where you can recycle specific items you may choose from a list. If you find a location you like and want to return to it, there is a function that allows you to save and organize several recycling locations. This app is especially helpful if you have many items that you need to take outside of your home to recycle. It allows you to find the locations and areas where you can recycle the majority of your materials without driving all over town and adding to atmospheric vehicle emissions.

2. iBooks (free) is a great application for avid readers. Whether you are standing in line, sitting in a waiting room, or on a lunch break, iBooks will give you access to your entire library of full downloaded books. Are you a student that wants to take notes in the margins? This app allows you to take notes, highlight, and locate specific passages. If you’re tired of contributing to paper consumption and carrying or storing volumes of books, this is a great app for you.

3. Crazy Weather ($1.99) engages your children in an educational and interactive story which teaches valuable lessons on climate change. This app is perfect for the parent on the go who wants to give their child a sense of their part in climate change at an early age. It is sure to be a fun and educational journey and at the same time, appropriate for smaller children.

4. iGrowIt ($0.99) is the ideal app for aspiring gardeners and horticulturalists. If spring has sprung and you are wondering which vegetables you can plant, look no further. When you select the “What can I grow today?” button, you get a list of which vegetables are appropriate for the current month. Also available are instructions on how to plant and harvest your vegetables with recipe ideas as an added bonus.

5. SoundPaper ($4.99) is another great app for anyone who needs to take notes. Using the touch-screen keyboard, you type in notes as though you were on your laptop or desktop computer. What SoundPaper has that your personal computer may not, is the ability to draw sketches and record audio bits at the tap of a finger. This app would be especially convenient for students or business professionals. Save paper while combing three different types of note-taking modalities with SoundPaper.

6. Route4me (free) if you have a job or personal life which takes you all over town, Route4Me can get you there by navigating in the most timely and effective manner. Especially for people whose career is based in driving goods or people to various destinations, time is money and this app will save both along with miles and emissions by optimizing your trip route.

About the Author

Sarah Danielson writes for BluWiki where you can find Subway Coupons and Fiber One Cereal Coupons.

With Father’s Day just around the corner, the following 5 gifts for Dad are both practical and eco-friendly! All of these great finds can be purchased online for any last-minute shoppers.

5 Great Gifts for the Planet-Friendly Dad

Shea Terra Organics Baobab Sea Kelp Shaving Soap

Protect dad while he shaves, with the new 100% natural soothing shaving soap. The enhanced formula includes Cape Aloe, Cape Kelp, and Baobab oil to help skin cells regenerate, prevent ingrown hairs and heal razor nicks fast. He’ll be thanking you for the perfect shave. Available at www.sheaterraorganics.com for $18.00.

Bobble

Bobble makes an affordable and thoughtful gift for the active, on-the-go Dad. Bobble is an easy, eco-friendly and inexpensive way to stay hydrated while keeping single-serve plastic water bottle out of landfills. The reusable filter removes chlorine and organic contaminants from tap water, yielding a cleaner, crisper taste. Plus, it can be used up to 300 times before it needs to be replaced!

Bobble is available in 3 sizes, the original 18.5oz, a larger 34oz and a smaller 13oz. Bobbles retail at $9.95, $12.95 and $8.95 respectively. Bobble can be purchased in several retailers, including Target, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Crate & Barrel, Bed, Bath & Beyond and online at www.waterbobble.com.

3M™ TEKK Protection™ Digital WorkTunes™ Hearing Protector & AM/FM Stereo Radio

Whether it is jamming to his favorite music station, catching the ball game on the built in AM/FM Stereo Radio, or just listening to his tunes via his iPod, Dad can have a great time passing the time outside while keeping his ears safe from the harmful effects the volume of powers tools and lawnmowers can cause! Visit www.acehardware.com.

EvolutionMAN

For the modern Dad, EvolutionMAN offers an amazing collection of men’s skincare staples with everything from shave cream, to exfoliant, to man-friendly cosmetics! Created by famed celebrity Groomer Marco Berardini, EvolutionMAN leaves Dad feeling clean, fresh, and fantastic without the use of harsh, toxic ingredients. For Father’s Day treats and one-of-a-kind gift sets, visit www.evolution-man.com.

Bento from Skip Hop

For the proud new daddy or expectant father, Bento is a sleek, functional diaper bag that will keep Dad organized when out and about with junior in tow. Designed from the ground up to be a total solution for today’s busy, multi-tasking families, the BPA-free Bento is not just a diaper bag. This innovative bag includes an insulated Mealtime Kit with Clix containers, which slides into a convenient compartment — keeping food in its own special place. The perfectly sized containers store snacks and more while the insulated cooler bag and perfect-fit freezer pack keep food fresh. Bento also features plenty of pockets for superior storage and organization, padded tote straps, an adjustable messenger strap and patented Shuttle Clips so that it can attach to any stroller. This amazing bag is perfect for Dad. (and Mom, too!) Available online at www.skiphop.com.

Sarasa Eco-Clip Retractable Pen

Every Dad needs a great pen, and for the eco-conscious father, the Sarasa Eco-Clip Retractable Pen by Zebra just makes sense! Made with 81% post-consumer recycled materials, the pen will quickly become dad’s favorite! It features a soft rubber grip, retractable tip, strong pocket clip, and a translucent barrel to provide ink supply visibility to easily refill when low. Plus, the packaging is made from 100% post consumer waste! For more information on Zebra Pen’s line of eco products, visit http://zebrapen.com/products/eco.

12 Tips to Make Your Kitchen Planet-Friendly

In this time of increasing environmental awareness more and more people are trying to make their lifestyles more eco-friendly. One place many people have not looked at changing anything is in the kitchen. It is possible to have a healthy, modern, eco-friendly kitchen, and to do so without spending a lot of time and money. Here are some pointers to show you how.

1.) Switch to LED lighting. These lights use even less energy and last longer than the fluorescents that have become so popular. In addition, there is no mercury hazard with LED lights. Not too long ago you had to install specialty fixtures to have LED lighting in your kitchen, but now you can buy replacement bulbs for standard fixtures.

2.) Replace your old faucet with a low-flow model. This will substantially reduce the water you use for cooking and cleaning.

3.) Start using natural cleaning products. Many of the most common cleaners used in the kitchen are also among the most dangerous and least eco-friendly. There are natural alternatives available for every type of cleaning agent used in the kitchen.

4.) The next time one of your appliances needs to be replaced, buy an Energy-Star certified replacement. They are not that much more expensive, and they are good for both the environment and your pocketbook; you will save a bundle in operating expenses over the life of the appliance.

5.) Select top and bottom refrigerator/freezer units. They are much more efficient than side-by-side models.

6.) Choose a convection oven, which cooks food up to 25% faster than a regular oven, thus saving energy.

7.) Choose natural materials whenever possible. Bamboo and cork are just two of the natural materials available for use as flooring, backsplashes and cutting boards. You can also buy curtains and seat cushions made out of cotton or other eco-friendly materials.

8.) Use scrap wood and recycled materials when possible. This will cut down on landfill waste and give new life to old products.

9.) Avoid chemicals when buying new cabinets. There are certified formaldehyde-free products on the market. You can also find cabinets with non-toxic finishes. Select cabinets that are made of solid wood or an alternative product such as wheatboard. A few cabinet-makers are even beginning to utilize recycled wood.

10.) New countertops are available that are made from 100% recycled glass and concrete. Other options include quartz or wooden countertops.

11.) Use no or low-VOC paints when repainting your kitchen. Conventional paints are loaded with chemicals that are harmful both to you, your family and the environment.

12.) Set up recycling stations in your kitchen. The ease and convenience will make your family much more likely to recycle.

About the Author

Isaac writes on behalf of Cliq Studios, a home improvement business that designs, manufactures and sells quality kitchen cabinets which come with a lifetime warranty. Use the Cliq Studios website to visualize your new kitchen, request free kitchen samples or check kitchen cabinet prices. Whatever your requirement – trust Cliq Studios’ Wholesale Kitchen Cabinets to exceed expectations.

Resources
http://ecoliving.scotiabank.com/articles/recipe-for-a-green-kitchen-0
http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/green-living/eco-friendly-kitchen
http://www.hgtv.com/decorating/9-eco-friendly-kitchen-ideas/index.html

*Image courtesy of Flickr.*

Now you can tote, organize outdoor gear, plant flowers, or keep drinks chilled – all with this one handy Trug Tub from Kinsman Garden Company! This handy, multi-purpose tub is made with 100% recycled polyethylene plastic, and is a must-have for any busy, eco-conscious household!

Mom” has designated the Trug Tub as a beach toy catch-all – it can haul things to and from the beach with ease, and can be easily sprayed clean! These multi-functional tubs are available in basic black, or brightly-colored red, blue, green, purple, or yellow in 3 sizes – small, medium, and large. They look darling, no matter what they are being used for in your home!

For more information on the Kinsman Garden Trub Tub, or other versatile household items, visit www.kinsmangarden.com.

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

The Benefits of an Eco-Friendly TV

Let’s face it: most televisions are energy-consuming titans, running up your electric bill and leading to pollution from the processes required to produce energy. And with the average household engaged in five hours of television consumption each day, there’s a whole lot of power getting sucked up. But if you want to cut back on your carbon footprint even as you continue to enjoy broadcast programming, there are a few options. The flat-screen plasmas, LCDs, and LEDs on the market consume less energy than tube TVs of eras past and use less materials, making them greener on every front. So here are a few great reasons to do your part for the planet by choosing an eco-friendly television the next time you purchase a new set.

  1. Options. There are really only three options when it comes to green TVs, and they each come with pros and cons. The LED is the latest creation and it easily uses the least amount of energy, with consumption estimated at about 10-20% less than standard LCDs. However, it is also the most expensive initially (look for prices to drop in the future as it becomes more popular). The LCD may be the best overall option at this point, since the technology has been on the market for a while, making the purchase price significantly lower than LED. And it uses about 2-3 times less energy than plasmas and you can check out LCD TV reviews online. But don’t totally discount the plasma. It’s still better than a tube television and prices tend to be the lowest (although they aren’t significantly lower than LDCs). Just remember that size matters; as the screen gets bigger, energy consumption rises exponentially.
  2. Less material waste. Since flat-screen TVs are much smaller than boxy tube televisions (in terms of overall surface area), it only stands to reason that less material waste is created in their manufacturing. This is just one of many great motivators to purchase a new flatscreen set.
  3. Easier to sell or recycle. Tube televisions are a hard sell these days, largely due to the 2009 transition to digital signal broadcast. These older TVs lack the technology to read a modern signal (many were created with analog receivers) and require an additional box in order to view programming, which means they’re no longer being sold or recycled; they’re going straight to the dump. So forget about buying a “retro” TV. Upgrade to a flatscreen for longevity and the potential for a second life when you’re finished with it.
  4. Reduced energy consumption. This is the main reason to purchase an eco-friendly TV. Not only will you do your part to reduce pollution, but you’re also going to save on your utility bill, a bonus that most people can really get on board with these days.
  5. Clearer picture. If none of these arguments appeal to you and push you to purchase a greener TV set, then perhaps the aesthetics will. With HD technology on your side, you’re going to enjoy a clearer, brighter picture quality. And after all, the reason you’re buying a TV is for the singular joy of watching it.

Throw an Eco-Friendly Baby Shower

People come up with all kinds of wacky themes for baby showers, from sci-fi to Jack and Jill (males welcome) to a zoo motif. But one of the best ideas to hit the stage where baby showers are concerned is the eco-friendly shower. Not only can you green up every aspect of the event, including decorations, food, and games, but you might be surprised by how many products and services there are to help you reduce your carbon footprint and create a cleaner future for the baby whose creation you’re celebrating. All it takes is a little time and creativity. So if you’re looking to host an eco-friendly baby shower for your sister or best friend, here are a few ways you can green up the works.

  1. Invitations. Evites are hands-down the most eco-friendly option when it comes to sending out invitations. But not everyone uses the internet (especially older relatives). So if you find that you still have to send out a few baby shower invitations via snail mail (or you simply decide to go traditional), think about finding a company that offer 100% PCW recycled paper products. Many of them even use soy-based inks rather than chemical compounds. And if you live in a small town, think about hand-delivering via bicycle for zero emissions.
  2. Decorations. You might be tempted to buy those shiny, themed, non-recyclable paper plates at the party store, but resist this temptation! Instead, create a lovely and traditional setting with your own plates and cloth napkins. And skip the polyurethane balloons, which will languish in the landfill long after you expire, as well as cut flowers (grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers). Instead, use recycled paper (or magazines) to create an eco-friendly flower arrangement (cut paper in flower shapes and attach to pipe cleaners) or go with an origami theme, hanging cranes and other paper creations throughout the space for a bit of flair.
  3. Food. There’s no better choice for an expectant mother than organic food items. You can create beautiful and delicious fruit, veggie, or pasta salads with produce from the farmers market or a local organic co-op. Or contract out to a catering business (or restaurant) that uses local produce and meats that are grown and raised organically.
  4. Games. If you opt for traditional games like “guess the number of diapers in the bin”, make sure to use cloth diapers (and give them to Mom at the end of the party). Other than that, you should think about games that require no materials, such as “how well do you know the mom” and “baby trivia”.
  5. Gifts. As the hostess, it is your job to provide favors for the guests. And you’ll also want to get a spectacular gift for the mom-to-be. Where guests are concerned, you can’t go wrong handing out gift cards (bonus: this also means a lot less work for you and less emissions from driving around to different stores). That way they’ll be sure to get something they want and the card itself creates a negligible amount of waste. For a double whammy, get gift cards for eco-friendly stores. As for the expectant mother, think about something she can really use, like a robe made from organic cotton (she’ll probably get plenty of use out of it for AM feedings) or an eBook reader loaded with kid’s books (less paper waste). If all else fails, she could probably use a gift card, as well.