Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Treasures Found

I came upon this fantastic site, bottledupdesigns.com and thought you might want to considering it for your "green" holiday gift-giving.

The jewelry is handmade from antique glass and bottles reclaimed from wooded habitats and rural farmlands throughout the beautiful part of the country where the artist, Laura Bergman, lives, in Pennsylvania. While outside one day, digging and collecting she found several collectible bottles, and over time, she also saw so much wildlife running through the broken remains that she decided to do something about it. Now the broken pieces of bottles and dishware come home with her and are handmade into a remarkable line of recycled glass jewelry, "Bottled Up Designs". When Laura began making these she found herself explaining over and over again what the glass was that people were looking at, so she decided to put each piece with a card telling "The Story of the Glass" so every customer can enjoy the remarkable history behind their piece. This image is of her pink depression glass earrings, which sell for $45. www.bottledupdesigns.com

Born Free

I am 7 years gone from having an infant and often miss that time in my children's lives. There are so many wonderful new products for infants, nowadays. Here's one I wish were around when I needed it.

BornFree, an all-natural, Bisphenol-A (BPA), Phthalates and PVC free line of bottles, cups, pacifiers, teethers and accessories for babies and kids.

BornFree was the first brand to provide a completely safe line to consumers, even before health concerns over plastic bottles and chemicals made the headlines. The products also have unique venting systems that minimize vacuum pressure as well as orthodontic silicone nipples and pacifiers, safe for kids’ developing teeth (developed under the guidelines of biological dentistry).

A-List celebrities like Nicole Richie, Halle Berry, Ashlee Simpson Wentz, Heidi Klum and Tori Spelling are all huge fans of the brand and use the products with their kids. BornFree products are sold at Target, Babies R Us, CVS, Whole Foods, Buy Buy Baby and more. Check it out!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Joy of Pomegranates

The pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits known to man. It has been around for centuries, yet people forget how versatile it can really be! It is the perfect fruit to experiment with in the fall months. Even the rich red color reminds people of the warm colors of leaves changing.

It is perfect in stuffing, salads, and great with fruit salad. It is even a beautiful decoration for having guests over. Though the pomegranate is extremely rich in anti-oxidants and very healthy, the sugar content of the fruit can run pretty high; which is why HINT Essence Water is the perfect solution to get your fall pomegranate fix without the sugars and calories!
Check out the HINT flavored Pomegranate-Tangerine drink: the perfect Fall beverage.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Fund Raising for a Good Cause

Now that the school year is back on track, their attention turns to fundraising. All schools need to meet the demands of raising money but unfortunately, it often means selling stuff that people don't want. From gift wrap to coupon books to chocolate bars, families and the neighbors spend a lot of money supporting their schools, the traditional way. Insert Koru Fundraising, where they are looking to transform the fundraising industry.

The company has taken a deep look into how to genuinely better the fundraising industry and here are a few things that they found
- From resource extraction, production, distribution, consumption and disposal, much of the goods sold are so wasteful to our planet. Each product sold by Koru is analyzed for its green factors. For example, 70% of goods sold are made in North America.
- Buy buying stuff that is unhealthy (insert chocolate bars), we doing a big disservice to our children, who often consume many of those chocolate bars. Koru focuses on selling consumables that are only deemed organic and in no way selling anything that can be considered toxic to families whatsoever.
- By selling things that people don't want to make a buck, we are teaching a poor lesson to our children. Koru focuses on a comprehensive educational program, provided free of charge to groups, by the animation studio Planet Bonehead. Its one thing to teach students about the environment, its even better to do something about it.
- Charity is long lost in fundraising. Koru Fundraising is a member of One Percent for the Planet and allows groups to choose where Koru's sales will go towards and encourage them to give back as well.
- Products are often overpriced. By offering products at or below retail, products not over $20, Koru helps groups follow the number one business rule, "keep your customers happy"

Its nice to someone out there is making a step in the right direction.

For more information go to korufundraising.com or email info@korufundraising.com

Monday, October 5, 2009

Toxic Waters? Rarely, but let’s keep it that way!

I love how other green moms are finding this blog--it makes all of my hard work, worthwhile. I was delighted when I received an email from Lydia Chambers, co-founder of Back2Tap, a social business working with schools and groups nationally to run green fundraisers and raise awareness about the wastefulness of disposable plastic. Her idea was to write this article for "you", me and anyone else you can forward this to, to bring awareness around some of the issues we face with our drinking water. THERE are plenty of clickable links throughout so you can check out further resources, etc. so you can make your own conclusion and decision about your family's drinking water. Hydrate Well! (and thanks to Lydia) **Remember to click the BACK arrow after reading the linked articles so you can get back to this blog posting!

The New York Times series “Toxic Waters” written by Charles Duhigg presents a disturbing view of our drinking water quality in the USA. The first article about herbicides (atrazine in particular) points out that it is time to strengthen some of the federal drinking water standards in light of new research. You can read more about it in my earlier Earthsense blog entitled “Don’t give up on tap water.” The second article in this series is about industrial waste, particularly in the coal-mining region of West Virginia. Basically, Duhigg says the 1972 Clean Water Act was largely successful at stopping the rampant pollution of our rivers, lakes, and streams, but over the last 10 years it has not been well enforced by the EPA or states. Consequently, our water quality is going downhill again. His third article is about agricultural runoff which is a type of non-point source pollution (it doesn’t come out of a pipe). Most of this runoff is not regulated by the Federal government, and it is not well regulated by local governments. Disposing of huge quantities of manure by spraying it on nearby fields has led to bacteria and parasites in local water bodies and drinking water wells in heavily agricultural areas.

Before you panic and revert to bottled water, you might want to follow the advice of the New York Times on-line article “How safe is your tap water?” First visit the EPA drinking water quality reports that are available on-line to check out the quality of water in your town. Then, find out the names of the polluters that are located near you, by visiting the interactive database of water pollution records for the United States that was amassed by The New York Times. If you are one of the small percentage of people who have impaired drinking water from your private well or your public water system, your next best step would be to use some sort water filtration at home while you lobby your legislators for cleaner water. Don’t assume that bottled water is any safer, by the way. It is regulated by the FDA, an even more poorly funded and staffed governmental agency.

There is a positive side to the story. The EPA reports that 92% of the population served by community water systems had no reported health-based violations. There’s also hope that investigative articles like these will pressure the EPA and states to improve enforcement of the Clean Water Act laws that were wisely enacted to protect us all those years ago. Finally, Lisa Jackson, the new head of EPA has acknowledged these problems and says she will address them. The more people who raise these issues with regulators and politicians, the better chance we have of achieving meaningful improvements so that everybody in the United States will be able to drink their tap water and enjoy recreation in our water bodies without fear of getting sick.