Wednesday, November 30, 2011

ECO DEAL: 20% off Non-Toxic Toys thru Thursday - one of my FAVORITE online natural toy toystores - just extended their exclusive 20% blowout sale until Thursday evening. To receive 20% off you must use the coupon code below - but don't delay! Their gorgeous eco-friendly, non-toxic toys sell out fast this time of year. My girls particularly love the Rosie Hippo wooden trucks and wooden animals - which provide endless hours of imaginative, non-electric fun.

To save 20% at, simply enter coupon code THANKS2011 at checkout (some items excluded - but not many!). Offer valid until midnight PST Thursday, 12/1/11. Happy Eco Shopping! 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Best Paraben-Free Mascara - bareMinerals Flawless Definition

I've tried many a natural mascara in my day - and most are aweful. You have to apply 10 coats just to get a bit of color and then the whole effort  is usually wasted 30 minutes anyhow when the stuff is smudged or flaking down your face. Companies like Lancome and Mabeline know how to rock the eyelash market, but they use chemicals to extend and darken those lush lashes so alas...I have bid them farewell (sniff sniff). I had all but given up on finding a natural alternative that could provide true volume and definition when I came across Flawless Definition by bareMinerals - a paraben-free, ALMOST all-natural mascara that uses nature's minerals and no harsh ingredients to create a thicking and extending mascara that actually contends with the best chemical department store brands out there. At $18 a bottle - it is not cheap, but then neither are those toxic department store brands.

Why is it important to use paraben-free mascara? Because parabens - a synthetic preservative found in many cosmetics, beauty products and personal hygene items - can mimic hormones in the human body and disrupt the endocrine system. Research has shown that this disruption has been linked to cancer and early puberty. Why risk cancer in the name of beauty - when there is an awesome alternative: bareMinerals Flawless Definition. You can pick up Flawless Definition mascara online or at a bareMinerals store near you.

  • NutriPlumpTM formula dramatically plumps lashes up to 600% (After two coats of mascara, based on an independent study)The super-plush, incredibly soft bristles of our wand gently wrap around every lash
  • Perfect definition, fullness and flutter
  • Paraben-free, smudge-proof, flake-free, clump-free
  • Opthamologist tested
  • Safe for contact lens wearers
  • Parabens
  • Sulfates
  • Synthetic Fragrances
  • Synthetic Dyes
  • Phthalates
  • GMOs
  • Triclosan

Water (Aqua/Eau), Diisostearoyl Trimethylolpropane Siloxy Silicate, Beeswax (Cera Alba/Cire d'abeille), Stearic Acid, Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, (Canelilla Cera/Cire de Candelilla), Aluminum Starch Octenylsuccinate, Triethanolamine, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Ozokerite, Copernicia Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax (Cera Carnauba/Cire de carnauba), Phyllanthus Emblica Fruit Extract, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Smithsonite Extract, Malachite Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Tocopheryl Acetate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Lupine Protein, Acrylate Copolymer, Propylene Glycol, Montmorillonite, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol. May Contain: Iron Oxides (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

ECO DEAL: Wooden Kitchen only $79!

I just had to post this amazing deal on a solid wood kitchen now being sold at Bed, Bath and Beyond for only $79. ($99, really, but when you use a 20% off coupon - which are available everywhere and NEVER expire, even though they have an expiration date -  which brings the steal-of-a-deal down to to $79.) What a terrific holiday gift - for little girls AND boys! Bed, Bath and Beyond is carrying a ton of other eco-friendly toys this holiday season so run to a store quick or log onto today before they sell out (because they will!).

TIP: The Bed, Bath and Beyond website will NOT honor 20% off coupons, but if you go into the store and have them place the online order for you, the store will honor the discount.

PS>> I have no connection to Bed, Bath and Beyond - other than loving the store and always being pleasantly surprised by the eco-choices you can find there. Such as organic sheets, Pyrex storage containers, 100% cotton washable curtains, real wood blinds, etc.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Glass Straws - A Great Alternative to Plastic

Eco-friendly Glass Straws
Glass straws - made from ALMOST unbreakable Pyrex - make an excellent alternative to plastic straws. We use them at our house for smoothies, shakes and coffee too (to help prevent coffee-colored teeth). As long as my kids stay put at the table when they use glass straws, I have no worries about breakage or kids getting hurt. Many online eco merchants now carry glass straws, but my favorite source is - which is run by an East Coast glass blower named Steph. Steph's been making glass straws by hand for over 6 years (I only know this - because that is how long ago we bought our first set from her online). When making her straws, Steph uses Borosilicate (otherwise known as Pyrex), a grade of glass reserved for only the most quality of glass utensils. Borosilicate is also the preferred glass of scientific laboratories because it is more durable and has more thermal resistance than most kitchen quality glass.

If you want to stop using plastic straws away from home too, you can buy a carrying case for your glass straws or a package of paper or corn biodegradable straws to pull out and use at restaurants or friends' homes. Stainless steel straws are another option, but you can't use them with hot beverages and they are harder to clean than glass (since you can't see too well if anything is still lurking inside).
CLEANING TIP: For gunked up glass straws (like those that hold onto smoothie particles), you'll want to use a small nipple brush. Otherwise, just toss them in the dishwasher.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Healthiest Cookware - Le Creuset

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I wanted to give praise to my favorite cookware of all time - the Le Creuset enamelled cast iron collection. Yes these puppies cost a fortune - per piece about the price of a designer dog actually - but so worth it. I have pieces in my "collection" (read: inherited from my mother-in-law) that are over 25 years old. Every few years I treat myself to a new piece. My favorite colors are teal and orange - but it's not about the pretty. It's about the quality, the health-conscious, aluminum-free, non-leaching eco composition, and the durability. I've had two pieces break over the last 25 years and Le Creuset immediately replaced both. No questions and no receipts required. Buy some Le Creuset today and in 25 years when you're cooking Thanksgiving dinner for your grown-up children you'll pat yourself on the back for being such a wise investor.