Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What you Sippin' From?

Klean Kanteen water bottles will be available at Green Aware Fair.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with All Electric

Raffle Round-Up includes yummy sippin':
1. Gift card to Jamba Juice.

With more than 30 years in the building business, All Electric provides solar power generating systems as well as full service electrical contractor services.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Spa Therapy Wellness Center

Raffle Round-Up includes the ultimate in pampering:
1. Wellness Package
- Yoga Class
- 1/2 massage
- Reflexology
- Steam Therapy
- Acupressure
- Microdermabrasion Treatment
- Ayurvedic Scalp Treatment

Visit Spa Therapy Wellness Center for more information on their services which are the "Gold Standard of Therapeutic Care."

Monday, July 28, 2008

You Look Marvelous, But Are You Natural?

For more information on the safety of the cosmetics you use, visit Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Kiwi Magazine

Raffle Round-Up includes a green living resource:
1. One year subscription to Kiwi Magazine.

Visit Kiwi Magazine for tips and information on "growing families the natural and organic way." If you can't wait for GAF, then order your subscription today.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Tees For Change

Raffle Round-Up includes natural comfort:
1. Organic cotton tee.
2. Bamboo cotton tee.

Visit Tees for Change to see their other offerings of tees that make statements. When you "buy a tee, they plant a tree."

Monday, July 14, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Little Green Secrets

Eat Organic and natural with your copy of Food to Live By.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Stinkerbells

Raffle Round-Up includes organic cuteness:
1. Organic Cotton Sleepy Sheep Doll.

Visit Stinkerbells to see their other offerings of natural toys, organic clothes, and cloth diapers.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Fridge Box

Raffle Round-Up includes the following imaginative and creative play toys:
1. Pirates/Race Cars Fridge Box
2. Cottage/Flower Shop Fridge Box

Visit Fridge Box to learn more about creative play with cardboard and sustainable education.

Cool Green Kids

It’s pretty cool being a kid growing up in a green toy world. It is almost enough to make one want to relive his childhood. Since that is not possible, maybe you can find a child with a green toy who will let you play too. With the green wave upon us, many of the new toys available are innovative, creative, and there are a few older versions that have been greened. Regardless, there are many to keep the attention of even the video-craved child who cannot seem to pull himself away from the screen.

Monopoly was a fun board game to play. You racked up property, collected rent, and even then there was always passing “GO.” Money was to be had by everyone. Today, I wonder for how much those properties would be sold. A newer version of this game has moved the players from the “big city” and placed them down on the farm. Not just any farm, but an organic farm. Garden-Opoly entertains its players while also educating them on the "ups and downs" of organic farming. How does your garden grow? Watch out for the aphids.

How many times have you purchased a toy for a child and after struggling to remove it from its cardboard box, the child sits and plays with the cardboard? Cardboard is cool and kids know it. April Capil of Fridge Box also knows what entertains children. A sign of the green times, April, a graduate from the Green MBA program at Dominican University, created Fridge Box to “keep preschoolers and young children entertained and inspired.” You can see how creative some of the recipients of these boxes have been. Captain Chase went to outer space and this preschool was overrun with bugs Bug Club. Some of the profits from Fridge Box will go to the Fridge Box Foundation and support such educational programs like the Ma’at Youth Academy in Richmond, CA. Purchase a Fridge Box, watch your child’s creative juices flow, and support sustainable education.

There is no better reason to drink milk from a plastic jug rather than a carton, than Green Toys. Founded and manufactured in the Bay Area, Green Toys created a line of really cool and fun toys made out of recycled material. This is evidence that recycling works and people are coming up with some really innovative and quality product from our recycling efforts. Currently, the line has a few toys, which surely will grow in the future. This may not be such a green statement, but whatever you do “keep buying your milk in plastic milk jugs!”

If you have an action adventure, explorer type child, then Sprig Toys may be the answer to replacing their battery operated fun. Action toys with no batteries. Instead, they use “natural kinetic energy of push-and pump-action play to generate lights and sounds.” This fun is due in the stores Fall 2008.

This list of toys could go on. Suffice it to say, there are many green and affordable toy alternatives to satisfy even the difficult to shop for child. Enjoy your toy shopping. Before you head out read some green shopping tips from Treehugger.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Safety Resources at Your Fingertips

The beauty of the Internet is that you can get information about anything as quickly as you can key and click. If you performed well in keyboarding class, then your access will be even quicker. During the recent “lead in toys scare,” articles were everywhere and it was possible to keep abreast of the developing changes as more lead was found in more toys making it harder to buy that special Christmas gift without being concerned about the long term effects it could have on the recipient.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is a government agency whose responsibility is to “protect the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death” from product under their jurisdiction. It is a great resource for product recalls as well as learning more about the standards on which products are reviewed.

Because there are so many products available to the consumer and we can only rely on the government agencies for so much, sometimes the best reviews come from the “mom to mom” connection. There are many parents who have taken protecting their children, and those of others, to a higher level by not waiting or relying only on the information released by government agencies. Kathy, also known as "Safe Mama," has made it a mission to provide a one-stop location where parents can obtain "information about things that affect our children." Kathy, and contributing ladies, do all of the research for you. Because of the positive response, they recently launched a new weekly column titled, "Ask Dear Safe Mama," where people can ask their questions and receive well researched answers to their inquiries.

Non-Toxic Kids wants to help your kids stay safe, healthy, and smart.” That is a pretty large task, but Katy Farber manages to complete everything on her task list and parents and children are the ones who benefit. If your life is “too busy” for you to care, then visit Katy’s site because she has filled it with "research summaries, news updates, product reviews," and more.

If you are in the market of purchasing anything for your child, then The Soft Landing may be a place you will want to visit first. In a former life, but the experience obviously carries with her, Alicia Voorhies was an RN with a specialty in developmental disabilities. Alicia’s motivation comes from promoting the health of her children and other family members. She occasionally slips pictures in her site of her family where you get to see who really keeps her on her toes and from where her commitment is based.

These are resources that will hopefully give you a good start in making better choices when buying toys for children. Purchasing a toy can be a little like buying a car. You want to get the best value, choose something safe, and also one that will last for a long time. Children like toys and some of them may be just as product savvy as adults. Choose quality and safety over inferiority and toxicity. It will last longer, be better for your budget, and their health. If you are already feeling a little overwhelmed, then try not to let that happen and visit one of these moms sites that will make the search a little easier.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My Little Toxic Toy Box

The last thing any parent wants to worry about is the safety of the toys they give their children. Children are given toys to preserve memories, to comfort, and just because we want to give them toys. The recent reports on lead content in toys and the dangers of types (specifically BPA) of plastics in toys, and just about everything else, is cause for concern because the warnings are frightening. It is a bit bewildering realizing that we have been living with and using products, for however many years, which have been and may still be harmful to our health

Many of us played with “toxic toys” when we were young. We have since grown up to become productive and contributing members of society. As far as we know, that plastic binky we gnawed on and that chipping paint we licked (and loved the flavor of) has not been affecting our health; at least we hope not. There is little we can do now regarding the items we used and loved.

According to Mike Adams, there are "20 things that are more dangerous to children than lead paint.” He lists many items we introduce our children to on a daily basis. After reading the list, you may find the average family (including yours) uses more than 50% of the listed products that not only pose dangers to children, but are dangerous to the family as a whole.

For many, it isn’t practical to storm through your child’s toy box and toss everything into the trash, including that favorite doll (more than likely containing some synthetic fiber that is toxic in some manner), that you searched through six (6) stores for on Christmas Eve. With today’s economy and many children living under poorer financial conditions while still longing for toys, new or used, it is a waste to throw away a “perfectly good toy.” There are also many toys that we grew up with and introducing them to our children has been a dream ever since the day they were born.

A lot of people choose between affordability versus safety when purchasing a toy. Most people never consider safety beyond the age appropriateness for the child. Until now, that has not been a matter of importance. A quick run through the $1 store reveals a lot of really cool and cute toys (let’s not forget affordable), usually made from China. Now, any toy from that country is synonymous with “TOXIC TOY” even when it may not be the case. It will probably be a while before China is able to rid itself of that association. Now that you are aware of the fact toys are not as safe as they should be, what do you do? What can you do?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Bella Bows

Raffle Round-Up includes the following "'lil sweet & sassy" items:
1. White Toddler/Girl Crochet Beanie Peony Flower Clip
2. Rose Pink Flower Clip
3. Cherry Korker Bows- Pigtail Set
4. Strawberry Chocolates Clippy Set Of 6
5. Infant Lace Headband With Gerber Daisy Flower Clip

Visit Bella Bows to view all of the listed items as well as to also see other beautiful accessories.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Crafters Unite

The battle cry of crafters everywhere has been heard. From the domestic plastic bag covering, pot holder making crafter to the “gotta” have whatever it is nobody else has “something” crafter to the sophisticated, specialty jewelry and hand-made stenciled stationary crafter. They are here, they are creative, they are unique, and they are wanting to save us from our dreary, mass productive and sweat-shop product receiving lives. Can they do it? Yes they can? Well, we may want them to, but they only really want to get together, share stories, creative ideas, and just have a little fun because for them, crafting is a passion and not really a mission.

The Internet is bringing these people together through such sites as Sacramento based Handmade Parade, which is a little more intimate than Etsy “offering a more modern interpretation of vintage crafts, while providing a place for members to sell kits and patterns along with their finished pieces.”

Crafters know others crafters because they frequent similar circles offline through crafting “parties,” project gatherings, and fairs. The new and more popular meeting place is now online where crafters are not only making new friends, but also developing business relationships and opening up shop as have the ladies of the Sacramento Craft Mafia (SCM). The SCM is a branch off of the original Texas-based Craft Mafia, which was formed in 2003 by nine (9) crafty ladies. With a few more ladies, dreams of crafting all of the time, and a little business ingenuity, the ladies of SCM are blogging and have opened up individual as well as group online stores allowing them to promote their wares to a larger audience. These California women are extremely crafty and very talented.

Talented is a modest word to describe Amy, a mother of three, who was an Athletic Trainer in her former life (before marriage, children, and life happened). The last six years have been filled with creative ventures that have included sewing, painting, and scrapbooking, just to name a few. A certain sense of accomplishment has been achieved, but nothing compares to the pleasure she receives from spending time with her children. It was the love of doing for them that birthed Bella Bows. “Sweet and sassy” pretty and unique hair accessories decorated using ribbon, flowers, buttons, and any other beautiful accessory is what makes her designs so special. Visit Bella Bows' Web site and her Etsy store that features product for sale. Be sure to check out the 4th of July specials.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You Too Can Create

Creativity is a little more difficult to learn than skill, but that has not stopped a new generation of people who are doing things the way they used to be done before high-tech and automation took over. Using imagination, ideas, and the desire to be creative has inspired many to not be hindered by their lack of skill and to “just do it.” A lot of the pleasure and satisfaction of doing it ourselves, being unique, and creative, enjoyed by generations before us, has been replaced by such conveniences as pushing a button on a computerized sewing machine or copy machine.

Nurturing creativity in children or in ourselves is important. It can bring out the author, the wood craftsman, the fashion designer, or the next Etsy star. Even if you do not consider yourself creative, there are a few options for you that can assist you in your endeavors to be more creative.

Have you ever considered taking a sewing class? Learning how to sew on a button could give new life to those shirts tucked away in the back of your closet. You may even be inspired to reuse your jeans and make this handy denim organizer. If more intricate work is desired, then visit The Sewing Studio in Durham to satisfy that interest.

Many people have tried D.I.Y. projects, which save a lot of money and have brought out the creative juices in the less than creative person. Workshops are being offered by home improvement stores like Home Depot that also have special offerings for women and children.

If you have time to read (and even if you don’t), then pick up a copy of The Creative Family which contains many tips and entertaining projects that nurture creativity and can be enjoyed by everyone in the family. If you are really feeling creative, then buy your copy of Sew U Home Stretch and learn how to make, among other things, your own cloth diapers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Stubby Pencil Studio

Raffle Round-Up includes a "Green to the Letter" Stationery set including the following:
- 4 packs of Color 'n Kids recycled cards
- Set of Watercolor EcoPencils
- Set of 10 Colored Smencil Pencils
- Box of 64 Soy Crayons
- Set of Monkey pencils all in a reusable canvas bag

and an Eco Arts & Crafts kit including the following:
- Natural Play Dough
- Dough Tool Set
- Apron from recycled juice packs
- Set of watercolor crayons
- recycled sketchbook all in a reusable canvas bag.

Bring out the artist in your child (or you). Visit Stubby Pencil Studio to view all of the listed items as well as to also see how you can be creative while using eco-friendly and quality products.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Paper There and Back Again

Who knew that the $.50 newspaper you read last week, threw in the recycling pile, and then pulled out to line the rabbit cage would later be recycled into a purse and have a resale value $95? Well, apparently Roseana Rocha knew and she is not alone where recycling of paper has created a new wave of designers. From specialty cards, and cards that grow bouquets to loveseats; yes furniture (Okay, some wood was used with recycled paper, but the video demonstration of how the furniture works is pretty amazing). You name it and recycling can make it happen. How about a PopVase?

While paper has been given a “new life,” in some forms and in another, we see the slow demise in print as the newspaper, once a widely used resource, lose its market as people opt to receive their local and global news online. Whether it is the desire to be more green or just due to convenience, there may soon be a generation who will only “read” stories, on the Internet of course, about the print newspaper. Books are also becoming more available online.

Community Seeds E-magazine, which is a family business based in Chico, saw the need for a magazine that would promote local businesses and activities while also connecting people from the surrounding communities. As a family working on various environmental projects, it only made sense for Community Seeds to be an online resource “right at your fingertips whenever you want to read it!”

Finding everyday household consumable items made from recycled paper like paper towels, toilet paper, etc. has been easier as more major discount and bulk retailers begin stocking them on their shelves. Many office supply stores have also begun manufacturing their own line of eco-friendly paper, providing their customers with more alternatives.

If you are looking for commercial printing options using only recycled paper, then Wizard Graphics in Chico is the answer. Just ask for Merlin, really. With more than 30 years experience in the printing business, his company offers “quality, sustainable green printing at discount prices” using soy and vegetable based inks. This is a one-stop shopping experience for every business with any printing needs. Visit the store or online to see the wide range of offered services.

Remember Dad June 15 with an E-card. Save the paper, send the love.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It Takes a Few Minutes

Are we made to waste paper? Is it our nature to waste paper? Will there ever be a day where we “paper-waste” no more? Possibly, not really, maybe respectively. We may never live in a society where paper waste is non-existent, but the least we can do is use it more wisely. We use money wisely, we use timely wisely, but using paper wisely?

Merriam-Webster dictionary now includes “junk mail” and “junk E-mail” as additional definitions for the word mail. When the concept of a mailbox was created, certainly there was never consideration to the fact that something other than personal, wanted mail would ever be placed in the box. Today, collecting mail from a personal box, whether it be postal or E-mail, requires a garbage can in tow or a quick finger on the delete button. We could blame it on the government and say we are “government controlled,” when you learn that the USPS is fighting to keep your mailboxes full of junk-mail because “standard” mail (JUNK MAIL) “has become the lifeblood of the U.S. Postal Service and that jobs depend on it.” Hmm. The end of junk mail will jeopardize the jobs of thousands. In hard economic times like these or in any time, the loss of a job is not preferred. So, keep the junk mail coming?

Unless your child is disciplined beyond his years, a trip to the bank or post office involves picking up several “paper souvenirs” including brochures, deposit slips, etc. If these items make it to the car, the next stop for them is usually the garbage can. We start early with how we treat paper.

There may never be a day where paper waste doesn’t occur, but there are several things we can do to promote better uses (or none at all) of paper. If you are tired of receiving catalogs from “Bob’s Meat Shack,” when you’re a vegetarian or home decorating catalogs when your best piece of furniture is a tattered couch hanging on from your college days of 17 years ago, then make a choice and decide “what gets in.” If catalogs are not the problem, but regular junk mail is, then you can “get paid” to reduce it yourself or pay Green Dimes to do it for you.

All it takes is a few minutes to dispose of your paper in a recycling container so it can be recycled. If you do not have curbside pick-up, then you can always find a local recycling center. If you work outside your home, then hopefully, your office already has a recycling program. If not, then learn how to start one and become a ”green trend setter.” Many schools are already participating in recycling programs and it is a great way to involve children in the recycling process and educate them on consumption reduction.

As far as junk E-mail, if anyone comes up with ways to reduce if not eliminate, then please let me know.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

To Print or Copy. How is the Question?

Paper is convenient, easy to use, and "disposable." We reach for it, it’s there. We print or copy a few words, but not enough to fill the page. We set it aside, only to misplace it and have to repeat the cycle. There was a lot of paper use (and waste) through this process. How many times can this be done? Well, as many times as we allow it OR we can treat the use of paper with a new respect.

The way we use paper has an impact on the environment because wood pulp is used to produce printing and writing paper. The more we consume, the more trees, water, and energy are required to adequately supply paper consumption. Computers brought a new opportunity to conserve paper. They ended the days of retyping the same page with the once indispensable tool, the typewriter, and brought hope of achieving a completed page free of errors and dried White-out spots. It may not have taken a ream of paper to type your average page, but the amount of paper used was more than necessary. Along with the new opportunity to conserve came the convenience of “clicking and printing,” which many of us do without a thought. There are times when we have to print and actually use what is printed, but often those pages are set aside to be read later, and are eventually misplaced causing us to print again and waste more paper. (Ah ha! The mystery of the origin of the paper pile is now solved.)

The same can be said for another modern convenience, the copier. With the push of one button, you can start and finish a paper copying job of 90+ ppm (pages per minute) before realizing that you copied the wrong page, there was a typo on the page, or the most dreadful, ran low on toner halfway through the job. All of these instances require the need to repeat the copy job, which creates more wasted paper.

Here are a few tips to follow when printing and copying to help you reduce your paper use:

1. If the document is on your computer, then save the document as a file and read later.
2. Read before you print or copy. Proofread for errors (typos, formatting, etc.) and make all of your corrections on screen.
3. Print only the pages you need and not the entire document.
4. Make double-sided copies.
5. Share copies. If possible, then make fewer copies to distribute.
6. Complete online. Many forms and documents can be completed and submitted online. If you do not need to reference later, then go this direction.
7. Use the entire page. You can fit more content of a document on one page by changing the font, adjusting margins, or selecting/capturing only what you need to print (ex: combining the image of one page and the text from another page).
8. Reuse paper printed on only one side. Before tossing (recycling) a single sided print/copy job, reuse the blank, back side for another print/copy job for personal or internal use.

Reducing your paper use can also save you time and money. You will spend less time looking for that first copy you printed and save money because you will not need to buy as much paper.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Friday, June 6, 2008

Raffle Round-Up With Life as Organic and Healthy Child Healthy World

Raffle Round-Up includes green cleaning items from the GAF host company Life as Organic which include bio-degradable dryer sheets, spray bottle starter pak of organic general purpose cleaner (w/sample packs), and fragrance-free disinfecting wipes.

"Create a Cleaner, Greener, Safer Home" after reading your own copy of Healthy Child Healthy World.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Go All the Way

If you are going to clean green, then why not go all the way? Here is just a taste of a few green and natural products that you can use to clean while practicing being a little more eco-friendly. You may end up spending more
time in awe and curiosity (How did they do that?), while trying to figure out how a wood chip becomes a sponge soft enough to clean delicate surfaces, yet abrasive enough to remove caked on food from last night’s dinner plate. These sponges are made out of a product called viscose, which is very absorbent, effective - think sheepskin (but no dead animals) - and softens with each machine wash allowing you to "wring out and use to dry again and again". If you are a little nutty, then you may prefer the Sponge With Walnut Scrubber, which is made from "50% post consumer recycled materials." Just remember, don’t try to eat it.

Sponges are no good without cleaners. Continue your green cleaning with high performance, concentrated cleaners, stain removers, and cleaning supplies (distributed by GAF host company Life as Organic) that also include an organic, all-purpose cleaner that is Green Seal certified.

Gain more green points with a recycled mop and a sustainable handle made from 80% recycled bottles. Natural fiber and organic dish towels are one way, but if you can't seem to get away from the paper, then why not try recycled paper and go all the way?

Are you excited about cleaning yet? If anything, cleaning will be a little more interesting. If you are still not sold, then consider hiring a cleaning company for periodic or regular services. Any telephone book contains pages of cleaning services, but not many that provide complete green services like California Green Clean which is based in Sacramento. Their green living trained housekeepers arrive in hybrid cars, use Green Sealed cleaners, color coded cleaning micro-fiber cloths to "prevent cross contamination from home to home," and exemplify their green values in their office and work place (your home or business) environments. If you are not yet able to afford the luxury of "hired-help," then register to win a FREE home cleaning through their monthly drawing.

Another Sacramento option is Capital Cleaning, which has been serving residential and commercial customers in the Sacramento area for more than 20 years. They not only green clean your business, but also assist in it achieving LEED certification. Their mission of creating healthier environments is further shown through their program that offers a FREE, "one-time cleaning service" to female cancer patients currently undergoing chemotherapy" and who reside in the Sacramento area. With their price matching promise and Web specials, affording quality cleaning service just got a little easier.

You can now cross cleaning off of your "To Do" list.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Health Rich and Chemical Free

FREE! What a great word especially when we are referring to being “chemical-free.” The information is overwhelming when first presented with how many dangerous chemicals are in everyday cleaning products that we use. The thought of parting with a “close friend” is difficult. As a previous fan of Oxy-Clean, I could not believe that there were more natural alternatives for making my whites whiter or removing those pleasure driven, baseball base sliding stains from my son’s pants. Many people continue to use the cleaning products they do, not necessarily because they “love” them, but more so because there is a comfort level and a familiarity with them. Our mother’s mother used the products, our mothers used the products, and not wanting to end the legacy, we now use the products. The cleaners perform effectively and we know just how much to measure; we can do it with our eyes closed.

If you have a strong connection with bleach (it may be the fumes), a love affair with lemon-scented soft scrub, or enjoy spending the afternoon with your floral spraying aerosol can, then consider taking a vacation where the air is clear and the same cleaning pleasures and effectiveness can be obtained from using natural resources. There is no guarantee that you will enjoy cleaning any more than you already do, but there will be less toxic fumes and face masks are not required. A little mixing of natural ingredients, some clutter removal of unused and unnecessary items, and time-saving tips that help you enjoy healthier living are some of the subjects Ellen Sandbeck discusses in her book Organic Housekeeping.

A resourceful Web site for healthier living is Healthy Child, Healthy World. It was established by Jim and Nancy Chuda who lost their daughter Colette to an illness, which they believe was a result of exposure to toxins. The Web site promotes education on toxin reduction in the environment; in schools, the community, and a little closer - our homes. The organization continues its efforts in the recent release of the book Healthy Child Healthy World. It not only looks at the effects chemicals have on our health, but also addresses ways we can reduce, if not eliminate other toxins in our home with simple steps like removing our shoes when, if not before, entering our home. The book is an informative read and offers suggestions that are easy to implement in an already busy life.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

My Safe Place

A home is a safe place, a refuge from the dangers of the outside world. It is also a place where we invite family and friends to share memorable experiences. In preparation for their visit, we mop floors, clean counter tops, wash linens, and spray “air fresheners” all the while spreading toxins throughout our home. Many of the products we continue to clean our home and personal care items (clothing, eating utensils, etc.) with contain ingredients that are linked to illnesses such as various forms of cancer, birth defects, and immune system issues (ex: allergies, asthma).

Generally, the reading of an ingredient label on a conventional cleaner does not provide more clarity into the toxicity of a product. Unlike many food labels which now require disclosure of trans-fat and other ingredients that may not be as healthy and/or nutritious as we would like, companies manufacturing cleaning products that use hazardous ingredients, are not required to fully disclose all ingredients. If they don’t have to disclose ingredients, then be sure they definitely do not disclose the possible health dangers from using their product. As long as a reference of “danger, warning, or caution” (signal words) is listed on the product container, any further detailed information regarding one of those classifications and the health affects is pretty much left up to being discovered by the consumer.

Obviously, cleaning is a necessary daily task. Fortunately, there are ways for us to make safer consumer choices when purchasing the cleaning products we use. Knowing what to look for and how to read product labels makes the task a little easier. When shopping for cleaning products, consider the following:

- Read the label and take the time to learn about the ingredients.
- The addition of an organic or natural ingredient does not make a cleaning product safer.
- Organic and natural products do work. Take the time (and money if necessary) to find a product that works best for you.
- If you need to wear a mask, open windows, or wear goggles, then do not use.
- Try to find a cleaner that serves multiple purposes which reduces the amount of clutter under your sink and provides savings due to not having to purchase multiple products.
- Get rid of all toxic and conventional cleaners in your home. Since they are classified as hazardous waste, remember to dispose of properly.

Monday, June 2, 2008

How Toxic Is Your Home?

Online Applications Now Available

Applications for sponsors and exhibitors are now available. Space is limited. Businesses, organizations, and individuals are invited to support healthier families and healthier living by becoming a sponsor.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Raffle Round-Up with Apple Blossom Baby

Raffle Round-Up includes a $25 gift certificate from Apple Blossom Baby that can be used on any new or resale item. Visit Apple Blossom Baby online or stop by its Chico store.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sustain and Save

Repurposing, swapping or sharing, or consigning items is not only a great way to save money, but also a great way to make money. Since our reality is now $4 gallon gas with rising food prices, it makes more sense to spend our dollars wisely and get as much value from them as we can. New is not always better when used is down right functional, serves the need, and promotes sustainability while also saving you money.

The idea of "used" is not so taboo anymore. Repurposing, ‘using or converting for use in another format or product:’ (ex: denim organizer, pillow case dress, and more), is a great way to sustain the “life” of an item, promote creativity, and save you a few dollars by not having to buy new.

Swapping and sharing or trading items is something that many of us already do whether outfitting children through growing spurts or sitting down and enjoying a great read. If your need for an item is only for a short period of time, then choosing one of these options is another alternative that can save you money.

Consigning is not a new concept, but has become big business moving from the familiar church hall to events being held bi-annually and annually at convention centers and fairgrounds. A following has continued to the Internet where quality, used items, and a "great deal" can also be found from the convenience of your home.

For more than two years, Apple Blossom Baby of Chico has offered ‘high quality and new clothing and accessories’, along with the consigning of the same. With a storefront providing a great shopping selection and perks like ‘a comfy rocker for nursing, feeding or just resting’, surprisingly, the majority of their sales come from Internet purchases which are availabe for delivery or "in store" pick-up. If you would like to consign items at Apple Blossom Baby, then contact them for an appointment.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Take it! It's free. Really, it is.

When was the last time you heard that statement only to learn there was a catch? Well, when you become a part of the Freecycle network, then you are bound to hear that a lot, and yes, it is true.

The Freecycle™ Network was founded in Tuscon, Arizona by Deron Beal in May of 2003. He saw an opportunity to “turn trash into treasure from perfectly good items” that were being tossed out as garbage, by their owners, and would eventually end up in a landfill. This private, non-profit organization started with a handful of 30 to 40 members and has grown to a network of millions from more than 75 countries. Their mission is simple, “to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.” Do you want to become a part of this generous community that promotes environmental sustainability and reuse? Find a local Freecycle™ network near you.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

U and I Trade, U and I Save

Online Applications for Sponsors and Exhibitors

Applications for sponsors and exhibitors will be available on Monday, June 2. For your convenience and to reduce paper waste, online submissions will be available.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Green Aware Fair 2008

You are cordially invited to Green Aware Fair 2008.

Green Aware Fair will be held in the open air foothills of Loma Rica, California at La Casa en las Nubes. Hosted by Life as Organic, the day will be filled with organic, natural, and sustainable products and services exhibits, eco-friendly education, family entertainment, and green cuisine. Our goals are to:

• Introduce safer and natural ways of living.
• Present ways to improve the health of the family and its environment.
• Promote organic, natural, eco-friendly, and sustainable companies and products.