Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd but what about being earth friendly all year long? That is what our family strives to do. I'm big on recycling (my Dad sets that example), so I even make my kids take their empty water bottles home to recycle when we go to the movies. They complain, but I don't mind, plus I know that I'm setting a good example and practicing what I preach. I sure wish movie theaters and other public venues would have more recycling bins on the premises. In addition to following some recycling rules, I also try to use products that are green and good, so here are some of my favorites in honor of Earth Day. I also include a few simple reminders that you family can practice around the house to help our big blue planet thrive.
Local Cool Companies With Great Green Products
* My Daddy's Shirt Upcycled Boutique -- Mesa Dad Chris Marchini has a company called My Daddy's Shirt Upcycled Boutique and he takes old t-shirts and makes them into hand-made, one-of-a-kind kids clothing. His styles are chic and cool and he has fashions for women, too. Check out his line at www.mydaddysshirtboutique.com. His line is also sold at Hissyfits Kid's Consignment Boutique located at 7036 N. 7th Street in Phoenix.
*RA Organic Apparel is run by local do gooder Roman Acevedo. His company uses sustainable materials to make all kinds of clothing and they also clothe kids in need. Check out the cool recycled banner bags that are vibrant totes made of recycled signs and banners. Roman's company also uses donated fire hose from the Glendale Fire Department to make shoes, that will sell for $25 a pair. For more information about RA Organic Apparel's shoes, totes, fashions and more visit www.ra-apparel.com.
In The Kitchen: Eco Friendly Tools
*My Drap napkins and placemats are made of 100% cotton, are machine washable and can be recycled because they are biodegradable. The presentation is fun because they come in a roll and Gwyneth Paltrow recommended on her Goop website the My Drap line for a fun casual dinner. She says to put two rolls in the middle of the table in paper towel holders and let people rip off the napkins as needed. I think that is a perfect idea for a BBQ style dinner. You can see Gwyneth's recommendation at http://www.goop.com/journal/do/204/entertaining-prep. For more information about MyDrap selections and pricing visit www.buymydrap.com or call 1-855-359-7555. Going green with washable and recyclable napkins will definitely remove the piles of napkins that accumulate in the landfills, so I love this idea. MyDrap napkins are available in 5 different sizes and in a big variety of colors.
* The IMUSA Bamboo 3pc Utensil Set is an ideal set of cooking tools for bringing Pan Asian flavors into the kitchen. The set features a spoon, spatula and scoop, all made of stay-cool bamboo. The bamboo is a perfect complement to any non-stick coating as it won’t scratch the surface and when you are ready for a new set, these earth-friendly tools can be recycled. Plus get great recipes at the IMUSA website at www.imusausa.com/recipes to browse through tons of delicious, Pan Asian dishes you can make. The IMUSA Bamboo set is sold at Target for $3.99.
Kitchen Green Good Deeds: What You Can Do:
*Bring empty water bottles home from events to recycle in your own blue bin.
*Use rubber bands to secure leftover food packages instead of plastic baggies.
*Rinse out and recycle K-Cups coffee containers.
In Your Closet: Eco Friendly Fashions
* For almost three decades, Eileen Fisher has created high quality, beautifully constructed, comfortable garments that give women years of eco-friendly wear. This Earth Day, and for the entire month of April, the brand is reasserting its commitment to the environment through two initiatives—a nationwide expansion of the Green Eileen, recycling program, and a new Eco Collection for spring 2013. Eileen Fisher is pleased to promote programs both nationwide throughout the month of April. So shop the Eileen Fisher line at the Eileen Fisher store located in the Kierland Commons shopping center in Scottsdale. You can also donate your gently used Eileen Fisher clothes to the store. As a thank you for your donation, in addition to your tax receipt, customers receive a $5 Reward Card for each item donated and reward cards can be redeemed at any Eileen Fisher store or online at www.eileenfisher.com. This is one clothing store that is making a difference!
*Consider these eco-friendly shoes...Kandals shoes are made out of an eco-friendly material. The upper portion of each pair of Kandals is made with organic cotton from Spain while the outsole is composed of natural rubber. The company does not use animal products in any part of the shoe. Plus for every pair sold, Kandals partners with Trees for the Future, a non-profit organization. So for every pair purchased, trees are planted in deforested areas of the world.
To order and for more information visit www.kandals.com. Shoes start at $32 and come in a variety of bright and vibrant colors. Plus college students can get exclusive student pricing, too.
Closet: What You Can Do:
*Recycle those old stacks of hangers at Goodwill. Don't throw them away!
*Recycle shoe boxes or use them for storage.
In Your Bathroom: Eco Friendly Products
*Orico London Organic Skincare line -- In order to reduce waste and be Earth-friendly, the all-natural and organic line which is certified by Ecocert Greenlife Standards does not have outer packaging and the simple packaging that it does sport is recyclable. The company also works with the European packaging waste legislation, a directive that aims to prevent the production of packaging waste by reduction, reuse, recycling and recovery. Orico also supports The World Land Trust (WLT). The UK based conservation organization works to save critically threatened habitats around the world. Great product line that is definitely working to better the environment. Orico has also won beauty product awards and can be ordered at www.oricolondon.com.
*Preserve Toothbrushes -- This toothbrush line, that is sold at Trader Joe's, is made from recycled yogurt cups and when you are ready for a fresh toothbrush, the package is ready for recycling. The handle is made of 100% recycled materials. Simply toss your old Preserve toothbrush into the original package that comes complete with a postage paid mailer. Mail back and it will be recycled. This company makes it extremely easy for customers to have white teeth in a green world.
*Burt's Bees -- I love this line and I love that it sells at my neighborhood Walgreens store. Burt's Bees has partnered with the Gimme5 recycling program. The Burt's Bees packaging is made with recyclable plastic and that can be placed in your blue bin. So buy Burt's Bees for the quality of the products and for the earth-friendly factors, too.
Bathroom: What You Can Do:
*Recycle toilet paper rolls.
*Check all beauty containers and boxes to see what can be recycled. Shaving cans can be tossed in blue bin, too.
Kids Can Get Green, Too!
*Check out what my daughter made with a clothing box, napkins, chop sticks and more! She really wanted an American Girl closet, but she knew the catalogue price was expensive, so she took matters into her own earth-friendly hands and made herself a doll closet! She used the napkins for wall paper and the chop sticks as a hanger rod. Watch the segment to see her cool creation and encourage your kids to build cool toys with old boxes and such. I was pretty proud of her innovative idea when she showed it to me.
What green habits does your family practice? What are your favorite earth-friendly products? Share here in the comments section and remember to check out my website at www.managedmoms.com for more green go to products and ideas. Also look for your free copy of this month's East Valley Magazine, called the 202 Magazine, that includes my monthly column that has with more earth-friendly ideas for your family. Free copies are at Whole Foods and My Fit Foods locations. Happy Earth Day!