Archive | May, 2008

Sending A Paper Card Without ‘Green’ Guilt

Thank you to Aliisa who sent me the link to this edgy, fun artist. A talented mom has found a way for people to send paper cards without feelings of guilt about waste or recycling. The card is called REUSEM and they are attractive and funky. These cards are designed to be used 10 times and you simply write the date and occasion on the history chart inside, write a personal message, then the next person repeats the process…9 more times. Who doesn’t like to looky loo at other people’s thoughts or flash-back to past memorable events?

How fun would it be within your family or mom circle to send a REUSEM around?  That card would turn into a keep sake for sure!  It’s another Etsy artist who has found the perfect product to satisfy our need to send a thoughtful card, but to remember we are trying to minimize our impact to trees.  The designer is a graphic artist and the prints are amazing.  Check out her hip, new-age designs, from the ‘thank you card’ to the ‘multi occasion’ card.

With my husband’s nieces and nephews starting down the road to marriage and babies – I’ll be purchasing my REUSEM cards to remember these fun occasions and with the shipping cost being $.50, it’s cheaper than the cost of gas to drive to the store. 😀

    

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Food Storage Without Plastic or BPA Concerns

I received a question from Jackie regarding an alternative to wrapping her food in plastic to store in the freezer.  Funny enough I was wondering how to eliminate wrapping meat that I buy to freeze in plastic wrap, then popping them into a freezer bag.  I’m no longer comfortable with having my food in close contact with plastic and I’ve realized I have a serious addiction to plastic baggies that I’m trying to break.  They are just wayyy too handy to use.  BUT – after googling Pyrex glass food containers, I’ve found my solution to both of these problems.  We know that glass baby bottles have been recommended rather than plastic for babies and toddlers, well it’s back-to-basics with all food storage. Pyrex is a name that has been around forever and they are very cost effective.  I find it shocking how expensive Tupperware is and they don’t code their products with a plastic recycling code.  Really, it’s scary to know what kind of plastic they use…and it costs a fortune! 

With food storage, Pyrex products can go into the refrigerator, freezer,  microwave, or oven.  They are also dishwasher and microwave safe. Unlike the plastics we are so suspicious about, they won’t absorb food flavors, odors, or stains…including tomato-based sauces.   I always wondered after storing left-overs with tomato sauce, why my plastic was stained from sauce. Well now I know the cheap plastic was probably leaching BPA into my food.  Lovely.

Pyrex is also made in America.  If you’ve purged your kitchen of all plastic containers, it’s time to start fresh with a quality product..and won’t it be nice to have lids that match the container?  <smile>

 

If you divide up bulk food to freeze from Costco, etc., this 6 piece set looks great for larger items.

 

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BPA-free or BPA in Ikea Products

I received a question from Leslie wondering if Ikea plastics contained BPA.  Her concern was the children’s tableware line that I think every family I know owns!  The popular line ‘Kalas’ that includes the colorful tumblers (cups), plates, bowls and cutlery are perfect for kids and is the only tableware plastic my kids are now using.  Everything else has been recycled or thrown out.  When I purged my cartoon character plates and glasses, I found they were all coded number 7, while these from IKEA were coded 5.  They are also inexpensive, easy for kids to use, and dishwasher safe.  Well a few weeks ago I emailed IKEA and asked them to confirm their children’s tableware was BPA-free.  Here was their response but according to other sites; it just might depend on when and where you purchased them from IKEA:

Thank you for your interest in our products. The IKEA product range is subjected to comprehensive tests and complies with the strictest applicable laws and safety standards, and we have detailed regulations on the use of chemicals and other substances in the manufacturing process. If one country tightens its rules, we introduce these new regulations on all IKEA markets, whenever possible.

IKEA is in control of the product development process and through our trading areas we work closely together with our suppliers in place, which is an advantage when it comes to securing product quality. Please be aware that the bisphenol A (BPA) is not allowed in any plastic IKEA product.

A product risk assessment is made during the development of the product. Tests and follow-ups are done both before we start the production and then on continuous basis. We test our products according to our own requirements and applicable international standards/legislation at accredited internal and external test laboratories.

At IKEA, we test our products regularly and we put demands on our suppliers to have verification test reports and certificates available within 24 hours.
The number of tests will vary by product and will depend on the initial risk assessment of that product.

If you have any further concerns about our products, please do not hesitate to contact us.

According to the Z-recs most (I repeat…most) of IKEA’s products are BPA-free…here are their findings.  Please note that any of the products listed with BPA from IKEA, I could only find on the American site (www.Ikea.com).  So I included 2 pictures of the 2 lines that have been sited by Z-recommends as having BPA.  If these items look familiar you need to contact your local IKEA and ask them if they have a recall list for their products.  The Canadian site (www.Ikea.ca) appears to be correct in their statement about their tableware currently not containing BPA.  I say currently because I used that blue spoon in the below picture this morning to give one of my kid’s breakfast.

BPA-Free Products
Cups: Kalas Tumblers, Grossby Tumblers
Utensils: Kalas 18 Piece Cutlery Set, utensils in: Mata set, Mumsa sets, Hungrig set
Tableware: Mata Dinnerware Set, Mumsa 5-Piece Set, Grossby
Mata Bib, Barnslig Djur Bib, Kladd Bib

Products Containing BPA!!
Cups: Hungrig cup (part of 6-Piece Set)
Utensils: (check for imprinting on items not listed here as BPA-free)
Tableware: Hungrig 6 Piece Set (plate, bowl, and cup), Mumsa 3-Piece Dinnerware Set (sippy bottle is polycarbonate)

                         

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A Happy Day For The Polar Bears???

Well, it’s either a very sad or happy day for the polar bears…I can’t decide which. Today, the US Government has decided that the polar bear species should be protected as a threatened species. The problem is the decline in Artic sea ice from global warming.  According to World Wildlife Fund, “If current warming trends continue, they may disappear within 100 years.” That would mean my great-grandchildren wouldn’t know what these elegant and beautiful animals would look like in the wild.

Climate change is destroying polar bear habitat, putting the species at risk of extinction.  Sea ice, which polar bears depend on for hunting animals, melted to record low levels last summer. The projection for ice melting this summer is expected to be “extreme” also.  Geoffrey York, coordinator of WWF’s Polar Bear Conservation Program says “Based on the best available science, if current sea ice trends continue, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will be lost by 2050. We should be taking every action possible to reduce stresses on polar bears, and we believe that oil and gas activities pose formidable risks to the Arctic sea ice ecosystem and the polar bears that inhabit it.

I find eye-opening information like the above quote, a great platform for discussions with my kids.  I showed Angelo some polar bear pictures from the web and explained what was happening with the bears.  He had two comments.  “I KNEW Francesco should have saved the polar bears at his birthday party!”  (Francesco’s party benefitted the tigers from friends bringing a donation in lieu of gifts.)  And his other comment “Well, thank goodness Sophie is saving them if we can’t!” (It’s timely, but the boys are attending a birthday partythis weekend, where the little girl decided she wanted to help the polar bears rather than receive presents.)  If only children ruled the world… Countries would be on time-outs – rather than at war and the preservation of animals would be more important than the excessive importance of oil and gas!  

 

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Call For Free Avent / Philips Sippy Cup!

Thanks to Heidi for passing this information along!  Canadians can call this number to receive a BPA-free sippy cup from Avent/Philips. The number is 1-866-624-1906. (People in other parts of the world should call and find out what number to use for their country.)

My representative asked me the ages and number of children I have, so depending on that, you either receive a BPA-free sippy for a little person (handles) or the older toddler’s sports cup (no handles).  Based on my four children, she’s sending me 2 cups.  I asked the representative helping me a few questions regarding why they are doing this.  Here are her responses:

Q: Why? Is it because your previously sold products containing BPA?
A: As a courtesy to our customers. Health Canada has not concluded its findings regarding BPA. We pulled our products off the shelf as a courtesy…not because we had to.

Q: What plastics code is on the new BPA-free cups?
A: Still code 7, but the product is a part of our new BPA-free line.

Q: What are the requirements to receive the free cup?
A: That you live in Canada.

Based on how she answered my first question about why they are doing this…I wish Avent, who is known as the worst offender about acknowledging BPA, would just come clean.  Also, why are they still using number 7 plastic?  I will continue to use my stainless steel Klean Kanteens, but since the Avent / Philips cups are stamped BPA free, I’ll try them for milk, since I still don’t have a substitute.

My rep wasn’t able to answer what exact product type they are sending out, but after visiting their website, I think this picture shows the product I’ll receive.

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