Archive | April, 2009

Wildlife Pencils Produced From Recycled Newspapers

I love learning about companies that take a concept or product used in everyday life and create something magical and more eco-friendly for home life, school, or the office.  The company O’BON has produced ‘the greatest pencil on earth’ and made it very child friendly with fresh designs that help educate kids about the environment and helping animals.  These products have newly arrived to Canada and Green Planet Parties is proud to be carrying 3 of their products in the Crafty Fun section of their site.  

O’BON is truly special because they’ve produced a pencil made from recycled newspapers surrounding the graphite stick.   2-3 times stronger than traditional wood pencils, parents can teach their kids that no trees were cut to produce these pencils.  Now add the fact the pencils are perfect for children because they are instantly drawn to the Wildlife series designs.  Check out these beautiful pictures courtesy of the Green Planet Parties site that showcase the fun animal print designs and great packaging:

I’ve been on the hunt for a year now to source color pencil crayons for my kids.  Well looky looky.  Not only do the 12 pencil crayons included in this pack work with incredible quality, they showcase an animal at the top and then carry the design and colors of the animal on the outside of the crayon and actual pencil color. 

Both of these products have been such a hit in my house ~ ages 3-7 I’m proud to share.  Nothing but good stuff here, from the message of helping our animals to teaching our children that unlike wood pencils, no trees were cut to produce them.  Also interesting, the O’BON pencils don’t have the metal piece that joins the eraser to most traditional pencils  This further eliminates waste because when is the last time you thought to remove this piece to recycle?

The price-point of the pencils and pencil crayons is also worth a shout-out because it’s so amazing!  The 2 pack pencil sets are under $2 (perfect to complete birthday party goodie bags) and the pencil crayon colored set of 12 is $8.95.  Both items are available to order online at Green Planet Parties, plus a 3rd item carried in the Wildlife series called the Animal Fact Book & Wildlife Pencils.  Perfect for your upcoming spring party or special treat for some craft table magic.



Less Is More Theory and Experiment

I’ve noticed with interest that dollar stores in my community are going out of business.  You would think in this economy where people are trying to save money that the dollar store business would be going strong.  Could it be that consumers, especially parents, are realizing that less is more?  I believe so.  Back-to-basics, sustainability, quality, craftsmanship, safety are words that parents are willing to pay more for.

From toys, to beauty products, and even our produce ~ I would rather buy organic, pesticide-free for my children.  Shopping in smaller amounts, rather than filling up my cart, without thinking through what I’ll truly need to use.  There has been much buzz about pesticides to avoid with food and mainstream press is starting to write about how toxic most personal care products are.  From organic food, to organic shampoo/soap, to safe toys made from natural or stringently tested materials come at a higher cost.  As a parent, I’m willing to pay a few extra dollars for products I know are coming from business that care and source products with the safely of my children at the forefront.  Most bios from mompreneurs include the fact they were deeply unsatisfied with answers, product selection and product knowledge from traditional stores.  I challenge anyone reading this to an experiment we’ll call the ‘Less-Is-More Theory’.  Walk into your local department store and ask the store clerk or manager questions about their toys, bath toys, personal care products, produce, water bottles, etc.  I myself started doing this when I noticed most store chains have started branding their store label on stainless steel water bottles; Old Nay, The Bay, London Drugs, Superstore, even Dollar Stores.  Not one of these retailers could tell me anything about their store branded stainless steel water bottles.  They had no idea what stainless steel grade they were or that there were different steel grades out there.  I hear about dollar stores that simply ‘dip’ the outside of water bottles to coat god-knows-what material underneath.  I’m not saying these retail stores are doing this, but from a quality issue, I’d like to know more about the grade I’m purchasing so I know how to care for it.  If you are nervous about purchasing bath products (personal care or toys), food or water containers, or plastic toys and the store cannot answer simple questions I would not purchase them.  Here are some basics that they should be able to answer:

What grade of stainless steel is this?
What type of plastic is this made from? Where is it manufactured?
Does this product contain phthalates, parabens, fragrance, BPA?
Is this toy (bath or not) PVC free?
What pesticide is used on this produce item?

If the person cannot answer your questions ~ don’t buy it.  Now finish this challenge.  Contact any of the store owners from this list of businesses and ask them the same questions.  I would bet a lot of money, they can answer your question, plus give you more than you expected:

Green Planet Parties
Healthy Kitchenware
Kai Kids
Natural Pod
Nayla Natural Care
The Tickle Trunk

The list goes on, but you start here and receive top notch customer service and product knowledge.  You will never think again that getting Dollar Store bargains for these types of products is a good idea.  Dollar store priced stores have their place for certain types of products in my opinion; however, the health of your family is not an area they where they specialize and no price tag can be put on the future health of your children.



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