Tag Archives | My Little Green Shop

Back To School Contest With My Little Green Shop

Sponsored by: My Little Green Shop

Hosted by: MommyFootprint

mlgscontestfinal

Going back to school can be a challenging place for parents to find green options. Biggest environmental offenders, in my opinion, are products made from plastic that may contain lead. This is not a toxin that parents would welcome into back-to-school supplies, but if they contain PVC plastic, you can’t be sure. So where possible, I like to spend extra dollars to ensure a well designed and safe backpack for school, plus I’m a stickler for stainless steel items for lunches and water. So I’m super excited to be sharing this great prize from My Little Green Shop with big focus on quality: 17oz S’well Bottle (your choice of colour) and an Ecogear Backpack.
About My Little Green Shop

My Little Green Shop does it’s homework and is a trusted store for products that are sustainable for the earth and our health. With a full line-up of greener options for your busy household, we appreciate the research and dedication spent by this Eco boutique. Our favourite products are made with high quality food grade stainless steel and are durable, environmentally safe, and fun.

We are excited to bring you this amazing 17oz S’well Bottle that is teamed up with an Ecogear Flash Backpack Giveaway! The S’well bottles are easily the hottest item heading into schools this Fall because of their fun colors and double walled design keeping water cool all day. The Ecogear Backpacks have a hiking vibe with classic design so that kids can use them for many years. Unlike cheaper backpacks, these are made without PVC so there aren’t any lead concerns. We’ve used Ecogear Backpacks for years and love how the zippers and pockets have stood up to kids that are hard on school gear. Great quality all around!

Would you like to win this S’well bottle and backpack duo heading back to school? We are super grateful to My Little Green Shop for giving one of our lucky readers that chance!

One lucky winner will win this

17oz S’well Bottle and Flash Ecogear Backpack ($100 value)!

Giveaway ends 9/3/14 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to US and residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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How To Find Safer Sunscreen For Kids

Okay guys – we’ve got this! The confusion seems to grow every year with how to pick a safe, mineral based sunscreen for your family. I’ve realized it’s easier to explain what ingredients you want IN the sunscreen rather than explain which ones you don’t want in the sunscreen. I could tell you for another year to avoid oxybenzone, Vitamin A (called retinyl palmitate or retinol) and all these ingredients you can’t pronounce but instead it’s going to get really easy. If you want the safest sunscreen (in my opinion) look for one ingredient in the active ingredient list: Zinc Oxide. What does that mean? You’ll get the whitish tinge to your skin but for me, I don’t mind this trade-off because having only Zinc Oxide listed in the active ingredients mean that UVA/B rays are effectively blocked at the skin’s surface.

With the explosion in so many new mineral (organic) based sunscreens on the market, there are actually very few that only have the Zinc Oxide as the only active ingredient. That is why this little tip is going to save you hours of time and research.  Do you have a fussy teen or husband that doesn’t like the whitened look of Zinc? Hold tight there is a solution for them too!

So for little kids, in order of importance for sun care the preference would be to cover up – stay in the shade and wear protective clothing to block UVA/B rays. This was pretty effective when my kids were younger but now we spend our days at pools, water slides and my oldest is going to camp and all of my kids are refusing to wear sun shirts this year. My girls want to show off their bathing suits and my sons are self conscience of wearing sun shirts this year. So while this was a great form of defense against the sun in previous years, this year it’s not working. Thankfully for this summer, they are so happy to not have to wear the protective clothing, they aren’t complaining about the whitening sunscreen they’ve been wearing. I use Badger sunscreen. But I can see the whitening issue becoming a problem with my pre-teen next summer so I’m sensitive to this problem if you’ve got family members that don’t like the look of only having a zinc based sunscreen. Your loophole around this is using a sunscreen that has both Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide in the active ingredients. The Titanium Dioxide mineral soaks through the skin to deliver sun protection for UVA/B rays through the skin (not all UVA rays unless Zinc Oxide is also an ingredient). It’s important to mention you need both the Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide minerals because Titanium on it’s own won’t block all UVA/B rays. But this is a good alternative for anyone who still wants solid sun protection, without the whitened look on the skin.

So this is easier right?  And for me, I just like what Badger does with education and transparency. They also re-formulated and produced non-nano sunscreens last year so they get my vote. Check out My Little Green Shop if you need sunscreen to finish up this hot summer!  They always have great shipping deals & are a trusted sponsor of Mommy Footprint.

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Pajama Holiday Tradition

I know so many families that give PJs at Christmas and Hanukkah and I love the tradition. Kids love to receive new Pajamas which is perfect for parents wanting to give practical gifts and it seems kids always need new sleep wear. I’ve been waiting for the organic PJs to arrive at My Little Green Shop because the designs and sizes are like no other store!  Seriously – it’s impossible to find organic Pajamas in the size range from 3 months old to 12 years old. It’s hard enough to find 100% cotton PJs for my older children so the fact they are available in organic cotton is great. So the good news is the PJs have arrived and the store is well stocked. Another piece of great news is everything in the store is reduced by 20% when you use the code Wishlist20 at checkout. The discount code is good until December 1st so shop soon!

Let’s also have a chat about why organic PJs should be at the top of your sleep wear list. Most of the big box stores sell PJs that are made from polyester. This material has naturally occurring flame retardants and in trying to limit chemicals in our bedding, pillows, and sleep wear – cotton is the way to go. And if you choose the organic cotton route with sleep wear, you can be assured that developing systems are not surrounded by the pesticides and chemicals needed to grow cotton.  The reason these organic PJs are budget friendly at $35 is because they are manufactured overseas. Organic clothing is usually much more expensive so it’s the very tough balancing act of trying to minimize chemical exposure, but stay on budget, and manage your footprint. It’s a tough thing for sure!  But for children that suffer from skin irritation, eczema, asthma and allergies – I would really recommend an organic sleep solution that includes natural pillows, mattresses and sleep wear. To read more on PJs and Polyester – click here.

I read a fantastic article by our friend Bethe from The Grass Stain Guru today. The title of the article “Holiday Shopping: Don’t Lose Your Sh*t People!” might just summarize the entire message of the post – but besides for being very funny and factual, she talks about a the concept of Four Presents that’s been circulating around social media. I LOVE it and agree that it’s a balanced and very smart guide for parents. Each child gets 4 presents:

1.    Something they want

2.    Something they need

3.    Something to wear

4.    Something to read

It’s easy and really keeps you on track with gift giving and not just running through a toy or electronics store mass purchasing gifts in order to fill some void that doesn’t actually even exist with our children. This also got me thinking about My Little Green Shop and their sourcing of PJs for the 4th present. Let’s address the other 3 points of the Four Present concept. The easy point is the ‘something they want’. All children have requests at Christmas. But actually only giving them 1 gift of the many they’ve vocalized will make them appreciate that gift so much more than receiving 10. Also, when we see our children’s Christmas lists, deep in our hearts we know what gifts are truly a good idea. The ‘something they need’ gift doesn’t need to be school supplies or dull and boring. Rather, it can be anything that you think they ‘need’ that they’ll appreciate after the glitter and glow of Christmas morning dims. My kids ‘needs’ a new hockey stick. Will he gloss over getting it on Christmas morning and only talk about the gift he got that he ‘wanted’? Probably. But 2 months later when he’s still using that hockey stick, he’ll think it’s great that Santa brought it. We’ve already covered ‘something to wear’ – although it could be something very functional like Puddle Gear (perfect for rain or snow), new boots, or super functional PJs. And lastly…’something to read’. What if you gave yourself permission to give your children a book to love this Christmas? Something that takes you back in time through the pages of your own childhood. I’ll always remember listening to Charlotte’s Web, James and the Giant Peach and devouring James Herriot All Creatures Great and Small when I was young. Why not give the magic that a book can bring to your child? I have book recommendations here for recent books I’ve read preschool aged to late elementary that engage children with nature.  To use these Four Presents as a guide – even if you don’t follow it to the letter (I would include a gift that is handmade) it’s something I really needed to see and read. Thank you for posting it Bethe!

Now ready for some cute pictures? These are some of the great new organic PJ designs available at My Little Green Shop!

 

Related Articles:

Polyester PJs and Flame Retardants

Plastic Ocean Pollution From Your Home

Books To Engage Children With Nature

Clothing Mis-labelling Leads To Composting Problems!

Harry Potter Magic

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Back-to-School Eco Backpacks

I love back-to-school reviews and this article might be my favorite because I’m reviewing Ecogear packs which offer two types of back-to-school bags: cotton or long lasting nylon. I have a personal opinion on each, based from the fact we’ve been using four different designs from the Ecogear line of backpacks; larger design with our son heading into Grade 5, smaller Ecogear backpack for son heading into Grade 3, and cotton Panda design for my daughters starting Grade 1.

The largest of the Ecogear nylon backpacks are great for a child that can handle a bigger pack that will grow from mid- elementary to high school years. My oldest son has been using this backpack since Grade 3 and it just might be our favorite! The padded shoulders offer comfort, great quality zippers (they always seem to be the first thing to break) and lots of different compartments to store books, lunches, and water bottle holders on the outside of the pack. This model can be found with My Little Green Shop and it’s called the Bighorn Backpack. As I mentioned we’ve been using this backpack for the school year and summer hikes for 2 years and it’s still in great shape. I also machine washed it in cold water, delicate cycle, hang to dry and it washed up without any problems. So it’s in great shape to continue back to school with my oldest and I love it when I get years of use from an item. I really question how the cheap backpacks stand up and if they last for years?

We received a smaller Ecogear backpack for my 2nd son to review and it fits him perfectly, but he’s got a smaller frame than his older brother. I would recommend this size pack from Kindergarten until late elementary school age. It’s still got the same outdoor look that I love and it’s called Mohave Tui by Ecogear. Although they are manufactured overseas, the design and materials used in these backpacks are earth friendly for a nylon design. They do not use flame retardants and most importantly in the backpack world, they do not use PVC. We all know that PVC plastic is like poison to human health and the environment but did you also know by purchasing products not made with PVC that you’re avoiding lead?  If your backpack does not clearly state PVC-free and you’re only paying a few dollars for a backpack that smells with that yucky plastic scent… the backpack might contain lead which is a terrible chemical to surround a child with. This backpack also has the classic outdoorsy appearance that is awesome for all children, but the comfort of the padded straps and multiple pockets to store permission forms, money for field trips, lunch system, water bottles (very important that they are located on the outside of the pack in case of spills), and just a great fit for a smaller child’s build we are very happy with this backpack.

And now the most exciting discovery and I have to say GREAT sourcing by our friends at My Little Green Shop!  They brought in the Ecogear line called Panda which are backpacks made from naturally grown (not organic but pesticide free) cotton for the smaller age group made with nothing more than cotton, wooden latch, and non-toxic dyes in colors that keep both parents and children happy. Best part of these backpacks for me is I can compost them at the end of their life. Do I think they’ll last as long as the nylon packs?  Maybe not, but for the age group and cost of these packs ($22.95) you just can’t go wrong. They are sassy, organic looking, kid-friendly, and I just love sending them to school without a Princess, Dora, or cutesy design that they’ll outgrow by middle primary. My twin daughters are entering Grade 1 and while I know this age group still likes the young commercialized designs but shopping this way limits the life span of items you purchase. If you can get years of use out of a backpack – why wouldn’t you purchase a classic design? Another design component I love is that the water bottle holders are on the outside of all of these backpacks. It only takes one accident with a child not closing their water bottle properly and having in leak inside their backpack for parents to realize this feature is golden! And for some strange reason it’s a commonly missed feature on young children’s backpacks.  Not to worry with this design and check out the below picture of my girls wearing their new packs!  We put a stainless steel bottle in each pack, stainless steel lunch system, and a few books inside for this picture. They should last at least 3 years until the big homework year of Grade 4 starts!

Anything new I bring into our lives I try so hard to think about the life cycle of where the product will end up. Finding the Panda series of backpacks is like breathing a big sigh of relief knowing that when this product reaches the end of it’s life because of rips, etc., I can cut it into strips and include it with compost. Thank you to My Little Green Shop for always sourcing with this in mind!

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Holiday Shopping & Making Magic Fund

It just doesn’t feel like the holidays if you can’t give back. This year, for me personally, the need to really enjoy the holiday spirit of helping others has been at the forefront of my holiday planning – but where do you start? Many recent news stories were very inspiring; one in particular was published in the The Vancouver Sun a few months ago by a inner city school teacher asking for help.  It doesn’t matter where you live, read the article she wrote – it will move you. Click here.  The teacher named Carrie inspired a fund to be started by the paper that published her story; The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund launched a special fundraising project called Adopt-a-School. This project identifies schools and their specific needs throughout Metro Vancouver. It’s special in the fact you can go to the site and look at individual needs within a school so even a single family can identify something to donate (shin guards, winter coats in particular sizes, mitten, socks, etc.). This site allows you to feel like you can make a difference at a grass root level. The most needed item identified by all the schools of course is money so they can assess and fix their most outstanding needs. The great thing about donating the money via Adopt-a-School is they will match all $$s that are contributed so the money is being doubled at the time it’s contributed – very cool!

Through Mommy Footprint and Green Planet Parties, I connect and work with many very dedicated and passionate small business owners. After MF reader Ti linked me to the Adopt-A-School site (thanks Ti!), I emailed a few of these businesses to see if they wanted to join efforts to help this fund. They are all BC business owners, but their sites are online and setup to ship anywhere in North America.  Please give them a click or little shout-out as they are donating a portion of their sales over the next week. We even have a name – Making Magic Fund. We are a total of 13 BC small businesses owners joining together to help children. Between December 5-11th if you shop at these stores – proceeds will be donated to help schools, which help children, and that helps families. Even if you’re not local, a quote I read from the amazing letter written by Carrie has stayed with me:

Think about what you vote for, speak for, and speak up against. Are you willing to put your time and/or your money towards affecting change? Will you advocate for a child that is not your own?

Here is a list of businesses that are under the Making Magic Fund. Please shop and support this cause – it’s inspired from the heartfelt plea of a teacher and has inspired a movement for helping other schools in need.  Take a peek at these sites and feel good shopping with a small business that is giving back this holiday season. I also have and would shop at these stores and think it’s wonderful that their focus is supporting safe products for our children and home. Thank you to all the businesses involved and for their enthusiasm and energy to make this happen!

Apricot Culotte:  an e-boutique specialized in previously loved baby clothes that we bring in from France. We also carry end of season brand new designer baby clothes including some very nice French organic brands.

Bamboobino: an adorable line of children’s clothes and accessories made from soft, eco-friendly bamboo.

Bumblebee Toys: offers a unique collection of natural toys, crafts and playthings to inspire the imagination and nourish the senses.

dandelion KIDS: modern kids shop that stocks hip baby clothes, stylish duds for boys and girls plus cool, unique gifts for the next baby shower or kids birthday party.

Fill Your Own: offers an array of carbon-neutral, non-toxic and reusable products ideal for both kids and adults.

Giving Gifts: carries gifts that give – fair trade, eco friendly and fun gifts for babies, kids, adults and pets.

Green Planet Parties: where it’s possible to shop for eco-friendly party supplies in one place! Supporting locally manufactured decorations & goodies!

Kippo Kids: proud to offer you a quality mix of products that include a good selection of eco-friendly, handmade, organic, and Made in Canada items.

Maxwell Designs: leading Canadian designer of beautiful purses, the best diaper bags in Canada, and many accessories.

My Little Green Shop: is a hip e-boutique that provides a wide range of safe, non-toxic products for babies, children and mamas. We are careful that the products we carry meet our standards of what’s safe and eco-friendly.

Onyx Containers: food storage containers that are of the highest quality, manufactured in responsible conditions and available at affordable prices.

Puddlegear: toddler and baby raingear- children can play outside feeling warm, unrestricted and dry in their PVC and Phthalate free rainwear – certified by oko – tex.

Today I Ate A Rainbow: passionate about creating tools to help parents and caregivers raise healthy kids!

We are all like-minded small business owners championing for one cause – such a cool array of products!  This is our logo (designed for us by the talented Marina Duque)! If talking about this special project, you are welcome to use the logo. We hope it will be a logo that will become recognized and used annually to help those who need it.

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