Tag Archives | Puddle Gear

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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PVC is Shiny…But Not So Pretty or Happy

Looking to prevent your precious consumer dollars spent supporting PVC in clothing?  It’s tricky and if you’ve never thought of it before…it takes a some investigation & sorting to find where it lurks.  Think of shiny, sparkly decals that are stuck to your kid’s clothes or stinky items like rain gear and you’ve got a great place to start. All big box stores are famous for this so if you shop at the mall…save your breath and patience and don’t ask a salesperson if the shirt, shoe, PJs, etc. contains PVC.  They won’t know and the experience will be similar to plucking out your arm hairs. Slowly. Yes, I’ve run my usual list of questions at every retail shop in my local mall including stores like Gap, Old Navy, department stores, Please Mom, H&M, etc. and even District Managers go cross-eyed talking to me. Do I still shop there?  Very occasionally and less and less frequently as the options in eco-friendlier clothing open to consumers. What is the problem with glitter or a big decal on a kid’s shirt? You’ve got the cheapest and most toxic form of plastic sitting right under their noses. You’re also supporting over-seas production of clothing that is using toxic materials for the poor people making the clothes. You’ve got a piece of clothing that will never disappear from the earth…no matter how many times you hand it down because once it ends up in the landfill, PVC will continue to live on. And you’ve got a substance that you’ve brought into your home that will end up in the dryer (think heat on toxic plastic) and you’ve just spend your hard earned $$s on another toxic item in your home.

Why is PVC terrible for human health and the environment? I know I’ve explained PVC before, but if you are new to Mommy Footprint, it’s an important material to understand if you are trying to ‘green’ your life and make healthier lifestyle choices. Described as poison plastic from Greenpeace, this form of plastic is the most toxic of the classified plastics (coded 1 – 7) and it’s ‘recycling’ number is 3.  Please note that while called recycling or resin number (the number defining which type of plastic and item is made from with chasing arrows surrounding it) for PVC is a 3, it is NOT able to be recycled. PVC plastic is toxic from the moment it’s produced until you attempt to get rid of it (burning it or throwing it into the landfill). While it’s being produced, PVC releases harmful dioxins into the air and continues to off-gas throughout it’s life. When you first open a product that is made from PVC that is wrapped in packaging, you will notice an intense and disgusting smell – that is the scent of PVC. A terrible fact that supports the fact of what happens when PVC is burned is described on the Greenpeace website. Listen to this:

From July 9-12, 1997, at least 400 tonnes of PVC were consumed in a fire at Plastimet, Inc., Hamilton, Ontario. The facility was storing bales of “jet trimmings” from a manufacturer of automobile interiors. Analysis of soot and ash samples after the PVC fire at the plant revealed levels of dioxin 66 times higher than permitted even for industrial land. This one fire increased the annual dioxin emssions for the whole of Canada by 4 % in 1997.

What are the top places I’ve tried to eliminate PVC from the clothing I purchase?  Footwear (rubber boots in particular), umbrellas, t-shirts, and PJs. I have walked into stores and had an instant headache from the smell a few pairs of rubber boots can produce. It’s the number one product that is usually produced from PVC and it’s easy to tell because of the smell and price (PVC is a very cheap material and as a result the products produced from it are less money). The best new item for this winter season has been Bogs Footwear for my son and I.  Bogs uses natural rubber and neoprene in their boots and the breathability, comfort, and quality has been very impressive. I’m a huge fan of this company and will outfit my entire clan in their boots next winter.

Umbrellas are also impossible to find PVC-free in a mall or traditional retail store. I found two for my girls at Dandelion Kids and they do have an online store if you’re looking to purchase.  Another place I try to avoid PVC is sleep ware, but boy is that tough.  It’s very hard when trying to find cool boys’ sleep ware. Any sort of licensed PJs – you know, the kind 8 year old boys like – have a big shiny decal on the front. That and they’re made with polyester (I’ll save this rant for another day) but I’ve had luck at Lazy One a local store and I love the PJs for younger kids at Hatley (they also sell PVC- free umbrellas).

The last place to try and rid PVC in my clothing (and kid’s clothing) is simply making a decision to not purchase clothing that have any shiny or synthetic looking decals.  Once you fully understand what these ‘fun’ decals are made from…it’s actually quite easy to explain to children whey you’re not buying the licensed shirt.  We of course get loads of hand-me-downs that have these decals and embellishments,but I’m more talking about the power of consumer dollars. It seems a bit mad that we continue to spend our money on things that are toxic to our heath – doesn’t it?

Many smaller (usually online) stores that have better options with materials used to produce clothing are listed below.  I’d like to reward their efforts with my consumer dollars and a shoutout in this article.  There are so many more small stores that have made the decision to use quality materials in the production of their clothing – please feel free to post a comment to this post and let people know about your products.

Bogs Footwear – http://www.bogsfootwear.com/

Puddle Gear – http://www.puddlegear.com/products.asp

Hatley – http://www.hatleystore.com/

Barley & Birch: http://www.barleyandbirch.com/

Little Inkers: http://www.littleinkers.ca/collections.html

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Soccer Saturday – Getting Ready For Rain!

I’ve spent this weekend either at the skating rink or soccer field and for me it’s the best way to spend a weekend! The soccer field was damp and it rained lightly and funny enough it wasn’t my boys who were actually playing soccer that made me start thinking about rain gear. It was their little fans (their younger sisters) who were standing and watching in the wet weather that encouraged me to take some inventory of appropriate rain gear for my kids. Since it’s just going to get colder and well, more wet – I started to research options for umbrella, boots, and rainwear. Two of my favourite online retailers came up in my searches so I’m thrilled to save you some time with researching. Also, before I talk about PVC-free gear for staying dry on the soccer sidelines – I wanted to mention an awesome product that we’ve used for 2 soccer seasons and they are always a hit with coaches and other parents when it’s our turn to bring oranges for the team. The 3-tier Family Tiffin from Green Planet Parties is the perfect eco-solution for transporting food and carting away the waste to later compost, recycle, or trash. This large, stackable, stainless steel tiffin is great for a families on the go – just load up your layers in the morning and you have snacks for the entire day. I love being able to load up two layers of sandwiches in only one layer of the tiffin! Another layer with a couple of types of fruits and the 3rd layer for dry stock and veggies. Please note – these pictures are from the Green Planet Parties site – not pictures I’ve taken with my camera. These tiffins are currently on sale and a great investment!


Next up on the agenda for ‘soccer Saturday’ is rainwear and both of the online retail shops I’m featuring have amazing product knowledge and great gear! Puddle Gear is owned by Alex…one eco-savvy mama! This line of PVC and phthalate free, water proof, breathable rain gear that she carries is timeless because the designs are styled to last many years. The quality is European standard (made in Europe by Abeko) and check out the waterproof mitts while you’re on the site – perfect for everyday wear,  skating or skiing. Puddle Gear jackets, mittens, full suits or pants are amazing quality, high end, and a wonderful investment made for puddle jumping this time of year!

Next our friends at Organically Hatched have the answer for PVC-free rain boots, PVC-free umbrellas and cute jackets for preschool or park days.  Water proof and PVC-free umbrellas sized for my girls would have been the perfect ticket yesterday while they watched big brothers play back-to-back soccer games. Umbrellas seem to be the ultimate in accessories to keep kids happy – they love them! Designed for the younger crowd, the Hatley rainwear at Organically Hatched is adorable – from matching boots, raincoats, and umbrellas – you cannot go wrong.  I’m pretty sure Hatley manufactures it’s products overseas which makes sense from the point point but I love the company’s dedication to PVC and phthalate free rain gear that children will love.

Rain gear that is breathable and high quality is a wonderful investment because without using PVC, the material is breathable and more comfortable for children. Once you’ve purchased rain gear that works – get outside an play. Have fun in nature and enjoy the best season of the year!

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PVC Items In Your Every-Day Life

A few weeks ago I wrote my first article highlighting the scary health effects from PVC plastic. Scariest fact from the article is that PVC is a known human carcinogen and has recently been linked to the development of autism. PVC ‘the poison plastic’ is the worst (and unfortunately the most widely used) plastic because it’s not recyclable and it does nothing but produce harmful dioxins from the start of it’s production until it ends up in the incinerator or landfill.  Not only is it terrible for the environment, but it has adverse effects to human health and is still used to produce many products that children or babies use in North America.  For this reason, I’m trying to bring awareness to household items, toys, etc., made from PVC and hope this article becomes a point of reference for parents so they can identify household items made from PVC plastic.  It’s important to note that some companies and countries (Europe) have produced alternatives to PVC, so you need to investigate before pointing fingers or panicking. 

I’ve checked with a few ‘environmental experts’ that are within my network (hello Twitter!) and can confidently share that PVC continues to off-gas or ‘leach’ toxins throughout it’s entire existence.  When a product made from PVC is first opened from packaging or purchased you notice a strong odor ~ this is a strong clue that it contains PVC.  What I’ve learned is just because the odor goes away or lessens, the item is still continuing to leach harmful chemicals.  Two ways besides scent to identify items made from PVC is to look for a V or 3 inside or underneath the universal recycling symbols. Of course, toy manufacturers and too smart to stamp V (for vinyl) or 3 (plastic that is not recyclable) with chasing arrows at the bottom of their toys because trust me, I keep looking.  Why would they want to tip off consumers that the toy is toxic?  Very frustrating.  You need to ask questions and if the retailer looks at you confused and can’t answer the question if it’s made from PVC, don’t purchase it.

I first realized the difference in PVC-free rain gear (rain boots, hats, gloves, jackets, pants, etc) last weekend when I stuck my nose into a rack of Puddle Gear products and couldn’t smell any odor and didn’t get my usual headache.  The Puddle Gear line is made PVC free and is a sweet new find!   When I stand next to traditional rubber boots or rain gear and it contains PVC, I can tell because I get a terrible headache instantly.  

On a daily basis I’m finding or thinking about more things in my home that surround my children made from PVC and want to create a master list.  I thank the following sites for supplying me with awesome information about PVC, worth a read if you want more information: www.watoxics.org, www.besafe.net, www.pollutioninpeople.org, and a pioneer watch-dog site site that holds companies accountable for producing harmful products www.zrecommends.com.

If you have any items that are not listed below, please add a comment to the bottom of this article and I will edit the post and add the item to this master list.  Yikes!  With summer quickly approaching – check out the category for outdoor items that are made with PVC – do you want your child sitting in an outdoor pool for hours that is leaching chemicals?

Household:

Cling Wrap
Shower Curtains
Bath Mats
Tablecloths
Place Mat
Credit Cards
Pond Liners
Wall Coverings including wall paper, wall decals for nursery or kid’s rooms
Fake Christmas Trees
Strollers and Car Seats
Toys
Water beds
Labels and Stickers
Photo Album Sheets
Mattress Covers
Imitation Leather Furniture
Checkbook Covers
Cleaning product containers
Pet care product containers
Tarps
Modeling Clay (Child Toy)

Apparel: Continue Reading →

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