Archive | June, 2009

SPUD Is Making Organic Sourcing Local, Fun & Easy

I’ve often wondered why convenience only exists in ways that saves me time but is expensive and super unhealthy.  Think of all the drive through eateries and the greasy food they serve – but it’s so darn easy!  Well I’ve just completed my first SPUD organic delivery experience and have been knocked out by the level of customer service, local community spirit, and how easy and convenient their website is.  SPUD services many communities in North America, (BC Lower Mainland including Whistler, Southern Vancouver Island, Calgary, Greater Seattle, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles). You can click here to view the delivery schedule. For US readers, visit and Cnd the URL is 

What is a SPUD experience?  SPUD is a company that is successfully sourcing products, produce, bakery items, household, and meats that are organic, all-natural, and have a local footprint when available.  You can go to their website, create an account and start shopping.  You are told of the day your delivery will arrive and you can place your order right up until the day before delivery by 9:00am.  There is no longer a reason for busy individuals and families to not take advantage of the convenience of having fresh, organic food delivered to your door. 

When I first logged on to the SPUD site to start shopping, a few very helpful features caught my eye.  There is a daily specials section of the site. This is one of the many ways that SPUD helps to offset the higher cost of organic choices. Also, a Fresh Harvest Box that offers a variety of fruits and veggies, tailored to your family’s preferences. This is a great place to start for a novice SPUD shopper and once you receive the box you can make it a standing order, signify how much you want to spend on the box, and choose the option of receiving produce that is local whenever possible or Local only.  For example, this option means that berries will come from California or the States, until local BC berries are ready or if you’ve chosen to only receive local produce (unless of course you live in California), you will not receive blueberries, strawberries, etc. until a local farm has them ready.  This is a very cool option ~ especially for those that are following the 100 mile diet.  Even if you order produce individually without the Harvest Box, you can view where the product is coming from and it’s clearly marked if it’s local (took less than 800 km to arrive to the SPUD warehouse). Also above the price box of each product, you might see either a recipe card icon or the word local.                                       ↓

 You can select either of these buttons and a list of SPUD recipes will pop up to help with meal planning or a pop up box will appear when local is selected with a description of the product, how many kms it travelled to reach SPUD, and why you can be proud to support local business.  That is an incredible feature and again, for people tracking or interested in how far their food is traveling to reach their dinner table, having this information about what we are putting into our bodies is so fascinating.

SPUD has been around since 1998, making a local footprint and trying to give customers organic options. Over 10 years ago, we hadn’t heard from the experts about the danger of pesticides in our food and trying to compliment a local and organic diet.  My hat is off to readers that have already used SPUD or currently use this service. Not only is it convenient and helpful with meal planning, but your are helping keep your family healthy and less contaminated from the pesticides and chemicals that coat our food. We all know there are certain foods that we need to purchase from an organic source because of the amounts of pesticides used to have them produced. Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide To Pesticides for more information. 

After placing the first order my first thoughts were “that was really easy” and “why haven’t I done this before?”  If you have children you get such a great feeling when sourcing food and household items that are local and organic.  With busy schedules it’s hard to always get to a local farmer’s market each weekend or to think you can depend on the big name stores to provide you with a full spectrum of organic choices. I am so tired of finding moldy fruit at the bottom of the container and literally shudder at the different texture you can feel on the outside of non-organic fruit. I love feeling like a better mom when my organic selections arrive that I know my kids will enjoy and eat.

If you are a SPUD newbie, I suggest you take advantage of the money saving options SPUD offers. A great option is the friend referral program that saves the person you refer $5 on their first order, $5 on their 2nd order, $5 on their 3rd order and $10 on their 4th order. That pays for the difference in price of the organic upgrade on multiple items.  Also an awesome cost saving option is if one of the people you refer to the site orders over $75, you’ll receive a $25 credit to shop.  That is so fun! So grab a few friends and setup a domino of referrals so that you are all saving money! Also, at checkout, the SPUD system will tell you how many dollars you are away from receiving free delivery. My delivery fee was $5 because my order was $40. If I had ordered $50, delivery would have been free. Once you become a SPUD expert, case lot or purchasing products in bulk will also save you money.

I didn’t know until today that SPUD donates on a daily basis to food outreach groups and is involved in local charities.  So those organic goodies that are brought in daily for freshness do not go to waste at the end of the day. Another example of SPUD helping build community pride and helping those to be healthy that can’t afford the basics in life.  SPUD also highlights food issues and local companies building a sustainable impact through a weekly newsletter.

My experience was obviously pretty amazing.  What can I foresee as not being convenient when you are waiting for home delivery? SPUD has a set route and can give you an estimate on when your order will be delivered. It would be tough to request an am or pm deliver…you need to contact their office to find out where on their delivery route you location falls. I also wonder in the high heat of summer how the quality of the produce will last.  The food is packed in materials to keep it fresh, like ice packs, and freezer bags, etc. I can’t wait to find out though, because I’ve just seen my first item to go into next week’s order ~ Organic cherries, Chelan variety, from my province of BC, that traveled 385 km to reach the SPUD warehouse. Produce is only one category in a large selection within the SPUD ‘get shopping’ directory. Check out all the buttons under the Go Shopping tab and start the fun of learning more about ingredients, food, where and why it was chosen to be on the SPUD roster.  More articles to follow on Mommy Footprint regarding organic alternatives for consumers.  It is great to know more options exist and are available to avoid disappoint with the selection big name stores offer.



All Things Jill ~ All-Natural Canadian Pampering

The tag line for the all-natural company All Things Jill is ‘Pamper Your Body.  Protect The Earth.’ It’s the perfect description for this Canadian jewel that has been growing and perfecting recipes for 4 years. I was already a huge fan since trying their hand/body soap (I won’t buy anything else) since traditional liquid soaps cause my hands to dry and have eczema outbreaks. The Organic Hand & Body Wash is so awesome and clinched my decision to never buy non-organic liquid hand soap again.  It seemed like a very small, inexpensive luxury after learning the hand-soap I had previously purchased for years contained ingredients the EWG recommends to avoid

So when All Things Jill arranged a little surprise to arrive, I was thrilled, but doubtful anything could get better than my hand/body soap.  Well it’s like Jill, the owner, magically knew that I’ve just finished a year of wearing nothing but hand-me-down crocks and my feet are trashed.  I like to call them ‘hard working feet’ but my children and husband have some not-so-kind things to say about my ‘rough’ feet.  Well, my feet are becoming softer by the day and thanks to the ‘Sole Delight Foot Butter’ they smell amazing.  Jill sent me a new product called the Sole Delight Foot Therapy Kit and it includes a foot scrub, pumice stone, and foot butter.   Check out the packaging and look of this kit ~ picture courtesy of All Things Jill site:

This new product is simply heavenly and for a person that doesn’t like scent in personal care products, I’ve been thrilled to find a new favorite aroma.  I can’t put my finger on what ingredient is producing the amazing smell…it could be the sweet almond oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, apricot kernal oil, peppermint leaves..should I go on?  The blend is amazing and to think I’m using a pumice stone that is hand picked from a mountain in British Columbia, near the volcano’s vent is totally cool! The pumice stone seen in the picture above works great and I love the look of the stone in my bathroom between use.  Like the salt rub, the stone is just so naturally beautiful.

So keep your eyes on this booming little company called All Things Jill that is sold in over 80 stores!  All retail stores selling All Things Jill are Canadian, but the online stores ship anywhere within North America.  I encourage US consumers to treat themselves to the All Things Jill experience ~ they are one of the best kept Canadian secrets that I’m happy to share.

** Update ** All Things Jill would like to offer Mommy Footprint readers a discount while shopping online at their store.  At checkout, type the word footprint next to the field marked Discount Coupon to save 10% off entire order.



Reusable, Hip, PVC-Free Snack & Food Bag Alternatives

Since writing my articles about PVC and having a newly heightened awareness of not wanting ‘poison plastic’ (#3) touching my kid’s food, I’ve been seeking alternatives.  The most immediate solution was to start using wax paper to wrap sandwiches (I was using cling wrap before!) and using it as a barrier when wrapping left over cheese, watermelon, etc. . . anything so my food is not touching the cling wrap.  This is working well from a toxic standpoint, but is very wasteful.  Well a beautiful and functional alternative came my way from Plum Creek Mercantile and I’m happy to have a great cloth alternative.  Photo of Sorbet Swirl Snack Bag courtesy of Plum Creek Mercantile site:

We all know I’m a huge fan of stainless steel lunch containers, but I wanted to give cloth snack bags a try.  They are a great option for sandwiches, dry snacks, and veggies.  I’m always on the go and with 4 children to keep snacks readily available for, I can’t fit a laptop lunchbox or tiered lunchbox into my purse. Well my new cotton snack bags have solved this problem!  They are the perfect size for crackers, sandwiches, trail mix, veggie sticks, and more. . . they also have very strong velcro closures so I’m not worried about loosing my snacks.  They are also made from the softest, most hip and beautiful fabrics I’ve seen in PVC-free snack bags!  These bags are made of 100% organic and regular cotton in a variety of fabric choices ~ perfect for boys or girls with Cool Robot or Sorbet Swirl designs.

Another great product from Plum Creek Mercantile is their bulk food bags. These cloth bags are perfectly suited for people that shop from bulk bins. Naturally beautifully selected cotton with a functional, non-toxic clear window so you can see what’s in the bag.  You are able to easily record a bin number or expiry date written with a grease pencil or dry erase marker that can easily be removed later. If you want some inexpensive Martha Stewart flair on your kitchen countertops ~ check out these affordable, stylish food bags. 



We all love a bargain and Plum Creek Mercantile is selling slightly dinged food bags for a discounted price!  A set of two bags in the organic tea dye fabric are only $15.99 (picture directly above).  Take advantage of bags that merely have creases in the window or uneven sewing.  The structure of the bag is still intact, making this bargain perfect for someone wanting to try out this new system for dry food storage.  Enjoy almost $10 in saving on the two bags!

So think of all those times you reach into your kitchen drawer to pull out the cling wrap or plastic sandwich bags when preparing snacks and lunch.  After introducing these reusable cloth snack bags into your routine, you will be amazed and delighted at the savings.  Not only are the bags wonderful for the environment, but you keep PVC plastic away from snacks, meals, and stored dry food that your children consume. What an incredible product to introduce to your family this summer and watch how kids naturally understand and embrace how another part of their lives changed from disposable to reusable in a fun, easy way!

Related Articles:

PVC Items In Your Every-Day Life

PVC Plastic ~ The Poison Plastic In Your Home



School or Teacher Year End Gift ~ Rain Barrel

Wow did I ever stumble onto some magic yesterday.  Our preschool decided to give the school a rain barrel as the year end gift for the school.  Well – it’s turned out to be the best project ever and this idea could easily double as a gift for grandparents, father’s day, gift for a school or teacher because it has nothing but positive elements.  I love giving practical, Eco-friendly, educational, affordable, and naturally beautiful presents and this project was all of these as the finished product is amazing. 

Did you know that many city municipalities in North America subsidize composters or rain barrels?  I contacted the Parks and Environment Division at the local city office and purchased a huge rain barrel with the down spout converter and tap kit for $40.  The city pays $50 for them and then subsidizes a percentage of the cost to make them so affordable.  Best of all, the material our rain barrel was made from is recycled food containers. 

So being the outgoing, graduating class from our preschool the gift was this rain barrel but the magic started happening when the painting and personalization of the barrel started.  I could hear Jackie, our very patient coordinator for this project, telling the children that the barrel would collect rain water for everyone to water the garden at preschool ~ all while helping each child paint their hands and fingerprints to personalize the barrel with the garden/flower/bug theme. This turned into a perfect eco-activity to educate children on the importance of water conservation, reusing, and helping the environment.

I’m so glad we took before and after pictures of the barrel.  To personalize, the children painted their hands and fingers to leave prints that Jackie turned into magical butterflies, flowers, bugs and the end product is gorgeous!  It started out as a very plain blue barrel and now it’s something decorative and functional for a school to water their garden.  Even if you just purchased the barrel and just put hand prints of all your children it would make a wonderful Father’s Day gift ~ all for under $50.  Use paints that will stand up against wet weather and you are good to go!

Here are the before and after pictures of our barrel.  I hope they inspire you.



Note: Jackie gasping in awe of perfect handprints!




What Is The Shelf Life Of Your Sunscreen?

Last week, the blazing heat felt more like mid-August than the 1st of June.  My clan headed to the beach and I grabbed my Badger sunscreen to use up from last summer. I spent about 10-15 minutes applying the sunscreen with each of my children because none of their skin had been exposed to the sun this year so I wanted really good coverage.  I re-applied 2 hours later on their faces, shoulders, and arms just to make sure they were protected.  Well imagine my surprise to discover one of my three year old girls got burned and so did I.  At first I decided to blame the sunscreen ~ because it’s organic had it gone bad since last summer?  ~ because it’s organic does it dissipate from the body more quickly?  I didn’t purchase my sunscreen from Gwen (owner of Nayla Natural Care) but I really trust her opinion on personal care products so I asked some questions and got some great answers I wanted to share with Mommy Footprint readers.

Gwen mentioned the shelf life on the all natural sunscreen that Nayla carries is 2 years. I also did some research and found out the same result with most organic lines.  My Badger sunscreen did have an expiry date and that date hadn’t passed, but it was something I hadn’t thought of to check so thanks Gwen!  However, when I checked my bottle of California Baby sunscreen I noticed it doesn’t have an expiry date, but has a lot number. Gwen recommended contacting the company to check the expiry date because a two year shelf life isn’t very long, especially if a product sits on a store shelf for awhile.  This is a great tip that I never thought of and I recommend if you are carrying over organic sunscreens from last summer.

I’m sure that organic, all-natural sunscreens do dissipate more quickly because they don’t have the chemicals that preserve them to sit on store shelves for x years.  I had to remind myself this is a good thing!  Here are some ‘don’t forget’ sunscreen tips that are worth reviewing with the hot summer approaching!  I hope to cover sun suits and hats in future articles, because these clothing items are extremely helpful with protecting children’s skin from damaging rays.  I also realized with my girls being 3 and really having no exposure to the sun yet, their skin is very sensitive and no matter how strong, organic, or high-quality the sunscreen is, their skin should not be exposed to the sun all day so I’ll have to do some research on protective sun suits. 

Don’t forget:

Tips of the ears, behind the ears, the scalp with scarce hair and your feet

Your lips..use a sun screen for your lips because cancer can later form here.

Don’t apply sunscreen to eyelids, just use protective eye glasses with 100% filter instead.

Moisturizers and sunscreens at the same time are not recommended.  The sunscreen will become diluted from the moisturizer, minimizing its SPF.

insect sprays and sunscreen at the same time are not recommended.  Like moisturizers, the bug spray will disrupt the integrity of the sunscreen.

And last from Gwen, after 1 year, the zinc oxide might have settled in your sunscreen, so ‘massage’ the bottle before using to ensure the zinc is properly re-distributed.

Related Articles:

Top Organic Sunscreen 2009

Banana Boat Oxybenzone and Badger Sunscreen

Safe Sunscreen Guide For Children



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