Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Few of My Favorite (Eco-Friendly) Things

I've been meaning to do this for awhile, but here is a list of some of my favorite eco-friendly things from around our house.

EcoGear Backpack
I get so many comments about this backpack! When Caleb started preschool, I looked high and low for a backpack that would be the right size for him and didn't have toxic materials in it. Seriously, most backpacks have tons of vinyl, which contains lead. I found this one online at EcoGear and it fit the bill perfectly. It is super cute, and it's made out of organic cotton canvas, non-toxic dyes, recycled plastic, and sustainable wood. How cool is that? And even cooler--they now sell these at Target. They have other designs--a pig, an elephant, and a panda. They are the perfect size for a 2-5 year-old to carry. Well worth the $29!

(You can see a picture of Caleb wearing this backpack on my left sidebar. He was 2.5 at the time.)

Bobux Shoes for Babies and Toddlers
Another thing people comment on a lot are Isaac's shoes. When he was smaller, he wore Bobux soft-soled shoes like the ones on the left here (his were a different style, but these are cute!). Bobux uses what they call "eco-leather", which you can read about here. I like knowing that Bobux shoes are safe for Isaac to put in his mouth (cuz, you know, that's what babies do)!

I must say that it is pretty hard to find eco-friendly shoes for toddlers. There are several options for babies and big kids (including the ones from Simple Shoes), but not as many for early walkers. I was happy when I found these at Bobux. They are from the i-walk collection.

Check for coupons at retailmenot.com before you buy. Usually you can find a 15% off coupon.

Shoes for Mom and Dad
While I'm reviewing shoes, I should throw my own shoes in the mix. I love my Simple Shoes! I've had them for almost a year now, I think, and they are holding up well. They are super comfy and stylish, too. The bottoms of the shoes are made from recycled car tires, the laces are old plastic bottles, and the inner is made from organic cotton and hemp. I hear Ellen wore them on her show on Earth Day!

You can buy these at simpleshoes.com or at amazon.com for about $55 or less. (Simple also has some incredibly cool boots that are on sale now but are still out of my price range. Maybe Mother's Day...?)

Non-Vinyl Lunchbox

Just like the backpack, I wanted a lunchbox that wasn't made of vinyl, either. After all, the kids at preschool actually eat out of their lunchboxes, and oftentimes food comes in contact with them. I wanted him to have one without lead!

Crocodile Creek was the answer for us. Isn't this firetruck lunchbox adorable? It's a great size for him and fits several reusable containers (because of course we don't use plastic bags!). It is phthalate and PVC-free. It's about $15 at amazon or Whole Foods.

Steamer Mop
We have quite a bit of tile flooring in our house, and I have NOT been happy with the job that my lousy Swiffer Wet Jet does in cleaning it. Not only does it not clean very well, it uses yucky chemicals and leaves them on my floor. I always feel like cleaning up my floor after I clean it up! I am just striving to have a house that is as non-toxic as possible (especially since I have a toddler who likes to eat everything that falls on the floor). To that end, I have had my eye on a steamer mop for several months. I finally broke down and bought one a couple of weeks ago. I LOVE IT!

I got the Eureka Enviro Steamer. It uses hot water to steam the floors. That's it! Just water--no chemicals. It's really quiet and easy to use, and I finally feel like my floors are clean. I bought mine from amazon for about $68. A little pricey, but in the long run it makes sense because I don't have to pay for any replacement pads or refills like I would with the Swiffer. The steamer uses cloth pads that you just stick in the washer and hang to dry. Yea!

That's all for now. Perhaps I'll have a volume 2 of this in the future!


Anonymous said...

Hi Tiffany!

We are so glad to hear that you love our shoes and just wanted to let you know that we have a toddler collection coming out in July! All of the shoes are non-marking and are made from eco-certified washable suede. Hopefully your sons will love them as much as we do!

Your Friends at Simple

Angela said...

I think that Simple should repay you for all of your free advertising with a new pair of boots. :)

Morale said...

Crazy! I never even thought of the Vinyl being bad for the kids.
Thanks for being a great mommy, enviromentalist, and a Great Teacher!!

Love ya.

ps I agree with Angela too. ; )