Green Mom Launches ECOlunchbox & Debuts Ocean-Friendly, Plastic-Free Bento Collection

by 07/16/14   filed under: baby feeding, eco toddler, green baby, green baby gifts, green family, green kids, kid friendly, kids health

ECOlunchbox, waste free lunch, plastic free lunch, green kids, eco kids, green lunchware, bento collection, ocean-friendly bento collection

As awareness of the perils of plastics grows, an eco mom business is responding with the release of a new plastic-free and ocean-friendly lunchware collection designed to help families pack lunch without plastic. “Lunchtime is a great time for families to think twice about plastic habits,” says Sandra Ann Harris, who founded ECOlunchbox to make available plastic-free lunchware that’s healthy for people and the planet.

With its colorful blue silicone lid (note: lids are made from silicone instead of plastic for healthier people and planet) and a humpback whale swimming across its packaging through information bubbles and ocean jokes, the look of the company’s aquatic-themed Splash Box is decidedly more modern and contemporary than the classic artisanal ECOlunchbox line. The silicone lid offers the “leak-free convenience of a plastic lid without the plastic,” Harris explains. “You can literally start saving our oceans at lunchtime.” Silicone is a non-toxic and plastic-free material made from silica, which is also used to manufacture glass. The Splash Box™ bento lunch box coordinates with three Blue Water Bento organic cotton lunch sacks featuring: a blue whale, a green dolphin and an orange sea horse. “It’s shocking how much plastic washes up on our shores,” said Angela Haseltine Pozzi whose non-profit organization Washed Ashore builds educational sculptures from plastic marine debris. “I love what ECOlunchbox has done with their new Blue Water Bento collection,” Pozzi said,“because it directly connects the dots between our behavior as humans and how using less plastic can help out the critters in our oceans and the environment in general.”

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Graco My Size 65 Convertible Car Seat Contains a Flame Retardant That Has Been Subject to a Global Ban by the UN

by 07/15/14   filed under: toxins, transportation

baby car seat, baby safety, car safety, car seat, eco-friendly car seat, flame retardants, green car seat, health problems, healthy pregnancy, high PBDE levels, Higher PBDE Levels, infant seat, organic car seat, recycled car seat, safe furniture, toxic-chemicals, toxins in pregnancy, graco car seat

As part of the HealthyStuff.org #ToxicFreeCarSeats campaign, HealthyStuff ran some early testing on the Graco My Size 65 Convertible Car Seat and found that it contains several dangerous chemicals that you certainly don’t want near your child. To identify the chemical hazards in this car seat, HealthyStuff ran multiple tests for flame retardants on various parts of the car seat and found two flame retardants in the product’s upholstery including a thin PU foam layer (laminated to green textile): Triethyl phosphate, Tris (2-butoxyethyl) phosphate (TBEP) and EPS foam: 5,110 ppm Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCDD). Furthermore, one of the flame retardants is subject to a global ban by the UN. The car seat’s buckle and harness straps contained very low levels and exterior plastics tested very clean. However, HealthyStuff notes that the  hard EPS foam in the car seat contained high levels of bromine (Br) in addition to significant levels of Antimony (another flame retardant chemical). See the full results of the Graco chemical hazards test here. You can help fund HealthyStuff’s endeavors to test many more car seats for chemical hazards by contributing to their Testing Children’s Car Seats for Toxic Chemicals campaign. Remember, even though many car seats contain harmful chemicals you should ALWAYS use a car seat! See one safer car seat choice.

+ Testing Children’s Car Seats for Toxic Chemicals

+ HealthyStuff

 

EPA Proposes Ban of HFCs in Cars & Grocery Stores to Help Halt Global Warming

by 07/15/14   filed under: news, toxins

chemicals, avoid chemicals, air conditioning chemicals, harmful chemicals, super greenhouse gases, greenhouse gases, toxins, cancer risks, cancer-causing chemicals

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just announced a proposal that would ban the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) where climate-friendly alternatives are available instead. HFCs are a group of man-made chemicals containing the elements carbon, hydrogen and fluorine and were first used as refrigerants, mainly to help replace ozone destroying chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The problem is, now HFCs are found in so many products, including mobile air conditioners, food refrigeration systems, foam blowers, and aerosol propellants, which is very bad news for people and the environment. HFC’s are extremely potent greenhouse gases with global warming potentials hundreds to thousands of times higher than CO2 — and they are even sometimes called, “super greenhouse gases” because, as Think Global Green puts it, “the combined effect of their high use and high global warming potential could undercut the benefits expected from the reduction of other greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.” This ban will be the second major step in the EPA’s continued effort to reduce HFCs under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan (pdf) and complements an earlier action EPA proposed to expand the list of climate-friendly alternatives for refrigeration and air conditioning under its SNAP Program. According to the EPA, this ban will cut the equivalent of 42 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is clearly significant. The first bans would start in 2016 while mobile air conditioning HFC bans would start in 2020 for new 2021 model cars.

+ EPA Fact Sheet on the proposed rule (pdf)

+ Primer on HFCs

Lead image via Shutterstock

 

14 Dreamy Kids' Rooms That Have Us Yearning for Childhood

by 07/15/14   filed under: eco decor, green kids

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Research Links Popular Pesticides to Declining Bird Population

by 07/14/14   filed under: news, toxins

Neonicotinoids, pesticides, chemicals, bird population, bug killer, bird killer, silent spring, harmful insecticides, insecticide, toxic chemicals

New research that some are dubbing a second “Silent Spring” shows that neonicotinoid insecticides have an adverse effect on non-target invertebrate species, such as birds. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides chemically related to nicotine; in fact the name neonicotinoid literally means “new nicotine-like insecticides.” The new research, discussed in the journal Nature, shows that insects constitute a substantial part of the diet of many bird species during the breeding season and that because of this, neonicotinoid, meant to be eaten by bugs, makes its way easily to insectivorous bird populations, killing both bugs and birds. Researchers say that in the Netherlands, local bird population trends were significantly lower in areas with higher surface-water concentrations of the insecticide. Once the insecticide reached concentrations of more than 20 nanograms per litre, bird populations appear to decline by 3.5 percent on average annually, according to the researchers. Results of the research may suggest that the full impact of neonicotinoids on the natural environment is currently misunderstood and may be more dangerous for birds than has been reported in the past. The researchers note that more studies are needed but that future legislation should take into account the possible cascading effects of neonicotinoids on the environment and wildlife.

+ Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with high neonicotinoid concentrations

Image via Shutterstock

 

New Bill Proposes Ban on Using Known Toxin BPA in Food Packaging

by 07/14/14   filed under: green family, health & body, news, toxins

ban usa, Bisphenol A, bpa, bpa and cancer, bpa and obesity, bpa ban, BPA in cans, BPA in food packaging, bpa in the womb, chemical industry, chemicals that cause cancer, childhood obesity, FDA bans BPA, obesity, usa bpa ban

Democrats in both chambers of Congress have introduced a bill that would ban Bisephenol-A, (BPA) from all food packaging. Reps. Lois Capps (Calif.) and Grace Meng (N.Y.), along with Sen. Ed Markey (Mass.), have also noted that the new bill would be useful in encouraging the further development of alternatives to BPA-laden packaging and part of the bill would require a safety review of all substances currently used in food packaging. Capps said in a statement, “The dangers of BPA are well-documented, and we must do everything we can to ensure that both the factory workers who package food, and the people who consume our food, are safe.” BPA is well linked to issues like future heart and kidney disease, obesity, abnormal egg development in fetuses and more, but who knows if the new bill will pass. As always, the plastic industry is already up in arms about the bill and our government is painfully slow when it comes to banning harmful chemicals.

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Artist David Zinn's Magical Chalk Drawings Spring to Life on the Streets of Ann Arbor

by 07/14/14   filed under: art

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Child Laborers May Have Made Your Samsung Smartphone

by 07/13/14   filed under: news, toxins

samsung, samsung company, bad apple, cell phone dangers, creen addiction, electronic chemicals, get outside, green kids, green parenting, health hazards of screens, ipad, iphones, child labor, screen free, screen time, tech addiction, toxic-chemicals

Over 20,000 individuals took action with Green America in March, asking the Apple company to improve labor conditions in its supplier factories, and it turns out Apple is listening! Now Green America is asking everyone to help them again by calling out Samsung for their shocking child labor abuses. A new report recently issued by China Labor Watch (CLW), brings to light various instances of child labor in a Samsung’s supplier factory in China. Other reports have also shown that hundreds of former Samsung workers in Korea developed grave illnesses due to dangerous chemical exposure while working in the Samsung factory. Green America notes, “These abuses are in violation of national laws, international labor law, and Samsung’s own Global Code of Conduct, which states that the company will treat workers in a fair and legal manner, will not endanger worker health and safety, and will not hire underage workers.” Sadly, Samsung is following their own supposed code of building, “a positive future for society and the environment.” Worse, Samsung sold an estimated 550 million phones worldwide plus banked $36 billion last year, so the fact that they even use child labor is utterly ridiculous. They can well afford to pay fair wages to adults and provide safe working conditions as well. Thankfully, you can join Green America and China Labor Watch in holding Samsung accountable so that no more workers are mistreated or endangered while making Samsung’s products. Apple is changing their ways thanks to consumers, so why can’t Samsung? Head over to Green America and sign the Samsung, Put an End to Smartphone Sweatshops! petition.

RELATED | Tell Apple to Protect Their Factory Workers from Dangerous Chemicals

+ Samsung, Put an End to Smartphone Sweatshops!

+ Samsung Child Labor Report (pdf)

 

Mechanic Builds One-of-a-Kind, Adult-Sized Little Tikes Cozy Coupe That Can Reach 60mph!

Mechanic Builds One-of-a-Kind, Adult-Sized Little Tikes Cozy Coupe That Can Reach 60mph!

  Although aging is inevitable, maturing is clearly optional. English mechanic, John Bitmead knows that nostalgic toys have the potential of becoming even more sentimental and…

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HOW TO: Upcycle an Old Step 2 Car into a Shiny New Batmobile!

HOW TO: Upcycle an Old Step 2 Car into a Shiny New Batmobile!

TweetEmail Items needed: Used Step 2 car Latex gloves face mask Cardboard or spill mat 2 Plastic spray paint cans- I used Rust-Oleum 211338 Paint For Plastic Spray Batman…

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HOW TO: Make Silky Avocado & Coconut Mousse

HOW TO: Make Silky Avocado & Coconut Mousse

1. Gather the ingredients 3 cups of almond milk (or any vegan milk) 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk 1/2 cup of brown sugar 1 avocado 2 tsp of lemon juice Toppings: 1 tsp of…

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Enchanting Fairy Doors Strewn Throughout the City of Ann Arbor Delight Local Children

Enchanting Fairy Doors Strewn Throughout the City of Ann Arbor Delight Local Children

Wright originally started building his whimsical and realistic fairy doors at home as part of interactive story time with his own children. Realizing how much the little doors…

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BOOK INSPIRED FOOD: Make Vegan Peach Ice Cream Inspired by "James and the Giant Peach"

BOOK INSPIRED FOOD: Make Vegan Peach Ice Cream Inspired by "James and the Giant Peach"

1. Gather the ingredients. 1/2 cup raw cashews 2 small or 1 large ripe peach 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup, or to taste depending on the sweetness of your peaches 1/2 tsp almond extract…

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Tell LEGO to End Their Partnership with Oil Giant Shell

Tell LEGO to End Their Partnership with Oil Giant Shell

TweetEmail As part of a new co-promotion, LEGO, everyone’s favorite toy brick company, has partnered with Shell, well known oil giant of the world. As part of the…

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C-Sections Cause Genetic Changes in Babies that May Lead to Increased Risk of Cancer, Asthma & Diabetes in Later Life

C-Sections Cause Genetic Changes in Babies that May Lead to Increased Risk of Cancer, Asthma & Diabetes in Later Life

TweetEmailAccording to a new study, infants born via Cesarean section as opposed to vaginal birth, may experience epigenetic changes. Epigenetics are factors that can influence…

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HOW TO: Make Crispy, Gluten-Free Polenta Croutons On Spinach Citrus Salad

HOW TO: Make Crispy, Gluten-Free Polenta Croutons On Spinach Citrus Salad

TweetEmail1. Gather the ingredients Salad: a bunch of spinach leaves half a bell pepper 3 prunes Croutons: a cup of polenta Lemon vinaigrette: 3 tbs of extra virgin olive…

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10 Essential Items You Need to Create a Natural Medicine Cabinet - And How to Use Them

10 Essential Items You Need to Create a Natural Medicine Cabinet - And How to Use Them

Aloe Fresh aloe vera gel is the perfect first responder for burns, small cuts, blisters, and insect bites. It’s instantly cooling and soothing, and helps reduce inflammation and ward…

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iPosture: A Syndrome on the Rise Among Kids Who Hunch Over Electronic Devices

iPosture: A Syndrome on the Rise Among Kids Who Hunch Over Electronic Devices

Think it’s perfectly alright for your child to hunch over an iPad or iPhone? Think again. According to Leigh Sheldrick, a chiropractor with seventeen years of experience, on an…

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