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5 Green Products: ReUseThisBag, Naturopathica, Farmer Jason, Baby Gourmet, Attached

1. ReUseThisBag.com

I am finally in the habit of taking my reusable bags in every store, not just the grocery store! It was one of my “eco-sins” for awhile, as I could never remember them, but I finally have a system.

They key to remembering to use reusable bags is to have plenty of them! We were just sent a great bag by ReUseThisBag.com . The bag is very sturdy and washable.

Here’s my system for remembering my bags:

  1. Keep plenty of bags in the car at all times.
  2. If you forget to bring a bag in a store, you either have to go back to the car or simply carry your goods out in the cart or by hand.
  3. When you bring your bags inside the house, put them in the laundry to be washed.
  4. Have a large basket by the door where you keep the clean bags.
  5. When headed to the car, restock your supply.

It really is simple to remember your bags once you get into a routine, and you will look with scorn at all of the single use paper and plastic bags being used by others.  Here are some interesting facts about why you should use reusable bags:

FACT: The largest opposition to the ban of plastic bags comes from the petroleum and plastics industries and of course, consumers that don’t want to change their habits.

FACT: Effective July 1, 2010. Los Angeles County Shoppers can either bring their own bags or pay 25 cents for a paper or biodegradable bag

FACT: Ireland imposed a tax on plastic grocery bags in 2002, San Francisco became the first U.S. city to ban conventional plastic grocery bags, in 2007, and Los Angeles followed suit in 2010

FACT: plastic is the largest source of ocean litter. The second most abundant ocean pollution, is cigarettes.

FACT: Ocean debris worldwide kills at least 1 million sea birds and 100,000 mammals each year, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association has estimated. The litter is most severe in the East Asian seas region, which includes countries such as China with a population 1.3 billion people and where, according to UN figures, almost 60 percent of men smoke.

FACT:  4 trillion to 5 trillion: Number of non-degradable plastic bags used worldwide annually.

FACT:  About 500 billion to 1 trillion plastic bags are used worldwide every year

FACT: Australians were using nearly 7 billion bags a year, and nearly 1.2 billion bags a year were being passed out free in Ireland before government restrictions, according to government estimates.

FACT: Plastic industry trade associations were unable to provide estimates of plastic bag use in the United States. However, based on studies of plastic bag use in other nations, the environmental group Californians Against Waste estimates Americans use 84 billion plastic bags annually.

FACT: The first plastic sandwich bags were introduced in 1957. Department stores started using plastic bags in the late 1970s and supermarket chains introduced the bags in the early 1980s.

FACT: About 100,000 whales, seals, turtles and other marine animals are killed by plastic bags each year worldwide, according to Planet Ark, an international environmental group.

FACT: Last September, more than 354,000 bags — most of them plastic — were collected during an international cleanup of costal areas in the United States and 100 other countries, according to the Ocean Conservancy

Please make an effort to end the single use plastic or paper bag habit!

2. Naturopathica Oat Facial Polish

Between my two blogs, I receive a lot of natural beauty product samples.  Actually, I sort of resent these products.  I used to be a 100% Dr. Hauschka junkie, but I get so many samples that I am not able to buy or use my beloved products.

Recently, I  have switched to organic tanamu oil for all of my moisturizing.  The results have been amazing, thus I approached the Naturopathica 30 Day Skin Transformation Challenge with some trepidation.

I have problem skin, and it is finally under control.  I was worried taking on this challenge that my problems may return, but on day three, so far so good.

I am following the Naturopathica  REGIMEN KIT: NORMAL TO OILY

ALOE CLEANSING GEL: A foaming sulfate-free cleanser with a refreshing blend of Aloe Vera and Lavender gently clarifies the skin while maintaining natural moisture

OAT FACIAL POLISH: Soothing Oats and Jojoba Beads gently sweep away dry, flaky skin, removing impurities and leaving the face soft and radiant

PLANT STEM CELL SERUM: An ECOCERT certified organic concentrated serum, designed to significantly slow down the aging of cells due to inflammation caused by UVA photodamage and oxidative stress

ROSEMARY OIL-REDUCING MOISTURIZER: An astringent blend of Rosemary and Willow help to absorb excess sebum while nourishing devitalized skin with moisture

The Naturopathica Oat Facial Polish is my favorite cleanser now!  It is very gentle, but it contains a little exfoliant to keep your skin in great daily shape without leaving you feeling raw.  All of the products in this regimen smell wonderful!

My skin did feel a little bit dry this morning, and I didn’t want to do any extra moisturizing to break the regimen.  It’s feeling good now and still no blemishes.  I’ll keep you updated as the regimen continues.

3. Farmer Jason and Buddies Nature Jams

I have such a hard time with children’s music.  It must meet a certain standard if I am going to have to listen to it over and over again.  As I have said before, just because it is geared towards kids, aesthetics should not be abandoned.  In fact, I won’t even expose my children to music if it doesn’t meet my standards. I don’t want it to become a favorite that I can’t tolerate.

Farmer Jason and Buddies Nature Jams features many guest artists like Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Tommy Ramone of the Ramones.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t make the cut.

Nature Jams is a high-value, kid-friendly gift package of 16 original songs, 4 music videos and a colorful 20-page booklet created by über designer Brad Talbott. The idea is to get kids excited about the big world around them, observing various animals (“Meadowlark in Central Park,” “Manatee,” and “Dison the Bison”), learning about cool places around the world and simply enjoying nature. “The point is to motivate kids to get outside and excite their curiosity about the world around them,” says Jason.

Farmer Jason raked in an all-star list of guest artists to sing and perform with him on Nature Jams, including Steve Gorman of The Black Crowes, Mike Mills from R.E.M., Tom Petersson of Cheap Trick, Iris DeMent, indie folk darling Brandi Carlile, Grammy®-award winning bassist Vic Wooten, Americana hipster Todd Snider, banjo virtuoso Alison Brown, zydeco star Terrance Simien, platinum-selling vocalist Suzy Bogguss, Celtic rockers The Sawdoctors, humorist-musician Webb Wilder, Hank Williams III and the legendary Tommy Ramone of The Ramones. Other guest artists are Jo Nesbø, the internationally best selling mystery novelist; Kristi Rose, a Nashville chanteuse; and Ruthie Foster, the Blues Music Awards’ Traditional Blues Female Artist of the Year. Even Farmer Jason’s grown-up band Jason and the Scorchers lend energetic, rocking riffs to the song “The Glacier.” With these engaging songs and videos, Farmer Jason and friends hope to motivate children to get outside and experience nature firsthand.

Actually, I think many of the songs are annoying, all-star cast or not. I appreciate the discussions before each track.  They help set the tone for each song and give children a little background information, but the music itself is not my cup of tea.

I’m not sure these tunes will motivate children to get outside and experience nature, but I bet it inspires some of them to dance.

Would I buy this product?  No.  It does not match my musical tastes. Besides, I’m annoyed with the misinformation about “Buffalo or Bison?”  The cd says they are words for the same animal, but that is not true.  American buffalo and bison are the same, but it is not the same as simply “buffalo”.  Wikipedia explains, Some consider the term “buffalo” somewhat of a misnomer for this animal, as it is only distantly related to either of the two “true buffalo,” the Asian water buffalo and theAfrican buffalo. ”

4. Baby Gourmet

In an ideal world, parents would have time to make their infant’s and toddler’s baby food from scratch.  Actually, it’s not that hard to do if you eat whole foods yourself.  Baby can eat what you eat if you follow a simple diet; however, we don’t live in an ideal world.

Even stay-at-home parents need the convenience of prepared baby food, and you better make it organic and contained BPA-free packaging for optimum baby health.

We were sent samples of Baby Gourmet:

Healthy, organic, and nutritious food for babies (6-12mo) made by moms with a little ingenuity. With all products starting in owners, Jen’s and Jill’s kitchens, each recipe and batch thereafter is taste-tested and poured out if it’s not absolutely loved. Creative recipes include:
6mo – Simple Purees

  • Harvest Pear, Pumpkin, and Banana
  • Juicy Pear and Garden Greens
  • Orchard Apple, Carrot Prune

7mo – Yummy Combos

  • Baby’s Sweet Potato Pie
  • Roasted Squash and Fruit Medley
  • Apple, Sweet Potato Berry Swirl

8mo+ – Tasty Textures

  • Old Fashioned Apple Crisp
  • Vanilla Banana Berry Risotto
  • Tropical Banana Bliss

All products are organic, no salt, sugar, fillers, preservatives, no nuts. No dairy, except in Old Fashioned Apple Crisp. Packaged in in a specially designed pouch allows for less cooking time, locking in nutrient values and flavors.

All ingredients are organic with the exception of the ascorbic acid.

Unfortunately, the BPA-free packaging is not recyclable, but it does make for easy heating.  Personally, I like baby food jars. They are very handy to reuse for multiple purposes, but I would assume the lids on them contain BPA, as most canning jars lids do.

As much as I aspired to always make my own baby food and freeze extras, I did resort to store bought baby food on occasion, especially when traveling.  Baby Gourmet is a good option, and I trust the product’s safety and quality, especially since it is made in Canada.

Would I buy this product?  Maybe.  One of our most popular posts “Baby Essentials That Aren’t, Part 7: Baby Food” explores the “baby-led solids” method of feeding.  I think I would try this if I had to do it over again, but I also do think there is a place for puree. I eat pureed food, so why shouldn’t baby? Plus, my son had immature oral motor skills in his mouth and choking was a concern.

I like that Baby Gourmet is very organic (not just one or two ingredients), but I do wish the packages were recyclable.  I also like how they have recipes where you can incorporate the baby food with solids to help transition children.

5. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-and Keep-Love 

Those of us who proclaim ourselves as natural parents are also advocates of attachment parenting.  But what about our partners?  Do we practice adult attachment?

A new book written by Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A. explores relationships. Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find-and Keep-Love is perfect for couples and singles to reflect upon this Valentine’s Day, if they so desire to examine their behaviors.  The premise of this book is that by identifying your attachment style, as well as that of your mate, and understanding how it affects your relationship, you will be able to build a sustainable life together.

In Attached, Levine and Heller reveal how an understanding of adult attachment-the most advanced relationship science in existence today-can help us find and sustain love. Pioneered by psychologist John Bowlby in the 1950s, the field of attachment posits that each of us behaves in relationships in one of three distinct ways:

  • Anxious people are often preoccupied with their relationships and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back
  • Avoidant people equate intimacy with a loss of independence and constantly try to minimize closeness.
  • Secure people feel comfortable with intimacy and are usually warm and loving.

Which attachment style are you? I confess that I can think of one time or another that I have been all three!

There are actual quizzes with score guides to help you determine your attachment style. They remind me of the kind often found in women’s magazines.

Would I buy this book?  No. I am not into relationship books. When I read, I read for please, not advice.  I like to get my advice from real humans in a real conversation.

I suppose if I had trouble in a relationship or even establishing a relationship, this book would be very helpful.  I have been with the same partner for almost 21 years. We have two children together.  If we start digging into attachment styles, who knows what could happen?  Might we try to change one another?

My relationship advice is to accept who you love for who they are, do not try to change them into who you want them to be. You can change yourself, which a book like this is helpful for doing, but you have to want to change.  You can’t change other people.

Reading parts of this book, I could relate and felt it was describing myself at moments.  This only made me anxious and defensive.  If we are happy in our relationship, why stir things up?

If I was in a relationship that was ending, and I wanted to save it, this book could be useful for understanding my behavior, as well as my partner’s.  But both people want to save it, and in my recent experience with friends, that isn’t always the case.  I guess understanding your attachment style would help prevent you from making the same mistakes in future relationships or seeking a mate with the appropriate style; however, I really think your style changes depending on the relationship.

I agree we need to practice adult attachment in a manner similar to attachment parenting, but I don’t really think this book draws the same parallels.  It is what I had hoped from the title. Instead, I feel like I am on a talk show when I read the examples.

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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