1. The Greenzys Children’s Book
Two weeks ago, I criticized Greenzy’s eco plush toys:
I personally prefer stuffed toys that are more realistic and actually educate children about endangered species, for example. Without the book, I may be missing something. All of the toys in this line are colored green, and I am not sure if that is just a gimmick or what…I would pay $30 for a toy made in the USA (in fact, I would pay more), but sadly these toys are made in China.
I have since been sent The Greenzys book to see if I would change my mind.
The Greenzys book is a heartwarming tale that teaches the concept of environmental conservation, or “green” living. In this introductory story, the Greenzys meet Orinda, the world’s oldest living tree. When they discover she’s in trouble, they agree to help her – but not before they learn the importance of being green.
Written by acclaimed children’s writer Danielle Mentzer, “The Greenzys” is illustrated by the award winning artist, Cris De Lara. The book is made in an eco-friendly manner, with FSC/SFI/PEFC certified paper and board with soy based inks. The book is printed in The United States, which also reduces the carbon footprint.
Pros: I like how the book addresses pollution and in the end the animals teach Grimy, the antagonist, to recycle. The book does select a bristlecone pine as the oldest living tree, which is accurate if you don’t account for the 9,550-years-old roots of a spruce in Sweden. My son did enjoy reading this story. I am also pleased the book is printed in the US, unlike the toys that are manufactured in China.
Cons: I am not a fan of digital art, and I think in places the story is awkward. For example, the plot really doesn’t address how Grimy’s oil is cleaned up beyond collecting it in pails, which I think misleads children into thinking oil simply goes away. I also think it is weird how the animals all turn green. Maybe I just lack imagination, as a lot of green moms are raving about the Greenzys.
Would I buy this product? Do I really have to answer this? I’ve already upset the Greenzys folks once. I’m really picky about children’s environmental literature, and nothing can replace El Lorax as far as teaching kids to save trees and clean up the earth in a fun, developmentally appropriate manner. In fact, this story parallels the Lorax in many ways (saving the last seed, etc.), but it certainly lacks the brilliance of Dr. Seuss.
Almost three years ago, we discovered that children’s car seats were outgassing toxic chemicals. I quickly replaced my children’s car seats with Britax boosters, not only because they are less toxic, but because Britax has a strong safety rating.
Britax has just released a new car seat that keeps children in a five-point harness longer, as well as converts into a booster, including side impact protection that doubles as a nice resting place for sleepy heads.
“We know that the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the American Academy of Pediatrics promote keeping children harnessed for as long as possible,” said Sebastiaan Selders, product manager at Britax. “We designed the Frontier 85 to not only help children remain in a five-point harness longer and provide greater side impact protection, but to also offer superior ease-of-use and installation features. This is critical because when a seat is used correctly it provides optimal protection for the child.”
In order to accommodate the higher height limit and provide a secure fit, the Frontier 85 offers a total of 10 harness positions and three buckle strap positions. The harness also has a cobble weave design with sewn buckle stops to help prevent the harness from twisting and sliding out of place.
Would I buy this product? Yes, if I was in the market for a car seat. It is expensive ($279); however, it will last until you don’t need a car seat for your child eliminating the need to buy two different seats. From little toddlers to 120 pound kids, this car seat fits your growing child. Even though this car seat has not been tested by Healthy Stuff, other popular Britax models fall in the moderate level of toxicity concern. There are lower toxic seats available, but for me the safety record fo Britax is a priority in choosing a seat. Just remember to let your new car seat air out and open the windows of your car, especially if it is sunny out.
3. Somersault Season Music CDs by Laura Freeman
This music cd by Laura Freeman is divided into the four seasons and includes English, German, Urdu, Fanti, Portugese languages.
Laura Freeman lives in Austin, Texas where she writes and performs every thing from Kids Music to Cabaret. With her band The HEY LOLLIES she creates fun educational programs for children. She sings about colors, the environment and being outside. Laura’s songs involve the children’s imagination. Big City Little City is a song that takes kids any where on the globe they want to travel. Antarctica is a very cold visit to both poles. Children go on space ship rides, turn into flower gardens, and visit the land of Black and White.
Upon listening to this CD, my eight-year-old daughter said, “Is this Laurie Berkner?” Laurie was her favorite artist in her younger years. Later she asked, “Can we turn this annoying music off?”
Five minutes later her dad said, “This music is really annoying.” Honestly, I don’t think it is that irritating. I’ve heard kids’ music that is much, much worse.
I don’t understand what some of the songs have to do with the seasons they are arranged into. For example, what does “My Brother’s a Monster” have to do with spring?
Would I buy this product? No. Obviously, my family members are not fans!
I have had two large boxes full of Amway green cleaning products for many months waiting for review. I viewed these products with trepidation, as my parents participated in Amway, and I have bad memories of being forced to shop for everything from the Amway catalogues. Thus, I was pleasantly surprised to find these products shipped with biodegradable peanuts and pleasant smelling (I only sneezed once, although the odor did seem to cumulate the longer we cleaned). They are not dyed in a rainbow of colors to appeal to the mainstream consumer (except for the window cleaner…why do we want our window cleaner to resemble blue Windex?).
Many LEGACY OF CLEAN products are recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program. Amway has more than 50 years of experience in manufacturing environmentally responsible home cleaning and laundry care products. In 1959, Amway became one of the first companies to produce a high-performing, earth-sensitive cleaner called Liquid Organic Cleaner (L.O.C.®), which is still part of Amway’s product offering.
The LEGACY OF CLEAN line includes everything from laundry detergents to surface cleaners to dishwashing detergents and more. The products have been designed to do their job, yet are safe for your home, your family, and the earth when used as directed. LEGACY OF CLEAN promotes the highest performing formulas, while still using biodegradable ingredients and recyclable packaging. Concentrated formulas allow for minimal water, energy and waste usage.
There are so many products in this line! From oxygen-based all fabric bleach to window cleaner, all of your cleaning needs can be met by this line. Many of the formulas are concentrated, making them last a long time.
Would I buy this product? No. Perhaps it is partly from my childhood Amway experiences, or perhaps it is from my distrust of mainstream companies making green cleaners (like Clorox), but I think I will stick to the brands I trust like Seventh Generation and Ecover. Legacy of Clean products are affordable with a bundle pack of ten products at $57.45.
We receive a lot of organic baby clothing to review, and occasionally we get a product that really stands out for its softness and quality. Nature Baby makes adorable, snuggly organic cotton clothing for your babe. We especially like the kimono style onesies, as they do not require tugging a shirt over your infant’s head.
Nature Baby is a company started in 1998 in New Zealand. Like many of the companies we feature, this family business began as a “quest” to find non-toxic items for their own children.
Parenthood is a constant learning curve and the vast array of choices we are offered today is overwhelming. However, concerns about toxicity and the commercial drive of much of what’s on shop shelves has sparked many parents to consider what their alternatives are.
Because we see babies as so precious and sensitive to their surroundings, all Nature Baby products are carefully selected for quality, purity, design and are produced in such a way that cares for the earth and it’s workers.
Would I buy this product? Yes. I often critique organic onesies for being too expensive, and this one carries a price tag of $19.99, which is a little steep, but the quality is higher than others and worth it in my opinion. Coupled with pants and hat, this makes a sweet, organic outfit.
Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples, unless noted differently in the review. 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.