Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly’

Alternatives to Tupperware

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Alternatives to TupperwareThe use of plastic is a hot topic these days. Many argue against its effects on people who work in the factories, the footprint it leaves in our oceans and landfills, and the level of waste that is encouraged with such accessibility to cheap plastic materials. Living sustainably and eco-friendly does not require that all plastic be removed from your life necessarily. Still, you may be looking to use more sustainable products overall in your kitchen. Perhaps you are concerned about BPA, PVS, phthalates, lead, and BPS, among other substances within plastic. I notice a difference in taste as plastic seems to hold on to past smells and flavors in a way that other options do not. Plastics may scratch and show other signs of wear like shifting shape just enough to make placing the lid on difficult or impossible. If this is you, consider a few other options the next time you look to purchase reusable containers.

Glass. Glass is a go-to in our house for fridge, counter, and pantry storage. Some glass is more easily breakable, so look for pure, tempered glass if durability against dropping is a concern for you. Wean Green and Life Factory are favorites of ours for that reason. Pyrex, Anchor Hocking, and Ball and Kerr jars (though generally not tempered) are also US made and easy to find relatively inexpensive in your local grocery or box store. Note that some glass brands still use plastic for part or all of their lids. Some of these options, like Ball or Kerr glass jars, can multi-purpose for canning as well. Just as with any storage you have to be thoughtful, but especially with glass in the freezer as it can crack if the contents expand upon freezing.

Recycled plastics. Depending on your reason for avoiding Tupperware you may be open to continuing to use plastics. Re-Play offers cups, plates, bowls, utensils, and even teething rings made from recycled plastics (notably milk jugs). They are dishwasher, but not microwave, safe. They still contribute to sustainability due to their recycled nature and can sometimes be more kid-friendly than glass alternatives.

Silicone. I enjoy that silicone (and glass) don’t hold stains and smells the way plastic can (think tomato sauce). Silicone is generally microwave safe as well. Oogaa bowls are our go-to for kids meals and they love the fun designs once they get to the bottom of the bowl. EzPz is another brand that offers stainless and durable silicone options that any kid will like.

Stainless steel. This works great for water bottles as well as general food storage. Pura, Kleen Kanteen, and Think Baby/Think Sport are popular brands. If plastic is a deal-breaker for you note that some stainless steel constructions still utilize plastic for lids, especially with water bottles. We also have stainless steel and glass containers in our kitchen to store a variety of things including coffee, nuts, crackers, cereal, spices, and more.

Reusable bags. These bags may be made of any number of materials from cotton and hemp to other food-safe plastic-like alternatives. Planet Wise makes a variety of bag styles (from Velcro to zipped and some with a see-through side) to meet a variety of needs, especially for packing lunches!

Once you begin minimizing your use of plastic in your kitchenware you may find yourself thinking of other ways to lessening your plastic consumption. You can utilize bamboo utensils and cutting boards rather than plastic options. Using reusable shopping bags or covering your bowls with a large plate or reusable covers instead of cling wrap are small ways to continue toward minimizing consumption.

Lynette is a mom of three children from 3 months to age four. She has cloth diapered all three since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Repurposing Your Newborn Gear

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Repurposing Your Newborn GearNewborn gear helps you through some rough stuff. I surely would have had fewer showers if it weren’t for the magic of that electric swing with grasshopper sounds. I’m forever indebted to the mobile that bought me those five extra minutes at least once a day. We were a little disappointed with how quickly our sons grew out of some contraptions though and were happy to find a way to repurpose them. Of course, we generally try to bring less in the home so we have less left over to begin with. That said, if you’re moving out of that newborn stage you may consider ditching a few of the things listed below. I encourage you to use your imagination before you put them in the “toss” bin!

Receiving blankets: We never used these as our sons came out baby mammoth size. Instead I cut them into 8×8 squares (serging the edges will lengthen the life of your new hankie). We have a pile of about 50 of them from over three years ago. We still use them daily to wipe noses, clean off hands, and clean up small spills. Burp cloths can also serve a similar purpose.

Infant bath tub: We tried going without an infant tub but gave in because I just couldn’t trust my slippery hands. We now use it as a little pool or water/sensory table in the dining room and a sand box on the porch. Fill it with rice, cotton balls, or anything in between for a fun way to pass a rainy afternoon away!

Newborn cloth diapers: All-in-one diapers aside, any other newborn diapers are easily usable down the line. Infant size prefolds are perfect for stuffing alone or with a booster into a pocket. Newborn size inserts are great boosters for that little-something-extra you might need as your infant grows toward toddler! You may have to pack away the AIOs, pockets, and covers. Keep the inserts, prefolds, and flats out for continued use!

Bottles: We didn’t have many of these around the house, but we now use them in the bath tub as a play cup, filled with pebbles to make instruments and little cups to hold paint or paint water. The brand we purchased was for our pumped milk, so they came with flat lids in addition to the nipple lids. Of course you can improvise if you don’t have that lid option! If you buy glass jars of food, again those are great for holding paint though they are breakable.

Enjoy your newfound items you didn’t realize you already have!

Lynette Moran shares her life with her husband and two sons, ages 1 and 3 years. She has cloth diapered both since birth and enjoys all things eco-friendly and mindful living.

Silent Saturday: The Eco-Conscious Toddler

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

My toddler must really care about saving trees…

he forgoes the paper and opts to color on himself instead, lol!

 

Oh and I have mentioned he does not like baths either…

guess he is trying to conserve water too. 🙂

 

Hooray for messy  eco-conscious toddlers!

Happy Saturday All!

-Sarah

Sunday Funday Giveaway: BecoThings Beco Potty

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Attention potty training mamas…you are going to LOVE this giveaway!! Inspired by my own toddler who is showing interest in learning to use the potty, this week’s giveaway is for a BecoThings Beco Potty!

The Beco Potty is not your regular potty chair. It’s actually made from plant waste material. And get this…when your wee one is done using it, you can plant it in the garden because it is 100% biodegradable! How cool is that? Instead of being dumped in the landfill when you are done with it, you can use this potty to grow flowers right in your own backyard.

In addition to the awesome eco-friendly design, the Beco Potty is also designed to be ergonomically correct and comfortable for little ones. For those of you who have potty trained a toddler before know that they often will sit on the potty for a LONG time, so having a comfortable and supportive potty seat is important. The Beco Potty is available in 3 different colors: blue, pink, and natural.

Would you like to win a FREE BecoThings Beco Potty for your potty training child? Then be sure to enter this week’s giveaway below for your chance to win! Winner will be notified via email on Sunday, October 28 and is asked to respond within 48 hours in order to claim their prize.

Good luck mamas!

-Sarah

 

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Product Review: Planet Wise Reuseable Snack Bags

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Lately we have been spending a lot of time at the park and zoo, just soaking up the gorgeous weather! As you know outings with kids are far more successful if you pack several snack options for them. For environmental (and economical) reasons I don’t like to use disposable plastic baggies to pack snacks. Instead I mostly use re-usable plastic containers, however they are big, bulky, and heavy. They take up a lot of room in the diaper bag and are overall cumbersome to deal with. I don’t know about you, but no matter how hard I try to stay organized with my plastic containers and lids, I always spend way more time than I care to digging around to find the right sized lid. I decided because packing snacks for outings is pretty much a daily occurrence in my life, it was time to invest in some better options.

And what perfect timing because right now in honor of Earth Day, Planet Wise Reusable Snack Bags are 25% off! They offer three awesome options for packing food: Reusable Snack Bags, Window Bags, and Sandwich Bags. The bags are made in the USA out of FDA food safe material that is PVC, BPA, phthalate, latex and lead free. They are carefully designed to prevent leaks and seal in freshness with a hook and loop closure. You can easily wipe them out with a wet washcloth or simply throw them in the washing machine.

I decided to order three of the reusable snack bags; one for each of my boys. As a side note, I love getting packages from Mom’s Milk Boutique in the mail! In case you didn’t know they use packaging that is re-usable and 100% biodegradable. To me the environmental friendly packaging is yet another added bonus when ordering from them! 🙂

The day our snack bags arrived in the mail, we were so excited we decided to test them out by going to the park. I now realize what a conservative order three bags was…I definitely love the bags and would enjoy having several more! First of all, as with all the Planet Wise products, the Snack Bags come in several adorable prints to choose from. Colorful prints are way more fun than clear plastic disposable bags. My kids are really excited about their colorful snack bags. Also the bags are super lightweight as opposed to the bulky plastic containers I was previously using. They are the perfect size and hold a generous amount of snacks for your little one. I always like how heavy duty the velcro is…no chance at all of it coming open on its own bouncing around in my bag. Additionally they are super duper easy to clean out.

If you are looking for some new, fresh ways to pack snacks for your outings, you’ll definitely want to check out the Planet Wise products while they are on sale. In addition to being environmentally-friendly, they will save you money by replacing use of disposable plastic baggies, aluminum foil, and plastic wrap. I am enjoying ours and looking forward to adding a few more to our collection!

-Sarah