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Check Out Our 2nd Annual Eco

Managing Kids & Technology

Baby Gear Guide!

the Importance of Family Time

An Interview with

The Honest Company

Mayim Bialik

Spring 2012

on the Science that Supports Attachment Parenting 1


Features A Naturally Colorful Easter


Does My Child Have Allergies? 14

Learn to Grow Trees


The Importance of Family Time 44

Interview with Mayim Bailik


Travel: Teens Turned Green


Breastfeeding Success


The Honest Company Interview 58

Celebrating Earth Day


Waldorf Schools




Eco Baby Gear Guide


Green Spring Cleaning


In Every Issue EcoFab Nutritional Nuggets Ask Green Grandma Great Stores Look, Listen, Read Eco Craft What’s in Season Fashion The More You Know Eco Your Green Child

photo submitted by Linda Martin

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from our publisher & editor “A green style of parenting seeks to create a generation of children who love and respect people and the earth because they have been loved and respected by their parents.” The moment I read this quote from Mayim Bialik’s book, Beyond the Sling, I knew how strongly it would resonate with Green Child Magazine readers. My husband and I practiced Attachment Parenting for almost four years before we knew it had a name. After a rough night with our second infant son, we told my lactation consultant we were really hoping this baby would learn to sleep on his own and become independent faster than his older brother had. I can still see her face – with her head tilted to the side like she was thinking carefully before she responded to these two sleep-deprived parents. She said, “But your oldest is such a gracious and content child. It’s no accident how he became that way.” Hearing that from someone with an extensive background in birth, nursing, and child development was an affirmation to us. She explained how he didn’t have to waste his energy crying and worrying whether his needs would be met. He was able to go about the process of adapting to the world and growing. Six years later, Mayim’s book was another powerful affirmation… and this time with research from her neuroscientist degree to back it up. Interviewing her was like talking to your smartest, crunchiest friend who never judges you. And who doesn’t really care if you judge her, because she knows she’s doing what works for her family. But if you lean in just a bit, she’ll tell you ALL about it. I hope this issue nudges you to trust your instincts. You know so much more than you think you do :)

Amity ON THE COVER: Photo by Denise Herrick Photography



This Easter, skip the plastic eggs and fake grass, and fill their baskets with these adorable, eco-friendly finds. A modern twist on the traditional Easter basket - this Canvas Gift Bucket is printed on 100% recycled canvas cloth with soybased inks! ($12 at Chewing the Cud)

Tuck a treasure inside these reusable felted Easter eggs. We think these make fresh Springtime decorations! ($7 at

Made with organic fruit juices, Surf Sweets have no corn syrup or GMOs, making them a guilt-free sweet treat! ($2 at

Your little planet-friendly puzzlers will enjoy Bamboozlers - challenging brainteasers and puzzles made from bamboo. There’s a puzzle for all ages – even mom & dad. ($5 and up at Recent Toys USA) 6

Reading with your child is the greatest gift. And when you choose classic stories from Better World Books, you’re helping fund literacy initiatives worldwide. ($10 at Better World Books)

Looking for an alternative to dyeing eggs? Wikki Stix bend & shape to create fun and festive decorations. Made from knitting yarn & food-grade wax, kids can use them again and again! ($8 at

These little Chick-a-Dees are sure to delight little nature explorers! We love the scoop to build fine motor skills. Available in Birdie comes with a coordinating colored nest filled with 5 eggs to protect and count. ($19 at 7

Nutritional Nuggets

A note to our readers: I receive questions from GCM parents on a wide range of topics. In past issues, I have only addressed the vegan questions, but I feel like I am neglecting a good number of our readers who want answers to all of their nutrition questions. We want this to be YOUR magazine, and there is room to respect all diet and lifestyle choices.

Thousands of compounds called phytochemicals have been found in our fruits and vegetables, but very few have been duplicated in vitamin form. Each of these nutrients has unique benefits to our health. For example, the group of carotenoids… which are orange, red and yellow… promote heart and eye health.


Anthocyanins, which are found in bluish purple produce like blueberries, blackberries and eggplant, have antioxidant properties. Many

phytochemicals inhibit the growth of cancer cells too. For this reason, it’s always best to choose REAL food over supplements whenever possible.

What are hemp milk and seeds? Are they safe to give my kids? While it comes from the same plant marijuana is made from, hemp seeds do not contain any THC and are perfectly safe for consumption. In addition to seeds, you can find it in oil, protein powders, milk, and mixed into other foods. Hemp contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty ac-

Image by Christy Thompson

Are there any nutrients in food that aren’t in vitamins?

|by Louise Goldberg

An Apple A Day Nutrition

ids plus essential amino acids and several other nutrients. It has a very distinct nutty flavor and is a good option for people with allergies to tree nuts, dairy or soy.

My oldest son is always hungry. We don’t keep unhealthy foods in the house but we started noticing that his belly is growing. How do we keep his weight under control but not starve him? Does he eat faster than the rest of the family? If so, ask him questions about his day at meals to slow him down or make it fun and suggest he try to be the last one to finish. It will give his body time to recognize whether he is actually full. If speed is not the cause, make sure he is getting the right balance of healthy foods.

Half his plate (and everyone else’s too!) should be fruits and vegetables. If he wants a second helping, always offer more fruits, vegetables or a glass of water. If he says no, he is most likely not that hungry. If he is eating because he is bored, a great conversation can be just the thing he needs to distract him.

Does a gluten-free, casein-free diet really work for autistic kids? This is a very controversial topic because parents who have tried this and see improvement in their child’s behavior strongly believe in it. At this time though, no study has shown conclusively that this very restrictive diet can help decrease autistic behaviors. 9

A Naturally Colorful Easter |by Sarid Ditton Wee Can Too Growing up, my parents wouldn't let me eat the egg I dyed with artificial egg dyes. As it turns out, it was a wise decision on their part. Those old school dyes were discovered to be toxic and even carcinogenic. Even today, certified food dyes approved by the FDA still include colors from petroleum and tar. So where does that leave the modern family? That's the question we chose to answer when we created the products behind Wee Can Too. This Easter, we've developed a safe alternative with the same natural derivatives. Dyes made strictly from fruit and vegetable powders and organic ingredients... So let the kids eat their decorated eggs this year!


How to Dye Easter Eggs Naturally Begin with cool, dry hard-boiled eggs. Place eggs into a mug or clear jar so kids can see your egg transform. Keep extra jars aside for mixing other colors. Wee Can Too's kit comes with three primary colors and after dissolving, you can mix colors for up to six colors total! Have a parent pour boiling water into each jar with egg dyes (about 1/2 cup of water). Let the natural mini egg dye dissolve into the water. Add ½ cup of vinegar. Mix your primary colors into separate jars, red and yellow for orange, red and blue for purple and yellow and blue for green. Some fun decorating ideas: • Tie two rubber bands around your egg going in different directions before dropping your egg in. • Add a tsp. of Canola oil to the mix, to get a natural swirl on your egg. • Drop your desired egg into dyes. Let the eggs sit for a minimum of 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir to dissolve any sediment at the bottom. Since our egg dye is from nature, the longer you can soak the egg, the more vivid the color! Before removing your egg, stir the sediment on the bottom, so the solution covers your egg. This will ensure a sparkly finish! Remove your egg and DO NOT blot dry. Let your egg air dry and enjoy! 11

Easy DIY Easter Ornament Ideas by Lynn Colwell Celebrate Green

Hanging Egg Ornament The ornament to the left is one of my favorites, and very simple to make! • Cut six “egg” shapes from card stock (bonus points for using scraps!) • Add lace stickers (or your child’s favorite embellishment) • Glue three eggs about an inch apart on a piece of ribbon. • Turn the ribbon over and glue on the remaining three eggs. • Tie a loop at the top of the ribbon and add a bow! That’s it!

Ornament Ideas 1. A paper basket, shredded paper grass, felt wool balls, a bit of ribbon and a couple of buttons make an adorable Easter basket decoration! 2. This ornament is made from a pin and letters strung on wire. 3. A clear lid, two corks and a little imagination make this bunny ornament a real keeper! The kids could have so much fun with a dry-erase marker! 4. A tiny clothes pin grasps a label with a premade flower and two pink fabric roses.


5. A part of a greeting card glued around an empty spool of thread. 6. Who doesn’t love things that shine? This ornament is made entirely of rhinestones sitting on an imitation mother-of-pearl disk. 7. Another fun basket-shaped idea! 8. Fun glass tubes filled with little glittery bits, glued to a pink felted ball. A block of wood, letters and flowers finish up this fun piece!

Which one of these ideas is your favorite? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know! 13


How Do I Know If My Child Has Allergies? by Nina L. Shapiro, MD

Director of Pediatric Otolaryngology & an Associate Professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

“It must be allergies.” How often do parents hear that?

Image by Young Living Essential Oils

Very. But is it really the answer to all things stuffy and runny? Maybe yes, but maybe no. Presence or absence of allergies is oftentimes puzzling for parents. Especially nowadays, where food allergies are running rampant, everyone seems to be allergic to something, and these allergies seem to start at younger and younger ages, the issue of environmental allergies has become even fuzzier. By environmental (as opposed to food or medication) allergies, I am referring to allergies to outdoor allergens such as pollen, trees, and grasses, as well as indoor allergens such as dust, mold, feather pillows, and pet hair. Allergies to environmental substances are different types of reactions than allergies to foods are medicines, and are most easily assessed in children over three or four years old. The reason for this is that an environmental allergy is a ‘hyper’ immune reaction, or an immune system

working in ‘overdrive’. Younger children have immature immune systems, which are not yet able to be in ‘overdrive’, making it somewhat more difficult to accurately evaluate presence or absence of specific allergies. Formal testing aside, most allergies can be recognized based on careful observation of a child’s symptoms, including time of day, season, or worsening symptoms with specific exposures (for instance, your child develops itchiness and watery eyes after playing with a neighbor’s cat, or playing in a field of fresh-cut grass). Classic signs of environmental allergies include: • Clear runny nose (may or may not be stuffy) • Watery eyes (sometimes the white part of the eye can turn red) • Sneezing • Generalized itchiness, even without a rash • Puffiness or dark circles under the eyes (this occurs because nasal congestion can lead to congestion of the tear ducts, which, in turn, causes the tissues around the eyes to swell and become a bit darker. It is also a result of overall facial congestion or ‘puffiness’,


secondary to chronic nasal stuffiness and con stant breathing through the mouth) • A straight horizontal line of lighter skin (it almost looks like a fine scar) over the middle part of the nose (this is termed an ‘allergic salute’, as it develops from a child continually rubbing his or her nose in a upward direction due to itchiness or mucus—it appears as if they are ‘saluting’ their nose. Indications that your child may have allergies also include the fact that your child may get sicker during his allergy ‘seasons’. This is because a child with allergies tends to have a baseline degree of nasal swelling and mucus, which may make them more predisposed to respiratory illnesses such as viral colds, bad coughs, or bacterial sinusitis when allergies are at their worst. If you are concerned that your child may have allergies, testing can be done by either blood tests or skin (‘scratch’) tests. Once specific allergens are identified, you will be better able to ‘target’ them, which usually means avoidance of the allergy trigger, if at all possible. If avoidance is not an option, many medications, both over-the-counter and by prescription, are considered to be safe for children ages 2 years and up. My personal favorite medication to treat stuffy noses from allergies, colds, or just plain congestion, is nasal saline. This can be used in newborns to the elderly. There is no concern for chemicals, as the saline is matched to the body’s natural pH. It can be used as nasal drops, a nasal spray, or as an irrigant. It flushes out viruses, bacteria, and even allergens. And there is no such thing as using nasal saline ‘too much’, which is an added safety feature. So if you think your child may have allergies, take a good look at him. Has there been a pattern to his symptoms? Time of day or season? Indoor or outdoor? Specific exposures that trigger discomfort? If so, avoidance is a first step, if for no other reason than to help identify the allergy. Medications are a last resort, with nasal saline being a great first 16 choice.

Ask Hana Haatainen Caye

Jennifer writes: Hi Green Grandma! I have a vinegar question for you. I have washed my cloth diapers and then run them through a rinse cycle with vinegar to hopefully kill the ammonia smell. Do I need to run another rinse cycle with just water or are they good to go after the vinegar rinse? GG: Excellent question, Jennifer! I applaud your decision to use cloth diapers! The odor of ammonia can be a real issue and generally arises when urine is not washed out properly. The first thing you want to do is make sure you are using a detergent designed for cloth diapers, such as Rockin’ Green or Lulu’s In The Fluff. You also want to rinse out each diaper, even the non-poopy ones, with a diaper sprayer before putting them in the diaper pail. Rather than using vinegar as a rinse, try using a cup of distilled white vinegar in the pre-soak cycle. If you have hard water, however, there are warnings that vinegar actually can make the problem worse. And, despite the environmental implications, switch the water cycle to hot. If you are still having issues with this, you might have to strip your diapers by either boiling them or soaking them for a few hours in hot water and Bac-out. Good luck!

Marci writes: I’m confused about what kinds of sweeteners are safe for my children. I heard that agave syrup is the best option, but I’m not sure how to work it into their diets. What do you recommend? GG: It’s good that you are paying attention to the sweetener issue, Marci, but you have to be careful whom you listen to! Agave syrup, or nectar, got a lot of media attention a couple of years ago. Health-conscious parents, who were trying to avoid high fructose corn syrup, thought they had found their answer. Unfortunately, because of the chemical processing used, agave nectar is actually just as bad for you, if not worse, than HFCS. However, I still would recommend agave, HFCS and refined sugar over any of the artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose. In my opinion, your best choices are stevia, a natural sweetening herb, raw sugar (natural cane turbinado sugar), or raw honey (for children over twelve months of age). Sorting it all out can turn the sweetening dilemma a bit sour, but I am confident you will be able to do just that, Marci!


Great Stores

Green Planet Parties is a charming online shop dedicated to making children’s parties sustainable and stylish. With her inspiring commitment to helping families create parties that use very little of Earth’s precious resources, owner Suzanne Bertani has an amazing eye for detail, and her parties are like something out of a crunchy fairy tale.

While many stores talk about sustainability, they’re actually importing products from overseas. Vancouver-based Green Planet Parties is dedicated to not only manufacturing products from more sustainable materials, but also supporting local artists. If you’re looking for beautiful and fun party ideas, take a peek at the many themes they’ve designed. Or if you need backup to justify your decision to forego the Styrofoam cups and mylar balloons, check out the Did You Know section to see how the waste can really add up with a conventional party. 18

Image by Tamsen Ogden Photography

Eco-activist and mother of four, Suzanne is proud to offer eco-friendly, locally produced and artisan handcrafted gifts, biodegradable tableware, reusable decorations and favors.


The festive Cloth Birthday Banner adds style and fun to any birthday party. Personalizing is available, but by sticking to a simple Happy Birthday message, you can use it again for siblings or friends.

Images by Michelle Goodwin Photography

The Frog and Lily Pad Favor Bag lets each guest take home a barley-stuffed frog and lily pad for hours of handmade fun.

The Outside Fairy Door is a magical addition to any party. Place at the bottom of your favorite tree and wait for party guests to knock on the door (that actually opens) to see if fairies appear!



The Natural Way Green Child Magazine’s editor, Amity Hook-Sopko, talks to Mayim Bialik about her new book, Beyond the Sling: A Real-Life Guide to Raising Confident, Loving Children the Attachment Parenting Way

If you grew up watching “Blossom,” you probably always knew there was something special about Mayim Bialik. More than just smart… she seemed wise beyond her years. Mayim is still acting. She plays the riot, Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. But what you may not know about this mother of two boys, is that she holds a PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA, is a certified lactation educator, and is a spokesperson for the Holistic Moms Network. Her new book is a comprehensive guide to Attachment Parenting - creating a mutual bond between parent and child by being available, responsive, and sensitive to a child’s needs starting at birth. Mayim’s perspective is honest and relatable. It’s fascinating to read how she and her husband are raising her two sons, ages six and three, without nannies or the help of extended family. (No maids either – they divide chores and clean the house themselves.)


Here’s what Mayim has to share about Attachment Parenting and her greatest role so far… motherhood: Amity: What do you think our culture would look like if more people practiced some of the principles of Attachment Parenting? Mayim: It’s hard to say, without claiming the world would be perfect (laughs). But I think it’s safe to say we might see certain trends shift. Personally, I have faith that a culture that embraces the natural hormones during pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding might cultivate humans that are closer to their natural nurturing states than we have now. If the U.S. made hitting children illegal, as several dozen other countries have, we could see a huge shift in the way discipline is handled. Obviously there are long-term effects of that. Gentle discipline to me is not permissive parenting, which implies that parent and child are peers. It’s more about communicating your needs to your child and respecting his needs at the same

time. It’s using the same logic with your children as you would use with a boss, friend, or your spouse. Children aren’t stupid, and they feel valued when we treat them with respect. Amity: Let’s talk about how you say “A green style of parenting seeks to create a generation of children who love and respect people and the earth because they have been loved and respected by their parents.” Mayim: Being kind to the earth is one example of how you act when people are kind to you. It’s not to say that the only people who care about the earth had parents who were kind to them.

I often hear, “Oh, your kids are going to be so spoiled; the world is going to beat them up. They’re just going to expect everyone to love them. “ Yeah, I’m ok with a kid that expects everyone to love him. And when people don’t, I want my kid to wonder why, and then work towards a world where people behave kindly and with compassion.


It’s profound when people say that to me and talk about how we should sleep-train 3-month old babies because, “How are they ever going to learn to sleep alone?” Amity: Since you bring up sleep training, you mention in the book how that pressure falls on the dad… Mayim: It’s toying with women’s feminism to say dad can handle nighttime parenting or “cry it out” on his own. It tells a woman, “There’s nothing special about you being female; he can do all of it, too.”

talking about what their wives forced them to do that morning. Amity: For anyone that’s looking to ease into Attachment Parenting, what are some simple ways to start that make the biggest impact? Mayim: It depends where you are in your birthing or parenting cycle. Obviously a book like mine really does a start to finish look at the API principles, with the exception of Elimination Communication, which is not part of AP.

We recently stopped nursing Fred at night, and it didn’t sit right with me to say, “I don’t want to deal with his crying for me at night,” and make my husband do it. In my family and in my marriage, that’s wrong.

These days we spend a lot of time and money doing a lot of things. I think going to the library and getting some basic books is really smart. The Baby Book by Dr. Sears is fantastic. Attachment Parenting International’s Attached at the Heart is excellent. (The last section of Mayim’s book lists resources she trusts.)

We, of course, take turns with hard things, but my reason for making him do something that he has no more skills at than I do, just because I don’t want to do it, or because it hurts… that doesn’t work for us.

There’s not a formula. You don’t have to be a stay-at-home-mom to practice attachment parenting. Thankfully, there are no AP police saying, “You went back to work too early,” or, “ You didn’t breastfeed long enough.”

Amity: You describe your husband as a typical “guy” who also happens to be very invested in his family. He likes sports and hanging out with his buddies. Do you think there are stereotypes about what kind of dad practices Attachment Parenting?

By and large, no matter what you choose to do with birth or feeding or sleeping, the principles of Gentle Discipline apply to every single family and I think that’s very powerful.

Mayim: I know some dads who might fit a more sensitive parenting stereotype. I think they’re awesome! But my husband’s not one of them. He is masculine but not brutish, and sensitive but not passive.

Someone asked me, “So you parent with no yelling?” I said, “Oh no, I’ve yelled!” But it’s not disingenuous to say that’s not something I go to. It’s something that happens because I’m a human and not perfect. But this is the framework we start from – that just because I can yell, and I’m four feet taller, doesn’t make it ok.

Because he is now the at-home parent, it’s nice that he meets all kinds of dads in our community. I can tell you, these guys don’t sit around

Of course it’s effective. It’s terrifying to a child to be screamed at by your parents. But what is the measure of our success as parents? How


Interview with Mayim Bialik obedient our children are and how quiet? How good our in-laws think they are? Amity: What advice do you have for the mom who’s up right now at two in the morning, reading this on her smart phone during the third or fourth nursing session of the night? Mayim: This too shall pass. You put one foot in front of the other. A good friend of mine said she’d pray to God to give her more patience than she had in that second. Sometimes you need to cry. Sometimes you need to scream into a pillow. And sometimes you need to try and reset your system to find that gratefulness for ten fingers and ten toes. In the book, I share how some of these things seem impossibly challenging, but I know I’ll

look back on all of the precious months and years of holding and be glad I followed my intuition, knowing that when my babies needed simply to be held, I simply held them.


Your Toolbox for

Breastfeeding Success By Cerise Bouchard Mother Nurture

A Can-Do Attitude “I’m going to try to

breastfeed.” Unfortunately, this phrase comes from the belief that breastfeeding is inherently difficult and that it either works or it doesn’t. Knowing that this simply is not true is the your first tool. The percentage of moms who physically cannot breastfeed is only about 1-2%, so you’re more likely to be successful than not. If you want to breastfeed say, “I am going to breastfeed and if I encounter any difficulties, I have a list of breastfeeding professionals to help me be successful!”

The Sooner The Better I’m here to tell you


that breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt. Your nipples do not have to get used to breastfeeding – that’s what they’re made for. Nipple pain and trauma is the result of an incorrect latch. This is an easy fix most of the time. Nipple pain is the only way your baby can tell you that something isn’t right. If the latch is incorrect and causing pain, baby is probably not getting the full amount of milk you have available. Fixing latch

issues early can be an easy fix, while waiting can lead to severe nipple trauma, low milk supply or other issues that require more time and effort to correct.

Your Intuition The research shows that when moms think there’s a problem, they’re usually right. So, if something doesn’t seem right or you could use some reassurance, pick up the phone and call a lactation consultant.

A Lactation Consultant on Speed-Dial

Breastfeeding often gets off to a great start in the hospital, but after arriving home difficulties may arrive. Private practice IBCLCs are a good option after leaving the hospital as they will come to your home, have more experience caring for babies more than a few days old and take more time with the appointments.

La Leche League or Other Support Group I recommend going to a meeting or

two while you’re still pregnant. Breastfeeding is a right-brained activity, which means that we learn it by observing. How many of us get that chance in our culture? Group meetings also help breastfeeding seem normal when you feel like you might be the only person doing it, reaffirm your decision and give you practice breastfeeding around other people.

Image by Jennifer LaQuay

Breastfeeding can be hard OR it can be easy. Unfortunately, our culture presents many stumbling blocks to breastfeeding success, which causes many mothers to think it may be an unachievable goal. Here are a few tools to put in your toolbox to help ensure breastfeeding success.


Breastfeeding Success

Cranio-Sacral Therapist This modality is

helpful in a lot of situations and is extremely helpful for babies who have had traumatic births, seem confused and disorganized or have physical anomalies such as a high arched palate or posterior tongue tie. This gentle technique simply creates space in the body for the bones to settle into their correct spot.

Supportive Partner or Postpartum Doula

It can be difficult to ask for help, especially during the early postpartum time. However, if your partner has attended your breastfeeding classes or met your lactation consultant ahead of time, they can help you recognize signs of needing help and be the one to call.

A Good Birth Unfortunately, every inter-

vention in birth, even if it’s necessary has an impact on breastfeeding success. This does not mean that you have to birth a certain way, but you should be aware of the risks ahead of time. How you feel about your birth is also a factor here. Insist on birth Kangaroo Care (mom and baby skin to skin immediately after birth) as this is the best practice standard of care for mom and baby.

Get A Little ‘Me Time’


Sustainable Living with a Modern Twist

Nutrition Advice You Can Trust A Registered Dietitian with over a decade of experience working with children and families to find realistic solutions for their nutrition concerns. All from the comfort of your home with one-on-one consultations online or by phone. Perfect for working parents and convenient during naptimes!

Specializing in: •Pediatrics

•Maternal Health •Food Aversions (“Picky eater” or sensory issues)

 •Weight Concerns •Food Allergies or Intolerances 

 •Failure to Thrive, Poor growth and weight gain •Reflux An Apple A Day Nutrition Consulting Louise Goldberg RD, CSP, LD, CNSC Online: Email: Phone: 713.478.3823

•Celiac Disease 
 •GI motility issues
 •Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis •and more… 27

Look Listen Read Naturally Fun Parties for Kids by Anni Daulter with Heather Fontenot

With themes as thoughtful as a Gratitude Birthday Party (the birthday child creates a list of what she's grateful for, then guest hunt for treasures that represent her thankfulness), this guide to simplicityinspired celebrations will delight your inner ecoparty planner. Naturally Fun Parties for Kids is not only beautiful, with breathtaking photography by Tnah & Mario Di Donato, it covers every last detail. Each party theme includes a timeline, instructions for creating handmade invitations, step-by-step lessons for making your own decorations with items you have on hand, descriptions for activities kids love, and simple recipes for seasonal food. ($12 at Amazon)

Write Me a Story Mystery in the Forest is a Write Me a Story book by eeBoo, an ecoconscious toy and game company. With large lined pages, little authors can create their own story and act it out with forest creature stickers. This book encourages writing as well as story-telling skills and creativity. Cloth spine and charming illustrations by Melissa Sweet. ($8 at Genius Babies) 28

Copy Kids™ Copy Kids™ eat fruits and vegetables launched in January 2012 because kids love to copy other kids…why not give them something to watch that you actually want them to copy? The copy-kids video shows kids not just eating a variety of vegetables, but having a great time while eating them. My kids were giggling right along with the kids on the screen and it was amazing to see them become interested in eating healthy foods that they were previously not interested in just because they saw another kid eating and laughing. The DVD is divided into twelve chapters of 6-8 minutes, each focusing on a different fruit or vegetable. Just be sure to have the fruit or veggie your child is watching on hand – after watching this video, they’ll be asking for it! DVD available at Copy-Kids ™ website $19.99


Celebrating Earth Day As A Family & A Community |by Suzanne Bertani Mommy Footprint

As an earth-conscious parent, you might feel like every day is Earth. But celebrating Earth Day as a community is important especially if you hope to implement permanent changes that will last all year. Are you looking to make an Eco-change in your school, community, apartment building, or dance studio? Is a building where your children attend classes still using toxic cleaning products or air fresheners? Ask them if they’d consider making a switch to an earth friendly cleaning system for Earth month. Chances are the enthusiastic feedback met from these changes will produce a permanent change. Other suggestions are:

Introduce a Compost Program

A great way to reduce $$ with garbage pickup at a business or school is to compost organic food waste & bathroom napkins.

Clear the Air

Implement a scent-free initiative as many toxins travel in fragrance and scent. Suggest starting a scent free environment to continue after Earth Day because reducing your exposure to chemicals that travel in scented products with help your own health and the environment.

Walk or Bike to School

Install bike racks and keep a chart of the miles clocked by each family per day. Children will love the challenge of tracking their km or miles to school and adults can graph the savings of total vehicle mileage for the school.


Beautify Your Surroundings

A community or organic garden can be planted, storm drain marking, garbage pickup & recycling, and encouraging neighbors to be aware of environmental toxics found in pesticides are all great ways to beautiful the health and appearance of your school. Start now asking friends, colleagues, and teachers “What are we doing for Earth Day?” Inspire the change with others and be leaders with coming up with fun crafts or projects for your family that promote earth awareness. Vow to only use recycled materials to make crafts; use up supplies you already own or gather fallen supplies from nature to curb consumerism this month. Choose a not-so-green habit your family has and vow to improve in this area for the month of April. Some examples are: use reusable bags, start composting at home, make your own cleaning products, wash all your clothes using cold water, remember to turn off the lights. Starting a challenge and improving household tasks for a month will lead to permanent change after Earth month is over. The best part of celebrating Earth Month is remembering to have fun and make your celebration unique to your family. The goal of completing an earth initiative is creating special memories with your children, spreading awareness in your neighborhood for little to no cost! After all, it shouldn’t cost a lot to celebrate the Earth.

From pines in the Deep South to giant redwoods along the West Coast, forests are a part of our American character—and infrastructure. Our forests provide critical wildlife habitat, clean water, forest product, places to work and recreational areas where families can enjoy nature together. With help from donors, The Conservation Fund has saved 1.5 million forest acres across the country and continues to develop promising 31 conservation strategies to meet the challenges of a changing forestry landscape.

DIY Tutorial

Recycled Paper Springtime Finger Puppet vel e L l Skil tton 1 Bu

|by Heather Valentine The Sewing Loft

This super simple craft is a fun way to recycle the colorful fliers your child brings home from school. Materials: • Paper • Felt • Googly Eyes • Glue Instructions: To create your pattern, trace around your finger. (Or your child’s finger.) Make pattern larger to allow for stitching and general shaping. My pattern is 3” tall x 1 3/8” wide. Cut 2 tear drop shape wings and one heart from yellow felt. Cut small diamond shape from orange for beak. Stitch or glue beak in center of face. Place crest at between the front and back of paper; stitch in place. With wrong sides together, stitch all around outside edge of puppet. Stitch or glue the wings along sides of puppet. Glue on eyes. Have fun! 32


Get Your Hands Dirty with


Food waste such as fruits and vegetables are placed into the bin along with worms and shredded paper. As the worms eat and digest the food and paper in the bin, they will begin to produce vermicompost that can then be spread in your garden. Red Wigglers are a great species of worm to use for vermicompost bins because they not only live in the upper portion of top soil, they also consume a lot of organic material and reproduce many worms in a short amount of time, creating worm castings (worm excrement) along the way! Building your own vermicomposting bin is a fun, easy activity for the entire family, especially when you follow these step-by-step directions. 1. Using one of the 10-gallon bins and drill a row of holes along the top edge of the bin and about 10 holes in the bottom using the 3/16 drill bit. 2. Drill five-10 holes in one of the lids. 3. Take the second bin and put several rocks, a brick or empty aluminum cans inside. 4. Take the bin with holes in it and place on top of the rocks in the second bin. The rocks will prop the inside bin up and allow any extra moisture to drain and collect at the bottom. 5. Put the soil, shredded paper and a few food 34

scraps in the bin and arrange in a pile in the center. Examples of food scraps include: banana peels, apple cores, vegetable scraps, egg shells and coffee grounds (paper filter too!). 6. Food Scraps to NOT ADD: citrus such as oranges and lemons, meat, milk, fats/oil, baked items, and junk food. 7. Spray the shredded paper well with water to soften it and to provide moisture for the worms. 8. Cover any food with shredded paper! This is very important to prevent fruit flies or a pervasive smell of food. 9. Take the worms (do not use Night Crawlers!) and put them in the bin. Soon after the worms are added to the bin they will start disappearing into the paper and center pile. Leave the lid off until all the worms disappear into the center pile. 10. Spray with water until all the paper is moist, not wet. 11. Check the bin every few days and add paper and water slowly as needed and add food sparingly. Food scraps can be added every few weeks. Your worms are off to a great start, but please remember the following to make sure they stay healthy and happy. A worm will eat its own body weight in food each day, so it’s important to make sure you are not adding food too rapidly. You should also keep in mind that worms’ skin is very sensitive, so it’s best not to use hand sanitizer before handling the worms.

Image by Fran Linden

Vermicomposting is an indoor, year-round method of composting that can be easily set up in a plastic or wooden container.

|by Blair Owens Hecker Bluegrass Pride

Happy Vermicomposting! 35

Your Guide to

Green Spring Cleaning

Most of us have an assortment of cleaning products under our sinks and throughout our homes. There’s a different product for everything in our house that needs to be cleaned. We have one product to clean our countertops, another for the floor, the toilet, the windows and on and on. Building this collection of cleaning products is expensive, takes up a lot of space and can have some serious health implications for you and especially for your child’s developing body. Making matters worse, the manufacturers of cleaning products are not required to disclose their ingredients, making it very difficult to evaluate or trust their safety. But fear not! There is no need to use all those synthetic chemical-filled products. There are nontoxic and less toxic products on the market that work just as well or better. You can also clean most of your house with items you probably already have in your home. I’ve found I can clean just about everything with vinegar, baking soda, peroxide, and castile soap. Not only are DIY cleaning products safer, they are considerably less expensive.

Vinegar & Water In a spray bottle, mix a 50/50 mixture of distilled (white) vinegar & water. I use this to clean windows, counter tops, my wood floor, the stove and more. I’ve even used it to help clean up spills on the carpet. Just like the soft scrub, you can add essential oils to customize the aroma or to increase the antibacterial & antiviral qualities. Lemongrass is a great choice, so is lavender. Caution, this mixture is too acidic for some surfaces such as chrome and natural stone counters.


|by Danika Carter Your Organic Life

DIY Soft Scrub

from Jennifer Taggart, author of The Smart Mama’s Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child’s Toxic Chemical Exposure

In an old squeeze bottle mix 1 cup baking soda and add castile soap until you get the consistency you like, generally a ratio of 1:1 or 1 part castile soap to 2 parts baking soda. You can add essential oils for added aroma or add an oil with antibacterial properties, such as tea tree or rosemary. If you aren’t going to use it up right away add 2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin to help keep it from drying up. To clean your toilet, squirt the soft scrub under the rim and let it sit. Then follow with distilled vinegar. The vinegar and baking soda will react and clean your toilet…no scrubbing required!

Spills on the Carpet My favorite DIY tip is to use peroxide and castile soap to clean up red wine spills on the carpet. First cover the spill with baking soda or salt to help absorb the excess liquid then vacuum it up. Then mix 1 cup of peroxide with 1 teaspoon of castile soap in a bowl. Use a white rags or a sponge to dab the spot over and over until the stain is gone. When you’re finished, rinse with a clean cloth and warm water, dabbing, not rubbing. Be sure to rinse well.

Cleaning the Garbage Disposal Taggart suggests making vinegar ice cubes. Put 1 cup of white vinegar in an ice cube tray and fill the remainder with water. Once frozen put a few in the disposal and turn it on. Not only does the vinegar get rid of odors, it also removes food particles from the blades that can attract fruit flies.


Daily Antibacterial Spray

from The Joy of Green Cleaning by Lindsey Reichert

In a spray bottle mix 1 white cup vinegar, 1 cup club soda, ¼ cup hydrogen peroxide, & 8 drops of Tea Tree Oil (for disinfectant). Use a dark bottle and store it in a dark area to keep the peroxide from breaking down in the light. You can add more peroxide as necessary when you use it.

Great Green Cleaning Products EcoStore USA Glass Cleaner The ingredients for this very effective glass cleaner are Aqua (purified water), Glucosides (from simple glucose), Vinegar. Very simple, but very effective. It produces a glossy, streak free finish to your windows, mirrors and table tops and contains no added fragrance or unnecessary ingredients such as gycols, ammonia or alcohol. This product is also approved by Healthy Child Healthy World. At only $3 each, you’ll want to get 2 or 3 of these. Available online from

Miessence BioPure Probiotic Household Cleaning Concentrate BioPure is a highly concentrated, all natural household and industrial cleaner containing powerful probiotic bacteria, antioxidants and enzymes that break down grease, grime and dirt and neutralise odours. BioPure means cleaning without chemicals and its living benefits continue to work even after the initial application. Using beneficial bacteria is a much safer alternative than using bleach for dealing with germs and bacteria. Available online from

Full Circle Walnut Scrubber Sponges These sponges are made from plant cellulose, not plastic and the scrubber is made from walnut shells. At only $3.99 for a set of 2 you’ll want to stock up on these. Available from the Full Circle website or at many Bed Bath & Beyond Stores.

Full Circle Dish Brush 38

The handle on this dish brush is made from bamboo and finished with natural oils. The brush head and bristles are made from recycled plastic. And, it’s cute too! Only $4.99. Available from the Full Circle website or at many Bed Bath & Beyond Stores

Spring Cleaning

Spring Cleaning Tool Kit


in the City

Learn to Grow…. Trees! |by Tiffany Cassanova

Kids grow so fast, don’t they? Give them food, lots of love, and exercise… and boy do they sprout! To celebrate Arbor Day on April 27th, how about teaching the kids how other living things sprout? Sure you could get a plant, but why not go BIG and take your kids on a local nature center adventure! learned how mulch preserves the moisture in tree trunks and how collecting rain water is a much more eco-friendly option for watering trees than using faucet or bottled water. Now they have a three-step process for the caring of neighborhood trees:

If you type in “Local Nature Center” and your state in any search engine, you’ll find there are nature centers just about everywhere where kids can meet a Park Ranger who will teach them all about other living beings in their neighborhood! From hawks, to turtles and snakes, there are tons of animals to learn about!

1. 2. 3.

The best part about visiting our local nature center was learning how to care for trees. Tristin and Tyler are super excited that they are able to care for the trees on our block this coming Spring and Summer. Together we

Remove litter Add mulch

Water trees with rainwater

So take a trip, get some tips and try to implement them with the kids for Arbor Day! To check out Tristin and Tyler’s trip to the Inwood Nature Center in New York City click on the video to the right and make sure to play the memory game at the end of the video with the kids to see what they remember about the nature adventure!

Illustration by Martine Lemmens


In the most GREEN episode of “Tristin and Tyler’s Tales form the City!” yet, Tristin and Tyler visit their local nature center. Park Ranger, Sunny, teaches the boys all about the animals and different types of trees that live in their backyard!

c t



! h



April 30-May 6 By Brenna Burke

Almost All The Truth

Experts in fields from child psychology to education have debated screen-time for decades and what, if any, ill effects it has on children. While debates rage about educational television content, appropriate advertising messaging, and how much is too much, there are no clear answers to these questions. What the research does support is that the more time spent in front of a screen, the less time there is for other activities, and there are direct consequences of that. Rediscovering what those things are for your own family is really the purpose of Screen-Free Week (formerly known as TV-Turnoff Week). The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no screen time for children under the age of two. The average preschooler spends 32 hours a week with screen media. 42

Fact: Forty percent of 3-month-old babies regularly view screen media. Nineteen percent of babies 1 and under have a television in their bedroom. Fact: Screen time can be habit forming. Fact: On average, preschool children see nearly 25,000 television commercials, a figure that does not include product placement. Fact: Toddler screen time is associated with problems later, including lower achievement in school, victimization by classmates, reduced physical activity, and increased BMI. The AAP’s recommendation for older children is less than 2 hours a day. The average child ages 8-18 watches 4 and a half hours of television, spends 1 and a half hours on the

computer, and more than an hour playing video games a day. Fact: Adolescents who watch 3 or more hours of television daily are at especially high risk for poor homework completion, negative attitudes toward school, poor grades, and long-term academic failure. Fact: Black and Latino youth spend even more time with screen media than their white peers. Fact: Children consume 167 more calories for each hour of television they watch. Fact: Children with a television in their bedroom spend more time watching TV and report less physical activity, less healthy dietary habits, worse school performance, and fewer family meals.

There is a reason that Screen-Free Week has grown immensely since its inception in 1994, more and more parents realize the importance of reducing screen time and one week is a reasonable amount of time to attempt it. Research shows that reduced screen time is indicated in better health and well-being, particularly before the age of 6. It can be eye-opening for kids and parents alike to realize just how much you can accomplish with the spare time that becomes available by going screen-free. One way parents can combat worrying about how to fill all of that extra time is to have a plan. Want a look into a "screen free" week-in-thelife? Check for more details on how to follow my family during this year’s Screen-Free Week.


Managing Kids and Technology:

The Importance of Family Time |by Jeremy G. Schneider, MFT

Syndicated columnist & therapist specializing in parenting and relationships, involved fatherhood, building strong modern families and overcoming depression.

1. Setting a good technology example for our kids 2. Using technology to connect with our families, not as a distraction from them 3. Being deliberate about family-time, work time, and tech time 4. Finding ways to include some you time As parents, we’re models for our kids’ technology use, as we are in everything else. It’s great to set rules and boundaries about using technology when it’s family time, but we need to back them up by our own example. For instance, we can tell our kids to put away their laptops and smartphones when we want them to spend time with us, but are we constantly checking our own tech gadgets when we’re with them? If we are, the message that we’re sending is that there’s something or someone more important to us than they are. 44

What about during family meals? Do we watch TV or let our kids wear earphones during every dinner instead of talking with each other? Do we use technology to enhance family time – like listening to music during dinner, enjoying movies or online games that can be played together – or is technology something that distracts us from each other and only serves to connect us with people outside our homes? Most of us aren’t even aware of how often we use technology. How many times do we check our smartphones or Facebook pages while we’re with our kids? What are the times when we check them most often – and do we have any time set aside to never check in, especially during meals, family movie time, or kids’ bedtimes? Try this: For the next seven days, keep track of when you’re checking your email, texts, and social sites. Involve your kids: let them tell you how often they notice you picking up your smartphone when they’re around. Then adjust the times that you check in when you’re not around your kids, or when your kids are actively engaged in their own activities.

Images by Tory Byrne

If you’re thinking about Spring-cleaning, jumping enthusiastically into longer days, more sunshine, and better weather, it might also be a good time to clean up our technology habits when it comes to our family and home, too. Some key areas to focus on are:

All parents—moms and dads—who stay at home with their kids for long stretches of time need all of the peer support (virtual and in-person) that they can get. The question becomes, when is the best time for you to get that support? Do you try to restrict it to when your kids are taking a nap, playing with friends, or engaged in homework and aren’t aware that you’re using a device? Or do you immediately take a call, or respond to texts or emails when you’re with your kids, without any explanation as to why? Try this: Let your support community know when the best times are to interact with you, when your kids are usually napping, doing homework, or engaged in their extra-curricular activities or free time. See if you can get your friends and peers to be available during those times too. Let them know when it’s designated kid-time and ask them not to call or text during those times, which might lessen the temptation to respond. Also, remember that online messages will keep until you can get to them. That’s the beauty of technology, right? Most of us have jobs where there is ALWAYS more to do. Will we ever really be able to accomplish enough where we can avoid worrying about whatever is next? Probably not. There are some steps we can take to lessen our work-related stress and keep it from running over into parenting time: 1. Keep a to-do list. If you think of something that needs to be done at work, relieve some stress by updating your task list for your next scheduled work time. If we avoid the temptation to do the work when it comes to mind, but we make sure to make a note or update our calendar for the next day, we can be assured it will get dealt with and we can refocus on our kids.

Here’s a kid-friendly tip: When you’re making a work-related note during time with your kids (whether on paper or using a device), be sure to tell them that’s what you’re doing. When you treat your kids with this level of consideration and respect, chances are they’ll treat you and others this way too. 2. Give yourself a break. We do better at our jobs when we give ourselves a break. Trying to be “on” for work even when we’re at home causes more stress, not less. Remember that time away from work is productive time. 3. Prioritize. Most of us mentally prioritize our families above everything else, but sometimes our actions don’t show it. We know that when we look back on our life, we won’t be worrying about the emails we didn’t write or the extra time we put into a project. We’ll think of our families and how our children are and if we did a good enough job for them. If we gave it real thought, most of us would choose to keep talking with our child instead of responding to an email or checking our status on Facebook. 4. Make room for transitioning between work and family. Remembering that an object in motion stays in motion can help us to be aware that when we’re done with work for the day, we should consciously try to slow down a little. Give yourself some decompression time to make the transition: even 20 minutes can make a difference. Choose an activity that you love, whether it’s yoga, a quick gym workout, recreational reading (I’m not talking about stressors like the news here), taking out your sketch book, walking your dog, or listening to music while not multi-tasking. If we give ourselves time to decompress, it will be easier for us to be present during family time, to leave the day’s work stress behind, and give our devices a rest, too. 45

The Traveling Experience That Turned Teens Green |by Claudia Looi Travel Writing Pro

& Bethany Looi OnTaskVA

“Why are they hanging clothes outside?” “To air dry them…most countries in the world do not use dryers…they depend on the sun and wind.” That was in Venice…. Upon arrival at the Hotel El Conquistador, the youth leader checked us all in. Excited and exhausted at the same time…traveling to a new country without my parents…seriously…. for seven days! Immediately taking a tour around the hotel...a courtyard in the middle with open windows and chairs in the courtyard…. no air-conditioning or fancy lighting…. just natural air and light. That was in Nicaragua… "Selamat Datang” was written all over the airport as we stepped out of the airplane. Instantly, we were the majority…we looked like them 46

though we understood none of their language. Retrieving the luggage and walking out to the waiting room were rows of little restaurants, bakeries, souvenir shops and coffee shops. It was time to refuel… Sitting down at the coffee shop we ordered our food and drinks. There was a difference…they were served in proper plates and cutleries…no disposable plates, cups and plastic spoons and folks… That was in Malaysia…. One week in Italy, seven days in Nicaragua and six weeks in Malaysia were all it took to inspire and transform teens into thinking and living green. Travel has always been a huge part of our life. Instead of buying stuff for the last seven years, we took on the approach of buying an experience for our children and ourselves. Five things they learned while traveling that turn them into green living teens:

Images (l-r) John Nyberg & Maria Herrera

Walking along the narrow alleyway along centuries old buildings and stores…the smell of fishy water, occasional dripping of water from the cracks of walls…and they looked up. Rows of colored dresses, sheets, shirts and underwear were hanging outside the second and third floor windows.

You hang your clothes out to dry. While most of the world, like Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia and the non-sunny England hang their clothes outside in their lawn, backyard, and balconies or by the window to dry, we Americans use the dryer.

air conditioners, which use about 5% of all the electricity produced in the United States. Instead of having to wear sweatshirts indoor because of air conditioners at 65 degrees, we have the temperature at 78 degrees or higher and save money. has these numbers and facts about not using the dryer for our laundry: Cost/load (electric): $.35 CO2/load (electric): 5.6 lbs. Loads/year for a family: 365 Cost of a clothes horse: $5-10 $ saving/year (1/2 loads air dried): $63.88 Lbs. CO2 saved/year (1/2 loads air dried): 1016 lbs.

Air conditioning costs homeowners $11 billion a year. Imagine that?

Enjoy natural environment. Most countries we visited including Belize, Costa Rica and France do not have a whole house air-conditioning system. Some homes in Malaysia do not even have a window unit for the year round hot and humid tropical climate. In the United States two-thirds of homes have

Stay away from Styrofoam. They use china, plastic and glass in restaurants across Italy, France and Singapore. Styrofoam is not only bad for the environment; it also threatens our health and reproductive systems. Earthsource. org said the toxic chemicals would transfer into our food when heated in a microwave. The product is made with petroleum, which is a non-sustainable and polluting resource. It is less labor intensive to use disposable plates, cups and cutleries. In recent years, we find that more countries are using less of the non-disposable plates, cups and cutleries. However, Americans are becoming more aware of living green.


Do not litter. Through our travels, we realized all humans are the same…we tend to litter. The only country that is perfect in this category is Singapore. The place is so clean that you will be fined if you are caught chewing gum.

Travel definitely enriched our lives and helped us live a green lifestyle with less clutter and being more aware of our environment.

Upon arrival at the airport, travelers are given mints and asked to discard all their chewing or bubble gums. Travel light and go digital. There is so much hassle with heavy luggage, dozens of magazines and books. We have to lug the luggage everywhere and are required to pay extra for the extra weight on our heavy luggage.


Image by Rei Rei

We learned our lessons and have since travel light and have gone digital with our reading materials.

Hand Crafted Clothing for Curious Kids.



Image by Brybs

What’s In Season |by Louise Goldberg RD CSP LD CNSC An Apple A Day Nutrition

Spring is in full swing. Gardens look like colorful masterpieces. Your only dilemma is figuring out what to bring home from the farmer’s market. The solution? Give the kids a bag and let them decide!

Avocados This fruit could very well be considered nature’s most perfect baby food. The texture is rich and buttery with a mild flavor that pairs well with sweet, savory and spicy. Avocados are also loaded with B vitamins, Vitamin E, fiber, potassium and both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated healthy fats. As a result, you can puree them and use as a substitute for butter in many baked good recipes. We’ve gone avocado crazy trying to figure out a way to add them to all our dishes!

Asparagus Typically green, but also found in white and purple varieties, asparagus is another nutrition powerhouse. It takes about three years after planting before anything can be harvested from

it and the season is short-only Spring through early Summer-so when it’s available, grab as much as you can! Steamed, roasted, grilled or sautéed asparagus makes a great side dish for any meal and you can serve leftovers cold as a snack or chopped up and tossed into a pasta salad.

Strawberries These little rubies are sweet enough to be a dessert but they have all the health benefits of a fruit. Just eight strawberries have more Vitamin C than a whole orange! If you have a strong family history of allergies wait until your baby is over a year old before introducing and make sure you cut them into small tiny bite size pieces to prevent choking. Check out Pick Your Own to find strawberry fields near you where the kids can pick their very own bushel of berries. 51

Asparagus Avocado Soup This soup tastes rich and creamy but is actually low fat and only 80 calories a bowl! It can be served hot or cold. The garlic, lime and cumin enhance the delicate avocado flavor but are still mild enough for younger palates.

Ingredients: -2 Tablespoons Oil - ½ Yellow Onion, chopped roughly -6 Garlic cloves - ½ teaspoon Salt -Bunch of Asparagus (your hand should just barely fit around it) -3 ½ cups (28 oz) Broth (Vegetable or Chicken) -1 Avocado, peeled, seeded -4 teaspoons Lime juice -2 teaspoons ground Cumin -1 Tablespoon chopped Cilantro (optional) 1) Rinse asparagus and chop 1-2 inches off base to remove toughest part. Microwave or steam for 5-7 minutes to soften, then cut roughly into 1 inch pieces. Set aside the top ½ inch and chop finely for garnish. 2) Add oil to pot and sauté onions and garlic. Add salt and cook until onions are transparent, 5 minutes. 3) Add steamed asparagus pieces and broth. Bring to a boil and then remove from burner. 4) If you have a hand immersion blender, add avocado, lime juice and cumin to pot and blend directly in pot. If not, transfer onion and asparagus mixture to a free-standing blender and add the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. 5) Top with a spoonful of Greek yogurt or sour cream, chopped cilantro, a drizzle of lime juice and finely chopped asparagus tops. 52

Strawberry Avocado Parfait This makes for a great breakfast or afternoon snack and one that the kids can help you make. Give them a butter knife and let them do the fruit chopping. The bright colors are inviting and tempt even the choosiest of eaters to dig in.

Ingredients: -1 Tablespoon Lime juice -2 Tablespoons local Honey - Âź teaspoon Vanilla extract -1 Tablespoon fresh Mint, chopped finely -2 cups fresh Strawberries, cut into bite size pieces -1 whole Avocado, seeded and cut into bite size pieces -4 cups Yogurt (Greek or other, use your personal preference) 1) Add the first four ingredients (Lime juice through Mint) to bowl and whisk. 2) Add cut up strawberries and avocado, then toss lightly until coated. 3) Use clear ice cream or parfait bowl or wine glass to serve. Fill with Âź cup yogurt and then 2 spoonfuls of the strawberry avocado mixture, alternating layers until dish is full. Dig in! 53

SPRING INTO SPRING With Your Children By Randi Ragan

Spring is the perfect time to bring children and nature together. Being outside helps give kids a “big picture” sense of how the seasons affect our lives. They also gain a strong appreciation and understanding of the cycle of life as played out through working with plants and outdoor creatures. Most of all, it’s just fun to get dirty… To revel in the smells and textures and colors of living things all around us. It teaches that being outside and tuning in to the surprises, delights, and mysteries of nature is ultimately more satisfying than video games and TV. Just a few ways you and your child can enjoy nature together this spring are:

Set Out on an Artist’s Hike

Pick the route of your choice through any stretch of nature: city park, forest, farmland, beach, desert, etc. Arm yourself with sketchbooks. Walk slowly and notice all the new growth springing to life. Stop to draw details of leaves, berries, birds, rocks and anything else that catches your eye. Write descriptions or thoughts that occur about what you are noticing. Complete your Spring diary by painting, collaging or crayola-ing your sketches.

Image by Envija

Create Garden Art


Salvage discarded items to make a bird house, bat house, picket fence, stepping stones, or other recycled lawn ornaments. Think of anything simple for small hands to create, and then be prepared for plenty of “visitors” in your garden!

Grow a Hummingbird or Butterfly Garden Find the native plants in your area that attract these magical creatures. Usually bright purples, yellows, and oranges are magnets for butterflies and hummingbirds. And be sure to include plants with succulent flowers for sipping -- another science lesson on what butterflies eat and how they help to propagate the plants.

Plant a Pasta Garden

Grow your own tomatoes, basil, and chives to make fresh pasta sauce. No space for a garden? Grow them in pots. These hardy plants are simple for beginners. In just a couple months after planting, they will be ready to pick and cook… satisfying even the most impatient of little gardeners!

Image by Chris Seidel

“There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.� ~ Marianne Williamson


How Does Attachment Parenting Foster Independence? I would like to share a secret that belongs to attached parents around the globe: Attachment parenting, also known as natural parenting, is a fantastic way to raise independent children. Does this sound counterintuitive to you? Maybe you picture the children of attachment parents to be clingy and spoiled. If so, you're not alone as this is a common misconception. I can't speak for AP parents everywhere, but I can offer my perspective on why I feel confident that I am raising a wonderfully curious and independent child by following natural parenting common practices.

Breastfeeding By breastfeeding our son for 19 months, my son learned that we can trust our bodies and nature to provide for us. Gentle Discipline By utilizing gentle discipline practices with our son, he learns that we respect him and that he is worthy of the respect of others. Green Living By doing our best to live greenly, our son learns that our world and life in general is worth caring for and preserving. 56

Co-Sleeping When we co-sleep and respond to his sleep needs with sensitivity, our son learns that we are there for him whenever he needs us, which gives him the freedom to take risks and be independent. Consistent and Loving Care When our sons sees that we regularly respond to his needs, he learns that he is worth hearing, worth listening to, and valued in general. Natural Learning When he learns through natural processes, he realizes the power of following his instincts and reaching out to the world around him.

|by Charise Rohm Nulsen I Thought I Knew Mama

Top Image by Simona Balint

As Dr. Sears Explains:

“Because the connected child trusts his parents to help him feel safe, he is more likely to feel secure exploring his environment. In fact, studies have shown that toddlers who have a secure attachment to their mother tend to adapt easier to new play situations and play more independently than less attached toddlers.�

When we remove unrealistic expectations of our children and replace that with the nurturing feelings and instincts of parenthood, children feel secure, safe, and confident. I know attachment parenting is not for everyone. We came upon it by simply following our instincts as parents, and although we have a long road of parenting ahead of us, I feel confident that gently focusing on love, respect, and compassion could not possibly be wrong.

Image by Diane Turner

Holistic Health Practices When we use holistic health practices in addition to Western medicine, our son learns that he always has options, and that the choices that are best for us are not always the same ones that the majority appear to make.


An Interview with Jessica Alba & Christopher Gavigan of

The Honest Company

What happens when one of Hollywood’s biggest stars shifts her spotlight onto the subject of non-toxic and eco-friendly parenting? The mainstream world takes notice. Golden Globe-nominated actress and mother of two, Jessica Alba, is not the crunchiest mom you know – nor does she want to be – but her very public journey into motherhood mirrors that of many young mothers who ease their way into sustainable living. It starts with wanting only the best for the pure little life you’re bringing into the world. When she was pregnant with her first daughter, Jessica says she was told to pre-wash the baby’s clothes in a certain brand of detergent designed for baby items. An allergy attack and a case of hives later… she decided that laundry soap wasn’t going near her newborn. Jessica’s search for truly non-toxic baby products led to another frustration…the only safe, disposable diapers she could find were off-white or brown. Where were the cute prints and stylish colors?


While we might reach for our copy of Healthy Child Healthy World: Creating a Cleaner,

Greener, Safer Home, Jessica went straight to the author. She met with environmental health leader and father of two (with one on the way), Christopher Gavigan, for a little research and brainstorming. "Parents get a lot of advice about what to feed their children and how to baby-proof their home," Christopher says, "but many are still completely unaware of the toxic risks posed by everyday basics, like diapers, home cleaners, body washes, and laundry soaps. Yet, there's growing consensus that some chemicals used in these products are linked to chronic diseases like asthma, ADHD, and even cancer." With this in mind, together, Jessica and Christopher dreamed of a company with a line of sustainable and stylish products to help parents give their children a better, safer start. We talked with them about how this dream has become a reality as The Honest Company officially launched this year. GC: Congratulations on a successful launch! The line is eco-adorable and seems to be meeting the high standards of our non-toxic watchdog friends. Your team is all over the web answering questions and responding to product suggestions. Can you share any changes you're

swering questions and responding to product suggestions. Can you share any changes you're making based on early feedback?

GC: When you break down the subscription service, how do you feel it compares to the average, eco-friendly family's budget?

Jessica: We've been getting so much thoughtful feedback, and we really appreciate it! A core principle of our business vision is to really listen to our audience, and continually seek their feedback so that together we can constantly improve our products’ efficacy, our business approach, and expand into new categories.

Christopher: Compared to similar products we're extremely competitively priced, yet we understand we aren't the low cost leader. We are focused on effectiveness, purity, and top quality ingredients, because we truly believe every family - every baby - deserves safer and better products.

Based on early recommendations, we are expanding and personalizing our online services (beyond just the monthly subscription) and creating the next phase of diapering, home cleaning and body care products for

That's why we are committed to doing what we can to transform the marketplace and make safe products accessible to everyone.

GC: The product line includes disposable diapers, wipes, personal care items, and laundry/ cleaning supplies. The most frequent question Green Child Magazine readers have asked is... Do cloth diapers fit into your future plans? Christopher: It's funny you should ask because we've been really surprised by how much feedback we've heard from moms who cloth diaper. I guess they were eager for a company like ours to offer solutions that appeal to their values of environmental consciousness, non-toxicity, and health awareness as well. And based on their demand, we've started looking into it. For now, what we do know is our laundry detergent works wonders for cloth diapers! And, we'd love to hear from parents about what cloth diapers are their current favorites? What do they like? What don't they like? What would the dream cloth diaper be?

GC: Do your little ones have a favorite product in the line? Jessica: Honor [Jessica's 3 year old daughter] is obsessed with the shampoo because she likes the Vanilla Orange Tangerine scent, and because it is the only one that doesn't sting her sensitive eyes - finally! I adore our home cleaning line, too. Everything from our extra-sudsy dish soap to our super effective laundry detergent. It all works without


harsh, synthetic chemicals. Our multi-surface spray smells amazingly good, and is universally loved by everyone who tries it. And, our diapers are exceptional, by the way...really "holding the baby's business.� We wouldn't create them if we didn't want to use them (since all The Honest Company founders have kids under 5 years old) and absolutely love them ourselves! GC: When we share a video or link about your products on Social Media, we see likes and retweets by people who have never shown interest in natural living before. It's exciting to us that your high-profile status, along with these stylish and effective products can open a whole new segment of parents up to an eco-friendly lifestyle.


Beyond that, what has been the most rewarding part of Honest so far? Christopher: The Honest Company is definitely thrilled to be breaking the mold, educating more parents on these healthier choices, and engaging more people in more "honest" living, but the most rewarding part so far has been seeing the dream of "something better" come to life. We wanted to create a company that made safer products more affordable, more beautiful, and more convenient - and here we are. Now, we can't wait to keep growing, doing things better, and creating a healthier, happier world however we can.




To A Safer, Child-Friendly Lawn |by Abbie Walston

Farmer’s Daughter

STEP 1 Choose a Safe Fertilizer and Apply in the Fall

Photo submitted by G.Sowers

There are many options for natural fertilizers. You can use compost, aged animal manure, or purchase an organic brand. Don’t just assume that your lawn needs to be fertilized, get your soil tested for levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Most local Agricultural Extension Offices will test your soil for free or for a small fee. Use this interactive map to find your local Cooperative Extension System Office. Contrary to what some chemical companies may lead you to believe, there’s usually no reason to fertilize your lawn more often than once a year. You should fertilize in the fall, which will allow the nutrients in the fertilizers to soak into the soil and be ready for uptake when your grass starts growing again in the spring. Skip spraying pesticides, herbicides or insecticides and opt to pull weeds by hand or wear bug repellent as necessary.

Over-fertilization is a major cause of pollution to our waterways, since the excess nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus run off into surface waters. An excess of nutrients in aquatic ecosystems will essentially fertilize plant life there, causing a state of eutrophication (picture a pond covered in a green layer of algae). Eutrophication can result in low oxygen levels, since all that plant growth will eventually die off and need to be decomposed by aerobic bacteria. Since all organisms need oxygen, this can have a devastating effect on the aquatic ecosystem.

STEP 2 Mow Less Often and Leave More Grass Instead of mowing your lawn once a week, leave the grass a little longer and mow every two weeks. Longer grass will help to shade the soil, reducing the amount of evaporation of water in the soil, which will help your grass in the hot summer months. Longer blades of grass will also improve the plant’s photosynthesis, helping it to build a stronger root system.


Mowing less will also improve your air quality, since gas-powered lawn mowers release emissions that include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrous oxides that can lead to the formation of ground level ozone. Children are especially sensitive to these atmospheric pollutants, so reduce them as much as you can! You can also eliminate those emissions altogether and use a human powered reel mower, like those available from the American Lawn Mower Company. Or if you live out in the country, consider getting some sheep to keep your grass trimmed and provide natural fertilizer at the same time. When you do mow the lawn, leave the clippings there. Often people want to remove grass clippings, but leaving them on the lawn will allow them to decompose and return important nutrients back into the soil. According to the New York City Department of Sanitation, leaving the clippings on the lawn can provide it with up to 25% of the nitrogen that the grass needs.


Pay attention to local weather patterns, and when you are experiencing drought follow the local advisories (or mandates) to refrain from watering your lawn. However, save the wasted water from around your household and you can use that to water your lawn or garden. You can use a bucket to collect water in the shower that runs while you wait for it to warm up or place a bowl in the sink to catch water that is used when washing your hands or preparing food. You can also install a rainwater harvesting system to save water that falls onto your roof.

Skip Watering

After all of the work you put into maintaining a safe, healthy lawn, be sure to take your children outside to breathe the clean air, get some sun to help make Vitamin D, and run around barefoot in the grass.

We often see irrigation systems running when it is raining or shortly after a storm because they are set to automatic timers. This is a waste of water and will result in increased runoff into surface waters. When you choose not to water – or only water as needed, you will reduce your overall water usage, water and/or electric bill, depending on whether you have a well or municipal water.

There’s so much for a child to explore and learn. Children can explore the biodiversity of your lawn, catching insects, worms, frogs and toads, and listening to birds sing. They can learn to identify different plants and explore their scents, colors and textures or lie back in the grass and watch the clouds. Enjoying the outdoors and developing a love for nature is good for the body, mind and spirit.



Handcrafted under Fair Trade conditions, u Nixie Clothing's mission is to "respect and prote people and nature can flourish - a culture that 66

using only sustainable and vintage fabrics, ect the environment, to be sustainable so both can last." 67

A School Where the Fun Never Ends

A Day in a Waldorf Second Grade |by Flor Lozano-Byrne

It’s a rainy winter morning at the Three Cedars Waldorf School in Bellevue, Washington. The second graders rush playfully across the school to their classroom. The fun starts at the door Raingear hung at their cubbies and now attired in comfy slippers, the children line up at the door where a tunnel of ever smaller hula hoops invites them to get in. At the other end Mr. Zabel, their teacher since First Grade , awaits them with a welcoming smile and greets them with a hearty handshake. “Some children are still running into each other on the playground, and do not realize where their body ends. Controlling their body to prevent the hoops from falling makes them aware of body boundaries. Also, the hoops create a conscious threshold to classroom expectations, from playing outside to a quiet voice inside,” explains Mr. Zabel. Once at their desks the children start the day modeling shapes in clay, form drawing or watercolor painting while they wait for all 13 classmates to get in.


Main Lesson Story Everyone recites the morning verse together before going outside to jump rope. A few children

are sitting on bouncy balls instead of chairs, and one on a one legged stool. The special sitting arrangements are assigned to different children each day. “Movement, song and rhythmical recitation warm up the children and get them ready to learn,” says Mr. Zabel. The Main Lesson today is the story of Saint Martin of Tours. It was originally introduced in the fall when the children lit their way in the dark through the backwoods of the school in a “Lantern Walk.” A tradition in many European countries, the Lantern Walk celebrates how Saint Martin, a former Roman soldier, was carried by holy beings of light when he passed away. He had a saintly life of helping and healing that began when he split his cloak in two halves to share it with a beggar, who later appeared in a dream as the Lord. “Multiplying by dividing is a secret Martin knew,” say the children in chorus. The story is used to teach the children math, as the cloak is divided in halves and then each piece is divided in halves again to get four. Children can continue dividing and counting how many pieces they have. Lessons on reading, writing, singing and playing music, drawing and painting, also tie in with the story. Curricular connections like these help the children in seeing the topic from different perspectives. Acting is also a part of the

are sitting on bouncy balls instead of chairs, and one on a one legged stool. The special sitting arrangements are assigned to different children each day. “Movement, song and rhythmical recitation warm up the children and get them ready to learn,” says Mr. Zabel. The Main Lesson today is the story of Saint Martin of Tours. It was originally introduced in the fall when the children lit their way in the dark through the backwoods of the school in a “Lantern Walk.” A tradition in many European countries, the Lantern Walk celebrates how Saint Martin, a former Roman soldier, was carried by holy beings of light when he passed away. He had a saintly life of helping and healing that began when he split his cloak in two halves to share it with a beggar, who later appeared in a dream as the Lord.

Top Image by Andy Held Photography

“Multiplying by dividing is a secret Martin knew,” say the children in chorus. The story is used to teach the children math, as the cloak is divided in halves and then each piece is divided in halves again to get four. Children can continue dividing and counting how many pieces they have. Lessons on reading, writing, singing and playing music, drawing and painting, also tie in with the story. Curricular connections like these help the children in seeing the topic from different perspectives. Acting is also a part of the curriculum and the children are rehearsing a play based on the story, which they will present to the entire school community. Knitting Fun Characters After a healthy snack and recess, the children are back in the classroom for handwork class – a gnome knitting project. Mrs. Whitlatch, the handwork teacher, sets individualized goals for how many rows each child is expected to knit today. Last month they completed a stuffed knit kitty, to the amazement of many parents. “Knitting helps the developing brain make connections that help with math skills among other things,” says Mrs. Whit-


Waldorf Second Grade

ing being able to dialogue with the teacher and within the group. Children also have a Japanese class once a week with Mrs. Tokura, and last month they learned a song in Swedish for the traditional Santa Lucia procession. Mr. Zabel also teaches them poems and rhymes in German, his At Waldorf schools native language, and they most Class Teachers will be exposed to Hebrew stay with the same in later years as they participate in Jewish celebrations. class for the eight

What is Eurythmy? In Eurythmy class later that day, Ms. Foster teaches children this unique art form practiced in Waldorf schools. “Eurythmy expresses the sounds of language and the elements of music years of elementary in a visual way. By moving “Among the many benefits and middle school. together in a group, the stuof learning a second landents develop an enhanced guage during the elemensocial awareness… This type of movement stimtary years, perhaps none is more important than ulates brain activity otherwise not awakened, the exposure to different cultures, which enables and particularly supports the development of a the student to understand diversity,” says Mr. greater flexibility in thinking,” says Ms. Foster, Gandara. who was a successful touring musician before becoming a Waldorf teacher. “The children deChores At The End of the Day light in discovering new ways to move together Before the children go home each day they are as a group,” she adds. assigned a chore. Three children go outside to dispose the garbage, recycling and compost, Woods Recess in Pairs three others sweep the classroom floor while a After lunch Mr. Zabel and the children put on boy sweeps outside and a girl checks the cubtheir raingear and boots and head out for free bies. Two children dust side tables and chests play time in the woods. To make sure everyone and two others go outside to clap the chalk eraswill play, Mr. Zabel assigns a weekly partner to ers. When all chores are completed each child each child. Children must stay with their partshakes hands with Mr. Zabel, goes through the ner for the duration of recess, so they have to hoops tunnel and heads out to await their ride figure out how to play together even if they are home. not best friends. Three Cedars children may not realize that the This approach also encourages the children to fun they are having is actually learning and they get to know all their classmates and helps the are eager to come back for more the next day. most socially challenged make friends. “Buenos Dias Senor Gandara!” After recess the children greet Mr. Gandara, the Spanish teacher. Today they are learning about clothing and the seasons and they are enjoy70

Image by Andy Held Photography

latch, who was a biotech researcher before obtaining her Waldorf Teacher certification 10 years ago.



More you Know

eco: Moms Clean Air Force

Green Child Magazine contributor, Erin Naumowitz was honored this month to peek inside the mind of Dominique Browning, Co-Founder of Moms Clean Air Force. This non-profit organization harnesses the strength of mothers’ love to fight back against polluters.

tion to protect our children's health.

Dominique knows that moms have passion and power — an unbeatable combination. So she has built an amazing team of bloggers and celebrity supporters, as well as a forum for concerned parents to work together thru Mom’s Clean Air Force’s online action center, making it easy and fast for busy parents to make their voices heard.

Dominique: My perspective is wildly changed. I thought the Clean Air Act, signed into law in 1970, had done what needed to be done. Was I ever wrong! The skies are bluer, and a lot has been improved. But I had no idea how many invisible toxins were spewing into the air from coal-fired power plants, industrial boilers, cement plants, and, of course, cars and trucks.

GC: What inspired you to start Mom's Clean Air Force?


Dominique: My children--and all of our children--are the inspiration for Moms Clean Air Force. We are fueled by Mother Love. What kind of world are we leaving behind for them? And how are we modeling good citizenship for them? There are some things money cannot buy--like clean air and clean water. No home air filter system is strong enough to fight pollution! You have to engage with politicians and with laws to protect the air. That's what we're doing with Moms Clean Air Force--fighting air pollu-

GC: How has it changed your perspective?

GC: What is the biggest air pollution issue we are currently facing? Dominique: The biggest air pollution problem we face is global warming. And yes, that's a pollution problem: Greenhouse gases. We've upset the natural balance of this precious substance that gives us life. Air. We are changing our climate, and we are creating enormous problems, that will last several generations. We must stop polluting our home.

“We are absolutely not past the point of no return. There is hope: our action can

make great changes.”

-Dominique Browning Co-Founder & Mother

GC: How does that impact the health of our families? Dominique: Asthma rates among young, under four, children are skyrocketing. Asthma is triggered by air pollution. Mercury has contaminated our fish to such an extent that pregnant women are warned not to eat tuna! Mercury is a terrible neurotoxin that harms the developing brains of fetuses and toddlers. And their lungs and hearts, too. GC: Do you think we past the point of no return, or is it still possible to stop or even reverse some of the contamination? Dominique: We are absolutely not past the point of no return. There is hope: our action can make great changes. Many power plants, for instance, have already stopped spewing mercury. We have to get the bad actors to filter the air. And global warming will be addressed by everyone who understands the benefits of energy efficiency, and of not polluting our air.

GC: We love the concept of "naptime activism" that you use to encourage moms to get involved. Can you give us an example of how a busy mom or grandmother can make a difference in just a few short moments at naptime? Dominique: Now we're creating Naptime Notes! It takes a few seconds to sign a petition or send an email to your political representatives. It takes a few minutes to hand write a note to your Senator telling her or him that you expect a vote to strengthen pollution controls. There are lots of things busy women can do to make their voices heard--and believe me, no one wants to make a politician angry. It is time to tell Washington: Listen to your mothers!

“Moms and dads have love, enormous love and if we raise our voices together, we can stop toxic air polition.” -Jessica Capshaw Mother & Actress




Annual Eco B

What could be greener than gently-used baby gear from your friends, family, or people in your church or community? Chances are – a neighbor or cousin has a closet full of baby clothes, blankets, toys, and gadgets. Don’t forget the internet. is your online consignment shop, making it super easy to buy or sell baby clothing online. It’s the ultimate in recycling, and you won’t have to sacrifice design or quality because it’s used.

Earthy prints and colors make Planet Wise Wet / Dry Bag the perfect tool for a day out with your cloth-diapered little one. No one will know you’re carrying around dirty diapers, as they perfectly seal in odors. As your children grow older, these bags can be used for wet bathing suits after a trip to the beach or local pool. ($30 at Happy Cotton Tails)


Quite possibly the perfect baby rattle, there are no stains or dyes used in Ogunquit Wooden Rattles. Walnut oil and beeswax are enough to bring out the wonderfully warm colors of the maples, cherry and walnut and the plantation-grown redheart, purpleheart, and cocobolo. This all-natural finish is eco-friendly and safe for baby. ($22 at Ogunquit Wooden Toy)

These fitted diapers from GoodMama are everything a diaper should be and more. Absorbent, soft, made from natural fibers, and super cute. Let your little one run around the house in 9 layers of absorbency without a cover for maximum breathability. Go on and be a GoodMama! ($40 at The Good Mama)

Baby Gear Guide

Clean designs coupled with ultra soft fabrics make Kate Quinn Organics clothing a must-have for your baby. Featuring stylish apparel made from the finest 100% certified organic fabrics, Kate Quinn Organics cares for the earth without sacrificing fun and style. ($34 at Kate Quinn Organics)

The Naked Collapsible Baby Tub proves once again why Boon is a leader in smart baby gear. Collapse it. Expand it. Store it flat‌ this product is free from BPA, phthalates and PVCs. ($70 at Boon)

Made from 100% birch wood and non-toxic stain, the Finn and Emma Play Gym will delight baby with phthalate-free rattles hand knit from organic cotton. All Finn + Emma playgym dolls are interchangeable, can be used away from the playgym in the car, the bumper bar of your stroller or on a high chair. ($135 at Finn and Emma) 75

Simply Rustic Nighty Night Butter is handmade using high quality Fair Trade, organic, and unrefined ingredients. This body butter soothes with chamomile and Lavender leaving skin soft and supple. ($9 at Simply Rustic)

The perfect combination of pure glass with the convenience of BPA-free plastic, 5Phases Hybrid Baby Bottles are ideal for daycare centers that don’t allow breakable glass bottles. Simple to assemble, dishwasher and freezer-safe. ($20 at The Glass Baby Bottle)

The organic Cloth Ball by Dress Me Up Organics is the perfect toy for all ages, and its heirloom quality construction means it will be around for years to come. ($32 at Dress Me Up Organic)

Organic cotton surrounds your baby in this wonderfully simple Babysitter Balance by BabyBjörn. Baby’s movement makes the bouncer rock. Three positions provide your baby a place to sleep, rest, or play. Folds flat within seconds for storage or travel. ($200 at The Little Seedling)

Who wouldn’t want to wear their fruits and veggies to bed? New Jammies Organic Fitted PJ’s are soft and snuggly with no toxic chemicals. ($29 at NewJammies)


Eco Baby Gear Guide

The Teething Lovie by Drool Monkey Organics multitasks as a teether, burp cloth, nursing cover, sun shield, and security blanket. Made from custom-woven 100% Certified Organic Cotton fabric, this teether prevents drool rash by wicking away moisture from baby’s delicate skin. ($32 at Drool Monkey Organics)

Swaddlebees Diapers are trim, come in many cute prints. The smart design gives you options - use the attached insert stuffed inside if you want only natural fibers against your baby’s bum, or folded over for the natural wicking of microfleece. ($26 at Swaddlebees)

Sweet, simple style with a little edge, Go Gently Baby Organic Cotton Bloomers are make a sweet diaper cover or even work with a tee or tank on a warm day. Made from 100% organic cotton poplin with elastic at waist & at leg openings with ruffles. ($26 at Darling Clementine) 77

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Green Child Magazine Back to School 2011  

Green Child Magazine's Spring 2012 issue brings eco-friendly fun to your family's Easter, Earth Day, and Arbor Day celebrations. We talk to...