Category Archives: Eco-Friendly

Tips On How To Green Your Grocery Shopping, Cleaning, and Pet Care

Earth Day is just around the corner but I believe that the ‘green trend’ that people used to get so excited about around Earth Day every year is not so much a trend anymore but a lifestyle.  It’s the norm.  Many parents have become more green than they were in the past whether it’s by buying organic, all-natural shampoo for their kids or BPA-free baby bottles.  Being green may not be easy as easy as shopping like we used to 10 years ago, but many companies and stores are putting a lot of effort into providing consumers with many ‘green’ options.

So we have the options but what about the ideas to implement a more green lifestyle?  Here are a few great tips on how to be more green.

You can easily conserve resources in your everyday life just by making a few small changes in and around your home.

Here are some other ways to green your day-to-day duties:

Grocery Shopping

Green your trash bags:  It is so easy and inexpensive to get trash bags made from recycled or biodegradable material these days that there is little excuse not to use them. You can buy a roll at most supermarkets or online from Kokopelli’s Green Market ( Bring your own reusable tote to the grocery store with you. Leave a few totes in the trunk of your car or stash them away in your purse for unexpected trips.

Skip the Suds

Try a green detergent such as 7th Generation which comes in a recycled cardboard bottle. You can also use a detergent designed for cold water; using cold water for each wash load saves energy, which is good for the earth, and also saves money, which is great for your wallet. Cold water detergents are formulated to fight dirt and stains just as well as their warm water counterparts.

Use a dishwasher instead of washing plates by hand. Buy an Energy Star Rated washer, only run it when it is full and skip the pre-rinse cycle.

Choose Non-Toxic Cleaning Products

For every commercial and chemical based product on the market, there is probably a greener alternative…or even a homemade substitution!

•    Baking Soda: This is great for cleaning, deodorizing, softening water and scouring dishes.

•    Soap: Unscented soap in liquid, flake or powder form is biodegradable and will clean just about anything.

•    Lemon: A strong food acid effective against most household bacteria.

•    Borax: Cleans, deodorizes, disinfects, softens water, cleans wallpaper, painted walls and floors

•    White Vinegar: Cuts grease, removes mildew, odors, some stains and wax build-up.

•    Washing Soda: Cuts grease, removes stains, softens water, cleans walls, tiles, sinks and tubs.

•    Cornstarch: Can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.

•    Citrus Solvent: Cleans paintbrushes, oil and grease and some stains.

Green Your Pet

The carbon emissions emitted from the production and transportation of your pet’s food can be quite high; to offset this, look for healthy food alternatives. While organic pet food may cost a bit more, it is made with renewable resources and no pesticides or environmentally unfriendly fertilizers. Whether it comes in bottles, bags or cans, chances are that your pet’s food containers can be recycled.
Scooping poop is no fun for anyone but you can make it more environmentally friendly by using biodegradable bags, which are available at most pet stores. This is an excellent alternative to using plastic bags which are nearly impossible to decompose.

Photo Credit: pure cleaning agency


GBG is one of the top sites for Green Wedding and they are launching this spring, which will be all about ecofriendly home décor. GBG’s CEO, Kate L. Harrison, has a JD in Environmental Law and a Master’s from Yale in Environmental Policy. She planned her own green wedding in 2007 and wrote the best selling green wedding book The Green Bride Guide: How to Plan an Earth-Friendly Wedding on Any Budget (Sourcebooks, 2008).   In 2009, she to help couples use their weddings to promote social and environmental change and support the local green economy. The site also has a green gift registry and wedding shop.

Green Car Buying Tips from Auto Trader, Just In Time For Earth Day

Buying a car is a task as it is.  What if you are looking into buying a ‘green car’?  There are so many things to consider if you want your next family vehicle to be a green vehicle, such as emissions, fuel efficiency, and electric vs. clean diesel vs. hybrid.  Where do you begin researching what the best green car for your family is?  Auto Trader has a special page titled “Green Car Shopping Tips: Buying the Right Green Car for You” that I think will help you move forward with researching the next green car for your family.

 Auto Trader Green Car Buying GuidePhoto source: Auto Trader

Just in time for Earth Day, editors provide expert advice to help any shopper who’s considering making an environmentally-friendly vehicle choice

Earth Day is a time when people examine the choices they make in their day-to-day lives and consider things they can do to conserve resources. For many car shoppers, this means adding environmentally-friendly vehicles to their lists.

When asked to rank features that were important to them in their next vehicle, shoppers in an survey picked fuel efficiency as most important above body style, comfort/seating, convenience features and design. Shoppers considering a fuel efficient vehicle said saving money and helping the environment were the top two reasons why.

For those ready to make the switch to a more environmentally-friendly vehicle, editors say there’s never been a better time.

“In the past, consumers had limited choices if they wanted a more fuel-efficient vehicle, but that’s definitely not the case today,” said Brian Moody, site editor. “Shoppers now have a wide selection of new and used vehicle options that fit most lifestyles and budgets.” editors have created a green car shopping primer that breaks down how electric, clean diesel and hybrid vehicles work, sharing the pros and cons of each technology to help shoppers decide which one could be the right fit for their lifestyle.

“For example, if you have a shorter commute, an electric vehicle might be an ideal option. If you love the driving dynamics and power of a traditional engine, a clean diesel would be a smart choice. And there are a lot of great used hybrid vehicles out there for folks who want the efficiency, but maybe don’t have the budget for a new car,” Moody explained.

Visit to learn more.


Created in 1997, Atlanta-based is the Internet’s ultimate automotive marketplace. As a leading resource for car shoppers and sellers, aggregates millions of new, used and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of dealers and private sellers and provides expert articles and reviews., which also operates the auto marketing brand, is wholly owned by AutoTrader Group. Additionally, AutoTrader Group owns Kelley Blue Book ( as well as three other companies that provide a full suite of software tools that help dealers and manufacturers manage their inventory and advertising online: vAuto, HomeNet Automotive and VinSolutions. AutoTrader Group is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit


How Connected Are Your Kids To Nature?

Earth Day
She doesn't have a black eye.. that's 'eyeshadow'. 🙂

Trips to the zoo, collecting autumn leaves, reading Ranger Rick – sound like memories from your childhood?  If you’re like me, then they do.  When I was a child we visited parks and enjoyed nature together as a family and that was the ‘norm’.

Here’s a question for you: Do these activities sound like a part of your kids’ lives today?

It’s an interesting question we parents should all ask ourselves.

On that note, Disney tells us it’s convening a number of top experts on the issue this week in Orlando as part of its Disney Kids and Nature Celebration (the event also includes a day-long youth summit and the screening of its upcoming movie “Chimpanzee”), and we got some insight on the discussion.  Former Ranger Rick subscribers, listen up:

According to Richard Louv, a Disney partner and author of the bestselling books Last Child in the Woods and The Nature Principle, every child needs nature.  Not exactly a groundbreaking revelation – but certainly one that poses challenges when you look at your weekly calendar (where’d the white space go?).

Here’s some advice we can take away from his philosophy and the bigger discussion in Orlando:

1. Get nostalgic. Take a moment to talk to a grandparent – or even a peer – about his or her favorite nature memories from childhood – was it skipping stones? A favorite picture book about elephants? Drawing horses? Climbing trees?  These simple memories might be enough to remind you just how easy it can be to make nature part of your own parenting style.


2. Think manageable.  Connecting kids with nature doesn’t require a family trip to Yellowstone (phew). What it really takes is getting your kids curious about animals, wildlife and the outdoors – the world beyond their house and school.  What do baby turtles eat? Why do leaves change colors?  How do fish breath underwater? What kind of insect is that in your backyard? Hikes, museums, books and videos can all help spark that fascination.


3. Teach early lessons.  Intuitively, we know kids need to learn about and appreciate nature.  But what are the real benefits?  For one, it’s a sensory explosion for their young minds.  Reading about how birds build nests, watching a baby elephant play, touching a sheep’s coat, smelling a rose or digging a carrot out of the soil  — all of this stimulates curiosity in young minds.

More important, however, is that it instills a love of nature.  And if our kids love nature – won’t they be more likely to protect it?

Find an Earth Day event near you

Disney is hosting an Earth Month event, the Disney Kids and Nature Celebration, April 12-14 in Orlando – and among other things, will be addressing the relationship between kids and nature today.


The Tote Buddy – Reusable Shopping Bag Tote Review and Giveaway!

The Tote Buddy - reusable shopping bag organizer

Reusable bags have become very popular with environmentally conscious individuals, but in a busy family, keeping up with eco-friendly bags can be challenging. While an individual may only need a couple of bags to hold grocery purchases, the bustling household usually requires many bags. Inevitably, the bags are left in the vehicle, forgotten until the point of unloading a cart of groceries at a check stand. An organizer would make it so much easier to remember.

The Tote Buddy is the perfect solution for the shopper who wants to be a responsible member of the global community. The Tote Buddy provides an easy way to store your reusable shopping bags, making them easy to retrieve for your next shopping trip. The Tote Buddy folds open for removing or placing reusable bags. Folded bags stack nicely in The Tote Buddy, with the handle of just one bag placed outside of the Tote Buddy for use as the handle of the entire organizer. The Tote Buddy is folded closed and secured with the Velcro strap. Hang it on a door handle, store it in the vehicle, or keep it in another convenient place for taking along on your next shopping expedition.
I love that The Tote Buddy takes up minimal space in a grocery cart, is easy for the bagger to use, and is convenient to place inside one of the shopping bags after the transaction is completed.Concern for the environment is one of many motivations for purchasing reusable bags. It can be difficult to keep track of several reusable shopping bags, though, and many people give up on their use because of this. The Tote Buddy provides an excellent organizational approach for managing multiple bags.

Win a Tote Buddy!

We are giving a lucky reader a Floral Tote Buddy!  To enter leave a comment below telling us why you want to win.
Earn extra entries:
Entries accepted through 11:59pm February 15th 2012.  Open to U.S. residents, 18+.  No P.O. Boxes.

Connect with The Tote Buddy:

Disclosure: I was provided with a Tote Buddy for review purposes. All opinions are 100% my own.

Alicia Hagan, Editor


Piggy Paint Natural Nail Polish and Remover – review + coupon code + giveaway

Piggy Paint natural nail polish and remover
Madelyn's Piggy Paint fingernails

Up until a few months ago it didn’t occur to me that Madelyn, now 4 years old, might enjoy having her fingernails painted.   The nail polishing began when Madelyn came home from a friend’s house with painted fingernails and she was so excited.  Then of course, I had to take the polish off.  I felt bad for using regular nail polish remover on her tiny fingernails.. the smell and knowing how harsh the chemicals are.  I am so glad to have learned about Piggy Paint’s nail polish remover.

Needless to say I had to go out and buy nail polish for her and I really didn’t know how bad some nail polish is until I tried Piggy Paint’s natural nail polish which I LOVE!  The first thing I noticed when painting Madelyn’s nails with Piggy Paint was that it went on very smoothly unlike some kids nail polish that I bought.  Piggy paint nail polish didn’t drip or get clumpy.   It dried quickly and has proven to be durable, lasting through several baths, rough play outdoors, and regular everyday wear which is a lot for Madelyn.  She’s always doing something with her hands.

About Piggy Paint nail polish

  • There are no toxic chemicals in Piggy Paint™
  • The water based formula is free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone
  • It dries quickly.  Madelyn’s fingernails were dry within one minute

About Piggy Paint nail polish remover

  • It is low-odor and hypoallergenic nail polish remover
  • Quickly removes all polishes, especially Piggy Paint™ Nail Polish.
  • Contains none of the solvents that could offend your nose or harm our atmosphere.
  • Aloe Vera and Vitamin E are added to supplement the natural oils that protect nails and cuticles.. great for little fingers.

Say good-bye to harsh, smelly chemicals and hello to Piggy Paint™…it’s as Natural as Mud!

Learn more about and buy Piggy Paint nail polish and remover on their website here.

Piggy Paints Coupon code:

Use coupon code MommyInsider to get 10% off your order.  Offer expires June 30th, 2010.


Piggy Paints is giving 3 lucky readers a $15 gift certificate!
To enter to win leave a comment telling us what your favorite Piggy Paints color is and fill out the entry form.
Entries accepted through June 5th.