The Life Cycle of Electronic Devices

No compensation was received for the following post.

We live in a world surrounded by cell phones, televsions, computers, and more.  But, what do you do with your old and broken electronics?  Did you know that every year we generate 50 million tons of e-waste worldwide, and only 12.5% of it is being recycled?  What kind of impact does this have on our environment?  Check out the following infographic on the e-waste problem and what you can do to help reduce it! 

Infographic created by Digital Doc

In addition to recycling services such as E-Stewards and Best Buy, many cities now have their own electronic recycling programs.  Consider these options before throwing away your used electronics.

Save Money with Green Home Upgrades

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

Green home improvement is a hot topic these days. With the cost of water rising throughout much of the country and energy policies facing an uncertain future, more homeowners than ever before are showing an interest in energy-saving remodeling projects and upgrades. The following infographic explains energy saving upgrades that will put money back into your pocket within two years.

 

Natural Bathroom Cleaning Tips

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

More than 150 chemicals found in your home are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and physiological disorders. The majority of these chemicals are used in routine bathroom cleaning. There are many DIY “recipes” that combine household ingredients to create a natural cleaning solution, and eliminate harsh chemicals. For example, you can combine baking soda and vinegar to create a tile cleaner. The following slideshow displays different recipes and methods for cleaning your bathroom without using harmful chemicals. Try these solutions to help clean your house safely.

How to Clean Your Bathroom…Naturally by Modern Bathroom, a company that offers sinks, faucets, and wall-mounted vanities.

 

How I Celebrated National Cereal Day! {Review}

** I was compensated for the following review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Last Saturday, March 7th, was National Cereal Day. (Yes, that is a real thing!) To celebrate, I tried out a few new (to me) cereal brands! I’m trying to clean up our act as far as what we eat, so having the opportunity to review products that are non-GMO and have fewer ingredients was pretty exciting to me!

Erewhon Corn Flakes – Since 1966, Erewhon has led the organic revolution. Their foods are made of non-GMO ingredients. While I’m not a big fan of corn flakes, I do love that there are only TWO ingredients in this brand – organic milled corn and sea salt! They must have been pretty tasty, because my 3.5 year old ate them both with and without milk.

Peace Cereal Walnut Spice – Peace Cereal only uses premium ingredients that have been verified by The Non-GMO Project. The Walnut Spice cereal was my favorite! My husband liked that it stayed crunchy in milk, and I thought the cinnamon flavor was awesome! We both felt like the walnut pieces could have been bigger, though. They kind of got lost in the bowl with everything else.

Uncle Sam’s Raisin Bran – An American Original since 1908, Uncle Sam’s high fiber and heart-healthy cereals are made from simple and non-GMO ingredients, and have nourished families for over 100 years! Uncle Sam’s Raisin Bran only has four ingredients (Whole wheat kernels, Raisins, Salt, and Barley malt), and I think it’s better than the other brand we all know! It could use a few more raisins (in my opinion), but it’s definitely not lacking in flavor!

I was very impressed by these cereals, and I’m looking forward to trying other Erewhon, Peace Cereal, and Uncle Sam’s products. You can find these, and other Attune Foods brands, at a store near you!

{I received three full-size boxes of cereal in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.}

My Favorite Green Smoothie

** This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support of PGM!

My in-laws got me a NutriBullet Blender for Christmas, and I absolutely love it!  I use it pretty much everyday.

I’ve tried several different recipes for green smoothies over the past couple of months, and the following is my favorite, so far.

greensmoothie

– 2 handfuls organic kale
– 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
– Fill the rest with frozen mixed fruit (The one I buy is our local grocery store brand, and it’s a blend of strawberries, peaches, cantaloupe, and seedless grapes.)
– Add a spoonful of flax seeds and water, then blend

If you like the earthy taste of kale, you can omit the banana, but I find that I need it to add some sweetness and a smoother texture.

I can’t wait to try some new recipes, and share them with you!

{This post is not sponsored by Magic Bullet, NurtiBullet, or Amazon.com. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog.}

How to Find Safer Cleaning Products for Your Home

The following is a guest post from Hannah at Wild Mint.  No compensation was received. 

Hello, The Practically Green Mom readers! My name is Hannah Helsabeck and I reached out to Allie recently after finding her blog and falling in love with her “green(ish)” attitude and advice. I couldn’t agree more with her motto of doing the best you can and trying new things when it comes to green living, which really aligns with the inspiration behind my company Wild Mint. I’m obsessed with researching all the ways to live a more toxin-free life and sharing what I learn with others. On Wildmintshop.com, I provide all the information and products that I use to do just that.

Today, Allie was gracious enough to let me share my knowledge about green and natural cleaning products, a big topic for anyone else who is a clean-freak like me! Harmful, chemical-based cleaning products have been the norm for so long that even the most dedicated toxin-free individual can have trouble finding the best types of solutions to use at home. The unfortunate practice of companies “greenwashing” products only adds to this confusion. If you haven’t heard this term before, greenwashing refers to companies claiming to be environmentally friendly by marketing products with misleading information.  These companies can mislead consumers by falsifying claims, using vague terms, and exaggerating green practices, just to name a few.

My team and I at Wild Mint strongly believe in the importance of transparency, awareness, and education so you can make your own informed decisions.  Alongside awareness, we suggest the following tips when looking for safer cleaning products:

  • Be a Label Checker – A good line of defense is to buy products from brands that list all of their ingredients on their label and are transparent both on their website and in their product offerings. A product should clearly state what is and is not used in its production in a way that is easily understood. You should also look out for and avoid products with the following terms listed on the label or packaging:
    • Fatal if inhaled
    • Fatal if swallowed
    • Watch out for terms like “poison,” “danger,” or “fatal”
    • Vague terms like surfactant or solvent
    • Skip phosphate additives
  • Be a Certification Critic – Some companies go above and beyond to certify their products and make their brand even more reputable, with certifications such as USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Cruelty Free (PETA), Energy Star, Green Seal Certified, and so on. Take a look at the certification on a label, and do a quick search on your phone or at home to see if the certification is valid.
  • Vague Terms – A prevalent greenwashing tactic to look out for is “vagueness”. Some common phrases to look out for include Eco Friendly, Environmentally Friendly, Earth Friendly, Environment Safe, Harnessing Nature, and Eco Chemistry. Remember, transparency is key; a company should be able to prove their products are indeed safe.

So what brands can you trust? Well, some of my favorites include Better Life, Dr. Bronners, and Eco-Me, which you can find here.  I use this all purpose cleaner and this multi-area scrubber cleanser by Better Life regularly.  I love that the Better Life products never leave a toxic smell after cleaning (like some chemical cleaners do!), are plant-based, and made without the use of harmful chemicals, making them safe for people, pets, the surfaces in your home, and the environment.

hannah Wild Mint - guest

You can also try your hand at making natural cleaning solutions yourself! Try Allie’s homemade air freshener made with essential oils or a combination of vinegar-based solutions.

Thank you to Allie for letting me guest post today and feel free to send me any of your questions about toxin-free living at hello@wildmintshop.com!

~ Hannah Helsabeck

President, Wild Mint Shop

Hannah Helsabeck is President and Co-Founder of Wild Mint, an online shop dedicated to helping families find toxin-free and eco-friendly products for healthier lifestyles.  She is passionate about educating others on the benefits of healthy living and the importance of taking small steps towards eliminating exposure to toxins in people’s daily lives.  She also enjoys finding new ways to be eco-conscious and is often found in the kitchen cooking up simple meals with real, whole foods. Hannah is the oldest of six kids, has amazing parents as role models in business as well as life, and currently lives in South Florida with her incredibly supportive husband.

Botanical Splash – Body Moisturizer and Revitalizer Review

Winter is coming, and for me (and many of you, I’m sure!) that means dry skin. Right on cue, Trusted Health Products sent me a bottle of Botanical Splash, their new Body Moisturizer and Revitalizer. (Full disclosure: I did receive this item for free in exchange for my honest review.) I will admit, I had high expectations for this product! I have reviewed a couple of things previously from Trusted Health Products, and have not been disappointed!

Botanical Splash is a blend of 100% pure botanical oils – almond, orange, lime, lemon, olive and avocado. It works well on all skin types, and has no preservatives, parabens, petroleum-based oils, GMOs, synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, colorings, or additives of any kind!

botanical splash review

There are so many things I love about this product! The spray application makes it very easy to use. Just spray, and lightly spread on the skin. No greasy lotion residue all over your hands! The refreshing citrus scent is great to wake up to. I use it in the morning after my shower, and a little extra throughout the day on trouble spots, like my elbows and knees. It definitely has smoothed these rough areas! My skin just soaks it up, and it feels so clean and healthy! Botanical Splash can also be used as an underarm deodorant. I haven’t tried it for that purpose, but I think I will.

Once again, Trusted Health Products has provided a great MULTI-USE product! Using Botanical Splash, not only am I treating my skin with natural oils (as opposed to chemicals), I’ll save money, too! I am a very happy customer!

{SPECIAL OFFER} For a limited time, the manufacturer is willing to offer my readers one FREE bottle. They said they would love to have our readers try out Botanical Splash and agreed to send one bottle FREE if our readers would pay a minimal shipping and handling charge. This is a one-time only offer! Click here to get your FREE bottle now!

{Trusted Health Products provided me with a free bottle of Botanical Splash moisturizer in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

Sweet Sweet Sleep with Mommy’s Bliss! {Review}

Now that we’ve moved into our new home, we are no longer co-sleeping. My son has his own room, with a big boy bed, and that’s where he sleeps. It’s been quite a transition for him, and most nights, he has trouble winding down. That’s why I was so grateful to Mommy’s Bliss for offering me the opportunity to review their Sweet Slumber Sleep Set. (FYI – some of the links below are affiliate links. Click and support PGM! Thanks!)

mommysblissmain

The products in Sweet Slumber Sleep Set use extracts of lavender, chamomile, and ylang ylang, which are known to aid in relaxation, to help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep. And, all of the Sweet Slumber products are free of parabens and harsh chemicals, so you can feel good about using them on your little one’s sensitive skin.

Our bedtime routine starts with a bath and Sweet Slumber Baby Wash. This is a 3 in 1 body wash, shampoo, and bubble bath, but we mostly use it as a bubble bath because there are SO MANY BUBBLES! My 2.5 year old just loves it! The subtle scent is not overwhelming like a lot of other lavender-scented kids products, and it doesn’t seem to irritate my son’s eyes (though I don’t see that it specifies “tear-free” anywhere.)

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After bath time, I put his pajamas on (it’s summer, so just a t-shirt and wool shorts over a diaper), and give his legs and feet a quick massage with Sweet Slumber Massage Cream. I didn’t use a lot of lotion on him as an infant, so this step has taken some getting used to on his part, but now he wants to put it on himself! I don’t notice the lavender scent so much with this product. I think it smells a bit like sunscreen personally, but it’s definitely not a bad smell. It’s very easy to apply – nice and silky, not at all greasy, which is awesome!

While Daddy gets his teeth brushed and they pick out a story, I spray a bit of Sweet Slumber Mist on his pillows and blanket. This is my favorite product of the three…I even use it on my own bed! It’s a very fine mist, and doesn’t seem to leave any residue on his bedding. The smell doesn’t stick around that long, though, so I recommend spraying it on right before bedtime.

Sweet Dreams!

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I am very pleased with the Sweet Slumber Sleep Set. It has made bedtime at our house calmer, and my son seems to sleep more soundly! If you’re looking for tips on a good night’s sleep, Mommy’s Bliss has created a slideshare called Ten Steps to Help Your Baby Sleep Better. It’s obviously targeted toward infants, but some of the tips can apply to toddlers, as well.

You can find these and other great Mommy’s Bliss products at your local pharmacy, or online at Amazon.com.

{I was sent a Mommy’s Bliss Sweet Slumber Set in exchange for this review. All opinions are 100% my own. I am an affiliate blogger for Amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links that support this blog. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.}

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