Save Handmade!

Consuming handmade goods are one of the simplest, most enjoyable ways to be environmentally friendly. Not only does it support small business, it’s all also made locally or at least in-country, lovingly and with great care. Many of those who make and sell handmade goods also ensure the raw materials are organic or otherwise naturally sourced. And the simple fact of not being mass-produced, with the associated overhead, waste and shipping, means the footprint of handmade goods are far lighter.

However, Handmade is in danger. After the repeated lead scares coming from some goods made in China, a new law was passed to protect children: the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Under this new law, all goods sold in the US targeted towards children 12 and under must undergo stringent safety tests to ensure they are safe for kids.

The problem here is that the rules apply to all – even those creating homemade goods in their basement while their kids are asleep. And the rules mean that each individual component involved in the creation of the item must be separately tested by the creator of the item. Making a sock monkey to be sold? Then the socks, buttons, and stuffing all must be individually tested by the crafter, *not* the manufacturer of the raw goods. Meaning, most crafters will not be able to afford to continue selling their goods in the USA, because they will have prices like this.

Why am I posting this on ecochick, a Canadian weblog? Because I love handmade, and I love Etsy, and both the industry that is supporting thousands of households and the amazing website they use to sell their wares will die if this law stays in effect. So I appeal to any American readers of ecochick to do something.

Etsy has an excellent action kit. There’s an entire website dedicated to Reforming CPSIA. Take a look. Write some letters. Make some phone calls. And save Handmade.

20% off at Soleado Casa!

ecochick’s personal choice of household cleaners are the ones from Soleado Casa. Their organic, natural cleaning supplies really, really work. As in, I think I would marry the tub scrub. Er. Well, if it was possible. Or even legal. Anyway, you get my point. This stuff not only works, it smells amazing and is great to use. It almost makes me look forward to cleaning. Almost.

For the month of January, if you enter the code JANSALE as the promotional code at checkout, you will get 20% off your entire order. You could buy the awesome Tub Scrub. Or perhaps a set of four microfiber cleaning cloths. Or you can explore their awesome lines for Mama and Baby, with great products ranging from organic soaps and herbal creams to rash salves and organic baby bath mitts.

You can buy it all online at Soleado Casa.

New stuff at Lilou Organics!

If you’re looking for an all-Canadian source for your natural and eco-friendly beauty care needs, you need to remember Lilou Organics. Based in Ontario, Lisa and Brian maintain a gorgeous inventory of products from lines you will love (if you don’t already) – Dr Hauschka, John Masters Organics, Suki and much more. And they’ve just added loads of great new products to the inventory.

Check out this UV Natural Sunscreen – I promise you can pronounce every single ingredient on the label. Try that with drugstore sunscreens!

If you’re a mama or mama-to-be, you might be interested in some great Earth Mama Angel Baby products, such as this great Tea Sampler which has USDA Certified Organic teas for every trimester – Morning Wellness Tea for T1, Heartburn Tea for the whole thing, Peaceful Mama tea to quell those stressed nerves, and Third Trimester Tea to help your body prepare for delivery day.

Or perhaps if you’re looking for a new skin care regime, you could try this amazing Juice Beauty Organics to Go Clear Skin starter kit. Containing a 30 day supply of their cleansing regime including Cleansing Gel, Green Apple Peel, Blemish Clearing Serum and Oil Free Moisturizer, this is everything you need to give your skin a fresh start.

You can shop for all this awesomeness and more at the Lilou Organics web site. And remember, there’s free shipping on orders over $100 within Canada. Nice!

Happy New Year (and Mea maxima culpa.)

Ecochicks, I am so sorry.

I know I’ve been neglecting you. I know you’ve been looking for me.

The end of 2008 was both glorious and tough. Glorious because as it turns out, ecochick’s nesting. (Sick of my cutesy analogies? Sorry. Couldn’t resist that one.). But tough, because with the nesting came a whole new level of exhaustion that meant that even writing a blog post became more effort than I could bear. Heck, staying awake past 7 pm became more effort than I could bear.

But the first trimester has passed, my energy has returned, and I have a TON of fun stuff coming up for you. First off, look out this week for a *wicked* giveaway. I’ve been sneaking stuff out of each sample set I’ve gotten and it’s turned into a gorgeous gift basket with lots and lots of goodies, so keep your eyes posted.

Speaking of giveaways, I have *lots* of giveaways that haven’t been claimed yet. Check the Giveaways and email me at talk at ecochick dot ca if you’re a lucky winner.

And finally, if you haven’t already – check out the cool new sidebar ad featuring ecochick and other awesome Green Living Online bloggers. How awesome are we?

Happy 2009, one and all!