Abby Sprouts: eco-friendly family shopping – discount code and giveaway!

Congratulations to  Food According To Karen who said…
“There are so many things on the website it’s hard to pick. However, the Classic Dump Truck By Sprig is adorable. My grandson is at the ‘vrrmvrrm’ stage and would love the dump truck.”  You’re getting an organic onesie!

One of these days, I will write a long, boring-to-most post about cloth diapers, slings, sleep sacks and all the other stuff that you get in to when you’re trying to be an eco-friendly modern mama. Until then, my short summary on those items is:

1. Cloth diapering is awesome and better (functionally) than disposables. And trust me, I’m as squeamish as you are.
2. The sling saved my life for the first six months.
3. The sleep sack saved my life for the next three months (and counting).

And it’s always nice to find a one-stop shop where you can pick up all of these great baby needs and more all under one (virtual) roof. Abby Sprouts is based in Victoria, BC and is your one-stop shop for green, personally-tested baby and mama goods. From their website:

After being frustrated with searching for safe products throughout my pregnancy and for my baby I decided the green family needed a place where the leg work was done for them. I select every product Abby Sprouts sells based on earth friendliness, play factor, enjoyment, quality, and functionality. If it’s junk we don’t sell it. I’m a true believer in buying less but buying good quality.

From toys to clothes to an excellent selection of cloth diapers (including the favourite around here, Fuzzi Bunz), Abby Sprouts strives to provide a great and easy shopping experience, all while adhering to their own green policies. Check out their website or follow them on Twitter. And once you’re ready, use the code “EcoChick” for a 10% discount off everything on the site, including sale items. And shipping is free if you spend over $99. Nice!

And because Steph at Abby Sprouts is awesome, she gave us an adorable Love Peace Organic Cotton Onesie to give away (hooray!) So just scoot on over to Abby Sprouts and tell me what your favourite product is in the comments by Thursday, April 29. Don’t forget to leave me a way to contact you (email, blogger profile, whatever works). Giveaway recipient will be selected at random and notified. Good luck and happy green!

Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment

We all know about childproofing our home when the little ones start to toddle – such as my 9 month old, who currently finds herself unsteadily pulling herself up on every table with a sharp edge, it seems. We close off our electrical outlets and tie our cupboards shut and put bumper pads on every corner. But when it comes to kids’ health, there’s more to think about than just falling down – there’s also the environment of your home to consider. With toxins, cleaning products, air pollutants and so much more surrounding us, it’s hard to know how best to give our children the healthiest start.

This is where the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment – also known as CPCHE – comes in. The aim of the CPCHE is to encourage everyone, from parents to service provider organizations to the public in general to take in to account the way children interact with their environment and what we can do to make those environments as healthy as possible. To that end, they’ve put together a series of informational brochures detailing how kids interact with their environment, what their risk factors are and what you can do to help their surroundings be as healthy as possible.  One of these excellent publications is the Playing it Safe:  Childproofing for Environmental Health. This brochure outlines the many simple ways in which we can protect our children from environmental pollutants, from conception to birth and afterwards. 

For a more in-depth look at the CPCHE, take a look at the brochure The First Steps in Lifelong Health: A Vision and Strategy for Children’s health and environment in Canada which details their entire vision for children’s health, the current state of children’s health today in Canada, their strategy and priorities and their way forward.

Eco Baby Buys: Get ‘em while you can!

Hey, busy parents. Do you despair of finding eco-friendly yet nice and fun items for your baby at a good price? Eco Baby Buys is here to help.

Eco Baby Buys’ purpose in life is to source baby gear that meets their strict criteria – the use of non-toxic materials and dyes; the use of organic and/or recycled textiles and materials; the use of eco-friendly packaging; and a commitment and adherence to the standards of fair-trade – and to bring them to busy moms and dads at wicked prices.

But you have to act fast! Every day at 9 am EST they post a new deal at ecobabybuys.com, and they’re always limited quantities so you can only get them til they sell out. Once you place an order, Ecobabybuys takes over, maintaining the eco-friendliness by using recycled boxes and packaging material; printing only when necessary and using efficient printers and recycled unbleached paper; encouraging people to choose to ship their items with the USPS since postmen already go to your house every day, and more.

And what great items do they feature? They’ve sold great stuff from companies like Go Natural Baby, Kee-Ka, Keptin-Jr and loads more. So make sure you go sign up today so that you don’t miss out!

Bamboosa Bath Towels – snuggly ecofriendly clean

Bath time was a challenge around these parts for a while, what with the screaming and the… screaming. Babies seem to have a natural aversion to being bathed, as it turns out. But once the bath is done, the screaming quickly subsides as soon as we wrap her in this luxurious Hooded Towel from Bamboosa. Bamboo fabrics have become a real hit around here, with their soft, silky feel, wicked absorbency and natural antibacterial properties. The hooded towel is generously sized to give you lots of room to wrap baby comfortably and warm her up when she’s soaking wet, with its thirsty loops drying her off in an instant. Just hang the towel to dry when you’re done and you’re ready to go for next time. The towel comes in a variety of pretty colours, but we chose the nice natural colour here. And there’s even a Preemie sized towel for those babies who are in extra-wee sizes.

We got ours at Baby On The Hip, but there’s lots and lots of stores across the US and Canada where these great towels can be found. Check it out!

Blue Celery Baby Sling – hands free baby heaven

What do babies like most? To be cuddled and safe right next to Mama. But if Mama needs to do anything, anything at all like, say, eat lunch or perhaps brush her teeth, she needs a way to keep baby close while freeing up her hands. This is where babywearing comes in handy – the practice of carrying a baby in a pouch or sling close to the body. It takes the burden off Mama’s arms while still keeping baby near – practical for Mama and emotionally secure for both!

As babywearing has gained popularity in Canada, plenty of sling options have presented themselves out there, but the favourite around these parts is a gorgeous organic cotton sling from Blue Celery.

The sling comes in a fun, reusable lunchbag, with the sling itself consisting of two stretchy loops and a long sash, giving you a wide range of options for carrying baby – curled up low in a pouch for newborns, crisscrossed and sitting up for slightly older babies, riding on the hip for looking around for the curious types. The sling is easy to use and can be pitched in the washing machine when it gets puked on has lunch dropped on it leaky diapers dirty, which is a definite blessing around here. This is the number one baby lifesaving item in this house – don’t leave home without it!

The sling ranges in price depending on location but is generally priced just over $100. You can find it online (and in store in Ottawa) at Milkface, Red Chair Kids and plenty of other locations.

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!

Kai Kids Shopping days

Just got a note from Kai Kids:

Save the date!

It’s back – our second Kai Kids on Location Shopping Day on the Danforth!

Many of you couldn’t make it to our first sale in July, but we hope you can make it out to our first of two holiday shopping days on Sat. Nov 1, 2008! (the next one will be on Saturday Dec. 6, 2008).

Taking place in a funky retail space on Danforth Avenue near Greenwood, we will have all of our organic, recycled, upcycled, eco-friendly and Fair Trade products on display to help you with your holiday shopping. Plus, for this one day only, we will have special sales on many items, from BornFree glass baby bottles to organic cotton onesies and sleepers to sexy, eco-friendly maternity and nursing wear!

You can place orders in advance for pickup at our one-day location, or shop in person. Come on out and try things on, have a good look at items you might be curious about and take advantage of our special sale prices.

You’ll also get a look at our newest products:

- Stainless Seal non-toxic, non-leaching, recyclable food containers

- Dress Me Up’s charming, handmade organic teething bon bons, soft cloth balls blocks, bibs and burp cloths

- Adorable organic cotton fruit and veggie-printed PJ’s from New Jammies

- Eco-Me’s make your own non-toxic cleaning kits for home and baby

-Unscented, organic, allergy and eczema-friendly Little Twig bodywash/shampoo, bubble bath and lotion.

Tell your friends, bring along your kids (we’ll have some toys and colouring books to keep the wee ones occupied), and mark your calendars! Join us for green parenting tips, conversation and some fantastic holiday shopping!

Saturday Nov. 1, 2006 at 1390 Danforth Avenue (just east of Linsmore Avenue, one-minute from Greenwood subway station) from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

For more information, email info@kaikids.com, or visit our blog at http://www.blog.kaikids.com

All the best,

Nancy and Peter

ecochick giveaway: Burt’s Bees School Survival Kit!

Random.Org says the lucky winner of the Burt’s Bees School Survival Kit is elaine who said…

I love the lipbalm the best! It’s the only balm that keeps my lips soft through cold Canadian winters.
Elaine R
Thanks everyone and look for a new Burt’s Bees giveaway soon!

If you have a lip balm addiction (like I do), then you are certain to have heard of Burt’s Bees. Their beeswax lip balm is a staple at ecochick HQ, with a tube in the car, in the kitchen drawer, in the bedside table and in the handbag. It keeps my lips from drying out in a harsh Canadian winter, and it smells divine – almost like minty vanilla. But did you know there is actually a Burt? And he keeps bees? Who’da thunk it?

Burt’s Bees has a wide range of products derived from natural ingredients including beeswax. They have several lines including a natural remedies line, a facial care line targeted to skin types, a robust line of baby care products, and plenty, plenty more.

And here’s the fun part. I have a Burt’s Bees School Survival Kit to give away – wheee! This awesome little kit contains sample sizes of Peppermint Shower soap, Citrus Facial Scrub, Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Creme, Doctor Burt’s Herbal Blemish Stick, Milk and Honey Body Lotion, and of course a tube of their beeswax lip balm. I’m kind of wondering why I chose to give this one away, actually. It’s that awesome. So enter the giveaway before I change my mind. :) Simply leave me a note in the comments telling me what your favourite Burt’s Bees product is. The winner will be drawn randomly on Friday, October 10, so check back and see if you’re a winner!

And of course – all Burt’s Bees products can be purchased on their website or at a store near you.

Nayla Natural Care: ecofriendly right from the start

A big ecochick welcome to a new entry in the ecofriendly Mama and Baby scene: Nayla Natural Care. This Ottawa-based online shop carries excellent natural products for maternity, breastfeeding, feeding, bath and body, and outdoors. The team tests every product they feature on the website, so you know that you’re getting the real scoop (they even rejected a few items they didn’t like!)

Nayla carries products from 20 different natural lines including All Things Jill, Fresh Baby, Kiddopotamus, Three Lollies and a whole whack more. Their site allows you to create or view a gift registry, and you can also buy gift certificates if you’re unsure of what to get. And you can always check out their blog to see what’s new and exciting.

Nayla Natural Care ships across Canada, so check them out!

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