Naturally Back to School

Naturally back to school time, is here. Summer is just a third of the way through and already we start thinking of Autumn and buying school supplies.  It’s a time for sales and marketing gimmicks to get you to buy school clothing, school supplies and electronics.  It sometimes causes us to over buy.  Instead of falling prey to the marketing ads, take time to think about how important school supplies can be to your child’s health. Here is how to go Naturally back to school. It can be eco friendly and non- toxic.

  • Buy paper and pencils made from tree-free or recycled content
  • Buy recycled rubber erasers
  • Buy bamboo and other sustainable wood, or recycled plastic calculators, flash drives, rulers etc.
  • Look for eco- friendly on the labels of commonly used electronics for contents that are green or recycled.
  • Recycle plastics and boxes that electronics come in
  • Buy re-usable snack bags, lunch bags and drink containers. BPA free plastic, glass or stainless steel
  • Carpool to school with neighbors or friends
  • Recycle old school papers and unwanted paper scraps
  • Buy non-toxic markers and paint supplies
  • Buy organic clothing or eco friendly clothing, used or hand me downs
  • Re-purpose old items at home and make them new
  • Buy used books online or at local used book store.
  • Sell old text books to make extra cash and recycle

Back to school can be a very toxic and wasteful time of the year. Numerous school supplies have toxic gasses and chemicals that your child will inhale or absorb through their skin. Thinking ahead doing a little research, looking at labels makes your carbon footprint lighter and you feel better knowing your child is using safe school supplies.

Check out EPA or Environmental working group for more information on toxicity and school supplies. Check out all of our school supplies at www.mypumpkindoodle.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

College Student Going Green

It’s an exciting time of your child’s life when they go off to college for the first time.  It can be a hectic and emotional time too.  Lots of planning and a long list of supplies to buy before school even begins.  This time of the year can be expensive, overwhelming and also crazy.  In the midst of all of this chaos being green might be the least of your worries.  Besides your soon to be college student wants to have a hip room and hip clothes to wear to school.

Green doesn’t necessarily have to be dull and boring and over spending sure isn’t fun.  Cutting down on spending helps your budget and also helps the environment when you don’t over do on buying products.

You can send your college student to school with the hip and “in style” and still watch your carbon footprint and here is how.

  • Buy clothing that is sustainable and or used.  Start shopping early so that you don’t binge buy.  There are some really cool “in” clothing that is eco friendly.  The great thing about ‘vintage” is that it is Hip already.  Shopping at thrift stores can save you lots of money.  If buying used isn’t your thing, try buying Bamboo Fashion clothing.  It not only wrinkles less, it is light weight so it packs up easy and is very easy to care for, and it’s super soft!  It usually doesn’t need ironing and dries quickly, which is great for the student on the go.  It makes a great year around fabric and layers easily.

  •  Organizational supplies are a must with dorm living.  Believe it or not organization is very eco friendly.  The more organized you are, the less likely you are to buy more than you need.  When you have less space, organization is paramount.  College students need to keep track of their studies, supplies and everyday items, so it will save them time.  You can buy natural fiber and sustainable file cabinets, drawers and school supplies.  Everything you need can be eco friendly for your student’s dorm room.  Natural fiber baskets, bins and desks make your student hip and going green.
  • Room decor, what college student doesn’t want to have a hip dorm room and bathroom.  Mainstream products can be tempting, but you might find that natural products are just as appealing.  Bamboo sheets and comforters, natural fiber pillows and even blinds can be made from a more sustainable and earth friendly source. How about Bamboo Towels?  We have them along with bathroom rugs, and even robes and slippers.

What an exciting time this is for your family.  It can also be a very light footprint for the environment and an opportunity to educate your family on the importance of Going Green!  Just a little planning can make your college student’s dorm healthier and hip! Check out our full line of eco friendly products for students at www.mypumpkindoodle.com

 

 

 

 

 

Back to School PVC Free

Summer just arrived it seems like and you have to start planning for back to school.  It can be a costly expense and so many parents have a tight budget these days.  However, the cheapest might not be the best option for your child or the environment.  School supplies have chemicals in them.  Have you ever used a marker or glue and gotten a headache?  Ever opened up a pack of paper and smelled a chemical smell from the ink on the paper?  These things may seem harmless but when you look at the overall usage it adds up.  School projects are usually a requirement in each grade and the products your children use for these special assignments, as well as everyday school work, will be inhaled and absorbed into the lungs/ skin of whomever uses them.

PVC is found in so many products such as lunch boxes, rain coats/boots, notebooks and backpacks. It can also be found in modeling clay, colored paperclips, notebook binder rings, and markers. Sometimes it is easy to spot, other times not.  If it has a 3 in the recycle symbol it is PVC. It may also have a “V” in it or just say PVC or Vinyl. You may have to call the manufacturer to find out.

 

PVC is toxic because it contains chemicals such as phthalates, cadmium, lead, organotins which leach out into the air and are breathed in by your children when they use these products.  Phthalates are used to soften or plasticize the plastics.  If you have ever purchased a vinyl shower curtain and opened it,  had a strong odor, you’ve experienced the toxic off gassing of PVC.  PVC is not only toxic in it’s use, but also the production and disposal.  If burned/melted it can be extremely toxic because dioxins are released and these dioxins have been linked to cancer, immune dysfunction and fertility issues.  We don’t know the extent of all the harm it does our bodies yet, and children are still developing and are more susceptible at low levels.   It is very important to avoid these when possible.

In 2008 the government passed a law on the ban of Phthlates in toys, but they did not cover the PVC in school supplies

Here are some suggestions on how to avoid PVC:

  • Look for labels that says PVC free
  • Avoid vinyl products
  • Look for the 3 inside the recycle symbol
  • Avoid other plastics such as (PS) polystyrene, (ABS) acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
  • Look for products that are not plastic such as bamboo, wood, nylon, paper or fabric etc.
  • Avoid buying  polymer clays that are made of PVC such as Fimo or Sculpey
  • Avoid one use disposable bags and other plastic items- buy re-usable
  • Buy stainless steel, glass  drinking and eating containers or buy biodegradable plastics such as corn plastic
  • Bamboo is another great, hot item in the school supply market now: Ipad holders, laptop cases or portable flash drives
  • Look for recycled content in notebooks such as recycled cardboard
  • Look for natural rubber or Silicone substitutes for plastic
  • Buy used items

 

As parent’s we want the best for our children and yet, we can’t always buy the purest of products for them.  Every step we take in the purchase of non-toxic products sends a strong message to the manufactures of these toxic products.  Every step you take towards giving your child a more healthy environment makes a difference.  So, don’t give up because you cannot buy all non-toxic school supplies.  You may also find, with a little advance planning, a supplier that offers affordable eco friendly school supplies that is comparable to mainstream toxic counterparts.   Keep in mind when shopping the main toxic ingredients and the most toxic names for those so that you can avoid the worst of the chemicals found in school supplies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A New Year – A New Attitude

I came up with my trademark “It’s Hip To Be Green” because Green to me is a state of mind.  It is a new movement that hopefully isn’t a fad, but even if it is a fad, a trend, doesn’t mean it can’t become a new attitude for the new year.  Green is growing and becoming more aware of what is beneficial to us all.  As the news continue to report the challenges of the politicians debating over Global Warming, Clean Energy and health care, and now the shooting, it draws me back into the meaning of being Green!  Sure, recycling, re-using and reducing are all very important issues, but what about our feeling and attitude towards others and the acceptance of the differences in this country and the world.  Really what makes the Green movement so viral is the compassion and commitment to the planet as a whole, not just one part of it.   Green is a state of being!  A new year is here and so many of the T.V shows are talking about making this new year a better year.  While making those new Green Resolutions think about Green as a way of life a state of being.  One that works with the harmony of nature and the cycles of the planet.  Making more green house gasses only to then have to create a weather machine to control the damage seems to be moving out of the Green way of life and more into the controlling nature just to be able to continue our old habits of polluting the planet and destroying the natural flow of life.  Its all well and great to do the 3 r’s but the major issues on this planet will take far more than the just the 3 r’s.  It will take changing our old attitude and having a new attitude of live and let live, of being aware of what is going on in the world.  Seeing the hunger, the homelessness, the species of animals dying, the neighbor that is cold and jobless.  It becomes a eye opening experience to step outside of our need to only take care of “me” and becomes a taking care of “us” mentality.

Lets worry less about what we want to  have and more about what we have!  We have an amazing planet and amazing wildlife and amazing people and cultures on this earth that is worth preserving, worth protecting.  When I see groups of people trying to prove Global Warming isn’t happening, I want to ask them this huge question ” There is  toxic water and toxic air,  homelessness and hunger, and why are we only focusing on one of the issues?” Can’t we just agree to disagree and work on the matter that we feel is most important to us. Because shooting people or even posting targets at people that don’t agree with us is just causing the major issues of the world to go untreated. It is a waste of precious time.  How many people died today from hunger while you are busy debating if Global Warming is real or not…

We teach our children to accept others as they are, we teach them to get along in school and in play, but somewhere along our growing up we lose site of this and only want to prove that our beliefs are right.  We target others that don’t believe as we do and we aren’t practicing what we are teaching our children.  A New Year a New Attitude  a Greener Attitude!

Back to School Lots of Waste-How do you deal?

Back to School means lots of waste – how do you deal?

August 5, 2010
| by itshiptobegreen

Back to school means notebook paper, notebooks, post it notes, pens and pencils, and printer cartridges that all has to go somewhere right?  How can you teach your children to use wisely and dispose of the used school supplies properly? Buying sustainable school products is also a wonderful way of teaching your children to be more Green.  Even with using sustainable products disposal is still an issue.  Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buy post consumer content or sustainable fiber paper.  Banana paper notebook paper and stationary is a great substitute for wood paper.  You can also buy 100% recycled paper for your printer and copier. Also, don’t forget to use both sides when possible and recycle when done.
  • If possible buy Green printer cartridges and if not you can recycle your used cartridge either by mail or  at a local store such as Best Buy.
  • Pencils and pens can also be purchased made from recycled or sustainable materials.
  • Post it notes now have recycled content and` you can purchase  100% recycled content.  This is a great way to Green, as post it notes are used in mass quantities.  And you can recycle them when done.
  • Notebooks can now be purchased that are made from post consumer content and fully recyclable.
  • For art supplies you an also buy sustainable paper  and non-toxic paint.  Especially for smaller children that put their fingers in the paint or mouth it is very important
  • When using printer paper choose the gray scale to use less ink.
  • Computers are great for filing electronically. Less paper and file folders to use.
  • File folders and hanging folders can also be purchased in post consumer content.
  • Highlighter pens are another school item that is toxic.  You can purchase highlighter pencils in eco-friendly lead instead of ink based. There are also ink highlighter pens that are non-toxic and Xylene-Free (non-toxic and non-flammable)
  • Students now have to have a flash drive usually for school.  You can also purchase these in sustainable materials such as bamboo.
  • Turn off computers, printer, calculators and lights when done to save energy
  • If buying a computer is on your list of school supplies, try to find the most energy efficient one. Also, some computers now come in eco friendly casing.

It may seem overwhelming at first, but not too bad once you learn what to look for, as most stores now carry some type of Eco friendly supplies.  Remember It’s Hip To Be Green even at school.  Check out our eco school supplies at www.mypumpkindoodle.com

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