Category Archives: Eco-Friendly Living



Earth Day Birthday Finish Line!

Please list all your answers in the comment box at the bottom of this post for your name to be entered into the draw!  Remember, you will get bonus entries for: Liking all of the sponsors on Facebook Following all of the sponsors on Twitter Sharing the Scavenger Hunt with your friends Don’t forget to get your entries for our Earth Day Birthday Bonuses: Kiddodle TV, Bebe au Lait and Silikids bonus Monkey Bars, Kanga Care and Watch & Roll bonus a Rafflecopter giveaway

Earth Day Birthday Scavenger Hunt!

Join us for Wean Green’s annual Earth Day Birthday Scavenger Hunt!  The hunt will begin on Earth Day (April 22nd) at 9:00am MST!  This year’s prize is valued at over $1,300! Click below to enter the contest and then visit Wean Green’s Facebook page to reveal the first clue! Don’t forget to get your entries for our Earth Day Birthday Bonuses: Kiddodle TV, Bebe au Lait and Silikids bonus Monkey Bars, Kanga Care and Watch & Roll bonus a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Dr. Seuss, a unique look at environmental issues from… 1971

The first time I read Dr. Seuss’s ‘The Lorax’ was in my second year of University.  My professor was giving a lecture on the importance of teaching children about the environmental impact humans have on the earth and referred to ‘The Lorax’ as the leading educational tool. I have to laugh thinking back to the first time I read ‘The Lorax’ to a group of six year olds.  I was anticipating a light discussion on doing things like picking up garbage in the playground or making sure their families recycle.  That is not at all what happened!  We ended up spending the entire morning brainstorming ways to save the planet, and we were not just talking about picking up garbage.  One idea that they came up with was to start an environmental campaign in our city schools that encouraged teachers to have at least one paper free work day a week.  I have to say, I was shocked!  I realized at that moment that my little group of munchkins with the brain capacity of, well six year olds, had the ability to help change the world. Think about how many teachers have read this book to a group of similar kids since it was published in 1971, now think about if each one of those classrooms initiated and maintained an environmental project (like the one I mentioned).  Just a thought… I am passionate about this book and the goals that they can set for not only children, but also adults.  Conservation International, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, and Random House have launched a campaign to raise awareness of environmental issues and inspire earth-friendly action worldwide. Check out this site with your kids to see how you can help: www.theloraxproject.com.

BPS = BAD

When I started working at Wean Green I told Melissa (the boss) that I used BPA-free plastic containers.  I thought she would be so proud until she asked me “what do you think they use instead of BPA”?  This was such a great perspective that I never even considered.  In most cases when companies take out the BPA the replace it with BPS which is just as bad.  This local study has asked the same question and gave some answers: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/bpa-alternative-disrupts-normal-brain-cell-growth-is-tied-to-hyperactivity-study-says/2015/01/12/a9ecc37e-9a7e-11e4-a7ee-526210d665b4_story.html?tid=sm_fb Kat

Eco Friendly School Supplies

The most eco friendly school supplies you can send your child to school with this year? Their school supplies from last year! If they have completely destroyed that opportunity (as mine have) make sure you are aware of what evil chemicals can lurk in the school supplies you send. Here are some awesome back 2 school school supplies that don’t involve chopping down the rainforest or bathing the class in nasty toxins. Top Ten ‘Must Haves’ for an Eco Friendly School Year: [SlideDeck id=’2353′ width=’100%’ height=’300px’]  

The Tomato Sauce Experiment…

Having an impermeable and non-porous container is the shizzle right? If you understand what that really means, than yes, it rocks! I spoke to someone the other day and told them I did this experiment and now I will share the Tomato Sauce Experiment. I used a tempered glass Wean Green Wean Cube and a BPA Free Plastic Container that I purchased just for this experiment. Both had never been used before and both were given the exact same treatment.   So to further explain my opening statements…Impermeable = nothing can get through, it is impassable. Non-porous = air, water, fluids (& tomato sauce) are not able to cross the surface. It does not allow them through. What this means for you = your food stays in the container and the container does not put any parts of the container in your food or take any parts of your food from the container. Conclusion = Wean Green tempered glass food containers do not allow food to pass into the glass nor do they allow for anything inside the glass to pass into your food, keeping your food fresher, healthier and more awesome. As you can tell I am not a photographer. I know it is a little harder to tell that I am not a scientist…;) Cheers, Melissa

194 Days of LitterLESS Lunches

Tis the season…for getting up early, rushing around and getting the kids out the door with healthy lunches in hand. As a mama of 2 I GET IT! I understand why there are SO many rich companies getting rich off of us busy mamas by selling us prepackaged foods read to throw into a lunch box. Unfortunately there are some problems when feeding our kids these pre-packaged lunches. Check out some of the nutritional downfalls of a popular pre-packed lunch item in Michael F. Jacobson’s Huffington Post Blog. They are not the most appetizing facts. Better yet-just grab a pre-packed grocery store item and look at the never ending list of ingredients. After feeding my kids fresh produce, homemade grains, organic meats and homemade snacks I can’t imagine what a Lunchables would do to their systems! The other downfall-THE GARBAGE! Oh. My. Goodness. It is disgusting to see the amount of waste that one class can produce during lunch (trust me-I used to be a teacher). It seems like everything is coming prepackaged these days, even crackers! Last year at a seminar I found out that the average elementary student produces 67 lbs of lunch waste a year!  My other beef? Cost. I was at the grocery store yesterday and there was a sale on prepacked fruit (in those horrible plastic containers). It was $3 for 6 5 oz containers (that is the size of a Wean Bowl). I bought a bag of apples for $4.00. With that bag of apples, I can cut them up into the same cute size and fill about 10 5oz containers! Grades of Green has a little break down on the cost/garbage analysis, check it: So, now that you know WHY I want to pack  LitterLESS Lunches lets put the challenge out there. I am planning on making sure my kids have a LitterLESS Lunch every day of the 2013/14 school year. Don’t think you can do the full year with me? Try doing Grades of Green Trash Free Tuesdays! It is a great starting point for building a great habit and teaching our kids we care about the environment. Who is with me? Let us know in the comments what you packed and how you made it litterLESS. Every month we are going to choose 1 person from the comments of this post and send a LitterLESS Lunch prize pack (will include lots of goodies from our other friends that make cool products).

Recycling Competition: Glass vs. Plastic

Let the ultimate recycling challenge begin!  When we discuss environmental benefits of materials we must also consider the recycling capabilities.  Here are some things that I have discovered. When glass is recycled it uses less energy than manufacturing glass from sand, lime and soda.  With this said every tonne of waste glass that is recycled into new items saves us 315 kg of carbon dioxide! Glass 1 Plastic 0 When glass is recycled it has nearly infinite possibilities for secondary uses.  Plastics have a high molecular weight. Bottom line- heating plastic alone is not enough to dissolve a large molecule so plastics must be with as close to the same plastic as possible in order to mix efficiently.  If you think of how many plastic items you have in your home and categorize them into the 7 Plastic Identification Codes (normally found at the bottom of product) and then categorize them by color you will see how difficult it can be to match plastics up for recycling. Glass 2 vs. Plastic 0 Due to the recycling capabilities of glass it reduces the volumes of waste sent to landfills (when everyone ensures they actually recycle instead of tossing it in the garbage). While the different types of plastic can sometimes be separated it often weakens the plastic too much to be used for all applications. Glass 3 Plastic 0   When a recycling program says that they will accept glass into their program they do not have a large list of exceptions. When a recycling program accepts plastics they often have a large list of plastic products that cannot be accepted.  Please contact your local recycling program for more information on what they will take! Glass 4 Plastic 0 I am starting to feel like I need to give plastic a point!  I really did research this using my best unbiased frame of mind.  I did find that some manufacturers are starting to use biodegradable plastics.  Unfortunately only a small amount of biodegradable plastics are able to degrade without emitting harmful chemicals into the environment.  Another problem with biodegradable plastic is that it becomes somewhat mummified in landfills and can take decades to degrade.  Hmmm. Judges? Glass 4 Plastic 0 You know what; I think we are going to call this one a shutout.  Stay tuned for the next recycling competitions between team Glass and team Plastic. Final score: Glass 4 Plastic 0

Happy 4th Eco Birthday!!

Talia is 4! I love throwing a good party packed with good eats, tons of friends and even some treats…eco style. This year was no different. Top 5 Tips to Throw an Eco Friendly Birthday Party 5. Rethink Gifts This is harder on your guests than it is on your little ones, especially at 4 years old when she hasn’t been to enough birthday parties to witness the gift giving tradition. Work with your kids to decide if they would like to collect donations, completely omit a present or maybe you can buy them a great gift so they are fulfilled and don’t require anything further. 4. Trash the Disposables Regardless of the material disposable party supplies (plates, cups, utensils, decorations, etc.) are such a burden on our landfills. Use your regular plates, bowls, cups and utensils. Try making some really unique birthday decoration pieces that you can reuse for each party. 3. Make the Food buying a large premade veggie tray from the grocery store is not only way more expensive than doing it yourself but chances are that the grocery store is not picking the best produce to throw on the tray. How about the birthday cake? I love using organic ingredients in the kids birthday cakes and finding great recipes that don’t call for excessive amounts of sugar. 2. Rethink the Loot Bag My favorite loot bag at one of our shindigs was the homemade playdough in Wean Cubes. My second was the first year when we painted planters and planted plants. Last year was fun when we decorated our bird feeders (ours are still bringing birds to the yard). This year I did gift cards. Ha, not exactly my most creative moment but it got the job done with no lead filled dollar store toys. 1. Offer Healthy Food This year I cheated and used the new weelicious cookbook. The table was filled with all gluten free homemade snacks and niblets including taquitos, chicken fingers, dips, veggies, fruit and more! Check out her first, second and third eco birthdays for more ideas. 

Eco Friendly School Supplies

The most eco friendly school supplies you can send your child to school with this year? Their school supplies from last year! If they have completely destroyed that opportunity (as mine have) make sure you are aware of what evil chemicals can lurk in the school supplies you send. Here are some awesome back 2 school school supplies that don’t involve chopping down the rainforest or bathing the class in nasty toxins. Top Ten ‘Must Haves’ for an Eco Friendly School Year: [SlideDeck id=’2353′ width=’100%’ height=’300px’] CONTEST ALERT: This fun contest will help us all head to school with safe school supplies this year! At the bottom of this blog post share your suggestions/stories on how you go (or went or are going to go) green for school. For every 100 comments we have we will choose a winner! Each winner will be given $100 gift certificate to  http://www.ethicalocean.com/. We will also donate a Wean Green Set to that person’s school charity of choice. 1000 comments = 100 winners! Contest closes on August 31.