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.

Litterless Valentine’s Day

Lovin’ the Earth a little more this  February! Some ideas on using Wean Green to give a littlerless Valentine’s day. Additional Tips for a Litterless Valentine’s Day:  1. Instead of making paper cards make edible cards! Add the name to the cookie and place it in a cube. There are some great organic cookie recipes out there! 2. No gift wrap. We don’t want to sound like a broken record but don’t wrap a gift with the traditional wasteful pile of paper, try something creative like using a personalized t-shirt to wrap up a yoga mat….hint hint Kevin… 3. Support Local Businesses! Show some love for the peeps in your hood. 4. Rethink your Presents. Another holiday that has gone down the drain to consumerism;( Rethink the presents you buy and give. Try replacing perfume with some nice organic bath soaps, replace the regular chocolates with some organics (or even make them yourself…Dana-where is the recipe?). What are your tips to add a little more Earth Lovin’ for this V-Day? Love, Melissa

We put the ‘Green’ in Wean Green!

In September I had the honor of writing an article for the Globe & Mail referencing the top 10 tips for building an environmentally sustainable small business. I have been very proud how we have managed to run our company with the environment always being upfront and center in our decisions. If you haven’t had a chance to read the article make sure you swing over to the Globe & Mail. Here are some easy ways we keep the green in wean green! 1. We strongly discourage printing! We like to do all of our communication online and ask the companies that we work with to allow us to ship without the paper packing slip and invoices. When we do print we use 3 paper options: elephant poo paper, plantable paper or just recycled multi use paper. All of our packaging is printed on 100% recycled cardboard and is 100% recyclable! 2. We donate 1% of our profits to the planet! I have to admit that the reason for Wean Green is not a profit driven reason. The main reason that Wean Green exists is because I wanted to offer mothers the choice of using glass containers for their weaners! Giving back and helping the environment as well as people! You will often see Wean Green staff offering their help for various causes, and I am proud to say I was one of the founders in an amazing initiative to raise funds that helped feed over 200,000 kids lunch! 3. Shipping has always been a bit of a thing for us. Obviously we want to get our products into our customers hands as fast as possible but we just couldn’t justify having Wean Green shipments go out all 5 business days in the week! We have changed the way we work so that we only ship on Tuesdays and Thursdays ensuring all orders are in the hands of our customers quickly without sacrificing extra emission from our delivery trucks. 4. Home Offices! All of the Wean Green staff has weaners aging from 3-16. I love that we can all work from home and not have to drive our cars downtown and add to the putrid exhaust smell. I hope this explains the children’s laughter in the background when you phone our office;) 5. Promote healthy lives and organic eating! I love connecting with customers who are just learning how to make baby food or are changing their school children’s eating habits. If there is one thing that I love best about my ‘job’ I would have to say it is the customers and the conversations that we get to have!! We recently sponsored a couple of baby food making classes and LOVED the feedback and response from the mamas. I would love to hear how you put the green in your lives!  

Tips to Pack the Perfect Back 2 School Lunch!

Luckily for my kids the internet was created and I no longer have to use ‘that’ side of my brain to come up with an awesome lunch. Here are my top tips for packing back to school lunches! 1. Websites! Use Weelicious– I LOVE this site! This mama shares many recipes and ideas every week. One of my favorite things about the site is that she is teaching the kids to love food without disguising the nutricious ingredients into a dish. It is so important for our weaners to know what a healthy, well rounded diet looks like and if we don’t teach them to eat vegetables because they are awesome they are never going to put them into their own diets. One of my favorite lunch recipes is her very simple banana dog recipe. Its quick, easy, fun and the kids love them! 2. Stock pile your fridge!- At the start of the week cut up tons of veggies, wash loads of fruit and stock pile your fridge! The weaner has to make sure she packs at least one full portion of fruit and one of veggies every day in her lunch. This week I had cut up carrot sticks, celery sticks, red pepper and cucumber sticks and threw them in Wean Tubs. I made little fruit salads with grapes, raspberries, and blueberries and put them in Wean Bowls. I buy the big bins of yogurt and split it into Wean Cubes. 3. Let your kids do it!- I don’t know how many times we have been told this is great for kids and their is such a higher chance that they will devour everything in their lunchkit if they are the ones that put it in! I am so excited to get my eldest weaner into a cooking class to teach her other methods of cooking! She will be heading over to Kulinary Kids soon! 4. Keep it Simple! There are so many blogs and articles written with lunches that look like they were made by fairies. There is no way that it will taste any better by creating a castle, didn’t your mothers ever teach you not to play with your food;) I like to do something a little more creative on special days, like birthdays or other celebrations. The rest of the time I like to go in and get it done! 5. Get rid of all the garbage!! You don’t need to buy individual bags of food or even small pre-made applesauces. Teach your child to use reusable containers to store food. Buy in bulk to reduce the waste coming out of your house and the waste going to the schools. Think of the yogurt example, imagine 2 kids in school with a couple individual servings of yogurt a week. That is about 4 pieces a garbage a week, 16 a month and 160 a year. Multiply ghat by an entire class of 20 and it starts getting uglier. Use reusable containers! Looking for 100 […]

Thirsty? Rethink Disposable Water Bottles.

In the heat of summer I think we all need a little reminder about plastic water bottles. Remember, if you run into a store to buy a  bottle of water chances are you could just as easily run into a store to refill your water bottle! Thirsty? Wean Green has officially banned plastic water bottles from our office (of 2;).

Not So Scary Halloween Treats

Halloween has snuck up on me this year!  Normally I try to not give out individually wrapped, sugar filled candy.  As a teacher I have stuck to fun pencils.  This year I decided to look for something different.  I would still like to give something that is environmentally friendly and is a useful item for kids. My favourite treat from the good ol’ days was the homemade popcorn balls!  Unfortunately, some smucks ruined the homemade treat trend by contaminating it with bad stuff.  Not being able to create your own treats is a bummer but I have found some good options. You can consider buying some organic candy for the trick or treaters. I found some lollipops at our local organic grocer.  If you are in an area that does not offer organic candy I found a great site online that has some really cute Halloween lollipops http://www.organiccandy.com/index.html. If it’s not broke…  I found these absolutely perfect pencils from O’BON.  They are made out of recycled paper which means no trees were harmed just to make these pencils! They have stunning, non toxic animal prints on each pencil.  Check them out at: http://www.myobon.com/product/104010200 I had a great neighbour as a kid that would give my sister and me each $20.  We were so excited!  It is not in my budget to hand out a wad of cash to each child that comes to my door but I can definitely give them some change.  Why not give out a penny, nickel, dime or quarter?  $$ has more uses than any treat you can come up with! Happy Halloween and Safe Trick or Treating!

Reverse Trick or Treating

I will fully admit as a chocoholic I absolutely love Halloween, but really what a strange tradition!  We send our kids (who are trained not to take anything from strangers especially candy) door to door to a million houses to fill their bags with enough candy to induce a coma.  Strange, strange strange. I stumbled across Global Exchange’s Fair Trade Cocoa Campaign in search for something to make Halloween a bit more meaningful for my weaners.  I am so excited to introduce this concept to as many people as I can.  Your weaners will be given some fair trade chocolate with a card educating eaters of how to: end poverty among cocoa farmers, end forced/abusive child labour in the cocoa industry, promote fair trade, and protect the environment.  Really, what a great twist (and marketing tool!). Sign up before October 13th! https://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/703/t/9669/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=5154

Happy 2nd Eco Birthday!!

Our youngest Weaner is 2 today!! Huge Happy Birthday Baby Girl! If you are a real fan you would have read last year’s post, The Eco-Friendly Birthday. JK! This year’s birthday was a far cry from last years!  We had planned on doing an Enchanted Forest celebration outside and set up some camping tents with different stuffed animals BUT Mother Nature had a different plan for us! It was a mere 6 degrees celcius this weekend which forced  inside! I found it a lot more difficult to stick to the eco theme inside!! Here is how I bluffed my way through her second eco-birthday! Invitations: Once again I used the powerful force of www.evite.com! And once again I used a Tiny Tillia template, I absolutely LOVE those designs!! Check out the one I used (remember it was supposed to be an OUTDOOR party:) http://www.evite.com/app/invitations/create/event.do?template=dstillia_outdoorparty Don’t like evites? Try using plantable paper (like our inserts in a pack of Wean Cubes). I get the paper from a Canadian company, http://www.botanicalpaperworks.com/. They have AMAZING service and grow some awesome flowers. Activitues: I had planned on teaching the weaner’s how to play a couple different games but they did not need my help at all!! There was plenty to do and they had a blast chasing the cat, dancing around, singing, screaming, and did I mention screaming? Food & Decorations: The menu was rather abundant this year!!  We had everything from cheese and crackers to beef on a bun.  With all the food I was a bit concerned that the little weaners wouldn’t eat their veggies so I decided it would be best to make a little village of vegetable people. The vegetable people were great! I even shared a couple with the kids. Check out the tablecloth under the food, I had made sewn that for last year’s party and this was its 3rd appearance! It is such a great room decoration, there is really no need for anything else when you have a really bright crazy tablecloth! The cake is really my favorite part of any party.  This year the choice seemed so obvious as to what I was going to make.  Monkey for the monkey. She’s 2, need I say more? Loot Bag: Wean Cubes filled with the home made modelling dough (and one Wean Cube of Smarties, sorry mamas!) Check out the recipe for the modeling dough http://blog.weangreen.com/recipe-of-the-week-modelling-dough/ Presents: Same as last year. What?! You didn’t read that one:) I asked that everyone bring a donation to the CIBC Run for the Cure that Team Wean Green participates in. The girls each raise their own money and then participate in the run with us.  The smallest weaner has it a bit easy as she is comfortably seated atop three large wheels, next year we will let her run it! She did great and raised over $100 at her birthday party!! Huge thanks for the donations everyone! Did Mommy Cry: Although I had a blast, this picture sums up my day, […]

Top Ten Killers

I went to a Norwex party recently and found out that deodorant has actually been proven to cause cancer. I had been wearing deodorant every single day since the seventh grade. I began to question all the products in my make up case, and then my shower, I went on to my lotions, only to end up questioning all my personal care products.  I found this great article that outlines “Top 10 Most Common Harmful Ingredients Found in Personal Care Products”.  I recommend that you read this article! http://bestinbeauty.com/top-10-toxins.aspx

Lets Bring Back… GLASS MILK JUGS!

I love the idea of purchasing my organic milk in a re-usable glass milk jug! Why did they switch from glass to plastic? Lets do our part to bring this environmental idea back to life!!  The picture above is from a great American company, Shatto Milk Company.  They just get it! Check out this green is sexy blog post to read about why drinking out of plastic jugs is not sexy! Care to join my new movement? Start pestering your local grocer to bring it in! They can do anything 🙂 Here is where you can find some.  For my friendly neighbors check out mindfully.org’s list of Dairies Using Glass Bottles in US. You proud Canadians may have to search a little more!  I have contacted Dairy Farmers of Canada in hopes that they can help me in my search.  Do you know of some? Please send them my way! I promise a post will come soon with a Canadian list… until then…

Are you Organic Enough?

I had to post this on here just to get reactions! This chef has taken organic eating to a new level! His wife’s milk supply was so abundant one chef decided to start creating some cheese balls using this extra breast milk.  He started serving them up in his restaurant.  Crazy or good idea?  I am still too baffled to have an opinion 🙂 Read the whole article and let me know what you think… Chef at Chelsea restaurant offers customers a taste of cheese made from his wife’s breast milk – NYPOST.com.