Safe, effective, chemical-free sunscreen: 2011 UPDATE!

sunscrnWell, it isn’t often that I have to make an update so soon… I just sent everyone to Environmental Working Group’s list and rating of sunscreen products… and it’s JUST been updated again for 2011!

We know the concern with sunscreen is the presence of some nasty chemicals (that part certainly doesn’t change) but, like our ever changing lives, products get changed too and I would be remiss if I didn’t share the latest findings with you…

So here… without further ado is THE latest listing: EWG’s 2011 List of Suncreens!  Maybe you want to head right over to their Best Suncreens list… and hope that what you’ve been using didn’t make their Hall of Shame!

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program… get your BEST suncreen and GO PLAY!

How to choose safe, effective, chemical-free sunscreen!

sunshn(Okay, Mom Goes Green is BACK from my little Mother’s Day hiatus, so…) I’m now thinking summer! The kids have started the countdown to the final days of school and we’re ALL thinking summer fun, the pool, beach vacations and lots of outdoor time!

But every parent knows that fun-in-the-sun also means extra precautions to make sure our precious ones (ourselves included!) don’t get fried during “the fun part”, so sunscreen is sure to be a purchase in the very near future.

The concern with sunscreen is the presence of some nasty chemicals that we really don’t want to apply to our bodies daily, or even “frequently” for that matter (since they absorb into our skin and accumulate). Many are believed to cause hormone disruption, cell damage and allergies, amongst other things. They include vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), Oxybenzone, Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Mexoryl, Avobenzone… augh!… just a bunch of things that we could really do without!

So instead of laboring over labels and trying (sometimes in vane) to decipher the ingredients… (drumroll, please….)  Environmental Working Group has a list and rating of over 500 sunscreen products.  Believe me, it is much easier to find one on the “best” list and just know you have a good product to keep you safe from the sun AND the nasty chemicals.sunscrn

You can also look-up the products you have been using to see how they rate.

Last year (via this list!) I discovered a great product:  Blue Lizard.  It was fantastic and we didn’t have a burn in the bunch (or exposure to nasty chemicals!).  Fortunately, EWG has done most of the work for us, so the answers are just a few clicks away.

(Boy, I sure have come a long way from those teen-days when my friends and I applied baby oil(!) in HOPE of sizzling and frying!… WHAT were we thinking?!?)

Now check it out, buy some, slather on the good stuff and GO PLAY… summer is almost here!

Happy Mother’s Day (to Mother Earth too!)

hrt greenMother’s Day is a few days away! I could give you a long list of ideas but I happen to be a mom too(!) and I’m going to go easy on myself today (yes, I’m taking some time off!).

In the past years I’ve gotten everything from a “dogtag” necklace with my children’s names and birthdates (made of silver recycled from film {from Mommy Tags}) to a stainless steel water bottle to a rain barrel!!! (Who knew a barrel could be so exciting!)  This year I’ve asked for NOTHING! I have everything I could possibly need and the thing that makes me happiest is just spending time with my kids and husband.mom tgs

If you ARE still looking for ideas, I assembled a pretty decent list in my Valentine’s Day post and all are very appropriate for this holiday, so no need to reinvent the wheel.  But if you want those ideas just click here and take a gander.

For this Mother’s Day, whether you are being celebrated, celebrating your Mom or another special lady in your life, mother earthjust remember to keep Mother Earth in mind too. She is quite extraordinary and she shares her gifts with us every day of the year.  Just like all other moms, she never takes a break!

And finally, I wish a very truly Happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms who constantly join me on this journey… we all “work” so hard for our families and keep Mother Earth in mind all along the way too… and THAT is quite extraordinary as well!

Enjoy & I hope you feel the love…

Earth Hour 2011: The lights dimmed all over the world!

earth hr + 11I hope you participated in Earth Hour! On Saturday, March 26th, 2011, from 8:30-9:30 pm, lights did dim all over the world!

The Mom Goes Green family turned off the lights for the third year and this year was no less exciting.  We started our day with a visit to The Rainforest at our beloved Cleveland Metroparks Zoo to really kick-off a day of appreciation for our planet and the wonders of nature.  For dinner we stopped off at a local Indian restaurant to feast on cuisine from yet another part of our our world.  And when we got home our kids rushed to take nice short showers (water conservation, right?) before we got started.EH Lond

The lights went out, the soy candles were illuminated and our celebration began.

We were thrilled to once again look out at the Cleveland skyline from our backyard and see it mostly dark (Thank you, Cleveland!).  Our hour (which actually stretched to an hour and a half!) included venturing to every corner of the house and plenty of silliness along the way.  The kids’ flashlights (equipped with rechargeable batteries) were a great source for “The Shadow Puppet Show” and we snuggled under blankets on the floor to read stories from The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales.

EH EgyThis year’s Earth Hour had record participation (134 countries) and I wondered how many children from my kids’ school were participating with their families. Last week I sent home a notice with all 465 of them(!) announcing Earth Hour.  If they sign the pledge that says they participated, some of them will be randomly selected to win an eco-prize reward including BPA-free water bottles, pencils made from recycled newspapers and TerraCycle pencil bags (made from upcycled drink pouches)!

If you participated, you literally joined families from all around the globe… Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, Singapore, Beijing, Moscow, Sydney, Athens, Jakarta, Rio de Janeiro, Toronto, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Mexico City, Oslo, New York City, Abu Dhabi, Bucharest, Capetown, Mumbai and Cairo (just to name a few!). When else can you imagine these cities and countries banded together in a unified cause? Earth Hour brought the world together in support of our common thread… Planet Earth!

You can still experience the magnitude of this event.  Boston.com allows you to click the images and see the lights go off in locations around the world.  BuzzFeed shows you the before and after from 40 notable cities and AolNews gives you the grand tour of the entire spectacular event.EH NYC

Quite powerful, I’d say.

Now, let’s see what we can do to take this momentum and not allow this event to become just ONE hour in an entire year… what can you do to make every hour Earth Hour?

Earth Hour 2011: March 26 (can you spare the time?)

earth hr + 11I hope you’ve circled the date on your calendar! This Saturday, March 26th, 2011, from 8:30-9:30 pm is Earth Hour!

Earth Hour started in Sydney, Australia, in 2007, with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning off their lights for one hour as a “vote” FOR the earth, and a “vote” AGAINST global warming.  By 2010, this movement had grown to hundreds of millions of people, and even darkened the Sydney Opera House, Rome’s Colosseum, The Eiffel Tower in Paris, The Parthenon in Greece, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, the Las Vegas Strip, New York City’s Times Square and landmarks around the globe.

Last year people from all around the world switched off their lights in a unified vote because, regardless of where you live, we all depend on the same planet! This is the perfect time to turn off the lights, discuss global warming and the importance of “being green” as a family.  Consider taking actions to assure that we aren’t polluting our earth and overusing resources in our everyday lives.

For more information, go to www.earthhour.org and sign-up to be “officially” counted!

Need some inspiration?

Or want to know what we did last year?… click here

now…

Will you “vote” with me this year?