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Posts Tagged ‘Green

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Update 6/22/2012:  RIP Plum!  Too soon…  Good article here on why it failed.  I’m keeping this post up, because I still believe in the idea.  Interesting perspective in the article on why ThredUP works, too.

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Original Post Follows:

Here’s an interesting notion for parents wanting to live simply yet still deck their kids out in boutique clothing: rent it.

Plum is a new company that calls itself “Netflix for baby clothes.”  Subscribers pay a monthly fee to receive bundles of two, four, or seven outfits at a time by mail, sending them back when finished for a fresh set.  Bundles are packed in a resealable envelope for easy returns, and the subscription supports one free exchange per month.

Does this pencil out over buying new?  Pretty much – at least for the brands they’re touting (Tea Collection, Petit Bateau, Kate Quinn Organics…)  Let’s say you were dressing an infant for exactly three months, and could live with Plum’s seven outfit bundle on top of all the stuff you were gifted by friends and family.  That’s a $49/month subscription – about $150 for the 3 months.  By contrast, Tea Collection or Kate Quinn layette separates run about $30-35 a piece – which would total about $210-$245 for seven outfits if purchased new.

Plum’s no-hassle stain policy (no worries – they just donate it to charity) helps make the service an overall good value, especially if you’re just having one child of a particular gender (finally – a girl after three boys!), or are not the type to do the legwork of keeping stuff pristine for resale.  Parents of multiples can use it to supplement what they already have in the house, maybe giving that little girl four sweet outfits “of her own” each month (for $29) on top of the more gender-neutral stuff she can reuse from her brothers.  It’s also a fun gift for relatives or friends to consider – either one time, or recurring.

Plum is in a public beta at the moment, with a waitlist for new members.  But if it interests you, definitely sign up and keep your eyes on it.  A similar service is ThredUP, where families nation-wide swap used baby clothing for $15.95 a box.  ThredUP is a great idea for the mass market, but with brands tending to be a lot more mainstream – Carter’s, Old Navy, that sort of thing – the lack of selection can be frustrating to folks who prefer (and would post up in exchange) the kinds of brands that Plum is carrying.

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Editor’s Note: ThredUP has since added a Concierge service which helps get higher-end swappers into the game.

Gross – Bed Bugs!  This is thankfully an epidemic that shunned Portland as a potential winter get-a-way, but we keep hearing horror stories on the subject out of NYC.  A reader pointed us to a great green bed bug eliminator – Sleep Tite Bed Bug Spray from Fairy Tales Hair Care (makers of the popular Rosemary Repel lice treatment line).

Fairy Tales Hair Care Sleep Tite Bed Bug Spray

Photo Credit: fairytaleshaircare.com

According to Fairy Tales, 1 spray is 97% effective in killing a live bed bug in seconds!  Spray nightly for 2 weeks and then twice a week to control further outbreaks from newly hatched eggs; until you are confident they are gone.

Available in a 32 oz bottle ($19.95) and 1 gallon refill ($59.95) from Fairy Tales Hair Care.  New Yorkers, share this link with your favorite eco-baby boutiques so you can get it locally!  Sleep tight…

Does the topic of lice leave you scratching your head?  Don’t stop reading just because you don’t have lice…yet!  Happyheads has a great set of earth-and-child-friendly lice-fighting products to use at all stages of a lousy problem.  Think of it as the haircare version of a fire extinguisher – fingers crossed you won’t ever need it, but won’t it be a relief that you had one in the house?

Happyheads Bye Bye Lice Kit

Photo Credit: happyheadsLLC

The Bye-Bye Lice Kit (pictured) is a comprehensive head lice treatment & prevention kit for the whole family.  Pesticide-free and non-toxic, the kit includes:

  • Happyheads Bye-Bye Lice Nontoxic Shampoo (8 oz, 16 applications)
  • Happyheads Bye-Bye Lice Conditioner & Combing Solution (8 oz)
  • Happyheads Bye-Bye Lice All Natural Oil (0.3 oz)
  • Happyheads Bye-Bye Lice Nontoxic Spray (2 oz)
  • Metal Nit Removal Comb (with combing demo available online)
  • 4 Plastic Caps
  • Step-by-step guide for eradicating head lice for good

The shampoo contains a patented formula of enzymes that break down the exoskeleton of the insect, causing it to perish.  The conditioner helps soften hair so the nits are easier to comb out.

Overall, we’re impressed.  Happyheads Bye Bye Lice Kit is a simple, family-friendly solution based on good science instead of the harsh chemical tonics previously available.  The comprehensive treatment and prevention kit (recommended) is a little steep at $59.99, but we bet you’d easily spend that, grabbing anything you could get your hands on in a panicked rush at CVS after diagnosing the problem.  We prefer this tidy little package, with quality essentials thoughtfully pre-assembled.

Also check out Happyheads’ Scootie-Cootie line of preventative shampoo, leave-in conditioner, and hair gel, available in a Bye Bye Lice School Kid Prevention Kit for $38.99.

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UPDATE FEB 2011:

Thought I’d leave a quick update for you all, based on a lice scare we had at my daughter’s preschool recently.  One of our classmates (who has *great* hair, by the way) had an older brother with lice, and eventually reported some himself one day.  I was really excited to have Happyheads Bye Bye Lice Kit in the bathroom closet, and gave both my kids a preventative shampooing that same evening.  Our classmate’s family was really great about checking for nits each morning and keeping their little guy home when they had flare-ups (it took them weeks to conquer using the traditional stuff, which you can only apply once or twice a week), and I just kept spritzing heads on the way out the door, and substituting Happyheads for regular shampoo.  I thought about passing my kit along to see if it worked for the other family, but when push came to shove, I wanted it for myself!!!  Smelled great, and the kids didn’t even notice they were being treated with anything special.  Highly recommend buying a Happyheads kit to have on hand – it was so nice not to feel like I had to run out to the store and make a hasty decision based on whatever was available.

At GaGaGear, we maintain that one of the most ecological choices a parent can make, from decorating the nursery right down to dressing the child, is buying quality.  Quality products will hold up through countless cycles of intended use, can be proudly passed down to family and friends, and are a best bet in resale situations.

Among the hardest quality items to keep in best repair are children’s clothes, notably fabrics.  Buttons can be mended, zippers replaced…but a serving of oily pasta hiding in the lap of your daughter’s favorite Tea Collection pants can instantly ruin them for resale.  The worst part is, these everyday food stains don’t ever seem to register until very late in the game – usually after being laundered at least once, where they’ve had time not only to set but to be perma-pressed right into the fibers.

After years of frustrated repeat laundering and stain-treating, we set off in search of a powerful yet eco-friendly stain fighting regimen to keep our toddlers’ togs tip-top.  We turned to EcoMom CEO and Co-Founder Jody Sherman for a recommendation, and were delighted to receive a testing sample of Pocket Charlie’s stain spray – from Sutherland Products, makers of green laundry hero product Charlie’s Soap.

Pocket Charlie's

Photo Credit: ecomom.com

At first, we were skeptical – the 4 oz. spray smelled a bit like car windshield washing fluid, and was simply marked “Safe for the environment / Safe for anything washable.”  Our anything hadn’t been washable – and we’d even tried to Shout it out – but we crossed our fingers and gave Pocket Charlie’s a try.

We absolutely amazed at the results.  Pasta, milk, and fruit stains…grass stains…mystery stains…even very old stains that had borne repeated washings – Pocket Charlie’s disappeared them all.

What is this magical stuff?  From the EcoMom site: Charlie’s Soap All-Purpose Cleaner is friendly to all earth, air, and marine life because it contains only the purest, most biodegradable, natural ingredients. It contains NO lye, NO phosphates, NO bleach, NO brighteners, NO dyes, NO softeners, NO petroleum, NO fillers, and NO perfume. From the Sutherland Products site: [Charlie’s is] a multi-surface cleaning agent, developed for hands-on cleaning of industrial machinery.

Hmm.  Well, toddler grime and machine grime – maybe not so different after all.  The point is, it’s a fabulous multi-purpose stain fighter, and a new must for eco-friendly laundering.  Five stars!  And only $5.99 with free shipping from EcoMom.com

First time ordering at EcoMom?  Enter GaGaGear’s exclusive code SBBL254 for a one-time discount of 15% – through Aug 31, 2010.

Lastly – if you are interested in further greening your home, EcoMom also has a great program called EcoPass – for a $99 annual membership, EcoPass holders receive a 15% discount on every order, as well as free shipping with no $75 minimum requirement.  For the month of July, you can buy EcoPass one time – for life! See the web site for details.

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Disclaimer:  GaGaGear received one 4 oz. free sample of Pocket Charlie’s from EcoMom, following our non-solicited inquiry into recommended eco-friendly stain-fighting products.  We are not affiliated with EcoMom, and were not compensated in any way for reviewing this product.  Our opinions are entirely our own.



    • JHeff: I have read a good number of comments about most users of the boba not really ever using the foot rests. Looking at the videos I've seen, the back on
    • Mama GaGa: Oh, boo! Thanks for the manufacturing update - I will make note in the post. Cheers - MG
    • Cathy: I know this is a couple years old but I ran across this post and was so excited when you said the Boba was made in America - a big selling point for m

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