Are You Unintentionally Supporting False Organic Brands?

Continue Reading Full Article →

Fake organic labelling undermines the companies who really care, dilutes the growth of the organic sector and compromises the health of people and planet. As consumers we need to do our best to boycott companies guilty of greenwash.

A recent report published by The Soil Association reveals that Organic is steadily working its way into the mainstream. With the growth of global organic sales up 25% in the past three years and sales of certified organic health and beauty products increasing in 2013 by 5.6% to £31.8 million in the UK, the importance of organic products in the mind of the average consumer is demonstrably on the rise….

Read Full Article

Aromatic Infusions – Luxurious Gifts for Mom (or Yourself)

Continue Reading Full Article →

If you’re heading to the Des Moines Farmers Market tomorrow, be sure to stop by Candi Karsjens’ booth: #N208 2nd Ave. and Court. You’ll find her selling items that we’re quite smitten with here at Blue Planet Green Living. Your mom, grandma, or aunt will likely be, too. (It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday, if you didn’t get my hint.)

In my last post, I wrote about UpCycled Style, glasses, vases, and more that Karsjens makes from repurposed wine and liquor bottles. But that’s only one of her product lines. She also sells pleasantly fragrant, hand-crafted soap and candle items that even this scent-free-workplace advocate can love….

Read Full Article

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Natural Soaps

Continue Reading Full Article →

Soap: Laundry soap, dish soap, hand soap, body soap, shampoo. Until I thought about it, I never realized how much soap I bought and used on a regular basis.

What if I started making all these different types of soap at home? With The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Natural Soaps by Sally W. Trew and Zonella B. Gould, I not only learned how to make the household product, but how to do it in an environmentally conscious way.

Homemade natural soaps have tons of benefits compared to commercial soaps….

Read Full Article

Naturally Fresh Deodorants – Odor Protection without Health Risks

Continue Reading Full Article →

When you work at a busy Mexican restaurant with a broken air conditioning system in the middle of summer, you worry about sweat and body odor.

So I was really nervous when I tested Naturally Fresh Deodorant Crystal in Tropical Breeze before a hectic weekend shift. I normally return from work covered in my own blood, sweat, and tears, and other people’s chili con queso. I need a deodorant that works.

I had my doubts about the product because, though I’ve eco-tized most of my toiletries, I haven’t been able to give up my tough Sure brand deodorant/antiperspirant that I buy from the drugstore. I’m so paranoid about sweat and bad odor that I ignore the warnings about aluminum, the active ingredient in traditional deodorant/antiperspirant.

But I was really surprised by Naturally Fresh….

Read Full Article

Take the Itch Away with Motherlove Green Salve

Continue Reading Full Article →

Last week, I was sitting at my computer alternately scratching my first mosquito bite of the season and trying to page through my emails. No stranger to itching, I had remnants of poison ivy dotting my left knee. My second case of poison ivy so far this summer, darn it all.

And even though symptoms of my annual battle with the toxic vine are lessening each year thanks to a concoction my pharmacist sells, the itching is enough to drive me somewhat mad.

So, when the following email came up on my screen, it immediately caught my attention:

“I’m writing on behalf of summer and all things itchy and scratchy. Figuring Iowa is full of mosquitoes after all the 4th of July rain, I’m reaching out to see if you’d be interested in reviewing the Green Salve from Motherlove Herbal Company. It’s saving our skin over in Wisconsin. Thanks!

Julie — the new Blog Review Mother for Motherlove Herbal Company”

No way I’d turn down that offer. I immediately wrote back….

Read Full Article

Wicked Fresh! Toothpaste Saves Your Breath (& Your Friends)

Continue Reading Full Article →

Go on, admit it. You’ve had bad breath — and on more than one occasion. If you were lucky, you figured it out yourself and quickly brushed or rinsed or even chewed some gum. Or maybe a family member had the kindness to tell you before you went out in public. Worst-case scenario, you didn’t figure it out until people started backing away or covering their noses.

It’s an embarrassing situation, and I’m pretty confident when I say we’ve all been there. (If you think you haven’t, be really brave and ask someone who loves you enough to tell the truth.)

Tom’s of Maine is known for making quality natural products, and their toothpaste is no exception. Their new Wicked Fresh! fluoride toothpaste is specially designed to fight bad breath caused by VSCs — volatile sulfur compounds — created by bacteria in your mouth.

Read Full Article

Radius Scores with Source Toothbrush and Natural Floss

Continue Reading Full Article →

How many times a day do you brush your teeth? If you follow the advice of WebMD, you’ll brush twice a day – morning and night. (You’ll also floss once a day.) So, in a given year, you’re brushing at least 730 times. But when you count the strokes of the toothbrush in your mouth, you’re talking about a number in the thousands. Doesn’t it just make sense that you’d use high-quality tools for something you do so often to protect your oral health?

For years I’ve used whatever toothbrush my dentist gave me at my semi-annual checkups and with replacements from my local drugstore in between visits. They’re fine toothbrushes. Soft bristles. An relatively comfortable handle. Colorful and sometime even fancy, but certainly serviceable. And until recently, I thought of them all as disposable.

When I received a free sample of the Radius Source toothbrush, I got a whole new experience with dental hygiene. Once out of the package, its unique, molded shape fit my right hand perfectly….

Read Full Article

My Deodorant Is a Stainless Steel Bar

Continue Reading Full Article →

When the public relations rep for De Odor Works contacted me to try their new deodorant bar made of stainless steel, I was skeptical, but willing. After all, I’ve seen concerns in the media about the connection between deodorants/antiperspirants and everything from Alzheimer’s disease to breast cancer to kidney disease. So, trying a deodorant that doesn’t have chemicals in it seemed like a good idea.

But let’s talk about the difference between a deodorant and an antiperspirant. Sweat itself doesn’t smell. So sweat is not the enemy. Your body — and mine — has several kinds of bacteria that live on the skin, and some of those cause odors. It’s not the bacteria themselves that smell, either, but the waste products they produce after eating those sweat-laden, dead skin cells then “breaking down protein into certain acids,” according to Medical News Today.

So, the upshot is that we don’t really need to prevent sweating, we need to prevent the bacteria from excreting their foul-smelling waste products on our skin. That’s what De Odor Works, manufactured by Abbott Research Group, Inc., is supposed to do. “Its secret,” Abbott Research Group says, “is the unique reaction that occurs when ordinary running tap water and stainless steel combine to neutralize odor. Using stainless steel with running water is a recognized method of eliminating the volatile sulfur compounds (VSC) that cause odor. Stainless steel is biocompatible to human tissue, so you can use De Odor Works anywhere on your body without any adverse effects.”…

Read Full Article

Wembe Soaps – The “Wild Spirit of the Rainforest”

Continue Reading Full Article →

Get “the wild spirit of the rainforest,” says Wembé about their handmade soaps. Each soap is crafted using plants native to Paraguay. The company sells 15 varieties of the Wembé soaps, ranging in price from $7.00 for the Coconut Exfoliating Blend to $10.85 for the Black Clay Exfoliating Blend.

I tested the Yerba Mate exfoliating blend, Green Blue River exfoliating blend, and White Rose cleansing blend. They all smelled beautiful and instantly softened my hands. Plus, they’re natural and made from organic ingredients. None of the soaps contain silicone, petroleum products, parabens, sulfates, or synthetic fragrances and dyes.

The soaps’ outer packagings were so pretty, I didn’t want to open them at first. When I did, I found one of the most unique products I’ve ever seen. The interesting swirls of color make the soaps look like they came directly from the rainforest. Since they’re natural and handmade, they all vary in shape and size, though the standard weight is 3.75 ounces.

The Yerba Mate soap is vegan and rich in antioxidants. It contains essential oils, exotic weeds, and crushed yerba mate leaves. Plus, its ability to exfoliate the leftover winter dryness from my hands will make it an Iowa essential for the upcoming December and January months. The cost of the Yerba Mate bar is $9.45 for 3.75 ounces….

Read Full Article

Desert Essence Organics Hand Wash – “Clear Skin, Clear Conscience”

Continue Reading Full Article →

“Where can I get this?” my 90-year-old mother-in-law asked. She was washing her hands with the complimentary sample of Desert Essence Organics Hand Wash I had received from the company. “I like this soap!” she said.

I smiled. “Yeah, I like it too, Lucille.”

“Really, where can I get some?” more forceful this time. She wanted me to know that she really meant it.

That’s high praise from Lucille. For several months, Joe and I have been helping care for his mom part of every week since she broke her wrist in October. We’ve assisted her with countless hand washings, shampoos, and showers. This was the first time she had applauded a product that we had used in her care. And, boy, did she say it with enthusiasm! …

Read Full Article

3 Products We Love for Skin, Face, and Hair

Continue Reading Full Article →

Today’s post is a review of three products for body, face, and hair that I’ve come to love: Avalon Organics Olive & Grape Seed Fragrance Free Hand & Body Lotion, Sweet Skin by Sweet Wheat, and Moroccanoil.

Just to be clear, we won’t review a product if we don’t like it enough to say positive things. (Has that happened? You bet it has. But those products shall remain nameless; there’s already too much negativity in the world.) If we get a product as a free sample, we’ll tell you so. Otherwise, you can be confident that we paid for them, just like any other consumer would. And that’s the case with all three products today: We bought them.

Read Full Article

Clean Body – The Humble Art of Zen-Cleansing Yourself

Continue Reading Full Article →

If you enjoy tongue-in-cheek humor and are looking for practical cleaning tips using old-fashioned ingredients, Clean Body will provide you with a full ration of both. Author Michael DeJong, a self-described “clean freak,” takes readers back to the absolute basics of cleanliness (he actually describes how to wash your hands) with five simple ingredients….

Read Full Article

Are Those Personal Care Products Safe to Use?

Continue Reading Full Article →

Despite Joe’s firm stance on not keeping things we haven’t used in a year or longer, I have a stash of half-used bottles of hair care products and a box full of makeup that qualifies as an archaeological dig site. The items were useful in their day. Then, for whatever reason, I moved on, rejecting each product like a lover fallen out of favor. I can’t very well pass them along through FreeCycle — no one wants someone else’s quarter bottle of shampoo or half-used blush. And I don’t want to send them to a landfill to spend eternity. So, I’ve been doing my best to use them up…

Read Full Article