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5 Green Products: Bee All Natural, Purely Elizabeth, Bon Ami, Hefty Basics, Medela

Posted Feb 13 2011 12:00am
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I love featuring companies owned and operated by mothers.   Bee All Natural is a company that uses organic, natural ingredients to make gentle products for your baby (and you).  All of the ingredients are food grade, so you don’t have to worry if your child ingests a little by sucking on a hand or foot that has been rubbed in oil or body butter.

The story of Michigan mom Rachel Nonis is great.  She grew up on an organic dairy farm, so organics were in her blood:

Bee All Natural was founded in 2009 when I couldn’t find the quality skincare products I was searching for.  Tired of buying “natural” products that were petroleum based and filled with perfumes, I set-out to develop my own skincare that would be safe for every member of my family.

The daughter of an organic dairy farmer ( ) I already believed in the connection between diet and health.  I wanted the products I chose for my family’s skincare to reflect the same quality and goodness as those that I chose for their nutrition.

Working independently, I researched, tested and developed each of my products from start to completion.  The ingredients are certified organic and are all “food grade” quality.  I make each product from scratch and never use pre-made bases.  Packaging each batch myself, I even design and print my own labels and carry each order to the post office or retail location!

We tried the following Bee All Natural products for babies.  They are also available in a fragrance-free, natural version:

Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Rosemary Extract, Vitamin E & Organic Lavender Essential Oil.

Ingredients: Organic Beeswax, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Lavender Essential Oil & Vitamin E.

Ingredients: Organic Avocado Oil and Organic Sunflower Oil (infused with Calendula Flower), Organic Lavender Essential Oil, Organic Rosemary Extract & Vitamin E.

Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Calendula Flower Powder, Organic Chamomile Powder, Organic Plantain Leaf Powder, Tamanu Oil, Vitamin E & Organic Lavender Essential Oil.

Ingredients: Organic Arrowroot Powder, White Kaolin Clay, Organic Lavender Flower Powder, Organic Calendula Flower Powder, Organic Chamomile Powder, Organic Plantain Leaf Powder & Organic Marshmallow Root Powder.

Would I buy these products?  Maybe. I’m on the fence because I really like these products and supporting a mom-owned business; however, I do not live in Michigan and do not like ordering things off the internet that I can shop for locally.

Although I don’t find it difficult to assemble the ingredients to make cookies, sometimes a cookie mix just makes life easier, especially when gluten-free. In my experience, some gluten-free recipes simply don’t work, so rather than waste my limited time on trying them, I was excited to try purely elizabeth’s cookie mix.

The classic cookie gets revamped. Our chocolate chip cookie mix uses vegan chocolate chips, roasted almond flour and coconut palm sugar to create mouth-watering soft-baked cookies oozing with gooey chocolate chips. Notes of caramel from the coconut palm sugar lend a rich, flavorful profile.  We guarantee you won’t stop with just one…Trust us.

Unfortunately, I found these cookies not to be what I expected. The batter was difficult to form into balls, and I ended up just plopping them on the cookie sheet instead. They took much longer to cook than recommended. In the end, the ones that were actually balled did turn out less crumbly than the plopped version.

My daughter really liked these cookies; however, her parents did not! There was a very strange after taste that lasted a very long time. I’m not sure what it was, but it was very unpleasant and even required teeth brushing!

Would I buy this product? No

One thing I love about Bon Ami is you can find it any grocery store. It is my green cleaning standby when I can’t shop at a health food store. Perhaps my nostalgia comes from using the product to clean the house we rented for my daughter’s home birth.

We tried the following three Bon Ami products:

  • Bon Ami Liquid Cleanser
  • Bon Ami Dish Soap

    Bon Ami dish soap uses naturally derived ingredients. Gentle and effective; tough on greasy dishes. Will not harm the environment; does not contain phosphates or chlorine.

  • Would I buy these products?  Yes.  The company that has been making natural home cleaning products since 1886.  Our great grandmothers knew how to clean naturally!  Beside, Bon Ami products are much cheaper than most green cleaning products!

    I don’t believe in paper plates. As a family, we travel to potlucks, BBQs, and parties with out own set of plates and utensils (including cloth napkins); however, I do recognize paper plates are part of American culture. I also have some trepidation about reviewing a product from Hefty, as I can’t get out my mind TV commercials of plastic bags and my suspicions about major corporations. I do not know of any major environmental crimes committed by Hefty, like a reader pointed out when we reviewed Marcal recycled paper towels .

    Hefty Basics Paper Plates are not bleached super white, and their claim to green fame is they are compostable.  Not knowing for sure what process/chemicals are used for making them, I am not sure I would throw them in my compost pile used to grow food in the family garden.

    Ironically, even though Hefty is touting these plates as environmentally-friendly, they claim on their website that foam plates are better:

    Maybe you’ve heard some myths about foam and paper plates, and their impact on the environment. When thinking about a product and its impact on the environment, it is important to think about its entire lifecycle. The real environmental impact of a product must be measured from the point of acquiring the materials of which it is comprised all the way through the product’s disposal.

    Foam plates actually carry a SMALLER environmental footprint than paper plates of comparable functionality (i.e. comparable paper plates).

    These paper plates are made in the USA.  Hefty has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation with this product.

    Would I buy this product?  No. As mentioned above, I avoid paper plates.  On the rare occasion in which I have purchased paper plates, I have chosen Stalkmarket made from biodegradable sugar cane fiber and with a guaranteed “contaminant-free manufacturing process”.

    As an exclusive breastfeeding mother, I never thought I would need a breast pump. I had a job where my babies came to work with me, and I never fell for the logic that pumping would allow the father to bond better by allowing him to feed the baby too.

    There were two times I needed a breast pump with my children: weaning (to relieve engorgement) and when my son required open heart surgery and took the breast milk challenge .  For my son, I thankfully had the  Medela Pump in Style , although not the updated version.

    The versatile, PVC-free, black microfiber tote contains everything moms need for fast and easy pumping. This includes the built-in Pump in Style Advanced, a daily-use breastpump that features 2-Phase Expression® Technology, which mimics baby’s natural nursing pattern to produce more milk in less time. It also comes with a number of pumping accessories, such as a double pumping kit with PersonalFit™ breastshields and a battery power option that lets moms pump anywhere, anytime.

    Based on feedback from pumping moms, the On-The-Go tote incorporates smart features that add value and convenience to a mom’s pumping routine. Outer pockets keep breastmilk bottles secure while preparing to pump and while cleaning up after pumping.  Plus, a separate easy-access pocket allows for quick tubing storage and organization between pumping sessions.

    Additionally, the On-The-Go tote features a PVC-free cooler and contoured icepack to keep breastmilk cool for up to 12 hours, as well as four breastmilk bottles with lids, one wide base nipple and one travel cap. All Medela products that come into contact with breastmilk are Bisphenol A-free.

    It also comes with a 9v car adaptor.  I know it sounds strange to be pumping in the car, but I found myself doing it on a few occasions in the hospital parking garage.

    Would I buy this product?  Yes. It is quite an investment, but you can’t beat this breast pump for convenience and comfort.  The hand pumps are torture.  Besides, the IRS has finally agreed that breast pumps are tax-deductible .
    Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples, unless noted differently in the review. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

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