Feature Articles: The Green Scene

Making wise use of our resources is a necessity, and necessity is the mother of invention. The green trend seems to be reviving grass roots entrepreneurship and small, local businesses because handmade, unique products are gaining ground over mass-produced items. You no longer need a big factory to produce a best-selling children’s toy or clothing item; all you need are starting resources, natural materials, and a great idea. The following companies have all the right components: Miracle Mittens, Skylar Luna, Zodiac Baby and Squooshi.

Once upon a time, a family had a daughter, Solvej, for whom they wanted the most perfect home swing possible. The result was Solvej Swings from Holmsäter that brings stunning Scandinavian design, quality and style into swing sets. There are different swings suitable for kids from about six months to six years, all masterfully crafted of top quality materials and now available to retailers in the U.S.

Sweet and simple but with a little edge. At first, these sound like opposing concepts, but closer examination shows they can exist in a delightfully complementary way. The designers at Go Gently Baby want to express their respect for Mother Earth, so they only use certified organic fabrics, dyes, water-based inks and sustainable materials in their offerings. New looks include the simple chic of the Raw Edge Bow Pullover and Fleece Pullover Dress. The nature-loving Girl and Fawn image appears on many items, expressing kindness to all living things.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, millions of people suffer from sensitive skin issues. Kids are especially vulnerable to their environment. Unfortunately, products or medicines designed to treat a health issue can become a problem on their own. While no one can dispute the wonders of modern medicine, families are always on the lookout for products that are natural and have been proven to be safe. Companies like Canus are delivering quality products that every member of the family can feel good about using.

Curious little fingers want to see what it’s like to get all made up, just like mom, grandma, or an older sister. The mysterious allure of cosmetics lies not only in their ability to change appearance, but also in the delightful rainbow of colors available. While little girls are interested in the colors, parents are concerned about their children growing up too fast. Plus, families are growing more knowledgeable about the chemicals affecting their bodies. Companies like Kiss Naturals, Little BU, Mini-Play Makeup, and Earth’s Beauty are helping parents and kids find a happy medium.

Most children of the ‘70s and ‘80s have memories of the giant blow-up bop toys that were so popular. Bop toys are still around today, but now more and more parents are disappointed with these kinds of playthings because of the unnatural materials contained in them. Pueri Elemental is a company that offers earth-friendly toy choices for kids. Their Eco-Bonk line leaves the bop toys of old in the dust by introducing new and improved designs and ecologically sustainable materials.

It is an age-old and unmentionable problem left to whispers, furtive hand-waves and speedy bathroom exits. Poo-Pourri tackles bathroom odors nose-on, with products that leave nothing behind but a sweet scent. Fit for boutiques and the toniest of bathrooms, Poo-Pourri products are useful at home, offices or on the road. Environmentally and septic tank friendly, Poo-Pourri isn’t just a temporary cover-up. Essential oils like rose, lemongrass and jasmine combine in a patent-pending formula to not just cover up the smell. The innovatively packaged product actually creates a protective barrier to keep the bathroom smells in the water, not the air.

Earth Day isn’t all about singing and turning off lights; it’s also about buying earth-friendly products all year long. Help the world and clean your shelves with these natural items. Want to offer diaper bags as hot as handbags? Evie Bett bags are cool in croc while being vegan-friendly. With the green start® line by innovativeKids, parents can make good decisions without sacrificing fun. Say an earthy “heyyy” to Hello Kitty muslin swaddles, towels, blankets and bibs through a joint effort of aden + anais and Sanrio. Never has “batteries not included” been as welcome as it is with Pure Play toys. Kids can make their own fun while parents can bask in noise-free sun.

Every year on April 22, more than one billion people take part in celebrating Earth Day. Across the globe, individuals, communities, organizations, and governments acknowledge our planet and take action to protect it. Earth Day gets many thinking about their carbon footprint, and no footprint seems bigger than clothing, shoes and beauty products. Upcycled fashion goes upscale with Kallio, where vintage clothing is collected and repurposed into chic children’s clothing; better beauty is a matter of herbs and essential oils at Matter Company; Bento licenses the newest in ecowear with Carta Vetrata; and Oh Baby! provides oh-so-sweet organic cotton outfits and accessories for kids of all ages.