Young Families Help Protect the Planet


Today’s new crop of youngsters will not remember a time when protecting the planet wasn’t a part of the regular routine. Saving water, recycling materials, composting scraps, and finding ways to preserve electricity usage are now common parts of daily life in many households across America, and this means families are using more earth-friendly products as well.

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.

Miracle Mittens Warm and Soothe

Miracle Mittens
Winter can be tough on the hands; this is particularly true for anyone who has a condition that affects the circulation or causes pain in the fingers or wrist joints. When Mary Bevan was diagnosed with Reynaud’s syndrome, she knew she would have to take extra measures to keep her hands from getting cold. Reynaud’s syndrome is a condition that affects circulation to the extremities. When the fingers get cold, they can become numb and turn white, almost as though they are frostbitten.

Mary’s sister Vicky Berkey has always been handy with a needle and thread, so when she heard that Mary’s painful hands could be eased by extra-warm woolen gloves, she offered to make her a few pairs herself with sweater scraps she had around the house. That’s how Miracle Mittens was born.

Today, Mary and Vicky, along with a third sister, Nancy Lazarus, run Miracle Mittens as a team. Together, they utilize recycled sweaters to create adorable, cozy hand-wear (along with pillows and other novelties) for adults and children alike. Some of the designs offer a classic ski-lodge look, while others embrace the trendy animal faces that kids love so much. Whatever the style, Miracle Mittens are a warm – and eco-friendly – way to enjoy blustery days.

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Skylar Luna Gets Kids Ready for Bed

Skylar Luna
Bedtime is the part of a child’s day that has been addressed the most in music, art, and literature. It’s also a hot topic for parents. Methods of getting a child to sleep on time, to sleep through the night, or to sleep at all are all remedies parents seek. Many experts believe that a solid, comforting routine is key to getting a child to cooperate at bedtime. That routine usually includes a bath, a book or soothing music, the right lighting… yes, getting a child to sleep is all about the ambience, and comfortable sleepwear can play a big role in creating a cozy nighttime atmosphere.

Wen Reese, founder and CEO of Skylar Luna, knows how important comfort is when dressing a child for bed. Her California-based company makes soft, easygoing nightwear for children out of natural fabrics. In 2007, Wen moved on from her career as a risk management consultant to pursue her talent for fashion and design. Drawing from her family’s history of running textile factories, Wen developed both the Skylar children’s clothing line and Skylar Luna, the sleep line.

Skylar Luna sleepwear comes in classic children’s prints and features comfortable, organic cotton fabric and flat seams, so even little ones with sensitive skin can enjoy the feel of these cuddly jammies:

Zodiac Baby Follows the Stars

Zodiac Baby
Thanks in part to an increased focus on natural and earth-friendly ingredients; many parents today are turning to alternatives to major brand name baby care products. There’s a wide variety of natural baby shampoos, conditioners, body lotions and other toiletries available, so it can be a little difficult for parents to narrow down their choices. Often, it comes down to that little extra “something” that lends the product more marketability and gives it increased meaning.

Zodiac Baby offers children’s skincare and hair care products made from 99% natural ingredients that are phthalate-free, sulphate-free and PH balanced, plus there’s an added twist : each formula is created to embody the characteristics of one of the signs of the zodiac. Each of the scents is unique, drawing upon herbal ingredients believed to be in harmony with each particular star sign.

Zodiac Baby’s founder, Teny Kureghian, studied astrology in order to get a better understanding of its impact on personality, preferences and lifestyle. And her spiritually-minded aspirations don’t end there; she also had a desire to lend a helping hand to children around the world, so she donates a portion of the proceeds from Zodiac Babies’ sales to global children’s health and wellness organizations.

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Squooshi Packs Nutritious Foods

Encouraging kids to eat healthy can be a challenge for many parents. Families are busier than ever, and it’s often tempting to fall for pre-packaged foods because of their convenience and their eye-catching packaging. But healthy food can come in fun containers too. Just ask Shannon Wren Waldis. Shannon is the founder of Squooshi, a line of reusable, squeezable food pouches for babies and children.

The inspiration for Squooshi came from Shannon’s son Reid. As a baby, Reid loved to eat food out of pouches, but Shannon felt bad about the nutritional content of many pouch-packaged baby foods as well as about disposable pouches’ impact on the environment. With the help of her father, Noel, Shannon created the phthalate-free, reusable, convenient pouches that eventually became Squooshi. Parents can fill Squooshi pouches with pureed fruits, cereals, yogurt, veggies and more for virtually endless variety. When little one is done eating, Squooshi can be washed and used again and again.

Squooshi pouches come in packs of 4, 6 or 8, featuring cute animal designs like lions, seals, birds and more. They’re dishwasher-safe and can be put in the freezer. All these great features make Squooshi a company that both parents and kids can feel good about:

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