Why I Switched To a Menstrual Cup and You Should Too

Why I Switched To A Menstrual Cup | The Organic Beauty Blog

I’ll be the first to admit, I was super slow and reticent to get on the menstrual cup bandwagon. After an ill-fated attempt at using one in college, I was convinced that my flow was just too heavy and my anatomy just wasn’t suited for this miraculous tool.

But alas, I was so wrong!

After years of cramps, leaks, landfill guilt, and more unsavory side effects, I was ready to give the menstrual cup another try.  And I am happy to say I am NEVER going back.

The benefits of using a menstrual cup are many and varied, but these 5 are the biggies to make the switch.

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What to Pack for Your Natural Birth

As I learned from my somewhat unexpected birth experience (which you can read all about here), the key to a more pleasant and confident birth experience is to be prepared for what may come. We were planning on a birth center birth, and were adamantly against the hospital. As it turned out, we had a bit of both.. What both experiences had in common was our desire for a natural birth, and in retrospect, I am so grateful that we thought to pack the tools necessary for the birth we wanted, both at a birth center, and at the hospital.  I did plenty of research to make sure everything I brough with me was as natural, healthy, and safe as possible, both for myself and for my new baby! Here are your must-have’s for your natural birth, wherever it may be*:

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Last Minute Green Gifts for the Design Lover + Giveaway!

Maybe it’s a remnant from my late pregnancy nesting days, but lately, all I have my eye on are awesome design-y gifts for the home.  These great gifts are easy to obtain last minute, and will delight pretty much anyone on your list, design lover or not. And best of all, you can feel good about gifting these sustainable, green goodies that are good for the environment and the ones you love!

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Sustainable Organic Nursery Collab with Havenly!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

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From the moment we moved into our lovely new home in Santa Monica, I became preoccupied with setting up our little girl’s nursery. I had my design ideas (check out my original inspiration board) and of course Pinterest, where I clarified my vision; I had my intentions of creating a sustainable, non-toxic and eco-friendly nursery befitting an Organic Beauty baby, but getting started, and pulling the whole thing together was proving to be a much bigger challenge than I had expected.

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Best Organic Beauty Products of 2012

It’s that time of year again!  We are so lucky to have been able to try some of the best in organic and natural beauty and self-care products, and we’re thrilled to present the Organic Beauty Talk Best in Green 2012 Award Winners, featuring so many of our favorite brands.  A lot of these products and brands are featured in our ebook, Four Steps to Naturalizing Your Life, which you can download for free by signing up for our newsletter!

Using healthy, natural products for your skin, hair, body, and home is just as important as what you eat and how often you work out.  And by using the products below, you don’t have to sacrifice effectiveness or ease of use!

Have a favorite from the list below?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Face

  • Best Natural Facial Line for Problem Skin – S.W. Basics (formerly Sprout Skincare, $24-$32)
  • Best Natural Facial Line for Normal & Dry Skin – Grateful Body ($22-$36)
  • Best Natural Facial Line for Sensitive Skin (can also be used on all skin types including blemish-prone) – Pai ($35-$55)
  • Best Holistic Facial Line for Normal & Dry Skin – Dr. Hauschka ($26.95-$89.95)
  • Best Organic Anti-Aging Facial Line – Intelligent Nutrients ($24-$55)
  • Best Organic Facial Line (including sensitive and blemish-prone skin) – Spiezia ($37.50-$85)
  • Best Natural Value Facial Line – Zum Face ($9.50-$24)
  • Best Up & Coming Natural Facial Lines – Sequoia Beauty ($24-$50) & Stark Skincare ($22-$48)
  • Best Natural Face Moisturizer – Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer ($100) & Izlla Fresh Sweet Carrot Facial Day Creme ($29.95)
  • Best Organic Facial Scrub – HollyBeth Organics Grits & Honey Scrub ($25)
  • Best Natural Facial Mask – La Bella Figura ($60)
  • Best Natural Face Serum – Lina Hanson Global Face Serum ($85)
  • Best Natural Eye Cream – 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream ($19) & Tata Harper Restorative Eye Treatment ($90)
  • Best Natural Facial Sunscreen – Erbaviva Sunscreen SPF 30 ($22)

 

Makeup

  • Best Natural Mineral Makeup Line – Alima Pure ($11-$22)
  • Best Natural Liquid Foundation – Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation ($48)
  • Best Natural Luxury Makeup Line – Kjaer Weis ($44-$54)
  • Best Natural Tinted Moisturizer – 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer ($32)
  • Best Natural Bronzer – 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Bronzer ($25)
  • Best Natural Creme Blush – Youngblood Luminous Creme Blush ($27)
  • Best Natural Eyeliner – Lavera Soft Eyeliner ($14.50)
  • Best Natural Mascara – Josie Maran GoGo Instant Volume Argan Mascara ($22)
  • Best Natural Lip Color – 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze ($15) & Ilia Beauty ($24)
  • Best Organic Lip Gloss – Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Lip Delivery Antioxidant Gloss ($24)
  • Best Natural Lip Exfoliator – Ilia Beauty Balmy Nights ($24)
  • Best Natural Multi-Stick – Ilia Beauty ($34)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Makeup Brushes – EcoTools (6.99-$15.99)
  • Best Natural Makeup Remover – Desert Essence Jojoba Oil ($5.89)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Nail Polish – butter LONDON ($14) & Priti NYC ($13.50)

 

Body

  • Best Organic Body Bar Soap – Dr. Bronner’s Soap ($3.99)
  • Best Organic Luxury Body Bar Soap – Osmia Organics Handmade Bar Soap ($12)
  • Best Natural Body Wash – Patyka Absolis Body Wash ($45)
  • Best Natural Body Oil – Indie Lee Moisturizing Oil ($34)
  • Best Natural Body Lotion – HollyBeth Organics Geranium Jasmine Lavender Body Lotion ($37)
  • Best Natural Value Hand & Body Lotion – Jason Vanilla Hand & Body Lotion ($5.79)
  • Best Natural Body Butter – Moksa Organics Body Butter ($16)
  • Best Natural Body Scrub – Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub ($42)
  • Best Natural Hand Soap – Avalon Organics Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap ($4.89)
  • Best Natural Hand Cream – Weleda Pomegranate Hand Cream ($12.50)
  • Best Natural Value Body Care Line – Deep Steep ($6.95-$10.95)
  • Best Spa Private Label Line – St. Julien Spa
  • Best Natural Perfume – Tsi-La Organics ($38-$95)
  • Best Natural Solid Perfume – Ituri ($30)
  • Best Natural Deodorant Cream – Soapwalla Natural Deodorant Cream ($12)
  • Best Natural Deodorant Spray – Blissoma Natural Deodorant Spray ($10.99)
  • Best Natural Sunscreen – Soleil Organique ($18-$55)
  • Best Natural Cure-All – Pratima Healing Neem Oil ($29)
  • Best Natural Essential Oils – Mountain Rose Herbs Essential Oils ($1.75-$45)

 

Hair

  • Best Natural Shampoo & Conditioner – Acure Organics ($10)
  • Best Natural Hair Styling Products – Intelligent Nutrients ($12-29)
  • Best Natural Styling Products for Kinky, Curly & Wavy Hair (including color treated hair) – Shea Radiance ($16-$18)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Must-Have Product for Curly Hair – CURL-ease ($19.99)

 

Men

  • Best Natural Facial & Shave Line for Men – John Masters Organics Men ($22-$28) & Ursa Major ($24-$36)
  • Best Holistic Organic Line for Men – Dr. Alkaitis ($40-$80)
  • Best Ingrown Hair & Bump Preventer – SheaMoisture Tea Tree Herbal Bump Preventer ($9.99)
  • Best Natural Fragrance for Men – Tallulah Jane Yiska Natural Eau De Parfum Pour Homme ($48)

 

Children

  • Best Natural Lines for Children/Baby – Erbaviva ($10-$22) & Weleda ($7-$17)
  • Best Natural Line for Ethnically Diverse Children – Cara B Naturally ($8-$10)
  • Best Natural Sunscreen for Children/Baby – Erbaviva Sunscreen SPF 15 ($22) & Alba Botanica Kids SPF 45 Sunblock ($5.16)

 

Fashion

  • Best Eco-Friendly Clothing Line for Men – Threads For Thought ($14-$268)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Basics for Women – Threads For Thought ($10-$48)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Fast Fashion Clothing Line – H&M Conscious Collection (prices vary)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Jeans – AG Denim ($148-$215)
  • Best Organic Work Dress – Elsa & Me ($240)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Casual Shoes – Toms ($44-$69)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Women’s Boots – Naya Shoes ($200-$265)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Underwear, Tees & Socks – PACT ($10-$30)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Jewelry – Kyler ($48-$138)

 

Home

  • Best Natural All-Purpose Cleaner (even cleans tough grime in bathtubs & can be used as a laundry detergent) – Savon Noir 100% Natural All-Purpose Olive Oil Soap ($20)
  • Best Natural Homecare Line – Seventh Generation ($3.99-$22)
  • Best Natural Aromatherapeutic Household Cleaning Line – Mrs. Meyers ($3.99-$15.99)
  • Best Natural Candles – Red Flower Petal Topped Candles ($34)
  • Best Natural Air Freshener – Intelligent Nutrients ($40-$68) & Neom Luxury Organic Room Mist ($26)
  • Best Natural Value Air Freshener – Pure Citrus Air Freshener ($4.97)
  • Best Natural Reed Diffuser – Neom Luxury Organic Reed Diffuser ($56)
  • Best Eco Savvy Paper Products – Ecojot ($4.75-$17)

Pet

  • Best Natural Pet Shampoo & Conditioner – John Masters Organics Lemongrass & Flaxseed Pet Shampoo and Conditioner ($20)
  • Best Natural Dog Spritzer & Deodorizer – Cloud Star Buddy Splash ($5.95)
  • Best Natural Dog Treats – Cloud Star Soft & Chewy Buddy Biscuits ($3.99)

Your Eco-Friendly, Healthy Emergency Go-Bag!

First of all, I want to say that our hearts go out to all of the families and communities in the Northeast that have been effected by Hurricane Sandy. Our thoughts are with you!

All the recent dramatic aftermath of the hurricane here in New York really got us thinking about creating our own emergency go-bag, in the event that we need to evacuate, or in case of a power outage.  Luckily, we haven’t lost power or had any lasting effects in our area, but with crazy hurricanes hitting pretty much annually now, I figure better safe than sorry!

Though there are plenty of places where you can buy pre-made “green” emergency kits (Quake Ready Kit, Inc. makes good ones for 1-3 people), I really like the idea of personalizing our go-bag with healthy options and more eco-friendly alternatives to ensure the best quality possible. I know it might seem frivolous to be concerned about being green or healthy in an emergency situation, but it actually will keep you charged up longer to go battery-free (and green), and the healthier you are able to keep yourself and your family throughout the whole ordeal, the better you’ll be able to deal with whatever comes your way!

I’ve compiled a list of all the necessities your go-bag should be stocked with, emphasizing green and healthy versions of everything you need! With the proper preparation, you can ensure that your family still has access to healthy foods and the most efficient and eco-friendly options to stay safe and dry.

  • A solar-powered eco-friendly backpack.  In the event of a power outage, a backpack such as this one from Traveler’s Choice or this one from Sppark, is super roomy and features a large solar panel, so you can keep your cellphones, iPad’s and GPS devices charged.  Lining your backpack with a biodegradable trash bag will ensure that everything stays dry!  If you have a large family, it’s best to have a backpack for each member, to ensure that everyone has what they need.
  • Copies of your important documents (insurance cards, house deed, photo IDs, passport, bank information, physician contact information, family contact information) in a waterproof container or biodegradable ziplock bag.
  • Contact and meeting place information for your household, and a small map.
  • $50-$100 of cash, in small bills, in a ziplock bag.
  • A gallon of purified water, per person.  You can also include a water bottle with a built in filter, in a pinch.  Clear20 makes BPA-free, recyclable bottles with carbon filters.
  • Healthy non-perishable food items, like BPA-free canned beans (Eden Organics makes great ones) that can be eaten hot or cold, healthy granola bars or snack bars, healthy whole grain crackers (Mary’s Gone Crackers is great!), almond butter, and dried fruit.  Don’t forget a can-opener!
  • Ziplock bags with your pet’s food.  In a pinch, pets can eat human food as well, as long as it doesn’t have any of the ingredients dangerous for them (check out 10 Most Dangerous Household Toxins for Pets).
  • Self-charging LED flashlights.  LED flashlights last up to 10 times longer, and the self-charging kind means you’ll never run out of juice!  I like this one from Dynamo, which also has an FM radio (see below).  This one from Freeplay Energy also has a radio, cell phone charger, and has self-crank, solar, or external charging options!
  • Self-charging FM radio.  A must-have for staying on top of evacuation instructions and updates, not to mention entertainment when the TV goes out!  See above for two self-charging flashlight-radio combos!
  • Lightweight, waterproof thermal blankets.  These recyclable Bencore blankets are great for staying dry and warm, are reflective, and are 100% recyclable, unlike the traditional Mylar version.
  • Matches or a fire-starter.  After watching my fair share of disaster movies, I have a pretty big fear of that whole last-match-in-the-box-gust-of-wind combo.  To avoid this, I recommend the more sustainable option of a magnesium emergency fire-starter, which can be used for a super long time without fear of running out!
  • A first-aid kit.  I like the Adventure Medical kits at REI, which you can get for 1-4 people with a variety of needs (the Women’s Edition Kit features OB feminine hygiene supplies and more!).  You can also assemble your own kit… Here’s a great guide to a natural first aid kit!  You’ll also want at least a few days supply of any medication you or your family members take, with dosage information.
  • Feminine and personal hygiene supplies.  I recommend a creating a variety pack of organic products (I like Natracare) in a variety of sizes.  As for your personal hygiene, a little dopp kit of your favorite necessary products in travel sizes works great.  In a pinch, you can buy a pre-assembled kit of multi-purpose products, like this one from Suki Organics (which includes face/body wash, moisturizer, shampoo and conditioner, lip balm and a washcloth.  Don’t forget a miniature bottle of contact solution and lens case!
  • Child care supplies or other special care items, as needed.
  • A whistle, to signal for help.
  • A dust mask… preferably one made of organic cotton, like this one from Vogmask, to avoid inhaling all kinds of toxins.
  • Personal sanitation items like natural moist towelettes, garbage bags, and ties for if the water goes out.
  • If you don’t opt for a solar charging backpack or flashlight with built-in charger, make sure to include a solar charger for your cell phone.
  • A complete change of clothing, including a long sleeved shirt, long pants, sturdy shoes, and undergarments.

Stay safe, stay alert, and stay healthy!

The Organic (and eco-friendly!) Pooch

Being the proud mama of a little tiny furball means making a lot of choices that effect not only another creature’s life, but also my own AND the environment.

I don’t know about your dog, but mine poops A LOT.  I used to take care of this situation using leftover plastic bags that we had in the apartment from groceries, etc… until I had the mental image of my pup’s little poops calcifying in that plastic bag and spending the next 100 years in a landfill.  That’s a lot of little plastic bags filled with poop.  I set out to find a more responsible solution.  Enter: BioBags! Which are a line of 100% biodegradable bags for a variety of uses, including little ones for pet waste!  They are great for composting or simply thrown out with your other waste, and are a great option for responsible pet owners.

With all the pet food recalls that happened in the last few years, I started really thinking about the food I was feeding my pup.  Not only did I not want to feed him sub-par food that could harm his health, but I also didn’t want to support the totally unregulated industrial agriculture system that uses bi-products from animals that were raised in unsanitary, inhumane conditions to make pet food.  I wanted to find an all-natural dog food company that used human-quality ingredients grown in environmentally responsible conditions.  I found that there were a lot of healthy, environmentally-friendly pet food companies out there, some of them even vegetarian!  Here are some of my favorites:

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