Eco-Friendly Mason Jar Sippy Cups

Eco-Friendly Mason Jar Sippy Cups

Having our kids just fifteen months apart, there are often times when we experience a state of limbo. Moms with kids close in age can truly relate. It’s as if the oldest child spends a little more time is a particular phase, because their sibling is not too far behind. In other instances, the younger child may be excelling at something they wouldn’t normally be ready for, simply because they are watching an older sibling all day long.

In this case parents can experience a state of limbo, where if feels like groundhog day every day. Phases get stretched out or skipped altogether. Like anything, there are ups and downs to this kind of experience. One of the ways we have experienced this is with our glassware. While our oldest is capable of using our glassware without any incidents, our little guy’s feet move faster than his mind and we often have a huge mess to clean up.

Sippy Cup

There is a strange period in between your kids drinking from a bottle and a cup, where the sippy cup comes in handy. While there are many debates whether or not it should be used, we supported it. It was impossible for us to monitor all of the drinking (some days I think I’m raising camels) that goes one between two active boys. We used glass bottles when they were younger and work hard to eliminate any plastic use. This isn’t always convenient, seeing as how most kids cups are made from plastic (for reasons stated above I’m sure). But we didn’t want them to get used to drinking from plastic, we’d worked so hard to set a standard in every other way. But honestly I’m tired of throwing away shards of glass from my mason jars. Everyone knows how much I love a good mason jar, let’s be honest only good can come from a mason jar! Here are a few reasons why:

  • Choosing mason jars allows your child to sip colder, more pure tasting water. Because they are made from glass, mason jars won’t leach harmful chemicals like BPA/BPS and phthalates into their drinks.
  • Composed all-natural, sustainable raw materials, glass mason jars are 100% recyclable and can be reused endlessly. By eliminating the need for single-function bottles or containers that end up in landfills, mason jars help reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Mason jars are the workhorse of the multi-tasking kitchen. Made of thermal shock-resistant borosilicate glass they are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe.

Mason Jar

Enter Jar Jackets, our newest Earth Week must-have! My grandmother always used to say, “necessity is the mother of invention.” So true! Genius mom Sacha Laustsen, founder of Jar Jackets, saw a need and got to work. Jar Jackets was created with a simple mission to find better and more creative ways to put the time-tested mason jar to work to help reduce the use of single use plastic containers. They are non-toxic, eco-friendly, and practical, win/win!

Essentially Erika

The Jar Jacket Sippy is made to snugly fit the 12oz mason “jelly” jar. Since the mason jar mouths are universally sized, the sippy cup lids are interchangeable with any size mason jar (told you she’s a genius). They make your mason jars completely kid-friendly! Made from reusable, FDA grade silicone that is 100% non-toxic, silicon-free,BPA/BPS and phthalates-free. It’s lightweight, pliable, and shock absorbent silicone rubber making it durable and easy for teeny fingers to grab a hold of.

I personally think its perfect for that in-between time where kids are moving from sippy cup to big boy status. We use our jackets with the lid on for car rides keeping the spillage to a minimum, and without lids at home for great practice. They are so safe to use we store them “down-low” for the kids to grab and use themselves.

Mason Jar
While Jar Jackets can help significantly reduce the likelihood of breakage, mason jars are made of glass and are not unbreakable. 

All of Jar Jackets and sippy lids are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe. The lids contain one small mouthpiece that is easy to see and clean, not like those other difficult caps that trap mold and bacteria.

In celebration of Earth Day, I am partnering with Jar Jackets in giving away 2 jackets and sippy lids! Enter below before April 28th, and follow Jar Jackets on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube for your chance to choose any color Jar Jacket and lid. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Essentially yours,

Erika


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received complimentary Jar Jackets in order to facilitate my honest review. All opinions expressed and obsessions with mason jars are 100% my own.
Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

Eco-Friendly Spring Cleaning Tips

In honor of Earth Day I’m officially kicking off “Earth Week” with my tips on how to attempt spring cleaning from an eco-friendly perspective. I remember when I first started exploring all of the harsh chemicals that are in traditional cleaning products. It can be overwhelming, it can be downright intimidating. I wasn’t quite ready to wash our clothes only using soap nuts, but I couldn’t see myself returning to trusted brands I’d used my entire life after learning what was in them. It was as if I had swallowed the red pill, I’d seen how deep the rabbit hole goes and I couldn’t go back to my ignorant bliss.

I was originally concerned because my son was crawling, and I needed to know he wasn’t in harm’s way with what we kept under our sinks. So explore I did, and what I found was disturbing. I’d also come to realize that I had adverse reactions to some of the products I had used my whole life and never realized it. So I made some simple changes, slowly and effectively, to better our home environment and rid it of chemicals.

Start With The Basics

 

I started in the kitchen and slowly worked my way to the bathrooms. The kitchen housed most of the cleaners in my home since my laundry room is apart of it. I changed out my detergent, dish soap, glass cleaner, dishwashing liquid, and floor cleaner. I found it pretty easy to locate these items at the local grocery store, and a quick glance at the labels let me know what I did and didn’t want in my home. I worked my way to the bathroom and replaced any body wash, shampoo, conditioner, bubble bath. I started with the kids bathroom first, switching out everything all at once can be pricy, but if that works best for you it’s a worth investment.

 

Don’t Believe The Hype

Fresh Wave

There’s a rumor that you can’t have clean and chemical-free. This is false. I know lots of people (I was one of them) who don’t feel something (like toilets) is truly clean unless I smell the harsh scent of bleach. There are plenty of way you can get clean, and most importantly, smell fresh and clean without dangerous petrochemicals. One of the most harmful ways to take in chemicals is through breathing it in. This effects not only adults but especially children. It’s imperative to read the labels on all of your air care products, just one ingredient can make a huge difference.

 

Fresh Wave

 

With two rambunctious boys my bathroom can get stinky, and I mean quickly. I found success replacing strong chemicals that only mask smell, with Fresh Wave products made from only natural ingredients like water and plant oils. Easily found at Target and other retailers, Fresh Wave has a line of products that are natural and get the job done. I use their odor removing spray religiously on the kids car seats, this has replaced other well-known fabric sprays that don’t last. I’ve sampled their laundry booster, and it helped get that mildew smell out of my front load washer. But one of my favorite products has to be the odor removing gel, it removes odors using only natural ingredients for up to 90 days! I leave one in the kids bathroom constantly, and use the smaller independent bags in the car.

Fresh Wave

Just because I’m anti-chemicals, shouldn’t mean I’m pro odors! I’m pretty sure that should be their campaign logo..

Elimination is Key

 

Ridding yourself from the binds of chemical induced living isn’t only about buying more stuff. It’s also about clearing out what you realize is no longer necessary. Do I need a multi-purpose spray AND a glass cleaner? Not really. Evaluating what you are bringing into your home is all about being conscious and aware, so that you can make informed decisions. Not succumbing to consumerism and buying a million products that overlap just because the big screen says you need it or should have it. Multi-function products are the best option. Fresh Wave odor eliminator reduces my need for air fresheners or candles in the bathroom. It gets rid of odors from pets, smoke, trash, mildew, food, bathrooms and more.

Fresh Wave

Removing the need for unnecessary products (especially if riddled with chemicals) not only frees up space under you counter (don’t we all need that), but in your life. It means your spending less on unnecessary crap, and streamlining your cleaning process saving you more time. Time to do other more important things, like enjoying that clean home of yours. Being conscious about where you spend your money and your time is essential to a happy life. We can no longer just float on by doing whatever without any consequences. Buying products from companies like Fresh Wave that are non-toxic, non-gmo, and non-hazardous is about voting for the type of world you want to live in. These companies recycle, and encourage you to as well. It shows they care about our environment and the products they are producing, this is the kind of company I want to buy from because that’s the type of world I need to live in.

DIY Till I Die

 

I’m a DIY lovah.. I get that this is not for everyone, some people would rather cut their left arm off than attempt making cleaning products. Then this is not for you, or maybe it is… There are plenty of really simple recipes using every day items you most likely have in your cupboard or pantry. At first, this was my go-to. I made EVERYTHING! Floor cleaner, glass cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, dish / hand soap. I was a home cleaning machine! As time goes on this may not always be sustainable. Working longer hours meant I had less time to make these simple recipes and had to focus my time and energy in different ways. But I still make a few of my favorites, just because it’s so simple and they honestly work better than any product I’ve tried. Like ironing starch, this recipe beats any I’ve been able to find at the store.

 

DIY Eco-Friendly Ironing Starch

Ingredients

  • 1 pint of water
  • 1 tablespoon of corn starch
  • 1 glass spray bottle

Instructions

  1. Combine 1 pint of water and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a spray bottle. Shake before using each time.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.essentiallyerika.com/earth-day-fresh-wave/

I hope this really breaks down a few simple steps to introducing much cleaner and healthier products in your home. You can go online an join the #CareAboutYourAir pledge with Fresh Wave today and qualify for special coupons.

Happy Earth Week!

 

Essentially yours,

Erika


Disclosure: I’d like to thank Fresh Wave for sponsoring this post and providing me with products that keep my home smelling fresh without the toxic chemicals. You can follow Fresh Wave on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

Celebrate Kids To Parks Day + Buddy Bison!

Celebrate Kids To Parks Day + Buddy Bison!

We spend a lot of time outdoors and make it a priority to visit plenty of local parks. We plan annual camping trips around birthdays, We have dreams of visiting every national state park one day, we’ve already crossed off a few. If you follow my blog then you know I am passionate about getting kids outside and into nature in any capacity. The benefits are incredible, and with it being “Earth Week” and all (because one day just isn’t enough), I thought I’d share the latest in Kids To Parks Day 2017.

 

Each year, the National Park Trust hosts the annual Kids To Parks Day. A day dedicated to getting kids outdoors for some good old-fashioned play. Kids To Parks Day takes place on Saturday, May 20th. Anyone can participate in Kids to Parks Day, which is a national day of park play. National Park Trust (NPT) urges kids across the country to discover science, history, nature and adventure in a neighborhood park right around the corner or just across town. In an effort to get kids playing outside again, I’m listing a few of the ways you can encourage the children in your life to appreciate outdoor play.

 

Create Opportunity

 

One of the best ways to get kids outdoors is to constantly provide the space and opportunity. Keeping their schedule light and free for unstructured play to take place is crucial. While sports are outdoor activities, it’s imperative to have time for creative play without competition. It doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal, some days we just take a walk after dinner around our neighborhood lake, or local trails. You’d be surprised the type of interaction this environment sparks. Many an important conversation have taken place on a simple hiking trail.

 

Essentially Erika

 

Dress Appropriately

 

Don’t expect kids to stay immaculate in their Sunday’s best all the time. Constantly policing stains on a natural hike will the opposite effect and could discourage a child from wanting to engage outdoors. I keep a spare pair of play clothes in case we happen upon some park play fun one afternoon after school. I change it according to the season.

 

Hiking Shoes

 

This year, National Park Trust is delighted to welcome their new Kids to Parks Day sponsor: Northside. Their generous support will provide park grants for some of the winners of our Kids to Parks Day School Contest. This year we all are taking our Northside Shoes for a spin. They are extremely comfortable and perfect for any elements. We all have matching pairs of the hiking sport sandals to keep us comfortable and safe on any terrain.

 

Last year more than 4,000 students from Title 1 schools benefited from the contest. Kids to Parks Day is the signature event of NPT’s popular Buddy Bison® school program, which teaches environmental education and the benefits of outdoor recreation to children in under-served schools across the country. NPT’s goal is to cultivate future park stewards and outdoor enthusiasts. Read more about the Buddy Bison® school program.

Get Kids Involved

 

I find one of the easiest ways to get our kids interested in something is giving them complete control over it. If the boys are being picky with dinnertime, I begin to ask them what they would like to eat certain days of the week. I take them to our garden to pick the vegetables to cook. The more involved they are in the decision-making process, the more interested they become. By letting the kids pick some of our destinations from time to time, they get excited about planned dates to “their pick”.

Only good can come from teaching our kids to appreciate nature and get outside. After all, they are the generation that is going to have to defend it, and discover new ways to sustain it.

You can find out more about Kids To Parks Day and National Park Trust on their website. You can even schedule a park date of your own using NPT’s free resources. Kids to Parks Day 2017 promises to be bigger than ever! Last year, Kids to Parks Day had more than 730,000 participants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. This year, the goal is to have 900,000 people enjoy Kids to Parks Day all across the country. To participate you can do the following:

  • Step 1: Pledge to have a park adventure on Kids to Parks Day and be entered to win one of several prizes
  • Step 2. Find or register an event in your area
  • Step 3. Encourage friends and family to join you
  • Step 4. Share photos and adventures on social media with #kidstoparks and #BuddyBison Keep checking back to www.kidstoparks.org as more information about park events and prizes are updated until the big day!

Keep checking back to www.kidstoparks.org as more information about park events and prizes are updated until the big day.

I hope you’ll join me in celebrating Kids To Parks Day this year on May 20, 2017.We’ll be sure not to leave Buddy behind!

Buddy the Bison

In order to encourage one of my readers to participate, I am partnering with Northside to give away a free pair of Northside shoes of your choosing. Simply enter the giveaway below for your chance to win between now and May 1st, and #GetOutside.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Essentially yours,

Erika


National Park Trust is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. As people spend more time indoors, and as successive generations grow up with less of a connection to nature, NPT wants to build a greater awareness and appreciation for the importance of our country’s public lands and parks. NPT’s Buddy Bison® School Program and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest were selected in 2015 as a National Park Service Centennial Challenge Project. Learn more at: www.parktrust.org or call 301-279-7275.

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