22Apr/125

Planet Shoes – Business Spotlight & Merrell Product Review

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There are so many awesome things I need to get into this review, and I don't even know where to start! There were many reasons why I wanted to feature Planet Shoes on Earth Day. I began my search for an eco-friendly shoe company almost two months ago. Surprisingly there are several out there, but one thing I really liked about Planet Shoes is that they sell several brands of eco-friendly shoes right there on their website. For an eco-newb like me who really has no idea where to even begin when it comes to finding eco-friendly businesses/brands/products, I found this to be a huge help. Planet Shoes lists 44 different brands of shoes in their "eco" section;  ranging from Acorn to Wolky. Not surprisingly I hadn't heard of most if not all of them. They also have a list of vegan friendly brands for those of you who prefer that instead. The variety is a huge bonus when I'm shopping online. Because they have such a large variety you are sure to find something in your price range.

What really struck me as an amazing component of Planet Shoes is that they also support sustainability. Planet Shoes has partnered with some really great charities which include Soles4Souls, World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, Green America, Carbonfund.org, The Conservation Alliance, and 1% For The Planet. You can read more about these charities [HERE]. As a member of Carbonfund.org, Planet Shoes offers customers who live in the continental USA a "carbon free" shipping option. And, because Plant Shoes is in alliance with 1% For The Planet, they have promised to donate at least 1% of their entire year's sales to environmental causes.

For those of you who are a bit more on the frugal side (and who can blame you), Planet Shoes always offers a Daily Deal, as well as FREE shipping on purchases that are $50 or more. They have a men's and women's sale section, or you can shop Planet Outlet. Today (04/22) when you donate $1 to Soles4Souls Planet Shoes will take 15% off of your order! And for those of you who love sweepstakes and giveaways, Planet Shoes offers a weekly shoe Giveaway. Awesome!

I asked Planet Shoes if they would allow for me to review a pair of shoes from one of the eco-friendly brands they sell, and they suggested choosing from brands such as Merrell, Naot, and Chaco. I decided to go with a pair of olive green Merrell Hennas, and we'll get to that part of the review in just a bit, but first I wanted to tell you a little more about Merrell. Merrell is considered an eco-friendly brand for several reasons. The majority of their packing material comes from recycled material; mostly post-consumer, but some pre-consumer materials. Printing on the packaging is done with soy based inks. Their 1 piece box design is completely intentional and meant to reduce material consumption and the use of adhesives. Even their inbound shipping cartons are recycled.

OK, so they recycle their packaging, but what else does Merrell do? Merrell recycled batteries, cell phones, glass and paper. They also sponsor electronic recycling drives, and have made their printing process considerably more efficient with eliminating printed reports and using better and more efficient duplex printers. That great thing, is that this is only part of what Merrell has done to help the planet. You can read even more about it [HERE].

The Merrell Hennas are not eco-friendly themselves, but I really really loved them, and wanted to review a pair of shoes I couldn't live without from a great environmentally conscious company. I have never owned such a well made, comfortable pair of sandals in my life! I can't express how much I love the gladiator look when it comes to shoes, and the braiding just tied everything together. These are not vegan friendly, but I'm not vegan so I really didn't care. I'm glad I went with a size 11 because they fit just right. Lately I've been running into issues with 11's being really big, so I guess that these may run about a .5 size small? Don't take my word for it. I just know that the 11's fit like a dream.

Merrell Hanna Features:

  • Cement construction provides lightweight durability
  • Full grain leather upper
  • Unlined upper for a soft, flexible fit
  • Full grain leather wrapped EVA footframe provides cushioning
  • Molded nylon arch shank
  • Merrell QForm® Comfort midsole provides women’s specific stride-sequenced cushioning
  • Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability with an EVA midsole for cushioning
  • Merrell Sola Sole / Sticky Rubber

If you're shoe shopping and want to purchase eco-friendly shoes, or even just support an environmentally conscious business, consider PlanetShoes, and Merrell! I couldn't have been happier with my experience, and I pray these shoes last me a long time because they are absolutely my favorite pair of shoes. There was no "breaking in" time, no blisters, just complete comfort! Also, please take the time to find Planet Shoes and Merrell on Facebook. You can also find Planet Shoes and Merrell on Twitter!

*I received this product for free from Planet Shoes in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

22Apr/124

Threads 4 Thought – Business Spotlight & Product Review

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I saved one of my favorite eco-friendly companies to share with you until Earth Day. Threads For Thought is a sustainable apparel company that began in a unique way. The owners Leigh and Eric met in High School, both of whom had a concern for the planet, and humanitarian principals. Concerned with the meaningless loss of life in Darfur, Iraq, Afghanistan, along with other humanitarian crisis, Leigh and Eric decided to address the growing world of consumerism and the huge disregard and impact it was having on our planet.

"What began as a small business manufacturing and marketing graphic tee shirts that were made exclusively from organic cotton, gave back to charity, and promoted a cleaner environment, or advocated for peace, has grown into a complete lifestyle brand. We have never deviated from our primary mission… to promote a sense of responsibility for those who share this world with us… but rather than simply broadcasting that message on the front of tee shirts, the company has incorporated those principles into our very existence. Our products use sustainable materials and are manufactured in the most sustainable manner possible. We only work with factories that respect their employees and treat them humanely and fairly. We continue to work closely with several highly regarded charities, notably the International Rescue Committee (the IRC) and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to promote and support the excellent work that they do in the areas of humanitarian and environmental response." ~T4T

I contacted Threads 4 Thought before I had even learned of their compassion and small beginnings. I happened to have seen them mentioned in an article online, and really wanted to find an apparel company to feature during Earth Month. After reading their story I took the first steps to learn about this wonderful company. Threads for Thought was kind enough to send me a shirt from their "essentials" collection. Made from 60% organic cotton, and 40% recycled polyester, I was thrilled that I not only now owned a shirt that is planet friendly, but also an item that is ridiculously comfortable, well fitting, and affordable. Did you read that?! I said affordable! This particular shirt is priced at only $12. It just goes to show that it is definitely possible to shop eco-friendly on a budget. My husband even said the shirt was "pretty" regardless of how simple of a design it is. *WIN!*

I love the simplicity of the shirt, and how light weight it is! It's a perfect year round shirt that I can layer or wear on its own. I'm a big fan of solid colors, and they had a nice variety of colors to choose from. Many of their clothes are made from organic cotton, and other recycled materials whenever possible. They use low impact dyes, and generally use K2 water based inks for their screen prints. Embellishments are always from recycled materials as often as they allow. You can read about their manufacturing process more in depth [HERE].

I absolutely loved their Earth Day Campaign they launched this year. I had shared with you about it earlier in the month, but if you're looking to do a little eco-friendly shopping, through today (04/22), you can use code EARTH for an additional 10% off of your order. Also, Threads For Thought will donate 10% of all online orders to NRDC. And, as always, 100% of profits stemming from NRDC t-shirt purchases will be donated back to NRDC. I just can't resist showing you a few of my favorite things that they currently have for sale online.

I hope you take the time to find them on Facebook and Twitter. Like I said earlier, I love their story, and their true compassion and commitment toward keeping the planet healthy. Next time you're in the need for a new article of clothing, consider checking out Threads For Thought and their line of eco-friendly apparel!

21Apr/123

ecoSTORE USA – Sleepytime Bath & Pear Shampoo Product Review

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You may have seen me post a little once in awhile about promotions/giveaways ecoSTORE USA was running on their Facebook page. (Have I mentioned how much I love Facebook? That seems to be how I find out about a lot of great companies.) They have a huge variety of
eco friendly products! Anyway, their slogan "No Nasty Chemicals" immediately intrigued me, so I decided to contact ecoSTORE USA about a product review during Earth Month. They were wonderfully generous, and offered two products of my choice to review. Since I have a little one who still fits in his baby bath tub (we don't have a real tub in our house), I chose the Sleepytime Bath. I had also recently seen that ecoSTORE USA released a new line of shampoo products, so I went with the Pear Shampoo.

"We've spent more than 15 years perfecting plant based products which are better for your health and the health of the planet." ~ecoSTORE USA

ecoSTORE USA's ingredients are 100% plant based. "No Nasty Chemicals" for the Sleepytime Bath means that it is free of toxic petrochemicals, lauryl or laureth sulphates, propylene glycol, dyes, artificial perfumes, parabens, cocamide DEA, and cocomidopropyl betaine. That is a huge list of bad chemicals that I was already aware of, so I'm really glad to see that this product is completely free of them. Based on some previous research I had done on chemicals (plant based or not) found in a lot of bath and beauty products, I have to say that I was disappointed that the Sleepytime Bath contains Polysorbate 20, and Phenoxyethanol.

I did it again, and made an assumption before I received the product of what it would be like. I immediately assumed "Sleepytime" meant lavender, and that it would be a type of lathering soap. I was partially right, but mostly wrong. The ecoSTORE Sleepytime Bath does contain Lavandula Officinalis (lavender essential oil), in addition to Geranium Maculatum Oil, and Eucalyptus Globulus Oil. The scent of the product is nothing like I expected, and works specifically to soothe, calm and relax by aromatherapy. This is not a soap, and it doesn't lather. Guess I need to learn to read instructions before using a product. To use the Sleepytime Bath, you simply pour a cap-full of it into warm water and swish around to make sure it's equally distributed in the water. That's it. The scent does all of the work. This product is designed to use on babies, however I think (if I had a tub) I would use it as well. My son seemed to be quite a bit more relaxed afterward, and although I didn't use it right before putting him to bed, he slept really well that afternoon during his nap. I'll have to make it a point to use it in the evening sometime, but bedtime in my house is a hectic adventure, so baths generally happen earlier in the day. I was hoping a little that it was more of a soap, so I could use it on my daughter who thinks it's fun to get up in the middle of the night.

"Our shampoos are plant and mineral-based with select natural oils to gently cleanse, soften and replenish your hair without removing its natural protective oils." ~ecoSTORE USA

The Pear Shampoo is a sulfate free shampoo. It is also free of Parabens, synthetic perfumes, dyes, and toxic petrochemicals. This is a 3 in 1 shampoo and is formulated to moisturize, volumize, and it is also color safe. The scent of the Pear Shampoo was great! It smelled like a fruit cup. I think it is one of my favorite shampoo scents I've had the pleasure of trying. However, I was hoping for a little more lather since the bottle instructs users to "Work into a rich lather." Keep in mind this is just personal preference, and doesn't mean that this is in any way a defect of the product. I just like more suds. I thought overall the Pear Shampoo is a good substitute to the shampoos out there that contain those "nasty chemicals". My hair felt clean, and smooth, which is exactly what I'm looking for. I'm not super picky about volumizing because it's really pointless with my hair. I have the straightest hair and nothing helps give it any amount of "oomph". As long as the shampoo doesn't make my hair greasy, which this didn't, I'm a happy camper.

I really like that ecoSTORE USA does not participate in animal testing, their products are GE (genetically engineered) free, and the shampoo bottle is #2 recyclable. I also am fond of a company when they manufacture their products in the USA. Although there were a few ingredients I personally didn't like, I really do appreciate ecoSTORE USA's transparency when it comes to listing all of their ingredients. I think this is a great quality, and not something every company willingly practices. I also appreciate their efforts when it comes to limiting harmful chemical exposure to their customers.

Take the time to find ecoSTORE USA on Facebook and on Twitter. They often have some fun giveaways going on. Also, for Earth Day they are offering a coupon code for 22% off purchases on their web site. Use code EARTH22.

*I received these products for free from ecoSTORE USA in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

20Apr/126

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day – Bluebell Laundry Detergent Product Review

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I must admit I had never heard of Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day until a friend of mine mentioned she had won a Facebook giveaway from them. She raved how much she loved their products, and thought all of you would like to hear more about them. Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day is so awesome, they had me choose a product from their new Bluebell scent collection, that was released just last month, to review. I figured their Bluebell Laundry Detergent would be perfect since an eco-friendly laundry detergent was one product I haven't featured yet during Earth Month.

"Good things really do come in small packages."

I knew the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Bluebell detergent was super concentrated just from looking at their web site, but I was really surprised by the size of the bottle once it arrived in the mail. I've never seen a laundry detergent bottle so small that could take on 68 full size loads of laundry. I had considered showing a photograph of my laundry room, but it's also our mud room so it's....muddy. Oh yeah, you see that tiny cap? You don't even need to fill the entire thing to wash even an extra large load of laundry. This just blows my mind. A single Tablespoon will wash an entire load of laundry! I normally buy store brand detergent, and I just checked to see how many ounces it is and the number of loads it supposedly washes. That particular bottle is 150oz and only washes 96 loads of laundry. It perhaps is a bit less expensive, but so what?! I've washed about 4 loads of laundry since receiving the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Bluebell Laundry Detergent, and you can see how much of it I still have left.

 

I still have two children in diapers (lord help me), one of which has what we call occasional "blow-outs". You know, when the diaper fails to do its job and poo ends up everywhere. I have so many stained onesies from these "blow-outs", not because I didn't wash them, or even pre-treat them, but just because whatever product we were using wasn't cutting it. That tiny little cap on the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Detergent opens at the top and allows you to use just a tiny amount on whatever stain needs to be treated before washing. Since using the Bluebell Laundry Detergent as a stain pre-treater, I haven't had a single poo stain on any of my son's clothing. I could prove it to you, but once again I'm sure no one wants to see a picture of poo.

"Smells like a garden. Cleans like the dickens."

Our pets are bed hogs during the day when we're not using the room. Just picture it; two dogs and two cats all sprawled out on my bed. After a few days it starts to smell more like dog than it does clean sheets. Mrs. Meyer's Bluebell Laundry Detergent cuts right through the stank and now there is nothing better than climbing into clean sheets that smell like Bluebell. Oh my goodness do I love the scent of this product. Every time I switch my laundry from the washer to the dryer I give my clothes a good long sniff. The scent isn't quite as strong once the laundry is ran through the dryer, but boy does my laundry smell GOOD!

I wanted to review Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Laundry Detergent during Earth Month for a few reasons. The first is that because this detergent is so concentrated it comes in a significantly smaller bottle. This means a lot less waste. "Concentrated formulas mean less plastic, less water and less energy used in transportation..." The second is that Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products are cruelty free and not tested on animals. And the third reason is that their products are biodegradable. Additional information on the bottle of Detergent I received informed me that the bottle itself was made from at least 80% post-consumer plastic. And, that the ingredients are all at least 99% naturally derived. One last tidbit of information that I always love seeing, is that Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day products are made in the USA.

You can easily find Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day on Facebook & on Twitter. Stop by and say hi. You never know when they might have a giveaway, and they actually have one running right now called The Bucket Brigade Sweepstakes. It is however ending 4/27. But, don't fret! Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day is giving one lucky DealPeddler reader a bottle of their very own Bluebell Laundry Detergent. Giveaway will be open to residents of the USA who are 18+. During the duration of the giveaway you will be able to enter [HERE].

*I received this product for free from Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

 

19Apr/120

Bio Green Crystals – HandSan & All Purpose Cleaner Product Review

Part of my mission this month was to find eco-friendly products that I could use to replace those that I currently use. I was wicked happy that Bio Green Crystals sent their All Purpose Cleaner and their HandSan for review! Bio Green Crystals are 100% biodegradable, natural , vitamin-based, USDA organic certified cleaning products that are made in the USA. These products are completely safe for humans, pets and the environment.

I actually don't really use hand sanitizer. I tend to believe that germs are good and help build a healthy immune system. However, we do have pets and barn yard animals that my kids play with, so having a bottle of hand sanitizer on hand has proven to be a very positive product to have. The Bio Green Crystals HandSan is very different from the kind I'm used to. Usually hand sanitizer has a very strong, unpleasant smell no matter how masked it is by fragrances. It smells like alcohol. Bio Green Crystals' HandSan does not. There was no smell... at all. This is because their HandSan is alcohol free! I loved that I could use this on my daughter and not have to worry about sticking her hands in her mouth, or even getting a hold of it if I accidentally left it around. Bio Crystals HandSan is free of Benzalkonium Chloride, Quaternary Ammonium, Artificial Colors, and Artificial Preservatives. Even without alcohol the HandSan kills Ecoli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus Aureus, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, and the majority of common household germs.

The Bio Green Crystals HandSan didn't leave my hands feeling dry or sticky like some other sanitizers do. And I cannot stress how much I loved that it didn't have a smell! It came in a small spray bottle just like the picture to the left. The formula was the same consistency as water which I also liked much better than the usual gel sanitizers.

The other product Bio Green Crystals sent was their All Purpose Cleaner. As I've said before, I don't get excited about cleaning. However, one day my mother was coming for a visit, and my bathroom and kitchen were filthy. I decided that was as good of a time as any to give this product a good solid try. This particular product comes in a little packet, and thankfully Bio Green Crystals sent a spray bottle too. All you have to do is fill the bottle with warm water, and drop in the crystal packet. The packet is supposed to completely dissolve. Well, it dissolved mostly. Maybe my water wasn't hot enough, or maybe I was impatient, but the outside of the packet got stuck in the spray tube. It wasn't a big deal. I easily pulled it out and threw it away and was able to use the All Purpose Cleaner just fine.

I liked the Bio Green Crystals All Purpose Cleaner. I don't think it worked quite as efficiently as some others I've tried, but for being an organic product that isn't super concentrated, I was satisfied. I would certainly use it again if it came down to 409 and Bio Green Crystals. It really didn't even require all that much extra elbow grease. Plus, the stuff I was cleaning (especially on the stove) had been dried on, reheated, and then dried again. That's never easy to remove.

I also used it to clean the outside of my toilet, my sink, my kitchen counters, the outside of the fridge, and even a door that was looking grungy. It definitely did its job. It took almost half of the bottle, but it was a lot of surface area, and a lot of things that needed additional scrubbing. Could you just imagine how many chemicals you'd be inhaling and getting on your hands with that much cleaning? I will take the added benefits of the All Purpose Cleaner being 100% natural, nutraceutical grade, and in no way harmful to the environment over chemicals any day. Instead of chemicals they are plant and mineral based. The All Purpose Cleaner crystals does not contain any perfume, EDTA, SLS, phosphates, volatile odor components. They are nicely scented with natural spearmint oil, water soluble, biodegradable, and one crystal sachet makes an entire 32 ounces of cleaning product.

Find Bio Green Crystals on Facebook & Twitter!

Bio Green Crystals wants to give one DealPeddler reader a bottle of their natural, organic HandSan! Giveaway will run from 04/19-04/25. Must be 18+ and a resident of the USA to be eligible. You'll be able to enter the giveaway [HERE] during its duration.

 

*I received these products for free in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

11Apr/120

ReUsies – Reusable Lunch Bags Product Review

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"Eco-friendly" doesn't always mean using organic materials to make products. Sometimes it's as simple as using something that cuts down on the amount of waste that inevitably makes its way into our ever-growing landfills. Yes, sometimes it may take a little extra effort, but in the end I think the effort is worth it. That is why I'm really happy to introduce ReUsies during Earth Month!

ReUsies are reusable, washable snack and sandwich bags that can be used for anything. Need to pack some goodies for the kiddlets for a peaceful car ride? Maybe you've decided that instead of eating out during your lunch break at work you're going to bring your own. ReUsies bags are big enough to fit everything from animal crackers and fruit, to ginormous sandwiches, and even leftover burgers. Although it may take a tiny bit more effort, ReUsies has made it as easy as possible to switch from disposable baggies over to their reusable bags. These bag babies are absolutely adorable and come in several different fabric patterns. They're also easily washable - throw them in the washing machine, dishwasher, or hand wash them if you prefer to avoid fading. The inside of ReUsies bags are a leak resistant nylon making it really easy to wipe out any minor messes. The outside is 100% cotton, and my favorite part is that they have a strong Velcro closure. I did wish there was more Velcro, but what is there works just fine. My daughter just happens to tip everything over and finds every way possible to make a mess.

I really liked having these around the house. My daughter doesn't exactly eat full meals, but prefers to snack during the day, and these were a great way to keep her mess contained, the dishes down in numbers, and when she was done I could throw them into the fridge to keep things fresher. I put my daughter's mid-morning snack in the small ReUsies snack bag and it had more than enough space. I could definitely use it to pack snacks for more than one child.

 

I even have started making sandwiches ahead of time in the morning, and using the ReUsies sandwich bag to store it in the fridge. As you can see it easily fits a whole Nutella sandwich. I probably could even put 2 in there. We'll definitely be using these on day trips this summer up to my family's camp, and when we go to the beach.

ReUsies bags are also FDA approved. They are free of lead, BPA, and phthalates. The Velcro closure was really easy for my 2 y.o. to use, and kept the dogs out of her snacks. (If she leaves them around they break into plastic bags, or will just scarf down anything in an open container.) I think she really enjoyed how easy it was for her to carry around, and the pattern caught her attention, as well as mine. I had requested the Love Birds pattern because I thought it would work well for both boys and girls. My son will be eating snacks in no-time, and I'd like to convince my husband to start taking his lunch to work.

The concept is wonderful, and it's great to feel like we're doing our part to keep our landfills less full. The ReUsies bags are well made, durable, and will last us through several more washings. This is a great product to have!

ReUsies provided a very good tip. Make sure you turn the bags inside out so the Velcro doesn't stick to anything else, or itself. This will help your reusable bags last significantly longer. I was glad they included this tip on a little information card because I was wondering why in the world there was a strip of Velcro on the back of the bag. Got it. Makes complete sense now! Another great tip is that these bags are designed to fold if your food doesn't fill it, and Velcro to the strip on the back making these even more compact.

Please take the time to find ReUsies on Facebook and Twitter! They are even offering DealPeddler readers a chance at winning a 2-pack of ReUsies bags which include the smaller snack bag, and the larger sandwich bag. Winner gets their choice of pattern! Giveaway will run from 04/11-04/17. Open to residents in the USA who are 18+. You will be able to enter [HERE] when the giveaway is live.

* I received this product free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

9Apr/120

Okabashi – Indigo Sandal Product Review & Sponsor Spotlight

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I am one of those nutty people who likes to break their sandals out at the first signs of Spring, or if Winter decides to last a little too long, I break them out as a personal boycott against the weather. This year since I'm on a huge eco kick, I figured what better way to welcome the warmer weather, and celebrate Earth Day than to feature an affordable, eco-friendly brand of shoes manufactured in the United States.

Okabashi is just that brand I was looking for! Made in Buford Georga, Okabashi strives to keep the planet and environment as healthy as possible. Their manufacturing location wasn't an accident, but instead was carefully chosen so it would be close to many "population centers" which in turn reduces the amount of fuel needed to ship their products.

"The average Okabashi shoe travels only 7% as far as the average imported shoe, which is a difference of almost 10,000 miles."

Okabashi uses a recycling process called "closed-loop" recycling. The goal is to limit as much as possible the amount of new materials needed to create their shoes. They have a pretty darn good incentive to recycle your old Okabashi shoes too! Once your old pair is worn out, you can return them back to Okabashi and receive a discount on your next pair. While I'm writing this I took another look at the Okabashi web site, and didn't find a single pair of full priced shoes more than $25. Their already very reasonable prices paired with the recycling discount incentive makes these a pretty smart buy in my opinion. Additionally, their manufacturing process is just about waste-free. All of the materials are reused by being kept free of contaminants and then they are sent through their Microplast Recycling Process.

"We were able to re-introduce and reuse over 100,000 pounds of scrap material last year alone, diverting 10 tractor trailers full of waste from our landfills."

Finally, their shoes are not only recyclable, but they are also durable, waterproof, washable, and 100% vegan friendly! Okabashi's web site guarantees their shoes for at least 2 years. I got a kick out of seeing in the product description that their shoes are dishwasher safe. Not that I have a dishwasher, but if I did, I could get them super clean and not have to worry if the heat would ruin them.

Once again my curiosity got the better of me, and Okabashi was kind enough to send me a pair of their Indigo style flip flops in pink/brown. I'm generally not a "pink" type of gal, but the second I saw them I got a shoe crush. Yes, it is definitely possible to have a crush on a pair of shoes. I'm also not usually one to choose sandals with a harder sole. I pick up a bunch of those cheap foam flip flops every Summer that usually sell for 2/$5. But those wreak havoc on my feet, ankles and knees. This particular style is great for those needing arch support. Perfect! I have ridiculously flat feet, and my ankles and knees really need better support due to those ginormous flippers. I'm not quite sure what "reflexology beads" are, but these shoes have them, and the fabric thong part works as a massager. The bottoms of the shoes have a really nice thick tread too. (This means I can break them out next Spring before the snow has stopped flying and I won't slip around like Bambi on the ice.)

I'm a little sad that the Indigo style seems to run a bit small. I requested a size 10/11, and since I'm normally about a 10.5 I figured they'd fit. I really could go up another half size or so, but the slight size issue isn't going to stop me from wearing them. They are ridiculously comfortable! I didn't even need to spend a lot of time breaking them in. Usually the thong parts of flip flops starts cutting into my feet within a matter of minutes, but these didn't. Instead, they have a little bit of give to them, and the tops of my feet are hunky dory. And lucky you! You get to see a picture of my happy feet - at least I've got my toenails painted.

Product Details:

This fabric upper massaging sandal treats feet to superior arch support and toe comfort. Soft, strategically-placed reflexology beads on the ergonomic footbed gently massage and stimulate feet, while a defined heel cup helps to reduce pain from common foot ailments like plantar fasciitis.

  • Good for You: Massaging Insole, Ergonomic Foot-bed, Superior Arch Support
  • Good for the Environment: Made in the USA
  • Good for your Pocket: Guaranteed for 2 years
  • Signature Microplast Material: contains Anti-Microbial Agent, Anti-Slip, Anti-Odor, Vegan-Friendly, Latex-Free
  • Signature Microplast Material: Anti-Microbial, Anti-Slip, Anti-Odor, Vegan-friendly
  • Durable: Waterproof, Dishwasher safe

I am beyond impressed with Okabashi and their products! I love the affordability, quality, and their dedication to the environment. Make sure you check out their Facebook Page too! And they are offering one lucky DealPeddler reader a pair of Okabashi shoes of their choosing! I almost forgot to mention they carry both women's and men's styles and sizes. Giveaway is open to residents of the USA who are 18+. Giveaway will run from 4/9-4/15.

* I received this product free of charge in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

6Apr/123

Cienta Kids Shoes USA – Product Review

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My daughter adores shoes. Maybe it's genetic. And, as I've said, I'm featuring several products and brands during the month of April that are eco-friendly, since Earth Day is coming right up. I definitely wanted to feature some children's items as well. This particular review I'm super excited about! It never even occurred to me that children's shoes could be eco-friendly. Not only do I get to feature an awesome brand I've recently become acquainted with thanks to Facebook, but they sent my daughter the cutest pair of shoes and she loves them. Mommy and kiddo couldn't be happier. The best part is that they had no idea our favorite color is purple. Woohoo - Let's all give a big round of applause to Cienta Kids Shoes USA!

"Dedicated to promoting the natural development of children's feet, the entire production and design process of Cienta is centered on quality and comfort, making use of only natural materials and the most advanced technology."

Cienta Kids Shoes are manufactured in Spain - Oooh fancy! They are also a very eco-conscious company only using 100% natural rubber, and 100% cotton. Cienta refrains from using any glues or harmful substances during the entire production process. Thank goodness, because my son also enjoyed nomming on them when his sister would leave them lying around.

My daughter has giant feet. She's not quite 2.5 yet, and she comfortably wears a size 8. We've always had issues with her feet being wider and taller than most shoes are designed to fit. I requested a 9 so she could have a pair of shoes to grow into and because we weren't sure how roomy her normal size would be. Although they're a little big (which is exactly what I wanted) she can still wear them without any tripping, or rubbing issues.

These shoes are incredibly light weight and flexible because all of the materials used by Cienta are porous allowing feet to breath from top to bottom. Even when her shoes actually fit she has a hard time walking and running in them, so she often opts to go barefoot. The other thing I really liked about these shoes is that she can wear these 3 out of the 4 seasons up here in Maine. Obviously in the winter we'll be switching over to boots, but these are great for any other time of the year. If it's raining or a little chilly we put socks on her, and when it's a nice day, especially like we'll have in the Summer, she can go without socks. They're perfect for just walking around, playing in the yard, and going to the park nearby. The pair we were sent has a Velcro closure, so they're easy to get on and off. She gets a little rough and since she has tall feet sometimes the Velcro comes undone, but that's our issue and not the product's. You can tell by the picture that she was enjoying flaunting her sparkly purple Cientas.

I had read through the Cienta USA web site several times before the shoes came, and somehow I missed the fact that the in-soles are scented! It completely makes sense now. When I took the shoes out of the box there was a certain aroma that I couldn't put my finger on. It wasn't that "new shoe" smell, and it wasn't a gross smell. But, it was a bit strong. I can tell when my daughter is around and wearing the shoes because I can smell them, but I'd rather they had a strong pleasant smell than a disgusting odor. Turns out these in-soles are not only scented and padded for comfort, but they also absorb moisture, which is also another great feature, especially when wearing shoes without socks in the summer.

We both really loved these shoes. This is the best pair of shoes she has worn in her short 2ish years of life. The style is perfectly simple. We aren't big on fru-fru, and we don't like characters from movies and TV shows on our shoes. But, the little bit of sparkle this particular pair has makes them even more adorable with just the right hint of "girly". We couldn't be happier with the brand and the product. Great quality, great styling, and great support for our environment. Definitely 2 thumbs up from both myself and my daughter!

Make sure you head over to the Cienta USA Facebook page! Every so often they giveaway a pair of Cienta shoes. The Cienta USA giveaways are actually how I found out about the brand. They also keep you up to date on the new styles coming out, and where you can purchase them. If you're interested in browsing their web site (which I highly suggest because your kids will love you forever), you can check out their shoe selection [HERE].

 

*I received a product for free in order to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine. See Disclosure Policy.

29Mar/120

Natural House – Flushy, Trashy, & Sinky Product Review

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This review opportunity for Natural House worked out nicely with starting my second blog (Eco-Style Life). I've decided to try living a "green(er)" lifestyle and there are so many products in my home that have nasty chemicals in them. Everything from beauty products, to shampoos, soaps, and cleaning liquids. I have two young children, so I'd much rather keep them away from anything harmful as much as I can. It's hard to know where to even start. Trashing everything and starting from scratch it probably the easiest, however it's costly, and finding the right products to transition to might be a daunting task.

Natural House sent a 30 day supply of Trashy, Flushy, and Sinky. Easy to figure out which product is meant to clean what, right?! All of their products are created by using a probiotic formula and plant based ingredients. The products are all eco-friendly, biodegradable, and non-toxic. So, if for whatever reason my children decided to lick the sink, toilet, or trash can after cleaning, at least I know the Natural House products won't hurt them.

My two favorite products were Trashy and Flushy, but Sinky was fine too. I'm sorry - it's really hard for me to get excited about cleaning products. I just  despise cleaning, but at least these products made it fast and easy and made my job even easier!

Trashy comes in a spray bottle and all you have to do is spray it inside of your garbage can in between bag changes. You can leave it on and let it dry, or you can wipe down the garbage can. It leaves a really nice smell too. I did like that it wasn't a strong scent. The convenience of a garbage can spray was great too. I put it up on the window sill near the can, and that way I remember to actually use it!

 

My second favorite was Flushy, mainly because it turned the water blue. (I love it when toilet water is blue for some reason.) It worked too, which obviously is a pretty important quality! I noticed the biggest difference after using it for two weeks. We had a really harsh ring stain in the bowl where the water line is, and it disappeared after a few uses. The little packet you drop in quickly dissolved, and the ingredients start foaming. When I saw "foam" on the packaging I assumed it meant it would foam up and engulf most of the toilet bowl. Nope. That part was a little disappointing because I'm just like a kid and wanted to see it expand. It also had a nice scent, but after I flushed the toilet I couldn't really smell it. This product is also super convenient. The 30 day supply is a packet of 4 "pods". Each week you drop one in, let it foam for 10 seconds, scrub with whatever you want, and then flush. Easiest toilet bowl cleaning ever. We do have a septic tank, so it was great to see that the product description said it promotes a healthy septic tank and it encourages the break down of waste.

Sinky wasn't quite as exciting as the other two, because I couldn't really see it "work" except for the little bit of foaming. Even though it does help cut down the smell that can happen in a dirty drain, I wanted to see the results. Sinky is designed to help cut down on the grease and food waste, while at the same time helping to prevent drain clogs. However, I think one of the best unseen benefits of Sinky, according to the Natural House website, is that it keeps dangerous food born pathogens out of your sink. Oh well, if it's doing all of that, then I guess I don't need to see it work. Plus, I'm sure my drain is pretty darn gross.

I really like that Flushy, Sinky, and Trashy continue to clean beyond their initial use and you only need to use them once a week! That makes things easier for me, because as "gross" as it may be, sometimes I just forget to clean certain things. The products are packaged conveniently and are easy to use. And, because they are eco-friendly and safe, I'm happy to have these products in my house.

You can find Natural House on Facebook & Twitter! You can also purchase their products direction from their site [HERE], as well as on Amazon. Make sure you check out their video too!

Natural House is also giving you all a chance at winning your own 30 day supply of Flushy, Trashy, and Sinky! Giveaway will go live this evening (03/29) and run for about a week. You can enter [HERE] once it is live. Sweepstakes is limited to those 18+ who reside in the United States and is void where prohibited.