GreenHalloween Twitter Party Extravaganza! Great Info, Fantastic Prizes!

Get ready for a awesome Twitter Party on greening your Halloween with GreenHalloween.org. That’s right – we are going to get eekofriendly on October 13, 2011 from 6 to 8 pm Pacific time!

Green Halloween is a program of the non profit organization EcoMom Alliance. The concept is to make Halloween healthier and safer for our children and for the environment.  In 2010, a record one millionpieces of candy were replaced with healthier and more sustainable treat options. This year, the revolution will continue, and the Twitter party will share information on just how to do that.

Plus, of course, there are prizes.

First, to be eligible for the prizes, make sure you are following @GreenHalloween and then RSVP by leaving your Twitter handle here in the comments. Then, join us for the #GreenHalloween Twitter party on Thursday, October 13, 2011, from 6 to 8 pm. Don’t forget to use the #greenhalloween hashtag in your tweets.

We have a ton of special guests. The partners include HonestTea @HonestTea, Goodwin Heart Pine @GoodwinLumber, Kiwi magazine @KiwiMagazine, Red Tricycle, Practically Green @PracticallyGrnEndangered Species Chocolate @ESC_Chocolate, Nature’s Path @NaturesPath, Stretch Island Fruit Co. @StretchIsland, Revolution Foods @RevolutionFoods, Plum Organics @PlumOrganics, Surf Sweets @SurfSweets, Angell Bar @OrganicCandyBar, Mr. Halloweenster @MrHalloweenster, EcoMom.com @EcoMom, Celebrate Green! @CelebrateGreen, Today I Ate A Rainbow @eatingarainbow, Terra Firma Cosmetics MoMoGirl, The Damsel in the Attic @DamselInAttic and Neighborcare Health @Neighborcare. The nonprofit partner is Goodwill Industries International @GoodwillIntl. And, the event partners are Womentorz @Womentorz, LiveGreene @ShopLiveGreene, Natural Luxe @NaturalLuxe, Eat Cleaner @EatCleanerFood, EcoPartyTime @EcoPartyTime, Divine Events @AlyZDivine, Divine Moms @DivineMomz, Green Halloween Daytona Beach @GreenHalloween1, Los Angeles Costume Swap @LACostumeSwap and Anna Clark @annaclark.

And, of course, me. I’m hosting as @TheSmartMama.

The prizes are as follows:

(1) Angell Organic Candy Bar sample pack including 2 bars each Crisp, Dark and Snow; an organic cotton t-shirt and assorted stickers generously donated by Angell Bars.

(2) A copy of the book “Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family” generously donated by mother-daughter founders of @GreenHalloween and @CostumeSwapDay.

(3)  Stretch Island Fruit Co. package consisting of 2 cases of 30 fruit strips – winner can choose 1 or 2 flavors from Stretch Island Fruit Co.

(4) 1 Lunchbots Pico, a stainless steel divided lunch container from LunchBots @Lunchbot.

(5) A treat from Honest Tea valued at $64.

(6) A Kiwi magazine subscription from Kiwi magazine.

(7) A Nature’s Path Specialty Gift Basket with a value of more than $100.

(8) Revolution Foods is generously giving away a case of 50 Jammy Sammys.

If you need information on Twitter parties, please check out this informative post.

Green Halloween National Costume Swap Day #CostumeSwap Twitter Party

I love Halloween. It is my favorite holiday. Dressing up, spooky decorations, candy and treats without the family drama of Thanksgiving and Christmas/Hanukkah. Whoot!

But the costumes have sure gotten away from the homemade costumes of my youth. One year my mom my a red wing blackbird costume for me, and hand sewed individual black feathers on the wings. Another year my sister was a circus performer, and my mom made a white horse out of foamboard and attached it to my sister’s tricycle. And yes, one year my mom made my sister and me lion costumes from felt and yarn.

But now most of us buy costumes from the store, and then get rid of them. Disposable Halloween. But there is something we can do about the waste associated with disposable costumes – National Costume Swap Day!

National Costume Swap Day is a partnership of Green Halloween, Swap.com and Kiwi Magazine. This year, the official day is October 8, 2011. Host your own (register here) or find a local swap.

In honor of and to spread the word about National Costume Swap Day, we are having a Twitter party with prizes (of course) on September 27, 2011 from 6 to 7 pm Pacific (that’s 9 to 10 Eastern).  Be sure to RSVP at Green Halloween to be eligible for prizes.

The following prizes will be given out during the #costumeswap Twitter party on 9/27/11:

Be sure to follow Costume Swap on Twitter (@CostumeSwapDay) as well as the fabulous special guests on Twi

  1. Angell Bars sample pack with sample Angell Organic Candy Bars in different flavors, an organic cotton t-shirt and stickers valued at $45 from Angell Bars;
  2. Copy of the fabulous book Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations & Traditions for the Whole Family valued at $24.95 from Celebrate Green;
  3. A Kiwi Magazine subscription (to the US or Canada) from Kiwi Magazine;
  4. A Nature’s Path Specialty Gift Basket with a collection of products and eco–friendly items from Nature’s Path Foods; and
  5. A Revolution Foods Healthy Halloween Snack Kit with 48 organic Mashups squeezable fruit for kids with a suggested retail price of $67.

tter – Swap.com (@Swap), Kiwi Magazine (@KiwiMagazine), Green Halloween (@GreenHalloween), EcoMom Alliance (@EcoMomAlliance), Practically Green (@PracticallyGrn) and Celebrate Green (@CelebrateGreen). And, of course, follow your hostess – @TheSmartMama.

When tweeting during the party, don’t forget the hashtag – #costumeswap. If you need some information on how a Twitter party works, check out this blog post.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Head of the Class – What is Natural?

Are you ready for college? You will learn about “Natural” for your college level course. And, of course, enter to win Earth Mama Angel Baby’s purely natural, naturally safe Angel Baby Bottom Balm, Mama Bottom Balm, C-Mama Healing Salve and Natural Nipple Butter!

So many products, so many labels! The label says “natural,” but does that mean safe? What’s really organic? What’s a toxic ingredient? You almost need a degree to decipher label claims!

That’s why Earth Mama Angel Baby® is giving you the chance to go to the head of the organic class, win prizes and learn about the five levels of Organic and Natural. You’ll get product label information a concerned consumer can really use, plus earn your Mama U. diploma and a chance to win fantastic prizes all along the way, including a ginormous Grand Prize worth over $650! Earth Mama Angel Baby and five respected bloggers will take you from grade to grade: once you pass one level, you can move on to the next. You can do all five in a day or take your time and do it in a week. Just make sure you go to Mama U. Graduation by midnight Sunday, May 1 to pick up your diploma, your special graduate coupon code, and enter to win the Mama U. Graduates Grand Prize bundle of honestly organic goodies, valued at $650!! That’s the grand prize in the picture below:

Welcome to College! With all your education, this should be a snap, but if you need to take some refresher courses, no worries, it won’t take you long. You’ve learned about USDA Certified 100% Organic, Organic, Made With and Contains Organic Ingredients. So this college level course on “natural” should be a snap, right? Wrong!

Here’s the problem. When it comes to beauty products, there is no regulatory or legal definition for the word “natural”! Without a regulatory or legal definition, the word natural means whatever the manufacturer or labeler wants it to mean. So, figuring out what is meant by “natural” on a label is the most difficult of all.

Studies show that most consumers trust the word “natural” on a label over even USDA Certified 100% Organic. But, as we just learned, without a regulatory or legal definition, when a label says natural, it can mean anything the company wants it to mean, or it can mean absolutely nothing. If you trust the brand, you might be able to assume it means that every product occurs naturally, and that there are no harmful ingredients. But the word “natural” on its own is a bad indicator of the purity or safety of the product.

In other words, in the cosmetic world, natural can mean anything.

For most consumers, the word natural results in a very visceral reaction. Take natural on a shampoo label with pictures of coconuts and coconut derived ingredients. The word will evoke an idyllic tropical scene featuring a lovely woman with her long tresses tied back and her brightly colored dress fluttering in a warm breeze, perfumed with tropical flowers. Most of us will picture her gently mashing coconut meat, and then adding it to some other gathered ingredients to make the shampoo.

That may be exactly what we mean when we use the word natural. We probably mean the opposite of synthetic and we believe natural equals safe. But that probably isn’t what the manufacturer means.

First, and most importantly, natural doesn’t mean safe. Lots of things that are natural are unsafe. Just think of lead. Lead is a naturally occurring element which is poisonous. It damages the nervous system and causes brain disorders. Or arsenic. Or mercury. Or some of the toxins produced by plants and animals, like tetrodotoxin, synthesized by the Japanese globefish. Tetrodotoxin is 10 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide. Or cyanide in apple seeds. Or aflatoxins, naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by many species of Aspergillus, a fungus.

And the flip side is also true. Synthetic doesn’t mean unsafe. Synthesized water isn’t more toxic than its naturally occurring counterpart.

So, the real issue is whether you are getting what you think you are getting when you buy a product because it has natural on the label. Our lovely coconut masher isn’t how the naturally derived coconut ingredients get into your shampoo. Nope. Most of them get into your beauty products courtesy of men and women in white lab coats.

Take sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), which is sometimes indicated to be derived from coconuts. You find SLS as an ingredient in a lot of beauty products today. SLS is synthesized by treating lauryl alcohol with sulfur trioxide gas or chlorosulfonic acid to produce hydrogen lauryl sulfate.  The lauryl alcohol comes from either coconut or palm kernel oil, so SLS does come from coconuts sometimes. Once hydrogen lauryl sulfate is produced, it is neutralized by adding sodium hydroxide or sodium carbonate.

Not really the naturally coconut derived ingredient you envisioned, right?

Other coconut derived ingredients that are routinely found in “natural” beauty products but come courtesy of people in white lab coats, and not our coconut masher, are cocamidopropyl betaine (derived from coconut oil and dimethylaminopropylamine) and cocamide DEA (made from reacting coconut oil fatty acids with diethanolamine).  There are many others on the market.

So what did we learn? That natural has meaning different meanings. That natural has no regulatory or legal meaning when it comes to beauty products. When it comes to beauty products, what natural means is up to the manufacturer.

College Exam (see Crib Notes here)

Post your answer to the question below in the comments by May 1, 2011 no later than 11:59 pm Pacific time, and you’ll get a chance to win one each of Earth Mama Angel Baby’s purely natural, naturally safe Angel Baby Bottom Balm, Mama Bottom Balm, C-Mama Healing Salve and Natural Nipple Butter!

Q. What is an example of an ingredient that is “natural” but is actually not very safe? (And to clarify this question, we are looking for substances that are commonly used as ingredients in today’s beauty products such as shampoos).

Congratulations, you can now graduate with full Pomp and Circumstance from Mama U. at Earth Mama Angel Baby! But first, march over to Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Facebook page to let everyone know, “I just graduated from Organic College at The Smart Mama!”

Check Earth Mama’s Go to the Head of the Organic Class page for blog locations, prize information, and the Crib Sheet for your open book tests. Earth Mama will announce locations, prizes and winners on Facebook and Twitter too.

Disclosure – Earth Mama Angel Baby provided the prizes.

#ecowed Twitter party – Spring Cleaning: Creating a Toxicant Free Home

I’m so excited for this week’s #ecowed Twitter party! We will be talking Spring Cleaning: Creating a Toxicant Free Home with our sponsor ecomom and some very special extra guests, including mother-daughter team Corey Colwell-Lipson and Lynn Colwell from Celebrate Green, Lisa Frack and Senior Scientist Becky Sutton from the Environmental Working Group, and Beth Greer from Super Natural Mom.

Spring always makes we want to clean, organize and start fresh. This #ecowed party will focus on how to undertake that spring cleaning and create a toxicant free home. Tweet with me @thesmartmama and our sponsor @ecomom and @ecomomkimberly to learn some tricks and tips for creating that toxicant free home and be sure to share your own tips.

Also, Social Media Manager Lisa Frack and Senior Scientist Becky Sutton from the EWG are also joining us with their expertise. Make sure you follow @ewgtoxics to learn from Lisa and Becky. And, go check out EWG’s 10 tips for non toxic spring cleaning.

Beth Greer, holistic health educator, radio talk show host, and certified Build It Green professional will also be joining us. She is also the author of Super Natural Home: Improve Your Health, Home, and Planet–One Room at a Time. Make sure you follow her at @supernaturalhome.

And, finally, we’ve got Lynn and Corey, authors of Celebrate Green. Make sure you follow @celebrategreen on Twitter.

Don’t forget to enter ecomom’s $75,000 Healthy Home Makeover contest and check out ecomom’s blog with daily giveaways.

We will have great advice for going non toxic and prizes to boot. That’s right – we’ve got three $25 gift certificates to the ecomom website and a grand prize $100 gift certificate to ecomom. Prizes will be randomly drawn from those who join us during the #ecowed Twitter party using the #ecowed hashtag. Get an extra entry by leaving a comment on this post about how you create a toxicant free home or a question you have about creating a healthy home.

So join us at 7 pm Pacific on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, using the #ecowed hashtag. If you aren’t sure how to join a Twitter party, just read about it here. And if you want some tips for reducing toxic chemical exposure, don’t forget you can always check out my book – Smart Mama’s Green Guide: Simple Steps to Reduce Your Child’s Toxic Chemical Exposure

#ecowed Twitter party with ecomom – Getting Organized!!

Get ready for yet another fabulous #ecowed Twitter party with sponsor ecomom.com. This Wednesday, April 13, 2011, from 7 to 8 pm Pacific time, we will be tweeting with @ecomom and our guest experts about organization!

Okay, so getting organized is always a hot topic. How does a busy family do it? Don’t you envy those families that never seem to forget anything? I do. But every time I try to get organized, I feel overwhelmed. And I feel frustrated because all of the organizing storage bins and similar items are made of plastic.

But, ecomom.com does have some options, such as the Way Basics Storage Cube. Or check out the Way Basics Tribeca Bookcase. It is made of zboard, which is made from 99% post consumer recycled paper and is lighter to ship than particle board so reduced energy consumption in the shipping. And no formaldehyde like particle board.

Plus, organizing isn’t just getting all of our stuff put away. I also need to organize the communications with my kids’ school, their sport teams, etc. And that is where one of our guest experts comes in. Guest expert Aparna Vasshisht-Rota is the founder of Parentella.com, a private parent-teacher social network. It is designed to improve communications between teachers, parents, and room parents. It is a lot better (and more greener) than send home notes!

We will also be joined by guest expert Molly Gold, present and founder of GO MOM! Inc. Molly Gold is a lifestyle media expert, spokesperson, communications consultant, consumer productsd specialist and online media mom.

So let’s talk tips and strategies for organization. Join us at the #ecowed Twitter party, 4/13, from 7 to 8 pm Pacific. Don’t forget to follow @thesmartmama, our sponsor @ecomom and @ecomomkimberly, and our guest experts, @parentella and @myGOMOM.

And we’ve got prizes. This week, we will be picking prizes only from those that participate in the #ecowed Twitter party using the #ecowed hashtag. It will be random draws from the participants and perhaps those answering questions. We’ve got three (3) $25 gift certificates to ecomom.com and a grand prize of a $100 gift certificate to ecomom.com. So join us for #ecowed, 4/13, from 7 to 8 pm Pacific.

Plus, don’t forget to enter ecomom’s absolutely fabulous Healthy Home Makeover contest. You could win a $75,000 Healthy Home Makeover! Plus ecomom has daily giveaways – just check out the ecomom blog for today’s contest.

#ecowed Twitter party with ecomom: Entertaining the Family for Spring Holidays

This Wednesday’s #ecowed Twitter party will focus on Entertaining the Family for Spring Holidays the eco-friendly way. We will be tweeting green partying for Spring with our sponsor ecomom on April 6, 2011, from 7 to 8 pm Pacific (that’s 10 to 11 pm Eastern). Our special guest expert is the wonderful Gigi Lee Chang, founder and CEO of Plum Organics.

ecomom is sponsoring a series of #ecowed Twitter parties in support of ecomom’s fabulous contest to win a $75,000 Healthy  Home Makeover. That’s right – one lucky family will win a newly refreshed and healthy home. This is week two – and it is about the garden and the family room. I love gardening, so I’m particularly excited about this party.

And spring is the time to think about a newly refreshed and healthy home! Spring always makes me want to clean out the old, go green with the new, and invite people over for parties! So we will be talking with the founder of Plum Organics, Gigi Lee Chang, about how to entertain the family eco-friendly style. We will be talking about simplicity, food and celebrating new life!

As always, we’ve got prizes. Our fabulous sponsor ecomom is providing three (3) $20 gift certificates to the ecomom website, and a $100 gift certificate as the grand prize! Woot! To be eligible to win, you must (1) leave a comment on this blog with your Twitter handle and (2) participate in the Twitter party (don’t forget to use the #ecowed hashtag). If you haven’t participated in a Twitter party before, here’s a run down on how to participate in a Twitter party

Tweet with you on April 6, 2011 from 7 to 8 pm Pacific. Don’t forget to follow me http://twitter.com/thesmartmama), our sponsor @ecomom and @ecomomkimberly, and our guest expert @plumorganics.

Fabulous #EcoWed Twitter Party – Cooking with Kids & Family Meals

We’ve got a fabulous #ecowed Twitter party lined up for Wednesday, February 23, 2011 from 7 to 8 pm Pacific (that’s 10 to 11 for you Eastern peeps). EcoMom is sponsoring the party, and we will be talking about cooking with the kids and family meals. Our wonderful guest expert will be Diana Stobo, author of Get Naked Fast! A Guide to Stripping Away the Foods That Weigh You Down  (if you click the link and buy the book, I will get like $0.00025 or something like that from Amazon).

Diana is a raw foods enthusiast, award winning author, educator and motivational speaker. She uses her personal health struggles to help people live a life of health, vibrance and beauty. Her non-judgmental and honest approach to incorporating more unprocessed food into the diet is designed to help you Get Naked Fast.

I’m excited for this party. I am in the process of planting my rooftop container garden, and I really, really want to incorporate more interesting foods into my diet. I’m planting them, and now I want to focus on how to use them in a way that will make my kids happy.

So, get ready to party, Twitter style. Get your questions ready for Diana, and make sure to follow her on Twitter as DianaStoboLive. Also follow our fabulous sponsor, EcoMom on Twitter as @ecomom.  

If you aren’t familiar with EcoMom, then you MUST go check out the website. EcoMom has everything a green mama could want, and then some. Really – go check it out. And also check out the EcoMom blog.

And of course, we’ve got prizes from our sponsor, EcoMom. We’ve got three $20 gift certificates that can be used at the wonderful Ecomom website, and the grand prize is one heart shaped bamboo spoon (cutest thing EVER); Endurance heart shaped measuring spoons – set of 4; and a Love Reusable Stash It Bag. Now that is a great grand prize!

To be eligible to win, you must leave a comment below – any question you have about family meals, making foods kids friendly or going naked (raw, that is) and participate at least once during the Twitter party on 2/23/11 from 7 to 8 pm Pacific using the #ecowed hashtag.

#Ecowed Twitter Party – Staying Healthy Naturally

This week’s #ecowed Twitter party is right on topic for this time of year – EcoMom Healthy Prevention and Remedies for the New Year with Dr. Alan Greene. As the title and topic suggest, this week’s #ecowed is sponsored by EcoMom, and our guest expert will be the fabulous Dr. Alan Greene, pediatrician, father of four, and author of Feeding Baby Green: The Earth Friendly Program for Healthy, Safe Nutrition During Pregnancy, Childhood, and Beyondand Raising Baby Green: The Earth-Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Baby Care. Dr. Greene has a plethora of awards and media appearances, including an upcoming appearance on Dr. Oz.

If you aren’t familiar with EcoMom.com, you should be. EcoMom makes healthy living happen. As I always say, healthy living doesn’t have to be overwhelming or expensive. Small steps matter and do make a big difference. EcoMom was founded to address the connection betweeen the health of our environment and the health of our children. EcoMom is committeed to making eco-conscious living easy and affordable. Plus, EcoMom has tips, tricks and information to make your healthy living easy.

So, this week’s #ecowed Twitter party will focus on health and wellness remedies and prevention for the whole family. EcoMom and Dr. Greene will gives us tips and tools to stay healthy more naturally. Get ready to ask your questions this Wednesday, January 19, 2011, from 7 to 8 pm Pacific. Just tweet with the #ecowed hashtag, and make sure to follow EcoMom (@ecomom) and EcoMomKimberly (@ecomomkimberly) as well as DrGreene (@drgreene) and me of course, TheSmartMama (@thesmartmama).

We have some fabulous prizes. To win, you must RSVP to the party by leaving a comment below – ask Dr. Greene or EcoMom a question, give a tip of staying healthy naturally, tell me something you love about ecomom.com, or just tell us you plan to join the party – and you must be present during the #ecowed party and use the #ecowed hashtag. Don’t forget – the party is from 7 to 8 pm Pacific on Wednesday, January 19.

The prizes are:

  1. Episenscial Soothing Cream (1 oz) (a $10 value);
  2. 1 bottle of SmartyPants Gummy Vitamins (a $24 value);
  3. 1 original and 1 orange and vanilla 1 oz Clean Well Spray; and
  4. a Grand Prize of Nature’s Artifacts Salt Inhaler (a $40 value) and a $25 gift certificate to EcoMom.com.

Tweet with you Wednesday, January 19, 2011! A link to the party’s tweetgrid will be tweeted at the beginning of the party.

Disclosure – If you didn’t figure it out, by having a sponsored party, EcoMom is providing me with compensation for hosting the party.