My life is dedicated to living consciously and with conscience, bringing positive energy and peace into the world. In this pursuit I strive at all times to be aware of myself, of those around me, and of the impacts of my decisions on both people and environment everywhere. As my awareness and knowledge grow, so does my responsibility. I am only one person and I certainly can't do everything, but I can still strive to bring positive energy and peace into my immediate world. In order to stay true to my calling I follow a "quadruple-bottom line", which is a variant on the "triple-bottom line" applied in business. My quadruple-bottom line is: finances, environment, society, and spirituality.
This means that for a decade now I have been committed to reducing stuff (aka clutter), buying organic to help the environment, buying fair trade or sweatshop free so my purchases benefit society, and buying stuff with minimal/no treatments or potential harmful chemical ingredients to reduce my exposure for personal health reasons. As we move into a new era, that of parenthood, we'll have to find a new balance. During the baby years I anticipate buying more secondhand clothes, and hope to still be able to get clothes/blankets/toys/etc that are organic fabrics, not treated with heavy metal or toxic dyes, not treated with chemicals for stain protection/wrinkle prevention, not treated with fire retardants, not containing chemicals with uncertain health effects (like many plastics), and made by people who are receiving fair labor compensation. Yeah, I know, I'm demanding.
Green America (formerly Co-op America) is an organization to which a belong that is the perfect tool for me to pursue my mission. Check it out.
National Green Pages, a publication and website from Green America, is a directory of businesses that have been screened for social and environmental responsibility.
Green American, a publication of Green America, is a quartery magazine that goes into depth on issues that we face (like cars and fuel types, energy efficiency, the green economy, etc.)
RealGreen, a publication of Green America, is a monthly newsletter with articles about a wide variety of green-living subjects, and investment profiles for companies that are part of the green economy.
Responsible Shopper, a program of Green America, provides profiles for companies in a handful of industries that give information on their reconds for environment, ethics, health, and human rights.
Better World Shopper is a website (and book) that provides information and rankings for lots of companies, on issues including environment, human rights, and community involvement.
Environmental Working Group is an organization dedicated to protecting public health and the environment that has a sunscreen database, cosmetic safety database, information about pesticides in foods, etc.
Rocky Mountain Institute is an organization dedicated to promoting the efficient use of resources. The website provides a library of many papers and books on the subject.
For general baby gifts, try checking out companies listed in the National Green Pages. I've pulled a few links out here to make it easy. Note that these are in no particular order and I haven't necessarily purchased from these companies before, but as Green America member companies I can be comfortable that they align with my values.
Under The Nile
Earth Mama Angel Baby
Four Green Steps
Green As We Grow
New Native Baby
Peel a Green
Yes Its Organic
Zoey and Sprout
Ecological Skin Care
Best Baby Organics
Organic Baby Gift Boutique
Pure & Simple Baby
Happy Green Baby
I get a lot of questions about where I shop. Well, mostly on line, and these are some of my favorite/most frequent retailers.
Gaiam: I buy a lot of clothing and stuff for our house from Gaiam, they also have fitness stuff.
Blue Canoe: I probably have more articles of clothing from Blue Canoe than any other company. They sell organic cotton clothes made in the US.
Maggies: I love Maggies socks.
Rawganique: This is usually one of my first stops when I'm shopping for something because of their large inventory. They carry organic cotton, hemp, and linen clothing and home products.
Certified Jean: This is where I buy my jeans so that I can get organic cotton grown and sewn in the US.
Threadhead Creations: This is where I got my wedding dress, it was a custom modification of one of her designs (I had it modified so that my tattoos would show).
Near Sea Naturals: So far the only place I've found to buy fabrics, since I can't find a fabric store with organic fabric in stock.
SERRV International: A good place to look for fair trade housewares.
Global Exchange: Another good place to look for fair trade housewares.
Amber Lotus: This is where I get most of my calendars and greeting cards.