October 10, 2008

Go Green, Baby, Go Green

The edict came down before our dear friend's shower. She's having a green baby.In addition to gaining an adorable round belly, she has also sprouted a social consciousness that's warning her of any potential harm/poison/discomfort aimed at Baby Doe. Part of this is surely budding maternal instincts. Part of this is . . . frankly, we're just not sure.

It's hard to imagine our Ralph-Lauren dressing, blond-highlight wearing, always-polished and just-so pal jumping into a hemp gunny sack and flossing her teeth with twine.

Perhaps it's the hormones. Perhaps it's the obstructed view of her feet that's set her off. (Ah, we tease because we love.)

Whatever the reason, Bag Lady and Good-Buy Girl got their shower gift requests with the invite: All organic. All natural.

So we had our challenge. We headed out with retail bud Shopping Siren to see if we could come through. We did. And more power to our dear friend. But no way are we flossing with twine.

Bag Lady's picks:

Home Studio Shoreline Collection 5- by 7-inch frame, Kohl's, $7.99

Pearly seashells speckled over a muslin-covered picture frame. Perfect for our pal's beach-theme nursery. Conch beat that.

Munchkin tableware, Wal-Mart, $7.63 (3 bowls w/lids), $2.96 (6 spoons)

Prominently labeled BPA-free (BPA's a chemical being investigated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.) And this handy assurance on the packaging: "Don't worry - it's all non-toxic."

Use it to dig into Earth's Best Organic baby food (6 oz., 92- cents) Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (mmm) or Split Pea & Carrot Soup (eww.) Bag Lady hopes her future offspring have a broader palette than herself, or else it's pureed mac and cheese and sugar snap peas every night.

Simply Green light beige tote, JCPenney, $1.99

100% Cotton reusable shopping bag, fits with her no-gift-wrap- because-it-probably-somehow-hurts-squirrels mandate.

Good-Buy Girl's faves:

Pioneer Photo album, Kohl's, $9.99

Cotton gingham cover with a lace-and-satin frame, this sweetie holds 100 photos with room for unlimited commentary. Breathe easy - it's acid and PVC-emission free.

Carter's Child of Mine baby handprint set, Wal-Mart, $7.96

So cute, you have to overlook the plastic mold (it's heart- shaped, so that's easy.) Open cover, hold upright, play pattycake. Voila! A perfect little handprint in plaster of Paris. What could be more natural?

Garanimals, assorted pieces, Wal-Mart, $2.50-$3.50

Lots of choices in onesies, tops and bottoms made of 95 percent cotton and 5 percent organic cotton. A reasonable attempt at going green, in tandem with saving green. (Good thing ... did you check the price of that organic baby food?)

Arizona Simply Green baby wear, JCPenney, originally $16.99, now $3.99

No need to adjust your bamboo-framed eyeglasses. These all- organic T-shirts and onesies are selling at a quarter of their original price. Adorable, Earth-friendly motifs attractively displayed on cardboard-and-cotton hangers. But why the clearance rack? Draw your own conclusions.

Shopping Siren's picks:

Just Born thermal receiving blankets, two-pack, Kohl's, $18.

These pink and purple blankets aren't organic, but they are 100- percent cotton. (A tough find. All the others in the same display were polyester.) Embroidered with flowers and butterflies, these soft blankets are the perfect way to welcome a little one into the world.

Homedics sound spa lullaby with picture projection, JCPenney, originally $39.99, now $11.99

Lull the new baby to sleep with the soothing patter of rain set against images of cartoon animals playing in the rain forest. With three picture projections and six calming sounds - including the rain, ocean waves and a heartbeat - it's sure to calm a fussy baby and delight her sleep-deprived family. And it's great way to encourage eco-consciousness right from the crib.

Cuddle Bear 9-inch teddy bear, Wal-Mart, $5

The tag says the filling is made from "regenerated fibers," i.e., recycled bottles. Soft and squishy, you'd never guess this brown bear was once last week's Mountain Dew container. (Note: while the filling may be eco-friendly, Shopping Siren isn't so sure about the outside. Polyester.)

Comfort Select automatic breast pump, Wal-Mart, $39.66

Lightweight, compact, includes a vacuum control dial and bottle accessories. Because there's natural baby food and then there's really natural.

The best part? In addition to enjoying our pregnant pal's company for an afternoon and basking in her radiant glow, we understand she's serving mai tais. Certainly makes the green go down easy.

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