We’ve been nominated for a Golden Bear Award and we need your votes!

We’ve been nominated for a Golden Bear Award!golden bear award

We’re thrilled to have been nominated for a Golden Bear Award from Abe’s Market!  They’re celebrating their best natural products in a variety of categories and we’re excited to have been chosen for this fun award.

Save 15% at Abe’s when you cast your votes!

Abe’s Market is so awesome they’re even rewarding you for voting!  Vote here and then make sure you scroll all the way down to the bottom, enter your email address and click “Submit Vote” it’s that easy!

This contest is open through 3/23 so we could really use your votes and support in spreading the word.

golden bear awards

Meet Courtney and Abbie of Simple City Life, Our newest Molly’s Suds Ambassadors!

Read this charming post written by Abbie, one of the mamas behind the blog Simple City Life.

I am a total cloth diaper rookie! I have only been cloth diapering since my little girl was born on December 23rd, 2013.  My husband and I made the decision to cloth diaper when we found out I was pregnant and I have not regretted the decision yet. One of my biggest influences with cloth diapering is my good friend and comrades Courtney Fisk.  Courtney actually started Simple City Life Blog a few years ago and has been an advocate for home birth, green living and cloth diapering since I have known her.

simple city life

Courtney & Abbie

She seriously is a guru when it comes to what each diaper company has to offer and has taught me so much about the importance of raising her family free of chemicals whether it is cleaning products, food or skin care and so much more.  Courtney brought me on this past summer as a writer for the blog and it has been quite the journey.  I have tried to be a bit more educated myself over the past few years about the importance of living a “green” life but the more I learn the more I realize I am just getting started.  One of the important switches I started making in our home last year was our laundry detergent.  My step-daughter has severe eczema and I hated the thought of her sensitive skin having clothes washed in soap that would be more harmful for her. I also knew that with cloth diapering I would want a soap that would be clean and free for my little baby’s skin as well and would not have a yucky residue left. I discovered Molly’s Suds this past summer when we were having a virtual baby shower for our blog and we asked to review some of the products.  I think I was first won over by the great smell of the peppermint from the laundry powder and then when I read the story behind Molly’s Suds I realized this was more than a company but it was a family’s story and ambition.

I was skeptical that the powder would clump in my front loader and was a little skeptical at how little of it I needed to wash the clothes but to my surprise the clothes were super clean. After the baby was born I was washing new born diaper like crazy and again I was so pleased with how clean the inserts were getting and there was no smell. I have heard you have to “strip” diapers a lot but I have not had any issue with buildup yet and have not stripped anything but the clothes off my daughter after a blowout. Once I started using Molly’s I have not wanted to use anything else. I even have half used bottles of other chemical free laundry soaps sitting in my basement that I have not touched in a while.simple city life

Both Courtney and I are so pleased that our blog gets to promote a company like Molly’s that stays so close to our own desires for our home and family. I think even if I wasn’t an ambassador I would be trying to get the word out there to our readers. Feel free to read more about Courtney and I and our life in Milwaukee at www.simplecitylife.com and be sure to follow us as we post many reviews and giveaways.

Molly’s Suds, perfect for sensitive skin?

I passed one definite trait onto my three children – sensitive skin. We have to be very selective about the types of soaps and laundry products we use.  A reaction is possible, especially when heavy dyes or perfumes are involved, so we look for solutions without irritating ingredients. This is one of the main reasons I eagerly tried Molly’s Suds Cloth Diaper Detergent.inquisitive mom

I’ve used cloth diaper safe detergents on our diaper laundry for the past five years, with varying success. Last year, I even tried switching to a popular name brand detergent hoping I could use it on all of my laundry, but my youngest and I had immediate reactions. We started with Molly’s Suds not long after this trial and the results impressed me immediately.

Molly’s asked me to try their detergent and decide if I felt it was a product I would use for my family and stand behind as an ambassador. I needed assistance at first determining a laundry routine using my He Top loader and Molly’s provided excellent customer service. Once I had my routine down, our diapers came out clean and white each time.

I decided to become an ambassador for the brand after trying it for a month and was pleased to find my enthusiasm only grew over time.  Molly’s Suds creator Monica really impressed me with the motivations behind her all-natural brand and the in depth research she conducted to create an effective, all natural detergent using the best ingredients. Monica understands cloth diapers and how to create and use an effective detergent for inquisitive mom cleaning them.

Molly’s Suds is also a great fit with my blog, The Inquisitive Mom. I love learning about new products and especially exploring eco-conscious options.  Molly’s uses pure, cruelty free sources and I feel good using these products for my family. I also always appreciate the opportunity to support a small, family business, especially one with such a passion for their mission.

We just potty trained our third child and realized we put diapers away for the first time in seven years – eek! I don’t think they are packed away for good, but with kids ages 2, 5, and 7, we’ll definitely be exploring how Molly’s tackles other tricky laundry issues beyond cloth diapers!

inquisitive mom

Meet Stephanie, Houswife Mama, and get to know this Molly’s Suds Ambassador!

Hey guys, I’m Stephanie, mama to Adah and Abigail, my 4 and 2 year olds, respectively. I have been married to my college sweetheart, Michael, for the past 8 and a half years. I am originally from Massachusetts and we currently live in North Carolina with our cat Loki and 2 dogs Hera and Zeus. housewife mama,blogger

I have had the privilege of staying home with my girls while Michael works as a Systems Analyst and Workstation Developer for a local bank with several branches (basically, he can fix/build/whatever computers/networks/etc.).

I host sponsored product reviews and giveaways via my blog, am an occasional Ebay seller and just started crafting items and selling them on Etsy.

cloth diaper powder,mollys sudsSince I do not have a regular income but am still paying on student loans I have to get pretty creative in budgeting our money so that we can live within our means, without racking up any consumer debt. Some ways we do this is through meal planning and coupons (not in a crazy-coupon-lady way),  buying most of our clothing and other items from thrift stores and using cloth diapers and wipes.

Cloth diapers can sometimes be a hassle if you cannot get them cleaned the right way. I have learned this through trial and error but am happy to report that since we started using Molly’s Suds to clean our diapers, we have not had this issue. I even have a front-loading washing machine and do not have to add extra water or run 37 rinses. I simply follow the directions on Molly’s Suds packaging, exactly, and my diapers are clean every time. Oh, and I do not use a diaper sprayer either (scandalous, I know).

I am elated to be a part of the Molly’s Suds Ambassador Team and truly mean everything I say about Molly’s Suds getting my diapers clean. Side note: I have had the fortunate/unfortunate (not sure which one) opportunity to conclude that Molly’s Suds Cloth Diaper Powder does work effectively to get dog urine out of laundry as well.

Please come visit me anytime over at HousewifeMama.com and enter some of my family-friendly giveaways. You might even find a story or two about the slightly-more-than-mundane things that happen in our family.

Meet Shannon and learn WHY she loves and uses Molly’s Suds!

Hi all! I’m Shannon, mommy to Maggie, my 3 year old princess; and Charlie, my 18 month old thrill seeker. Together with John, we are building our family out in the countryside of Minnesota. We have two dogs, an old man dog named Buddy Boy who was abused and neglected before we got him, and Lady Jane, possibly the worlds greatest dog and lover of kids.mollys suds ambassador,shannon

John works his tail off so that I can stay home with the kiddos, but along with being a SAHM, I sell real estate, do daycare for a little girl Charlie’s age, and write my blog.  When we aren’t busy working, we love to do anything outdoors, fishing, hunting and whatever else we can find to do.

We have constantly been making efforts to be a more green family, and cloth diapers was the main gateway into this world for us. While we recycled and had a water cooler instead of bottled water, we do so much more now. This summer we are planning to grow an awesome vegetable garden. I use to scrapbook and make my own greeting cards, but haven’t done it as much since having kids. One of my very favorite things to do is play poker.

My blog seems like my lifeline to the outside world some days and you can find me over at Our Piece of Earth where I share stories about our daily adventures, our attempts at being amazing parents, our efforts at going green, parenting tips and so much more. I share reviews of products we love and offer some great chances for you to win them! I originally started writing my blog as a real estate blog but realized I wasn’t completely passionate about it. Once I started writing about parenting topics, it came cloth diaper powder,mollys sudsalive. There is so much to say as a parent and I love to share our successes and struggles with other parents who can relate.

We use Molly’s Suds because after battling with stink as soon as Charlie would pee, we couldn’t find a solution with our HE washing machine other than Tide, and that was causing our diapers to leak. When I had the chance to try some Molly’s Suds and become an ambassador for them, I was so excited! At first I wasn’t sure if it would work, but once I tried using more than the recommended detergent with our hard water, my diapers were finally not reeking every time Charlie went to the bathroom.
our piece of earth,blog
I’m so excited to be on board with Molly’s Suds and hope you will pop on over and visit me on Our Piece of Earth.

Make sure you follow Our Piece of Earth for additional Molly’s Suds related posts, reviews and giveaways from Molly’s Suds Ambassador Shannon.

The Danger of Dye

Why do you like some foods, and dislike others? Are you a “texture person” who can’t stand the feel of cottage cheese or yogurt in your mouth, or do you not care at all how a food feels? Do you want your food to be yellow if it is lemon flavored, and orange if it is supposed to taste like oranges? There are a lot of factors that influence food preferences in people, so companies who make food have to create products that not only taste great, but are appealing to all of the senses. Food coloring is a large part of that process.

Food coloring itself is not a new invention, ancient Romans used spices and foods like saffron, carrots, beets, and spinach to color their dishes.  However in 1856, the first synthetic food coloring was created as a by-product of coal processing. The very first foods approved by the USDA to have food coloring added in were cheese and butter. By the year 1900, hundreds of foods, cosmetic products, and and drugs contained synthetic food dyes.

Unfortunately, it was discovered that many of the dyes being used were carcinogenic and contained very dangerous toxins, they were quickly banned by the US government. This set in motion a series of laws passed regarding what types of food coloring could be used, and what couldn’t. Currently, there are several approved dyes for use in the United States. The chart below is copied from the FDA website and shows what are currently approved:

Color Additives Approved for Use in Human Food
Part 74, Subpart A: Color additives subject to batch certification(4)
21 CFR Section Straight Color EEC# Year(2)Approved Uses and Restrictions
§74.101 FD&C Blue No. 1 E133 1969 Foods generally.
1993 Added Mn spec.
§74.102 FD&C Blue No. 2 E132 1987 Foods generally.
§74.203 FD&C Green No. 3 —- 1982 Foods generally.
§74.250 Orange B(3) —- 1966 Casings or surfaces of frankfurters and sausages; NTE(7) 150 ppm (by wt).
§74.302 Citrus Red No. 2 —- 1963 Skins of oranges not intended or used for processing; NTE(7) 2.0 ppm (by wt).
§74.303 FD&C Red No. 3 E127 1969 Foods generally.
§74.340 FD&C Red No. 40(3) E129 1971 Foods generally.
§74.705 FD&C Yellow No. 5 E102 1969 Foods generally.
§74.706 FD&C Yellow No. 6 E110 1986 Foods generally.

There are many more that are approved for use in drugs and cosmetic products, to view all of the approved food additives and dyes, click here.

While the USDA and FDA have approved the above food additives, there are many researchers who are worried about the side effects of ingesting these chemicals. In fact, the European Union has started placing warnings on foods that contain dyes to warn the consumers of health risks! According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), “The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens … Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet is still in the food supply.” Below is a summary of studies on food dyes directly from the CSPI report:

Blue 1 was not found to be toxic in key rat and mouse studies, but an unpublished study suggested the possibility that Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice, and a preliminary in vitro study raised questions about possible effects on nerve cells. Blue 1 may not cause cancer, but confirmatory studies should be conducted. The dye can cause hypersensitivity reactions.

Blue 2 cannot be considered safe given the statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. It should not be used in foods. Citrus Red 2, which is permitted only for coloring the skins of oranges not used for processing, is toxic to rodents at modest levels and caused tumors of the urinary bladder and possibly other organs. The dye poses minimal human risk, because it is only used at minuscule levels and only on orange peels, but it still has no place in the food supply.

Green 3 caused significant increases in bladder and testes tumors in male rats. Though the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers it safe, this little-used dye must remain suspect until further testing is conducted.

Orange B is approved for use only in sausage casings, but has not been used for many years. Limited industry testing did not reveal any problems.
Red 3 was recognized in 1990 by the FDA as a thyroid carcinogen in animals and is banned in cosmetics and externally applied drugs. All uses of Red 3 lakes (combinations of dyes and salts that are insoluble and used in low-moisture foods) are also banned. However, the FDA still permits Red 3 in ingested drugs and foods, with about 200,000 pounds of the dye being used annually. The FDA needs to revoke that approval.

Red 40, the most-widely used dye, may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice. The dye causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in a small
number of consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children. Considering the safety questions and its non-essentiality, Red 40 should be excluded from foods unless and until new tests clearly demonstrate its safety.

Yellow 5 was not carcinogenic in rats, but was not adequately tested in mice. It may be contaminated with several cancer-causing chemicals. In addition, Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions in a small number of people and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. Posing some risks, while serving no nutritional or safety purpose, Yellow 5 should not be allowed in foods.Yellow 6 caused adrenal tumors in animals, though that is disputed by industry and the FDA. It may be contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals and occasionally causes severe hypersensitivity reactions. Yellow 6 adds an unnecessary risk to the food supply.

Virtually all the studies tested individual dyes, whereas many foods and diets contain mixtures of dyes (and other ingredients) that might lead to additive or synergistic effects. In addition to considerations of organ damage, cancer, birth defects, and allergic reactions, mixtures of dyes (and Yellow 5 tested alone) cause hyperactivity and other behavioral problems in some children. Because of that concern, the British government advised companies to stop using most food dyes by the end of 2009.

The most worrisome thing of all? So many foods made specifically for children contain dyes! When buying food for your family, look for alternatives that don’t contain any unnecessary additives. Sure, they may not look as neon and bright, but they will without a doubt be healthier for you. Plus, there still ARE crazy and fun colored foods out there that are naturally colored, all you have to do is look for them. Natural food colorings often appear on ingredient labels as beets, turmeric root, annatto, saffron, paprika, elderberry juice, and caramel coloring (made from caramelized sugar).

If you are baking or cooking and want to color something without using spices or other food products, there are natural dyes you can purchase! Neither Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s carry products that use artificial dyes and depending on the location, they may even sell all-natural food colorings. Other all-natural food coloring options are:

By Courtney Perry

Sleeping Organic

We have discussed the benefits of eating organic, but did you know there are ways you can go organic other than food and beauty products? Switching to an organic mattress is a great way to cut down on your repeated chemical exposure. Now don’t panic, to get an organic mattress you don’t have to run outside and gather leaves, straw, and animal hide like our neanderthal ancestors did. Organic mattresses are increasing in popularity and mainstream companies have started adding organic options to their already existing mattress lines.

So what does it mean if a mattress is organic? It means that the materials used to build the mattress come from organic sources, and are chemical-free. A typical mattress is comprised of many layers (depending on it’s quality and price) and often contain polyurethane foam, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), chlorinated tris, and boric acid. Let’s break each one down:

Polyurethane Foam: While polyurethane foam can be found in a multitude of places (carpeting, walls, shoes, beds), it has been linked to nervous and immune system illness. A material that contains formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and other toxins is not something that should be omitted from your home safety radar, especially when it may be what you and your loved ones are sleeping on every single night. Some other dangers of sleeping on a mattress with polyurethane foam are allergic reactions, irregular heartbeat, headaches, body aches, dizziness, and fatigue. Here is a link that provides more detail about the dangers of polyurethane foam.

Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE): PBDE is used as a flame retardant. Exposure to PBDE has been linked to cancer, reproductive problems and impaired fetal brain development. It is especially dangerous for pregnant mothers to be sleeping on mattresses that contains PBDE, as Dr. Mercola outlines in this fantastic article.

Chlorinated Tris: Chlorinated tris is a carcinogenic flame retardant. In animal studies, chlorinated tris caused infertility, decreased semen quality in men, and cancerous tumors on the kidneys and testes. The unfortunate thing about chlorinated tris is that it doesn’t stay localized to your couch or bed, the chemical floats in microscopic sized pieces around the house.

Boric Acid: Again, boric acid is used in mattresses as a flame retardant. In animal studies, boric acide caused testicular damage, lower semen quality, and tumors. Regarding boric acid use in products, the EPA has stated, “that manufacture, process, or use of the substance without dermal protection may result in serious chronic and developmental effects.”

So how can you find an organic mattress, and how do you know what to look for? More than likely you won’t be able to ask your salesperson “hey, does this mattress contain boric acid or polybrominated diphenyl ethers?” You’ll probably get a blank stare from your salesperson, followed by a carefully scripted speech about how their mattresses have been tested for safety and comfort. Thecleanbedroom.com has a great suggestion for questions to ask your salesperson to help you determine if the mattress is safe for you:

  1. Is the outer cover made with certified organic cotton? Be sure it has not been treated with stain resistant chemicals like formaldehyde.
  2. How does the mattress meet the U.S. Fire Resistant Code #1633 that took effect on July 1, 2007? If the mattress is organic, in most cases a layer of organic or untreated wool is placed under the outer cover to pass the burn test. Wool self-extinguishes when exposed to a flame. Some manufacturers use non-chemical flame retardants like corn husks and baking soda; ask how these are processed to be sure they are truly toxin-free.
  3. Is the innerspring coil system sprayed with oils or a rust-proof treatment? An organic innerspring mattress system is untreated.
  4. Is the inner core of a latex mattress made with 100% natural rubber? If the sales person hedges, the latex core is probably a blend of 60/40 natural rubber and petrochemical-based synthetic. The percentage of natural rubber in the core of an organic mattress should be 90+%.

We spend about one-third of our lives in bed, so making sure we are not being exposed to toxins while our bodies are supposed to be resting and recovering is crucial to our well-being. Here are some suggestions for organic mattresses:

 

By Courtney Perry