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Green Product Reviews

SodaStream Soda Maker

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
5
Make your own soda at home!
Greenness Rating: 
4
No bottles or cans to throw out, makes soda without electricity, and the reusable bottles are BPA free.
Value: 
4
The soda maker itself is a little expensive, but it pays for itself if you drink a lot of soda or seltzer.
Overall Rating: 
4

What better party trick than to turn water into soda within a few minutes? 

First and foremost, the SodaStream soda makers are fun and cool.  The Jet model (which I am reviewing), is super easy to use.  Put in ice cold water, press the top three times to carbonate, add flavor, and shake.  Viola -- soda!

For someone who tends to drink lots of soda or fizzy water, SodaStream is a good investment.  The Jet model starts at about $99.  Flavor prices vary, but most fall around $5, and you can make quite a few bottles of soda with each bottle of flavoring. 

As for the greenness of it, it is by far a greener option than buying lots of bottles and cans of soda.  Their bottles are reusable and BPA free.  The carbonation comes from a recyclable carbon dioxide cannister, not electricity or batteries.  ... read more

Trader Joe's Natural Antiplaque Toothpaste

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
5
Keeps teeth feeling clean all day
Greenness Rating: 
5
No fluoride, saccharin, etc.
Value: 
5
Good price
Overall Rating: 
5

I really love this toothpaste, it keeps my teeth clean and feeling fresh all day. The fennel flavor has a great taste and gives you a natural clean feeling rather than an artificial clean that comes from brands like Crest or Aquafresh. There is no animal testing which is great! It's similar to Tom's natural toothpastes, which I used to use, but I like this one a little better. Its not full of chemicals that are bad for you and bad for the environment: no fluoride, no saccharin, no lauryl sulfates, no propylene glycol. I definitely recommend it!

Huggies Pure & Natural

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
4
On par with your average disposable diaper in terms of quality
Greenness Rating: 
3
Greener than your average disposable, but NOT chlorine-free!
Value: 
4
A little more expensive than other disposables
Overall Rating: 
3

The most notable thing about these diapers is that they are much softer than most disposables and it also contains some organic cotton, less ink, and no perfumes.  They're not a green alternative to cloth diapers, as they are not biodegradable, but they are definitely better than your average disposable diaper.  They're a decent alternative to cloth diapers, for nighttime use, vacations, daycare, etc.   They don't leak and hold up very well in all types of diaper situations.  ... read more

HAPPYBABY Pouches

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
5
Tasty! The baby loves it and I even tried it, too!
Greenness Rating: 
3
Organic food, BPA free packaging with a lower carbon footprint, but it's unclear whether or not the pouches are recyclable
Value: 
5
10 for $10 at my local Stop & Shop...can't beat that!
Overall Rating: 
4

I had noticed the HAPPYBABY Baby Food pouches before, but I didn't realize that they were baby food.  I thought they were juice, because they come in pouches that look a lot like Capri-Sun.  While I am an advocate of making your own baby food, I keep a backup stock of pre-made baby food, especially for travel.   Recently, I was in the organic baby section at my local Stop & Shop, and I gave these HAPPYBABY pouches a closer look.  They were TEN for TEN DOLLARS!  Wow!  I grabbed one of each flavor.... read more

Butt Paste Diaper Rash Cream

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
3
Effective, but you can't use it with cloth diapers
Greenness Rating: 
3
Not organic, only for use with disposable diapers
Value: 
5
Good price
Overall Rating: 
4

OK, OK, I admit it.  I first bought Butt Paste because of its funny name.  Butt Paste says it's all-natural but unfortunately, it's not organic and it is NOT for use with cloth diapers, as it is staining.   I bought the cream before our baby was born, and I didn't realize that diaper rash ointment and cloth diapers can sometimes be incompatible.  ... read more

HealthyTimes Baby Herbal Garden Lotion

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
5
Great lotion for mom & baby!
Greenness Rating: 
5
No harsh chemicals, easy on skin
Value: 
5
Runs for about $5 for 8 oz. Worth it!
Overall Rating: 
5

This lotion is getting my baby and me through the winter.  I bought it for him before he was born when I was stocking up on baby products at Whole Foods because I thought that it was a good price, and I was attracted to the sweet artwork on the bottle.  People gave us other baby lotions, but this is by far the best.  My baby has very dry skin, especially on his legs, and this would help moisturize without leaving an oily residue.  It has a pleasant fragrance, that is mild yet comforting.  ... read more

Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
5
Effective all-purpose cleaner
Greenness Rating: 
4
Non-toxic, biodegradable, and no harsh scents, but not organic.
Value: 
5
More expensive than most common all-purpose cleaners (i.e., 409) but worth a few extra bucks.
Overall Rating: 
5

I use Seventh Generation All Purpose Cleaner all over the house.  I clean the kitchen counters with it, I clean the stove with it, I clean the bathroom with it...it really IS for all purposes!  It cuts through dirt, grease, dust...you name it.  

It doesn't have a scent at all, which some people may or may not like.  I like it, though, because I find that many cleaners (even ones that claim to be all natural such as Method) have an overly strong smell.  ... read more

Tom's of Maine Deodorant

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
3
I love the scents of their deodorant, but I need to reapply frequently.
Greenness Rating: 
4
Greener packaging than most of the alternatives, but products aren't certified organic
Value: 
3
A little more expensive than your average (non-organic) deodorant.
Overall Rating: 
3

I like Tom's of Maine...I really do.  But their deodorant just doesn't cut it for me.  Every few years, I buy a stick of it only to  be disappointed.  Within a few hours, I go from smelling like all-natural honeysuckle rose to smelling like a big ol' stinky armpit.  I like that they are aluminum-free, and their scents don't have that artificial powdery smelling scent like brands such as Secret have.   I also like the other "green" things that Tom's of Maine does.... read more

Herbal Armor Insect Repellent Spray by All Terrain

Review Summary
Keeness Rating: 
5
Herbal Armor is an effective and safe alternative to bug sprays with DEET. I was skeptical of how well it would work, but I remained relatively unbitten!
Greenness Rating: 
5
DEET-free! The brand, All Terrain, makes their products with all natural ingredients and they use packaging made of recyclable material and is either recyclable or biodegradable.
Value: 
5
More expensive than the traditional bug spray, but well worth it considering that it's safe AND effective.
Overall Rating: 
5

Insect repellant is something that I didn't "go green" with right away, because I had tried natural bug sprays that just were not very effective.  They'd be expensive and they'd smell somewhat pleasant, but I'd still get eaten alive by mosquitoes.  However, I'm currently pregnant and during a summer camping trip to a lake in New Hampshire, I knew I couldn't bathe myself in "OFF" like I usually did.  I was far too wary of DEET harming my baby, so I went to Whole Foods to see what I could find.

Being a little bit of a cheapskate frugal, I bought Herbal Armor because it was less expensive than some of the alternatives.  ... read more