Do Biodegradable Pregnancy Tests Exist?

Why It’s Time To Make The Switch To Eco Friendly Pregnancy Tests

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I read somewhere today that around 10 million pregnancy tests are purchased in the U.S. each year; and I realized that years ago, I contributed to that statistic with my own pregnancy journeys.

Don’t get me wrong, at-home pregnancy tests are great because whether you’re trying to conceive (TTC) or anxiously waiting to be reassured that you’re not pregnant, you get to do it conveniently, and in the privacy of your own home. You’re in complete control of the situation.

But still, 10 million single-use pregnancy tests making their way to the landfill each year is pretty alarming. And it tells us that the diagnostics industry hasn’t taken any steps to minimize plastic pollution on their part—until recently.

Biodegradable pregnancy tests are starting to make an appearance, and it’s about time.

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Pregnancy tests have desperately needed a makeover to reduce plastic waste, and one
such eco-friendly pregnancy test is called SolCraft, which is made from recycled and recyclable packaging and is currently 90 percent biodegradable. The company states that they are working on becoming 100 percent biodegradable in the future.

The SolCraft pregnancy test is over 99.9% accurate with easy to read results and costs about the same as the big name brands: Clear Blue and First Response—only, it’s way more environmentally friendly.

The brand also makes biodegradable ovulation tests that come in a pack of 2—which is yet another diagnostic test that many women rely on when it comes to getting pregnant.

SolCraft Pregnancy Test

Hopefully more companies within the diagnostics industry join the bandwagon and create plastic alternatives that are more environmentally friendly.

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What Are Zero-Waste Laundry Strips?

All About The Eco-Friendly Laundry Trend, How They Measure Up To Conventional Liquid Detergent, And Which Brand Is Most Affordable

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Walk down the laundry aisle of any super market and you’ll find a large variety of conventional liquid laundry detergent in single-use plastic jugs, plastic bag filled laundry pods and boxed soap suds—but not a single “pack” of zero-waste laundry strips, which explains why many people haven’t heard of the “eco-friendly” alternative. Including myself.

So when a few companies reached out to me and offered me samples of these detergent alternatives, I jumped at the opportunity to explore them. I was genuinely intrigued by such a concept.

Fast forward a few months later and I’m writing this article with what I like to call “veteran” knowledge about the zero-waste laundry product because I’ve used it for a good while. With that said, I have had a chance to study laundry strips, use them with different fabrics, deploy them to fight various stains, and compared various brands amongst one another.

Like all products, laundry strips have pros and cons. They have benefits and they have flaws. Hence, I’d like to give my honest knowledge and opinion about both and hopefully that will help you decide if these eco-friendly laundry alternatives are a good fit for you, your lifestyle, and more importantly, your budget.

What Are Laundry Strips?

Laundry strips are pre-measured, thin concentrated strips of laundry detergent that dissolve in water, and are flexible with a soft, smooth and almost spongy texture.

These [eco-friendly] laundry strips are offered in both scented and fragrance-free options, and they’re made with plant-based ingredients that are not only hypoallergenic, but also non-toxic and pet-friendly.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Laundry Strips?

Perhaps the greatest benefit of using laundry strips is that you’re able to lower your carbon footprint by purchasing a plastic-free laundry detergent. Because while it’s true that your typical liquid detergent bottle is recyclable, many people fail to remember that plastic production results in some pretty serious air pollution.

Another benefit of using laundry strips is improved health. Eco-friendly laundry strips are plant-based, non-toxic, and hypoallergenic, while mainstream detergents contain phthalates, parabens, carcinogens and other toxins that our skin absorbs. On the plus side, these toxins fabulously remove stains and create a fresh scent, but on the downside, they’re a ticking time bomb that potentially cause tumors and other health issues in the long run.

Laundry strips are made with only vegan ingredients and never tested on animals. whereas many big brand detergents will state that their products are cruelty-free “except when required by law to test on animals”—which means that many of their products have probably been tested on animals.

Laundry strips save you a ton of space because they’re thin, flat and packaged in what resembles a cardboard envelope. This makes them especially dorm-room and apartment friendly—especially if your living space doesn’t contain a washer and dryer and you’re constantly having to haul your laundry to a laundromat. Detergent jugs are heavy to carry around—strips are basically weightless.

Unlike liquid and powder detergent, laundry strips don’t require any measuring—which is especially great if you’re a bachelor who tends to overdo it with the measurements. In fact, they come with pre-measured strips that you simply toss into your washing machine; and if you happen to accidentally drop in an extra strip, it’s perfectly fine! Laundry strips don’t “bubble” like conventional detergents, and the plant-based ingredients won’t harm your sensitive skin.

Laundry strips are incredibly convenient for road trips, travel and vacations. If you’ve ever had to stay at a motel/hotel, you know how annoying it is to have to buy detergent from a dispenser, and you certainly don’t want to purchase a huge jug that you can’t take back on the plane with you. I’ve taken my laundry strips with me in a flat baby wipe dispenser and didn’t have to worry about buying a hefty jug.

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What Are The Cons Of Laundry Strips

One of the cons of switching to eco-friendly laundry strips is having to plan ahead and order at the right time before you run out. As consumers, we’re used to grabbing a jug off of store shelves and hauling it home with us—whereas laundry strips, which are not offered in your neighborhood supermarket must be ordered online.

Heavily stained clothing is harder to clean. However, if you’re a household that doesn’t deal with very many heavy stains on a regular basis, then that shouldn’t really be such a huge concern. I personally find that laundry strips do a great job at tackling stains on my kids’ clothing and that even Tide can’t perfectly get rid of heavy stains. It is what it is.

The last issue is price. Eco-friendly laundry strips cost more than your mainstream laundry detergent, and that’s most likely because they have to source alternative ingredients which contribute to the overall non-toxic formula. These brands may also have to jump through extra hoops to get certifications proving that they’re nontoxic and environmentally friendly.

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What Is Currently The Most Affordable Laundry Strip Brand?

EarthBreeze Laundry Strips

The fact is, a majority of eco-friendly laundry strip brands are not cheap—in fact, some can be down right expensive, which is a deal breaker for the average stay at home mom on a tight budget.

However, there are so many benefits to eco-friendly laundry strips that it’s worth buying at least one package of. If not for use on a regular basis, then at least for travel purposes—and especially if you’re living a single or dorm room lifestyle and don’t need to do as much laundry as a family of 4. And there are certain eco-friendly laundry strip brands that don’t require your entire paycheck.

The average price for a pack of laundry strips costs around $20—but, some brands (like Earth Breeze) have a subscription plan that significantly knocks the price down to an affordable amount that’s equivalent to big name brands like Gain or Tide.

Plus, it’s important to point out that the Earth Breeze laundry strip packs contain 60 loads of laundry, whereas other laundry strip brands contain 32 and for double the cost. Hence, their subscription cost at $12 a month is absolutely excellent when it comes to affordability for this type of product.

Even if you do a one time purchase at $20, you’re still getting more product with 60 loads than another brand that’s the same price and offers only a 32 load pack.

Earth Breeze is a member of 1% for the planet, and for every pack of eco-strips sold, they donate 10 loads of laundry to someone in need.

Earth Breeze Laundry Strips

So whether you’re just trying to be a more mindful consumer, or you’re looking for a healthier laundry detergent alternative, I whole heartedly recommend eco-friendly laundry strips like Earth Breeze for your laundry routine. And as for the dryer, you should definitely consider looking into wool dryer balls.

How To Treat And Prevent Back Acne

Why Back Acne Occurs And What You Can Do About It

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Many people suffer from back acne—especially athletes and teenagers going through hormonal changes. Still others are simply victims of genetics. Either way, nobody likes it—it’s painful and it’s embarrassing.

What Causes Back Acne?

Just like the face, the back is prone to redness, inflammation and blemishes as a result of excess sebum, bacteria, and dead skin cells building up in the pores. The only difference is that the back is much harder to treat because it’s hard to reach, and the skin is much thicker.

Another reason that back acne occurs and is more stubborn to get rid of than face acne is because it’s covered with fabric all-day long—unlike the face which has access to fresh air 24/7.

As a result, oil, sweat and dead skin cells get absorbed by what we wear and rub back onto our skin—suffocating the pores in the process. Your skin literally cannot breathe.

So now that you know the basics of why and how back acne occurs, let’s take a look at some ways that we can treat it effectively.

Treat Your Back Acne With These Natural Products

Exfoliate With A Salt Bar—Not Body Wash

Traditional body wash contains harsh ingredients and fragrance that can actually irritate the skin and make your inflammation even worse. So what cleanser should you be using instead to treat back acne? I’ll tell you—a Salt Bar.

Salt bars are soap bars that contain a generous combination of sea salt and rich moisturizers like coconut oil and Shea butter; and you’ll often hear people referring to them as “Spa Soap” because of the luxurious benefits that they provide for your skin.

Contrary to what many may think, salt bars do not dry out your skin. It’s quite the opposite. Because salt bars contain rich moisturizers, salt bars produce a very creamy lather that works extremely well in combination with the exfoliating texture of the soap.

Salt is also extremely hostile to bacteria, which is what causes and sustains back acne. So when you ‘exfoliate’ with salt bars by gently rubbing it on the skin, you’re drawing out and killing all the toxics and bacteria that lurk within the pores. Does it work on the face too? You bet.

I highly recommend salt bars made specifically by Apple Valley Natural Soap for back acne treatment. It’s a family owned online shop where they hand-make their salt bars right here in the U.S. with all-natural and organic ingredients, and sell inexpensive yet generous sized bars.

The problem with buying most salt bars online is that they can be over $25 and typically made overseas in countries like China. Why do that when you can get a Pink Himalayan Salt Bar by Apple Valley Natural Soap with a transparent ingredient list at a whopping 9 ounces for less than $12 (plus more varieties).

The Pink Himalayan Salt Bar

Dab On Some Hemp Seed Oil

To help your back heal, one of the best products that you can put on your skin (whether it’s your back or face) is organic CBD hemp seed oil. And Apple Valley Natural Soap makes excellent quality hemp seed oil.

Hemp seed oil is anti-inflammatory and moisturizes your skin without clogging pores. It also helps regulate how much oil your skin produces—because as you know, excess oil results in clogged pores.

According to Healthline, “Dryness can also cause your skin to overproduce oil, which in turn, can stimulate acne. Hemp oil can prevent dry skin without clogging pores. This helps reduce acne that’s caused by excess oil”.

Use this in combination with a vitamin c serum and some hyaluronic acid serum, and your back (or face) will look like a whole new person.

Apple Valley Natural Soap Hemp Seed Oil

Switch To A Plant-Based Laundry Detergent

EarthBreeze Laundry Strips

If your clothing tends to make you itch and makes your back acne flare up, the culprit might be your laundry detergent—which contains a ton of synthetic chemicals that aggravate your skin. And it exacerbates the inflammation especially when you sweat—have you noticed that?

Perhaps you should do what many other health conscious individuals are doing and switch to plant-based, nontoxic laundry strips which are hypoallergenic and won’t cause your back to flare up. I’ve been using EarthBreeze for a while and can attest to all the benefits that these pre-measured laundry strips have to offer. They’re also only $12 when you join the subscription program. Give it a try and see it helps!

Swap The Fancy Athletic Shirts For Natural Fabric

You’re going to hate me—especially if you just went shopping for new gym clothes. However, fancy “dry fit”, “moisture wicking” and “heat gear” apparel are actually causing your back acne. Unlike cotton, for example, these new “tech” fabrics obstruct air flow and help bacteria to breed.

What you should be wearing instead is an organic cotton or bamboo t-shirt. Unlike other fabric, bamboo fabric is breathable, hypoallergenic and gentle on the skin.

Big Boy Bamboo

Zero Waste Toothpaste: Noice Dental Gel Review

A Guide To Organic And Eco-Friendly Oral Care

This post contains affiliate links which may earn us a commission. Also, I was recently gifted the product to try out, and the opinion is my own.

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Finally! A Toothpaste That Keeps Both Our Teeth And The Ocean Clean!

Hey Eco Fam! I promise you’ll love this product as much as I do!

Want naturally whiter teeth while doing good for the planet? Read on!

In the United States, an estimated 400 million toothpaste tubes end up in the landfill—and more than a billion world-wide.

Unfortunately, not all toothpaste tubes can be recycled because they’re a combination of different plastics and only a thin layer of aluminum.

Even toothpaste tubes that claim they can be recycled can only actually be recycled in special facilities (like Colgate or Terra Cycle) and not your local recycling center—they’ll just take them off of the sorting belt and toss them along with trash. For more on recycling tips, check out my article on recycling 101.

So imagine how excited I was when I came across a company called NOICE [Dental Gel] that’s packaged in recyclable glass and qualifies for curbside recycling.

The product itself is an all-natural, organic and vegan black-colored gel that cleans, whitens and leaves your breath feeling fresher than any traditional toothpaste out on the market. And the packaging is glass with a plastic pump that can be transferred and reused on a new bottle if you decide to purchase refills.

First Impressions

I was pleasantly surprised with the scent, taste and cleaning power of Noice. It’s actually a gel and all I had to do was easily pump two pea sized amounts of it onto my toothbrush and go at it.

Now, I brush my teeth twice a day, which makes them pretty clean already, but the NOICE gel gave my teeth a smooth finish that I only experience at the hands of my hygienist when I get my yearly [professional] cleaning. Not to mention the fact that they appear whiter every time I brush—I believe it’s due to the activated charcoal which is an Ingredient in this all-natural toothpaste.

My breath also feels like I have just used mouthwash—only it doesn’t sting the way mouthwash does. So the fact that my teeth felt like a brand new waxed car, appeared a shade whiter and my breath smelled amazing the very first time I brushed with this product, makes this zero-waste toothpaste a definite recommendation.

Ingredients

Courtesy of NOICE

The NOICE toothpaste gel is made up of 99.3% all-natural and organic botanical ingredients. This means that this all-natural toothpaste is healthy for both you and the environment.

Below are some of the effective ingredients you’ll find in NOICE which all work perfectly to provide you with healthy teeth and gums:

  • Bamboo derived charcoal
  • Licorice 
  • Eucalyptus oil
  • Anise seed oil
  • Chamomile
  • Organic Peppermint
  • Menthol
  • Citrus
  • Sage
  • Tea tree
  • Soy-derived Lecithin
  • Glycerin
  • Cellulose Gum
  • Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate

For More Info On How NOICE natural toothpaste works, check out their video below!

Source: YouTube: Noice

How To Recycle The Correct Way

Tips On What You Should And Shouldn’t Throw Into Your Curbside Recycling Bin


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Recycling is an important discussion topic because we are all doing it wrong.

There are certain items that we place into the recycling cart that are actually causing costly shut downs at recycling facilities all across the country because they jam machinery and even cause fires.

Hence, it’s crucial to take a few minutes out of your day and read up on your community recycling guidelines. Some recycling bins themselves even have a list of what you can or cannot recycle written right on them.

Recycling is a community effort. Yes, we pay to have our trash recycled, but we do it to help our environment—to keep unnecessary items from ending up in the landfill.

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Below are our tips on how to prepare for the recycling process as well as what you should and shouldn’t throw into the recycling bins to help the facility workers out.

We also encourage you to read your county’s rules and guidelines because they may be slightly different from this list. For example, in my county, they are currently not accepting glass containers—so it’s important to go on your local waste management website and double check their list of accepted recyclable products.

Before you Recycle:

  • Rinse food residue off of all recyclable items.
  • Crush recyclables like bottles, plastic jugs, and cans.
  • Flatten all cardboard boxes.
  • Remove metal components from plastic items.
  • Leave bottle caps and lids on your items.
  • Make sure that paper is dry.
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Do Not Bag Your Recyclables!

And Lastly, even though we all hate to see debris flying out onto the road, please place recyclable items loosely in your recycling bin. Bagging isn’t necessary, and it slows up workers’ abilities at the recycling center—bags will even jam machinery.


What You Should Recycle


Plastic water & soda bottles, dish soap bottles, shampoo bottles, laundry detergent jugs and some cleaning product containers that are recyclable (rinse out and leave the caps on).

Flattened cardboard boxes, cereal and food boxes, shoe boxes, beer boxes, milk and juice cartons, toilet paper rolls, and paper towel rolls.

Clean aluminum foil, aluminum cans, tin cans, steel cans and aluminum, tin or steel food pans that are not coated.

Paper bags, junk mail, catalogs, paperback books, office paper, magazines, envelopes, telephone books and newspapers.

Glass bottles and jars (lids too!)

What You Should Not Recycle

Plastic Bags (they jam the processing equipment).

Plastic Straws (too lightweight and fail to get sorted).

Shredded Paper (too tiny to pass through sorting—it’s a nightmare for facility workers).

Clamshell Fruit Containers (they melt differently and turn into ash that contaminates other good recyclable plastic).

Cardboard With Grease Stains (like pizza boxes) or Moving Boxes With Oil Stains.

Oven Cookware (because some contain a coating).

Scrap Metal (they might oil residue or contain asbestos).

Drinking Glasses (they have a different composition and melting point compared to container glass).

Ceramics (they can’t be melted down).

Paper Towels (the fibers are too short to be recycled and contain dirt, cleaning chemicals and more unsanitary items).

Prescription Bottles (these are indeed recyclable, but recycling facilities can’t process these due to their size—they’re too small to get picked up by the sorting process on the conveyor belt).

Hangers (they jam machinery—just donate them to Goodwill or another thrift store of your choice).

Christmas Lights (too many different components).

Clothing (clogs the machinery—donate to goodwill or place them into the regular trash bin).

Batteries (when compressed by the collection truck or at the recycling facility, they can spark and cause a fire).

All Electronics like computers, printers, phones, radios, remote controls, etc. (they contain toxic materials like mercury, lead and other products that are harmful to the environment—even in the landfill).

Aerosol Cans (though the containers are metal, the pressurized contents can cause damage at the recycling facility).

Treated Wood (finished or painted wood cannot be burned and can also contaminate water).

Mirrors (they contain a reflective coating that simply can’t be recycled).

Pet Food Bags (they contain plastic layers to keep the food fresh).

Styrofoam (it’s 95% air, hard to clean because it’s porous and it would jam machinery).

Ice Cream Cartons (they contain a plastic lining to keep liquid in place if melted).

Yard Waste (you simply can’t recycle grass, leaves or other even garden hoses).

Free Printable For Kids!

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20 Patriotic Dessert Ideas

The Perfect Homemade Red White And Blue Sweets To Satisfy Your Patriotic Sweet Tooth

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Whether it’s Independence Day, Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day, no cookout is complete without the perfect patriotic-themed dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and impress your friends and family!

Patriotic-themed desserts are some of my favorite to create because a lot of fruit (like berries) are naturally red or blue colored—making these ingredients perfect for a red, white and blue theme. Strawberries, raspberries, cherries and blueberries for example, can be used as toppings to create an American flag on any cake!

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Below you’ll find 20 hand-picked delicious desserts that celebrate America while satisfying your belly after a savory meal. And kids will love these just as much as adults!

All of these images link back to Instagram and the content creator, so go ahead and follow these amazing home chefs! Some of the recipes are included within their post and some you can find directly on their blogs (I’ve included links to their websites).

Enjoy!

Patriotic Cookie Cake

This adorable patriotic cookie cake is made by @fromscratchwithmaria and can be found on her website here.

Patriotic Star Spangled Brownies

If you’re a chocolate lover, then the recipe for these delectable Star Spangled Brownies by @bunsinmyoven are available right on their Instagram post!

Patriotic Trifles

You can find the recipe for these amazing patriotic trifles by @Adventuresinart on their Instagram post!

Patriotic Raspberry Topped Cake

Who doesn’t love fresh raspberries and blueberries on their cake? I sure do! This yummy patriotic berry topped cake by @onceuponachef is available on their website here!

Patriotic Cherry Blueberry Shortcakes

If you’re a fan of shortcakes, then this dessert is perfect for your next patriotic themed party! This recipe for patriotic cherry-blueberry shortcakes by @triedandtasty is available on their website here.

Patriotic Layered Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

This amazing patriotic ice cream sandwich by @rosebakes is an awesome treat after a savory meal! You can find it on their website here!

Patriotic Layered Jello

All kids love Jello-o! So this patriotic Jell-o recipe by @thebalancingmom is a must-have dessert at your next celebration! You can find it on their website here!

Patriotic Red Velvet Cake

This lovely patriotic red velvet cake recipe by @lois_walkingonsunshinerecipes can be found on their website here!

Patriotic Rice Krispy Treats

Rice Krispy treats are always a crowd favorite, and these patriotic treats by @lillunakristyn are available on their website here!

Patriotic Cake

For a simple and classic patriotic poke cake recipe by @365daysofbaking, check out their website here!

Patriotic Sugar Cookies

The recipe for these yummy patriotic sugar cookies by @CupCakeDiariesBlog is available on their Instagram post.

Patriotic Red Velvet Flag Cake

The recipe for these patriotic red velvet cake squares by @kickinbackwithkathy is available on their Instagram post.

Patriotic Greek Yogurt Tart

If you’re watching your weight this summer, then this patriot Greek yogurt tart by @eatingbirdfood is perfect for you! You can find this amazing recipe on their website here!

Patriotic Cupcakes

Are you a cupcake lover? Then you can find this patriotic cupcake recipe by @tidymom on their website here!

Patriotic Mixed Berry Pie

This beautiful American flag style patriotic mixed berry pie by @kushigalu can bye found on their website here!

Red White & Blue Berry Tartlets

These “Red White & Blue Berry Tartlets” by @cupcakediariesblog are available on their Instagram post.

Patriotic Berry Crostata

This decadent patriotic berry crostata by @177MilkStreet will ‘wow’ your guests! Find it on their website here!

Patriotic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are delicious! And so is this patriotic version by @cookiesandcups! You can find this recipe on their website here!

Patriotic Cherry Cobbler

This delicious cherry cobbler recipe by @thepreppyhostess is available on their website here!

Patriotic Mixed Berry Cobbler

Do you love a great cobbler? We sure do! This yummy patriotic mixed berry cobbler recipe by @giveitsomethyme is available on their website here!

20 Wall-E Inspired Birthday Cake Ideas

20 Fabulous Wall-E Cake Designs To Inspire Your Next Birthday Cake

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Wall-E was released in 2008, but is still very much relevant and enjoyable to watch today. In fact, it’s one of our favorite Disney-Pixar movies that my kids can watch over and over again without losing interest.

This beautiful animated film shows what can happen if humanity destroys its own environment, and it’s also a love story with funny moments that make kids and adults smile.

With that said, Wall-E makes an awesome birthday theme idea and you can have some gorgeous cakes created with designs that are based on this movie—especially if your child is into astronomy in general.

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Below are 20 beautiful cakes inspired by Wall-E that would delight any fan. So if you’re planning a Wall-E themed birthday party in the upcoming future, these awesome cake designs can serve as inspiration for your Wall-E themed cake decor.

All of these cake images link back to the original Instagram accounts, so if you see a cake that you absolutely love, give these talented cake decorators a follow!

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