All posts by Angelika Arroyo

10 Best Zero-Waste Shampoo Bars Of 2022

Plastic Free Shampoo Bars For A Sustainable Hair Care Routine

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Shampoo bars are an awesome zero waste swap when it comes to hair care. They’re completely plastic-free and made with organic ingredients—making them completely biodegradable and eco-friendly.

The Benefits Of Using Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars are actually multi-purpose! That’s right! Not only are shampoo bars an excellent hair care product, they’re also great for your face, body and hands. So if you’re somewhat of a minimalist or someone who’s always late in the mornings, a shampoo bar is your one stop shop for cleanliness!

Shampoo bars are also eco friendly and made with nontoxic and biodegradable ingredients like essential oils and butters that are free of phthalates, parabens and carcinogens. So you’ll feel really good about what you’re putting on your body and down the drain.

Shampoo bars are perfect for travel and vacations! Let’s face it, nobody likes to use those tiny hotel shampoos. They’re more of a keepsake than personal care item. That’s where shampoo bars come in handy.

They’re easy to pack, won’t go rogue and spill all over your luggage, and they’ll keep you from spending money on bottled shampoo that you probably won’t use up in time and will have to leave for cleaning service to dispose of.

Lastly, my personal favorite benefit of owning a shampoo bar: they’re plastic free and save space. Before trying and falling in love with shampoo bars, my shower would be cluttered with plastic shampoo bottles—taking up so much space and spending who knows how long in a landfill. But with a shampoo bar, all you need is a really good soap dish! For more info on how to store your shampoo bar, and some really cool soap dish recommendations, see my article here!

How Do You Use A Shampoo Bar


Shampoo bars are pretty simple to use. Whether you’re in the shower or prefer to wash your hair in the sink, you basically take your shampoo bar and rub it in a circular motion against your wet hair, creating a lather. The you simply rinse and repeat—or not. It’s up to you.

Some shampoo bars are so moisturizing that you don’t need to follow up with a conditioner. However, if your hair absolutely needs some extra lovin’, you can always get a conditioner bar as well. Some of the brands below even sell them in combos.

The zero waste shampoo bars below are also all cruelty free and ethically made with natural and organic ingredients.

Best Overall

Simply Shea Shampoo Bar


Apple Valley Natural Soap Simply Shea Shampoo Bar

Made In | The USA

Apple Valley Natural Soap is a shampoo bar company that not too many people know about! This hidden gem is a family owned business that hand-makes all of their shampoo bars and other fabulous skin care products with all natural and organic ingredients.

Their signature “simply shea” shampoo bars leave hair super soft and luxurious that you won’t even need conditioner! It also has a gender-neutral scent that both men and women will enjoy.

These shampoo bars are always shipped in compostable packaging and the full size bars are a very generous size compared to most shampoo bar brands (and cost less too!).

Try A Sample Size, Half Size Or Full Size Today With 10% Off Using Code: AVNSDIARIES10

Best Shampoo Bar For Men

BossMan

Boss Man 4-In-1 Shampoo Bar

Made In | USA

Perfect for washing more than just hair, Boss Man is the ultimate men’s multi-tasking shampoo bar that tackles hair, face, beard and body. And if you suffer from eczema, psoriasis, dandruff and acne, rest assured that this rugged yet gentle shampoo bar contains all of the essential ingredients that will minimize inflammation and get you feeling good as new.

Best For Babies & Kids

Ethique

Ethique Oaty Delicious

Made In | New Zealand

The eco-friendly kids’ shampoo bar by Ethique called “OatyDelicious” is made from oats, cocoa butter, and oils consisting of chamomile, lavender and coconut. The bar is pH balanced, plant-based, vegan, cruelty free, compostable and of course, zero waste! It’s mild, has a subtle scent and is great for kids with eczema because it’s so gentle on the skin (it can double as a body wash).

Best For Fine/Oily Hair

Good Juju

Good JuJu

Made In | Canada

The Good Juju Shampoo Bar is made from all-organic ingredients that are vegan, cruelty free and color-safe. Made with rich antioxidants, polyphenols, and anti-inflammatory ingredients, this zero waste bar leaves hair nourished while stimulating hair growth.

Best Travel Size

Ethique Hair Sampler Pack

Ethique Shampoo Bars

Made In | New Zealand

Ethique is a very popular shampoo bar brand headquartered in New Zealand and makes really wonderful shampoo bars with all natural and vegan ingredients—and they have a good range of bars for every hair type (including pets). Ethique’s sampler pack is perfect for travel. They’re small and compact, and include a couple of conditioner bars.

Best For Wavy/Curly Hair

Viori

Viori

Made In | USA

YouTube: Viori

Viori zero waste shampoo bars are handcrafted with ethically sourced Longsheng Rice from the Red Yao tribe in China. The creators were inspired by the women in the tribe, who, even at 70 and 80 years of age, had incredibly thick, long hair with zero gray. If you have damaged hair, Viori will moisturize, strengthen, rejuvenate, renew, volumize, increase natural shine, repair, and gently cleanse your hair and scalp.

Best For Daily Use

Tangie Rose Geranium Shampoo Bar

Tangie Shampoo Bars

Made In | USA

Tangie shampoo bars by Zero Waste Products give your hair luxurious lather and softness, and they come in a lot of various fragrances. This shampoo bar is ultra concentrated and won’t irritate your scalp—making it safe to use everyday. This shampoo bar brand also has a 30 day money back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with your purchased, which is very cool.

Best For Dry Or Damaged Hair

HiBAR

HiBAR Shampoo Bars

Made In | USA

HiBAR is another one of my favorite shampoo bar brands that I got to sample a while ago and it does indeed live up to the hype when it comes to hair softness. Each bar contains high-quality, naturally-derived ingredients like nutrient-dense coconut oil, moisturizing shea butter, and fragrant essential oils. No added water means they’re super concentrated and a little bit goes a long way. Plus, all HiBAR products are also cruelty-free and Leaping Bunny Certified, meaning they’re never tested on animals!

Best For Itchy Scalp And Dandruff

Turmeric Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo Bar

Chloe Mason Shampoo Bars

Made In | USA

The Chloe Mason Soap Company has the most beautiful hand-made soap and shampoo bars that I have ever seen! They’re beautifully designed with flowery and shimmery decor, and full of natural ingredients that do wonders for your scalp and hair!

One of their most popular hand-made shampoo bars (shown above) is made with goat milk, apple cider vinegar and turmeric—two key ingredients that fight dandruff and oily hair. It’s also works great as acne treatment because of turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Best For Pets

JR Liggett’s

JR Liggett’s Pet Shampoo Bars

Made In | USA

These all-natural shampoo bars are made especially for pets with pet-safe ingredients. They’re hypoallergenic, made with organic ingredients, and infused with essential oils and added hemp, aloe vera and colloidal oatmeal to help sooth dry, itchy skin. These natural shampoo bars have excellent reviews, and pet owners love that they don’t leave a lingering scent like most bottle shampoo tends to do.

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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?

A Guide To Zero Waste Laundry Strip Detergent

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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.

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.

What Is An 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 Creative Red White And Blue Dessert Recipes

Delicious And Creative Red White And Blue Dessert Recipes That Never Go Out Of Style

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No 4th of July party is complete without the perfect patriotic-themed dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth—and to keep kids happy!

As cliché as they may be, red, white and blue desserts are some of my favorite to make because you can get really creative with decor—especially on cookies, cake, pie and ice cream!

With that said, we’ve rounded up the best red, white and blue dessert recipes that celebrate America and make your Independence Day party even better!

Enjoy!

The Best July 4th Dessert Recipes That Never Go Out Of Style!

American Flag Rice Krispie Treats

If you love Rice Krispie Treats, then check out this patriotic version by thisrebelchick.com! They look really fun, really yummy, and it’s a classic dessert that nobody will turn down!

Patriotic Mini Cheesecakes

If you love cheesecake, then you’ll really love this delicious and simple recipe by Amandascookin.com! They’re perfect for any red, white and blue celebration, and use only 6 ingredients!

Patriotic Cookie Cake

Patriotic Cookie Cake

This delicious and colorful patriotic cookie cake recipe is sure to be a hit at any cookout, and can be found on fromscratchwithmaria.com!

No Bake Fireworks Oreo Cheekecake Bars

No need to bake these yummy fireworks-themed oreo cheesecake bars by Soulfullymade.com! These are a hit with both kids and adults!

4th Of July Cake Pops

These super simple patriotic cake pops by mommadethat.com are a great treat for the workplace, cookouts and parties!

4th Of July Chocolate Covered Strawberries

If you’re a fan of chocolate covered strawberries, then this patriotic dessert by kidsactivities.com is perfect for your next 4th of July party!

4th Of July Bark

With only 4 ingredients and no baking required, this patriotic chocolate bark treat by chelseasmessyapron.com is a gem that everyone won’t be able to get enough of!

Red White And Blue Ice Cream Sandwhich

This fun and delicious patriotic ice cream sandwich by @rosebakes is an awesome and refreshing summer treat!

Red White And Blue Layered Jello

Jello-o is a classic dessert that’s adored by people of all ages! So this patriotic Jell-o recipe by @thebalancingmom is a must-have dessert at your next celebration!

S’Mores Magic Bars

Summer and S’Mores go hand in hand, so it’s only fitting that you crash a cookout with these tasty red, white and blue bad boys! Get the full recipe at sixsistersstuff.com!

American Flag Donuts

You are going to love this donut recipe by thefirstyearblog.com! The American flag decor looks super cute, and friends and family will love the fact that they are homemade!

Patriotic Ice Cream Sandwhich

The recipe for these yummy patriotic ice cream sandwhiches can be found at afarmgirlsdabbles.com! And they sure look fun!

Patriotic Oreo Cream Cheese Truffles

These patriotic Oreo cream cheese truffles are delicious, budget friendly and make a beautiful presentation! Get the full tutorial at easybudgetrecipes.com!

Healthy Greek Yogurt Berry Tart

If you’re watching your weight this summer, then this healthy Greek yogurt berry tart by @eatingbirdfood is perfect for you!

Red, White And Blue Cupcakes

Are you a cupcake lover? Then you will love this festive and patriotic cupcake recipe by tidymom.net!

Berry Pie With Homemade Crust

This beautiful American flag patriotic berry pie by cookwithkushi.com is a great way to impress friends and family this fourth of July!

Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas

Celebrate independence day with some delicious frozen bananas covered in chocolate and sprinkles! You can get the full recipe at twosisterscrafting.com!

Patriotic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies are delicious! And so is this patriotic version by @cookiesandcups!

All-American Cherry Cobbler

This delicious All-American cherry cobbler recipe by @thepreppyhostess is sure to be a favorite for years to come!

4th Of July Chocolate Dipped Pretzel Rods

This patriotic dessert is fun, delicious and budget friendly! See how to bring this creative red, white and blue treat to life at dessertsonadime.com!

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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How To Keep Your Dog Calm During Fireworks

How To Lower Your Dog’s Anxiety And Keeping Him Safe On The 4th Of July


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Independence Day is a wonderful holiday…for people. But for dogs, it’s a whole other story.

Just like people, dogs experience fear and anxiety. Only unlike people, dogs can’t control their reactions—and some even resort to injuring themselves or destroying property around them because they’re trying to escape the situation.

That’s why my first piece of advice when it comes to fearful dogs is to not take them outside during a fireworks display. They can jump the fence and run off and get injured.


We’ve recently added a German Shepherd puppy into our family and with Independence Day just around the corner, it’s made me reminisce of all the foster dogs we’ve had in the past—some of which experienced crippling anxiety when it came to fireworks (as well as thunder storms).

So not only will I be using my experience to prepare for the worst with this new pup, I’d also like to share some tips with you (based on my personal experience) to help you keep your dog safe this Fourth of July.

How To Keep Your Dog Safe On Independence Day

Do Not Pet Them

Do not pet your dog when they’re in a frightened state as this can makes them think that it’s “ok” behavior (you’re simply reinforcing negative behavior by petting them). There’s a time for affection, and this is not one of them. Even the sweetest of dogs can react by biting, no matter how long they’ve been a member of your family. Keep a watchful eye on them, but ignore the behavior. They’ll get through it.

Put Them In The Bathtub

We used to own a lab mix who was horribly terrified of fireworks and thunderstorms. And her favorite place to hide during these events was our bathtub. She felt safe there.

After doing some research, I had learned that dogs enjoy laying in bathtubs during storms and other loud events because the metal pipes underneath the tub act as an electrical grounding device and dogs release static electricity there which helps them feel a lot calmer—almost like a pacifier.

It actually makes a lot of sense.

So the next time your dog feels scared during a storm or during the Fourth of July, let your dog into the bathroom and just put any away anything that they might accidentally destroy like toilet paper and any bath rug.

Give Them Sedatives

If your dog reacts in an extreme way to the point where they’re being destructive to themselves or property, then a sedative is perfectly fine to use as a last result—like melatonin (please double check with your vet first!)

While you can absolutely get a prescription strength anxiety aid from your veterinarian, you can certainly purchase calming chews for your dog online. Even giving them melatonin is perfectly safe as long as it’s 1mg per 20 pounds.

Sedatives might not knock your dog out completely, but they will calm your pet down a great deal so they can relax.

Consider Compression Wear

Image Source: ThunderShirt

Compression wear such as the ThunderShirt is a great solution for some dogs. Personally I have had two different results with this one—it worked on my chihuahua, but not on my lab mix—so it definitely is a hit or miss.

These pet compression shirts provide gentle pressure around your dog’s torso, making him or her feel like they’re being given a continuous hug. It’s definitely worth a try and if it doesn’t work, you can always return the product.

Best Eco-Friendly Backpacks For Kids

Environmentally Friendly Backpacks For Back To School


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School bags are more than just a fashion accessory. They’re an essential school supply that your child will utilize on a daily basis—so it’s important to get a good quality brand that can withstand heavy hauls and take on unexpected weather.

I personally like to put a lot of thought into buying a backpack because I want to set my child up for success. I know that a lot of parents choose whatever is on sale at Walmart, but those backpacks aren’t eco-friendly, sustainable and certainly not durable.

Eco-friendly backpacks are something that parents should definitely consider. Sustainable school bags are better for the environment—and some brands support environmental initiatives through each sale.

The eco-friendly school bags in this article are made from sustainable material such as recycled polyester and organic fabrics that are free of lead, BPA, PVC and phthalates.

These nontoxic grade school bags are also really stylish, which is an important quality that many kids seek when it comes to choosing a backpack.

Sustainable Backpacks For Back To School

JanSport

Jansport

The sustainable Superbreak backpack from JanSport is made from 100% recycled materials—like recycled polyester and nylon. These bags are also manufactured in a facility that’s powered entirely by solar energy. We love that this eco-friendly backpack is made without foam which makes it completely packable and spacious. With that said, it’s great for school as well as travel.

Fjallraven Kanken

Fjallraven Kanken

Aside from being a fashion must-have in all middle schools throughout the country, the Fjallraven Kanken backpack is entirely eco-friendly—from the nontoxic dyes and sustainable materials that used to construct it, to the manufacturing process. The school bags come in all different shapes and sizes, and are made from recycled polyester and organic cotton.

Terra Thread

Terra Thread

This eco-friendly school bag by Terra Thread is made from 100% GOTS Certified heavy-weight organic cotton. It has a generous amount of space and two side pockets for water bottles. Terra Thread is a carbon-neutral and Certified B Corp company that’s committed to giving back! Ok Each purchase donates meals to kids and families in need through Feeding America. This bag donates 20 meals!

PoshPeanut

Posh Peanut makes the most adorable non-toxic backpacks for kids that are functional, spacious and fun. There are various patterns for both boys and girls that both parents and kids really love. Posh Peanut is a brand that specializes in hypoallergenic baby and kids’ clothing, and we are ecstatic that they also make backpacks!

State

State creates stylish and thoughtfully designed backpacks that give back. For every State bag purchased, this B Corp will support American children and families in need. These eco-friendly backpacks are durable, and kids love how spacious they are for school supplies.

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