It's that time of year when my hands are starting to feel so dry, you'd think I lived in the desert. Nope, it's just winter setting in, along with its prescription for cracking skin and painfully tight dryness. Happily, this month's EcoCentric Mom subscription box included butter - hand butter that is, made by The Seaweed Bath Co. from shea butter, neem oil and bladderwrack seaweed extract. I'm not sure what a bladderwrack is, but this balm feels great, and smells yummy, too, with a hint of citrus (or maybe that's what bladderwrack smells like...).
Not to leave lips at the mercy of winter, either, the subscription box also included both the 3 Little Girls Holistic Oange Pop Lip Gloss, and lip scrub and lip colour from Lauren Brooke cosmetiques. The organic sugar in the lip scrub helps smooth chapped lips, then moisturizes with organic lecithin and shea butter. The lip colour is infused with organic pomegranate and non-GMO vitamin E. And of course, the lip gloss is organic, too. Winter or summer, I actually put lip gloss on top of lip colour for extra moisturizing, so am glad to try out both these products.
The season being what it is, I drink at least five cups of tea a day. I'm a big fan of the Organic India Certified Organic Tulsi Tea included in my box. Tulsi, also called Holy Basil, is revered throughout India as a sacred herb. In fact, it's considered to be the "Queen of Herbs." Abundant in antioxidants, Tulsi Tea says it reduces stress, increases energy, and boosts one's natural immune system. I can attest to the stress reduction - is there anything more soothing than a hot cup of delicious tea?
Of course, tea is even more soothing when it accompanies some chocolate. I loved the Eli's Organic Earth Bars, not because they're Fair Trade and organic (which is a bonus), but because they were absolutely delicious. Really. Plus, the company gives back 5% of every sale to non-profit charitable organizations that benefit kids. Love it!
Also in the snack department were a sample packet of Lush Nuts, handcrafted in Kalamazoo, MI using an old family recipe to cover Spanish peanuts with a bit of cane sugar, cinnamon, and some other spices. Not too sweet, not too spicey. Just good.
The Tiny Voices Respiratory and Immune Support syrup will come in handy if I get a cold this year. It's supposed to be for kids ages 2 and up; I'm still a kid, right? It's made from elderberry and marshmallow root, and is not overpoweringly sweet like conventional cough syrups. I haven't had a chance to put it to work yet, but I'm willing to put its claims that it supports "the upper respiratory and immune systems" and "soothes tiny voices" to the test if the need arises.
Also in the health department, my box included a packet of Oscillococcinum, reputed to reduce the severity and duration of flu-like symptoms like body aches, headaches, fever, chills and fatigue. I've seen this in the drug store for years. Between that, my tea, and the Tiny Voices syrup, I'm pretty well prepared for cold and flu season.
In the feminine hygiene department, enter new (to me) Maxim Products. They're 100% organic and natural chlorine free cotton (as opposed to the blend of chlorine-bleached wood pulp and synthetic rayon found in most convention tampons and pads). Take a look at their tampons with and without applicators, along with the pads.
I've talked a lot about winter, but it's also the holiday season. I don't have a fireplace, so I light candles all winter long. I generally prefer those that are fragrance-free, so I was surprised when I opened the tin that the Vance Family Soy Candle came in and took a whiff. It smells like its name: Home for the Holidays. Evidently the wax is infused with pure essential oils and organic plant-derived flavors, not synthetic fragrances. Lovely.
If you like a glass of wine with your candle light, take advantage of the special holiday offer The Organic Wine Company is making available through EcoCentric Mom. Why care if the wine is organic? Because wine grapes are the second most sprayed crop in the world; pesticide residues could end up in your favorite cabernet or chardonnay. Since 1980, the ORganic Wine Company makes its product from certified organic vineyards. Their holiday offer includes three bottles of organic win: 1 sparkling, 1 white, and 1 red, plus a wine bag, for only $49.99. Use promo code MOM.
Finally, if you're looking for a lovely little bracelet for someone who also loves the earth, consider this Organic Tagua Heart Bracelet. It's handcrafted from a Tagua Tree Nut and looks and feels just like animal ivory but of course, causes no harm to any animals the way harvesting ivory does. The bracelet comes gift boxed from EcoCentric Mom with an information card included.
EcoCentric Mom sends out subscription boxes for moms, new moms, and moms-to-be every two months. Each box contains a curated group of new products that will help you reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals and help you find organic foods and personal care products you'll really enjoy. Interested? Sign up here.
NOTE: Big Green Purse will receive a small commission if you decide to subscribe. Commissions like these do not affect our editorial judgement, but they do help us continue to provide you expert content at no cost to you. Thanks!