The Soft Landing

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This is the season for giving and it’s easy to get caught up in buying gifts just to get them. Take a deep breath and make your Gift Giving List based on sustainability and thoughtfulness. The planet will thank you and so will the people on your list.

Here are some of the eco-fabulous gifts I’ve found:


  • Consider giving an the gift of an experience. Would she love a facial, a massage, a trip to the theatre? Be creative.
  • Vintage Dictionary Rings
    These adorable rings are handmade of oxidized, recycled sterling silver and feature paper from vintage dictionaries from all over the world. Pile them on one finger to create a wide band or wear them as singles for a more delicate look. Set includes five rings: two dictionary bands and three plain bands. Handmade in North Carolina by Betsy Carr.


  • GreenSmart Messenger Bags
    This company is awesome and I love their products, incidentally, I’ll be reviewing the Narwhal Messenger Bag later this week. Their bags are made from recycled plastic bottles and they’re so cool looking. They come in fabulous colors and all their products are named after endangered animals. And just when you think it can’t get any better, they donate 10% of their profits to the World Wildlife Fund and other organizations helping to create a greener planet.


  • Eco-Dough Tube from Creative Kidstuff
    This is an all natural modeling compound handmade with flour, salt, cream of tartar, organic rosemary oil, vitamin E oil and extracts from beets, oranges, turmeric, paprika, blueberries, red cabbage, carrots, spinach and limes. The compostable, 100% post-consumer waste Eco-Dough Tube contains five 4-oz containers of Eco-Dough – one each pink, orange, yellow, green and blue. Eco-Dough doesn’t dry out and become crumbly like other play modeling dough, and a few drops of olive oil will return it to its original consistency if it is left out over night. Ages 2 & up.
  • My First Organics Seed Starting Kits
    I purchased the My First Organic Classroom Bundle for my daughter’s kindergarten class last year and a Homeschool Bundle for us to use at home. They are fabulous tools to teach kids early about the origins of healthy food and why it’s so good for them and the Earth. Everything in My First Organics seed starting kits is Earth-safe. Each kit is made up of a reusable or recyclable mini-greenhouse complete with organic seeds, soil and biodegradable pots that can be placed directly into the soil. Step-by-step, kid-friendly guidance and illustrations are also included, making each step simple.


  • Recycled Windshield Wine Goblet
    What a beautiful way to recycle car windows and windshields. Made by artisans in Colombia. Ideal for indoor, outdoor, and casual entertaining. Residual tint from its sun-shielding days adds character with a cool, green hue. Sold as a set of two. Due to the reclaimed nature of this item, each will vary.


The Soft Landing has great gifts for babies, children and adults. It’s the first store of its kind to offer only products made confirmed to be free of BPA, PVC and phthalates.

Check out Retro Housewife Goes Green’s Green Holiday Guide for more Green Gift Guides, Recipes and more.

Visit our 2009 Green Shopping Guide from My Green Side.

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.~Kahlil Gibran

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by Wendy Gabriel

Alicia Voorhies is an RN who left the work force to spend some time Alicia Voorhiesrecharging. She worked as Director of Nursing for a non-profit organization caring for people with developmental disabilities in a home-based setting. Alicia found herself feeling a bit burned out, decided to take a nice long sabbatical and ended up never going back.

Alicia founded The Soft Landing in April of 2007. The website is dedicated to educate busy parents about the most prevalent environmental toxins harming our children today.

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

I’ll admit that I’m not the greenest girl in town, but I’m learning to make one change at a time little by little. I’m very aware of environmental toxins and their affect on my family’s health, so I work hard to decrease our exposure to lead, endocrine disrupotors and other major offenders in our daily life. I also focus on reusing everything we possibly can to lower the amount of waste we create.

As a huge fan of The Soft Landing, I love the story of how your site was conceived. Can you share your journey from RN to founder of The Soft Landing?

Fast forward to December 2006, when I was first introduced to Bisphenol-a (BPA)… It all started when my sister moved with her family from our Midwest town to the East Coast. She called me one morning after taking her son to their new doctor, where she was promptly told to immediately throw out the clear, hard plastic baby bottle she was using in his office. She was seriously concerned that she was dealing with a doctor who was off his rocker, so she turned to me, the medical research geek for help. I set out that day to prove him wrong. Instead, hundreds of medical studies would only prove him right. The more research I poured over, the more I began to see a pattern of chemicals leaching from plastic to disrupt the delicate endocrine system – especially in children. I knew we needed safer options right away and began searching for a non-polycarbonate baby bottle. I quickly realized how limited the information was and how few options were available. At that time, there were only two brands being marketed as BPA-free. Beyond that, I was left swimming in an endless sea of unlabeled plastic! My mission became clear and we opened the doors to The Soft Landing in April of 2007.

It’s so wonderful that you’ve gathered your research about toxic plastic into a Guide for feeding your baby safely. It should be read by anyone who has, or will have, a baby in their life. What is some of the information we can find in your Guide?

You’ll learn about the most common chemicals that have been linked to endocrine-disrupting health damage, clues to identifying them in household products and tips to help you avoid them with ease.

What would you say to a parent who asks your advice about buying safe toys for the upcoming holidays?

It’s shocking to comprehend the vast amount of untested, unsafe chemicals that are used in our children’s toys. I would recommend steering clear of BPA in any teether or toy made to be mouthed. I would also suggest avoiding all PVC toys, as it’s a well-known hiding place for phthalates, lead and other volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).


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