I am up to my ears with information about chemicals in shampoos. You need a degree in chemistry to even read the ingredients let alone understand the list. Not only the ingredients, there is the plastic bottle quandary, too.

BUT, wait a minute, shampoo is soap. There are natural soap companies all over. Soap making is an leasy local business.

It is easier than you think to buy shampoo without:

  • detergents
  • sulfates
  • petroleum products
  • parabens
  • pthalates
  • synthetic preservatives
  • artificial colors
  • artificial fragrances
  • foam boosters
  • propylene glycol

You can use a shampoo bar and that is just what I’ve been doing. So, unbeknownst to my bestest friend, T, I have quietly become a fan of shampoo bars- I like the Liggett’s brand, there are countless others and now I have decided that I am going to make some.

Chagrin Valley Soap and Craft is an all natural soap company. Their site explains much about the soap making process.

The great thing about soap is that there are many small companies spread out through our communities. Here in Litchfield County we have GoatBoy Soaps. You can buy their hand made soaps at many retail stores as well as at the Litchfield Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

I think this is a great idea for a business. T was thinking of starting a gluten-free cupcake company called “Cuppies”. But after eating beaucoup de cupcakes all last winter she seems to have changed her mind. At least she isn’t talking about it much. Well, you can’t eat soap. Whaddaya think, T? we could call it “Shampoo on a Rope”, or “Bar of ‘poo”. Only kidding.

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I have memories of buying a toy for my kids and having it break because of poor quality or discovering that it had small parts and we had a baby brother in the house. Back in “the day” we didn’t think about lead or pthalates in the toys. There are many things to consider when buying toys these days.

ConnPIRG has just released their annual toy safety report, and they’ve launched a new mobile phone website that allows toy shoppers to look up and report dangerous toys as they shop. Check out their new resources, and help make sure kids’ toys are safe this holiday season. Make your list then check it with CT-toy-report-2009.

This document reminds us of all the hazards we might consider including loudness. Almost 15 percent of children ages 6 to 17 show signs of hearing loss. In March 2007, the American Society for Testing and Materials adopted a voluntary acoustics standard for toys, setting the loudness threshold for most toys at 85 decibels but there are still exceedingly louc (and I might add annoying) toys on the toy store shelves.

In addition, think through and avoid toys that have possible choking hazards, while considering age appropriateness, “almost” small parts, balloons, marbles, pthalates and PVC products. What is left for kids to play with? We’ve eliminated dolls (plastic), legos (plastic), toy cars (lead paint). OKAY- wooden blocks it is. Actually one of my kids favorites!