My Top 5 Eco-Friendly Kids Products for the Summer

Living sustainably with kids is a challenge. And while we still have a long way to go, I have a few products that have become staples in our home.

it’s hard to know where to start and can sometimes seem overwhelming, so the first goal we had was to make snack time zero waste. Whether they were at summer camp or we were spending the day as a family at the park— we wanted to eliminate plastic and waste from our snacking routine.

1. Klean Kanteen


Water bottles were our very first change and we have used this same company since the kids were babies. For our water bottles, we use—almost exclusively—Klean Kanteen. Klean Kanteen’s products are stainless steel and they come insulated (which are great for full days in the sun) or uninsulated. Even the uninsulated stay cold for a few hours outside.

The main reason I love them is 1. we wanted stainless steel and 2. these ones are durable. They last forever. We bought our first one around 8 or 9 years ago and it is still going strong. Our kids drop them, throw them, and knock them around—and we have never had one break, or dent to the point that we can’t use them. Plus, they are cute and my kids love the colors.

Klean Kanteen water bottles start at $18—so they are an investment, but one that has been worth it for us. You can also get 25% off your first order here.

2. Lunchskins

For snacks, we have tried a few different reusable bags, and hands down our favorite is Lunchskins. They hold snacks well and (what is most important to me) they are EASY TO CLEAN! There is something about the thickness and quality of these that make them hold up better AND make them wipe clean—like really clean.

They have an easy velcro closure so the kids can use them and don’t need any help. They have been amazing for vacation, long car rides, and trips to the park. My son also loved them for his lunch bag at school.

We successfully used these on our Disney vacation and they were perfect. They fit everything from sandwiches to fruit and veggies so each kid had three or four snack bags and a Klean Kanteen each day in the park!

My other favorite thing about Lunchskins are they are very reasonably priced—starting at $4.99. And they offer free shipping on any order! Also, with the code LS25 you can score an extra 25% off!

3. Kids on 45th

The other area I really wanted to tackle but that has always been difficult for us, is kids clothing. They grow so fast and destroy clothes at a record pace in the summer, so when I found Kids on 45th is was perfect. They offers gently-used kids clothes, delivered to your door. This option is friendly to your wallet and the planet (we also plan on responsibly donating these after we are done, to avoid them ending in a landfill).

To shop, you go to the Kids on 45th website and fill out size and style for clothes (I was able to do a combo box for both my kids) and then you select what you want: t-shirts, shorts, tank tops, sweatshirts and the quantity you want of each. You can also select style—like hipster, tomboy, classic. Prices range from $2-$6 per item. Once you make your selections you check out and a box is shipped to your door with all your goodies.

I was extremely impressed with the quality of the clothes. They ranged from brand new to very slightly used. There were no stains, tears, fraying, or even piling.

As far as style, I received 19 items total— 10 for my daughter and 9 for my son. Of the 10 items for my daughter, we received a pair of Jordache like-new denim jeans shorts that fit better than any pair of shorts she owns. As soon as they come out of the wash, she is wearing them again. There was also a Gap stripped shirt that has become a regular favorite. There is also 2 Old Navy long sleeve floral shirts and navy navy blue tank top I loved, a Tea brand denim skirt and 90 degree yoga pants—both of which are adorable. The only thing we probably wont use is a floral dress that isn’t my style. But 9 out of 10 were items I would have purchased myself.

For my son, again, I was impressed with the quality and style. There was only one pair of shorts that wasn’t my style. Everything else, I would have picked out myself. Because he is very thin, we did receive a pair of jeans and a pair of shorts that will never fit him, but we also lucked out and two pairs of short I loved had draw string waists so those work! In the future I may shy away from ordering him pants. He has too unique of a size.

Overall, I couldn’t believe how much I liked the clothes and how high the quality everything was!

My favorites from the box: girls Jordache jean shorts, girls Gap Hello t-shirt, girls 90 degrees yoga pants, boys Spiderman sweatshirt, and boys Gap gray sweatshirt.

Least favorites from the box: girls purple floral dress and boys plaid shorts.

I still can’t get over how much I liked the style of the clothes. I am fairly picky when it comes to clothing, so I was impressed with the selection.

If you would like to give it a try you can use code EASTORDINARY to get $10 off your purchase!

4 & 5. BeautyCounter Sunscreen and Buzz Away Insect Repellent

With summer comes sunburns and ticks and mosquitoes. Everywhere we go, and I do mean everywhere, we bring these two products. They are all-natural and they work. We have used BeautyCounter Mineral Sunscreen all Spring and Summer and while it does have a hefty price tag, once you use it, it is tough to go back to any other brand. It is less greasy and blends faster and easier than anything else I’ve used. And it stood the test of 10 days in the Orlando sun.

Because we live in New England, bug spray is a necessity. We have been using Buzz Away for three summers now and while my daughter and I (who are mosquito magnets) still get a few bites, I realized how well it works the one time we didn’t use it and we both has DOZENS of bites. Buzz Away is the best Deet free bug spray I have found and they wipes are great to keep in my purse for unexpected times we need it.

There are so many products that are worth mentioning, but I have found that, this summer, these 5 are what we are using daily. (And I will be ordering from Kids on 45th again for a back to school box.)

Spring Engagement Session in Londonderry, New Hampshire

I had so much fun with Michael and Hannah last week for their engagement session! They loved to laugh and were up for anything! Their love for each other showed in every single photo.

The rain finally held off and Mack’s Apples was just starting to get nice and green and we were able to roam the grounds to find different fun spots! (and we only got a little wet.)

I mean seriously how cute are these two? When you have this much fun doing your job, you know you picked the right career!

A Few of My Favorite Things: Beauty Edition


Best of Beauty

Over the last two years, I have slowly worked on making intentional choices when it comes to my beauty products. From the shampoo I use on my hair, to how I shave, to the make-up I wear, I have slowly replaced my beauty products one at a time. My goal is to be as sustainable, ethical, and all-natural as possible.

In some cases this means a larger price tag, but what I have found is, as I adjust to more and more reusable and sustainable products, I am buying less often—so while the initial investment is sometimes larger than I am used to I have been surprised that, overall, I am not spending much more per year in this area.

So many people ask where to begin. It seems overwhelming to change everything so what should they change first? Here are a few of my favorites that are great starts to a more ethical and sustainable beauty regimen.

1. Ditch the bottled shampoo and conditioner.

Yes, you may have a shampoo and conditioner you absolutely love—people are loyal to their hair products! But I think this is an easy first step to eliminating plastic in your every day life. I gave bar shampoo and conditioner a try in February (so I am still pretty new to this) and so far I love it. I personally tried Lush brand but I plan to also give Eco Roots a try next.

The pros: Almost everything, honestly. I am still on my first bars and I’m about 2 months in and figure I still have about a month of use left, maybe more. For reference, I wash my hair every other day. The shampoo bar gives an amazing lather and I like the smell. My favorite part is how easy they are to travel with. That alone sold me.

I do recommend getting the tins and there is a learning curve on how to make sure they don’t get stuck to the bottom. I found leaving them in the tins, but without the lids on, in a high place in the shower works best for me.

The cons: There is really only one. I find it hard to tell how much conditioner is “coming off of” the conditioner bar. My hair seems fine with how I am winging it—but if you have dry hair, this could be a problem. I think this is, again, a learning curve thing.

Overall, this is something I will continue to use and I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to try it.

2. Simplify shaving.

I have wanted to try and eliminate disposable razors for a while because 1. they seem so wasteful and 2. they are so expensive. Because of the wonderful world of Instagram, I discovered the safety razor. It took my a while to make the transition. For some reason the idea of putting the blades in myself seemed dangerous. Spoiler: it isn’t. at all.

Here is what I used to get started: a safety razor. I opted for Eco Roots rose gold safety razor mainly because I liked the look of it (if I am going to use one razor permanently, I want to like what it looks like.) Blades. Eco Roots razor came with 5 blades so for now, I haven’t bought additional blades—but they are incredibly inexpensive. This is where the real savings comes in. After the initial $28 investment in a razor, the blades are $3 for a pack of 10! Shaving bar. I love that Eco Roots offers a shaving soap in bar form. while I’ve never been a shaving cream user, I think I will opt for the shaving bar with a safety razor. I think it helps reduce nicks.

Pros: While I am still new at this, the absolute number 1 pro is the close shave, I can’t believe how close the shave is with this. I am not sure how one blade can do more than 5 blades on my old venus, but it does. I also love that it has a blade on each side. It just makes things faster. Storage is also a plus. There is just less stuff when you are dealing with one razor and a small box of blades.

Cons: While I am still new to this and haven’t cut myself yet, I feel like I have to be more careful and that the possibility of cutting myself may be higher. I wouldn’t call this a con. More an FYI.

To me this is, again, one item I don’t know why I didn’t switch to earlier. And I am really looking forward to all the money I will be savin

3. No more smelly nail polish remover.

I discovered this wonderful nail polish company a few years back when I received a travel size sample of their nail polish remover in a beauty subscription box. Do I remember the subscription box? no. Did that one travel sample make me a huge fan of Karma Organics? absolutely. So thanks random subscription box!

Karma Organics has a special power. They created a nail polish remover that DOESN’T SMELL HORRIBLE. I don’t know how they did it. Not only is this stuff made from all natural ingredients and comes in a glass bottle but it works! Once I discovered their remover, I quickly began using their nail polish as well. Now, it is more or less, the only nail polish I use. It is definitely my go to.

Also, don’t let the price point scare you. There is a reason that stuff you can buy at CVS is $2. Nail polish remover is something that lasts forever, so this is a once a year purchase for me and well worth the added expense. Also coming from a mom, I love that my daughter can “help me” remove the nail polish from her nails and we don’t get a headache from the smell.

Pros: everything.

Tiny Con: it is a little oily—because it’s natural.

4. Pay for all natural that actually works.

The company that I use the most products from, hands down, is BeautyCounter. I always thought I would have to sacrifice quality for something all natural. Then I found out about BeautyCounter. It’s definitely an investment, but most of their products last me for months and because I know what I like, I only buy from BeautyCounter. Before, I would give different brands a try—if they were on sale or if someone recommended something to me— I had a linen cabinet full of products I tried and then didn’t love.

I use so many of their products, I can’t list everything—but my go-tos are their Dew Skin tinted moisturizer. I have never been a heavy make-up person, so this is perfect and it has SPF! Most days, all I wear is dew skin, their Brilliant Brow Gel with a little bit of mascara. In the summer, I love to add a bit of their Mattifying Powder. It takes away any bit of oily-ness!

The only product I use to wash my face is their Nourishing Cream Exfoliator. The exfoliating cleanser paired with their Countermarch Adaptive Moisture Lotion is pretty much all I need. (I also use their charcoal Balancing Facial Mask every other week or so—but that is a bit more of an added bonus.)

Pros: so many things, but mainly all natural that works.

Cons: it can be pricey. But think of all the money you will save not switching products to find ones that work!

5. All the rest.

I love way too many brands to cover them all, so here are a few more I love.

Ecotools for all my brushes (both hair and make-up)

Good for our bar soap. I should write more about this company at some point because I love them. Their bars smell great and are available at Whole Foods for 2 for $6! We use these for the whole family.

Terra Thread for my make-up bag (and backpack and totes.)

There are so many brands that I am still learning about and hoping to try, but these are definitely some of my favorites so far and great ones to start with if you are looking for ways to be more sustainable and natural with your beauty products!