Sun Safety Tips

by Gwen

the forecasted promise of hot sunny days upon us, it is important to be reminded about sun safety. Being in the sun after being cooped up all winter is exciting, but it is imperative to take precautions when enjoying the outdoors. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Use A Natural or Organic Sunscreen - When choosing a sunscreen, be sure that you are choosing a natural or organic broad spectrum mineral sun block that does not contain nanoparticles, parabens, vitamin A, oxybenzone, fragrance or any other nasty ingredients. And don't forget your lips! They are extra sensitive to the sun's rays. Also remember that your skin is not only vulnerable in the summer months. The sun may not be as strong during the winter, but it can still be damaging. If you will be in the sun for extended periods during the winter months, be sure to apply a sun block. For children 6-months of age and under, keep them out of direct sunlight and keep them shaded as much as possible. Consult a doctor before deciding to use sunscreen for a child under 6-months old. 

2. Wear A Hat - I am a hat kinda girl, whether it is sunny or cloudy, it has become a bit of a habit, both for sun protection and because I just like them! A hat with a brim shades and protects the face, scalp and ears. If you are wearing a baseball style cap, be sure to cover up tops of your ears with sunscreen since they are usually overlooked but can burn very easily. For the kids, the best kind of hat for them is one with a wide brim so everything is protected.

3. Sunglasses - The eyes are especially sensitive to UV rays, so aim to always wear sunglasses when out and about in the sun. When buying, make sure the label says that they provide 100% UV protection.

4. Remember That Dark Skin Is Also Vulnerable - It is a big misconception that those with dark skin do not need to wear sunscreen. It is true that dark skin rarely burns, but it can still happen depending on skin tone. Because dark skin contains more melanin than those with lighter skin, the melanin naturally provides some protection from the sun's rays...BUT, it is important to remember that sunscreen protects the skin from harmful UV rays, and that it doesn't only protect it from burning. Long term exposure to UV rays will damage the skin, cause premature wrinkling and even cause skin cancer. Dark skin is not immune to these things.

5. Hang Out In The Shade - Take a break from the rays and heat every now and then and relax in the shade.

6. UV Protective Clothing - This is a good option for those who will be outdoors for long periods of time or for children who just won't sit still to have sunscreen applied and then re-applied. UV protective clothing works by using tight stitching so the rays cannot get through. There are also a few other things that are done to the fabric such as using dyes that will deflect rays. If you are going to invest in UV clothing, be sure to read up on the brand you are buying to be sure that chemical treatments are not used to enhance the UV protection (the chemicals most likely will not be very healthy for you).

7. Pay attention to your city’s daily UV index reports. - If possible, try to stay out of the sun between the hours of 10am and 2pm. During this time, the UV index is at its strongest with the peak being at 12 noon.

By following some, or hopefully all of the suggestions above, you will be taking big steps towards keeping yourself safe from the sun. A big part of summer fun is being in the sun, and it definitely can still be done, just be more mindful about it. Doing these things will make your future self grateful :)

How do you stay safe during the sunny summer months? 

Gwen is a mom of 2 and owns/operates Nayla Natural Care, an online store that specializes in carrying the best organic, natural and eco-friendly products.

Make It Earth Day Every Day

by Gwen
Earth Day 2012 has come and gone, but just because it is over, does not mean you can’t continue to be earth friendly every day of the year.
The Earth Day Network website is available year round and is filled with valuable information and activities (aimed at both adults and children) to get you thinking about how each little thing you do impacts the earth. Check out the Ecological Footprint Calculator designed to calculate your impact on the planet.
There is also the Billion Acts of Green section of the site which is packed with green acts you can do all year round from the very small (using cloth bags at the grocery store) to larger scale green acts such as making your home solar powered. Take a look through the site for some inspiration.

Here are some more eco-friendly things you can do with your family year round, from the Nayla Natural Care Pinterest Boards:

Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Recipe - So it's not quite "chalk" it's more of a paint, but the kids will love it just the same. The best part? You can make it with 3 simple ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen: water, cornstarch and food colouring.  Image credit: Smashed Peas and Carrots Blog

Homemade, Non Toxic Gunk Remover Recipe - Sticker residue and miscellaneous gunk that a regular cleaner will not remove has met its eco-friendly match. The commercial counterpart to this mixture is highly toxic, flammable and has ridiculous fumes. Not something you or your children should be inhaling. Image credit: rosy blu handmade

Vegetarian Taco Salad Recipe - I made this taco salad a few days ago and it was a huge hit, even with the kids. It's quick to put together, it's healthy and it's delicious. Take it 1 step further and make it vegan by replacing the cheese with a cheese alternative such as Daiya Pepperjack Style Shreds. Finish it off with avocado chocolate pudding and everyone will be smiling. Image credit: Eating Well

Celebrating the earth every day is a great way to teach kids the importance of being environmentally conscious. What things do you do with your kids to encourage them to be more green?

Gwen is a mom of 2 and owns/operates Nayla Natural Care, an online store that specializes in carrying the best organic, natural and eco-friendly products.

More Eco-friendly ideas from Pinterest!

by Gwen My love of Pinterest continues! It is such a great spot to see the many things others are sharing and pinning that I would not have otherwise seen. If you haven't joined yet, try it out! It may quickly become the way you choose to spend most of your spare time :)

Here are 3 of my faves from the past week: 

How to deodorize your home naturally - Any time you have an unpleasant scent in your home—fish from last night's dinner, burned food want to get rid of the smell fast. This is a natural way to freshen up and make your place smell amazing. Image credit: One More Moore

Avocado-Chocolate Pudding Recipe - I have personally made this dessert and it is delicious! So delicious that you won't believe it is actually good for you. Avocados are super healthy and super delicious and serve as the base ingredient in this delicious treat. Image credit: Forgiving Martha

Walnut Boat Craft - Spring is in the air which means plenty of rainy days and plenty of puddles to play in. The kids will love this simple craft made out of empty walnut shells, toothpicks and a few other items you most likely have around your home. Play with the boats in puddles or indoors. Image credit:

Check out my last set of eco-friendly Pinterest picks where you will learn How To Make Reusable Non-Toxic Dryer Sheets and More

Do you have a favourite eco-friendly pin? If so, please share it in the comments! 

Gwen is a mom of 2 and owns/operates Nayla Natural Care, an online store that specializes in carrying the best organic, natural and eco-friendly products.

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How To Make Reusable Non-Toxic Dryer Sheets and More

by Gwen Since I've discovered Pinterest, I can't begin to tell you how many new recipes I have tried, how many DIY's I have done and how many new things I have learned. It is such a great way to share the millions of ideas found on the internet and an even greater way to bookmark, or "pin" what interests you so you can come back to it later.

In the past week, I have pinned lots :) Here are 3 of my faves:

How to make reusable and non-toxic dryer sheets - We all know that store bought dryer sheets are not healthy for us right? Follow the step-by-step instructions in this post to make your own eco-friendly, safe and effective dryer sheets.   Image credit: Live Renewed Blog

What to Do With Broken Crayons - If you have kids, you have broken crayons lying around your house. I know I sure do. This post lists 10 eco-friendly and creative ways to re-use them. No need to keep throwing them out!

DIY Felt Food - I have a thing for felt food. I just think they are all so adorable! And yes, my kids love them too :) So when I came across this  DIY felt food kit on Etsy, I took note and pinned it. The price is very reasonable for what you get and once you are finished making everything, you'll have the satisfaction of saying you made them with your own 2 hands!   Image credit: sweetemmajean on etsy

Do you have a favourite eco-friendly pin? If so, please share it in the comments!

Gwen is a mom of 2 and owns/operates Nayla Natural Care, an online store that specializes in carrying the best organic, natural and eco-friendly products.

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