Over the past three years my family and I have become more and more aware of what we purchase and how what we buy impacts people around the world. In the past I knew nothing about child labor, sweat shops, unlivable wages, and toxic chemicals in so many things we buy. It isn't easy to navigate the shopping world armed with knowledge that pretty much rules out 95% of goods on the market. I've discovered Taraluna, a unique online boutique that does the hard work for you - they only sell things that are imported fair trade or American made, sweatshop free, organic and/or natural. We received the Elephant Family and Purse with Finger Puppets for review from Taraluna.
Purse with Finger Puppets highlights: Baby E loves watching Caillou and she enjoys the episode where he makes finger puppets out of paper. Every time she watches it she asks me to make her some and of course I grant her the wish. We have quite a few of these all over the place and I thought it was time for something more permanent. Now when she watches that episode, she takes out her little purse with felted wool finger puppets from Nepal. She adores them! Though they only keep her occupied for five minutes at a time, I'm hoping that will change with her growing imagination.
Elephant Family highlights: While this toy is intended for children ages 3 and above, it is a little misleading, there are no parts nearly small enough for a baby to swallow, not even to fit in my mouth! It is perfectly safe for our 20 month old who stopped putting things in her mouth a while ago. Baby E still needs some help putting this together, but she sure likes to take it apart! I love the vibrant colors and the brain juices that it gets going for little ones, not to mention that it is just a very cute toy. It fits perfectly in that wool felt purse with the puppets. I would say the combo makes a great gift for a 2-3 year old.
Store Values: Taraluna is not a place where you'll find mass produced stuff cheap. The items are selected according to high standards and therefore may cost a little more, but that's not to say they are not affordable. The Nepal Purse with Finger Puppets that we reviewed costs $24 and the Elephant Family is $12.99. There are many items that I think are actually a better deal than their China made toxic counterparts, especially considering the much higher quality materials. Taraluna has also been approved "for people and planet" by Green America, they have a Gold Certification from GenGreen, they have been approved by the new parents guide with the "green seal of apporval" and recognized as a family friendly site. If you sign up for their newsletter, you'll get a 10% off coupon toward your first purchase. The newsletter is sent out no more than twice a month, so signing up will not jeopardize your inbox.
Items offered in the store: There are ten categories at Taraluna ranging from baby items to household goods and skincare products. You'll find a great selection of reusable food containers, herbs to plant in your garden, unique fair trade jewelry, and hand painted children's furniture just to name a few. Some of our favorites are the Organic Cotton Elfin Slippers, the Herbal Tea Sampler, and the Organic Velour Crib Blanket. Do you have pets? They are covered as well with a selection of grooming, health, and toy items.
Who Would You Recommend this to? Unique and hard to find gifts either for or from a conscious consumer. Organic and natural baby items for parents concerned with keeping their baby's environment pure and toxin free.
Win a Purse with Finger Puppets or 4 Animal Puppets and an Elephant Family at Eco-Babyz, giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010.
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