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In Kids & Family

Envirosax sent FOX 6 sports anchor Jen Lada a cute dino-themed tote for her newborn. (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

In Kids & Family

"...People don't have to live off the earth 100 percent; I'm just interested in letting people know there are other options out there." (PHOTO: Whitney Teska )

FOX 6's Jen Lada crafts an eco-friendly baby shower

For the next nine weeks, FOX 6 sports anchor Jen Lada will spend her Sundays reporting on the green and gold. But when she's not busy tracking the Pack, she says she's thinking about a different shade of green.

As expecting parents, Lada and her husband Sean strive to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle, for themselves and the future of their unborn child. When it came time to plan her upcoming baby shower, going green was the natural choice.

Even before becoming pregnant, Lada and her husband were conscious of healthy and safe living. As avid cyclists, they'd often ditch four wheels for two when running small errands, like their Saturday morning jaunt to the summer farmers' markets for fresh, local produce.

They've also been conscious of the household products they use, recognizing that some harmful chemicals can often be replaced with a little elbow grease. And with a baby on the way, the need for a clean -- a responsibly clean -- home is crucial.

Lada was impressed with the natural cleaning product she'd purchased -- Clorox's Green Works Natural Cleanser, which is 99 percent plant-based, not tested on animals and uses recycled packaging -- and wanted to spread the word. At the same time, she didn't want to brand herself as an eco-snob.

She had an idea.

"I figured, I was having this (baby shower) party anyway, and it seemed like an easy way to get the message out without rubbing people's faces in it," she says.

After a quick e-mail to Clorox resulted in a shipment of 40 complementary full-sized bottles of Green Works to her front step, Lada employed the approach to other environmentally conscious companies and ended up with enough eco-chic supplies to fully-stock green goodie bags for each of her shower guests.

She started with an array of Envirosax bags, inexpensive, waterproof, reusable shopping totes with stylish graphics and cute patterns. Inside each one, she loaded the goods -- everything from beauty products to shower timers.

Yes to Carrots, an Illinois-based skin- and hair-care line that fuses organic fruits and vegetables with oils and Dead Sea salts to create paraben-free products, sent Lada a supply of its Feel the C Pampering Hand & Nail Spa treatment, as well as the C Me Smile Lip Butter.

Kiss My Face, a long-standing organic forerunner in skin care, sent samples of their Obsessively Organic moisturizers -- "Filthy Rich," made with citrus lavender, and "Tighten Up," made with lime chamomile.

To combat the legions of single-use water bottles piling up in recycling bins, she included high-quality stainless steel water bottles, courtesy of Earthlust.

She threw in shower timers, also from Envirosax, as gentle reminders of the resources we use, and, of course, the full bottles of Green Works all purpose cleaner.

"I'm impressed and humbled that these companies -- who didn't owe me anything -- came through and acknowledged that this was a chance to help me spread the message: it's not as difficult as you think to live green and still indulge," she says.

Still, the popularity of the environmental awareness boom has arrived with its share exploitation and backlash -- can you say "bandwagon?" -- and Lada was diligent in her research and careful not to buy in to just anything with the word "natural" on it.

When she visited Chartreuse, a locally-owned eco-boutique at 2227 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., to pick up little extras for her party, Lada talked with shop owner Sarah Szymanski.

"She said that it's unfortunate because (green) is so trendy now that you really have to be careful who you're dealing with. Some companies are slapping the green label on their products just because they realize there is a huge market for it."

You can call her a treehugger, but Lada sees it as something much more important than a stereotype or a trend. She feels great about her 100 percent biodegradable plates and bowls from EarthShell, but rather than scolding others for not using them, she sent simple suggestions for simple living: wrap your gifts in old magazines and newspapers rather than buying new paper; carpool to the party instead of driving yourself. Easy stuff.

"The truth of the matter is that people don't have to live off the earth 100 percent; it's not an all or nothing thing," Lada says. "I'm just interested in letting people know there are other options out there."


LANNROMO | Oct. 21, 2008 at 5:14 p.m. (report)

I would love one of her goodie bags! I am curious to know how Jen has registered for baby? Is she doing the traditional Babies R Us route or has she chosen to create a more alternative "green" registry?

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lisagoo | Oct. 21, 2008 at 11:09 a.m. (report)

Nice concept, but WHY is she planning her OWN baby shower?? seems very odd

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