High Standards: Good Value

Nellie's dryer balls

Good ValueGood Value
Quality, long-lasting, reusable and multi-use items are high on our list of criteria for products that meet our Good Value standard. Often times this will mean a product will help you save money over the long term, either by replacing use-and-toss items or by offering more than one use which extends the life of the product well into the future.

With reusable products, you have a larger expense up front, but you don’t have to pay much over time to maintain your cloth diapers, wipes, reusable gift wrapping, and other reusables. In the long run, you save a lot of money.

One thing you do need to be prepared for is laundry. It isn’t difficult, but you don’t want to lose your environmental gains through the way you launder. So, look for the same good value in laundry products that you do in your washable goods.

  • Use low-impact, biodegradable laundry soap
  • Soften clothes through the gentle impact of dryer balls rather than with chemicals
  • Run full loads of laundry to take advantage of the importance of agitation action in cleaning
  • Line dry outside when your weather permits and inside when it doesn’t

Good Value from bynaturea.ca

We offer long-lasting, reusable products in every category from cloth diapering to personal care to feeding to celebrations. We offer you hundreds of products that meet our Good Value standard.

Nellie’s Dryer Balls
Nellie's Dryer Balls

Nellie’s Dryer Balls soften clothes naturally by soft impact that flexes the fibers of your clothes, towels, and diapers. You don’t need to even consider chemical fabric softeners or dryer sheets when you use dryer balls.

If you are scent sensitive, you can use dryer balls as is. If you like a subtle scent with your wash, put Nellie’s Dryer Balls Fragrance Sticks into the center of the dryerball. Available in either citrus or lavender. Scented with essential oils.

For the past month, we have been telling you more about our Safe Family Promise at bynature.ca. This post on Good Value wraps up our twelve high standards. To make it easy for you to identify products by their key attributes, look for our standards labels. Please tell us either here or on our Facebook page which standards are important to you and which products you would like to see us consider under each of those standards.

High Standards: Practical

Child with reusable tissue

Practical products for natural familiesPractical
We hold our products to the highest standards while also considering the convenience and functionality of each and every one. After much testing by the most worthy individuals (real parents!), these products get a thumbs-up for being the best of the best – practically speaking, of course.

Practical products at bynature.ca

We carry a variety of practical basics: nursing tops that make great everyday shirts, tote bags with compartments for both wet and dry, utensils that are made from easily renewable bamboo and packaged to carry easily, and—one of my all-time favorites—a stainless steel ice cube tray.

Reusable Tissues
Organic reusable tissues

What a concept! A tissue that you use, reuse, wash, and use again. You would think such a practical idea would be common practice. Well, it was, and it will be again.

Our reusable tissues are practical in several ways. They meet many of our Safe Family Promise standards. They replace a common, throwaway household item with a reusable version that works even better.

They are made with cotton that is certified organic and fair trade.

They come with a sturdy, water-resistant cardboard box that puts clean tissues at hand, ready to use, while there is a secret drawer hidden in the back where you can put the used tissues until you are ready to wash. The packaging is so logical that it was seamless to introduce my family to the concept and get them to use the little drawer.

We’ve noticed another bonus to using these tissues: when the children stuff them in their pockets and forget to check pockets before the wash, you don’t end up with little paper wads on all of the dark cloths. You just end up with a clean tissue, ready to reuse.

This month, we are telling you more about our Safe Family Promise at bynature.ca. To make it easy for you to identify products by their key attributes, look for our standards labels.

High Standards: Family Basics

Silk play cloths for kids

Family BasicsFamily Basic
Families quickly accumulate excess ‘stuff’ when a baby first appears on the scene. Apart from a lot of love, healthy food, appropriate clothing, and a safe place to sleep, there really isn’t all that much our little ones need (despite the many Must Have lists out there!). Spend your money wisely on products or playthings that have proven to be the most useful necessities, or have extended play value beyond the first few years. We have limited our Family Basics products to the 25 top picks among our staff, customers and experienced parents.

We’re surrounded by stuff and nonsense. When I think of the difference between the stuff I acquired for my first baby and the way I let go of stuff for my second, I see the gap between the sincere intention to be a good parent and enough experience to know that I could do it without props.

There are cool tools out there in parenting land, but everyone doesn’t need the same cool tools. Our needs vary, so our appropriate stuff levels vary. There are a few rules to keep in mind, though.

  1. All of us can probably make do with less than we think we can.
  2. Multi-function tools that we can grow into will serve us better and longer than single-function tools we can grow out of.
  3. Reusable stuff is better than non-reusable stuff.
  4. Just because materials are new and revolutionary doesn’t mean they are essential to a sustainable future.

Remember, the stuff that you bring into your family while your children are young is important not just for what it does now but for how it will influence the future. We create our children’s patterns of thinking and acting as we model life for them. If we want our children not to be consumed by marketing, it helps if we aren’t consumed ourselves. If we want our children to value people and relationships over stuff, it helps if we do.

Only a few of our products are so necessary to parenting that we have called them Family Basics. These are the useful necessities with extended value.

Family Basics at bynature.ca

Our family basics fall into several categories: health with natural hand purifier by Clean George, creativity with non-toxic art supplies by Clementine Art Natural, household and personal cleaning with Bummas reusable wipes, and play with colorful playsilks.

Playsilks for kids

Play cloths are the perfect toy, the kid example of multi-functional stuff that encourages a child’s creativity and resourcefulness. I have noticed this week that my children, on the edge of their teen years, are using several play cloths as rivers of water and lava around which they have built elaborate villages with other playcloths creating walls in their rooms. The same play cloths have been essential toys for my children since they were babies.

Our play cloths are 100% natural silk, in a dozen colors dyed with non-toxic dyed, and made responsibly in China.

For the past month, we have been telling you more about our Safe Family Promise at bynature.ca. To make it easy for you to identify products by their key attributes, look for our standards labels.

High Standards: Ethics

Bummis Super Brite diaper cover

Ethical standards for children's productsEthics
To recognize the companies that choose to go above and beyond, look for our Ethics standard. These companies exceed our safety and environmental standards, as well as commit to responsible, respectful fair labour, and human rights practices. These companies may also make an outstanding effort to give back to both local and extended communities. Their stories are nothing short of extraordinary.

Though we look at company practices for suppliers of all of the products we carry, we recognize with our Ethics label those who make a particular effort to meet very high standards. These companies look at the impacts of the products they make from the source through every stage until it reaches you, the end user.

We especially like supporting companies that make their own communities better places to live. We know that they are creating the real economies of sustainability for our children’s future.

Ethical products at bynature.ca

Many of the products that we carry are mother-made products that either started out at the kitchen table or, in some cases, still are made at the kitchen table. We have been happy to feature mother-made baby care and cosmetics, mother-made baby carriers, and mother-made cloth diapers. One of those companies that started out at the kitchen table is Bummis.

Bummis cloth diapers

Bummis cloth diapers

Bummis is about more than just beautiful, functional, Canadian-made cloth diapering products. Bummis as a company considers the well being of their company, workers, suppliers, retailers, and community as part of their bottom line. “We believe that the way we do business matters,” they write, “and that business can be an important vehicle for social change.”

We live on a wonderful little cloth diapering planet here at Bummis that we and our employees have created. We have a lovely factory with lots of plants and natural light, and our offices are situated there as well. We also have two beautiful little stores in the Montreal area where we sell tons of cloth diapers, baby carriers and breastfeeding supplies. We all really enjoy working on our special little planet refuge at Bummis, and we have a great team – all of whom care passionately about what we do and how we do it.

This month, we are telling you more about our Safe Family Promise at bynature.ca. To make it easy for you to identify products by their key attributes, look for our standards labels.

High Standards: Educational

Farmers Market cooperative board game

Educational StandardsEducational
We offer a quality selection of educational toys to capture your child’s imagination and enhance intellectual growth. Our learning toys, puzzles or books encourage your child’s curiosity, discovery, and creativity. Equally important, our toy selection must also be non-toxic and safe for our children.

Every time we answer a child’s questions or feed her curiosity, we are taking an educational opportunity. Any time we encourage a child to be passive or follow a rigid path through a game, we are discouraging that curiosity that leads to discovery and real learning and development.

Children would probably tell you that they play for fun. Whether they realize it or not, they also play to learn. A toy doesn’t need to force a child into learning A Lesson. When we nurture curiosity, education comes naturally and without the explicit statement of what the lesson might be.

We like to leave open spaces for children’s own discovery and encourage children to make a toy of anything that strikes them as fun, even common household objects.

Educational Products at bynature.ca

Among our educational products for children are a variety of art supplies, building blocks, or—one of our favorites—kits that encourage children to make their own.

Farmer’s Market Cooperative Game

Educational board game for children

In the Farmer’s Market, vendors and customers are looking, buying and returning products. If some vendors don’t sell enough, they will leave. The players’ shared goal is to look out for everyone’s well being. This requires discussion, planning and decision making. There is both a basic game for younger children and an advanced game for older players.

Handmade in Canada for 2-6 players ages 6 to 12.

A review of Farmer’s Market from Arlene:

I wanted to take this time to tell you how much we have enjoyed your games! I love the fact that my kids can play (without me) and I know that they will have fun and enjoy each other. The best part is that they don’t get frustrated with each other!

This month, we are telling you more about our Safe Family Promise at bynature.ca. To make it easy for you to identify products by their key attributes, look for our standards labels.