Q & A with 5 Gyres Co-Founder and Mother, Anna Cummins

April 24th, 2017

More Oceans Less Plastic 5 Gyres

As you may have read, we strive to make every day Earth Day. So, throughout April, we’ve been sharing about how Bumbleride families eco in regards to these categories: Gear, Feed, Nursery and Play. By using some of these types of products you can take small steps to reduce your family’s footprint. To further show our commitment to How We Eco, we are donating 1% of April sales to 5 Gyres. The 5 Gyres Institute’s mission is to empower action against the global health crisis of plastic pollution through science, art, education, and adventure. We love that their vision is a planet free of plastic pollution!

 

We talked to Anna Cummins, Co-Founder and Global Strategy Director of the 5 Gyres Institute about founding 5 Gyres, plastic pollution, her recommendations for new parents and more. We thought you’d love what she has to say:

 

Tell us about yourself and why you founded 5 Gyres with your husband Marcus?

Most children are instantly drawn to the outdoors – true in my case. My first love was the creek near my parent’s home in Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, where I spent long hours catching tadpoles, climbing up sewer holes, and starting to notice water quality issues without having a name for it yet.

Years later, during my graduate school years at the Middlebury Institute for International Studies, I first learned about plastic in the North Pacific Gyre, and vowed to get more involved. I then met Marcus Eriksen through his work with the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, and joined Algalita’s 2008 expedition across the Gyre. This trip sealed the deal for my involvement in plastic pollution  – we saw a significant increase in plastic pollution, and also saw alarming levels of plastic in the stomachs of fish. Halfway into the journey, Marcus proposed with a ring made from derelict fishing gear. I was hooked – literally – and we decided we needed to expand the research and awareness on plastic pollution beyond the North Pacific.

This was the impetus for founding 5 Gyres in 2009, to research plastic in the world’s oceans, and leverage our scientific findings to drive change on land. Thanks to a committed team, and a growing community of ambassadors around the world, we are finding new ways to get our message out!

 

You place a big effort in educating youth about plastic pollution.  Give us some insight on how we can teach our children about the impact of single use plastics.

There are so many ways to engage children about single use plastics – through artwork, stories, films, beach cleanups – but whenever possible, I’d start by bringing children to the nearest waterbody to play. Young people have an innate sense of fascination with the natural world, and when nurtured, this can more easily blossom into a desire to be good stewards. Once this value is supported,  it makes much more sense to talk about what we can do to protect natural resources.

 

Children are also magnetically drawn to animals, so sharing with them positive examples of how they can protect turtles, dolphins, and whales is also a great way to inspire more awareness around single use plastics. Finally, I believe its important to share with them that their voice and actions truly matters – even seemingly small actions can have a ripple effect that in some cases can change policy, and even shift corporate responsibility!

 

How does plastic pollution affect your health?

While it’s difficult to show a direct cause and effect, there is a growing body of research linking chemicals from plastic to a host of health problems – from cancers to early onset puberty to obesity. Plastic products are often made with synthetic additives – “plasticizers” – that can be highly toxic, and have been shown to migrate out of products, and into our food, water, etc. Additionally, plastic particles in the ocean can absorb toxic chemicals such as PCBs and DDT at high concentrations, transferring these chemicals into the tissues of animals through ingestion, and becoming more concentrated as they travel up the food chain.

 

On a personal note, I had my “body burden” analyzed before becoming pregnant – we found trace levels of PCBs, DDT, PFCs and PBDEs in my blood serum – chemicals that I may have passed onto my little daughter through childbirth and breastfeeding. While we don’t know if these chemicals in my body came from plastic, we do know that plastic is one way that certain chemicals can be transported from the environment into our food chain. Much research still remains to show how plastic affects our health. The safest bet to protect your family’s health is to use safer materials like glass, stainless steel, and other “bio-benign” materials that wont expose us to unnecessary risk!

 

How can families decrease their dependence on plastic and foam?

The good news here is that it’s very easy to reduce your “plastic footprint” and go #plasticfree! I find that taking on one big change at a time makes it less daunting, starting with the obvious ones – refusing plastic bags, bottles, and straws. Our Plastic-Free Shopping guide  has great resources and suggestions here to get you going, and I’m a big fan of searching your local Goodwill first! Could your family commit to a week without a plastic bag, a plastic straw, or a plastic bottle? Once you adopt a few simple changes, getting more deeply involved becomes easier!

 

Why is the act of ‘recycling’ not enough?  

While recycling may make us feel like we’re off the hook, unfortunately the truth is much more complicated. Firstly, most of the plastics we “recycle” here in the US are actually being exported overseas to countries where it is cheaper to convert waste into lower grade products, or worse – incinerate or landfill it. Globally, we “recover” a paltry 14% of our plastic packaging, and according to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, only 2% of this is truly recycled in a closed loop fashion. In addition to being a waste of our precious resources, it’s also a tremendous waste of money. We lose an estimated $80-140 billion in plastic packaging that isn’t recovered. The market for recycled plastic products can’t compete with the artificially low cost of oil. And since most plastics are made from fossil fuel feedstocks, herein lies the problem!

Much has been written on this topic – our website has a bit more on the Truth About Recycling here  In short: we teach young children to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”. The best thing we can do is reduce our dependence on single use plastics by switching to products that are reusable, or truly recyclable!

 

Please feel free to include any other tips or recommendations for new parents below. 

I remember as a new mom, I agonized over the diaper dilemma, as well as how to raise a “plastic-free baby”. I was thrilled to learn about “Elimination Communication” which took some up front work, but allowed me to get my little one out of diapers a good year and a half earlier than I thought possible! And on other things like baby bottles, toys, etc, I found many safer alternatives – glass, metal, and organic products.

But I think what helped me the most was to try be gentle with myself. Raising a child is hard, albeit joyful work! Finding a network of other new parents who are supportive, and can help us navigate through the morass of information available online was a godsend for me. If anyone wants to chat more about their plastic free baby dilemmas or ideas, we are happy to help!

With more than 20 years experience in environmental non-profit work—including marine conservation, coastal watershed management, community relations, and bilingual and sustainability education—Anna Cummins is an expert in the field. Her “Synthetic Sea, Synthetic Me” TEDx talk has been viewed and shared by thousands. Anna received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University, and a MA in Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute for International Studies.

 

microbeads and nurdles

How We Eco – NURSERY – Meet The McCallum’s

April 13th, 2017

Meet The McCallum’s

We are an adventure seeking, nature loving couple who spend our free time searching for a new place to explore. We are lucky to live in Southern California where we are just a quick drive away from the beach, mountains, forest, or desert. We recently welcomed a healthy baby girl, Paloma Lou, into our family and are thrilled at the opportunity to share with her our passion for the outdoors. From the moment we found out we were expecting a baby, we knew we’d be bringing her (and a lot of extra baby gear) along with us on all of our future trips. We believe connecting our child to nature is the best way for her to develop a lifelong respect for the environment. Many people think eco friendly nursery products are too expensive, but thankfully there are now plenty of affordable options available for consumers. We tried to design our nursery with a healthy balance of high and low priced options, as well as second hand pieces wherever possible.

 bumbleride nursery picks

How We Eco – NURSERY

1.) Bumbleride Indie Stroller

*Because it’s perfect for the active family. 100% rPET (28 post-consumer wate bottles per stroller). PVC & phthalate free. No fire retardants or polyurethane foam.

2) Oeuf Sparrow Crib in Birch

*Greenguard Gold certified

3) Lullaby Earth Pure Crib Mattress

*Designed and built by same people who created the Naturepedic line of crib mattresses. This is a great “low” priced, but still eco-friendly option because it is made with food grade PE foam instead of 100% organic cotton.

4) Lorena Canals Rug in Azteca Natural – Vintage Blue

*Made with non-toxic dyes and 100% cotton materials. Machine washable 🙂

5) Petit Pehr Mobile – Noah’s Ark

*Made of felted wool and responsibly crafted by hand in India.

6) Burt’s Bees Crib Sheets

*100% organic cotton Burt’s Bees Crib Sheets. Another good low-priced, eco friendly option.

7) Babyletto Lolly Dresser and Changing Table

*Made with sustainable New Zealand Pine Wood and Carb II compliant MDF

 

Not pictured: Non-toxic Polka Dot Wall Stickers

*To help add some color to the room without having to use paint. Various wall decals can be found on ETSY.

How We Eco – FEED – Meet The White’s

April 10th, 2017


Meet The White’s

We are a Southern California family of 3 living on an urban farm with a flock of chickens, a tank full of Tilapia and a gang of cats. We have always been interested in sustainability beginning at our first tiny apartment using the space we had available. Our current home in Logan Heights utilizes a mixture of permaculture and other sustainable practices. Following the mantra, do what you love and love what you do we are finding new ways to promote sustainability and keep our style, making new projects manageable and fun. With our recent family addition, we are looking forward to raising our tiny human with sustainability in mind and hopefully a green thumb.

Feeding and diapering an 8 month old can result in a lot of waste; thankfully there are tons of companies out there who are committed to reducing space in our landfill.

The Infantino Squeeze Station and Nature’s Little Squeeze reusable pouches by Wee Sprout have helped make it easier to make our baby food. I love that Wee Sprout is a family-owned and eco-conscious company (sound familiar?!). The pouches are clear on the back so you can see what is inside. We are currently waiting to harvest our carrots, beets and strawberries and often use veggies from our Farm Fresh to You box to feed our daughter Marley. When we are in a time crunch, traveling, or camping, Plum Organics food pouches are our go to. Plum Organics uses sustainable packaging and is looking for ways to recycle the pouch and even has a cap recycling program!

Klean Kanteen keeps mom and dad well caffeinated and keeps baby girl hydrated. Richard and I always have our thermoses for morning coffee and weekend walks to Cafe Moto. Marley has just recently mastered the sippy cup so her Bumbleride Klean Kanteen sippy cup is perfect to take on the go and keep in her diaper bag.

I never thought in a million years I would be an avid cloth diaper user. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions of parenthood! Using the Grovia cloth diapering system has been SO easy and feels good to save so much diaper waste from reaching our landfill. Of course cloth diapering involves cleaning, water use, etc. We line dry as often as possible (the sun bleaches and disinfects!) and use biodegradable laundry detergent for a future grey water system. Luckily living in Southern California allows for lots of sunny days perfect for using the clothesline.

 

How We Eco – FEED

1. Bumbleride Speed Stroller
color: Maritime Blue

2. Infantino Squeeze Station

3. Plum Organics Eat Your Colors

4. Nature’s Little Squeeze

5. Camp Bumbleride Kids Kanteen

6. Klean Kanteen Insulated 20oz
color: Brushed Stainless

7. GroVia cloth diapers

#HowWeEco – Retailer Spotlight – Sprout San Francisco

April 2nd, 2017

At Bumbleride, we strive to make every day Earth Day. We want you to, too. So, throughout the month of April, we will be helping you to make changes in your everyday life by providing content that can help you reduce your carbon footprint. (Bumbleride is also donating 1% of all April sales to reduce plastic pollution in the oceans.)

Our Retailer Spotlight for the month is our friends at Sprout San Francisco.

When you are in need of something for your baby, rest assured that anything you find at Sprout San Francisco has been vetted thoroughly and is safe for you to use with/for/on your children.  Suzanne hand picks only the safest and healthiest products for our children.  She spent several years studying organic products and the impact of toxic chemicals on our bodies.  In addition to her own research, Suzanne regularly consults with industry leaders for their expertise on the latest scientific data, studies and research.

 

We talked to Suzanne Price, CEO and founder of the shop, and thought you’d love what she has to say:

How do you describe your store?

Sprout is a natural and organic children’s boutique. We carry everything you need for children ages 0 – 4 years old in the healthiest materials possible. We have 5 physical locations. We have stores in the Bay Area, Chicago, and Brooklyn. We also have an e-commerce store at www.sproutsanfrancisco.com .

 

What criterion do you have when choosing/vetting products for your store?

Our top priority is health. We are looking to make sure that nothing on the item could offgas or harm the baby. Sometimes “eco” as in recycled, and “healthy” can be at odds if it’s more focused on the environment than toxins in the products. What we look for specifically is different in each category. All of our clothing is made from natural materials, grown without pesticides. Our toys are solid wood or organic cotton plush. In personal care, we avoid anything that can be an endocrine disruptor. In the gear category, our primary concern is flame retardants.

 

Who are the brands that come to mind that lead the industry in eco products?

Two brands immediately come to mind, Plan Toys for toys and Under the Nile for clothing. Both manage to produce products with the highest standards of safe materials, yet they also are able to keep price points attainable. This helps are broader range of customers to be able to bring safe products into their home.

 

Where do you see Bumbleride fitting into the eco scale of things and how/why you chose our products?

I’m proud to carry Bumbleride strollers in my stores.  They adhere to my strict vetting process and I love that the strollers are free of PVC, BPA, Phthalates, Fire Retardants and Polyurethane foam.  Plus, they are diverting plastics from landfills by having 100% rPET fabric and continually evolving with respect to reducing their carbon footprint.

 

What advice do you have for parents looking to lessen their impact on the environment

Don’t get overwhelmed. Do what you can do. Little changes make a difference. You can start by avoiding plastics. Most plastics are not good for your kids to be around, and they hurt the environment as well.

 

Tell us about the events you host at your stores and how they foster community.

At all of our stores we host educational talks and events that range from topics like “how to get your kid to sleep” to “what do I need to know about flame retardant chemicals.” Both on our website and in our stores, we aim to be an educational resource for the communities that we are in. At most of our stores, we also host regular classes like music and baby yoga where, in addition to kids being entertained, parents can get to know each other as well.

Thank you for reading.  We hope this helps you make important decisions for your families health and the environment.

Make sure to visit Sprout San Francisco, sign up for their newsletter and follow them on Instagram.

Prenatal Exercises to Help You Stay Fit During Your Pregnancy – Bumbleride Speed Jogging Stroller

September 15th, 2016

See how Clinical Nutritionist & Certified Personal Trainer Bri Dietz stays fit during her pregnancy!

“I loved collaborating with my favorite SD stroller company Bumbleride to share how I stay active with their speed jogging stroller during pregnancy! -Bri Dietz

Follow Bri at http://bridietz.com/ and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/bri.dietz/.

About Bri: Bri has combined her passion for holistic health with her scientific background in Kinesiology to create a unique, whole-body approach to both fitness and nutrition. Bri supports her clients through personal training at the Coronado Fitness Club in California, in-home training sessions, and a variety of nutritional counseling services. Bri is also an AFPA Pre- and Post-Natal Exercise Specialist and is focused on supporting expecting, new, and busy mothers achieve optimal wellness.

Bri’s approach to personal wellness emphasizes balance, which she believes is the key to a happy, healthy lifestyle. Bri encourages and challenges her clients while helping them find a personal wellness program that fits their lifestyle and supports their goals.

Learn more about the Speed Jogging Stroller here, http://bumbleride.com/strollers/speed.

 

Surfing Animals Alphabet Book

February 2nd, 2016

Surfing Animals Alphabet BookThe Surfing Animals Alphabet

For many of us at Bumbleride, the ocean is our playground. So when this new children’s book, The Surfing Animals Alphabet caught our eye, we were excited to check it out.
Jonas Claesson, an experienced Illustrator, has ventured into new territory with his first children’s book with the help of writer and father James Redmayne (@jkredmayne) . This book both entertains and educates as you travel from A to Z. With tandem surfing kangaroos and a frog who surfs an old school log we know parents and kids alike will love this aquatic alphabet adventure.
Orangutan-Xenopus_1024x1024 The-Surfing-Animals-Alphabet-Spread2_1024x1024

Fall Favorite Recipes – Eating Made Easy – Amelia Winslow – Bumbleride Adventurer Guest Blogpost

December 15th, 2015

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Fall Favorite Recipes with Eating Made Easy

Cooking with your kids is a wonderful way to introduce new healthy foods, improve eating habits, and spend quality time as a family.

But if the idea of bringing your crazy kiddos into the kitchen to “help” (a.k.a. make a huge mess and add to your to-do list on an already busy day) makes you want to run and hide, you’re not alone.

The trick to making it work, I’ve found, is to embark on a kid-friendly cooking project:

  • when you have plenty of time, like on a weekend afternoon
  • when you’re not trying to get a meal on the table
  • infrequently – like once or twice a month, or whatever feels manageable to you

This way, you and your kids can reap the benefits of cooking together, without having the activity be a source of stress or frustration.

Below are some easy fall-inspired fruit snacks that kids can easily help create. Customize them to your family’s tastes and have fun!

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Fall Fruit Parfaits

Layer chopped pears, apples, persimmons, oranges, or any fall fruit you like with plain yogurt and your favorite granola. Top with pomegranate seeds. Use a clear glass or cup so that kids can see the colorful layers!

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Apple Nachos

Thinly slice any kind of apples and arrange around a plate or platter. Drizzle with peanut butter or caramel sauce, nuts, coconut, dried fruit, crumbled cereal – or any other topping your kids love. Dollop with Greek yogurt, or serve alongside yogurt for dipping.

 

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Mixed Fruit Applesauce

This is a great way to capitalize on those pears or apples that are a little too soft to eat as-is. Simply chop as much fruit as you want and simmer over medium-low heat with water and a few sprinkles of cinnamon (4-5 large fruits + 1/3 cup water + ½ tsp cinnamon)

You can also re-purpose whole fruits your kids didn’t finish into this sauce. It’s completely clean after cooking for so long and will appeal to them (and you!) in a whole new way.

Happy fall!

Find more recipes and eats made easy here, http://eating-made-easy.com/ .

Baby & Kids Magazine – We’ve got the buzz on Bumbleride from co-founder Matthew Reichardt

October 7th, 2015

CoverBnKBuzz on Bumbleride- Co-Founder Interview with Matthew Reichardt

Read the whole digital summer issue or the original Bumbleride interview here , http://www.talcottdigi.com/0715Baby/ .

Childhood Unplugged

June 15th, 2015

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On our radar of worthy blogs  to check out is Childhood Unplugged http://childhoodunplugged.com/.

A collaboration of photographers from around the world capturing children doing what they do best, playing. We couldn’t agree more with the idea behind their work:

“We are making a conscious effort to encourage our children to get back to the art of play. Letting go of technology, if only for a little while, to explore once again the magic of imagination and curiosity.” 

It is also possible for your photos to be featured. They welcome submissions, http://childhoodunplugged.com/submissions/ . Prerequisite, the children must be unplugged!

Follow them on Instagram , https://instagram.com/childhoodunplugged/ .

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“PLAY IS OFTEN TALKED ABOUT AS IF IT WERE A RELIEF FROM SERIOUS LEARNING. BUT FOR CHILDREN PLAY IS SERIOUS LEARNING. PLAY IS REALLY THE WORK OF CHILDHOOD.” – FRED ROGERS

Bumbleride Ambassadors – The Blocks

May 28th, 2015

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Bumbleride Ambassadors – The Blocks – Park City, UT

Lucy and Ken can most often be found behind the wheel of a rally car or with leashes in hand adventuring outdoors with their pups and little ones in tow. This is the latest post in our Bumbleride Ambassadors blog series where we share active and outdoor families’ experiences with their Bumbleride stroller(s).

How do you and Ken like to balance family life while having a busy work and travel schedule?

It’s not an easy balance with our busy schedule but it helps that we travel as a family 90% of the time.  That’s a lot of kid travel but we feel it is important to be together as a family as much as possible.

What are your families’ favorite outdoor activities? 

Well, obviously there is rally.  Ken’s racing schedule occupies most of our time.  We love cars.  We also hike, snowboard and enjoy the lake together as a family.

What was it like to drive your first stage rally and when can we expect to see you behind the wheel again?

I was a bit nervous when I drove my 1st stage rally.  I’m nervous every time.  I do love it and thank goodness I’m not as competitive as Ken.  I’m just out there trying to better myself and become a better driver each time I’m in the car.  I hope to be behind the wheel again this year.

Follow Ken on his website, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram.

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Lucy with her rally car.

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Lucy & Ken

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Watching Dad race!

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Ken shredding with his son


Gymkhana 7: Wild in the streets of Los Angeles