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.

#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.

How We Eco – 1% of April Sales Donated To 5 Gyres

April 2nd, 2017

From our founders

As new parents in 2004, our inspiration to create Bumbleride was our need for a stroller that fit the active lifestyle that we wanted to share with our new baby, Ella.  Although there were many options of baby themed prints on plastic wheeled strollers we saw a real lacking in quality, well-designed strollers with modern styling suited to our outdoor life.  Our journey as a family with 3 kids now has allowed us many adventures and our 3 little test pilots have helped us to continuously improve our products.

Over the years, many things have stayed the same.  We still work with the same family owned factory in Taiwan where we focus on small production runs to ensure the highest quality of materials and craftsmanship.  We also more than ever recognize the need for designs that allow parents to get out and explore as a family, whether it be an urban stroll, a mountain trail or sandy beach.

Some things have changed though.  We live in a consumerism society where products are being manufactured at an unprecedented pace. Our inboxes and feeds are full of promotions and offers to buy.  The eternal quest for what’s new, what’s hot though has consequences, environmentally and socially.

At Bumbleride, we have made it our mission to help reduce our impact on the environment by using high quality materials so you have a stroller that will last for your family and can even be passed on to another family.  We also have sourced materials that are free from harmful chemicals so your baby is safe.  We use recycled materials where possible.  Our fabrics are 100% recycled polyester keeping post-consumer water bottles out of our oceans.  We also are exploring ways to reduce the use of fresh water and reduce pollution with an innovative dye process used exclusively on our black colorways.  We know we can do more and we are focused on continuing to look for new innovations that will help us achieve this goal.

 

We appreciate working with like-minded companies who are working hard to reduce their impact on the environment.  This month we are calling attention to those companies in the series “How We Eco”.  Each week one of our Bumbleride families will highlight brands in the following categories: Gear, Feed, Nursery and Play and share our picks from some of the companies that we admire what they are doing for the environment. To show our commitment to this campaign 1% of all Bumbleride sales during the month of April will be donated to an organization to help educate and reduce plastics in our oceans, the 5 Gyres Institute.

-Matthew and Emily Reichardt

How We Eco: PLAY

1) Bumbleride Indie Stroller
color: tourmaline

2) Nuna Pipa Car Seat
color: black

3) Clek Foonf Booster Seat
color: capri (white or black, whatever you think)

4) Guava Family Lotus Crib

5) Bumbleride Mini Board

6) Bumbleride Parent Pack

March For Babies – Walk to help give every baby a chance

March 3rd, 2017

What is the March for Babies by March of Dimes?

The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. The March of Babies helps raise awareness and funds for their cause to help more babies be born healthy.

Join Team Bumbleride 4/29 in San Diego or at a March for Babies event near you! The walk promises to be a fun day out with people who share our passion for improving the health of babies. There’ll be family teams, company teams and people walking with friends – it’s a great feeling knowing we’re all helping real families.

Join our event and walk with us to raise money for babies right here in our community!

April 29th, 2514 6th Ave (& Juniper Street)

San Diego, CA 92103

Registration 7am, Start, 8am.

Please help Team Bumbleride fund raise with a donation here.

Find a March for Babies event near you here.

Learn more about the March of Dimes:

Why is the problem of prematurity so important?

Prematurity is the leading killer of America’s newborns. Those who survive often have lifelong health problems, including cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, chronic lung disease, blindness and hearing loss.

What was the original name of the March of Dimes?

The National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

When did the March of Dimes change its mission to birth defects prevention?

1958

Who founded the March of Dimes?

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States.

What is the March of Dimes mission today?

To improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, infant mortality, and premature birth.

Why did the March of Dimes change its mission to birth defects prevention?

To “lead, direct, and unify” the fight against polio, a paralyzing viral disease.

 

Baby2Baby

January 12th, 2017

Kelly and Norah from Baby2Baby

As a company we work hard looking for areas to reduce our impact on the environment and reduce waste. Whenever possible, we find alternative solutions for discarding last seasons products or colorways. So, what do we do with these items?

One course of action we take is to donate to hospitals and several non-profit organizations, including one we love to work with Baby2Baby.org. Baby2Baby is an incredible organization that places our products in homes of families in need, providing everything from diapers to gear for children ages 0-12 years old.

“Hi Bumbleride!

Happy New Year! I wanted to say thank you for the 14 bassinets you sent over the break! We are so grateful for the ongoing relationship with Bumbleride and your support of the low-income children we serve means so much! Because of amazing partners like you over the past 5 years we have been able to distribute over 6 million items to over 125,000 low-income children.
Thank you as always for your help!
Best,
Baby2Baby”

How can you help?

You can donate your new or gently used items as well. Look for a donation box in your city or make a cash donation here, http://baby2baby.org/donate/. If you are interested in hosting a donation bin at your business or school for community donations please email volunteer@baby2baby.org. Thank you for any support or donations!

 

Run She Is Beautiful 5k & 10k- Santa Cruz, CA On March 19th

January 9th, 2017

Join us at the Run She Is Beautiful 5k & 10k in Santa Cruz, CA on March 19th, 2017!

Run She Is Beautiful is a race with course flare, inspirational sayings, and overall goodtime. Whether this is your FIRST race or your 100th, you will be encouraged AND celebrated! We believe creating a stronger self physically manifests into a stronger self in all areas of your life. Here’s to strong legs, smart girls, and celebrating yourself and just how awesome you are!

Winners of the Bumbleride Baby Mama divisions (stroller friendly 5k & 10k divisions) will win a new Speed jogging stroller!

Sign up here.

Can’t join us March 19th? Join us in Santa Barbara, CA on September 23rd, 2017

Run She Is Beautiful 5 & 10k Recap – Santa Barbara, CA

September 27th, 2016

Bumbleride Booth
We had an amazing time supporting the Run She Is Beautiful Pinkest 5k & 10k race in Santa Barbara, CA! We sponsored the Baby Mama division so the top 5k and 10k finishers pushing a stroller won a new Speed jogging stroller! Congratulations to Claudia and Jocelyn who won the 5 & 10k and went home with their new Speeds (below)! Enjoy the gallery and we hope to see you at the next race in Santa Cruz in March of 2017, http://www.runsheisbeautiful.com/ !

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Congratulations Claudia and little Juliana on winning the Bumbleride Baby Mama Division 5k!

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Congratulations Jocelyn! Jocelyn pushed to the finish with a flat tire on her double stroller!

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The starting line of the race! 3,2,1….GO!

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Jill, Priscilla of Solly Baby and friend Ashley entered the race with little Morgan . 2016 Speed in Silver Black shown.

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Jacqui of Baby Boy Bakery Kids ran the race with her Speed in Silver Black. We joined forces with Baby Boy Bakery’s Race Squad!

Learn more about our Speed jogging stroller here, https://www.bumbleride.com/strollers/speed .

Camp Collection – Inspiration, Resources & Essentials

September 20th, 2016

Camp Collection

The Camp Collection.

Get outside. Go explore. Be kind to the environment. Spend quality time with those you love. Create new memories outdoors. That’s the vision behind our new Camp Collection. Available at select independent retailers.

 

It’s time for all things fall. To the mountains we go! Whether you’re apple picking, picnicking, hitting the trails, pumpkin picking, camping or consuming all things pumpkin spice, fall inspires us to bundle up, grab a warm drink and your loved ones and head out for an adventure.

 

Our strollers are designed for adventures and built to perform. The Camp Collection takes this look to a new level with the perfect outdoor green, complemented with tan interior, orange accents and an adventure awaits patch. We continue to evolve in our eco-conscious materials. The fabrics we use are recycled polyester (recycled polyethylene terepthalate, rPET) with 28 post-consumer plastic bottles pulled out of the landfill and re-used (52 for Indie Twin). Our strollers are PVC and phthalate free. There are no fire retardants (excluding the UK per law) and no polyurethane foam. The handlebar is TPR and foam free.

 

Our mission, “The Ride of Your Life”, means to get out and do what you love from day one. To know that active lives foster active imaginations. To explore with an awareness of your impact on the world around you.

 

With that in mind, we hope you can find some inspiration to get outside and make some memories with your family!

 

RESOURCES TO GET YOU OUTSIDE

Find Your Park

Find Your Park

Do you know about http://findyourpark.com?  The National Park Service and National Park Foundation have given us this great resource to find a park or an event (you can even refine by ‘family friendly’) by State or Date to help you and your family get outside and adventure.  Every day can be an adventure, #getoutside.

Hike It Baby

Hike It Baby

With a mission to build communities that support getting families outside with their kids starting at birth.  And a purpose to support parents in nature and raise a generation to love the outdoors.  We concur. https://hikeitbaby.com

Born Wild

Born Wild Project

These amazing mamas are seeking to encourage and empower parents to raise children who are connected to the wilderness, http://www.bornwildproject.com.

Meetup

Meet Up

This community focused resources helps you find meet up groups that share your same interests, https://www.meetup.com.

 

INSPIRATION

These Pinterest Color Boards helped inspire the Camp Collection, https://www.pinterest.com/bumbleride/camp-green-2016-color-board/ .

 

ESSENTIALS

Here are some camp essentials that help keep adventures kind to the environment and comfortable for your family:

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Bumbleride Camp Collection

blanketgunnswainGunn & Swain Blanket

Gunn & Swain Mexican Blanket

plum and sparrow market basket

Plum + Sparrow Market Basket

Klean Kanteen Sippy Cup

Klean Kanteen Kids Sippy

 

Stanley Classic Vaccuum Insulated Thermos

Stanley Classic Vacuum Thermos

Poler Camp Mug

Poler Camp Mug

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.