The Wooly Owl

The Wooly Owl was created by owner and operator, Alissa Tarita-Havenaar from Muskoka Ontario because she believes that babies, moms and the earth deserve the best. Her company uses sustainable materials, like organic cotton and reclaimed wool fibers to create truly unique items for earth-conscientious families.

Alissa Tarita-Havenaar’s company was created from her own personal desire to live from the land and to offer reusable, biodegradable alternatives to many of the items used by moms, such as nursing pads. Her goals include keeping materials as local as possible. In her quest to be sustainable, Alissa uses 100% wool materials and organic cotton knits, organic flax seed, and biodegradable materials. She also uses recycled (aka upcycled materials) like vintage buttons. Materials, like vintage buttons add to the uniqueness of her pieces.

Alissa’s business is a one-woman enterprise and out of her creativity is born one-of-a-kind items, made by her, for moms and babies. Her business represents her commitment to the planet and helping others to live a chemical-free life. We just had to talk to Alissa about her business, her values and her future goals.

NaturalMommy: Alissa, what are some of the reasons why you use local materials in the products you create?

Alissa: There are a few reasons. First, it keeps the cost of materials low. I purchase all of my wools from local second-hand stores. Convenient since at present I can walk to the store, (saving gas money from my pocket and from added carbon emissions into the air,) and second, all donations to the stores will usually be made by the local people in the community. Thus, the materials in their own way are from the community made back into items for the community. I was purchasing organic cotton form the United States, but have since decided to go strictly with recycled materials over organic. Although there is a huge market right now for things strictly certified organic, I feel that buying used over newly organic is genuinely a greener choice. The material is already there and does not require raw materials to be processed weather organically or not. Continue reading

Apple Juice or Arsenic Juice?

As some of you might have already heard from Dr. Oz, there have been suspicions of high levels of arsenic (and lead) in fruit juice – especially apply.

Unfortunately, (released recently from ABC news, link below) these suspicions have been confirmed. Trace levels of naturally-occurring arsenic is safe, however we are not discussing trace levels of naturally occurring arsenic. We are talking about an elevated level which may result in long term illness and development delays. Levels found in many of the fruit juices on the market exceed the healthy levels for human consumption. In fact, these levels are higher than the US government allowance in water.

Many fruit juice companies are claiming that they are not responsible for regulations – instead it is the government’s job to set the threshold for arsenic levels in juice. Right now most governments have no regulations for arsenic in juices. Perhaps because until now, this has not been an apparent issue (thank you Dr. Oz!). Continue reading