Eco-Friendly Table Linens

jr-organic-kitchen-dish-potholder1Are you looking for ways to update your kitchen table but want to be green and use organic or eco-friendly linens. There are a lot of options out there, check out these great designs and earth friendly linens:

Touch of Europe – Bamboo Eco-Friendly Fun Colorful Placemats. These placemats come in yummy fresh colors and are made of bamboo. Great for casual indoor or outdoor entertaining and the colors work with so many other colors, to mix, match, combine and have fun.

Viva Terra – Multi-Colored River Stone Placemats. These smooth river stone placemats in variegated colors add a functional and organic design dimension to traditional dining table decor. Hand-gathered and securely attached to netted backing.

3R Living – Paper Table Placemats. The placemats are waterproof, tear proof, and made from tree-free paper. We love the smooth matte finish of the mats, but we especially appreciate that they are 100% recyclable.

Eco Choices EcoKitchen – Organic Cotton Kitchen Towels, Dish Towels and Pot Holders. 100% organic cotton kitchen towels, dish cloths and pot holders. Grown without the use of harsh chemicals, pesticides & fertilizers. The methods, materials, and dyes used on these have a low impact on the environment and are certified by Skal International.

Green Feet – Litter Free Lunch Cloth Napkins. Replace disposable paper napkins and paper towels with these civilized serviettes. Each soft cotton cloth napkin is generously proportioned and ready to reuse.

Eco-Friendly Cell Phones

sony_ericsson_greenheart_c901_naite-430x480Technology is always changing, and I love the fact that they now have solar-powered and eco-friendly cell phones. If you are looking for ways to be more on the green side, check out these phones and see if one of these beauties fits your needs.

Samsung’s Blue Earth Phone – In an attempt to help consumers be more eco-friendly, Samsung has come up with the Samsung Blue Earth, a pebble-shaped, solar-powered touchscreen phone. The Blue Earth is free from harmful substances such as beryllium and phthalates, and is made out of recycled water bottles.

Sony Ericsson GreenHeart – The GreenHeart™ is a full concept with all life cycle in mind it includes features such as bio-plastic housings, recycled plastic keypads, zero charger with 3.5mW standby power, HTML based e-manuals, a game style educational application ‘Ecomate’ and environmentally conscious packaging.

Motorola MOTO W233 Renew – The first certified Carbonfree cell phone on the market. Through an alliance with Carbonfund.org, Motorola offsets the amount of energy required to manufacture, distribute and operate the phone.

Nokia 3110 Evolve – Nokia’s first eco-friendly phone! It’s made with 50% renewable material and the packaging is made with 60% recycled material. In addition, the charger is energy efficient! It uses 94% less energy than normal and automatically shuts off when fully charged. The screen is OLED which also reduces power usage. Talk about evolving.

Green Exercise Gear

904238_23152257Get into shape with these great eco-friendly exercise products.

Latex-Free Eco Exercise Ball Kit: Exercise balls enable you to improve core strength and balance and provide a firm, comfortable surface for a wide variety of activities.

The Original Eco Yoga Mat: The Original Eco Yoga Mat is composed exclusively of all-natural rubber and jute fiber. The Original Eco mat is the most earth-conscious and eco-friendly yoga mat option available today.

REI’s Ocean Kayak Scrambler 11 Recycled Sit-On-Top Kayak: Great for surfing or cruising and stable enough for diving or fishing. Made from 100% recycled Ocean Kayak post-industrial plastic waste that’s actually stronger than the original material.

Eclipse Solar Gear The Reactor Solar BackPack: This stylish and smart backpack is the first in a line of backpacks with an integrated solar charging solution. Perfect for the student, mobile commuter, and outdoorsman, this backpack provides a quality pack with an integrated solar charging module for your high-tech toys.

Organic Workout Wear for Men and Women: Whether you want to kick back in comfortable casual wear, hit the road in a new pair of running shoes or stretch it out in some yoga clothing, these companies have the outfits for you. Find natural organic hemp clothing, 100% cotton, name brand athletic wear and comfy exercise clothes – there’s lots here to suit your style.

Solar Ray-Dio: Tune in to your favorite radio stations anytime and nearly anywhere with the Solar Radio. On a full charge, the radio will play for 8 hours. It’s lightweight and compact, making it ideal for travel.

Green Cosmetics by Tarte

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Tarte Cosmetics, started in 1999 by Maureen Kelly, is the leader in earth engineered™ beauty offering the widest selection of natural cosmetics full of skinvigorating™ ingredients including our proprietary t5 super fruit complex™ (a blend of the five most active, free-radical fighting super fruits), vitamins, minerals and natural fruit and plant extracts. But it’s not just about what’s in our healthy formulas; it’s what’s not in them that really sets us apart! We are 100% free of parabens, petro-chemicals, phthalates, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, just to name a few.

They offer a plethora of wonderful green items. And their cosmetics are loved and have been used by many of Hollywoods top Actresses and Models.

New for the Fall of 2009: Dark circle defense natural under eye corrector and brush, Femme Fatale refillable natural eye palette, Green siren natural cheek stain, and Lifted natural eye primer with Firmitol.

One of the best parts of Tartes company practices is that they give back. “every year a chunk of land equivalent to the average-size U.S. state disappears, affecting an estimated 1 million of the world’s 5 million species of plants and animals”. Sambazon, the global leader in acai, started the Sustainable Amazon Partnership (SAP) as part of their market-driven conservation business model in the Amazon Rainforest. With the purchase of every tarte product that has their new t5 super fruit complex™, customers will be helping to preserve the Amazon Rainforest through forest conservation, improved living conditions and educational opportunities for communities in Brazil. What could be better than that? Next time you are on the look out for new makeup, check out Tarte and be a part of rainforest conservation.


9 Tips to Help You Green Your Motor Home

1199333_42380815While people are reconsidering their travel plans due to the high cost of gas, you should know that an RV vacation can be more of a green solution than you think.

Here are 9 tips to help you green your motor home.

  1. Don’t waste fuel. As with any automobile, you can maximize your RV’s fuel efficiency by checking tire air pressure, keeping your vehicle up to date on oil changes and drive safely.
  2. Rough it. Your motor home may be equipped with all the latest technology but you didn’t drive 100’s of miles to sit inside eating tv dinners and watching tv.  Try to avoid using microwaves, tv’s, and AC if you can.
  3. Learn how to conserve. Learn to adapt by conserving water and food. As you travel, you will find at times you have no easy access to certain items, making you more aware of how you use them.
  4. Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lighting, even running and parking lights. This alone will help you save a lot of battery power.
  5. Plan your travels according to the weather. If its cold, go south, if its hot, go north. That way you’ll stay comfortable and not have to rely on running energy sucking AC’s or heaters.
  6. Dispose of waste properly. If you create waste make sure you dispose of it properly. Sometimes you just cant recycle or reuse something.
  7. Use reusable plates, bowls and silverware. If you must use disposable, use paper products, this helps reduce landfill decomposition time.
  8. Install a propane catalytic heater. A catalytic heater uses no electricity, provides radiant heat, and saves you battery power, lessoning the need for generator run time. It also uses considerably less propane too.
  9. Consider converting to propane, its cleaner burning with much less CO emissions than gasoline.

Before Going Green Was Cool

080430_sa_planetI realized after reminiscing with some friends the other day about our favorite cartoons growing up that ‘Captain Planet’ was a leader in the environmental concerns of our day. Back in the 80-90s, Captain Planet got kids excited about taking care of the environment, tackling the bad guys in battles for the earth.

Captain Planet was summoned whenever the five Planeteers combined the forces of their elemental rings. This emphasized the show’s premise that only by working together could people protect the planet and provide solutions to environmental problems. Likewise, Captain Planet’s appearance did not identify him with any one culture or ethnicity, as his hair was Forest Green and his skin was Sky Blue.

Within the fictional universe of the show, the Earth possesses a literal living spirit named Gaia. Unable to take more than a certain level of direct action herself, Gaia is forced to appoint “champions”, a group of which form the basis of the show’s titular “Planeteers”. Each “champion” is gifted with a ring of elemental power by Gaia. When the team members combine the energies of these rings, they summon a being who is an amalgam of the elements each ring is attuned to. This being takes on a different appearance and persona based on the minds of the team members who summon him, allowing him to have human mannerisms in keeping with the era. Because he is connected to the minds of the team members when they summon him, the elemental being is also often aware of certain events that occur while he is not active on screen.

Its interesting to wonder how much Captain Planet might have influenced this new generation that is showing concern for our environment? Perhaps the Planeteers from all corners of the world can unite to bring protection to planet Earth?

Just for fun, check out this video of the Captain Planet outro and enjoy a trip down memory lane…
Captain Planet Outro

Biodegradable Basics

cocoa-bowlsGo green in some unlikely places with these earth-friendly housewares.

TablewareGrenware ecology & design: Dinner plates and bowls made renewable plant fiber from bamboo and rice hulls. In proper conditions it will biodegrade in as little as 4 months.

LinensLoolo Textiles: Every pillow or blanket we make uses our own hand and machine knit biodegradable textiles available in a full range of colors. Yes, you can throw them in your composter at the end of their useful life and they will biodegrade within 1 year.

Trash CansUmbra: The colorful Artala cans are made of Virgin polypropylene a plastic that is engineered to break down 10 times faster than that of standard plastic cans.

PensGrassroots: Biodegradable corn pen made from Mater-Bi, a revolutionary new material derived from cornstarch. This means that unlike conventional plastics that never breakdown, this green pen will disintegrate in about 12 months after being discarded.

PlantersCoir: This unique product, which is exclusive to ecosource Home & Garden, is made from coconut fiber and natural rubber. Biodegrades easily.

Eco-Friendly Drinking Straws

stainlessWhile visiting a restaurant in Denver I ordered a drink and was excited when I read the side of the paper that surrounded the straw. It said Eco-Friendly on the side.

So while doing some research on the internet about drinking straws I found this article from the Soft Landing blog that gave a little info on plastic straws.

The first plastic straws were made using polystyrene (#6), but now polypropylene (#5) or polyethylene (#2) is favored over polystyrene, because polystyrene is brittle and tends to crack easily(just like the famous red Solo-type cups).

The good news:  most of the current straws are made from either #2 or #5 plastic, the  concern about toxic chemical exposure is low.

The bad news:  environmentally speaking both #2 and #5 plastics are recyclable, but most people don’t recycle and McDondald’s alone served over 50 million meals in 2008!  Can you imagine the sheer number of straws laying in the landfill?

Below are a list of Eco-Friendly options –

1. Aardvark Paper Drinking Straws

2. Compostable GREEN Drinking Straws Made from Corn

3. Stainless Steel Straws

4. Glass Straws

5. Fair Trade Bamboo Straws with Bag

Recycled Magazine Drink Coasters

Over at Eco-Office Gals I saw a post; Flaunt it! Monday: Gretchen and Grace, in which they review a product from Gretchen & Grace Greenwear, read more below for their review.

coasterWhen looking thru her site I knew I had to check out this set of drink coasters:

This product is made of recycled magazines. The paper is first cut and then folded into long strips which are soaked in glue and dried. Once dry it is hand coiled, piece by piece until the desired shape is completed. 3″x3″.

This line was so intriguing to me since it really closed the loop on reduce, recycle, reuse.  The package arrived in a timely fashion and the coasters were so cool and a great conversation piece. The only downside to the coaster that I found was you can’t use them for a sweaty drink.  The glue that holds the strips together does get gummy.  I definately need to put my thoughts together and figure out what I could use to give these some sort of clear coating (like an apoxy minus the death by fumes… any thoughts?).

After reading this I was thinking about it and was wondering what eco-friendly componant could be added to these coasters to make them stand up to a cold drink that sweats or even a hot one. I haven’t come up with anything spectacular yet, still thinking about it.

Green Your Fourth of July

920695_26615421If you have been on the green scene for a while than you already know how to green a party, bbq or celebration, Fourth of July is not an exception.

1. Place Settings: When setting the table remember to stay away from plastic, Styrofoam, and paper disposable items. Use your everyday dishes, silverware and cloth napkins, these are the most friendly to the environment. If you must use disposable, try these; Green Feet bamboo disposable ware.

2. Decorations: Here are some eco-friendly ways to decorate the table and yard: Red,white and blue table cloth, Vases filled with red, white and blue flowers, Stick a candle in old jars and add 4th of July ribbon. Sprig has a list of 10 Eco-friendly decorating ideas that wont bust your budget, you can use any of their ideas and just incorporate red,white and blue.

3. Food: Stick to buying locally grown organic food when putting your menu together. Stay away from red meat as much as you can. If you must eat red meat, buy locally grown and organic. Its not enough that its local, it must be organic. For more on what cows are fed and why to avoid red meat read this article, The Truth About Red Meat – What’s the Problem with Beef?