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 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.

Brilliant Earth – Conflict-Free Diamonds

ad01Do you know where your diamonds have come from? Has the money it took to purchase the diamonds in your wedding band or anniversary necklace been used to fund devestating civil wars in Africa?

What is a conflict diamond? Conflict diamonds are those sold in order to fund armed conflict and civil war. Wars that have cost an estimated 3.7 million lives. That’s why purchasing conflict-free diamonds is so important.

Brilliant Earth is among the few businesses that are helping make a change. They believe that luxury goods need not come at great human or environmental cost. They also support underdeveloped communities ravaged by the jewelry industry by donating a share of our profits.

Brilliant earth not only donates 5% of their profits to Africa but they use recycled gold too. How brilliant is that? They are determined to promote sustainable practices by using environmentally responsible gold and platinum. Their precious metals come from secondary sources and are re-refined in order to ensure that they are identical quality to newly mined metals.

Brilliant earth gives you the choice to Creat Your Own Conflict-Free Diamond Ring, by choosing your Diamond and Setting. They have 10 shapes of diamonds to choose from and then you get to choose the carats, color, clarity and cut and of course price range. A perfect way to make the perfect ring for that special love.

So the next time you are looking for conflict-free diamonds, check out Brilliant Earth. Their commitment to clarity, sustainability, quality and community makes choosing Brillian Earth easy.

Tropical Salvage

front_solidarityAs I was looking through the ReDirect Guide, sustainable living business directory & resource guide, I found an ad for ECOpdx and it reminded me of the beautiful table and chairs my friends had bought from them a while back.

ECOpdx, a small business founded on the belief that quality craftsmanship and personal attention are the cornerstones for a successful company, sell Tropical Salvage furniture.

Tropical Salvage, a Portland, Oregon based company, recycles salvaged timber from several different islands of the Indonesian archipelago, and produces the most beautiful household furnishings.

None of the wood comes from standing trees. The wood they use is old, some a thousand years old. It beautifully expresses its history as wild-growth grain figure, mineral accumulation, and the effects of nails, seasoning cracks & bore holes are evident in many pieces. They are a wonderful testament to the wood’s historical richness and new life.

Tropical Salvage believes in Creating job opportunities in areas of economic hardship, promoting environmental health and education and raising consumer awareness. Old-growth tropical forests are disappearing at an alarming pace—averaging 13 million hectares per year, equivalent to about 50 football fields a minute. Tropical Salvage is a working model of positive change. By creating a responsible and sustainable business model through which to bring popular products to market, Tropical Salvage enables consumer choice to become a tool of activism. If a consumer is given a choice between similar and similarly-priced products, one deriving from a responsible business model, the other from an irresponsible business model, the consumer will choose responsibly.

Tropical Salvage, collaborating with The Institute for Culture and Ecology, is helping to fund and implement a conservation, education and reforestation project in Jepara. To date, about five-hundred trees have been planted, representing thirty-five species. For more information on the Jepara Forest Conservancy click here.

Eco-Friendly Roofing Options

Sustainable roofing options are easily accessible and important in creating green structures. Below are a few earth friendly options to consider when roofing or re-roofing.

  • 959411_82721946Solar Tiles – Created like average tiles, solar tiles provide an infinitely renewable source of energy to those with roofs that are un-shaped and face south, they are also non-pollutant. Many solar tile users stay on-grid, but it reduces electricity source.
  • Recycled Plastic Shingles – These shingles can be lightweight, yet durable, and can stand up to sever weather and high heat; as well as act as a fire barrier system and are UV-resistant. They are comprised of recycled plastic, or rubber, and some are mixed with wood waste.
  • 1046752_30329401Metal Roofing – Metal roofing made from recycled materials, can be a viable option for sustainable roofing, as they can be recycled after use as well. Metal roofing is good for rain harvesting, is a durable material, fireproof, and lightweight.
  • Clay Tiles – Clay tiles can be low energy and extremely durable. They are however very heavy, and do require a strong roofing frame but are also non-combustible, non-leaching and a good option for water harvesting.
  • Slate Tiles –  Slate tiles can be a sustainable option for areas without high heat. Splitting slate tiles is also considerably more environmentally friendly than some roofing methods.

Here are two eco-friendly roofing companies to check out:

RPM Roofing has tested and is now manufacturing their new low cost roofing alternative produced from 100% recycled plastic that will be competitively priced with custom roofing materials in the country. This is the first time that a composite plastic (recycled or otherwise) roofing product is competitive with custom roofing shingle pricing.

Eco Shake – The eco-shake is an innovative roofing material comprised of 100% recycled materials, reinforced vinyl and cellulose fiber. The eco-shake shingle is designed to resemble and replace wood shake shingles.

Green Your Mother’s Day

1127039_28731242Oh my, I almost forgot, Mothers Day is just around the corner, literally! Its this Sunday. Have you picked out something lovely for your wonderful mum? If not, can I make some suggestions? Below I have a list of green, eco-friendly gifts for mothers of all ages.

Candles – Try a scent of SCANDAL candle – Make your mother feel like she is all that with scents like Hot Mama, or Green Queen. Eco-friendly, hand poured, 100% soy wax candle and completely metal-free all-cotton wicks. Offering more than forty scents.

ChocolatesFINE & RAW is raw chocolate. Crafted using conscious ingredients with artisan low heat techniques to keep raw vitality. Cunningly absent of sugar, dairy and additives.

JewelryRecycled LP Jewelry from WrecordsByMonkey. They have a Heritage Collection with jewelry that is reminiscent of flea market relics and antique shop treasures, this collection’s unique combination of vintage imagery with recycled materials showcases another level of WrecordsByMonkey’s design style.

Bath & Body ProductsOrganic Bath Co. is dedicated to making high quality, organic, skin care products at an affordable price. They are committed to avoiding the use of the potentially harmful chemicals, preservatives and artificial ingredients. They use recycled and recyclable materials in all their packaging and strive to produce, market and distribute our products with the least possible negative environmental impact.

FlowersRecycled Newspaper Roses are an eco-friendly alternative to fresh flowers. Handmade by Girls Club members, these flowers never die!

Bedding – 100% Organic Cotton Duvets, Towels, Sheets, Blankets and Throws from Under the Canopy. They work with certified organic and sustainable fibers and manufacture with a focus on “human first” working conditions.

Sewing Green by Betz White

51i9s3rehnl_sl500_aa240_Sewing by itself is pretty green, and when you add in using old sweaters, jeans and clothes you never wear, you end up making the statement that you do care about the wonderful earth in which we live.

Betz White, an author, designer, green crafter, and successful blogger, has this wonderful book, Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made With Repurposed & Organic Materials. Taking something old and repurposing it into something new is something most of us has heard about, but Betz White makes it look easy.

By its nature, do-it-yourself sewing is environmentally friendly. In Sewing Green, Betz White takes stitching to an even higher level of sustainability, presenting 25 projects made from “repurposed” thrift-store and back-of-the-closet finds and organic fabrics.

White’s whimsical yet practical designs include an apron constructed from men’s dress shirts (and a wallet from the shirts’ cuffs!), a soft blanket pieced from secondhand cashmere sweaters, and even a tote bag refashioned from used Tyvek envelopes.

White dispenses tips on everything from how to deconstruct old garments for reuse in new creations to how to wrap gifts with resusable fabric scraps instead of paper.

If you would like to visit Betz Whites blog click here. She also has written two other books; Warm Fuzzies: 30 Sweet Felted Projects and Felt So Good: Over 30 Irrestistibly Cute, Cosy and colorful Felted Projects.

3 Eco-Friendly Fashioin designers

While cruising through a magazine, I was looking at articles on clothing and kept reading about designers who were making strides to become more Eco-friendly or completely sustainable. These are 3 that stuck out to me:

lp_090420_21. Hessnatur – A German Eco-ethical clothing company. Their goal is to be 100% organic in everything they make. All of their pure cotton is 100% organic. The availability of the other luxurious, natural fibers they use in organic quality is still limited. 20-55% of their range in these fabrics is organic. However, everything they make is pure and natural. Made by people whose human rights are respected.

Hessnatur offers eco-friendly clothes for the whole family. Make a statement and change your tee and help change the world. A simple tee shirt can change the world.

2. Zoe & Zac – Created to democratize green fashion by making it affordable and accessible, and enabling more people to participate in sustainable living. Zoe & Zac products are made from Eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and linen, natural hemp, jute, recycled rubber, and water-based glues. The packaging is Eco-smart too, with 100 percent recycled shoe boxes printed with soy-based inks.

Zoe & Zac have shoes for women and girls and the entire collection is under $30.

3. Bodkin – A collection designed in accordance with principles of sustainability in materials and production methods. Manufactured in New York City using organic cotton and organic wool and artisanal vegetable dyes along with innovative fibers such as recycled-PET nylon, cellulosic fibers, and kapok, Bodkin consists of understatedly classic yet forward-thinking pieces that reconcile style with utility and transparency, supporting and encouraging both traditional craft and environmentally beneficial technologies of the future.

Bodkin offers wonderfully sustainable clothing for women.

2nd Annual Recycled Art and Wine Event

3833117Youth Impact, a nonprofit agency that provides mentoring for kids in Marion, Polk and Yamhill counties, is having their 2nd Annual Recycled Art and Wine event at the Grand Ballroom in Salem.

Youth Impact’s mission is to engage youth in programs that educate, motivate and empower participants to create a positive life for themselves. To provide youth with the skills, education, guidance and support they need to pursue opportunities to build a better future.

Join us for an evening of wine tasting, jazz, and an art display of recycled art created by local youth. View and bid on the art while enjoying music, hor d’ouevres and wine tasting. The event will be Thursday, June 4th, 2009.  A beautiful evening of youth created art, delicious local wines and local musicians.  Tickets will are on sale now.

Date: June 5, 2009

Time: 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Location: Grand Ballroom at 187 High St NE Salem,Or 97301


Price: Adults $25

For more information on Youth Impacts programs and services click here.