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Monthly Archives: October 2009
I am totally in love with this line of kids organic clothes that I have just discovered from Barley & Birch. The colours are bright and vivid and made completely of water based inks that are non-toxic. They have a line of t-shirts, hats, pants, onesies, tank tops and lap t-shirts with the bigger neck opening for little ones.
The clothes are sweat shop free and made entirely in the USA. They use 100% certified organic cottons to make all of their products. The water based inks and organic cotton ensure that the farmers aren’t exposed to toxic chemicals, the ground has no toxic chemicals dumped on it and no chemicals leech into the ground water. Our kids are going to be the ones left with the mess we create. Isn’t it only fitting that the clothes on their backs are environmentally conscious??
Besides all of that, Barley & Birch donate 15% of their proceeds to offset the carbon emissions created by making their products. Several different carbon-reducing iniatives are supported including carbonfund.org which works on 3 different types of projects: reforestation, renewable energy sources and increasing energy efficiency.
Still not sold on the clothes?? Barley & Birch donate an additional 15% of their proceeds to improve people’s lives around the world. The causes they support include: Madre, 1% for the Planet and Cocoda which are all amazing charities that are really making a difference. Follow the links to find out more information about each organization. They’re really doing some great things!
This company is certainly one that even the most eco-conscious shopper can be proud to support. Remember when you’re shopping this Christmas season that every time you buy something, you are supporting the way it is produced, the company that is producing it and the ideals that stand behind that company. Buying an item is like voting for the company with your hard earned money. Really makes you stop to think twice about what you end up buying when you head out with this mindset.
This week’s Etsy find has a Halloween theme — old x-rays repurposed into notebooks! Super ghoulish for Halloween or any time of year. I was thinking that these recycled x-ray and recycled paper notebooks would make great gifts for medical students, nurses, EMT’s, doctors or anyone in a health related profession. Christmas here we come!
They are made by Etsy seller momerath who besides being quite witty in her listings, makes items notebooks from a variety of pieces of trash. And stick figure men. She and stick figure men seem to have a thing… She likes to take pics of stick figure signs and use them in a variety of ways I’d never think of — magnetic stick figure men picking up stick figure dog poop, framed stick family photos, etc. She tends towards papers that are used on one side and blank on the other. Unique papers that show their previous lives off well.
These x-ray notebooks are available in a selection of shots with a foot (get it — foot notes?), leg bones,arm bones, spinal x-rays and even a skull! She describes the books as being “quietly macabre”. They’re subtle enough to use in a conservative office yet you’ll secretly know that you’re a rebel down deep inside. Maybe way, way down deep beneath your pocket protector but still slightly edgy.
You can be an edgy office worker or medical enthusiast on a budget too because these books are really quite affordable with a set of two being $20 – $25. Super cute and great gift for Christmas. Or you could buy them to jot down suspicious looking trick or treaters this year as you make your rounds. That would surely make people nervous!
She has crafted one set of the notebooks out of papers used on one side with a particularly spooky theme — Edgar Allan Poe short stories, paperwork from researching lesson plans for a class on classic horror films and other papers on this theme!
There are other notebooks as well that are really cool — twinkie covers, macaroni box covers and a toddler’s favorite foodgroups theme of notebooks (juice, cheerios and granola bars). Super cute, witty and eco-conscious…definitely some of my favorite things!
She has another Etsy shop as well called Uffish that sells vintage items. Both shops are fantastic and full of great Christmas shopping ideas!
Okay, I got this from a colleague of mine today and just had to share. Reminds me of my own precocious kids! Here goes:
A stranger was seated next to a little girl on an airplane. He turns to her and says: “Let’s talk.
I’ve heard that flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers. “
The little girl, who had just opened her book, closed it slowly and said, “What would you like to talk about?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” said the stranger. “How about nuclear power?” he said with a smile.
“OK,” she said. “That could be an interesting topic. But let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff — grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, and a horse produces clumps of dried grass. Why do you suppose that is?”
The stranger, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea…”.
To which the little girl replies “Do you really feel qualified to discuss nuclear power when you don’t know shit???”
I guess that’s why I don’t have many articles here about nuclear power!!!
If you are in Chicago or plan on visiting sometime soon, I’d definitely recommend a trip to the Tiffani Kim spa. They offer a huge range of services that would entice eco-enthusiasts. They use a combination of medical procedures such as the restylane treatment Chicago loves which involves injecting natural fillers into the face to smooth and plump and more natural and organic treatments such as aromatherapy infused massages using specially blended essential oils.
For expecting mothers, a pregnancy massage is available to relieve sciatica, water retention, fatigue and lower back pain. These massages are recommended for women in the second and third trimesters and require a doctor’s note allowing participation. A nice relaxing massage is just what a pregnant woman really needs to perk up and relieve stress, anxiety and achiness.
They also offer an all natural fertility boot camp that gives you the advice of a team of experts in many fields to help you fulfill your dreams of parenthood. Advice is given by experts in accupuncture, psychotherapy, nutrition, yoga, bodywork and reproductive endocrinology. The bootcamp will give you tips on how you should think, eat, feel, exercise, communicate and even copulate! Definitely worth a try (or maybe even two — lol!). As a mother and a woman trying to conceive, I definitely respect professionals who go out of their way to provide natural services to those who want it. Many products are filled with a variety of chemicals that people are questioning. A spa like this one could really help you find the way to natural health and beauty!
This is a sponsored post with 100% real opinions.
This monstrosity of Hummer and Styrofoam combined is entitled American Detritus. It was constructed during a 3 month residency program at the San Francisco dump’s Artist in Residence program. This program provides tools, a small stipend, space and access to the dump’s never ending supply of materials for artists to create with. Andrew Junge is the artist who came up with this life sized styrofoam Hummer in 2005.
The base of the Hummer is plywood which was salvaged from the dump. This plywood frame was then covered in many styrofoam bricks that the artist cut down to size and glued together. The styrofoam that was used was also taken from the dump. There is a lot of glue, bolts, screws, etc. holding the sculpture together and it weighs an astonishing amount estimated to be between 400 and 700 pounds!
The title of the piece is revealing. Look up Detritus in Wikipedia and you’ll find the following definition: “In biology, detritus is non-living particulate organic material (as opposed to dissolved organic material). It typically includes the bodies or fragments of dead organisms as well as fecal material.” Logically then, styrofoam and hummers would be American (or North American) detritus … Unfortunately, both of these items are far too common here in Canada as well.
Hummers use huge amounts of gas for no real reason at all. It drives me crazy when I see people commuting back and forth to work in the city in these vehicles. Styrofoam is another one of my big pet peeves. While it is technically possible to recycle it, practically no one does because of the cost and toxic fumes involved in melting it down. There are so many better alternatives to this type of packaging. Please avoid companies that even use styrofoam products and tell them why. The only way that corporations change is when their bottom lines are affected.
This is genius work by Andrew Junge and I’ll definitely be looking into some of the other Artists in residency.
As mentioned in previous posts, my Christmas wish list this year will be entirely green. Yes, even a fuschia mug counts as being green when it is made from 100% recycled polypropylene. Instead of getting paper or the even worse alternative of styrofoam, I almost always bring my own mug. I’ve been doing this for years and years now. I guess that’s why it’s about time to pick up a new one! This super environmentally responsible mug reduces waste, repurposes recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable itself when it is time to replace it.
It’s BPA free so you don’t need to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into your coffee. The double lined walls of the mug help to keep the coffee warm longer. This really shouldn’t be an issue for me since I usually finish my coffee right away! Another bonus is that it’s microwave and dishwasher safe. My stainless steel coffee mugs can’t do that and it can be a real pain sometimes. In case any of my relatives are wondering, the mug is made by Aladdin and available online at LL Beans. You can even search online for an LL Bean coupon to use when buying Christmas items there. That way your eco-shopping will be even more affordable! I do quite a bit of online shopping at this time of year and find online coupons can really save money easily.
I remember one of the Dads at our childbirth education class asking the teacher how we’d make sure we got the right baby back if we put them all down in a line to take pictures of! Once the babies came and we lined them up to take this shot, I think that new and tired Daddy finally realized that baby’s are all completely different from one another. Mine’s the one in the red shoes. That way I’d recognize her — lol!
Just as babies are all different from each other, so are their births. No two births are the same, even for the same mother. I’ve had my children 12 years apart from each other. The first birth was nearly completely natural. The only interference I allowed the doctors was some laughing gas to help me relax and finish dilating. The second birth was full of interventions. I was put on pitocin to help induce labor, my water was broken and eventually after many hours, I had an epidural. The birthing process for my second child was very hard and did not live up to my expectations of having a natural childbirth like my first labor and delivery experience.
It’s important to keep your options open when you are pregnant so that you do not feel disappointed and disillusioned about birth once your new baby finally arrives. Realize that every birth is different so comparing them is only as valuable as comparing apples and oranges to one another. There are some similarities but some glaring and obvious differences as well.
If I get to experience another live labor and childbirth myself, I hope to have the birth be as natural as possible with as little medical interference as necessary. Women have been having babies for as long as there has been babies. We are capable of doing it regardless of how your doctor or hospital may make you feel. I personally am a little worried about home births or any births without a doctor because an emergency situation may arise. Women have been having babies for thousands of years but they’ve also been dying during the process for just as long! On the other hand, the amount of interventions during births in the western world are astounding. The C-section rate, number of epidurals and amount of drugs pumped into birthing women are especially concerning.
The one really important thing to remember is to make sure that you have a doctor and support people who understand your needs and opinions. Many doctors let their own opinions and feelings get in the way of providing proper health care during labor and delivery. This is where your support people need to be able to step in and advocate for you as you may not be able to. Midwives and doulas are great to have for support throughout the entire pregnancy and, in my opinion, crucial during labor and delivery. They can help you come up with a birth plan before the big day that will set out your goals in the best case scenario as well as alternatives you can feel comfortable with if things get too tough.
I’d highly recommend reading up about the different methods of natural childbirth (or as natural as possible childbirth). This link has a ton of great information about doulas, midwives, aromatherapy for delivery, flower essence therapy for delivery, hypotherapy, accupuncture, homeopathy, childbirth educators, etc. etc. They have many great articles about the huge range of options available for births and an online forum to ask questions that you can’t find the answers to. They cover a lot of topics that I’ve never even heard of and explain things from both the doctor and patient angles. Definitely a website to check out even if you are not planning a natural childbirth.
|These awesome stencil works are made entirely from mud. They use the graffiti taggers medium of stencils and public services to promote a variety of clean earth ideals. I think that this is a fantastic idea!!! I’ve seen graffiti made from moss and Clorox’s reverse graffiti pictures where they removed dirt to create artwork but I’ve certainly never seen mud graffiti before!
At an age when many kids are running around using spray paint to deface public spaces, the artist Jesse Graves uses mud to stencil environmental spaces in public spaces. He wants to promote eco-friendly living and make people think about the world around them. On his website Mud Stencils, he explains: “I use mud or earth because it is a fundamental life-giving substance, logical for my messages”. Pretty darn clever for someone who’s not even old enough to vote!
His artwork covers such concepts as eatting wild food, feeding cows grass instead of corn, decreasing our use of plastics, alternative modes of transportation such as bikes, modifying the reduce, reuse, recycle loop to include composting which requires far less energy and wasted resources, organic gardening, growing your own foods, resisting industrial farming and has even been recently involved with a movement to allow prisoners access to used books.
This teen is definitely someone’s artwork you should be on the look out for when visiting Milwaukee where he currently resides. Not only does he create these public statements of environmental responsibility and document them on his website, he also reveals his process of mud stenciling so that you can DIY. His site is definitely worth checking out — it’s full of great information (like who knew you could grind up dandelion roots to use as a coffee substitute?!?), amazing pics of his work, the process of mud stencilling and even his e-mail so that you can share your thoughts and own mud artwork with him. Jesse Graves is definitely a role model for green living kids everywhere!!
Talbots has challenged bloggers to write about what they would buy if they won a $500 gift card. I struggled with the decision to even try as in my mind, Talbots is a store more for my Mom’s generation. I tend towards casual fashions made up of environmentally friendly fabrics. I really didn’t think that Talbot’s would carry that sort of thing at all. Truth is, they do! They’ve got quite a nice selection of clothes made of modal fabric and a reall cute cape made of a bamboo blend.
The patterened orange tank pictured above is just not what I envisioned Talbot’s carrying at all! It’s made of a cotton, modal and spandex blend with a button on the back to keep it closed. This is definitely the kind of eco-fashion that I’m into — bright colors that are easy on the eye with fabrics that are easier on the planet than more traditional chemical laden all cotton clothes. This tank top is on sale right now for only $17.24 so I’d definitely pick it up in a few shades. At prices like that, can you afford not to? lol, that’s what I always say to my hubby to justify shopping the sales.
The beige tunic with cropped pants is nearly identical to what I’m wearing at the moment actually! Super comfy and easily dressed up with jewelery and shoes. This is also made with a modal blend of fabric which is made by spinning the reconsituted cellulose fibers of beech wood. It’s also 100% bio degradable! Both the top and bottoms are on sale right now so the entire outfit would cost under $50! I’d get this outfit in two colors simply because it’s such a wardrobe staple. That leaves approximately $340 left of the $500 gift card still.
I’d have to pick up the ruffle necked tee shown below with it’s feminine neckline and super soft modal fabric blend. At $16.49 on sale, three colors would probably do it. Lastly pictured below is a cute and cozy looking bamboo blend cable knit cape. It too is very reasonably priced at $44.99. I’d still have about $240 left — there’s a beautiful modal blend print dress for $52.49 and some awesome bamboo accented espadrills that would look fantastic with it for $33.44. Throw in a beautiful tumbled leather handbag with a bamboo handle for another $112.49 and I’d have just enough left for some of their gorgeous chunky necklaces to help me match some of my new outfits!!
Who knew that Talbot’s could be so fun, fashionable and affordable for women in their thirties who are eco-enthusiasts?? Talbots has really been trying to advertise their chicness by starting a new ad campaign called red chair confessions which should really help to get the word out how fun it can be for women of all ages to shop at Talbot’s! Dowdy outfits was what my mind used to imagine when I thought of Talbot’s. It’s certainly not going to anymore!
I’d definitely say that my shopping expedition would be of the light green variety as opposed to the dark green I become when I’m shopping for 100% organic pieces. Going green and living in an environmentally responsible way is a journey though. Small steps in the right direction such as shopping for modal fabrics or bamboo accents are steps in the right direction!
|This is simply a great idea for carving into your pumpkin. Whoever came up with it really had a “lightbulb” moment…groan, I know! There are a ton of free pumpkin carving templates available online so that you can find whatever green idea inspires you to slice your pumpkin into. There’s a huge range of environmentally friendly symbols out there to turn your Halloween into an eco-ween. The reduce, reuse, recycle logo would be cool. How about a windmill or maybe a Prius? Maybe carve the outline of the continents into the pumpkin with the letter “I” and heart symbol before it!|
|Or, you could save a pumpkin and use what you have lying around to make an even greener statement. There’s a pretty good DIY tutorial for these pop bottle luminaries at favecrafts.com if you want some pointers on how to make them. Don’t stop there though, this is just an example of the range of ideas out there. You could make the “pumpkins” out of anything really with any kind of design on it at all. This could really be a project that the whole family could get into, even young kids with proper supervision.
Got some cool eco-friendly pumpkin photos?? Post the links in the comment section. I’d love to see some more earth friendly designs!!