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Monthly Archives: November 2009
I came across this amusing interview on YouTube. Ed Begley Jr was on FOX News talking to Stuart Varney discussing a recent leak of climate change emails that some are claiming prove that global warming is a hoax. While it gets a little hard to track, I think Begley has some very valid points and it is too bad that Varney refuses to let him really talk. I especially appreciate that Begley comes right out and says “Don’t get your information from me folks or any newscaster, get it people with PHd after thier name, peer reviewed studies are the key words…”. He repeatedly emphesises looking at peer reviewed studies and reliable sources (he does not site FOX news as one either) to get reliable and verified information.
Meanwhile, Varney seems a little lost. He starts off quoting a variety of non-experts and after Begley calls him on the qualifications of his experts, Varney gets stranger and starts to rant about “I am not allowed to buy incandecent light bulbs” and then starts to go on about the government coming into his house! He seems quite stuck on his right to use incandecents and refuses to admit that there are plenty of cases where the government has improved everyones lives by legislating changes. The really interesting thing is that both sides of the debate are somehow claiming that this is a victory for them.
Check out the video and form your own opinions. Feel free to comment on what you think!
This week’s featured Etsy seller is sjroemer who creates some very functional and amazingly pretty designs from washed pop can tabs. She has been a crafter for many years who’s creative fires were stoked when she read about a woman’s craft co-operative in Brazil who was making purses out of aluminum pop can pulls.
She definitely seems to have mastered her creative techniques in the variety of purses and coin pouches that she makes out of soda pull tabs and nylon yarn. The first purse featured on the left, is lined and uses over 400 tabs to make up the exterior and handle of the purse. The purse has an overall “chain metal” feel while remaining very contemporary in it’s overall appearance. Regular readers of mine will know that I, a) love Etsy and how it supports small artisans instead of major coglomerates and b) love items that proudly display their former lives. There’s no mistaking that this purse is made out of pop can tabs once you take a close look at it. What a great way to start an eco-friendly conversation with someone in line at the grocery store or show people how stylish living green-er can be!
This Etsy crafter sjroemer shows how completely the purse is transformer by a slightly different design and a different color of nylon yarn binding the tabs together. Here’s the million dollar question though, right? Where on earth do
es she get all the pop can tabs?? Well, she purchases them from recycling facilities. Many charities collect them for fundraising and then seel them to the bottle depots. She in turn, buys the tabs from the bottle depot, sorts them for size and consistency and washes them twice with antibacterial soap before using them.
Need a small gift for your child’s teacher or looking for a pretty way to finish off your eco-friendly wrapping of a gift?? Why not pick up one of her pop tab Christmas ornaments? They’re only $4 and are a great way to show that you care about the earth and respect other people’s love of the planet as well! She makes them in a variety of colors and welcomes custom orders.
I’m very excited to announce the very first giveaway here at Green Colored Glasses! The World Wildlife Fund Canada is providing 3 adoption kits so there will be a total of 3 winners for this giveaway. The winners will each have an animal adoption kit sent to them which contains a 12.5 cm stuffed animal, personalized certificate for the winner, a brochure explaining where and how the WWF Canada helps to provide for the animal and a reusable WWF totebag! The 3 adoption kits available to be won are a penguin, a caribou and a polar bear which are the most popular kits purchased on the World Wildlife Fund website.
The species available for symbolic adoption from the WWF are all at risk. The threatened Canadian species include caribou, polar bear, grizzly bear, Arctic fox, monarch butterfly, Atlantic cod, northern leopard frog, common loon, meerkat, blue shark and the black-footed ferret. The WWF is an international fund with different branches for each country. Some of the most popular animals to adopt internationally are the elephant, emperor penguin, tiger and orangutan.These adoption kits each cost $40 and make a perfect environmentally friendly gift for kids of all ages on your list. Many stuffed animals cost nearly that with the proceeds going directly into a major corporations pocket. With these kits, you can rest assured that your money will be used to help ensure that our planet’s most at risk animals. What could be a more eco-friendly gift than that??
The WWF will provide animal adopters of the $40 kits with a $30 tax-deductible receipt as well which can definitely help out on your tax bill. There are also animal families up for adoption or entire collections (Canadian collection, Global collection or Internatioal collection) for adoption if you can’t choose just one! Check out their website for other great eco-friendly gift giving ideas such as organic tees and yoga wear, stainless steel bottles and reusable bags made from recycled plastic. All done your shopping but would like to donate?? Not to worry, their website makes it easy to donate any amount online here. You can do a one time donation, a monthly donation or give a donation in someone’s memory.
Now for the giveaway….You can enter the giveaway by leaving a comment on this post with your favorite animal available for symbolic adoption on the WWF website. 3 winners will be randomly chosen on Dec. 2, 2009. This contest is only open to those with Canadian addresses.
This week’s Etsy find is Yummy Suds. Etsy is a great way to support local artisans and crafters who have a much smaller footprint on the world around them than the big box stores who make products in bulk mainly overseas. Yummy suds uses fresh vegetarian friendly (often vegan friendly) ingredients to handmake a whole range of scrumptious bath products. On the profile page of the Etsy shop all it says is:
“I love food. I love baths. Making bath and body products that smell good enough to eat, right up my alley. Check out my blog: www.yummysuds.blogspot.com“. I guess what more do you really need to say, right?? LOL
That description sort of sums it all up with a range of bath products that are definitely as yummy smelling as they are fantastic bath products all in their own right. Some of them even look good enough to eat, such as the Blueberry Lemon Soap Cake featured in the first picture here. It seriously looks more like cake than soap so I’d definitely be careful with this one around kids. They might be washing out their own mouths with soap for a change! lol They suggest using this cake soap as wedding gift favours which I think would be a fantastic and very useful idea unlike most of the kitch that is handed out at such events.
What about the Oh Honey Beehive Soap? It looks fantastic and would make a great big stocking stuffer for anyone who’s been good this holiday season. It’s scented with honey, sweet orange and bergamon so it’s certain to smell as beautiful as it looks. At $5 for a big 5 oz bar, you’ll be able to afford a couple different varieties of this soap to fill up all the stockings.
For the manly men on your list, how about the Pass the Brewski soap? It’s made with Guinness Extra Stout beer with no added fragrance, colors or fillers. He finally won’t need to worry about smelling like flowers. Instead he can smell like manly man beer!! Great idea, I absolutely love it.
She has a range of other fragrances as well such as Sugar Cookie lotions and soaps, Me Want Cookie, Rosebuds, Hands Off my Cinnamon Buns, Who Spiked the Egg Nog and many many more that are reasonably priced and would make fantastic gifts for anyone on your list. Wanna chance to win some of her fantastic lip balms and a pucker pot?? Check out the blog My Organized Chaos for chance to win a great giveaway! There’s also a great product review of the items in the giveaway there. I’d love a chance to review these products myself, they’re absolutely fantastic looking! Good luck in the contest to everyone who enters.
Everyone knows that it’s better to bring your lunch to work than to constantly eat out. It’s healthier for you to avoid the fast food options and can help to save quite a lot of money as well. Those of us living eco-friendly lifestyles know that making lunches at home can really help to reduce the contamination of the planet caused by over packaging, over processing and over consumption as well. Many eco-enthusiasts also follow alternative eatting regimes such as all organics, vegetarian or even vegan lifestyles. Going meat-free even once a week can make a substantial reduction to your carbon footprint.
However, everyone who’s worked in an office knows that the communal lunchroom fridge sometimes mean that a well-intentioned eater may lose his or her lunch. And not just because the fridge is always dirty either! A clever inventory from Las Vegas faced such a conundrum and came up with a solution — the Fridge Locker. Check out www.FridgeLocker.com for some punny descriptions of the personal snack-urity system to stop refrig-a-raiders.
The product totally resembles a shark diving cage and just like the divers are protected from the sharks, your food will be protected from the sharks (er, co-workers) in the office. No office job? How about protecting booze from the teen or sweets from the kids or your share of groceries from the room mate’s obnoxious girlfriend?? Sky’s the limit with this funny and smart invention.
This is a sponsored post with 100% real opinions.
By a “green birth” I’m referring to a natural childbirth which means different things depending on who you’re talking to. Some people see natural childbirth as being pain medication free. Others view it as being drug free or chemical free childbirth. The strictest folks even view it as a birth which is free of all interventions.
By interventions, I mean medical procedures such as breaking the waters, inducing labour, episiotomies, vacuum assisted deliveries, the use of forceps, etc. Doctors have an entire range of medical procedures to assist birth that do not involve drugs or chemicals of any kind. Sometimes these interventions are necessary because of a mother’s exhaustion, pain tolerance or difficulties delivering. Sometimes interventions, even dangerous ones such as c-sections, are preformed simply because of a doctor’s lack of patience, experience and skill.
There are many benefits to be had from a natural childbirth for both the mom and the baby. First of all, women can feel very empowered and in control of the birthing process without being hampered by pain relieving drugs or interferrence from doctors. They have more options available to them such as walking around which can help speed labour or even eatting and drinking to make yourself more comfortable. Labour is a long exhausting process and some substinence along the way can really help to keep up a mom’s strength. During traditional medical deliveries, mothers aren’t allowed to eat or drink anything in case they are knocked out for a c-section.
Secondly, new moms and babies can bond better when drugs have not been in either system. Drugs can make moms tired and babies groggy. This can really interfere with breastfeeding after the birth as well as the initial stages of the bonding experience for both. You can remain alert to ensure the proper latching (with help from support) and the baby will be more alert to get eye contact going and latch on properly.
Partners can feel more helpful during a natural childbirth too as they are intensely involved in the pain reduction techniques available such as massage, positive affirmations, encouragement, support during walking and position changes, helping in and out of water immersion, etc. Dads can become a much needed source of support during any kind of childbirth but are definitely essential during natural childbirth techniques.
There are downsides too to natural childbirth that must be considered. If you plan on a natural childbirth and need assistance with pain or delivery, you can feel very disappointed afterwards with the entire birthing experience. Ensure not to set your expectations of the birth unneccessarily high. Be ready to “roll with the punches” and to make sure that your birth plan is flexible. Having to get help during labour and delivery should not be seen as a failure.
Intense pain during birthing can also hamper the bonding process with newborns sometimes. Post partum depression and post traumatic stress disorder are both more common in “difficult” birthing situations. Not that any birth is easy though. Childbirth of any kind is definitely a challenge but a challenge that should be embraced instead of dreaded. It’s intense but at the end you meet the new person that you and your partner have created and been waiting for for many long months. It’s the start of a new relationship that will last a lifetime. I guess that’s why they say that you forget the pain after birth. The joy of your new child can definitely overshadow the anxiety felt during a long labour.
Either way you decide to go, ensure that your birth plan is flexible and is something that you feel comfortable with. Communicate your choices and wishes to your doctor and any support people that will be present during the birth. Taking classes on birthing techniques and researching natural childbirth online can be very valuable resources while making your decision.
When I first saw this picture, I thought it was jellybeans. These crayons are not recommended for kids under the age of 3 for that very reason. They come in a velvety bag and are shaped like rocks.
In actuality, they are crayons made from 100% US made sustainably produced soybeans. They are colored with natural mineral powders into 16 shades that all come in one bag — red, pink, blue, sky, green, grass, dark yellow, light yellow, orange, peach, purple, light purple, brown, tan, black and gray.
I think these would make a great stocking stuffer or Christmas gift for kids of eco-enthusiasts or any kids that like art really. Besides being super green, these gifts are great for kids because they are: “Designed to strengthen the tripod grip muscles, preparing fingers and hands for handwriting skills. Specially shaped to allow small fingers to color in large, wide strokes, promoting confidence in creating kids’ art. Used by occupational therapists and teachers of children with special needs to develop fine motor skills and provide handwriting practice.”
They’re available for sale at at really neat eco-site called Organically Hatched for $9.99. Check out some of their other products available there too…I know I will be doing so and probably posting about them here!
Looking for a cool gift idea for that preschooler on your list this Christmas? How about these organic kids shirts from Biome 5? They’re made from 100% certified organic cotton that is sweat-shop free and made locally to their company in Los Angeles, CA. Many products are undyed and unbleached. The ones that do use dyes use a non-chlorine bleaching process and the lowest impact fiber reactive dyes on the market.
A huge plus to the shirts besides being very environmentally friendly is that they help kids to learn the alphabet and some preliminary words while wearing them. Having trouble reading what the words on the shirts say? That’s because they are printed upside down so that the kids can read them while being from the vantage point of wearing them! Pretty neat…
You can shop online for these products here at Biome5′s homepage or enter a contest at Organic Girl for a giveaway of the winner’s choice of letter! Each letter displays a different animal so that kids can wear eco-friendly clothing, learn how to read and learn to love the animals in the planet around them. Does it get any better?? Oh, yeah. You could win it free by entering OG’s give away. Don’t enter too many times though, I don’t need the competition!!
Now that people have finally caught on to reusable bags, two companies have teamed up with this — a bag that dissolves in water! The two companies behind this ingenius invention are Harmless Packaging which is a division of the UK’s Cyberpac and Creative Review which is a visual communication magazine out of London. The November issue of Creative Review uses the dissolving bag to package their magazine!
I for one, thought this concept was simply too good to be true and definitely wanted to check it out with my own eyes. Creative Review allows you to do just that on their site as they show the bag dissolving in hot water in a plastic container. They have a series of 11 pics that show you taking the magazine out of the bag, cutting off the glue strip which doesn’t dissolve but is biodegradable and soaking it in hot water. After 1 minute, all that remains is the black printed portion of the plastic bag. After a couple of minutes, all that remains is some sticky residue.
The residue surely isn’t good, is it?? Actually, it’s completely harmless (get it — harmless packaging). You can even drink it although it apparently isn’t very delicious — go figure. The packaging company goes on to say that the process of dissolving it in hot water is just to show how the bag breaks down quickly. It will dissolve in any temperature of water. In fact, it’s even used to package fish food as you can place the plastic bag containing the food directly into the water!
Another great way to get rid of the bag is to compost it. While us human folk may not think it tastes very good, bugs apparently love it! Micro-organisms use the bag as a food source by producing enzymes that react with it. Therefore, all that’s left of the plastic bag is carbon dioxide, water and biomass — is that science speak for bug poop?? No composter? Well, you should probably get one — duh! However, you can also throw the bag in the dishwasher or washing machine. No harmful residues will be left!
This is truly some creative packaging. I’d definitely recommend checking out the Harmless Packaging page for more great eco-friendly packaging ideas such as harmless bubble wrap, harmless air pockets, harmless compost (which can be made into envelopes or bags) and harmless bubble envelopes. Some creative green thinking going on here with some revolutionary new technologies!
Natural baby products can really help to keep kids happier, healthier and more in tune with the world around them. There have been a plethera of studies done in the last decade that show the rising amounts of chemicals found in kids bodies from the products and environments that they are exposed to. Even simple things such as shampoo or the baby bottles they drink from can be loaded wtih chemicals that have no long term studies done on them to show the effects in the human body.
This is what lead to the big BPA scare with plastic a couple of years ago. Now when you go to buy a baby’s bottle or pacifier, they are often labelled as BPA free. I still wonder what else is in there that we don’t know about that can be harmful.
Parents and adults in general know how to keep kids away from obviously dangerous situations such as tobacco smoke or knives but when the dangers are hidden in such innocuous products such as their toys, it leaves us unprepared to properly protect kids. Luckily, there are now many new companies that specialize in natural baby and children’s products such as chemical-free shampoos, glass bottles and all wood locally produced toys.
It can take a little research and some shopping around to find what you are looking for but the added safety and value of doing so is more than worth the effort. These more natural options for babies are also more environmentally friendly baby products which can really be a step in the right (green) direction. It’s so important to teach kids an understanding and love of nature as they will inherit whatever planet we leave for them.