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Monthly Archives: January 2010
If you’re an eco-enthusiast and in the market for a new laptop, netbooks might be a great alternative. They’re smaller, so they use less resources. Many models are extremely energy efficient. And one model, in particular, makes me “green” with envy.
The Sony Vaio has a case that is made up of 23% recycled CD’s which really increases the sustainability of the product itself. It is very energy efficient with a backlit 10.1 inch LCD screen, a battery that lasts up to 7 hours, 250 GB hard drive, Microsoft 7, 1.66 Ghz Intel Atom Processor N450 and 1GB RAM.
Another neat feature that is extremely environmentally friendly is it’s packaging. It comes in a PET case instead of wasting resources making cardboard. PET is a plastic made from recycled pop bottles. I’m loving this eco-chic netbook although I might have to get it in green!
A few months ago, I featured Etsy seller Joyful Girl Natural as my Hump Day Etsy find. She is an extremely wonderful (and talented!) woman who has been making organic products for over 20 years and selling them for 4 years. To thank me for my feature, she sent me a bottle of this massage oil for kids. By the way, totally not necessary for people being featured to send me a gift but I probably won’t refuse! lol
The massage oil is safflower oil infused with the essential oils of organic chamomile, lavendar and spearmint for added aromatic benefits to the massage. My daughter is nearly 4 now and has been a handful to get to sleep since before she was even born. Fiesty is really how I’d describe her at bedtime if I had to use one word. This massage oil is fantastic at getting the fiestiness out of her a little bit so that she’ll lay still long enough for the sandman to find her.
This oil is great for kids that love massage — she’s definitely a massage lover! The scent of the chamomile and lavendar have the natural effects of sedation while the oils are warmed by skin to skin contact. Kids especially enjoy the power of touch constantly wanting hugs, cuddles and kisses. Massage is a natural extension of the need for touch with even the most traditional of doctors now recommending infant massage.
I love, love, love this massage oil and so does my daughter. It’s non-greasy and I don’t have to worry about what kinds of chemicals are seeping into her blood stream through her pores. The bottles used by Joyful Girl Natural are made from PET (recycled plastic) containers that do not leech into the oils inside. The bottles are easily recyclable as well as reusable if you want to refill them with another product when they’re empty.
She now has her own blog that you can check out to keep up-to-date with this Etsy seller and her extensive (197 items for sale!) line of products. The customer service is excellent but I do need to warn buyers that it may take some time for you to receive your order. This is simply because each order is custom made instead of being made in big batches and then sitting on the shelf for months before reaching you. Definitely more than worth the wait!! Thanks for the great products Shelly!!
Furniture is one area that has an over flowing abundance of eco-friendly shopping choices. Check out bar stools, for example. You can choose from stools made from sustainable resources such as bamboo. Or ones made from recycled aluminum like those pictured here. Or stools made from environmentally responsible companies who take care to reduce processing waste. How about locally made stools to reduce their carbon footprint and support local products? Maybe eco-friendly finishes such as low VOC paints or natural stains? All of these, and many many more, are all available to shoppers who are eco-savvy.
It amazes me everyday just how many environmentally friendly shopping choices there are as green slowly becomes the “new black”. It seems as though there are literally hundreds and hundreds of options available to consumers as they look to green up every purchase.
The key is not to become overwhelmed by choice. Simply shop with a conscience. Remember the planet before you open your wallet. It’s easy to live a green-er life each small and simple step at a time. Even the smallest choice before purchasing something once a week can really add up over the course of a year. Multiply that by everyone making simple, eco-friendly choices and you’ve really made a difference!!
This alarm clock by Bedol is not only gorgeous in form, it’s gorgeous in function as well. There’s no batteries and no plug in because it’s completely powered by water!!
It comes in 5 colors — pink (pictured here), purple, charcoal, blue and green. The shape of the alarm clock mimicks the only power source necessary for it to function — water. The body of the clock is shaped like a single drop of the most precious resource our planet has to offer. It’s transparent so that you can see the water inside of the clock and sits on a base which is actually the cap.
To fill the clock, you twist off the cap base and pour regular tap water into the droplet portion. Replace the cap and voila! No need to do anything else.
Some users report that the water needs to be changed every 6 to twelve weeks but this doesn’t mean you need to readjust your settings. There’s a microchip inside that will keep track of the time during fills. Empty the water onto your plants and replace with fresh tap water.
There are lots of articles online about how exactly this works. I’m no scientist but it has something to do with using ions in the water to generate a current. There are two metal poles inside of the clock that the ions generate a charge between without any chemicals whatsoever.
Just the kind of thing I love — stylish, functional, waste free, chemical free and eco-friendly! This would be especially perfect for people who travel a lot.
Those tiny green square dots outlined in red are what would need to be covered with solar panels to power the entire world in 2030. Yes, the entire world!! Imagine that for a moment. 0 carbon emmissions. None at all from electrical consumption machinery or transportation. Absolutely incredible, right? I ran into this map by Land Art Generator while stumbling around the net. It reminded me of the ridiculous Verizon vs. AT&T coverage maps that are constantly being shown on television ads. You know…
Now, I know that these maps are not completely comparable. This one is only the United States. And it only shows areas that have cell phone coverage by the two companies but imagine what could be achieved if even 1/1000 of that space was covered by solar panels instead of simply having cell phone coverage!
Not convinced?? How about this popular map showing McDonald’s locations through the United States?
What if 1/100 of that space represented solar panel coverage? What if we simply slapped some solar panels on the roof of every single McDonald’s worldwide? Remember that the Mc Obesity epidemic is not simply an American issue…they are unfortunately spreading worldwide into the far reaches of pretty much everywhere. Imagine how much emissions could be saved simply by having self sufficient McDonald’s? Kind of makes me see things a little more clearly.
Daniel Michalik has an incredible range of furniture made entirely from cork wastage from the bottle stopper industry. Cork is an extremely important element in eco-friendly design because it can be harvested from trees without cutting the tree down. The trees will continue to grow even long after the cork has been harvested. Cork can be used in many design situations from furniture construction to flooring applications. It’s pliability makes it an extremely versatile material that is sustainable, recyclable and in supply in a great abundance.
This lounge chair is made entirely from cork and is called the Cortica. This piece shows the materials incredible ability to bend in two different directions simultaneously. This bent sheet is 72″ long to cradle the recliner’s entire body and allow total support. The cork suspends the seated person so that they feel entirely weightless. The bends in the material allow the resting person to rock from side to side as well as forwards and backwards. In this manner, the user becomes entirely buoyant as if they are floating on the ocean.
Cork is 100% natural waterproof quality as well as the feeling Cortica gives the user sparked the imagination of the designer. He set off with two test subjects, two cork lounge chairs and a camera to the nearby local beach. The resulting movie is pretty incredible to watch and can be seen on his web site.
His work is incredibly resourceful, full of humor and functionality while still making other designer’s drool with envy. Daniel Michalik is sure to be featured here again and I’ll certainly keep an eye on his up and coming designs. His work is currently being featured at Voos Furniture design.
These eco-friendly modular homes look like they are ripped straight from the mind of Dr. Seuss during his Who-Ville days. They’re made by Eco Hab Homes to lessen the carbon footprint of inhabitants while maintaining an eco-chic designer look at the same time.
The pods come in three sizes 4 m (13 feet diameter), 6 m (20 feet diameter) and 8 m (26 feet in diameter). While they don’t sound much bigger than a typical prison cell, the layout is fantastic and makes use of every square inch (or centimeter! lol). They can be one or two story tall and have connector tunnels put on to form a whole bubbly little compound if that’s what you need. The designer spent a considerable amount of time laying out each and every area and even lived in it for a period of time!
There are optional solar panels which can be installed, rainwater collection systems and even wind turbines! The system is actually set up to be completely self sufficient when completely configured. You can finally live “off the grid”!
The styling and details are just as cute on the outside as they are on the inside. While the manufacturer does state on the site that it can be set up as an office, studio, playroom, gym or garden room, the pods are definitely designed for day to day living. There are many different sizes and styles available to be fully customized to your needs.
The turnkey models even include a fully functional kitchen with energy efficient appliances, built in cupboards and sofa, shelving units, desk and work station, CFL light fixtures and undercabinet lighting, low flow aerated shower heads, dual flush toliets and in floor heating!
The first floor is generally laid out with a kitchen, half bathroom, living space and office area open to each other to create a spacious feel. There are round windows providing a great view of the outdoors as well as natural ventilation when they are opened.
The homes are generally headed by extremely efficient wood burning stoves. Very little wood is needed to heat the home because of the compactness of function and design.
The second floor of the design is where the bedroom (s) can be found as well as a full bathroom and even storage depending upon the layout chosen. The price of these homes ranges from $13,565 USD for the bare bones one storey 4m shell to $97,080 for the 2 storey 8m turnkey model.
Linda Loudermilk is a pioneer eco-savvy designer who has coined the term “luxury eco” and redefined eco-chic style. Environmentally friendly fashion doesn’t need to mean shapes hemp fabrics draping unflatteringly across the body. It can mean luxurious, fashionable and environmentally aware designs that would fit in on the top runways in Paris.
These pendants are a good example of her style. They’re designed to provoke discussions surrounding the lack of clean water for everyone, for water conservation and for human rights. At the same time, they’re stunning. They come in 4 colors — bronze, copper, silver and gold with 17% of the profits being donated to charities that are working towards clean water initiatives. The metals have been reclaimed and shaped into rustic and old fashioned looking faucets which are instantly recognizable by whoever may see it. A single crystal is suspended from the faucet heads to represent a drop of clean water which is necessary to sustain life of any kind.
Linda Loudermilk’s products are available in many different places online and in stores. Check out her website for more fashion forward, creative and definitely high end style. Her Mission Wear projects are designed to help clean water charities as well as provoke thinking of the global water crisis. More than a BILLION people worldwide do not have access to clean and safe water. Approximately 3.6 million people will die from water-related illnesses each and every year. This crisis has reached epidemic proportions with the western world drinking bottled water because they dislike the taste of tap water while people on a global scale are literally dying of thirst.
With the beginning of a new year brings the beginning of many new resolutions. One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Many people start off on the right track but quickly lose momentum as the weeks wear on. By the end of January, many people have completely dropped their lofty goals of losing weight.
There are many eco-friendly ways that can help you to lose weight which in turn, will help you to have less of a negative impact on the world around you. First of all, start of each morning with a healthy breakfast. Try organic oatmeal or granola to help fill you up and keep you full until lunch. Set small weight loss goals and once you’ve met them, add another step. This is the same method that many people use to make their lifestyle greener — each tiny babystep at a time will make the change gradual and less drastic. Remember that these are lifestyle changes not short term fixes.
Stop drinking pop and carbonated beverages. They are full of empty calories and uselessly waste plastic bottles. Instead of pop, drink tap water. Bottled water only adds to the wasted plastic piles and most tap water in the western world is completely safe to drink. If you don’t like the taste, get a filter and use that instead!
Eat smaller portions at meal times and safe the leftovers for the next day. This will reduce calories as well as waste. At the same time, you’ll cut back drastically on your grocery and eating out bills. Try eating vegetarian once a week — it’s better for the planet and your waistline.
Don’t run out and buy a ton of weight loss products that will only end up sitting around your house unused. Many weight loss pills are completely bogus while others are totally unsafe. Ensure that you talk to your doctor or naturoath before taking any pill. As for exercise equipment, research what you’re interested in thoroughly before making a purchase that you may come to regret later. Try buying a second hand treadmill instead of a brand new one. Buying used products is much more sustainable than constantly buying new and can really help to save you a lot of money as well. There are many sites where you can buy used items such as Kijiji or Craigs List. Exercise equipment is especially abundant because people tend to use it as clothes racks as much as they do for exercising!
Good luck with your weight loss aspirations and remember that it can be very much a two steps forward, one step back routine. The point is that you are making progress towards your ideal weight.
These old teacups light up beautifully when illuminated from within by soy candle wax. Etsy crafter TwilightSpells has come up with a truly ingenious way to repurpose old but still beautiful teacups into very usable candle holders. The patterns on the cups look even more beautiful by candlelight.
She calls these creations Vintage Twist Tea Cup Candles and I think they’d be absolutely perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other time when you’re trying to “set the mood”. This artisan put together a love of vintage tea cups together with a new found awareness of the benefits of soy candles over traditional wax candles which are made from a byproduct of crude oil.
She picks up the tea cups from a variety of places — second hand stores, charity shops and markets so all of these cups have been used. She has many single tea cups for sale in her shop as well as some doubles so that you could have a matching set!
There is quite a range of patterns and they all look quite gorgeous lit up. She has pictures of the cups both lit and not lit so that you can get a good feeling for what it will look like in a variety of situations — whether stored in your china cabinet or lit on the table. There’s a huge range of styles as well from traditional portraits to floral tea cups to cups that are quite simple or modern.
The floral tea cup candles, in particular, would make a great gift for a loved one this Valentine’s Day. This would make a much more sustainable statement of love than that of fresh picked flowers which will soon wither and die.
I think that this is a fantastic idea for repurposing what you already have or what you find second hand and turning it into a natural and sustainable product that is very usable. Definitely check out the range of candles that she has available. Remember that supporting handmade items is a way to reduce consumption and waste!