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Friday, September 19, 2014


Eco-Fashion Friday Finds: a Day at the Beach

recycled sail cloth beach tote

This week we thought we’d feature some beach-related fashion finds in honor of tomorrow’s Coastal Cleanup Day.

Hoist Away Bags makes rugged recycled sail bags, beach bags and totes from retired sail cloth. This drawstring tote bag (above) is equally at home in a car, bus, boat and the overhead of your favorite airline. The drawstring insert will keep sand, rain and hermit crabs away from your valuables. Hoist Away uses sail material that has enjoyed coastal Maine breezes, were raised during Olympic trials and hailed from as far away as France. All the sail bags have a bit of “sail history” stitched inside. The drawstring top is from a recycled spinnaker sail. $155

Nau Tripoly waterproof jacket

Considering a fall walk on the beach? You’ll definitely need an all-weather jacket to protect you from the elements and Nau’s Tripoly jacket (above) will get the job done in style. This hard shell jacket’s three-layer construction is crafted from a fully seam-sealed 60/40 recycled poly and organic cotton fabric that protects again wind, rain, snow and sleet. Fully seam-sealed for complete protection from those cold ocean breezes and squalls. Features a snap off hood with one-way drawcord. $268 @

lake michigan stone necklace

Designer Michael Wilson creates miniature cairn art and jewelry from beach stones he recovers from the shores of Lake Michigan. This stone cairn necklace (above) is $48 @ Stone Cairns  (Note: if you’re handy with a dremel, this is a great DIY idea.)

seaglass necklace

The ocean can do some amazing things with glass. This handmade (above) sea glass bracelet is quite pretty and made entirely of blue sea glass. $22 @ SeaGlassCapeCod

related: more eco fashion finds from The Alternative Consumer

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Friday, September 19, 2014

Tips for Maintaining Healthy Teeth

Dental care is an important part of supporting oral health care in children. Proper dental care helps to give children the foundations to developing healthy, strong teeth. Toddlers as early as 1 year old are ready to visit the dentist and get a basic cleaning, and from then on, parents have the responsibility to ensure that their children have dental checkups. Pediatric dentists recommend that children receive a dental check-up every six months to help prevent dental problems in the future. In addition to visiting the dentist periodically, many parents search for tips and resources on how to protect their children’s teeth.

Maintaining a balanced diet of foods in the five food groups and minimizing the consumption of candy, chips, sugary juices and soda drinks can go a long way in preventing cavities and tooth decay. Parents should always brush their children’s teeth in the morning and before bedtime with fluoride toothpaste. In addition to brushing and flossing daily, there are several strategies that parents can use to help promote healthy teeth in children, which can lead to healthy teeth in adulthood.

Studies show that cheese provides calcium and protein for the body to help support strong bones and healthy teeth. Recent studies have also shown that cheese protects the teeth from acid build-up and cavities by helping to clear away debris that causes bacteria and tooth decay. The calcium and phosphorous in cheese also help to replace lost minerals in teeth caused by acid. Some of the well-liked types of sliced cheese and cheese sticks that children love are Cheddar, Mozzarella and Swiss. They are great products to add with meals and for snacks.

Sippy cups are used to help toddlers transition from bottles to regular drinking cups. Many parents of toddlers allow their children to drink sugary drinks throughout the day. However, dental experts believe that toddlers who regularly drink sugary beverages from sippy cups are at risk for developing cavities and tooth decay at an early age. There has been increase over the years in cavities found in toddlers from ages 2 to 5 years old. Experts recommend that parents reduce the amount of sugary drinks in sippy cups, except during mealtime, and replace the drinks with water. This is a healthy tip to prevent dental decay as well as costly dental problems.

It’s beneficial to find a dentist who specializes in pediatric dentists, especially for toddlers and young children. When you take your toddler to the dentist for the first time, pediatric dentists are well trained in many techniques to help children remain comfortable and happy during the visit. Pediatric dentists are also experts at finding fun ways to help children overcome the fear of getting a dental checkup. There are helpful resources online to search for pediatric dentists in your area. Popular dentistry networks, such as Kool Smiles, provide a convenient way for parents to search online for pediatric dentists near specific cities and zip codes. These types of dentistry networks are well-known in cities around the country.

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Thursday, September 18, 2014

fresh air: Purggo bamboo charcoal car air filter

purggo car air filter

Did grandma leave the unpleasant aromatic remains of her favorite discount perfume all over your car, did your cousin sneak a smoke in your backseat last week, did your lab, Rufus, take a dip in the local swamp and then decided to ride shotgun in your Subaru? If so, or you have issues with any of a thousand airborne scents, you might want to consider installing one of these all-natural, Purggo bamboo air purifiers in your ride. These eco-friendly air filters contain 100% all-natural bamboo charcoal and are German-engineered, patent-pending, and nicely designed.

purggo car air filter install

It’s a crazy fact that the FDA doesn’t regulate most of the ingredients that manufacturers put into air fresheners. Many popular brands of air fresheners put whatever chemicals they want inside their products – and many of those chemicals can be incredibly harmful to the human body. A recent independent study conducted on the popular air freshener Febreze by Environmental Working Group revealed up to 89 air contaminants in the product, yet the label on Febreze only listed 5 ingredients.

The Purggo filter avoids all manner of additives and chemicals and is designed to eliminate odors instead of just masking them. As air passes through the filter’s pores, odor particles are trapped on the surfaces inside, purifying the air in your car – simply and naturally. No funky fragrances, added VOCs or harmful chemicals – this little air purifier is allergen- free.

Other features:

  • It’s economical – Purggo works passively 24/7 and lasts more than 365 days.
  • The outer shell is made of renewable hemp fabric.
  • Sustainably designed – no plastic components.
  • No masking fragrance or chemical additives.
  • Made with renewable bamboo.
  • 100% asthma and allergy friendly
  • Safe for the kid’s, the pooch, or grandma to sit right next to.

Purggo air filter on car seat

The bamboo charcoal in Purggo is 4x more porous than regular charcoal and has been activated and carbonized between 1110°F – 1300°F (600°C – 700°C). This form of bamboo charcoal has been used for thousands of years in many Asian countries to purify both air and water.

If you don’t want to hang the purifier from your car’s headrest it will work just as well on the seat. You can even use it in a bathroom or bedroom for some passive air purification and odor removal.

Purggo is about to complete a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, but – if you pre-order a Purggo by December 15th – you can still get it for $29.95 Kickstarter discount price – just visit (official product roll-out is 12/15/14)

related: more health and beauty product reviews from The Alternative Consumer

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Exploring Eco-Friendly Glues and Adhesives – A Sticky Situation

arts and crafts

We all remember the days back in elementary school when we created cards for our moms, and posters for the holidays. All those lovely trinkets our moms still have stashed away somewhere were made possible with the aid of that good old Elmer’s glue. The fact is that in addition to crafting, glues and adhesives are frequently used in our everyday lives.

When you think about it packaging, grocery bags, wallpaper, laminating, envelops and paper towel roles all use some form of adhesive. What makes an adhesive green or not boils down to 3 issues:

  • What is it made of?
  • Is that material sustainable?
  • What environmental impact will it have when it is discarded? (more…)
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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Spray Paint Solar Power: Coming Soon to a Building or Car Near You


We are all about to have a good laugh. The bulky solar panels gracing many rooftops and carports across the country are soon to be just about as “cool” and “hip” as having a VCR player or flip-phone today. Scientists at the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, England have engineered an unconventional method to obtain energy from the sun, by using spray-paint. Yes, spray-paint. The future is nigh. (more…)

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

10 ways to green your local environment

ecological footprint

Appropriately enough, living a more environmentally responsible lifestyle starts close to home. The place you can make the biggest impact on the environment is your local community. Here are 10 simple tips for leading a more responsible green lifestyle.

  • One of the most important actions anyone can take is voting. Don’t be beaten down by the deranged shouting voices of the climate change deniers and those who view clean water regulations and environmental oversight as inconvenient obstacles to business and development. Vote early and often
  • Join the local chapter of a green organization like the Audubon Society or the Sierra Club, or start a local one protecting your local parks, beaches and forests. Get involved. (more…)
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Film Review: Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

plastic paradise poster

From its alarming introduction to its startling realizations, Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch provides some much-needed factual exposure of the environmental impact of plastics and a first-hand glimpse of the continent of trash collecting in the south Pacific gyre currents. (more…)

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Creative DIY: fun ideas for giving new life to old pianos

upcycled piano fountain

Old pianos that have become family room eye sores can present an over-sized disposal challenge. Before you send old Betsy to the basement, sell her to strangers at a garage sale, or a make a strenuous trip to the local landfill, there may be another, more fun solution. If you’re handy with power tools and have a little vision you can transform your old beat-up piano into a new piece of furniture for your home or garden. There are many (more…)

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