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Friday, December 19, 2014

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eco-fashion friday finds: winter shades of grey


organic bamboo yoga leggings

(above) Head turning … Everyone needs some great-looking yoga leggings. These yoga pants are made with sustainable bamboo terry. The fit is slightly roomier than most thinner leggings so you may want to go a size down if you like a snugger fit. They feature a beautiful original henna style wing print to reflect your yoga spirit. The organic bamboo fabric is super soft and with the option to fold down the high waist and shorten the length at the ankle. Great for running around or a serious yoga experience. $47.81 from Sea of Wolves Design

vegan eco fleece sweatshirt

(above) Make a statement … This handmade, off the shoulder Eco-fleece sweatshirt is hand silk-screened with a “Vegan” design on the front.

materials: Eco Fleece, water-based ink and a bunch of attitude. $37 from FTLA Apparel

handmade recycled cashmere wrap

Versatile and fun … This recycled cashmere OOAK wrap (above) is handcrafted in grey cashmere. One size fits all, handcrafted from 100 percent recycled cashmere sweaters. The wrap can be worn in a variety of ways by buttoning any one of the 3 vintage buttons. Great over a tank or a little dress. Can be had in a bunch of colors. Features: luscious cashmere, ruffled, hand dyed with vintage buttons. $78 from Beth Nielsen and Recycled Cashmere

handmade merino wool fingerless gloves

(above) Wild and wooly … This lovely pair of grey fingerless gloves is hand-knitted with a soft merino wool-acrylic yarn in gray, with cable patterns. Stylish, warm and comfy. $39 from Rumina

With the holidays in full swing, here’s wishing you good times, good health and much happiness in the coming year. Remember to pass along your pre-loved items and keep it green.

related: more eco fashion finds

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

green furniture: handmade mid century modern


moderncre8ve walnut table

Artisanal furniture maker and designer, Chris Williams, and his company Moderncre8ve create sweet, mid-century handcrafted furniture that’s evocative of some of our favorite 1950′s Heywood Wakefield pieces.

moderncre8ve walnut table

Most of the furniture pieces (pictured above and below) are created from FSC-certified black walnut and made to order. No filler, plywood or veneers found here – the furniture is made of solid, high quality walnut. Many pieces are finished with Danish oil and beeswax. Love the simple lines and craftsman construction.

moderncre8ve dresser

moderncre8ve walnut coffee table

The clean, modern pieces are handmade in the company’s Cleveland, Ohio workshop and sold via Chris’s Etsy shop.

moderncre8ve coffee table

related: more eco-friendly furniture featured on The Alternative Consumer

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APT Motoped™ Facilitates Your Escape from Civilization… or Zombies


motoped survivor

For those of you who live in a fair climate and jump into your gas-guzzling machines each day to make the commute to your place of business, the guilt you feel at the gas pump could now be replaced with the joy of the wind through your hair as you rumble down the roadway getting 150-200 miles per gallon on your new Motoped™ from American Performance Technologies (APT). These are the same people who brought you the SmartCarb, which is proposed to be installed on the various Motoped™ models in the near future to provide even higher fuel efficiency.

For those who enjoy tinkering and customizing their ride, The Motoped™ blends the motorcycle, the moped, and the off-road bicycle into a multifunction, environmentally-friendly vehicle that, in most instances, does not need tags, inspections, or a special license to operate, as it basically classifies as a moped. But check with your DMV to confirm its local, official status. The Motoped™ weighs around half that of the average conventional motorcycle while being only slightly larger than your common downhill mountain bike, allowing for easy transport. You could also be the coolest kid on campus when you either pedal or motor the Motoped™ up to the bike-rack outside your classroom. Feel free to choose any of the four different models offered by APT: Cruzer, Pro, Black-Ops, and (my personal favorite, above & below) Survival.

Motoped 4

Although the Survival Motoped™ provides you with that extra storage space required when taking to the hills following a future zombie outbreak, each model can take you up to 400 miles on a single tank. Couple the APT Motoped™ with the SmartCarb™ to unleash even more fuel efficiency, engine power, and back-country freedom, all while reducing your emissions and carbon footprint by as much “as 50% to 70% when compared to competing small engine transportation or recreational products.”

Motoped 2 The Motoped™ from American Performance Technologies represents the company’s continued dedication to the environmentally friendly power-sport industry, which we may argue, is very small. To wrap your head around this revolutionary product as you fall in love with it, view any of the many videos presented here. Sales are piling up and being regularly filled, so get your order in now to get the ball rolling!

related: more articles on innovative green technology from The Alternative Consumer.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

How to Have a Great and Stress-free Christmas


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When our calendars show December 1st, we all know what that means – Christmas is around the corner. The kids get excited and can’t wait to open their Advent Calendars, taste some delicious milk chocolate, and open their Christmas presents delivered by Santa. It is so much fun to see kids running around excitedly because Christmas means family time and many new great memories. But what does it mean to a mom? To many, a little bit more work to do around the house and a lot of headaches.

Before you get to the final stage, where you open the presents together, mom is usually the one doing most of the preparing. We clean the house, find the actual presents, and do not forget that this year you’re hosting everyone, so the house needs to be decorated, too. Doesn’t it sometimes seem that there are many of you in the family, but the burden is always on mom’s shoulders? I mean, you try to assign different jobs for everyone, but somehow you are still the one that is doing everything.

Well, this year can be different. There is no need any more to spend hours looking for presents for your kids or trying to figure out what to get them. In overstock.com with overstock coupons you can easily find something that your kids will love and will enjoy for a long time. The variety of toys this online shop has, you will have no problem to find a present that will be also not too expensive. Kids love toys, but for some reason, they also love to break them, so why spend tons of money on something that soon will need a replacement? Your fifteen year old daughter started asking for makeup already? Well, buy her a beautiful vintage table mirror to show her that she is still gorgeous the way she is.

With various overstock.com discount, you can buy something you really want to give to someone without worrying about the price. And what about those house decorations for your Christmas gathering with the family? In this shop you can find everything you might need to decorate your house – from rugs to small and cute house decorations that will make your house to look really festive! Overstock discount deals will help you to find the best products for the best price. A lot of people get really frustrated because holidays usually mean a lot of spending and it is something that they try to avoid. From now on, there is no reason to worry about it anymore. Oh, since when getting ready for Christmas has become so easy?

Do not make your life harder when there is a solution that can make everything so much easier. Find everything you need for the perfect Christmas with your family in one place. Don’t like the price? Then change it with an overstock promo code and have Christmas your way! Be a great mom and amazing hostess without putting too much effort to it and let yourself relax this year a little bit. I hope you feel better already. Now you’ll have time to focus on just spending quality time with family and friends as you gather to celebrate fun times.

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Smart DIY Projects: Construct a 3-Part Survival Kit


multi-tool-knife
Disaster strikes. You have seconds to react. What do you do? Think quickly. If you don’t have a survival plan already in place, you’re toast. If you’re new to the whole survivalist thing, it can be a little disorienting. You don’t want to live your life in a state of emergency. At the same time, you must be prepared. This is what survival kits are for. You plan ahead, and then you just react when the time comes, if it ever does.

What To Keep On You At All Times

  • The first step is to make sure you’re carrying some basic essentials with you at all times. A multi-tool pocket knife (like the ones that Boy Scouts used to receive) is probably one of the best tools you can have with you anywhere you go. It fits easily in your pocket. Most people aren’t going to think you’re “weird” for carrying one, and it’s incredibly practical.
  • A para cord bracelet is a bracelet made of parachute cord. It’s incredibly strong, and useful for making all sorts of things from climbing rope to ties for a makeshift shelter to a tie for a tourniquet. It can also be used as a makeshift fishing line.
  • With para cord you can also rig up a trap (for food) if you’re reduced to hunting for your food, and you can even use it to mark trees or other landmarks if you need to so that you don’t get lost in an unfamiliar place. These bracelets are typically 8 to 20 feet in length when they are fully unraveled – consider wearing two of them, or at least carrying one in your pocket or around your ankle as a backup.
  • Finally, you should always bring something to drink with you. It might sound strange, but it’s actually becoming more and more commonplace to see water bottles in peoples hands out in public. Water is one of the most important things to have in an emergency situation, and it’s plentiful. The thing is, not all of it is potable (clean and drinkable or safe to use for bathing or other normal purposes). That’s why filter water bottles, like Seychelle’s filtered bottles are the go-to bottles for survivalists. Just fill it up and keep it handy. They look like regular water bottles, so you’ll have an incognito thing going on which is also pretty cool in and of itself.

The Emergency Kit

Beyond keeping some essential items on you, you’ll want to have an actual emergency kit that you can easily access. These items aren’t things you would normally keep on your person, mainly because it’s a pain in the butt to haul it around everywhere you go.

  • An emergency bag or kit should contain: a spare change of dry clothes, like long underwear, a hat, a jacket, waterproof gloves or mittens, leather work gloves, a rain coat or poncho, some leather (preferably waterproof) boots with non-slip treads, wool undergarments (they’re warm, but they also breathe well and wick moisture so you don’t overheat while also staying warm), 25 kitchen-sized (13 gallon) garbage bags with lime or sewage treatment chemicals, and 50 feet of heavy-duty nylon string or light rope that’s really strong – strong enough to make a shelter.
  • You’ll also want a first-aid kit with all the usual stuff plus tea tree oil, moleskin, medical tape, stretchable Ace bandages, oil of oregano (it’s a potent antibacterial compound), concentrated grape seed extract (a broad spectrum anti-bacterial/anti-fungal compound), triple antibiotic, and Benadryl.

Get a record of your bank accounts and credit cards, some spare cash, a few hundred or thousand dollars worth of gold or silver (these can be traded in for cash very easily, even in times when liquidity in the marketplace isn’t great), and some spare checks.

If you bank at a small credit union or community bank, consider opening an account with a large bank and trust company that has widespread branch locations all over the country, or even all over the world. The bigger, the better. Why? Because small banks may become inaccessible in times of emergency.

When times are good, smaller institutions can weather storms. When there is a serious local economic or social crisis, however, these institutions can be hit hard. Plus, if there’s a natural disaster, and there’s only one or two bank branches for your bank, you may be physically blocked from getting to them – not good.

Your 72-hour emergency kit should also include waterproof and windproof matches in a waterproof container along with a utility butane lighter. Get yourself some lanolinized wool blankets (not cotton, because they absorb moisture and hold it in), since these will be both water resistant and odor-resistant.

The Bug Out Bag

The bug-out bag is for extended emergency situations, and is basically an extension of your emergency kit. It will include a copy of everything in the emergency kit, plus a foldable shovel, a weapon like a firearm or a knife (you may be forced into a situation where law enforcement is either disbanded or non-functional for a short-period of time), 3 different ways to make a fire, cooking equipment (think camping equipment used for cooking), lights, like Faraday flashlights, a survival knife, and lots of rain gear.

You’ll also need food. According to 4 Patriots, a company specializing in survivalist supplies, you’ll want at least 72 hours of food, preferably up to 3 months worth of non-perishable items.

Try to get the highest quality you can afford. Most non-perishable items are, in fact, perishable after a few months or even a year. You’re going for something with at least a 5 year shelf-life, possibly longer.

Military MREs are usually the first choice, but these tend to be not so nutritious. Ideally, you’ll source organic dehydrated food and keep a stock of non-GMO seeds on hand that can be planted, if needed. Only non-GMO seeds can be grown into plants that can then be replanted from the previous stock’s seeds.

Now hide all of your kits in easy to find (for you) locations, and wait – and hope that you never need any of this stuff.

About the author: Allen Baler is a Partner at 4 Patriots LLC, a Tennessee based small business that provides products to help people be more self-reliant and more independent. Allen founded the company in 2008 after 14 years as a corporate executive leading profitable business for the Easton Press and the Danbury Mint. He graduated with honors from Harvard University and resides in Nashville with his wife and 3 daughters.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Infographic: the benefits of peat-free compost


When you purchase compost, do you ensure that it’s peat-free? Peat is a finite resource, and the annual rate of extraction is currently 220 times higher than the rate of formation. We’re running out of peatland fast, and this will affect our water supply as well as various wildlife.

The infographic below, which comes from compost specialist Compost Direct, explores the problem with using peat in more detail, and explains why you should switch to a sustainable alternative. Whether you’re a keen gardener or simply keep a few plant pots, make sure you learn about the benefits of peat-free compost.

the benefits of compost

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Holiday Gift Guide for the eco-friendly lady in your life


With Christmas just around the corner it’s time to start looking for that perfect gift. If you yourself are an eco-friendly shopper or the lady you’re shopping for is – here are some great gift ideas that are green and chic.eco tools makeup brush set

(above) My first pick, and one that I actually own myself, is an Eco Tools brush set. Every lady needs a good brush set and I for one hate brushes that are stiff and scratchy to the skin. Eco Tools brushes are soft and made from synthetic taklon bristles. The handles are made of bamboo and the ferule is made of recycled aluminum. The brush bundle is on holiday special for only 40 bucks and features 9 brushes and a collector’s brush roll.

touch up make up brush set eco tools

(above) They also have a range of smaller sets like their touch-up set, only 9.99 comes with 4 brushes and a pouch to keep them in – very handy for on-the-go. (more…)

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Monday, December 15, 2014

5 creative green gift ideas for the gentlemen in your life


Not sure what to get those special guys in your life for Christmas? Here are some fun creative ideas I found for the eco-minded shopper or recipient.

eco friendly green golf balls

  • Biodegradable golf balls. These are perfect for golf players who care about the planet. With 300 million balls discarded every year, that is quite a bit of waste. Eco-friendly golf balls are either made from recycled materials, are recyclable or are biodegradable. One of the many suppliers of green golf balls is Dixon. Dixon offers an earth, fire and wind style recyclable golf ball. These range in price from $45-15 and are also available on Amazon. The balls have a rock salt center instead of heavy metal ones and are 100 percent recyclable.

recycled glass cups

  • Recycled glass cups. Another fun idea is a set of recycled glass cups. Not using plastic and opting for glass cups instead reduces our plastic waste. The Ultimate Green Store sells recycled wine bottles that have been turned into cups. A set of four will cost you between $24 and $30 for the short ones. But you can also find recycled beer bottles that have been turned into cups on eBay as a six pack for $24.99 plus shipping.

reusable coffee filter

  • Reusable coffee filters. A organic cotton reusable coffee filter is a great gift idea for coffee drinkers. Gifts.com is selling a reusable organic cotton coffee filter that will eliminate the need for disposable paper filters. The filters will set you back $12.99 plus shipping. Similar ones sold on Amazon from brands like CoffeeStock are $15 plus shipping.

solar charger

  • Solar phone charger. Everyone hates it when their phone runs out of charge, especially if you’re lost in the woods, or simply camping. So how about a solar powered phone charger from Wagan Solar. The Wagan solar E charger folds open to collect the suns energy which it stores in a lithium-ion battery for use when the sun goes down. Its adjustable voltage levels makes it compatible for cell phones, mp3 & mp4 players, digital cameras and more. Available on Amazon for $84 this is definitely a useful gift.

recycled skateboard watch

  • Maybe your man likes to wear a watch rather than tell time via his cell phone. SecondShot offers a selection of watch faces made of recycled skateboards. Priced at $249.99 one of these would definitely be a great conversation starter.

related: more green gift guides

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