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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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kickstarter green find: yoloha cork yoga mats


cork yoga mat yoloha

We love yoga and we love renewable cork  — Yoloha is currently raising funds via a Kickstarter campaign for the manufacture of their innovative cork yoga mat. The top surface of Yoloha mats utilize a natural cork surface. Each mat is hand-built and features an unmatched grip that increases the more you sweat.

handmade yoloha yoga mat

The mat is also self cleaning – cork is naturally hypoallergenic and antimicrobial, naturally eliminating bad smells, bacteria, and mold. No need to wipe these mats clean.

cork yoga mat girl

Yoholo has been working with cork for many years on surfboards and other products and have a deep understanding of cork.

Eco-friendly features:

  • The mat is 100% recyclable with eco-friendly materials that contain no PVC’s or harmful chemicals.
  • Cork and rubber are some of the most durable and resilient materials on the planet.
  • Cork is a 100% natural, renewable and recyclable material.
  • The cork used in the mat’s construction is obtained through an environmentally friendly harvesting process. Trees are not cut down to harvest the cork, rather, the bark is peeled off by hand every 9 years. Cork oak trees can live up to 300 years.
  • Backing of the yoga mat is comprised of 90% domestically produced recycled rubber tires.
  • The entire mat is recyclable and all of the leftover scrap from producing Yoloha mats are reground to be used in new products.

yoloha cork yoga mat

The Yoloha Kickstarter campaign will be on-going for another 10 days. They are offering pledgers a variety of neat Yoloha associated stuff. Pledge $140 and you can get one of the first Yoloha cork yoga mats available – sometime in August. Due to cork’s inherent durability Yoholo guarantees the mat for a lifetime. Made entirely in the USA.

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

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Be Entranced by the Perfect Entrance to Your Home


entrance with plants

Do you ever put your key in your front door, only to have it fall off at the hinges? Does your doormat have the durability of used toilet paper? Do people regularly throw bits of rubbish at your doorstep because they’ve mistaken it for a skip?

Yeah, you might want to consider sprucing up your entrance. Your doorway is the first impression any visitors will get of your home, so you have to make sure it’s in tiptop condition. So, what can you do? Simply try a few of these tips.

dirt trapper door mat
A matter of mats
You know what it’s like – you wipe your feet on your doormat, only for it to hold about as much dirt as a broken toy dump truck. Although you could pick up a doormat for a quid from bargain shops, investing in dirt-trapper mats will scrape muck from your soles with gusto.

To complement your mat, add in a sizeable shoe rack by your door to stop any errant muck trailing around your home.

A door to adore
If your door is choc-a-bloc with dents, scratches and paint that’s more faded than the career of Les Dennis, then a new one would be a great purchase. In what scientists are referring to as a “Goldilocks’s Door”, you should be searching for something firm enough for security but aesthetically pleasing enough to welcome you into your home. It’s also important to match your door with the rest of your house. After all, it’d be a bit weird if your door was an intricate Art Deco affair while the rest of the place was a 19th century townhouse. Make it match and you’ll have a door to adore.

Flora to fawn over
Have you ever dreamed of owning an entrance resembling a pastoral work of art? You know the type – a gentle trellised archway covered in vines standing before a cobbled path up to a doorway drenched in the pungent scent of roses.

It might seem like a pipe dream, but you can create a pleasant atmosphere with the use of a few plants. Some roses, a small plant pot, a handful of hydrangeas – the possibilities for plant life are almost endless, with an array of colours and smells to feast your eyes and nose upon. And once you’ve got these scents sorted, you’ll have an entrance that you won’t want to leave.

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Artisan Nisolo Tote – a tried and true product review


nisolo artisan tote

full disclosure: I received the JoAnne Tote (above and below) for the purposes of this Tried and True Review.

In the spotlight today is Tennessee-based, Nisolo and their handcrafted tote made by a Peruvian artist by the name of Willan. Focused on how conscious consumerism can have a social impact, the company’s ‘Hand Up’ philosophy empowers talented craftsmen and women in the developing world shape their futures through their extraordinary work.

the review Can a tote be sexy? This one is … After only 2 weeks in my possession, the JoAnne Tote has made her way all over town … attracting a steady stream of compliments. What good timing … for the past several weeks I had been on the prowl for a tote that would look great and holds its shape when set down. Well, here she is, right in my pretty little hands.

As a hardcore multi-tasker I needed an attractive bag that could hold an iPad, iPhone, laptop, notepads, pens, workout duds, specs, and other daily essentials. JoAnne is perfect – versatile, durable and a real beauty – made of soft leather that will only get better with age. Basically, she has become my everything bag. Evocative of her origins, the traditional Peruvian fabric lining adds a smart finishing touch and decorative color. If you’re looking for a tote that’s well constructed with clean lines and nice finishing touches – magnetic clasp and interior pocket – I suggest you check this out.

brown tote interior

The bottom line …  JoAnne Tote Oak with Azul retails for ($178) – by the way there’s free shipping to anywhere in the USA for the month of July. And you can choose from other styles as well,  find your fave @ nisolo.com

Details:

  • Dimensions: 16.5″ x 13″ x 6.5″
  • Strap Height: 9″
  • Lined with Peruvian Fabrics
  • Easy Accessible Inside Pocket
  • Magnetic Closure
  • Handmade in Peru

Good karma … When you make a purchase from Tennessee-based, Nisolo, you make an investment not only in a superbly crafted handbag, pair of shoes or belt, but also an entire community of artisans who would otherwise be impoverished.

related: eco-fashion finds on alternativeconsumer.com

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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mobile Solutions To Make Your Business Go Green


Going green isn’t just a catchphrase for environmentalists; it’s also a way for businesses to save money. If you’re interested in not only saving the environment, but saving your business money as well, look into these mobile solutions to use your phone to go green.

Cut Down on Paper Consumption

logging operation

Every year, the average American consumes and disposes of seven trees worth of paper. When added together, that means nearly 2 billion trees are cut down every year to create everything from receipts to printer paper. However, using your mobile phone to send memos, invoices, and receipts can significantly cut down on paper usage.

For example, Square can help you accept mobile payments on Apple and Android devices. With Square, you download the free app, get a free secure credit card reader, and then you only pay when you make a sale. Customers can get an email or text receipt, so you can save money on paper. Plus, you can feel good knowing that every 17 trees saved will absorb 250 pounds of deadly carbon dioxide every year.

Charge Your Phone Battery Less Often
Constantly having to charge the battery on your phone is a waste of electricity and money. However, GreenPower, a free app for cell phones, provides your battery with more life automatically. GreenPower works by turning off mobile data, WiFi, screen brightness, and Bluetooth when you don’t need them, and turning them back on when you do.

Since this app, which works with almost all Android phones and carriers, works automatically, you don’t have to manually turn these settings on your phone off and on to save battery. Also, by working in the background, it also ensures minimal disturbance with your apps. When you extend the life of your battery, you can charge your phone less often and save money on electricity costs.

Conduct an Energy Audit
At times, electricity is one of the largest expenses a business incurs. However, apps like Green Outlet help you run an energy audit to find out which machines or appliances are costing the most money to run. To use the app, you simply have to enter the type of machine and state how many hours a day it runs. Then, Green Outlet, which costs $0.99 for Apple devices, calculates your monthly electric bill and your carbon footprint.

Plus, this app will even alert you if you exceed carbon usage guidelines set by the United States government. By adjusting the hours that each machine runs, you can see where you can save on electricity costs and reduce your carbon output.

Cut Your Carbon Footprint from Traveling
When it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, vehicles are the biggest culprits since they release around 1.5 billion metric tons of greenhouse gas pollutants every year. Unfortunately, for many businesses, travel and transport is a necessity. Even so, it’s still possible to go green by using apps like Ecorio.

This app, available for free on Android phones, allows you to track your carbon footprint from travels you make. Using the phone’s GPS, Ecorio keeps track of where you are and helps you plan a more eco-friendly trip. You can also use the app to connect with other Ecorio users and arrange carpools to save gas and money, as well as share other environmentally friendly tips.

Recycle Old Mobile Phones
When you’re ready to upgrade to a new cell phone, you can’t simply throw your old phone in the trash. Cell phones are made with substances like lead, copper, and zinc, which are harmful to the environment. Old phones can sit in landfills for hundreds of years and leak these toxic substances into the ground and water supply.

Donating or recycling can cut down on manufacturing pollutants entering the air and water supply and reduces the need to waste valuable natural resources. For every one million cell phones that are recycled or donated, we can recover 33 pounds of palladium, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver, and 35,000 pounds of copper.

These mobile solutions are simple ways to help make your business go green, save money, and save the environment all at the same time.

Image via Flickr by crustmania

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Eco Fashion Friday Finds: Our Twitter Friends


dikokore grass bracelet

Today we feature some of our eco fashion friends from our Twitter community.

dikokore designs is a jewelry and accessories company committed to the financial, educational and social empowerment of women and girls in Dikokore, Benin. Their colorful, hand-dyed, hand woven bracelets are a dynamic fashion accessory. Each dikokore bracelet (above and below) sold provides supplemental income for women artisans and educational scholarships for the girls of the local African community, while also addressing gender inequalities issues and lack of resources.

handmade african bracelets

The company works directly with the Tibobene cooperative in Dikokore to bring their unique bracelets to the larger markets, enabling the women to support girls’ education in their village. The company also works directly with the Benin Education Fund, a local education non-profit, to disburse scholarships to the girls.

crazy pockets organic cotton dress

Our good friend Kate in NYC operates a shop filled with designer and affordable eco-friendly threads and accessories. One such item -  this Prairie Underground’s Crazy Pockets Dress (above), made of luxuriously soft and supple organic cotton. $110 @ kaightshop.com

handmade inner tube backpack

What could be more durable, waterproof and stylishly modern than a sexy black rubber backpack made from old tire inner tubes? This handmade designer backpack features a flop and popper closure, adjustable shoulder straps and 2 zip pockets. The whole deal is fully lined and costs £137 – designed and created by paguro

Elephants Print Bag  aim high

(above) For all you animal lovers – this Elephants Bag is created by Jabber Duck designs from recycled and repurposed vintage fabrics. $158 @ jabberduck.com.

related: more green fashion finds from The Alternative Consumer

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