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eco fashion friday finds – turn up the green


As you know, we don’t favor mindless consumption, but we do occasionally like to perk up our wardrobes and spirits with an eco conscious, stylish indulgence. Here’s this week’s small, edited collection of fashion finds including a few upcycled accessories and vegan shoes for the ladies.

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(above L to R) – 3 adorable looks for town & country, all ethically and sustainably made.  The Happy Tails Tunic in blue or brown; comprised of 56% soy/organic cotton/ Spandex, (we pine for an alternative to Spandex), with buttons made from coconut; $95.   The Moth Dress, in linen/rayon/spandex; $150. ($2 from each sale goes to Dog Bless Rescue and Orphan Kittens in BC.)  all @ Flora and Fauna.

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Have fun and accessorize with upcycled jewelry that’s easy on the planet and your purse.  Lightweight, dangle earrings are created from a tossed detergent bottle and the bracelet is handcrafted from an Aveda bottle. (only $9 & $11, respectively) – ArtworkbyKD @ etsy.com

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(above, L to R) via shefinds.com – hot scoop – Target upcycled NYC billboard signs from their Liberty of London pop up shop.  These one of a kind, limited edition bags are available now for pre-sale; ($29.99, free shipping).  And as an alternative to leather, from across the pond, Fantasy Shoes just launched their vegan line with shoesmade of Lorica for men and women.

That’s it for now, keep that carbon footprint small and have a great weekend!

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Friday, April 23, 2010

eco deal of the day – olive green dog


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seamlksupprofside___1_1_1.JPGVisit the sale page at the website of my Olive Green Dog pals for some great savings on planet-friendly dog and pet products.

These handsome, durable dog collars (above) are made from eco-friendly, renewable hemp.  Hemp is naturally hypo-allergenic, anti-bacterial and odor absorbent.  The perfect eco-fashion statement for that counter-culture hound of yours.

$19 marked down to $13.30

(that’s me, Seamus, at right)

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5 ways to green your laundry


This post is contributed by guest blogger D. Salmons on behalf of DIY Guides.

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The vast majority of us wear some kind of clothing, and it all has to be laundered.  The impact of all of those clothes being cleaned has a major impact on our planet.  But as good stewards of this beautiful planet it is our responsibility to lessen any destructive impact on it.

So, with a need as crucial as clean clothing, how can we be more kind to our planet (and perhaps kinder to our finances as well) when it comes to laundry?  A little caution and a sparing approach will no doubt take you far, but to get the ball rolling, we present five ways that will help you be more green when it comes to laundry.

1. Choose Your Detergent Wisely
Take a strong look at what is in your detergent.  A lot of brands contain phosphates, which are hard on the environment.  Phosphates can promote algae growth that can adversely affect marine life, and it is hard on the eco-system.  Also look for petroleum products in the detergent, which can be hard on the planet, as well as help to contribute the need for oil.

One way to go more green in your laundering habits is a simple one – use a concentrated detergent in place of a regular one.  Using a concentrated detergent saves energy because it takes less space and fuel in its distribution.  This saves energy and promotes a healthier environment.

Soap nuts from the plants known as Sapindus are an up and coming alternative to modern detergent.  Soap Nuts contain a natural surfactant, and they were used for thousands of years by Native Americans and others as a popular means of washing.  Being an all natural solution, the soap nuts can be composted at the end of their life cycle.

Finally, consider making your own laundry detergent.  In this way you know exactly what is being used in your family’s wash as well as using an eco-friendly alternative.

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2. Hang Out To Dry
One of the easiest ways to go green with a dryer is to avoid the power button.  That is, consider using a clothes line to let clothes air dry.  The added benefit here is that the wear and tear damage that clothes receive in the old rough and tumble is avoided, and they tend to smell nice when line dried.  Now, not all areas allow a clothes line to be openly used, so you may want to check first if you have any doubt.  You can find more information about line drying from LineDryIt.com.

Even if you elect to line dry only certain items, the overall impact can add up.  The home dryer is the second largest user of electricity in the home, with only the refrigerator using more power in a typical home.  (Source:US Dept of Energy)

3. Develop Good Habits
Developing good habits when it comes to doing laundry can have a large impact on not only the environment, but on your bottom line too.  For example, some clothes, such as jeans, can usually be worn more than once before laundering.  Not only does this save from laundering, but it has been estimated that as much as 70 percent of the wear and tear in clothes comes from the laundering process.  By laundering less the clothes last longer, saving you money.

One good habit to make is to wash in cold water.  Around 90 percent of the energy used in washing clothes comes from heating the water to wash them.  By washing in cold water where possible, you save that energy, helping the environment and your electric bill.

Another great habit to have when laundering is to wait until you have a full load to wash.  By washing partial loads you waste water and energy that would have otherwise went into washing more clothes.  It is more efficient when you maximize the effectiveness of a given wash cycle.

4. Skip the Fabric Softener

One of the main ingredients in most fabric softeners is undenatured ethyl alcohol.  This is suspected to contribute to many health problems, including being a liver toxicant and an endocrine disruptor.  You really don’t want that in your family’s wash, do you?

Instead, you can try adding a half cup of vinegar to the rinse water.  It has the added benefit of acting as a slight disinfectant as well (although this is not proven), and it has been reported to help with hair in the wash.

5. Upgrade the Gear
Finally, take a good look at your washer and dryer.  If they are showing their age, there may be a worthwhile gain to replacing them with a new model.  According to Energy Star, an energy star qualified washer will save about $50 per year over a non-qualified model.  It’s almost like buying the dryer for free. And if your washer if dated before 1998, then you are spending about $135 a year more than a qualified model.  This would pay for both appliances over the course of their lifetime.

But it is not only your pocket that could get a boost from the new gear.  Switching to an Energy Star qualified top loading machine can save up to 7,000 gallons of water per year.

As you can see, it is easy to help both the environment and your bottom line by watching how you do your laundry.  On top of the items listed here there are more things you will find that saves on laundry waste, such as not ironing when it is not needed and the advantages of keeping the washing machine clean.  But once you start noticing your habits, don’t be surprised if the savings also translates to another extremely valuable commodity on the planet – your time.

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eco news roundup


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(photo: US Coast Guard)

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