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Thursday, December 29, 2011


upcycled lightbulb terrarium


upcycledlightbulbterrarium_1_1.jpgAn artistic use for an energy-hogging lightbulb… Designer Steve Witteveen creates his nifty little terrariums inside upcycled incandescent lightbulbs. Witteveen carefully places mosses, wood and stones inside the bulb to create tiny green environments.

The 150 watt moss terrarium featured here will cost you $45 @ the SteamedGlass Etsy shop

The low maintenance terrarium comes pre-assembled.

Related: more eco art finds on The Alternative Consumer

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

craftsman furniture from reclaimed oak wine staves


California furniture maker, Cliff Spencer, began using salvaged wine staves in his craftsman furniture designs a few years ago. The white oak staves, which are a component of the wine fermentation process, are placed in the steel vats used in the modern wine-making process (in lieu of oak barrels).

After imparting their oak flavor to the wine the staves are often discarded – unless someone like Spencer intervenes. Spencer uses the wine stained wood to make some stunning furniture creations.



winestavedressersalvaged_1.jpgThe reclaimed oak staves arrive at Spencer’s shop coated with sugars and wine solids. All the wine aromas, except the slightest fragrance, are removed in the finishing process. Pinot Noir provides for the darkest, richest stain while the Pinot Grigio leaves the lightest. There is no other “stain” used in the furniture making process –  just the rich, natural tones of the vino.
Spencer uses non-toxic adhesives, recycled cores and plant-based finishes.

The perfect furniture choice for the oenophile in your life.

Related: more home decor on The Alternative Consumer

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latex mattresses & pillows – our faves



Safe. Healthy. COMFY. For a totally dreamy experience this new year, treat yourself to an organic mattress and pillow! We love our (USDA certified organic,) natural latex mattress from Savvy Rest and pillow from Each company offers a nice selection of quality mattresses and pillows. They’re the real deal. (We lay our weary heads on them every night, and wake up refreshed and ready to go.) Shop with confidence and ease –  and get a good night’s sleep.

Psst – Canada-based Essentia BOXINGDAY at checkout. Be sure to take a peek at the Jeanius, made with organic denim.


photo credits, above, top to bottom: Savvy Rest; Essentia

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a mixed bag of green news


Related: more eco news freatured on The Alternative Consumer

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Face Oils for a Healthy Glow

cfo.jpgSick of rubbing toxic parabens and phthalates (plasticizers in PVC that soften plastic) all over your face? 2012’s a great year to ditch your mom’s trusted Mary Kay, chock full of chemicals, and slather on something a little cleaner. Oily? Dry? Combination? Sorry Clinique, maybe skin is just skin.

Challenge your self to go without face wash- which leeches skin’s natural oils, in turn causing skin to go into oil producing overdrive, giving it that greasy feel. Instead, try Thayer’s Alcohol Free Toner, a lil’ tap water rinse, and follow with a natural oil. Start with olive or coconut oil, whatever you’ve got in your kitchen, and gradually upgrade to something more exotic.

Nature’s Gift has a great selection of oils from fruits and seeds, such as: Kukui Nut, Evening Primrose, Apricot Kernel, Avocado, Pomegranate Seed, and Borage Seed Oils. Check out for the products listed above. Important Note: how to apply essential oils.


A fan of oils? You might also like Solar Recover from It’s a blend of organic and essential oils to slather on skin after the shower or add it to a nice hot bath. (And we also love Aura Cacia’s Sweet Almond Skin Care Oil – available at

Give it a shot!

Contributed by our west coast blogger, Crystal Carson.

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