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eco-fashion friday finds: some special things

recycled fabric dresses

You can find a plethora of fabulous hippie chic dresses, skirts and tops at the PoorPitifulPearl Etsy shop. Everything is handmade from recycled and repurposed materials. Most of the custom, one-of-a-kind, “anti-fashion” items retail for under $6o. All items are professionally stitched and surged for durability. For young ladies of all ages.


(above) Feel “the luck of the Irish” on St Patrick’s or any day of the year with some lucky charms from Alex and Ani. They offer an array of charms and bangles – lightweight, stylish and eco-conscious – all made right here in the USA from recycled metals. Featured here is the Claddagh, whose classic Irish design signifies: love, friendship and loyalty – the Irish trifecta. Snag one now and you’re in luck: Original price of $38 is now $5 off for the month of March; ($33).


(above) Punctuate your favorite outfit with this necklace made from recycled chunks wooden letterpress. Three pieces of wood have been cleaned of all ink to reveal a rich, robust patina.  $42 @ the Breed Designs Supermarket shop


(above) What lies beneath the surface of your weatherbeaten snowboard? Perhaps a handsome, handcrafted belt buckle like the one pictured above.  Made in America. $55 @ the Skiplink Cargoh shop

related: more eco fashion finds on The Alternative Consumer

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Friday, March 16, 2012

The Benefits of Essential Oils

Essential oils are being used more and more as a route to wellness, both in aromatherapy and pharmacology. Because they are plant-based (drawn, in fact, from a single molecule) and lack fatty acids, essential oilsconsumers can use an essential oil as an antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agent. They are completely natural, made up of plant hormones, nutrients, and biochemicals, and are wonderful for your skin and even your mood (especially lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, chamomile, lemon, and ylang-ylang). Common in folk medicine, essential oils are beloved for their calming effects on the mind.

Essential oils are often used as an healthy alternative to synthetic medicines. Some medical practitioners have claimed that essential oils can be used as an antispasmodic substance, especially ingredients such as eucalyptus oils, menthol, capasaicin, and camphor. Other natural remedy proponents say that essential oils have pharmacological benefits for the respiratory system and can be taken as expectorants and decongestants. Oils like juniper and agathosma have also been used as diuretics.

Essential oils, especially of the organic variety, are seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides and repellents. The most popular varieties are:

  • Lavender oil—Great as a deodorizer and air freshener, also a potential cure to depression and insomnia. Essential Oils IngredientsLavender oil has been use to make scented soaps and cachets.
  • Lemon oil—A disinfectant that is said to be able to kill meningococci, typhoid bacilli, staphylococci, and pneumococci
  • Tea tree—100 times more powerful than carbolic acid and safe to use as an anti-septic and cleaner. This is seriously all you need to clean your toilet.
  • Eucalyptus—Great disinfectant and cleaner. Just a half teaspoon can clean your entire kitchen and a little more to pretty much clean the rest of your home too.

Other possible oils include cedar, peppermint, and almond oil. The use of essential oils are wide and varied. In addition to its application as an aromatherapeutic agent in massages and pharmacological medicine, essential oils can also be used as a synthetic chemical-free insect repellent and as a carpet spray. By combining eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, cedar, peppermint, almond oil, and borax you can make a powerful defense against pests and offensive carpets. You can also use essential oils as a garden spray. Simply combine garlic, water, cayenne powder, peppermint oil, rosemary oil, and a dollop of dishwashing soap.


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Ocean Acidification: the true cause of coral death and bleaching

big green wave

Treating the symptoms of a problem will never eliminate the problem itself. The cause must be directly addressed for permanent change. This is the mindset with which the dying coral reefs must be approached. Rising global ocean temperatures have caused widespread coral death. Corals maintain many different acclimatization mechanisms. However, climate change has intensified to the point of overpowering these biological adjustments, leaving the coral reefs within marine protected areas of the United States as well as all over the world vulnerable to both temperature rise and acidification.

It is a common tendency to attribute the problems of coral death and coral bleaching under to the same cause. However, coral bleaching is specifically caused by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Elizabeth Selig, Ph.D. and conservation scientist, expressed concerns that, “Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect coral reefs from localized problems, particularly overfishing and terrestrial run-off. However, the magnitude of losses from increased ocean temperatures as a result of climate change seems to be overwhelming these positive effects”.  (more…)

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