by Maureen @ 4:22 pm 1 comment »
Being fashionably green takes many forms. For instance, you can buy something fabulously new, ethically made of sustainable fabric, via a zero-waste process – or you can go vintage and ramp up you style by wearing and reusing things that had a previous life like this lovely Jill Sander herringbone coat (above) that you can find at Archive Vintage for $325.
(above) Something new – love the vibrant indigo blue color and Small Mountain pattern of this Lina Rennell crew tee. Made with 100% organic cotton. Styled with a 3/4-length sleeve. $110 @ belkina.com
(above) Old is new – if you want a little original style and exotica in your vintage vibe you may enjoy the creations of Mandate of Heaven who create their funky clothing from vintage fabrics and materials.
(above) Something new – from Prairie Underground’s spring 2015 line comes the Tarpaulin Jacket featuring: a jaunty angled zipper, double-layered funnel neck, and edgy slash pockets. Made with Spandex, hemp and organic cotton. Starts shipping in March @ notjustpretty.com
related: more green fashion finds from The Alternative Consumer
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
by Sheila T. @ 9:23 am post a comment »
Designers have always sought out wood for its natural beauty and warm organic feel. A designer turning out a new twist on wood furniture is Hilla Shamia. Shamia’s work is a beautiful example of contrasting materials that work together. Shamia developed her technique while studying for her B.Des. in the Department of Industrial Design at Holon Institute of Technology, Israel.
Shamia’s stunning pieces come in a range of tables, stools and benches. They are made by first positioning the wood into a mold. Molten aluminum is then poured into the mold filling in the cracks and crevasses of the wood. Because wood has a burning point around 250 degrees Celsius (482 degree Fahrenheit) and aluminum has a melting point of about 660 degrees Celsius (1220 degree Fahrenheit); where the molten metal touches the wood, charcoal forms.
The layer of charcoal creates a transitioning barrier between metal and wood. The process preserves the natural form of the wood while joining it to the metal. Shamia calls this process wood casting. Because no two trees are the same and you can never predict the final outcome; each piece is one of a kind. Being one of a kind means you won’t be finding one in your local furniture store, however some pieces are listed on Discover Deliver, price upon request. The current pieces listed are composed of cypress and aluminum.
You can check out Hilla Shamia’s Facebook page for posts about availability, article mentions and more. But aside from the natural beauty of these pieces they are keeping it sustainable as well. Her metal of choice aluminum is recyclable. And although some designs are made with Cyprus the designer also works with Eucalyptus which is a fast growing sustainable wood.
related: more innovative design featured on The Alternative Consumer
Monday, January 26, 2015
by Debra Duneier @ 1:26 pm 1 comment »
When you “Go Green and Sustainable” you make choices that involve participating in an environmentally friendly lifestyle. The intention of these lifestyle choices and initiatives is to create ecological integrity by helping to protect the environment and sustain its resources for future generations.
The green movement has created a new huge marketplace and profit center. To take advantage of this opportunity many corporations are using the word green or even just the color green as a marketing tool. There is a term used to describe the deceptive use of green PR or green marketing. That term, “greenwashing,” refers to the practice some companies employ of disingenuously spinning their products and policies to make them appear environmentally friendly when, in fact, they are not. As an informed consumer, your best way to make sure your dollars are buying and supporting safe, environmentally-conscious products, companies and practices is to carefully research all products.
This may feel like an overwhelming task to take on and you may ask yourself, “Where do I begin?” Early on, reading labels and analyzing ingredients was daunting but today third parties verify and certify everything you plan to use; from green cleaning products to dishwashers.
The following are some tips to help make your walk down the path of greening your home less intimidating and more easily attainable.
1. Energy Efficiency
- Drafts in your home through windows and doorways are very common and cause us to use more energy to heat and cool our environments than necessary. Foam or caulk are commonly used in areas where outside air is leaking into our homes. You may not have heard of SIGA Tape which has long term durability and less chemicals than the foams and caulk on the market.
- Your incandescent light bulbs are using more energy and blowing out much faster than CFLs and LED lights. The CFLs do have mercury in them so disposing of them properly when they die is very important. LEDs do not have that problem and have a much longer life however they are an investment-they are the most costly of the options.
3. Energy Star
- Whether a washer, dryer or refrigerator, all appliances that are Energy Star are labeled explaining energy savings and power usage. For washers and dishwashers look for the Water Factor (WF) rating of the appliance. The lower the WF number the more water efficient the equipment is.
4. Cleaning Products and Materials
- There are thousands of products that contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that are used in the home. Paints, carpeting, adhesives, flooring and textiles just to name a few, most often have VOCs that are off-gassing in our indoor environments causing possible allergies and health threats to us and our families. Find information on over 2000 products on the Environmental Working Group website.
The rule of thumb in our daily lives is to:
- Reduce Waste
It is especially important to follow this rule during construction and remodeling when waste accumulates in bulk very quickly. Conscious calculations and responsible decisions add up. A good example is to calculate how much paint to buy for your project. One gallon of paint covers approximately 400 square feet. Extra opened paint cans is extra waste that can be avoided.
Going out for a coffee? Bring your own cup with you! Do you have dinner reservations? Bring a container from home for left overs. Change is never easy, and I applaud you for your willingness to get started. The challenge is even greater and the stakes higher when we deal with those things in our homes that can harm us. I encourage you to keep at it and educate yourself. Small changes today can lead to a healthier tomorrow for us and our planet.
by guest @ 7:53 am post a comment »
If you have kids and you want them to live an eco-conscious lifestyle, you need to lead by example. Yes, if you sit around on the Internet or play video games while your children are home, you are setting a bad example for a few reasons. With this in mind, you are going to help your cause greatly if you teach kids to play outside, and here are five reasons teaching kids to play outside will help them learn how to become more eco-friendly adults.
See animals: First and foremost, a lot of people never really see non-domesticated animals. Think about it, when you only see your cat or dog and the occasional squirrel, you will not realize that the world is full of animals, some of which need protecting. Luckily, if you take your kid outside and they see animals in the wild, they are going to have an easier time understanding why it’s crucial to protect animals and make sure they do not suffer or live in a habitat that is bad for them.
Protect what they love: When out in the playground riding around on playground equipment, your kid will see that nature is great, trees are beautiful and it’s great to go outside. For this reason, when you want your child to learn how to respect nature in a smart and kind way, you are going to help your case greatly. Simply put, when your child is outside and sees nature in its true beauty, he or she is going to have fun. You can start small by simply installing playground equipment, which will help your children stay safe while outside.
See the negative effects: Without a doubt, if you look at the outside world, you can see that humans are damaging it badly. Not only is global warming on people’s radar, but a lot of people seeing the problems associated with logging and treating the entire planet poorly. If your kid goes outside and sees the negative side effects at a young age, he or she is likely to care more about the future and take action. Yes, not only will your kid understand the issues he or she will face in the future, but they will see it up close and in-person.
Garbage all over: If you are smart, you will take your kids on hikes and how them the outside world. Not only that, if you have the time, you need to take them to the beach and show them the bad shape it is in. Yes, humans seemingly don’t care about throwing garbage in the ocean and on hiking trails. If you show your kids this, you are likely to convert them into people who care about the environment. In reality, young kids are often helpful in bringing change as they have more common sense than plenty of adults who are not always thinking about such issues. So, for this reason, if you want to take your kids outside, you need to show them some of the bad.
It’s wise to teach your kids to go outside all the time. Not only is it better for their health, but they will appreciate and protect the world around them.
This post comes from our friends at Kompan, check out their line of play equipment to see how they have incorporated educational features into the natural fun of playing.
Friday, January 23, 2015
by Maureen @ 9:43 am 1 comment »
It’s on sale! The Amour Vert Riley Jacket (above) features an sleek modern silhouette, an off-center zipper and a herringbone pattern. The jacket is made of organic cotton in the USA. On sale for $128, marked-down from $184 @ kaightshop
This Grandaddy Vee shirt by Groceries (above) is made of unbleached, natural hemp and comes in white or grey. Groceries produces fair trade products in California using 100% organic or recycled materials. This classic v-neck tee has a dipping front and back hem that will give you a little protection fore and aft. The t is featured on Good Goods, a web store that features products that support a minimal and modern aesthetic and meet high standards for animal rights, human rights and sustainability. Check them out. BTW – the shirt goes for $62 @ thegoodgoods.co
Everyone needs a go-to scarf. Pretty Birdie hand-dyed this organic cotton and hemp classic in it-will-go-with-anything grey, using low-impact, eco-friendly dye. $45 from Stephanie Trippe and Pretty Birdie.
If you’re planning a wedding you’re probably shopping for rings … these Latitude and Longitude wedding bands can help you remember exactly where you were married without checking your GPS. Handmade and hand-stamped (you can add any text you like) in 100% recycled sterling silver. $127 from the cheekily named – Monkeys Always Look.
related: more eco-fashion finds from The Alternative Consumer