Monthly Archives: January 2009

Perk Up from the Winter Woes with a Green Home Spa Night!

Alright, so it’s the dead of winter and the majority of us are stuck indoors peering out our windows at gray skies and dirty snow.  The warm glow sparked in our hearts from those early chilly days that ushered fresh and pristine winter wonderlands to our front doors is long gone, and we can’t help but begin to feel a little glum on the inside. More than even just a dreary attitude, though, I think it is safe to say that I’m not the only one suffering from a stuffy nose and dry skin.

With this in mind I have decided that it is the perfect time for a little pampering… the green way! 

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Going Green for Special Needs

A few years ago I lived my life in 20 minute increments. Then I had to rest. Fibromyalgia and Asthma ruled my life. With 3 children, a husband and all the normal mess that life assures, my brain constantly told me that I wasn’t doing enough. But I simply did NOT have the energy to spare; it needed to go to things that HAD to be done, not things that I wanted to do like living a greener lifestyle.

I’ve since been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and eating a gluten-free diet has improved my quality of life massively. But I still remember the dreams I had, the ones that seemed so far away from my reality.

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Recycled Note Of The Week: Envelopalooza

Every week we use this space to feature a recycled note or three from some of our favorite online sources. This week I thought it might be fun to feature envelopes only: creative and 100% recycled (and repurposed!) alternatives to standard letter carriers you can use to transport the smallest or largest of notes.

Below are some of my favorites (And please feel free to link to your own favorites in the comments, too!):

Romeo & Juliet Envelopes

Send a little Shakespeare mail to your favourite literature buff or teacher or student or Shakespeare enthusiast or actor or playwright or really anyone who likes to read or write!

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Ecostore USA Giveaway: We Have A Winner!

Congratulations! to sito, commenter #112. You are the winner of our EcoStore USA giveaway!

Thanks to everyone for participating, and remember to check out Ecostore USA’s great line of eco-friendly products for your home and beauty needs.

Also be sure to check out Anne’s great post below, laden with tips on how to stay warm (and green!) during these winter months.

Happy! Monday, all.

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Keeping it Real…Warm

Here in Western Michigan, it is cold. Real cold. My bet is that unless you live quite far south, this time of year it is cold for you as well.

It can be hugely frustrating to stay green while also staying warm. Not to mention the fact that we are all trying to be more frugal, and an enormous gas or electric bill is not something anyone is happy about. In my home, with a small toddler, I am more concerned about her comfort and warmth than my own.

So what is a cold, eco-friendly mama to do? Make a list, that’s what.

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Around The Greenosphere: Weekly Link Roundup

Here are some of our favorite posts from around the greenosphere that had us thinking this week, to help start your weekend a bit greener.

Monday Dot Green featured an audiovisual slide show centered on “A Planet in Flux.”

Andrew C. Revkin began exploring the human impact on the environment nearly 30 years ago. An early stop was Papeete, Tahiti. This narrated slide show describes his extensive travels.

Tuesday was a historic and momentous occasion, no matter who you voted for in November. Want to know what’s on the green docket during President Obama’s administration? Tree Hugger has a post highlighting the official White House policy on energy and the environment.

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Reinventing The Wheel

Local Foods Wheel, courtesy of Maggie Gosselin

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the environmentalist’s charge to “eat local?” Think the term “slow food” means “not McDonalds?” Intimidated by the 100-mile diet, or clueless when it comes to constructing weekly menus that highlight in-season foods from your neck of the woods? (Seriously, who has the time to plan menus?).

Then breathe easy, because you are most certainly not alone.

We are all the products of more than one generation of industrial food conditioning. (Example: As a child, I once asked a grade school friend where the apple she was eating came from, and she said, “the store”).

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Recycled Note Of The Week: Small Square Design

This week’s Recycled Note Of The Week comes from Small Square Design and features a prominent kitchen appliance.

Exhibit: The Toaster Recycled Letterpress Card:

The only time I ever received a toaster as a gift was after I registered for (an awesome) one for our wedding, but apparently, “the retro toaster is a unique way of saying congratulations to someone, anniversary, graduation, new job, new house…”

Who knew? (Maybe you did!)

The listing above is for one A2 size letterpressed card, which also comes with one kraft color envelope. Both the card and the envelope are recycled, and both come packaged in a biodegradable clear sleeve.

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Recycling & The Beauty Products Industry

Why is it that beauty products are seldom packaged in recyclable containers?

Even when their containers are plastic, they seldom have recognizable recycling symbols on them. Sometimes they have what I assume are European symbols on them.

Did you know that this symbol:

The German ‘Green Dot’, has no environmental significance at all? It only means that the manufacturer has paid a fee towards the packaging recovery system in Germany.

Is the beauty industry too upmarket to put the little triangle on the bottom of their packaging? Do they think their little packages would make the symbol too tiny to read?

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Say “Goodbye” to Handmade Toys, Or…Don’t!

Save Handmade Toys

Don’t you just love purchasing handmade goods, that on the by-and-large are naturally green and eco-friendly by the fact that they are created with love in peoples’ own homes and workshops? Especially those cute toys and custom accessories and apparel that can be found on such fun sites as Etsy.com and Hyenacart.com?

Well, as of February 10, 2009–less than a month away–nearly all such shops manufacturing hand-made toys will be forced by law to close their doors due to unreasonable third-party product testing mandates Congress passed this past August.

It is called the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, and at its heart it has good intentions: to monitor mass-produced children’s products to ensure they do not contain lead or phthalates.

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