13 October 2008

green shopping - a few new links

Being that these days I am not in love with sitting in front of the computer for hours at a time, I go on Internet binges and read all of my various e-newsletters and subscriptions as once, as well as catch up on my assorted favorite websites and blogs. This often means I find a bunch of links at one time that are fun and I want to share them with you! Here are a few good ones for finding cool gifts or fun things for yourself.

MapTotes: Cute, affordable sturdy canvas totes with simple, silk-screened maps of major cities around the world in 'natural' and black.

RePlayGround: New York City based sustainable graphic, packaging, and industrial design company that sells DIY 'ReMake' kits to make envelopes out of magazines, trivets of wine corks, and lamps of bottles. Additionally they host parties and workshops so you can do it with your friends or kids! They also take your old junk like bottle caps, credit cards, sheet music, or anything else you might throw out in large quantities.

Water Purifying Wand: For those bottled water junkies who do it for the clean, pure water, save your money and some plastic and pick up one of these small, portable personal water purifiers. Swirl it around in your glass and the wand adds negative ions to your water, ridding it of chlorine and chloramines. Pretty neat, if you ask me.

Sustainable NYC: Cool store in the East Village (Ave. A at 9th) I stumbled upon last weekend. They've been open for a few months, and sell a little bit of everything that you would normally get from the drug store, or say a K-Mart, but only in eco-friendly, fair-trade, sustainable versions, including lots of locally made products. So, non-toxic nail polish and cleaning products, biodegradable 'plastic' bags, vegan shoes by Simple, recycled greeting cards, and more. Word on the street is they are soon moving halfway down the block to a bigger location. Hooray! They also host workshops and have lots of info on composting via the NYC Compost Project. I bought some SoapNuts. But more on those soon.

Static Eliminator: Came across these chemical-free dryer sheets somewhere online. Apparently they're "As Seen on TV" which is very exciting. I'm curious to try them, as I don't appreciate static cling, and that's the only reason I ever really use dryer sheets. Though usually I use Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Lavender ones, because they smell really pretty. These last up to 500 loads and are said to be great with those with sensitive allergies. They also sell dusting mitts and pet gloves, which is neat.

09 October 2008

go scrub yourself!

I like exfoliating as much as the next person, and I find myself running low on a free tube of body scrub I scored at an event earlier this year. But continuing with my new tradition of DIY products, I have come across a few remarkably simple, cheap, and easy solutions.

Why pay the big bucks for fancy salt or sugar scrubs, when the main ingredients are just salt or sugar, oil and/or vegetable glycerin, and fragrance? You deserve baby-soft skin on the cheap!
Even if you go organic with the ingredients, and I recommend you do, it's still more affordable than some of the ingredient-heavy products you find out there. Not to mention you can use that sugar, salt, and oils in the kitchen too!

Here are a few 'recipes' I found on Care2.com.

Sea Salt Glow Formula
2 cups fine sea salt
4 cups grapeseed, apricot or almond oil (olive, avocado, or jojoba oil would be fine alternatives)
20-30 drops essential oil of choice

1. Place salt in a widemouthed jar and cover with grapeseed, apricot, or almond oil. Scent with essential oil.

2. To use, dampen your entire body. Using either your hands or a loofah mit, vigorously but gently massage the salt and oil mixture into the skin. Begin at the feet and work upward in a circular motion. Be careful to avoid any scratched or wounded areas. When you have massaged the entire body, rinse with warm water. Finish with a dry-towel rub.

This recipe makes quite a bit, so jar up small amounts for gifts and your own future use, or make a smaller batch using the same basic ratios.

Super Simple Sugar Scrub
1/2 cup sugar
Enough cold-pressed oil (olive, wheat germ, peanut, corn, or sunflower) to dampen the mixture

Gently massage this exfoliating scrub all over your body and face before you shower with a light soaping and rinse. Repeat once or twice a month.

Click here for a few more sugar scrub recipes from Care2.

Do you make your own body care products? I would love to try out some more!
Post your recipes in the comments!

07 October 2008

a few articles

I just read a slew of short articles and blogs I found pretty interesting, entertaining, and/or enlightening. I hope you do too! In no particular order...

Local fall produce at a glance!

How to keep that produce fresh, brought to you by RealSimple. (I've been using these to put my produce in at the market and store them in them in the fridge. Rinse them out and use again. Love it!)

Skip that toxic dry-cleaners and read about how to 'wet clean' your delicate silk, rayon, and wool items.

An enviro-blogger's response to the Corn Refiners Association recent pro-High Fructose Corn Syrup ads (yes, seriously.) And his re-response.

The Top 10 items you should keep out of your house to reduce your risk to these super-toxins.

The love of dusting and cleaning with highly reusable microfiber cloths.

Someone other than me ranting about the ridiculousness of plastic water bottles.

If you're fooled into thinking Clorox's newish Green Works line is all that, think again. Get the dirt on top mainstream cleaning product companies. (PDF)

Healthy Dinner Tonight: Epicurious' daily healthy dinner recipes! With full nutritional analysis!
(Orzo with Feta, Tomatoes, and Dill featured in the photo. Yum!)

Confused about BPA? Read about how it interacts with the body.

06 October 2008

green 1 thing: give your shoes new life

If you have an old pair of running shoes or other sneakers lying around, dying, or just some sneakers you bought with good intentions but never wear, don't let them be destined for the landfill. In addition to many sports and running stores often taking your sneaker cast-offs to be donated to those in need around the world, there are several organizations that will make use of your old shoes-- some with drop-off locations near you!

Here's two:
One World Running, based in Colorado, takes new or near-new shoes and sends them to Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, and other countries around the world to promote an awareness of health and fitness and nutrition.

Nike Grind
, Nike's Shoe Recycling Program, takes old sneakers (of any brand) and recycles them into athletic play surfaces, like basketball courts, tennis courts, and running tracks.

Those worn out trainers have life in them yet!

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