March 31, 2007
March 30, 2007
I'm a fan of several of Barbara Kingsolver's novels, including The Poisonwood Bible, The Bean Trees, and Pigs in Heaven. And now, together with her daughter, Camille, she's written her first non-fiction book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, a recounting of her family's move from the Arizona desert to a family farm in Appalachia.
Continue reading: "Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle"
March 29, 2007
Can't wait for those homegrown tomatoes or garden fresh herbs? Don't want to get your hands dirty in the garden?
Well, according to our friends over at Kitchen Contraptions, there is another solution. Get yourself an AeroGarden and you can grow vegetables and herbs -- dirt-free! -- on your kitchen counter all year round.
The AeroGarden is evidently an "aeroponic gardening system" sits on your countertop and grows lettuce, herbs, cherry tomatoes, etc. without soil or natural light.
Continue reading: "AeroGrow AeroGarden: Grow Veggies in Your Kitchen"
March 28, 2007
March 27, 2007
Normally I like to write about books whose topics are eco-friendly. But in this case, I'll make an exception. Grist reports that the new (and seventh) book in the Harry Potter series is going green.
Is Draco Malfoy green with envy, or is it just the paper he's printed on? With only 121 days until the last Harry Potter book hits the shelves (not that we're counting), U.S. publisher Scholastic has partnered with the Rainforest Alliance to green up Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The 784-page book will have a first printing of 12 million copies in the U.S., and nearly two-thirds of the 16,700 tons of paper used will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council as coming from sustainable timber.
Pre-order Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
March 26, 2007
A shout out to our friends Peter and Laura Kovacs at SuperCoolBaby.com
for blogging about BabyGanics non-toxic cleaners
The folks at BabyGanics have created a line of cleaning products that are safe for children, pets, and the environment. Created using all natural ingredients, BabyGanics claim to have superior performance to conventional cleaners. The cleaners have no fillers or dyes, contain no pollutants, caustic ingredients or volatile organic compounds.
You don't want your baby crawling around on a floor that's been cleaned with toxic chemicals, right? Neither do we. Thanks, Peter and Laura, for letting us know about BabyGanics.
Read more at SuperCoolBaby.
March 23, 2007
Want more on greywater? Or yellow water, even? Here's a three-fer.
Carol Steinfeld, co-author of The Composting Toilet System Handbook, also wrote Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants and Reusing the Resource: Adventures in Ecological Wastewater Recycling.
Steinfeld, who lives in our hometown of Cambridge, MA is a writer, researcher, and program designer who specializes in ecological resource management solutions. As project director for Ecowaters, a nonprofit public information project, she conducts workshops worldwide on wastewater recycling.
Her book Liquid Gold focuses on how urine can safely be used to grow food, fuel, fiber, and beautiful landscapes while protecting the environment and providing free and safe fertilizer.
Continue reading: "Liquid Gold: The Lore and Logic of Using Urine to Grow Plants by Carol Steinfeld"
March 22, 2007
Indigo Handloom founder Smita Paul always had an independent streak. A former professional journalist, she found she did her best work as a freelancer. As she explains:
I love the freedom and adventure of coming up with an idea and seeing it to fruition. The thrill of watching an idea grow - there is no bigger high!
This same spirit led Paul to found Indigo Handloom, a Brooklyn-based importer of gorgeous handloomed scarves and fabrics from India and South Asia. Handloom is part of the growing eco-textiles movement because it leaves no environmental footprint and requires no energy other than human energy to produce.
Purchase one of these Indigo Handloom's scarves, and know that your money is helping to support artisans and craftspeople around the world.
Check out Indigo Handloom.
March 21, 2007
Jennifer from TenderCare saw our posts on Seventh Generation Chlorine Free Diapers and baby wipes and couldn't resist writing in to tell us about TenderCare diapers and baby wipes. According to the TenderCare website, they are pediatrician-recommended and
*100% Chlorine-Free and Non-Chlorine Bleached Materials
*Moisture Barrier Cuffs
TenderCare or Seventh Generation? You choose.
Buy TenderCare diapers.
Buy Seventh Generation.
March 20, 2007
Looking to update your spring wardrobe with some fresh looks in bamboo and organic cotton? Clothing made from the sustainably-grown and harvested fabrics is showing up everywhere.
Sean from Pangaya just wrote to let us know about some of the season's best looks from designers Stewart+Brown and Doie Design.
Howard Brown and Karen Stewart-Brown are pioneers of the organic fashion industry. Stewart+Brown's clothes are made from organic materials, sustainably grown and produced. And unlike some of their crunchy-not-chic predecessors, the clothes refuse to sacrifice fashion for eco-friendliness -- combining the two for clothes that inspire compliments for how they look as well as how they're made. We like the yoked tee in organic cotton, pictured at right.
Continue reading: "Spring Fashion in Bamboo and Organic Cotton from Doie Design and Stewart+Brown"
March 19, 2007
Avalon Organics is offering free samples from its line of baby products.
These gentle formulations are made with soothing, organic botanicals and nutrient-rich, organic plant emollients providing a healthier alternative for your happy, growing baby.
To get your free samples, go to Avalon Organics and type "Samples" in the comments box.
American flush away nearly 4.8 billion gallons of water every day, accounting for nearly 40% of our total indoor water consumption. Turns out toilets are "a big player" for homeowners interested in going green, according to author Florence Williams.
Writing in this Sunday's New York Times, Williams describes "the latest in eco-friendly elimination" -- from waterless urinals to superlow-flush toilets. She discusses her own experience with the Sun-Mar nonelectric composting toilet.
I didn’t want anything to do with it at first. The idea of human waste sitting in one spot — right next to you — for months at a time is difficult to stomach, but I had little choice. Our solar-powered summer cabin has limited running water and soils that are too shallow for a septic system.
Continue reading: "Eco-Friendly Toilets: Waste Not, Want Not"
March 16, 2007
To be or not to be? And just as importantly, paper or plastic?
Paper or Plastic: Searching for Solutions to an Overpackaged World by writer Daniel Imhoff and designer/photographer Roberto Carra explores the environmental implications of this question with some captivating results.
More than half of America's solid waste comes from packaging -- more than 300 pounds per person per year.
Continue reading: "Paper or Plastic by Daniel Imhoff"
March 15, 2007
Your favorite sweater. It's there for you all winter -- your trusty companion through thick and thin. And suddenly, you pull it on one morning and realize it's got more pills than a medicine cabinet.
Don't despair! Instead, introduce your old buddy to the Sweater Stone, an all natural way to get rid of sweater pills. And thanks to the folks at Sweater Stone, you can do it for free (well, actually $4.99 for the shipping and handling).
(Via Daily Candy.)
Continue reading: "Free Sweater Stone - All Natural Way to Remove Fabric Pills"
March 14, 2007
The organic vs. local produce debate has gone mainstream. The cover of this week's Time Magazine proclaims, "Forget Organic. Eat Local."
John Cloud investigates the battle between the "local foods" movement and Big Organic.
Continue reading: "Food Fight: Time Magazine on Organic vs. Local"
March 13, 2007
Have trouble sleeping? Looking for an evening ritual to help you relax before bed? I've long been a fan of Celestial Seasons Sleepytime tea. But even better than Sleepytime? Yogi's Bedtime Tea.
The organic blend includes valerian, chamomile, St. John's wort and passion flower. I like it with milk and honey just before bed.
Continue reading: "Yogi Organic Bedtime Tea"
March 12, 2007
Here are some ingredients I like to add to our oatmeal to make it oat-mmm....:
- Granny Smith or Gala apple slices
- Grade B maple syrup
- chopped pecans
- ground flax seeds
- dried cranberries
- wheat germ
- fresh or frozen blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries (if you add frozen, add them to the pot and cook over low heat to thaw)
Pick some combo of the items listed above. Mix into your oatmeal before serving.
McCann's Steel Cut Oatmeal is the quintessential breakfast that sticks to your ribs. It takes longer to cook than regular oatmeal - about 45 minutes - but the nutty, hearty goodness that results is worth the effort.
Here's our secret cooking tip to reduce preparation time:
Before you go to bed, pour boiling water over the oats and soak overnight. In the morning, reheat, and voila! Delicious.
Buy McCann's Steel Cut Oatmeal.
March 9, 2007
A Really Natural reader just told us about Fields That Dream: A Journey to the Roots of our Food by Jenny Kurzweil.
The book explores the lives of small-scale sustainable farmers who sell their foods at the Seattle Farmer's Market. Each chapter focuses on a farmer, and explores a different part of the social and cultural history of agriculture in the U.S.
100% of the royalties from book sales go to support The Neighborhood Farmers’ Market Alliance and the PCC Farmland Fund.
Buy Fields That Dream by Jenny Kurzweil.
March 8, 2007
March 7, 2007
For comfort food, it doesn't get any better than mac and cheese. And Annie's Homegrown Organic Shells & Cheddar
is the next best thing to homemade. Better yet, looks like it comes in Family Size!
Organic Durum, Semolina Pasta (Organic Durum Semolina, Water), Organic Cheddar Cheese (Organic Cultured Pasteurized Milk, Salt, Enzymes), Organic Whey, Salt.
Buy Annie's Homegrown Organic Family-Size Shells & White Cheddar Mac & Cheese.
March 6, 2007
You enjoy organic food. Why shouldn't Fido and Fifi?
With Newman's Own Organics Dog Treats, they can.
March 5, 2007
Our cereal bowls brimmeth over. Especially when we're pouring Barbara's Bakery Shredded Spoonfuls.
Sweetened with molasses, Shredded Spoonfuls are made with whole oat flour and whole wheat flour, providing a good source of fiber (15% of the recommended daily value). They have no hydrogenated oils -- so no trans fats - making every spoonful a great tasting way to a healthier heart.
Buy Barbara's Bakery Shredded Spoonfuls.
Continue reading: "Barbara's Bakery Shredded Spoonfuls: Yum!"
March 2, 2007
Sir Albert Howard's The Soil and Health is back in print.
Howard's writings were the inspiration behind J.I. Rodale's seminal Organic Farming and Gardening magazine. Which makes Howard the forefather (or forefather's forefather) of the organic movement, writes Tom Philpott on the topic of the book's reissue:
Howard's books belong on the shelf with other 20th-century classics like Jane Jacobs' The Death and Life of Great American Cities and E.F. Schumacher's Small is Beautiful. These works challenge a scientific/bureaucratic establishment that seeks to solve the problems of mass industrialization with more industrialization. In the words of the great German-Jewish writer Walter Benjamin, a contemporary of Howard, they seek to "make whole what has been smashed" by a zeal for specialization. Much-cited and little-heeded, they may yet point a way out of our mounting environmental and social crises.
Buy The Soil and Health.
March 1, 2007
You light up my life. Or the room at least.
The Infinity Flat Head Floor Lamp contains 20 LEDs, but uses only 2-watts of electricity. We like its minimalist look, not to mention its energy efficiency.
According to the blurb on Amazon, the LEDs on these lamps never have to be replaced, saving you time, money and storage space. Plus, the LEDs use a fraction of the power (80-90%) required by conventional filament bulbs.
Infinity Flat Head Floor Lamps available at Amazon.