July 31, 2008

The Danger of Plastic Bags

This slideshow was created by Vishal Mody, a public school teacher from Chicago, warning us about the dangers of plastic bags. From the ocean to the savannah, plastic bags are wrecking havoc on our planet. Just last week, LA banned plastic bags(starting in 2010), following San Francisco's lead. We've featured a lot of great reusable bags on Really Natural; this is an important, simple step you can take to reducing your impact on the environment. Remember, reusable bags aren't just for the grocery store or farmers' market, but they should be used at every store.

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July 30, 2008

Wear Your Environmental Message: Organic Ban T-Shirts

Organic casual fashion with a message, now that's what I'm talking about! Ban T-Shirts' motto is "deconstructing society shirt by shirt". The organic line embody this motto with an eco-friendly twist:

Because we are against the exploitation of workers all our stock is printed on sweat shop free t-shirts - however we also want to respect the environment and therefore print many designs on t-shirts made of independently certified organically produced cotton. We are now printing most of our new designs (and some of our earlier ones) on American Apparel and Royal Apparel organic cotton t-shirts. We also offer three designs on organic tees made by another U.S. based company, "Organic Apparel". These t-shirts are hand-dyed in a cold wash dye bath, so that impact on the environment is reduced to a minimum.

My favorite Ban T-Shirt is the SOS Earth T-Shirt:
Mothership Earth is sinking - only a heroic effort by the human race will save it. The Morse code distress signal, SOS, has become associated with phrases such as "Save Our Souls" and "Save Our Ship". On this shirt planet Earth assumes the position of the "O", delivering an urgent and striking message to those around you.

Printed on an Organic Apparel shirt, this tee is soft, comfortable, and of course, organic. Organic Apparel, a Colorado-based company, grows and spins their own organic cotton, as well as manufactures their shirts in the US. If you live in the US, buying US made goods definitely lessens the carbon footprint associated with shipping goods from overseas.

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July 29, 2008

Ahoy Matey! Bring Me My Eco-Friendly Wine!

barque.jpg I thought I got my wine in a low carbon manner by walking to my neighbor's cabin, but the French have outdone my efforts. A three-masted, 19th century barque transported 60,000 bottles of French wine from Bordeaux to Dublin. The delivery by ship took longer than a flight, but it saved 18,375lb of carbon or about 4.9oz of carbon per bottle. Each bottle was labeled, "Carried by sailing ship, a better deal for the planet." Further voyages are planned to Bristol, Manchester, and Canada.

Via: The Guardian and Planetsave

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July 28, 2008

Natural Beauty: Aveda Green Science Firming Face Creme

av_A3X7_162.jpg Who doesn't want a eco-friendly, firmer face? Now that I am approaching my late thirties, I see the need for facial firmness, but I have to stick to my natural values. Last week, we reviewed Aveda's Green Science Lifting Serum. The Green Science Firming Face Creme is another great product in the Green Science line. Made from lady's thistle, organic argan oil, cactus, glucosamine, anti-oxidants and peptides, this creme improves visible skin firmness, moisturizes, smooths fine lines, and strengthens skin's barrier function to keep toxins away.

One thing I love about Aveda besides their involvement in community projects is their comittment to eco-friendly packaging. The Green Science Firming Face Creme container is made from 100% post-consumer PET and is recyclable. It is hypocritical to not use responsible packaging for natural, organic products, and Aveda had developed guiding packaging principles:

  • Considering the lifecycle analysis of packaging options
  • Reducing the size, weight and production processes of packaging
  • Offering packaging that can be recycled whenever possible
  • Using the most environmentally sound materials and as much Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) content as commercially possible
  • Using renewable energy to manufacture and fill our packaging
  • Challenging our packaging partners to meet these standards as well
I wish every company would put as much thought into packaging, like Aveda, as they do their products.

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July 25, 2008

Eco Food Friday: AH!Laska Organic Chocolate Syrup for Ice Cream Sundaes

41Nq6XNeV6L._SS500_.jpg I've got a sweet tooth, and there is nothing better than organic vanilla ice cream topped with raspberries from the garden and AH!Laska Organic Chocolate Syrup. This organic chocolate syrup is gluten-free, fat-free, dairy-free, and GUILT-free! It can also be mixed with hot or cold soymilk/milk to make a tasty drink. AH!Laska Organic Chocolate Syrup with organic ice cream is the perfect treat on a hot summer day.
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July 24, 2008

Solar Hot Water Heaters Found on 90% of Israel's Rooftops

Israelsolarhotwaterheaters.jpg In the 1950s, Israel experienced a fuel shortage, and residents responded by installing solar hot water heaters on their rooftops. By 1983, 60% of homes had solar hot water heaters, and current law requires their installation. Jerusualem's skyline is beautifully cluttered with 90% of homes' rooftops adorned with solar hot water heaters. Perhaps Hawaii's new solar hot water heater law will one day bring the Aloha State up to par with Israel.

Via: MetaEfficient

Image: runneralan2004 on Flickr under a Creative Commons License

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July 23, 2008

Terracycle and Kraft: The Largest Upcycling Program Ever!

terracycletote Terracycle, one of my absolutely favorite green companies, and Kraft, one of my least favorite food companies, have teamed up to create the largest upcycling program ever! Taking Kraft's packaging, which is challenging to recycle, Terracycle is making bags. Terracycle's brigade programs divert waste from landfills, and individuals and organizations can participate:
The Drink Pouch Brigade collects used drink pouches and donates to participating school or community group two cents for every pouch collected. The used pouches are then sewn into tote bags, handbags and other durable items...
I love the concept of upcycling, but I am not a fan of carrying a bag that is a walking advertisement for a product that is not natural or organic, but I support anything Terracycle does. My daughter says the bag still smells like juice.
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July 22, 2008

Organic, Solar Wifi Teepee Alaskan Retreat

organicsolarwifiteepee Looking for the perfect eco-trip, but you need to stay connected? Try Perfect Earth Tours' Yukon teepee suites. Made from organic canvas, these Alaskan teepees have wifi to complement your all organic meals and solar off-the-grid electricity. This sounds like the perfect green vacation for this blogger!
Via: Dvice
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July 21, 2008

Organic, Natural Beauty: Aveda Green Science Lifting Serum

aveda_lifting_serum What is Green Science? Green Science is a line of Aveda facial products clinically proven to lift, making lines and wrinkles less visible in four weeks. I've been using several of these products, and I really like the Green Science Lifting Serum. This serum promotes surface skin cell regeneration, moisturizes, and firms skin.  It is made from bio-fermented glucosamine, organic argan oil, anti-oxidants and peptides.   

Argan oil comes from the nut of a tree in Morocco. Like other Aveda products that support community projects, Green Science supports the Targanine Cooperative, a collective started by Berber women to:
bring the Argan tree (Argania spinosa) and its derivatives to the international market. Only the women are involved with the preparation of the oil which is derived from the seed of fruit sustainably harvested by the women gathering the fallen fruit from the ground. The seeds are separated from the pulp, cracked open by hand, and through the mechanical extraction of cold-pressing, produce an oil that meets the criteria of "extra-virgin". Every part of the Argan fruit is used; what is not produced for sale is used as animal feed, and the shells are used as a heat source.
Aveda has provided grants to the Targanine Cooperative to purchase equipment that helps the women support their families and communities, as well as increase sustainable production.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 18, 2008

Energy Efficient and Environmentally Friendly iPod Speakers


Given our earlier post this week on not so natural iPod speakers, we thought we'd find some iPod speakers that were a bit more in line with our taste. The Vers 2x hits the mark with a casing crafted out of wood (either cherry, bamboo or walnut), and the wood comes only from plantation forests. The Vers 2x is also RoHS compliant, which means the electronics are free from hazardous components like lead, cadmium, mercury, hexavalent chromium, polybrominated biphenyl (PBB) and polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) flame retardants.

The Vers 2x uses energy efficient components, such as a low-draw amplifier which not only helps your power bill, but will also help reduce your carbon footprint. The whole system is rated at 36 watts, and also comes in 100% recycled packaging.

Via MetaEfficient Reviews at VERS Audio Hand Crafted High End Wood Sound System Apple iPod Dock Speakers

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July 17, 2008

Laptop Bags Made from Recycled Car Seats


Want to get into the recycled laptop bag game? We thought you did. These laptop bags from Be Good Designs are made from recycled car seats and armchairs. This helps to cut down on using toxic materials because Be Good Designs is using materials already in the environment. The scraps that are leftover from making the bags they use to create necklaces in an effort to have less waste leftover. The bags start at around $250.

Via SlashGear at Be Good Designs

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July 16, 2008

Solar Charging Beach Chairs


It's time we start to integrate our power needs with our lounging life, and you can now safely do this with a solar charging beach chair. That's right - this chaise lounge has a panel over the head made of solar panel fabric that acts as a sunshade and moves to protect you from the sun, while at the same time it collects solar energy. It even has a built in charger, slide-out laptop table, and other nifty gizmos like a gaming holster device.

Via TreeHugger

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July 15, 2008

mStation Stereo Orb - Green Ball Plays Music


What's not to like in a green little eco-sphere of stereo madness? Well for one this product isn't all that natural, but it does indeed bring home the green eco-sphere point when listening to music. Perhaps you might get this instead of some other iPod stereo dock just for that reason, or maybe just because it looks really cool.

How does it work? You just put the music on your iPod, dock it onto the Orb and then you can use the 10 key remote to adjust volume, bass, and treble levels. The mStation Stereo Orb has a built in subwoofer to pump out a nice sound. This is a perfect set up for listening to music in the kitchen, or even in the backyard while gardening.

Via Gizmos for Geeks at mStation Stereo Orb

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July 14, 2008

Swamp Thing - Really Natural Comic Characters


Really natural comic book characters are hard to find, but then again there's always been The Swamp Thing. Yep - he's an eco-friendly fictional character created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson for DC Comics and featured in a long-running horror-fantasy comic book series of the same name. The character is a humanoid mass of vegetable matter who fights to protect his swamp home, the environment in general, and humanity from various supernatural or terrorist threats.

Why are we featuring a eco-friendly comic book character? For one - we love The Swamp Thing, and next week it's Comic Con. We think the timing is perfect for a big Swamp Thing come back. We hear he's one of Del Toro's favorite characters , and maybe he'll make a Swamp Thing movie next instead of Hellboy III.

We hope to find some more really natural comic book characters as well this week at Comic Con. Do you know of more? Sound off in the comments and let us know

More at Swamp Thing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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July 10, 2008

Move Your Garden from the Backyard to the Front Yard with an Edible Lawn

front_lawn_0619.jpg Americans spend a lot of time, energy, fertilizer, and water on their lawns, but for what benefit? Now, the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore seeks to bring the garden from the backyard to the front with their "Edible Estate" project. Clarence Ridgley transformed his neat front yard into a garden full of tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, lettuce, beets and herbs. This front yard garden is visible and available to all passersby. He explains:
People will come to my yard and pick up an onion sprout and start eating it on the spot. I've met more people in the past two months than I have the past 22 years of living here.
Perhaps edible front yards is the solution to bringing a sense of community back into our neighborhoods that has been lost to suburban sprawl. Via: Time
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July 9, 2008

Eco Books for Kids: The Green Eaters: A Dream Comes True

The Green Eaters The Green Eaters: A Dream Comes True is simple, rhyming book for children about organic farming by the founder of Chapter One Organics, Jennifer Murphy. This sweet book begins with unhappy farm animals on a conventional farm who soon move to an organic one. Once they move onto the healthier farm, the animals are better cared for, allowed to graze instead of eat bagged grain, and allowed to roam free.
Becoming The Green Eaters is their dream come true, Never again will they be made to feel blue! The Green Eaters live the organic, fresh and natural way, They feel good, they look good, and YES they want to stay!
The Green Eaters: A Dream Comes True is printed using solar and wind power, and it is made from a minimum of 30% recycled paper!
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July 8, 2008

Meet Like-Minded People and Share Your Eco Knowledge on Huddler.com

huddler.jpg Do you ever wonder what the best eco products are? How can you trust labels when "organic" and "natural" are thrown around as marketing terms? Besides reading Really Natural, you can join Huddler.com. Huddler has started its online community with green home.
We can all use the help of our peers in making buying decisions or learning how to better use what we already own, but it's important to connect with the right people. Huddler's Green Home is the place for passionate, eco-friendly consumers to come together, learn from one another, and share their knowledge with the world. Do you:

* Know how to maximize the fuel efficiency of your Prius?
* Maintain a killer compost and have some secrets to share?
* Have a PV array installed and understand the ins/outs?
* Want to share what you know and talk to other people with similar passions?

Huddler's unique approach to online sharing integrates discussion forums, wikis, product reviews, and detailed user profiling.  So come huddle together with other green consumers!

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 7, 2008

Eco Bamboo Fabrics for Your Natural Window Decor

bamboo fabric by Drapestyle Drapestyle, a national window decor company, is now featuring natural bamboo fabric! These luxurious bamboo drape fabrics are also comprised of linen and cotton, and the 10 styles are beautiful, chic, and modern. My favorite style is Psari in the color Angelus, and even the back side of the fabrics are beautiful! Lisa Sinatra, DrapeStyle's Creative Director, explains:
Interior designers and customers have been asking for an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional drapes in an effort to create a 'green' home - something new and different, and we are delighted to be offering these luxuriously elegant bamboo drapes for the first time.
If you are planning to remodel, green decorating is definitely the way to go for the earth, your health, and indoor air quality.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 3, 2008

Mercedes Plans to be Fossil Fuel Free by 2015

Mercedes-2_ew.jpg German automaker Mercedes has targeted the year 2015 to end its dependence on oil. The Sun explains:
There are 50million jobs worldwide associated with the car and more than 80 per cent of goods are transported by road.

Mercedes are convinced that these two crucial areas of industry can be saved by making vehicles independent of crude oil - to improve costs, become more eco-friendly and because the oil supply will eventually run out.

The company plans to replace gasoline vehicles with biofuels, electric cars, and fuel cells. This October, the Mercedes A and B class cars will feature Start/Stop technology, which allows the engine to stop when idle and restart once you lift your foot from the brake.
Via: Eco Geek & The Sun
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July 2, 2008

Eco-Friendly Bag Green Reusable Produce Bags

Bag Green reusable produce bags I have my reusable shopping bags, but my green grocery store experience always falls short at the produce counter. I try to reuse those plastic produce bags, but they get funky and I hate using them. I have bought produce without using bags, but I worry about germs from the grocery cart or the checkout counter coming in contact with food. I have finally found a solution: Bag Green Reusable Produce Bags.

Bag Green produce bags are made of 100% eco-friendly cotton. They are shipped in recycled newspaper packaging, and a portion of each sale is donated to a non-profit organization devoted to preserving the environment. I used my Bag Green produce bag at the farmer's market the other day, and it felt good to refuse a brown or plastic bag. The only thing that would make Bag Green better is if they bags were made from organically grown cotton.  Bag Green produce bags close the loop on eco-friendly grocery shopping!

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July 1, 2008

Really Natural June Monthly Roundup

June has sure gone out with a bang here in Northern California, where forest fires continue to blaze. From push reel lawn mowers to green homes without power bills, it's been a fun month on Really Natural!


Blogpire News


Electric Cars

Energy Savers



Green Homes


Really Natural Cars


Yard and Garden





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