November 21, 2006

Luna Lou Recycled Cotton Baby Blankets

lunalou.jpgWhat can we say, we're in a baby state-of-mind this week.... And if we were shopping for someone's little someone-on-the-way, we'd buy them a Luna Lou recycled cotton baby blanket.

Designed by Lizabeth Sorensen, a writer, and her husband Dan, a drummer, and inspired by their daughter, the blankets are eco-friendly and heirloom quality, with vintage inspired owls and cupcakes. According to Sorensen and company:

Luna Lou Silly Scrumptious Blankets are a blend of technology and ecological responsibility. Our yarns are manufactured using a patented process that conserves our natural resources, land, water and energy. Cotton fibers and clippings normally disposed of in the country’s landfills are sorted by color, and blended before spinning so that no harmful chemicals are needed in the dyeing process. By selecting our products, you have helped preserve the environment for future generations and you can rest assured that your child is sleeping under a safe product.

The Retro Owl blanket (pictured above) reads "Up all night, Silly all day" and comes in fun colors like Zippy Yellow, Pinky Prep, Orange Crush and Pinky Punch.

The Cupcakes design (pictured at left) comes in Chocolate or Vanilla, and reads "I dream of cupcakes." Honestly, baby, don't we all?

Available at Luna Lou.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

November 13, 2006

Really Natural Holiday Gift Guide - Eco-Friendly Holiday Gift for Everyone

It's better to give than to receive. - Paul
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. - Churchill
Give a little bit, give a little bit of your love to me. - Supertramp

Yep. Deck the halls with boughs of evergreen, and potted holly plants. It's time for our holiday gift guides. Really Natural editors have scoured the Web (not to mention past and present gift guides posted by our fellow greenies over at The Green Guide, Treehugger, Grist, Co-op America, and the National Resources Defense Council) to come up with wish lists and holiday gift guides that will make your heart sing and help make the world a better place.

We'll be adding to these lists as the season progresses, so check back early and often. Happy Holidays!

For Her:

Green-knitwit-big.jpgKnitting Needle Bracelet from Australian artist and designer Liana Kabel. Made of recycled plastic knitting needles. $25. Ships from the Land Down Under and takes 1-3 weeks to get to the U.S. so order early.

Cashere Split Mittens (pictured above). Stewart+Brown cashmere is purchased and crafted in Mongolia by herders and weavers who continue to practice their centuries-old way of life. Available at Pangaya.

Recycled Magazine Evening Bag. Made in Brazil of recycled magazines. Looks a little bit like the Ecoist bags all the cool celebrity girls are wearing. Only it's even cooler. $72 at Wonders of the World.

Vintage Cotton and Hemp Lingerie. We're suckers for underpants. Honestly, who isn't?

Sugar Cane Jeans by Toyo. Vintage Japanese denim made with sugar cane fibers. Sweet! Don't like sugar cane in your denim? How about bamboo?

Green Toe Shoes by Simple. Know her shoe size? Green Toe shoes will tickle her feet. And the fact that they're designed for minimal environmental impact, using ingredients such as water-based cement, cork, jute, bamboo and crepe latex will tickle her heart.

Just about anything from Nest. This nifty little nonprofit web shop makes micro-loans to women artists and designers across the world, buys their goods and sells them to you, and uses the proceeds to make more micro-loans. Virtuous circle, indeed.

Tree-cycle Seatbelt Bags. Made of recycled seatbelts. I love you, baby. So buckle up.

For Him:

Solar Voltaic Backpack. Charge cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras, GPSs & MP3 players with this waterproof solar voltaic backpack.

Zia for Men Shaving Products. The man in my life raves about them. I like it that they're made using whole foods products and therapeutic-grade essential oils & herbal extracts, and that they're eco-friendly and cruelty-free (not tested on animals). The men's line is supposedly fragrance-free, but I think they smell terrific.

ductTri.jpgHow about a duct tape wallet? Buy one at the National Building Museum for $18. Or, make your own using the instructions on this site.

NoWet Green & Clean Car Wash, Wax and Sealant. According to their website, NoWet Green & Clean allows you to completely wash, wax, polish and seal any vehicle inside and out without water, saving 2,000 gallons of water with each 32 oz bottle. Because there's no rinsing, there's no run off of dirty contaminated water that pollutes our surface water tables. Plus, the product is bio-degradeable, VOC compliant and contains no petroleum-based products.

Cardboard Speakers by Muji. The name "MUJI" is derived from the Japanese phrase "Mujirushi Ryohin," meaning "No Brand Goods." Over the last 20 years, they have developed a worldwide following with a guiding philosophy that emphasizes innovative and simple materials, processes, and packaging. The resulting products are streamlined, environmentally friendly, and beautiful in their simplicity. Made of cardboard and electronic components. Available at the MoMA store.

Envirocycle Backyard Composter. Me strong man. Me make compost. The Envirocycle composter is the perfect urban composter. It produces quality compost quicker and easier than conventional composters by its rolling and mixing action which keeps the ingredients well mixed and aerated. The Envirocycle makes compost tea, a rich organic liquid plant food appreciated by gardeners everywhere.

For Baby:

Cheeky Baby and Mama's Belly shea butter creme and body oil. Available at Joli Bebe Boutique.

And for moms- and dads-to-be, allow us to recommendThe Complete Organic Pregnancy by Deirdre Dolan and Lexi Zissu. Great tips on how to make your home (and your pregnancy) safer by two journalists who were pregnant and figured it out for themselves.

Snuggly Organic Cotton Turtle. Take a 100% organic cotton shell, fill it with unbleached cotton clippings, embroider eyes for safety, and you have one of the most environmentally safe toys made in the world today. Hand crafted in Vermont, these animals are super-soft, adorable and best of all, machine washable and safe for all ages.

For Kids:

Organic Soul Rocker Kids Tees from JoMamaCo. For all those future punk rockers in the house.

A book about the child that you write and illustrate yourself. The joys from storebought toys and games can be fleeting. A gift like this is something your child will treasure and save forever.

Chew on This by Eric Schlosser. The author of Fast Food Nation dishes it up for kids. Read it together.

For Pets:

Recycled Cashmere Dog Sweaters from Deborah Lindquist. Spot deserves to be sexy. Woof. (Be sure to pick up one of Lindquist's matching sweaters or scarves for mom!)

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 24, 2006

Cheeky Baby and Mama's Belly

Sounds like a children's story or the name of some weird hippy rock band, right? Well, actually, it's the name of a "sensuously aromatic organic" body oil for mom and shea butter creme for baby packaged by Joli Bebe Boutique. According to the folks there, the Mama Belly Oil is

an essential oil blend for pregnancy of Lavender, Roman Chamomile and Red Mandarin. It protects blossoming skin against stretchmarks, and has a relaxing, yet uplifting effect aromatherapeutically. It is multi-purpose and may be used also as a massage oil for mother or baby or as a bath oil.

The Cheeky Baby Creme is

shea butter baby creme, is pure, gentle and effective for use on baby's chapped cheeks or bottom, for baby massage, and on baby's dry skin. It will not aggravate eczema and is rich in nutrients. Additionally, it is wonderfully moisturizing on Mom's dry hands as well. Both of these products contain 99% certified organic ingredients and are completely natural with USDA certification pending.

Both are among the goodies Joli Bebe Boutique may be including in the complimentary baby goody gift baskets it sends to celebrity moms like Gwen Stefani, Katie Holmes and Angelina Jolie, according to Ecorazzi.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 20, 2006

Tree-Cycle Seatbelt Bags Debut at OsCene

Heading to the O.C. next weekend? Be sure to check out the Laguna Art Museum's OsCene 2006. The event, which has its opening party next Thursday night (10/28), will spotlight original artwork from 45 Orange County-based artists, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, multi-media installations, video/film, fashion, and "kustom kulture." Among the art being unveiled: designer Dana Harvey's "Tree-Cycle", an installation that illustrates the design process he embarked on to create "tree-cycle" bags, a collection of handbags made out of recycled seatbelts from cars sent to the scrap heap.

Scott from Harvey's Boutique sent over some early pictures of the tree-cycle bags, and they look amazing. Hats off to Harvey for finding a way to make such a snappy looking handbag out of recycled materials, and then taking the time to show other people how to do it.

Exhibit runs October 29th through January 21 at Laguna Art Museum. Really Natural readers are invited to the opening party on Thursday, October 28th from 7-10 p.m.

Tree-Cycle Seatbelt Bags available at the museum and at Harveys once the show opens.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 19, 2006

JoMamaCo Organic Kids T-Shirts

Get us started on the organic kiddie clothes and we just can't stop.

Check out these itty-bitty hipster duds from JoMamaCo. All organic cotton t-shirts from a friendly and funky little Southern California company dedicated to earth-friendly apparel and products. Work-at-home moms started the company and still run it out of their homes. Their kids appear throughout the site modeling clothes and products.

We like the Soul Rebel t-shirt.

Available at JoMamaCo.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

Organic Onesies, Baby. Super Cool.

Thanks to Laura at Super Cool Baby for letting us know about these cute little numbers. Made from 100% organic cotton, these organic onesies are hand-screened and available in newborn to 4 year old sizes as well as in a long sleeved and short sleeved version.

Check 'em out at Super Cool Baby.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 18, 2006

Nest - Nonprofit Micro-Loan Fund and Shopping Site

John Muir once said, "Everyone needs beauty as well as bread."

So quoth the women who started Nest, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to support women artists and artisans in the developing world by helping them create sustainable entrepreneurial businesses. They'll accomplish this mission "by providing micro-credit loans to be used for the purchase of the supplies and materials necessary to begin and/or maintain art or craft-based businesses." But wait, it gets better, and you can help:

The funds for these loans will be generated by selling a unique line of clothing, accessories and merchandise for the home produced exclusively for Nest by a group of artists and designers. Nest will also develop a line of ceramic pottery, women’s clothing and other items with the Nest logo. In addition to these exclusive items created by well-known designers, the recipients of Nest loans in developing countries will also make their crafts available to Nest as repayment for the micro-credit loans. These items, too, will then be incorporated into the Nest line of merchandise. In this way, Nest will draw together artists from across the globe into a cooperative network with a shared vision of mutual support.

When you buy from Nest, you have not only have purchased a unique and beautiful item for yourself or your home, you have participated in a proven effort to better the lives of women all across the globe. Through our work, and your participation, women all over the world will be able to plant their roots in a refuge filled with warmth, solace, comfort and joy. It is our sincere hope that Nest can help you create a home, both for yourself and women the world over, filled with energy, beauty and peace.

Amen, sisters. Good luck.

Via this morning's Daily Candy.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

Rock and Roll...and Recycling

We recently sold our CD collection to a local music store. We pocketed some serious cash ($2-4/CD) and felt good knowing that our music collection would find new life in someone else's CD player. Renew, reuse, recycle...dig?

But the question remained - what do we do with all our old records? We can't play 'em. Our neighborhood record store won't take 'em. (The guy behind the counter looked at us funny for even asking.)

Which is why we were delighted to find out about Jeff Davis's Vintage Vinyl. The Brooklyn artist gives old records new life by turning them into snack bowls, coasters, table top art. A perfect gift (and maybe a hint) for your favorite music lover. Buy one of the bowls and you can even select your preferred music genre (Classic Rock, Country, Crooners, etc.).

Salsa, anyone?

Available at Modern Artisans.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 16, 2006

Sweet Dreams: Organic Cotton Sheets

Think about it. You spend nearly a third of your life (approximately 2,920 hours/year) sleeping. What better place to think natural and organic than your bed? Want to upgrade your slumber gear and do something good for the planet? Check out these organic cotton sheets from 2kh.

Unlike most luxury linens which are made from conventional cotton, these premium 250 thread count sheets feature the finest organic cotton, grown without the use of toxic chemicals. A distinctly modern color palette of rich chocolate brown, deep sky blue and pristine cream is accented in a double marrow stitch embroidered border - adding a stylishly chic look to any bedroom.

Stylish sheets that are still organic? We're sleeping better already.

Available at 2kh.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

October 13, 2006

Weekend Reading: Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen

"What is GRUB?" ask Anna Lappe and Bryant Terry, authors of a new book which bears that name. They then proceed to answer the question dictionary definition style:

1. grub is healthy, local, sustainable food for all 2. grub is food that supports community, justice, and sustainability 3. grub should be universal

Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen is the first collaboration between Lappe, co-author (with her mother Francis Moore Lappe) of Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet and Terry, a chef and food justice activist. Designed to offer readers compelling reasons to eat food that is organic, local and "fair," it combines education around the differences between "fake" food filling supermarkets and locally produced organics with recipes and suggestions for healthier eating and living. The book includes 24 simple, seasonally-themed menus designed to inspire readers to think about their food and have fun with it.

Check out the book's website for recipes, ideas, and Lappe's own blog.

Buy Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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