December 18, 2012

Lanfill Harmonic Recycled Orchestra

Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where the musicians play instruments made from trash.

Landfill Harmonic movie teaser from Landfill Harmonic on Vimeo.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 10, 2012

Sustainable Fashion: Revenge Is...

I love discovering new sustainable fashions, as it appeases my eco-guilt of excessive clothing. Revenge Is... makes t-shirts from organic cotton and recycled plastic bottles. 10% of company profits are donated to charities.

We were sent a kids "THINK GREEN" S/S CREW NECK TEE":

Together, we can change the world for our children and all children around the planet. We want them to grow up, work and raise their own families in a thriving planet, Instilling the need to protect our environment and the knowledge of how to do so at a young age will breed the eco-heroes of tomorrow. Our "Think Green" t-shirt demonstrates our commitment to educating younger generations about the little things they can do to affect big change when it comes to saving our planet.

Featuring an adorable, green-themed graphic designed exclusively for Revenge Is... by Benjamin Della Rosa, this super-soft kid's tee is a 50/50 blend of recycled plastic bottles and organic cotton and printed with non-toxic, water-based inks. This t-shirt is manufactured and printed in the USA.

I use to avoid polyester fabrics, yet the recycled RPET does add softness to this shirt, especially when hanging to dry on the laundry line compared to the dryer. The design is whimsical, and the fit classic. This is a great kids t-shirt!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 4, 2012

Recycled, FSC Certified Custom Stationary by Invitation Box

I am not very good at writing thank yous and personal notes. I know they are appreciated, especially by my parents' generation, yet I can never find the time. Isn't it easier to just send an email, text, or Facebook message? Yes, I know that is lame, but I am also very sensitive about paper use. It has to come from somewhere!

We were sent two very lovely personal cards by InvitationBox. There are so many choices on their site (over 18,000), that I could not find the exact ones. Fortunately, these cards are green!

InvitationBox is so excited to tell you that we're doing our part to help reduce our carbon footprint through the use of recycled paper and FSC and SFI-certified paper to manufacture our invitations. Many people find it hard to understand this "eco-geek" jargon, so we've broken it down and offered up as much information about our processes as we can.
Our Green Efforts

  • Use of Cougar Paper for Digital Designs
  • 10% Post-Consumer Fiber Content
  • Sustainable Forest Initiative(SFI) Certified
  • Forest Stewardship Council(FSC) Certified
  • Fully Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) and Lignin Free
  • Manufactured Acid Free
  • 30% Post-Consumer Waste Fiber Content
  • Paper Manufactured Using Green-e Certified Renewable Wind-Generated Electricity
  • Over 15,000 Combined Green Items Available!!
  • donates a portion of its revenue on all InvitationBox Green items to the Conservation Fund.

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 8, 2012

Made in the USA from Recycled Plastic Bottles iPhone Cases by TRTL BOT

If you are lucky enough to own an Apple iPhone 4, TRTL BOT makes great cases that are made from recycled plastic bottles.

TRTL BOT "The Minimalist 4" Card Clip Case for iPhone 4 (Black) (Fits AT&T iPhone):

Product Features

  • Holds 1 to 3 ID/Credit Cards

  • Contains plastic from recycled bottles

  • Protects iPhone from damage

  • Made in USA

TRTL BOT "The TRTL STAND 4" Stand Case for iPhone 4 (Black) (Fits AT&T iPhone)
Product Features

  • Props up your iPhone in three different ways; portrait, landscape, tripod

  • Contains plastic from recycled bottles

  • Protects iPhone from damage

  • Made in USA

These cases are made in the USA, and the company is a member of 1% for the Planet. No greenwashing here! At least you can offset some of the environmental damage done by Apple by choosing and eco-friendly case for your iPhone.

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 11, 2011

Haiti Earthquake Rubble to be Recycled into Strong Concrete


The devastation caused by the earthquake in Haiti last year was beyond description. Largely to blame was faulty construction methods, such as not reinforcing concrete and mixing concrete by "eye". As you can imagine, the amount of rubble left behind is enormous, but engineers in Georgia have devised a way to recycle this debris into safe, concrete for rebuilding. Environment News Service reports:
Nearly one year after a severe earthquake devastated Haiti, most of the damaged areas are still in ruins. But today, engineering and concrete experts at the Georgia Institute of Technology published a method of recycling Haiti's estimated 20 million cubic yards of broken concrete and other rubble into strong new construction material.
Testing Haiti concrete debris, researchers found it to have 2700 pounds per square inch less strength than typical concrete in the US. They have found a way to strengthen this inferior concrete with locally sourced aggregate and sand, as well as mixing batches by hand, to reach US standards of strength. 
 "Based upon these results, we now believe that Haitian concrete debris, even of inferior quality, can be effectively used as recycled coarse aggregate in new construction," said Kurtis. "It can work effectively, even if mixed by hand. The key is having a consistent mix of materials that can be easily measured. We are confident are results can be scaled up mix procedure where quantities can be measured using common, inexpensive construction equipment."
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 25, 2010

Reusable Moshi Neato Computer and Flat Screen TV Cleaning Kit Features Green Packaging

Two weeks ago, we reviewed a Non-Toxic, Biodegradable, NOT Natural CyberClean for Electronics. I was disappointed with this product for many reasons, but I mostly wanted something to clean my computer screen. I usually just use a microfiber cloth, but this often just moves the dust around. I discovered in Macworld the moshi neato Screen Cleaning Kit and had to try it.

neato provides a simple yet effective solution for display cleaning. neato does not require the use of any solvents that could potentially damage the screen's anti-reflective coating. Its effectiveness lies in the fact that Neato is comprised of Terahedron, known for its superior cleaning capabilities and microfiber filaments that will not scratch your display. The other component of neato is GeckoPad, a patented elastomer that can adhere to a wide variety of surfaces. Since GeckoPad is not a glue, neato can be attached and removed repeatedly without leaving any residue. This comes in handy for sticking neato to the sides or back of the display for convenient access. Both components of neato are hand-washable and renewable. With proper care, neato can be reused countless number of times, making it the most effective and eco-friendly screen cleaner on the market today.

The grey pad is used for wiping dust particles off your screen, then the black one removes smudges. The grey pad worked well, but the black one did not get all of the marks off of the screen, although it got the majority of them.

Moshi uses soy inks on its packaging and all of the materials are recyclable. It would be better if the packaging was made from recycled materials.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 30, 2010

Green Party Solutions: Flings Pop-Up Recycling Container

flings recycle bin.jpg
Every year, we celebrate our children's birthdays with a party by the river. It is always a challenge finding a suitable container to haul the recycling back up from the beach. Brown bags tear, especially if a little liquid drips into them, and plastic trash bags don't hold their shape when heavy bottles and cans are thrown in. It's a little trail to the beach, so hauling a trash can down is not really an option when we are already schlepping so many other party goods. Flings Pop-Up Recycle Container offers a solution:

New Flings Pop-Up Bins make trash and recycling collection easier in your home, at events, or when you're on the go. Flings start out flat for easy storing and portability, and then pop up in a flash whenever and wherever you need them. The decorative patterns are attractive for all occasions and help signal where the trash and recycling are supposed to go. Who ever though that trash and recycling could be so easy -- or so much fun?

These bins cost about $4 a piece, and I like that they are clearly labeled for recycling.  They are made from "biodegradable and recycled materials".  I do not like that they are intended for single use, although I think you can get several uses out of them. Personally, we will probably stick to our milk crate solution to recycling at our outdoor parties. Once a few bottles and cans end up in the crate, people get the idea of where recyclables go.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 5, 2010

Recycled Cotton Farmer's Market Tote by Olive & Myrtle

olive & Myrtle.jpg

Spring time means the return of The Farmer's Market. Of course, you wouldn't want to shop the market with those horrible plastic bags from the supermarket, and hopefully you don't have any in your home anyways from using reusable bags. Olive & Myrtle makes the perfect bag for your farmer's market or any shopping excursion.
Product Description Look fresh at the farmer's market with this large recycled cotton tote bag. Made from 100% post-industrial cotton scrap and printed with water-based inks. Exclusive design by San Francisco based Lab Partners

Features and Benefits
Made from 100% recycled cotton
Fair Wage and Fair Labor Certified
Printed with water-based inks
Durable construction, holds more than a full grocery bag.

I really love our Recycled Cotton Tote Bag and think recycled cotton is certainly an eco step above simply organically grown cotton.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 2, 2010

Apple iPad: How Green is It?

Screen shot 2010-01-30 at 12.45.13 PM.png
We are big Mac fans here at Blogpire, and much of the environmental blog world has been a buzz asking the important question: How green is the new Apple iPad?

iPad embodies Apple's continuing environmental progress. It is designed with the following features to reduce environmental impact: Arsenic-free display glass BFR-free Mercury-free LCD display PVC-free Recyclable aluminum and glass enclosure
Shea Gunther at Mother Nature Network explains:
Apple has taken some lumps in the past, particularly from groups like Greenpeace, for using toxic substances like mercury and arsenic in their products. With e-waste being as big a problem as it is considering the huge number of products Apple and other tech companies produce every year, the decision to stop using these poisonous chemicals is a big one. The iPad (and nearly ever other electronic device) have a LONG way to go before they can truly be called green, but they're getting greener and greener every go around.
earth2tech gave the new iPad a grade of B, and during the iPad's announcement, Steve Jobs was sure to tout it's green features. According to Infoworld:
Another green bragging point: Apple claims that the device's specially designed lithium-polymer battery, combined with the energy efficiency of the iPad's A4 processor, means the system can run for 10 hours straight.

The iPad's form factor also contributes to its green credentials. It weighs a mere 1.5 pounds and is half an inch thick. Compare that to the bulkier devices it rivals -- say, a netbook -- and you can see the iPad contains fewer materials. Moreover, unlike a netbook, a keyboard isn't a necessity for the iPad, which means you won't have to invest in yet another hunk of plastic, metal, or the like. (That's not to say the iPad doesn't support a keyboard.)

Being the first to own the latest technology is definitely not green living, but at least consumers are faced more environmentally friendly options when making new purchases. 

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 31, 2009

Christmas Tree Recycling, Chipping and Composting

The coming of the New Year means it's time to take down the Christmas tree. If you chose to use a cut down tree, disposing of it ethically means making sure it doesn't end up in the landfill. Most towns have curbside programs where the trees are taken to a green waste facility where they are chipped into mulch or compost. Many communities are using disposed Christmas trees for great benefit. From electricity to wildlife restoration, features the following community programs:

  • Saving Lives with Vaccines - Toronto, Ontario
  • Wildlife Habitat - Porter County, Indiana
  • Mulch for Planting - Georgia
  • Dune Restoration - Gulf Shores, Alabama
  • Rebuilding the Louisiana Coastline - Jefferson Parish, Louisiana
  • Home for the Herons - Cook County, Illinois
  • Giving Back to the Community - San Diego, California
  • Improving Fishing Areas - Keene, New Hampshire
  • Building Better Parks - Clarksville, Tennessee
  • Fueling Our Nation's Industry - Tomahawk, Wisconsin
  • One Man's Trash is Another Fish's Habitat - Oroville, California
  • Keeping Communities Beautiful - Reno, Nevada
  • Turning Trees into Electricity
  • - Burlington, Vermont

    One of my favorite Christmas tree recycling comes from Inhabitots, "Last year, even the Vatican went green by recycling the Christmas tree in St. Peter's Square by using its wood to make toys for children." What's your community doing with their left over Christmas trees?
    Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

    May 7, 2009

    Recycling Hair to Clean Up Oil Spills

    haircut.jpg Ever wonder what happens to all that hair on the floor after a haircut? Most salons simply throw it away, but Matter of Trust will turn shorn hair into mats used by volunteers for soaking up oil spills.
    Here we look at fibers (hair, wool, fur, feathers...). Thousands of salons mail us hair clippings, swept up off their floors, and the fibers are woven into Oil Spill Hair Mats. We all know about shampooing our oily hair, but it took Phill McCrory, a stylist from Alabama, to realize that hair was also an efficient and abundant material for collecting and containing petroleum spills. Salons, barbers, pet groomers, wool farmers, individuals... SEE HOW YOU CAN DONATE HAIR and spread the word.
    The mats can be wrung out of oil and reused up to 100 times.

    Via: GreenBiz

    Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

    March 5, 2009

    12-Year-Old Boy Builds Recycled Shelter for Homeless

    12-year-old Max Wallack has created a "Home Dome" from plastic, wire, and packing peanuts. The Home Dome is designed as a homeless shelter and was created for the show Design Squad's Trash to Treasure contest. Max won $10,000 and a Dell laptop for his invention. Max explained his inspiration:

    When I was six. I won an invention contest that included a trip to Chicago. While there, I saw homeless people living on streets, and beneath highways and underpasses. I felt very sorry for these people, and ever since then, felt that my goal and obligation was to find a way to help them. My invention improves the living conditions for homeless people, refugees, or disaster victims by giving them easy-to-assemble shelter.

    Via: Green Building Elements

    Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

    February 25, 2009

    Terracycle Upcycles Record Albums and Circuit Boards into Picture Frames, Coasters and Clocks

    circuit_board_picture_frame_4x6_custom.jpg I love Terracycle, as they are really trying to take hard to recycle items and upcycle them into new products. The most recent products to come out in March feature record albums and circuit boards.
    TerraCycle, Inc., the ultimate eco-friendly brand, is introducing the first nationally distributed product line made from upcycled vinyl records and circuit boards. These products are unique and environmentally responsible because they are made from materials that have been rescued from the world's waste stream and would have ended up in already overflowing landfills.

    Technology progresses at an astounding rate and a trail of trash is close in tow. Every time consumers upgrade their PC, TV, stereo, or other electronics, they add to the colossal stream of e-waste. In 2005, Americans generated 2.6 million tons of e-waste according to the EPA1. Of this amount, only 12.6% was recycled. Continuing the Trash Revolution, TerraCycle reuses circuit boards to create new products.

    With the prevalence of digital media and portable music players, (and CD's before that) vinyl records have truly fallen by the wayside. While serious collectors hang on to their vintage discs, the average person is disposing of the records that have been collecting dust in the attic.

    These unique, upcycled products will retail at an affordable price of $12.95.
    Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

    January 12, 2009

    Upcycled Eco-Friendly Jewelry on Etsy by Squishy Sushi

    squishysushi.jpg I've discovered an affordable, unique eco-friendly jewelry maker on Etsy: Squishy Sushi.
    My background is in graphic design but I have recently begun designing jewelry as well. All of my pieces have an asian flair to them and are made from recycled papers and other jewelry findings. As a graphic artist, I'm drawn to beautiful bits of printed material and enjoy mixing them with other media. All pieces are hand crafted by me in my studio, in San Francisco, California.
    Squishy Sushi's unique pieces have an Asian influence are made from items such as magazines, dominos, and Scrabble pieces. I recently purchased a Recycled Scrabble pendant:
    This scrabble pendant is made from a bit of recycled magazine. The pendant has been coated with a heat and water resistant 2-part resin for a high gloss shine and durability. The bail is silver plated. This pendant measures 3/4" by 1" including the bail.
    At only $7.50, this pendant is certainly affordable, and I feel good about supporting an artisan on Etsy.
    Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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