Monday, April 13, 2009

‘Trashion,’ green finds help celebrate Earth Day

Anyone can celebrate Earth Day and everyone should. Mark calendars for April 22, the 39th anniversary of Earth Day.
Here are a few ideas to honor the place we live:

Try a few “Trashion” recycling ideas from The Handwork Studio, LLC, a Kids' needle arts, textile and fashion studio in Narberth, Pa.:
• Turn a creepy backpack into something chic: Re-use last year's backpack with iron-ons that can be used to cover up rips or marks.
• Add new life to an old sweater: Felting is a hot trend. Put an old sweater in a hot washer. This will cause it to shrink, aka "felt." From this dense fabric you can make warm leggings from the sleeves, bags out of the body and cut squares to use as patches on jeans.
• Go ‘70s: Cut the legs off an old pair of jeans and sew them closed across the bottom. Add a braid through the belt loops for a strap. Embroider or embellish as desired.
• Renew summer flip-flops: Wrap pieces of ribbon, fun fur or fleece around the straps. Hot glue a flower or other embellishment for additional chic.

Ecobag helps fuel fantasy
In my little fantasy world, where I use my turquoise bike with the big basket to make my daily seafood runs on the coast of Italy, I carry fresh vegetables home in something from Their Classic String Bags are guaranteed fair wage/fair labor and are 100 percent certified organic. Company collections come in jewel and earth tones and with names like Garden, Fiesta and Tropical. The little purple one in my real life expands to hold 40 pounds and the tag urges one to “use daily instead of paper or plastic.” I love it.
Enjoying Ecobags is a two-part process: Get some of these bags … and remember to take them to the store.

A deed a day
Donate to charity is the April 12 idea in “The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference,” by Jodi Helmer. Go on a hike April 13 and park your car in the shade, spread mulch, feed your stale bread to the birds and shop second-hand stores on other days. The best part of this interactive book is that you can start all over again next year with reminders.

Work it on out
Just because I want to share Manduka mats with you, don’t assume I can do yoga. I just love the mat and its cause. Manduka calls its eKO Lite mat a “high-performance, environmentally friendly mat made with closed-cell rubber and comfortable sea grass texture.” The natural mat “won’t flake, fade or leave footprints in landfills, and will completely decompose at the end of its natural life,” makers say. The Recycle Your Mat program is on a mission to collect 10,000 recycled mats, and make them into shoes, rubber flooring, etc. Visit to learn more.
So what am I doing with a yoga mat? I’ve improved my endurance by doing 100 reps of floor exercises during the morning news or my favorite “CSI” shows. It does not take long to see results. I’ve been spreading a towel on the carpet so my OCD doesn’t kick in, but now that I’ve used a mat, I love the smooth surface and wide, luxurious space. I’m usually done with my exercises in a commercial break. Maybe I will progress to yoga.

Tease me
Because they’re so thin and soft, I think you could pack a week’s worth of Tees for Change into a tote bag for the most comfy vacation wear you can imagine. I used to avoid boxy shirts with itchy tags, but these are the softest of soft and have a flattering cut and an eco-friendly message. My brown one reads “Today Matters. “Other messages include “Laugh Often,” Practice Kindness” and “Choose Happiness.” Makers have partnered with Trees for the Future to plant a tree for every shirt purchased. The Organic cotton and bamboo shirts use water-based inks and low-impact dyes. Some shirts from this company are made in America and imported ones are certified fair trade and sweatshop-free. That makes me most comfortable. Visit for your new favorite.

Clean up
Some of those new bamboo fiber “green” towels would be perfect for Towel Butler. The clear or stainless steel portable holder that hooks over shelves, cabinet doors and ledges. You may have seen in on QVC. Visit UnSeenOnTV or inventhelpstore and you can see it in your kitchen, bathroom, shop, etc. Each of your kids can have one at eye level.

Picnic safe
I’m not suggesting you could use Nature’s Balance Care Organic Insect Repellent instead of cologne, but I am drawn to the lemony fresh scent. It’s strong, but it does put one in the mind of camping, hiking or enjoying a picnic in the back yard. It does not contain DEET, Resmethrin, Pyrethrum or neuro-toxicchemicals. Makers claim you can actually get refreshed soft skin from the lavender, geranium, lemongrass and other natural botanical ingredients. I’m ready for potato salad and kites. They also have stuff for horses and dogs.

Bag ‘n’ drink
Visit the saynomorestore to get your logo on a green bag. Won’t your team look good touting an eco-friendly recycling cause? The polypro bags look a little like skin to me. I prefer post-consumer PET and truly love the total organic cotton line.
SayNoMore! Promotions also had reusable water bottles like the h2go SS. I love taking water bottles on my daily walk and have tried ones that squeeze, those with a straw, some that dangle from your wrist and those that hang from your belt loop. I like the way this one just swings from your fingers with no effort, and the steel stays cool. The mouth is large enough for ice cubes.
Products are designed to keep bags and bottles out of the landfill.

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