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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Note From The Green Connoisseur Editor

Welcome and Happy Memorial Day Weekend.
For those of you who are still being directed to this web address to read our blog, we wanted you to know that we have moved. Our new TGC Blog URL is You can also read us by clicking through from our home page on our main website,
Thanks for reading and sharing your opinions. We look forward to seeing you at our new home.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Green Connoisseur would like to wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2010. We have officially moved our daily entries to The Green Connoisseur homepage. You will no longer see new content at this URL. We hope you will bookmark The Green Connoisseur and visit us frequently. In closing, we would like to say thank you to all of our readers and partners. It has been a pleasure getting to know you all. We look forward to much shared information and exciting changes in the future of The Green Connoisseur. Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Counting Down 5 Great Ideas for a Green New Year’s Eve!

With 2010 fast approaching, there is no better way to celebrate the New Year than the Green Connoisseur way! Wherever your plans may take you, here is a countdown of 5 ways to usher in a green 2010. 5) Keep it Close to Home While many cities become major destinations for New Year’s Eve, a wonderful time can still be had at home by flexing your eco-conscious muscles. Cooking ahead of time or even catering a sit-down dinner can be as classy as going out without as much hassle for your guests or gas, paper, or waste that going out can entail. Hosting people to sleep over or enlisting designated driver carpools can also ensure that a safe time is has by all. 4) Carpool or Use Public Transit If you are planning to go out, however, how you get there can make a big difference for how green your evening ends up. Taking a look at the public transit available to get you to your destination ahead of time will make things much easier for you the night of the 31st. If you are driving, carpooling is both the greenest and the safest way for both you and your loved ones. Beyond driving from point A to B, navigating the traffic as well as finding a place to park all add up to much more gas spent than on an average night out. As such, the fewer cars on the road, the better for us all. 3) Green your Food and Beverages Wherever you do eat your last meal of 2009, try to keep it green. When choosing a special restaurant, try for one that offers local or organic fare. When it comes to beverages, there are many great organic sparking wine varieties, such as those from Diamond Organics. If you don’t have time to order online, call your local liquor store and ask what organic wines they have in stock. If you are going out, it can sometimes be hard to ensure that you’re ordering a green drink. A good bet, however, is to order things produced locally, as well as those on tap. The rationale being that, while hopefully all beer bottles and cans are recycled, skipping that step all together will ensure that you’re doing your part to keep your waste down. 2) Dress up Something Old Instead of rushing out to get a festive new outfit, comb through your closet and see what you can think of with what you already have. Revitalizing a garment long since forgotten with your favorite accessories will not only save you money, but also save you carbon emissions. Reuse is one of the three R’s of sustainability (the other two being reduce and recycle), and this is a great way to reuse. If you can't find what you want in your own closet, try raiding a friend's for their old outfits and inviting them over to return the favor. You’re sure to come up with something fabulous and chic without spending a dime! 1) Make Green Resolutions for a Sustainable 2010! As the ball drops in time square, you can be setting goals for making 2010 the best year yet. Taking a quick inventory on your daily life and then setting goals for making those actions more sustainable will give you a great orientation for the new year. So, cheers to these tips sending you towards a greener New Year’s Eve and into a happy, and sustainable, 2010! Image Credit: Relax It’s Done, New Year In, The Wine Riot, University of Manchester, Sign Industry

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Monday, December 28, 2009

A New Year's Resolution - Eco-Friendly Exercise

One of the most common New Year's Resolutions is to embrace a healthier lifestyle, which usually includes an increase in exercise. Oftentimes, eco-minded exercisers overlook the many ways one can incorporate eco-friendly values into getting fit, staying trim, and building muscle. Go beyond taking sips of hydration from a reusable, toxic-free water bottle (helping to cut down on the yearly waste accumulating in landfills) and allow us to broaden your horizons with the following green exercise suggestions: Footwear Running, jogging or taking a leisurely stroll are popular methods of increasing your daily exercise. The market is full of environmentally friendly footwear that allows you to accomplish your fitness goals. From recycled rubber outsoles to packing products in unbleached recycled cardboard boxes, an increasing number of shoe companies have stopped using chemicals and materials harmful to the environment, such as polyvinyl chloride (better known as PVC). To get an idea of the possibilities, check out the entire line of Brooks' Trail footwear collection or their Green Silence racing flat (shown above) – comprised of 75% recycled materials. Socks You can't enjoy a good workout without protecting your feet from sweat and friction. A good pair of socks doesn’t have to contain bleached, synthetic fibers. Choose socks from companies, like Teko, which provide high quality through renewable resources, such as wool, organic cotton, and fibers made from corn. Teko uses "premium merino wool" sourced from farms in Argentina and recycled tekoPOLY to create socks with a luxury fit and insulation. Shown is the tekoPOLY Light Mini Crew for women. Clothing During exercise, you may cover your limbs and warm your body with a range of eco friendly clothing choices – fashioned out of renewable, organic, and recycled materials. Companies, such as Patagonia and Gaiam are known for pushing the envelope of sustainability with cotton, hemp, bamboo and soy fibers that make an earth conscious workout program easier to achieve. In addition to Birkenstocks Unisex Eco-Friendly Socks (combination of EcoSpun and cotton) to eye-catching swimwear, the Cannondale bike jersey shown is comprised of high-quality fibers comprised of recycled soda bottles. Exercise Mats To accommodate your Pilates and yoga sessions, an exercise mat protects your body during a workout. You can protect the environment by selecting products that forego the use of toxic chemicals and damaging manufacturing processes. For example, the Natural Fitness Powerhouse eco friendly workout mat provides cushioning for floor exercises by using an environmentally friendly foam material sans toxic phthalates or PVC. As part of the Zero Impact Program, trees are planted every time one of the mats is sold. Other companies offering eco-friendly exercise mats include GreenYoga, Gaiam and BareFootYoga. Exercise Equipment From using eco-friendly paints to coat machinery and working with sustainable materials, incorporate earth-conscious exercise equipment into your get-fit routines. Interesting selections include the WaterRower – a wooden rowing machine that uses water to create resistance during workouts. The fine hardwoods used in the construction of the machine come from sources of replenishable ash, cherrywood, and Black American walnut sources. The WaterRower uses no electricity, as it gains power from your effort.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Say Thank You for Holiday Gifts

You've opened all of your gifts, enjoyed the company of your friends and loved ones, and you're pretty sure that full feeling will last a few weeks - what now? Formally thanking the friends and family that gave you holiday gifts is a good idea. It shows gratitude and appreciation for the gifts you were given, and it's just plain polite. Below are 4 ways that you can say thank you for holiday gifts, eco-friendly style. 1. Traditional Thank You Letter If you don't want to stray from tradition too much, you can write a thank you letter to show appreciation. It's really great to open the mailbox and find a letter from a loved one, colleague or friend. To keep things green, use recycled paper like that found at Twisted Limb Paperworks. With a wide variety of products - from greeting cards and invitations to handmade paper - Twisted Limb helps keep letter-writing eco-friendly. Thick, luxurious handmade paper gives your letter a rustic feel - and there are many styles and colors to choose from. Also, check out the beautiful and unique paper-cutting thank you note tutorial from Craft Stylish. 2. Picture Note If you'd rather not go the hand-written letter route, there are other options. Take pictures of yourself and your family using the gift you received. Then, email the photos along with a note that thanks the individual who gave you the gift. This is a fun spin on the traditional thank-you note, and with more and more people using email and computers, it's perfectly acceptable. 3. Dinner Create a home-cooked dinner for your friend or family member who gave you the gift - and display it. For instance, serve the hors d'oeuvres on the beautiful platter your aunt gave you, or brew some of the delicious gourmet coffee your sister ordered for you. This is a great way of showing someone that you really love their gift, and they get the pleasure of watching you use and enjoy it. 4. A Kid's Thank You If you'd like to help your kids thank those who gave them gifts, but you know better than to try and sit them down with paper and a pen - try this unique idea. Help the kids create two to four line poems thanking the individuals and mentioning the gift they were given. The poems can be funny or touching - whatever reflects the kids' personalities. Then, they can call the individual and deliver their thank you. Family and friends will be thrilled and the unique thank you will make a lasting impression. Best of all - there is no paper wasted and the thank you is eco-friendly! No matter how you choose to thank your family, friends, colleagues and others for their gifts this holiday seasion - remember that a thank you from the heart will be remembered and cherished!

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Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Eco Bag - The Shopping Solution for Reducing and Reusing

Reusable shopping bags are a must have for every eco-savvy consumer, but a normal family grocery trip isn't always easy with typical reusable totes.  Kristen Brown, founder of Green Waste Solutions, has created the answer - a convenient, easy to store system of 4 versatile shopping bags.
My Eco Bag System can replace 15 to 30 disposable bags with each use, eliminating about 700 bags per family from the waste stream each year.  Each bag is designed to be easy to lift and a breeze to carry, with the ability to hold as much as 40 pounds, making it an ideal system for both city and urban shoppers.
About the System
The 4-piece eco shopping solution nests together for easy storage, then fits perfectly within your shopping cart for convenient and timely checkout.  Every component to My Eco Bag System has a specific function at the store, perfectly organizing your weekly purchases and saving as much time at home as it does at the store.
  • The smallest bag, 13 by 8 by 15, features fabric bands to keep glass jars and bottles in place during transport.
  • A 14 by 9 by 15 bag boasts an insulated liner and zipper closure - ideal for cold foods and frozen items that need protection during longer drives.
  • The third bag, measuring 17 by 10 by 17, is designed with an easy to clean anti-bacterial liner to carry fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • The largest bag, 18 by 11 by 17, holds boxes, cans, and the rest of your supplies while also providing storage for the entire system when the bags are not in use.
All the bags are made of 100% recyclable polypropylene 5 and are created to be a long lasting replacement to disposable paper and plastic.  Durable handles and roomy interiors are sure to make My Eco Bag System a favorite household staple.
Get Your Eco Bag System
My Eco Bag System, along with other chic reusable shopping bag models in the works, are available through the Grocery Bag Solution website.  The 4-bag system is just $29.95, plus a $4.95 shipping and handling fee.  
My Eco Satchel - an oversized everyday bag with plenty of compartments and pockets, as well as My Eco Tote - a stylish, triangular shaped bag, ideal for commuters, will both be available soon through the website.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Last Minute Ideas for a Green Christmas

While Christmas is only a day away, there are still many things that likely need to be put in order. For those of you who have caught the Christmas spirit, you might be thinking of things in terms of Santa's elves, who are still working at wrapping, stuffing stockings, and decorating the North Pole. Have no fear, however, because the Green Connoisseur is here to help you navigate your way through the world of green festivities. Wrapping Paper Wrapping paper is a beautiful way to be festive and to show the receiver that you care enough to go over the top with ribbons and bows. There are great green ways to show you care, however, other than coating a box in Santa and his reindeer. When it comes to wrapping paper, recycling the used wrapping is a first step towards sustainability. Saving this year’s paper and reusing it for next year is an even greener way. Just tell your loved ones to be careful as they unwrap and collect the paper once the gift has emerged. Another great idea is to use colorful newspapers or magazines that were headed for the recycling bin and choosing images and articles that speak towards the gift recipient. While it may not be store bought, a movie review starring a favorite actor wrapped around a special gift would really show that you care. If you have kids, why not let them decorate with crayons or markets using paper grocery bags as the base. Or, to be truly sustainable, try something completely reusable such as a bandanna or old shirts. Decorations Ribbons for gifts or for a wreath, and ornaments for a tree or for around the house, can all have a green twist. For ribbons, think about using the old tape from a video or cassette. They curl just like traditional ribbon using scissors! Or for the special gift, try decorating with broken shoelaces, old buttons, tape measures, or even broken Christmas lights to make a gift look truly original. If you have Christmas tree lights that still work, try stuffing them into an empty wine bottle for a festive centerpiece. Better yet, choose LED Christmas lights that use 80-90% less energy for all of your lighting needs. For tinsel to decorate a tree, think about using aluminum cans and cutting them in a spiral to loop around or across a tree, wreath, or anywhere else around the house. Just be careful with your fingers and be sure to recycle the cans again after the holidays. So, Merry Christmas Eve from the Green Connoisseur for those of you who celebrate the holiday, and remember that no matter the occasion, there is an eco-conscious way to celebrate in luxury! Image Credit: QPSU, Cliquee, Country Living, Ticklymoo, Wit and Whistle, Daily Danny

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Eco Friendly and Organic Diaper Cakes

Looking for an eco-friendly or organic baby shower gift that leaves an everlasting imprint in the minds of expecting mothers? A unique trend sweeping the celebrity scene and expanding creative baby shower gift giving involves stylish, eye-catching arrangements known as diaper cakes. Comprised of rolled up diapers and other festive trimmings that resemble a multi-layered wedding confection, diaper cakes are non-edible gestures filled with color and whimsy. From organic cloth diapers to luxury baby products, a variety of businesses make choosing a diaper cake that stays in line with eco-conscious values an easy task to achieve. While some businesses use eco-friendly products to decorate the center of the diaper cake, others conceal special trinkets and gifts inside – so when the expectant mother finally unwraps her work of art – a surprising treat is discovered. Keep in mind that the typical 3-tier diaper cake consists of around 50 small diapers. Available in small diaper 'cupcakes' (shown right) to elaborate 5-tier cakes, the following companies are just a sample of what to expect when searching for your next eco-friendly or organic baby shower gift: Diaper Cakewalk With Seventh Generation chlorine-free disposables and the luxurious reputation of Burt's Bees all-natural baby care products, Diaper Cakewalk constructs diaper cakes topped with an all-natural cotton critter. For example, a vegetable dye is used to color the stuffed animals. The typical eco-friendly diaper cake is comprised of 40 to 45 (size 1) diapers (accommodating infants up to 14 pounds). Diaper Cakewalk offers eco-friendly arrangements centered on their Blue Elephant, Neutral Giraffe, and Pink Lamp (shown at top). GrowinStyle Choose the Organic 2-Tier Green Polka Dot Diaper Cake to deliver an attractive gift for parents who aren’t sure if they're welcoming a baby boy or girl into their lives. About 25 to 30 eco-friendly diapers (size 1) are used in the creation of the diaper cake – decorated with high-quality ribbon and topped with Sophie the Giraffe –a natural BPA-free teether. The diaper cake comes with your choice of Nature BabyCare or Seventh Generation Diapers. GrowinStyle also makes an Organic Upscale Diaper Pound Cake and Cupcakes arrangement that gives the appearance of a custom "you shouldn't have" diaper cake order. This upscale selection includes 45 to 50 eco-friendly Nature BabyCare Diapers (size 1) and Weleda Baby Care Trial Size cream. Rattlecake Diaper Cakes The Eco-Friendly Trendy Turtle Diaper Cake provides a new mother with four tiers of Seventh Generation (size 1) diapers and organic baby products, including Carter's Organic Cotton Hooded Turtle Towel and Carter's Organic Cotton Turtle Onesie. Four Carter's Organic Cotton Washcloths decorate the outside of the cake alongside a Safety 1st comb, brush, and nail clippers. Accent ribbon and ingredient card round off the package. The smaller 2-tier Cuddly Honey Bear Diaper Cake supplies a plush teddy stuffed with recycled fibers and flanked by natural, Burt's Bees products. Image Credits: Diaper Cakewalk, Rattlecake, GrowinStyle

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Organic and Vegan Desserts

It's the holiday season, and nothing reflects the spirit more than delicious desserts - especially desserts that contain no animal products at all! There are a host of great shops that feature vegan, organic and fair trade desserts that are both mouth-watering and guilt-free. While it may be a bit late for holiday delivery, it's a perfect gift you can get anytime for yourself and the ones you love. Check out a few of the great shops below! Holy Chocolate, Batman! Ghalia Organic Desserts has a huge selection of organic chocolate desserts to choose from. Whether you want to purchase a delicious treat for a friend or grab some comfort foods for yourself - this is the place to go. The dairy free, egg free, Mexican chocolate cake looks absolutely divine and is made with whole wheat pastry flour and Dagoba semisweet chocolate. Other desserts that look inviting include the Dark Chocolate Coconut cake, the Upside Down Caramelized Banana Chocolate cake, and the Carrot Ginger cake. Baked to Perfection If you're a sucker for delicious baked brownies and cookies, you're in for a real treat. Sweet Debbie's has a great selection of baked goods. The only problem you'll have is deciding which ones to try first. You can get delicious flavors like oatmeal raisin cookies, chocolate chip, and peanut butter chocolate chip. The gourmet dark chocolate peanut butter brownie is absolutely drool-worthy! Both the brownies and the cookies are made from spelt flour and are organic. Nectar of the Gods Anyone who knows me knows that coffee is my vice, and nothing better complements a couple of rich chocolates or a chewy brownie than a freshly-brewed cup of Joe. Luckily, Allison's Gourmet has that, too - and organic/fair trade teas. All of the coffees available from Allison's Gourmet are shade grown as well, to ensure wildlife habitat protection. From decaf vanilla nut coffee to rich, Aztec dark coffee, you can get your fix here - and look forward to more information on Allison's coming up on the Green Connoisseur main site. Make sure you check out the large selection of herbal teas and tea gift tins, as well. When you're looking for delicious vegan, organic and fair trade treats - keep these delicious organic bakeries and shops in mind. Photo Credits: Sweet Debbie's, Ghalia Organic Desserts, Allison's Gourmet

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Creative, Recycled Green Home Decor

We love to highlight our favorite eco-friendly furniture finds and the latest trends in green decorating here at the Green Connoisseur.  We've showcased amazing up-cycled eco art and even featured a few DIY green decor projects.  Today, we're adding to that collection with some of the most intriguing recycled home accessories we've encountered - from creative kitchen ware lighting to unique throw pillows you can make yourself!
Recycled Lights
Gilles Eichenbaum brings new life to otherwise worthless pots, pans, teapots, and utensils with his unique lighting creations.  The recycled lights lend a rustic, somewhat whimsical touch to interior decorating while rescuing old kitchenwares from a life in the landfill.
Unique Glass Art
TranSglass is a fair trade industry that supports Guatemalan craftsmen and creates one-of-a-kind eco-friendly art designs from discarded bottles.  Used beer and wine bottles are cut, sanded, and polished to become chic vases, candle holders, and tumblers for modern homes.  TranSglass products are available online, starting at 24. 
DIY Throw Pillows
Outdated fabrics don't have to spend their eternity in a trash pile.  Your old jackets, shirts, and skirts are ideal materials for creative throw pillows for any room of the house.  The great thing about this DIY recycled decor is that the pillows require very little skill or time to make.
Innovative Picture Frames
Old bicycle parts can be transformed into many different things, including amazing recycled jewelry and intriguing accent baskets.  This bike chain picture frame lends an active flair to your green decor.  Of course, there are plenty of DIY photo frame ideas if recycled chains aren't quite your style - check out these cardboard picture rings or try your hand at transforming an old keyboard into a chic, but geek frame.
Reclaimed Baskets
These eye-catching bowls are fashioned from vintage vinyl records.  Artist Christine Claringbold doesn't stop with bowls and baskets - her vinyl creations include bracelets, mirrors, clocks, and more.  Take a look at some of the other recycled home decor created by Etsy artists or visit Christine's recycled record collection.
Intriguing Games
Automotive scraps, spark plugs, and cogs enjoy new beauty when they land in the hands of Armando Ramirez.  The gorgeous chess set shown here is just one of Ramirez's fascinating works of art.  Nativity scenes, miniature locomotives, and an assortment of innovative sculptures are handcrafted by the artist using recycled metal.  The recycled art is available through NOVICA.  
Chopstick Art
Disposable chopsticks are the chosen materials for the unique eco art by Kwytza.  25 billion pairs of chopsticks are thrown away each year - consuming valuable trees for just a single meal.  With Kwytza, these utensils are rescued, sanitized, and transformed into awesome folding baskets, lamp tables, jewelry, and more.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Respecting the Earth through Jewelry

Keep this holiday season special and sustainable with Precious Earth’s Fine Jewelry. At Precious Earth, they believe in inside as well as outside beauty. Their pieces are made from recycled and renewed metals to limit the environmentally hazardous processes such as metal mining as well as preserve the limited natural resources. The diamonds that Precious Earth incorporates into their beautiful pieces are natural, social responsible, and high quality. Commitments In addition to the environmentally sustainable materials with which the jewelry is made, Precious Earth is devoted to empowering the people with whom they work. They work with the socially responsible Namibia Diamonds company, which supports workers in Namibia through education and fair wages. The Namibian workers are further empowered with more complex skills because the diamonds are cut and polished at the Namibian Diamond factory, thus keeping the labor local. Precious Earth is committed to both environmental and social sustainability. Engagement Rings The jewelry available from Precious Earth is incredibly beautiful. They offer an array of different types of jewelry, including many engagement rings. The holidays are a big time for proposals, so if this is on the horizon, be sure to check out Precious Earth’s incredible collection of engagement rings. This 18-karat white gold engagement ring is a wonderful example of the sophisticated and beautiful rings they have to offer. Silver Jewelry Precious Earth also creates incredibly complex and beautiful silver jewelry pieces. Check out their sterling silver zebra bangle inlayed with a single gem of environmentally friendly and conflict-free imperial dioside and featuring a “zebra stripe” design of raised silver. This bracelet is made of 100% recycled silver and contains the “little green gemstones” that are the signature of Precious Earth’s designs. In addition to the bangle, Precious Earth offers lovely matching zebra cuff links as well as matching rings. Other Great Ideas At Precious Earth, beautiful, sustainable jewelry is not just for woman. They have a “for men” section of their website, as well as a couture section which houses more elaborate designs. Check out this 18-karat World of Africa bracelet. It is beautifully hand carved with out of yellow gold and features 1.60 total carats of diamonds as well as their signature single diopside gem. So, for this holiday season or the next, think about giving the gift of sustainability and support with a beautiful piece from Precious Earth, whose tag line is, “sustainable luxury, transparent beauty.” Image Credit: Precious Earth

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Sophyto Organics - Sustainable Skin Care

With eye-catching, colorful advertisements, Sophyto Organics demands attention in the competitive world of organic skin care. Founded in 2000, the growing product line includes a satisfying range of ethical, sustainable cosmetics and skin care that's also received a registered vegan and PETA seal of approval. As one of Elle's 2009 Green Stars for 'Best Anti Aging Treatment' (Polyphenol Skin Drops), we're not the only ones singing the praises of Sophyto Organics. From mentions in Shape, People, Yahoo Health to EcoQueen Magazine in Sweden, this 'Brit organic' company is impressive all around the board. Products with Natural Age Defying Ingredients In an effort to preserve your beauty and do so without adding harsh chemicals, fillers, parabens, and artificial fragrances – Sophyto Organics offers a skin care regimen packed with complex vitamins, minerals and natural plant components. From dual action exfoliation to bioactive toners, Sophyto Organics blends understated packaging with lively pops of color. A sample of products include: * Purify & Energise Super Bioactive: Providing a pH adjusting solution, tap into the power of healthy plant nutrients that work to cleanse and rejuvenate complexions in dire need of restoration. Use Purify & Energise Super Bioactive to treat inflamed or sensitive skin – perfect for chemotherapy patients and users who have recently undergone skin treatments, such as microdermabrasion. Infusing the skin with organic bioactive phyto-nutrients, such as B2, B6, B12, C and E, 99% of this product contains organically produced natural ingredients. * Mega Omegas Day Face Moisturiser: The non-oily formula of the Mega Omegas Day Face Moisturiser especially assists in uplifting mature or very dry skin. Sophyto Organics suggests using the moisturizer as a "hydrating primer" before applying your liquid or mineral cosmetics. Offering a healthy burst of polyunsaturated fatty Acids (PUFAs): omega-3, omega-6, omega-9, linoleic acid and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), the product works to enhance elasticity and the overall look of your skin. Other ingredients include organic aloe vera, jojoba oil, and shea butter. * Marine Peptide Brightening Treatment: Offering a blend of organic ingredients, such as aloe vera leaf juice and Japanese micro-algae, the Marine Peptide Brightening Treatment adds a healthy glow to your complexion – prefect for repairing damaged skin due to excessive sun exposure. The treatment aims to draw out impurities, reduce pore size, and improve elasticity. You walk away with clean, clear skin that continues to combat the effects of environmental and other pollutants. Eco-Friendly Highlights Sophyto Organics stands by a commitment "to sustain and improve the health of our body and planet." All products contain an average of 95% organically produced agricultural ingredients. Thanks to certified suppliers, the company uses raw materials that support fair trade practices with local farmers and businesses in Bulgaria, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nepal, Italy, India, Somalia, and South Africa. From start to finish, the production of Sophyto Organics aids in developing ecologically responsible production, processing, and distribution. Sophyto Organics also embraces green business practices in their production facilities – centering on ecologically sound waste management, organic manufacturing, sustainable development, conservation, protection of natural resources, biodegradability, and recycling waste. Animal lovers can also wear Sophyto Organics with confidence since the cruelty-free skin care does not use animals in the testing of their products. Image Credits: Sophyto Organics

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Top 5 Vegan Christmas Gifts

Let's face it - holiday shopping can quickly go from festive to frustrating if you're not sure what to get the people on your list. We're down to the wire and you really need some great vegan gifts. Well, you're in luck - below are 5 great vegan Christmas gifts that your friends and family will really cherish! 1. Sterling Silver Vegan Heart Pendant Help your friend or family member proudly show off their care and concern with this silver vegan heart necklace. Handmade by artist Christy Robinson, this necklace is created from ethical sources and is sure to please. It will bring a smile to your vegan friend or family member's face - and they'll love showing it off to the world. 2. TerraSource Gourmet Vegan Chocolates TerraSource, based in Madison Wisconsin, creates rich chocolates free of animal products of any kind. They're made from fair trade and organic ingredients and you can choose from a wide variety of flavors - such as:
  • Balsamic Strawberry
  • Brandied Pear
  • Coconut Dream
  • Orange Ginger
  • Wild Mint
  • Pecan Praline
  • Blueberry Bliss
There are a ton of other flavors, and this is a gift that absolutely anyone would love. Delicious chocolates free of animal products - what's not to love? 3. Brown and Tan Stripe Knit Vegan Scarf (not pictured) This adorable scarf is not only a wonderful vegan fashion statement - it's a great way for your family member or friend to keep warm this holiday season. Created from animal free materials, this scarf is available from Alternative Outfitters, where you can choose a coordinating vegan hat to finish the gift! 4. Thames by Neuaura If you know the size, you're ready to order one of the most amazing holiday vegan gifts available this year. The vegan dress boot, available from Vegan Chic, is one of the greatest gifts you can buy. It's not only chic and super sleek, but it's free of animal products and can be worn with just about anything. From jeans to long skirts to holiday dresses, this boot is the vegan boot! 5. Defenders of Wildlife Animal Adoption Show your vegan family member or friend that you support their cruelty free lifestyle by adopting an animal for them. When you make a donation to help save wildlife, you receive an adorable plush animal, along with literature that you can give to your friend. It tells them all about your gift, which helps pass acts to protect animals, fight hunters and poachers, and educate the public. It's a lovely gift that any vegan would be thrilled to receive - and the animals will thank you. These 5 great gifts will help you fill out your list and choose something special for your vegan friends and family members!

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sony Ericsson's Greenheart Line Introduces New Options for Eco Cell Phones

Eco-friendly cell phone options continue to expand with more mobile manufacturers striving to eliminate the harmful carcinogens found in typical handsets.  We've already seen Samsung's efforts, with the super chic, solar powered Blue Earth and the bioplastic Reclaim on the Sprint network.
Sony Ericsson is making the mobile industry even greener with the latest additions to their eco-friendly Greenheart line of phones and accessories.  Joining the C901 camera phone and the recycled Naite, the Elm and Hazel promise users even more technology in a green package.  A noise shield Bluetooth kit, also made of recycled materials, is also a part of the Greenheart family.
About Greenheart
Sony Ericsson's Greenheart line strives to encompass everything an eco-friendly cell phone should be - great looking, feature packed, and planet safe.
  • Handsets give new life to water bottles and CDs rather than producing new plastic;
  • Locally sourced water-based paints lower VOCs and decrease CO2 emissions;
  • Harmful substances like PVC and Beryllium are completely eliminated;
  • Phone chargers are Energy Star compliant and feature an unplug reminder;
  • Small, lightweight packaging reduces transport emissions by at least 80%;
  • E-manuals, stored within the phones, saves about 13,000 trees;
Greenheart phones also come with eco-friendly applications, including WalkMate, EcoMate, and the Eco Calculator.  By 2011, Sony Ericsson plans to have all their products and accessories within the Greenheart line.
The Elm and the Hazel
Both of the latest Greenheart handsets feature fun and functional applications, including a camera, video and music player, and an innovative Widget Manager that allows convenient access to social networking applications like Twitter and Facebook.
The eco-friendly cell phones also boast Noise Shield and Clear Voice features to filter out background noise for a clearer, crisper call experience and Intelligent Volume Adaptation to further enhance call clarity.
Visit the Greenheart website for additional information.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Give the Gift of Organic Sweaters

With the holiday season fast approaching, winter wear is a great gift idea, both to give and to receive. Many companies have started taking a green approach to warm weather clothing using organic cotton and other eco-friendly materials and practices to produce warm, beautiful sweaters for you and your loved ones. Eileen Fisher Eileen Fisher, the company known for their simple yet sophisticated clothes, have several sweaters made from organic cotton. Not only is their fabric made without chemical fertilizers and pesticides, but it is also sewn in a community workshop in Peru and sold as a fair trade product. That means that the people who make these beautiful sweaters are paid fair wages and work in good conditions. Check out the Knit High Collar Fair Trade Cardigan, made with organic cotton that’s “cashmere-soft.” This cardigan has a drawstring collar and a front snap closure. It also meets the Global Organic Textile Standard. Another chic look from Eileen Fisher is the Fair Trade Organic Cotton Knit Cowl Neck Top. Both of these sweaters are machine washable, and the cowl neck features kangaroo pocket and ribbed sleeves. Eileen Fisher definitely demonstrates the opportunities for big designers to make eco-conscious decisions. Patagonia Patagonia, known for their sportswear, is a company that has made a significant environmental commitment. In 1996, they made the decision to switch to only organic cotton for their sportswear items and they haven’t looked back! This season, they have the especially comfortable and fashionable Women's Gulf Island Hoody made from a blend of organic cotton and recycled polyester. With stripes adorning the neck, cuffs, hood, and hem, the Gulf Island Hoody is casual and exciting. Another great item is the Kamala Tunic made from a blend of organic cotton and a Tencel jersey knit, an environmentally sustainable textile. Available in White Chocolate and Condor Grey, this sleek style would be a great addition to any closet. As if these Patagonia sweaters weren’t green enough, both items can be recycled through the Common Threads Recycling Program. Aventura Another organic cotton gem is the Althea Sweater from Aventura. This boat-neck style is available in both Lipstick red and Midnight and is sure to become a hit. The thick stripes are flattering and stylish, and this versatile sweater can be either sophisticated or casual depending on accessories. So, from formal to casual, work to play, organic sweaters are a stylish and eco-conscious way to celebrate winter. Image credit: Eileen Fisher, Patagonia, Aventura

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