While I am very happy that “Going Green” has become a popular phenomenon, I think it needs to far beyond bringing re-usable bags to the grocery store (which, by the way, is the most fabulous trend that came out of 2009). It should be one equal part embracing all the new more chemical-free, natural, “green” products on the market & one equal part getting back to basics and consuming less and re-using more. I am going to do my best to feature great products & ideas that can inspire in this area, as I would really like to continue to reduce my carbon footprint (sounds cheesy I know) and do my part.
Some of my favorite “green products”:
1) Unbleached Un-Paper towls from Athena Creates at etsy. Check out the listing here: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=32936723
2) A Soap Dispenser! Not too novel or even a new idea at all…but it saves alot of plastic to buy soap in bulk & dispense into soap dispensers. My favorite handsoap is Method Handwash in Sweetwater which comes in a pouch instead of a hard plastic container, which uses 83% less plastic and resources. Method products can be found at target, drugstores, hardware stores, pretty much anywhere & uses no animal testing & is completely naturally derived. This same concept can be applied to oil & vinegar, laundry detergent & cleaners, the list goes on and on… Buy (natural) products in bulk & dispense them into cute containers (that may or may not be recycled themselves and saved from a past life as a jam jar or a beer bottle or something).
3) Swap out plastic water bottles for a Kleen Kanteen. They come in every size and color imaginable (including a sippy cup version for the kiddos & pretty much whatever you put in them tastes better than normal and stays super super cold.
4) Buy Vintage. Whenever possible, buy things that have already been used and loved and passed on. This keeps things out of landfills and reduces the amount of new “stuff” that needs to be made, whether it be home furnishings, clothes, party decor, etc.
5) Kraft Paper Products. I use Kraft paper everything, its sort of an obsession. Instead of buying cutesy wrapping paper (which I found I could use once and then either I didnt have enough to wrap another gift or I never had another occasion to use it) I buy large rolls of craft paper which works for literally every occasion & tie it up with event-appropriate ribbon. You could also decide on a signature ribbon and wrap every single gift up in the same wrap for a chic utillitarian look. Also an obsession of mine: kraft paper envelopes and cards, which we used for our wedding invitations & for thank you cards and everything in between. They are still paper, and not entirely “green,” but they are 100% recycled and use 20% post consumer waste. Plus they are super cute. And who am I kidding, even green stuff has to pass the “cute” test.
Cards & Envelopes availiable Here: www.jampaper.com
Kraft paper wrapping paper availiable at Michaels.
6) Dr. Bonner’s Soap: All natural, fair trade, 100% Organic, & so gentle that you can use it as tooth paste. All the flavors smell so good, but my favorite is the almond.
*There are so many things that can be re-purposed, that we throw away without thinking. That is why every Friday, I will feature an idea for “upcycling” products you previously would trash.