If having a more sustainable wardrobe is your goal this year, you are in luck! While some might think that eco-friendly fashion just means clothing made with organic cotton or recycled yarns, There are actually many ways to have a greener wardrobe - some very simple, and some require a little more work, but its a well-worth effort to keep the environment safe and can make your outfits more interesting and unique as well!
1.Keep what you already own. Really? Can it be that easy? Yes! Just because the clothes currently in your closet weren't eco-friendly to begin with doesn't mean you should throw them out and start from scratch. Wearing what you already own requires no new materials, no water or energy to produce it, and no shipping. It's the most green thing you can do.
2. Don't wash them so much. Washing machines consume huge amounts of water and energy, while utilizing harsh detergents and chemicals that do the environment no favors. Try to wash full loads less frequently, and line dry if possible. And avoid dry cleaning if you can.
3. Buy pre-owned fashion. If you do want to buy something, shop vintage. When you buy used clothing, you're recycling it, saving it from the landfill. And it required no additional resources to produce it.
4. Buy clothes that last. When you do need to purchase a new item of clothing, choose something that will last for years- not just in terms of durability, but timelessness in style. A classic dress made with inorganic cotton that you keep for 20 years is a lot more eco-friendly than a trendy one made with organic hemp that you only wear for one season.
5. Shop for new clothes made from recycled ones. Perhaps inspired by their class projects from fashion college, some innovative, up and coming designers are creating entire fashion lines constructed of fabric from cast-off clothing. That means old men's dress shirts given new life as skirts, or vintage kimonos reincarnated as wedding gowns.
6. Buy new clothes and accessories made from recycled non-clothing. New technologies are making it possible for manmade objects like plastic water bottles to be shredded and woven into fibers to make sweaters and socks. You can find handbags made of recycled candy wrappers, and shoes made from old rubber tires. Everything old is indeed new again.
7. Look for organic fabrics. Because most major retailers and fashion design labels are using organic fabrics as their entree into the eco-friendly category, consumers are increasingly more familiar with organic cotton, linen, wool, and hemp. To be certified organic, the natural materials used in the fabric must be farmed without pesticides and herbicides.
8. Beware of "greenwashing." Many fashion companies like to claim that their clothes are green, but they may be jumping on the green bandwagon while actually harming the earth. For example, many companies are touting bamboo this and bamboo that, since the public perception is that bamboo is green. But not all bamboo is created equal. True, the plant is renewable, but forests and animal habitats are being cleared to make way for some plantations.
9. Shop locally. Clothing made in the United States or, better yet, your hometown, reduces the amount of energy needed to ship that garment to your neighborhood store. And you're supporting the local economy.
10. Demand Fair Trade Practices. Besides the material and energy resources required to make a garment, more light has been shed in recent years on the human resources. Environmentally conscious consumers are urging manufacturers to cease child labor and sweat shop conditions, instead providing employees with fair wages, reasonable hours, safe working conditions, and access to health care.
While some shopping behaviors, such as buying only fair trade merchandise, can be difficult and expensive, it's nice to know that some of the greenest things you can do for your wardrobe are actually easy and free.
Article source: Lily McCallister Ezinearticles
Photo credit: Envirofitfashion
When most people think of “green” in the kitchen, they often think of the big things, like an eco-friendly remodel of countertops and bamboo floors, even maybe we look towards energy efficiency with Energy Star-rated appliances and compact fluorescent light bulbs.
But, there are actually many small ways that we can begin with to improve the eco-impact of our kitchens. Alia Akkam, a contributing editor of food & festivities at Organic Spa Magazine put together this amazing list of cool and environmentally responsible choices for your kitchen.
MUBAMBOO DISH TOWELS
Soft, absorbent MUbamboo dishtowels are made with 100 percent sustainable woven bamboo and are 100 percent biodegradable. Available in happy colors like lime and aqua, MUbamboo uses eco-friendly dyes. www.mukitchen.com
In Half Moon Bay, California, My Toque carries La Chamba Cookware from Colombia. Handmade from clay that contains mica, this cookware line-including our favorite, the sturdy casserole dish, perfect for baked chicken-can really withstand high heat. All pieces are hand-burnished, not glazed, so they're also toxin-free. www.mytoque.com
The next time you've got a hankering for juice, pour some into one of Zak's whimsical Confetti tumblers made from recycled melamine. The set features cups in bright kiwi, turquoise, magenta, and orange hues. www.zak.com
BAMBU KITCHEN CANDLE
You may know Bambu for its beautiful cutting boards and bowls made of bamboo laminates, but they also have a quality candle in their portfolio. The kitchen candle, strong enough to camouflage the lingering smell of that accidentally burned chicken or the trash that has yet to be taken out, is made with U.S. grown soybeans infused with bamboo essence. It also features an all-cotton wick. www.bambuhome.com
VivaTerra's stainless steel "Twig" carved flatware introduces a touch of Zen to the dinner table. www.vivaterra.com
Green Pan with Thermolon, the first PTFE-free non-stick cookware on the market, requires less energy to rack up a high temperature and reduces carbon emissions. Must-have staple: the versatile Stockholm black aluminum non-stick fry pan. www.green-pan.com
Soaked the brownie pan overnight and it's still crusty? Turn to the Twist Dish Dumpling for help. This chunky biodegradable sponge is dye-free and packed in an agave wrapper. www.twistclean.com
Photo Credit: Organic Spa Magazine
The GreenShows Eco-Fashion Week is the only premiere fashion event exclusively committed to eco-friendly, ethically sound, fair-trade fashion in New York City. After a tremendous success last year, the GreenShows are back with an amazing lineup of eco-friendly designers that will bring the best of all-green fashion during Eco Fashion Week 2010. The GreenShows strive to rigorously make sure that the production is 100% environmentally-friendly and energy efficient. Everything from the runway to the lighting, the design team will use recycled, recyclable, and compostable material to create a beautiful and resource conscious layout as a backdrop to the collections.Lets not forget also that with innovative green fashion also comes eco-friendly hair and makeup from the works of amazing eco-friendly beauty lines which includes John Masters Organics and DEX New York.
"The GreenShows will host an opening night runway show and event on Febuary 15, 2010 followed by two days of shows. An entirely green venue will house this eco extravaganza in downtown Manhattan. The GreenShows will coincide with New York City’s world-renowned Fashion Week and beyond the shows, Eco Fashion Week will be an immersive green experience for all attendees. We believe beautiful fashion can be considerate of the earth, animals and mankind. The mission of The GreenShows is to share this vision.” (The Green Shows media kit)
The runway shows will include eco-fashion designers: Ekovaruhuset, Anja by Beryl Man, Samantha Pleet, STUDY by Tara St James, Thieves by Sonja den Elze, deux fm, Joann Berman and more. Stay tuned for more coverage of Eco Fashion Week, fashion that keeps the planet in mind.
Photo credit: The GreenShows Eco-Fashion Week
Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes, Olives, and Tomatoes (top left)
This dish is made with whole-wheat pasta which has almost twice the amount of fiber of traditional semolina pasta. The artichokes also give this dish a very authentic Italian flavor.
Find this recipe at Whole Living
Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce (top right)
I love the classic simplicity of this pasta dish, but instead of store-bought tomato sauce you use fresh tomatoes which make a big difference in flavor. You can even make it with all organic ingredients!
Find this recipe at Real Simple
Rigatoni with Red Pesto (top left)
This recipe is a nice change of pace from your old tomato sauce, it uses sun-dried tomatoes, basil and pine nuts to a make a satisfyingly-delicious red pesto.
Find this recipe at Delicious Magazine
Linguine with Zucchini and Chickpeas (top right)
Chickpeas ( also known as garbanzo beans) have a delicious nutlike taste and buttery texture. They provide a good source of protein that can be enjoyed year-round and are available either dried or canned. A quick-tip from Real Simple, turn this dish into a delicious room-temperature salad for cookouts and picnics by simply substituting penne or farfalle for the spaghetti. Let the pasta cool before tossing it with the vegetables and Parmesan and omit the pasta water.
Find this recipe at Real Simple
Pasta in Garlic-Almond Sauce (top left)
This is a super easy and light pasta in a fast garlicky almond sauce, studded with peas, and topped with chopped roasted almonds. Nuts like almonds and pine nuts add tremendous flavor to pasta dishes and are also very healthy for you.
Find this recipe at Gourmet
Tagliatelle with Field Mushrooms, Lemon and Tarragon (top right)
If you like mushrooms like me, this is a very quick and easy pasta dish with great combination of flavors. Pair this dish with a fresh-chilled Italian wine like Soave or Frascati.
Find this recipe at Delicious Magazine
It's that time of the year again and I want to take the time to Thank You all for visiting, reading and participating in my blog, I truly enjoy being part of the green movement; it really means a great deal. This is our time to educate each other and make changes for the better. I want to wish you all a very healthy and fulfilling New Year!! I look forward to sharing new amazing posts and learning from you as well. Remember to always keep it green and natural in your lives!
Going Green is a great way to start off the New Year. So lets jump start on 10 great ways to green your life in 2010:
1. One of the best things you can do this year is to start by getting rid of paper and plastic bags from your life. Try to always carry at least one reusable bag with you and it will soon be as routine as grabbing your keys when you leave your house. Reusable bags can be a very stylish item as well! Here is a great list of fashionable and reusable shopping bags.
2. Why not switch your monthly bills to e-billing? Even if you print them out at home, you'll eliminate both the postage and envelope carbon footprint.
3. Did you know each person creates about 4.7 pounds of waste every single day? Before you throw anything away, read these latest facts about recycling and ask yourself if you can use it in a new way or if someone else could use it, thereby getting into the habit of recycling and reusing anything and everything you can.
4. Start composting at home, it's not only simple to do, but you'll get free fertilizer as a result. Here are some great ideas from a complete home composting guide.
5. If you're replacing appliances in 2010, pay a little more for the most efficient energy star models, you'll save more money in the long run.
6. A very cool idea to save water is to build a simple rain barrel in your back yard, to get free water for your garden and indoor plants. Here is a terrific video on how to build a rain barrel.
7. When it comes to transportation, walk more, particularly if your destination is less than 30 minutes on foot. It's good for your health and the environment. But if you're in the market for a new car? Choose a green hybrid or an electric model. Check out the top hybrid cars of 2009 and 2010.
8. There's also greening your food intake. Try going vegetarian one day a week since the livestock industry is a huge greenhouse gas emitter. Did you know that the number one impact on the environment is milk production? Read more on this New York Times article.
9. What about eating organic? It's a lot better for your health and the planet. If you are on a budget you can even begin growing your own fruits, veggies, and herbs. Here are some great ideas on how to eat organic on a budget.
10. Last but not least, where fashion and beauty are concerned, try switching to all-natural cosmetics and shop at secondhand and charity shops before hitting the malls. Take it from me, I shop at second-hand and vintage store all the time, you can usually seek out some unique finds! Here some great ideas on greening your closet.
These are some of many ways to going green in 2010. Being green is a life-changing challenge but if you commit to just making small changes everyday, it will be worth it for you and our beautiful planet!