Tell me, when your child goes to bed at night, does s/he have a favourite toy s/he likes to snuggle with? If not, may I suggest that the beautiful, whimsical Lana Organic toys might fit right in to your child's bedtime routine? These beautiful stuffies are made with 100% organic cotton and stuffed with pure wool - no polyester fill here, people. They're fully washable, so that no matter what adventures your little one might have with that animal you can rest assured the evidence can be washed away. Lana animals are manufactured and fairly traded in Lithuania and Turkey. There's the Chicken as seen here, but there's loads of other animals including goofy Geese, a friendly pig and lots more.
In this house, there are things that are just plain necessities when it comes to clothing. Pretty. Versatile. Machine washable. And eco-friendly.
The lovely, lovely, lovely pieces from new fashion line MiiK fit all of the criteria above - and they'll fit you, too. Look at the pretty Sally dress, at right, in sizes XS-XL, made from mostly bamboo-sourced-rayon (meaning: uber soft and drapes like a dream) with a touch of lycra for stretchability and durability. So nice!
MiiK makes all of its clothing using fabric made from a "certified closed-loop system" which ensures that the environmental impact is minimized. The fabric is then shipped to Canada and all garments are made here before being delivered to their delighted recipients.
The Sally dress pictured here is $125 in the MiiK shop. There's loads of other delicious styles on their website too - definitely stick around to check them out.
These journals are available online as well as lots of places where ecojot is sold. And, if you buy online at the Ecojot store and spend more than $40 for a limited time, you'll get a free limited edition Every Day Is Earth Day print. Beautiful!
It's spring, and my fancy is finally turning from boots and winter coats to pretty, frilly spring things. There is no better place to start your search than at the lovely Vancouver-based Lav And Kush. They have lots of dresses that are pretty, and feminine, and stylish - check out the ruffly Sweetie Dress (on sale!) or this gorgeous, exotic silk halter dress - can't you just imagine putting this on for a champagne cocktail on a beautiful, humid evening in July?
Everything at Lav and Kush is made with eco-friendly fabrics such as bamboo, modal, or tencel, and is made with both beauty and sustainability in mind. All pieces are designed and made in Vancouver. And all of them are gorgeous - and lots of them are on sale (with free shipping!) on their online shop now. Go, take a look!
Finding eco-friendly footwear is always an exercise in frustration, for big people as well as little teeny newborn people. True, it's difficult for many fabrics to withstand the daily grind of being ground in to the ground by thousands of steps, day after day, so shoes do have to be made of tougher stuff at times. And when you're talking about baby shoes, you're also talking about having shoes that can tolerate getting grubby and being washed over and over and over again.
So that's why I loved these IsaBooties I found at The Green Collection. The uppers are soft, natural yet tough hemp and are lined with organic cotton, meaning that not only are they uber-hippie-chic, you can also pitch them in the washing machine when Junior drops his organic applesauce all over them. All IsaBooties are 100% animal free, are made in the USA with fair labour, and even the packaging is recycled and recyclable. Not to mention, how cute can you get?
Green Folk: Don't forget, the Green Living Show - the most awesome eco-show of the year - is taking place this weekend, April 15-17, at Direct Energy Centre in Toronto. This year's show looks like the best yet, with amazing main stage speakers such as Rachelle Lefevre and Sarah Harmer, fantastic attractions such as the Green Business Forum and the awesome new Green Jobs Forum, and over 400 exhibitors of fantastic eco-friendly products. You can take a break and grab a sustainable bite at the delicious Farm Fresh Fare and even take home some goodies from the new Good Eats Market.
And, a bonus: Remember that old cell phone you have kicking around from 10 years ago? Bring it - or any number of old electronics you have taking up space - to be recycled and Samsung will give you free admission to the show. Score!
This show is my absolute favourite for scouring new eco-finds, tasting brilliant eco-foods and just generally getting energized about living an eco-friendly life. Don't miss it!
A month or so ago, I was contacted by Raz from Eco-Libris about a campaign. 200 bloggers were going to simultaneously publish reviews on sustainably published books (meaning, books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper). The concept was simple: We select from a list of books, the publisher provides us with a copy, and on November 10 at 1 pm, we publish our review.
Free sustainably published book? I'm in.
I had trouble selecting a book, though. The ones I initially found interesting based on the title were taken. And the bloggers were selecting books fast and furious, so the books I was choosing as alternates were quickly being snapped up too. Finally I selected one that I wasn't familiar with but sounded intriguing: The Value of Nothing by Raj Patel. The concept seemed simple; a book talking about how we as a society have skewed our priorites around setting values, how things that really have no intrinsic value have a high value placed on them by our society, and how conversely the things that we depend on as a society have very little value placed on them. I signed up.
I got the book. I started reading.
When I'm reading a book, and something catches my attention, I fold down the corner of a page so that I can go back to it.
When I finished the book, I looked at the edges. Nearly every corner of every page has been turned down. Both top and bottom.
This book is going to stay with me.
The Value of Nothing is a bold statement on the actions and mentalities that got us in to not only the Great Finanical Meltdown of 2008, but that truly have caused caused most if not all of the crises of the late 20th and early 21st century: the belief that the exchange of goods for money is the "right" way to run a society. Patel clearly articulates the economic theories that those who ran the show believed in - and just as clearly articulates why these theories failed in a clear, accessible way.
This book is filled, filled on every page with revelations that will change the way you look at the world you live in, and more crucially, why we live in this kind of world. Is the "free market" truly the way our world should work, or have we simply let the inmates run the asylum? Has the free market created a market of things we truly need to survive and thrive, or has it created a market simply to sustain the market? Is the free market good at truly assessing what people need, or does it only assess what *it* needs? And what has the Western Free Market done to the rest of the world on an economic, social and environmental scale? Once Patel has answered these questions with unvarnished truth, he then offers solutions to fix the problems we've created - and illustrates times and places where we've already started the solution. Not a moment too late.
The Value of Nothing explains the theories behind free markets - and their failings. Filled with theories and examples, this book is incredibly informative, especially for the economic n00b such as myself. The theories are fully explained - and their failings detailed. For example, Patel explains that while a free market claims to despise subsidies, the truth is that our entire economic ecosystem is subsidized. That hamburger deal that costs $6 out of your pocket? also took your tax dollars to subsidize the corn that fed the cows. It's also using your tax dollars to pay for food stamps and medicare for the underpaid workers at the counter. It's also using your tax dollars to clean up the environment after factory farms ravage it. Realize that that meal deal may well have cost you $200. Free?
Or know that that "free" cell phone you got with a three year contract was made with precious metals from the Congo, extracted by horribly abused and exploited workers who live under the threat of poverty, starvation, rape and torture, all supported by their military in order to maintain the supply lines to the west. Free. Free?
Patel points out how we in the West have shunted the societal and environmental costs of the way we live from the rich to the poor. And it's imploding on us.
The Value of Nothing will change the way you look at how you live, how markets operate, and how we engage with each other.
The Value Of Nothing is available at Chapters and other retailers.
“The opposite of consumption isn't thrift. It's generosity.” - Raj Patel
thanks so much for the chance at the giveaway!
I really like the OM thermos. I love that you could have something leakproof to carry liquids to work.
It's tough, staying hydrated and caffeinated in an eco-unfriendly world. Too easy it is to grab a plastic disposable water bottle or a takeaway coffee cup and paper sleeve. Awesome Canadian company OtterBottle has been trying to change that, one green consumer at a time. They originally introduced a snazzy line of reusable water bottles in fantastic, funky designs. Now they've gone a step further: They're eco-fying your coffee cup and lunch break by introducing a gorgeous new line of insulated food and drink containers, with stylish insulated lunch totes to carry it all in.
All of the new pieces are available in a range of colours and patterns to suit your most fussy whims. OtterBottle was kind enough to let me try out all three pieces, and they are super nice and very practical.
The 350 ml container is perfect for a hot lunch of soup or chili, with a wide lid that screws on and off easily and securely.
The lunch bag is roomy, stylish, easy to carry and secure with a zipper across the top to keep your yummies safe inside.
ecochick's favourite, though, is the 500 ml insulated drink container, which has become the new Caffe Latte mug of choice at casa ecochick - perfectly sized for a grande latte and with a screw-off cap to reveal the drink nozzle, it's perfect to use too. There's even an elasticized clip to keep the cap attached to the bottle while you're drinking - smart! My coffee stays toasty warm for literally hours - this would keep you going all morning, no problem. For a busy mom whose coffee is usually refrigerator-cold by the time I get to drink it, this is nirvana.
Oh, you say! How I'd like to try one of those out! Well, you're in luck. I have a 500 ml Insulated Drink bottle to give away to one of you lucky folk. Just head on over to OtterBottle and check out the site and tell me what your favourite OtterBottle product is in the comments before Wednesday, November 3. Make sure you leave me your email address - you can't get the bottle if I can't contact you. Good luck!
Sometimes I wonder why anyone would ever go "new" when vintage and eco is just so gorgeous. Case in point: Bueno Style Jewelry. Made by Vancouver creative-eco-type Christi York, Buenostyle jewelry is fun, classical, one of a kind (or one of a few) jewelry pieces. She uses discontinued stock glass and brass from most of the 20th century that she finds in shops, sals or other secret locations, and either works them in to completely new pieces or sells the vintage jewelry as is. For example, take a look at this beautiful ornate pendant that would be certain to become a family heirloom, or these vintage filigree and Swarovski crystal earrings showing a beautiful blend of vintage and new.
When you browse her Etsy shop, you'll discover that she often writes the history of where and how she found the various components of each item, adding a little bit of the "story" and helping you fall in love with each piece more and more. Imagine being able to tell everyone the history of your jewelry!
The Buenostyle line is available at various retailers across Canada, and is also available online at her Etsy shop. If you're a vintage jewelry lover remember before you click: This shop is dangerous for your credit card. Proceed accordingly.