Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Easter Treats that Aren't Fattening

These handknit chickens are made locally by my knitting gal, Jennifer (and I added the felt beaks and combs and waddles). I had several of these guys when I was a kid, some made by my grandmother and one by my great aunt, Rose. They conceal a plastic egg. Every Easter I'd leave my chickens in my basket and the Easter Bunny would come and put something in them--usually a quarter or some jelly beans. Yes, we reused my Easter basket every year, and I still have it! The chickens come in several colors, and come with the plastic egg. All this for only $5!

These are some beautiful handmade fabric corsages that can be used over and over again for all your Spring events--Easter, Mother's Day, Prom, Earth Day. . . There are several Springy color combinations available. These are from LaLaLaurie (not me, but my friend Laurie from Tacoma). She has more corsages availbable on Etsy, seller name LaLaLaurie.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Arrivals

This is the newest size in the recycled plastic Blue Q stuff--it would make a perfect make up bag or pencil/art supplies case. I also got new coin purses, totes and shoppers in from them.
These T-shirts are women's sizes, and come in purple, gray, black, and pomegranite. They're American Apparel organic cotton and are made by zendik arts coop.

These lovely handbags are handcrafted from recycled candy wrappers. They're a nice size for an evening out, or if you're a minimalist.

I have three of these bird vases--one blue, one yellow, and one white. They're modeled after an antique bird whistle (remember those? You put the water in and blow through the tail).
More things should be arriving today or tomorrow. Please come by and see it all!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Let's Get Fired Up for Spring Cleaning!

Spring feels like it's really on its way today! Of course that makes one think of Spring cleaning--ugh. But why do we dread cleaning so much? It can actually be quite a cathartic experience. Maybe one reason we don't get into cleaning more is that we're not into what we're cleaning with! I have plenty of things to inspire your inner white tornado. First off, Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day has a new fragrance for their Spring Cleaning Kit--Snap Pea. It's the freshest, greenest scent yet. The kit comes with small versions of all their best-selling products--All Purpose Cleaner, Window Spray, Countertop Spray, and Dish Liquid, all in a handy carrier box. This would be a great starter kit for anyone who hasn't jumped on the green cleaner bandwagon. Or for those of us who just want to try a new fragrance for awhile.

I also have just gotten in a shipment from Twist--100% biodegradable cleaning tools. I have the following in stock and ready for your cleaning pleasure:
Sponge cloths--these can take the place of paper towels in your kitchen and bathroom. They combine the absorbency of a sponge with the size and convenience of a paper towel. Think of the money (and garbage) you'll save if you cut down on your paper towel usage! And these babies can go in your dishwasher to clean and freshen them when they start looking tired. I have them in white, not the colors pictured, because what says clean better than white?
These are the "naked sponges". Just like it says--no colors, just a plain old hearty sponge. These can also be refreshed in the dishwasher (or microwave--directions are on the package).

This little cutie is the dish dumpling. It's the perfect size for washing dishes and glasses, and its knitted agave exterior is great for scouring the tough stuff.

And I may have saved the best for last--the loofah sponge. It's a naked sponge with one side that's pure power for scrubbing. I have used mine a lot, and it looks brand new! Won't scratch anything that I've tried it on (nonstick pans, corian countertops, bathtubs, etc.). I used to scrub my face with a loofah, so I'm pretty sure it won't scratch ANYTHING, but it's great for getting the 3D junk off.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Baby and Children's Bath Products Warning

Awhile back (February 11) I posted some pictures and information about a new line of organic bath products I'm carrying. Well, I'm glad I got them, because a customer of mine just sent me a link to a disturbing article from about all the toxic chemicals that are found in common kids' bath products. Please check out the article by clicking on the title of this post, and be aware of what is in your child's (and your own) products. Skin is the biggest organ your body has, and as we know, it easily absorbs whatever you put on it. I really don't like fear-based marketing, but in this case, I think it's worth mentioning.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Eco-Friendly Mexican Resort *****

Okay, we have returned safely from our trip, and now I can share some details. . . We decided to stay at the Gran Bahia Principe Tulum. It's a five star all-inclusive luxury resort that is eco-friendly. The place is gorgeous, the food delicious, the staff friendly and the whole operation is so well run that it's amazing! I'll give you the "green" scoop on things:

All the lights in our room were CFLs. They have the (now more common) put your towel on the floor if you want a new one, or hang it up if you want to use it again. The hot water is solar-heated. The public restroom lights are on motion sensors so they come on when you enter and go off when you leave (except the one by the 24 hour snack bar--that one goes off while you're still doing your business. Jon said he could reset it if he had a screw driver and a ladder, so they've probably fixed it by now--I wouldn't let him do it himself). The outdoor paths are lit with solar-powered lights. All the water there is filtered, so you don't have to drink bottled water, but if you do want to, they provide it and recycle the bottles. There were recycling garbage cans readily available on the beach and in the garden areas. I think most of the regular trash cans were for non-organic waste, so it seems like they probably separate that, too.

They have three different eco-tours you can take of their nature preservation areas. We did the jungle tour. You ride bikes about 2km to the entrance then walk through the jungle with a Mayan guide who explains the medicinal properties of the plants and the ecosystem of the jungle, and there were two lookout towers you could climb to see an overview of the jungle. The path was narrow and rocky and covered with tree roots, so there was a lot of stopping to look up because you couldn't walk and look up at the same time. Above: Our Mayan Jungle guide, Casmiro
Below: Jon and I on the bikes at the entrance to the jungle paths.
Within the jungle preserve there is a reproduction of a typical Mayan home. Most people these days have more permanent structures in which to live, but Casmiro said that he lived in one like this when he was a small child.

They cooked over wood fires on ceramic surfaces, drank and ate from dishes made of gourds, and they even had "sippy cups" for the small children made of a gourd with a small hole in the top. Wow. Biodegradable sippy cups!

One of the other eco tours you could take was a snorkeling one at the huge coral reef at the resort. They are careful not to disturb the reef at all, and ask that you remain at least 1.5 meters away from the reef itself. They also ask that you wear biodegradable natural sunscreen if you must wear any--I never thought about how sunscreen floating on the water would interfere with the photosynthesis of the sea life, but it makes sense.

It seems this resort has everything that all the other luxury places nearby have, but with an eco-friendly aspect. There were men whose job it was to pick up all the rocks that wash up on the beach at night, so the sand was soft and smooth. They carried them in a large bag over to the garden areas, where they laid them in with the landscaping. There were fences made with rocks and broken coral between the pool and beach areas. You were asked not to feed the fish, birds, or lizards because it would upset their natural habits and it could make them sick. There were no mosquitoes because of this--that's what some of the critters eat.

Gran Bahia Principe is an awesome start toward a worldwide green movement. I was very impressed with Mexico as a whole and their efforts to preserve their beautiful nature. Even the signs along the roads warned not to throw litter from your car, etc. The Bahia Principe group has lots of resorts--look into staying at one (or one like it) on your next vacation. It probably won't completely offset your carbon emissions from the flight, but it's a big step in the right direction. And I'm telling you, the food was good!