Wednesday Goodies

by Courtney on April 2, 2014 · 0 comments

Happy mid-week! I’ve got a few more cute items to share with you. Though I haven’t tried any of these yet, they have all piqued my interest.

Refillable K-Cups


Single-serve coffee makers have certainly become the easiest way to have a freshly brewed cup of coffee, made just right. But what about all of those plastic coffee filled containers? Not everyone may take the time to empty that container of coffee grounds into the compost and recycle the plastic container. So if you want to be green, but don’t have the time to empty that little cup, try out this refillable K-Cup. It comes with a hinged lid that you can fill with your favorite coffee grounds so you can still enjoy coffee that might not come in the usual K-Cup containers.

Soapwalla Cream Deodorant


Sometimes all natural deodorants that we’ve reviewed work well for some people but not others. So if that’s the case, maybe try out this natural cream deodorant from Soapwalla, it might be just what your powerful pits are looking for. Made with a combination of clays and essential oils, vegetable powders which help to reduce sweating.

Eco-Goats
Even though this article is a bit dated, I thought this would be an interesting article to share anyways. Goats are now being used to “mow” the lawn at the Congressional Cemetery. By using goats it gives the opportunity to treat weeds and brush without the use of chemicals. Here is the link to the full article and here is a link to the eco-goats based on the east coast.

Swapdom

This website is a new to me but a great resource to everyone. Swapdom helps you to find secondhand clothing, accessories and even stuff for kids by swapping items you don’t use any longer for items you do need. Unlike sites like freecycle, you don’t have to rely on finding someone locally to take your items because the purchaser pays for shipping. Though I think they should have an option if you wanted to do local pickup in case you are comfortable with that and happen to live near. I see that option helping reduce shipping costs and the strain on the earth via packaging, freight and other working parts that are involved with shipping items. Check out this video about exactly how Swapdom works and this link to browse their fashion section to see if there is anything for you.

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Garden State Green Fest: Groovy Globe

by Courtney on March 31, 2014 · 2 comments

Groovy Globe is another earth conscious company that I met at the Garden State Green Fest at Kean University on March 15. Groovy Globe is an eco-company that was started by Candace, who has a 15-year career in promoting businesses and consumer products. She thought using her knowledge would help to benefit other companies too.

Those companies happen to be helpful for the environment, including Trees for the Future & Global Green USA. Trees for the Future has tree planting efforts throughout Africa, Asia & Latin America. Global Green USA is an affiliate of Green Cross International founded by Mikhal Gorbachev, which hopes to foster a global value shift toward a sustainable and secure future. Both these companies have the right idea when it comes to conserving the earth for the right idea when it comes to conserving the earth for future generations. It makes me so thrilled that Groovy Globe donates 10% of each product sold to these foundations. It’s great that 10% is donated to these companies to help the world; I do wish though that Groovy Globe was similar to TOMS shoes. TOMS donates a pair of shoes each time a pair of shoes is purchased, instead of a percentage of items sold. In the future it would be awesome if Groovy Globe was able to donate a shirt or the cost of a shirt to the environmental foundations they support. Perhaps with company growth that could be a possibility to be able to give back even more.

Groovy Globe offers men’s & women’s t-shirts, as well as a wristband and 100% recycled cotton canvas totebag. The t-shirts come in 4 different designs; a logo shirt, featuring Groovy Globe’s earth logo, and “call to action” shirts featuring Renew, Sustain or Protect wording. The “call to action” shirts allow people to quickly understand how to help out the earth, making it a more environmentally friendly place.

All shirts are made with 100% organic cotton and are so very soft, as all organic cotton products I’ve tried are. Candace was kind enough to share one of her logo shirts for me to try out. I was pleased she offered women’s fitted shirts as well as the standard unisex non-fitted shirt. A lot of ladies would be more likely to wear something with a more slender fit when given a choice.

The screen printing for all of the shirts & totebag use environmentally friendly inks that are water-based and do not include phthalates, which could have an affect on reproductive systems. So it’s great we don’t have to walk around with chemicals on or in our clothes, which also touch our skin.

I’m thrilled that 100% organic shirts are used because their soft fabric really does make a difference, another step towards chemical free living. I chose a medium sized women’s fitted shirt, since that’s what I normally wear with no problem. However, this fitted shirt from Groovy Globe fit a lot more snug and acts more like a small size. Since it is a fitted shirt it’s likely to be more slim than a standard shirt, so perhaps order up a size from what you normally wear even if that is fitted already too. Happy shopping, for a good cause, see their entire product line here.

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Daiya Provolone Style Slices

by Courtney on March 21, 2014 · 0 comments

Traditional provolone is one of those cheeses that I always forget is really so great when melted and super stretchy, I’m definitely a fan. So I was hoping that would help me easily become a fan of Daiya’s provolone style slices, as a great alternative in my sandwiches. Created with similar ingredients to other Daiya products, including water, tapioca starch, fruit palm oil, non-GMO canola oil and/or non-GMO safflower oil, coconut oil, pea protein and other ingredients to add flavors and thickening.

Since there is no dairy, I shouldn’t expect these slices to smell like the real cheese but I really was hoping that they would! They didn’t smell as funky as the havarti jalapeno and garlic did, but I didn’t gravitate towards always using these slices because of their “unique” smell. Really the ladies at the Daiya booth at the NYC Green Festival really know how to work with their product because anything I tried to make with these never tasted as good as their versions.

It takes a little bit longer for this cheese to melt compared to traditional dairy provolone, but a bit of patience is just needed. I have used it in a grilled cheese sandwich and egg omelet and those tasted just fine. Substitute for any recipe that calls for cheese, as there’s not much of a difference for me. Try it on your favorite burger or veggie sandwich, it’s completely vegan too!

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Garden State Green Fest 2014: Green Eileen

by Courtney on March 19, 2014 · 0 comments

If you missed my recap of the Garden State Green Fest including a Q&A with Ed Begley, Jr and details of his green talk, check it out here.

Onward to another great company to feature! After listening to Ed’s talk, there was a good amount of time until the next lecture I was considering attending so I browsed around the many booths and companies, mostly related to being green. But many companies weren’t and I couldn’t understand why they were there. The Star-Ledger Newspaper? We’re trying to conserve trees here, not trying to chop them down to print on. Disney Radio? Thanks for providing upbeat music I suppose but that’s about all they seemed to be good for with no eco value.

Some of the companies that were there that actually do have something to do with being earth conscious include Green Eileen, from parent company Eileen Fisher, Cox Printers, Groovy Globe, Save the Chimps, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and Bridge of Faith. These above companies were not all the companies that were attending, but they were the ones that caught my eye the most regarding their initiatives to be helpful regarding the environment. Read on to see our first featured company.

Green Eileen

The upscale clothing company has found a fantastic way to repurpose gently worn Eileen Fisher clothing to upcycle them into jewelry pieces, new clothing and resell clothing still viable at a deep discount. All of these actions help to extend the life of these garments and keep them out of our landfills. For each Eileen Fisher item donated the company rewards those customers by giving them a $5 credit towards any purchase.

Besides having gently used garments to purchase at this event, they also had a workshop to have you learn how to make your own upcycled necklace from scraps of clothes that could be resold. Green Eileen also has workshops you can attend for a fee in their Irvington, NY or Seattle, WA Lab store. I made two gray necklaces that were combined into one, just by simply knotting fabric.

Eileen Fisher also has a program, Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute which promotes leadership in young women through self empowerment, connection with others and activism in their communities. It all helps women to find and proclaim their voices, explore their passions and builds connections with self, each other and the community.

The Eileen Fisher brand certainly is doing more than just making fashionable clothing. With their great ways of giving back, they have made a name for themselves in the fashion community and now in the environmental community. Check out their websites for details, Green Eileen, Eileen Fisher and Eileen Fisher Leadership Institute.

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Upon my arrival to the Garden State Green Fest, held at Kean University I was thrilled to see the awards ceremony occurring, presented by actor and activist Ed Begley, Jr.

It was fantastic to see citizens being honored here are a few that I found unique:
Eight year old Aaron Diament, who raises Monarch butterflies in his bedroom and grows milkweed plants for them to feed on.

Teacher, Teri Cosentino who has a solar panel in her classroom, which produces 15 volts-enough to power electric pencil sharpener.

Ed Begley, Jr. who received an award for his 20+ years of eco-friendly concern and lifestyle. As the award presenter Ed was surprised himself to receive his own award, but we all know he deserves it because of his great concern for the earth and its well being.

After the ceremony Ed was kind enough to allow me to interview him for our readers to learn a bit more about his personal preference regarding eco-friendly products. My question to Ed was, “Given your eco-friendly mindset and green lifestyle, what factors do you feel are more important when choosing products you use? Recycled, repurposed, non-GMO, sustainable?” His answer was surprising; Ed said it was not so much the products that he buys, but the manner in which he acts to be earth conscious. For him “Vampire Power” is a big concern, appliances that are turned off but still are plugged in draw a lot of power. Ed’s solution to this is to plug these items into a power strip and turn off the entire power strip when not using those appliances, like TV, DVD player, cable box, ect. His idea is a great one to help reduce the amount of electricity we are consuming even if we aren’t actively using it.

After speaking with Ed, there were many vendors and companies that had booths there, as I had some time in between the awards and his talk at Noon so I browsed, learned and made some great contacts I hope to feature on this website soon enough. I’ll have more details on those folks in Wednesday’s post.

Onto Ed’s fantastic hour long talk about his green living. He said he was highly influenced by his Dad who taught him to conserve resources – turn off lights when not in use, save string and tin to reuse. Ed was a boy scout in the 1960’s, which helped him to learn that nature was worth protecting. Especially because with first hand experience of the pollution in Los Angeles was very bad and could easily irritate your lungs.

Ed didn’t run out and buy solar panels or an electric car when he was first starting his earth-friendly lifestyle. He made his own compost pile from his table scraps near the railroad tracks because his apartment complex didn’t have the available area yet. Eventually he did acquire his own location for compost in his apartment complex. He also used bicycling as his mode of transportation at first, as it is the most energy efficient form of ground transportation when you just have to fuel yourself to be the motor. A bonus is that you are also being physically active, so that could count as your gym workout instead of joining actual gym.

Eventually Ed was able to conserve enough resources by turning the thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter, he saved enough money to buy an electric car in 1970. Though it was only best for carrying groceries with its 20-mile range and canvas doors. This was also around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970, so he was even more eager to be conscious about his choices in life.

Some other earth-friendly techniques he’s used over the years include:
- Buying a rain barrel to collect water to use as free water to hydrate his garden.
- He purchased a solar oven to use to cook outdoors in the winter, though it works as long as there are sunny days.
- After 15 years of using solar panels, he purchased a wind turbine-which supplied 75 kilowatts of power.
- Purchase carbon offset credits, for the resources that you do use of which you can’t avoid.
- By recycling and buy products that are made from recycled products it helps to complete the circle of the resources.

Ed certainly has proven that being conscious of your habits can easily help the earth and preserve it for future generations. By working with the resources he had available he was able to lessen his resource consumption and contribute to the earth’s health.

I will have a few additional comments from his talk in my conclusion review on Wednesday along with a full review of vendors that attended the festival. Check back on Wednesday!

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How to be Green in your Home Office

by Courtney on March 12, 2014 · 0 comments

Here are a few tips to help you be a bit more earth friendly while working in your home office Print only what you need.

  • Print on recycled or wheat straw paper when you do print.

We have 10 sheet sample packs of wheat straw paper available for free here.

  • Set your computer to sleep after 30 minutes of inactivity.
  • Reuse boxes to create storage by upcycling them into magazine holders, find a tutorial here.
  • If you won’t be using your computer for several hours, shutdown completely instead of putting it to sleep.
  • Recycle ink and toner cartridges

Many stores now accept inkjet cartridges, I recently dropped a bunch of mine at a bin at my local Target store. Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Whole Foods just to name a few are other stores that accept inkjet cartridges.

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Daiya Vegan Havarti Style Wedge

by Courtney on March 10, 2014 · 4 comments

Daiya has many unique dairy-free products; to me this was the most daring cheese I’ve tried from them. Havarti is a cheese that is new to me, more the reason to try it I’d say. Traditional Havarti is a semi-soft cheese, which is usually aged 3 months, with a buttery aroma. Since Daiya cheese is dairy-free, there is no aging needed. Like other dairy-free products, this Havarti Jalapeno and Garlic style wedge is made with water, tapioca flour, palm fruit oil, non-GMO canola and/or safflower oil, pea protein and other ingredients for flavor, see the full ingredient list here. Though there is garlic in their ingredient list, their “spices” ingredient is unspecific about how they include jalapeno flavor and spiciness, unless the “smoke flavor” is their jalapeno flavor in disguise. That is something I’m not a fan of, if it’s in the title of the product it should certainly be within the ingredients list.

Since this was a wedge style, I wasn’t exactly sure how to use it. It didn’t taste very good cold with crackers and I tried to slice some to make a grilled cheese sandwich but it took a long while to melt and didn’t act like cheese I would have normally used in a grilled cheese. I feel I was most put off by the unpleasant scent I was greeted with, perhaps that was more the garlic and jalapeno than the actual cheese, but without another package of a different flavor I may not know. Out of all the Daiya products I’ve tried so far, mozzarella style shreds and cream cheese style spread, this would be my least favorite.

Perhaps take my opinion of it with a grain of salt because I couldn’t find any way to enjoy cooking with it, it went mostly unused and then discarded (I can’t stand to waste food) because the smell when opened was indistinguishable from cheese that had gone bad. Maybe I would have been better off trying the cheddar or jack flavors knowing that I enjoy those traditional cheeses. If you’re adventurous with your cheese choices, maybe try the jalapeno flavor yourself and maybe you will find this unique cheese tasty.

Other Daiya Reviews:
Mozzarella Style Shreds with Vegan Pizza Recipe
Mozzarella Style Shreds with Pasta Bake
Cream Cheese Style Spread

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Daiya Vegan Cream Cheese Style Spread

March 7, 2014

Sunday morning salted bagel from the bagel store down the street used to be my weekly ritual, coated with a good helping of cream cheese or sometimes veggie cream cheese if I felt fancy. Though I’ve fallen out of that weekly tradition in favor of Zucchini Pancakes and Cream Cheese French Toast, the occasional whole [...]

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Wednesday Goodies

March 5, 2014

Just popping in to share some eco-friendly links I found interesting. Grab Green The makers of green, natural cleaning products, they have a full line of cleaners; glass, countertop and all-purpose. They also have refresheners for garbage disposals and room and fabrics. Dishwasher, liquid and hand soaps too and of course laundry detergent. Though I [...]

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