The Redhead's Green Thumb

Xiane rambles about eco-issues, gardening, crafts, and life.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Earth Day Countdown: post #2 - Conveniently wasteful?

Convenience items at the grocery store urge us to buy their products, designed to be used then tossed, so that we can make our lives oh-so-much easier - AND keep giving them money, of course.
Better to pay for something handcrafted and reusable!

These reusable "Swiffer-style" dry cloths are AWESOME. QuiltingMama makes these cloths from easily washable flannel - you get four in this listing for a reasonable price, and you can remove all the dust from your house without guilt. There are several other Etsy sellers who make different swiffer covers, too - check out littlebigmamma for reusable Wet Jet covers made from crocheted cotton!

Boxwoodgoods has my next suggestion elegantly and ecologically covered! Made from 100% organic flax and cleverly stamped to reveal the material used, these are a fantastic way for you and your family to wean yourselves from paper towels or paper napkins. These are also suitable as a housewarming, hostess, or wedding gift - no matter if your recipient is eco-friendly or not, they can't help to be charmed by these adorable and affordable linen napkins.
The same shop also offers cocktail napkins - and both sorts of napkins are currently available in flax or hemp/soy.

In this same spirit, using cloth towels in your kitchen is recommended, as well as washcloths - please consider that every disposable item you purchase has to end up somewhere... and that's most likely in the dump. Cloth dishtowels, napkins, and dusters will last a very long time and save you tons of money, too - so what's not to love?

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Saturday, March 22, 2008


earth day 2008 countdown!

earth day 2008 countdown!
Originally uploaded by xiane threeravens.

On April 22nd, Earth Day will be here again - a time to pay respects to where we live, the still green - yet suffering - planet that sustains us. I'm using this time before Earth Day to stage a countdown with a purpose - during this time I'll post some thoughts, advice, tips, or experiences about living a greener lifestyle in the most economical and practical of ways. This is the way that I strive to live, so I promise that my tips and suggestions will be things you can definitely accomplish in your own life!

I welcome comments and suggestions!

Today's kickoff tip: what do dingy copper-bottomed pots and cutting boards have in common? Both can easily be cleaned with the simple combo of salt and lemons!
To get your copper pots shining again, squeeze lemon juice on them, then add salt and scrub lightly. Your copper will come to life!
To clean and freshen your cutting boards, use a lemon half and some kosher salt to scrub lightly. Stains and smells will vanish and your kitchen will smell great, too!
While I'm talking about cutting boards, I should mention that my recommended cutting board material is bamboo - light, easy to take care of, and sustainable. A little oil will keep it in shape for a very long time.
I'll have some more posts about the amazing power of lemons further along in this series! Stay tuned to this blog for more!

Friday, March 14, 2008


Who makes your organic food products? You might be surprised!

GOOD 009 - Features - Buying Organic

What, you thought all those companies that sold organic food were solo ventures? Maybe at one time...

[this wasn't news to me, but it might be to plenty of my readers, so I thought I'd pass it along.]

Thursday, March 06, 2008


First U.S. Organic Standard for Beauty & Personal Care. Right.

Sustainable Is Good reports that "representatives from a number of the leading companies in the industry have come together to create OASIS, the first U.S. industry standard for certifying organic cosmetic products.

OASIS (Organic and sustainable industry standards) is a collaborative effort between a number of companies including Estee Lauder, Aveda, L'Oreal, Private Label Select, Oh Oh Organics, Hain Celestial Group and others. The organization is a registered 501c 6 Mutual Benefit Trade Association designed to represent the concerns and goals of companies that make sustainable and organic products for the beauty and personal care industry. The organization has 30 founding member companies which include both product and ingredient manufacturers as well as distributors.

Fueled by the lack of U.S. industry standards and the increased harmonization efforts of similar policies and standards in the EU, OASIS is aimed at providing clear industry standards. "We (US beauty industry) needed to have a voice in this discussion," said Tim Kapsner a Senior Research Scientist with Aveda. "

Now, the irony of this makes me want to VOMIT.
Why, do you ask? Well, I don't know - maybe it's that
neither Estée Lauder nor L'Oreal will sign the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, which calls for the removal of toxins and potential carcinogens from personal care products. Both companies use nanoparticles in their cosmetics, which are potentially very dangerous. [look for a future post about this.] In June 2004, Estee Lauder was named one of the liable parties in two lawsuits involving hazardous waste in two of New York's landfills. * Some of the companies that L'Oreal owns are big producers of very questionable cosmetics, and L'Oreal tests on animals. I know that Estee Lauder owns Aveda, and L'Oreal has The Body Shop, so they've got a vested interest in this either way... but c'mon. How am I supposed to take this seriously?


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