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I haven’t had that much inspiration lately, so I was really glad when I came up with today’s entry. It is a challenge I issue to myself and anyone else reading this. The challenge is to use cloth napkins instead of paper. According to Seventh Generation’s website “If every household in the U.S. replaced just one 250 count package of virgin fiber napkins with 100% recycled ones, we could save:

  • 1 million trees
  • 2.7 million cubic feet of landfill space equal to over 4,000 full garbage trucks
  • 380 million gallons of water, a year’s supply for 2,900 families of four
  • and avoid 64,000 pounds of pollution!”

What do you really need? Enough napkins for a week for two people (14) and additional ones for company and in case you may need two in one day (9), a total of twenty-three (23).

Here is a super simple way to make some napkins. You’ll need:

  • fabric (people recommend quilting cottons) cut into squares around 12–18 inches wide
  • a sewing machine
  • scissors
  • thread

Here are the steps to make these napkins:

  • First, press in double 1/4-inch hems (fabric folded over 1/4-inch is a hem) on two opposite sides, and sew them with a straight stitch.
  • Press in the remaining two sides 1/4-inch and sew.

That is it! Seems super easy. I will update this entry with pictures once I find some cute fabric.

Cool.

-Cara

Lindsay Smith CEO and President Dan Joyce VP Sales and Marketing

Lindsay Smith CEO and President Dan Joyce VP Sales and Marketing

The first thing we will talk about is not something you would necessarily buy for yourself, but more for a public space. It is rubber sidewalks.

Rubbersidewalks are high-density paving tiles made with recycled California tire crumbed rubber combined with polyurethane binder and colorant, then molded with heat under compression. This produces a strong and durable part that meets all requirements of sidewalk-worthiness, including stable grade, non-vibration in compliance with ADA requirements, and high coefficient of friction for non-skid both dry and wet. Rubbersidewalks are available in various sizes and colors, and are reversible. Known life per face is minimum eight years. Actual life per face is not known but is expected to exceed 12 years.

Here are some reasons to use then,

  • Diverted over 1 million tires from landfills
  • Saved over 2,000 trees in cities’ urban forests
  • Removed 78,000 pounds of CO2 each year
  • Captured over 4 million gallons of water each year

What a cool idea…

Next, yes it is another bag, but these two ladies have a slightly different spin. Here is what they have to say about themselve,

We are proud to say that BaggyShirts is a sustainable enterprise, in that we:

  • Purchase recycled men’s shirts obtained from warehouses of surplus goods collected from charitable organizations – no petroleum-based materials.
  • Use the entire shirt – absolutely no waste.
  • Prevent clothing and tens of thousands of paper and plastic bags from going to the landfill each year.
  • Employ local artisans to fabricate bags at home, slashing carbon emissions by 80% to 90%. No overseas manufacturing.
  • Pay our fabricators a livable wage that is above average for the industry.
  • Operate with the least possible amount of negative environmental impact – we ship Internet orders in recycled and recyclable materials.
  • Donate a portion of our proceeds to organizations that work to stop global warming.

The cool thing is they were inspired to start this business after watching, An Inconvenient Truth! Sounds familar.

Last but not least, this is a shout out to Marine, as these recycled glasses are made from the bottom halves of Bordeaux bottles that were “rescued” on the way to the landfill. A beautifully etched branch design is accompanied by the phrase ‘Protect Our Earth’ in four languages: English, Spanish (Proteja Nuestra Tierra), Afrikaans/South African (Bewaar Ons A Arde) and French (Proteqez Notre Terre). They look beautiful.

Well, these were good ones. I hope you liked them as well.

Enjoy.

-Cara


Reason 91 from, 101 Reasons Why I Am Vegetarian:

When food-safety inspectors in New York City make the rounds, they often come upon merchants selling just about anything: the meat of armadillos, iquanas, primates, turtles, frogs, and even rats. Some of the meat comes from endangered animals. Other cuts, if not intrinsically illegal, fail to derive from licensed inspected facilities and so put consumers at risk. The sellers of such contraband (most is imported) tend to be ignorant of U.S. laws, sometimes conveniently so. They don’t seem to comprehend the dangers to which they expose their customers and even the city as they raise the risk of outbreak. Over one recent 21-month period, a single inspector shuttered 138 city stores.

The last few Fridays I’ve given people some cool, eco, usually recycled ideas to buy, but for this Friday I thought we would slow it down a bit and MAKE something new out of stuff we already [most probably ] have.

The first of the three entries is a video from Make Magazine’s [MAKE brings the do-it-yourself mindset to all the technology in your life. MAKE is loaded with exciting projects that help you make the most of your technology at home and away from home. This is a magazine that celebrates your right to tweak, hack, and bend any technology to your own will.] YouTube channel. The video is of this girl, Cristen Andrews, who shares with us her super fantastical plastic bag crafting skills by showing us how to get started with are own crocheting of said plastic bags.

Enjoy…

The next one is hot. I found it on ecobites.com. It is a solar powered food dehydrator made from two cardboard boxes, some clear plastic wrap, and a little tape and voilà, you to can build an inexpensive solar dehydrator. Click the picture below for all the exciting instructions on how to build it and know when your goods are dry.

Dry

I can build it and put it on my fire escape to dry all the fruits and vegetables I want, seeing as I am in the penthouse apartment. I knew there was a reason I lived on the 5th floor of a walk-up, my unlimited access to the sun…or at least for a few hours. Good times.

My Very Own Super Fresh Recycled Idea!

What you need…

A used can depending on if it will be a pen/paint brush holder, a lamp base, a vase, a container to gift a gift in or whatever it may be, you choose the size.

Craft Paint [if you so decide you want to paint it]

Glue

Cool Pictures, Greeting Cards, Magazine Pictures, Drawings

Colored Sharpies [optional]

What you need to do…

Paint can with craft paint and allow to dry if you so choose.

Cut pictures from a magazine, greeting card, drawings, photos etc. to adorn the can or use colored sharpies to draw your own craziness on said can.

It is now an original piece of art.

I have discussed many ideas and a variety of products within my posts.  I have stated once I tried a project or product I would give you all the 411. I recently decided the best way to get that information back to you is by creating a page(s) of all my reviews of projects, products, petitions, protests, experiments and the like. That way they are separate from my daily blog entries. I think it will just be more organized.

We’ll see.

-Cara

——————————-

When faced with a flock of spent hens, an egg farmer may choose to induce production again by way of a forced molt–accomplished with starvation and water deprivation for periods of up to two weeks. No U.S. law prevents this heinous practice. Some major U.S. producers have phased it out but then need to bring twice the number of hens into production for the same number of eggs.

Frame

I was thinking of what to write about for Friday’s Eco-Shopping entry, when I remembered this frame I got working as a buyer at Whole Foods. The frame is made out of an old car radiator. The company’s name is J Line Design out of San Diego, CA. I searched all over the World Wide Web and found nothing. :( They are the inspiration for today’s blog entry. I looked for three products made out of some sort of recycled auto parts. As a side-note if anyone knows what happened to J Line Designs please let me know.

Chess

The first thing I found was a chess set made from recycled auto parts. The artist who created this chess set is Armando Ramírez. Ramirez collects the leftover metal pieces off a die machine and shapes them into the pawns, horses, and parts of the kings, which also feature cogs from a car’s electrical system. The queens are made from screws, cogs and bearings from a car’s electrical system. The bishops are shaped from sparkplugs and the towers from cogwheels. The board is made from a metal sheet and features ornate iron wires and bendix caps taken from a car’s electrical system.

It looks pretty cool and is on sale for $98.95…That’s a steal in N.Y.C. and it is a green choice. I don’t need a chess board as I spent my childhood playing chess, striving to beat my father, the smartest person I know…and the day I did I never played again…I’m like that.

Martian Lady

She’s a Martian made from a muffler!!! Excited? If so check out Muffler Art by Quick Stop Muffler Shop and Auto Service in Decatur, Alabama. There are all sorts of creatures and Aliens. I would call first to make sure they are still in business before placing an order or stop by 1303 6th Avenue S.E., Decatur, Alabama 35601 and tell them Cara sent you. ;) Maybe I’ll call tomorrow and ask if they are still open. UPDATE: I called today and they are still open. I also found an email…I should be a detective! :)

Nice

Last but not least, Simple a nice little shoe company out of Santa Barbara. A company that uses recycled tires on the out soles of their super fresh looking ecoSNEAKS… For now there is free shipping which is always a sweet deal. :)

Shop right.

-Cara

——————————-

By some assessments, the H5N1 strain of bird flu, which originated in Asia and is now spreading across Europe and Africa, has the potential to disrupt life on planet Earth second only to global nuclear war. Others predict that if the strain mutates, perhaps just slightly, a bird-flu pandemic could kill more than 140 million people and put a halt to [U.S.]$4.4 trillion in world economic activity. Influenza pandemics generally come three times per century, and we’re overdue for our next. Any strain of influenza that humans contract, including H5N1, would scarcely exist if people had never domesticated poultry.

What is a better time then the dawn of Spring to buy a new scarf? I don’t think there is a better time really. It is sale time in scarfland. We are not at the point quite yet for the super scarf sales, but close enough to start thinking of the perfect one.

Here are some super, fresh choices I found. Three of the scarves were discovered on BranchHome.com, and the last two I found were on OriginalGood.com. I can not review, nor endorse their quality and/or usefulness as I have yet to try any of them, but I like the look, how they were made, and from what. :)

Pieces of Scarf

Navy Modular Scarf

design:
Galya Rosenfeld

manufacture:
Handmade by Galya Rosenfeld, San Francisco, CA

materials:
Reclaimed ultrasuede (scraps from the upholstery industry)

dimensions:
59″ long x 3.75″ wide

about:
Galya Rosenfeld’s work sits on the lines between fashion, design, craft, and art. Ruled by mathematic formulas as much as creativity, her designs emerge from the place where whimsy meets pragmatic thought. Her pieces are individually crafted, often without the use of thread, patterns or other tools found in traditional tailoring.

Galya’s pieces have been accepted into the permanent collection of The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

price:
$224.00

Brick HouseOther One

“Flow” Scarf

design:

Hiroko Kurihara

manufacture:

Handmade by Hiroko Kurihara Designs, Oakland and Berkeley, CA

materials:

100% virgin wool from Italy. Material is EU ecologically certified.

dimensions:

62″ long x 8″ – 10″ wide

about:

With each scarf that Hiroko Kurihara Designs sells, they donate a scarf made of recycled polar fleece to a local organization that serves those who are homeless or in transition. This act of giving requires no additional purchase: it’s simply responsible, ethical consumerism.
Hiroko Kurihara Designs’ creations are high quality, uniquely designed and handcrafted in their Oakland and Berkeley California studios from the finest European virgin wool that is EU ecologically certified. They guarantee their crafts(wo)manship and believe in local non-sweatshop manufacturing.
Enjoy the warmth and the style of this scarf and know you are tangibly giving much needed comfort to someone else.

price:

$128.00

scarfred one

Warm and Fuzzy Scarf

design:
Tibetan refugee artisans

manufacture:
Original Good Store

materials:
Recycled Silk and Wool

dimensions:
55 x 6 (in.)

about:

Helping Tibetan refugee artisans by providing new markets for their crafts, these wonderfully happy hand-knotted wool creations are sure to keep you warm. Not only are they handcrafted in Nepal, but they are Fair Trade certified. They are also dry clean only. :)

price:
$29.95

Stay warm!

-Cara

    ——————————-

    In the mid-1970s, chicken processors argued that in order to keep up with skyrocketing demand they should be allowed to merely rinse off fecal matter from bird carcasses rather than cut away affected parts. The government gave in to the processors’ request, and the rule stands to this day. A number of studies have since proved that rinsing carcasses, even up to 40 times, is ineffective at dislodging the filth. It’s something to know since the violent motion of factory de-feathering rubber fingers not only works to squirt feces out from the carcasses, it can push filth deep into the crevices of the birds’ skin.

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