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December 2nd, 2015
Whenever I’m in need of gift I end up spending hours scouring various sites for unique gifts that will help the planet in some way. This year I came across a few gifts that made the list. Rather than reinvent the wheel I thought I would share with you what I found.
Hopefully some of these gifts will help you share the eco-friendly love this holiday season, and throughout the year.
*There may be affiliate links below
Refresh 12oz Glasses are all created from wine bottles collected from local bars and restaurants in the Arizona Valley. Each bottle is then hand selected and transformed into the perfectly unique drinking glass. Refresh Glass saves thousands of bottles every week with a 1 million per year bottle rescue mission.
Grow your own organic basil in just 6 weeks with this incredible Grow Bottle. The sweet tasting miniature leaves are ready for use straight off the plant. No chopping or mincing required. It will take 7-10 days for your seeds to germinate. You should be able to start using the leaves in about 6 weeks. Includes: organic basil seed, grow bottle, clay grow pebbles, vermiculite, wool felt wick, cork coaster, directions. Bottle 8″ high x 2.75″ diameter.
Straws make it easier to enjoy your favorite drinks, but they’re far from easy on the planet. All of that plastic waste that straws create ends up lingering in landfills for years. Stainless Steel Drinking Straws are just like ordinary drinking straws in terms of their shape and size. These straws won’t rust, crack or become scratched, and their ends won’t end up crushed like a plastic straw’s does. Best of all, you can use them again and again and again.
This is a great gift for someone who loves lip balm. Make your own lip balm with this fun kit. This package contains four ounces of almond sweet oil; four ounces of shea butter; beeswax beads; twelve clear pots with caps; twelve plastic tubes with caps; one dram tangerine flavoring; one dram peppermint flavoring; one dram pineapple flavoring; one dram tropical punch flavoring; six stir sticks; twenty-four labels and instructions.
This 3-Piece premium bamboo cutting board set includes a large, medium and small board. Bamboo is a great green alternative to other woods. It is a renewable resource, capable of regenerating without replanting and it also has amazing anti-bacterial properties! These cutting boards are easy to clean- just wash by hand with soap and water and let them air dry.
This unique and innovative glass tea tumbler makes a perfect gift for a tea lover. At the top, it features a contained, all-glass filter compartment for loose leaves or tea bags. For a weaker brew, flip the bottle over just a couple of times, but for a stronger tea, simply leave the bottle flipped over for as long as you’d like. The all-glass construction of the bottle also means that the only material that will come in contact with your brew is glass, keeping the flavor fresh and uncontaminated (note there is a silicone grip on the exterior of the tumbler). It comes in black, green, orange and berry.
Do you have any favorite gifts to share? I would love to add them to my list.
P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin Newsletter. Receive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.
*Some links are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support!
October 27th, 2014
Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thank you!
I’m a creature of habit. Once I find a brand of yoga and workout clothing that fits well it’s hard to make a switch. For many years I was a devoted fan of Lululemon. After the company made a quite a few bad choices in my opinion and wound up in a PR nightmare I, along with many others, made a conscious decision to expand my horizons and seek out other brands for my daily workout gear.
After much searching and wearing I have a few of my new favorite yoga and workout clothing brands to share with you.
Albion is a local, family-owned company hailing from the Albion Basin at the top of Utah’s Little Cottonwood Canyon. They’re committed to the environment and their community by recycling plant waste and by using earth friendly materials in their products. They also follow fair labor practices with all of our employees and business partners and are proud of their sustainable work environment.
I had a chance to try out the Go Long Leggings in black. They also come in pumpkin, turquoise, coral and cobalt. The Go Long Leggings have a spandex feel and sit just below the waist. They are a snug fit throughout the leg. They’re extremely comfortable for a workout and also look great tucked inside a boot with a long sweater.
prAna is an ancient Sanskrit word for breath, life and vitality of the spirit. It’s also a fabulous clothing line. I’ve loved pRana clothing in general for quite some time. I started out wearing their yoga-wear way back when I took my first yoga class.
Scott Kerslake, prAna CEO, says,
From the very beginning when our company was founded, we have attempted to make yoga and climbing clothes in a way that does as little harm as possible to the environment.
prAna’s long list of sustainable initiatives is impressive. This is a brand that I was initially drawn to because of style, but knowing that they truly care about our health, the environment and our planet makes wearing the clothing that much more appealing.
I have quite a few workout tops from pRana. My favorite is the prAna Vienna Top in Black Deco . Most of the pRana tops I’ve worn are a very loose fit. My only complaint is they’re not overly supportive. The designs are attractive, unique and flattering for most body types.
Yogiiza is based in Miami Beach, Florida and all of their clothing is made outside the US using non-GMO, organic cotton. The company uses non-toxic dyes that meet the Global Organic Textile Standards and uses recycled packaging. They also subscribe to fair trade practices.
I’m loving these YOGiiZA Men’s Organic Yoga Pants and this YOGiiZA Women’s Organic Racerback Tank.
Soybu is a sustainable yoga and workout wear brand which is available at many major retailers. Soybu’s price point makes it an attractive option for many.
Check out Soybu Women’s Killer Caboose Performance Pant and Soybu Women’s Allegro Capri. For workout tops I’m loving the Soybu Women’s Goddess Tank Top
I’m a big fan of Patagonia. I have talked about how wonderful Patagonia is HERE and HERE. They really are a fantastic brand with so many green initiatives in place.
These Patagonia Women’s Serenity Leggings are super comfy and a great fit. This Patagonia Overhead Sports Bra is extremely supportive.
What’s your favorite sustainable yoga and/or workout brand?
P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our Groovy Green Livin Newsletter. Receive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.
Disclosure: The kind folks at prAna and Albion Fit sent me workout wear to test out. All opinions are my very own. There are a few afflilate links in this post. Any purchases made will help support this blog. Thanks!
October 3rd, 2013
Remember when I traveled to New York to film 5 short videos for Manilla covering the many ways we can all lead a greener life?
The first video is ready to share! I would love to hear what you think.
Simple Steps to a Greener Life
If you’re not a green king or queen, switching to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle can be daunting. Fortunately, there are simple ways to reduce your environmental impact without drastically impacting your daily life.
1. Phase out plastics from your home—especially those used for food storage:
Plastics can leak harmful toxic chemicals into our food, which can affect our long-term health. Switch to glass storage containers to ensure that your food stays fresh and you stay healthy.
2. Switch to reusable bags:
The next time you visit the supermarket, bring along reusable bags. Leave them in the front seat of your car or in another visible spot so that you remember them. Not only will you be saving the environment, but you’ll also be reducing the clutter in your home.
3. Start using non-toxic cleaning products:
Conventional cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals that don’t belong in your home. Instead, try to find brands that don’t contain harsh chemicals like. ammonia, synthetic fragrance, chlorine bleach, parabens and phosphates, or consider making your own cleaning supplies.
4. Replace your personal care items with safe, non-toxic alternatives:
The most eco-friendly way to a greener life is to replace items with environmentally conscious alternatives as you run out of them. When your shampoos or other personal care items run low, replace them with non-toxic products like those found on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. If a product has a high hazard score, it shouldn’t be coming in contact with your body.
5. Leave your shoes at the door:
While the Jones’ lawn might be green, it’s also full of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. All of those toxins march right into your living space when you wear your shoes from outdoors into your home. Create a space outside or in the garage where you can kick off your shoes until the next time you venture outside.
I would love to hear your steps for a greener life!
The video is also airing on the Manilla blog and at Yahoo! Finance. More videos are coming so stay tuned!
photo credit: epSos.de via photopin cc
May 27th, 2013
Yoga has been a big part of my life for many years. My first yoga class was taught by Barron Baptiste at a Boston gym. I remember taking the class with a friend and laughing as we realized how inflexible we truly were-in more ways than one.
My practice has evolved over the years. At times it is a constant and other times it’s virtually non-existent. What keeps me coming back is knowing that yoga is always there if I need it.
Much like finding a therapist or a doctor, finding a yoga studio that fits is crucial. The right yoga studios provides a space to unblock and come into healthier, happier minds, bodies and spirits.
Yoga mats and equipment are also a big part of any yoga practice. I’ve tried many different brands of yoga mats over the years. Manduka is an eco-friendly brand that I’ve come across over the years. The Manduka eKO Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat is made from sustainable, natural tree rubber and is completely biodegradable. There are no PVC or oil-based eco materials like TPE or PER. The mat also doesn’t contain phthalates or toxic foaming agents. I spend so much time with my face and body on my mat so it’s important that it’s made from a non-toxic material.
The kind folks at Manduka sent me a yoga mat to try out. The mat was incredibly comfortable and very light. The best part was not slipping during a hot and sweaty yoga practice. It comes in a variety of awesome colors. When first opened the mat has a very strong smell from the natural rubber. It needs to be aired out before using. It generally takes a few weeks for the smell to fade.
Manduka unBLOK Campaign
Manduka is celebrating the launch of a new digital campaign called unBLOK. They are encouraging all of us who practice yoga to nominate and vote for the studios that helped them “unblock” in their practice for a chance to win a range of prizes!
Inspired by the unblocking that naturally occurs when you have a powerful yoga session, Manduka is supporting the launch with a digital campaign celebrating the community spaces that help practitioners achieve breakthroughs: local yoga studios. The unBLOK party campaign and contest encourages yogis to nominate their local studio via Facebook, sharing how their favorite practice space helps them “unblock” and return to the world with new clarity.
Through the unBLOK party campaign and contest, Manduka is making it easy for practitioners to show their studio some love.
Here’s how you can join in the fun:
Nominate: Head over to Manduka’s Facebook page and answer a few questions on your inspirational studio. Manduka will thank you with a special offer.
Select: Manduka will select five studio nominations to feature on their site. The selected studios will be outfitted in Manduka yoga gear. Additionally, five people who nominate will be gifted with an unBLOK kit.
Vote: The community will be encouraged to vote for their studio of choice. The winning studio will receive additional Manduka yoga gear and an in-studio experience inclusive of yoga taught by a high-profile teacher followed by a celebration with music, food and product giveaways. Woo hoo!
Give: Manduka will sponsor a teacher or teachers at the winning studio to do their own seva work bringing yoga to an underserved area in their local community.
Nominations will run through May 28th. After nominations you can vote for your favorite studio finalist here.
What yoga studio has inspired you?
photo credit: mezone via photopin cc
Disclosure: I was sent a Manduka Eko Lite yoga mat to test out. All opinions are my very own. There are also a few affiliate links in this post. Any products ordered through the links will put a few pennies in my pocket and help support this blog. Thanks very much!
December 14th, 2012
If you have a child or two who loves to build and create masterpieces then these cork building blocks will rock your world. My kids have been using wooden building blocks for years so building blocks in general aren’t a new concept. We’ve created roads, garages, houses, jumps and towers.
What makes these cork building blocks rock (has a ring to it, doesn’t it?) is that they are soft and lightweight. They also don’t have any toxic paint or finish on them. No worries if they end up in a little one’s mouth. My guys have also been known to chuck a wooden building block at someone’s head. These don’t hurt as much.
My kids are 12, 10 and 9. I was amazed to see their excitement when the box of cork building blocks arrived. When given the OK they ripped the box open and spent a good hour creating and recreating.
We started off with this.
The castle quickly turned into this.
EcoBayHome.com offers a range of products for the home all made from environmentally friendly materials. The set of cork building blocks comes with 20 pieces includes a handy storage bag to take the cork blocks on any outing. The building blocks are made from 100% natural, 100% renewable cork which is sustainably harvested from the Cork Oak Tree. The blocks in the set come in a variety of shapes and sizes which encourages children to use their creativity in numerous ways. The cork building blocks are recommended for children 3 years old and up while slightly older children (just like mine) enjoy playing with these cork blocks just as much.
EcoBayHome.com has graciously offered to give one Groovy Green Livin reader a set of cork building blocks (value $49.95). By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I was sent a set of cork building blocks for review from EcoBayHome.com. The opinions expressed in this review are my very own.
August 30th, 2012
Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial end of summer and this year it’s bittersweet. Over the past few weeks our summer groove has finally fallen into place and I’m not ready to let it go. I admit there’s a slight craving for a routine-normal bedtimes, some sort of schedule and consistency. But I’m still not ready. Thankfully we have a few days and a few BBQ’s planned before school kicks in. If you’re planning to head to or host a barbeque this Labor Day (or any other day) there are a few simple ways to make it eco-friendly.
1. Green your grilling
As delicious as grilling is, research has shown that cancer-causing compounds are formed when meat, poultry or fish are cooked at high heat. Try cooking your food at low temperatures, flip it frequently and don’t leave it on the grill longer than necessary. While grilling your food make sure to use green accessories to help you create a delicious and safe meal.
2. Reusables instead of disposables
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds (2 kg) of garbage a day, or a total of 29 pounds (13 kg) per week and 1,600 pounds (726 kg) a year. That’s a lot of trash. BBQ’s are know for their abundance of paper products and plastic utensils. How about mixing it up a bit this year and adding in a few reusable products in place of those single-use plastic and paper products? Using reusable cloth napkins, stainless steel flatware, reusable plates or even stainless steel straws would be a simple way to make a big impact.
3. Non-toxic bug repellent
The bugs can be fierce this time of year. DEET bug repellents can be toxic if we apply too much and leave it on our skin too long. Thankfully there are a quite a few bug repellents out there that are DEET-free. There are even plants that can be strategically placed around your yard that act as natural bug repellents. Our DEET-free bug repellent of choice this summer is Buzzaway.
4. Recycle bottles and cans
I cringe at the number of bottles and cans tossed into the trash at a barbeque. If you are hosting the party take the time to set up a extra bin or two for recyclables. If you’re headed to a BBQ and there’s no recycle container you might just have to carry it home.
5. Use fresh, seasonal and local food
- Safe for you-Grill and prepare organic and hormone-free meat, poultry and wild fish whenever possible.
- Safe for the planet-Buy local food whenever possible. When the food is locally grown or produced it doesn’t need to travel far to reach you-which means less fuel is needed to transport.
Looking for something delicious to bring to your barbeque this year?
My friend Amie over at The Healthy Apple has a spectacular recipe for your Labor Day BBQ. It’s a gluten-free twist on a traditional pasta salad and one that you won’t want to miss: sweet orange n’ grape pasta salad. This lovely recipe has no added sugar, no processed dressings and takes about 20 minutes to whip up. Hope on over to The Healthy Apple to check it out and while you’re there make sure to spend some time reading about Amie’s awesome approach to clean eating.
How are you spending Labor Day weekend? Any BBQ’s in your future?
Vegetable kebab. | Stock Photo © jura13 #2494373
Linked up with Seasonal Celebration.
August 17th, 2012
Running over the finish line in my annual triathlon
Over the years I’ve had plenty of foot injuries. Plantar fasciitis has tormented me through many years of running and a heel spur made walking and running pretty uncomfortable. Thankfully my injuries haven’t been acting up lately I think in part because I religiously replace my running shoes after 6 months and use prescription orthodics in all of my running and exercise shoes.
My fascination with barefoot running
I’ve always been facinated by barefoot running. I’ve wondered whether running without all that man-made support in traditional running shoes would cure my foot ailments. When Planet Shoes, a sponsor of the Go Green Get Fit Challenge, offered to send me a pair of shoes to test out I jumped at the opportunity to give barefoot shoes a try.
I’ve worked with Planet Shoes in the past and absolutely love this company’s mission. From their eco-friendly selection of shoes and carbon free shipping option to their partnerships with charitable organizations, this company rocks the true meaning of green.
I chose the Merrell Dash Glove barefoot running shoe. Have you seen the Vibram® Five Fingers shoes with 5 toes? These shoes have a Vibram® Sole. I like the look of the Merrell shoes much better than the Vibram® Five Fingers.
Starting off slowly
Everything that I’ve read about barefoot running suggests starting off slowly so your feet have a chance to become accustomed to the barefoot experience. I started off wearing them around the house. They are extremely light and comfortable. The shoes feel very different from my running shoes-there’s very little built in support and I wasn’t using my orthodics.
Next I ventured out on a walk with my new shoes. I have to admit that I missed the extra inch in height my running shoes give me. Barefoot shoes are flat, with no heel whatsoever. The walk went well. My feet and knees felt completely normal.
The gym was next on my list. I went wearing my new barefoot shoes, but not to my usual high impact class. I tested them out in a body conditioning class where there really wasn’t much jumping or running. One person commented that they looked like water shoes, which I hadn’t thought about but they really do.
Running barefoot up next
My next step will be taking these purple and pink pretty shoes out for a run. The Merrell site suggests:
Choose familiar terrain at first. Different types of terrain can affect your training. Steep ups and downs and areas filled with obstacles, like roots or rocks, should be avoided until you’ve built up greater endurance and strength.
After one week in these shoes I’m not completely sold on barefoot running. I’m planning to continue easing into them slowly. My traditional running shoes are still in the rotation and I don’t see them going away anytime soon. The good news: I haven’t had any knee pain or foot pain during my transition to these shoes. From all I’ve read it sounds like barefoot running is best on off-road trails. I’m a bit leery about their performance on asphalt, which is where most of my runs take place.
Have you tried barefoot running? Any words of wisdom for us beginners?
Disclosure: I was provided with a pair of shoes, courtesy of PlanetShoes.com, a sponsor of the Go Green Get Fit Challenge, from The EcoMom Alliance Sustain YourSelf series. There are a few affiliate links in this post-if you purchase through these links it will place a few pennies in my pocket and help support this blog. Thanks!