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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.
What’s your favorite sustainable yoga and/or workout brand?
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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!
Sunglasses are my go-to accessory. Come for a visit and you’ll find different brands and variations throughout my house, car and purse. I know this isn’t very green, but we all have our vices. Lipstick and lip gloss (all non-toxic of course!), sunglasses and maybe a few pairs of jeans are my not-so-green addictions. There you have it.
WOOED (pronounced “wood”) is a San Francisco based company creating sunglasses and accessories from reclaimed wood or wood that’s been sustainably harvested. All WOOED products are handmade- yes, that’s right-they make each one of their quirky, interesting sunglasses by hand! Each pair is unique and essentially a piece of art.
Check out this fun pair of WOOED that I’ve been wearing for the last few weeks.
These are the Vintage Pacific Wayfarer in weathered black. Pretty stylin’ right? I’m amazed at how light these sunglasses are. The best feature, aside from their cool, vintage look-they don’t squeeze my temples since they have stainless steel spring hinges.
They’re made from sustainablly grown bamboo. Big bonus for all you boaters and swimmers out there- these trendy sunglasses float on the water!
The Wayfarer lenses are polarized, which means they reduce exposure to reflected light from bright surfaces like water, windshields, oncoming cars or snow.
Depending upon your budget the price point could be considered a little steep, especially if you tend to go for the $10 pair of sunglasses. These go for $95.00, as do most of the WOOED sunglasses.
If you care about the environment and want a quality pair of sunglasses which are a true reflection of your personality check out the different styles over at WOOED.
What type of sunglasses do you usually wear?
Disclosure: The kind folks at WOOED sent me a pair of sunglasses for review. All opinions are my very own. Promise.
Photo credit: thanks to my lovely and talented son!
The week flew by leaving me with a few Groovy Green things to share. After taking time off for Thanksgiving I spent most of the week playing catch-up. While I was responding to emails and writing a few things came across my desk that I thought worthy of sharing.
Your couch is toxic
On Wednesday a startling new study came out in Environmental Science and Technology, showing that couches across America contain high levels of toxic chemicals. Great coverage of the study can be seen on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. The study found that 85% of couches tested contained toxic or untested flame-retardants. And the newer the couch, the more likely they were to contain toxic chemicals. The use of flame-retardants has increased over the years and now over 94% of new couches contain one or more of these toxic chemicals. Not good.
What can you do?
That’s the 20 million dollar question! The bottom line is we need better laws to prevent this from happening. We need the Safe Chemicals Act to pass. Take action today and join the movement today to help limit the use of toxic chemicals in our couches and other consumer products.
Opinionated friends rock!
Big thank you goes out to my friend Mary from In Women We Trust (IWWT) for putting together a fantastic list showing how some of the speakers on IWWT “speak out regularly to keep pushing the culture into a green and socially sustainable direction.” Seeing it on paper really gave me perspective and reaffirmed that we are all doing something pretty spectacular. Thank you Mary for including me on your list.
As the holidays come knocking on our doors I want to give a big shout out to a few of my wonderful sponsors whose long-term support help keep this blog rolling. Please take a minute to check out their sites and share some love. Maybe you’ll even find something special for the holidays.
Mightynest-Shop for a stylish, eco-friendly and non-toxic home. Super products on this site! They’re offering free shipping on orders over $50.
Essential Safe Products-Offering 20% off of all products right now with free shipping on orders over $100. ESP is a place where you can find non-toxic and safe products, and also great tips and information to help you make healthy lifestyle changes.
Abe’s Market-Offering free shipping through the end of the year. Abe’s Market sells natural, organic and eco-friendly products.
The Organic Mattress-With a brand new online store, this little gem of a shop offers organic mattresses, bedding (even for baby) and more.
BagInspiration-It’s your one-stop shop for stylish and trendy eco friendly bags of all types
Starlight Creatives-The most delicious, hand-decorated cookies. I dare you to try to eat just one.
There you have it. Have a groovy green weekend y’all.
Ask a group of friends to come over for a sustainable garden party and they will come. I know from firsthand experience. Not exactly knowing what they were in for, they showed up out of sheer curiosity and a knowing that food would be involved!
What is a sustainable garden party?
About a week ago I was asked by DailyBuzz Healthy Living (I’m a contributor to the site) to throw a sustainable garden party in honor of Lightlife‘s new Frozen Veggie Burger. I’m a big fan of veggie burgers and try to always keep them in my freezer so I’m prepped and ready for a Meatless Monday meal. I searched high and low for these new burgers, but to no avail. Since they are a hot new product they are just beginning their distribution and haven’t made it into my neck of the woods yet.
Since the burgers weren’t an option I was given the go-ahead to test out any Lightlife product. I’ve always seen Lightlife products next to the tofu and tabbouleh at Whole Foods, but have never tried them. I picked out a few Lightlife products and brought them home-ready to get creative.
Now onto the sustainable portion of the party. In addition to testing out some new products I knew that I was going to keep this party as ec0-friendly as possible.
We started off setting the table with reusable napkins. Reusables were used for the entire party-no plastic cups, paper towels, plastic utensils or single-use plates.
Energy efficient lighting
Throughout our house we’ve gradually switched most of the bulbs to either compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) or light emitting diode bulbs (LEDs). CFLs use 75% less energy and produce 75% less heat than incandescent light bulbs. Our refrigerator, shown in this video clip uses LEDs. LEDs last for years and use only 2-10 watts of electricity (1/3rd to 1/30th of incandescent or CFL bulbs).
There were empty glass bottles decorating my counters from beer, wine and a few fancy drinks that we tested out in our Blendtec blender. Recycling was a breeze and everyone pitched in. We all made the effort to throw anything that can be recycled into our recycle bin.
Now the best part: the food! Everyone brought something to share. We kept this meal vegetarian and I don’t think anyone went home hungry.
I had quite a few boxes of the Lightlife Chick’n Style Seasoned Veggie Strips so we decided to whip up a batch of stir fry. They are made from soy and are vegan, GMO-free, fat free and packed with protein (14 grams per serving).
Lightlife Chick’n Seasoned Veggie Strip Stir Fry
This recipe is extremely simple. Use the veggies you have in the fridge and cut them into bite size pieces. I happened to have broccoli, peppers, carrots, squash, and sugar snap peas. I always love having the opportunity to use my veggie crinkle cutter.
Take your wok and heat up with 1-2 tbsp of oil and add the Lightlife Chick’n Style Seasoned Veggie Strips. Then begin to add the vegetables. Don’t over cook the vegetables. Make sure you add vegetables first that need a little longer to cook.
Stir fry sauce
4 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced (add another clove if you want more)
1/4 c. water
Add soy sauce mixture to the the vegetable Veggie Strip mixture and cook until everything is lightly coated.
Serve over couscous. The dish was so simple and a big hit! Enjoy.
Have you ever hosted or been to a sustainable garden party?
A while back I made a resolution to eat sustainable, locally grown food as much as possible. I’ve done my best, but it’s next to impossible to grow or find seasonal locally grown food year-round in New England. When those cold winter months kick in there’s not a lot growing in our area and we have no choice but to depend upon local markets to bring in produce from other places.
I want my kids to know where their food comes from
The supermarkets neatly package our food and everything is ready for immediate consumption. As we’re going up and down the aisles we generally don’t give much thought to where our food comes from. Most food travels far to reach us- from another state or another country. The grocery store knows no seasons-you can buy organic strawberries in December although they were grown in June and corn throughout the year. Don’t get me wrong-I’m very grateful that this produce is available year-round, but I want my kids to understand the difference.
Ways to connect with food
Many years ago we joined a CSA (consumer supported agriculture). Every week our box is filled with interesting fruits and vegetables grown on a local, organic farm. My kids are interested in what comes in the box each week and it gives us a chance to talk about where the local, seasonal food is coming from.
I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and spent many Saturdays going to the incredible farmer’s market. It happens to be the largest producer-only farmers’ market in the country. Now that I live on the East Coast I’ve discovered small farmer’s markets while on vacation and larger markets in neighboring towns. Farmer’s market’s can be found through out the world and they range from large to small, but they all have one thing in common: farmers selling directly to consumers without a middle man. When you buy direct from a farmer you’re recreating a connection between the land and the food you eat.
Grow your own
We decided this year to carve out a small garden in our yard and grow some of our own vegetables. HERE are a few photos of the beginning stages of our garden. It’s extremely small since we don’t get very much sunlight around our house. But that small patch of land has a few plants that are growing like crazy.
I know that our garden isn’t going to be a big producer of veggies and it’s not going to impact our weekly shopping list. Our kids are my motivation for planting a garden. They scan the garden daily looking for something ripe enough to pick. When they had friends over this week they all picked one cucumber and divided it into 5 pieces to share. It doesn’t get much better then that.
Check out this incredible plant in our garden. My friends on Facebook and Twitter helped me figure out what it is. Can you guess?
Finally we are seeing small vegetables growing on this gorgeous plant. Can you see what they are?
How do you connect with your food? Do you grow your own, go to farmer’s markets or join a CSA?
This post ispart of the another fabulous Green Moms Carnival carnival hosted this month by the wonderful Abbie of Farmer’s Daughter. Be sure to stop by Farmer’s Daughter next week for lots of great information on ways we can all work towards becoming more food independent.
My Ecobaby Store has been a longstanding sponsor of Groovy Green Livin and I am very grateful to have them as part of our team. I decided it was time for all of us to learn a little bit about this store that was born from the need to provide quality organic products for babies. I had a chance to bounce a few questions around with Dinah, the owner of My Ecobaby Store.
GGL: Why did you start My Ecobaby Store?
MES: I started, “My Ecobaby Store” because I have a very big passion for living a green lifestyle. I love our planet and it’s important to me how we treat it. Having a healthy and happy family is priority number one on my list. My belief is that it starts with our children. I love children and babies. Most importantly, I love seeing them healthy and strong. It’s scary nowadays, with so many different toxic chemicals being put into our products, so we become more cautious about what we buy for our kids. There have been so many reports of toy recalls, BPA warnings, and so on. I wanted to help make a difference and that is why I started, My Ecobaby Store.
GGL: How do you select your products?
MES: Fair-trade practice is a very important to me, so I’m particular about how it is made and what goes into products. I look for very high quality products and not your type products that you would find at a general store. –so lots of research! I look for products made here in the USA and most of my items are. Also, a lot of our items are handmade and customizable is one of the things that make us different.
I look for products that offer the following:
Eco-friendly— the product is kind to our earth.
Organic—safe and natural for your baby, children and mom.
BPA, phthalates, & PVC-Free.
Safety– for your children, if I do not feel if it would be safe for your family. I will not put it in my store.
GGL: What are the top three things people should look for when shopping for safe baby products?
First, I would look at safety and protection. Products need to be safe for your baby.
Second thing to be aware of is the material in the products, so quality is important. There are too many toxic chemicals, so trying minimizing the exposure as much as possible.
Lastly, look for products that make the least impact on the environment. We want to leave our planet a healthier place for our babies.
GGL: You are a carbon neutral shipping company. What does that mean?
MES: Well, that means after your purchase at the end of the check out. One dollar is donated to the Green Air Project (GAP). We help to replenish the forest by planting trees. Clean air is important to us. It not only affects our children but animals too. We want to reduce our CO2 output to zero and do it in a constructive manner.
You have partnered with Green Air Project. Tell us about that relationship.
MES: Our partnership means that every time a product is purchased through our online store, a portion of the funds will go directly toward planting trees. Our partnership with Green Air Project is supporting the environment and wildlife. It’s a great cause and a way to leave a positive impact. It is a great partnership and we look forward to help reduce our carbon footprint with GAP. Stop by Green Air Project to find out more.
Stop by My Ecobaby Store to see all of their products that are deemed safe for your family and the environment. Enter DISCOUNT CODE: GROOVY10 for 10% off of your purchase.
I don’t wear a lot of jewelry. With three boys and a dog, the risk of having my favorite ring end up as a passenger on a Tonka truck isn’t worth it. The possibility of having my earring ripped from my ear lobe during an intense tackle football game doesn’t excite me.
Not wearing jewelry doesn’t mean that I don’t like it. I do. I have my fair share of funky rings, quirky necklaces and dazzling earrings that I pull out on those days my Lululemon pants need a break and I need to put on ‘real’ clothes.
There’s a lot of junky, cheap metal jewelry out there. Many of the brands made in China and India have been found to have the heavy metal cadmium, a known carcinogen, in them. Just recently, many of the most popular retailers stopped selling jewelry that contains more than trace levels of cadmium. To avoid cadmium it’s best to avoid any cheap metal or plastic costume jewelry and go for the good stuff.
The good stuff
Amara Gold is a company that makes gorgeous, elegant and sometimes funky gold jewelry. This is the good stuff. Amara Gold is a unique company, creating its jewelry from 100 percent repurposed gold and silver. Each piece of jewelry comes with a certificate of authenticity that it is made from 100% recycled gold or silver.
The company’s mission is to preserve precious gold and silver that is already in circulation.
Amara Gold prides itself on being a socially responsible and eco-friendly brand of fine jewelry. They use socially responsible labor practices and eco-friendly packaging materials.
The company says:
We avoid the byproducts of traditional mining. Environmental and energy costs to produce Amara Gold and Silver fine jewelry are dramatically less since each piece in our exclusive collection is crafted without disturbing a single cubic meter of earth.
Check out this gorgeous earrings. Most of us know that gold isn’t cheap. It’s expensive. But it’s one of those quality purchases that will last you a lifetime (unless it ends up on a Tonka truck).
Thanks to the kind people at Amara Gold one lucky Groovy Green Livin reader will receive their choice of one pair of earrings valued at $350 or less. WOW!
The Giveaway is now over. Thanks to everyone who entered. Congratulations to Mary Beth E!
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I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.