Tue 21 Jan 2014

Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions

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Go Green: New Year’s Resolutions
You’ve heard it phrased a million different ways: essentially, green is the new black. 2013 brought us many new options for livin’ the green lifestyle. Whether you switched to a hybrid vehicle or didn’t get a chance to “go green” last year, there are lots of ways to easily transition to a more eco-friendly way of life.

Here are a few of the easiest, most impactful, and most affordable green ideas;

FOOD
Eco Friendly DietSurprisingly, what we eat has more impact on the environment than the kind of vehicle we drive! But how can we know what the most eco-friendly diet is? There is so much conflicting information out there!

Well, let’s take a look at the facts and see which foods are kindest on Mother Nature while also providing us with absolutely radiant health.

Surprise, Surprise: organic fruits and veggies always come out on top!

Want a planet and a body that are fit for a king? Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, and slowly reduce your consumption of animal products and grains.

MEDICINE
Pharmaceuticals are wack, on so many levels. One of the quickest ways to take back control of your health and stop financially supporting chemicals as “medicine” is to go natural. Homeopathic Treatments are a powerful, natural way to heal just about any illness. Plus, they are far more affordable than prescription medicine and don’t have any dangerous side effects.

COUPON: Save 12.5% on homeopathic remedies from Forces of Nature using coupon code “tweetdeal2″ :)

BOTTLED WATER
our favorite water bottleYou already know what happens when you leave a water bottle in a hot car, right? If water bottles are proven to be that toxic, then why would you gamble your health by using them at all? You deserve a better bottle, bro!

The Mable’s Team upgraded our water bottles in 2010 and we’ve been pleasantly astounded by the results. Our VibesUP water bottles have a funny little coaster glued to the bottom of the bottle, which uses simple quantum technology to make the water easier to drink. But here’s the really weird part… we’re not sure how, but this weird “vibration raising” technology makes it so that our water bottles never smell. You know how often you have to clean reusable water bottles, right? Not with VibesUP!

CLOTHING
Recycled green goods Here’s a fun way to make a stylish and eco-friendly change: update your closet. When the time comes to replace any part of your wardrobe- from shoes to jeans to accessories- look for sustainable style. According to the Organic Consumers Association, “Cotton accounts for 50% of the world’s fiber needs, 24% of the world’s insecticide market and 11% of sale of global pesticides, making cotton the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet.”

Thankfully, there are many great retailers of organic cotton, hemp, and bamboo clothing such as XYLME, and Blue Canoe. Amazon also has a growing selection of more affordable organic clothes, as does magical eBay

There’s a new company, Fashioning Change, that we’re really interested in, because they help us find eco friendly clothes based on our unique style preferences. Just choose your favorite style icons and designers, and Fashioning Change will match you up with gorgeous choices.

Plus, if you share the love and invite a friend to shop at fashioning Change, both you and your homie get $10 off.

Stylish. Safe. Sweatshop Free. Save Money. Give Back. It is our vision to help shoppers make better purchases and create bottom-up change in the fashion industry. ~ Fashioning Change

Another rad option is 10 Tree, which plants a whopping TEN trees for every item purchased. When people ask you how much your top cost you can be like, “$35, and it came with ten free trees. No big deal.”

10 trees planted with each item

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Upcycle?
Recycled green goodsThis is a broader concept that challenges how we think about every area of our lives. You’re probably familiar with the first 3 concepts, but “upcycling” is quickly gaining momentum in the handmade community. Etsy has a great article that discusses how everyone can learn to “repurpose” trash-bound items into something useful. Not only can you upcycle your own goods, but you can also purchase products that are made of upcycled or recycled material.

Feeling DIY? Upcycle That will keep you inspired all year long.

Have you decided to go green this year? We’d love to hear your experiences and tips; please leave us a comment!

New Year’s Resolutions

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Mon 21 Feb 2011

Throw n’ Grow Guerrilla Gardening Seed Bombs

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easy flower seed bomb
Have you ever noticed a weed growing in the sidewalk? The defiant way it springs up, surrounded by cement? Now that’s the original guerrilla gardening.

Wildflowers are notorious for “blooming where they’re planted”. Seed bombs take that idea and crank it to 11. They transform any gray urban landscape into a slice of reclaimed green space.

They come in 6 growing regions for the US; west coast, midwest, east coast, pacific northwest, southwest and southeast. Just pick the right region, throw, and your gardening is done.

Seed bombs are awesome for both gardening enthusiasts and anyone who can throw! Even kids can chuck these over a fence and watch the magic happen. Chuck a seed bomb in spring, summer, or early fall, and see what blooms.

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Sun 20 Jun 2010

For the Curious Shopper

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the curiosity shoppe online store

Our favorite stores are often difficult to describe. Their offerings change quickly, and the selection can be as varied as the shoppers they attract. Talking Paintings one day, and an Eames House of Cards the next? Sounds good to us!

Enter San Francisco based The Curiosity Shoppe. Their tagline is “Crafts, Kits and Curious for the Creatively Inclined“, but we dare anybody to walk away without an item that tickles her fancy. Have you seen the USB drive that doubles as a comb? How about the hand printed tea towels featuring a pirate-inspired tall ship?

The store is owned and operated by Lauren & Derek who opened the Shoppe for one simple reason: they are “obsessed with beautiful things.” And what sorts of beautiful things might you find while browsing their hand picked wares? “Whether it’s a favorite art book, a vintage find, a carefully hand-crafted piece of jewelry or a one-of-a-kind painting, we guarantee everything you’ll find in the Shoppe is special.”

Like anything truly magical, their stock changes frequently, enticing you to come back for visit after visit. If you’re in San Francisco, you can drop by their store on Valencia Street, or head to their 24/7 web shop here. For extra fun, visit their blog Smarts & Crafts and say hello.

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Tue 18 May 2010

Play Nice with Spring Showers at Umbrella Heaven

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umbrella heaven umbrella heaven umbrella heaven
What can you wear that matches a rainstorm? One of the gorgeous handmade umbrellas at Umbrella Heaven, of course. They contain a unique “Double-Dome wind resilience technology” and are handmade in the UK. At just $25 and up, they’re not just lovely to behold, but kind to your wallet, too. According to their bevy of customer testimonials, you’ll be smiling each time the skies turn grey. How’s that for a silver lining?

$25 and up

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Thu 11 Dec 2008

Green Christmas Ideas

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Green Christmas IdeasWe love our local co-op. Every month they publish an amazing newsletter that is full of fresh articles and ideas that inspire us to “live green”. When I read their December cover list called “Celebrate the Eco Way”, I knew I had to share it with Mable’s readers. Enjoy and have a wonderful green holiday season!

“During the holiday season we tend, as a whole, to consume more. And, in doing so we create more… waste, that is. The following is a short list of ideas to help you reduce, reuse and recycle this season.

  • Purchase living gifts such as house plants, garden seeds or potted trees that can be transplanted in the spring.
  • Reduce waste by offering homemade food items or personal services as gifts. Baking cookies or preparing a meal a week for someone who would appreciate the help are two examples.
  • Reuse holiday wrapping: use old maps or pages from newspaper comics for wrapping gifts.
  • Reuse good quality, nearly new items as gifts or as donations to less fortunate individuals and families. Local charities can help distribute these items.
  • If your celebration calls for a Christmas tree, compensate for the harvest of your tree; arrange to plant a new tree in your yard or neighborhood next spring.
  • Give gifts that promote eco friendly life style changes. For example: cloth napkins and tablecloths, cloth or string shopping bags, a compost bin, gift certificates to resale shops, lunch boxes, reusable or biodegradable picnic plates, cups and utensils, recycling bins, or any gift made from recycled materials.

To preserve the spirit of giving, don’t try to give too much. Less “stuff” means less waste and a healthier environment for everyone.”

For more eco-friendly gift ideas,br> check out our other green holiday pages

Article courtesy of San Diego’s organic and vegetarian Ocean Beach People’s Co-op.

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Mon 29 Sep 2008

Custom Natural Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals

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Natural Mineral Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals
Sometimes having too many options can be a little overwhelming, but when entering the Pink Quartz Minerals shop I feel like a kid in a candy store! Doree is a one woman DIY powerhouse who makes a variety of all natural makeup, but she always makes time to create any item to your exact specifications. What color do you want that lip balm? How opaque do you want the color? Want to add a flavor? An all natural sweetener? How about customizing the label with any text you want? Even cooler, these options are standard and there is never an extra charge for them. I have been loving my marshmallow flavored, stevia sweetened, deep rose lip balm for months and I’m actually excited to order a few more.

As someone who really doesn’t wear much makeup – usually some tinted lip balm or mineral foundation – my affinity for Pink Quartz Minerals might seem surprising. Keep in mind though that I’m a really particular shopper; I always know just what I want… and what I don’t want.

Natural Mineral Makeup from Pink Quartz Minerals Unlike most products out there, all of Doree’s handmade goodies are safe for your eyes, lips, skin, and face, which says a lot about how “natural” they really are. The ingredients consist of only 6 minerals (except the lip balms of course), and there are never any preservatives, chemicals, or animal-based ingredients. Everything is vegan friendly, and truly hypoallergenic and non-comedogenic. I was visiting family recently and took a peek at the ingredients on my little sister’s sparkly lip balm set. Talk about night and day! There was a huge list of chemicals and it was petroleum based, too. Yuck! What bums me out is that makeup containing dangerous, junky ingredients is standard. Thank goodness for businesses like Pink Quartz Minerals who have integrity and create only safe and exquisite makeup items.

I also had the pleasure of trying the mineral foundation and the fabulous vegan kabuki brush. Both are amazing! I bought the sample kit to find the perfect shade for me, but you can also have a color custom blended. I’ve been asked so many times “Are you wearing makeup? Your skin looks so nice.” Could there be a better testimonial? During the visit to see my family, my mom tried the kabuki brush and could not stop raving. “It’s so much softer than the expensive one I bought and doesn’t shed all over the place either”. Since she doesn’t stop by this blog too often I’ll let you guys know that I’m going to order her a brush and sample kit, too :)

Unless you’re madly in love with your makeup and can identify all the ingredients on the label, I really encourage you to try some of the lovely handmade products from Pink Quartz Minerals. They’re safe, affordable, and bring out your natural beauty so you’ll look and feel like a million bucks.

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Tue 24 Jun 2008

Wardrobe Refashion 2008

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Wardrobe Refashion pledge We’re barely a week into summer and now feels like a great time to try something new. In an effort to inspire ourselves and create an entirely eco-fashion friendly wardrobe, we’ve decided to take the Wardrobe Refashion Pledge:

We, Mables.com, pledge that we shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 4 months. We pledge that we shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for ourselves with our own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. We pledge that we will share the love and post a photo of our refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed Lauren & Sean

So from July 1st – October 1st we’ll be sharing our adventures with creating, living in, and loving our “preloved” wardrobes. Honestly, being huge fans of vintage and reconstructed clothing, this won’t be a big stretch from what we’re already doing. We like the idea of making a commitment to it though, and sharing our journey with others. We look forward to trying out new refashioning techniques, scouring vintage clothing stores on eBay and better connecting with the sources of our clothes.

Are you interested in taking the Wardrobe Refashion pledge with us? You can sign up for 2, 4, or 6 month period and rest assured you will be in great company. This is the 3rd year and participation gets bigger each time. There are currently over 400 members in the Flickr pool! Whether or not you’ll be joining us in this DIY fashion adventure, what do you think of the idea? Could you avoid buying new clothes for a few months?

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Fri 18 Apr 2008

Grow Green with Organic Eco-friendly Herb Garden

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Organic DIY Herb GardenWe’ve mentioned personal gardens before; AeroGarden, Miniature Garden, Organic Dwarf Lemon Tree, Garden Fort, etc., but none were soooo eco-friendly they came in a biodegradable pot! Ha!

These 100% biodegradable pots are made from renewable grain husks, are certified organic, and will hold their shape and size for about 5 years. That’s a long time to grow some delicious herbs. As an added Green bonus, by growing plants indoors they will convert the CO2 you expel into Oxygen for your lungs. Yay for synergy!

Order yours today and choose between Lemon Basil, Lavender, Oregano or Parsley. Remember you can always pick up your own seeds from somewhere else and use those in these organic biodegradable pots. These make great green gifts for teachers, and families with kids to help show us all what goes into growing food.

$15.95

Find more green growing gifts in our Plants and Gardening gifts section.

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Sat 15 Mar 2008

2 Day Go Green Sale @ Etsy

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Go Green Sale at Etsy
This St. Patrick’s Day, why not keep it green without resorting to the green beer? Mallory at Miss Malaprop organized a 2 day “Go Green and Save” sale that includes 6 Etsy stores that “feature recycled materials predominantly in their work”. Awesome! The discounts will vary by store so check out the full list of participating artisans and get to browsing…

Sunday and Monday, March 16 & 17, 2008

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Wed 06 Feb 2008

Handmade Valentines Day Gift Ideas

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Last year, the handmade revolution caught on like wildfire. Giving handmade gifts says so much more than any factory made item, and it supports independent artists, too. We scouted out some unique Valentine’s Day gift ideas that would make a loving and unexpected gift for your special someone.

funny, snarky, mean anti Valentine's Day cardsIt’s official: Etsy is the place to get handmade items year-round. They have a beautiful Valentine’s Day Showcase to make it easy for us shoppers to find those truly unique items.

Let’s begin with a couple anti Valentine’s Day gift ideas, because not everyone thinks hearts and candy on February 14th. The one of a kind creations from Snarky Cards make me genuinely LOL. Over the course of about a week, I’ve read every card to Sean, which prompts us to cackle with delight. (I almost wish I had more questionable relationships so that I would have a reason to use these cards. Almost.) They’ll send the perfect message to your ex, or anybody else you want to stick it to this V-Day.

handmade Anti Valentines Day SNARK bracelet This Anti Valentines Day bracelet from Ben can Dance Creations is similarly blunt and snarky. With such unmistakable missives as DIE, KTHX BYE, and U SUCK, your target will get the message loud and clear. A perfect piece of jewelry that says “I hate Valentine’s Day”, but is still super cute.

For those of you with more traditional- and functional- relationships in mind this holiday, here are our absolute favorite picks from the myriad of handmade cards on Etsy:

handmade Valentines cards
Handmade Valentine’s Day cards (from left to right) from Art by Nakisha, Twisted String, and picklehead.

Although Etsy is increasingly popular, there are still lots of handmade Valentine gifts on eBay, so be sure to check those out, too:

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