Another week, another sustainable product roundup.
Earthshell’s Biodegradable Tableware (read the full post at sustainablog)
The plates and bowls are made from limestone; natural starches from potatoes and corn; fiber; biodegradeable/compostable coatings; water.A person using these items can rinse them off and throw them in the compost pile. Equally impressive is the life cycle of the products, which has been certified by Franklin Associates Ltd. as: consuming less total energy to produce (then a comparable product, I assume); using less fossil fuels to produce; producing lower greenhouse gas emissions; and producing lower amounts of a wide variety of air and water emissions.
Mandala Aroma Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Organic Aromatherapy Products (via Treehugger)
For many of us aromatherapy massages are a rare luxury that we treat ourselves too when we need pampering. However Gillian Kavanagh, the founder and creator of the organic aromatherapy range Mandala Aroma, considers essential oils to be, well, essential.
In an interview this week with the Pecha Kucha ezine Gillian explains why she left her stressful life as a fashion buyer to start her own aromatherapy company. She tells us how being treated with aromatherapy has rescued her mental and physical health more that once in her life. Ã¢â‚¬Å“My passion for aromatherapy began many years ago whilst trying to cope with a stressful job as a fashion buyer, compacted with the sudden death of my mum and the suicide of a younger brother. Aromatherapy massages assisted me mentally, physically and emotionally.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Gillian emphasises the importance of using the best organic essential oils and base oils she can find.Ã¢â‚¬Â When you consider the skin to be the largest organ in the body and that it does absorb what you put on it, it makes you realise how important it is we look after it.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Eco Bella’s Lipstick Tubes Get Recycled (via Treehugger)
Ecco Bella, an all-natural beauty company, is asking people not to toss those old lipstick tubes in the garbage. Instead, for the entire month of August, Ecco Bella invites you to bring any empty lipstick containers to any store that sells their products. Not only will they take care of the recycling but youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll even get a coupon for a free tube of your favorite lip-smacking color. Ecco Bella will be turning the recycled tubes into basketball backboards and donating them to schools in need. You can visit their website for retailers. Via ::Health ::Ecco Bella
Cyclean Pedal Powered Washing Machine (via Treehugger)
I’d love to refrain from using the pat phrase “clean and green” to describe Cyclean, the pedal powered washing machine, but this thing really truly is. Invented by Alex Gadsen, the Cyclean was born out of frustration with waste and a hankering to tinker. The unit is constructed of used washing machine parts, a wheelbarrow and a bike. The machine is currently a working prototype, though Alex is looking for investors to help finance increase production. Cyclean is popular on the green event circuit and has been used for local demonstrations, and various local press and TV appearances. This could be the start of a whole new business concept – Laundro-Gyms! ::Via The Observer
Nature in the Garage (via Treehugger)
The Prefabfanclub has been abuzz about garden sheds, like Modernshed and Deck House, as they are elegant, affordable and beat many zoning laws. Of course, Garden sheds can also be prosaic and boring, like the workmanlike units from Royal Plastics. This week, Gallery 1313 and the City of Toronto are sponsoring Nature in the Garage, where ten artists hack the standard Royal sheds ” to provide viewers with an in-depth and stimulating learning experience about contemporary art in a non-traditional site”
The Ethical Travel Guide (via Treehugger)
Warning: reading this travel guide will induce reactions such as cringeing, shame and embarrassment. Side effects include making many readers look back in horror at the destinations of some of their holidays and activities once there. But it will also shed a whole new light on travelling and give potential travellers many new and wonderful ideas for alternative vacations.
Written in association with Tourism Concern, an organisation whose goal is to Ã¢â‚¬Å“fight exploitation in tourismÃ¢â‚¬Â, it is a guide to ethical travel in an increasingly global market. It lists over 300 places to visit in 60 countries. For each country it gives a brief explanation of the terrain, big cities, and major activities. The guide lists places to stay, ethical tour companies and organisations to contact to arrange the visit.
Even if you arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t planning a trip soon, it is inspirational to read about what people across the world are doing to make travel meaningful. Also included is a well-researched analysis of the impact of tourism. Issues such as displacement of local people (to make way for new hotels), water rations (to feed those green lawns at the hotel) and cultural loss (impact of tourism on tribal people) are examined. :: The Ethical Travel Guide
Triodos Green Credit Cards Launched (via Treehugger)
One more to add to the international list of green credit cards and the first one available in Europe is Triodos BankÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s ecological VISA credit card, launched last week in Spain.
Not only are these Visa credit cards made from PVC-free recyclable plastic, but Triodos also compensates 1 tonne of the clientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s CO2 emission for free if the card is used more than 5 times a month. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the equivalent of driving 6000 km by car or the annual consumption of energy for heating and hot water of a one person flat. Plus with each first buy they plant a tree in their clientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s name in the sustainable Triodos Forest in Albacete, Spain.
As the biggest European ethical bank, Triodos is consistent with their respect towards nature not only when it comes to cards but also for paper and office furniture. They managed to become 100% carbon neutral by saving energy, using alternative energy and compensating for any CO2 emissions.
The main differentiation between Triodos and ordinary banks is probably the fact that they only invest and finance social or ecological projects and businesses. Since they started in 1980 in the Netherlands they have opened branches in Belgium, the UK and Spain. ::Triodos Bank ::Triodos VISA card (Spanish only) & more on ::ethical banking
EuroLite Signatures: Glen Hunter LED Lights (via Treehugger)
The other day when writing about hemp-baled houses, we happened across the blog of Glen Hunter. He, and his family, live in a strawbale house off-the-grid. And and as such are very conscious of their energy load, including lights.
Glen was looking for some LED lights to reduce their power consumption even further. Not finding any to suit his needs, he gathered some parts together and designed his own. Showing his handiwork to Eurolite, where heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d obtained the bits from, they offered to sell three models under their Signature Series.
The Borealis models have acrylic surrounds, holding just four 1W light emitting diodes (LEDs). They send useful light downward, whilst shining through the blue sides for added atmosphere. Available through Eurolite, whom we last noted as suppliers to the BlueSkyMod prefab cabin. ::Eurolite, via The Strawhouse Blog.