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Accessories are the easiest way to put the “three r’s” to good use. Unlike clothing most accessories, especially jewelry can be recycled and reused over and over again, and in the end reduce the amount of waste produced. When it comes to accessories, there is the old rule of less is more, well as true as that is, the rule of quality versus quantity should also apply.
Jewelry of good quality can be worn for years, passed down and even be remade into something a little more modern. Reusing and passing along your old accessories means no new manufacturing resources have to be tapped into and we are spared from any additional pollution and carbon emissions.
Thrift stores, resale stores and even pawn shops are good places to find timeless accessories at low costs. Also, good quality jewelry will last a very long time, and if it does happen to break, fix it! Restringing a broken necklace instead of opting for a new one is kinder on the environment and will save you some dough.
Another tip, don’t be afraid to ask friends if they have anything you can borrow. Many accessories are purchased to go with a specific outfit for a special occasion, then are taken off and long forgotten about. Instead of buying something new for your big night, borrowing then returning the next day is both ecological and economical.
Banana Republic has committed to becoming a more environmentally-conscious brand. This summer the company will debut its new Heritage collection, featuring clothes made from organic soy silk, bamboo, cotton and other recycled materials.
Everyone’s favorite conservative retailer has been making more clothing from recycled fabrics and materials. The Heritage Women’s collection will feature basic essentials as well as iconic pieces that represent the best of Banana Republic design.
So keep your eyes open for Banana Republic’s Green Elephant, all Banana Republic products and packaging made with sustainable fibers will feature the little green icon that identifies products that support their earth-friendly efforts.
by Martha Hindes
Shhhhhh! Toyota has a secret! Its classic, comfortable, accommodating Camry sedan comes In (SURPRISE!) gasoline-electric hybrid version for 2010. This isn't yesterday's hybrid -- like Camry's cousin Prius that announces its intentions as a compact with steeply sloping nose and somewhat weird posterior. Rather, an ample interior and aerodynamic profile give no hint of its inner secret with the exception of lesser trunk space where the electric motor's batteries reside.
This is one family Toyota Camry that doesn't belly up to the octane bar with an undeniably keg-quantity thirst. Rather, it can sip politely without becoming sated. Results should be expected: A smaller bar tab, no overindulgence penalties for the kick of driving fun, an enviable score of mid-30s on the EPA's dart board mileage meter. (We scored "excellent" by staying above 32 during RTM's week-long test drive.)
If you think a stingy thirst means compromises, think again. Minimalist fuel requirements from the 2010 Toyota Camry's 2.4-liter four-banger provide maximum rewards. Navi, premium sound, leather trim and a comfortable yet playful ride for $33.2K, loaded, sum it up: A lotta pampering with a penchant for practical penny pinching. (Just try saying that in a hurry.)
For more road test reviews from Road & Travel Magazine and Earth, Wind & Power Media, visit our 2010 New Car Review Archives.
Next time you need to rent a car for whatever reason, why not try a fuel-efficient hybrid? With fuel-economy becoming top of mind, more rental companies have established a hybrid fleet, so not only will you be driving around a low-emissions vehicle, you will also save some cash on gas. Now that isn’t something to complain about.
Most rental companies, like Avis, have a small fleet of hybrid cars and SUVs ready to hit the road when you are. Not only will you get to be eco-friendly for your trip, you will also get to experience what it’s like to get behind the wheel of a hybrid, just in case you were in the market for one yourself. Over 25 percent of the Avis fleet gets 30-mpg highway, so next time you are looking to rent a car, no matter what company you use, inquire about renting a hybrid or something that gets good fuel-economy.
Chocolate: the key to the heart of many. Well if you are planning on giving a gift of chocolate, or just plan on getting some for yourself. Organic and Fair Trade chocolates are not only a more environmentally-friendly option, they taste way better!
Fair Trade chocolates are made using sustainable practices and eliminate the nasty chemicals normally used on cocoa. Fair Trade benefits not only the consumer but the farmer’s and their families as well.
Organic chocolates come in all the same delicious and decadent flavors you love at costs that are no higher than traditional quality chocolates. Here are a few options where you can find your favorite flavors.
Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates offers organic sweet treats perfect for any gift giving occasion.
Dagoba Organic Chocolates offers the highest quality candies made with sustainable practices.
Sjaak’s Chocolates makes chocolates that are not only organic but also available for vegans, a treat everyone can enjoy.
Memory Foam has got to be one of the best inventions ever, and if you have yet to try one of these pillows or mattresses out, now is the time. Not only is memory foam extremely comfortable it is now eco-friendly.
Essentia has created natural memory foam, made from 100 percent natural latex (allergy-free), and infuses organic essential oils, plant extracts and water into the foam composition to give it a memory foam feel.
It has all the benefits of memory foam, providing luxury and outstanding comfort, without the toxic ingredients. The natural memory foam will also provide a healthy, allergy-free sleep environment, and comes with a durable 20-year warranty. Also, as an added bonus the natural memory foam is 100 percent biodegradable!
Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, is just as luxurious as it is sustainable. Located in Teton Village, WY the green hotel is LEED-certified with 72 rooms and the full service Chill Spa.
Hotel Terra also is home to the Italian restaurant, Osteria, one of the hottest tables in Jackson Hole, as well as Terra Café, which is dedicated to using organic ingredients to create scrumptious crepes, lattes and other light fare.
Besides rooms that feature all-natural and organic materials, here are some of the major ways Hotel Terra Jackson Hole is making eco-friendly strides.
· 100% recycled "EcoShake" shingles.
- More than 90% of the hotel interiors capture natural daylight and have access to outdoor views.
- Heating and cooling system also controlled by hi tech building management system that allows rooms to be powered down when not in use and calibrated for specific occupancy expectations.
- Radiant heating in the flooring of the parking garage, which runs along the entire ground level of the hotel, reducing direct heat loss and minimizing energy use.
- Energy Star approved, extremely efficient windows, with Low E, a highly reflective coating that protects interiors from infrared light. This keeps heat inside during the winter and outside during the summer, reducing the need for energy used for supplemental heat or cooling.
- Water conservation systems: dual flush toilets, low flow water fixtures, waterless urinals in Men’s public restrooms, and native landscaping requiring no irrigation -accounts for a 34% reduction in water use.
For more eco-friendly travel articles, visit Earth Tones.
Walking is one of the nation's favorite ways to exercise. A study conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) shows now more than ever, people living in cities are stepping up their walking regimes. That's good news! On average, every minute of walking can extend your life by about two minutes and the more people walk instead of taking automotive transportation they are reducing emissions.
Here are the top ten Best Walking Cities:
1. Arlington, VA: On the cusp of the nation's capital, it may come as no surprise that 23 percent of the city's workers use public transportation to get around. Keeping on their feet may be a way of life, since 35 percent of Arlingtonians walk for exercise.
2. San Francisco, CA: Getting to work by foot is not uncommon for this city by the bay, with nine percent of residents walking and two percent biking. This walking-conducive city touts that 32 percent of its residents walk for exercise and 35 percent buy athletic shoes.
3. Seattle, WA: It's not too far-fetched to expect a healthy lifestyle from residents living in Seattle. A whopping 35 percent walk for exercise and 36 percent buy some type of athletic shoes.
4. Portland, OR: Residents of this Northwestern city spend a good deal of time on their feet walking their dogs. Close to 22 percent are dog owners.
Click here to view the rest of the top walking cities.
As many of you are filling your plates with healthier, organic foods, you can now go one step further by making what is under your plate organic. It’s time to dress your table in some eco friendly duds. Not only do table clothes provide an elegant backdrop to any meal, they can make you feel a bit more responsible when they are made from all-natural and organic materials.
Rawganique has expanded its line of fine linens to be eco friendly by using organic cottons and hemp products. Made in Europe from the finest certified organic French linen or European hemp yarns, these linens are also chemical free and sweatshop free. Rawgnique’s prices are also lower than other organic linen products because they manufacture and sell direct to customers so there are no middle people to mark things up.
Customers can also get matching table runners and napkins to have a completely organic set. So even if the meal on your plate isn’t totally guilt free at least the linens you are eating on are.
With environmental concerns top of mind and many putting the blame on automobiles, you can take your auto maintenance to the next level with an ECO TuneUp and ECO Oil Change from Honest-1 Auto Care. As a full-service auto repair and maintenance chain, Honest-1 Auto Care is 100 percent ESA certified eco-friendly. With strict company regulations, Honest-1 is dedicated to recycling auto materials, preventing pollution and conserving resources. The company has also developed an exclusive line of new products that are designed to increase fuel efficiency and decrease engine emissions.
The ECO-TuneUp includes a 21 point inspection, lifetime air filter, platinum spark plugs, premium spark plug wires, new distributor cap and rotor, new fuel filter, Honest-1 Fuel Treatment with ECO 360 and a tire pressure evaluation. This service, like the other eco-friendly services they offer will improve fuel economy, reduce emission, decrease hazardous materials and save you money, among other things.
There are currently 19 Honest-1 locations throughout the U.S. with more on the way. Check out an Honest-1 location to give your car an environmentally-friendly treatment.