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April 2009


Turn That Old News into Something Fabulous

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Tired of all the bad news? Well if you are the good news is those newspapers can be benefiting the sustainable fashion industry. Now we hope you are already recycling those old magazines and newspapers, but if you aren’t, it’s time to turn that old news into something new.

Recylced Paper Purse From picture frames, handbags, to jewelry that old newsprint can be turned into something truly fabulous with a little imagination. Green Verdana, an on-line accessories retailer that specializes in specialize in trendy, stylish, fashion forward purses made from recycled newspaper. Each item is completely hand-made, often taking the designer 1 to 2 full days per purse.

The products are designed by in conjunction with a co-op of 32 women located in Brazil. Green Veranda is their exclusive representative in the USA. Green Veranda strongly supports Fair Trade. The company also plants a tree in the U.S. for every item sold and donates 10 percent of purchase profits to the non-profit organization of your choice.


Why Buy Organic Cotton Clothing?

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Organic cotton benefits By Rebecca Eve Schweitzer

EWP has written before about buying organic fabrics for an eco-chic look. But what are the benefits to buying an organic cotton t-shirt over a regular cotton t-shirt that probably costs less than its organic counterpart?

Organic Cotton is Kind to the Planet
According to the Organic Consumers Association cotton accounts for 50% of the world's fiber needs, and in the United States a third of a pound of chemicals is used to produce just one t-shirt. Certified organic farmers focus on maintaining healthy soil and using natural weeding and pest control methods to avoid such heavy chemical use. Fewer chemicals mean a healthier planet, healthier farm workers and the protection of beneficial insect species, which keep pests at bay naturally.

Organic Cotton Feels Amazing
Next time you see an organic cotton garment, take a little time to feel it. The care put into growing and harvesting the fiber makes for a soft, natural feel. Also, cotton and other natural fibers allow your skin to breath unlike synthetic fibers. There is even some concern that the chemicals used to produce commercial cotton could be absorbed through the skin creating irritation.

More Organic Cotton Means Fewer Chemicals
As more demand is created for organic cotton clothing, more farmers will grow organic cotton. The Organic Trade Association reported a 152% increase in organic cotton grown by farmers during the 2007-2008 crop year. By buying organic cotton clothing, you can influence more companies to make organic clothing, which ultimately means more farmers will use organic farming methods.

Who knew shopping could be so responsible!


Landscaping Tips Good for the Environment

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Landscaping tips With spring in full swing, many of us are looking out our windows at that dingy yard in need of some major TLC. Nice weather allows us to get out and do some much needed landscape and although frequently meeting human needs and aesthetics, lawn maintenance can often have harmful impacts.

The clearing of native woodlands and other natural habitats for urban/suburban growth and subsequent planting of grounds with vast lawns and manicured arrangements of exotic ornamental plants place a heavy toll on environmental and human health. This type of a landscape requires extensive use of mechanical equipment, unnecessary consumption of our limited natural resources (water and fossil fuels), frequent application of fertilizers and pesticides, and the generation of significant quantities of solid waste. As a result, our surface and ground waters are being polluted; destructive flooding is more commonplace; our neighborhood's tranquility and air quality are compromised by noisy, polluting landscape equipment; and our landfills are being consumed by yard waste.

Learn more about eco friendly landscaping practices from the EPA.

Read Earth Tones for more sustainable information.


Stay Eco-Friendly at the Neon Rose Bed & Breakfast

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Ecofriendly-neonrose The Neon Rose Bed & Breakfast is fully dedicated to the comfort of chemically sensitive travelers, this cottage adjacent to 260 acres of Point Reyes National Seashore is in the middle of the organic food capital of the country. Along with the usage of fragrance-free, earth-friendly cleaning products, the Neon Rose provides hypo-allergenic linens and pillows. Constructed from non-toxic and environmentally friendly materials, this cottage-style B&B goes the extra mile beyond green to chem-free. You'll find no pesticides in gardens, and nothing but clean, fresh air.

Green Scheme: Combine vinegar with Bon Ami Cleanser, containing no chlorine, perfume or dye, for the ideal solution to make windows sparkling clean.

More about the Neon Rose Bed & Breakfast


New Car Reviews: 2009 Toyota Prius

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2009 Toyota-Prius Toyota's best-seller HEV ranks among the most aerodynamic production vehicles. It's a mid-size sedan with generous space for five in a comfortable cabin. Prius contains Toyota's high-voltage and high-powered Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) powertrain, which employs a thrifty 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a battery-powered electric motor. The HSD controls all energy produced by the two plants and applies it to turn the front wheels through an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT). Prius Touring Edition has 16-inch alloy wheels, high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and suspension tuning, while a Standard Package is the price-beater.

Click here for more New Car Reviews.


Target Debuts Eco-Friendly Fashion Line

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by Rebecca Eve Schweitzer

Eco_friendly_fashion_target_loomstate Just in time for Earth Day, Target's latest designer diffusion with Scott Mackinlay Hahn and CFDA award winning designer Rogan Gregory brings consumers Loomstate for Target, an eco-friendly fashion line for men and women. The collection debuted April 19, 2009. The line will be available online and in select Target stores for a limited time.

Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn are both committed to the environment and started their eco-friendly fashion line, Loomstate, in 2004. Loomstate uses organic cotton and production methods that are both socially and environmentally responsible.

This limited edition collection for Target focuses on casual, easy-to-wear clothing and ranges in price from $14.99 to $44.99. Since most clothing from Loomstate's high-end line costs over $200, Target is providing a way for consumers to be environmentally conscious while still remaining budget conscious.

The clothing has a lived-in, care-free spirit with a casual worn look to classic pieces like jeans, hoodies, simple dresses and board shorts. All of the cotton in the collection is 100 percent certified organic cotton. Women can expect breezy, light clothing like shift dresses and a stunning, silk blend ombre skirt. Men can look for plaid, button-down shirts, v-neck tees and corduroy shorts. Visit Target.com for more information.


2009 Honda Fit Review

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Review by Kimberly Ewing

The 2009 Honda Fit is extremely impressive. Not only is this little beauty economical, it’s very affordable with a starting price of only $14,750. Our Honda Fit Sport starts at $18,960 which is an exceptional bargain. We averaged 29 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg highway. That’s two miles more per the EPA fuel economy estimates which are 27 and 33 respectively.

Fit-LrgGal01 Our journey took us from Detroit
to the west side of the Michigan, during which we found the Fit is very nimble in city driving and very easy to park even in the smallest of spaces. Even with high winds the car feels very safe. The Fit has ample safety features which include six airbags, energy-absorbing crush zones, anti-lock brakes, and active front head restraints. The Fit Sport also includes Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control. This little five door hatch with a five-speed automatic (also comes with a five-speed manual) has enough room for five adults.

If you are looking for a fantastic vehicle to get you around town and haul all of your goods, look no further than the Honda Fit. You’ll be glad you did. For more information, click here.

Visit Planet Driven for more on eco-friendly automotive.


Go Green With Dr. Seuss

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Dr. Seuss Going green can be as simple as Green Eggs and Ham. Now you can snuggle up with your children in fabulous pesticide-free sheets from Pottery Barn Kids featuring all of our Dr. Seuss favorites. Made from 100% organic cotton, these colorful sheets feature drawings from Horton Hears a Who, The Cat in the Hat, Fox in Socks, and of course, Green Eggs and Ham.

The ingenious creations of Dr. Seuss decorate these eco friendly sheets that range from $24 to $139 for full sets. Now you can make bedtime as magical and silly as ever, all while teaching your child the importance of protecting our environment. Who would have thought bedtime could be so fun!


Travel Responsibly to Belize

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Stann-creek-belize-beach Looking for a perfect spring break destination? Well how does an eco-friendly trip to Belize sound? For generations, the people of Belize have demonstrated a commitment to preserving the country’s unique charm. Belize offers a land rich in natural beauty and steep in the history and culture of its Maya past. Renowned for having the second largest barrier reef in the world, Belize’s pristine waters, exotic marine and wildlife, lush unspoiled landscapes and superb diving truly make it Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret.

And the Government of Belize intends to keep it this way, by committing to a four-year $13.5 million plan to promote and practice responsible tourism development in the country. The new sustainable tourism initiative outlines infrastructural projects that focus on the long-term preservation of Belize’s stunning natural resources, as well as developments in four the country’s more popular tourism destinations, including San Ignacio in the Cayo District, Placencia in the Stann Creek District, San Pedro on Ambergris Caye and Belize City.

“Our focus is to help build Belize as an emerging destination in a responsible way, thereby setting the tone for future developments and advances throughout the country,” said Tracy Panton, Director of Tourism for the Belize Tourism Board. “The initiatives presented in Belize’s new plan will promote sustainability and foster mutually beneficial relationships between residents and investors.”

More information on how you can travel responsibly in Belize can be found at: www.travelbelize.org   


Ordering Sustainable Sushi

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Sushi Attention all sushi lovers, you can now make seafood choices that are both sustainable and tasty, all while safeguarding the world’s ocean wildlife.

Three leading ocean conservation organizations, the Blue Ocean Institute, Environmental Defense Fund and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, have made available color-coded consumer guides ranking popular sushi selections based on whether they are prepared using seafood that’s caught or farmed in way that harm the ocean, or pose a health risk to people.

So what does this have to do with sustainability? Many species of fish are either overfished, farmed with aquaculture methods that pollute the ocean, or caught using methods that destroy ocean habitats or kill large amounts of other sea life.

All three guides offer a substantially consistent message about the best selections, as well as the fish to avoid when choosing sushi. So go ahead, enjoy that raw fish, just make sure you know what kind it is.