The Last Straw

diy_strawzI not sure why I have such a fascination with straws or when it began but in case any of you share in this odd obsession, here are some of my absolute favorites. Think Geek has a DIY straw where you can fasten and create your own straw contraption. No sense pretending you are going to share this one with the kids, it’s too much fun. Another great find at Think Geek is an ice straw – the mold is made of food-grade silicone rubber and will quickly make six 8-inch straws of whatever liquid you like.

Whether you’re on the go during a hectic day, dining with your family or strawsomerelaxing with a smoothie on the front porch, Strawesome (seriously the name) has a reusable drinking straw to fit your needs. They offer a wide variety of designs from plain to decorative and even a special style just for kids. Angie Papple at Helium gives a great testimony on why you should use glass drinking straws for your own health and the environment.

Not so comfortable carrying a glass straw around with you? Try reusable bamboo strawsbamboo straws from Global Exchange. A little trickier to keep clean but still keeps plastic straws out of the landfill and what a fun gift idea for a host or hostess. My advice … sip into something more comfortable and enjoy.

 


Want some PFOA with your dinner?

Even after looking, reading and researching over this past year, I’m still not sure what’s the safest way to cook. In our kitchen, we’ve got some well imagesworn non-stick pans, aluminum and even a piece of copper but I’m not a huge fan of any of them. And if you’ve read previous posts, you’ll remember I’m culinarily challenged so I’m always looking for simple and easy as well.

Most recently, simple and easy has been my non-stick pans but with conflicting reports about the safety & environmental concerns about perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)—also known as C-8—a chemical used to bond the nonstick coating to the pan, I’m looking to other alternatives. Eartheasy is a fabulous site and it has a spectacular blog about Healthy Cookware as well as my favorite site About.com. Both sites weigh out the pros and cons of every imaginable way to cook. colour_new_full_promo

In my latest dream kitchen scenario, I would inherit a few pieces of well cared for cast iron pans, be gifted a few pieces of enameled cast iron, such as Le Creuset, and become a master steamer with a sustainable and healthy bamboo steamer. However, I’m still tempted to try out these “new” (and easy) non-stick options called Orgreenic Kitchenware and GreenPan … I just can’t help it.

“When You Care Enough…

… To Send the The Very Best” used to be one of the most recognized slogans for Hallmark cards and I used to be really good at remembering birthdays and other occasions to send cards. Now-a-days I wait for facebook to tell me when there’s a birthday (or other important date) and I send a quick one liner but it seems far away from the time and care that I used to take in picking out the perfect card for someone.

So, I’ve come up with a compromise – ecards. There’s more thought than a one liner but I’m saving time, money and the environment but utilizing modern technology. Here are a few of my favorites:

Sketch29StoryPeople has a great site that lets you choose from Quick Cards where you can pick by theme or if you have a little time, you can Create Your Own and find the perfect story, put it with the perfect e-card & send it to the perfect person. Smilebox is another site that lets you create an ecard, add photo, music and email for free. Perfect for Thank Yous, Grandparent’s Day or any occasion!

If your (or the recipient’s) style is more lowbrow, check out Rattlebox that literally has an ecard/video that is called Party Till You Puke – enough said. Finally, my former coworker, Matt, first introduced me to some ee cards with a fantastic (borderline offensive) laugh-out-loud card. Their selection of flirting cards has the potential to make you blush and there is something for absolutely every occassion, including break-ups. So when you care enough to “hit send”, you’ve got a lot of choices in ecards.

There’s Something in the Water

Well, there must be considering the amount of bottled water that we consume every day. Now hear me out, I’m a former bottled water addict and it’s taken a long time for me to change. One helpful shift occurred when a friend sent me this video from the great people who created The Story of Stuff. Give it a look when you have a chance or feel free to jump into other suggestions that I have below that can help ease you out of your addiction as well.

If you’d like to drink more tap water but are concerned about the quality of your water, visit the EPA’s Safewater site to see if your community’s Consumer Confidence Report is available. If you are somewhere that you are unsure of the water quality, try these new Bobbles.  Just one Bobble bottle 86636(with filter) is equivalent to 300 water bottles-that’s 300 plastic bottles that won’t go to a landfill! BPA-free, reusable and recyclable, the revolutionary Bobble offers a refreshingly clean taste with every sip, bottle after bottle. Filter lasts about 2 months.

The other great choice is the Vapur, the foldable, reusable water bottle designed to go anywhere. Unlike rigid bottles, Vapur greencan be rolled, folded or flattened when empty – easily fitting into pockets, purses, packs or briefcases. Read the rest of this entry

It’s All in the Cards

I’m in a constant quandry between wanting to be more “green” but still not wanting to give up a few things that mean a lot to me.  One of those special things is sending cards…for any and every occasion. I can hear the trees screaming when I place my Christmas card order or get sucked into a hilarious card from Hallmark that must be sent but these following companies help me feel much less guilty.

Bloomin’ Flower Cards carries cards for absolutely every occasion and the actual cards can be planted to grow the most beautiful flowers. It’s the perfect way to send a card & flowers but for a fraction of the cost. The company is uber earth friendly as the cards are made from 100% post-consumer paper, soy-based inks, and organic pigments. I used this company for my wedding invitations over a decade ago and I still have friends and relatives that have wildflowers coming back year after year. If you are looking beyond cards, Bloomin’ Flower Cards also carries paper sheets, garden tags, bookmarks and you can even get a bloomin’ calendar or “plant me” gift bags.

Another company that is working to keep it green is Slingshot Cards. Read the rest of this entry