Fall is that time of the year where all of the green leaves turn to red, yellow and gold. Before you know it, all of those glorious fall colors have turned to brown, brown and more brown. To bring us back to the color green, here are some of the Eco-Living products we've reviewed over at the Daily Grommet.
TerraCycle not only sells organic fertilizer in recycled plastic bottles, they boast an entire line of 100% recycled products. Whether you go for fertilizers, cleaners, or any of their “zero carbon footprint” products fashioned from recycled drink pouches (the pencil cases are fun), you’re getting something cool and helping the earth. Want to do more? Sign up for the Drink Pouch Brigade; it’s a great way to involve kids and earn money for their school. It’s no wonder the New York Times called TerraCycle the most eco-friendly business on the planet. ($10.60 and up) Learn more about how Terracycle creates products from waste here.
Do you have an expanding DVD collection that your kids have outgrown? Swaptree is an online trading service for books, movies, CDs, and video games. Just list the stuff you want to trade, and Swaptree shows you thousands of items you can receive in return. The service is free, but you have to pay for shipping. With the site’s automatic shipping label feature, you can print an address label and postage then just drop your package in the mail. Sharing and reusing your old music, books, and videos is easy on your wallet and the environment. (Free + shipping) Learn more about Swaptree and how to swap and trade books, movies and music online here.
Green All Over
If you love a green lawn but dread the maintenance, check out Pearl’s Premium grass seed. The seed mix needs mowing less frequently (as little as once a month) and develops 12-inch roots, making it drought-tolerant during dry summer months. After the lawn is established, it won’t need regular watering. The result is a lawn that’s not only low maintenance but also good for the environment. You can conserve water, cut back on the fossil fuel burned by your lawnmower, and avoid chemical fertilizers that wind up seeping into storm drains and infiltrating water supplies. ($33.00 - $150.00) Buy Pearl's lawn seed for an easy organic lawn with superior weed control here.
Delightfully Different Dinnerware
Disposable dinnerware is convenient, but paper plates and plastic bowls can quickly spoil the vibe at a party in our eco-friendly times. What is it? Plates and Cups solve that problem. They look just like the ubiquitous paper plates and plastic cups that appear at picnics and barbecues everywhere, but they’re not disposable. They’re made of durable melamine, so they’ll hold up to gobs of barbecue sauce and potato salad much better than the flimsy dinnerware they pay homage to. ($10.95-$45.95) Buy What is it? Melamine PLates and Cups here.
Woolly Pockets are flexible, breathable, and modular gardening containers. Not quite a pot, more interesting than a window box, these planting “pockets” allow you to place one plant in just the right spot. Woolly Pockets are earth-friendly because they are made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. The fabric pockets breathe. Unlike plants in clay, metal, or plastic containers, which will keep growing roots in long circles, plants in woolly pockets never get root-bound. Woolly pockets are lightweight and fold flat, which makes them very easy to use, move, and store just about anywhere. ($39.00 - $247.00) Buy Woolly Pocket gardening pockets for vertical wall gardens here.
Love the fizz of a carbonated beverage but hate taking the empty ones to be recycled? We were thrilled to find SodaStream from Soda Club Group. With a touch of a button you can turn flat water effervescent. Add any of the company’s 25 flavored regular and diet syrups and you’ve got homemade soda at a fraction of the cost of store brands (and without high fructose corn syrup). It’s a great way to save time and money—and reduce your carbon footprint. ($99.95-$199.95) Buy Soda Club Sodastream carbonator to make your own soda here.
Do you have sensitive skin that is sure to be nicked and boo-booed no matter which shaving cream product you use? We discovered Pacific Shaving Oil. Most creams or lathers just add a layer of air that the razor has to cut through. Pacific Shaving Oil adds that oh-so-desirable layer of lubrication and moisturizer so the razor doesn’t rip over the surface like sandpaper. Made from plant extract essential oils and packaged in small, travel-friendly containers, this shaving oil can be used with or without additional shaving cream. You will get at least 100 shaves from each little bottle. For every bottle sold, a tree will be planted. It’s good for your skin, for your wallet, and for the earth. ($17.85) Buy Pacific Shaving natural shaving oil here.
Celeb watchers know that a paper coffee cup is second only to a Birkin bag as the ultimate accessory for the chic and famous on the go. For those of us who wear knock-offs, make our own lattes and travel sans entourage, there’s this witty porcelain take on the paper cup. Unlike the faux Birkin, this fake from Decor Craft (amusingly named I Am Not a Paper Cup) is actually better than the real thing. Modeled after the iconic disposable, our eco-conscious cup is insulated with two layers of porcelain separated by a hollow cavity, so coffee stays hot, but your hand doesn’t burn. A realistic silicone lid fits snugly to prevent spills and allows you sip discretely at staff meetings, soccer practice or while strolling city sidewalks. ($11.49) Buy I Am Not a Paper Cup reusable coffee cup here.
Ever feel like it’s impossible to really change the way you eat? Clean Food can help you get over that hurdle. More than just a cookbook, Clean Food is a guide to making healthy choices. Terry Walters teaches readers about the benefits of choosing living plants, not processed food, and eating close to the source. The cookbook is organized by season, which makes it easy to choose recipes that feature fruits and vegetables in their prime and readily available. It’s not easy to break the habit of eating processed foods — let’s face it, they’re convenient. Fresh foods can seem harder to find and more daunting to prepare, but Clean Food makes it easy to enjoy the rewards of better eating. ($18.90) Buy the Clean Food cookbook for healthy eating here.