Back to School-Pack it Up! ...Eco-style

Eco-school days, school days...new and modern rule days...



and recycled crayon sticks...

eco-colored pencils

and staplers with tricks...

an eco-friendly lunch kit on the go...

AND now everybody, you are in the know!

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A New Page of Green Places!

We've just added a brand-spanking new page of Eco-Friendly Places to our I LOVE THESE section. Take a look around, and while you're at it, check out the rest of our I LOVE THESE!

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Last week, I did a post about how chic eco can be. I featured an amazing cuff by a company called Alkemie. I wanted to share more of their unique pieces that are made from 100% reclaimed metal. The husband and wife design team of Ashley Lowengrub and Dara Gerson had this to say about how using reclaimed metals is better for the environment:

"These industries are so polluting and displace communities, contaminate
drinking water, hurt workers, and destroy pristine environments. With
Alkemie we are proud to be offering an alternative to jewelry made from
the resources that come out of these mines."

Not only is their philosophy admirable, but their pieces are truly amazing. Take a look...

Royal Crest Necklace

Left: Large Sea Urchin Ring Right: Spike Shell Ring

Charm Necklace

60's Cocktail Ring

Left: Key Cuff Right: Zipper Cuff

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I received an e-mail from Green Depot founder Sarah Beatty yesterday informing me that New York State just passed a law banning the sale of baby bottles, sippy cups, and a variety of other children’s products that contain BPA. This is SO exciting! You may remember the BPA-free popsicle molds that I boasted about in the Volume 3 Kitchen. BPA is known to affect sexual development and processes, especially in developing fetuses, infants, and children. This is a huge step in the right direction!

Here are some of my top favorite BPA-free sippy cups and bottles:

This Boon sippy cup is for the modern baby-it's so cool!

The name says it all, these Safe Sippy Cups are SO cute!

Here's one less thing to worry about as a new mother- Born Free Baby Bottles are 100% BPA free!

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Eco Chic

I came across this Ferm Living Wallpaper the other day and it made me realize how chic eco-friendly decor can really be. It inspired me to build a little eco scheme around it, and I must say, I like what I found...

. Eco-Friendly Driftwood Orb Chandelier from the Well Appointed House 2. "Tonecoon" lounger by Pie is made of rapidly renewable water hyacinth 3. I LOVE this custom jute rug by Eco Rug. I'd have it it any and every room of my house 4. When you purchase this Large Stringray Textured Cuff made of reclaimed metal by Alkemie, 8% of your purchase will go to your selection of any one of 46 charities! 5. This Jay Bird Round Table is composed of handmade papier mache from recycled materials by artisans in Haiti. It's available in an array of fun, eco-friendly low VOC paints!

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Vintage Vibe

Since I posted last week about the fabulous 390 square foot apartment designed by David Kaihoi, I can't get his fabulous vintage wallpaper out of my mind! Buying vintage is a great way to be sustainable. David pieced together the tattered wallpaper he found at an auction, and the result was stunning! I found some really GREAT vintage papers. Take a look...

Whether designing a sweet space for a little girl made of sugar and spice or a chic Jonathan Adler-clad pad, all of these papers are sure to make a statement!

From Upper Left: Antique Wallpaper from the early 1900's found on Ebay, Retro Wallpaper from the 1970's found on Hannah's Treasures,Vintage "Jackie" Wallpaper found on Second Hand Rose, 1970's Vintage Wallpaper found on Hannah's Treasures, Vintage Foil Celtic Knot Wallpaper found on Ebay, Late 60's Chrysanthemum Wallpaper found on Hannah's Treasures

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Sustainable NYC

I stumbled upon yet another great source for eco-friendly products in NYC. It's called Sustainable NYC and is located in New York's East Village. I was thrilled to find petroleum-free lip balms, eco-friendly nail polishes, and even an organic cafe within the space! Their mission is to support items that are local, organic, fair trade, recycled, re-purposed, biodegradable, and alternative-energy. If I wasn't in a time crunch, I think I would have bought out the entire store!

Soy-based candles and other goodies litter the shelves.

Priti NYC brand nail polish is made out of all natural resources and comes in almost any color under the sun!

Delicious organic treats to enjoy before, during or after your shopping...genius!

Petroleum-free lip balm!

A great selection of reusable bottles.

Haha! I couldn't resist posting this. Get rid of your plastic bags but hang on to your sense of humor!

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Thinking Outside of the Box

One man's trash is another man's...

Reusing and recycling items to make them new again is one of the best and most creative ways to be eco-friendly. I came across a few brilliant examples of turning trash into treasure.

Architect Adam Kalkin sees used shipping containers as a way to contain...people. The architect arranged 12 containers under one roof for a retreat in Maine.

The brilliant minds at Studio Arne Quinze, an architecture firm headquartered in Belgium used many reclaimed items when building L’Eclaireur, a multi-label fashion store owned by the fascinating Armand Hadida. Amongst using plenty of reclaimed wood and cardboard, recycled aluminum priner plates were used to fashion much of the stores surfaces. Wow! Who knew that a printer plate could be so chic!

Starbucks-I'm pretty sure we've all been there...at least once...at least once today. Most Starbucks look the same until a new one sprung up late last year in Seattle's Capitol Hill area. It's part of a three-store test to see how more independent Starbucks stores fare. This particular Starbucks, known as 15th Ave Coffee & Tea is fashioned out of reclaimed barn wood provided by Pioneer Millworks who received two Grand Prize awards from the Association for Retail Environments (A.R.E.) for specialty food retailer of the year.

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CNN: Laura talks with Campbell Brown and Bill Nye about Oil Conservation Tips

I had the opportunity to talk with Campbell Brown about the small changes we can make in our daily lives that can make a big difference. For tips on reducing use of plastic bags and plastic bottles, see these Dayly posts from last week, and come back for more! As Campbell suggests, let this disaster be the spark to bring major change.
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Think Small

In a world where our bigger (ie gas guzzling, energy exhausting) homes are viewed as better, it was refreshing when I saw a 390 square foot apartment in the July/August issue of House Beautiful! What impressed me more than the fact that three people (Interior Designer David Kaihoi, his wife, and their daughter) live in this 390 square foot space was that it's one of the most well decorated spaces that I've seen in a while.This goes to show that less done right really can be more!

The family shares this one-bedroom apartment which they maintain with "organization, furniture with more than one purpose, and colors and patterns that engage the eye."

The corner banquette opens up for storage. The designer says that "Everything has to have more than one purpose." This is such a great theory when it comes to conserving the earth's materials.

Their daughter sits in the same chair as mine does-the Trapp high chair by Stokke. It's a great investment both sustainably and economically because it grows with your child.They can sit in it from the time they're 6 up until 36 months of age!

The big furniture in this room most certainly does make this room feel grand. I'd love to be invited over for movie night.

This antique's gentleman's chest is the definition of multi-purpose for this family. It serves as a desk, bar, child's bureau, and-when their daughter was in diapers, it was a changing table! Genius!

Hidden organization and storage can be found throughout the entire apartment. The designer even gave up half of his closet to make room for a washer and dryer-now that's sacrifice!

I think people forget that buying vintage is a great way to be sustainable. The designer bought this wallpaper at auction, pieced it together, and filled in the empty spaces. I absolutely adore it!

Some things are non-negotiable. It seems as though his wife still has a decent size closet for New York standards, and I love the brilliant shade of red and the way he used mirrors to make the space look larger.

Three is company in this 8x8 foot bedroom. The window sill acts as a bedside table and the trundle for their daughter comes out at night, and goes back in the morning.

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Bag it Up

In all of the research I've been doing over the past few months on ways to decrease petroleum dependency, I've come to learn that using plastic bags is one of the biggest contributors to unecessary petroleum use. I was shocked and appauled by some of these startling statistics:

  • Plastic bags are made of polyethylene which is a petroleum product
  • Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year
  • Only 1% of plastic bags are recycled
  • It takes 1,000 years for polyethylene bags to break down
  • Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags

While all information is extremely startling, don't worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel...


Baggu makes these great shopping bags made of 100% Ripstop nylon. They hold the contents of 2-3 plastic bags! AND...best of all it comes in 34 different colors!

I own this bag in another color and I LOVE IT. It fits SO much and better yet, it's made of organic material. The company that makes this brilliant bag, Beau Soleil, uses fabric made out of bamboo, vegetable-dyed organic cottons and vintage, tencel, which is made from eucalyptus tress, as well as recycled leather trims.

Even if you bring reusable bags with you when you're shopping, that doesn't mean you can put plastic bags full of things inside of them! That's why it's important to be a few more steps ahead and get some reusable produce bags. These Flip & Tumble ones have a drawstring and come in sets of 5...PERFECT!

It's hard to find a comparable replacement for Ziploc bags but there are options out there. These Lunchskins are made of certified food-safe fabric, hand-sewn in the USA, lead-free, bpa-free, and phthalate-free!

You can literally make a statment by carring Blue Q's slogan-clad bags. Blue Q bags are made by taking old grain sacks and plastic water bottles, grinding them up, heating them into a type of thread, which is then woven to create a super-strong 95% post-consumer recycled polypropylene material.

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Crude Awakening

LATELY, it's been hard for me to talk about priceless art and fine fabrics when there are serious problems going on in the world around us. I'm determined to find ways to decrease our oil dependency and artist and photographer Jane Fulton is in agreeance. Jane's most recent exhibition entitled "Crude Awakening" struck a chord with me. Here are her thoughts on the spill:

Living on the shores of Lake Michigan, I am acutely aware of the disastrous toll the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has taken on all forms of life, especially as our beaches opened to the 2010 swimming season. This environmental, social and economic catastrophe highlights a much larger problem that has inflicted untold suffering as we exploit the earth’s resources worldwide.

We are all responsible for leading lives that create demand for unsustainable energy. We are also all responsible for the solution and we must work together to protect the balance of life.

I couldn't agree more with her and hopefully her photographs will make you feel the same...

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My Friend DJ's Tip of the Day:


After seeing yesterday's DAYly, my friend DJ sent me this video about bottled water and how drinking tap water quite literally could save the world....

So ditch your plastic water bottles! Here are a few healthier options to sip from:

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Thoughts on the Oil Spill


I thought this video was interesting because it not only talks about the negative affects of the oil spill, but talks about how social media is and was used for people to express their anger and frustration.

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