How to Be Green 365 Days a Year
IstockphotoOne day a year you walk to work instead of driving. You remember to bring your travel mug to the coffee shop. But even though Earth Day comes once a year, its spirit is a cinch to celebrate all year long. Try these cool products and services Ive recently discovered so that every day can be Earth Day in your neck of the woods.
Instant veggie gardenYou dont need a green thumb, or even a garden for that matter, to start growing your own veggies this spring. The folks at Ambers Garden have done all the upfront work for you with their simple seed mats. Each burlap sheet is impregnated with seeds, and you just lay the mat out on a sunny piece of garden (which can be a window box or any other soil-holding container) and water daily. In a few weeks, youll have armfuls of delectable, organic (because I know you wont be spraying them with pesticides) produce to harvest. The gardens are designed so that plants emerge perfectly spaced and get along well with their neighbors. Choose from Asian, Salad, Herbs, Summer, Salsa, and Rainbow blends, from $11 to $30.
Toxin-free art supplies
I remember how Play-Doh tastes—and I even remember my very first taste, on a dare, back in kindergarten. I also remember tasting that pasty glue we used for grade-school art projects. So these art supplies, made from safe, natural, non-toxic ingredients, seem like a really great idea to me. Created by a teacher who worried whether traditional art materials were safe enough for kids, Clementine Arts line now includes modeling dough, soy crayons, natural paint, glue and markers. Once you know how pure the products are, and the companys commitment to earth-friendly practices, you wont mind that the supplies come in soft, earthy colors instead of ones that glow in the dark. From $5.50 to $9.
Vapur is a collapsible, reusable, foldable, attachable, easy-clean, BPA-free water bottle thats planet-friendly in a whole bunch of ways. For one, just one truckful of Vapurs equals nine truckfuls of rigid plastic water bottles. For another, its simple cardboard package is printed with soy ink on recycled paperboard using wind-powered presses. And the company donates at least 1% of its annual sales to approved environmental charities. Its also really easy to use, especially if youre biking. Available in four colors, $9 each or four for $30.
iPhone shopping app
Harvest is an essential shopping tool, whether youre out at the farmers' market or wheeling down the supermarket produce aisle. Click on one of the fruits or veggies on the produce guide and learn useful selection and storage tips and each items peak season. Better still, the guide also tells you the pesticide level of each fruit/veggie, so you can opt for organic. FYI: The high-pesticide five: Peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, and nectarines. $2 at iTunes.
One-stop green shopping
No matter what eco-friendly product or service you seek, youre sure to find it at Greener Country. Energy-saving items, solar and rechargeable power, green building supplies, farmers' markets, gifts, tips, non-toxic pest control, yoga equipment—its all there, and more. The company donates profits from bath and jewelry products to save rain forest acreage and to enable indigenous people to achieve economic independence.