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Make a No-Sew Fringed Scarf

fringe-scarfWhile a scarf is often a winter necessity for those of you above the Mason-Dixon, I’m more into scarves as a fashion accessory since it doesn’t get all that cold here in Florida. This simple tutorial is for a super stylish scarf that, weather notwithstanding, you can wear all year long.

Not only is this no-sew fringed scarf  really easy to make and very fashionable (fringe is EVERYWHERE right now), it’s also a great way to upcycle some of those unwanted t-shirts we all have clogging up our drawers!

And? They make great (read: inexpensive) holiday gifts!

You’ll Need:

•  One old T-Shirt – Bigger, wider  shirts will make allow you to make a longer scarf. Smaller,  more narrow shirts will make your scarf shorter.

•  Cloth Scissors – These will make cutting your fringe a lot easier.

Step 1:  Find a t-shirt that you won’t mind cutting up. If you don’t have one at home, you can pick up tons of them at the thrift store for almost nothing.

Step 2:  Cut horizontally across the shirt  just below the armholes, to create a rectangular tube. Then do the same just above the hem.

Step 3:  Start making vertical cuts all the way around the tube that extend from the raw edge upward. The longer the cut, the longer the fringe will be.  This is optional but if you want more fringe, you can cut strips on the opposite side as well.

Step 4:  Tug down on each strand to elongate it and curl the edges. You can also knot the ends of each strand for some extra detail.

scarf-pictures

You can find more t-shirt scarf ideas on here on Pinterest.

Photo Credit: Bestfan.com

 

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Non-Toxic Air Mattresses (Updated)

These days, when you need an extra bed, you’re more likely to pull out an air mattress than a sofa sleeper and for camping, the inflatable air mattress is apt to be found on most packing lists.

The problem, however, is that these days they are almost universally made with PVC, which outgasses harmful fumes long after that telltale “new mattress smell” has dissipated and can contain lead.

A few years ago, those of us who objected to breathing in toxic fumes may have had little recourse other than to forgo the luxury of an air mattress and lump it—but we now have a few options:

The Aerobed Pakmat: It’s PVC and phthalate-free and made of 100% eco-friendly materials. Uses a hand pump instead of batteries or electricity to inflate and only takes about 60 seconds plus it weighs only 5 lbs and stores right inside it’s pump case. FREE SHIPPING on Amazon.com.

The Aerobed Ecolite: Made from eco-friendlier TPU instead of PVC, the Ecolite is phthalate-free and comes with a rechargeable pump. Unlike the Pakmat, it comes in twin and queen sizes and is 40% lighter than PVC air mattresses. Personally, I’d still go for the Pakmat because I’ve had several air mattress pumps die on me over the years.

Kelty Sleep Eazy: Made of 70D nylon with a TPU laminate, and includes a standard coil for support. The PVC-free Sleep Eazy is also a breeze to inflate thanks to the 6-volt rechargeable pump, which includes both a car and wall charger for versatile use. And to ensure compact storage, the airbed comes with a Kelty Binto storage bin.

Lake Timber Top Rubberized Fabric Air Mattress: Back before PVC was so ubiquitous, air mattresses were made of rubberized fabric and were reputedly super durable, in addition to being far more eco-friendly than their PVC counterparts. This rubberized fabric air mattress is the equivalent of a twin or single air mattress at 30″ X 72″ and can also be used in the water. Comes with a repair kit and is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on Amazon.com

I also found companies in Canada, the UK and Australia that carry rubberized cotton air mattresses. I will link to them for our non-American readers and anyone who might be interested in  placing an international order:

Home Hardware: The store I searched is in Toronto (but they have many locations in Canada) and they carry several rubberized cotton air mattresses that seem reasonably priced.

Amazon UK: They carry a couple different options in rubberized cotton air mattresses by a company called Highlander.

Discount Camping: This Australian store carries three different sizes of rubberized cotton air mattresses.

Happy PVC-free sleeping!

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Great Green Gifts Under $21

Stainless Steel Straws

These stainless steel straws are practical, durable alternatives to plastic straws. They have all the functionality of the bendy disposable straws without the waste and they also look pretty cool!  Made of 18/10 stainless steel. $9.95 for set of 4.

Bonus: $4.95 flat rate shipping with code “BELLS”

Find It Here: Reuseit


Peopletowels

Did you know the average person uses between 2,400 and 3,000 paper towels a year? Tote these reusable alternatives to paper towels instead. Made from 100% certified organic Fair Trade cotton, these extra-absorbent and lightweight hand towels are made to curb your paper towel usage at the gym, work, in the car or in public facilities. Comes with their own bag for portability. Set of 2 for $16

Bonus: Printed with non-toxic dyes

Find It Here: Uncommon Goods


3D Garden Pinwheels

A modern spin on the traditional garden fixture, these stainless steel stunners add fun and style to your landscape. Designed in Germany. 2 sizes available for $16-$20

Find It Here:  Uncommon Goods

 

 

 

 

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Great Green Gifts for Her

recycled materials green gym bagThe Everything Fits Gym Bag

•  100% recycled polyester with polyester mesh
•  Vented outside compartment to hold shoes wet items, shoes or towel

This eco-chic bag will keep a girl organized with its roomy interior featuring a zippered pocket, an elastic pocket and a key tether. Includes an easy-reach outside pocket for water bottle, inside and outside holsters for cell phone and MP3 player and bottom adjustable straps for your yoga mat (not included). 18″L x 8½”W x 13″H.

Bonus: Free shipping!

Find it Here:  Gaiam


The Organic Chocolate Pleaser Kit

A pleasing assortment of organic and fair trade Gourmet Chocolate Goodness from California. Rich Rainforest Dark Fudge, exquisite raw chocolate hearts and brittle, lots of mouth-watering gourmet chocolate bars, tasty chocolate bites, plus amazing Lavender Truffle Hearts!

Bonus: Made in the USA

Find it Here: Kate’s Caring Gifts

 


Organic Cotton and Hemp Infinity Scarf
With the feel of linen, the rich color of silk and the strength of hemp, this versatile organic scarf works for all occasions and brightens any outfit with texture and pop. 42″ long and available in ten colors.

Bonus: Machine washable

Find It Here: Sprigs

 

 

 

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Totally Analog

analog object post cardsWhat: Set of four postcards presented in a matchbook-style cover with a handy pencil

Features: Each postcard bears a hand-rendered cultural object of days gone by— a cassette tape, a film-based camera, a rotary phone, and a typewriter.

Green Factor: Screenprinted with eco-friendly inks on 100% recycled paper stock.

Bonus: Made in San Francisco, USA

Find It Here: Branch Home

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Wildflower Seed Bombs

What: Pouches packed with five ready-to-grow seed balls, each suitable for one U.S. region.

Features: Help the grass stay greener on the other side of abandoned fences with “guerrilla gardening.” Simply throw and grow! Each pouch holds five seed balls. Seed Bombs are ideal for use during spring, summer, or early fall.

Green Factor: Pouches are made of muslin and balls are handmade from clay and worm castings to enrich soil.

Bonus: Made in the USA

Find It Here: Uncommon Goods

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Mimi the Sardine Apron

What: Eco-friendly child’s apron from Mimi the Sardine

Features: Swedish-made, acrylic (non-PVC) coated, water-resistant cotton apron for crafts and kitchen fun. Wipe it clean or safely machine-wash.

Green Factor: PVC-free, meets Oeko-Tex 100 standards for safe and environmentally friendly fabrics, free of harsh chemicals and dyes.

Bonus: Made in USA

Find It Here: Oompa Toys

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The Bamboo 3 Pod

What: Bamboo device charging station

Features: The Bamboo 3 Pod has three built-in slots to hold your cell phone, PDA, mp3 player or camera. The sliding front door allows you to conceal a 10″ or smaller power strip (not included) and all the charging cords in one area so you can avoid ugly cord spaghetti messes.

Green Factor: Made of sustainable, renewable bamboo. Also, using a power strip means there is only one thing to turn off when you’re not charging. Why turn it off? Because chargers are energy vampires that continue to draw power even when they’re not hooked up to anything!

Bonus: Can also be wall-mounted (drywall screws are included). We think it would make a great Father’s Day gift for the digital dad in your life!

Find It Here: Great Useful Stuff

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Good For You Girls

What: Natural skin care products for girls

Features: Skin care made especially for girls to help clean, balance pH, clear blemishes and protect their delicate skin from the elements without harsh, toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Green Factor: Good For You Girls products are free of synthetics, petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates,dyes, hormone-disruptors and GMO’s plus the packaging is made from recycled materials and water-based inks.

Bonus: Good For You Girls products have a 100% money back guarantee and they’re vegan and cruelty-free.

Find It Here: Good For You Girls

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Kids Garden in a Bag

What: A complete garden kit in a bag

Features: This kit contains everything needed to grow flowers in the bag, plus the outside is made to be colored so every child’s bag garden is unique.

Green Factor: Once the plant outgrows the bag, it can be re-planted in a pot and continue to grow. Plants absorb carbon and release oxygen plus they look pretty, teach kids about nature and with any luck, will help instill a love for gardening.

Bonus: Made in Idaho (see also: not made in China).

Find It Here: Branch

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REMAKE IT! Magazine Envelopes

What: Envelope making kit

Features: This nifty kit contains everything you need to remake scrap paper such as magazine pages, sheet music, maps, posters, comic books and more into mailable works of art in the form of envelopes.

Green Factor: You recycle paper you already have into fun, creative envelopes instead of using brand new ones!

Bonus: Kit comes with 2 envelope templates, a greeting card template, stickers and mailing labels.

Find It Here: Karma Kiss

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Upcycled Vintage Silverware

What: Upcycled vintage silverware by Sycamore Hill

Features: Gorgeous vintage silver utensils are engraved with clever phrases and words. There are so many to choose from so make sure you look at everything—they would make great gifts (a hint to my husband)!

Green Factor: Sycamore Hill gives new life to old silver pieces by upcycling them into these fun, eclectic, one-of-a-kind conversation pieces!

Bonus: You can make custom requests!

Find It Here: KK Designs by Sycamore Hill

This Week’s Giveaway: Kill A Watt EZ

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