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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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Eco-Friendly Breast Milk Storage Bags

What: Honeysuckle Breast Milk Storage Bags

Features:  Durable, extra thick, leakproof milk storage bottles with a double zipper and ridged bottom to prevent spills

Green Factor:  BPA-free, phthalate-free, oxo-biodegradable and recyclable!

Bonus:  Honeysuckle also makes storage bags made to work with Ameda and Medela breast pumps

Find It Here: Amazon

 

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Eco-Friendlier Paper Straws

What:  Paper Straws

Features: Thick paper straws coated with food-grade wax to protect them from liquid. Yes, these are single-use items but if you are in a situation where you need straws and glass or steel straws are not an option (i.e. parties, large gatherings, house guests) this is a far better option than plastic straws, which are typically non-recyclable.

Green Factor: Biodegradable, compostable and made with food-grade soy inks

Bonus: Made in the USA by Aardvark Straws

Find It Here:  Amazon

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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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Cool Craft: Cell Phone Charging Holder

Make a stylish cell phone holder to stash your cell phone and cord while charging your phone — from a LOTION BOTTLE. I love this idea because it keeps those annoying cords out of your way and you’ll be upcycling a plastic container into something useful!

Get the instructions at Make It and Love It

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Great Gifts: Eco-Friendly Dump Truck Toy

What: Green Toys Dump Truck

Features: This award-winning, eco-designed toy truck has no metal axles and a workable dumper that encourages motor skill development.

Green Factor: Made from 100 percent recycled plastic milk containers

Bonus: Made in the USA

Find It Here: Amazon.com

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DIY Upcycled Sweater Boots

What: Tutorial for making your own upcycled sweater boots

Features: With a big bulky sweater, some cheap flat shoes, a hot glue gun, some buttons, a sewing machine and a needle and thread you can make your own super stylin’ sweater boots.

Green Factor: You’re recycling old stuff into something new!

Bonus: While these won’t be truly winter-worthy (i.e. snow, sleet, rain), they’ll be adorable for all those cool days between fall and spring and your only limit is your imagination. See other examples here and here.

Find It Here: Instructables

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Green Tips for Back-to-School

Greener Lunch

  • Pack your child’s lunch in reusable containers and use reusable water bottles. In doing so, you can help reduce the huge amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
  • Ask your kids’ school to source sustainable foods for cafeteria lunches, including locally grown or Rainforest Alliance Certified™ produce.
  • Pack fruit as a healthy alternative to chips, and you also save on the wasteful packaging!
  • If your school has a garden, consider collecting organic material in a compost bin in the cafeteria and creating fertilizer from lunchtime waste.

Greener Transport

  • Have your kids walk or ride their bikes to school if possible. Not only does this help reduce carbon emissions, but it is also good exercise for all of you
  • If you live too far from the school to make walking or bike riding an option, have your kids catch the school bus as opposed to driving them.
  • If you have to drive, arrange a carpool with other parents. Not only will this help reduce emissions, but it will also help minimize your gas costs.

Greener Waste

  • Remind your children to use both sides of the page when they’re writing or printing.
  • Don’t forget to recycle your own paper waste. Ask your kids’ school to start classroom and cafeteria recycling programs if they don’t already have them.

Greener Supplies

  • Save money and trees by purchasing textbooks second-hand.
  • Don’t throw away old text books — sell or donate them instead!
  • Try to use school supplies from last year; your kids don’t need new supplies every year!
  • Use refillable pens made from recycled plastic.
  • Use pencils made from Forest Stewardship Council certified wood.
  • Reuse last year’s backpacks and lunchboxes if they are still in good condition.
  • Choose recycled and/or Forest Stewardship Council / Rainforest Alliance Certified paper.

Greener Education

Thanks to The Rainforest Alliance for kindly providing these tips (I added a few of my own)

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School Uniform Shopping & Recycling

It’s back-to-school time and for us, that means it’s also time to get more school uniforms. Unfortunately, for the past few years, I’ve been coming across more and more brands of uniforms that are treated with anti-stain chemicals.

While the old formulation of Scotchgard stain repellent was discontinued because it was found to be bio-accumulative, persistent and basically unsafe for living things (as were other similar perfluorochemicals such as Teflon) there is a whole new crop of stain-resistance chemicals that are supposed to be safer. Why? Because they stay in the body for less time—and while it’s great that they stay in your body for less time, it’s still my preference that they not be in my body or the bodies of my children at all.

With that in mind, I always avoid clothing (as well as furniture and housewares) that touts it’s resistance to stains but it still concerns me that a lot of people don’t realize this isn’t necessarily the bonus it’s advertised to be. It’s a chemical that’s not really been proven 100% safe and it will be on your child’s skin five days a week for an entire school year.

Thanks but no thanks…

There are many brands of uniforms out there and I’ve definitely not researched them all but these are the brands I’ve opted not to buy because they have been treated with stain resistant chemicals:

Land’s End
Cherokee (Target)
George (WalMart)
Dickies
Classroom

These are the brands that do not, as far as I can tell, use stain-resistant chemicals:

Old Navy
Izod
Dockers
French Toast  (I saw one pair of French Toast pants being sold by an online uniform store that were treated with Scotchgard but none of the French Toast items I saw in stores or on the French Toast web site indicate any stain resistance treatment)

Recycle Those Uniforms

This spring, once it got warm, I took all my daughter’s winter khaki uniform pants and cut them into shorts and hemmed them with my sewing machine. I knew by the following winter they would be too short for her so this was an easy way to get more wear out of them. If you don’t sew, you can probably find an alteration shop that will do it for just a few dollars per pair.

I also look in consignment shops and thrift stores for gently worn khaki and navy pants and shorts for both kids and when the school has uniform swaps, I bring our too small stuff and trade up for bigger sizes.

While these things all save me money, they also conserve resources by employing the three R’s —reducing, reusing and recycling.

Happy non-toxic back to school!

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Way Basics Table & Chair Set

way-basics-table-setWhat: Children’s table and chairs (comes in white and multi-colors)

Features: Sustainably made from zBoard recycled paper, each piece is sturdy yet super lightweight—62% lighter than particleboard furniture. It’s also water resistant and sets up in minutes without tools (looking at you, IKEA!)

Green Factor: Unlike particleboard, which is what most commonly available non-plastic children’s table sets are made of, zBoard is toxin, VOC and formaldehyde-free and uses environmentally friendly and recyclable water-based glues so there is no chemical outgassing in your home.

Additionally, zBoards are made almost entirely (99%) from post-consumer recycled paper and do not consume additional trees and the enormous amounts of water needed to make virgin paper. Way’s zBoard furniture is 100% recyclable

Bonus: Way is a carbon neutral company and a founding member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council. In addition to table sets, they make really cool bookshelves and modular cube storage systems.

Find It Here: Buy directly from Way Basics or buy from Amazon and get free shipping when you spend over $25

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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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Greener Entertaining

Parties are notorious for consumption and waste but there are things you can do to green your party and be kinder to the environment. Remember, going green is not an all or nothing proposition—do what you can and it’ll help in the long run.

Recycle: Don’t let a party keep you from recycling. Provide plenty of refuse containers for garbage and recyclables and label them so that it is clear what kind of waste goes in it. The best containers are those that require some action or thought on the part of the user, like lifting a lid, stepping on a pedal or opening a cabinet (trust me, I got a masters degree in this stuff).

This simple act forces your guests to think and notice your recycling sign. If you have these types of containers and label them correctly, you’ll limit misplaced items. If you don’t, just use any containers and label the heck out of it. You’ll still get misplaced items but it’s better than nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

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