Green Manolo » Organics

Archive for the 'Organics' Category

Can You Green Your Love Life?

Friday, January 28th, 2011
By Christa

Stephanie Iris Weiss certainly thinks so – her new book, Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable, is all about how to reduce your carbon footprint in the bedroom. Rawr! If you’re wondering how a roll in the hay could get any greener, it’s not the act that Weiss is greening, but rather the peripherals. It covers topics like green sex toys, low-impact lingerie, fair-trade condoms, bamboo bed linens, conflict-free diamonds, green dating web sites, and eco-friendly cosmetics, to give just a few examples.

For some, Weiss’ book about greening one’s sex life might just be the best way to introduce the uninitiated to the green movement. After all, sex sells! But I could see some people – in particular, people whose sex lives don’t require a shopping bag of accessories – raising an eyebrow at the concept. Still, this is a fun book and an easy, accessible read that won’t kill your libido with too many depressing statistics or doomalicious predictions. In other words, Weiss’ message is not that buying a pack of regular old Trojans is a one-way ticket to environmental damnation. But rather, if you can green your birth control, why not? Feeling good about your low environmental impact can only make sex hotter, right?

P.S. – Thanks to A.J. for sending me a link to this book!

Painting? Think Twice Before Grabbing a Can of Something or Other at the Home Depot

Friday, December 10th, 2010
By Christa

With a baby in the house, we’re pretty careful about what chemicals we use, and paint was high up there on our list of concerns. Made from petrochemical sources and full of stinky volatile organic compounds, regular interior paint can seem pretty shady when you’re thinking of your home improvement from a green point of view. One sniff in a freshly-painted room and you can’t deny that you’re probably breathing in some not-so-great gasses.

That’s why we’re big fans of Green Planet Paints, a line of ecological, clay-based, no-VOC paints developed in southern Arizona. Their non-toxic, plant-based paint formula combines 11 ingredients including water, marble, porcelain clay, mineral pigments, and a soy-based resin. You can breath easy while you’re painting. You can paint with kids present. And unlike the no-VOC paints of the past, which only came in boring pastel colors, Green Planet Paints can color match just about anything in their flat, eggshell, and semi-gloss finishes.

Have you tried the new no-VOC paints? How did you think they compare to standard paint?

Brands to Check Out: Beauty Without Cruelty

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010
By Christa

I wanted to tell you about one of my favorite brands, Beauty Without Cruelty, in case you’re in the market for something new for your shower or makeup bag! Well, not quite new. BWC was founded in 1963 in England by the trustees of BWC Charitable Trust, an animal welfare organization, because they wanted to create a line of natural beauty products that wasn’t tested on animals and didn’t contain any animal products whatsoever. Even if going cruelty free isn’t as important to you as going green, I still think you should check out BWC for its natural, organic, and safe ingredients

beauty without cruelty shampoocruelty free beauty productsnot tested on animals
animal rights and beautycruelty free moisturizervegan soap

My personal faves are the rosemary, mint, and tea tree shampoo and the super gentle facial cleansers, but I’ve tried some of the other soap-type products and everything has ranged from good to wonderful. (Full disclosure: I have eczema so I have to use natural, non-irritating product or else.) Because I’m scent sensitive, one thing I really like is that the organic aroma-therapeutic essential oil scents are so mild. And one thing I’m not crazy about? Well, the BWC shampoos don’t get sudsy in your hair, which is hard to get used to, but that’s what happens when you take away sodium lauryl sulfate.

I’ll admit that I haven’t tried any of BWC’s cosmetics, but the entire line the company produces is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and fragrance free. Natural ingredients are the norm and organics are used whenever possible, just like in their lovely soaps, shampoos, conditioners, moisturizers, and facial scrubs. On top of that, all BWC nail polishes are toluene, formaldehyde, and pthalates free, so you don’t have to worry about what kinds of icky things they’re doing to your fingernails.

Do you have a favorite eco-friendly, cruelty-free, or organic brand for Green Manolo to check out? Tell us about it in the comments!

12 Foods That You Should Buy Organic

Monday, November 8th, 2010
By Christa

No pesticides? Healthier land management? Small farmers thriving? Biodiversity? Organic eating sounds great, until you get to the market and see just how much organic food can cost over its conventionally grown cousins. And while the gap between the price of organically grown foods and conventionally grown foods is narrowing, sometimes organics just aren’t available.

So why making eating organically a priority? Easy! You can reduce your exposure to pesticides by as much as 80% by avoiding just the most contaminated foods at the market. Even if you can’t find your favorite fruits and veggies in organic form or simply can’t afford the extra cost, it pays to opt for pesticide-free choices when you’re talking about produce with thin skins, produce that is prone to insect damage so blasted with multiple pesticides, and even produce that can absorb pesticides through the soil (ewwww).

The compromise:* Go organic when it matters most. Here’s a list of 12 foods that you should buy organic whenever possible to promote your health and the health of the world around you:

1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Apples
5. Imported Grapes
6. Potatoes
7. Cherries
8. Kale
9. Spinach
10. Bell Peppers
11. Blueberries
12. Nectarines

Want to know more? One of my favorite books on the subject is To Buy or Not to Buy Organic: What You Need to Know to Choose the Healthiest, Safest, Most Earth-Friendly Food by food journalist and former chef Cindy Burke. It’s a short book – nothing heavy – that still packs a punch in the information department. Burke doesn’t just tell you what to buy; she gives you the dirt on what the organic label means these days, explains why pesticides and fungisides are the yuck, and tells you just why we should all be buying this instead of that.

*Remember, going green should always be about compromise. If you’re a committed eco warrior wearing a hemp shirt you grew and wove yourself on your off-the-grid farm, sweet. The rest of us will be over here, taking it slow, balancing the need to, for example, get to work or afford food with our desire to make the world a better place.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
Copyright © 2004-2009; Manolo the Shoeblogger, All Rights Reserved

  • Recent Comments: