Almost every week – things arrive on my doorstep. Some are sent via PR and some I order online… not always the greenest way to buy, but it is a tool in this busy mom’s toolbox.I decided to share what comes from PR because they often send great natural eco savvy choices for me to try and when they are good, I want you to know about them.
Sharing things that I order, ties in naturally because another way to for readers & viewers to get insight into how I make the choices for our family.
Be sure to Subscribe to the Pure Natural Diva – PND Living Channel on YouTube – and while you are there add us as a friend too!
Green: More than a Color
Green – is a color, but these days for most people it invokes so much. One little 5 letter word, interpreted many ways.
Personally for many years… being green wasn’t positive in my mind , nor was it anything I endeavored to incorporate into my life. It was something that my mom did. If you asked me what I thought the word green meant, I would have said it’s for other people,, but not me. Those people I might have considered activist, treehugger’s – extremist who were convinced the sky is falling because a kernel of corn dropped on their head. I’ve come a long way.
Now, as the editor of a healthy living eco savvy lifestyle website, suffice it to say my perception has changed – just a little.
- a lifestyle
- a movement
- a trend
Does being green make you:
- An Activist
- An Environmentalist
I asked friends, What Does Green Mean to you?
“Making the best choices I can with the knowledge I have while trying to learn more every day.”
“Chemical free, hormone free, as mother nature and God intended it to be.”
“Being as earth friendly as possible – no chemicals, eating healthy foods”
“Green to me means that you make choices that contribute to the well being of the Earth and environment.”
“Leaving the earth a better place than I found it. Cleaning up after myself like my mama taught me.”
“Thinking about the environmental impact of purchases, research, and saving money by keeping it simple (IE less boxed food=less waste/recycling).”
“Green means everything in it’s purest form. Whether that being food, products or a person.”
“Green means caring about your carbon footprint and doing what you can to reduce your negative impact on Earth.”
“To me green is like the old camp saying, “Leave no trace.” I want to leave my little part of the world a little better and a little cleaner than it was when I arrived. Being green is not just about recycling or using less energy, eating organic foods or walking instead of driving. It’s a state of mind.”
“Green means back to basics – back to our roots – feeding and thriving off natural products, natural foods, baking from scratch instead of processed, using nature instead of artificial, cheaper products and harmful toxins.”
On Facebook and Twitter we heard
Money, Lifestyle, Booger (someone’s son had a cold!), conscious, Sustainable, healthy and Safe for our kids.
One Fan went on to say “I think that people used to associate the word “green” with having to sacrifice something they did not want to or be inconvenienced in some way, but slowly I think more people understand that going green is not near as difficult to incorporate in their life as they originally thought.”
Isn’t it fascinating! One word can bring so many meanings.
So…you may be wondering. What does green mean to me? I think it’s all about action. What do we do with the information we take in on a daily basis. Attempting to live in a mindful and conscious manner.
What Green Commitment Can You Make Today?
What self respecting diva doesn’t love a trip to the salon? Even better – I love discovering a new eco conscious beauty salon. One of my latest discoveries is Primrose Organic Salon & Boutique in Los Feliz.
PND was invited to come in for a review – given that I love nothing more than discovering new places to share with my readers – I was excited to check it out.
The salon is in trendy Loz Feliz and the mood is comfortable, cute with a retro vibe. On walking into the salon – the first thing you might note is what is missing – the absence of a strong chemical smell that accompanies so many salons.
Primrose opened in 2009. It was a partnership between Felicia Howe, the salon’s head stylist and Melissa Tornay, who overseas the business and retail side of their business. They are committed to bringing their clients the safest & best performing products coupled with outstanding services.
I was treated to a fantastic cut & color by Felicia – the salon primarily uses the Organic Color Systems Color Line, with the additional option of Davines for those who need a gluten free option.
I’ve been wearing Felicia’s cut for a few weeks now and have found it to style beautifully. The color added just the right amount of auburn to my brown locks – while still looking very much like it was my own color – so let’s keep the fact that it’s not our little secret!
One of the things that really impressed me about the salon was how informed Melissa is about the products she has handpicked to sell in the store. For your product needs tell her your exact priorities and she’ll match the line to your wish list, from the ultra safe & purest organic ingredients, to the safer – but not perfect – high performing, to gluten free – she’ll break it down for you.
My purchases included a new hairspray, lip balms & homemade soaps! I couldn’t resist.
Pricing at the salon is comparable to conventional salons with a cut & style priced at $60 and the single process color priced at $70.
I’ll be back soon – well worth the drive across town!
To book an appointment:
4616 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Every year we spend hours, wrapping countless gifts in preparation for the holidays. In a few minutes the excitement is over and we’re left with a big bag of trash. Do this project early in the holiday season to avoid the late nights right before the big day.
Last year I made eco-friendly reusable gift bags. You don’t need to be a great seamstress, just the ability to sew a straight-ish line. They are fast and easy.
Quick and easy doesn’t mean, wait until Dec 19th to start sewing, or you’ll wonder what ever made you think this was a good idea.
The good news is, you only have to make them once. Then they are done. This year I only have to pull them out and wrapping will be a breeze!
7-10 yards of lightweight muslin.
Large Spool of matching thread
Iron & Ironing Board
This isn’t an exact science, I approximated my measurements and worked it out. You’re essentially making a pillow case for each gift.
Grab a few of the gifts you need to wrap. Haven’t done your shopping, collect an assortment of toys and books. Look in the birthday gift stash for sample sizes too.
Each bag is made with one piece of muslin, fold over, pin down. Sew a seam along each side.
NOTE – If you are worried about fraying you’ll want to sew all the rough edges with a zig-zag stich before sewing your seems and hem.
Lay out your fabric to determine the “envelope size” you’ll need. Place the gifts on the fabric, allow an inch or two for wiggle room. Add 2″ extra inches for seams on the side and 1 1/2 for the top. Remember you will be using these again, so precision isn’t the goal.
TIP – Cut multiple bags of each size all at one time.
Next, determine how much room you need to allow for the length of your “envelope”. Guesstimate how much fabric it will take to cover your desired gift, then add a few inches. It’s nice to have extra on top for a prettier presentation.
Iron the bag. Fold the top edge over one time, then fold again (for a cleaner finish) and pin.
Sew the top seam.
Iron and your bag is done.
All that’s left to do is insert the gift, label and embellish (if desired).
For the greenest option (you’ll need to select a slightly heavier muslin so it’s not too sheer), insert the gift and tie with raffia.
I wrap the gift with a couple of sheets of tissue paper, and tie with raffia or satin ribbon (which I reuse). The picture shows some ribbon from the past that I’m trying to use up.
What’s nice is the sheerness of the muslin allows the color of the tissue paper to show through. You still have a nice festive look and if you love to pay attention to detail (aka anal like me) you can color coordinate.
Parents everywhere are preparing to send their children back to school. In the US they are expected to spend 18 Billion dollars on back to school, an average of 563.49 per family with school aged children. Buying power like this can be influential. If parents make greener purchases, manufacturer’s will respond.
Some green these choices may be cost a little more, but many will actually save you money! Our children watch everything we do, so making green choices is a teaching opportunity too.
*Be sure to label your water bottles – they are pricier – so you’ll want a chance at getting them back if they get left behind!
School lunches are the second largest source of school waste (first is office paper) – 2.7 Billion juice boxes alone. If every family in the US sent their child with a waste free lunch, we would save 3.5 Billion Pounds of trash from going to our landfills or being incinerated.
The good news is that this is an area where you will save money, on average, almost $250 per year per child. If you work on one thing this back to school, make it your goal to send your child to school with waste free lunches. For more information check out www.wastefreelunches.org. Vow to stop buying prepackaged lunches and individual sized “convenience” packaging. I know it’s a little easier, but the alternative doesn’t have to be overwhelming. You just need a system.
* Prepare lunches the night before, so you aren’t in a rush during the morning.
* Buy reusable beverage containers and fill with water, milk or juice (it really is best to skip the juice).
* Buy healthy snacks in larger packages and use reusable containers to send them in lunches – I keep a stack of containers in the pantry next to the items to be packed so they can be gathered together quickly.
* Wash and prepare fruit and vegetable snacks once for the whole week, then just pull what you need into a container when preparing lunches.
* Use insulated metal containers for leftover pastas, soups or other warm lunches – bonus using leftovers reduces waste saving money and the children get a warm lunch too.
* Use sandwich containers for… uh… oh yeah… Sandwiches. They don’t have to go in plastic wrap!
* Read my posts on plastics so that you understand the numbers and can choose carefully or better yet, avoid entirely. Safest way to use plastics, understanding the plastic numbering system.
As a bonus – lunches can be much healthier when you pack them yourself and avoid prepackaged options – you don’t even want to know all the %*# they put in pre-packaged food!
Note – we only use plastic for dry snacks & sandwiches – not for items that need to be reheated.
If I could do it again I would select stainless steel containers!
* When shopping for paper products look beyond the recycle symbol – Ideally you want a product that contains 100% post consumer waste.
* Avoid Binders and other products made with PVC’s.
* Look for products made with recycled material, scissors, pencils, notebooks – these days it’s all available.
Buy School Supplies from eco friendly companies like:
Treesmart – they make both Plain and colored Pencils with 100% recycled newsprint they also make pens and rulers out of recycled content, shipping is included in their pricing.
Sustainable Group – they make school and office supplies out of 100% post consumer content and have a great corporate ethics – their back to school kit is $39.99 with shipping.
Product review and Giveaway coming soon from both Treesmart & Sustainable Group!
Avoid products that look cool on the surface, but dig a little deeper and the romance ends. Products like Smencils that are made of recycled newspaper, but are scented (scents are largely unregulated and can contain toxins) and the pencils are packaged in plastic tubes creating more waste.
Better Back to School – Clothing and Shoes
For the record – Bamboo underwear are super soft and I ASKED him if he wanted them after a company approached me to work with them!
In the event the video feed isn’t working try clicking HERE to read the story.
Image Courtesy of Don’t Smile Now Photography – Thank You Shani!
Costco introduced a new line of environmentally friendly cleaning products. It is their own Kirkland Brand – and it’s packaged in 70% recycled material.
The Line Includes:
Liquid Laundry Detergent
Automatic Dishwasher Detergent
All Purpose Cleaner
I’ve happily replaced my laundry detergent (method $12 + per 64 load ) with the Kirkland green brand, around $13 for 110 loads. – I like the fragrance, leaves the laundry with a light fresh smell – but not at all over powering.
For all purpose cleaner – I make my own for less than $1 per bottle – but I did buy a bottle to try. I’ll report back once I’ve used it.
The Automatic Dishwasher Detergent works equally well in my dishwasher as the Seventh Generation. The packaging doesn’t the little metal pour spout -which is greener, but I must confess I miss it. It won’t stop me from using this detergent.
Some reviews have said Kirkland Brand is not as green as brand like; Planet and Seventh Generation, but for those of you moving in the green direction it’s a much better alternative than conventional brands, a big step in the right direction by Costco. Not to mention being much kinder to our wallet that other green brands.
For Earth Day – I decided to put together a few of my favorite green money saving tips.
You’ve switched out your florescent light bulbs, sealed your drafty windows and bought energy efficient appliances when you updated your kitchen. What else can you do? Well the truth is there are countless things you can do.
Paperless Paper Towels
Create a paperless paper towel system – it costs very little to set up and will save many dollars over the course of a year!
Foaming Hand Soap
Make your own foaming hand soap – with hand soap ringing in at $3-5 per bottle – it doesn’t take long for this to pay off – readers will benefit by having a triclosan free hand wash – not using, disposing, transporting and manufacturing of about 50 containers per year and they will save about $180 a year. Multiply that by the size of your community and you get the idea of the impact this small step would have if every family did this!
Waste Free Lunches
Pack Waste Free Lunches – Send your children to school with waste free lunches and if this seems overwhelming for you to go waste free for your own lunches, take baby steps. Start with a goal of 2 lunches per week and build from there!
Bonus – BYOB
Bring Your Own Bottle – If you aren’t already doing this – why not? It’s easy, good for the environment and you’ll save money too! Don’t like the stainless – try glass. They are heavier to carry, but extremely durable (think – bounce off concrete) and dishwasher safe.
I selected these things because they require very little investment, and have a quick payback. Once you get in the habit you’ll be saving a little green and living a little greener.
Nothing on this list is monumental – they are all little things. Little things that added together and multiplied can grow into a meaningful difference.
Little did I know – there are other options. You can find salons that offer beautiful color with dramatically safer color options.
Today I visited Ratana Salon – A hidden gem in West Hollywood off La Cienega just south of Santa Monica Blvd. You even enter the salon off the back lane!
You won’t find any hustle or bustle here – instead you’ll meet Ratana, possibly her sister, Suchana, and be soothed with zen-like music in an intimate Spa like atmosphere. There is one station for one client, and the first thing I noticed after walking into the salon was the absence any chemical smell.
Ratana began the process of becoming a greener salon a year ago - they’ve come a long way in that time. After working as a salon owner and stylist for over 20 years, she decided to change over to a less toxic coloring system because the traditional chemicals were making her sick.
The color process she uses – Organic Color Systems – employs heat to open the hair follicle and prepare it for the color. Traditional coloring uses ammonia. This system does take a little extra time – so if you decide to try it out be sure to allow 2 hours for your color process.
Ask for tea or coffee and you’ll get an organic offering – right down to the organic cream… and… oh… it will be served in a real mug.
A trip to the powder room and you’ll find the paper products are 100% recycled.
Ratana decided we should try a semi permanent process on my hair and successfully transformed me into an Auburn Diva once again. Semi permanent is a great choice for those who don’t need to cover gray and want to have less pressure to “get your roots done.”
Whether you live in Los Angeles or not – if you color your hair it may be time to ask your stylist to make a few changes or find an Eco Salon in your area. When I asked my personal stylist why more salons aren’t offering organic options – he said when it comes to beauty women just don’t care. I truly hope this isn’t true.
916 1/4 N. La Cienega Blvd.
(enter thru La Cienega alley)
Phone: (310) 659-2239
Mixing up new cleaning formulas has become a recent hobby. I love not spending hundreds of dollars on cleaning products and knowing exactly what I’m using in my home.
2 tbs Oil
2 tbs lemon juice
2 tbs alchohol
24 oz Water
2 tbs Oil
2 tbs Castille soap – I like the almond for wood floors.
2 tbs Alchohol
24 oz Water
If you like a little more fragrance add an essential oil of your choosing. PND likes almond and citrus for cleaning products.
Mix in Method Spray Cleaner Bottle – Spray on floor using a damp cloth over a mop to wipe. Because these cleaners contain oil – you do need to make sure you shake the bottle, to keep the liquids mixed while cleaning.
I’ve also used Method Hardwood Floor Cleaner, using about 1/2 cup and putting it in a spray bottle, fill with water. Spray directly on the floor and mop with a damp cloth.