Green living is about 'greening' our daily lives. Here's a definition of Green from the Sustainability Dictionary:
Green: "A common metaphor referring to environmental association based on the shared secondary color of many plants. It is often used to associate products, organizations, political parties, or policies with environmental sensitivity."
Many companies are trying to be seen as 'green' - without actually having a 'green' corporate culture or products. This practice is called 'green washing'.
Astute 'green' consumers know the difference, and we aim to help clear up any confusion by spotlighting genuinely green businesses, products and organizations
Aubrey Organics: Has been around longer than most, and is just what it claims to be - organic herbal body care products. They are pricier than most, but worth it - a little goes a long way. Extensive online catalog, many more products than you ever see in stores. There's also a handy store locator on the site.
Abundant Earth: Catalog of goods-for-the environment made with organic and recycled materials. They offer a broad range of green living products - bedding, linens, furniture, rugs, cleaning supplies, air and & water purifiers, candles ... but not clothing.
Nature's Crib: Natural and organic products for babies and parents, including organic baby clothing & bedding, natural baby care, cloth diapers, and cleaning products. Clothing and bedding is 100% certified organic cotton and pure grow wool. Great pictures of adorable babies is a bonus!
Green Elegance Weddings: designed for the stylish couple who also wants to do the right thing for the planet. Injecting "green elegance" into their wedding plans allows them to make earth-friendly green choices, while at the same time bringing an atmosphere of elegance to their celebration.
Green Kits: Green-kits offers green cleaning products, reusable grocery bags, organic baby care and more - such as green product kits for kitchen, bath and baby. Get tips on why and how to green your home. All Green Kits products are non-toxic, non-acidic, non-abrasive, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly.
NutsOnline: An excellent source for vegetarian foods you can't find locally. Besides nuts and seeds of all kinds, this popular website carries grains, beans, lentils, dried fruit, flour, gluten free cooking and baking items. For best prices and shipping rates, we recommend making large orders. NutsOnline Review
Organic Selections: The website of Natural Selections, a wonderful store in our hometown, Fairfield IA, filled with beautiful, natural and organic products for the whole family.
Green People Organic food, pet supplies, baby products, beauty products, home improvement, hemp, organic cotton, health products, recycled products. Self-proclaimed world's largest, directory of eco-friendly and holistic health products. They're free, but it's worth paying a modest yearly fee to stand out from the crowd.
Eco Business Directory Looking for organic food, cheap solar energy, a sustainable house, organic cotton, a vegetarian date, an organic farm, a sustainable community or eco products? More than 1 million visitors/year and +4,900 earth-friendly links in 175 categories. The First Green Directory to neutralize all its carbon emissions. This directory is somewhat more pricey, but still reasonable.
Great Green Shoes: Will save you hours of searching and massive amounts of frustration! GGG is a shopping blog devoted to green, eco-friendly, shoes ... GGG combs the web to find shoes suitable for vegans, vegetarians and everyone who prefers a quality alternative to leather. Shoes range from funky to preppy, crunchy to sexy, sporty to practical.
International Vegetarian Union world wide vegetarian directory and support site that is simply immense, with millions of page views a month. An excellent place to spend a modest yearly sum for a listing - they require your enterprise to be 100% vegetarian.
VeggieConnection.com World wide vegetarian singles directory. Offers free or full membership. Features a vegetarian resource directory. "Connect with like-minded vegetarians seeking friendships, pen-pals, and romance."
VegWeb, veg singles site maintains a surprisingly extensive resource directory for it's members. Free listing in the veg links section. Banner advertising available on this site now through google.
E: The Environmental Magazine: Published bimonthly by non-profit Earth Action Network, Inc. According to the mission statement, the purpose is to inform and inspire both the general public, and committed environmentalists by acting as a clearinghouse for news, info and commentary on environmental issues. The May/June 2003 issue has feature articles on the Bush administration's environmental agenda (rape, pillage, and burn), and ballot box strategies to save the planet.
Greener Magazine Environmentally aware news blog with a social conscience. Content is wide-ranging, thoughtful, always interesting, sometimes odd, often funny.
Grist Magazine: "At Grist, we believe that news about green issues and sustainable living doesn't have to be predictable, demoralizing, or dull. We exist to tell the untold stories, spotlight trends before they become trendy, and engage the apathetic. We're fiercely independent in our coverage; we throw brickbats when they're needed and bestow kudos when they're warranted. And while we take our work seriously, we don't take ourselves seriously, because of the many things this planet is running out of, sanctimonious tree-huggers ain't one of them."
Mother Earth News: Dates from the sixties, and has acquired a "normal" veneer, but it's as hip, gutsy, and "out-there" as ever. In the April/May, 2003 issue, I found a hard-hitting article on the pharmaceutical industry, along with a page of "Herbal Remedies You Can Trust." I also learned how to craft a coracle (tiny boat), have a do-it-yourself funeral, complete with home-made casket, and build a straw bale house.
Organic Gardener: Home of Organic Gardening and Compost Gardening The Organic Gardener's knowledge is unsurpassed, and this website is a complete, indispensible resource. If you're new to organic gardening, it will inspire and guide you.If you're a seasoned gardener, you'll be surprised at how much more there is to know. Learn all about composting, cover crops and green manure, soil, weed control, watering, seed saving, worm bins, gardening tools and how to use them. Etc, etc.
Natural Home Magazine: Eco-building for the main stream. Each issue has a central theme. Gorgeous photos and descriptions of highly photogenic natural homes, along with practical information about house siding, carpet, house allergens, and healthy desserts. I like the abundant resource listings in Natural Home.
Organic Gardening Magazine: We get the print magazine at our public library. the online version has articles, free newsletter, products, etc. Free public forums on ideas and information, new gardener support - warm, informal, and helpful. If you can't find Organic Gardening in print, subscribing online is cheap.
The Source: Iowa's Enlightened Magazine: Excellent articles and columns by talented people on art, music, health, food, sustainable ag, travel, investing. A high class monthly FREE publication for 22 years in print, The Source has recently gone online. They are archiving all the outstanding content from the last five years - it's a treasure trove!
Veg News Vicarious green living at it's best. This is a very cool magazine, and lovely to look at. Ads galore, of course - but mostly ones you'll want to see. Veg News is fun to read, informative, not ponderous or wordy, just light and upbeat.
There are many wonderful green products out there - these are just the ones we know and use. Please let us know if you have any you want to recommend. Don't forget to tell us why you like them!
Read the labels carefully. (Yes, I'm one of those people who stand there for hours reading labels and blocking the aisle.) Many brands that started out "pure" are now adding all kinds of nasty chemicals. The word "natural" is meaningless, and "organic" is suspect. If an ingredient isn't listed as organic, then it's not. And cosmetics may list waste water (hydrosol) from processing flowers as an organic ingredient, then claim that their product is mostly organic.
Many of the products listed have shopping sites:
Baking Soda: Besides making your muffins rise, baking soda can clean just about anything. I've used it to clean pots, the stove, microwave, in the wash and the bath to soften the water, as a deoderizer in the fridge, the cat box, and the garbage can, as emergency toothpaste, etc.
Bon Ami: French for good friend, and it is. Simple, basic, gentle, to clean things that need scrubbing, such as the stove, stains on countertops, sinks, pots. Inexpensive, and should be in every grocery store, but isn't. Can be found often at whole food stores, or co-ops. Or try their retail source index.
Citra-Solv: A powerful cleaner derived from citrus peel. Not totally non-toxic, but much more eco-friendly than the chemicals you buy at large chain discount stores. Good for washing floors, walls, woodwork, bathrooms, etc. A little goes a long way - full strength will strip paint. I like the products, but the site was unimpressive.
Earth Friendly Baby: We've used earth friendly baby products for my granddaughter. They have the best diaper rash ointment I've ever seen, but all the products are great.
MAPI (Maharishi Ayurvedic Products Inc.): Ayurvedic herbal products, aroma oils, toiletries etc, made according to traditional ayurvedic methods with organic wild crafted or organically farmed herbs and non-toxic ingredients. I've used these products for nearly twenty years - they are consistently high quality, effective and reliable. The site has lots of ayurvedic information, newsletters, etc.
Newmans Own Organics: The only 100% organic corn chips I've found. Sad to say, they are rare. Newman's cookies and chocolate cups are divine, if you want a sweet treat. The site has a retail index, but the products are sold just about everywhere.
Rainbow Light: The complete pre-natal vitamin complex is highly spoken of by the expectant mothers I know, and is recommended by our local midwives. Some Moms find the spirulina or something affects their tender tummies. I recommend the tablets only, not the powdered form, which doesn't dissolve well, and tastes nasty. Their products are NOT always vegetarian - some include gelatin.
Seventh Generation: We've used their dishwasher soap, dishwashing liquid, and laundry soap, all of which do a good job. Good container design - well yes, I think that's important! Some think that eco-friendly cleaning products don't perform as well as the non-eco friendly stuff - SG has a few things to say on that subject!
Vinegar: Cheap, non-toxic sanitizer and deoderizer. I use it half strength for cleaning the mineral deposits from the coffee maker and the vaporizer, and 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water in a spray bottle for counters, sinks, windows, mirrors, and floors. I use it to sanitize the kitchen sponge daily. One cup in the wash, along with borax, cuts down on laundry soap. Vinegar is an acid, which corrodes metal, so don't use it on your stove, or pots & pans.