Recycled objects. Get inspired!

12 02 2013

Today I would like to share some cool ideas of recycled objects. I hope this can give you ideas and inspire you to do the same!

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Dublin sensation: the e-taxi

6 02 2013

Great news from Ireland! A Dublin taxi driver has saved over €6,500 (AUD 8,500) on fuel over the past 18 months driving an electric car. The companies ESB (Electricity Supply Board) ecars and National Radio Cabs have put together a trial program to evaluate the electric car’s performance. The results are very encouraging and the trial will be extended for another year.

 

esb-cars

The taxi company claims that the use of the electric car shows a net reduction of over 4 tonnes of CO2 emissions for 55,000km. The taxi driver Padraig Daly said that the e-taxi was also very popular among passengers. People are impressed how silent the car can be but also with the car’s performance compared to petrol or diesel models.

The Irish government also concede some benefits such as a grant of up to €5,000 (AUD 6,508) on the purchase price and qualification for the lowest band of road tax. Other good news is that the e-taxi also requires lower maintenance and service costs.

All these financial advantages should influence and convince more people to swap their cars for the eco-friendly version. It is true that eco-friendly cars are more expensive than ordinary cars, but companies are finding ways to reduce the production costs using more recycled and sustainable materials and also rethinking the engineering with the aim of reducing the retail price.

http://bit.ly/YIJp5G





Last Minute Xmas presents!

17 12 2012

Xmas is almost there. Have you bought all your presents? Not yet? Here are few great ideas for eco-friendly Xmas gifts.

Watch made from sustainable wood. We Wood plant a tree for every watch sold. I love the idea and they have really cool designs. Available in some watch shops across Australia you can also buy online. I don’t know if you can get it in time for Xmas, but it is worth checking out their website.

You buy a watch, they plant a tree.

You buy a watch, they plant a tree.

Recycled skateboard jewellery can be a really cool and original eco-friendly gift.Vibrant colours, resistant material and beautiful designs, I really like the whole concept. Available in USA, Canada, Australia, Netherlands and Belgium; MapleXO really rocks!

Recycled Skateboard earrings
Skateboard_BraceletsRecycled ring

In the same theme, I also found iPhone and iPad cases made with recycled skateboards. Grovemade also have cases made with bamboo that you can personalise the way you want.

iPhone cover skateboards

iPhone cover bamboo

If you are looking for something different and useful, I think that’s a really cool gift!

Check out their website

Do you have a musician friend or your partner is a music fan? What about offering something made with recycled vinyl records? You can find clock’s, bowls, coasters, plates, all kind of things made with old recycled vinyl records. That’s groovy man! Check out these ideas!

Record clockRecords CoastersRecord Bowls

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/record-coasters

http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/record-bowls

Handbag top cansThe website NOVICA in association with National Geographic has a really cool section of eco-friendly gifts that you can purchase online. They offer products made by many artists from around the world. I selected one Brazilian artist that makes handbags with soda can tops. It is really cool to see how many things you can make with such a small and insignificant item. It literally transforms bin to beauty! You can also read the full story about each artist.

What about giving a wallet made with real fire hose?Wallet fire hose Ted

Such a strong material, it was a really clever idea to re-use it making the Ted coin wallets. You can find them online at the Ecoutlet website or on the Ted website.





PROJECT DROP OF WATER +10

5 11 2012

This video must me seen, shared and please help signing the petition.

This video was created as part of the Gota D’água (Drop of Water) Movement leaded by Brazilian celebrities. The campaign aims to stimulate the discussion on the energy development plan of Brazil. It also calls civil society to stand up against the Belo Monte dam, signing into a petition that the Movement did addressed to President Dilma asking for halting the dam’s construction.
Let’s be a drop of water in this wave of goodness in name of true sustainable development, and protection of human rights, indigenous rights and the forest!





Fashion is going green

25 09 2012

You might have heard about organic cotton and hemp fabrics being used in the fashion industry, but have you heard about fabrics made from PET plastic bottles, or from milk? These are just a few sustainable textiles that are starting to be used in the fashion industry.

The milk fabric is not a new invention. It was created during the Second World War by a German biologist and fashion designer Anke Domaske. To create the fiber, liquid milk is dried and its proteins extracted. The separated proteins are then dissolved in a chemical solution and placed into a machine that essentially whirls the fibers together. The fibers can then be spun into yarn and woven into fabric. The process is quite long, but the milk fabric has some great advantages. It holds dye, is breathable and it captures the moisture to make skin tender and smooth.

Another way to go green in fashion is to use recycled materials. You can find some brands online that produce clothes and accessories using a large range of recycled items, like bags made with old advertising banners, or recycled aluminium can pull-tabs. There is also an American brand called Harvey that uses car seat belts to make their eco-chic bags.

In 2009 the American agency Cone Communications raised some questions regarding how high was consumer interest in environmentally friendly products purchasing despite the bad economy. Here are some interesting results from the Cone Consumer Environmental Survey:

  • 35 percent of Americans have higher interest in the environment today than they did one year ago.
  • 70 percent of Americans indicate that they are paying attention to what companies are doing with regard to the environment today.
Eco-friendly sunglasses

Stella McCartney new eco-friendly collection

Aware of this new consumer behaviour and interest, luxury brands are also going green. Some iconic brands are adopting eco-fashion style in their new creations. In 2012 Stella McCartney launched her brand new eco-friendly collection of sunglasses. She also created an eco-friendly lingerie collection that is made with organic cotton. Check out the green blog from Stella McCartney. Another new player in the eco-friendly scene is Gucci. The luxury brand launched a range of sustainable shoes called “Sustainable Soles” in June 2012.

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But eco-fashion is more than that; in my view eco-fashion is all about creativity. You can transform your old clothes and create something totally new and fashionable.  You can make a funky bag with your old jeans, or a pretty cool bracelet or necklace with some seeds or buttons. It’s up to you to be original, go wild and create your own green style!

Click here to download the survey.

I selected this post to be featured on Environmental Blogs. Please visit the site and vote for my blog!

 

Art Hunter

Val hunt

 

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5 simple Tips to make your daily life more eco-friendly

16 09 2012

Since I launched this blog, many people from around the world ask me what they can do in their everyday life to help to reduce their impact on the environment. So I decided to post a short list of 5 simple tips that we can do to be more eco-friendly. These are just some simple things that we can do in our daily lives that don’t require  much effort, but there are thousands of other things we can do to help the environment. You probably  know all that, but it’s always good to have a reminder…

1. When brushing your teeth don’t let the water run unnecessarily. Try to do the same when you’re in the shower turn off the tap when soaping up or shampooing your hair. There is a massive amount of energy required to process and pump tap water. You’ll also be reducing your water bill!

2. Get your bike and ride to go to work. Take the opportunity to exercise and stay fit! If you have to drive, what about carpooling? Besides saving fuel, it can also be more social and less boring than driving alone. Public transport can be also an affordable alternative. You can save money on fuel and car parking.

3. Avoid using plastic bags when you go shopping. Take your bag with you. Eco bag

You can also use green bags with designs that are very trendy and fashionable.

4. When disposing of furniture, clothes, shoes why not donate to charity or recycling? Check out for donation spots near your house and make someone happy.

5. Reduce, reuse, recycle all you can, PET bottles, glass, cans, paper, cardboard, batteries, aluminium, coffee capsules, used oil … all these objects can be transformed and reused. Use your creativity!

These simple gestures are easy to integrate into our daily lives and will surely make a big difference to the environment.





Green cleaning products

9 09 2012

We use cleaning products to keep our homes sparkling clean, fighting germs, streaks, stains and odours. Cleaning is supposed to be about maintaining a clean and healthy home. Unfortunately most cleaning products contain chemicals that can harm be harmful to your health and the environment? What kind of cleaning products do you frequently use? Have you heard about eco-friendly cleaning products?

Have a look at the label of any traditional cleaning product you have and look at the list of chemicals it contains. Some of these chemicals are quite toxic and can cause allergies in some people. Here are some examples of chemicals found in many cleaning products that can be harmful for your health.

Ammonia

Vapours may irritate the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. People with asthma may be particularly sensitive to the effects of breathing ammonia. Long-term exposure can cause kidney and liver damage. If ammonia is mixed with products that contain chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite), it can form highly poisonous chloramine gas.

Ammonia is often found in: window cleaners, drain cleaners, toilet cleaners, bathroom cleaners, oven cleaners, stainless-steel cleaners, car polish, and all-purpose cleaners.

Coal tar dyes

Derived from petrochemicals, and may be contaminated with trace amounts of heavy metals like arsenic, cadmium and lead. Dyes in cleaning products can be absorbed through the skin or ingested in the case of soap residue on dishes. There is concern that synthetic dyes may cause cancer and that heavy metals can harm the nervous system and cause other adverse health effects. Curiously, these chemicals are not necessary for the cleaning function of the products. They are primarily used for colouring.

Coal tar dyes can be found in: most types of cleaning products.

Phosphates

Also used as a fertilizer phosphates can be very harmful for the environment. They can reduce oxygen levels in water, potentially killing fish. They can also increase harmful algal blooms and weed growth. Certain algae blooms produce chemicals that are toxic to animals and people who drink the water. In many countries, new regulations were introduced in 2010 that limit phosphorus concentration in household cleaning products to 0.5 per cent. These regulations are certainly an improvement, but why not use phosphate-free brands?

Phosphates can be found in: dishwasher detergents, laundry detergents and bathroom cleaners.

The list of chemicals that you can find in traditional cleaning products is very long and contains some complex names such as 2-Butoxyethanol, MEA (monoethanalomine), DEA (diethanolamine), TEA (triethanolamine), Nonylphenol ethoxylates, Silica powder, Sodium dichloroisocyanurate dehydrate, Sodium hydroxide or caustic soda, Triclosan, Trisodium nitrilotriacetate…

Previously I was not convinced of the effectiveness of eco-friendly cleaning products. I admit that I was a bit sceptical few years ago, mainly because I was used to using traditional products.

I have been using eco friendly cleaning products for over 3 years now. This has convinced me about the quality and the effectiveness of some eco-friendly cleaning products.

They are not only less harmful to your health, the environment and chemical free, but they are also just as effective as traditional cleaning products. There was also the issue that until recently there was not really any other option than using traditional cleaning products, but nowadays there are multiple brands in the market place offering a greener option.

Earth cleaning products

In Australia, eco-friendly brands such as “Earth” or “Orange Power” are not more expensive than traditional brands. So I guess if I can use cleaning products that are chemical free, less harmful for my health and skin, are not more expensive than traditional products and above all effective, why use products that can harm my health and the environment? I have made my choice regarding cleaning products and I always buy the eco label if there is one available.

What about you? What kind of cleaning products do you use in you house? Do you have the green option available?








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