Used Cardboard Boxes

We found this interesting on Did you know that 80 percent of all residential moves take place during the summer? For an earth-friendly (and low-cost alternative) to moving your home goods in slick, new cardboard boxes, try ordering from new company, Used Cardboard Boxes. Providing high quality, previously-used boxes, the website (with locations in Los Angeles and New York) guarantees the lowest prices, delivers boxes in one to two business days and doesn’t charge for shipping.

Just think of how many trees you’ll be saving – $120 billion of boxes are produced each year around the world, typically used once and tossed out, according to Used Cardboard Boxes.

With Co-op America’s seal of approval, check out
for more info.

You can also visit U-Haul’s Box Exchange to see if anyone in your area has boxes to give away or sell @

BOOKLAMPS by Atelier Bomdesign

The Dutch are up something special, or at least the crew at the design shop Atelier Bomdesign that features several products fabricated from recycled materials. By far, one of our favorites is the Booklamp (or Boeklampen, in the native tongue), a clever and innovative take on reading light- proving that books are for both learning AND lighting. Used books are beautifully re-crafted and shaped into shades that emit a soft glow. As they are handcrafted, the Booklamps are perhaps more art than everyday fixture, and are priced accordingly (200-400 euros).

The Truth About Bottled Water

plastic bottle pollution

1.5 million barrels of oil in the US alone are used to make water bottles from polyethylene terephthalate, 86% of which are landfilled or incinerated. Often it is shipped long distances, like the 1.4 million bottles of Finnish tap water sent 4,300 kilometers (2,700 miles) to Saudi Arabia, or the popular Fiji water found in the US and Canada. ”Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing–producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy,” said researcher Emily Arnold. ”Although in the industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more.” Tap water comes to us through an energy-efficient infrastructure whereas bottled water must be transported long distances–and nearly one-fourth of it across national borders–by boat, train, airplane, and truck. This ”involves burning massive quantities of fossil fuels,” Arnold said. Its time to buy a Nalgene and refill it rather than tossing empties.

To fill in a little information I’ll ramble off topic a bit! First let’s be clear about this, in most modern communities tap water is often more purea than bottled water. Indeed, in the USA tap water is regulated by the EPA, whereas the FDA look over the shoulder of bottled water suppliers, using less stringent criteria. As eMagazine points out 40 percent of bottled water began life as, well, tap water.” In the same comprehensive article, eMag note that the NRDC had 1,000 bottles of water tested, and discovered that a “third of the tested brands were found to contain contaminants such as arsenic and carcinogenic compounds in at least some samples at levels exceeding state or industry standards. And in one study at Syracuse University, “… they found that one-fourth of bottled water had 10 times the bacterial count of tap water.And who is selling us this bottled water in the first place? The same folk who enthuse about the joys of Aspartame maybe?

Don't Buy It Make It

The innovative people at Wardrobe Refashion, are helping get people involved into the recycled side of fashion by putting together a pledge. “I pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing … that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle pre-loved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract.”

Take the pledge today. Everyone’s doing it! Sewing is undergoing a big revival right now, the thrifty desire to recycle, concerns about sweatshop labor and over consumption, as well as a growing online ‘craft’ community have fueled sites like ‘Wardrobe Refashion’, a community blog, based in Australia, with participants worldwide. Wardrobe refashion community members have all taken a pledge not to purchase any new manufactured clothing for a set period, instead all clothing must be recycled, renovated, pre-loved, or handmade.

This is a great idea that we applaud, for direction or ideas check out some of our recent stories and DIY fashion recyclers like Particle Reconstrution, Dust Factory Vintage and online boutiques.

The Pledge

I __________________ pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of “new” manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 / 4 / 6 months. I pledge that i shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovoated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftyness brings! Signed__________________.

The Rules

1. No buying new! (handmade is excepted; So this allows for Etsy purchases etc!!) All clothing must be Recycled, Renovated, Preloved or Thrifted, or Handmade only for the term. Employment related and special needs clothing (ie sports, school),
shoes and undies are excepted from the rules, although you are encouraged to have
a go at making these.

2. In extreme circumstances, maybe a special event, or the worlds greatest and most amazing never to be repeated sale that you simply can not pass up, you may use the Get out of Refashionista Jail Free card. You are able to use this card once during the 2 month part of your contract; ie 1 for 2 months, 2 for 4 months etc. Of course you need to fess up on the blog and display the button!

3. You must post on the blog at least once a week to let the community know what you’ve been up to. This will not only give you brag points, but inspire and encorouge others! Of course you need to display the button on your blog and have copied the pledge in at least one post, and provide a link to your pledge under the button.

4. You need to be honest and admit when you’ve fallen off the Refashionista Wagon! Go directly to Refashionista Jail, do not pass GO and do not collect $200! Apply for parole once there.

Go to Wardrobe Refashion and sign up for the pledge now.


This is definitely one of the weirder attempts we’ve seen to make environmentalism more “sexy” to mainstream consumers, but you gotta hand it to the Japanese for creativity. Anyways, we found this article by Tylene Levesque on Inhabitat.

In an effort to raise awareness to the estimated 30 billion plastic shopping bags used by Japanese consumers (30% of which are thrown out without ever being reused), designers at Triumph International Japan have found a way to convert a bra into a shopping bag. Triumph, the same company that created the Eco-globe Bra (2004) and microwavable Warm Biz Bra (2005), has unveiled their newest eco-themed bra, the “No! Shopping Bag Bra” (No! reji-bukuro bra in Japanese). Available to Japanese shoppers, the bra, which comes in red, blue, yellow and pink, is also made of polyester fibers recycled from plastic bottles using the company’s EcoCircle recylcing system.

The bra is transformed into a ready-to-use shopping bag with only a few steps. One simply removes the shopping bag hidden into the padding of the bra, ties the lacey cups and shoulder straps around the bag for decoration and presto—you have a bag! Definitely innovative, but is it practical? We’ll just have to wait and see.

For more information, watch the video

Support the Health Freedom Protection Act

Send a letter to your Representative asking them to support the Health Freedom Protection Act (H.R. 4282).

The FDA™s approval process for informational labeling of food-based health claims has been so slow and uncertain that very little meaningful health information
is making its way to food and dietary supplement consumers. In two years, only nine products have received approval to be labeled with qualified health claims, and no applications have yet been received by the FDA this year. A bill has been introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives that would give consumers access to truthful, non-misleading health information. The Health Freedom Protection Act, H.R. 4282, was introduced in the U.S. House on Wednesday, November 9th, 2005.

The purpose of this bill is to amend the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to ensure that: 1. Accurate health claims are not suppressed 2. Consumers are given truthful and full information about the science supporting the health-enhancing effects of foods and dietary supplements (including scientific evidence that foods, dietary supplements and dietary ingredients may provide benefits relating to the
cure, mitigation, treatment and prevention of disease (not drug effects). 3. The FDA honors the intent of the Congress to not censor accurate health claims Passage of The Health Freedom Protection Act, H.R. 4282, would yield more health information on the foods and supplements we buy, potentially cutting our drug costs by educating us about natural alternatives. H.R. 4282 would not encourage companies to provide false hope but, on the contrary, would instead finally provide consumers more science-based information rather than less. H.R. 4282 would not weaken the FDA?s and FTC?s enforcement powers but would instead strengthen consumers? access to truthful, science-supported and non-misleading health information. H.R. 4282 would not take away anything but would instead give consumers the breadth and depth of information that is true to the spirit and intent of the laws which support and defend consumers? rights to science-supported health information.


Patagonia Wetsuits

Not for the first time, Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia graces the cover of business magazine. It’s hard to ignore a company that’s been around for 30 something years, gives away pots of money to rowdy environment activists, drops best selling lines for greener ones, yet still makes $270 million USD a year. We glean from the article that Patagonia are working on a new wetsuit design. A non-petroleum neoprene made from crushed limestone with “a lining of recycled polyester and, of all things, organic wool.” And according to the Fortune piece, ”90 percent warmer than other wetsuits, as well as stretchier, stronger and naturally odor resistant.” Chouinard is quoted “We’re getting [back] into the surf market, because it’s never going to snow again, and the waves are going to get bigger and bigger.” The neoprene outer is of 80% non-petroleum based ingredients. (Fortune Mag reckoned it was made with crushed limestone but the Patagonia site is coy on that aspect.) The inner lining is a chloride-free merino wool grid bonded to recycled polyester. Kneepads are PVC-free and are said to be more durable and grippier. Coming for both men and women in 2mm and 3mm versions, to span water temps from 48 to 65°F (9 to 18°C). Long and shortie styles, although limited availability just now.

On the greener of business he remarks, “I’m blown away by Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart does one-tenth of what they say they’re going to do, it will be incredible. And hopefully America will get a government that we need rather than one we deserve, that will put pressure on business to clean up its act. But the most powerful pressure will come from the consumer. Oh, my God, it’s going to be really powerful.”

Recycle A Cell Phone Save a Gorilla

Every year millions of new cell phones are purchased, did you ever wonder what happens to the old ones? Some get recycled, some get reused, some are left in a drawer, many get tossed. We just found out on the Sietch that now you can get rid of that old cell phone and make some money for a good cause at the same time.

ECO-CELL is a cell phone recycling program for environmentally minded fundraisers. They partner with environmental organizations to create profitable, easy to use and environmentally sound cell phone recycling fundraiser programs.

The nice thing about ECO-CELL is that they take all cell phones. Even ones that do not work, they have strict no landfill policy, meaning that they recycle everything even if it cuts into their bottom line.

Any organization can start a cell phone recycling program with ECO-CELL, here is how it works. You collect the phones, ECO-CELL picks up the phones for free, they pay you up to 15 dollars a phone (minimum $0.45). Its a pretty sweet way to make some cash for your organization.

The Gorilla fund, and the San Diego Zoo, among others have teamed up with the company to raise money.

Reconstructed Vintage Clothing

After years of wholesaling and recycling vintage, Dust Factory embraces the next step in the natural evolution of the vintage clothing market with vintage reconstruction. Along with it’s ability to meet the growing demands for and popularity of authentic vintage pieces, Dust Factory’s fashion team has created a line for both men and women that bridges the gap between old and new and unifies the vintage boutique with the specialty boutique.

Particle Reconstruction
clothing line combines vintage materials from the past with the creative style of the present. Each piece is formed from recycled clothing which has been deconstructed and refitted together to create a unique and original garment. Every article is cut from a standardized pattern, while simultaneously allowing natural style and wear variation through fabrication, further ensuring that each piece is a one of a kind.

The collection, born from the creative minds of artists, designers and vintage enthusiasts alike, captures the artistic and timeless inspiration derived from vintage clothing and utilizes innovative and enthusiastic designs with a high fashion style and green appeal.

Vintage Fashion

Top Five Vintage Trends to look out for this Season

Vintage Suit Vests 

Vests have been back in style for a couple of seasons. Now everyone from the fashion chic urban girl, to the sassy sorority princes is wearing stylish vintage suit vests.

Spring Dresses  

Tunic style or strappy style, any flowy cotton dress will do.

Mini Dress or Mini Skirts 

It’s going to get hot this summer and now that showing off as much leg as possible is in, it is only going to get hotter. Sassy cotton mini dresses and skirts will be a big look this summer.

80’s Fashion Boots  

Vintage heels, and 80’s fashion boots will fit any occasion this spring. Dressing up dresses to shorts.

Silk Scarves  

Its nice to have something sexy and pretty to hold that hair out of your face. Now that it is far from cool for girls to wear oversized tacky trucker caps or ball caps in general, it is nice to have something more elegant that will work

vintage wholesale catalog