July 24th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Fruit-flavored waters are a refreshing change of pace, especially during the hot summer months.
But there are several disadvantages to buying premade brands:
- Beverages may not be organic.
- Products are sold in glass jars or plastic bottles, which need to be recycled.
- Drinks may contain a fruit essence, but no real fruit. Some will contain sweeteners, which lead to consumption of empty calories.
- Ounce per ounce, they’re usually overpriced.
You can overcome these problems by creating your own fruit-infused water, and the Takeya Fruit Infusion Jug makes the job a snap. It’s glam enough for formal entertaining, yet practical enough for everyday use.
The 66-oz. airtight pitcher is made with Takeya’s proprietary AcraGlass, an FDA-approved, nontoxic, BPA-free acrylic that’s lightweight, stain- and odor-resistant, and dishwasher-safe.
Simply add your favorite water and organic fruit, whose flavors will meld naturally. When you’re ready to pour beverages, a built-in screen prevents pieces of fruit from dropping into glasses or mugs.
When you’ve finished serving and want to store leftovers, pop the pitcher in the refrigerator door or lay it on its side on a fridge shelf.
Need a birthday or bridal gift? The aesthetically pleasing pitcher’s retail price is $27.50, and you may qualify for free shipping on Amazon.com.
Read More:Infuse Your Drinking Water with Organic Fruit
May 3rd, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
If your mom loves to garden—or if you’d like to help her get started—pick up a container or two of Ecosource’s Organic Grow Your Own Seedling Starter Kits for Mother’s Day.
Nine USDA-certified organic varieties are available for last-minute shoppers (ground, 2-day or overnight shipping):
- Bell Pepper
- Heirloom Tomato
A Strawberry Kit is also available, but the seedlings are not organic.
Each kit ($15.99) contains instructions, an eco-friendly tray, high-quality soil, a reusable “greenhouse bag” and biodegradable seedling starter shells, all housed in a decorative container.
Users can start up to 10 seedlings and then transplant them into their gardens.
Ecosource founders Chad Callihan and Chuck Rose quit the corporate world and started the Decatur, GA-based company in 2006 to develop stylish, affordable and eco-friendly products.
“We’re not trying to be perfect, but we’re learning every day about how to make better choices for ourselves and the future of our children’s planet,” they state. “We hope that by sharing our experience, you’ll want to do the same.”
Read More:Mother’s Day Gift Idea: Start an Organic Garden
December 9th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
December is a great time to buy organic teas for yourself or as holiday gifts.
Tea producers roll out new flavors and boxed samplers that are sure to delight organic tea aficionados.
Here are some of my holiday recommendations:
- Art of Tea’s caffeine-free Blueberry Cheesecake dessert tea is handcrafted from organic and Fair Trade South African rooibos, honeybush and antioxidant-rich blueberries. It’s infused with a natural, creamy flavor.
- Numi’s new Mint Puerh comes from China’s Yunnan Mountains. Large handpicked leaves are slightly oxidized in the sun, yielding a golden tea. The flavor is smooth and mellow, with a sweet aftertaste.
- The Republic of Tea’s new Blood Orange Green Tea is a limited edition, created in partnership with Whole Foods Market. Ingredients include organic/Fair Trade full-leaf green tea, organic orange peel, natural flavors and orange fruit.
- The Chopra Center’s Organic Passion Plum Holiday Tea, also a caffeine-free limited edition, combines organic hibiscus, cinnamon, rosehips, orange, Siberian ginseng and passion flower.
Visit the OrganicAuthority Shop for a wide selection of your favorite teas—from Tangerine Ginger to Jasmine Pearl.
Read More:4 New Organic Holiday Teas
November 29th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Almost 43 million families will be making their own holiday gifts, cards and decorations this year, according to the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).
“Crafting provides an opportunity to spend time with friends and family while creating unique, one-of-a-kind gifts that don’t need to cost a lot of money,” says CHA President and CEO Steve Berger.
The following project makes a great holiday decoration or gift. Organic wreaths are available at your local nursery and some natural/organic food stores. The remaining supplies can be found at your local craft store.
My favorite craft store, Joann, is offering OrganicAuthority readers free shipping on orders totaling $50 or more. Click here to take advantage of this holiday promotion.
Family Holiday Wreath
- Organic wreath
- Chipboard words
- Alphabet rub-ons
- Favorite family photos or holiday-themed stock photographs
- Heavy cardboard
- Metal saying
- Wire cutter
- Glue gun
- Attach metal saying with wire to center of wreath.
- Print or download photos. Those in this craft were printed in sepia.
- Adhere photos to heavy cardboard (same size as photos).
- Add rub-ons to photos (create names, messages).
- Glue chipboard words to wreath.
Project courtesy of www.terriocraftprojects.com. Photo courtesy of the Craft & Hobby Association.
Read More:Decorate an Organic Wreath
November 28th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring out the materialist in all of us.
Holiday shoppers got off to a good start yesterday, according to CNN. I missed the mayhem, but I’m working on my holiday gift list.
With a flailing economy, many of us are cutting back on spending this year. This may be a blessing in disguise, forcing us to reconsider our priorities and avoid filling up our homes—and landfills—with next year’s junk.
“In these challenging economic times, parents may feel concerned that they may not be able to provide the usual abundance under the Christmas tree, or other holiday giving,” says education specialist Barbara Nicholson, cofounder of Nashville-based Attachment Parenting International. “The good news is that what children really need and want is our presence, not necessarily presents. Think about other ways to make your holidays rich this year by providing more time for games, cooking together and, perhaps, making gifts together that will be treasured through the years.”
We couldn’t agree more. Tune in tomorrow for a holiday craft project that will bring family members together and nurture your organic spirit.
Read More:Presence, Not Presents
November 23rd, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
I’ve taken a break from Thanksgiving menu planning to begin my eco-friendly holiday gift list.
The first item is Global Green Pals, five international-themed dolls made from organic cotton and stuffed with 100% post-consumer recycled plastic (i.e., PET bottles, usually used for soda and other beverages).
Each 12-inch, machine-washable doll wears clothing and accessories made from organic, natural and tested fibers, as well as low-impact dyes.
Both male and female Pals are available:
- Clean Air Kate wears a sweater, denim pants, a matching hat, hiking boots and a backpack. She’s a Chicago girl who rides a bike and plants trees with her family.
- Pink Coral Laurel is an Australian snorkeler who cares about marine life, coral reefs, climate change and global warming. She’s dressed in a pink swimsuit, matching swim shorts, flippers, mask and snorkel.
- Recycle Kyle is a Seattle skateboarder and dedicated recycler. He wears a T-shirt that sports a recycling symbol, shorts, sneakers and a recycling bag.
- Carbon Offset Chet is an English pilot who flies a solar-powered plane in his T-shirt, bomber jacket with hood, pants, red bandana and aviator goggles.
- Pani Rani is an Indian princess who helps conserve water. She wears a South Asian dress, sandals and hair bows, and she carries a fabric water bucket.
Each doll comes with an educational recycled-paper tag that explains his/her story. The company donates 1% of annual sales to One Percent for the Planet.
Read More:Global Green Pals
April 26th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Mother’s Day is about two weeks away, so it’s time to get busy! Order your flowers from OrganicBouquet.com, the nation’s first online organic florist. The company is featuring three special bouquets, each of which includes a free glass vase:
- Fragrant Garden Bouquet, a 20-stem arrangement that includes lovely lilies, pink spray roses, white asters, pink hypericum, gypsophillia and godetia.
- Purple Mountain Bouquet, 20 of OrganicBouquet’s favorite purple blooms, including purple statice, Mardi Gras asters, agapanthus, trachelium and a touch of pink roses for a truly regal presentation.
- Bountiful Tulips, a 20-stem bouquet grown in California under certified organic farming methods.
“The organic story is now broadening far beyond the health benefits of pesticide-free foods,” says OrganicBouquet.com CEO Gerald Prolman. “Organic farming, whether asparagus, strawberries, cotton or our own beautiful flowers, helps protect Mother Nature—it’s that simple.”
Organic flowers are grown without using synthetic chemicals or pesticides, and they thrive in living ecosystems. Beneficial insects like wasps eat predatory aphids, while natural fertilizers transform warm, humid greenhouse soil into a hotbed of radiant colors and floral hues.
Now, think about sweetening your Mother’s Day gift with some divine organic chocolates!
Read More:Organic Flowers for Mother’s Day
March 2nd, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Lavender Sea Salt Caramels
When Martha Stewart was finalizing her Christmas gift list last year, she decided to go organic, choosing Lavender Sea Salt Caramels from Central Point, Oregon-based Lillie Belle Farms Hand Made Chocolates. The artisan chocolate maker supplied more than 250 lbs. of handmade lavender-infused confections.
“With all the chocolate companies out there, it was quite an honor to have someone whose entire business is centered on taste and style to choose our products as their holiday gift,” says chocolatier Jeff Shepherd. “We make each small batch by hand, using lavender from our garden, fresh Oregon cream, organic dark chocolate and a little sprinkle of Fleur du Sel from the coast of Brittany.”
The company combines fruits and flowers from its organic berry farm in Southern Oregon with the finest organic single-origin chocolate to craft decadent ganaches, toffees, bonbons and caramels.
“A year ago, we would not have been able to fulfill her order in a timely manner, but since we built our new kitchen, we were able to accommodate Martha and several other high-profile clients,” Shepherd says.
You can order assortments of Lillie Belle Farms’ organic chocolates—in flavors like coconut ginger, marzipan fig and chipotle ganache—by clicking here.
Read More:Martha Stewart Chooses Organic Chocolate Gifts