Bamboo: Why you need it in your kitchen, and six ways to get it there

Bamboo, that renewable, quick-growing wood that’s really a grass, has been expanding across product lines, turning up on floors, in furniture, and towels. But let’s get back to where we started: Bamboo works great in the kitchen. Remember those bamboo salad bowls? They’re still around, but there are many more ways attractive, durable bamboo is being tapped for kitchen ware.

4 DIY gifts that can be created in less time than you spend driving to the mall

Tis’ the season where children transform into angels for fear of being put on Santa’s naughty list and financial panic ensues in parents. But who said a quality gift could only come from the department store? This holiday season, we have compiled a fun list of DIY gifts even the least creative person can handle, trust us. Happy Crafting!

Klean Kanteen comes clean about plastic

Klean Kanteen, the popular maker of stainless steel water bottles, has long plopped a plastic top on its containers.
There’s nothing terribly unhealthy about that for the person using the water bottle. But the impact of plastic waste on the world, notably in giant garbage patches in the ocean, is becoming increasingly noticeable and problematic. It seemed time for Klean Kanteen to come clean and offer a completely defensible water bottle.

Five new green products from CES 2012 that you’ll want to take home (or chat with)

This week electronics makers are unveiling their latest innovations at the annual geek fest in Las Vegas, known as the Consumer Electronics Show or CES. As always, manufacturers are launching a flotilla of faster, glitzier gadgets, appliances and design ideas into the world.

And while most of these inventions offer more functions, more style, more bling, with only some homing in on efficiency — green offerings have crept into the mix. That’s because the show’s focus on performance inevitably yields overlap with sustainability. The two can go hand in hand. Here then, are five new greener products being featured at CES destined to brighten our lives…

Green America urges an alternative shopping day, Green Tuesday

It’s the most wonderful (shopping) time of the year.

Grow your own gourmet mushrooms with this kit by Back to the Roots.


Unless you fear being trampled by mall mobs, freezing to death while waiting in line for the 5 a.m. $39 Blu-Ray player special or being tasered during police crowd control maneuvers at the nearby Walmart.

11 fun eco-gift ideas for 2010

This year, when it’s abundantly clear that we in the developed world need to consume responsibly, and there are more green gift options than ever — so many sustainable goods are hitting their stride — it makes sense to consider eco-friendly gifts, whenever and wherever possible.

Look for items that are made from renewable, recycled or reclaimed materials; for products that last and regenerate or even create their own energy (eco- can be eco-nomical); for things that sustain people in disadvantaged situations and for stuff that’s practical, even edible.

Your family may just discover that their eco-gifts are some of the most unique and wonderful surprises under the tree (or near the Menorah or whatever).

Reusable lunch gear that really works

Best in class reusable lunch containers: A Koko insulated lunch bag, wrap-n-mat sandwich wrap and a sleek Thermos, lead and BPA free.


Now that school’s started, the plastic baggies have taken wing, and plastic bottled beverages are spewing forth like water through a dam.
Are you still sending your kids to school with an arsenal of disposables? Maybe you’ve tried to cut back on all the waste, but with mixed success. We’ve sampled more than a few awkward and non-enduring, non-disposable packing containers. Our move to glassware storage seemed like progress around the house, but really weighed down the takeout lunches. And those wax paper sandwich bags that work so well at the deli? We got big complaints about fossilizing bread ends when they were employed for long haul packing.
This year, though, we feel like the San Francisco of lunchbag trash diverters. Our assembled retinue of carryout lunch tools is reducing our noon trash toll to almost nothing, save for a few cracker and granola bar wrappers.

12 portable water filters/pitchers that can purify your tap water

Ready to banish the plastic water bottle? You can choose to drink water straight from the tap, which the federal government says is largely safe, or you can filter that tap water for contaminants and chemicals, and to freshen the taste.
If you choose to filter you be joining an apparent migration away from disposable bottled water to more efficient home filtering. The estimated revenue for the water-filter pitcher/carafe market last year was $183 million (excluding Walmart), a 24 percent growth rate since 2005, according to one research group.
There are at least a dozen systems to choose from, starting with market-leader Brita (owned by Clorox), which has dominated the water-filter pitcher market in the U.S. for years, and including number two seller, PUR, and an array of other big and boutique brands. All offer a variety of styles, safeguards, bells and whistles.
Here are the highlights of 12 brands on the market:

Help for confused consumers of CFLs (and other bright ideas)

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Confused about light bulbs? There’s a dizzying array on the market, not just at Home Depot and Lowe’s and online at 1000Bulbs.com, but at many home supply stores.

For any given lighting job, you may find yourself confronted with several types of bulbs that could work — CFLs (compact fluorescent bulbs), a halogen or two or ten, and some of those ongoing, but supposedly outgoing, incandescents. Conversely, for specific needs, like say the flame-shaped bulbs you need for your chandelier, you might find the choices wanting, perhaps there’s an incandescent available, but not an EnergyStar CFL.

Green Goods: Verterra dinnerware

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

You’ve got party plans. And your regular dinnerware just won’t accommodate the crowd. What’s the green solution?

There are several options on the market, including recycled plastic plates and pressed paper plates that will biodegrade (shout out to Chinet; who knew?). But there’s only one product we’ve seen that covers the green spectrum like moss on rocks: Verterra disposable dinnerware.

Santa Monica’s Eco Gift Festival features top green shopping

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

The Eco Gift Festival in Santa Monica set for next week claims to be the biggest green gift convention in the world. With a projected attendance of 15,000 and 150 vendors, it may well be, we’re not sure, but it certainly promises a big presence with sellers offering gifts made from garbage, recycled silver and gold, bamboo, plant-based medicinal oils (hey, it’s LA), and even poop.

Really green Christmas gifts for 2008

By Barbara Kessler and Julie Bonnin
Green Right Now

Tis’ the season to be…conservative? Afraid so. As the economic downturn and the need to better care for our planet converge into a new aesthetic, we are facing an unusual holiday season. We can show we care with holiday gifts that help us all to consume less.

This might seem the antithesis of consumerism, too bah humbug to be any fun. But we think you’ll see that we’re talking about smarter consuming; buying durable goods that cut out the disposables, forsaking chemical-laden items and making some of your own stuff, whether its soda or energy. Read on:

eBay Does A “World Of Good”

By Barbara Kessler

eBay announced this week that it will pave the way for eco-conscious consumers with a new marketplace dubbed “WorldofGood.com by eBay”. Designed to help shoppers find green and socially responsible products, the new shopping site will feature items made from recycled materials, organic raw goods and artisan wares produced by people in developing nations.

The partnership between the world’s largest online marketplace and World of Good, Inc., a start-up that aims to bring ethically produced goods to retailers, makes a certain sense.