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Nature’s Calling –An Earth Day 2012 Celebration

Happy Earth Day!

Today, take some time to think about your home — not just the walls encasing you, but the planet you inhabit — and ask yourself what you have been doing to ensure it remains intact. Next, jot down a plan of action for how to lead a greener lifestyle. Start with simple adjustments to your routine –taking the kids to play outside instead of having them propped in front of the television, shutting the lights off during the day and allowing the sun’s rays to fill your home or office, walking or bicycling instead of relying on cabs and buses, and making smarter choices as a consumer.

The products below will guide you as a shopper, helping you  choose effective housecleaning products with less of a harmful environmental impact, home decor items  constructed out of found objects, fashion accessories woven out of all-natural fibers, and hair care and skin care products made of natural botanical extracts and packaged into recyclable bottles. Enjoy!

Pureology Hydrate Shampoo and Hydrate HairCondition. Visit Pureology.com for salon locations.

Committed to formulating top-notch vegan shampoos and conditioners packed with nourishing botanical extracts, Pureology is now going the extra mile by reconceptualizing its packaging to minimize waste, decrease the energy expended during the manufacturing and transportation process, and maximize the recyclability factor. The new Zero Waste packaging, then, boasts an ergonomic design that allows consumers and salon professionals to easily squeeze out every drop of product (no more long bottle necks  and hard-to-grip bottles), and the 100% recyclable bottles are made of 50% post-consumer recycled high-density polyethylene, while the boxes encasing the bottles are Forest Stewardship Council-certified cardboard boxes made from 100% recycled fibers. According to a life cycle assessment of the new packaging from Five Winds International,  energy use was decreased by 33% for the Hydrate Shampoo and 42% for the HairCondition during the production and transportation phases.

Kangol Bubble Player Hat in Lupine, $130, and Kangol Bubble Bombin in Pear, $130. Available at KangolStore.com

These sunny hats are made of parasisal, a natural straw fiber, dyed using natural earth pigments. The Bubble Player hat features a pinched crown, a 1 1/4″ brim, and a ribbon band in an ombre color scheme created using a bubble dye technique and adorned with a flattened bow motif. The Bubble Bombin hat, meanwhile, also features a 1 1/4″ brim and a bubble-dyed band, but features a round crown as opposed to the Bubble Player’s pinched crown.


Graham Bergh Bike Chain Bowl, $78. Available at UncommonGoods.com

Designer Graham Bergh knows better than to dismiss discarded materials as trash, finding ways to breathe new life into what others might deem as waste. Just look at this ingenious bowl, handmade in Oregon using recycled, slightly tarnished bike chains. Measuring 10″ in diameter, this bike chain bowl can perfectly accommodate loose change, paper clips, keys, lip balms, and other knickknacks.


Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes, $6. Available at BurtsBees.com

Designed for those with normal to sensitive skin, these Burt’s Bees cloth wipes are 99.1% natural, infused with antioxidant-rich white tea extract, soothing aloe leaf juice, and cooling cucumber extract that together remove dirt and impurities while moisturizing, toning, and softening skin. Unlike other cleansing towelettes that feel abrasive, dry out the skin, or create a stinging, tingling, itching sensation, these wipes massage your visage and leave it feeling refreshed, plus they’re so packed with moisture that a single wipe can cover your entire face without drying out and becoming ineffective.

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Bluebell Laundry Detergent, $15.99. Available at MrsMeyers.com

Launched by Thelma Meyer, an Iowa mother of nine, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day specializes in cleaning products that are free of environmentally hazardous chlorine bleach, ammonia, and phosphate and that prioritize natural essential oils with antibacterial and antiseptic properties, as well as aromatherapy benefits. The line’s latest offering is its 68 Load Laundry Detergent which features a concentrated formula that can tackle a full load of smelly, dingy, and stained clothing with just one tablespoon of liquid. If you leave doing laundry to the 11th hour, when you’re wearing bikini bottoms instead of panties and rocking mismatched socks, this larger-sized will be your saving grace as you hit the laundromat with your mountain of dirty clothes. The laundry detergent is available in four scents: Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Rosemary, and Bluebell. I had the chance to try the Bluebell 68 Load Laundry, and I loved the subtle, woody-but-floral  scent, which doesn’t overpower senses or feel overly feminine, instead having a soft but lush quality.

Catbird Fig Leaf Candle, $32. Available at CatbirdNYC.com

Not only are Catbird’s candles made of 100% domestically grown soy wax, but they’re poured by hand into vintage, amber-colored apothecary jars and packaged in 100% post consumer cardboard boxes. The Fig Leaf Candle shown above, inspired by the smells filling the air in the Mediterranean during steamy summer months, features notes of earthy white fig, leafy dandelion, and slightly spicy cedar. The overall fragrance smells like raw earth, like fresh soil, but with a tangy fruitiness that adds an unexpected juiciness. The candle’s jar, meanwhile, features a twist-off metal jar that might remind you of homemade jam lining the shelves of a country home’s pantry. Lastly, the box features a vintage-looking illustration of a nude man and woman standing side by side, leaves covering their privates, a possible reference to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Coola Environment Repair Clear Recovery Foam Wash, $24; Coola Environment Repair Fresh Relief Face Serum, $68; and Coola Environment Repair Calm Glow Eye Gel, $56. Available at CoolaSuncare.com

Coola’s new skin care collection was formulated to combat the harmful effects of pollution, UV rays, toxins, and free radicals on our skin. Aptly dubbed Environment Repair, the three products in the collection rely on natural ingredients like radish root, Japanese seaweed, and alfalfa extract, which are packed with protective antioxidants and which can strengthen the skin’s natural defenses, stimulate collagen production, moisturize, reduce inflammation, and soothe the skin. You can use these products at any time, but they’re particularly delicious after extensive sun exposure. I personally love the Calm Glow Eye Gel, which has an ice cube effect on the skin around the eyes, drastically cooling the area with a mixture of rose flower extract, rye seed extract, black currant extract, and linseed extract. If your skin took a beating when you were at the beach or working outside, you’ll feel a sense of relief when you apply the Fresh Relief Face Serum, an oil-free and lightweight moisturizer formulated with alfalfa extract, wakame Japanese seaweed, licorice root and radish root. In addition to hydrating parched skin and soothing any discomfort, the serum works to fortify the skin’s natural defense system so that it boasts both reparative and preventative properties.


Seltzer Goods Drums Notebook, $7.50. Available at SeltzerGoods.com 

When the muse strikes you and you reach for a notebook in which to jot your ideas, make sure that pad is made of recycled paper and eco-friendly inks. This quirky Seltzer Goods notebook fits all the criteria.  Measuring 5 7/8″ in width and  8 1/4″ in length, this handy notebook features 48 pages of lightly ruled recycled paper and a front cover featuring an illustration of a pink drum set against an earthy brown background, all printed using veggie-based inks.

Skinn by Dimitri James Wrinkle Soak Age-Defying Hydrating Mask, $22.50. Available at Store.Skinn.com

We all know how delicious a slice of watermelon tastes on a hot summer day, its juices working to cool your body temperature without leaving you feeling heavy and bloated. Well, as it turns out, watermelon extract can have a similar effect on a topical level. Packed with vitamin C and lycopene, an antioxidant known to prevent certain forms of cancer and to neutralize the free radicals that lead to visible aging signs, watermelon extract can feel like the ultimate treat for dry or sun-ravaged skin. The paraben- and petrochemical-free Skinn Wrinkle Soak Age Defying Hydrating Mask places watermelon front and center, while surrounding it with key supporting players like antioxidant-loaded blueberry, cranberry, and wolfberry extracts, and resveratrol-rich grape extract, which is known to be a powerful anti-aging ingredient.

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