We’re Gettin’ Social!

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Making Connections

First, I would like to take the time to say hello to all of @greenearthbazar ‘s new follower’s.  Thanks for taking the time to say hello, leave lovely comments, and make me feel really good about what I’m trying to do with Green Earth Bazaar.  It’s always a pleasure to share what I know, what I think, and what I feel passionately about with others.  Thank you!

Secondly, I’m excited to announce the launch of a whole new community for those who follow this blog, and have an interest in all things green.  You can access Green Earth Bazaar’s Community on Blog Frog at the present, and once the kinks get worked out you’ll be able to interact with other community members without having to leave Green Earth Bazaar.  Simply click on the Community link (it’s at top right in the menu).  Totally cool!

My goal with the community is to share thoughts, ideas, and inspiration.  It’s a way to connect individuals who care about green, sustainable living, are interested in learning more about it, or who just want share their knowledge with the rest of us – we can always learn something from one another.

The discussions needn’t only be about living green.  If you’re into handmade, make jewelry (like me), love DIY with a passion, or are a consummate foodie, feel free to share.  All are welcome.

There’s much to discuss about life, love, and caring for our planet.  I hope to see you there! ;)

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Get Your Green On! Five Fabulously Green Blogs to Follow

Be Green

Go Green, Stay Green

I’d say most of us want to live healthy, happy, balanced lives – we want to leave our children of tomorrow with a healthy environment to grow and thrive in.  It may seem daunting at times to keep up on the dos and don’ts of green, sustainable living, but there is an ever growing community of people out there to help you make informed, ethical choices.

With technology making it possible to connect with anyone, anytime, anywhere, it’s easy to find answers, gain insights, and get inspired to make changes.

Here’s a list of five of my favorite green blogs and bloggers:

  1. Crazy Sexy Life:  If you’ve never heard of Kris Carr and her truly amazing cancer story, then you’re in for a very inspirational treat.  Her blog is dedicated to helping everyone live a healthy, happy, balanced life.  I love it!
  2. Food Democracy Now!:  Healthy foods, happy farmers, and a sustainable future.  Sound impossible?  Not if this grassroots movement has anything to say about it!  What do we want? Food Democracy.  When do we want it? Now!
  3. Glamology: There’s no reason being green means you have to give up looking great.  Eco chic Charmaine Leah has all the low down on what’s in and what should be out – so we can be pretty, green, and glamorous!
  4. Glue and Glitter: Crafts, recipes, tutorials – you name it, Glue and Glitter’s got it.  Plus there’s a great section for those interested in Yoga practice – so kick off your shoes and grab your glue guns!
  5. Tree Hugger:  Okay, TreeHugger is one of the big boys (or girls) when it comes to green news and information.  It’s more than just a website, it’s an entire community for those interested in living green and sustainably – a virtual green utopia!

Have a favorite green blog you follow? Leave me a comment below, or send me a tweet @greenearthbazar .  I’d love to know who you’re reading! ;)

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DIY Cord Necklace

Leaf Heart Necklace

Easy, Classic, and Functional

If you’re like me, then you have a lot of lovely pendants in your jewelry wardrobe but seem to gravitate to a few favorites.  A good way to keep your favorite pendant pieces looking fresh is to wear them on a cord necklace.  This changes their look dramatically and makes them easier to layer with other pieces (think no more tangled chains).

Cord necklaces can be expensive to buy when purchased from a jewelry retailer, but with a few findings and some  jewelry making tools, you can easily assemble your own.

Here’s what you need:
  • Cord in your choice of color – hemp, leather, silk, whatever material you like best.  I chose black for my piece since it is a classic and goes with everything.
  • 1 lobster claw clasp (or spring ring if you prefer)
  • 2 split rings – a split ring comes in handy if you want to add a pendant to your cord that has a bail smaller than the finding.  You can simply take the split ring off to add your pendant and easily replace it again without the need for tools.  Think key ring here.
  • 2 crimp ends or flat cord ends – these are different from crimp beads
  • Crimping pliers
  • Round nose pliers
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
Directions:

First, determine the length you want your finished necklace to be.  Cut off the appropriate amount of material with your scissors.

Next, add your crimp or flat ends to each end of the cord, crimping them closed with the crimping pliers.

Now you’re ready to attach the clasp and the split rings to your crimp or flat ends.  Use a pair of pliers to help hold each piece in place if necessary.

Pick a favorite pendant, and viola! You now have a very chic, very functional piece of jewelry.  I love that I can easily switch out my pendant depending on my mood and outfit.  I save money and help lessen my environmental impact by not shopping for new pieces all the time.

Like this project?  Leave me a comment below, or send me a tweet @greenearthbazar . I’d love to know what you think. :)

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Whooga Ugg Boots Giveaway: Enter for Your Chance to Win!

whooga uggs

Win a Pair of Whooga Ugg Boots

Extreme weather calls for extremely warm and comfy boots.  Whooga ugg boots not only look fabulous, they’re also biodegradable, recyclable, and are suitable for people with sensitive skin.  Right now Whooga is hosting a giveaway for a pair of their ugg boots.  To enter, simply visit their homepage and sign up for their newsletter.  One winner is chosen at the end of each month, and the contest is open to anyone (sweet!).

If you can’t wait to win a pair, Whooga has been kind enough to offer Green Earth Bazaar readers a 10% discount for the next week.   Simply enter code 1500GREEN.

Remember:  warm toes equal happy feet.

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Inspiring Green Technology

green tech

Green Technology

The ever growing green movement has led to some pretty amazing innovations and inventions – I’m always in awe of what comes next.

This week I’ve come across some awefully cool green news to ponder, like a bicycle made from bamboo.  Yep, it’s not just for pandas anymore.  It looks great and is really light light-weight – I’d love to ride one around my neighborhood sometime.

Did you know that Toyota will be selling home electric-car chargers in 2012?  That’s great news to hybrid owners.  Owning a hybrid is a dream of mine – maybe someday it will happen.

Calling all green fashionistas!  TreeHugger has all the low-down on green fashions debuting at New York Fashion Week.  Okay, not all of the fashions I’ve seen thus far are my cup of green tea, but if the technology fits – someone can wear it (just not me).   Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of green clothing designs I’d love to have hanging in my closet.

What green news have you read about lately?  Leave me a comment below, or send me a tweet @greenearthbazar .  I’d love to know what you’re reading up on. ;)

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Easy Organic Meat Loaf

Easy Organic Meatloaf

Organic Grass-Fed Beef

We rarely eat meat at our house, but when we do we make sure that it’s organic, grass-fed beef.  It’s not only better for you, but it tastes much better too.  I find that I don’t need to drain off any excess fat when I cook organic beef, which is a huge plus when it comes to watching fat content.

Meat is usually just an accompaniment when we do eat it – an addition to pasta sauce,  casseroles, etc.  Every once in a great while though we like to have a little good old-fashioned comfort food, and nothing says comfort for us like a tasty meat loaf with some steak fries or mac and cheese on the side.  So here’s my own personal take on a classic.

Michelle’s Easy Herbed Meat Loaf

Ingredients:
  • Approximately 2 pounds organic grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup organic milk
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 2 tsp salt (or to taste if you prefer less salt)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbs dried basil
  • 1 Tbs Herbes de Provence (you can find this in bottles at Whole Foods, or you can make your own from scratch)
Directions:

In a large bowl mix together ground beef, bread crumbs, milk, onion, eggs, and spices.  Mix well.

Next, spoon mixture into a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, making sure to level the top.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 1 1/2 hours.

Once meat loaf is done, let stand five minutes at room temperature, draining off any excess liquid.  Turn meat loaf out onto a serving plate if desired.

Have a great organic meat loaf recipe?  Like my take on the classic meat loaf?  Feel free to let us know by leaving a comment below, or send me a tweet on twitter @greenearthbazar ;)


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Spring is in the Air…Ten DIY Green Projects

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

The sun is shining, birds are chirping in the trees, and I’ve got a bad case of spring fever!  I can’t say our winter here in CA has been horrible, but it’s been a bit unusual.  Lots of fog and rain have made for many a gray, dreary day, but things are beginning to look sunny once again.

Trees are beginning to bloom,  creatures are starting to emerge from their wintry slumber, and although my seasonal allergies will probably pay me a visit, I’m so ready for spring to begin!  It’s time to think about what to plant in the garden, what junk to donate or recycle, and what new spring DIY projects we want to tackle.

I love the promise of new beginnings and rebirth that spring brings into the world.  It’s hard to feel low in spirit when there’s such beauty, promise, and hope to be found right out your front door.  Nature is such a miraculous, wonderful creation.  A true blessing and mercy from God the All-Mighty.

Here are ten fantastically green DIY projects to get you ready for a wonderful spring season! Enjoy! ;)

  • Mason Jar Garden I love the beauty and simplicity of this project.  It’s all about bringing the outdoors into your living space, plus it’s a great way to reuse your old glass containers and jars.  Love it!
  • Make new candles out of left over candle wax This is a project I’ve been putting off for far too long.  I’ve been saving my used jar candles specifically for this purpose (wax and all), but have been lazy about acquiring the needed wicks.  I’m hoping to remedy that this spring, and this recycled candle tutorial will surely come in handy when I’m good and ready.
  • DIY recycled planner/agenda I still love to use good old fashioned pen and paper when it comes to organizing my schedule.  Let’s face it, technology isn’t perfect, and I really don’t want to miss any important dates or appointments.  This project not only feeds my need for some hard copy, but it also helps shrink my pile of paper recycling too.  I totally love that!
  • Pine cone bird feeders I’ve been on a bird watching frenzy lately, so this bird feeder project will definitely come in handy.  I’ll get more face time with my fine-feathered friends, and get a little good karma from feeding them too.  Very green, and very easy to do – cool!
  • Got cardboard?  Make a shelf! This project is a useful way to reuse that pesky cardboard that seems to collect during the year.  My son is always coming up with different ways to re-purpose old cardboard boxes and containers, so I think he’d love to give this project a try.  It’s a good way to keep small items organized, and less trash in the landfills.
  • DIY Natural Laundry Soap Dirty laundry will never cease to exist, but you can get your wash clean without the use of harsh, toxic chemicals.  Make your laundry chores greener and healthier with this non-toxic natural laundry soap recipe.  Did I mention it’s totally easy and inexpensive too?
  • Organic All-Purpose Cleaner Two ingredients make this organic all-purpose cleaner a winner in my house.  It’s so natural you could even brush your teeth with it!
  • DIY Bronzer/Face Powder Love a healthy glow but don’t want the nasty chemicals?  Make your own bronzer!  It’s easy, cheap, and totally works.
  • Garden-Themed Charm Bracelet Spring always gets my creative jewelry-making juices flowing.  I love creating pieces that remind me of nature and all that I love about it.  This project is an easy way to turn your love of the great outdoors into a pretty, wearable reminder.
  • Easy Homemade Trail Mix Spring is the perfect time to get outside and start taking nature walks with the family.  Don’t let hunger kill your natural nature high, be prepared with some delicious homemade trail mix!

Have something to say?  Let us know by leaving a comment below. ;)

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Thirty Day Plastic Bag Challenge

Thirty Day Plastic Bag Chcallenge

Hate Plastic Shopping Bags?

I do.  It’s almost impossible to escape plastic bags – they’re everywhere.  Try as we might, we still end up with a few plastic shopping bags during the month.

I don’t think I need to explain the necessities of skipping the plastic while shopping – oil, animals, water, pollution – it all factors in.

We take our reusable tote bags with us when we shop, but sometimes we don’t take enough or forget to put them back into the car for the next round of shopping.  We’re getting much better at remembering to take our tote bags into the stores we shop at, however, and so I thought it would be cool to do a little experiment.  For the next thirty days we’ll be keeping track of how many plastic bags we’ve saved from the land fill by using our reusable tote bags to carry home our purchases.  Our tote bags are of varying sizes, so I’ll be taking that into consideration while tallying up my totals.  Some of our totes would be the equivalent to two plastic shopping bags, while the rest carry the same amount as their plastic counterpart.

Feel free to take the 30 Day Plastic Bag Challenge with me.  I’d love to see others participate – who knows how much plastic we can kill!

Here’s a tip:  If you want to participate, but don’t have enough reusable tote bags and don’t want (or can’t afford) to buy new bags, visit your local thrift stores.  You can probably find some great bags for very little money, plus you’re giving your dollars to good a cause.  We buy most of our totes from our local Hospice Thrift Store, and at $0.25 and $0.50 per bag we can afford to stock up.

Got some thoughts on the 30 Day Plastic Bag Challenge?  Feel free to leave a comment, and letting others know about the challenge would be pretty cool too! ;)

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It’s DIY Friday! | Super Yummy Homemade Chocolate Lip Balm

Chocolate Lip balm

It’s Friday once again, and that means it’s time to get your weekly DIY fix!

This DIY Friday! is being brought to you by my lovely DIY blogging pal, Victoria.  She’s keen on making naturally scrumptious beauty concoctions that are good for your skin – and who doesn’t want to look like a natural beauty?  This chocolate lip balm recipe looks and sounds super delish – I can’t wait to try it!  Enjoy! ;)

Super Yummy Homemade Chocolate Lip Balm

Today we are going to have a double DIY lesson. Not only will we make super yummy and eco-friendly chocolate lip balm, but I will also reveal to you my secret on how to simply make lip balm in a lipstick container. Personally, I hate taking my balm from a lip balm container with my fingers. I just can’t seem to get rid of it afterward, and I feel it on my hands and underneath my nails. This also feels unhygienic, especially when we are talking about a homemade skin care product because hands are a breeding ground for bacteria. This is a very easy way to introduce bacteria to a homemade lip balm, which will make its shelf life much shorter.

The chocolate lip balm that we are going to create today is extremely moisturizing, and it is also very tasty and smells like heavenly chocolate. Try not to eat your lips while wearing it! :-)

Ingredients:

  • •1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips or 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • Few drops almond oil or any vegetable oil

Melt the cocoa butter and beeswax in a double boiler or the fastest setting on the microwave. Add the chocolate chips or cocoa, and stir until melted. If you melt the cocoa butter and beeswax in the microwave, you may have to microwave the mixture again for a few seconds. If you melt it in a double boiler, remove it from heat. Don’t forget to stir thoroughly throughout the entire process, or the lip balm will become lumpy. Now is the tricky part, which is how to make this balm in a lipstick container:

To do this, you can purchase special containers, or you can clean out an old lipstick container, like I do. After you have removed the mixture from heat, pour it into a 5 cc syringe. Put the syringe in the refrigerator with the top facing up for a few moments until it starts to thicken. Then take out the syringe and cut the top open with a knife. Finish by squeezing out the balm into a lipstick container (see the pictures below).

I have a long list of my favorite recipes, and this recipe was proudly included on my list amongst other beauty recipes. I also compiled all of my best recipes and tips in my Natural Skin Care Handbook e-book. This guide includes a number of homemade remedies and tricks and was written especially for those who want to give up on commercial products and start to naturally care for their skin without the use of chemicals. All of the information about the Natural Skin Care Handbook can be found here.

Getting back to the balm, you may find that this balm is a great little gift! I now free myself up from the headache about what to give to my girlfriends for special occasions. They are all so in love with this lip balm that they always ask me to make it, and I still haven’t revealed to them the secret that making this balm takes only about five minutes and uses three ingredients. So I will purchase a beautiful lip balm container, decorate it, and voilà – I have an amazing gift!

Do you ever try to make your own homemade lip balm, or maybe you already have your own perfect formula?

Victoria Lewy loves to experiment with different natural homemade beauty recipes. Her passion has inspired her to share and discuss them with others at her Homemade Beauty Blog: MyHomemadeBeauty.com.  Thanks Victoria! ;)


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It’s Green Find Saturday! | DAGOBA Organic Chocolate

DAGOBA Organic Chocolate

It’s time again for another Saturday Green Find.  This week:  a little chocolaty treat (also known around my house as “mother’s little helper”) that’s good for you and good for the environment too.

DAGOBA Organic Chocolate it the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted!  One bite and I was hooked.  Not only is their chocolate organic, delicious, and one of life’s little indulgent pleasures, but their company strives to practice full circle sustainability.  That means they’re all about making quality chocolate, while at the same time doing their part for community, ecology, and fair trade.  I totally support that!  So, while getting my chocolate fix, I can feel good that I’m indulging in something that’s good for me (no funky ingredients) and good for the planet too.  I like that!

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