Pixel Organics

These little 100% organic cotton bodysuits are precious, and I just had to share them. The printed graphics are perfect for a trendy baby.

Back to Nature $28

SS Scary Fish $28

Footie in Periwinkle $48

Melon with Birdbath $24

And you can find many more on NewTerraLiving.com: http://bit.ly/4hEBKP


Ali from Rag Trade Vintage preaches recycling clothes so that girls everywhere can have access to high end fashion without having to pay the price to their pocketbooks and to the environment. She claims, “the morale of the story is…Recycle. Wear vintage.” Since we’re all trying to go green, and we’re in this together she agreed to answered a few of my questions to share insight she’s gained with all of us. This is such a treat and honor and I hope you all enjoy her interview as much as I did! (She even shared some of her inspiration!)

1. What was your inspiration in creating Rag Trade Vintage?
Since I was 14, I have always loved buying my clothes in thrift shops.
My mom would beg to take me to a “regular” store to buy me clothes but
I loved the feeling of treasure hunting to find something that was
truly unique and original, that no other girl I knew would have. Some
of my favorite items are from thrift stores, that mean the most to me.
So I created Rag Trade Vintage to provide good quality vintage
clothing to girls all over the world.

2. Buying vintage is green by nature. What steps do you take to make
sure Rag Trade Vintage is as “green” as possible?
Of course buying vintage is going to be better than buying one of the
newly factory made shirts out of your mall. Its true that your vintage
item may have also been produced in a sweat shop, but at least it is
being re-used many years later as to prevent the encouragement of more
sweat shops and more factory made clothing items. I’m a big fan of
hand-made, and so one of the steps I take is by making all of the Rag
Trade feather hair accessories entirely by hand, pieced together one
by one.

3. How do you make sure fashion meets quality when “thrifting”? Any
good pointers?
First off, vintage clothing represents a time period. The age of
different pieces will depend on what condition they are in. When
looking in thrift shops and through vintage stores, the way to find
the best quality items is really just to examine them as much as
possible by comparing them to what era they are most likely from. You
have to dig, but that’s the fun part for me!
Even some items that are very old, if maintained well, will look
brighter and fresher than items from a few years ago.

4. What ways would you recommend to readers to make their wardrobe
more sustainable?
Cleaning your vintage clothing properly is key. Every piece that is in
the Rag Trade Vintage store has been carefully dry cleaned to produce
a more appealing scent and to keep them in better condition. Washing
vintage in a washing machine usually isn’t a good idea. But I always
read the tags if they are still intact just to get familiar with the
material so I can treat the item properly.
Store your vintage clothing properly by keeping it away from light and
smoke and different animal hairs. Wools and furs should always be
cleaned before storing and keep your wool items in a cool dry place
with cedar and mothballs if possible.

5. Finally, where do you go for inspiration?

My interview with Ali taught me three valuable lessons:
Number one: Sometimes what we think is trash is really treasure. It’s not about throwing it away, but instead it’s about getting it in the hands of someone who treasures it. Number two: If we take better care of our things, especially clothing, it will last longer and we’ll be less likely to throw it away. Number three: find inspiration! It’s all around us and it can keep us focused on the goals and dreams we’ve had since we were young. It’s hard to go green sometimes, but there is a lot of beauty to be found in this lifestyle. It’s up to us to keep looking for it.

Thanks, Ali!

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Inspiration is one of the most valuable things we share on the internet. When I was looking for things that provoke people to care about the environment I stumbled upon amazing insight. But I must say, on Blog Action Day, Meg Donohue, blogger from Style Saves the World, listed the following reasons for saving the environment and they were too good not to share (because we all need a little humor):

“1. Warmer temperatures are threatening potato crops. And a life without French fries is no life at all.

2. Scientists predict a 40% drop in avocado crops over the next 40 years. Where am I supposed to dip my chips?

3. Pinot Noir grapes are being damaged by the new warm climate. So what am I supposed to do when 5pm rolls around? Have a glass of water?

For more reasons (including some serious ones) about the effects of climate change, check out The Top 100 Effects of Climate Change over at AmericanProgress.org. Wanna fight? Check out 10 Solutions for Climate Change at ScientificAmerican.com.”

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Dream Home

I found my dream home! It was in The Washington Post this morning and too good not to share. It was also so beautifully written, I included the whole article.

By Jura Koncius
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 8, 2009

Yes, the exterior siding is made from recycled materials, the roof of recycled metal and the floors of reclaimed wood. And there are dual-flush toilets (that will each save 6,000 gallons of water annually) in the five bathrooms of the CharityWorks GreenHouse opening Saturday in McLean.
But beyond the usual building blocks of green living, 18 local design firms have made the area’s first carbon-neutral show house a stylish delight, using Earth-friendly furnishings such as sleek kitchen countertops made of crunched-up landfill materials, burnt-bamboo architectural molding, milk paint and a pair of shed antlers used as curtain tiebacks.

A team of builders, architects and designers created an upscale yet cozy Craftsman-style family home that will be open to the public for three weeks. It’s a green trophy house, expected to use 80 percent less energy than a comparable new one, that’s overflowing with ideas for an increasingly eco-aware population.

The brainchild of developer West Group and Green Spur, a Falls Church builder of energy-efficient projects, it was conceived as a model home of sustainable living. Builders took apart a worn-out 1960s brick ranch house (recycling virtually all the building materials elsewhere) and used the corner lot to erect a two-level, 4,000-square-foot house with four bedrooms, a spa and a lap pool. It also has a geothermal heating and cooling system, two green roofs and a “smart home” system that informs the homeowner via iPhone of how much energy is being consumed.

“A lot of people think that a green house has to be some sort of exotic spaceship,” says Ralph Cunningham, a principal at Cunningham/Quill Architects, the D.C. firm that designed the home. “This house is an embassy for the green movement because it’s in a fairly typical suburban setting and is full of basic solutions.”

To bring the green-is-the-new-black message of the house to a broad audience, the organizers decided to turn the project into a show house. They asked local designers to participate and chose CharityWorks, which raises money for community organizations, as the beneficiary.

Designers received 10 pages of guidelines for shaping spaces that would enhance the “health, safety and welfare” of the home’s future occupants. They were asked to use sustainable products and reuse, reduce and recycle. And they were cautioned to choose ecologically sound woods and paints with low levels of volatile organic compounds. The project called for energy-efficient appliances and fabrics colored with no harmful dyes or chlorine bleach. Extra points were given for using antiques or repurposed pieces with no shipping involved.

The result is a functional house that is full of surprises. Designers had to dig to find the greenest solutions. They reused curtains, scouted mattresses with vegan batting and uncovered hemp rugs. There’s even a virtual golf room with a High Definition Golf simulator of iconic golf courses around the world such as Pinehurst No. 2, Troon North and Casa de Campo: Golfers never have to leave the house to play (thus saving energy), though this version will set you back $58,000.

“The main message of this show house is you don’t have to sacrifice comfort or luxury to live a carbon-neutral existence,” says Barry Dixon, who chaired the house’s design committee. Dixon also decorated the large, open kitchen and family room space, creating a pantry full of honey and jam put up at his Warrenton farm (a nod to eating locally).

Participants took up the cause with newfound relish. “It was challenging and was a learning process for me,” says D.C. designer Gary Lovejoy, who did the library. “It convinced me that this is the direction that everything should be going: recycled and natural.”

“Green is a learning curve on the residential side,” says Washington’s Victoria Neale, who did the dining room in lime and olive. “You have to ask a lot of questions, because the first thing [manufacturers] say is, ‘No, I don’t have anything green.’ ”

According to Bethesda designer Skip Sroka, who created the home office, doing a green project costs about 10 to 15 percent more, but he hopes costs will lower as eco-consciousness is raised. Sroka said the experience was different from any show house he has participated in. “Remember when we just used to say about a room, ‘Isn’t it beautiful?’ Now we can say, ‘Isn’t it biodegradable, recyclable, sustainable — and beautiful?’ ”

Thanks, Haute*Nature for posting about Giardiningiro.

Giardiningiro is an international event taking place in Torino, Italy. It is an artistic endeavour to showcase twenty garden installations in the district of San Salvario near the river Po. It is part of a sustainable energy campaign, to raise awareness and start discussion about ways to utilize and work within an urban landscape. It is running October 9th-11th.

We can all learn some lessons from this artistic undertaking in Italy that we can bring right into our own backyards. In terms of urban gardening, there are tons of different ways we can get creative!

One of my favorite Urban Gardening sites is URBNGRDN. Here are a few photos from that blog to inspire you:

How do we make our back yard gardens energy sustainable like the installations along the Po? Solar lights, of course. Did you know… solar lights don’t have to be replaced? That’s right! No changing light bulbs or any of that nonesese. You don’t even have to remember to plug them in. They soak up the sun all day and as the sun sets, they start to glow. Beautiful and green, just the way we like it.

You can get them all here.

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Stumbled upon the photo series, E-Wasteland, by Sophie Gerrard that was too good not to share. Touching and beautiful. She worked as an environmental consultant for a while before studying photography at Edinburgh College of Art. These photos were taken in India at electronic burial grounds. Here are a few of my favorites:

and my very favorite:

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{Because we all need a little of the Beatles in our lives}

“I Met the Walrus” an interview with John Lennon by a 14-year-old.

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