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Razor Sharp

 Ok, probably an odd topic but I love this razor by Preserve.  It is made out of recycled yogurt cups and comes in an array of different colors.  Your purchase comes with a new razor head to switch to when the original dulls.  They also sell the new disposable heads which have a triple razor and lubrication strip.  When and if you ever need to, you can recycle the body of the razor at any Gimmie5 location (found in most Whole Foods).   Don’t forget to bring all of your empty yogurt cups to be recycled as well, they will help to make new Preserve toothbrushes and razors.  Another way to keep it green.

* Tip- If  you blot your razor dry with a towel after using it and keep it dry it is estimated to double its useful life.

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The Perfect Bag for Work ~ Patagonia

Keeping in line with our recent article on fabulous green products and sustainable services you have to check out the best laptop bag on the market.  I was forced to purchase a new carrying case after the Dell bag that came with my laptop literally fell apart.   Before I went out and purchased something brand new I did do some searching on Craiglist.org and Ebay.com for something vintage that would work.  While I did find some amazing used bags on those sites, I just couldn’t find what I needed to standup to the Seattle rain or that was my price range. 

The messenger bag I ended up purchasing  is called, Daily Grind, and is made by Patagonia from 100% recycled polyester that feels like a nice canvas.  This bag is super lightweight with lots of storage compartments to keep things tidy and accessible.  I thought I wouldn’t be fond of the flap that flips over the top and buckles, but it may be my favorite part.  It keeps my papers and computer dry from Seattle’s never-ending drizzle and the occasional snow with its water repellant finish called, Deluge(R) DWR.  If you can believe it, this bag was only $69 and worth every cent.  I highly recommend it to anyone in the market.

Sustainable Office Products & Services

Economic growth and social and environmental responsibility have to go hand in hand in order for this world to prosper.  I am a firm believer that we, as a society, can push economic growth and a healthier environment together through our purchasing power.  A decent example is my purchasing of paper supplies for the office.  For the last 6+ years I have only purchased paper made from 100% recycled paper and there used to only be one option, but because of the choices and where consumers choose to spend their money, we now have several options.  The same goes for the disposable pens that inundate our landfills, there are now brands making writing pens that are fully recyclable and made out of recycled material.  This is a small, simple example, but it shows how we can push our environment to change not necessarily through giant leaps, but rather gradual steps towards change.

The easiest way to do this is by supporting the vendors that are leading these changes is a great way to help.  FedEx is a great example of a company moving towards electric vehicles, reuseable and recyclable packaging.     During a recent conversation with a colleague I heard that Staples was making push into the sustainable market with their EcoEasy line of office products, including a very cool bamboo flash drive.  They, like many others, are making the push at a corporate level to improve their day-to-day operations with rooftop solar energy systems, an energy-efficient fleet of vehicles, and waste reduction.  Not to be left out Office Depot and Walmart  also have sustainable products for your workplace, but unfortunately not as easy to locate on their websites.

Living Aware Daily, will keep you posted on the office products we use and love, as well as any new sustainable companies and initiatives.   Thanks for reading and thinking twice about what products you choose to support with your hard-earned cash!

Hotel Palomar Update ~ Dallas, TX

I was just informed that the Hotel Palomar was the first hotel in Texas to install EV (electric vehicle) Ecotality charging stations! Way to be green and give hotel guests the opportunity to charge their electric cars in oil rich Texas!

Hotel Palomar ~ Dallas, TX

On a recent trip to Dallas, we searched for green options in lodging and unfortunately not much to my surprise, there weren’t many.  In fact, I could only find one, a Kimpton property called, Hotel Palomar, on Mockingbird Lane.  Luckily, this property is pretty amazing.  I remember when it was a dilapidated abandoned hotel on the outskirts of downtown by SMU.  The Owners did an amazing rehab of the building keeping the existing structure in tact (very green) and doing a multi-million dollar renovation to the interior.    While this property is not LEED Certified like the majority of the other hotels I frequent, all Kimpton hotels do have an EarthCare Program which is a lot better than most and am happy to support while traveling.  Their EarthCare Program ensures that all Palomar rooms are cleaned with ecofriendly products and  have in-room recycling, fair-trade organic coffee, low-flow toilets and faucets, energy-efficient lighting.  As always, I wish even more programs like composting, organic cotton sheets and towels, hybrid car service, etc., but nevertheless it’s a good start in the right direction.

The overall experience was great.  The staff was very friendly and helpful.  The rooms were clean, modern, spacious and completed with a very comfortable bed.  The hotel hosts a complimentary appetizer and wine hour in the hotel lobby from 5-6PM which we really enjoyed as a start to our night out.   They also gave you a $10 credit for the minibar if you wanted to enjoy an organic snack or beverage in your room.  We weren’t in town long enough to checkout the restaurant, Central 214,  although it is said to source local organic foods and be worth a visit, maybe next time.

Potted Garden

Pots are all lined up on the southwest wall of our home for this seasons organic veggie and herb garden. More to come!

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A Green Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has never been typical for me or my handsome partner.  We don’t believe, or like, to receive some mass-produced heart-shaped box of chocolates or some other cliche Kay Jewelers special.  Flowers are nice, but not at twice the price and just because some corporate entity has rubbed it into the psyche of the masses that you have to buy flowers for your loved one, on this day.  Bah humbug (or the V-Day equivalent). 

However, I do believe in making an extra point to show my guy just how much I love him and that I am always thinking of him.  This year I did a small series of little, inexpensive, green gifts from local retailers.  The first was a bamboo comb I picked up for him with a note that said, “I love every hair on your head.”  The second was a box of organic Fluer de Sel Jonboy Caramels that are his absolute favorite.  That 100% post consumer recycled notecard said, “For the sweetest man in the world.”  The third was a 100% soy candle that smells like heaven from the beautiful and quaint retailer, Butter Home, with a note that reminded him, “You’re the light of my life.”

Hopefully, this will inspire you and your partner to be creative and environmentally friendly in showing your love to each other.  Happy Valentine’s day to my friends and family.

Homegrown ~ Seattle

Seattle has this fabulous small chain of sandwich shops called Homegrown.  I am always ordering a quick and healthy lunch from their menu that sources a mixture of seasonal, local, and organic ingredients.   My favorite sandwich to grab is the vegan Hummus & Roasted Red Peppers on wholegrain, it’s to die for.  The tasty thing is filled with hummus, roasted red peppers, avocado, cucumber, arugula.

Beyond their delicious sandwiches their sustainable philosophy behind sourcing all of organic, local, compostable materials to make sandwiches and conduct business is very impressive.  I wish every sandwich shop practiced the same “sandwich environmentalism” that they do.

H&M ~ The Conscious Collection

This past weekend I went to visit a H&M store to check out their sustainable fashion line and see what it had to offer.  The selection was scattered throughout the store and basically consisted of what looked to be a few, but well-made organic cotton T-shirts with a great weight to the material.  It was difficult to identify the pieces since you had to look through the racks for a green tag with the price tag. 

This looks to be changing for H&M with their new Conscious Collection line that will release on April 14th.  The collection, which is for women, men and children, will be made from greener materials such as organic cotton, Tencel® and polyester made from recycled PET bottles.  The looks are said to be tailored with bits of lace and draping in shades of white for women and preppy for men with blazers and collarless shirts.

H&M did get flagged two years ago when their organic cotton was tested and found not to be organic and in fact made with genetically modified cotton.  It seems that those troubles in their sourcing of organic cotton have passed after being recognized by Goede Warr as one of the top 20 most sustainable brands and placed 170 out of 500 most sustainable companies in the world as ranked by Newsweek’. 

Stay tuned, we will have more to come once the new collection is released.

One of my Favorites

There is pleasure in the pathless woods;

There is rapture on the lonely shore;

There is society, where none intrudes,

By the deep sea, and music in its roar:

I love not man the less, but nature more,

– Lord Byron