Category Archives: Shopping

5 tips for hosting a great clothing exchange party

Clothing exchange party

5 tips for hosting a clothing exchange party

Would you secretly like to raid your friends’ closets?  Well now you can, (sort of), thanks to clothing exchange parties.

Two years ago, I attended my first ever clothing exchange party, a concept I had never heard of at the time. It’s where everyone brings a bag of their unwanted clothes and exchanges them for each others’ clothing. In wanting to continue the trend of this eco type party, I hosted my first ever clothing exchange party and I have to say, it was quite a hit. Continue reading

Upcycling; the new trend in fashion and home décor is strong in Montreal

Me with clutch purse

Me with clutch purse made from recycled pop-can pull-tabs

According to Wikipedia, Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

I recently learned about upcycling after a Sunday morning brunch with a friend at Aux Vivres, a favourite Montreal vegan restaurant, when we discovered a hip, little, eco shop while walking down St Laurent blvd.  Il était deux fois (Once upon two times) is the newest boutique to have opened up by an American transplant that saw a market for recycled items at a premium price.

Candy wrapper and pop-can purses

Purses made from discarded candy wrappers and pop-can pull tabs

Decisions, decisions; so many purses to choose from. These chic and unique purses are definite art pieces. What I really like the most about them, besides being made from what would otherwise be discarded, is that they are all fair-trade. Each purse is signed by the maker themselves from a shop in Brazil.  I won’t lie, these purses cost a pretty penny, i believe the clutches start around $50 or so, but at least you know the money is going to a good cause.

Back in April 2009, I bought an Ecoist purse at the airport in DC, that was made with misprinted magazine papers from Mexico. I’ve also seen them made form New York subway tickets and Wrigley gum wrappers. And if you think this sounds junky, don’t be fooled, these purses are showing up in the latest fashion magazines like Vogue and on runways across Europe!  Green fashion is so hot right now!

Cork board and hockey mirror

Cork boards made from reused wine corks and hockey stick mirrors

Do you like to drink wine? I sure do! This wine cork board is the perfect way to reuse corks and who doesn’t need an extra place to pin important pieces of paper or concert tickets to a wall? And talk about these mirrors made from broken hockey sticks! With such a vintage look, they would be the perfect decoration for any boys’ bedroom wall.

Pop-can ring bracelets

Escama Studio pop-can pull-tab bracelets and necklaces

These jewellery pieces were the best. Necklaces and bracelets made from pop-can pull-tabs. These ones were made from the Brazilian company Escama Studio. Whoever would have thought that something so cheap could produce something so glamourous.

I bought a bracelet for myself. It cost me around $25 but I feel good knowing that my money is going to a fair-trade company helping to get Brazilians off the street.

The next time you go to throw something away in the trash, just ask yourself if there’s a better way. Could you reuse it in some way shape or form to create a masterpiece? Could it become the next art project for your kids perhaps?

If visiting Montréal, check out  this 3-block strech of St Laurent boulevard between Mont-Royal and Villeneuve which is now being dubbed the Green Mile full of eco-boutiques, veggy restaurants and high-end consignment stores.

Il était deux fois is located at 4539 St-Laurent Boulevard in Montreal (1 block north of Mont-Royal).

Delicious eco lip balms and glosses that are actually good for you

In all the fashionable colours you desire

All natural lip glosses in colours you desire like Ruby red and Pearl

Do you feel guilty buying make-up because you feel the act is not “green”? Or worse, you’re worried about the chemical ingredients?

Well, I just found the greatest discovery this past week-end while visiting a new health food store; a line of completely eco lip balms and glosses by Kiss my Face. They’re 100% natural and 91% organic. It’s part of their shimmers & shines collection. Continue reading

Meet Ecoist – Fashion accessories that are green, fair-trade and sexy!

If we were to pick a stereotype about women’s interests, shopping would probably appear. Yet, we know consumerism just contributes to waste and pollution from the production of the goods. Well, what if I told you you could have your cake and eat it too? While waiting for my flight home from Reagan National Airport inses Washington DC a few weeks ago, I found the cutest purse in a gift shop that put the biggest smile on my face. Meet Ecoist

Eccist purses made from magazine waste

Ecoist fair-trade purses and clutches from magazine waste and candy-wrappers

Ecoist develops unique gifts and fashion accessories for the eco-minded individuals with recycled candy wrappers, food packages, billboards, and other materials that would otherwise end up in landfills.  In addition to being adorable, Ecoist plants one tree for every bag bought. Continue reading

Three green tips to reduce TV e-waste during the switch to digital broadcasting

TV kicked to the curb admist digital switch

How many TV 's will be kicked to the curb following the switch to digital?

You are probably already aware that as of February 17th, some US TV stations will switch from analog to digital broadcasting. Although the benefits are obvious in terms of better picture quality, where does this leave all the old CRT and analog TVs, when e-waste is already a mounting problem in United States?

Well, don’t fear as Urban Green Girl has brought you three (3) solutions  to deal with the switch:

To learn about these three green solutions, check out my guest post entitled How to deal with the digital switch like a green girl at Iamthatgirl.com.

Reduce laundry drying time by 25% with dryerballs!

Nellie's Dryerballs

My reputation about becoming greener must really be getting out because all my presents this Christmas circled around the green living movement. My mom got me the most fantastic present though that helps conserve energy when drying clothes, reduces wrinkles and static. They’re called dryerballs! They’re 2 silicone like spiky balls that you throw into the dryer with your clothes. They get in between the clothes and increase surface drying area so that they don’t bunch up.  I have tried them twice now and so far, I have to say they’ve worked very well and our shirts did have remarkably less wrinkles.  When you first turn on the dryer, it might sound like you have running shoes bouncing around, but once they get into place, the sound will go away…or maybe I just didn’t notice it afterwards! Dryerball benefits:

  • Lift and separate fabrics while relaxing fibers
  • Less lint and wrinkles
  • Softer clothes
  • More absorbent towels
  • 25% reduced drying time
  • Toxic-free
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Guaranteed to last up to 2 years
  • Eliminate need for dryer sheets – reduces waste

Nellie’s dryerballs are from a Vancouver based company specialised in environmentally friendly laundry and kitchen products. Their dryerballs retail for $19.99 USD and can be bought online, in mall kiosks or in select boutiques across North America.

Eco-friendly gift ideas that save the world!

small_present

Have you ever heard the saying that you vote with your wallet? When you buy a product or service, you are “keeping them in power” by supporting them financially? Well, wouldn’t it be nice if we could finish our Christmas list AND support something good? Well, you’re in luck because Urban Green Girl has some great gift ideas that are not only great for the earth, but help save the world at the same time!

1) SUPPORT ECO-FRIENDLY E-TAILERS:

Increased access to internet has made consumers more powerful by being able to find eco-friendly or green products more easily. Here are some great examples.

WorldofGood teamed up with eBay to connect artisans in developing countries with mainstream retail channels. Here you can find jewellery, mugs, clothing, art, skin care products and more, from around the world and you help end poverty by supporting income generating means .

BuyCanadianFirst offers Canadians a place to buy exclusively made Canadian products ranging from everyday goods to great gift ideas. Thus, you can buy local and help support your neighbour.

Etsy is another great site that connects buyers and sellers of handmade items. Lots of beautiful artisan products from clothes and jewellery from sustainably sourced materials to furniture made from recovered wood. You can even do a search for products made locally in your area.

Here’s a random gift idea, an eco-friendly shower curtain that’s NOT made of PVC and instead made of earth friendly materials like organic cotton or hemp. Not only are they  “green”, they’re beautiful and stylish too.

Another great idea is to buy a membership for an organic food delivery service. Great gift idea for skeptical parents, or children going off to college.

Here are 100 green gifts thanks to the Daily Green.

2) MAKE A GIFT DONATION TO CHARITY:

Environmental Organizations:

Rainforest

Help save a rainforest

Know someone that drives or flies a lot? Why not offset their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon offsets from CarbonFund.org? Their site allows you to calculate their carbon footprint then purchase the necessary credits towards reducing it through carbon reducing projects like reforestation. I’m considering this gift for my dad.

Know a big coffee drinker? Why not offer them a 1-yr membership to Rainforest Alliance who created a certification program to protect coffee workers AND the rain forest and birds from where it came?

Know a tree hugger or camping enthusiast? Why not plant trees in their name in South America through the Nature Conservancy? One dollar per tree and with a donation of $50 ore  more, the recipient will receive a nice package including a calendar, world map, magazine and info on deforestation.

Have a Sex and the City fan on your list? Do what Big (aka Chris Noth) would do and offer them a tribute gift that will help save rainforests through Rainforest Action Network.

Animal rescue organizations:

Save an endangered species

Save an endangered species

Is there a Dumbo fan in your family? The Elephants Sanctuary in Tennessee rescues  elephants from circuses and zoos so they can retire on a 2700 acre natural-habitat refuge. Help them help elephants.

Help save a baby bear cub or seal by purchasing one of IFAW‘s (International Fund for Animal Welfare) holiday packets starting at $25 which contain a canvas bag, stainless steel water bottle, and pamphlet telling the story behind the animal you just saved.

Looking for teenage appropriate gifts? Sign them up for a PETA membership. I’ve done this with my sisters in the past. Memberships start at $16 and they will receive a years subscription to Animal Times magazine. PETA also offers ethical gifts, where you can save an animal in the name of someone else and they will receive a gift package.

Know someone that melts at the site of a baby tiger or polar bear? Why not adopt an endangered species in their name or purchase other types of charity gifts through the WWF ?

Humanitarian organizations:

Woman & child

Help the fight against poverty

Know someone studying in med school or nursing? Why not donate to Doctors without Borders in their name? Helps save thousands whose lives have been struck by poverty, catastrophe and violence.

Know someone that volunteers their time in the community? They’d appreciate one of the many kits available through MercyCorps who help people in developing nations by offering women small business loans and maternity care,  HIV/AIDS programs and provide families with income generating solutions.

Got a feminist, women’s rights activist or simply “a woman” on your list? Why not give them the gift of ending poverty through CARE who place special emphasis on working with women in poverty?

3) CHARITY GIFT CARD

If you  don’t know what organization the recipient would appreciate, why not offer them a charity gift card through TisBest where the donation can be applied to over 200 different registered charities of their choice.

Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2008 holiday season and a Happy New “Green” Year!