Why Is Everyone Seeking Out Organic Clothes?

Why Is Everyone Seeking Out Organic Clothes?

We’re all looking for ways to become more natural and organic in our general consumption. Of course, once you factor the costs into your budget, it’s relatively easy to go organic and all-natural in terms of your diet. There are plenty of different organic brands available at the grocery store, as well as stores that only sell organic food products. And there’s a reason why grocery stores have come to offer this type of food so readily. There is a huge demand for organic food, as many consumers have come to realize its benefits.

For one thing, organic products are much healthier for us than non-organic products, as they lack the types of pesticides and growth hormones used to treat the typical types of food products you’ll find in the store. There is also a moral factor that needs to be kept in mind. Organic food, whether it’s made up of meat or vegetables, can be ethically sourced much more easily than non-organic products. This means that the animals involved in the production process were treated humanely and the employees involved in the processing or preparation stage received fair wages worked in fair conditions. Now, it’s one thing to keep these issues in mind when buying your food. Although not all organic food is ethically sourced, you can probably find ethically sourced, organic groceries relatively easily. Organic, ethically sourced clothing can be much more challenging to find.

Many people aren’t even aware that clothing can be organic. In this day and age, many of us buy fast fashion. Not only are fast fashion products made from synthetic materials like plastics that can be harmful to the environment and even our own bodies, but they feed into a system that is detrimental to thousands of people worldwide. With that being said, if you want to make an effort to buy organic clothing from ethical sources, you’ll have to make an effort and a change. With that being said, let’s look into what you should look for and how you can change your shopping habits to buy more organic, ethically sourced clothing.

What Is Organic Clothing?

You’ll have a hard time buying organic clothing if you don’t know what you’re actually looking for. Not all clothing is advertised as organic outright, although many clothing lines do market themselves as “clean” or “green”. Just because a particular apparel line is marketed this way, however, does not mean that it’s truly organic — and not all organic clothing is ethically sourced. Therefore, if you have any questions you should look up the clothing line before you buy, perhaps checking up on it through websites like Trustpilot.

Organic clothing ultimately isn’t very different from organic food. As many clothing textiles are made from agricultural products, organic clothing is made with the assurance that the clothes’ materials will be grown in accordance with organic standards. Organic standards require that the agricultural materials are grown as naturally as possible, with little or no synthetic substances. You can expect the types of textiles used to make organic clothing to include silk, wool, cotton, ramie, or jute. This means that a wide variety of clothing types can be made organically and whether you’re looking for women’s clothes — the number one top-selling item online as of 2017 — or men’s clothes, or even children’s clothes, you can probably find it organically made. With that being said, not all textiles have to be completely organic to be considered a part of organic clothing.

Is Organic Clothing More Expensive?

As with many clean or green products, there is a perception that organic clothing is inherently more expensive than typical clothing. It’s true that the materials used to create organic clothing is often of a higher quality and therefore it costs somewhat more. The point of fast fashion, in contrast, is for it to be made for as little as possible so that it can be sold at a high markup, achieving the maximum profit. Of course, the cost of relying upon clothes that are environmentally unfriendly should be considered.

While organic clothing may be more expensive than clothes sourced through fast fashion, you could consider it an investment in the environment, just as buying organic food is. Of course, clothing is a much longer-term investment than the food and it’s a more long-term investment than fast fashion as well. Organic clothing is, as previously mentioned, made from high-quality materials. This means that it will typically last longer. For that matter, organic clothing looks no different from many high-end pieces that are not organic. If fast fashion isn’t to your taste and you’re already spending a good amount of money on clothes, why not redirect your buying power to organic clothing?

Where Can I Buy Organic Clothing?

As people become more concerned about being environmentally friendly, more organic clothing lines are coming into play. Shift to Nature, Kowtow, and Beaumont Organic are all organic clothing brands — though not all of them are found in the United States. Fortunately, even if you have to look internationally to find organic clothing, the internet is making them easier than ever to find. In 2017 alone, around 79% of American consumers reported shopping online. And as most new fashion shoppers are in younger age brackets — between 16 to 24 and 25 to 34 — we’ll see all types of clothes online in the future!

There are so many reasons why people are looking for organic clothing — and that’s a good thing. Know it is an option for you if you want it to be!

A Beginner’s Guide to a Lush Eco-Friendly Home Garden

NOTE FROM SWEET GREENS: Thank you for supporting the companies that keep Sweet Greens in business.
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Each spring, many environmentalists and lovers of nature find themselves in their backyard, knees covered in dirt, starting their own home garden. However, a few shovels of dirt in, they realize they have no idea what they’re doing.

Sound like you? That’s okay! You’re not alone!

If you’ve ever owned a plant, you’ve learned that they require time and love in order to thrive, in fact, there’s quite the science behind it. As one might expect, gardening also requires dedication — oh, and the proper amount of sunlight and water (not too much and not too little), the perfect soil mix in a pot that’s just the right size, and so much more.

You get the drift — raising a lush home garden isn’t as simple as it seems, which is why gardeners often run towards expensive watering mechanisms, toxic chemicals and pesticides, and so on. But, fear not! If you’re a beginner home gardener looking for some eco-friendly home gardening techniques, we’ve got you covered!

Creating an eco-friendly garden can be made easier with these simple tips and will lighten your carbon footprint, leave you healthier than ever before, and create a special haven out of your backyard space. 

Let’s get growing!

1. Location is Everything

The first step to growing a beautiful home garden is picking the right spot in your outdoor space. It could be a plot in your yard or a wall on your balcony — as long as it gets the right amount of sunlight, you’re good to go. Different plants require different amounts of sunlight, so as you’re picking your location consider what kinds of plants you want to grow. This tip seems simple, but it’s very important and will keep you from wasting time, energy, and water on a garden that was doomed to fail from the start. 

2. Get Organic Seeds

Many home gardeners forget this important step as they are planning out their gardens, which can result in produce that’s just as bad for you and the environment as that bought at the supermarket. In order to ensure your garden is helping your carbon footprint, instead of hurting it, opt for growing non-GMO seeds and using only organic soil in your garden.

3. Companion Planting

In order to avoid the need for nasty pesticides and insect repellents, plant similar and complementary species of plants next to one another. Known as ‘companion planting,’ this method includes the use of other plants to deter hungry insects and harmful diseases. Companion planting guides can be easily found online!

4. Get Creating with Your Trash

You know the old saying — “One man’s trash is another man’s planter!” Okay, that may not be exactly right, but reusing your old plastic bottles and containers is a fun way of creating an eco-friendly garden! Convert your trash into planters, make little seedling covers from the base of plastic bottles, or poke small holes in containers to create a makeshift sprinkler system or Plumber Queanbeyan to help you!

5. Start Composting

Stop throwing away your organic food waste and start using it to create healthy, organic soil for your garden! Not only will you be reducing waste, but you’ll also be saving money and reducing your plastic use by not having to buy fertilizer. Start by buying a small container from a thrift store to keep around your kitchen. Everytime you cook, throw your organic, compostable scraps in the bin until you have enough to sow into your larger compost pit or bin.

6. Save on Watering

Having a lush and healthy home garden can cost you (and the environment) when it comes to water use. There are some simple ways to conserve water and keep your garden as eco-friendly as possible. This one’s simple — if possible, choose plants that will require less water. Next, avoid spending money on complicated and expensive watering systems — not only are you at risk for overwatering and damaging your garden, but there are several innovative (and cheaper) watering systems to adopt instead. One option is installing rain water barrels that will collect rain water to use later in your garden. You can also reuse water that is collected from showers and sinks (as long as you aren’t using harmful shampoos and soaps). These simple watering hacks will help you save money and the environment! 

It may seem like a lot of work, but the benefits of creating a truly eco-friendly home garden will quickly outweigh the time and effort! So stop reading and start planting

Eco-Friendly Ways to Keep Household Pests at Bay

If you own a home, you’ve probably invested a lot of time (and money!) to ensure that your prized belongings and loved ones are protected. But no matter how much you paid for your home — even if your Manhattan condo cost $1.9 million, like the average unit in an existing building did during 2017 — there’s no guarantee that your domicile won’t be invaded by unwanted guests. And we’re not talking about distant family members who want a place to crash during the holidays.

No, we’re talking about pests. You may love all creatures great and small, but that doesn’t mean you should allow certain insects or rodents to take permanent refuge in your abode. On the other hand, you may not want to hire an exterminator, either. Although 68% of all pest control service revenue in the U.S. came from residential services in 2015, the majority of pest control companies will use methods that could harm the environment (as well as cause undue harm to the animals in question). So what’s the alternative? If you want to eliminate pests in a way that supports environmental sustainability, there are a few methods to keep in mind.

DIY Repellants

If you’re trying to keep bugs out of your garden or out of the house, there are natural ingredients you can use to achieve your goals. Make a safer pesticide to keep away small insects by combining vegetable oil and a mild soap (or just soap and water in a spray bottle). Garlic and water can be combined to keep away slugs and snails, while a chili pepper spray can deter all kinds of garden pests and predators.

In the home, try making your own ant traps by combining water, sugar, and Borax. Cayenne, citrus oil, mint, cloves, lemon juice, and coffee grounds will also keep ants away. Catnip and boric acid will stop cockroaches in their tracks, as will diatomaceous earth (which will also get rid of fleas, ants, silverfish, ticks, bed bugs, spiders, house flies, and a whole assortment of other bugs). If you’re tired of dealing with mosquitoes, herbs like sage, rosemary, and Thai lemongrass can work wonders, as can Neem oil. For flies, try cloves, eucalyptus, bay leaves, or basil, as well as a DIY flypaper made from syrup, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and craft paper. Dried lemon peels or sachets made from cinnamon sticks, cloves, bay leaves, eucalyptus leaves, lavender, peppercorns, or wormwood will repel moths, while ingredients like citronella oil, peppermint oil, castor oil, or crushed onions will drive rodents away.

Creative Landscaping

In addition to cooking up solutions in your kitchen, you might also want to consider making changes to your landscaping. Not only can landscaping add up as much as 14% to your home’s resale value, but it can also discourage pest activity in certain cases. If you’re worried that your garden could be overtaken by unwelcome creatures, floating row covers can protect your plants from harm. You might also want to invite the presence of other animals — like ladybugs, praying mantises, or nematodes — to ensure your garden thrives. Some plant species can also keep pests away. Marigolds and nasturtiums, for example, can act as natural insect repellants. Daffodils, sweet pea, lavender, grape hyacinth, amaryllis, catnip, wormwood, and mint are just some of the plants that can repel mice and rats.

Keep in mind that large shrubs and thick vegetation provide both food and shelter for pests. Overgrown branches and other plants that are located close to your home can provide a way for pests to get inside. Be sure to keep up with pruning and other forms of landscaping maintenance to minimize opportunities for pests to find their way in. If you use mulch in your landscaping, be sure to start fresh every year; otherwise, this provides a welcome habitat for pests. Remember to remove all standing water to minimize the likelihood of mosquitoes and other creatures hanging around.

Regular Cleaning

Another good way to discourage pests is to make thorough house cleaning part of your regular routine. Vacuuming, decluttering, and washing linens at higher temperatures can be highly effective. Even mattresses and pillows should be vacuumed regularly. Steam cleaning can act as a safe alternative that will get rid of bugs without exposing your family to harsh (and potentially toxic) cleaning agents. Frequent cleaning and tidying up will minimize how much food pests can find to live off of and can allow you to zero in on vulnerabilities in your home to ensure pests never come in.

Even if you’re eco-conscious, no one should have to deal with the potential health risks posed by certain pests. And while almost 90% of us will be faced with our own body issues, all of us will be faced with how to go about pest control in an eco-friendly way. With these tips in mind, you can alleviate the need for conventional and harmful pest control and use tried-and-true methods that will protect both your loved ones and the environment.

15 Best Children’s Books for Christmas!

Do you remember what Christmas was like when you were a child?

Sure, as an adult, the winter holidays can be filled with all kinds of stress. You have to worry about family, hosting a big dinner, making sure that all of the presents are under the tree… It’s crazy!

But if you’re a child, it can be pure magic. Santa Claus and snow and reindeer and stockings! They get to be around all of their favorite people for days and be showered with nothing but love and attention. It’s little wonder why kids love Christmas.

And if you really want to build up the Christmas spirit in them, you can work in some fantastic children’s books about Christmas into the evening bedtime story rotation! Here are some of my favorites that I highly recommend you share with them:

The Polar Express: 30th Anniversary Edition by Chris Van Allsburg

Before it was a Tom Hanks movie, The Polar Express was one of the most beloved Christmas books ever written. If you’ve only seen the film, then you should definitely check out the original it’s based on.

On Christmas Eve, a little boy boards a mysterious train bound for the North Pole. Once there, he meets Santa himself, who gives him any gift he desires. His choice isn’t what you might expect and leads to a magical tale filled with beautiful images.

Arial the Secret Santa by Mary Nhin

In Arial the Secret Santa, children will follow Arial the unicorn through school, in her community and in nature as she models how easy it can be to share kindness. From giving a compliment to smiling at someone who’s having a bad day, Arial shows children that, no matter how small, words and act of kindness MATTER, especially at Christmas! Included in the book is the Kindness Tree Activity to help encourage your child to give praise and spread positivity into the world.

I love Christmas. It’s a time of peace and kindness. And kindness and compassion are the traits I most want to instill in our kids.

If you’re looking for a book this Christmas to help teach your kids about the power of kindness, then this is the book to have under the tree. I highly recommend this book!

Festive Flamingo by Shaula Maitland

If you would like a moment of calm this Christmas (and a brilliant night’s sleep, shh…) then Festive Flamingo is the book for you!

Flamingo shares a festive selection of breathing exercises and relaxing visualizations. She joins you for twelve magical meditations, where you explore positive themes such as perseverance, curiosity and self-belief. Build a magical camel out of snow, learn to ice-skate with the woodland animals and create an exciting game for the elves.

Enjoy the benefits of meditation, alongside adventure and festive fun!


How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
 by Dr. Seuss

I mean, do you really need a summary of How the Grinch Stole Christmas? It’s one of the most celebrated children’s books of all-time, let alone one of the all-time great Christmas books! It’s also a brilliant cartoon, two big-budget movies, and the basis of countless toys. And you know what? It deserves every single bit of praise it gets.

The Grinch that Stole Christmas perfectly communicates the meaning of Christmas and is filled with stunning art, hilarious rhymes, and some truly funny jokes. It’s a true classic that should be on every child’s bookshelf. If you’ve never encountered it before, you owe it to yourself to give it a read (even if you’re an adult)!

Little Squirrel Squish Gets His Christmas Wish by Ross Hammond

Do you remember the story of Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer? Everyone told him that he couldn’t be a member of Santa’s reindeer team. Well, here is a children’s book that reflects that story, putting a whole new spin on the idea of following your dreams!

Little Squirrel Squish is a tiny squirrel who wants to be part of Santa’s flying crew. But because he’s so small (and because he’s not a reindeer), everyone keeps telling him to forget about his dreams. But one Christmas, he decides to go for it, changing everything! This book will teach your children that their every dream, no matter how seemingly out of reach, is worth exploring!

Santa’s Reindeer by Brooke Stevens

Getting back to Santa’s reindeer, let’s talk about Santa’s Reindeer, the book!

Discovering that everyone is different is one of the most important lessons a child can be taught. In this adorable Christmas book, all of the various personalities of Santa’s reindeer are explored. It’s a perfect read for small children, full of cute illustrations and a lovely Christmas message!

The Mouse in the Hammock, a Christmas Tale by Bethany Brevard

If you think it’s only Santa who does good deeds on Christmas Eve, you need to meet a very special mouse!

Spinning off from the “Not a creature was stirring…” line from Twas the Night Before Christmas, this wonderful book features a mouse who is busy all Christmas night doing small acts of kindness, such a cooling the cocoa for Sanata, hanging up the mistletoe, and taste testing the cookies! It’s a fabulous lesson for kids who are looking to drive the meaning of Christmas home: that you’re never too little to make a big difference!

The Elf Who Couldn’t Read by Sonica Ellis

Do your children know how to read yet?

Countless children learn how to read their first words while sitting on their parents’ laps. And if you want a book that will help them sound out letters while also embracing the Christmas spirit, then this is it!

In it, Jingles the elf doesn’t know how to read yet, but needs to figure out Santa’s Christmas list. With the help of your child, they read the list together and make sure that Christmas is a huge success!

Secret Santas And The Twelve Days of Christmas Giving by Courtney Petruzzelli

One of the reasons why I love Secret Santas so much is that it makes giving anonymous. You aren’t giving someone something with the expectation of a “thank you” from them. Instead, their enjoyment is its own reward.

In this wonderful Christmas book, your kids will learn about Secret Santas and why it can be such a wonderful Christmas tradition. Beautiful art and a wonderful message make this a Christmas must!

A Christmas Cookie Exchange by Sheri Wall

Who doesn’t love Christmas cookies? But have you ever noticed that there tends to be one seemingly plain oatmeal cookie left on the plate after all the other cookies are eaten? Well, this is HIS story!

Meet Phil, an insecure fruit-filled oatmeal cookie who longs to be more fancy and famous. With help from his cookie friends, he learns what’s on the inside is more important than fancy sprinkles. Self-love and acceptance are essential qualities for kids to learn, and this rhyming Christmas tale teaches them that character and self-confidence really do matter.

How To Catch An Elf by Adam Wallace

Have you kids ever wanted to catch an elf? It turns out that it’s trickier than you might think…

In this fun and silly story, a clever elf manages to elude all of the traps that children set for him on Christmas Eve! There are lots of fun rhymes and some inventive illustrations that your kids are sure to love!

Never Let A Unicorn Meet A Reindeer! by Diane Alber

If you’re looking for a Christmas story with a twist, this might be the book for you and your kid!

Instead of it being Christmas in the book, it’s about a birthday wish gone wrong. A little girl (who has a unicorn) sends a letter to Santa to ask if she can borrow one of his reindeer during their “off-season.” He sends one with a note saying that the reindeer should never meet any unicorns. It turns out that unicorns and reindeer get highly competitive around each other, so the little girl soon has a mess on her hands! This is a funny and delightful book that can even be read when it isn’t Christmas!

The Adventures of Pookie: Mission Fat Hearts by Rebecca Yee

Everyone loves a secret agent story, especially kids.

If you want your kids to take lessons of kindness and caring into the real world, this book might be the perfect way to do it. It not only tells a Christmas story about three of Santa’s helpers doing missions of good deeds before Christmas but gives your children some missions of their own!

For example, their Christmas mission might be to give an extra hug to someone they love that day. Or to leave a “thank you” note for the mailman. With these Christmas missions, your kids will be brightening up someone else’s Christmas, a wonderful lesson to learn!

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren

If you worry that presents, tinsel, and trees are distorting the true meaning of Christmas, then this might just be the book for you and your child.

In it, a Mama Bear and her cub explore what Christmas truly means, from what Santa truly represents (the spirit of giving) to the birth of Jesus. It’s filled with beautiful art and a wonderful Christian message.

Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Have you ever read any books from the Construction Site series? If not, this might be the perfect place to introduce you and your children to some fun and entertaining characters!

In this Christmas tale, all of the vehicles of the construction site get together to build a new home for the fire engines and, after they finish that important job, find Christmas surprises of their very own! A lovely message and some adorable art make for a great Christmas book!

What are some of your favorite Christmas children’s books? Please share them in the comments below!

How to Reduce Your Waste and Start Living a Greener Life in 2020

Whether you like it or not, it’s become apparent that Americans really need to embrace going green. And while U.S. businesses are starting to embrace eco-friendly methods as a means of appealing to consumers and keeping up with the competition, protecting the planet typically starts at home. In fact, Americans threw out over 258 million tons of municipal solid waste (or discarded trash) in 2014. A separate study estimates that Americans throw out seven pounds of trash per person every day — or 2,555 pounds of materials per person every year.

But unnecessary waste doesn’t merely refer to garbage. We also regularly waste electricity, water, and heating energy without a second thought. Whatever your green goals, there’s no better time to tackle them than the new year. If you want to make good on your environmental resolutions in 2020, here are some simple ways to reduce waste and start living a greener life.

Let There Be (LED) Light

Reducing waste doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Start by switching out your traditional lightbulbs for LED ones. The U.S. Department of Energy maintains that LED lighting has the potential to reduce nationwide energy usage by nearly 50%. By using LED bulbs, you’ll need less energy to light your home, lower your monthly bills, and end up saving money in the long run (as LED bulbs last longer than incandescent bulbs).

Of course, you should still make an effort to turn off lights when you leave a room or go out of the house. If you’re going away, invest in a timer so you don’t waste too much energy while you’re gone. Be sure to unplug electronics and appliances while you’re at it, as these can drain energy sources even when they’re not in use. These steps are simple enough once you make them a habit — and since you’ll be financially benefitting at the same time, they’ll be easy to remember.

Pay Attention to H2O

We tend to take water for granted, but this precious resource needs to be protected. For one thing, you should make an effort to locate and fix any leaks. If an undetected leak continues for a year, you could waste thousands of gallons and approximately $164.50 (or more, in some cases). Even if your home doesn’t have any plumbing leaks, you’ll still want to be more cognizant of your water usage. Be sure to run the washing machine or dishwasher only when full, as this will save water. Keep in mind that washing in hot water will require more energy, so washing your clothing in cold water is a good idea when possible. Of course, you’ll need to use hot water when washing dishes, but make sure to shut off the faucet when washing by hand. You should also consider taking shorter showers and turning down the temperature on your water heater. Data shows that 15% to 25% of all energy consumed within a home is due to a running water heater. You can probably stand to lower the temperature (it should be no higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit) to save energy without sacrificing your comfort.

Get Ready For Winter

Winter has only just begun, but you’ve probably started feeling the effects in your home. You might already be cranking up the heat — and if your home has leaks or cracks, your HVAC system is probably working harder than necessary. It’s a good idea to keep your thermostat on the lower end in order to save energy. But if heat is escaping, you’ll have a hard time being comfortable. If you haven’t already, make an effort to seal any vulnerabilities to keep the warm air inside. You might also consider adding extra insulation or upgrading your windows. And while the winter isn’t an ideal time to get a new roof, choosing the right roofing material can help you save as much as 30% on your home’s energy needs. In other words, you might want to get started on the process now and at least schedule an upgrade to prioritize greener living in 2020. You might also want to take this opportunity to have your HVAC system serviced, as you may be able to avoid problems this season if you’re proactive.

Be Smart When Shopping

Water and energy waste are big problems, but food waste should also be a major concern. The USDA estimates that 30% to 40% of the nation’s food supply is wasted. That means most Americans need to be more intentional in how they shop, how they cook, and how they eat. Organic is typically best in most cases; in SEO, it’s over five times better than paid search ads, and it’s usually the higher-quality option in the grocery store, too. But if you’re not using that organic food and end up throwing it away, that’s a huge waste.

It’s a good idea to stick to a list and buy only what you need. If you plan out your meals in advance, this can help you to prevent impulse buys and make sure you use everything possible in the fridge. Try to stick to multi-purpose items that can be used in a variety of ways throughout the week, rather than specialty ones that might be allowed to go bad. Whether you prep your meals each Sunday or cook every night, mapping out how you’ll shop and eat can help your family reduce food waste next year. While you’re at it, bring your own reusable grocery bags to go plastic-free and make sure to invest in reusable food storage containers. In general, cut down on single use plastics at home to reduce the other items you’ll throw away.

Repair or Buy Used

Another good way to reduce waste is to take stock of what you already have. If you have a piece of furniture that’s seen better days but is structurally sound, you might consider having it professionally cleaned or repaired. It’s recommended that you have upholstery cleaned once a year anyway (though you should try to ensure the cleaning methods used are eco-friendly!), but you might even consider having a piece reupholstered with vintage fabric or fixed using reclaimed wood. Appliances and electronics may also be repairable, so don’t be so quick to throw them out and buy new. Shoes and clothing can often be fixed, as well, particularly if the problem is something like a zipper or a heal. By having these items repaired, you’ll be able to keep them out of landfills, save money, and support local businesses.

While it might not be realistic for your family to get your waste production to zero, it’s simpler than you think to reduce it. By keeping these tips in mind, you can go a lot greener in 2020 without much effort.