Monthly Archives: July 2010

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Eco-Friendly Watches from Eco Wrist!

Eco Wrist is a company that makes eco-friendly, sustainable wrist wear for men and women. I had the pleasure of meeting the owners (and husband and wife) David Gandy and MarQuerite Hamden at a street fair here in Brooklyn last month, where Sexy and I bought our new watches! (Check them out below.)

Here’s the scoop.

All of their watches are derived from all-natural sustainable materials. The material include bamboo, tagua nuts, acheera seeds, coconut, wood, cow’s leather and reed. Other woods used are teak, brittlebush, granadilla tree wood and macana tree wood. The majority of the materials used to make the timepieces are from South American farms, and are harvested in a sustainable manner. The wristbands are made of leather local to the Amazon region. They even created a unique way of securing the watch to your wrist eliminating the need for metal clasps, using less materials as well. Continue reading

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Savvy Mailbag: Homemade Oatmeal Mask for Acne

I received this lovely tip on Facebook, and decided to share it with the rest of the class.

Homemade Oatmeal Mask for Acne

“I suffer from Adult acne – so I did some research and came up with this mask”.

- Boil about 1/4 cup of oatmeal (organic can be used) in water

- Add in about 2 tablespoon of lemon juice and 2 tablespoon of aloe vera gel.

- Let cool to room temp.

- Apply to clean skin let mask dry on face Continue reading

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Homemade Microwave Popcorn

I don’t know if you realize it, but there are a lot of chemicals in store bought microwave popcorn. The FDA has even reported that when micro popcorn bags are heated up a known carcinogen called perfluorooctanoic (PFOA) can leach into the popcorn. Inhaled fumes of Diacetyl (a chemical that is used in the artificial butter in microwave popcorn) has also been linked to lung disease, and in fact people with the disease are said to have “popcorn lung”. Continue reading

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Vatika Coconut Hair Oil Review

For those of you who are not interested in experimenting with making your own hair oil, or are having trouble getting a hold of the ingredients then this stuff is for you.

Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil 150ml $3.99

Ingredients: Coconut Oil, Neem Oil, Brahmi Extract, Fruit extracts of Amla, Bahera and Harar, Kapur kachri, Henna leaf extract, Rosemary oil, Lemon Oil, Fragrance

I used to only see this product in Indian shops in Brooklyn, but I’m now seeing this version on mainstream natural/health store shelves. I’ve used this as an oil rinse, (stay tuned for an upcoming post about this) and as a deep conditioner. For the deep condish, I combed the oil through my wet hair liberally, and then sat under a heat cap for an hour or so. The oil has the same consistency as baby oil and is thinner than I expected, but I didn’t need to use a lot. When I rinsed my hair out it was nice ans soft and stayed that way for DAYS. It has all of the oils I would use to make hair oil myself, and THEN some, and it’s starts at only $3.99! Continue reading

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Check Out Ebay’s World of Good

Ok. Those of you who know me know that I really DON’T need another reason to log onto ebay, but this is a really good idea. I was checking out Karen Moore’s Blog on EcoHome Resource and I saw a link about “World of Good”. It’s a store through ebay that sells “Ethically sourced, fair trade and eco-friendly gifts and goods”. In fact one of their taglines is “Style Savvy, Eco Friendly.”

They’re calling my NAME! (LOL)

It’s really great. there’s no bidding, and each item up for sale shows where it came from, how it was made, and even WHO made it! They even have simple shopping guides if you’re overwhelmed. (It’s like a Red Envelope for fair-trade folks). What’s great is that it has  Price Range feature that allows you to search for things in whatever price range you can afford. They don’t just have womens’ items either, they really have a variety of products for men, children , home and accessories too. Here are a few of the items I was looking at.

Strip Tote Bag

Fair Trade African Handmade Keychains Continue reading

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Green and Frugal Starter Kit

I’ve received quite a few emails asking me for advice on how to get started going green, and where to begin. I decided to put together a list of items that you could consider your “Green and Frugal Starter Kit” to help make things easier.  My first bit of advice when making green changes is DON’T THROW EVERYTHING AWAY! Once you’ve used up what you have then recycle the packaging and start fresh. You can find other uses for your shampoo as well as many other items that you have around the house. Below is a list of items that you will need for your own kit with links to where you can find them in the Savvy Shop and below that are links to DIY “recipes” for making up your own cleaning products quickly and easily. Plus a few extra green/frugal ideas. HTH!

Items items to get started:

  1. Borax
  2. Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
  3. Liquid Castille Soap
  4. A Bar of Laundry Soap (i.e.- Octagon, Fels Naptha)
  5. White Vinegar
  6. Hydrogen Peroxide
  7. Baking Soda
  8. Peppermint Essential Oil
  9. Tea Tree Essential Oil
  10. Lemon Oil
  11. Citric Acid (Or Lemon Packet Kool-Aid)*
  12. Microfiber Cloths Continue reading
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10 Ways to Have a Green/Frugal BBQ

I’ve had several requests as to how folks can green up their BBQ without breaking the bank. Well here’s a list of 10 ways you can do that pretty simply…

1.  Use Poly or biodegradable plates, cups and flatware instead of coated paper or Styrofoam plates (The latter are usually coated in petroleum!) Polypropylene plates and cups like these can bee used, and their not as harmnful as regular plastic
2. Gas grill – lower carbon footprint and less electricity;
3. Don’t use lighter fluid – it emits harmful VOCs
4. Use Natural Charcoal- regular charcoal has not been soaked in lighter fluid, and burns less VOCs into the air. Try Cowboy Charcoals if you MUST use coal and check out Whole Foods, they have charcoal made from recycled scrap wood, or sustainable wood.
4. By local/seasonal produce and lean meat - cooks in less time
5. Potluck – if everyone brings something, not all of the costs will be on you. Continue reading

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Make Your Own Bug Repellent

Many bug repellents that we spray on our skin have chemicals that can aggravate out skin and our health.  Some of these products also contain DEET (diethyl-meta-toluamide) which doesn’t exactly repel insects, but instead it “erases” the scent of carbon dioxide that emanates from our skin so that they aren’t attracted to us. Although is very effective in repelling mosquitoes and other disease carrying insects, has also been shown to cause sever health problems when mixed with other medications. (Which ones? I cant find a straight answer on that).  Infants should NEVER be exposed to DEET at all because it can cause potential brain damage, but the EPA has deemed it safe for use in adults and older children if used properly…..hmmm. Insect repellents that contain DEET  have to be sprayed 6-8 inches away from the skin, should not be inhaled, and should also be washed off thoroughly with soap and water after a few hours.. Those products should not come in contact with acetate, rayon, spandex and other synthetics and don’t spray it on wounds, cuts or sun-burnt skin. Other products like Cutter and Avon’s Skin So Soft contain Picaridin which is a chemical that has been used in Europe for years, but it is relatively new in the U.S. It has less side effects than DEET, and is easier on the skin, but should also be used according to the manufacturers’ directions. I don’t know anyone who follows ALL of the above directions. And it also bothers me that the above mentioned products have parabens and other icky ingredients.

I was curious to see if I could effectively make a chemical-free insect repellent, and I’m pleased to say, the recipe I found below works pretty well. And (with the addition of a base oil), it won’t leave your skin feeling dry.

DIY Bug Repellent

Materials:

  • 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup witch hazel (or cheap vodka)
  • 5 drops of citronella or eucalyptus essential oil
  • 1 tbsps jojoba oil
  • Spray bottle
  • Funnel

Directions:

Continue reading

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Savvy Interview with Autumn of Curly Chronicles!

Autumn

I’ve been a fan of Autumn of Curly Chronicles YouTube Channel for awhile now. She has great natural hair tips and is a fan of natural ingredients in products as well. Check out our interview, and check out her channel here.

How long have you been natural?

I’ve been natural since 2003.

You have beautiful hair. What are your favorite natural hair products?

Thank you! I use Coconut oil, Giovanni Direct Leave In Conditioner, Shea butter, Vegetable glycerin, Almond oil, and though this isn’t 100% au natural, Bio Infusion Professional Detangling Conditioner because it really does work wonderfully for my hair.

What are your favorite low-maintenance styles?

I’ll mainly wear two strand twists either hanging or in an up do. They’re simple but cute styles.

What’s your opinion of all of the so-called “green” and “natural” hair products out of the market?

Well, unfortunately, it’s up to us, the consumers, to read the labels and make a conscious decision. Since there aren’t really any tight restrictions on being able to use the term natural or green, we have to do our homework. It kinda sucks, but you get use to it and you tend to find the best products for your hair and stick with them.

Continue reading