Now, don’t think I am advising you to replace a product you do not even need with another product you do not even need. Like dryer sheets, or zip lock bags or what was the other one I thought of this morning oh yes Laundry Conditioner. We can live without these things.
I am looking for the little companies that have stepped up to make eco friendly products. That engage environmentally sustainable practices. That are creating products we need in the most planet friendly way they can – as eco-friendly as manufacturing can get anyway.
Now the sun is out and it is going to be a warm garden day.
Do you think that FreeBee has a crocodile smile? That crooked line to the lip?
Anyway I cannot be going out into the gardens quite yet this morning – as sunny and enticing as it is, as it is time for me to reach out to a few really good environmentally aware companies for partnerships so we cah show their logos on our pages. (My first step being to display their logos on our new Sustainable Home page and maybe a couple here – we will see). But it will be elegant.
These will not be adds. Just logos linked to a product we like. All very graceful and low key.
I thought you might be able to help.
I have listed a few of my favourites below:
Many of you are already using good sustainably manufactured products. Yeah? Who is your favourite – eco friendly company? Maybe it is local to your country. One that produces a product you can stand behind.
Local products and strengthening local economies so SO important to me. I really want to support the little people. Especially ones with good solid sustainably manufactured products – look at packaging too. Then we apply ‘And Then What’ to see if they pass that test.
A family owned organic seed place for instance.
A really awesome locally made garden tool.
Maybe a really great second hand site? Are they out there?
Second hand books – that would be great right? I like that idea.
No need for links at this stage just the name of the product – what you think.
There is always the risk of being hoodwinked so I do deep dives to see if they are legit.
This morning dawned fine and clear and cold.
While closing up the birds last night and checking on speckled hen, who has been disappeared into the general population and is doing fine (she laid a perfect little olive coloured egg – while in prison hospital), I saw Boo watching though a gap in the door.
Such a sad doggie face.
We had a hard frost overnight, I went out late last evening and covered my pots on the porch with the frost blanket. (Big old cotton blanket). I became concerned for my rosemary – rosemary hates frights.
Sunny today and warmer! I need to get this work finished so I can get out there!
Great weather for asparagus!
Now, don’t worry about TKG looking for partnerships. I hear you worrying. I will still be the same. The farmy will still be its gentle self. This is where you still come with your coffee in the morning or wine in the evening.
Most of these logos will be over on The Sustainable Home (TSH) side.
But I would LOVE to hear if you know of any cool companies we could highlight!
Good morning and thank you so much!
As promised: Here is the link to yesterdays story on Substack. Chapter One of Letters to My Mother.
Weather in UK pretty weird too. Yesterday was so warm and sunny it finally felt as if Spring had arrived…..today very chilly and windy again!
A couple of small Green products, Friendly soap company produce a solid shampoo and soap bar combined, so useful for showering at the pool! Save Some Green tooth tabs are my go to as you can purchase first lot in a ready made tin and packets thereafter. I make my own dish cloths from organic cotton which wash well for over and over use.
These are great! I love those tooth tablets, don’t you? So much less mess!
Vinegar! I use white and apple cider for pretty much everything. Weeds, cleaning, hair rinse…you name it
Yes! Good thinking – what company makes the best vinegar. There is that organic apple cider vinegar that is quite good.
Yes, and I like to my mine at the local health food store.
I saw some weird Eco graffiti yesterday. Someone had sprayed a new wooden fence with, “Tree killer! How many trees were murdered to build your fence?” I couldn’t help wondering how many vegetables the graffiti artist killed for dinner, not to mention the environmental impact of the spray paint!
Maybe you should have written that sentence on a piece of paper with a picture of a terrified carrot under the knife and pinned it to the fence then taken a photo.
The owner of the fence could have posted that on social media and made a fortune!
What a mess! But I did laugh out loud reading this!!
I do hope so, it’s a brand new fence!
It’s complete nonsense – growing trees for wood is ecologically friendly! I think PC has driven the youth of today quite mad.
I really wanted to spray a message underneath – “How many veggies did you kill for your dinner?”
It is crazy – half of NZ is planted in pines for sale.
Eco tree planting is big business – grants are avaiable to encourge people to do it. It’s far better than steel or plastic!
Sadly, in NZ far too much of the land being planted in damned pine trees was once beautiful farmland – growing eco friendly sheep or cattle beasties. Forestry leaves SUCH a mess too.
No Pong. A Deodorant originally Australian and now Canadian company too. Tin container. Not as bad as plastic I think. Natural ingredients. Now reusing tins at bulk refill place.
Topsy Farms is the Canadian wool place I know. Have even stayed on their lovely Island, Amherst and visited their dogs and sheep.
I have a recipe to make my own toothpaste. I love it. Can’t find it right now in my bookmarks but if anyone is interested I’ll post it.
This isn’t an easy one but we have installed a ground source heat pump! It feels so incredible to heat our home with heat from the earth instead of oil! Use more electricity as heat exchanger has to run longer but still a great savings. And Canadian gov has offered interest free loans to be paid back over 10 years. We got $37000! Paid for our whole system.
I save seeds to grow next year’s beans, Zinnias, squash.
No Pong! I am going to find it!! Such a perfect name!
And yes! Topsy farms – I wish I could afford one of their blankets – they are heirloom quality!
I too would list the toothpaste tablets- per your recommendation and love the tin!
I am trying Foamie (a German brand) of bar soaps/shampoos right now. Big in the UK but you can find them on Amazon in the US- although there’s all that transport 😦 Packaging is only cardboard box and they come with 100% (website stated) cotton string for hanging and then compost. Mid-priced.
Also just good old glass canning jars for all sorts of storage but especially for food. Ball is the most well known here with Kerr a close second yet ironically manufactured in the same plant. I have slowly repurposed the heavy plastic storage out of the kitchen for other uses- because no tossing, only new ways to use what you have per Cecilia-
Yes – no tossing! (Though don’t say that in NZ) and yes canning jars – these glass jars are not an infinite product as sand is actually going to run out faster than they make the glass! We need to collect them.
Yes, I tried local second hand shops, and not much luck.
I wanted to toss this idea in as well. The products on the website are from Alo Goods and the link to the main site is shopalogoods.com. They are based in Arizona, USA. These products are on my “I might be interested” list but have not tried or researched as of yet.
What caught my eye was one of their articles and I want to share that. Do you know of those small bags that are used to hold bar soaps, shampoos, even assorted soap ends? They help the soap drain, and can be hung in the shower area or sink area. Any sort of bar soap can be used. To buy ready made the prices really very and while not usually too high (especially when you can purchase a set of 3 or more) Alo Goods as given a handy knitted pattern for making your own. Another use for leftover yarn goods 🙂
Oh yes!! knitting ones own soap bag would be great! From string?
The pattern simply said “any worsted yarn” but I would do cotton thread/string of some sort, which should then be able to go in the compost if it wears out- correct?
Pure cotton will break down in 5 or so months. Though it does need to be pure with no coating. Let’s work on this ! I would sell these in my shop if we could find compostable ones.
You would have to make sure to dry between uses though!
I think Kate might be the best person to talk to about the right yarn. Let’s ask her.
I have a few, bought from amazon or somewhere, made from sisal that I’ve used for my body bar soap and which dried pretty well between uses. They are not well made though- meaning the finished band that holds the drawstring unravels quickly. I don’t know if that has to do with the use of sisal or just poor construction! Anyway- yes! I would love to hear what an expert thinks.
Butting in here by invitation from Celi: I’d recommend a soft cotton shop twine, which is slightly fluffier and less harsh in texture than sisal. There’s a brand here called Grunt (!), who make all kinds of ropes and twines and much of it is cotton. Their twine products are plant and food safe, and will break down and compost when no longer needed. They are also a family-owned company and all their rope products are made in Australia, and packaged wherever possible in recyclable materials. To find the sort of thing you want in your area, I’d either check out the hardware store as opposed to a craft store, or see what Etsy has to offer. I would definitely steer clear of colour twines since who knows what’s in the dyes. To address the issue of unravelling, you might consider dropping some melted wax on loose ends and pressing them into the rest of the band, which will both prevent further unravelling and be unaffected by soap. Sorry if I’m preaching to the choir, I don’t know your level of expertise!
Kate, thank you so much! I did a quick Google search using your term “cotton shop twine” and got results showing jute, cooking twine, sisal-again, hemp twine, cotton cordage… and what looks to be a bit of varied thickness on some but most being fairly thin like the sisal ones I previously purchased.
I found the Grunt website (YAY) and was able to see their pictures of cotton twine. I like the thickness of that so will do some searching here to see what I can find that would be comparable.
I agree on the avoidance of colored material, and no need really, at least not in my opinion! Great tip on the wax as well.
Thank you so much 🙂
We really try to do our part, especially when it comes to the household in using organic or natural as possible. Be it vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. Using coffee grounds and citrus peels in the garden. Essential oils for house, insect or sea kelp/algae for the yard. Probably the weirdest two things we use is reclaimed water and human waste turned into fertilizer for the yard. Thanks for Sharing – Enjoy your day 🙂
If we all did as much as you do we would be in good shape! Which reminds me I should empty the coffee grind pot. Wish I could do without coffee altogether but not quite there yet!!
Good morning from a wet Wellington Wednesday. I think here in New Zealand we are more environmentally aware than most other places. Okay, I’m probably just biased. I buy dishwashing liquid and liquid for the clothes from EcoStore. Even though we have a No one use plastic law in place, somethings that are pre-packed are plastic wrapped. However I’m pleased to note, the two major supermarkets have turned to recyclable trays for their packaged. meat. But my absolute joy and love, is Wild Kiwi Hearts. This is a range of locally grown and manufactured products for the skin. Since finding it on my daughter’s recommendation for the magnesium that I need, I haven’t used any other companies’ products.
Wild Kiwi hearts! Thank you for the recommendation! I also have very dry skin and this sounds like something I could send to my family over in NZ too! Gifts!! Great call – thank you Judith!
Their magnesium and Kawakawa cream is fantastic. I use it on my hands and body and sometimes on my sore feet if I’ve been walking all day. The magnesium of course helps and it smells so good. This is the only one of their products I have used but plan to try some of the others next. Although having said that, I don’t think I’ll ever stop using the magnesium and Kawakawa. http://www.wildkiwihearts.com.
I’ve just got out of the shower Celi where I used my Ethique shampoo and conditioner bars. Another wonderful NZ ethical company.
I use Ethique shampoo and conditioner bars. They come packaged in small cardboard boxes. No plastic. They do have to travel a long way to reach me in California, but they don’t weigh much. They are inexpensive and work well. And Ethique has great customer service: when I didn’t like the smell of a conditioner they sent me free samples of a few other options. I also use Blueline notebooks made from 50% recycled paper: they are acid-free. For pens, I use Pilot G2s because you just replace the ink supply rather than the pen casing. If I could find a cheap, reliable, refillable fountain pen I would use that, although traveling with ink is problematic.
This is a wonderful list – thank you so much! The pens are a great tip! I will research Ethique first – I LOVE good customer service. It can sell me on a company.
Hello. I use Ethique shampoo and conditioner bars too. I used to send them to my late sister who lived in Los Angeles. She loved them and remarked on how great they were to use with your hard water. As you say, their customer service is great.
We don’t have hard water where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, but it’s good to know that the bars work with hard water, too.
I have a few but my buckwheat pillow is readily at hand so I’ll send a few others later. It is a local company for me and is a lifesaver for my neck tension, TMJ and sleep issues-game changer. It is a locally made organic cotton pillow case that is filled with buckwheat husks. Once it’s at the end of its life it goes into my garden soils or home compost bin. Also there are other benefits and health claims which I won’t mention as I haven’t researched them yet.
This is from their website, if you want the website let me know!
all natural premium “fluffy” buckwheat hulls; no chemicals or preservatives added
100% North American hand-made with all North American raw materials
provides passive support; the pillow does not try to regain its shape through the night as with foam
lasts 3-5 years
zero-waste; just add used hulls to your composter, garden or flower beds (the soil loves it!)
This pillow sounds marvelous! Yes! I would love the link to the website. That sounds most excellent!
You do not wash the pillows either. You sanitize them by putting in the sunlight for a couple of hours. Apparently dust mites don’t like to live in the buckwheat so allergy suffers like them too. There is supposedly research from university of Guelph on this. I want to check that out and read it. I’ll let you know if I find the research on it.
The Canadian wool blanket place is Topsy Farm, is fairly close to me!
Have you got any of their blankets? They have a lovely website.
No I wish I did. They are very popular.
I’ve found a few odds and ends.
Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company – https://www.rareseeds.com/ – saving, sharing, growing rare heirloom seeds, family owned company.
Renee’s Garden – https://www.reneesgarden.com/pages/about-us – non GMO seeds, some heirloom, some rare, family owned company.
The Organic Prepper – https://www.theorganicprepper.com/ – lots of info, some might be a little bit out there but I’ve found excellent advice here, I don’t have to agree with everything on a website to glean things that help me.
Good old Mother Earth News – https://www.motherearthnews.com/ – and Grit – https://www.grit.com/ – both publications have good info.
We always did, and still do, use Kirk’s Castile Soap – https://kirkssoap.com/
Of course, white and apple cider vinegar, baking soda, salt and hydrogen peroxide for cleaning various things at home, weed and pest control in the garden, even rubbing alcohol in small amounts .
We’ve got several patches of spring beauties blooming in the lawn, spring bulbs blooming and discovering more as things come up. Hoping for some violets and lily of the valley.
This is a great list – thank you – I have not heard of Renee’s Garden – I will look into them for sure! My violets are blooming! They are so pretty! I love how they just pop up in the most random places.
We had a huge area with long stemmed violets which used to be sold to florists way back before my family lived in that house. The year I was born our neighbor brought large bunches of them to the hospital, some were given to the nuns for the chapel and around the Virgin’s statue as well as being shared with other mothers while my mother and I were still in the hospital. Mother’s good china had violets on it too. So they’ve rather special to me and there was only one year there were none blooming on my birthday.
I make all my own soap from organic oils, and they last a really long time which saves because no packaging or post. My favorite used book site is Better World Books in Mishawaka, Indiana. https://www.betterworldbooks.com They do a lot of donation to literacy programs, donate books, recycle books, and donate money to libraries and books to schools and other organizations. When I was still doing my day job (school librarian) I ordered a lot of books from them. Great company! I also love Janie’s Mill, but here in Maine we also have Maine Grains which is another amazing company https://mainegrains.com
Maine grains! Thank you – I will write to them – I love supporting local mills and as you know I can talk wheat and flour all day long. Better World Books sounds just the ticket. I will get in touch with them too – thank you! This is great!
Not a product but yesterday my brother in Italy planted a beautiful Norwegian Pine in honour of my husband who passed away last month.
Oh Diana – I am so sorry to hear that your husband passed. Please accept all our love to you in this mournful time. A great beautiful pine is a magnificent tribute. How wonderful of your brother. Thank you for letting us know. Take care, and stay in touch, celi
Oh boy, where do I even start as I use so many earth friendly items. One of the biggest wastes in our society is fast fashion..we buy clothing, linens, etc. made with bad materials, from bad sources, made in third world countries with no regard for their environment, child labor, etc. etc. then get rid of them after a short time and buy new stuff. X-s that by billions of people and UGH! There are mountains of our used shit in other people’s countries piling up in huge trash heaps. So…I found a great online consignment shop a few years ago, called http://www.thredup.com No one needs to buy new clothes..we have enough already here to circle the earth a thousand times. You can also sell clothing with them.
I totally agree Christina – you are absolutely right. So – tell me – how has your experience been with thredup – what have you bought from them and what is their return policy? Many of these companies dump returns which makes me madder than a hornet.
I have had great luck with ThredUp and have purchased many things from them…I have a thing for 100% wool sweaters as in this damp PNW winter, weather it’s the only material that really keeps me warm. So..I have a bunch of those and being wool they hardly ever wear out.. a few dresses, jeans, leather belts, even a couple pair of boots. You can get things brand new to gently worn. I even bought a brand new bathing suit with tags for a fraction of its brand new price. You can return almost anything except for final sale items..which is pretty standard anywhere and I believe there is a small restocking fee but I have never had to return anything.
You can narrow your search by item, size, color, price, what condition, etc. which is very convenient and they often have discounts and sales. You can also earn points for further purchases. I even re-use the cute green and white, polka dot, tissue paper that they wrap your items in. 🙂
This is really great. I might look into them for myself instead of the local second hand shop which is a pretty sad affair.
I think you might like it if you know specifically what you’re looking for as they have scads of items and scrolling through them would take forever. Be careful though..you might end up purchasing more than you really wanted to..I put in little black dress and so many came up that I liked that of course, I had to get more than one. Lol.
Let me know if you get anything!
I see what you mean!! I fell down the rabbit hole this morning. Not buying yet ( looking for a black blazer) but tons there! Thank you!
I think you’ll be able to find one you like..and it’s funny because I was reading up on their About page and they list blazers as the number one most carbon intensive clothing item to buy brand new. Evidently there is a dirty dozen clothing list…who knew? So you would be doing the world a great favor by purchasing one from Thredup! (thumbs up) 🙂
I hope to find a real wool one! So we will see’ – but there is so much wasted fabric in a blazer/
rE dish soap bar and a local goat farm, Swiss Frau Farm (she has a website) she makes wonderful soap including a shampoo bar. I make my own skin care stuff, mostly coconut & olive oil with beeswax pastilles melted in and my own toothpaste, simply baking soda, sea salt & water. I have a glass of Switchel aka haymakers punch – raw honey, organic apple cider vinegar, water and ginger – great for gut health every day. I do go through a lot of the vinegar, it’s great for your hair. Also make my own deodorant, I’m really putting forth a lot of effort to get rid of as many chemicals as I can.
Sherry you are doing wonderfully! A star for us to follow! Vinegar – how dos that go with white hair – I must look that up. And thank you for your toothpaste recipe – we used salt as kids so this makes a lot of sense – can you give me your proportions off hand? I will look into Swiss Frau Farm. I love shampoo bars! And eliminating plastic any way we can has to be good for turning off the plastic tap!
Hope you are well!? and things are doing good.
2/3 cup baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt (optional – direct application of the minerals in sea salt is great for teeth, but can be left out if the taste is too salty)
1 – 2 tsp peppermint extract or 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil (or add your favorite flavor – spearmint, orange, etc.)
filtered water (add to desired consistency)
Swiss Frau soap is wonderful, the hand soap makes your skin feel so soft and the shampoo bar gives a wonderful lather. My hair is white now (or Ash Blond as I prefer to say, haha) and I do a vinegar rinse pretty regularly, it’s good for your scalp also.
I’m doing well, impatiently waiting for spring, 80’s several days last week then 2″ of snow on Sunday, sigh.
My favourite ecofriendly products are the ones I make or reuse. Most other things I think of are very local to me or in Australia (I also have a Pottery for the Planet mug I love). Off the top of my head here’s a few favourites. Our soap comes from Perry’s Lemon Myrtle a few kilometres down the road but they have an online store. My go-to place to buy gifts for kids is Ford Street Publishing in Melbourne – a small independent Australian publisher of books for children and young adults, via their online store. I buy olive oil in bulk – 20 litres drums from Nuggety Creek Olive Oil in the Victorian Goldfields region also via their online store.
Not what you requested, but at the top of my wish list is a small chicken coop for back-yard chicken keepers like me. Over the years I’ve seen lots of designs, but nothing that would meet the needs of versatility, safety, durability and portability. It would be nice to find local or regional craftspersons who have interest and skill at such endeavors, but I believe the concept has wide applicability.
It does! I also would love to support a young designer and builder to create the perfect coop. Let’s keep looking – if you see one that you love let me know and I will promote them! That is an excellent idea.
Portability is a must for me too. Chickens are great lawn mowers and fertilizers but the coop needs to be moved daily at that point.
Deal. I’m so glad you like the concept. Maybe we, in our connection across the miles of US terrain, can conjure up someone human who wants to create in practical terms, our ideal portable chicken coop. I’ve heard of chicken tractors, for instance, but the physical requirements are too demanding for an old lady like me. I’ll wish on it . . .
Oh yes!! You are a great researcher so I bet we can find something close to that – and so many people are setting up urban coops now. I wonder if anyone is making them with recycled plastic piping. That would make them a lot lighter and get the plastic pipe off the streets. Lets keep in touch on this. c
I’ve been using PVC scraps in several of my personal design products. It’s lightweight and sturdy. I’ve had to hacksaw through it, not an easy task.
PVC (polyvinyl chloride) is used in much modern construction now for piping. Its disadvantages are that it leeches components into water it carries, and treated water, like chlorine or flouride, contributes to its deterioration. PVC exposed to hot sunlight and high UV deteriorates even faster in my salty atmosphere, so I couldn’t rely on it to hold up at stress points over time.
I’m not a builder or architect, but I do have working knowledge of a variety of materials in my locale. I know there are many possible materials that can be used. Maybe others can provide tips, if others are also inspired by this concept.
PVC is rigid in short spans, but it is brittle. I’ve punctured my underground water line with a gardening tool.
Not a problem with an above-surface traveling chicken coop, but be aware that sun exposure and movement can contribute to abrupt breakage at stress points.
Just thinking on-line . . .
I made a mobile chook tractor which could be easily adapted for permanent living. I’m a 62 year old arthritic woman with a damaged back and I can pull it around my back yard without any difficulty, as it’s made from PVC (sadly not recycled) pipe. Here’s the link for the post about it (https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/2022/03/26/tales-of-chookonia-4-what-a-hoopla), and I also wrote detailed assembly instructions and another diagram apart from what’s in the post, if anyone wants it. I can email it if you let me know.
I love using Earth Breeze laundry sheets. Eco friendly and they do a great job. Also they are super easy to pack when traveling!
This one is Australia-only: Eden Seeds (https://www.edenseeds.com.au/), who do organic and heritage varieties of seeds for all types of climate from mine (tropical) to cool temperate. I also use beeswax wraps for loads of uses in the kitchen. I buy locally-produced shea butter soap (I have very dry skin and it’s very good). I don’t buy toilet paper, we use a bidet spray. I crochet my own cotton dishcloths and string scrubbers. Bamboo toothbrushes, fully compostable. My chickens not only eat my vegetable scraps, they also turn local wood chips into fantastic poop-enriched compost. I follow Justin Rhodes, Sow the Land and The Hollar Homestead channels on YouTube, all of which have excellent ideas for homesteading, growing your own clean food, care and management of land and livestock, and living a more aware and responsible life.
Beeswax wraps! I had forgotton about those – thank you! Deb (above) and I were talking about home made string bags for her soap – maybe you can connect with her on that? I told her you know more about this stuff than I do – (not being a knitter and all!)> we were wondering which yarns/string to use. Thank you for the utube tip! One of these days!!
Blueland soap – small tablets come, add to either a glass jar you can buy from them or any foaming jar you have already on hand. I’ve used for several years and love them!
Thrift books.com, BEST place for used books and cheap! And amazing farmy selection!
4Ocean I used to love, I did, I’ve got several bracelets from them. Then I noticed, the small print now says made with 5% recycled materials. Umhmmm? How about the rest of it???