December 16, 2008

Trading, Swapping, Contests, and Winnings!

Getting what you want without using money is a very green technique and so cool. Kami from Illinois who entered the Props and Pans blog spot contest and won one of our “All Nighter” Dirt Candles! Congrats Kami!

How about trading services with a friend? Don’t pay for a babysitter. Bring your kids to a friend’s house and offer to watch her kids next time she goes out. Or how about asking your electrician neighbor to fix that light switch in the basement that never worked and you, being a dentist, clean all his kids teeth in exchange….okay, something like that anyway.

A green economy is a community of people meeting each others’ needs---and there are many creative ways to connect and prosper without using money. Personal connections are made…and the bargaining begins! How about swapping books, toys, clothes…. Remember the days of grandma’s classic recipe exchange?! This concept has been around for a long time.
Check out http://www.freecycle.org/ for more information on swaps.



- e

December 4, 2008

Dirt Candle Giveaway with Props & Pans!

Let me explain, Dirt Candles are not dirty or made out of dirt...many people have asked me that very question! They're just as natural as good old fashioned dirt that gets under your finger nails when you are gardening…okay, I guess that didn’t help!

Anyways, the best part about Dirt Candles (besides the fact that they are all soy, recycled glass and recycled cardboard, etc.) is that they smell SO good. I love the natural smelling aromas as they drift through the entire house and actually improve my mood on a day that stinks (pun intended).

In honor of our review today on Props and Pans, we're giving away a Dirt Candle of your choice to one lucky reader! Read the 11 fragrance descriptions on Celery Street and comment on our blog to tell us which fragrance best matches your personality! We will announce one random winner on Tuesday, December 9th.

The Best Friends Dirt Candle, with scents of hibiscus, tulips, hyacinth, lily of the valley, jasmine, gardenia rose, lemon, and lavender essential oil, perfectly reflects my kitchen where those four legged fuzzy members of the family hang out, waiting for a morsel to fall.

We look forward to seeing your favorites and reading your comments!

- e.


December 3, 2008

Storybooks to go!


First off, I wanted to congratulate Jennifer again on winning the Sheriff Daisy Bag from Mielie at our Open House. And I needed a reason to post this cute picture...smile Jen!

In other Celery Street news, we got more cool bags in! Our new Recycled Storybook Purses from Repurposed 4 You have such great character (no pun intended)! Each purse is handmade from the pages of recycled children’s books and stitched to vinyl, keeping the pages looking fresh and fun. Great care has been taken to salvage the perfect original preloved books, place them with the best recycled textiles and sew them with love. Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham, Richard Scarry Cars and Trucks or Sendak’s Wild Things will have people stopping you in the streets to recite a favorite line from their favorite book. It is amazing how those stories are ingrained in our memories from our own childhood or from reading the story 440 times to our own children!

Where The Wild Things Are is one of my favorites. “No, no, please don’t go, I’ll eat you up I love you so!” I still like saying that to my now 12-year-old son who no longer appreciates it! Here is Maurice Sendak reading with some of his little fans at the Manhattan Museum.

-e.

picture of Maurice Sendak courtesy of Getty Images

November 24, 2008

Another Great Way to Recycle Plastic Bags!


Yesterday my family had the opportunity to help feed a hot lunch to homeless people at Roberts Park Church in Downtown Indianapolis. It's a huge operation that takes lots of planning and caring people to make it a tremendous success.

Our “green” moment was when we were given hundreds of used plastic grocery sacks to fill up with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruit, donated granola bars, chips, etc. that each visitors took with them to eat for dinner or breakfast. People had collected these plastic bags from their grocery trips and donated them to the church for exactly this purpose. Okay, now this is one of those pale shade of green areas. Yes, they should not be using plastic bags in the first place but yes, these plastic bags are lovingly being collected and reused - to feed someone.

Green comes in many shades and until the plastic companies quit making the plastic bags and stores quit using them…these bags are special. I decided not to think “green” for that day and think with my heart.
On another note, if you are still using plastic grocery bags, our fun Eco Tote Bags from Malia Designs are perfect to cart around your groceries! These small totes are made from recycled Vietnamese rice bags and increase economic opportunity for women in developing countries. You're not only "buying green", you'll be helping a great cause as well!

- e.

November 12, 2008

On the Green Home Front...


We hosted our first Green Open House and I have to say, we were busy, busy, busy and pleased as punch (green punch that is)! We invited friends and local "green people" to our warehouse/showroom for some organic wine and delectable’s, along with the opportunity to shop on the green home front without paying for shipping. Great green combination!

My friend Cathy walked straight out with all her purchases including the Sonoma Lavender Recycled Cotton Spa Neck Pillow heated up in the microwave for a relaxing drive home!

A few thanks that I want to give...

My friend Jan who was busy in the warehouse washing wine glasses since she noticed the crowd growing and the glasses getting low… thanks Jan. Thanks to our friends at Endangered Species Chocolate who have a warehouse down the street, we had a huge bowl of yummy organic chocolate to offer each guest…thanks Renee! Thank you Lynn Jenkins from Indiana Living Green, Jeff Miller with the Indiana Recycling Coalition, the folks from Traders Point Creamery and all of you Green Piece Indy subscribers for celebrating our day with us. Jennifer was a lucky winner of a purse of her choice. Her pick? The Mielie Bag.

It felt good to be embraced by friends and the “green” central Indiana community… to know there are others who are trying to live green and still enjoy shopping!

Also want to thank my mom in law for coming in town to help out….for an “old lady” (pardon me Grandma Kay!) ….she is pretty swift with computer technology and has taught me a few things!
Back to shipping…

e.

November 3, 2008

Green Party Preparations!

I’ve been busy planning for our green Open House event this Thursday. Lucky for the local Indianapolis people…they will get an opportunity to touch and feel all the green goodies at celerystreet.com!

My open house preparations have left me with many choices. Recycled paper plates cannot be recycled again…but they are biodegradable once tossed out the second time in their sad lives. Plates made out of recycled plastics are reusable, but they also have a short sad life depending on how many times they survive the DISHWASHER! We could daintily balance our organic appetizers on the recycled paper napkins, although that would mean return trips for seconds and thirds…. I could bring a collection of china dishes and some dish soap….but then I would miss all the fun! All I want is easy, cheap, chic, and green! Sometimes harder than you think. I’ll ponder more on this tomorrow.

I love the color of recycled wine glasses we just got in. The heavenly venetian red really dresses up a glass of wine, the table it sits on, and the entire room! The color reminds me of the old stain glass windows in churches. I’m looking forward to using these for our holiday, valentines, or any festive occasion.

Now the next question for this soiree….Organic Lemonade? Organic wine? Organic Vodka with Lemonade? Could be an interesting day!

e.

October 27, 2008

Big Weekend at Celery Street!

We’ve been featured on www.coolmompicks.com! It's a great site for moms looking to find hip, new, and unusual stuff. We just added a little “green” to their fun website! We included a 15% code for Cool Mom Pick readers. (Check it out to receive the discount code!). Liz especially liked the Metal Pointus jewelry, the Scrappies, and our eco-friendly writing journals and cute rain umbrellas!

Another exciting thing that happened this weekend...

Did you get a chance to see High School Musical 3?! I went with my daughter and our friends. We were THRILLED to see Gabrielle (Vanessa Hudgens) toting our Mielie Bag! Gabrielle (Vanessa's character) is going green! I carried this bag myself for several months this summer and was stopped on the streets for “where did you get that purse?!” requests. I always had my Celery Street business card ready! - e.


picture courtesy of disney.com

October 23, 2008

Scrappies and scraps of recycled mess!

This is an ugly scrappy mess of recycled goods collecting in my garage. I try to recycle everything. Those clever green magazines and books explain how to design your ideal recycle station. I cringe. Recyclable materials are still trash and trash comes in many different shapes, textures, sizes and smells. The curbside program picks up all my #1 and #2 plastics, glass, aluminum and newspaper. But the rest I designate to my garage collection (pictured above!). Lovely, eh?

Now can’t you just see these little Scrappies skinny or triangle cats hanging out on your couch, your window seat, a book shelf, or adorning a loved one’s bed? Those are cute scraps!! Scrappies wooly pins are also available. All are one of a kind and handmade. Designer Sarah Steedman has been sewing her entire life. Her Scrappynation products are made using recycled sweaters, clothes, and accessories as much as possible. The polyfil stuffing is made in Chicago by workers at CARC, an employment facility for adults with developmental disabilities. Each cat and pin is unique dependent on the fabric scrap colors used.

Here’s to the messy and the cute side of scraps!

e.

October 13, 2008

Time to pick up Acorns!


It’s fall! Time for raking leaves, eating caramel apples and carving pumpkins!

How about this organic cotton acorn hat for your precious little nut?! Hand crocheted, using only natural colors and no dyes, the softness and quality are undeniable. Just try not to laugh or at least smile at your little one wearing this hat!

I love the thought felt story behind the hat too. Linda Day, of DayLee Designs has put a 1920 photo of her mother in a classic hat, age 2, on the tag with this message, “Crochet is an artistic tradition that is handed from woman to woman. In each piece I design you will find a small bead worked into the pattern, in honor of my Mother, who taught me to crochet and helped me develop my creative spirit.”

I am such a softy for stories like that.

e.

October 10, 2008

Our blog is live, green, and growing bloggets!

We’ve got lots of things going on at Celery Street right now! We have completed the move to our cool new office/warehouse and things are looking very eclectic and 70s ish around here with all the auction and Goodwill finds!

Also…
Celery Street was selected and WE are honored to participate in California First Lady Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference! They selected one of leather writing journals.

We'll soon kick off our Orange Sale, so watch for announcements. Also, keep checking in with us - I’d love some of your comments too!

e.

October 5, 2008

Eco-friendly, Used Up and Loved

One word. Auction. We had a tremendous day at Christy’s Auction House in Indianapolis. You can preview products to be auctioned on their website ahead of time at www.christys.com Many auction houses operate this way now. Register with a credit card, get your number and then wander through the four buildings where several auctions are going on simultaneously.

The auctioneers have a great sense of humor and calmed my fears immediately on bidding on a nineteenth century hat stand just because I was itching a mosquito bite on my nose If you look lost, they ask you if you are lost…and they explain. JD had patience with me and we had a very productive day. We purchased two large heavy 1970’s style desks with solid wood tops and turquoise medal drawers and trim and four- five drawer file cabinets in turquoise and gold to match the desks. That lovely 70’s gold color! Two wooden doctor’s office reception room type chairs with orange and two with blue upholstered seats and backs will seat guests of Celery Street. For my recycled art wall an antique framed sketch of a Victorian era couple playing chess and knocking the board over as they pause for a quick kiss. All of these items combined for… $162.00! More desks needed, but it was a great start. Being eco-friendly is not only good for the earth it is good for your pocket book.

Yesterday, my son and I visited Goodwill and the Salvation Army to find more recycled art. We also found a couple of laundry baskets and large Rubbermaid containers for the office recycle program.

We arrived at the office last night to join JD and my daughter who were painting the main room a beautiful shade of orange to suit our new d├ęcor. The eco friendly paint was available at Lowes Hardware.Eight coffee mugs from the Salvation Army also good for tea… are that same puce gold and left over from a convention in Orlando Florida in 2006…each mug has three palm trees on it.

We are green! We are trying. It is fun (and a little scary) to save money, decorate the office, and plow ahead as the Dow Jones took a dive this week. We are optimistic. After all, Maria Shriver picked a leather writing journal from our eco friendly selecton…anything is possible! More on that later…

e.

September 11, 2008

A Word or Two on Paperboard

My good friend Gigi just accomplished a very green beautiful thing. Our little community will now have a paperboard recycling bin behind city hall. The closest drop off available to us before this momentous green Gigi moment was downtown Indianapolis…about 10 miles away... very difficult to travel with paperboard boxes tied to your back while peddling your bicycle. Personally I just drive my fuel burning automobile downtown to deliver the paperboard…also a very difficult thing to do, difficult on my conscience anyway.

So what is paperboard? Paperboard is flat, not corrugated like cardboard. We are talking about cereal boxes, granola bar boxes, 6 pack beverage cartons, etc. Not the waxy finished products like milk cartons.

Over 57% of Americans have easy access to paperboard recycling, up from 46% in 2000. Additionally, the number of communities collecting paperboard for recycling increased to 41% in 2005. Paperboard is circling back around.

Paperboard is rather green since it is 100% recyclable. The extended list of brands using recycled paperboard is as obvious as Tom’s of Maine all the way to giants aka Xerox Corporation. See www.rpa100.com.

Better than plastic? Paperboard Materials are made of sustainable materials using specially-raised crop trees, waste products like sawdust and wood chips, and recycled paper/paperboard fibers. Sustainable wood fibers from farm-raised trees are the primary raw material in paperboard packaging. The forest products industry plants 1.7 million trees a day – which exceeds the number of trees harvested.

I have to mention the reuse factor of paperboard too…those school projects…the mock up cereal box villages with double-decker buses created out of animal cracker cartons and Creamette Thin Spaghetti smoke stacks.

When will a generation of children consider the smoke stack a relic synonymous to a phone booth? I don’t have the answer to that question…yet.

September 5, 2008

UBS (United Bicycle Service)…We Don’t Do Brown

UPS discovered that waiting for left-hand turns cost its delivery truck drivers huge amounts of fuel and time (idling). By creating routes that led to an average of four right-hand turns for every left, the company saved 51,000 gallons of fuel and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 558 tons over 18 months. UPS tested this strategy with everyday people running a series of errands, and it still worked (excerpt from National Geographic).

Burning a gallon of gas produces about 25 pounds of CO2, right? Right.

A few days ago a very dear friend of mine placed an order with CeleryStreet.com. It was Saturday, it was a beautiful sunny day, and I felt like riding my bicycle…and so did my daughter. This friend lives about three miles away. So my daughter suggested United Bicycle Service, the green deliver service. We filled up backpacks with the Celerystreet order, put on our green shorts, shirts, and socks (just kidding) and used peddle power to deliver the order (including a metal water bottle and a blank leather journal). I didn’t have to track percentage of right turns versus left turns. That was one of the best bike rides I have ever had. And the look on my friend's face when we arrived with all her goodies was priceless. We won’t be doing this for all of our orders, but it was a very unique green experience which I hope to try again.

Did I mention the wind in my hair, sun on my face, and bonding with my daughter part of this? Okay, a little corny maybe. But, green is good.

e.

August 31, 2008

Christie Matheson’s thoughts, my thoughts, cool thoughts… on Cars, CO2, and Fatalities

Back to the book…green chic by Christie Matheson. Christie points out an interesting fact…for every mile you don’t drive (assuming you’re the typical 21 MPG driver), you keep almost one pound of CO2 out of the atmosphere. You can have fun helping our dear mother earth shed pounds of CO2! I make a game of putting my planet on the “green diet”. Significantly more amusing than that cold, steel scale tracking my pounds and counting my Ben and Jerry’s by the spoonful …at least mother earth is my friend.

I have more good news. Last week the Transportation Research Institute at the University of Michigan reported that because of the high gasoline prices, people are driving less and fatalities will hit the lowest level since 1961. The Federal Highway Administration said Americans drove 12.2 billion fewer miles in June than a year earlier, the biggest monthly decrease in a downward trend that began in November of last year. Mother earth is smiling. Understandable, considering that she didn’t put on another 12.2 billion pounds and more of her little human children are staying alive.

Track pounds with your kids to practice math homework and find interesting new ways to get someplace. A carpool can be a bonding experience (or not), trains can be an adventure, commuter rail systems are great for catching up on work or reading, try biking, or walking, or how about that golf cart? I’ve heard some cities are having issues with golf carts driving down Main Street. I’d be lousy at parallel parking a golf cart but it sure sounds like fun.

Enough thoughts for today Pedestrians. Put mother earth on a green diet. Save lives. Walk.

e.

August 24, 2008

Some Green Chic Thoughts

Pedestrians,

Sometimes the newspapers, the scientific studies, evening news, and magazine articles about global warming, miles of garbage piled high, and swirling trash in our ocean…can all get a little depressing and overwhelming. I know that I am selfish and don’t want to give up my nice disposable lifestyle. I should be doing so much more. Well I found someone who shaded me a little “greener” and made me laugh out loud.

While in Chicago meeting green suppliers we were thrilled to meet Christie Matheson, writer of green chic: Saving the Earth in Style.

Her book is the perfect antidote for the newly greens who don’t like taking themselves too seriously. The book has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Boston Globe, and Boston Herald. According to Us Weekly, green chic was being read by Leonardo DiCaprio. I wonder if he gave up his disposable shavers? According to Christie, two billion disposable razors wind up in landfills every year. She suggests the reusable handle types where you change only the blade.

Her section on antiperspirants and deodorants is hilarious. In the end Christie chose not to give up her antiperspirant, but she gives the honest facts and tests all options. One of the options made her smell very manly (according to her husband) and no matter how much slower she walked and tried not to sweat…after three hours with a natural deodorant she was not pleased with the smell. I did learn that if your odor and perspiration levels aren’t too bad, you can go semi-green with aluminum and paraben-free Adidas 24 hour Control. I like semi-green…a new word to use in my blog.

Remember in the old days the party with the most trash in the morning wins. Not anymore. Christie pointed out that 25 percent of the food produced for humans in the United States gets thrown out---that’s almost 50 million tons of food annually. That number made me cringe when I thought of the hungry people lined up at food banks and soup kitchens. This percent does not include all the booze bottles and cans…think about it. She suggests NOT making so much food. Buffet-style set ups are the biggest food wasters since you have to make enough of every single dish for every single person. Personally I pick my way through a buffet and then come back for seconds seeking that one favorite choice. I do recommend plenty of chocolate desserts…they always get eaten.

Christie’s book is printed on recycled paper, with a portion of its proceeds going to a green cause.

Enough semi-green thoughts for you, my green hearted friends. Until next time…

Sign up to win a copy of Green Chic

August 18, 2008

Organic Cotton Showing Up Everywhere

Pedestrians,

Cotton is King…Scarlet O’Hara thought so, for a while anyway, until she went for the velvet green curtains.

Have you noticed all the top designers and models that are championing “clean cotton”. The Environmental Justice Foundation, a nongovernmental group hopes to call attention to the cotton industries alleged connection to pesticide poisoning, child labor, environmental depletion and thousands of deaths a year. The foundation enlisted the help of designers to create organic cotton t shirts with something to say. Luella Bartley, Betty Jackson, and Katherine Hamnett all showed off their designs at London Fashion Week. I’m sure Scarlet would have been the first to buy one…after daddy started growing organic cotton.

On that note, did you know (according to the associated press) that Wal-Mart is now the biggest seller of organic cotton products world-wide?!

And or course my old friend Barbie. You can always count on her to be on the cutting edge. Her latest t-shirt, “Think Pink Live Green” was shown at the International Toy Fair in New York. Mattel is making an effort to make up for the lead filled toys…so they cleaned up all the plastic scraps off the factory floor and recycled them to created a new line, Bcause Barbie. A recycled plastic t-shirt on Barbie…plastic, dressed in plastic. Okay Pedestrians, let’s give Mattel a hand, they are trying…a plastic hand maybe…did I say that?

Oh, and did you hear about the Duke University’s Basketball fans. They won’t give up their blue shirts, but to show how seriously they are taking the climate change they wore “Bleed Blue. Live Green” t-shirts in an effort to raise awareness around sustainability. Even the mascot was wearing his green t-shirt. Duke University purchased carbon offsets equivalent to the electricity, steam and transportation consumed by the game, working in partnership with the renewable-energy company NativeEnergy.

More on organic t-shirts and King Cotton on another day….

August 11, 2008

Greenest of the Green Alternative


Hello Celery Street Pedestrian,

I am so not a crafty person. When I was in a MOPS program (Mothers of Preschoolers) the craft leader always ended up

finishing my craft project, since I was too thrilled enjoying my hour and half of adult

conversation. When Julie handed me the completed project I was amazed and proud by what I had accomplished…thank you Julie. I would carry my prized craft home in Audrey’s diaper bag to become a regular functioning part of my household. Tonight at dinner we used the salad serving set that I had decorated in 2003.

What is my reason for bringing this up? If some of you have not found the greenest of green perfect thing that you were looking for on our web site then I have another suggestion for you. Crafting is another way of going green.

Kathy Cano-Murillo with the Arizona Republic did some research on Recycled projects and came up with a very clever and functional idea. A recycled grocery bag tote… Now promise me you will use those last left over plastic bags on this project. The plastic bags you still had tucked at home before you said “paper please” or started using your styling new shopping bags.

RECYCLED GROCERY BAG TOTE

Take all the those plastic shopping bags from the store or mall, cut them up and sew them together to make sturdy totes that you can use at the grocery store or farmer’s market. Make several of these so you can keep them around for your next food run.

Supplies

About 36 plastic bags (if you are going to be a walking billboard, I would use your favorite and hottest stores’ bags)

Scissors

Sewing machine

Canvas tote (to use as a pattern)

Directions

Flatten the bags into stacks of six. Cut across the top to remove the handle portion. Cut the stacks of six into strips or squares, and sew up all the sides. For a quilted look, sew lines in the center.

Make enough of these thick squares or strips until you have plenty of pieces to create a bag that is the same size as the tote, and sew the pieces together. For handles, cut the thinner strips and sew inside the top panel on both sides.

There you go! As for me, I don’t sew and I don’t do crafts…but I love this idea and wish I were more artsy and not afraid of my mom’s sewing machine.

If any of you attempt this cool green project send me a picture and your comments.

I promise I won’t have any more craft projects on this space for a while.