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The Alternative Consumer

The Alternative Consumer is essential reading for busy folks looking to cultivate a greener, more sustainable lifestyle. With a daily mix of eco news, product reviews and editorial, their take on the environment is fun, fresh and friendly.

Website: http://www.alternativeconsumer.com


Maureen O’Connor, publisher & founder

Is Lake Mead Disappearing
March 31, 2008 09:33 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

The water supply crisis is not just a third world issue. Nevada’s Lake Mead, the largest man-made lake and reservoir in the U.S., could go dry by 2021, according to a pair of scientists at the Scripp’s Institute of Oceanography in San Diego, California. If human-induced climate change and water usage continues at the present rate, or even slower, there is a 50% chance the lake will go dry in coming years – and sooner, rather than later. The Colorado River’s water is being consumed far beyond a sustainable level.

I am not a paper cup
March 25, 2008 09:07 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

Order from your favorite coffee or tea joint every day, but hate the eco guilt of throwing the paper cup in the trash? “I am not a paper cup” a reusable porcelain cup with silicon lid may alleviate the self-loathing. Due to the overwhelming demand, it becomes available again in April.

bamboo homes - grow your own
March 24, 2008 09:57 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

Fantasizing about building a bamboo home, but not sure if you’d like living in it? Here’s a place that you can try before you buy. Take a much needed vaca to a Maui resort (swim to the island if you must), and rent a bamboo jungalow to experience what it would be like to live in a bamboo home. Bamboo Living Technologies offers building code certified pre-fab homes in the USA, built for any climate. So, you can practically grow your own home.

Light on Demand - just in case
March 21, 2008 09:08 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

Power outages are always a scary adventure. I was channel surfing (vegging out after a 10-day visit with mom, the original Energizer bunny) and Ellen was featuring this desk lamp on her show — doling out a lamp to all audience members. It got me thinking how useful this LED product could be if I were to find myself without power and in the dark for an extended period of time.

Kiva & Markmakers - the gift of giving
March 7, 2008 12:48 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

A great way to indoctrinate kids to the lifestyle of giving – give a child a Markmakers gift card. This way, card recipients can shop at an online gift store for goods, services, and items needed around the world in order to help the rainforest, wildlife, or underprivileged people. Learn more @ markmakers.org.

Tree Blocks: Building imagination with reclaimed trees
February 27, 2008 09:31 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

While cleaning the kids’ playroom for what must be the umpteenth time today I spied the bag of Tree Blocks that our entire family loves to build with. These unusual building blocks are cut from tree branches and make the most beautiful sculptures, keeping little hands busy for at least long enough for me to get a shower. The “elves” at Tree Blocks identify abandoned or end of productive cycle plots of apple, cherry and hazelnut trees and contact the farmers. They then push the old trees over removing the roots. Tree Blocks bridges and blocks are made from the wood purchased and processed by the “elves.” This leaves the farmer clean soil and seed money, so he can get back into production.

Eko Noiz tees rock
February 21, 2008 10:22 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

Here’s a tee shirt company that speaks to us. Founded by a London-based dynamic duo, Eko Noiz tees are truly green, inside and out. You can buy a tee in your choice of eco friendly fibers — bamboo, hemp, organic cotton or recycled plastic bottles. And take your pick of hand-printed artwork (created with water soluble ink), to spread the eco vibe wherever you go.

Vintage Record Coasters for the eco-audiofile
February 10, 2008 09:50 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

I would never do this kind of thing to those Moby Grape and Savoy Brown lps I’ve got in storage but it is a good use for my Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks collection. To make them really utilitarian, the discs are sealed so moisture won’t seep through to the surface. Come in a set of six assorted labels packed in a clear, round case. Made in scenic Brooklyn.

Lead in your Lipstick
January 18, 2008 10:14 AM - , The Alternative Consumer

It’s widely known that lead poisoning poses a threat to public health. The metal’s negative effect on the nervous system as well as its propensity to cause renal and cardiovascular diseases has promoted the FDA to continually lower the legal limit of lead content in paint, children’s toys, and playground substrate since the late 70’s. In October ‘07, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics released an alarming report, “A Poison Kiss,” on the lead content of lipstick. They found that more than half of the name brand lipsticks tested contained detectable levels of lead. L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” topped the list at .65 ppm lead. Even Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer Merlot contains lead (less than .1 ppm.) However, with a little bit of research and awareness, you can find safer (and environmentally friendly) lipsticks.

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