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from Lydia Krupinski

I’m having a serious love affair with the Eco Etsy blog. Not that I’m biased or anything (I’m an official contributor), but I really do find myself enamored by the daily articles and encouragement that ensue. If you’re a clever crafter or a super greenie, you’ll find that the blog has something for everyone, no matter how new you are to the concept of conscious living.

An article that was posted last week brought this home. Despite all my knowledge of DIY, I have still never experimented with home cleaning products made by hand. But this article from the Eco Etsy blog has challenged me to give it a go – and I think you should too! Beyond making life healthier, creating your own cleaners will be easier on your wallet while eliminating all of the packaging that comes along with store bought products.

So if you’ve put off making your own tub scrub or floor detergent – make this week the one where you give it a shot! I’ll be sure to post my updated finds in the comments below, and I hope you will too!

posted by Lydia Krupinski

It’s the eve of the eve of Valentine’s Day and you’ve totally forgotten to get a gift for your sweetie! What do you do? Make a handmade eco-friendly gift of course! Pinterest and blogs are teaming with easy tutorials that will give a personal spin on your v-day gift giving.

My favorite is the Birds on a Wire project. Unisex, stylish, and upcycled, this mini-art piece will speak volumes to your crush. Not into birds? Change up the subject to match your own message. This simple and easy-to-make project gives you the flexibility to take it in any direction you choose.

Do you have another suggestion for a handmade gift? Post your ideas in the comments below!

by Lydia Krupinski

I’ve been thinking a lot about eating seasonally lately. With it being early February I’ve found myself desperate for fresh greens and veggies. But then I wonder – what in the world is in season this time of year?

What I discovered were not only the choice produce items for the month – but also some fantastic websites that give targeted recommendations of what’s best to eat in your region now. Epicurious has a national Peak-Season Map that provides a list of produce for individual states. Going a step further, Smarter Living;s ‘eat local‘ pages highlight suggestions and the farmer’s markets in the area that will carry the goods.

So when planning your upcoming meals and grocery trips, pop onto one of these two sites before heading out. You’ll find that you’ll be living, and saving, green in the process.

by Lydia Krupinski
Do a search for eco resolutions and you’ll see a flurry of articles that will encourage you to use fabric shopping bags, change your light bulbs and skip bottled water. These are great tips for the entry-level eco-curious – but if we really want to push ourselves we should set the bar much higher. Isn’t that the point of resolutions in the first place? To challenge us to change behaviors and grow as individuals?

My mother had a brilliant insight several months back. When discussing sustainability movements and green trends she commented that, “What you are describing is how I lived as a kid.” And she’s right! Growing up in rural Poland my mother and her family rarely drove, grew their own food, mended clothes, and lived life simply, yet fully.

To make 2012 the year you make a real change – try to “Go Retro.” You’ll find yourself living a simpler lifestyle that will reduce your ecological footprint while adding a bit of vintage spice to your life.

Here are some potential “Go Retro” resolutions: Read the rest of this entry »

Here is a collection of favorite items from my hubby and my Etsy hearts! The following are the perfect gifts for the discriminating green gentleman. Many of the items featured below can even be found locally – should you fear last-minute online shopping.

1) No Bottle Shampoo & Conditioner Pack by Ethically Engineered

2) Underwood Typewriter Necktie by Cyberoptix

3) Wooden Slingshot Catapult by Gift Go Green

4)  la pluie de pluie partent Print by Little Pink Pebble

5) Avant-Gardener T-Shirt by Black Sheep Heap

6) Wood Ear Bud Holder by Acoustic Design

7) Reclaimed Wood & Iron Steel Headboard by Blake Avenue

Not numbered: Vintage Camera Bilora Bella 127 Camera from Good Bones Vintage

If you have a full-out foodie on your shopping list this holiday season – don’t fear! Alisha of the blog i like it too! put together the following suggestions for getting the perfect gift for that gastro-savvy guest or friend:

1) Handmade Table & Bowls from Haymaker Shop

2) Bike Snack Sack from Green Heart

3) Chain Links Apron from Decorative Instincts

4) DIY Indian Spice Rub from Eating Well

5) CSA from Montalbano Farms

6) DIY 3 Bean & Barley Soup Mix from Eating Well

7) DIY Spiced Nuts from Martha Stewart

It truly takes a visionary to come up with a list such as this – and Caitlin Peters of Wanderlustings is just that! Her incredible taste combines with a soulful whimsy to bring Sprout Chicago these fantastic gift suggestions for women:

1) Navy Phantom Tights by Qoo Qoo Fashion

2) Vanilla Chai Perfume Oil by Long Winter Soap Co

3) Aqua “Life She Imagined” Print by Amanda Catherine Des

4) Craft Nail Transfers by Kate Broughton

5) Double Gal Vintage Bag from Bird Trouble

6) Bilbao Colored Handle Teacups by A Quartzy Life

7) Love Made Me Do It Ring by Manoy Metal

8) White Blouse by Arcelia Home

9) Gold Dipped Geo Earrings by A Merry Mishap

The holidays are just two short weeks away! And if you’re scurrying to collect last-minute gifts, you’re in the right place! Over the next few days we will be sharing shopping lists curated by people straight from the community.

The first list was created by Kelli Weber, a super duper filmmaker who spends her days working at DraftFCB and her nights blogging and cuddling with her four adorable felines. We couldn’t think of anyone better to come up with a gift guide for pets! Here are Kelli’s finds:

1) Handmade Snowman Dog Sweater by My Fabulous Puppy

2) Pet Popcorn by Wizard at Work

3) Mini Christmas Dog Donuts by Judy & Lainey

4) Christmas Catnip Mice by Crochet Kitty

5) Green Gift Set by The Leash We Can Do

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