The Environmental Magazine: Tools For Green Living

Tools For Green Living

Resources for eco-awareness and action


“To protect the land” is the motto of Hawaii Naturals, whose exotic line of sauces, dressings and purees are inspired by the flavors of the islands. Many of the all-natural ingredients for such lively blends as Mango Habanero Hot Sauce and Wasabi Lime Dressing are grown right at Kauai Organic Farms, on the north shore of Kauai. Add a little Papaya BBQ Sauce to your winter chili or Ginger Miso Dressing to your stir-fry, and you’ll surely be transported there, too. Look for these products in natural foods stores throughout the U.S. and Canada for $3.99 a bottle, or contact Hawaii Naturals, PO Box 1122, Hanalei, Hawaii 96714/(808)828-1997.–Jennifer Bogo


It may look like a cubist elephant, but no care or feeding is necessary for the Fuller Group’s AquaSaver. Simply installing this device could reduce your entire home water bill as much as 22 percent. This two-inch piece of plastic redirects refill water into your toilet tank, filling the tank quicker and decreasing the amount of water wasted by each flush. The AquaSaver costs $5 including shipping and carries a lifetime guarantee. Available from Fuller Group, PO Box 91088, Raleigh, NC 27675/(919)786-9701/–Benjamin B. Chadwick


Remember that box of gears, cogs and chains in your garage, accumulated from decades of mechanical frustrations? Such forgotten sprockets are finally seeing light again, thanks to Resource Revival, a company turning bicycle parts into everything from key chains to coffee tables. The wheel rim wine racks are perfect models of the 1930s art deco ideal with a heavy dose of 1990s recycling philosophy. No functional bicycles are harmed in the creation of these streamlined futuristic zombies. The catalog, itself a marvelous testament to environmental creativity, is available from Resource Revival at 2267 North Interstate, Portland, OR 97227/ (800)866-8823.–B.B.C.


Anticipating the need for some literature in the stall, Seventh Generation offers facts about chlorine that will scare the crap out of you.” This promotional roll of toilet paper is printed with more disturbing news than the daily paper, listing the many perils of dioxin, a byproduct of chlorine-bleaching common in household products. But according to the company, dioxin is one risk you don’t have to stay seated and take. Seventh Generation’s paper products are made from 100 percent recycled fibers and manufactured free of chlorine-bleach. And to ensure other companies follow their lead, the Seventh Generation web site ( encourages people to “Take Action”–consumers can send an e-mail directly to offending manufacturers or learn where to return those products until they take the hint.–J.B.


Your flashlight batteries are dead. You’re wondering if that noise in the dark woods is a misguided moose or a rampaging grizzly–whether to stay put or run for your life. It all comes down to one question: “Are you feeling lucky, punk?” If only you’d bought the new NightStar flashlight! The NightStar is eco-friendly, recharged by gentle shaking and illuminated by LEDs instead of a breakable bulb. The flashlight actually charges itself if carried while walking. According to environmental researcher John Ryan, “Batteries are classified as hazardous waste. Using this human-powered flashlight means you’re not adding toxic chemicals to the planet.” Proven to be nearly indestructible, the NightStar is backed by a rare lifetime warranty. Available for $90 from J & K Enterprises, P.O. Box 17431, Seattle, WA 98107/ (877)879-1669/–B.B.C.


Tackling that leftover bowl of mixed nuts from the holidays, but notice your skin seems to be doing all of the cracking? Sun Dog offers a solution for that winter-induced dry skin with new hand and body lotions made with only natural ingredients, like aloe vera, vegetable glycerin and organic hemp oil, and free of chemical preservatives. The three lotions, Patchouli, Orange/Lavender and Naked (unscented), smooth in, leaving skin soft, not greasy. Each eight-ounce bottle sells for $4.79, and as with all Sun Dog products, 10 percent of profits are donated to Native American cultural preservation. CONTACT: Sun Dog Hemp Body Care, PO Box 64, Westby, WI 54667-/(877)786-3649.–J.B.


Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet is telling Americans to “Stop! Don’t Shop in the Dark!” with a campaign aimed at putting power back in the pocketbook of the consumer. A free Biotechnology Consumer Information and Action Kit provides practical information on the issue for consumers to use in their daily lives. Separated into steps one can take while in the garden, the supermarket, the kitchen or at the desk, the kit provides tips ranging from how to shop for foods that are free of genetic engineering to information about seed companies and ways to influence corporate change. The kit can be requested by simply calling 888-ECO-INFO, x341, or by signing up for the GE Action Network at The Network regularly updates subscribers on how to make their own voices heard in the increasingly noisy debate over GE foods.–J.B.



The authors of Genetically Engineered Foods: Changing the Nature of Nature warn of a future in which doctors prescribe potatoes instead of medicine, and small family farmers become serfs to the lords of biotech. By the end of the 20th century, they point out, there will be enough GE crops grown to cover all of Great Britain, Taiwan and New York’s Central Park to boot.

In simple, straightforward language, Martin Teitel and Kimberly A. Wilson guide readers through the questionable process of toying with a food’s gene pool, and offer a glimpse of the technology hidden behind the misleading label. “We have the choice,” they say, “to choose an abundant, safe, and healthy food future for our families, our communities, and our nations.” The book, with a foreword by Ralph Nader, gives consumers the tools and impetus to do just that. Available for $12.95 from Park Street Press.


According to Kalle Lasn, editor of Adbusters and author of Culture Jam: The Uncooling of America [TM], the nation’s largest polluter is the culture industry and its product is you. Every day advertisers spew over 12 billion entreaties to BUY! into the mental environment, and an overdose of commercial pollution on everything from gas pump handles to bananas has eroded our humanity and transformed us into lab rats programmed to purchase on cue. Lasn urges citizens to fight back against the allure of materialist soma by joining a growing movement of “culture jammers” waging a subversive “de-branding strategy” intent upon monkeywrenching the “corporate cool machine.” Does this sound radical? It is. Organized, like Walden, by season, Lasn’s book combines a Huxleyesque anti-commercialism with an eloquent call to simplicity not seen since Thoreau and the American Renaissance. Available for $25 from William Morrow.–Josh Harkinson


Janisse Ray ain’t talkin’ ’bout Triscuits–if you get our drifts–in her vivid memoir, Ecology of a Cracker Childhood. The book recounts her junkyard upbringing in southern Georgia, amid rusted hulks of former Fords and sparse longleaf pines on Death Row. Ray magically conveys the need for conservation juxtaposed with the perverse beauty of the wasteland of her youth. The area hasn’t seen much tourism since Deliverance and is easily forgotten by environmentalists. In Janisse Ray, the region has found a worthy and eloquent advocate, perhaps a savior for its hundreds of endangered species. Available for $19.95 from Milkweed Editions.–B.B.C.


Whenever you consider repairs or renovations in your home, you’re given the rare opportunity to save money while helping save the environment. This win/win situation is only achievable, however, if you can navigate through countless options of products and projects to arrive at home energy efficiency. Enter the Consumer Guide to Home Energy Savings ($8.95, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy). Not only does the Guide rate all the brands of major home appliances and fixtures for energy efficiency, it also shows how to insulate, landscape and maintain your home in the manner that will make your wallet and your planet greener. Did you know, for instance, that planting just three trees in strategic locations around your house can cut summer cooling bills by 20 to 25 percent? Or that similar savings can be gained by installing high-tech, triple-paned gas-filled “superwindows”? To order, call ACEEE at (202)429-0063 or visit–Damon Franz


Two new books can help you make the career jump from eco-dubious mercenary to conscientious environmental champion. Melissa Everett’s Making a Living while Making a Difference (New Society Publishers, $17.95) dispenses new-agey tips like “wake up to the interconnectedness of everything” to help you shift into spiritually soothing employment, improving the world and your community. Packed with illustrative examples and charts, the book focuses on personal fulfillment, suggesting careers in which profit never supersedes idealism.

The Complete Guide to Environmental Careers in the 21st Century (Island Press, $17.95), compiled by The Environmental Careers Organization, takes a more comprehensive approach that abandons spiritual concerns and focuses on the jobs themselves. Organized around specific environmental sub-fields (i.e., solid waste management), each chapter includes a list of possible jobs, realistic salary expectations, history and background, example profiles and plentiful resources for contacting the appropriate organizations and companies.–B.B.C.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Earth Action Network, Inc.

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