OK, so I mainly write about food and occasionally about things that can affect our health, such as household cleaners and skincare products. But today, I couldn’t resist sharing just a few of my favorite (non-food) things.
I selected these items because they look great and have a sustainable or world-friendly component which I think you’ll find pretty cool.
I recently bought this backpack from Baggu. I’d been looking for a “day pack” that wasn’t too big for my small frame (nearly always an issue with the name-brand backpacks), and that had some recycled component. This cotton canvas backpack by Baggu is made from 100% recycled cotton, and the company offers this pack in a wide variety of colors including some great basic as well as some on-trend brights. (I got mine in marine blue stripes because I had the South of France on my mind.) Baggu also offers a larger version, but this size easily fits an insulated lunch bag, water bottle, wallet and scarf or light sweater. It also has a zippered pocket inside as well as on the outside–handy for keys and cellphones.
This super-cool yoga mat bag by I AM. is made with fabric hand-woven by women in Guatemala, and each bag is hand-signed by the woman who helped make it. I AM.’s mission is to provide high-paying weaving work to Mayan women who live in impoverished communities. I also love the concept of connecting creators with users.
The Maya yoga bags come in great color combinations, have a wide and comfortable strap for slinging over your shoulder, and are roomy enough to store a wallet and light blanket or fleece in addition to your yoga mat. The inside is lined in recycled scraps of material, and there’s a waterproof inside pocket for any sweaty or wet items.
Earthlust water bottles are my favorite because they’re light, BPA-free, use non-toxic paint, have small “mouths/necks” so you aren’t spilling water all over your face and they have the most gorgeous designs. Here I’ve shown one in matte paint as well as the more common glossy paint. I also love that they come with an aluminum carabineer clip for hooking onto your shorts, backpack or yoga bag.
Do your shopping in eco-friendly style
Make a personal commitment to reduce the 380 billion (!!) plastic bags used in the U.S. alone each year. (That number averages out to 1200 bags per person!) It’s estimated that only 1-2% are recycled, and thousands of marine mammals and more than 1 million birds die each year from plastic pollution. Ever since I committed to stop accepting plastic grocery bags, I’ve been amazed at how easy it is. I’ve gone as many as 6 months without taking a single plastic grocery bag. Granted, on those rare occasions I forget to bring my own and paper wasn’t an option, I’ve walked out of the stores with all my groceries precariously balanced in my arms.
Envirosax makes great reusable bags. I love the bamboo bag featured here from the company’s Organic Series (which also offers organic cotton and hemp bags). Bamboo is incredibly strong, 100% sustainable and grows naturally without requiring pesticides or fertilizers.
Envirosax offers an incredible array of sizes, patterns and colors in several different fabrics. The company’s nylon bags fold (or stuff!) down into a pouch the size of a tangerine, so they’re super easy to keep in your purse or glove compartment. They’re also less than $10 each and last for years.
Of course the first rule of the three Rs is Reduce (before Reuse and Recycle), and while I didn’t own a backpack, I certainly can’t justify buying any new water bottles. But if you’re in the market for a new item or need a gift for a friend, please consider environment- and world-friendly options such as these.