10 June 2008
One of my favorite shops (before I boycott big chain stores) was H&M. Back in 2000 when I heard Hennes & Mauritz were making their US debut, I wrote to the company to find out the exact date. I remembered how great it was -- while spending the semester in London, a typical student, with holes in my pockets and moths sprouting from my wallet -- to discover clothes both adorable and affordable.
But then about a year ago my consumer conscience woke up.
So after reading the headline that H&M were to introduce more organic cotton into their clothing, I got a bit excited. Until I read the rest of the story. Check out the full story about H&M's enviro-responsibility, artfully broken down here. Looks like I'll have to hold off my return for a later date.
One of the easiest ways to move toward a more eco-friendly lifestyle is by changing the way you do laundry. And one of the first things I did was make the switch to biodegradable, petroleum-free laundry detergent, like Seventh Generation.
Here are some other low-impact laundry tactics:
- Washing clothes in cold water not only saves energy (in heating the water), it helps preserve the colors and fabrics over time
- Air drying clothes also saves tons of energy. Try one of these contraptions:
- Opting for CO2 cleaning instead of traditional dry cleaning is safer for you and the environment. Find CO2 cleaners in your area
- Handwashing with a non-toxic detergent is also a great alternative for your delicates like cashmere and wool
- The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo leaves sweaters soft and smelling nice without chemical residue
- Replacing an old washer and/or dryer also saves energy. Be sure to get one with an Energy Star rating
Check out this new washing machine from the UK that uses only 1 cup of water for a load of wash. Though it does require all these little plastic chips to do the cleaning (good for about 100 washes). What would you do with them when they need replacing? Got any ideas?
Fresh/local produce, fresh air, personal interactions with the farmers and producers of your food, and now another reason to love the greenmarket: good quality, pasture-raised & fed meats!
NY Mag does a rundown of the carnivorous offerings at the city's farmers markets here.
(Image: Grazin' Angus Acres Farm rib steak by Stewart Isbell, courtesy of NY mag)
- Keep your skin protected without nasty chemicals or oxybenzone (which has been linked to cancer) with these safe sunscreens:
- Use a hat to keep the harmful rays off your head and face
- For baby (organic & fair trade)
- Make sure you've got your water with you in one of these reusable beauties:
Stay tuned for Part 2 of survive the summer swelter with tips on how to keep your cool, eat well, and fight off the bugs...