The Alternative Consumer

This blog focuses on environmental issues, and healthy lifestyle choices -- new products and service options for your self, your friends, family and home. It's all about making smart choices, and living well!

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Natural Pest Control

When some of those tiny creatures actually become pests, take a safe route to controlling them. Here are a few useful products so you're not bugged by bugs this summer. Lakon Herbals - Bygone Bugz™ was one of the first herbal insect repellents available in the U.S. and its effective formula features only non-toxic, non-hazardous essential oils of: eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, birch, geranium, and GMO-free sunflower oil. offers pest controls for home and garden that are safe for people, pets, and the planet. Humane mouse traps, safe moth traps, sticky ribbons for catching flies...some ingredients are organically-grown. Or just wear your bug suit.

Open Season for Chillin' & Grillin'

Before you start flipping those veggie burgers, make sure you give your grill a clean wipe with an eco-safe product. Golden-teak's cleansers are water-soluble, and contain no harmful voc's (volatile organic compounds). So we can fire it up without burning up the ozone layer. Stay cool with your favorite libation, on the rocks.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Vegan Shoes - the Other Food Group

I have a thing for shoes...or should I say, footwear...even though I love to go barefoot, especially in the sand or mud. To be kind to your tootsies, and mother earth, you might want to strap on a pair of Vegetarian Shoes. With styles that suit either country or city walks, click HERE for a shopping experience that's a walk in the park. Belts, gloves and jackets are also available at this tasty, UK-based site.

Band of Recycled Gold

Make greenkarat part of your green wedding plans. Their wedding bands are made from recycled gold. If you have useless gold jewelry lying around, you might want to consider having it melted. Let your fingers do the walking and eco-talking.

Same Products, Just Cheaper

For offline and online coupons from: Kiss My Face, Stonyfield Yogurt, Organic Valley, Seventh Generation, The Healing Garden, and others, visit We work hard for our money, may as well save a bit here and there, it all adds up.

Alternative Health

Just wanted to say Thank You to Michelle, and let you all know that she's my new "renter" ... so please click on THE HUT's ad (left side bar) to check out this great alternative healthcare blog.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Shell's Eco-Marathon

NASCAR it 'aint, but here's an eco-challenge, sponsored by an oil company, namely, Shell...results are good news for the environment. Link here for news from treehugger.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Green Sages for Stretching Body and Mind

Check out for eco-conscious, yoga-oriented info: teachers, studios, products, services and travel...

Friday, May 26, 2006

Daily OM

In honor of the looong Memorial Day weekend, visit and feel the love. Peace.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Al Gore's Nothing But the Truth

Get thee to the cinema (by bike, public transport or foot). Saw the thoughtful and compelling An Inconvenient Truth yesterday. Gore delivers his research on global warming in a passionate, articulate, easily digestable manner. He's even taken this "dry subject" and sprinkled it with moments of well-placed humor. The bottom line -- cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to help save the remains of our polar ice caps, which in turn will affect all sorts of important eco-issues, including earth's land mass. Laurie David Executive Produced the film, it's really well done.

Currently the doc's in limited release, but will be more widely available soon. For theatres, visit

Perhaps our Man with a Mission will inspire you to take action on both a personal and political level. Gore concludes, saying that the key element missing in the fight against global warming is political will. Yet with a hint of hope, he adds, "In America, political will is a renewable resource."

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Green AAA

Right now, Better World Club is the only eco-friendly auto club providing roadside assistance all over the United States. Membership includes eco-travel services, discounts on hybrid cars, insurance services, free maps, auto maintenance discounts and bicycle roadside assistance. They also donate 1% of their annual revenues toward environmental cleanup and advocacy. LINK before you hit the road this summer.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Falling in Love

Weddings are a special time. When two lucky hearts come together, it's time to figure out the invite list, and decide on the beautiful invite to your romantic celebration. The invite can set the theme and tone for your Big Day. Environmentally-friendly, BagLady Designs romantic, stylish and seasonal invites, thank you's, and place cards for weddings and special occasions. She's Dublin-based, but if you happen to be cruising through Kinsale (a fabulous jewel along the emerald isle's east coast), drop into Paperworks on Main Street. Also available at a couple of shops in Dublin, or via

Monday, May 22, 2006

Tread Lightly & Leave No Footprints

Summertime is heavy traffic-time for globe trotters. Leave a light carbon footprint as you make your way around the world. A well-researched, online resource that promotes ecotourism and supports sustainable development is
And for a huge array of options regarding your next eco-holiday, visit or before booking.

A Green Turn On

This global warming trend is very real, and very serious. We all need to do whatever we can to help cool things off.

According to the folks at New American Dream, electricity production is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and lighting accounts for about 25 percent of American electricity consumption. By replacing four standard bulbs with CFLs, you can prevent the emission of 5000 pounds of carbon dioxide and reduce your electricity bill by more than $100 over the lives of those bulbs.

If only 1,000 of us each replace four standard bulbs with CFLs, we can prevent the emission of five million pounds of carbon dioxide and reduce our electricity bills by more than $100,000 over the lives of those bulbs.

So pick up some low-mercury compact fluorescent lightbulbs at your local hardware or discount store. Also, some utilities now offer CFLs for sale to their customers at less-than-retail prices, so check with your local utility. "See the (green) Light", and let us know how good you feel.

Fishing for Safe Seafood

High on the summertime Eating Light List is certain types of seafood. And I stress certain types...with all the choices today -- Atlantic, Pacific, farm-raised, and the concerns about mercury, PCB's, and other not so great stuff...buyer beware. For the skinny on which fish are rated eco-best, and eco-worst, click here and be sure to download their Pocket Seafood Selector to use as a guide when you're in a restaurant or shopping for the Catch of the Day.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Best Food in the World

Think what you like about NYC, but in my book -- it's the greatest city on earth. And a big part of why I love it so, is the food. Best restaurants ANYwhere, hands down. If you're looking for something different and fun, check out the Culinary Festival at the UnConvention Center, Pier 94 (54th St and 12th Ave), rain or shine (indoor event) this weekend. Festivities begin 6pm Friday and continue through Sunday. There'll be 5 different stages featuring live entertainment -- chef demonstrations, live music, lectures, lots of gourmet food and wine, stuff for kids...for the whole enchilada of info, click

Frank Lloyd Wright, One Crazy Cat

Camp in the beautiful, Sonoran desert just outside of Phoenix, and spend May 26-June 6 at Taliesin West, Wright's incredible masterpiece, constructed in 1932. Attend this San Francisco Institute of Architecture workshop, and immerse yourself in Wright's world, and the latest in eco-design and nature-based architecture. Space is limited so move fast. For more info click here. Just for kicks, read about Frank and his wife Olgivanna, who were brilliant, yet related to their students in bizarre ways.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Veggie Fest, July 2006

The 32nd annual conference of the North American Vegetarian Society is set for July 5-9, 2006 at the Conference Center at Pitt-Johnstown on the University of Pittsburgh campus at Johnstown, Pennsylvania. So put down your fork and make your reservation. Link here for the entire low-down, soup to nuts.

Big Apple, Green Travels

There are lots of maps available, but not many that focus on "the green" aspects of travel. The 2006 edition, named, The Powerful Green Map is devoted to energy and suggests great ways to: get around, dine, play, work and live in a more eco-efficient way. The bottom line -- learn how you can save money and resources simultaneously...quite the green trip. Link to their website and download the PDF for your copy. See how, the parents behind the Big Apple baby, apply their green sensibilities around the world.

Daryl Hannah, Docu-Blogger

The eccentric actress has hit the big screen about 60 times, and now plans to hit her blog with a new video once a week. A new, 5-minute eco-clip will be posted every Monday. Visit for a peak at her initial entries. As reported in Grist, Hannah says, "I'd like to be a giant enabler. I'd like to provide information, inspiration, and access to whatever goods and services are needed to make it super easy for everyone to change their lifestyle to a sustainable one." She's looking for someone ultimately to take over the site, any volunteers?

Dine Out & Eat Hempseed

"The Galaxy Global Eatery Hemp Cookbook" is straight from the hemp-serving eatery itself at 15 Irving Place, NYC. Seating only 32 at a time, and in biz for merely the past 5 years, this innovative nook has served over 500,000 meals. Link here to check out their book, hempseed oil, and other non-THC-containing products concocted from this amazing seed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Clean Liquid Tote

Concerned about water from plastic bottles not being "safe" from toxic leaches? Filter your tap water and use one of these to stay hydrated as you travel from here to there. Stainless steel Klean Kanteen comes in 18, 25 and 40-ounce sizes. Be sure to check out the various "tops" under accessories. LINK.

Dig In...To Your Salad

For the true lover of the garden and garden greens, here are a couple of salad tools -- a spade and fork, fashioned from recycled aluminum... 13.5"Long. Priced regularly at $49, but on sale now for only $34 from

Inside Scoop

Got a rocket in my Pocket Panties? Check 'em out at Oregon-based, Eco-fleece and hemp clothing, offered online: hoodies, tops, skirts, pants, dresses and undies. Bottoms featured here, $22. To fully appreciate the goods, be sure to link to their fabrics page.

Shape Up, the Healthy Way

Summer's just about here and if you're like most people, you just might want to shed a few pounds. This LeanandMean article from the Green Guide sheds 5 useful points of light on how you can take care of you, and the environment -- at the same time!

All Tied Up...In Hemp

Carefree summer wear from Mountains of the Moon -- a hip, hemp store with cool threads, jewelry, music, and gifts. Some of their designs reflect Buddhist sensibilities. Click here for the matching reversible, halter top, called $38, skirt $54.

Monday, May 15, 2006

hemp fest

Hemp has got to be one of the most interesting natural resources we have. I've always been a big fan of it, but now I've discovered more reasons to like it. You've got to check out this site and link to the hemp facts. You might find yourself buying more hemp-based products -- for you, your friends, or your real best friend -- your dog. (dog collar, pictured at left)

Eco-tees for Babies

Mini-me shopping can be the most fun shopping...check out these organic tees for toddlers and parents with a health conscious twist. Only $11.99. Pass the peas, (or carrots and beets) please.

A Kayak Adventure Unfolds

Space-saving dream come, ship, and travel with a kayak by simply folding it up. For suggestions on where to pick up one of these water cruisers check out

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Organic Chocolate & the Snow Leopard

Endangered Species Organic Chocolate packs a lot of goodness in every bite. In case you haven't heard, their site will remind you that dark chocolate contains nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine and up to three times more than those found in green tea. Ten percent of ES' net proceeds goes to protecting endangered animal and plants...Their all-natural chocolate is made from the seeds of cacao trees that are naturally shade grown on small, family-owned properties. All their ingredients are ethically traded, ensuring a fair wage and humane working conditions for the farmers. These beautiful bars can be found at Whole Foods, The Vitamin Shoppe, Health Nuts and online at Check out their online specials -- you can pick up perfect bars for only a buck, if you don't mind the imperfect wrap.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Gripping Experiences

Just want to give a shot out to my new renter at michiganrafter (left side-bar). Check him don't want to be up a creek without a paddle.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Wi-Fi Umbrella

Heads up on a brand spanking new product that will help answer that annoying question, should I bring the bumper shoot today or not? Keep your eyes open for this magical forecaster...was a prototype and I don't know if it's hit the mass market yet. LINK.

Alternative Colbert Nation?

For alternative spins on politics, there's nothing better than Comedy Central's Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report. Who hired Stephen Colbert to be a guest speaker at last week's Washington Correspondents' Dinner? And what is this brilliant individual doing today? Anybody have any ideas? Colbert's roast of GW Bush was unbelievable...Link to if you've been on a desert island and missed it. Unfortunately, the Colbert Mug at left is sold out, so don't bother shopping for it on ... Ok, in truth, the whole idea of buying things on Stephen's site is a joke, just another great jab at O'Reilly...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Creating Sustainable Communities

Mark Your Calendar
June 8-10, 2006
Business Alliance for Local Living Economies
4th International Conference
Burlington, Vermont
Some of the speakers include:
Bo Burlingham, Editor-at-Large of Inc. magazine and author of
Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big.
Michael Ableman, organic farmer and author of Fields of Plenty.
John Abrams, CEO, South Mountain Company, and author of The Company We Keep: Reinventing Small Business for People, Community, and Place.
Ben Cohen, True Majority, co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s
Bridget Croke, RecycleBank.
Ronnie Cummins, Organic Consumers Association.
Gary Erickson, Clif Bar, Inc.
Gwendolyn Hallsmith, Global Community Initiatives.
David Korten, YES! Magazine, author of When Corporations Rule the World and
The Great Turning.
Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and
Democracy's Edge.
Greg LeRoy, Good Jobs First.
Michelle Long, Sustainable Connections.
Bill McKibben, journalist and author of The End of Nature and Wandering Home.
Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance.
Michael Shuman, Training and Development Corporation, author of Going
Local and The Small-Mart Revolution.
Click HERE for more information.

Dump Diving Can Be All-Consuming

In the interest of reporting on All Things Alternative, check out what freegans are all about. Reclaiming and minimizing waste, eco-friendly transportation, rent-free housing, going green and working less/voluntary joblessness are core principles upon which their survival strategies are based. This Thursday, May 11 at 9pm, there's a Trash Tour, commencing in front of Zabar's, B'way and 80th St. One man's trash, is another's treasure.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The True Food Network

With the justifiable public outcry and concern over genetically modified foods, here's an easy to digest resource that provides lists of products that either are or are not genetically engineered. You can even print out a shopping list for yourself, so that you know which products to avoid or purchase. Remember to: Act Local, Think Global.

Solar Juice On the Go

Through the wonders of solar power, go anywhere in the world and keep your satellite phone, GPS Unit or digital camera charged, in 2-4hours. For details LINK.

Independent America, Mom & Pop Shops

Get the inside story on why we should shop locally from 2 filmmakers who capture their documentary by driving across America on, but what else, secondary roads. For a glimpse at their wide-screen HD film, Independent America, visit LINK. You'll be more motivated to buy from independent retailers, who help form the soul of our country's communities. We all pay the high-price for today's Big Box shopping mentality.

An Inspiration

For hard-core, anti-consumers, check out what "checking out" has done for an ultimate alternative consumer in New Mexico...LINK...he's discovered some fascinating options that could save you 9 years of experimenting.

Organic & Natural for Mother's Day

Organic Bouquet offers not only eco-elegant flowers but also organic wreaths (pictured here, the Rose Heart Wreath for $39.95), gourmet organic chocolates, and all-natural spa gift sets. Each bouquet is hand selected, gift wrapped and shipped fresh from the farm via FedEx overnight delivery. Their blossoms are certified organic, biodynamic, green label, and wild crafted.

For a Greener Tomorrow

According to -- worldwide, tree harvesting outstrips replanting by 10:1. Deforestation has a staggering negative impact on our clean air and water supplies. For $1.00 per tree, you can sponsor the planting of new trees in Honduras and El Salvador, which will have a positive effect on not only the local economy there, but our overall ability to keep air and water supplies clean. Even if you don't donate to this cause, plant a tree in your own yard, it will help curb erosion, and keep your air and water a little bit cleaner.

Building Green Homes

Coming to a TV screen near you...summer of 2006. Watch, learn and build yourself a green home. LINK

Save the Earth Every Day

Here's a beautiful book on how to help save the earth a different way, every day of the year. The author and photographer, Philippe Bourseiller has traveled the world as a climber and diver, captured exquisite images and married them to simple suggestions on how to protect our fragile environment. To order the hardcover 365 Ways to Save the Earth