3 Eco friendly yoga gear options

3 Eco-Friendly Yoga Gear Options

As a peaceful activity, yoga has helped many of us not only connect with our minds and bodies but also with the Earth. That’s why we think it’s important to make sure that your yoga practice also includes green, sustainable tools, which can help you reconnect with nature. Here are some eco-friendly yoga gear options that will make your yoga practice green.

harmony eco friendly yoga mat

1. Harmony mats by Jade Yoga: Harmony mats are beautiful, comfortable yoga mats that are made from 100% natural rubber. This is definitely a greener option than many mats, which tend to be made with toxic PVC, EVA, or other synthetic materials. They come in a range of colors and sizes, which is perfect for anyone looking for a well-made, quality mat. Also, for every pink, teal, or saffron-colored map, Jade Yoga donates a portion of the sales to organizations solving ovarian cancer, autism, and breast cancer challenges. Jade Yoga also sells a number of green yoga pieces, such as blocks and towels.

prana eco friendly clothing

2. PrAna apparel for your yoga clothing: Specializing in yoga apparel, PrAna’s catalog can give both men and women a green yoga wardrobe. All their clothing is made of organic cotton, recycled polyester and wool, hemp, and repurposed down for the most sustainable clothing possible. In addition, they are certified fair-trade and use clean, natural processes as defined by Bluesign systems and the Responsible Forest Initiative.

eco friendly yoga straps

3. Yoga straps from Hugger Mugger: Yoga straps are especially great for beginners. Straps help make certain postures easier as beginners build strength and flexibility over time. The straps from Hugger Mugger are especially great as they are made with organic cotton. Plus, a portion of Hugger Mugger’s retail sales goes to a charity every three months.

These 3 natural and green yoga options will give you peace of mind over your yoga gear. For more eco-friendly living ideas, Subscribe to Sprout Watches and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Eco-Friendly Easter Activities

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle This Easter With Eco-Friendly Activities

Take advantage of the Easter egg bounty with these eco-friendly activities!

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Reduce 

Reduce the amount of trash you produce by adding hard-boiled egg shells to your compost pile, which also increases the calcium content.  Don’t have a compost pile?  Take a family nature hike to find the “green” materials, such as fresh leaves, weeds, and grass clippings that your compost pile will need.  You don’t have to wait for falling autumn leaves to add the necessary “brown” material to your compost mix.  You can use wood chips, straw, or sawdust.  A good mix is 4 parts brown ingredients to 1 part green for a nutrient-rich addition to your garden.

planting with egg cartons

Reuse

Reuse egg cartons to get that garden started.  While most perennial flowers and summer vegetables aren’t hardy enough to be planted outside until the weather gets warmer, you can start the seedlings inside in an area with lots of sunlight.  The leftover egg cartons from all those Easter eggs are perfect containers to start small plants.  Cut the lid from the carton and let kids poke a few drainage holes into the egg cups, then add potting soil and a few seeds to each.  Cardboard egg cartons are biodegradable, so they can be transferred directly to the garden once the threat of frost has passed.  Easter baskets can be repurposed into hanging indoor planters.

Recycle Easter Eggs for Birdseed

Recycle

Recycle plastic Easter eggs, or get crafty and upcycle them into birdseed moldsmini plantersmaracas, or even caterpillar toys!  A little creativity goes a long way toward helping the environment.

For more eco-friendly living ideas, Subscribe to Sprout Watches and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Spring Break Kids Activities

Five Eco-friendly Spring Break Activities With Kids!

The kids are, no doubt, exited for their spring break coming up. A break from school for them and a chance for you to spend some quality time with them. The big question is what activities you should do. Here are five fun, eco-friendly spring break activities to do with your children.

Eco Friendly Kids Spring Break

Go on a Bike Ride – This activity is not only great exercise but a fun way to enjoy the open air and scenery. Developing a habit of bike riding in yourself and your children promotes a better environment.  Need to find a good bike trail near you?  Look no further!

Planting with kids

Plant Something – Whether it is something as large as a tree or as small as a seed, planting is a perfect platform for showing children how to take care of our earth. Not only is it helping the environment, but it instills in your child a desire to foster the earth and plants. They will also love getting their hands dirty.

picnic with kids

Have a Picnic – Pack a lunch and head out to a local park or nature reserve. Bring a blanket or some camping chairs to sit on and things to play with, like a ball or Frisbee. Learn to enjoy the outside, free of technology and distractions.  Here are a few items for the perfect picnic.

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Recycle – Find used items around your house and come up with different ways to recycle them. Turn a peanut butter jar into a pencil holder. Make a guitar out of a paper towel roll, rubber bands, and a tissue box. This is a great way to have you kids look around and use their imagination.

For more eco-friendly living ideas, Subscribe to Sprout Watches and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Are Smart Watches Eco Friendly?

The trend in smart watches has been rising, especially as our culture becomes more and more immersed in wearable technology. While this can be a good, productive thing, we should also keep in mind how eco-friendly our technology is. So are smart watches eco-friendly watches? Here are a few key ideas to consider when formulating an answer to this question.

sapphire glass eco friendly smart watch

Materials: Smart watches are typically made from brand new materials that are in limited supply. From the precious metals that go into making the durable and shiny case to the interior data storage and beautiful watch strap, many of these materials have a huge environmental cost from mining or producing, especially when these materials are scarce.  For example, take a look at sapphire glass.  This material is used on the screens for nearly all Apple devices and uses actual sapphire gems to create hard, durable product.  However, like other gems, sapphires need to be mined – a process that is not without environmental impacts.

Energy: Many smart watches are built with a powerful, rechargeable battery that can last for years. Still, plugging in your watch every night will consume more energy than a traditional watch using a small battery. While seemingly insignificant, having multiple devices–from your watch to your phone to your laptop–does contribute to our reliance on energy. And if that energy source isn’t provided through clean energy, like solar, there’s increased pollution from even a humble smart watch’s use.

eco friendly smart watch recycling

Sustainability and accountability: A big plus is that many smart watch companies, like Apple, are transparent in how they implement green technology and practices to make their products and production sustainable. However, the large production of these products versus the actual offsets of these green practices is still a big question. For example, what does it mean for Apple to have their own recycling program for older products if people don’t return them directly to the company? The biggest challenge, therefore, comes down to consumer practices, especially once they receive their product.

Overall, though beautiful and useful for some people, many smart watches aren’t made to be eco-friendly, especially when it comes to their built and their energy use. And while many tech companies are trying to alleviate waste and encourage sustainable practices in their manufacturing and servicing, it’s important to question how much that work can really offset the amount of potential pollution and waste from a smartwatch that goes unrecycled.

For more eco-friendly lifestyle insights and tips, Contact us or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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A DIY Recipe for Eco Friendly Laundry Detergent

When it comes to finding eco-friendly products to clean your clothes, it can sometimes be hard to find a green laundry detergent at your local store. But did you know that it’s super simple to just make your own natural detergent, with as little as two ingredients? Here’s a DIY recipe that will get your clothes clean and smelling fresh, without any weird chemicals.

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Detergent

The most basic laundry detergent really needs just two things: soap and a boosting agent of your choice. To go green, simply buy a natural bar soap (we like Dr. Bronner’s, but any other Castille soap can work), and grate it into flakes. Add 1 part of the grated bar soap to 1 part of one or any of the boosters below:

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Baking Soda: Baking soda is a natural deodorizer, and helps clean your clothes by softening the water. It is non-caustic and nonirritating, so it’s safe to use on all types of fabrics. This is the best to pair with a bar soap if you are unsure of the fabrics you are washing but still want to get a good clean.

Washing soda: You can think of washing soda as the stronger sibling of baking soda, and it’s very caustic. It’s great for using on clothes that have been left with deep stains or grease, but due to its strong nature it should not be used on wool or silk fabrics.

Borax: Borax boosts the cleaning power of your soap, and is known to brighten laundry and lift stains. This is safe for all types of fabrics and is a good replacement for baking soda. Note, there’s an argument on whether or not Borax is a truly safe cleaner, though it is a natural mineral. Feel free to skip it and swap it out for baking or washing soda instead.

 

Optional Add-Ins

To take your detergent or soap to the next level, you can add an essential oil of your choice for an added scent. Lavender, lemon, mint, or tea tree oils (availble from Now Solutions and others are great scents that also add a cleaning property to your detergent.

Overall, making your own natural laundry detergent in bulk not only saves you money but reduces your impact on the environment. For more green living tips, contact us or follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

 

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Wrist Watches To Eco-Cool Jewelry For Girls: 3 Must-Have Green Accessories

When it comes to accessorizing for girls, there are a lot of exciting, sustainable options, from Sprout wrist watches for girls to beautiful handcrafted resin bracelets with embedded natural treasures. Here’s a roundup of three great accessories for girls that are not only eco-friendly but cool and fashionable.

Eco-friendly accessories for girls

Modern Flower Child’s Resin Jewelry: These beautiful bracelets are handcrafted with beautiful flowers, grasses, leaves, and other organic materials sourced from the Pacific Northwest. The beautiful work put into these bracelets are reminiscent of flower picking and gathering for children, and the preservation of these memories in the bracelets not only make it suitable for young girls, but also for flower power women as well.

eco friendly girls watches

 

Sprout Watches Wrist Watches: Young girls will have a pick in so many colors and designs in the Sprout Watch collection for young children. Made with sustainable wood, cork, and organic cotton, the watches blend sustainable sourcing with natural looks and feels. In addition, you can rest assured that the materials are safe to wear for children even with sensitive allergies.

eco friendly kids toy

Petit Collage Toy Camera Kit: Both a toy and an accessory, the My Crafty Toy Camera Kit is a great way to blend style, fun, and creativity all-in-one. First, you build the camera and decorate it with ease, making this DIY project a fun, creative process. The “film” that comes with the camera are a set of photo cards, where children will draw what they’ve seen, adding a personalized creative flair to their observations. In the end, the young girl in mind will want to wear this camera around as an accessory and go out and record all the fun adventures she has.

These accessories are a great way to support the environment while also adding fun flair to a wardrobe. For more ways to give your child a great set of eco-friendly accessories, contact us and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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Surround Yourself with Nature all Year Round with Indoor Gardening

There’s no better feeling than early Spring, when the bitter cold subsides, windows are opened, and the flowers begin to bloom. In the middle of winter, it can be easy to catch the blues with all the bare trees and wilted grass. Whether getting dirty is your thing or low maintenance greenery is more up your alley, indoor gardening can not only add beauty to your home, but help purify the air and have a de-stressing effect. Here are four types of indoor gardens any green thumb would approve of, and they’re not as hard as you think!

Indoor Gardening Succulents

Succulents like these can be found on Etsy. Click for more information.

Succulents

You can buy these plants already arranged in a container, but if you want to make your own garden, you’ll only need a few things. Fill the bottom of your container with about a half-inch of gravel to allow excess water to drain from the soil. Fill the rest of the container almost to the top with a sandy soil. Arrange your succulents with the bottom of the plant at the level of the soil. Popular succulents include aloe, jade, and Christmas cactus. Add sand to the surface of the soil to retain moisture and for aesthetic purposes. Fertilize twice a year and you’ve got a desert oasis!

Air Plants Indoor Gardening

These plants are relatively inexpensive and low maintenance. Click for more tips and details on Air Plants.

Air Plants

The award for lowest maintenance indoor garden goes to the group of air plants also known as Tillandsia. These beautiful specimens don’t need any soil. They simply exist as is. Since they absorb all water and nutrients through their leaves, a spray of water and fertilizer once in a while is all they require. Air plants look great in any container, jar, or terrarium which make them easy to place anywhere in the house.

water herb garden indoor

Check out Uncommon Goods for more details and this easy solution!

Water Herb Garden

A self-fertilizing herb garden is just a beta fish away. This unique garden sits atop a fish tank designed to soak up the nutrients created by the fish. The herb roots actually purify the water for the fish and voilà- a symbiotic ecosystem right in your kitchen!

 

potted plants indoor gardening

There are many different pots to fit your interior decor.

Potted Plants

Larger potted plants can have a more dramatic visual effect, as well as helping purify the air. Some easier plants to care for include ficus trees, diffenbachia, spider plants, snake plants, and rubber trees. If you have pets at home, research your preferred plant to ensure it is not poisonous to your furry friends.

If you appreciate the beauty of nature inside your home, and are looking for more tips on sustainable and environmentally conscious living, contact us and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

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Eco-Friendly Valentine’s Day Gifts

 

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and with that comes a lot of gift-giving to our loved ones. But many times, our gifts come with lots of packaging, which poses a sizable amount of waste. How about we show our love to our partners and the Earth with some eco-friendly gifts? Here are some recommendations with that special someone in mind, and Mother Earth.

Eco-Friendly Valentines Day Gifts

 Chocolate: Your sweetheart might love chocolate, but getting it from a fair trade, organic source is one of the best ways to support a greener sweet tooth. Aim for fair-trade, organic chocolates for the most positive impact, like Theo Chocolates, which is also non-gmo and Demeter certified.  The Demeter certification is perhaps the most thorough analysis of farming and food cultivation practices. In fact, Real Simple Magazine says, “Wines and foodstuffs that carry the Demeter logo are Biodynamic, which means their growers use methods such as crop rotation, composting, and homeopatic sprays to cultivate the long-term health of the soil.”
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Jewelry: Sourcing jewelry from a green source can be difficult (unless you’re buying a lovely ladies’ bracelet watch from Sprout Watches!). Coming in many designs, you can find a design suitable for your special lady’s style. Not only are our materials green and hypoallergenic, but our speciality inlays of mother-of-pearl and diamonds are never sources from endangered species and are conflict-free.  With a selection of small, medium and large cases, there is a style for any Valentine.

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Flowers and Plants: If you want to bring her flowers, why not something that will keep blooming? Find a nice indoor plant that’s local and beautiful or try out a creative set of succulents, which create beautiful patterns through the leaves. For a great gift for a cook, you can also give a window box or planter filled with herb plants, giving her fresh herbs for her dishes all year round.  Or for a special trip, find a local botanical garden or park.  Even in cold weather cities, like New York, these gorgeous sanctuaries can provide a romantic escape.

Getting creative with your valentine’s gift for you honey can be sustainable. For more tips of green gifting, contact us and follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Eco-friendly organization tips

3 Eco-Friendly Resolutions to Get Organized

Continuing our theme of 2016 resolutions, we know getting organized is a popular goal, especially if you’ve spent last year wondering where your things are, or feeling unproductive from a cluttered home or office. By streamlining and organizing your home and office, you’ll find yourself with a less stressful but more productive year.  Not only will organizing help your overall sanity and daily living, it can also aid in reducing our environmental impact.  Here are 3 eco-friendly ways to get started on your organizational resolutions.

home organization

1. Start with the cleanup and decluttering.

The first step to getting organized is to really understand what is cluttering your space. Whether it’s clothes that don’t fit anymore or the dozens of pens without any ink, doing a thorough clean up now will give you a clean slate for the year.

Look for items that haven’t been used, recently.  Yes, this may include emotionally sensitive items, but be strong!  A memory is worth more than the physical thing keeping you from today’s happinss! Next, figure out what items can be repurposed, donated or regifted, recycled or thrown away.  Make piles for each category.  Just the act of categorizing your things will make you feel like you’ve made major progress!  It’s kind of a cathartic exercise.  Trust us.

You don’t have to speed through cleanup or decluttering, especially if it’s your entire house that you want to get organized. Instead, tackle a specific room for a week or a weekend, spending the first month on a major decluttering.

For your donation pile, we recommend contacting groups like Goodwill or your local religious centers or shelters.  You can find a Goodwill drop off location near you here.

 

eco-friendly home organization

 

2. Improve your recycling stream.

This is especially applicable for office spaces loaded with paper that needs recycling. Improving your recycling stream can simply mean, well….. actually recycling (if you currently do not).  Or look to improve your current stream by reducing or repurposing waste.  This might mean printing off a fewer emails and using mobile apps to redeem coupons.  For your grocery trips, we highly recommend checking out Cellfire, coupons.com and GroceryIQ.  These apps will ensure you get your savings, while not looking like a legal aid on the way to court with a bag full of paper documents.

Other ways to cut down on paper include using separate trays for double-sided printed paper that’s going straight to recycling, and scrap paper, to reuse for printing or writing notes.

 upcycling and home organizing

3. Upcycle recyclables for improved organization.

Give those pasta sauce jars or cans a second look before banishing them to the recycling bin.  Sometimes these items can help you get organized.  For example, glass jars are great for storing leftovers, or dry goods in a pantry.   We really love these alternative uses for pasta jars from our friends at Apartment Therapy.

Tin cans are great organizing hardware and tools or office supplies like pens and pencils.  If you remove the labels, tins cans immediately become industrial style planters!  By asking yourself, “How can I repurpose this?”, you might find it easier to organize and declutter your home.  

Getting organized the eco-friendly way can serve two purposes all at once! For more ways to green your new year’s resolutions, contact us and follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

 

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Eco-Friendly Fitness Resolutions to Make

Many of us have made this new year’s resolution in the past, or have planned to do it this year.  Maybe you resolved to exercise more, run  your first 5k or first marathon, or just eat healthier.

Well, all of these resolutions can easily become an eco-friendly fitness one!  Here are some ways to take your fitness challenge and provide some environmental support, too.

1. Garden

Organic gardening is a fun way to be active and outside, while also a productive way to grow your own vegetables for a healthier diet.  Plus, organic gardening helps produce better soil and cleans the air. Whether you’re building your plots and tilling the soil, or replanting or harvesting, you’ll find a lot of exercise and action going on in a garden.

For some of us, it might not be possible to garden in the winter portion of the year, but you can try container gardening from an indoor porch or home. For the most ambitious, building a greenhouse or frame for a future garden, can be a physically challenging way to start gardening early, and even brush up on your do-it-yourself skills!

Surfrider Ditch Plains

2. Do a weekly beach clean-up

A weekly beach, lake, park or river clean-up is a great way to stay active on a weekend.  Clean ups usually involve lots of walking and motion from picking up and carrying trash, which can be great for those that want a more leisurely activity on a rest day. Overall, it’s a great way to supplement a fitness plan and get outside with some friends.  Look for local groups or regional chapters of national organizations like Surfrider, who we partner with each year.  If you’re neighbors of Sprout Watches in the Greater New York City area, mark Riverkeeper’s Annual Sweep on your calendar as a milestone to work toward.  Both of these organizations do a great job of helping keep our beaches, oceans and rivers clean, but they can always use a hand!

 

3. Walk….just a little bit more

Walking or biking to work not only reduces you carbon footprint, but it can get you exercising even more. Think about commutes that you often take–such as the drive to work, a friend’s house, a favorite park, or the Saturday farmer’s market–and replace them with longer walks or bike rides to and from your home.

If your workplace is a bit too far for walking or biking (or there are no showers at work), taking public transportation, but walking a stop further away from home and getting off a stop before the one closest to your work, is a great way to build in more walking and exercise without costing you too much time. You can then build up to further stops, or learn alternative routes that might encourage you to take a few more steps.  And when you do drive to your regular locations, park a little further away.  The few extra steps taken during these routine errands add up in a big way over time and you’ll be stunned by the benefits!

Many of you might want to supplement these resolutions with a more structured fitness plan, like running or working out in a gym, but you can certainly add to those efforts and make a valuable environmental impact by trying out these ideas. For more ways to green the new year, contact us or follow us on Instagram and Facebook and share your own eco-friendly resolutions with us!