Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

PRODUCTS: Enviro-Products on a Budget

This post is inspired by Jessica, whose blog, No Accounting for Taste, is a treasure trove of home design ideas for those of us who are forced to live a thrifty lifestyle. If it is cool, and on eBay, she will find it for you.

In the recent issue of Bon Appetit--the aforementioned "green issue"--they have some examples of environmentally friendly products to purchase for your home or kitchen. The problem? They may be friendly to the earth, but they are not friendly to your wallet. I took it upon myself to see if I couldn't find some equally earth-friendly products for the common man.

1. Recycled Purse: This first one was a doozy. The recommended product was a purse made of recycled burlap coffee bags. It is very cute, but it comes with a $444 price tag. Way out of my budget for a purse. If you want a recycled purse, I've got two other options for you. One, you could always make one yourself - old coffee bags are $3-4 on eBay. If you're not crafty, UnCommon Goods has a clutch made out of recycled candy wrappers that is supercute and comes in at the much lower price tag of $28.

2. Coffee Mug: The magazine suggests a ceramic mug handcrafted in a Swiss factory that runs on renewable energy. It is very admirable to support businesses that use sustainable practices, and those who have $28 for a coffee mug are encouraged to do so. One of the biggest environmental hazards of coffee, however, is the disposable coffee cup. Another way to be a responsible coffee drinker is to purchase a travel mug, and have your friendly barista fill it for you when you stop for your morning cuppa. This one is stainless steel (not plastic). It is recyclable, if you ever cease using it, and made using fair labor practices. Price: $12.95.

3. Necklace: I can't do better than the recycled glass necklace by artist Kathleen Smart featured in the article. However, the triple ring lariat necklace they feature comes with a price tag of $112. But on the artist's website, you can find simpler versions for $60-$72.

4. Kichen Clock: This modern-style clock, inspired by citrus slices, is made from recycled detergent bottles. The price is $45, which is not too expensive, but I can do them one better, with this clock made from recycled 45s. It's a little more funky than the other one, but will only cost you $28.

5. Dish Towels: The magazine recommends dish towels made of hemp, a plant that is easily cultivated without pesticides or fertilizers. They offer up some classic-looking towels from French General, which are $24 apiece. A little sleuthing tells me that eBay seller, Marta's Hemp Treasures, can get you vintage Hungarian hemp dish towels for $10-$15 per towel. The towels were made with hemp grown without pesticides in Transylvania, and were completely hand-processed and sewn.

6. Soy Candles: Finally, the article recommends soy candles by Soybeam, in reusable glasses, made with organic essential oils. These candles are simple and elegant, but will cost you $44 each. I located Candles By Phebes, another source of soy candles in recycled glass containers. These candles are only $11.50 each. The candles also come in a huge variety of fragrances, including unusual ones like tomato-basil and "Taj Mahal." And appropriate to the moment, they also have political blends, each one specially formulated for Republican, Democrat, Independent, or Libertarian.


Nice post on how to be green and economical! (Bon Appetit does cater to an audience with considerable disposable income.)

On a sidenote, I often hate the product recs on BA. Not only are they usually uber-pricey for what they are, a third of them aren't even kitchen related (the soy candles are marginal, but a purse and necklace?)

said by H. C. at 1:34 PM Delete has some nice stuff, too! And they feature handsome, talented, well-married artists who work with reappropriated material.

said by Anyanka at 12:49 PM Delete

Oh yes, that is no spam! I support everyone taking a look at even when they are not featuring my husband's work. ;)

said by KT at 1:01 PM Delete

Thanks for the linkage. Soy Candles by Phebes has been compared to many makers before but this one makes candles that look like ours visually and ethically so thanks!

Mike Hipp

said by Mike at 2:28 PM Delete

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