Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree Decorations to Make Yourself

We've found one of the best green crafts for Christmas that also makes great eco-friendly Christmas tree decorations - Creature Creations. We spotted this craft while admiring the Christmas tree at North Vancouver's Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre.

These little creatures struck us beautiful, unique and being made of reused egg cartons, they're eco-friendly decorations too!

Simply cut one or more compartments out of a cardboard egg carton then paint or draw your favourite animal - a bird or owl works well. Non-toxic paints and natural felt markers are ideal, especially if you're making this craft with kids. Use colourful pipe cleaners or twist ties to tie the creature creation to the branches of your Christmas tree - or even poke a couple of holes and thread the pipe cleaner through to the branch.

This is a great eco0-friendly Christmas craft to keep the kids busy over the holidays and the result is a beautiful tree decoration for your tree or someone else's. A handmade Creature Creation makes a great Christmas Gift!

Natural non-toxic paints, felt markers and other non-toxic art supplies for kids are available at eco boutique Lavish & Lime. Visit for more greener living and giving ideas. If you have any thoughts or ideas about eco-friendly Christmas crafts, please leave a comment below - we'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

12 Unusual Eco-Friendly Gifts for Christmas

Looking for the hottest, the latest, the most unique eco-friendly Christmas gifts on the market? So are we and for Christmas 2010, we've found some of our most exciting gifts yet.

Here are our top 12 Christmas gift picks for 2010.

1. For Inquisitive Him: 3-in-1 Solar Powered Transforming Robot $25

2. For the Slightly Edgier Her: Recycled Vinyl Record Cuff $25

3. For the Skater in Him: Recycled Eco-Friendly Skateboard Cufflinks $34

4. For the Golfer: Biodegradable Golf Tees made of Wheat $6

5. For Bath Loving Her: Pure Milk Bath Powder (& matching soy tea lights) $18/$8.50

6. For Anyone Who Drinks Tea: Travel Tea Glass $24

7. For Speed Racers: Speed-o-Meter Metal Bike Bell $24

8. For Keeping Warm: Reclaimed T-Shirt Panel Scarf $30.50

9. For Keeping Time: Smiley Water Powered Alarm Clock $45

10. For the Cheeky Monkey: Recycled Cotton Monkey Scarf $29.50

11. For the Happy Shopper: Retro Sesame Street Envirosax Bag 5-Pack Pouch $44.95

12. For a Splash of Colour: Natural Felt Ball Necklaces & Bracelets $25/$10

All 12 unusual green gifts for Christmas are available at eco boutique Lavish & Lime. View the hundreds of eco gifts we stock online and in our warehouse showroom in Vancouver at If you have any thoughts or comments about unusual gifts for Christmas, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Travel Tea Infuser Mug is Ideal for On the Go

Tea drinkers rejoice! Now you can enjoy a proper cuppa of loose leaf tea on-the-go with our Travel Tea Infuser Mug. The thermal double wall construction features non-leaching glass inside and a large, easy grip handle. The fine stainless steel mesh filter is ideal for roiboos and herbal teas.

The health-conscious inner glass wall of these unique tea travel mugs is BPA-free with no potentially toxic chemicals leaching into your tea. The exterior of the mug is made of safe and durable polycarbonate plastic that's on-the-go friendly.

A built-in stainless steel fine mesh filter keeps tea leaves in the tea and out of your mouth. It works just as well with tea bags. The filter is easy to remove for quick access and easy cleaning when adding or emptying loose leaf tea. The clear walls allow you to see through to your tea as you enjoy it! The lid and drinking lip on this tea infuser mug are both BPA-free and the double wall construction ensures your hot tea stays warm for about an hour.

Similar in design to our popular Travel Tea Glass, the Travel Tea Infuser Mug is slightly shorter and wider for a large stable base and features a handle for easy gripping.

The mug style is great for home and office and 'on the go'. Simply add hot water to enjoy your favourite loose leaf tea.

Say no to single use disposable cups for your tea when you're out and about - take your travel tea infuser mug instead!

The travel tea infuser mug is available at online eco boutique Lavish & Lime. For more greener living ideas, visit If you have any thoughts or comments about tea travel mugs or on-the-go drinking in general, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Win an Eco Kids Craft Kit of your Choice

We love Christmas gifts but one thing we dread is all the packaging - especially the packaging on gifts for kids. That's why we got really excited when we came across our new line of US-made eco-friendly craft kits for kids.

The focus is on top quality, eco-friendly crafting materials - not extravagant packaging. In fact, these kids craft kits come in a simple, reusable ziplock plastic bag. It's the contents of the bag that will take any crafty kid's breath away. Gorgeous glass beads, super soft felt doll cutouts and jewellery pieces, handmade paper and more!

Choose from six different kids craft kits:
Leave a comment below telling us which eco-friendly kids craft kit you'd like, why and you might just win it! Please include your email address so we can contact you if you win. Draw will be on December 15th so we can ship the prize in time for Christmas.

Extra entries: join us on our Facebook page and to tell us below for two extra extries.

Good luck!

All of the eco-friendly kids craft kits above are available at Lavish & Lime. For more greener living ideas, please come by and browse our eco boutique at

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How to Wrap a Gift with Reusable Fabric Gift Wrap

Tired of watching wrapping paper being ripped from your presents and thrown in the trash, knowing you're responsible for adding to the landfill? Now you can wrap your presents in gorgeous planet-friendly reusable fabric gift wrap that you know will be used again and again... and yet again.

Our Canadian-designed 100% cotton reusable gift wrap comes in four bright and colourful designs that are dye printed and soak through to the back side of the fabric. These 27" x 27" earth-friendly gift wrapping sheets are lightweight enough to twist and tie knots easily, yet opague enough to conceal the gift inside. No scissors or tape required.

The design of our reusable gift wrapping is inspired by furoshiki, a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth frequently used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods. While it originated in the Edo period as a means of carrying clothes to the public baths, furoshiki are currently most commonly used to wrap and transport lunch boxes (bento) and often double as a table mat for the lunch.
There are many different ways to wrap a gift with reusable fabric gift wrap - and you can wrap everything from bottles to flowers and any number of different boxes in between. View the five videos below for some how-to instruction and ideas, then enjoy experimenting and figuring out some of your own ways!

For more how-to instruction, have a look at these diagrams.

Reusable fabric gift wrap is available in Canada at Lavish & Lime. Visit our online boutique Lavish & Lime for more greener living ideas, including hundreds of unusual gifts. If you have any thoughts or ideas about reusable gift wrapping or furoshiki, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Taslie Turtle Giveaway Winner

We're so excited to be able to ship a Taslie kids natural skincare product for free with our Taslie Giveaway, hopefully in time to be used as a Christmas gift. And the winner of our Taslie Giveaway is Hannasmom - congratulations!

Hannasmom - please contact us at with your details so we can ship your prize of an adorable bottle of Taslie Turtle Natural Moisturizing Lotion to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered. Keep watching this space - we'll be doing another giveaway real soon.

All natural Taslie skincare products for kids, including the Taslie 3-in-1 body wash /shampoo/bubble bath plus Taslie lemon creme moisturizing conditioner, are available online in Canada at eco boutique Lavish & Lime. For more ideas about living life a little greener, visit Lavish & Lime.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Electric Eel Powers Christmas Tree at Vancouver Aquarium

Alternative energy is taken to electrifying heights as eel power lights up a Christmas tree at the Vancouver Aquarium. Visitors to the Aquarium over the holiday season are set to get shocked by a unique and eco-friendly source of power - energy harnessed from an electric eel.

Located in the Canaccord area of the Aquarium, near the Jellyfish Tank, the tree sparkles with lights that the Aquarium's electric eel helps light through electricity generated when it feeds.

Some fishes, such as the electric eel, live in dark and murky waters, so they generate electric fields to be able to see what is around them. Electric eels have electric organs made up of modified muscle or nerve cells that are specialized for producing electric fields and strong currents. Since its head has a positive charge and its tail negative, this polarity gives it an electrical field which it uses to find prey and navigate around objects. When these electric eels produce electricity into the water, especially when they feed, the electrodes in this exhibit pick up the electrical discharges to help light the Christmas tree.

Visit the Vancouver Aquarium this holiday season and give the kids an electrifying experience!

More more eco-friendly ideas about living life a little greener, visit Vancouver-based eco boutique Lavish & Lime where you'll find hundreds of everyday eco finds and unusual gifts that will wow.

Thanks to our Facebook fan Jennifer for tipping us off about this great local, eco-friendly story!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

You're Invited: Lavish & Lime's Grand Opening Warehouse Event

We're making the leap from cyberspace to real space with the opening of our new Lavish & Lime warehouse showroom in the funky Lower Lonsdale area of Vancouver's North Shore (272 East 1st Street) on Saturday, November 27th.

A special event will be held on opening day from 9am to 1pm - and you're invited! Local customers will have the opportunity to see in person the latest eco products from around the world and enjoy special discounts, free gifts, samples plus a natural skincare expert will be on hand to discuss toxins and our skin. The event coincides with eco boutique Lavish & Lime's third anniversary.

"We're excited to be able to give local customers the chance to see, touch, feel for themselves the products we sell online," said Lavish & Lime co-founder, Colin Campbell. "The more information people have, the more informed their purchases can be and from our experience, that means greater customer satisfaction every time."

Come help support the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre! Part proceeds from the opening event on November 27th will go towards supporting this unique facility - a fantastic local resource for connecting kids with nature.

We hope you can join us! Visit Lavish & Lime to preview our eco collection for Christmas 2010.

Eco-Friendly Wheat Golf Tees for Greener Golfing

While we wouldn't suggest dining on them, we would suggest outfitting any golf lovers you know with our biodegradable Wheatware golf tees. These eco-friendly golf tees are made of surplus wheat and will biodegrade in 90 days in fertile soil. The perfect gift for any eco-conscious golfer.

There are so many reasons for golfers to use these wheat golf tees and the additional wheat golf combo accessories pack - both now available in Canada at Lavish & Lime.

These include:

- made from a crop-based, sustainable and renewable resource
- no negative impact on the environment if these tees are lost on or off the course
- when you're done with them, simply throw them in the garden to compost
- tree-free; no trees were cut down to make these tees
- telp cut down on plastic pollution and reliance on plastics
- made in the US so the footprint is relatively small
- strong, durable and heat resistant

Wheatware golf tees and Wheatware golf accessories combo pack are available in Canada at eco boutique Lavish & Lime. Visit Lavish & Lime for more ideas about living life a little greener. If you have any thoughts or ideas about greener golfing, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Win a Turtle of your Choice - Natural Skin Care

All natural Taslie products for kids are some of the best natural skincare products on the market. They're not only biodegradable and chemical-free but also hypo-allergenic, ph balanced and tearless.

Taslie natural skin care products - including the 3-in-1 bubble bath/body wash/shampoo, moisturizer and conditioner - are made in Canada.

Enter to win:

Tell us which of our Taslie natural skin products you'd like and why and you could win it! Simply leave a comment below. The winner will be chosen Monday, November 29th.

Get two extra entries:

Become a fan on our Lavish & Lime Facebook page and leave a comment below telling us you did!

Taslie natural products for kids are made from organic blends of rosehip and burdock, the soft scent of mandarin & vanilla essential oils. The Lemon conditioner includes sage, ginseng and lemon essential oil. Taslie products contain no sodium laureth, sulfate, lanolin, parabens, synthetic colours or fragrances.

The 3-in-1 shampoo/bubble bath/body wash and natural kids moisturizing lotion come in adorable, recyclable turtle bottles that make kids want to get clean! These are hand painted with lead free paint and made from PET recycled plastics. There are also larger size refills for both products. The Taslie lemon creme conditioner comes in a biodegradable, non-toxic tube with a colourful giraffe on the front.

If you're in Metro Vancouver, join us at our Grand Opening Warehouse Event on Saturday, November 27th, 9am-1pm at 272 East 1st North Vancouver, where you'll be able to chat with a Taslie expert about toxins and skincare. Free samples too!

We love everything about Taslie and are thrilled to be able to giveaway a product from this fantastic natural line of kids skincare products - good luck!

View the full range of Taslie skincare products and other natural products available at eco boutique Lavish & Lime here.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Top Ten Reasons to use Glass Food Storage Jars

Getting back to glass has its benefits - especially for food storage. With growing awareness about toxins and toxic materials, more and more of us are looking for healthier, more environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic food containers, etc. for food storage, reheating and serving.

Here are ten top reasons you should store your food in a glass container.

1. There is no leaching of toxic chemicals into the food kept in glass storage containers. Glass is BPA-free, PVC-free and Phthalates-free.

2. Glass is earth-friendly - it's 100% recyclable.

3. There is no staining with glass storage jars as there can be with plastic.

4. Glass is transparent so you can keep an eye on the status of the leftovers in your fridge.

5. Glass is easy to clean - just pop your used glass container in the dishwasher.

6. You can put your glass storage containers in the freezer, in the oven and in the microwave (just be wary of any plastic lids).

7. Glass looks good and can go direct from fridge to table. There's no problem with serving food in glass containers thereby in many cases, eliminating the need for separate serving dishes.

8. Glass food storage containers are now available with colourful and secure BPA-free lids.

9. There is no after taste with glass as there can be for some people with sensitivities to stainless steel containers.

10. Treated with care, glass is durable and can last a long, long time.

For a contemporary multi-coloured set of glass food storage containers with lids, visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any questions or thoughts about glass containers or storing food in general, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Top Ten Ways to Green your Halloween

Taking a few small steps to a ghoulishly greener, healthier Halloween can be easy - and make a difference. Avoid toxins, sugars and you're well on your way.

Here are ten do-able ways to green your Halloween:

1. Avoid toxic, lead-laden face paint – In its 'Pretty Scary' report on heavy metals in face paints, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found 10 out of 10 face paints tested contained lead - a neurotoxin. Instead of gravitating towards a cheap pack of face paint/make up from the dollar store - that may or may not work - invest in a set of quality non-toxic, lead-free face paints that will last and not harm you or your child. Another option is to wear a mask.

2. Swap a costume – Rather than spending money on an off the rack costume, why not swap one with friends or family members? It not only saves money but is a great way to show kids how to reuse, especially as they seem to outgrow a costume a year.

3. Make your own original – Another costume option instead of buying one is to get creative and make it with things you already have around the house. You'll not only enjoy the satisfaction of creating something yourself, but you're guaranteed not to see someone else wearing your costume! If you're stuck for ideas, here are some great homemade costume ideas and some innovative group Halloween costume ideas.

4. Deviate from disposable decorations – Avoid buying throwaway paper decorations that once taken down on November 1st will be destined for the bin. There are lots of different options out there, including non-toxic window crayons that are not only easy to remove, but can also be used at Christmas, Easter, on the bathroom mirror - anytime you want to write on a window or mirror! Autumn leaves and twigs also add an element of spookiness to any Halloween decorating.

5. Switch up for less sugar – Why not try handing out healthier treats with less sugar and additives than the average rocket or chocolate bar? Look for fruit bars, apple crisps - or other more candy-like treats sweetened with fruit juices, etc. Shops like Whole Foods have a great selection of organic treats.

6. Alternative treats – Try handing out something entirely different this year - something that lasts a little longer than the time it takes to melt in your mouth. Why not give out a recycled newspaper pencil or a recycled star crayon? Something kids can actually use will not only be appreciated by them, but their parents too.

7. Reduce treat consumption – While loads and loads of treats may be collected - especially by older kids - there's no need for your child to consume them all. Why not suggest giving half away to charity or perhaps to children in hospital who couldn't go out trick or treating? Some schools gather excess treats to give to others less fortunate as do some community groups.

8. Reuse candy wrappers for crafts – Encourage kids to collect the wrappers from their treats rather than simply throw them away. Get creative and use them for crafts - cover a 'treasure' box, the front of a notebook, make a collage picture, even a candy wrapper bracelet - the possibilities are endless.

9. Reuse your pumpkin – Don't just throw away your pumpkin after the 31st, reuse it. Yes, there's the traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin loaf, but what about a pumpkin facial? Pumpkin candles? A pumpkin air freshener. Here are some great things to make with pumpkin.

10. Get outside and enjoy the season – Take the kids to the pumpkin patch, visit a farm, go for a walk under falling leaves, collect chestnuts or simply rake leaves in the yard - whatever you do, enjoy!

For more Halloween suggestions, check out our Green Halloween Ideas page and our collection of Halloween Eco Products to help make this holiday ghoulishly greener.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Lead Free Face Paint takes the Scare out of Halloween Costumes

Dressing up in costumes for Halloween doesn't have to be scary. Choose lead free face paint pencils from established European company Lyra and you won't be putting you and your kids in toxic danger.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics alarmingly found 10 out 10 face paints tested contained lead - a neurotoxin - in its 'Pretty Scary' report on heavy metals in face paints published last year. They also found nickel, cobalt and chromium in some children's face paints. These can cause skin sensitization and contact dermatitis.

Non-toxic Lyra face paint pencils are lead-free and paraben-free. A primary ingredient is palm oil. Uniquely, these face paints require no water for use and therefore, do not dry out. They are encased in wood to keep your fingers clean and wash off incredibly easily with simple soap and water. These are quality face paint pencils that are built to last.

We've had ours for over a year now and they've been well used. The kids often find them and set up a temporary 'tattoo parlour' on rainy days - they too find them easy to use and easy to wash off.
While masks are always an alternative for dressing up, not everyone enjoys wearing them.

Lyra's lead-free face paint pencils offer a safe option for adding
that extra special touch to your costumes for Halloween. Plus you can choose from basic coloured pencils or a set of pink, purple and metallics.

For more ideas about how to green your Halloween and make it safer and more eco-friendly, visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any thoughts or ideas about face paints, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

David Suzuki's Force of Nature Movie Trailer

David Suzuki's new film Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie will be shown at the Vancouver International Film Festival later this week, then the film goes into wide release in October 15th.

In the film, David Suzuki, iconic Canadian scientist, educator, broadcaster and activist delivers a 'last lecture' -- what he describes as "a distillation of my life and thoughts, my legacy, what I want to say before I die".

The film interweaves the lecture with scenes from the places and events in Suzuki's life - creating a biography of ideas - forged by the major social, scientific and cultural events of the past 70 years.

If you can't wait, watch the preview below.

For ideas about greener living, visit Vancouver-based eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any thoughts or ideas about Force of Nature or David Suzuki, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Natural chestnut decor and chestnut crafts

The second day of Autumn and it was beautiful - sunny and warm. Took the kids for a walk and ended up stopping under every chestnut tree we saw.

It started with who could find the shiniest chestnut - then the biggest, then the smallest. Then it was the ones still in their spiky shells that had to be stomped on and opened. The gem of the bunch was heart-shaped. Needless to say, the kids came away with armloads.

An hour later and they had sorted all the chestnuts into different glass vases for a great display in the living room - also perfect for the Thanksgiving table.

A great idea to keep the kids occupied before and after Thanksgiving dinner is chestnut crafts. We're going to set them up with toothpicks, moss and other bits to make little chestnut people, caterpillars, flies and anything else they can think of.

Never imagined the chestnuts we gathered would be the source of natural eco chic decor at its finest and some great natural kids crafts - we were just enjoying a sunny Autumn day!

For more eco-friendly crafts and green decor ideas, visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any thoughts or ideas about chestnut crafts and decor or Autumn activities in general, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Today's Parent Picks from Lavish & Lime

Open up this month's issue of Canada's #1 parenting magazine Today's Parent and guess what you'll find on page 28? Four Lavish & Lime products recommended as top fun and eco-friendly ways to bring food to school. We couldn't be more thrilled!

Today's Parent is a great resource - both online and offline - for families of all ages and at all stages. Here are the four products they recommend you use for bringing lunch to school - as they appear in the 'your family Downtime' column.

1. Reduce, Reuse Rewrap! Forget cling wrap; send a sandwich that leaves a smaller footprint. Reusable sandwich wrap, $10,

2. Double Duty
This sleek lunch pail is conveniently divided into separate, no-leak compartments. Goodbyn lunch box. $29.50,

3. Green Eats Warmer than metal, earth-friendlier than plastic, this is cutlery kids can feel good about. Bamboo utensil set, $13,

4. Back to Glass
Classic glass bottle with an edgy silicone wrap for durability. Glass water bottle, $26,

For these and more waste-free lunch gear ideas, visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any thoughts or ideas about packing eco-friendly lunches, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Reduce School Angst with Lunch Box Love Notes

We kicked off the 'school' portion of our Live Back to School Facebook Forum last month with a question for our teacher about the best way to handle separation anxiety - for us and for the kids.

What ensued was a bit of a discussion among our Facebook fans that included the following suggestions.

"For mommy a nice Irish coffee. For the kids I tucked little love notes in fun places like pencil case, lunch bag, pockets on backpackjs and coats." Julia G.

"Reassuring my girls I love them every minute." Karen C.

"We used the book The Kissing Hand and talked with our son about how he would feel more comfortable - like having a picture of mom and dad in his pencil case and getting a special treat in his lunch." Dara B.S.

"Little notes in the lunch box for the first few days of all-day school in Grade 1 definitely worked for us!" L & L

"Here they start all day schooling in Kindergarten so love notes area must! It's hard for such little ones. My kids also have a long commute." Julia G.

The common sense theme from Moms in the know seems to be little acts of reassurance, love reminders, if you like, to help reduce school separation angst. So we found some great lunch box notes from for you to download and print - on recycled paper of course! Or if your wee one worships Dora like ours does, print these adorable Dora lunch box notes. Alternatively, simply make your own paper hearts with a message, etc. We're pretty certain whatever you do, it will help make your day and theirs that much better.

If you're looking for ways to pack a safe non-toxic and waste-free lunch, visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime for the latest in eco lunch gear. If you have any thoughts about reducing school angst or ideas about what to pack in a lunch box, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Celebrate Grandparents Day September 12th

Believe it or not, there is more to September than Back to School. There's National Grandparents Day on Sunday, September 12th. For those of you with roots in the UK, the official day there is October 3rd - and we've got a few green suggestions for celebrating it.

"Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children."
Alex Haley

As with many holidays, Grandparent's Day began in the U.S. It was first proclaimed in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter at the instigation of a housewife from West Virginia, Marian McQuade. It was designated an official day by our own House of Commons in 1995.

According to the
National Grandparents Day website, the aim of National Grandparents Day is:
  • To honour grandparents
  • To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children
  • To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.
Celebrate Grandparents Day with a memorable green gift like an organic viola garden-in-a-bag the grandkids can personalize with colouring and a message. Then grandma or grandpa can grow some flowers on a windowsill indoors at any time of year - everything they need to do so is in the bag! If you're thinking of taking flowers, pick up a recyclable plastic vase. It's unbreakable, folds flat for storage and is ideal for nursing homes or hospitals. Alternatively, ask the kids to make their own family tree picture. It's fun for them to do and certain to become a treasured gift.

For more greener gift ideas, visit online eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any thoughts or ideas about Grandparents Day, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

People Drink More Water with CamelBak Bottles

We've been looking for reusable, durable stainless steel water bottles for kids - and adults - on the go. We think we've found a great one with CamelBak.

A global leader in personal hydration gear, CamelBak has created a stainless steel water bottle with a unique Big Bite Valve mouthpiece which allows non-tip sipping and won't spill, even when open. The mouthpiece system features a stem tube (straw) and shut-off valve. The stem and valve is all in one detachable piece
that's easy for to clean. On the kids' bottles, the cap is easy for small fingers to operate and the whole stem and straw system is child-safe.

A study conducted at California's Pepperdine University in 2009 revealed that participants drank up to 24% more water with CamelBak reusable water bottles than with other reusable and disposable bottles tested. This first-of-its-kind study tested the effects fo water bottle design on personal fluid consumption.

More study subjects preferred the CamelBak bottle, saying it was easier to use, easier to drink from, didn't spill even when open, and that teh bottle's Big Bite Valve mouthpiece was more fun to drink from. One participant noted, "The CamelBak is quick to open and easy to drink from without distracting myself from whatever else I'm doing."

Study subjects used each of the following four bottles for a two-week period:
  • reusable screw-cap plastic bottle
  • reusable screw-cap metal bottle
  • reusable screw-cap PET bottle
  • CamelBak Better Bottle with the Big Bite Valve mouthpiece.
With the CamelBak bottle, participants drank 24% more water than with the disposable bottle, 18% more water than with the reusable metal bottle and 15% more than with the reusable plastic bottle.

Dehydration is a significant health concern. The benefits of hydration include body temperature regulation, fat metabolism, cardiovascular support and improved focus, concentration and alertness. Even mild dehydration can affect physical and mental performance.

CamelBak stainless steel water bottles are exclusively available online in Canada at eco boutique Lavish & Lime. For boys, choose from pirate and dinosaur CamelBak designs. For girls there's mermaid CamelBak stainless steel bottles and butterfly water bottles.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

10 Back to School Tips from Inside the Classroom

We sat down with Vancouver elementary school teacher and school recycling program manager, Paula Stevens, and asked her if she had any advice for parents preparing their kids to go back to school. She came up with 10 great back to school suggestions covering everything from pencils to germs.

Here's one of our favourites: remember cutlery.

"Even on hot lunch days, be sure to send reusable cutlery with your child to avoid the unnecessary use of the non-biodegradable plastic utensils that most school kitchens have," says Stevens.

Read all 10 tips from our expert inside the classroom here.

Join us for a Live Back to School Facebook Forum tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 18, 7-8pm PST where you'll be able to ask questions directly to teacher Paula Stevens. There will also be loads of prizes to be won. RSVP now and you could win a reusable sandwich wrap.

Visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime for a great selection of the latest in eco school gear, including litterless lunch bags, containers and bottles plus recycled pencils and notebooks. If you have any thoughts or ideas about back to school in general, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Top Green Living Eco-Tip for Summer 2010

We sifted through all the great entries we received over the past month or so in our Eco-Tip Giveaway, chose 10 finalists (it wasn't easy) and after taking a vote on our Lavish & Lime Facebook page, the top eco-tip for the summer was chosen.

It came from Alanna Teed and here is the winning eco-tip as chosen by our Lavish & Lime Facebook fans.

"I hang a bucket on the shower handle. When we take showers it fills up and I water the plants with it."

Alanna won a 5-pack Envirosax pouch of designer reusable shopping bags and runners up Dawn-Marie and Melerie won bags too. They each received 15 votes for their great tips.

Dawn-Marie's Eco-Tip: "Instead of using SOS pads and things with chemicals in it...when trying to clean a super messy frying pan, I put in some baking soda, some water and a little bit of eco friendly soap, and let the baking soda do all the best when pan is still hot."

Melerie's Eco-Tip: "Two of us at work take turns taking the compost home - it took a week to get everyone used to putting compost-friendly items in bin but it works beautifully now - no more coffee grounds and wet garbage for the cleaners and we all feel like our office is doing its part for the environment."

Thank you to everyone who sent us their eco-tips and to all who voted for their favourite finalists on Facebook. Through sharing, hopefully we've all got a few more ideas about how to take easy, do-able steps towards living life a little greener.

For more ideas about greener living, please visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any thoughts or ideas about this post or eco-tips generally, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lavish & Lime Reveals Eco-Tip Giveaway Finalists - Vote for your Favourite

Vote for your favourite eco tip and you'll be helping choose the winner of our Lavish & Lime Eco Tip Envirosax Giveaway.

A big thanks to all of you who sent us your tips for living life a little greener. There were so many great ideas and suggestions. It was incredibly tough, but we narrowed the 60 tips we received down to 10 finalists and posted them below, as well as on our Lavish & Lime Facebook page.

Now it's your turn to vote for the winner! Leave a comment below telling us which is your favourite tip or go to our Facebook page and place your vote by clicking the thumbs up 'like' icon on the tip you like best. Don't be shy, you're more than welcome to vote for yourself - and get your friends to vote too! The person with the tip that receives the most votes between this blog post and our Facebook page will win a 5-pack pouch of Envirosax shopping bags. Voting will close August 15th and we'll announce the winner on the 16th.

Best of luck to our finalists (their tips are listed below in no particular order) - and thanks again to all who entered. Happy voting!

Eco Tip Finalist #1
Dawn Marie Duncan: Instead of using SOS pads and things with chemicals in it...when trying to clean a super messy frying pan, I put in some baking soda, some water and a little bit of eco friendly soap, and let the baking soda do all the best when pan is still hot.

Eco Tip Finalist #2 Loralee Moore Johnson: My eco tip is to place your water bottle on your shoes or in your purse at the door so that you don't forget to take it with you (before I used to forget and then buy a plastic bottle of water many times while out).

Eco Tip Finalist #3 Nic Carpenter: My best tip would be to unplug, not just turn off, electronics that you are not using.

Eco Tip Finalist #4 Jen Peebles: My eco-tip is to teach our children everything that we know. For it's our children that are going carry on the lessons that we teach them and they are the ones that will ensure the safety of our lovely planet. It's evident since my four year old (and my ten year old too) knows what is recycling, compostable, and what is full of bad chemicals that aren't good for us or our animals. It's so cute and satisfying hearing him give someone a lecture when they litter!!

Eco Tip Finalist #5
Nava Jojo Jay: Before chucking plastic shopping bags (if you're still using them) into the recycling bin, open one up and flatten it out to catch the vegetable scraps as you peel. When done, simply gather up the bag and slide the mound of peels off into your compost heap or garbage pail. Makes cleanup MUCH easier!

Eco Tip Finalist #6 Cindy Jensen: My eco tip is to always keep at least one reusable bag in the car – if you leave it in the house, you’ll forget about it – but if it’s in the car, it’s always there even for spur of the moment shopping.

Eco Tip Finalist #7 Shelley Alexander: I try to live my life a little greener with the following tip. Do I need it or do I just want it…trying to live a little simpler makes decision making about ‘stuff’ a little easier.

Eco Tip Finalist #8 Alanna Teed: I hang a bucket on the shower handle. When we take showers it fills up and I water the plants with it.

Eco Tip Finalist #9 Melerie Ingram: Two of us at work take turns taking the compost home - it took a week to get everyone used to putting compost-friendly items in bin but it works beautifully now - no more coffee grounds and wet garbage for the cleaners and we all feel like our office is doing its part for the environment.

Eco Tip Finalist #10 Kyla Larson: Make your own condiments. The internet is brimming with recipes for mayo, mustard , ketchup, fermented veggies and salad dressings. They are much better for you, as you are in control and can exclude GMO's and other shoddy ingredients. You're also reducing the amount of packagin you bring into your home.

Kyla has kindly shared one of her favourite recipes with us - enjoy!

Simple Salad Dressing
Place the following ingredients in a small jar and shake.
1 tsp celtic (or any unprocessed) salt
1 tsp unpasteurized honey (or maple syrup or sucanat)
1 tsp dry mustard (or dijon)

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp vinegar (rice, balsamic, lemon or lime juice, or red or white wine)
6 tbsp olive oil (or a mix of equal parts olive, expeller pressed sesame, and melted coconut oil) optional: add a tsp-tbsp fresh herbs such as dill, cilantro, parsley, chives

We look forward to receiving your vote below or on our official Lavish & Lime Facebook page. Please stop by our eco boutique Lavish & Lime for more green living ideas - we'd love to see you there!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Flying Solar: meet the record-breaking Zephyr plane

Eternal solar-powered flight is here - without the need to land and refuel.

The UK-built Zephyr solar-powered plane, weighing just 50kg, took five people to launch on July 9th and as reported by the BBC on Friday, has been flying non-stop for seven days and nights ever since.

The Zephyr broke the endurance record for an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). The military is expected to use them for reconnaisance and communications, scientific programmes for earth observation.

An intriguing step forward for both us and the planet.

Visit eco boutique Lavish & Lime for a great selection of solar-powered cars and other solar toys to help teach kids about this earth-friendly concept. If you have any thoughts or ideas about UAV's or the Zephyr, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Natural Bug Repellent Q&A from the Lavish & Lime Facebook Forum

Ever wonder which is the best insect repellent? Natural vs. DEET insect repellent? Whether you can use repellent on babies? In late June we held a Q&A forum on Healthy Summer Skincare on our Facebook page. Fans of our page asked these and other great questions about insect repellent.

Their questions were answered by Bruce Shennum, vice president, Quantum, Inc., makers of our Buzz Away natural bug repellent. Bruce has been in the natural health industry for 25 years and is published widely in both Canada and the US. There was so much good information generated through this exchange we felt it might be helpful to share it. This is essentially a transcript of the insect repellent portion of the forum.

Q. [Debbie B.] I like the the bug spray but I see it may need to be applied every hour depending on the region and body chemistry. Is this dependant on how humid the region is and that you would perspire?
A. [Bruce Schennum] In clinical studies, Buzz Away is effective for 2 hours. However, if it is hot and humid, perspiration can limit the efficacy and maximum repellency can be attained by applying every hour.

Q. [Kristina Z.]
Why is Buzz Away better than other bug repellents?! (Now you can brag about your product!)
A. [Bruce Schennum]
Buzz Away is certainly safer to use on infants than DEET is. However, it's made from essential plant oils and alcohol, so if an infant gets it on his or her hands and rubs his eyes, it may sting. We recommend Buzz Away for ages two and up -- I'd say that it's up to the parent's discretion for one year olds, and I wouldn't use it on infants less than one year old.

Q. [Kathy W.]
I have a question relating to using sunscreen along with insect repellent. I've heard that one or the other isn't as effective if combined. Is there any truth to this?
A. [Bruce Schennum]
DEET-based repellents are absorbed into the bloodstream more readily when used in combination with sunscreen. That's why you've heard that it's not always good to combine the two. In fact, the research on how DEET-based repellents and sunscreens can be a toxic combination was done in Canada, at the U. of Calgary.
By the way, I looked up my reference, and the research was done at the University of Manitoba. A study from Canada's University of Manitoba warns against using DEET based mosquito repellents with sunblock. The study, by professor of pharmacy Xiaochen Gu, found that when a 2.5-per-cent solution of insect-repelling DEET... was mixed with oxybenzone, a very common sun-blocking ingredient, the amount of DEET absorbed into the skin went from 9.6 per cent to 30.2 per cent.

Q. [Penni B.] Bruce, Does that mean that there is no problem with combining Buzz Away with sunscreen as there is no DEET?
A. [Bruce Schennum]
As far as we know there is no problem combining Buzz Away with sunblock.

Q. [Karen R.] How does buzz work?
A. [Bruce Schennum] Nobody knows for certain. Botanists suggest that the essential plant oils may have developed characteristics that repel insects in order to protect the plants from bugs that feed on them.

Q. [Kelly MF.] Is Buzz Away safe for all skin types? My son has allergic reactions a lot to this kind of stuff. I am nervous to use anything on him.
A. [Bruce Schennum] People can be allergic to anything -- even substances that are normally safe and natural. I would recommend doing a small "patch test" if your son is allergic.

Q. [Vic M.] Are Mosquitos evolving to become immune to repellant? This soccer season has been fraught with rain and followed by mass swarms of the bugs . I saw all the players getting doused with OFF, yet they all came home covered in bites!
A. [Bruce Schennum] Mosquitoes in laboratories can become resistant to DEET. The study, conducted at Rothamsted Research in Great Britain, bred strains of mosquitoes which DEET, the top-selling insect repellent world wide, did not repel.
By selective breeding, James Logan and colleagues at Rothamsted Research in the UK, created mosquitoes in which half of the females do not respond to DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) -- a powerful insect repellent. This rapidly evolved insensitivity may be due to a single dominant gene -- one that confers resistance even if the trait is inherited from only one parent.
The researchers have not identified the gene that is responsible for DEET resistance. They did, however, find a type of odour-sensing cell that responds to DEET in most mosquitoes but is less sensitive to the repellent in the resistant ones. Their findings are reported today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Q. [Lee-Ann PC.] At what age can you start using repellant on children and should I be concerned if my daughter (older) has some on and goes near her brothers (7 months)?
Q. [Dawn-Marie D.]
I had the same thoughts in regards to my toddler...
A. [Bruce Schennum] Buzz Away is safe for children two and older. DEET is absorbed through the skin and into the bloodstream. In the U.S., the American Academy of Pediatrics discouraged the use of DEET in children under 6, until they changed their recommendation due to the West Nile Virus scare. Obviously, the risks must be weighed against the benefits. However, Buzz Away is as effective as low-DEET formulas, and much safer.

Q. [Pamela R.] Why should I avoid Deet? Is OFF insect repellent okay for adults to use?
A. [Bruce Schennum] DEET-based insect repellents may be toxic to humans and other mammals, according to a study published in last August's issue of BMC Biology, a peer-reviewed journal (Corbel et al. (2009). "Evidence for inhibition of cholinesterases in insect and mammalian nervous systems by the insect repellent deet"
Duke University Medical Center pharmacologist Mohamed Abou-Donia has spent 30 years researching the effects of pesticides. He has found that prolonged exposure to DEET can impair functioning in parts of the brain. "Damage to these areas could result in problems with muscle coordination, muscle weakness, walking or even memory and cognition."
Abou-Donia says rats given even small doses of DEET for 60 days had a harder time accomplishing even the easiest tasks. Abou-Donia says short-term exposure to DEET does not appear to be harmful, but warns against using any product with more than a 30 percent concentration. Use as little of the product as you can, and don't use a product containing DEET if you're taking any medication. "We found that the combined exposure to DEET and other chemicals is more dangerous than just DEET alone."
On the other hand, millions of North Americans have used DEET for decades, and have suffered not observable side effects. If you use DEET, use common sense -- wash it off as soon as you go inside, for example.

Q. [Rhonda TP.] What is a good insect repellant for a two year old? Thank you!
A. [Bruce Schennum] Buzz Away works well, and is safe for two year olds. Be careful not to get it in his or her eyes, or it might sting.

Our thanks to Bruce for participating in this forum. Buzz Away natural insect repellent - in both a spray and easy-to-apply wipes - is available at online eco boutique Lavish & Lime. If you have any thoughts or ideas - even questions - regarding the Q&A above, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!


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