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18 Must-Have Eco-Friendly Products for Summer

Check out our list of some of the hottest green products in beauty, fashion, travel and home.

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STYLE

8. Eco Couture
Mission Playground is a company dedicated to using eco materials, without sacrificing design. They use organic cotton, recycled polyesters and merino wool, and donate 1 percent of the profits to the environment. MP has a women’s line, but even those are delightfully androgynous—hoodies, T-shirts and tanks. My favorites are the Trilogy sweatshirt, with its large front pockets and roomy hood. For a fancier shirt, I love the merino wool Departure Top, which is by far the softest item in my wardrobe. Plus, there’s a secret button that transforms the large cowell-neck into a tighter, sleek look. ($36, missionplayground.com) [Kristin A. Smith]

9. Get it Nau
Nau sets the bar for quality eco clothing and beautiful design. While their clothes are designed for outdoor adventure and travel, I want to wear them on every excursion, including a walk to my neighborhood café, biking around the city and trekking around Nepal. With full transparency about their material sourcing, you can rest easy knowing you’re getting the best quality and green clothing with Nau. I’d wear everything in their collection, including their Courier Skirt, and I don’t even wear skirts. My picks: The Lightbeam jacket made from 100 percent recycled polymer and the merino wool Confident Short. Check out their collection, and I’m sure you’ll want it Nau. ($45 and up, nau.com) [KAS]

 

HOME

10. Ditch the Swamp Cooler
Air conditioners are summer musts in many parts of the U.S. but unfortunately, they aren’t great friends to the enviroment. Don’t fret though, there’s an energy efficient savior: Sunpentown’s SF 613 is a miracle worker—it’s a Portable Evaporative Air Cooler, Humidifier, Air Filtration and Fan with Ionizer all in one that lowers the temperatures around you and humidifieds the air using simple concept of endothermic reaction. It’s micro-computerized, remote controlled and on wheels, so it can roll from room to room and cool the area you’re in (not the attic or that unused guest bedroom). The water evaporation is simple—add water, ice or an ice box that comes with it which you keep in your freezer, and the as the water evaporates it consumes the heat in to the air. And if you don’t need to lower temperatures but just need a fan, its’ got a doozy. ($134, sunpentown.com) [DAM]

11. Stop Vampire Energy
The EcoStrip 2.0 is a energy saving power strip with surge protection for your computer and all your peripherals—but one with a big difference: when the computer is turned off, power is shut down to your peripherals eliminating that dreaded vampire drain of electicity. The EcoStrip 2.0 is one of the best new energy saving products and it’s cheap and easy to deal with. It’ll save you upt to $100 in wasted energy bills, it can be USB controlled. Oh and Ecostrip has a plant-a-tree partnership with Trees for the Future so they’ll plan a tree for every EcoStrip you buy. How’s that for reducing your carbon footprint? ($40, ecostrip.com) [DAM]

12. Trade in Your Washer
In my early 20s, I was a vegan and a staunch environmental activist who washed her clothes in a bathtub with borax and baking soda, stomping on them with bare feet and then endlessly wringing them out and hanging to dry in the Lousiaina humidity where nothing ever dries. These days, I can’t even bother to hand wash my lingerie for the sake of the planet. But Laundry Alternatives has turned my life around with offers a truly brilliant, um, laundry alternative. Their Wonder Wash, a portable mini washing machine, washes a 5 lb. load of clothes in minutes, uses less water than even hand washing does, and it uses a patented technique that forces detergent into and through the fabric 100 times faster than you do by hand or by traditional washing machine—and it uses no electricity. I love it for travel and camping (every RV on the road should come with a Wonder Wash) but it’s great to replace even little bits of laundry—the size is smaller than an industrial washer, but it makes you think twice about how often your clothes really need to be laundered. And if you don’t want to hang dry  your clothes, there’s also a Mini Spin Dryer and in time for the holidays, a sexy new stainless steel countertop spin dryer. ($43, laundry-alternative.com) [DAM]

13. Skip Toxic Detergents

I’m in love, love, love with Maylee’s Garden’s eco-friendly handmade vegan laundry detergents. Made in small batches in scents like Peppermint Rosemary, Tee Trea and Orange, Mango Vanilla, Cedar and Patchuouli, and Clove the Maylee’s soaps were created by Libby Goldsmith, a Kentucky eco-hipster who wanted to get away from the cancer-causing chemicals in traditional cleaners by making these small batch vegan detergents. The packaging uses recycled materials when possible and there’s no alcohol in anything (so products are Halal for Muslim use as well). She also makes dreadlock shampoo bars and eco friendly soaps and even unscented soaps but her essential oil scented laundry detergents are so divine they are a must have. ($8 and up, mayleesgarden.com) [DAM]

14. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse
After I had greened a lot of our house—including a downsize from a 5 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom apartment—I felt like I reduced my carbon footprint as much as possible. Then I brought home a 12-pack of paper towels and realized I still had a long way to go. It’s taken me a year to wean myself off of paper towels and on to reusable paper towels. Thank goodness I discovered Moo Cow Mama, an Etsy shop that specializes in reusable paper towel replacements, as well as other kitchen and bath reusables like napkins, snack bags, sandwich wraps and reusable tissues. Their 12-set of Reusable Paper Towels Replacement in pin dot daisies have become my new paper towels—and while I have to wash them each week, I know I’m not filling the landfill with a 12-pack of those giant rolls weekly anymore. That’s worth the $16. (etsy.com/shop/moocowmomma) [DAM]

15. Green Grocery Shopping
Made in New Orleans, its-laS-tiks are reusable grocery bags that allow you to say goodbye to the paper and plastic shopping bags that have contributed to deforestation and overflowing landfills. They are created in a factory which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, that has since been rebuilt by storm survivors. Plus, 5 percent of profits are donated to HOPE HOUSE a non-profit that helps benefit the people of New Orleans. Not to mention they are incredible cute, coming in a variety of patterns, colors and even metallics. These flexible totes and backpacks can carry up to 45 pounds and are stretchable to fit most items. Fashionable, flexible and socially responsible, who knew that a trip to the Piggly Wiggly could be such a good deed? ($15 and up, whatsurbag-usa.com) [RS]

 

TRAVEL

16. Is Everything Made of Oil?
Did you know it takes It takes 8 pounds of crude oil to make 1lb of synthetic rubber polymer? That’s what your car’s windshield wipers are made of now—and they’re not currently recyclable. There’s finally an answer though: Jamak’s Tripledge Green Blade is the world’s first 100 percent recyclable wiper blade. The Tripledge comes in an eco-friendly package, with instructions on how to recylcle the silicone squeegee (which Jamak then takes and ground it into regrind, mill it with other materials to make a silicone compound and will manufacture new auto parts with the reclaimed compound). Since the annual amount of petroleum—you know, the stuff flooding the Gulf of Mexico right now—used in wiper waste each year is equivalent to six football fields covered in 1 foot of petroleum wiper waste, this is an easy and affordable quick fix. ($7 and up, thewiperstore.com) [DAM]

 

FOOD & ALCOHOL

17. Go Raw, Without Sacrifice
Made entirely from raw fruit that’s been pureed and dehydrated, Kaia’s Raw Fruit Leathers are naturally sweet and full of nutrients – perfect for a quick, healthy snack. Kaia was founded with the belief that health is best supported by eating mostly minimally processed whole foods, so theirs are sprouted, mixed, dehydrated and organic—but still raw—and there’s no baking, frying, bleaching or what Kaia calls “weird processing steps.” Kids won’t realize the fruit leather is raw and organic, and their other food options are crowd pleasers, too, especially the Cocoa Buckwheat Granola and the Sprouted Sunflower Seeds in flavors like Curry or Teriyaki. One warning, Kaia’s seeds will make it so you can never buy seeds from a convenience store again. It’s yummy! ($2 and up, kaiafoods.com) [DAM]

18. Drink Responsibly
Who says you can’t be green and have a great time? Vodka 360 is the first green vodka– almost every bit of it is good for the environment. Created through a unique distillation and filtering system, these vodkas are high quality and made from grains local to the distillery. 360Vodka uses bottles that are 85 percent recycled glass, which gives them an old-fashioned, green color. Everything down to the label is eco-friendly—it’s made with 100 percent recycled paper and uses water-based inks. These vodkas are helping the planet, and with two new flavors—360Cola and 360Double Chocolate, they’ll make the perfect drink for your next night out. $20, www.vodka360.com) [DAM]