Turn Over a New Leaf: How to Start Being More Eco-Conscious

27 Feb

recycling-cans-being-eco-friendly

If you’ve made the decision to live a more eco-conscious lifestyle, congratulations! The hardest part is over. When it comes to being more eco-friendly, many people are reluctant to take the first steps because they’re under the impression that they’ll have to turn their entire lives upside down to have any sort of impact. Or, rather, less of one.

However, that’s not the case. Making a conscious effort to go green doesn’t have to involve spending tons of money on flashy technology or an electric car. For the most part, being gentle on the environment is a simple matter of making a few minor adjustments to your everyday routine.

Recycle

Everyone knows how great recycling is for the environment, but they might be put off by the idea of making the effort to implement it. What many people may not realize, however, is that your local government takes care of most of the work for you. If there’s a recycling program offered in your community, take advantage of it. Getting rid of paper and glass is as simple as setting it on the curb once a week, just like your garbage.

Conserve Power and Water

You can’t avoid using utilities like electricity and water, but you can make serious strides in reducing how much or how often you do use them. Most people know to switch off the lights and electronics when they leave the house, but there are small areas of power consumption that are easy to overlook. For example, there’s no reason to leave your heater all the way up when you’re out. Keep your thermostat at around 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re gone.

The same idea applies to water consumption: Every little bit helps. You could save up to eight gallons of water a day if you turn the faucet off while you brush your teeth, for example. You could also start watering your lawn in the cooler, earlier hours of the morning, so less water is wasted through evaporation.

Reuse

Reuse items you’re planning on throwing away. This is a fun opportunity to get creative with your new lifestyle. For example, you might turn old shirts into pillow covers or use a quilt to reupholster a chair.

Shop Smarter

Making smarter choices at the grocery store and mall will likely prove to be the most challenging thing about living greener. Seek out products that are made from non-toxic, natural materials or products that are produced locally. You might spend a little more time shopping, but you’ll be doing yourself, and the planet, a favor.

Shopping smarter isn’t just about food, either. Your clothing and other fabric-based products can be eco-friendly as well. Materials made from bamboo, for example, are excellent additions to a greener lifestyle. Bamboo clothes, towels, and bedding are easy on the environment and your skin.

Reduce

Take a few moments to evaluate how much stuff you actually use in a day: paper, aluminum, plastic, etc. Which habits cause you to use the most of those kinds of materials? If you tend to grab a new sheet of paper every time you need to jot something down, consider grabbing paper you’ve already used or even a piece of junk mail.

You’ve taken a step in the right direction by deciding to live a greener life. Now, it’s all about making small changes here and there. Although you may feel like your impact is insignificant, you must remember that your contribution counts just as much as the next person’s. Our collective effort has the potential to change our world for the better, turning it into a safer, more stable place for future generations.

Resources:

http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/kids/tap-off.html

http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-why-to-go-green.html

http://www.earth911.com/home/8-easy-ways-to-start-being-green/

http://www.howcast.com/videos/217170-How-to-Identify-EcoFriendly-Products

Cariloha Bamboo Bottoms – More Comfort Below the Belt

26 Feb

bamboo-fit-wear-pants

Everyone can enjoy a good pair of shorts or pants or a new skirt or dress, but it might surprise you that the best pants, shorts and skirts are made from bamboo. No matter the occasion, Cariloha’s ultra-soft bottoms will suit whatever life holds.

Cariloha offers an assortment of styles and colors, including bamboo-linen pants, Sinclair skirts, and training and casual-wear shorts. Each item of clothing is made of viscose from bamboo, is hypoallergenic, and keeps you 3 degrees cooler than cotton. You can actually feel the bamboo helping you to stay cool, comfy, and stylish no matter what your day brings.

You don’t have to take our word for it, though. Read this unbiased media review whose opinions may give you a better idea of what you can expect from bamboo shorts, pants and skirts:

Cariloha Bamboo Clothing Below the Belt
By Shawna Cumpston

While most people love to get flowers and chocolate for Valentine’s Day, I love to shop for myself, wrap my gift and put a cute little tag from the hubby, so he can take the credit for his awesome gift. This year, I found the perfect gift for both of us at Cariloha!

We decided once again to tackle the “get healthy” resolution. We have been hitting the gym, sweating to the Oldies with Richard Simmons and basically denying ourselves of anything remotely delicious.

To reward our hard work and dedication, I found the ideal gift to help us keep on track and look good while doing it! Cariloha’s Bamboo Fit line has a variety of athletic clothes, including Athletic Cropped Pants for me and Men’s Bamboo Training Pants for him.

The sleek look of the cropped pants helps me feel good about myself as I pound out another hour on the treadmill. My husband loves the comfortable feel of the pants and wears them to lounge around in after his run. The best part of Cariloha’s Bamboo Fit line is all their athletic clothing…

My feminine side was screaming that it needed some TLC, so I decided to check out Cariloha’s women’s line. I love the versatility of skirts, so as soon I saw the cuteness of Cariloha’s Sinclair Skirt, I knew I had to have one, or two. OK, OK I got THREE! I just couldn’t decide which color I liked best!

Read the entire review of Cariloha’s bamboo shorts, pants and skirts here.

Surround Yourself in Bamboo Softness with Cariloha Bamboo Sheets, Duvets

20 Feb

bamboo-sheets-cariloha-duvet

After spending a restful week at a luxury beach resort and falling in love with your dreamy-soft bed sheets, you might have a hard time giving it all up and coming back to reality. With Cariloha’s bamboo sheets you don’t have to. Our new Resort Collection Bamboo Sheets and Duvets are designed to let you take the comfort and quality of a five-star beach resort home with you.

You don’t have to take our word for it, however. Read what this unbiased media review has to say about Cariloha Bamboo Sheets and decide for yourself.

Cariloha Bamboo Sheets & Duvet Cover
By Crunchy Beach Mama

I am surrounded in softness. Laying on my Sleep Number Bed, nestled between Cariloha Bamboo Sheets and Duvet, my bed can not get any more perfect. “It feels soooo good,” says the kids all the time.

My room can easily become the playroom just because the comfort of the bed. To me it is a place to escape in the day and dream at night.

The new Cariloha Bamboo Duvet Cover was something I wanted as soon as I saw it! While I love my warm down comforter underneath, it wasn’t silky soft like the Sateen Finish of this duvet against my skin.

It features hidden wooden button closures which is a nice added touch with my sandalwood color. I’m a brown and blue girl and underneath you’d find my blue lagoon colored sheets.

The set also contains 2 shams with mitered flanges and french-flap closure.

Read her entire review of Cariloha Bamboo Sheets and Duvets here.

Bamboo Sheet Features & Benefits
• Made from luxurious 320 TC Bamboo Sateen (current sheets are 230). Have you ever slept in a cloud, rubbed a fluffy white rabbit on your face, or jumped into a pool of down feathers? If you answered yes to any of these, then you’re in for a treat with these new bamboo sheets. They’re that good.
• Cariloha’s renowned sheet softness is enhanced by a Sateen Finish that provides an exquisitely soft, smooth feel. It’s the ultimate in comfort and will become an everyday indulgence of true natural luxury.
• Subtle-sheen look and elegant draping make for a timeless, perfected sheet set.
• Advanced box-stitch seam construction for added durability.
• Made with meticulous care, being sensitive to every detail, these sheets can be laundered regularly and continued use will only make them softer and more comfortable.

Cariloha Featured in Houstonia Magazine

19 Feb

Cariloha-Houston-Bamboo-Store

Cariloha Brings Caribbean Comfort to Rice Village

The luxurious sheets, towels, and clothing at Cariloha have one surprising thing in common.
By Natalie Harms
Published in Houstonia Magazine February 2015

Only in a futuristic, sci-fi world would you think one fiber could be spun into mildew-resistant towels, silky soft sheets, non-smelly socks, and fast-drying clothes. Well, it’s real, and it’s made from bamboo.

If you’ve never discovered the brilliant properties of bamboo, that might be because Cariloha, one of the first stores to devote itself exclusively to bamboo products, has previously located the lion’s share of its boutiques in Caribbean tourist towns.

Not anymore. Rice Village is now home to the first Cariloha shop in Houston (although there’s a smaller hybrid shop in Galveston, too). You can now buy your bamboo sheets, blankets, clothes, towels, and more, without jumping on a plane—and chances are if you worn or used bamboo-made products, you’ll want more.

“Once you wear bamboo, you’re sold on it,” said Linda Whittington, one of the store’s co-owners. “When I go to my closet, I want something soft. Now when I got to stores, I touch everything and it isn’t soft enough.”

The sheets are likewise heavenly, and you can test them yourself with the store’s side-by-side comparison. In addition to the super-soft texture, they are also thermocontrolled, so you stay warm in the winter and cooler in the summer. The clothes have a similar effect—Cariloha promises that you’ll stay 3 degrees cooler in a bamboo shirt than a normal cotton shirt.

“To be three degrees cooler in Houston, I think that’s a big deal, as hot as it gets in the middle of the summer,” Whittington said.

The products are all organic, since bamboo is never treated with pesticides—it grows about four feet a day sans chemicals—but some of them are blended with a small amount of organic cotton to make the material sturdier.

The store, which has been open since November, expects to expand to offer a baby line, pillows, and lighter weight blankets.

Plus each trip inside comes with a dose of the islands, with a tropical scent that wafts through the store and a bamboo lei gifted with every purchase.

Behind The Designs: 2015 Bamboo Scarf Launch

13 Feb

Cariloha recently launched its 2015 Bamboo Scarf Collection, which offers beautiful, bold colors and irresistible softness. These new trendy scarves were hand-picked and created by Cariloha’s Product and Design Teams. Their goal was to provide customers with a stylish variety of scarves that could become staples in a customer’s every day wardrobe. The scarves’ lightweight fabrics and contrasting colors meld seamlessly with any outfit.

To more fully appreciate these bamboo scarves, we’d like to share the inspiration and process behind them from the perspective of Cariloha’s Product Design Manager, Aimee O.

Where do you look for personal design inspiration? 

I don’t look to just one source for inspiration. I keep an eye on the market and runways for upcoming trends and products. I find so much inspiration while being outdoors. Gardening and hiking can be credited for some of my greatest inspirational moments. Something about nature’s color and textures mixed with the calm feeling of these environments really sets my creativity free. I tend to incorporate much of my personal style into the Cariloha product design. I love to find inspiration in that unexpected piece; a bold new print to incorporate into our line, with a color that walks the line of being too bold, but somehow finds its home nestled among the Cariloha product assortment.

The photography/design team finds inspiration from the products themselves. These scarves are easy to fall in love with. They’re so easy to pair with a basic T-shirt, blazer, and your favorite jeans. To capture the beauty of these scarves, we gained outside inspiration from the Art Nouveau area. We examined each scarf individually and listed out what elements (books, drawings, watercolors, pastels, etc.) to describe each story.


What inspires you in the color-selection process?

The outdoors draw more inspiration than anything else. The colors and textures are nothing short of breathtaking. I often pull a color story from a mountain top, a sunset, or a simple image of the blue ocean.

What is your process for hand-selecting these fabric blends?

With this line, I found it very important to create a collection of light-weight, fashion-forward scarves that are new and refreshing for Cariloha. I desired to incorporate a style that can blend and be worn with any piece from the Cariloha bamboo product line. You can do so many different things with fabric blends these days, however, some of my favorite pieces are 100% Viscose from Bamboo. There is nothing more relaxing than wrapping one of these babies around your neck. Capturing the textures of these bamboo scarves in a photograph is so effortless.


What captured your eye with these new designs?

What captured my eye the most was the color and saturation of each individual dye and print. Each style has it’s own voice, and I love how different each one is. The dip dye of the Pashminas are subtle and soft and lend themselves to the flow of the fabrication. The Nautical Stripes are quiet and understated even with a bold stripe pattern they manage to be soft and subtle. The Geo Infinity is a bold statement, and I absolutely love how forward this print is. The flow of each individual fabric is so appealing. Adding various sketches, watercolors, plants, books, pencils, and pens around these scarves resonates softness and the colors of each scarf was brilliantly planned. It made it easy to share the story of their creation.

 

You’ve selected staples for Cariloha, but what makes this launch different? What’s the inside story in this collection?

We’re so excited to introduce these colors and prints. This introduces new sizes and styles of scarves to fit any aspect of life. This was the most important to us. I wanted to introduce a variety of different scarves, not just colors and prints. These scarves can be worn in so many different ways and can be worn with virtually any outfit. Cariloha scarves are the fastest and easiest way to dress up an outfit. This collection is what every Cariloha customer has been waiting for, and you need to get your hands on each and every piece.


How do you like to wear these bamboo scarves?

You can wear the geometric scarf with anything! From a maxi dress to dressing up a basic tee, these colors and prints have the ability to take any outfit to the next level within seconds!

The functionality of the Pashminas make them a great buy. We often style the Jade Pashmina,  Charcoal Scoop Tee, dark jeans, Sorel boots, and a black blazer. You can wear them in so many different ways. Nothing like wrapping up in a bamboo Pashmina during a walk through the park at the end of date night.


Bamboo: 5 Facts about the Latest Eco-Friendly Textile

12 Feb

bamboo-thicket

What do you know about bamboo? You’re probably aware that it grows in places like East Asia, Australia, Hawaii, and South and Central America. You may have heard that there are over 1,000 species of bamboo growing around the world, spanning 49 million acres. It’s also possible that you’ve heard rumors that it’s the favorite snack of the loveable-looking panda bear.

But did you know it’s also being used as an eco-friendly textile to create things like clothing, towels, accessories, and bed sheets? The clothing in particular, which is spun from bamboo fiber, is gaining wide popularity for many reasons. Here are just a few reasons why everyone is raving over the latest eco-friendly textile:

Kind to the Environment

Bamboo boasts a few unique qualities that make it especially ideal for sustainable textile trade. It grows alarmingly fast—sometimes up to 12 inches a day—without the help of pesticides or other harmful chemicals and irrigation. There’s no need to replant bamboo after it’s been cut down as it grows back on its own, and it’s biodegradable. Discarded items made from bamboo won’t sit around in a landfill for years, leaking dangerous gases into the air and polluting the environment.

Easy on Your Skin

Bamboo clothing is free of chemicals and hypoallergenic, so it’s particularly gentle on the skin. Additionally, even after the plant itself is processed, it retains some of its more appealing attributes, including its ability to fight off fungus and bacteria. The bamboo plant hosts an anti-microbial agent called kun that protects it from nasty guests. The trait is carried over into the textile product, preventing the spread of fungal or bacterial infections such as athlete’s foot. The antibacterial quality is also great at stifling odor.

Bamboo Clothing Perfect for Any Climate

This material is made for virtually any climate. Bamboo textile benefits from yet another raw plant trait: water absorbency. Thus, clothing made from bamboo is keenly efficient at keeping you dry because the fabric wicks moisture right off of your body, letting it evaporate into the air. Also, because materials are typically composed of cross-sectional fibers, bamboo textiles trap heat well in cooler weather while remaining breathable when it’s hot out. Speaking of hot climates, bamboo clothes also offer excellent UV protection.

Soft to the Touch

Although raw bamboo appears rigid and not all that soft, fabric made from bamboo takes on a whole new texture. Clothing is soft to the touch, more so than cotton, and sports a silky sheen that gives it the appearance of high fashion. It’s slinky enough to move freely in, hugging your shape just right in some places and falling off in others. Despite its irresistible texture and silk finish, bamboo material is less expensive and more durable than its more luxurious counterparts.

Easily Repurposed

When you’re finished with your bamboo textiles, you have the option of repurposing them rather than throwing them away. Obviously, this is great for the environment since it means less waste added to landfills, but it can also be a lot of fun. If your favorite bamboo shirt wears out, you can repurpose it into a pillow or seat cover. Even if you’re not particularly crafty, you could host a swap party with your friends to trade gently used items to ensure you all get the most out of your favorite products.

Who knew bamboo could be so exciting? As society takes the necessary steps towards a more sustainable future, eco-friendly products like bamboo textiles will continue to grow in popularity. For some, adopting new materials for vital items like clothing and sheets will feel strange at first. However, it’s hard to ignore the benefits bamboo textiles offer the consumer and our earth.

Resources:

http://www.the-eco-market.com/bamboo-fabric/

http://eartheasy.com/wear_bamboo_clothing.htm

http://bambooclothing.co.uk/why_is_bamboo_better.html

10 Ways to Tie a Bamboo Infinity Scarf – Cariloha Bamboo

6 Feb

Cariloha’s recently introduced bamboo scarf collection is made from luxuriously soft, eco-friendly bamboo fabric blends and is designed and inspired by Cariloha’s product designers.

Once you’ve got the perfect scarf, you need to learn how to tie the perfect knots and looks. Watch this short video and learn 10 creative ways to tie your Bamboo Infinity Scarf. You’ll learn everything from the ‘Double Loop’ and ‘Pretzel’ to the ‘Slip Knot’ and ‘Shawl’.

Available exclusively at Cariloha stores and online, this year’s bamboo scarf collection features six modern scarf styles, which are all offered on various color, texture and design combinations.

Cariloha’s bamboo scarves boast beautifully bold colors and irresistibly soft fabrics. They provide textural contrast to any of our Cariloha Bamboo tees or meld seamlessly with a bamboo hoodie or dress.

Cariloha Bamboo Scarves Features:
NEW – Lightweight-style scarf fabric that’s ideal for warmer and cooler weather.
NEW – Geo Infinity Scarves geometric print design complements and coordinates perfectly with Cariloha’s Bamboo Style shirts.
NEW – Nautical Stripe Scarves are open ended and also coordinate well with our Bamboo Style shirts.
NEW – Dip-dyed Pashmina Scarves feature a soft color gradation from end to end. With this popular design being wider than other scarves, it has the versatility to wear as a scarf or a shawl. Essential for cool nights on the beach or boat.

Retail price is $36.

A Cariloha Bamboo scarf is a great accessory for summer nights when a jacket is too much but a tank or sleeveless top is too little. Scarves can completely change the look and feel of an outfit. For customers who travel often, scarves become very useful because they can pack light and still pull off a variety of outfits for multiple occasions.

Color Combinations: Geo Infinity Caribbean Coral Scarf, Geo Infinity Jade Scarf, Pashmina Jade Scarf, Pashmina Charcoal Scarf, Nautical Stripe Sea Glass Scarf, Nautical Stripe Caribbean Coral Scarf.

Four of the six bamboo scarves are made of 100% viscose from bamboo, while the other two consist of 57% cotton and 43% rayon from bamboo to provide a unique structure, texture and drape.

What other ways do you like to tie your scarves? Which look do you like best?

Six Must-Have, Eco-Friendly Souvenirs from the Caribbean

5 Feb

Cariloha-Bamboo-Beach-Bag-Dress

What’s more relaxing than a Caribbean vacation? White sandy beaches, crystal clear water, and a cool island breeze work together to elevate your mind and body to a whole other level of leisure. If and when you emerge from your tropical stupor long enough to remember your loved ones who are stuck back at home, you’ll probably want to bring them the perfect Caribbean souvenir.

But where to start? Even though it’s a vacation, you still want to spend your money responsibly. For many people, part of responsible gift-giving means thinking ahead to consider the impact a gift might have on the environment. If you include yourself among them, take a look at these amazing eco-friendly Caribbean souvenirs.

1. Color-Changing Tee

While a T-shirt may seem like a generic gift, Del Sol’s color-changing tee is entirely original. The company uses organic photochromic dyes to create beautiful graphic T-shirts that bloom into color when exposed to sunlight. They’re reasonably priced at $25, which is a steal considering they’re both fashionable and novel. The best part? You can order them right from Del Sol’s website, rather than having to worry about fitting them into your already overstuffed suitcase.

2. Bamboo Coaster Set

Products made from bamboo are all the rage now within the eco-friendly textile market, and for good reason. Bamboo grows quickly and abundantly without the need for harsh chemicals or pesticides, and the final products are biodegradable. A beautiful coaster set created from bamboo, made by the Caribbean Trading Company of Palmer, Puerto Rico, makes an elegant gift to anyone who fancies themselves environmentally conscious.

3. Bamboo Cutting Board

That special chef in your life could use a durable, sustainable cutting board. This board comes adorned with a beautifully detailed seahorse icon and includes a cocktail fork in the shape of a spiral shell. Like the coaster set, a cutting board made from bamboo is gentle on the environment. Once the board has reached the end of its usefulness or simply gets replaced, it can go into a landfill and break down easily, or it can be repurposed into a totally new item.

4. Bamboo Clothing

Keeping with the bamboo theme, clothing made from the plant is a wonderful gift as well. Not only is it eco-friendly, but it’s kind to the wearer as well. Bamboo clothing is softer than the softest cotton, with a silky sheen for a luxurious flair. The material moves freely to complement your shape and is very durable. It’s hypoallergenic and boasts odor-resistant properties that aid in preventing the spread of certain infections and irritations. Our very own Cariloha shirts are high quality but affordable, and they come with all the benefits bamboo clothing has to offer.

5. Bamboo Picture Frames

This gift is ideal for anyone, including yourself. You can bring back these bamboo picture frames and use them to display your favorite vacation moments, or you could still gift them to a loved one. Either way, their rich detail and color will make them a standout among anyone’s picture collection. Like the cutting board and coaster set, this item is great for repurposing if you decide to replace it.

6. Bamboo Beach Towel

The bamboo plant is super absorbent, and that trait carries over when it’s processed into textile material. This makes a bamboo beach towel especially good at its job. It easily absorbs moisture and wicks away water so you can dry off quicker. A great gift for anyone who loves to have fun in the sun by the pool or at the beach.

These are just a few examples of the kinds of souvenirs you can use to wow your loved ones without being harsh on the environment. Your loved ones will be grateful that you thought of them during your vacation to the Caribbean, and even more impressed by your concern for our planet.

Resources:

http://caribbeantrading.com/convention-group-gifts/product-category/eco-friendly/

http://www.rumsandandsea.com/

http://www.delsol.com/stores.html