Friday, January 30, 2009

natural spray?

Exciting news everyone! Lu-n-Am has been offered to try some natural products - for free! We recently received an email from a company call EcoSmart. EcoSmart sells organic pesticide, insecticides and bug repellents. They offered to let us try their products if we would write just a short little review about the products. We've looked at their website and they seem to be true to their word (we don't accept greenwashing here!).

So we are going to give some of their products a try. Once we've seen the results with our eyes, we will give you an update and a decision as to whether or not we think you should give the products a try. The first product we are trying is EcoSmart's Ant and Roach spray. I, shudder, despise roaches, so I hope this stuff works!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Are you sure?"

I am always amazed at the reactions I get when I ask for no plastic bags at different grocery stores here in the area.

I almost always get these responses...

-"Are you sure?"
-or (the "why are you not taking my plastic bags" look)

(Photo-from Joe Harrison)
These responses just remind me that there are way too many people out there that are just completely out of the loop when it comes to recognizing and acting upon important environmental issues.

I am really thinking that maybe I should start handing out little information cards to these people with some facts that would inform them on the effects of these "convenient" plastic bags ...and maybe this would encourage them to make a change too~

besides, it is way more stylish to walk out with multiple cute & unique totes/reusable bags...and just as convenient once you kick in the habit of bringing those bags with you & always leaving some in the car for backup.

(Flip & Tumble Bags)

Here are some facts I could include on these cards:

-Plastic bags aren’t biodegradable. They actually go through a process called photodegradation—breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic particles that contaminate both soil and water, and end up entering the food chain when animals accidentally ingest them.
-Plastic bags also pose a serious danger to birds and marine mammals that often mistake them for food. Thousands die each year after swallowing or choking on discarded plastic bags.
- Finally, producing plastic bags requires millions of gallons of petroleum that could be used for transportation or heating.

There are plenty more sad facts out there, but I think even just one of those is enough for people to change their "convenient ways" and start bringing in their own reusable bags. Most stores sell reusable bags for a dollar (unfortunately, i've heard of people buying these and then throwing them away...???? ) people are confused...
There are tons and tons of cute bags out there on the net & in stores that make a perfect plastic bag replacement.

My mom has made me the most adorable bags using the exact same pattern as the plastic bags that are out there now (so you can fit as many goods and even more for it is super strong) Am and Kimberly own one as well. :)

(I will be working on those little information cards, if you have any suggestions please share! :)


wonderful link:

Friday, January 23, 2009


During a discussion with my eco-minded friend who lives in England, she shared with me a trend that is all the rage in the UK amongst those who are living a sustainable lifestyle - swishing.

Courtesy of

Swishing is the ultimate in reducing, reusing and recycling. Essentially swishing is a gathering of girlfriends in an upbeat, party-like atmosphere with the purpose of clothes swapping. Attendees arrive with one good quality item of their clothing or an accessory they no longer want/wear and leave with a new item from the pool of items brought by their friends. It's a win-win! You end up with a new piece to add to your wardrobe, without having to spend anything, and you have managed to put your old clothes to good use!

The website has great information on upcoming swishing events - unfortunately, it seems the parties listed are exclusive to the United Kingdom. I couldn't find swishing in the US but I did find a great resource here in the US that takes swishing even one step further! Swap O Rama by Wendy Tremayne organizes events throughout the US. (I was surprised to see that an event had taken place right here in Knoxville!) Not only does a swap o rama encourage an exchange of clothing, these events have sewing machines and DIY stations where you can revamp your newly acquired item. A fashion show concludes the event!

In 2009, I challenge Lu, Am, myself and all of our readers to host an event! The possibilities are endless - wedding themed swishes, children's clothing swishes, etc! It's easier than you think. gives details on how to host an event including an invitation template. You may contact Wendy Tremayne via email to solicit her expertise in hosting a Swap O Rama event.

If you have participated in an event like this or are planning on accepting our challenge, please let us hear from you! We'd love to post pictures!

Cheers, Kimberly

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Eco-Art of the Week

I was reading the wonderful blog of peas & carrots, and I viewed this video there concerning environmental issues that plague our planet. I think this is brilliant.

Circular Painting from Fly on the Wall on Vimeo.

The Circular Painting made by Fly on the Wall
(Bryan Devlin,Luis Tolosana,Warren Lewis,Ree Treweek,Daniel Ting Chong,Mike Morocco,Toyah Moon Humphreys,Paul Ressel, and Josh Ginsburg)

The Making Of...

Circular Painting Making Of from Fly on the Wall on Vimeo.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Eco-Friendly Products of the Week

I apologize that I have been so behind on updating Lu n' Am (as you can see I am also behind in my laundry, Eli enjoys it though)., but I am glad Am and Kimberly are doing a better job than me. :) Hopefully, now that I am all settled in my new apartment with Mitchell & Eli...I will be posting more often.

Well, our apartment is finally coming together. Over Christmas I got lots of lovely gifts that have been very useful here at our wee home. Mitchell and I particularly enjoy these....(Well we don't really...enjoy...them...but we have to)

Biodegradable Poop Bags!

I believe my mom got us these from Target, but there are lots of options for biodegradable poop bags out there. We live in an apartment and little Eli no longer gets to roam free and duke & the owners be worry free. Our duty is to clean up after our puppy son and so It is silly to have to use plastic bags that are not biodegradable, especially considering these are used multiple times...daily. Anyways, these are great for pet owners who have this duty.

Another environmentally friendly useful product here at our apartment is the ECOVER all-purpose cleaner.
Straight from their website-

  • effective cleaning with the power of nature
  • safe for all washable surfaces
  • fresh fragrance from plant based ingredients
  • no chemical residue
  • plant based ingredients
  • quick and complete biodegradability
    (OECD-test 301F, full product)
  • minimum impact on aquatic life
    (OECD-test 201 & 202, full product)
  • no animal testing
Packaging Materials are 100% recyclable.

It smells deliciously fresh, does the job, and is all natural. I really recommend this cleaner.
Check out the link above for more of their products, their website is great, if only more companies followed their footsteps.

I will be posting more soon! I must do laundry.


Sunday, January 18, 2009

crafster, whoa!

Are you ever in need of some eco-friendly crafting inspiration? I just found this jaw-dropping, super-useful crafting website. It's called Craftster. And yes, my friends, you will become an addict, just like all of the members who currently visit its site.

(Handmade bows.)

They have a whole slew of projects and tutorials. They also have contests going on all the time. In addition, pictures accompany all the posts and ideas, which make the readings superb! Some of my favorite ideas I've seen are:

-Gift Bows

Check it out! There are loads and loads of ideas waiting to be discovered!

Friday, January 16, 2009

guilty pleasure

Back in the ole days when I had loads of time on my hand (and no children - hence, a correlation?!?), I used to indulge in celebrity gossip magazines. I know, it's a bit voyeuristic and I just hate the paparazzi and how they stalk celebrities but we all need a bit of escapism now and then.

Green celebrity - Leonardo DiCaprio

Nowadays, I have less and less time to devote to such mindless pleasures. Besides, printed magazines are so passe' and not friendly to the earth. So imagine my delight when I came across the site ! Ecorazzi is a site dedicated to the "latest in green gossip". At Ecorazzi visitors can learn where their favourite celebrities stand on issues such as animal rights, vegetarianism, as well as environmental and human rights. The site doles out kudos as well as criticism on the stars in the world of film, television, and music. Entertaining and educational!

I don't feel quite as guilty when I delve in the world of celebrities because after all, I simply *must* know where they stand!

Cheers, Kimberly

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I was browsing the never-ending blog universe when I found a posting about a wonderful crafter who uses reclaimed fabrics and turns them into new projects. Connie Crawley of Refabulous makes many different cloth projects from these recycled pieces that she finds, usually from thrift stores. She makes pin cushions, tote bags, catnip bags and eco-friendly fabric softener bags - to name a few.

Looking over her goods, I thought it would be the perfect place for Lu to get some goods for her recent move into her new apartment. Or the perfect place for Kimberly to get some catnip bags for her cats. Or the perfect place for me to get some pin cushions and fabric softener bags! Really, it's just the perfect place for the domestically inclined!

Check her out. She has an etsy shop and a blog. Enjoy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

green to the last drop

Here at Lu 'n Am we are always striving to find more eco-friendly products to incorporate into our daily routine. When we find sustainable products, we must share. Hence, the purpose of today's post...

As a "Brit by marriage", I am normally a tea drinker myself. However, I have recently become a coffee drinker. On a recent trip to Atlanta, I came across this great brand of coffee - Counter Culture's Sanctuary.

This particularly line of coffee is "shade grown" which is a more eco-friendly method and is closer to how coffee plants grown in nature. By growing the coffee plants in the shade, production does not depend on pesticides and does not lead to soil erosion like its sun grown counterpart. Sanctuary's founder, Fred Houk, is an avid bird watcher and ardent environmentalist so it is no surprise that his company truly practices what it preaches. Since its beginnings in 1996, the company has donated 10% of its profits to organizations such as the National Fish and Wildlife Federation. The company is not only dedicated to preserving the environment by eliminating clear-cutting production techniques but strives to provide a safe haven for songbirds and indigenous plants and animals.

Unfortunately as of this posting, Sanctuary coffee is not available to purchase online (even through the Counter Culture Coffee site). However, you may find it in organic food chains such as Earth Fare and Whole Foods and even smaller co-ops. I purchased the Organic Colombia Santander and I highly recommend it!

Cheers, Kimberly

Thursday, January 8, 2009

reusing your holiday papers

What does one do when the holidays are over and you are swimming in a sea of wrapping paper, gift bags and cards? Throw them away? Gasp, no! You reuse them!

(Photo via the bluegirlxo.)

I found this fab article on Crafting a Green World about reusing your holiday refuse. One of my favorite ideas is using the old paper to incorporate in sewing projects. Since I received a spiffy sewing machine for Christmas, I'm really excited to give this a try!

Any other ideas from the peanut gallery? Please - share it!


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

the little things

As our Christmas festivities come to a close, I would like to muse over the little green things that were implemented into my holiday celebration this year. All of these I am very happy about and am so thrilled to have been able to implement them so easily.

Wrapping paper/products-I used some old paper my mother gave me last year to wrap my presents. I then took construction paper and decorated the packages. I also printed super cute tags and stuck those on.

Decorations-I actually created some decorations this year and with a little help from some tuturials I flew right along making cute snow-like flakes, which I hung from my ceiling. These decorations we so simple, even my boyfriend made some with ease and enthusiasm. And of course, when I visited Lu and her lovely mom (La Martha Stewart of France) I saw how the love of handmade decorations had filled their home. There were snowflakes hanging from ceilings, little handmade trees with our names on them and candy cane stands.

(Bag by Lucienne.)

(Tea box by Lucienne, aussi.)

Gifts-Oh man, how I love handmade/homemade gifts, and did I ever hit the handmade jackpot this year! Our very own Martha Stewart of France made me and the beau a beaucoup of gifts! I received a friggin gorgeous bag (one of the many Madame Stewart has been making this season), a jewelry box, and a tea box. All handmade! And from the Lu I got, of course, my favorite thing to get from an artist, a painting! I had raved about this Nancy Drew idea for a painting that she had mentioned and, well, lucky me, I got me a Nancy Drew collaged painting! Score one for the home team.

Next year, or rather this year, I hope to make even more green and sustainable additions to my holiday celebrations.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

new year's resolutions

Hello everyone and hello 2009!

(Photo courtesy of Kat says ROARRRR.)

What are your new year's resolutions for this new grand year of 2009? Among the the oh-so-typical goals for us at lu-n-am (losing weight, being healthier, etc.), at the top of our list is being greener and more sustainable - and of course to write more blog posts! Hopefully, as we all start to get into another routine this year we will be able to make lu-n-am posts a daily thing. :)

So here's to the new year! (I promise I'll make my next post more worthwhile than this one!)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

happy new year (or bonne année)!!!

Whew! We've made it through 2008!

(Photo courtesy of kaicoooh.)

Thank you for staying with this us this year. We hope you continue with us into 2009 and beyond! Now, go out and boogie!

Am, Lu & Kimberly
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