Welcome to the All New FaeriesDance.com!

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After many months of effort, we’re so excited to roll out the brand new FaeriesDance.com! The list of new features is impressive and we hope you’ll appreciate them.  Here’s what’s new:

  • Filterable search:
    • Search our bras for your specific cup and band size.
    • Narrow results of any product by price, manufacturer or fabric material.
  • More images per product.
  • Product certification images (GOTS, OEKO-TEX, Fair Trade, etc.) on the product pages.
  • Newest products listed right on the homepage.
  • Flexible Gift Cards that you can e-mail or print at home.
  • Easy, one page checkout.
  • Checkout without creating an account (although the Wishlist and Gift Card features do require an account).
  • More payment options including AmEx and Paypal!

In addition to all these great features, there were a few we just didn’t have time to get in.  Over the coming months, we’ll be adding even more options as part of continuing site improvement.  There’s even an expanded customer service area and FAQ so you can quickly and easily get answers to your questions.

There is one major policy change.  We will no longer refund shipping charges on returns.  To offset this, we are looking into offering a slower, first class shipping option.  Unfortunately, that requires the weight of every one of our (1100) products.  So it will be a little while before we can get that implemented.

As with any new software, there are sure to be little issues here and there that we’ve missed.  If you find something that’s not working or seems “wonky” as it were, please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know.

Thank you so much for your patronage through the years.  We’ve launched this new website on the 11 year anniversary of our original opening date (July 22, 2005). It’s only with awesome customers like you that we were able to do this.

Celebrating Earth Day – A Year of Green Living

Earth Day is Every Day!

You hear this phrase all the time.  In one very important sense, it’s true.  We should be considering our impact on our planet home every day, with all of our decisions.  But is there any value in actually taking time out to celebrate a single “Earth Day” each year?  Yes, I believe there is.

Like any holiday, celebrations remind us of things that are important to us that we may have lost track of in our busy schedules.  Celebrations help us rejoice and come together as communities with shared values.  So I believe it’s well worth taking note on April 22nd of all the activities that effect our environment and having a little fun together in the process.

So, what should you do for Earth Day?

Attend a Fair or Festival
Many conscious businesses, artists and organizations spend a lot of time and effort to set up earth day festivals.  So check one out.  Learn, mingle and just enjoy all of the effort.

The Earth Day Network has a Find an Event in Your Area option.
The EPA has a small listing of Earth Day events.
Events12 has listings of all fairs and festivals for a number of larger cities.

The best way to find a local event is to do a web search using your city name, check with your local paper or contact your city hall.

Here in Oregon, I’ll be attending the Portland State University Earth Day Festival on Friday.  It’s free and located along the PSU Park Blocks.  On Saturday, the Oregon Gardens is offering free admission for it’s Earth Day event.

Volunteer
There are so many beach, trail and forest clean-up efforts centered around Earth Day.  This is a great time to chip in a few hours, get outside, and meet up with other caring folks.  While there’s no single website or link that covers every area, a quick web search should point you in the right direction for a local event.

For example “Oregon Earth Day Clean Up” produced these helpful links:
EarthShare Oregon Volunteer Opportunities
SOLVE Oregon’s Environmental Clean Up

Donate
Chip in a few hard-earned bucks to an environmental charity.  There are so many great organizations, you can definitely find one that resonates with your values.  Charity Navigator rates charities based on how they use funds that are collected.  It’s a great way to ensure the charity you give to is using your money wisely.  The Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Guide also helps donors make more informed giving decisions.

Vote for the Environment
The League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan, political action group that “works to turn environmental values into national, state and local priorities.” Check them out to find out how your elected representatives are voting when it comes to the environment.

Contact your Congressperson and Representatives to let them know you’re pro-environment.

Get Outside and Enjoy the Day
The single best thing you can do for the environmental is to get outside.  People fight to protect what they love, and they only love what they know.  So go introduce yourself to the beautiful places in your area.

Green Cleaning Products – A Year of Green Living Tip

Green cleaning products are fairly easy to find these days, and not just in specialty stores, but just about everywhere.  The biggest complaint I hear is that green products are more expensive than their every day (often toxic) counterparts.  So let’s start with some great, inexpensive, DIY cleaning options.
Cleaning with fruit acid
Limoneira just put out this round up of easy, inexpensive cleaning options using lemons. You can also use oranges or grapefruits in these recipes.  One caution, never use acidic fruits or cleaners on granite, marble or natural stone.

 

Cleaning with vinegar

Vinegar is an amazing product.  Not only does it clean and disinfect all around the house, but you can even use concentrated vinegar (which is not edible) as weed controller in your garden. Reader’s Digest came up with 95+ Household Uses for Vinegar. Again, never use vinegar, which is also acidic on granite, marble or natural stone.  Also, as an odd fact, pearls can dissolve in vinegar!  It takes a while, it’s not instant on contact.  Still, it’s a good idea to take off your jewelry or wear gloves when cleaning with vinegar.

The benefits of Baking Soda
Baking Soda is another inexpensive, miracle cleaner.  Good Housekeeping advocates 21 Cleaning Problems You Can Solve With Baking Soda.

Combinations
Most of the recipes listed combine several ingredients.  In general, you can mix and match the above products with simple soap like Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap for extra cleaning power and add essential oils for fragrance.  Tea Tree Oil also has disinfecting properties.



Steel Wool
There are several brands that sell steel wool pads filled with cleaning agents.  Let’s face it, sometimes you need the strength of steel wool and elbow grease to clean burnt-on pans, ovens or other really tough stains.  But you don’t need to buy pre-fab steel wool at the grocery store.  Any hardware store will have medium grade steel wool that you can augment with your own cleaning agent.

Store Bought Green Cleaners
If you don’t have time to make your own, or your looking for something specific, like the elusive granite and marble cleaner, here are a few really good options that I’ve personally used and love.Earth Friendly Products Creamy Cleanser – When you need to really scrub down that kitchen or bathroom this scrubs without scratching.

Zum Frankincense and Myrrh Granite and Counter Cleaner – This has an intoxicating scent that I absolutely love.  But beyond the scent, it does an excellent job on my granite and quartz surfaces.  It has no acids, so it’s completely safe.  If this scent is too much for you in the kitchen, it also comes in several others.

Biokleen’s Bac-Out Bathroom Cleaner – This enzyme-based cleaner helps keep mold and mildew at bay.  It’s an easy spray-on and wipe or rinse off.  I tend to spray this in between deep cleanings for a quick clean.  Leave it on for a few minutes before you wipe it, rinse it or flush it to allow the enzymes to work.

Greening Your Laundry: A Year of Green Living Tip

If you’re reading this blog, you probably already know about the harsh chemicals and detergents in mainstream cleaning products.  Chlorine bleach and ammonia are the most well known, but the list is long and filled with toxins particularly hard on the lungs.  Happily, there are a lot of resources already available to find eco-friendly, non-toxic cleaners.  The Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning is among the best.  Additionally, a few eco-friendly brands have moved beyond the health food store and into the mainstream.  Big grocery and department store chains are now carrying brands like Biokleen and Seventh Generation.

With all this information already out there, I thought I’d bring you some personal tips on cleaner effectiveness (it’s great that it’s eco, but does it actually work?), as well as a few tricks I’ve put together over the years.

This week we’ll tackle Laundry.

Biokleen Sport Liquid Laundry detergent is my personal favorite.  While it’s designed to get sweat smells out of sport clothing, I end up using it for everything.  It makes all my clothes smell great and cleans very well.  It’s also reasonably priced compared to some other natural brands.

Eucalan No Rinse Delicate Wash, which we sell at FaeriesDance.com, is absolutely
amazing for hand or gentle machine washing delicates.  The Jasmine scent is intoxicating. It smells so good, I’ve tried using it for the regular wash, but it just gets overwhelmed by the rinse cycle.  Though I have added a capful to the fabric softener tray when I’m out of lavender bags.

Use lavender bags in the dryer instead of dryer sheets and fabric softener.  This is a great tip that can be very cheap if you take a few minutes to put them together yourself.

  1. Buy a bulk lot of small, cotton muslin drawstring bags.  You can get them at craft stores or on eBay.
  2. Buy a large bag of bulk lavender flowers, again on eBay or Amazon or at a craft store or apothecary.
  3. Fill the muslin bag with lavender flowers until it’s stuffed.
  4. Add a cotton ball at the top to avoid having any spill out.
  5. Make a double knot at the top.

That’s it!  Add one lavender bag to the dryer and your clothes will come out smelling awesome!  Each bag lasts about 4-5 loads in the dryer, though the first one is always the strongest.  I try to put a new one in with my sheets because I love the strong lavender scent on the sheets when I go to bed.

You can also untie your knot and reuse the muslin bag over and over again.  Use the remnant lavender flowers in craft projects, your composter or sprinkle them directly on the lawn.  There’s no reason to throw them away.

Oxygen Bleach
There are a number of products out today that use a hydrogen peroxide base bleaching agent to clean and brighten without the use of chlorine.  I have personally tried Earth Friendly Products Oxo Bright and Biokleen Oxygen Bleach Plus.  I have not noticed a significant difference between the two brands, and generally buy the cheapest.

Advantages of oxygen bleach:

  • Brightens whites
  • Completely safe and non-toxic
  • Readily available in stores, and inexpensive

Disadvantages of oxygen bleach:

  • Doesn’t seem to work well in cold water washes
  • Requires a bit of effort as a stain remover

As a stain remover for white clothes, just putting oxygen bleach in the machine doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.  For the best results, make a paste with your powdered oxygen bleach and hot water.  Gently rub your paste directly onto your stain.  Let it sit for a few minutes before putting the item in the wash to allow it to really soak in.

Finally, the very best thing you can do to green your laundry is to do it less.  Laundry uses a lot of water and energy.  Here are a few guidelines.

  • While you should wash undergarments after every wash, jeans and sweatshirts can often be worn a few times before washing.
  • Wash clothes in cold water whenever possible. (I wash almost everything in cold except whites and workout/running clothes.)
  • Do laundry at night and on weekends when power usage tends to be lower.
  • Hang dry clothes if you can.
  • If you live in a rainy area or just don’t have the time to hang dry, set your dryer to a low heat setting to save energy and make sure the lint screen is cleaned after each dry, as that can also effect drying time.
  • If you’re in the market for a new washer, check the energy star rating and choose one that is both energy and water efficient.  Most front-load washers use much less water than top-load varieties.

A Year of Green Living – Is a Home Energy Audit Worth it?

On Wednesday, I received a $362 check (woohoo!) from the Energy Trust of Oregon.  This isn’t the first check I’ve received, but it’s been the biggest so far.  And why did they grace me with this new found money?  For insulating my attic.  The 1957 home I purchased in 2012 still had its original, now much compacted, insulation and was leaking heat.  This October, I finally upgraded to R38 insulation before another winter set in.

The surprising part of completing this project is how the living room “cold zone” almost instantly became the same temperature as the rest of the house.  Even better, my heating bills are down 25% this winter over last!  I hadn’t honestly believed it would make that much of a difference.  And while it’s unseasonable warm right now, we had a good snow and freeze early in January that I’ve already seen the bill for.

While conscious consumerism is an essential part of green living, we have to look well beyond shopping to make our largest impacts.  So to answer my own question; Yes, getting a Home Energy Audit is well worth the time and money.  Here’s a good intro video, though each state handles them a little differently.

In my case, I didn’t have the full-blown audit like the one shown, but I did have an inspector point out areas of concern.  Since I was already doing some renovations, I had my contractor make suggestions and then compared the two to determine which areas would have the most impact.  In addition to the attic insulation refund, I was able to take advantage of a rebate on an Energy Star refrigerator and a tax credit for upgrading to an energy efficient water heater.
If you’re not quite ready to have someone do something as extensive as in the video, you can also try Energy Star’s self-assessment test.  If it looks like you can make some improvements, whether from windows, appliances, heating and air-condition, insulation or elsewhere, there’s a good chance you can get some financial help for it.  Here’s a list of incentive programs by state.
This is a great green step that not only has environmental impacts, but can also be a good financial investment for the long haul.
As a side note, we steered away from compact florescent light bulbs in favor of the more expensive, longer lasting, and much greener LED bulbs.  This Light Bulb Showdown has LEDs winning on price alone, with other benefits like no heavy metals in LEDs, being icing on the cake.

Fast Fashion and the Destruction of Developing Countries

Photo by delpentax on Flickr

 

If you’re reading FaeriesDance.com‘s blog, then the chances are high that you have an interest in environmentally friendly fashion. I work for a waste management and recycling company in the UK called Forge Recycling, and we recently did some research into clothing and fashion in terms of waste, recycling, and environmental impact. We are keen to share the results with you, as we found some shocking statistics. For example, did you know that in conventional cotton farming it has been estimated that only 0.1% of applied pesticides reach the target pests, leaving the remaining 99.9% to wreak havoc on the environment? This is why shops such as FaeriesDance.com exist; organic cotton is so important for our planet. Please take a look below, and find out more about cotton farming and textile waste.
Best wishes,
Lucy Ravenhall
Content Manager, Forge Recycling

Fast Fashion and the Destruction of Developing Countries

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It’s a little known fact that us Brits wear just 70 per cent of the clothes that we have stored away in our wardrobes, which leaves us with a total of 1.7 billion unused items. On average, a consumer keeps their garments for three years, but even more shocking than this is the fact that something might be frequently worn in the first year, and then phased into the stockpile of unworn clothes later on. That is why the average British closet is so overstuffed: we don’t wear all of the clothes we own.
The spending habits of the average person in the West have changed dramatically over the last hundred or so years when it comes to buying clothing. Between 2002 and 2003, for example, people in the US spent, on average, four per cent of their income on clothes, whereas back between the years of 1934 and 1946, clothing used up 12 per cent of people’s incomes. The current average expenditure per item in the USA is $14.60. Don’t go thinking that we are all consuming less though. On average, just one person in the UK will produce 70 Kg of textiles waste per year – that is a lot of clothing. Cheap, fast fashion means we are spending less yet buying more.

 

So, what will happen after you clean out your closet?
The best way to rid your wardrobe of unwanted clothes is to donate them to a charity shop, as this generates revenue for the charity.

 

Donated garments are sold in charity shops, but any clothes that aren’t sold will be resold to the used-clothing industry. These clothes are sorted into piles based on potential markets (type, condition of the clothes, and fabrics). The sorting process is actually quite labour-intensive because it is often done by hand. After sorting, the clothes will be distributed all over the world, but in fact, most of them end up in countries such as Poland, Ghana, Kenya, and Benin. So, what begins as a charitable donation can end up as a trading commodity.

 

Although this process is good for the charity, it could be argued that this process destroys the textile industries of importing countries. In fact, as a result of this issue, over 30 African countries have actually prohibited import embargos of used clothes.

 

Destinations of end-of-life clothing
Destinations of end-of-life clothing (Wrap)

 

From the sorting process, there will also be unwearable garments left over. These are sold to “shoddy industries”.

 

These industries disassemble garments into shreds, fibre or rags. It is a mechanical process that breaks down clothes with carding machines into fibre components; producing less material than before. These materials are then used as a stuffing in coffins, mattresses, and upholstery. An innovative company, IRIS Industries, is currently using these shredded materials and converting them into furniture or countertops.

 

Click here to continue reading the full article at Forge Recycling.

Pretty without the Poisons: A Year of Green Living Makeup Review

I was at first reluctant to do a post on makeup, because when it comes to my face, I’m usually au naturel.  Like most women, I definitely look better with makeup.  So it dawned on me at a young age that if I wore make-up everyday, I’d look “bad” on relaxed, no makeup days.  Alternatively, if people were used to seeing my “normal” face, then when I got dressed up, the make-up would really add a punch of glamour.  Now at 50 my glamour days are fewer and farther in between.  The occasional wedding, holiday or upscale play will bring out the makeup a few times a year.

Two things made me decide to post this short roundup.  First, most makeup has been shown to contain toxic heavy metals as well as a host of other toxins and carcinogens.  I find that a little crazy.  Even if you discount the tiny amounts absorbed through your skin, most of us eat a little lipstick.  Second, and the one that tipped the scales for me, I recently read in Veg News Magazine about an organic, plant-based, edible makeup line by Gwyneth Paltrow!  Full disclosure, I haven’t tried this brand new line, Juice Beauty, but it’s now on my list and I was really excited to share it.  Please leave a comment if you’ve tried it yourself.

If you’re already using a line of makeup that you love, you can check the ingredients in the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics database. It’s quite comprehensive.

In the meantime, here is my personal very short list of cleaner, more sustainable makeup brands.

Honeybee Gardens – I particularly like their Truly Natural Mascara.

No Miss Nail Polish – I started on this brand quite a while ago and particularly like their Almost Natural Polish Remover.  Several companies have come out with even cleaner polish formulations (like Honeybee Gardens above), but I paint my nails so rarely that I haven’t needed new polish in forever.

W3ll People – A comprehensive organic makeup line that can be a one-stop shop for everything you need.  I personally like their powder foundations and blushes.

I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention Dr Hauschka Cosmetics.  When I was initially doing research on cosmetics, this brand came up again and again as high quality with good ingredients.  Alas, my minimalist cosmetics approach never lead me to try it.  If you have, please share your thoughts in the comments section.

Hopefully this will provide a good starting point if you’re just looking into eco-friendly, non-toxic cosmetics.

A Year of Green Living – Luscious Natural and Organic Body Care Products

When I first started to look for more sustainable options in body care, I wandered down the aisles of several natural foods stores, and was surprised to find a number of brands touted as “natural” or “organic” that still had some pretty nasty ingredients in them.  There are several good resources online to help guide you on what to look for to keep toxins out of our water supplies and off our body.  Treehugger.com has a well-rounded list.  Terressentials has a comprehensive list that, imho, goes a little too far in some cases, but it’s a good read for purists.  Hopefully you can save a little time yourself by taking advantage of my research.  Here are some of my personal favorite products and brands.

 

Facial Care
I’ve been fortunate to try a lot of brands of facial care products both from personal purchases and as samples from the national wholesale show Natural Products Expo West.  In the end, I’ve narrowed down to a few favorites that have very clean ingredient lists and feel fantastic on my skin.

 

This affordable, luxury skin care brand has lotions and potions for every skin type.  Their eye cream works so well it actually got a rid of an eye rash I had that prescription eye cream couldn’t help.  Sign up for their e-mail to get regular discounts.Terressentials

The maker of my favorite deodorant is also one of my go-to brands for basic moisturizers and skin care.  They don’t have an eye cream in their line, so I add 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream to this regime.

A relatively new find for me, I’ve only tried a few of their products so far.  They have a gorgeous feel and beautiful, organic ingredients.

Eminence

This professional spa line is truly delicious (and pricey).  They have links to local spas that use their line if you’re looking for a treat.  You can find most of their line for sale on Amazon.  I keep this on my wish list, but don’t buy it often due to the price point.
Skin Care Tip: No matter how good a facial care system is, they each have a limited number of good-for-your-skin ingredients.  One way to maximize the benefit from your skin care, is to use two completely different lines with varying ingredient mixes.  Alternate them either every couple of weeks or use one regime in the morning and one the evening.

 

Hair Care
In an interview with Green America, I was asked what product, that I don’t carry, could I not live without.  My answer was Terressentials Pure Earth Hair Wash.  It’s an odd product that doesn’t invoke confidence at first glance.  It’s a brown, muddy color and it doesn’t lather at all, so you really have to work it through your hair with your fingers.

 

I have always had dry, brittle, thin hair.  Initially this product made it feel greasy and odd.  Terressentials talks about a hair “detox period” when using this, and it’s true.  You’ll likely not be impressed with your first “wash.”  However, after a couple of weeks my hair completely changed from using this.  It went from dry and brittle to soft and silky.  I used to shampoo and condition my hair every other day.  Now, I only use my “mud” once every 3-5 days (depending on my workout level that week) with no need for conditioner at all.  My hair has never looked better, and the scents are delicious.
If you’re not quite ready to take on a whole new hair washing experience, my favorite brand of traditional shampoo before I switched was Aubrey Organics.  They have a fairly clean ingredients list and enough variety for nearly any hair type.  Also checkout the links in Facial and Body care, as many of them offer shampoos.  While I haven’t tried any of them, I feel comfortable recommending these brands.

 

Soap

I have to admit that despite all the wonderful body washes out there, I still love a good soap. Soap is the “saponification” of an oil with a base, usually lye.  Modern soaps that you purchase at a grocery store generally use either petroleum as their base oil or slaughterhouse tallow because both are very inexpensive.  In addition to the environmental and animal issues, both of these oils are very drying to your skin.  Almost any cold processed, vegetable oil soap scented with essential oils rather than synthetic perfumes is an infinitely better option.  Jojoba and Almond Oil soaps are my favorites, though they tend to cost a tad more.

Soap Goddess is hands-down my favorite soap store.  Buy 11 bars, get free shipping.

100% Pure has a good collection of scents both online and in stores.

Dr.Bronner’s makes a nice pure castile soap that’s easily found in stores.

Soap making has become a handmade cottage industry.  Check your local farmers market or craft fair for cold-processed soap. This is my favorite way to buy since you can sniff them all to get a scent that speaks to you.  It also supports small business and local communities.

Body Care
Almost all of the brands I’ve linked above have body washes and lotions as well.  I also like Nubian Heritage, particularly for their philosophy and work in underdeveloped areas.  Click and explore…

Note: I have not received or been offered free products, gifts or compensation for any of the items or brands listed herein.  My reviews are completely unbiased.

 

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A Year of Green Living – Natural Deodorants that Actually Works

Earlier this week, I announced the beginning of a new blog series: A Year of Green Living.  I’ll be sharing my personal research and testing of a wide variety of eco-friendly products. We won’t address organic and natural clothing in this series since that’s been the mainstay of the blog to date, and there are already over 100 posts on that topic. OK, let’s get started!

First up in the series is Natural Deodorant.  As an athlete who tends to sweat a lot, finding an all-natural deodorant that actually worked was more than frustrating.  I tried brand after brand only to find that half way through the day I had developed a noticeable aroma and/or that in the middle of my workout I didn’t want to lift my arms anymore.  For almost 6 months, I felt like I had a ripe stench nearly every day.  Eventually, I did find a deodorant that works, even for sweaty athletes.

Here are the criteria by which I judged the deodorants I tried:

  • It had to last all day and night.  If I put it on after my shower in the morning, I wanted to wake up the next morning without underarm odor.
  • If I was working out that day, the deodorant had to cover underarm odor throughout the full length of the workout (no matter how long that was.)
  • It had to be free of aluminum, parabens and phthalates.  (This article explains the worst chemical offenders in deodorants and why they’re bad.)
  • It had to smell nice using only essential oils or natural fragrances, no chemical perfumes.  (Most of the brands I tried offered a fragrance free option for those who may have sensitivities to any type of fragrance.)
The Winners
Pros: This is my go-to brand and I was so happy to finally find it.  I mostly use Zen Spice, which smells amazing, but occasionally also get Lavender Fresh just for a change of pace.  This deodorant got me through marathon training this summer.  While my whole body smelled of sweat after a 4-5 hour run in 80 degree temperatures, my underarm odor was completely diffused with this fantastic roll-on.
Cons: It does leave white lines on your clothing when it’s wet.  So if you get dressed right after putting it on, you have to be careful about not touching the outside of your shirt.  It has always washed out, though.  Also, this brand hasn’t really broken into the natural foods markets yet, so it has to be purchased online unless you live in Maryland.

Pros: For those who prefer a solid stick deodorant over a roll on, Schmidt’s is my second choice. I’ve only used the Lavender Sage, but the Bergamot Lime smells divine – a great choice for men, too.  It keeps odors at bay for a full 24 hours, and works almost as well at the gym as Terressentials.
Cons: I find it a little sticky going on, which is why I favor Terressentials, but otherwise it’s a close second.  I tried the deodorant jar and found the application absolutely ridiculous.  I still have 3/4 of a jar sitting in my cabinet, so I don’t recommend that variety

#3: Crystal Deodorant Stick
Pros: I wasn’t really expecting the crystal deodorant to work.  It seemed more like a gimmick than a real solution.  But I was pretty shocked at how well it kept odors at bay.  It might also be a great choice for someone with chemical sensitivities.  The trick with this is that you have to add a little water to the top to loosen it up before using.  Then you really have to be sure to rub it on for a while, about 10 full seconds under each arm.  This is also the cheapest solution to natural deodorant that I found, because it seems to last forever.  It’s also easy to find at drug stores, grocery stores, online and even some department stores.
Cons: It has no smell at all, which might be great for some folks, but I personally prefer an essential oil scent.  While 10 seconds per arm is really no time at all, it’s a little more effort than the normal swipe and go of a roll on or stick.

Pros: This brand is similarly effective to Schmidt’s at #2.  The AL SOL scent is very refreshing.
Cons: I found it even more sticky going on than Schmidt’s so I don’t ever buy it myself.  However, everyone has different preferences and this brand does work.

The Losers
I did the big deodorant sampling many years ago, and I no longer have the complete list of brands I tried.  There were so many from my local natural foods store, it’s ridiculous.  Here are some of the ones that I remember and/or still have in my bathroom because I only used them once or twice and hated to throw away the whole thing.  Some of these would last most of the day, but have me getting up in the morning smelling like I hadn’t showered in 2 weeks.  Others were so bad that I was embarrassed before I’d even left work.  In some cases, I tried more than a few scents of the same brand.
Hugo Naturals Solid Deodorant
Tom’s of Maine Solid Deodorant
Aubrey Organics E Plus High C Roll on
Jason’s Natural Solid Deodorant
Via Nature Stick Deodorant
GeoDeo Detox Deodorant – this one was marginally effective and smelled nice, but had a lot of questionable ingredients for a “natural” deodorant.
I should mention that I like other products from some of these brands, so this is not meant to dis the whole brand, just their deodorant.  Also, I imagine that deodorant effectivity may depend on each person’s personal chemistry, but hopefully this will provide a good place to start.

A Year of Green Living

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about sustainable products other than clothing.  I’ve been asked about organic bedding, natural cosmetics and body care, chemical free cleaning products and a host of other things.  The assumption is that someone who cares about the effect of clothing on our bodies, the environment and the people who make them, might also take the time to research other commonly used items.

As it turns out, as part of my turtle approach to greening my whole life, I spent years (literally) doing research and trying new products.  In a few cases, I wasted some money trying to find effective natural alternatives to commonly used items.  This year, I thought I would share some of that “off-topic” knowledge to my customers and followers.  Since my business is organic clothing, not blogging, I don’t have sponsors or get free items from vendors.  I am able to provide truly unbiased assessments of products currently on the market that I personally use or have tried.

New Year Snow – View from the Faerie’s Dance Office

That said, I’m starting a new blog series called “A Year of Green Living.”  I’ll provide everything from tips on natural deodorants to reviews of books and movies.  I hope you’ll follow along and let me know what you think and maybe offer up tips of your own along the way.  Let me know what topics you’d like to hear more about and we’ll add them in.