Gifts for Everyone: Natural Candles

Struggling to find a gift for the person who has everything? look no further than our selection of sure-to-please natural candles.

Crash Candles ($23)- Available in 7 scents (each comes in a uniquely designed glass container), Crash Candles are made from 100% natural soy wax and are produced in the U.S. Choose from lime, bonsai, bloom, norr, driva, idag and  urban bamboo. Each candle has approximately 50 hours of burn time.

80 Acres of McEvoy Ranch Verde Candle Collection ($36) - This gift set comes packaged in a drawstring jute bag and includes one soy candle and one handcrafted McEvoy Ranch olivewood coaster, which is harvested from olive trees at McEvoy Ranch. Enjoy the 80 Acres signature scent, Verde, which combines fresh and green aromatic notes from spring gardens. The candle has approximately 65 hours of burn time. Every 80 Acres product is handcrafted locally in small-batch production with organic ingredients and uses recycled packaging whenever possible.

Bsab Beeswax ($17) or Soy Candles ($23) - The Beeswax variety is handpoured and emits a honey-like scent. This eco-friendly beeswax candle is nontoxic and produces negative ions, which clean odors and allergens in the room. And the beeswax is collected at the end of the hive cycle so that the bees are not harmed. For more info about BsaB, read our post here.

Pick of the Week: BsaB Soy Candles

Candles have been a core part of human interaction and celebrations for over 5,ooo years. During this span of time, humans have perfected and refined the art of candle making, which began by using melted animal fat.

BsaB’s Soy Candles in Glass ($23) are made from 100% hand-blended soy wax. Soy wax is biodegradable, and it burns clean and without black smoke. Plus, soy wax burns 30% longer than paraffin wax (count on a 45 minute burn time)!  BsaB’s Soy Candle wicks are made of 100% unbleached cotton and the packaging is 100% recyclable. The candle is poured into a reusable container made from recycled glass. Even the ink used on the labels is made from soy!

BsaB’s Soy Candles also contain essential oils for aromatherapy. Two scents are available:

  • Ambrosia- Features a light citrus and floral scent and is blended with tangerine, grapefruit, lemongrass, ylang ylang, lavender and sandalwood essential oils
  • Ancient Sands- Features cardamom, ginger, elemi, nutmeg and clove essential oils and is one of the company’s most popular scents.

Pick of the Week: Two’s Company Recycled Letter Wall Hooks

Style and charm are always the goal when scouting new home decor. It’s always a plus when the decor is functional, as well! Two’s Company’s Recycled Letter Wall Hooks (5″ wide, 8″ long) can be used to hang coats, keys, scarves or other items in any room of your house! Crafted out of recycled tin, these wall hooks are a great housewarming gift or a great purchase for your own home. Buy numerous letters to spell out words or names, or just rock your initials!

Two’s Company offers a complete line of eco-friendly home decor products. The Green Recycled Collection reuses tin, magazines and other materials that would have ended up in a landfill. The collection offers lots of functional and stylish home decor products, and they’re biodegradable, as well.

Pick of the Week: HomePort Pine Root Candlesticks

Bring the tranquility of the outdoors into your home with HomePort’s Pine Root Candlesticks. These rustic candlesticks are cut from the roots of pine trees and come with two candleholders intertwined in a unique pattern. Each candlestick has its own distinct look, which makes for an attention-grabbing centerpiece or intriguing addition to any room. These candlesticks have an antique, white-washed finish and elegantly display any taper candles. They make the perfect housewarming gift, hostess gift, wedding gift or addition to your own home.

HomePort features a unique line of eco-friendly home décor products with accents and inspiration from around the globe. Created to add a touch of sophistication to any home, products from The HomePort Collections are just as environmentally sound as they are striking. The US-based company repurposes materials to create environmentally and socially responsible products.

Pick of the Week: Two’s Company Recycled Tin Coasters

Two’s Company Recycled Tin Coasters not only protect your furniture from those menacing water rings, but also protect the earth! These unique and eye-catching coasters are made entirely from recycled tin and come in a set of four different designs. Buy them for yourself or as a housewarming gift.

Two’s Company features a complete line of eco-friendly houseware with their Green Recycled Collection. Browse from environmentally friendly lanterns, storage boxes, wall hooks and reusable tote bags.

Impress your guests with Two’s Company’s Recycled Tin Coasters ($11.66) or buy a set for friends and family and share the gift of earth appreciation!

Coffee–More Than Just a Drink

Flickr: JoshMcConnell

Whether you start your day at the office with a cup of Joe or enjoy java after a meal, you have helped make coffee the second most consumed beverage in the world! According to Professor’s House, “Nearly seven million tons of green coffee beans are produced each year worldwide,” and U.S. coffee drinkers consume about 3.1 cups each per day!

What does this data mean for the greenies? People really like coffee across the globe, and with the consumption of coffee comes coffee grounds. You may already be using coffee grounds for composting, but there are lots of other uses for coffee grounds. Grounds can serve as a deodorizer, bug repellant, pot cleaner and more!

Below are several of ourfavorites from Yahoo Green. Add additional uses for coffee grounds in the comment section.

  • Skip the toxic abrasive cleaners for pots and pans and use a handful of coffee grounds instead.
  • Leave a dish of coffee grounds out to absorb odors in rooms that have an unpleasant smell.
  • Use coffee grounds for natural ant control. Place dried grounds in the areas ants frequent. The smell is a deterrent.
  • Cover up scratches in furniture. Dab a strong solution of coffee onto the scratch. Naturally, this works best on darker woods.
  • Use coffee grounds as a non-toxic, fully degradable fertilizer. Coffee grounds are a good source of nitrogen, calcium, magnesium, potassium and other trace minerals. While you need to be aware that not all plants love coffee (i.e. tomatoes), most are enriched by the added nutrients.
  • Use as a non-toxic bug repellant. Spray your plants with a coffee solution. The smell is too strong for most bugs. You’ll need to re-apply after a rain.
  • Use grounds as a facial scrub or mask.

Edible Flowers Add Color and Flavor to Drinks and Meals

Squash blossoms, Flickr: Maggie Hoffman

While most people wouldn’t think twice about a sprig of rosemary in a cocktail these days, some may react with confusion if a salad was adorned with lilies and lilacs.

In restaurants, edible flowers are most often used to add color to a dish, but can also be used to add an extra pop of flavor. also suggests freezing flowers in ice cubes for parties, using them in flavored jellies or employing floral syrup in a sparkling cocktail. If you’re in Charleston, SC, stop by Cypress restaurant on East Bay Street for their signature Lavender Martini – a great example of edible flowers at their best!

The most important thing to remember about edible flowers though is ONLY EAT ORGANIC! Non-organic varieties could contain chemicals (and don’t really have the same aromatic quality), so check your local farmers market.

List of edible flowers from Planet Green:

Dandelion: this common weed does not get the credit it deserves. The greens of the plant are packed with antioxidants and minerals containing a high level of potassium. Although the plant can be a bit bitter, for those who don’t mind (think Arugula), it can be a wonderful addition to any salad. To satisfy the sweeter taste buds, check out this recipe for Dandelion syrup.

Day Lily: this flower has a sweet taste and can be eaten raw. The tubers of the roots can be boiled and eaten like mini potatoes. Just remove the stalks and hairs and, of course, the dirt. The flower buds are a good source of Vitamin C and Carotene. Be careful! Lillis are deadly to kitty cats.

Hibiscus: the flowers can be eaten, but the best way to use hibiscus is to make an infused tea. Just soak ten or so flowers in hot water. Add lime for flavor and enjoy. Drinking it cold is just as delicious as hot, so for a nice summer day, put it on ice!

Honeysuckle: the base of the flower holds a sweet tasting nectar that can be eaten, and the entire flower makes a great addition to any spring or summer salad.

Lilac: the beautiful smelling lilac (you guessed it) tastes like it smells, but is delicate and not overwhelming. Lilac is best used as a garnish. For something different try mixing it in vanilla frozen yogurt for an interesting treat.

Calendula: this flower has been coined the “Poor Man’s Saffron.” Its flavor ranges from tangy to spicy with a bit of a peppery aftertaste. It’s a great complement to rice dishes, soups and pasta. The flower can also be used as a great herbal remedy.

Rose Hips: these circular buds have played an essential role in the Native American diet for a long time. Like the Day Lily, Rose Hips contain Vitamin C, and store well when dried properly. For a refreshing twist try making “Rosebud Ice Cubes.”

Squash Blossoms: the orange, yellow blossom found at the top of the squash can be cooked or eaten raw. Be careful, the flower perishes fast, and if you want to use them try to pick them right before you cook. Like Quesadillas? Like flowers in your Quesadillas? Try this quirky recipe.

Violets: the flowers, along with the heart-shaped leaves of the wild Violet, are edible. Both can be used to add color and complexity to salads. The flower is often used to make jellies and teas and can also be candied and used as a decorative garnish.

Carnations: as sweet as they are beautiful, Carnations can be steeped in wine or eaten plain. If you’re the baking type think about creating a beautiful design on top of a cake using these flowers or some of the others mentioned above.

Read a full list of other edible flowers here.

Pick of the week: RockFlowerPaper Square Trays

Summer may be over but that doesn’t mean you have to bring winter’s chilling temperament indoors! Liven up your kitchen and dining room with RockFlowerPaper Square Trays. These heat- and moisture-resistant trays add warmth and color to any room and will make your guests oblivious to less desirable temperatures awaiting  outdoors.

The perfect hostess accessory, RockFlowerPaper’s 15″ x 15″ Square Trays ($56) make your event or meal an escape to sunshine and foliage. Choose from three designs, each with the perfect blend of warm colors and soft designs of floral and fauna that inspire mixing and matching. A glass-like lacquer gives the trays an elegant finish.

Buy RockFlowerPaper’s Square Trays for yourself or a friend and bring the garden inside!

Pick of the Week: Achla Designs Hearth Crickets

Crickets have been a symbol of good luck and prosperity throughout Chinese, Japanese and Native American history. Bring wealth and good fortune into your house – or that of a loved one – with the Achla Designs Hearth Crickets. Just in time for the colder weather, these quirky knick-knacks are designed to grace a hearth and make a perfect housewarming gift.

Made of solid brass, these Hearth Crickets (2″ high, 4 3/8″ long) create a weathered copper display over your fireplace. These endearing decorations sport a verdigris finish and bring an antique feel to any room. Buy several Hearth Crickets to ensure good luck for your friends and family!

Pick of the Week: Two’s Company Recycled Magazine Lantern

It’s that time of year again! Gone are the infamously long summer days, replaced by the shorter, cooler days of Fall. Enjoy your end-of-the-summer barbeque with the soft, natural light of a Two’s Company Recycled Magazine Lantern. These unique lanterns provide a soft glow of light indoors or outdoors to instantly brighten the ambiance of your event.

Recycled Magazine lanterns are handcrafted from old magazines, which are hand rolled, cut and formed into unique and beautiful home décor items. This biodegradable lantern is a part of Two’s Company’s Green Recycled Collection line of eco-friendly lanterns, storage boxes, bowls, wall books and reusable tote bags.

Choose from two sizes: Large- 11.75″ diameter ($44.96) or Small- 7″ diameter ($29.96).