Heirloom Beans: Efficient Flavor

Heirloom beans! These are special bean varieties that have been passed down by generations of growers. The beans have their own distinct flavors and heritages. For example, here’s a description of the “Tongues of Fire” bean: A cranberry-type, mottled beige and brown marked bean grown from a seed variety originally collected from Tierra del Fuego, on the tip of South …

Raw Cacao Butter: An Efficient Dessert & Skin Moisturizer

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Raw cacao butter — this is the pure oil of the cacao bean, extracted using a cold-press technique — the temperature stays around 104 degrees Fahrenheit, instead of 300 degrees which is the norm. The oil is edible and possesses a rich, delicate chocolate aroma. You can add a piece of the cacao butter to your favorite smoothie, ice cream …

Non-Toxic Caulk Substitutes

We’ve tracked down a more efficient caulking compound — one that does not contain toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds) such as toluene and hexane. These are present in conventional caulk because they are cheap to produce. One company, AFMSafeCoat, produces a caulking compound that is a water-resistant, flexible sealant with excellent adhesion.

Hemp Sheets: Soft & Durable

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Hemp sheets &#8212 they’re soft, durable, chemical-free and sustainable. But why choose hemp over organic cotton? Hemp is twice as strong and requires less processing. Even organic cotton requires caustic soda to remove the wax so it can be spun and woven. The waste water produced during this process then requires more chemicals to be added to it so it …

Color Grown Cotton: Fox Fibre

Some cotton is naturally colored — it grows that way and does not need to be dyed. “Color grown” cotton has its roots in the ancient Americas. Weavers cultivated native white, tan, green, yellow, red, and brown colored cottons for thousands of years. However, the fiber qualities of the cotton was not suited to modern textile machines. Thus, today, most …

Maca: An Efficient Energizer & Aphrodisiac

Maca is becoming popular around the world as a tonic that enhances strength, fertility and energy. Maca (Lepidium meyennii) is grown in the Andes Mountains of Peru, it looks likes a large radish, and botanically it is indeed related to radishes and turnips. For approximately 2000 years maca has been an important traditional food in its growing region.

The World’s First Soy Carpet

The world’s first soy carpet has been produced by an Australian company, Customweave. Frank Ricco, the developer of a luxury line of rugs and carpets, describes the texture as a combination of cashmere, velvet and alpaca. Like most other products made with soy, the fiber comes from the “waste” left after processing soy beans. China produces about 14 million tonnes …

A Paint Stripper Made From Corn

Conventional paint strippers are usually very toxic substances that you’d be better off not bringing into your home. But one company, Green Products, has created a bio-based paint stripper and solvent called aMAIZEing.

Building Green: A Complete How-To Guide

This practical book is the first step-by-step green building guide we’ve seen. It is packed with photographs illustrating building techniques like Earth Plastering, Straw Bale Construction, Living Roofs, Cordwood Building and Cob Building. At over 600 pages, this hefty guide is useful for anyone wanting to see the nitty-gritty details of green building. The author’s web site is Think Building …

Efficient Moisturizer: Unrefined Shea Butter

Shea Butter is one of the most efficient skin moisturizers available. It is an organic product that protects against dry skin and sunburn. Shea butter is extracted from the nuts of the Shea Karite tree, found in the tropical regions of West Africa. It is a sustainable resource and it requires no pesticides to grow.