Renewable: Sunglasses Made With Castor Bean Oil

The frames of these sunglasses (Dragon Experience Eco) are not made with petroleum. Instead they are made with Nylon 11, the only commercially successful high volume biopolymer, which is made by polymerizing a split segment of castor bean oil.

The Most Efficient Candle: Palm Oil Candles

Most candles commonly found in households are made using low-grade paraffin (a petroleum by-product). They contain many impurities which are emitted into the air as the candle burns. These low-quality candles also tend to use wicks which are made with a metal core like zinc or possibly lead. This is not optimal. A good alternative to parafin-based candles are ones …

Crayons Made With Soybean Oil

Today, virtually all crayons are made with petroleum wax. An optimal alternative, however, is to make crayons with pure soybean oil. One company, Prang, manufactures the soy crayons seen here. They are much less toxic, and they also write smoother and brighter without waxy flaking. Available from Blick Art Materials or eBay

Inexpensive, Non-Toxic Solvent: Washing Soda

Washing soda is an efficient substitute for conventional toxic solvents. It cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Washing soda is sodium carbonate — it is in the same family as baking soda, but it has been processed differently. It is much more caustic/alkaline, with a pH of 11, …

A Tofu Bear: Efficient

It’s a bear made out of tofu, and it feels like cashmere. Most bears are made with synthetic, petroleum-based materials. This one is spun with Soysilk, a by-product of tofu production. The bear has a home page and it’s available from Biltmore World Trade for $39. Story via Treehugger.