2020 Holiday Gift Guide blog post graphic

2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Online shopping has hit an all-time high this year for a number of reasons. Of course, we at WEBA enjoy letting our fingers do the shopping, so we’ve included a curated assortment of businesses that we love. This is by no means an exhaustive list, of course. Suffice to say that in the age of big-box retailers like Walmart and Target, not to mention Amazon, we decided to focus on earth-friendly products that are (for the most part) made in the U.S.A. You may have your own favorites, and we’d love to hear about them, so e-mail us if you wish to chip in. These e-tailers have stood the test of time, in our estimation, and we’ve always had a good experience with them. We do not earn commissions from these links or benefit in any way. We just want to share the love with you, our loyal followers. We hope you’ll try them out, and enjoy a happy, healthy Holiday season.

  • Vivaterra.com – The name means “living earth” and they have been around since 2004. As you can see from their home page, many items are modern and globally inspired. They have an extensive collections of items that are made in the U.S.A., which you can search for. One of our favorites is this Wave dog bowl pet feeder mat. It’s made from recycled PET and is easy to clean. The only problem you’ll have here is narrowing down your selections.
  • Patagonia.com – What can we say about this company? Just about everything that they make is with sustainability in mind – from their recycled, organic cotton and hemp-based clothing lines to their environmental activism and transparency. Alas, not all of their clothing is made here; over the years they had to outsource due to the dwindling number of textile manufacturers in the U.S. But they work closely with about nine U.S. and thirteen foreign manufacturers to maintain their consistently high standards. If you’d like to choose from particular lines, go to the Patagonia holiday guide page.
  • Uncommongoods.com – We love this website because of its fun, unique gifts. They’ve partnered with many artisans and other small businesses to bring us this curated collection. Here you can also search for products made in the U.S.A. One product that we love is the Castaway gemstone bracelet. There are many gifts here that are only available here; we always end up spending way more time than we’d like to perusing this website.
  • Wearpact.com – this west-coast company has a cool line of certified organic, fair-trade cotton clothing for the entire family. Given the fact that cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crop in the U.S., it means a lot for us to have more earth-friendly, sustainable options. Children are especially vulnerable to the effects of pesticide residues. And their Kid’s Dream Big organic pajamas are only $18.00!
  • Remembermegreen.com – this company can’t be beat when it comes to cool. Recycling old New York City billboards, which are made into beautiful bags is what they do. Their inventory is selling out fast, though. You can check out Remember Me Green’s sale items here.
  • Farm2fashion.com – Remember the days when your Nanna would stitch up a nice, cozy hat or scarf to protect you from the cold? Well, Farm2Fashion comes close. Located in the Hudson valley, this woman-owned business sells beautifully made luxury knitted goods that make great gifts. Every item that you buy supports independent suppliers and designers throughout the region. Check out their seed stitch infinity scarf, now on sale. You may find it difficult to gift these items.
  • Imperfectfoods.com – Not to be outdone in the food category are online companies like Imperfect Foods. Their mission is to never let good food (albeit slightly cosmetically imperfect or surplus) go to waste by delivering it to your door. They deliver to most states in the U.S. Just pick your plan. You can learn more about why what they do is so important here. You can check out their cool gift box here.
  • Thrivemarket.com – We came to rely on Thrive Market’s offerings when the CoVid pandemic severely curtailed in-person food shopping. They continue to expand their organic, gluten-free, and paleo offerings. You pay a yearly membership fee of $64.75, and you can shop by diet. It’s easy to put together a box for gifting. They have everything from personal care to wine to seafood packages. And their own brand is very cost-effective. Why not give someone you love a membership as a gift? Learn more at thrivemarket.com.

So there you have it. But our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our own gift boxes available now for gift-wrapping for the holidays. From the moment they open one of our boxes, they’ll inhale the smell of pure essential oils evoking a walk through the woods. Check out WEBA’s Holiday Promotion page here to learn how you can save on all of our products. Because showing that you care this Holiday season is about choosing premium products at reasonable prices. Our products are proudly handmade in the U.S.A., too.

Enjoy the joys of the season, and happy shopping.

Green cleaning products no home should be without

Green Cleaning Products No Home Should Be Without

The search for “Green” Cleaning Products

How many times have we seen TV commercials advertising cleaning products that promise to make our lives easier? The choices are almost endless. Add to that the challenge of finding “green” cleaning products that live up to what they promise. We may be looking for products that are naturally derived, free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and that don’t harm the environment. More and more manufacturers are claiming to provide these benefits and more, while still doing the job of cleaning your home.

Green Cleaning Products

But there’s another option for consumers looking for earth-friendly products. Most of the time, you need not look further than your kitchen cabinets to find products and ingredients that can clean while not harming the environment. Here are just a few examples:

    • Baking Soda – It’s not just for baking anymore. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, is a fine white powder with a pH of 9 that is found in products like toothpaste and deodorant. But it also makes a great cleaning product when mixed with water to make a paste. It is just as effective as commercial cleaning powders, while saving money. In a pinch, you can even use your favorite whitening toothpaste to clean ceramic surfaces in the kitchen and bath. You can polish stainless steel appliances safely without scratching them. You can also add a few tablespoons to your wash cycle to sweeten clothing. You could say that baking soda has 101 uses.
    • Lemon Juice – A great citrus fruit that’s popular in salad dressings, cocktails, and as an emulsifier in Hollandaise sauce, it contains about 5% citric acid. This gives it a very low pH (2-3). Its high Vitamin C content makes it a popular ingredient in brightening serums. But did you know that lemon juice can help kill germs? Add a few drops of lemon oil to castile soap or dishwashing liquid and clean as usual. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can create your own furniture polish. Just mix .2 oz lemon oil with 8 oz. of melted beeswax or candelilla wax. Cool and apply to furniture with a clean cloth in a circular motion.
    • White Vinegar – This product, which contains acetic acid, should be bought by the gallon. It is great for everything from removing clothing stains (avoid with delicates) to cleaning product buildup from your hair. But did you know that white vinegar is great for cleaning the toilet? Just pour and let it sit for about 2 hours before brushing the bowl clean. It is also great for neutralizing stains and odors in your coffee maker. Of course, who hasn’t used it as a window cleaner? Add 2 tablespoons of vinegar to 2 cups of water in a spray bottle.
    • Hydrogen Peroxide – Found in most medicine cabinets and hair color salons, hydrogen peroxide is another versatile product that cleans and disinfects. An active ingredient in the OxyClean family of products and many whitening toothpastes, it lifts stains from colored clothing without bleaching. Combined with baking soda, it is great for brightening sinks and tubs. Spray onto kitchen counters to disinfect. (Always check with the manufacturer before using on stone countertops or appliances. If skin is sensitive, use gloves.) The by-products of oxidation are oxygen and water. It doesn’t get any more earth-friendly than that.

    The next time you’re tempted to run out and purchase the latest toilet bowl cleaner, remember that you just might have what you need at home right now. There’s no time like the present to begin living clean.

Earth Friendly Hacks You Can Try Right Now

Earth Friendly Hacks You Can Try Right Now

Earth-Friendly Hacks You Can Try Right Now

In honor of Earth Month, we’ve assembled a bunch of earth-friendly hacks that will not only make your life easier, but will save you money. We firmly believe in eliminating unnecessary product purchases as much as possible. Replacing them with more earth-friendly and sustainable options just makes sense. Give these a try and see if you don’t save time, money, and your sanity.

  • Buy white vinegar by the gallon – vinegar is not just for dressing. White vinegar is, in fact, great in the bathroom. Use it full-strength in the toilet to remove lime buildup. Dilute 1:1 with water in a spray bottle and remove soap scum in the shower. It’s great for cleaning glass, as well. In the kitchen room, it’s great for sweetening the coffee pot. In the garden, use it full-strength to kill weeds without the need for toxic pesticides. These are only a few of the many uses for this versatile staple.
  • Not just for cleaning wounds, the bathroom staple hydrogen peroxide is the secret ingredient in “oxyclean” products, and is thoroughly biodegradable. It’s great as a whitener and spot remover on clothing. In the bath, create a paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to remove stains from porcelain sinks, toilets, bathtubs and tile. Save on cleaning products and detergents by using this one item.
  • Trade up to Cartridge-free Printers – Even though printer cartridges are recyclable, over 50% of them end up in landfills. Recycling cartridges can be complicated and they are expensive. Many companies have responded by creating all-in-one printers with refillable ink tanks. This allows them to print as many as 7,000 pages, while keeping printer cartridges out of landfills. You can find a list of printers here.
  • Barter for goods and services – bartering is coming back in a big way. All networks have one thing in common; members take advantage of a network of individuals or businesses that combine their resources and provide them for free. From babysitting coops to business-related networks, individuals and businesses can save lots of money. It’s a win-win! Examples include the Hudson Barter Exchange and Hudson Valley Current. For individuals, try swapright or barterquest.com. There are also product-swapping Facebook groups that help keep used products out of the trash. You an even housesit for free using sites like trustedhousesitters.com
  • Embrace solar – Today, earth friendly solar powered products are everywhere. They are capable of powering everything from cell phones to entire homes and communities. Moving off the grid has real benefits. One of the biggest ones is the advantages to the environment. Solar power is entirely renewable compared with oil and gas. It is also getting less expensive every day. From solar powered backpacks to solar lights, solar power can make our lives easier, save money, and make our planet a cleaner place. Check out the solar devices available here.
  • Learn how to forage – Food foraging is the norm in many parts of the world and it has caught on in the United States as well. Many great herbs and vegetables grow wild in our own backyards. and are loaded with vitamins, minerals and flavor. From dandelion greens and purslane to wild garlic and burdock root, there are many opportunities to add plants that you can harvest for free, with a little guidance. Check out a foraging manual and get picking! You’ll save money and add awesome taste and nutrition to your usual garden vegetables.
  • Choose reusable stainless steel – We love earth-friendly stainless steel items for many reasons. It’s inert, easy to clean, and endlessly versatile. Most stainless steel has about 60% recycled metal, making it pretty sustainable. One of our favorite products is this stainless steel food carrier from Thrive Market. You can also find water bottles, straws, camping gear and cookware that will last for years to come.

We hope you enjoy our list of earth-friendly hacks. Look for more ideas in the coming months. For us here at WEBA Natural Products, every day is Earth Day.

Forbes article on bartering

Earth friendly holiday with sustainable packagaing

Ideas for an Earth-friendly Holiday

Ideas for an earth-friendly holiday.

The holidays will soon be here again. With them come a flurry of planning, shopping, and cooking. Many of us will be mailing holiday packages to loved ones in other parts of the country.

Fortunately, there are many packaging options today that allow us to use recycled and recyclable materials to minimize our impact on the environment. Here are a few ideas for packing your holiday gifts.

1) Recycled shred – it’s easy to make your own packing material using used paper products that you have around the house. From newspapers to articles to old letters, just run them through an inexpensive shredder that you can get at most office supply stores. For a little fun, you can use different colored construction paper or used gift wrap. You can also use plain brown paper to pack gifts without shredding it.

2) Compostable packing peanuts – Many companies today are using a more sustainable alternative to the usual polystyrene packing peanuts, which utilize petroleum. Packing peanuts that are made from cornstarch are a more earth-friendly alternative. They break down in water and leave no residue. Companies like Uline sell them; or you can save the peanuts from orders that are shipped to you.

3) Air pillows – These air-filled plastic sacks are becoming more common. They are lighter than traditional packaging materials and they can be deflated and taken to local stores for recycling. For recycling drop-off locations, you can visit www.plasticfilmrecycling.org.

4) Kraft paper tape – a nice alternative to plastic tape, it comes pre-glued.

5) Tree-free wrapping paper – In an effort to save trees, we can find beautiful alternatives for wrapping gifts. Lokta paper (made in Nepal) and papers made of stone and even elephant dung are available. These papers are often sturdier than traditional wrapping paper and can be re-used.

This holiday season, why not make a statement for environmental sustainability while getting your gift packages together?