Blog Posts by Daily Grommet

  • Break the Disposable Baggie Habit with Eco-Friendly Sandwich Bags

    Here's a statistic that will spoil your appetite: Every day, more than 20 million sandwich bags from school lunches wind up in landfills in the U.S.

    Kirsten Quigley, Cristina Bourelly and Jennie Stoller Barakat, LunchSkins.Kirsten Quigley, Cristina Bourelly and Jennie Stoller Barakat, LunchSkins. When three moms (aka 3greenmoms) in Maryland heard that number, they decided to take action. Kirsten Quigley, Cristina Bourelly and Jennie Stoller Barakat (in photo, left to right) set out to develop reusable snack and sandwich bags to take the place of single-use plastic baggies and aluminum foil in kids' lunchboxes. Their invention, called LunchSkins, is fresh, colorful and totally earth-friendly.

    Printed with cool graphics, LunchSkins are made from a food-safe cotton that the Lunchskins reusable cloth sandwich bags Lunchskins reusable cloth sandwich bags trio hunted down in Europe, where it's used by patisseries and bakeries. The durable material can withstand exposure to heat, so you can pop LunchSkins in the dishwasher after use. LunchSkins are hand-sewn by a family-owned manufacturer in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Each set comes with one sandwich bag (6.5 × 6.5 inches) and one snack bag (6.5 ×

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  • DIY waterproofing

    Julia ElmerJulia ElmerLoyal Daily Grommet reader and product-finder extraordinaire Julia Elmer has brought yet another must-have product to our attention. Remember when she told us about Molly Mutt dog bed covers? Turns out that Julia makes her favorite dog bed covers even more durable by treating them with Nikwax for easy, do-it-yourself waterproofing that's completely nontoxic.

    Nick Brown, NikwaxNick Brown, NikwaxA little digging revealed that serious campers and hikers have been using Nikwax for years to clean and waterproof essential clothing and gear. And while inventor Nick Brown (shown with his 1st patent on the left) has come a long way from the days of hand-mixing his first batch in his North London flat, the entire Nikwax line has only gotten greener and better: Every Nikwax product is water-based, nontoxic, carbon-balanced, and easy to apply in the comfort of your own home.

    The wash-in waterproofer is called TX.Direct, and it's the first of its kind to be completely water-based. You can use it on

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  • How to Make Apple Peeling Simple as Pie

    Simple, beautiful, comfortable. This is the tool that launched OXO, a company that pioneered universal design in everyday utensils.

    OXO's best vegetable peelerOXO's best vegetable peelerThe romantic back story: One night, while then-retired housewares executive Sam Farber and his wife Betsey were preparing dinner for friends, he noticed how much it hurt Betsey to peel apples for a French tart. Farber vowed to create a better peeler for Betsey, who suffered from mild arthritis. Hundreds of prototypes later, Betsey got her new and improved peeler and an innovative company was born.

    I've owned my OXO swivel peeler for so long, that I sometimes take this tool's amazing design for granted. Like Betsy, I suffered at the hands of my old metal peeler. It left my fingers cramped and aching whenever I prepped mashed potatoes or gingered carrot soup. But my OXO swivel peeler practically massages me when I use it. My thumb and forefinger rest comfortably in its perfect, squishy indentations. Its thick, grip-able rubber body cushions my handRead More »from How to Make Apple Peeling Simple as Pie
  • Get Hooked on Authentic Fish Rubbings

    John Doherty, Fish Aye TradingJohn Doherty, Fish Aye TradingMost people would be turned off by the mess on the deck of a fishing boat, but John Doherty found it inspiring. After noticing the graphic imprint left behind by a bluefish he caught, John started experimenting with the ancient art of Gyotaku, or fish rubbing. He paints the body of a saltwater fish with water-based paints, then lays fabric over top and gently rubs it to make a print. He finishes the piece with a single Chinese character, which he selects depending on the personality of the fish, what time of day it was caught, and his mood when he reeled it in.

    Centuries ago, people used painted fish rubbings to document Liz BokanskiLiz Bokanskidifferent species. John's prints document his Cape Cod catch, preserving details such as the patterns of fish scales. His prints also celebrate his love of the ocean and marine life. Liz Boksanski, a friend of John, told us about his artwork and we were hooked right away. We love the authenticity of his work and the fact that he sees the process through to

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  • How Do You Spa?

    Mass-produced cotton fabrics are everywhere, but they're a pale imitation of traditional hand

    Kara Weaves handwoven, cotton, lightweight robes.Kara Weaves handwoven, cotton, lightweight robes.

    -loomed cotton. Why does it matter? Because this pure cotton yarn (for which Indian fabrics originally gained fame) is suitable only for slow-speed spinning and weaving processes. When produced at these slower speeds, the resulting fabric is softer, more durable and absorbent, and has a breezy, sumptuous feel you simply cannot get any other way.

    Today's Grommet is a one-size-fits-most, spa-quality, handwoven cotton bathrobe with navy blue accents. It comes to us from Kara Weaves, a creative venture in Kerala, India, that's trying to bridge the gap between traditional Indian hand-loomed Indu Menon, Kara WeaversIndu Menon, Kara Weaverstextiles and today's contemporary lifestyle. Kara Weaves works with independent teams of weavers and small sets of rural tailors to help boost India's economy while preserving this fabric artistry. The women behind the venture (in the photo, left to right) include founder Indu Menon, a

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  • Test your knowledge of the great outdoors

    Did you know that emus can't walk backwards and bulls are colorblind? And mosquitoes have 47 teeth… who knew?

    Tim and Alice Paczesny, Education OutdoorsTim and Alice Paczesny, Education Outdoors Nature-lover Tim Paczesny knows all about the great outdoors, but he realized lots of folks never had a chance to learn about animals, their habitats and how they survive. Tim was gathering morel mushrooms with his wife and two daughters in Northern Michigan, when he noticed that his daughters were curious about the natural world but didn't know the basics - like how he could identify raccoon tracks. "Dad, how did you learn all the things you know about nature?" his daughter asked. That was all the inspiration this avid outdoorsman needed. Tim researched hundreds of nature-related facts, which he turned into educational family games designed for players of all ages.

    The Camp board game challenges players to navigate through the Buy Education Outdoors' nature trivia games and activities here.Buy Education Outdoors' nature trivia games and activities here. forest and back to the campfire by answering questions about wildlife trivia along the way. The questions are organized in four levels

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  • Wake Up to Your Own Blend of Granola

    MixMyGranola custom granola mixMixMyGranola custom granola mixUsing 100% organic, all-natural ingredients in unusual combination's, this is not your average, boxed granola mix. Founded by a trio of friends who realized that their ideal cereal blend just wasn't available in stores, MixMyGranola offers lots of ingredient options for the tough to please: from peanut butter bites and roasted hazelnuts to mini yogurt pretzels and chocolate espresso beans!

    Their holiday pre-mixes make a great gift … or an even better treat for yourself. The Perfect Thanksgiving Granola is not only good for your taste buds but can also help reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes with VitaCherry.

    If the pre-mixes aren't exactly what you want, go custom. That's right. MixMyGranola will throw together a custom, all-natural, 16-ounce blend according to your specifications! Just go to the site, choose a granola or muesli base, and layer in all your favorite things. It's that simple.

    Buy MixMyGranola custom granola mix here.

    Never miss a

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  • Green Your Period: Menstrual Cup Replaces Disposable Tampons

    Buy the Lunette silicone menstrual cup here.Buy the Lunette silicone menstrual cup here.Let's start with the obvious question: What is this thing? Lunette is a menstrual cup, a reusable alternative to tampons and pads that collects the menstrual flow rather than absorbs it. The cup can be worn continuously for up to 12 hours, including overnight, before emptying it.

    There's a learning curve, for sure. But there's also a payoff. Lunette is comfortable, convenient and lets you do everything you normally do - go to work, take a swim, work out at the gym - without relying on a bulky pad or tampons (often made with cotton that's grown with pesticides and bleached with chlorine). In the big picture, using a menstrual cup is better for the environment since it reduces the number of disposable feminine care products that wind up in landfills. It also saves money, since a Lunette cup can last for several years with proper care.

    Heli Kurjanen, LunetteHeli Kurjanen, Lunette
    Heli Kurjanen is the founder of Lunette, a Finnish company. Heli liked using menstrual cups (which have been around since the 1930s), but

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  • Expandable Bangles Fit Your Body and Soul

    Stacks of bracelets are hot accessories this season, but not every bangle is a fabulous fit. Carolyn Rafaelian, Alex and AniCarolyn Rafaelian, Alex and AniWe love the way Carolyn Rafaelian's bangles fit us - literally and philosophically.

    For starters, these wire bangles are expandable. Instead of a traditional clasp, each bracelet has a patented sliding mechanism so you can adjust it to just the right size. No Expandable Wire Bangle BraceletsExpandable Wire Bangle Braceletsmore too-big bangles that won't stay put or too-tight bracelets that bruise your knuckles when you try to squeeze them on. We're also fans of Carolyn's mission. She founded Alex and Ani (named after her first two daughters) to design jewelry that not only adorns the body, but also uplifts and inspires those who wear her spirited creations. Each subtle charm, textured finish and beaded bangle is chosen for its power - to inspire peace, love and good luck, for instance.

    Alex and Ani's signature finishes are Russian gold and Russian silver, which are oxidized for a warm, antique look. All of Carolyn's bangles are made in the

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  • Healthy, easy - and instant - snacking

    Today's kids are growing up thinking that popcorn comes from a tri-fold bag. While microwave popcorn may be the most convenient way to cook up everyone's favorite treat, it's not the most natural, thanks to the added chemicals, fake butter flavorings and wasteful packaging. Popping popcorn yourself on the stovetop is an option (and nostalgic), but the required oil makes things messy and adds calories. We went looking for a simple, healthy and affordable alternative- and we found it at Catamount Glass.

    Buy Catamount's popcorn microwave popper here.Buy Catamount's popcorn microwave popper here.Catamount's popcorn popper is made of borosilicate glass that can withstand high temperatures without shattering, works with any type of popcorn kernels, and doesn't require oil. Real butter is optional, and melts in the included silicone tray as the kernels are popped. The larger container comes with a handle, and the smaller size is ideal for space-saver microwaves.

    Alain Karyo, CatamountAlain Karyo, Catamount
    Alain Karyo, an architect, is the founder of Catamount Glass. The 31-year-old company first made

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