Earth to shoppers

  • Lifestyle
  • Saturday, 19 Dec 2009

Prius (check). Anya Hindmarch’s ‘I’m Not a Plastic Bag’ tote (check). Keep raising the bar this season and hit the stores with a clear eco-conscience.

It’s six days to Christmas, and not a present bought? In your rush to fill the stockings, don’t give up your green values. Get a load of these ideas to make shopping a cinch.

Green’s your colour

By the looks of it, you’re Captain Planet. You recycle religiously and even sport a “Green is the new black” sticker on your mountain bike. But there’s one skeleton in your bathroom caddie — chemically-laced haircare products that do bad things to your health and the environment.

While your fingers may never be green, your hair sure can. Swing by Organic Hair Professional. Free from harsh chemicals and trouble-making toxins, the beauty retreat uses certified organic ingredients like green tea extracts, aloe vera extracts, chamomile and comfrey that are kind to your locks. And wouldn’t it be nice to do good and look good?

Organic Hair Professional, F332, First Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Tel: (03) 7728 3172.

Biteable baubles

The tot is chewing on everything from your BlackBerry to your boobs. When the gums swell, give your drooler something safer to gnaw on, like Smart Mom Jewelry’s Teething Bling.

Dishwasher safe, the colourful pendants and bangles are made from lightweight, medical grade silicone. Meaning they are completely non-toxic and phthalate, BPA and PVC free.

You can let your little teether suck on it without worries.

o Price: Pendant RM70 and bangle RM50. Available at Tiny Tapir Baby Shop, Unit 3.64 Ampang Park Shopping Center, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. Tel: (03) 2161 8475,


Mom won’t stop gushing about her compost tea. And every time your sister washes her cloth panty liner, it’s like she’s rubbing it in your eco-unfriendly face. Take a baby-step towards redemption with Triumph’s Eco Chic lingerie line. The unmentionables are equal part function and earth angel.

Made from a mix of bamboo fibre, natural cotton and elastane, it is free from dyes and bleaches and other chemicals, reducing the risk of skin allergies and reactions. They’re also 100% biodegradable. Snag styles from Hipsters, Minis, Midis, Maxis and Strings.

How’s that for sexy?

o Prices start from RM119.90 to RM139.90 for bras, and RM34.90 to RM44.90 for briefs. Triumph is available at all Parkson Stores. More info at


Mr Boss just demanded that you uninstall Solitaire from your office computer. But before you rush off to Gamers Anonymous, give the Pavilion Natural Bamboo Chess, Checkers and Tic-Tac-Toe Game set a look.

Bamboo is considered by tree-huggers to be a highly renewable resource and fast-growing, so you don’t need to feel bad about not campaigning to save this tree.

And the rooks and castles will still be moving across the board long after the batteries run out in everything else.

o Price: RM74.95. Available at Toys ‘R’ Us (1 Utama Shopping Centre, Tropicana City Mall, Mid Valley Megamall, Pavilion, Bangsar Village, Hartamas Shopping Centre, Subang Parade, Suria KLCC, Alamanda, Mesra Mall, East Coast Mall and Tebrau City). More info at

Soul mat

If munching cookies while watching The Biggest Loser doesn’t motivate you, perhaps E.C.O Sticky Mat from Prana will. The mat is designed to decompose in landfills, leaving behind only water and biodegradable components.

Made from TPE (Thermo Plastic Elastomer), it is free from toxins, heavy metals, PVC and latex, giving you even more reason to strike a pose. It works well, too, with a textured surface and natural anti-slip properties.

The human pretzels next to you will be secretly impressed.

o Price: RM180. Camp 5 Proshop, EZ501, Fifth Floor, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Bandar Utama City Centre, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Tel: (03) 7726 0420,

Too cool for school

Oh, what fun it is to find colour pencils underneath the Christmas tree. O’BON Wildlife Series Color Pencils is just the tool your young Picasso needs to create that fridge-worthy masterpiece. A pack comes with 12 colour pencils, each painted with different animal stripes and patterns. The packaging even has information on the animals featured.

If your feisty elf drops it, the shock resistant lead will not break easily, so it’ll last two to three times longer than wood pencils. Made from old newspaper — otherwise discarded materials — the pencils did not require the felling of trees. The little ones (and overzealous parents) will get a kick seeing bits of newspaper unravelling as the pencils are sharpened.

o Available at most local department stores and stationery shops. Find out more at

Feed your noggin

Does everyone’s seemingly exhaustive knowledge of global warming, sustainable living and carbon footprint make you feel like a styrofoam-eating outcast?

Thankfully, some ecological books can let you be on the ball in areas where you might be a little, green. After a few chapters you’ll be ready to take your first steps towards helping to avoid a global catastrophe.

Here are a few tomes to consider: Sleeping Naked Is Green: How an Eco-Cynic Unplugged Her Fridge, Sold Her Car, and Found Love in 366 Days by Vanessa Farquharson (RM56.68); Green Chic: Saving the Earth in Style by Christie Matheson (RM52.63); Go Green, Live Rich by David Bach (RM59.90); Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce (RM65.02); The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living by Josh Dorfman (RM60.75).

o Kinokuniya Book Store, Lot 406-408 & 429 & 430, Level 4, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur,

For a good ‘claus’

What on God’s green earth made you think Aunty Sara would want a Swarovski crystal-studded toe-spacer? This Christmas, why not give something that would really be useful?

Sum up the amount of damage you’re doing to the environment with every tailpipe gas emission and jet-setting, then alleviate the possible guilt by donating your money to established and reputable conservation organisations like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (

Your contribution will help the ocean warriors maintain ships that they use to patrol the high seas to safeguard dolphins, seals, whales, fish and other marine creatures. You can also show everyone that you are a proud supporter of Sea Shepherd by visiting their online store and purchasing Sea Shepherd merchandise. Yes, you can still shop and earn brownie points. So come on, Santa’s helpers, throw your arms around the ocean.

Another worthy organisation is the Nature Conservancy (, which has been working in more than 30 countries since 1951 to preserve plants, animals and natural communities. Aided by more than 700 staff scientist, the conservancy has protected more than 119 million acres of land, over 8,000km of rivers worldwide, and they operate more than 100 marine conservation projects globally.

How is your money spent? Well, 85% of your donation goes towards conservation and the 15% goes administration, and raising membership and funds.

Tick Tock

You tried finding unconditional love the conventional way (speed dating, Facebook, stalking), but you ended up with a four-footed BFF instead. No matter how hard life kicks you in the pants, your loyal companion helps heal all wounds. Repay the mutt’s goodness with O’tom Tick Twister.

The nifty gadget unplugs the blood suckers with a twisting motion rather than yanking it out. So it reduces the risk of the tick’s mouthparts breaking under the canine’s skin and causing infection.

Made of Poly-acetal, a polymer that won’t wear down, it can be recycled and incinerated without releasing chloride fumes. Every dog deserves his day, no?

o Price: RM20. Available at Tiny Tapir Baby Shop.

Rethink vinyl

You recycle shoe boxes, squeeze every drop of toothpaste from the tube and wear hand-me-downs. Hate to waste? NottyPooch Design’s eye-catching card holders, totes, phone casings, laptop sleeves and wallets will have you rethinking reusable completely.

Each one-of-a-kind creation lived its former life as a vinyl banner. Since products are reclaimed and sourced individually, each piece has a unique character (just what your parents tell themselves about you).

Be prepared to be stopped on the streets, whereupon you can say in good conscience, “Oh, this old thing?”

o Price: RM36 to RM200. Available online at Etsy shop: Blog: Facebook fan page: Twitter:

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