Should you use Hemp rope in your next outdoor project?

Should you use Hemp rope in your next outdoor project?

Naturally mold and mildew resistant

Well suited for outdoor as well as indoor use due to its superior strength

A natural biodegradable and eco-friendly alternative to cotton and synthetic cordage

In fact it is ideally suited for many outdoor activities where strength and durability in the face of the elements is key. Hammocks are very well suited for hemp rope. Other macrame projects work well also.

It sure is nice to work with something that is not so destructive to the environment as cotton to produce.

It can be found sold in bundles or by the foot so try it out on your next project!

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Chemical free = Cancer free Beauty

We should never have to sacrifice our precious health or environment in the name of beauty.

The skin is the largest organ of the body. It is like a giant sponge capable of absorbing all kinds of things it touches. As the rates of cancer increase at an alarming rate, it is hard to ignore rising concerns with the questionable ingredients found in many commonly used beauty products.

The cosmetics that you are slathering on your body or licking off your lips could seriously affect your health.

Few regulations imposed on the cosmetics industry means no research has been mandated to question the impact of the chemical ingredients to consumers or the environment. These dangerous ingredients can end up in the air or water supply and build up to dangerous levels in our bodies.

There are tons of people who are developing new allergies everyday to these chemical filled products and tons of reasons to go natural with your body.

Every choice we make affects our planet, even the small ones. Take the time to read labels and educate yourself. Nothing should go on your body that you do not want in it.

There are tons of natural options available for lotions, soaps, lip balms, sunscreen, scrubs, bug repellant, laundry detergent, and deodorant. Check out for tons of natural scent options and product information.

Sometimes natural stuff just works better! Check it out and see how going natural can benefit you.

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Why your Socks and Underwear NEED to be bamboo

For those of you curious about bamboo here are some facts about our clothing made from bamboo.

No its not just wood anymore, these fast growing fibers are extremely useful for undergarments especially due to bamboo’s soft feel, super absorbancy, moisture-wicking, breath-ability, and bamboo will not harbor odor like synthetic based socks and underwear.

Why Use Bamboo?

Bamboo fiber is the new innovation in textile fibers with remarkable characteristics:

Soft & Silky

Bamboo fiber is softer than the softest cotton, has a natural sheen to the surface and feels similar to silk or cashmere.

Naturally Anti-Bacterial & Odor Free

Unlike other anti-microbial fabrics, which require a chemical treatment, bamboo fiber clothing is naturally odor-resistant and requires no harmful chemicals. It contains a natural agent, “bamboo kun”, that prevents bacteria from cultivating on it.

Breathable & Cool

Bamboo apparel is comfortable, thermal regulating and will keep you cooler, drier, warmer and odor free.


Like the synthetics, bamboo fabric dries quickly. Unlike the synthetics, bamboo does no harm.

Safe & Hypoallergenic

For those with sensitive skin or chemical allergies bamboo is the perfect fabric since it is not treated with any toxic compounds.

Natural & Eco-Friendly

Bamboo is one of the world’s most prolific and fastest-growing plants. Typically bamboo is able to reach maturity in about four years, compared to the typical 25 to 70 years for commercial tree species in the U.S. Though most people are generally familiar with this beautiful and graceful plant, the average person is usually astounded when learning that there are more than 1000 documented uses of bamboo.

Bamboo is one of nature’s most sustainable resources, it is grown without pesticides or chemicals, it is 100% biodegradable, and naturally regenerative. Bamboo is actually a tropical grass, with an extensive root system that sends out an average of four to six new shoots per year, naturally replenishing itself and growing to heights of 60 feet or more. Some bamboo species grow up to 4 feet per day and can be harvested every 3 to 4 years.

In Asia, bamboo has been used in the traditional hand-made production of paper for centuries. Now, through modern manufacturing processes, bamboo pulp is capable of producing bamboo fiber for use in yarn and fabric. Certain species of bamboo have the tensile strength equivalent to that of steel. has Bamboo socks and underwear made in China under the responsible direction of the folks at Ecothreadz/Spun Bamboo.

Here is their story.

All our clothing is made in China, where the bamboo grows.

As far as the conditions under which our products are produced, we are the actual manufacturer and are involved in every step of the production process, from the sourcing of our bamboo fiber to the spinning of the yarn to the packaging and labeling of our finished garments.

As well as owning our own cut and sew factory, our bamboo plantations are the first to be certified organic, the actual bamboo fiber is Oeko-Tex Standard 100 certified and we are ISO 9001:2000 certified.

We have pictures of the conditions at the factories we use at various stages of the manufacturing process that you are welcome to see.

We feel that because we are so involved in every aspect of the manufacturing process and personally know a large percentage of those individuals involved we can truly be confident we are participating in a manner prescribed by the Fair Trade and Ethical Manufacturing guidelines.
Bamboo is planted and grown on family-owned farms that have been in agricultural use for generations. None of the fiber comes from tropical forests. Over 2.5 billion people work with or depend on bamboo as a natural resource.

To keep the shape required for a proper fit most bamboo socks contain 95% Viscose from Certified Organic Bamboo and 5% nylon. Boxers are made from 70% Viscose from Certified Organic Bamboo and 30% Organic Cotton. Boxer briefs are made from 67% Viscose from Certified Organic Bamboo, 28% Organic Cotton and 5% Spandex.

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How to Save Money and Live a Healthier Life with Hemp Coffee Filters

Did you know that the standard white paper coffee filter gconefilteroes through a chemical process just to make it look nice?

Do you really want to add bleach along with your cream and sugar?

Even the natural looking paper filters take their toll as trees are harvested, processed and transported.

Metal filters have issues too, the worst of which is who knows what might be leaching into your brew?

So try a reusable hemp coffee filter today! Hemp coffee filters make a perfect cup of coffee every time.

Save money by not having to purchase hundreds of disposable filters that will just clog up landfills.

Cone and basket are available styles to fits most household coffee makers.

Made in America from chemical-free European hemp.

Eliminates your exposure to the bleaches and other toxic chemicals associated with most conventional coffee filters.

Save paper. Save money. Save Trees. Protect our groundwater.

All natural, no plastic or synthetic materials.

A handy fabric loop is sewn into our filters, making them easy to store or hang to dry.

To clean, just soak in 2 cups of boiling water with 2 tablespoons of baking soda mixed in every month or so.

When the time finally comes when this filter has done all it can do, the entire unit is biodegradable. Expect each filter to last 1-3 years depending on care and use.

We usually have 2 in our home that we rotate through. Using one while the other dries.

For those of you who are concerned about hemp’s unfounded reputation as a drug, rest assured you have nothing to worry about. Neither you or your kids will get high using hemp products. Unlike marijuana, hemp contains only minute (less than 1%) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. In addition, hemp possesses a high percentage of the compound cannabidiol (CBD), which has been shown to block the effects of THC. For these reasons, many botanists have dubbed industrial hemp “anti-marijuana.”

From the strongest rope to the finest lace, hemp is the earth’s most versatile fiber. Hemp is also Nature’s longest fiber, which means garments last longer than those made with other fabrics. Hemp is naturally resistant to mildew and UV light.

Hemp is extremely efficient from an environmental perspective.

Hemp naturally suppresses weeds and enriches the soil it is grown in.

Hemp is grown without herbicides or pesticides.

Check out for other earth friendly products to help you and your family make a difference with your thumbprint.

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Green Christmas Gifts: Rainbow color-block afghan

My Mother-In-Law gave me a bag full of yard odds and ends. I was thinking I need to do something about this growing stash of yarn! It was great that people kept giving me free yarn because it can be so expensive, but none of this stuff was enough to make a whole project really.I didn’t want to through away useable materials. I tried making hats but not all the colors were appropriate or I simply didn’t have enough of any one yarn. Then, I saw a beautiful designer afghan and inspiration hit.

A rainbow color-block afghan is what I decided to make with all my yarn. First I went through my stash to find all the yarns of like kinds and started looking for my rainbow colors. I tried to keep it balanced using an “S” shaped pattern for the colors snaking in 3 rows to the bottom. Yellow, orange and red in the top row, pinks, purples blues in the second row, blues and green on the bottom. I realized I have quite a bit of green yarn so I didn’t want to get to heavy handed with it.

All the blocks have a 52 row max, so I wouldn’t overwhelm the quilt if I had a little to much of any one color. Many of the blocks turned out smaller as I didn’t have much of many of the yarns. I made 3 strips that are 48 stitches across by 260 rows . I joined the rows to each other as I knit the blanket. This afghan was knitted on a knitting machine, but just as easily could be made using single crochet or hand knit.

Make the blanket smaller or larger as your stash of yarn will make. The one I made was lap quilt/baby blanket sized. You can also add tassels or a crocheted edging to this design to make it fit your home or the person you are making it for.

I love how my afghan turned out and I might try a gradient afghan next time with all the green yarn I have!

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Eco-Friendly Paint Removal

One of the most environmentally damaging aspects of traditional boating maintenance involves the periodic need to apply anti-fouling paint to your vessel’s hull.

The first step in this process usually involves removing the old paint.

Various methods have been used to accomplish this task, and until recently they all had a very negative environmental impact.

Sanding and sandblasting are one of the most widely used techniques to remove old bottom paint. This technique almost always produces a toxic cloud that is difficult to keep from drifting into the nearby waterways, and of course the atmosphere.

Heat guns have been used with varying degrees of success, however, heating a substance like paint to the melting point produces all sorts of noxious fumes.

Applying chemical compounds designed to weaken and dissolve paint so it can later be scraped off is another frequently used means of removing old paint.

Needless to say, these traditional strippers were designed with very little thought to how they would affect the environment. The active ingredient in most of them is methylene chloride, a known carcinogen.

Using good old fashioned ingenuity, however, a group of folks have harnessed compounds crafted by Mother Nature to create a product that works as well or better than the toxic, synthetic versions.

Made in America by the good people at Franmar, SOY Gel™ Paint & Urethane Remover is soybean-based and does a nasty job with ease.

More importantly, it works without causing harm to the environment or those folks using it. hulls. It has no odor, and a very low evaporation rate.

Franmar SOY Gel™ Paint & Urethane Remover is a clean, green, and simple solution to remove Paint & Urethane. Coverage area – up to 200 sq. ft. per gallon horizontally and up to 150 sq. ft. per gallon vertically.

This Solvent based remover with NO Methylene Chloride, Caustics, Acids or MEK’s. Leaves no chemical residue, needs no neutralizing. Stays wet for extended periods of time. Will not harm gel coating. Will not burn or blister the skin. Meets EPA National Clean Marina Guidelines.

A Story of Invention and Innovation…

Soy’s ability to replace highly toxic and expensive petrochemicals provides a safer, more economical world. Using natural products that  do the job, safely and affordably fuels a change- for the better – to cleaning techniques and philosophies throughout the planet.

Today, many call this “Green.”

Franmar has now gained worldwide acclaim for its effective, economical, and safe product lines—all developed to benefit workers and their environment.

Owners Frank and Marilyn are still very involved in the company. They work closely with their executive team to keep the deep-rooted values of hard work and service excellence as a company priority.

Throughout its 25-year history, Franmar has worked closely with the United Soybean Board, even occasionally receiving some USB research and development funds.

Farmers participate in the USB soybean checkoff, whereby they collectively invest a portion of their profits to fund soy research and promotion.

With assistance from USB checkoff funds for R&D, combined with Franmar’s own R&D and marketing funds, Franmar has very successfully increased the market for products made from soy oil.

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Eco-friendly Solutions for Plastic Bag Waste

Eco-friendly Solutions for Plastic Bag Waste

Regular plastic bags take a lifetime, often over 100 years, to begin to degrade.

Less than 2% of plastic bags ever get recycled and those that are seldom ever become plastic bags again.

Plastic bags litter our streets and waterways.

Take an active role in preserving our planet by using Eco friendly products made from corn or other natural products, which can decompose naturally in your compost pile. These types of naturally derived food storage and waste bags provide an alternative to polyethylene/polypropylene based plastic bags.

These corn based bags don’t decompose until introduced to the earth’s elements or micro-organisms in the soil. They are however susceptible to heat and damp, so they must be kept in a cool dry place for storage purposes.

This compostable-bag type of waste disposal is perfect for parks where pet waste disposal is an issue.

New products are coming out all the time like a compostable cling wrap.

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Combatting an Oily Bilge with Natural Beneficial Microbes

Prevention is the best way to stop oily discharges from the bilge. Maintain your engine well, which prevents most leaks of fossil fuels into the water.

Its also a good idea to place an oil absorbent pad or pillow under your engine where any drips may occur. Check the pads often, do not let them clog the bilge pump, and dispose of them as hazardous waste at a marina or local hazardous waste collection center.

The best products to use however, combat hydrocarbon pollution through the use of naturally-occurring beneficial microbes placed in floating foam pads.

The foam acts like a boom, attracting and absorbing hydrocarbons and many other water pollutants — oils, gas, grease, diesel, kerosene, MTBE, nitrates — and our microbes then digest those pollutants through the natural process of bioremediation.

These absorbent foam carriers with pre-measured micro-tablets inserted in them are designed to absorb oil and repel water.

They provide a perfect “microcosm” for microbes to live and digest the oil drawn to the foam.

These pads float and are ideal for boat and ship bilges where oil sheens tend to develop.

The microbes are activated by the water, and use the boat’s natural motion to help provide aeration and promote contact with the oil sheens.

Once tied-off, the pad will float on the water and the microbes will continuously work to consume any oil sheens.

The microbes multiple every 20 minutes so you will be building up a healthy colony of beneficial microbes that will continue to work in your bilge for 3-4 months. After this time, simply replace with a new pad.

The pads are attached to a lanyard that allows for easy retrieval after three months of treatment and disposal in accordance with federal, state and local regulations.


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How can you prevent Marine Debris from ruining your vacation

New discoveries of islands made of garbage in the ocean can cause great concern for everyone over the prevalence of marine debris on our planet. Marine debris can harm the entire ocean ecosystem and can be easily prevented by taking care to dispose of trash properly and by making sure that your gear is Eco-friendly should it go overboard by accident.
Types of Marine Debris:Plastics – Plastics are no being found in icebergs at both poles at an alarming rate. These plastics can impact marine life in many negative ways. These plastics can range from commonly lost items like bags, cups, or plastic bags; to industrial products; or  fishing gear. We can help prevent this by using biodegradable items like a compostable trash bag on board. Or, by using items that are less likely to break and be replaced over and over.

Glass, Styrofoam, and Rubber – Commonly used in our society, these materials are broken down into smaller and smaller fragments, but they never really go away. These can have similar effects in the marine environment to plastic and they are used for a wide range of products. Their occurrence in the marine debris is overwhelming.

Derelict Fishing Gearis recreational or commercial fishing equipment like nets, lines, crab/shrimp pots, and other  that has been lost, abandoned, or discarded in the ocean. Modern gear is generally made of synthetic materials and lost gear will be a part of the marine debris for a long time. Abandoning synthetic equipment for more natural products like hemp rope.

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Going Green with Marine Hardware in an Imperfect World

Going Green with Marine Hardware in an Imperfect World

Most marine hardware can be divided into two distinct groups these days.

Cheap junk made with little, if any, thought to the impact its production has on the environment or the workers involved – or high quality gear made from materials designed to last, by companies that care.

More and more consumers are starting to care too.

Plastic and nylon parts are durable for a while and they satisfy price sensitive shoppers. Their production, however, creates numerous toxins, and eventually enough sunshine or stress will cause them to break.

Chrome, nickel, and zinc plating can protect metal surfaces for years, but their initial production, especially in third-world countries can cause devastating harm.

Painted parts are effective for a while, but paint production is usually nasty, and as it chips and goes over the side, paint carries its own poisons along.

Environmentally conscious companies like choose to carry aluminum, brass, bronze, stainless steel, and occasionally wood hardware.

In an imperfect world, these choices are not entirely without their faults.

However, they satisfy the criteria for high quality, long lasting products that do the job well while inflicting minimal, if any, harm.

Another important green aspect is a lack of a minimum order policy. Restrictive policies that force you to purchase in bulk only produce waste.

After all, if a customer only needs a certain quantity of an item, why force them to pay for something that will sit on a shelf for years or be discarded?

Sure, this might sound like a little thing, but if we can discourage waste, especially of products like hardware that are made almost exclusively from natural resources, we believe it is both good business and good for the Planet.

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