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Every April 22 we celebrate Earth Day, which is said to be the birthday of the environmental movement. At schools around the country, kids may learn about recycling, traverse the playground picking up litter, and color a picture of a smiling Earth. It’s the one day of the year that most of us take time to actually think about the environment and do something to help it. It’s an eco-friendly day but, for many, it’s just one day.

In 2006, the documentary An Inconvenient Truth hit theaters and made people squirm in their seats. It rattled us because, as the title suggests, the truth about the Earth’s state is something that we don’t want to know. It’s inconvenient because it makes us uncomfortable and many of us think that taking action may disrupt our lives. The movie’s success was almost like a rebirth for the environmental movement. As one of many contributing factors, the movie also jump started a new way of thinking. Businesses and products started popping up with “eco-friendly” and “green” attached to their names and some home owners began finding ways to compost their waste or save on their energy use. The truth of the Earth’s state may still make us uncomfortable, but with all of these new initiatives, our personal contributions to saving the Earth are no longer so inconvenient. From eco-friendly clothing and accessories to biodegradable products to hybrid or electric cars, companies are starting to expand their green programs to help us in our endeavors to help the planet – and not just for one day. And when it comes to eco-friendly home décor, Verde Lifestyles has you covered.

In 2009, Danielle and Ryan Forrest set out to help people have a positive impact on the environment through their company Verde Lifestyles. The parent company of NaturalRugCo.com and NaturalWoodDecor.com, Verde Lifestyles offers eclectic and sophisticated home décor that is also kind to the Earth.  In celebration of our five year anniversary, we’ve listed the top five ways Verde Lifestyles helps you celebrate Earth Day every day.

  1. Our solely-online business saves space and energy by taking out a physical location that requires electricity, heat, water, and materials to operate.
  2. We cut down on up to 50% of transportation by drop shipping. This way, we use less gas and reduce harmful emissions from cars and trucks.
  3. Our company is 95% paperless because all of our orders are made electronically.
  4. Our website offers links on how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Such information includes how to tell if a product is really eco-friendly, how to recycle home décor, and how to create eco-friendly cleaning products.
  5. Our collection of rugs are made from plentiful bamboo, natural fibers, and recycled paper. Our sustainable wood décor is made from Acacia, Teak, Mango, and Root woods and is hand carved by Thai artisans. But the best part of our products? They are so beautiful, different, and elegant that you’ll want to buy them because you need them in your home, not because you feel guilted into buying green.

Earth Day Tree

Great video on making your garden more feng shui. Each of the 8 directions of your garden (north, northwest, northeast, east, west, south, southwest, southeast) represent different areas of your life and each element (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) corresponds with those areas.

For example, the northeast area of your garden is connected to personal growth and the feng shui element that corresponds to this area is earth. Rocks are an earth feng shui element, so a Zen garden with rock formations in the northeast area of your garden would help balance your personal growth energy.

 

Rocks

Check out Natural Wood Decor’s new teak bath decor, they now offer more teak shower mats, shower shelfs and a new teak shower bench with a shelf!

Teak Shower Mat

Natural Wood Decor’s Teak Shower Mat

Step out of the shower onto one of their teak wood shower mats. Made of quality FSC certified teak wood and available in 3 sizes they are a great addition to the bathroom, pool or deck. Not only do they add style to any room with their warm wood tones, they are also naturally slip and mold resistant. Learn more about Natural Wood Decor’s new Teak Shower/Bath Mats.

Teak Shower Shelf

Natural Wood Decor’s Teak Shower Shelf

Never have enough space for toiletries in the bathroom? Natural Wood Decor’s new Teak Shower Shelf is great for in the shower or anywhere in the bathroom, whether you use it for candles and other decor or toiletries. Available in 2 sizes, 18″ or 24″.

Teak Shower Bench with Shelf

Natural Wood Decor’s Teak Shower Bench with Shelf

What I love about this Teak Shower Bench with Shelf is that it can be used in so many different areas of the home. Try it in the shower, in the bathroom for extra storage and seating, by the pool, on the deck or in the garden. Since teak is naturally water resistant it can be used indoors or outdoors. Available in 2 sizes, 25″ or 30″ long.

Shop all of Natural Wood Decor’s teak bath decor.

Make your St. Patrick’s Day celebration a little greener with these tips and tidbits.

Enjoy a pint of Guinness with the knowledge that the brewery embraces sustainable practices.

Bottles vs Cans – Despite what we hear in the news, glass recycling is not as effective as aluminum. It’s labor and energy intensive and unfortunately still not economically viable. Whereas, aluminum recycling avoids 95% of the energy it took to make the original can and aluminum is the only widespread recyclable commodity that is economically viable.

From beer to baked goods, everything goes green on St. Patrick’s Day. But it turns out that dying food and drinks green isn’t great for your body or the planet.

Artificial food coloring, known as FD&C Green No. 3 and Fast Green FCF, is derived from petroleum, a limited resource that contains coal tar. It’s also associated with hyperactivity in children and an increased risk of certain cancers, according to a study conducted by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

The solution? Try using a naturally-derived food dye. This one from Chefmaster, which gets its green hue from red cabbage and beta carotene, is a great alternative.

While there are numerous other ways to make your St. Patrick’s Day celebration green, I thought it would be fun to look into the color green, the other side of the green coin:)

Ever wonder why Ireland is associated with the color green? Well besides the rainy weather that creates such a lush landscape, there is also an interesting history with the country’s association with green.

The historical national color of Ireland is actually royal blue. The modern Irish coat of arms (and the standard of the President of Ireland), for example, is a golden harp with silver strings on a royal blue background.

The association with the color green is from the Irish Catholics (supposedly, St. Patrick used shamrocks to teach the Irish about the Trinity, so the color green and the shape of shamrock came to symbolize the Irish Christianity, although St. Patrick himself is traditionally associated with the color blue; there’s even an expression, “St. Patrick’s blue”). While the Irish Protestants’ color is orange. Thus, the modern Irish flag, a tricolor of green, white, and orange, was designed in the mid 1800s to symbolize the desire for peace between Catholics and Protestants. In the words of Thomas Francis Meagher, “the white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between the ‘Orange’ and the ‘Green,’ and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of the Irish Protestant and the Irish Catholic may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood”.

Another interesting tidbit is that in the late 1700s when Ireland was struggling for independence, “green” was worn as a color of sympathy for the Irish cause to such a degree that wearing the color green was outlawed around 1776.

Now you can impress your friends with these St. Patrick’s Day fun facts:)

ITR-PCL-00045299

Key Lime Bamboo Rug

Key Lime Bamboo Rug

Not sure if a rug will match your decor? Natural Rug Co. now offers bamboo rug samples on select styles! If you are interested in purchasing a larger sized rug, this is a great way to make sure the color will match the decor of the room you want to use it in.

While samples are not available for all of our styles, it is listed in the drop down for those we do have samples for.

Visit Natural Rug Co. to shop bamboo rugs.

Whether your redesigning your bedroom or gathering ideas for future home makeovers, the best part is looking at photos of other homes for inspiration. There are so many interior design resources available, lately my favorite have been Houzz and Pinterest.

Where do you like to look for design inspiration? Post your favorite sites or boards on Pinterest in the comments below.

Here are 5 of my favorite bedroom photos for inspiration:)

Natural Wood Decor was recently featured in Interior Design Musings! Check out the post on accessorizing with Natural Wood Decor’s Root Wood Cheese Board. Don’t forget to apply for the giveaway too:)

 

Root Wood Cheese Board

Need ideas for a Valentine’s Day gift or want to treat yourself? Check out these 5 products from Natural Wood Decor.

 

 

Lotus Wall Panel

Lotus Wall Panel

This beautiful lotus flower wood wall panel makes a great addition to any room, but is more romantic in the bedroom. It’s warm wood tones and the intricate floral designs add a sense of serenity to the bedroom.

Root Wood Wine Rack

Root Wood Wine Rack

Help your Valentine relax with a bottle of wine or 3 with this new root wood wine rack. Wine not included but the root wood wine rack comes in handy long after Valentine’s Day.

Bird Wall Panel

Bird Wall Panel

Another beautiful wood wall panel that is great for creating a more relaxing setting. You can almost hear the birds singing a sweet love song!

Teak Bath Bar

Teak Bath Bar

No better way to set the mood than with a relaxing bath. Use the teak wood bath bar for candles, chocolates and a glass of wine.

Root Wood Bowl

Root Wood Bowl

While Natural Wood Decor’s root wood bowl is stunning on it’s own, imagine it filled with sweets for your sweetheart.

Check out these and more great products at Natural Wood Decor. Free shipping on orders over $75!

 

 

 

Need design inspiration or just like looking at photos?

Check out Houzz, it is a great home remodeling and design site. Not only do they have beautiful photos but they also help connect homeowners, designers and home improvement professionals. I like to use it for inspiration but you can also use it for project advice.

Here’s a few of my favorite photos…enjoy:)

The first step in making Natural Wood Decor’s popular twist stools is to harvest the branches from sustainably grown monkey pod trees. The edges are then squared by a Thai artisan with a chainsaw to prepare the wood for more detailed carving. The sections are further trimmed to get the height and width of the desired finished product.

Under the skillful hand of the artisan, the primary angels begin to form. Using the chainsaw, they are careful not to take too much off at a time. They will go back and forth and rotate the piece to make sure the angles on both sides are symmetrical. It makes for tedious work but you can imagine how frustrating it would be to make an error and have to start over.

The twist stool is now in it’s recognizable form. The last pieces will be hollowed out of the center and smaller trimmings will be done to make the chiseling and sanding process move faster.

The top and base of the stools are hand planed by a second artisan to assure that they are flat and will sit flush on any floor.

A third artisan then chisels and sands the curves of the wood. After, it is ready for a natural oil finish and finally drying before its packaged up and sent to the US.

Natural Wood Decor is a Verde Lifestyles company.