What's most impressive about recycled and eco-friendly products is that each one was once a completely different item. I know; that's obvious. But stop and think about it. It's amazing.
MATS THAT SAVE WHALES
Did you know that since April 2009, lobstermen can no longer use float rope to tie their traps together? And that Northern Right Whales can suffer injury or even die if they get entangled in the rope?
Down East Doormats, made by the Maine Float Rope Co., are made from 100 percent reclaimed and recycled float ropes. The hand-woven mats trap dirt, mud, snow or sand and are reversible and weatherproof — and best of all help a good cause. They come in several colors, patterns and sizes and start at $49.95. Details: MaineFloatRope.com.
PAINT YOU'LL WANT TO EAT (SORT OF)
What if instead of feeling like you're about to hyperventilate, you got hungry after inhaling the smell of a freshly painted room?
Made of about 90 percent food ingredients, Anna Sova Food Paint is a low-VOC formula that comes in more than 500 colors — all of which "smell like a milkshake," the paint cans say. You apply it just like regular paint, and it protects your walls and scrubs easily. A few of the ingredients, according to the company, include: milk casein (as used in milkshakes); titanium dioxide (as in powdered doughnuts); food-grade bamboo cellulose (as in fiber bars); food emulsifiers, fungicide, bactericide, mildew retardant and preservatives (as used in chocolate). That said, be careful not to lick the wall. Cost is $12 per half pint or $69 per gallon. Details: annasova.com.
SHOP AND SUPPORT HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMS
Spiralfoundation.org (Spinning Potential Into Resources And Love), which supports humanitarian programs in Nepal and Vietnam, has too many cool products to list.
Click on the "spiral store" link and you'll find bed covers, book accessories, frames, kitchen products, tableware, pillow covers and more, most made from reclaimed or recycled materials.
Products are accompanied by brief descriptions and information on where the materials used came from. Here's a sample: Handmade Himalayan wool blanket ($25); Red Carpet stationery card set ($12) made of paper from Daphne Bark, from managed forests in the hills of Nepal; hand-carved wooden spatula ($10); and telephone wire bowls ($18 each), made from discarded telephone wire.