For the Greater Goods

A lifestyle blog for the conscious consumer

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What’s cuter than a penguin in a sweater?

If I were to pick a spirit animal for myself, I would probably pick a penguin. Ideally, I would like to be something majestic and graceful like a wolf or tiger, but realistically I waddle more like a penguin.

As you can see, these animals really encompass a “fall down seven times, get up eight” mentality. They are very resilient. But sometimes these little critters need a little help and that is where the Penguin Foundation comes into play.  The Penguin Foundation on Phillip Island in Victoria (Australia) works to protect and preserve Little Penguins. The Little Penguin or Fairy Penguin, as they are sometimes called, is the smallest species of penguins.

One way the foundation helps the penguins is after man-made disasters such as oil spills. The foundation rescues penguins by providing them with a sweater. Yes, that’s right; they put sweaters on the penguins. Not only do the sweaters look adorable, they actually serve a purpose. What happens is the penguins’ feathers get matted from the oil, which makes it hard for them to stay warm. And what is the most obvious thing to do when you get cold? Put on a sweater!

Not only do the sweaters keep these little cuties warm, it also keeps them from swallowing oil in their attempts to clean their feathers.  After the penguins are cleaned, they are released back into the wild (sans adorable sweater) and go back to doing whatever it is penguins do.

Little Penguins

So now that you’ve read about the most adorable use for a sweater, I am sure you’re wondering how can I be a part of this? Well, it’s easy. One way to help is to knit a penguin sweater. You can go to this website to download a pattern and then get creative! This website also provides the address to send your finished sweaters. You have to send it all the way to Australia, so expect a decent shipping cost.

Can’t knit? No problem! You can also donate to the Penguin Foundation or adopt a penguin of your own. You can even name your little fella! To learn more about the Little Penguin and this cause, check out the Penguin Foundation Homepage.

Little Penguins 2


Go Green for St. Paddy’s Day!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone! In conjunction with the green of Saint Patrick’s Day, I decided to share a company that produces eco-friendly bags and it is called BAGGU. I wish I could remember where I heard of this company, but once you hear the word BAGGU, it is hard to forget. BAGGU produces a wide array of colorful, simple, versatile, and affordable bags. All of the products are constructed in a way to minimize material/production waste and ensure high quality. Each bag is made out of nylon, canvas, or leather.

Nylon: Although nylon itself is not bio degradable (and therefore not totally eco-friendly), nylon is sturdy and can be reused infinitely. These BAGGU bags can hold up to 50 pounds and are made to last for years. But if you are ever ready to part ways with your nylon BAGGU, don’t throw it away! BAGGU has set up a nylon recycling program where you can send your bag back to be recycled into a new bag and in return you receive a discount on a future purchase.BAGGU Standard (right) BAGGU 3D Zip (left)

Above is one of their nylon designs called the Standard BAGGU (on the right), which comes in three convenient sizes. There are so many uses for a simple bag like this. It is small enough where you could just scrunch it up into your purse or pocket and whip it out when needed.  The first thing that pops into my head when I see this bag is a reusable bag for groceries. If you have a lot of groceries and want to carry a bunch of bags at once, you can store them in the 3D Zip BAGGU (pictured on the left). How convenient!

BAGGU Duckbag, Backpack, Weekender, Duffel

Canvas: All of the cotton canvas bags are made out of pre-consumed, recycled cotton. To me, the canvas bags designs shout travel. They offer a duckbag (I have no idea why its called this) and backpack which would be great for school, work (if it is a casual environment), hiking, the beach, or any another other day trip kind of activity. They also offer a variety of weekend bags, which you could use for, well obviously, a weekend trip. And lastly, there is the duffel bag for longer trips.

BAGGU Wedge Pouch

Leather: The BAGGU leather bags are more expensive than the other materials, but great if you want a more sophisticated look. BAGGU works with a tannery that documents and manages their operations to minimize the impact on the environment. They also conserve leather by using the leftover scraps from the larger bags to make the smaller leather accessories.  Of all the leather options, I think I like the tiny wedge coin purse the best. I love the unique shape. You could put it on your key ring and use it to hold coins (obviously), headphones, chap stick/lip gloss, gum… I think I might have just sold one to myself!

All three material options are great ways to initiate going green and support BAGGU’s green business practices. So which BAGGU is for you? Check all the bags out at:

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A Man and his… Tutu?

Here is a true love story: upon discovering his wife has breast cancer, a man takes photos of himself in a tutu for her to look and laugh at while she sits through treatment. And that is exactly what Bob Carey did. Watch this video to see how this man’s idea later became a book, which turned into a non-profit venture to help women with breast cancer.

Like the video said, rather than donating the money to research, Linda and Bob are working to provide things that make women comfortable during treatment. Some of the things that they help provide are wigs, transportation, childcare, home care, medical supplies and counseling.

The book is adorable and sure to make you laugh as well as reflect. It contains photos from around the world of Bob in his tutu and the story behind the pictures. You could keep this book on your coffee table to entertain guests, add it to your bookshelf, give it as a gift (my birthday is in September 😉 ), or just keep it around to brighten your day once in a while. He also offers 11″ x 14″ prints of a select few photos. This may be a little bold for most people to hang up in their home, but if you have the right décor, I’d say go for it! And lastly, The Tutu Project offers postcards that you can send to all your friends and family to brighten up their day!

If you’re interested in learning more about the project or buying some merchandise,  you can check out the Tutu Project and the Carey Foundation websites  HERE and HERE.


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Keepin’ Up With What’s What

Today I am going to do something a little different. Instead of informing you about another awesome socially conscious product, I am going to show you some quick, fun, and easy tools to stay up to date on the current happenings around the world. As the world seems to get smaller and smaller, being aware of current events helps you stay part of the global community. It also helps you build informed opinions and spark engaging discussions on issues that can impact your town, state, country, and world. Sometimes when we see what is happening around the world in full view, it can change our whole perspective on how we see our own life. There are many many many resources out there, but today I am just going to share with you three tools I have come across that can help you sift through large volumes of news to find what issues interests you.

ImageEvery morning while my tea is cooling off and my brain is warming up I read the Five Things to Know for Your New Day on Each morning it gives you a brief paragraph on that day’s five biggest stories. You can see today’s here. Every morning it is posted under The Latest on the CNN homepage, but you have to act quickly because it is usually gone by 10am.

For mobile information, my favorite app is Buzzfeed.  I like that it is easy to read, share, and bookmark articles. It also combines popular news with vital information, which makes it both fun and educational. I like that I can get updates about Russia and Ukraine, but find scientific articles about pizza. You can also customize a “My Feed” page on the app to show you the top articles from your favorite topics.

Last on my list is theSkimm, which is a daily email newsletter. Its motto is, “We read. You Skimm”, which is perfect for anyone crunched for time.  Along with being quick, the briefs are made enjoyable with their witty wording.  It’s great to read while you’re eating breakfast or on your morning commute (as long as you’re not driving of course). You can check out today’s Skimm right here.

Once you have found some topics that interest you, I would highly recommend looking at a news website to further your knowledge. CNN is usually my go to, but you can also use: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Yahoo, NPR, LA Times, BBC, Financial Times and the list goes on. Feel free to try one or all of the above to find out which one is best for you.

And finally, if you are looking to stay up to date on all the coolest socially conscious goods, feel free to subscribe to my blog to get emails every time I post something new. Just click the follow + button at the bottom of the screen (it pops up when you scroll down) and submit your email so you never miss a post!