On Your Mark, Get Set………Wash Yourselves Silly!!!!!!!!!

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, organicneedle, organicneedle bags, organics, projects, sewing

By random drawing, test piggies winners have been chosen. I will be sending out my goods this weekend. I drew for the bag first and then with the leftover names drew for the cloths.   Beth and CT will be bagging their soap shards and Heather & Cat will be sloughing away their winter layers with the cloths. In about 2 weeks they will all report back and let us all know if they survived the experimentation.

I have been using my soap bag for about 2 weeks so far…and I’m digging it.  The washcloth is also a big hit for me, but I am very curious to hear everyone’s thoughts.

So ladies…go enjoy yourselves a nice relaxing bath and get to work!!!!monkey in tub



Check Out My Scarves! Or…Why Babies Hate Me

Posted by organicneedle in organicneedle, organics, product review, random rants, sewing


I have had these super vibrant soft organic cotton Harmony fabrics for a few months now…with overly ambitious plans to create baby blankets with them. As I was was prepping the material I realized that I wanted to wear them. So…I stitched myself up a little magic. I LOVE these not only because the patterns just make me smile, but they are also soooooo soft. (I sometimes find wool scarves a bit rough on my precious skin.) So tough luck babies…these are for the Mama. Well…I may have a few over at Etsy for anyone else craving a little splash of color this winter.

(Yes…my photos definately need a professional touch. I swear I could be standing on the sun and still not get enough light.)



What can I say?

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, handmade holidays, organicneedle, organicneedle bags, organics, sewing, tea/tea bag


Yes…I was meaning to spend this week giving you more glorious examples of much better and more artistic things to buy this holiday season than the ol’ Walmart crap, but what can I say? My little tea bags seem to be all the rage. Trust me…I am in nooooo way complaining…just not able to assist in the art selections at the moment. Just go to Etsy…you will find something you will like. If you are too lazy to browse their vast variety of goodies…just buy everyone you’ve ever met an Organicneedle tea bag or two. All the cool people are doing it. You do want to be cool, don’t you? 🙂



Add Shade-Grown to Your Green Checklist

Posted by organicneedle in coffee filter, energy, organics

Sunday I took my peeps to the good ol’ Bronx Zoo. Always educational for all. In addition to staring down the Eco Toilet for 20 minutes and excitedly talking about what eats poop, besides the weird kid at the playground, we also visited the recently renovated Madagascar House. There we met a 10×20 foot screen showing footage of the devastating deforestation of the island. 80% of 99% of its land animals’ habitat is gone. Just gone. The evil culprit…the poor farmers trying to make a living. Not so evil, huh?

Well…apparently, I learned, there is a solution…one that we all can be a part of. By supporting shade-grown coffee we can send the message that we are willing to pay a little more to save a whole lot…an entire eco-system to be exact. Shade growing not only keeps the much needed animal habitat, but also lessens soil erosion, requires less pesticides,and lessens the plants’ vulnerability to climate changes. It’s a win-win…as long as the farmers can still make a decent living with less crop output.

Costa Rica has already launched their own shade-growing effort to save their migratory birds’ habitat. Hopefully their success will encourage others that economy and ecology do not have to work against each other. coffee

So send a message to coffee growers around the world that we want them to have fair wages, lessen their chemical output, and keep their lands in tact. Here is a list of resources to find exactly what you are looking for in your morning cup. Demanding little group, aren’t we?

Gosh golly…you know what would go perfectly with your new organic, fair trade, shade-grown coffee? An organic cotton reusable coffee filter, of course. (I am nothing if not subtle.)



When Your Stocks Shrivel Eat More Chocolate: Hershey’s Organic Chocolate Review

Posted by organicneedle in organics, product review

I did a little info gathering during my “research” at Hershey. The simple facts: they own 40% of the US chocolate market and about 11% worldwide. The vast majority of their goods are neither organic nor Fair Trade. Last year they did buy one of my favorites, Dagoba, and seemed to have allowed that business to go on as usual in its organic and Fair Tradey goodness. Given Dagoba’s success, Hershey has created a line of less exotic organic chocolates to appeal to the less adventurous milk chocolate eaters of the world. Very mild and tasty. Much creamier than a Hershey Kiss. Not a whole lot of chocolate flavor…but most milk chocolate lacks that cocoa intensity. (The only milk chocolate I seek out is Scharffen Berger…which has about 40% beany goodness. Hmmmm…Scharferific.) So why did I buy the Hershey organic chocolates…which are not the healthy dark kind, Fair Trade, or the new Equitrade. In general, as pointed out repeatedly in Omnivore’s Dilemma, corporate organic isn’t thought to be the best solution. No it isn’t..but if you can get the big guys playing along that is still a whole lot less toxic chemical being dumped into the world. The more people show an interest …the more it will shift…the more it shifts..the more affordable..etc.etc. Hershey has a lot of buying power and based on their purchase of Dagoba and this new product line they are open to the next generation of chocolate. And I for one am willing to sacrifice my time and my waistline to nudge them in the right direction.homer

While on the subject of Hershey and their potential greeness…no recycle bins anywhere in the park…yet they had signs up with green tips on how to save the planet. Their green campaign is about as effective as their warm Hershey Explosion campaign. Yes…last year they actually had a warm liquid brownie concoction called a Hershey Explosion. Who would of thought that exploding body temperature poo colored chocolate wouldn’t be a big seller?hershey



Obama Mama

Posted by organicneedle in Etsy, organics, politics


I had this very long…and, quite frankly, very boring post all planned out about why everyone should be voting for Obama. After reading it and passing out on my own keyboard I realized a few things. One…highly unlikely any McCain/Palin voters are reading little ol’ Needles crunchfest of a blog. Two…what more can be said. Unless you own a large corporation and are currently enjoying huge tax loopholes that prevent you from paying your fair share and are looking forward to the huge financial profits of shifting your jobs to poor countries where there are no pesky human rights or environmental regulations, or are a staunch…and I mean staunch ..not even in the case of rape or incest Right-to-Lifer, or you are simply a blatant out and out racist, there are really NO justifications for voting for McCain.

So what could little ol’ me possibly SAY that would change the minds of the previously listed? Well…what I can DO, besides voting and contributing to his campaign, is put the girls to work. My message is going on my boobs. That’s right. How many times have you tried to have a quasi serious political discussion with a guy just to realize he is playing “guess the cup size” in his little brain? You’ve got something important to say…a message worth hearing and remembering…boob it up sister! Found the above number on Etsy. Says it all…and its 100% organic cotton of course.

*I in no way am connected to the creator of the T-shirts and will not benefit from any sales except perhaps in getting a president who is NOT evil this time around. A girl can dream can’t she?*



Organicizing My Makeup: Physicians Formula Organic Wear Concealers

Posted by organicneedle in blogtastic, organics, plastic, product review, recycling


Even the Needle needs a wee bit of help looking breathtaking each day. So why not try to add a little organicizing to the ol’ makeup bag? So…I picked up Physicians Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Concealers in Fair & Green. (No I am not the swamp thing. Green covers red which I tend to get around my nose during the colder weather…when I hear Santa needs help with his sleigh.)

Packaging…Let’s start with the positive. The outer packaging is just paper. With the rather clever construction they completely eliminated the need for the clam shell type covering most makeup uses. Sweet. Hopefully that alone will inspire redesigns for all makeup…organic or not. The inner packaging is better…but the makeup is still essentially in a plastic tube with paper covering. I guess they could use glass…but maybe that would be a safety issue since you are cramming it onto your face.

Price…6.95 each. That seems to be on par with other concealers.

Now for the not so nicey nice.

Smell…yes it is important since I wear the green on my snout. Rancid olive oil. I now know why they add so much fragrance to makeup. Holy skunk butt. If this were the only issue I would just plug my nose and soldier on…but…keep reading.

Ingredients…better…but wait. Sounds really good at first: organic olive oil, organic soybean oil, beeswax, avocado oil….and then a big list of flowers. I’m feeling girly just looking at the list. But right at the end they slip in some other familiar names that don’t sound so tasty: talc, titanium dioxide, iron oxide, which is rust, no? Do these qualify as natural? I guess they do occur naturally. So does snail slime…doesn’t mean I want some on my face.

Performance…Now for the big So What…does it work? Depends what you mean by work. First the makeup was so thick and sticky you couldn’t apply it like a stick…which is kind of the point of a concealer STICK. Both of them broke when I tried. I was able to use a lipstick brush to apply it and it managed to conceal. Amazing!


So…although I give Physicians Formula big props for reinventing the makeup packaging…they have a lot of work to do in the actual makeup department. Bottom line: Swampy no recommend.



Eco-Frustration & Stuffing My Ice Cream Hole at Bellvale Creamery

Posted by organicneedle in CSA/ Local Food, organics, product review

You didn’t think I was done with my Upstate adventure tales yet, did ya? Well…this one required a lot of hard work and sacrifice on my part. Paid a little visit to Bellvale Farm & Creamery &bellvale had to eat what was perhaps the most delicious ice cream ever made…and saw the moo moos who produced it munching out in a field. Yep…they’re grass eaters. Now why is this such a big whooptidoo that I got to consume a weeks worth of calories while pretending to be contemplative about its source? Well…because it threw me for a little loop. I happened to just be reading the section of Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma that featured Joel Salatin’s argument about truly sustainable verses industrial organic. Now here is the deal. Bellvale is NOT organic. If a cow gets sick, they treat it. And I’ve made it a goal to stick to organic dairy – because that is better, right?. But what is organic? Here is a farm that treats their cows pretty darn well by dairy cow standards, practices responsible land and even poop management, and keeps its doors and policies completely open to the public. bellvale Verses my carton stamped organic from an unknown source. The teacher part of me is thrilled to have such a clear and tasty example fall right into my gelatto hole as I’m learning to ecofy my diet. (Feel free to borrow the new word.) The lazyass in me thinks when will it ever f***ing get easier to figure out what to feed my family? The truth is it will never be easy because there are just so many options and variables. Now I’m not expecting to get all the answers from one book, one store, or even one farm…but the experience has so wiped out the smug confident feeling I have reaching for my little organic brands without ever doing a lick of research as to the source. One thing is clear- I will need to do extensive research by tasting every ice cream ever made to ensure I am making the best choice. Where did I put those stretchy pants?