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Build Your Eco-Friendly Outdoor Living Space

Now that we’re deep in the crippling embrace of winter, the grass is really looking greener over on the other side of Spring. Every day you find yourself staring out the frost-flecked window, dreaming about those distant summer plans—the lush garden and sun-drenched cookouts, lazy hammocks and tart lemonade—and especially the deck or patio potential that could be locked beneath the inches of ice.

Of course, when you’re planning a fresh outdoor look, you want to make sure it’s as good for the earth as possible (so as not to trigger more of nature’s icy ire!). But because porch and patio surfaces are built to withstand weather’s worst, they often contain toxic sealants and unnatural materials that don’t really make your home the eco-paradise it’s meant to be.

It pays to be knowledgeable about the types of materials that go into not just your home, but your backyard BBQ, too. But as with many green makeovers, deciding what materials are best can get a little murky. Still, there are some surfaces that should be avoided at all costs. Here’s what to use where when you’re planning your outdoor escape.

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1/26/2016 12:00 AM By Bryn Huntpalmer Eco Tips, Health Living and Home,
New Recycled Glass Wine & Champagne

Making any occasion a more eco-friendly one is always a VivaTerra specialty, but for this upcoming Valentine's Day, we've released a new collection of recycled glassware that's both romantic in design and beautiful in story.

Our newly released Vintage-Inspired Recycled Glassware Collection is based on 19th-century glassware molds that capture that beautiful and graceful style of the mid- and late-1800s. Handblown in Spain, this glassware not only supports a traditional art form and its artisans, it's also made of 100% recycled glass bottles and collected throughout the country. It's one of those special products that captures both our mission to be better to our earth and to support artists and art forms around the globe.

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1/20/2016 5:27 PM By Kristen Perkins Eco Tips,
Healthier Eating for the New Year

Moving out of the holiday season and into a new year, we know that many of you are making healthier eating and lifestyle goals this month. One of the most difficult meals to plan for me to plan for is always breakfast—either I skip it altogether (never a good idea) or I go for something quick and easy, like a pastry or carbohydrate, that doesn't last long enough until lunch time.

For January, one of my healthy eating goals is to eat a light breakfast every morning that ditches the sugar and adds a bit of protein to get me through the first part of my day. And while some research says that breakfast really isn't as important as we once though, most doctors still recommend, for both weight control and health reasons, having a small but healthy breakfast every morning.

Great breakfast options include unsweetened oatmeal with maple syrup, unflavored/unsweetened Greek yogurt with honey & fruit, a veggie & egg scramble, nut-based trail mix with dried fruit, or almond- or coconut-milk smoothies made with fruit & spinach.

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1/7/2016 4:57 PM By Kristen Health Living and Home,
Find great suggestions for home décor related gifts, including our Acacia Wood Serving Collection, on the DailyMom.comRead More
12/18/2015 12:00 AM By Jesse Interior Decorating & Design, In the Press,
Can you believe it? There stands but one weekend between us and the home stretch to Christmas. And while most of us are filled with excitement, there are also those of us that feel a little panic… the late shoppers. We are all guilty of it, so to help, we made a list for 5 last minute gifts ideas that are sure to please anyone on your list!Read More
12/11/2015 12:00 AM By Jesse Thoughts,
Checkout our Kashmiri Hand-Painted Ornaments, along with other great holiday décor ideas, in Making the Most of Your Holiday Décor on DailyMom.comRead More
12/8/2015 12:00 AM By Jesse In the Press,
Meet the Artisan - Diana Branscome

Q&A with artist Diana Branscome, creator of our Sea Glass Jewelry Collection:

For Small Business Saturday, we’d like to take a moment and celebrate all of our artisans who run small businesses around the world. From villages, to co-ops, to living rooms and workshops, we are so proud to be able to share beautiful work made by talented hands from all corners of the globe.

One such gifted artist, is based right here in the USA. We discovered her gorgeous and eco-chic creations at a local farmers' market and fell in love with her work. Meet Diana Branscome, the maker of our gorgeous Sea Glass Jewelry collection.

VT: How did you get into jewelry making?
Diana: A long time ago, I was working as a legal analyst. It inspired me to do something creative in my off-time, and jewelry-making was the fun choice. I used gemstones and different metals and started a side business selling my work on weekends.

VT: Why did you choose to work with glass, specifically reclaimed and recycled glass?
Diana: After a number of years using semi-precious gemstone beads, I felt that I had explored most of the possibilities of the genre. I happened to go to a party at an interactive glass studio, and I ended up doing an apprenticeship there to learn the basics of fusing and slumping art glass. One day when walking downtown, I saw restaurants with recycling bins outside that held beautiful colors of bottles and thought that someone should do something with them. Then I realized that I was that someone! I started experimenting with making bowls and plates out of bottles. Occasionally, little bits of the vessels would drop away during firing, and that inspired me to make jewelry out of the smaller pieces.

VT: How are your glass stones tumbled/fired to look like sea glass?
Diana: There is actually no tumbling involved at all. I cut the nuggets at room temperature using a hand tool, then I fire them in the kiln overnight at over 1400 degrees. Sometimes they have sharp points when they come out, so I grind those smooth. They are still shiny after firing, so I sandblast them to give them a beachy texture.

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11/27/2015 8:53 PM By Kristen Artisan Stories,
Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and with it all of the anticipation of the joy and thankfulness it brings. Yet, we can often be overwhelmed with the responsibility of entertaining and preparation involved. Particularly, when we have picky eaters on our hands. Whether you’re hosting a friendsgiving, thanksgiving for the entire family, or dinner for your own household, you will probably have a guest with a dietary restriction or preference—organic clean eating, vegetarianism, veganism, gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, or just plain calorie counting. With all of this in consideration it can be difficult to prepare a tradition style thanksgiving meal. But not to worry, because we have a few suggestions on cooking and serving this holiday that will help!Read More
11/19/2015 12:00 AM By Jesse Health Living and Home, Recipes,

The season has arrived for gifting and giving, getting and thanking, and with that, searching and shopping. We all hope to find the perfect gift for each person in our life—people who are special to us, people who are unique, and probably, people who already have everything. This is why we created our artisan-made gift collection.

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11/10/2015 12:00 AM By Jesse Artisan Stories, Thoughts,

We love our seaglass dinnerware collection, and we are happy to hear Green Living Magazine does too! Check out page 48 of their September issue to see this and other "Cool Outrageous Stuff". Shop our seaglass dinnerware online at vivaterra.com

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11/5/2015 12:00 AM By Jesse In the Press,
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