About the Products and Stores Blog

This blog isn't about luxury products or finding the cheapest "deal" out there. It's about products that are green and sustainable without breaking the bank. It's about eliminating WASTE, protecting the ENVIRONMENT, and getting VALUE! I research and comparison shop on practically every purchase I make -- and now I'm sharing all my hard work with you. Hopefully, we'll save you a few minutes of your own time while helping you find some products you'll love!

 

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Red Cross emergency and first aid kits

Every Home Needs a Red Cross Emergency and First Aid Kit

Let's start out the year with a bit of protection! Who doesn't need an emergency preparedness or first aid kit? Now you can get them while donating to the Red Cross.
Red Cross Store





Posted in Buy from a nonprofit | View Post
No child labor in carpet making

Buy Child-Labor-Free Carpets

While a beautiful, handmade rug is something to be proud about, it's certainly not worth celebrating if your carpet has been made with child labor. Around the world, many youth are forced into child labor in this industry.

You can help end child labor by doing the following:

1. Buy carpets with a Child-Labor-Free Certification. To earn the GoodWeave label, rug exporters and importers can be licensed and must sign a contract that they will adhere to the standards. To learn more, visit Child Labor Free Certification.

2. Purchase a GoodWeave certified rug. When you purchase a certified rug, not only is your rug likely a higher quality (a skilled adult weaver is far more skilled at knotting than a child), but you are also putting your money where your mouth is ... that child labor is not acceptable. Find Retailers and Showrooms.




 
Posted in How to buy | View Post
Differences Between Amazon Echo and UE Speakers

How To Buy Amazon Echo, UE and Other Speakers

Are you confused/curious about Echo, UE, and this whole class of speakers that are magical and, in some cases, even talk back to you? A friend turned me on to the wonders of the UE speakers, but then I got curious as to the difference between these and Amazon Echo and which was "better". This is a great article that describes the pros and cons of the Amazon Echo

Based on this - we want something we can cart from one level to the next in our 3 level home. It's a pain to have to plug and unplug, plus, with our mobile phones, I can already access weather and news easily. So, for now, we're going to give the UE a try. If YOU also want to consider the UE but can't decide between the Boom and MegaBoom, Read this.

 

Posted in How to buy | View Post
Buying Sustainable Throw Rugs

Where to Buy Sustainable Bathroom Throw Rugs

We try to always buy natural fibers, so we love cotton rugs!
Westport Bath Rugs at Crate and Barrel
These are great and in a variety of colors!
And, they're sustainable:

This product is certified by Oeko-Tex®, an international association focused on textile safety and sustainable production. Oeko-Tex® tests for known harmful substances and chemicals as well as for acidity and color fastness. All components of the product must comply with stringent Oeko-Tex® standards to achieve certification.





Posted in Home Goods | View Post
How and When to Buy Sets

When To Buy The Whole Set Of Products

A word of caution regarding buying sets. Invariably, when you buy sets of anything, you get things that you don't need. After a half of century of acquiring and collecting possessions, I can tell you the day comes when you think, "why do I have all the stuff"? It becomes clutter. Our philosophy at Keeping Karma is to buy ONLY what you need and/or love (like art or the clothing you wear). 

Here is our motto: focus on investing MORE money in few items. In other words, instead of buying a cheaper quality of pots and pans because you get "more", buy two or three high quality pots and pans that you will really love and use!

Here is an article that discusses sets vs. individual pots.


Posted in How to buy | View Post
Love Sherpani Crossbody Bags

A Great Purse For Traveling:
Flat But Expandable

I love these bags. I'm always looking for good travel bags: flat but expandable. Most of these bags are either eco-friendly, sustainable or recyclable. Love it!! You can buy them at Nordstrom or on the Sherpani website (they post some killer deals).
See Rebel Crossbody bag.














Posted in Fashion | View Post
WeLoveDisney Makeup Bags and Brushes

Cool Makeup Brushes and Makeup Bags

My 30 year old daughter and I LOVE Disney. I've been through 3 pairs of Disney slip-on sneakers; she wears a Disney cardigan and carries a Disney Dooney Burke handbag. Twice we had annual passes, so we made once per month treks and spent from morning to night at Disneyland and California Adventure. Our favorite ride is Indian Jones, although we’re really hard pressed to narrow it down to just one. Our favorite food is the lobster nachos. For Sarah, that’s followed closely by corn dogs!
 
It’s hard to explain to Disney "newbies" how going to the parks is a great stress reliever in our very busy lives. Total escapism. We spent hours and hours with only happy thoughts, lots of snacking, people watching, laughing, and a new discovery or two EVERY time we went. At one point, since we had been so frequently, it crossed our minds that the day would come when we couldn’t find a new ride or attraction that he hadn’t already been on or seen. Not the case. There was ALWAYS something new!
 
Now that we’re not living in LA anymore, we can't wait until we get to go back!
 
But in the meantime … I love seeing all things Disney. And, so, when I saw this article in, of all places, Cosmopolitan, it quickly caught my eye. Spectrum Collections (read about the sisters that started the business) is launching an adorable line of makeup bags and brushes, featuring Ariel and Ursula. And who knew that even YOU can have your own treasure chest with Ariel’s “dinglehoppers”. “What is a dinglehopper?” you ask. In this case, they are elegantly designed oval makeup brushes, presented in their very own treasure chest! Another thing to love is the collection is vegan and cruelty free with 1% of the revenue going to PLASTIC BANK, a charity that works with local communities to clean up plastic in the oceans.
 
Now the BAD news … for now, the line is ONLY sold in the UK. Fingers crossed that they decide to cross the ocean. (It’s something that Ariel would do, right?) When they do, I’m snagging the makeup bags. Check out Spectrum’s website.

But wait! There’s also GOOD news for Disney fans …. we Americans may not be able to get the Spectrum Disney collection, but we CAN get L’Oreal Paris Disney makeup collection. At TARGET!!! The collection includes mascara, eye liner, lipstick and more!

To read more about both collections:
Spectrum Disney
L'Oreal Paris Disney
 

Posted in Beauty | View Post
Aromatherapy Diffuser

How To Buy A Diffuser

I love the idea of a diffuser as a gift because it's the kind of thing most people don't think of buying for themselves! So this year, I had one sent for Christmas to my aunt. As with most things, when I went to order, there were a lot of choices - none of which I knew anything about. A little research turned up this great article .... I wasn't looking at the actual product reviews in this article since I bought the diffuser from Vitamin Shoppe (in order to snag free shipping), but I did want to figure out which type of diffuser works "the best". Read this and you too can become a wiz on diffusers!  Here is the one I decided to go with: My Aunt's Aromatherapy Diffuser.


Posted in How to buy | View Post
Pots and Pans

How to Buy the Least Toxic Pots and Pans

Since we use our pots and pans on nearly a daily basis - and sometimes multiple times a day - SAFETY is key. Who wants to eat their food along with a little bit of metal? Check out these articles on choosing safe, healthy cookware. Here's what it boils down to: glass, stainless steel, cast iron, carbon steel and bamboo steamers.

For more details on this topic:
Healthy Cookware - Guide to Choosing the Safest, Healthiest Cookware
Ceramic Coated and Non-Stick Cookware are Toxic [There is controversy regarding the safety of ceramic coated. Our philosophy is when you have SO many other excellent alternatives, why take the chance? Our recommendation: don't risk your health!]

Art + Cook Carbon Steel Muffin Tins I actually found these at Nordstrom Rack and bought then on a whim. And I LOVE them ...easiest muffin tins I've ever used. I think I paid less than they are in Amazon, but they're still worth it if you can't find them elsewhere.

Also available: Art + Cook Carbon Steel Cookie Sheets


Posted in How to buy | View Post
Coffee Filters

How to Buy Coffee Filters

How to Buy Coffee Filters
While many of the coffee makers don't require filters (they use a "gold-tone filter"), you may still want to consider using filters. Read more about it in this CNET article, which explains that paper filters help strain out the micro-fines and oils, but are also much easier to clean up!


Posted in How to buy | View Post
Coffee Makers

How to Buy a Coffee Maker

The coffeemaker you purchase will somewhat depend on cost, so this Good Housekeeping Coffee Makers Review can help you find what is best for your taste and budget. But if you want to spend in the $50 - $100 range, we've narrowed it down to two favorites. These are good choices not only because both lines are reviewed and liked by Good Housekeeping (one in 2016 and the other in 2014), but they both got very high reviews on Amazon. As well, they are sold by top stores, such as Crate and Barrel. Lastly, BestProducts.com, another rating site, gives the Cuisinart DCC-3200 it's #1 thumbs up!

Cuisinart DCC-3200 Perfect Temp 14-Cup Programmable Coffeemaker - Good Housekeeing reviewed a slightly different, but essentially the same model number. This particular model is the #1 top seller on Amazon!! Also, check out the BestProducts ratings, where this coffee maker is #1!

KRUPS EC3140 Savoy Programmable Digital Coffee Maker - The coffee maker is another fan favorite at Amazon. Also given 4 stars by Good Housekeeping.


Posted in How to buy | 2 Comment(s)