Our New Brick and Mortar Friend: CARBON, DC

image copyright Examiner

The following post is by Katie Peige, Herban Lifestyle’s Sustainability Associate. We are kicking off a new blog series that focuses on the cool, sustainable shops that carry the Herban Lifestyle line.

CARBON, located locally in Washington DC across from the Woodley Park-Zoo/ Adams Morgan metro, starts off the series after our line debuted there with a day of demos on August 6th. I first visited CARBON in April for an SBNOW event. I was so impressed that I later mentioned it in our Mother’s Day blog post featuring places to buy cool sustainable gifts for mom.

CARBON opened its doors in 2004, offering comfortable and chic shoes. In March 2011, CARBON expanded its offerings to include eco-chic clothing, jewelry, handbags and more thanks to the new owner Katherine Limon. Apart from being a fashionista’s paradise, what excites me the most about CARBON is its environmental commitment, especially the fact that it is 100% wind powered.

Recycled silver cherry blossom necklace by Melissa Lew. Image copyright Melissa Lew.

Other sustainable aspects of the store include a commitment to showcasing the work of local artists and artisans. Recently, the photography of Max Landerman adorned the walls of CARBON, an exhibition that will continue through this month. And the jewelry of Melissa Lew really caught my eye with her Asian influence and spectacular cherry blossom designs. Katherine is gearing up for the fall so there was a huge sale for her spring and summer items including a 40% off sale on the shoes with the exception of the new inventory. There are many temptations in the store such as their handbags, jewelry, and restyled vintage clothing.

image copyright The Fashion Brewery

Be sure to stop by CARBON for local and sustainable fashion offerings and be sure to check out the Herban Lifestyle products when you are there! CARBON is located at 2643 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington DC 20008.


Silver Diamond: A Look Inside the Nation’s 1st LEED Silver Baseball Stadium

view of the ballfield from the President's Club

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to take a backstage tour of the Washington Nationals baseball stadium. I was thrilled as I have enjoyed watching several games since the stadium opened in 2008. And last year, I wrote a blog post about the stadium, its green credentials and my pleasant surprise at the availability of healthier food choices.

The tour was coordinated by the leadership of the Sustainable Business Network of Washington (SBNOW), a DC-based organization that works with companies to help them integrate environmental and social responsibility principles into their operations. The fact that Nationals Park is the nation’s first major professional stadium to become LEED Silver Certified by the U.S. Green Building Council was, obviously, of great interest to SBNOW’s membership.

The park has several features that enabled it to achieve LEED status. For example, during its construction only 17 percent of the construction waste ended up in the landfill. All of the building materials contain at least 10 percent recycled content (the steel was an impressive 90 percent). Plus, many of the building materials used on the project were produced locally.

the stadium's green roof, covered with sedum

A portion of the roof is planted with sedum, which helps absorb rainwater, provide insulation, and offer a natural habitat for wildlife. The remaining roof areas are white to help deflect heat, which reduces air conditioning costs.

inside the President's Club, bar stocked with reusable and biodegradable glassware

Throughout the ballpark, they use vegetable-based compostable cups rather than plastic or styrofoam. The bathrooms are equipped with low-flow toilets, the rooms are decorated with low-VOC paints and carpet. Air chillers are used, saving, we were told, 10 million gallons of water per year. And energy-saving light fixtures use 21 percent less electricity.

the press room, featuring low VOC carpet, paint and adhesives

The park’s close proximity to the Metro’s Green Line, the fact that 7 bus lines service the stadium, and the availability of a water taxi from Alexandria, VA and the Georgetown area of DC, make it easy for fans to take public transportation. They also offer a free bike valet service and ample bike self-parking.

the dugout, which is painted green

Having Silver status means that you have the minimum number of systems in place to qualify for LEED certification (the next levels are Gold and Platinum). This means there is more they can do to run a truly sustainable business. However, the fact that this is the first stadium to integrate green building practices is definitely to be commended.

If you are interested in a tour, they offer public tours. Or, for $300, you can arrange a private tour. The proceeds go to the Washington Nationals Dream Foundation, whose mission is to create “community partnerships that improve the lives of children and families across the Washington Capital Region.”

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Earth Day is April 22, and Herban Lifestyle is celebrating being green!


photo ©2009 Julia Guarino

As you probably know, Herban Lifestyle is proud to use only truly natural and organic ingredients, which means only organic and/or ethically wildcrafted herbs and essential oils, organic fabrics and fill, no preservatives, artificial colors, fragrances, or surfactants, and no synthetic, petroleum-based or other chemical ingredients. We pledge to these standards as a signer of the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, and we always adhere to Whole Foods’ Premium Bodycare Standards.

But did you know that Herban Lifestyle is green in other ways? When we package things for you, we only use 100% recycled paper labels, and all packaging and shipping supplies are recycled, recyclable and/or biodegradable. To ship, we only use the US Postal Service; did you know that the USPS holds “Cradle to Cradle”Certification at the Silver level for human and environmental health? To further ensure environmentally responsible business practice, we always offset 100% of our carbon footprint through purchase of CleanCurrents and CarbonFund RECs, and we are an Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Partner, which means we purchase green power in amounts that meet EPA’s requirements.

As a member of Green America and the Sustainable Business Network of Washington, we also pledge to practice ethical business and labor standards, which is easy since everything we sell is handcrafted in Falls Church, VA we do absolutely no manufacturing! In our efforts to be conscientious members of our community we also donate 5% of gross revenues to charity, including Feeding America (formerly America’s Second Harvest), Sierra Club, Herb Research Foundation, and Martha’s Table, we donate goods to local charities (such as EcoVentures) for their fundraising efforts, and we purchase our 800 number through Earth Tones, where 100% of their profit goes to grassroots environmental causes.

We hope you’ll celebrate Earth Day with us! Check out the EPA’s website to learn about Earth Day events and volunteer opportunities happening near you. Be green!

This post was written by guest blogger, Julia Guarino.