Environmentally Friendly Shopping Guide

Environmentally Friendly ShoppingBuying green products and concerning about your environment does not mean you have to sacrifice your quality of life or needing to become a hippy. There are many high quality environmental products which are better for the environment and your health. Today, you have far more options when it comes to purchasing products that do not harm the environment.

Products that were once only found in the health food shop are now showing up on the supermarket shelves. However, with the more companies jumping on the environmental bandwagon it is becoming more difficult to determine what really is environmentally friendly and what is not. This article is a starting point for you to put together a shopping policy that works for you, your family, your budget and the environment.

To have a totally environmentally friendly purchasing policy you need to look at the cradle to grave analysis of every product. This means looking at:

Where it comes from,

What sort of pollution occurred in the production

Any possible toxic by-products produced

Derivation from non-renewable resources

Energy needed to transport it to your home

Was it produced locally or the other side world

What happens when you have no more use for it

The potential for it be reused, or recycled

The problems its eventual disposal will create

This is a huge task and not one that can be easily undertaken by the individual. But make some noise, put some pressure on your local political representative and let them know that you want a new way. Let them know that you want to know the direct and indirect consequences of the products you purchase.

Every time you make a purchase consider what you are buying and the message that it is sending to the producers. Buy products that are good for you and the environment. Develop a purchasing policy that makes waste minimization a priority.

Before buying anything consider

Is the product can be made from recycled materials?

Can it be reused or recycled after initial use?

Do you really need to buy it at all?

Could you reuse something else?

Could you find the product second hand?

Is the product from a relatively natural source or has it been chemically manufactured with possible toxic by-products?

What sort of processing was involved in its production?

To make your shopping more environmentally sound, when given a choice:

Avoid disposable products

Buy organic and natural products whenever possible

Buy in bulk to reduce packaging

Buy products that are recycled and/or recyclable

Do not buy products which have been tested on animals

Buy quality products that will last

Do not buy products which negatively influence or are made from endangered species.

Do not buy products which negatively affect your health

Do not buy products which cause significant damage to the environment during production or disposal

Do not buy over-packaged goods

Buy goods with packaging that can be reused, recycled or which is biodegradable.

Buy organic fruits, vegetables and meats whenever possible. Common agricultural practices can be very polluting. Run off and leaching from pesticides, fertilizers and fungicides contaminate our underground water and rivers, killing off aquatic wildlife and making it unfit for human consumption.

Keep cleaners as natural as possible. Detergents, shampoos, dishwashing liquids, oven cleaners etc. that contain chemicals are very difficult treat in our sewage systems. The result is many heavy metals and toxic chemicals in our streams and oceans because treatment can not remove them all. Soil and rocks are excellent filters for natural biological materials but cannot cope with the chemical cocktails that they are subjected to today.

When purchasing new appliances, buy the most energy efficient that you can. It may cost a little more initially but it will pay itself off by lessening your energy bills.

Do not buy appliances that are bigger or more powerful than you need

What are the energy requirements for operating the product.

The Development of Jewelry Online Store

Jewelry Online ShopThe jewelry sector becomes the highest riser in today’s booming online shipping. If you type “jewelry” or “diamond rings” on Google, a few hundred of jewelry retail websites comes out. To do research online before purchasing is very important.

Three things consumers look for are quality, price and customer service. Good websites always states everything clearly. Blue Nile clearly states out the color, clarity, numbers of diamonds, total diamond weight, setting type, metal, and width in their diamond ring pages. There are websites stating their diamond color is F/H and clarity is VVS/VS. F color, VVS1 clarity stones are very different and much more expensive than H color and VS2 stones. How can consumers be clear with the quality they are getting?

We can see that most websites have good returning policy, and the big ones offer up to 30 days returning policy. This is the most important service for online jewelry stores. Good returning policy shows the website confident with their quality and service. It covers a lot of potential risk of online jewelry shopping. Mondera, Ice and Diamond.com all provide very good customer service. Unless you are very confident and familiar with the jewelry website, purchasing from any one with poor returning policy is risky.

One of the major reasons consumers purchase jewelries trough online shop or store, especially high end diamond pieces, is because of the price. With sufficient amount of research, you truly can purchase some high quality jewelries at 30%-60% off the retail market price. We should first understand these jewelry websites’ business model. Many of the sites are run by previous retail jewelers. They have many years’ experience and connections in the industry. They memo jewelry pieces and diamonds from wholesale vendors in New York or Los Angeles add a margin and resell them out.

Some jewelry sites are run by students fresh out of college. They create great websites, and get their vendors drop shipping directly to their consumers. Because they don’t have to pay high rent in expensive location, they don’t have the same high mark up as local jewelry stores. They highly threaten traditional jewelry stores, and with financial experts’ prediction, 1/3 of the traditional jewelry stores will either disappear or go on line in the next 5 years.

Are You Buying The Authentic Handbag Or Replica?

Buying Authentic Handbag Or Replica?Real or fake? This question is asked of a lot of things: paintings, jewelry, bosoms and yes, handbags. Whether your Louis Vuitton is real or fake is your business isn’t it?

Well, yes and no. Obviously, if your LV is real, you will probably eagerly correct anyone that hints that it is not. After all, you paid good money for the bag, and might even be appalled that someone would assume it is a knock-off.

On the other hand, if your bag were a replica, would you really tell people that it is a fake? Would you tell them by purchasing a replica, instead of the real thing, that you knowingly took money away from the designers that created the real bag? I doubt you would mention this things to an inquisitive acquaintance.

I know it sounds harsh, but knowingly buying a replica bag is wrong. (Note: buying replica handbags is not illegal but selling them is.)

Designers like Gucci, Kate Spade, Chanel and Hermes charge so much for their product because they are highly sought after and they are made from quality materials. Many bags by these designers are made by hand. Also, these designers spend millions on advertising, customer care, quality assurance and customs. By buying a replica, you are taking directly from these designers.

Buying replicas also takes from the US economy. Companies that sell replica handbags often do so as cash based tax free business. If you have bought a replica handbag before, think back, did you pay tax for on the purchase? Probably not.

We all know that authentic designer handbags are pricey, but that doesn’t mean you should buy a knock-off. Just because something is out of your price range is no reason to rip off the company that manufactures the product.

Real or replica…which is right for you? I don’t really see you have a choice. Always buy real.

Shopping For Pearls

Shopping For PearlsPearls are an enduring classic of romantic beauty and sophistication suitable for almost any occasions or celebrations. Pearls may be worn with formal evening wear, with a business suit, or casually with a sweater and jeans. The official June birthstone provides an ideal choice for brides, young women looking for a touch of elegance, or a cherished gift for birthday, Christmas, graduation, sweet-sixteen, anniversary, or just to say I love you.

Once rare and expensive, modern cultured pearls have become an affordable luxury. To choose the right pearl, you can consider six factors contribute to the value of a pearl: luster, nacre thickness, shape, surface texture, size, and color.

Luster- the Essence of Pearl Beauty
Pearls gain their unique beauty from the play of light reflecting through layers of fine crystalline nacre gradually deposited by an oyster. Nearly transparent nacre gives the deepest luster and the highest reflection. A high-quality pearl will have a brilliant even reflection with a fine warm glow or radiance. Lower quality pearls have a dull sheen.

High-quality Akoya pearls have a higher luster than South Sea or Tahitian pearls, which tend to have a softer, more diffuse reflection.

Color and Overtones
The dominant color of a pearl comes from the main reflection from the pearl surface. The deeper reflected light draws the inner color from the pearl, called the overtone.

Light colored pearls are available in shades of white, cream, and golden. White with pink or silver overtones are generally the most valuable. The most desirable dark colored pearls are black with green or blue overtones. Color matching is also important when buying pearl jewelry. Perfectly matched pearls in color and size are more valuable than poorly matched pearls.

Shape and Surface Texture
The highest quality pearls are perfectly round with smooth surface, very few surface imperfections, and even coloration. Lower quality pearls may be nearly round, or show more surface imperfections, such as wrinkles or large pits on the surface.

Pearl Size and Necklace Length
The pearls in a strand are measured in a range, such as 7-7.5mm. They are strung with the largest pearls at the center of the necklace and gradually smaller towards the clasp. Larger pearls are more valuable and they create a more dramatic look. High-quality pearls larger than 9 mm are scarce and very expensive.

The classic and most common pearl necklace length is the 17-19 inch princess. It is a good choice for a first pearl necklace because it can be worn with many things.

Decide Pearl Types

There are four types of pearls:

Classic Akoya Pearls

Large Exotic Black Tahitian Pearls

Large Golden or White South Sea Pearls

Inexpensive Decorative Freshwater Pearls

The above four types of pearls are all cultured pearls. Akoya pearls, Tahitian pearls, and South Sea pearls grow in ocean saltwater so they are also called saltwater pearls.

Akoya pearls are the most popular type for their appealing high luster, luxury and affordability.

Decide Pearl Quality

Pearls usually have four grades: A, AA, AAA, and AAA+ quality. AAA and AAA+ quality are the highest quality.

AAA and AAA+ quality pearls are the most desired pearls for gifts. They have high luster and very clean surface skins.

AA quality pearls have medium luster and slight to medium surface imperfection. They are ideal gifts for someone who will be happy to own a piece of fine pearl jewelry.

A quality pearls have low luster and medium to heavy blemishes. They are not popular for gifts due to their low quality.

Decide where to buy pearls

You can buy cultured pearl jewelry from retail stores, online shops or online auctions. When shop for pearls, it is recommended to buy pearls from these places: stores that grade pearls carefully; stores that provide certificate and offer money back guarantees.