For some stars, like Kermit the Frog, "it is not easy being green." For others it is just a matter of opening up their checkbook.
Take one of the greenest (non-amphibian) celebs, Leonardo DiCaprio, who by snapping up a tony Manhattan riverfront eco-pad earlier this month, made going green look easy (sorry Kermit), if not pricey. From eco-friendly five-star hotels to designer clothes made with organic fabrics, it seems we can't get enough of these higher-minded—and often higher-priced—goods and services.
Of course most environmentalists are critical of the green spending craze, arguing that sustainability means living more simply and buying less. Are you interested in supporting earth-friendly causes, but lack Leo's ability to splurge on luxury products? Here are MainStreet's suggestions for green spenders on a budget:
Impress your dinner guests with designer Sara Cihat's -- they're not just one-of-a kind, they're also recycled—dishes. Her "Rehabilitated Dishware" collection, made with re-glazed thrift-store ceramics, includes saucy dishes with images of pinup girls, and more demure handiwork with butterflies and sparrows over pastel backgrounds. Plates range from $34 to $59 each, available at New York's Clio, Los Angeles' Zelen and other home décor stores around the country.
Scent it right. Candles made from soybean oil are greener than candles made from paraffin, a byproduct of petroleum, because they come from a renewable resource and support soy farming. They also last longer and produce little or no soot. Portuguese soap and candle maker Claus Porto's soy candles exude fragrances like pear sandalwood and burn for 70 hours. Sold at Lafco New York for $32.
Anna Sova's organic towels use 100% organic cotton, grown without the use of toxic pesticides. The processing is also toxin-free: no dioxin bleaches (studies have shown that exposure to dioxins at high doses can cause a number of adverse health effects) or chemical dyes. The spa-quality Turkish towels have 900 grams per square meter (conventional towels have between 300-400 gsm). Bath towels cost $58. Gaiam's 300-thread-count organic cotton sheets are finished without harsh chemical softeners or bleaches. A queen size set costs $188.