When I was in college, I found myself riding the bus from one end of the (very large) Michigan State University campus to the other.
It was one of those impossibly muggy, humid days the Great Lakes states really excel at, and the air conditioning on the bus was broken. Basically, I was miserable.
I don’t even want to think what the girl sitting in front of me was feeling like. She was granola, wearing a long skirt, her head heavy with dreads that I imagine itched like crazy. But what really made me stare (sweatily) were the tufts of coarse hair bursting from her armpits, like she was cultivating her own little grass field in individual hydroponic pithouses.
Look, I know going granola doesn’t necessarily equal going sasquatch, and I know it was college — Ms. Furry Pits is probably right now wearing a twinset and reading a Nicholas Sparks novel — but the point is, being good to the planet doesn’t need to mean giving up pretty, well-groomed things. I promise.
Chirps & Cheers owner Susan Kropp models an Envirosax bag.
Need proof? Take Birdie (566 Buchanan; 579-0299) in Norman. It’s part flower shop, part boutique, all lovely. And plants! I mean, what better way to green up your own space than with the little oxygen-making machines. Birdie sells some adorable potted plants that are very tempting.
On the clothing side, nearly everything is either organic, recycled, homemade or fair trade. Check out the recycled leather purses from Ashley Watson or the soft, summery tops and dresses by Alternative and Stewart + Brown done in organic cotton. I especially liked the recycled cotton canvas totes and backpacks by Baggu in saturated solids like red, bright blue or navy.
Not far away, Stash (412 E. Main; 701-1016) focuses on upcycled, locally made or vintage pieces — that’s about as eco as it gets.
My favorites when I visited were the vintage brass bookends shaped like duck heads (which I felt the weird need to pat) and an adorable set of printed kid-sized tees from SOS done with organic cotton.
Stash also sells Keep It Local OK cards — a great way to support locally owned businesses.
In Edmond, I wandered into Chirps & Cheers (100 N. Broadway; 509-6336) for the first time, but definitely not the last. In its new location since October, this cute card and gift shop is bright, fun and modern. It carries to-order invitations and notecards down to great notebooks or organization stuff and some great gifts.
For the eco-conscious, be sure to check out the letterpress notecards by Egg Press (in really cool designs) that are done on recycled paper or the Bluepoolroad letterpress notecards done on cotton paper with soy-based ink.
My favorite had to be the reusable fabric gift wrap by Chewing the Cud, made with 100 percent organic cotton and soy-based inks.
Easy, right? And you don’t even need to throw out your Lady Bics.