Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Reduce your carbon footprint with personalized delivery from a Bike Messenger!

    Carbon footprint has become a buzz word the world over. UK-based Carbon Footprint defines it as "a measure of the impact our activities have on the environment, and in particular climate change. It relates to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our day-to-day lives through burning fossil fuels for electricity, heating and transportation, etc." Just google "carbon footprint" and several sites will offer calculators to help you monitor your contribution to carbon emissions, and to aid you in reducing the same. 
     Businesses have also made carbon offsetting part of their thrust. Airline companies offer customers the chance to offset their share in the carbon emission entailed by the airway travel for minimal additional fees. An ingenious form of offsetting is widely practiced in Europe today in the form of Emissions trading ("cap and trade"). Under this system, government sets a cap on the amount of pollutant which a company may emit. Companies which emit pollution below the cap are allowed to trade their 'credits' with companies which need an increase in the emission allowance based on the cap set. This carbon emissions market is gaining momentum around the world, with the market growing 75%  from 2007 to 2008 ($116 billion).
     In the Philippines, the UNDP lists 12 simple things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint. This holiday season, try out using the services of these bike messengers for your gift delivery needs. Not only will you save yourself time from plowing through the characteristic traffic jam of Christmas time, you will also help save the environment along the way.

Pedala Bike Messengers, Inc. is a social enterprise which offers cost-effective, SAME-DAY courier delivery services. Formed in July 2008 by University of the Philippines mountaineer Candy Reyes, Pedala employs cyclists who are well familiar with steering through the urban jungle known as the roads of Metro Manila. Pedala charges Php70 for one-way deliveries and Php120 for roundtrip deliveries within a city. If the delivery entails crossing different cities, just add Php30 to the respective prices above.
      In an interview with Sam L. Marcelo of Business World Online, Pedala owner, Candy Reyes, shares her pride not only in their same-day delivery service (which no other courier outfit can offer in the metro), but also in Pedala offering "a more personal and caring delivery service." Packages, she said, are not thrown into big pile, with stuff going on top of each other. "With us, clients get to talk face-to-face to the person who hand-delivers their items."
     Pedala has no website yet, so just text +639206987777 or email pedalabikemessengers@gmail.com to book a bike messenger for your delivery needs.
     Aside from the immediately discernible environmental aspect of the service, Candy also hopes to bring attention to the very engineering of Philippine cities. "We want to make buildings and streets more bike-friendly. Why not allow bikes to temporarily park in front of buildings? How about free and secure bike parking areas, or more bike lanes?" she said.
     This "very engineering" of Philippine cities itself does contribute to environmental dagradation in more ways than one - but that is a proper subject for another blog.

     This Cebu City-based courier was formed in December 2008 by a bunch of bike-outdoors-and-environment-lovers who call themselves bugoy bikers. Eco Bicycle Courier offers its services within Cebu City, Mactan, and Mandaue. Standard and Express Rates are Php 50 (plus Php30 for roundtrip) and Php 80 (plus Php40 for roundtrip), respectively.

    Of course the downside is that your package has to be small enough to fit in the bikers' backpacks and messenger bags. We can all imagine how plying the roads with a sidecar would be less effective in terms of speed and mobility. Perhaps for bigger items we just have to wait until hybrid cars become in fashion so that it will be cost-effective for businesses too. For now, try out these bike messengers. Hopefully you'll love the service enough to make it a habit all year through!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Looking for THE PLANNER for you? 2010 Planners that give back

    Planning your goals into your days (and implementing them) deserves a lot of reflection and requires a ton of organizational skills. Let these masterfully crafted planners guide you as you enter the new year with your resolutions on hand.

    The Belle de Jour 2010 Power Planner is a chic planner for women who want to lead the IT Girl lifestyle. The monthly and weekly planner includes a habit tracker, savings and expense tracker, menstrual tracker (yes, that one too!), goal setting pages, vacation planner, and fashion tips, among many others. Plus of course, one of my favorites – over Php10,000 worth of DISCOUNT COUPONS! DISCOUNT COUPONS! and more DISCOUNT COUPONS!  from various lifestyle brands for all shopaholics and fashionistas.
     The BDJ planner helps you achieve your goals in (fashionista) style, while at the same time supporting advocacies directed towards women, girls, and children (with a percentage of the proceeds from the planner sales). In previous years, the beneficiary was Tahanan Sta. Luisa, a crisis-intervention center for abandoned, neglected, and (sexually or physically) abused street children.SRP is Php598 per planner. If you order online, you get a 5% discount and the planner is delivered to you for free. Join  the BDJ circle, and you get another 5% discount on your order. 10% discount for orders of 10 pieces. The planner is also available in National Bookstore, Powerbooks, and Fully Booked.
    Want a chance to win a FREE COPY? Check out this link (promo is open to metro manila residents only).
    The girls behind BDJ power planner (headed by Darlyn Ty and Candice Lim) also make customized power planners. So for your promotional or other corporate purposes, contact Belle de Jour Power Planner.

    If you would like to support a cause that is indigenously local, check out  the GOT HEART 2010 PLANNER featuring at least twelve indigenous communities in the Philippines, the paintings of an Obo Manobo, Retchor “Ettok” Umpan, and passages written by young members  of indigenous communities themselves. A project of the Got Heart Foundation, this planner is  "interactive and youthful" with its numerous activities that will allow you to discover more about our IPs in fun and light ways. You can all the more enjoy delving in the amazing information in this Planner, knowing that the proceeds will help fund the foundation’s projects for the indigenous peoples, especially a T’boli School in Cotabato.
  The Planner costs Php500 inclusive of shipping for addresses within Metro Manila. You can get it at Php489 if you will pick it up at Green Meadows Subdivision or Ateneo de Manila University. This hardbound planner covered in arlin bookcloth with full color printing on matte paper is also available at Fully Booked. I am not sure if this is available for shipping outside RP. If not, just ask a relative or friend to order it for you.


    In Part One of this topic, we tackled diaper covers. Here, we will discuss cloth diapers with inserts for extra absorption of baby's pee and poo.
   gDiapers offers two alternatives to match the cute gPants perfectly. First, its 100% BIODEGRADABLE gRefill – which you can either COMPOST, TOSS, OR FLUSH DOWN THE TOILET (I'd say go for the first one to maximize its utility). While each traditional disposable diaper takes up to 500 YEARS TO BIODEGRADE, it takes ONLY 50-150 DAYS FOR THE gDiapers REFILL TO BREAK DOWN! Check out  this video. If you'd rather stick to lampin, however, gDiapers  offers you gCloth inserts, so the cloth need not be folded anymore before putting on the gPants. The insert comes with four layers of soft microfleece and a hemp-cotton combination to provide the natural absorption you are looking for.

            For those looking for a local manufacturer, check out Zippy Dypes by Mel Fernandez of Dagupan (thanks for pointing me to the site, Arlene!). Zippy Dypes has two lines of cloth diapers, both with a diaper rating of approximately 3 to 4 hours  per use  (for the average wetter). These are the Cotton Stuffer and the Classic Wools which have inherent breathing membrane to help prevent occurrence of diaper rash). For your inner linig, Zippy Dypes gives you two options also - flannel (which is recommended for smaller babies due to its softness which doesn't sacrifice absorption potency) and micro-fleece (recommended for the bigger sizes). The basic set is composed of 3 pieces: the main dype, the soaker, and the doubler (made of hypoallergenic material). The basic Cotton Stuffers sell for Php315, while the Wool Classics start at Php435. This Christmas, Zippy Dypes offers its starter kit (3 cotton stuffers and 2 wool classics) at a "Christmas price" of Php1,706 (plus shipping cost). It also came out with a plaid red design in time for the holidays. If you are near Dagupan, visit the display center at Clinica Derma Dagupan in Malimgas Market. Zippy Dypes also accepts adult dypes by order.
   Another local product which has been in the market for a few years now is Tushy Wushy by Next9. Its fleece inside layer, water-proof outside layer, and leg gussets make for better  protection against leaks. Tushy Wushy diapers come in a box of 3 pieces (one color, one size) at Php1,000 per box.
    Some also offer DIAPER LINERS like Diaperaps which contain a special weave to keep baby dry. 100% biodegradable, the liner "holds" the poop (which could be easily flushed down the toilet) so the diaper is not that soiled and hard to wash.

    Don’t want to fold, stuff, then remove your cloth diaper inside the wonderful diaper covers mentioned in  Part One of this blog post? Pinoybaby Store offers the DryBees Hybrid All In One Diaper. It already comes with a built in microfiber insert in three layers, but has a pocket for extra inserts for heavy wetters, or for long day trips, as well as for night time use.Thirsties, on the other hand, offers its Pocket All-In-One (AIO) v2 cloth diaper which likewise comes with a pocket into which its own Hemp Inserts or Fab Doublers can be stuffed.  

    With all these wonderful products to choose from (among numerous other brands available in the market - FuzziBunz, bumGenius, Canadian-made Kushies), you can surely give baby (and mommy too!) a very merry christmas, while greeting mother earth a happy new year.

    For more reviews on products for babies and toddlers, click on this link.

Monday, December 14, 2009


    Yes, you read it right. For years, the debate has been centred around DISPOSABLE DIAPERS VERSUS CLOTH DIAPERS. The ever-growing green revolution, however, has sparked innovation in social entrepreneurs worldwide whose passion has now given birth to a third alternative – biodegradable diapers and diaper accessories. Before we go into that, however, let me run through the concept of diaper covers which have been around for quite some time, but have yet to gain enormous popularity in the Philippines.

    Diaper covers are a perfect match to the ubiquitous Curity lampin from Divisoria. They do away with the need for diaper pins and clips making it easier to put the diaper on – especially at that stage when baby already loves to roll over or reach for something on the bed! Here’s good news for parents based in the Philippines – diaper covers from DIAPERAPS and THIRSTIES are already available in the country.  For those who are based in the US or Canada, these have been in the market for years now. For those of us who are here in the Philippines, however,  (and especially for new parents) the first question that comes to mind is “how exactly does it work?” Check out this video of a review of one the covers of Diaperaps. After every wetting, just wipe and soap the inner lining (which is waterproof), then you can reuse 2-3 times before laundering. In the Philippines, look up The Baby Theory to know how to avail of Diaperaps diaper covers. Procreations store inside Crossings in Shangri-la Mall (along Edsa) carries this brand. The designs and styles of the cotton blend diaper covers available in the Philippines through this channel do not comprise the entire line, however. For those based in or ordering Diaperaps straight from the US, other product offers include an “infant size” which makes room for the umbilical cord, and organic cotton covers (as shown in the video) - which are a perfect match to their fitted hemp organic diapers (shown above). For your babies who love dipping in the water, Diaperaps offers swim diapers too!

For those interested in THIRSTIES diaper covers who are based in the Philippines, Pinoybaby Store carries Thirsties Duo Wraps and Thirsties Diaper Covers. The Thirsties Duo Wraps comes with an adjustable rise design, allowing you to spend for only two sizes from baby's birth until potty-training.

The Thirsties Diaper Covers is designed for chunkier babies and for nighttime double stuffing. This is great for those who want to do away with disposable diapers completely - even at nighttime.  Pinoybaby Store has a 7-day return (for store credit) policy, if you happened to order the wrong size or color. It also offers free shipping (within the Philippines) for orders above Php2,000. Also available at the Spoiled! Store in Goldland Millenia Suites, Ortigas. For those ordering from the US site of Thirsties Diaper Covers, the entire product range (Duo Diaper, Pocket AIO V2, Fab fitted covers, including accessories) is available.
    gDiapers, by Jason and Kim Graham-Nye of Australia,  offers a line of really cute gPants. Various colors are available like this girly girl ruffle little gPants with white ruffles made out of vanilla bean fabric. The use of this fabric (left-overs from the vanilla bean gPants) showcases the wonders creativity can  play in making eco-friendly products both useful and attractive. For Filipinas who are consummate rewards, points, and rebates-seekers, check out their gThanks rewards program. gDiapers supports the Blue Butterfly Campaign, with a portion of the sales of its products. gDiapers also recently partnered with Green Shipping  to offset the carbon footprint entailed when shipping products. Shipping is only within US or Canada, however.  

For Filipinos who proudly don their Christian faith on their apparel, Faith Baby offers a collection which you will surely find adorable. A clothing line of faith inspired babywear based in Beaumont, California, Faith Baby brings you Ruffled Baby Bloomer Diaper Covers made of woven poly cotton blend. For this yuletide, they came up with a cute Christmas Candy Cane design. For every item of this particular design that is sold, Faith Baby will donate $3 to Compassion. Pair it up with their “Jesus is the reason for the season” Baby tee, and your baby girl is all set to pose for a beautiful Christmas memento - be it under a tree or on Santa's knee!

     In Part Two of this topic, I will discuss the other innovations on the cloth diaper that is sure to make your Christmas bright.

     For more reviews on other products for babies and toddlers, check this site

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Christmas ornaments - for your tree and for your car!


Wear your heart on your christmas tree. Showcase your loved ones in these 16 double-sided heart-shaped photo frames adorning this unique miniature christmas tree by Things Remembered.  

Carry warm and fond memories of christmases past as you go about your way making more memories of christmas present with this parol in your car.

Look for small picture frames (which can house 2"x2" pictures) to which you can attach the string or cord (for hanging on the christmas tree). Put in a picture of a family member per frame. Embellish to give it a christmas feel. Not the arts and crafts type of person? No sweat! You can opt to order your personalized SNOWFLAKE NAMES instead. Great for hanging on your tree, your wreath, even your rear view mirror. Pre-laminated, it comes with a string already for instant hanging upon delivery (which takes 3 to 7 days).

Embellish away! But remember, ornaments help set the mood. The making of a meaningful christmas is all up to you :)

Monday, December 7, 2009

Low budget + unique christmas gifts = sweet surpises!


Before you get any naughty ideas (remember, Santa is taking note!),  let me identify some of the services you can pledge to offer your loved one for the coming year. If you're into shopping, you can guarantee to be the recipient's personal shopper for the next yuletide season. If you're the last person in the house to help with the chores, you can undertake to take charge of the clearing and storing of the Christmas tree and all christmas decors after this season’s festivities, as well as the setting up of the same every year (for X number of years). If you have transferrable coupons to a spa or salon establishment (the kind that Granton Marketing offers), add in a  free massage or pampering service so your beloved can have some R&R while you shop or clear away! This is perfect if your beloved's love language is Acts of Service. Just remember to make good on your promise.

If, however, your beloved's love language is Quality Time, this GC would be more apt. Depending on the recipient's age and interests, set a date for a zoo trip, a museum sight seeing, a camping adventure, or a star gazing experience at an observatory. If it's for your spouse, the gift certifcate may be for a guaranteed weekly date just for the two of you. The dates don't have to be in fancy places. What's important is you would get to spend quality time with each other, giving each other undivided attention (if possible) or sharing memorable experiences together. Just search for any free gift certificate template and customize away.. Place in a nice envelope and throw in the tickets to wherever you promise to bring him/her on your (first) date for good measure. If tickets are inapplicable (because you have to use them on the purchase date, or no ticket is required for entrance), use anything that would symbolize the place or activity (magazine cut-out or clipping, the event ad in a newspaper, etc.). Then watch and see the unfolding of a memorable experience this Christmas and beyond.


Your recipient too young to appreciate the low budget gift ideas suggested above? Check out Craftbits.com which suggests giving away some REINDEER POOP using chocolate drops, chocolate raisins, or just pure raisins. Place inside cute little pouches or bags. Attach the funny Reindeer Poop Poem found in the site. I can almost hear the recipient kids‘ giggles with this one. You can also try the ELF POOP using multi-colored candies. You can find the Elf Poop Poem here or you can make your own. :) If you prefer SNOWMAN POOP, you can use mini marshmallows.. Forecast: a sure hit with the little ones (and the kids at heart too)!!

Go and get creative!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Picture This! Personalize gifts for christmas with your photos

For those thinking of giving cash gifts to their loved ones, put in a little more effort. Check out banks or institutions which offer cash gift cards, the design of which is left to your discretion. Put a favorite photo of yourself  with the recipient on the card.  In the Philippines, the Bank of the Philippine Islands offers BPI express cash gift cards. Minimum card value is Php500, while maximum is Php10,000.

Filipinos are big on associations – from national to regional to provincial and down to filial. That’s why this genealogy shirt is the perfect way to greet your family this holiday. A great idea for family reunions which are customary in Philippine Christmas celebrations!

FOTOshow offers personalized cushion covers.  Print your adorable photos on a white satin fabric, and help your loved ones adorn their rooms with wonderful memories.

Gather your most cherished pictures and put them together into a picture book. PictureBooks powered by Central Books offers coffee-table book quality picture books to preserve your priceless moments.

Take it a step further to come up with your very own storybook via Cliomag.


Jujups offers Christmas designs for jigsaw puzzles, but you can upload your own pictures and add texts to make your own puzzle design. For those with entrepreneurial spirit, it would be of interest to you to know that if Jujups includes your original design in its posted selections, you could get a percentage from the sale of items carrying your very own design!

Jujups also offers customizable watches. Just like for the jigsaw puzzles, customers can upload their own pictures and add texts to the watch design too. Got a big family and they can't all fit into a watch?  How about designing your  clock instead? FOTOshow shows you how.

Let your beloved know she is the most beautiful woman in the world for you. Put her face in a Mona Lisa painting. Check out myDaVinci’s In Masterpieces series, and choose your own personalized masterpiece. Just make sure your recipients would be comfortable being depicted in the nude before you give them the Adam and Eve painting ;)

I hope this post proved both useful and entertaining to you. For tomorrow's blog, I will feature easy, naughty, and nice Do-It-Yourself gifts for the budget-conscious readers out there.

Welcome, treasure hunter!

Tired of the usual gifts, tokens, and giveaways available in the market? Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for every occasion and celebration, or for unique wedding favors and other party favors, or for that practical and unique corporate gift, promotional gift and other promotional items, you’ve come to the right place!

Designed to be of service to Filipinos across the globe (and their friends & loved ones too!), this blogsite features unique gift ideas from Filipino suppliers as well as from suppliers in countries with a large Filipino presence (read as almost every country).

So go ahead, immerse yourself in this catalogue of unique gift ideas and get your own creative juices flowing.. And if you like this treasure trove of ideas, please do spread the word about it! Thanks :D