The colors of our lives seem to change overnight when the calendar page turns to September. Blues become deeper, greens take on a forest hue and reds, oranges and browns fill our vistas. Bring some of the warmth of fall's colors inside this year with these earthy, and earth-friendly, picks.
Hand-carved from certified and scrap wood in the coffee-growing regions of Guatamala, the fair-trade utensils shaped by Los Cuchareros (the Spoonmakers) are exotically styled, last a lifetime and directly support the artisans who make them. Bet grandma's century-old wooden spoon can't say that. Sizes start at $8, Higher Grounds Trading Company, Traverse City. 877-825-2262, HIGHERGROUNDSTRADING.COM. Watch the Higher Grounds video to hear about their fair trade approach and then learn how to make the perfect cup of brew.
Chic shapes are the first reason we fell in love with these plates and bowl by Grenware. Reason No. 2?...and No. 3 and 4: These smart dishes are made from recycled rice hulls, are dishwasher safe and degrade to compost-pile perfection in three to five years—about the time it usually takes us to find a new set to covet. $8.75+. Green Island, Traverse City, 231-933-8465, GOGREENISLAND.COM.
In2Green's herringbone knit throws are made from Eco2cotton: post cut-and-sew scraps and fibers that have been collected, sorted by color and blended into a cottony fluff that's born again as fill or spun into yarn. Curl up underneath one of these not-too-heavy, not-too-light cuddlers with your favorite mag—recycled, preferably—and rest easy knowing that Eco2's process pooh-pooh's the need for more dyes, bigger landfills or more pesticide-, fertilizer-, and freshwater-thirsty cotton crops. $65, Dorothy Jean, Traverse City, 231-947-3490.
A trio of tall, ceramic urns to brighten up an entry sounds great in theory, but no matter if they're neon, big and breakable by a door is never bright. Which is why we fell in love with these tall, tough-as-steel metal vessels from Urban Diversions. The vented pattern keeps their look airy; the orange leather brings a brazen color splash. Together, they're Indian-summer stunning. $99 each, Urban Diversions, 231-946-6600, URBANDIVERSIONS.COM.