stylish, sustainable shopping with rume bags

I know reusable grocery bags are everywhere these days — we’ve even posted about some here on Shelterrific. That said, I couldn’t resist telling you about RuMe Bags. (The clever name is short for “ReUse Me.”) Not only are the colors and patterns perfect for spring, but the ingeniously designed, fair-trade totes have a flat bottom and square sides to help you fit everything in. (They really are roomy!) They have long handles to make throwing them over your shoulder that much easier, and they fold up flat to fit into your purse or back pocket. A set of three costs as little as $25 at I’m definitely scoring a set. And if you want a Mini RuMe Bag (which is still quite roomy), they’re 25% off at the RuMe site with a minimum order of $10. –Erica P.

post off: would you keep chickens?

I’ve been fascinated with the idea of “city chickens” for awhile — two or three in a backyard enclosure and all the eggs I need. (That’s the hope, anyway.) Now friends of mine in Cincinnati are going to actually give it a try this spring. It’s legal to keep a small amount of poultry within city limits in lots of places — The City Chicken is a good place to learn more, with a growing roundup of state-by-state laws. The topic also came up in the Treehugger forums, where one reader mentioned the fanciful and funky Eglu for all your backyard chicken needs. So who has city chickens? And who would try it? –Mary T.

Photo by Laura Pandaru

bring on spring: potted succulents

I’ve got serious spring fever. I can’t wait to pick up some fresh herbs for my windowsill garden and a new plant or two for my fire escape. I haven’t quite developed my green thumb yet, so I think I’ll go for some heartier cacti or succulents. I’ve been browsing the site for LA-based store Living Arrangements for inspiration. If I lived in the LA area, I could definitely see myself buying their potted succulents as housewarming gifts and birthday presents for my friends. The arrangements start at around $40 and include a “care card” and local delivery. My favorites are the ones in the vintage coffee cans. I’m definitely stealing this idea! — Erica P.

the loveliest loofah

Some days it feels like all I do are the dishes (except of course, on the days when it feels like all I do is the laundry, but I digress). Which is why a little something like this mushroom scrubber from Loofah-Art makes my day. It’s made of natural fibers that won’t scratch delicate surfaces, but it’s tough enough to get an overcooked omelet off an old pan. Made in India by sustainable farming efforts, the Loofah Scrubbers come in many shapes and colors including fruits, insects, party themes, and veggies. Click here to read more about this eco-friendly kitchen staple. About $4 each. — Angela M.