September 26, 2016

Help Us Grow a Forest Garden

As many of you already know, for every order you purchase from Nina Designs, we plant a tree. But did you know that your purchases also help create Forest Gardens?

Since 2012, Nina Designs has partnered with Trees for the Future, a public charity dedicated to ending extreme hunger and poverty across Sub Saharan Africa by revitalizing degraded lands and planting trees through seed distribution and agroforestry training.

Forest Garden Blog 1

So what is a Forest Garden?

“The Forest Garden Program is a simple, replicable and scalable approach with proven success. By planting specific types of trees and crops in a systematic manner over a four year period, families can change their lives forever. Forest Gardens provide families with sustainable food sources, livestock feed, products to sell, fuel wood and up to a 500% increase in their annual income.”

Key impacts

Forest gardens permanently increase the income of impoverished families by maximizing and diversifying on-farm income sources and products that can be sold throughout the year, while at the same time reducing the risks associated with dependence on one or two crops.

Forest gardens empower hungry families to feed themselves by providing a more balanced and nutritious diet through a diverse food production system which produces fruit and vegetables throughout the year.

Forest gardens revitalize degraded lands and increase productivity of rural landscapes by increasing the soil quality through beneficial tree planting, increasing biodiversity potential and reducing the need for external inputs such as chemicals, fuel wood and animal feed.

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Our partnership with Trees for the Future has multiple benefits: Planting Trees helps to protect the environment, as it offsets the carbon associated with our office operations and the orders we ship out to customers, while Forest Gardens help to preserve traditional livelihoods and cultures for generations.

And your purchases make all of this possible!

THANK YOU for helping make the world a better place for everyone!

Forest Garden Blog 3

April 22, 2013

Silver Charms for Earth Day :: Show Mother Earth Love

Today is Earth Day! Show your dedication to Mother Earth with environmental charms and jewelry designs. Wearing green charms helps spread Earth positive messages and these silver charms lend themselves to chic, eco friendly jewelry designs.

Nina Designs believes in Fair Trade practices, being a Green business, supporting local small business owners and conservation of our natural resources.  We have a Go Green charm collection that is full of inspirational, socially responsible charms. Explore these charms to see our delicate globe charm, meaningful word tags, fluffy clouds and our super sweet bike charm.

Soon you’ll be wearing your own environmentally conscience jewelry and spreading positive messages throughout your community!

Earth Day 2013 - Blog

Ever wonder who made Earth Day possible, and what inspired the founders ?

In 1969, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator from Washington,  began making an effort to push for higher awareness of environmental problems after witnessing the outcomes of the 1969 oil spills in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the anti-war movement, he discovered that he could use that energy combined with a growing conscience for pollution to put environmental protection on the national agenda. Over 20 million people participated that year, and now Earth Day is observed on April 22 each year by more than one billion people and many national governments in 192 countries.

It’s humbling and amazing to see how one dedicated group of people brought public awareness and support to such an important global issue.

How do you celebrate Earth Day? Has this year inspired you to make a lifestyle change you can apply to everyday of the year?

April 12, 2013

Earth Day Part 2: Greening your Personal Care

Filed under: Greening — Tags: , @ 10:33 am

Greening your Personal Care::

Earth Day is almost here, and we have some tips to share with you to make green decisions with personal care. We polled the ladies at the office and they had lots of great suggestions. Stayed tuned for part 3…


1. Turn off water while brushing your teeth, shaving in the shower, or washing your hair. I use a small cup of water to rinse the razor while I shave, instead of keep the water running.

2. Wash clothes on cold water, and air dry your clothes when possible.

3. Consider switching to all-natural body products; everything we wash off ourselves goes back in the water system eventually. Dispose of old medicines responsibly, instead of down the drain.

4. Switch to an aluminum free deodorant to protect your health. It’s important to make healthy decisions for the environment and the body! You can find lots of chemical and cruelty free products on this site:


April 7, 2013

Part 1: Tips to Green Your Kitchen for Earth Day

Filed under: Greening — Tags: , @ 10:29 am

In practice, everyday day is Earth Day, but every April 22nd is a great day to rethink your Earth friendly practices and all the things you can do to reduce your impact.  I asked the ladies in the office for their tips on leading a green life.   I was amazed by the response; I hope you find these tips useful as I do!  Stay tuned for more….

1. COMPOST : Don’t have a good composting spot, or is it too stinky?  try storing your food refuse in the freezer in a paper bag, then compost it on pick-up day, or take it to your local composting center/community garden.  If you don’t want to clean out a compost bin regularly, consider biodegradable trash bags.

2. CLEANING : Never run your water on full blast, and only use hot water when necessary.  Use a pan of sudsy water to clean dishes, and a pan of clean water to rinse.  Did you know if you use biodegradable soap you can reuse the dishwater to water plants?  It’s true!
– Use vinegar, water and lemon juice for a cheap, earth friendly cleaner great for all around the house.  Mix one part water to one part vinegar.  Add lemon for a fresh, clean smell!

3.TOWELS : Ditch those paper towels!  Switch to  sponge and washcloths for the kitchen, and drying rags.  Rotate your  clothes and wash them once a week.  Sponges gross you out?  Boil your sponge for 3 minutes to disinfect!




February 19, 2013

YOUR VOTE COUNTS:: Help Us Support a Cause in 2013

Nina Designs is starting something new: we are asking you, the customer, to vote for a cause we will support throughout the year! This will be in addition to our annual philanthropy, micro-loans, and tree planting programs.

Please help us vote through Facebook by clicking here. This year the choices are ‘Wildlife Conservation’, ‘Stop Human Trafficking’, or ‘End Hunger in the USA’.

Once a cause is selected, we will carefully select 4-5 non-profit organizations to fund directly. We will donate money relative to how many orders we receive in 2013, with a goal of donating a total of $5,000.00. Help us to make the world a better place, one step at a time.

“Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
-Margaret Meade

January 28, 2013

Jewelry to Trees:: 9,638 Trees Planted

Nina Designs contributed $1,000 in 2012 to Trees for the Future because of you, the customer! For every order placed, we plant a tree to help the environment and to offset the carbon emissions tied to business operations.  Nina Designs customers who have placed orders planted 9,638 trees in Haiti, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Kenyan women planting seeds for germination.

For rural farm families suffering from poverty, the gift of trees is a gift of life.  Some species of trees provide food for human consumptions, while others feed livestock. If the trees are harvested in a sustainable way, they will continue to provide for communities in generations to come.

Trees provide materials for cooking, heating, building houses, fences and tool handles.  They offset carbon emissions, reduce pollution, and prevent erosion. Trees are an important part of shade farming, allowing farmers to produce food requiring shade in areas where natural forest has been destroyed. Cows who have shady resting spots even produce more milk!

On behalf of the recipients of these trees and Trees for the Future, Nina Designs would like to thank you for making this a possibility.

Read more about Nina Designs fair trade and philanthropy.

September 6, 2012

1 order = 1 Tree :: Silver Charms Go Green at Nina Designs

Filed under: Greening — Tags: , @ 10:15 am

Silver Charms Go Green with our new Plant a Tree program!  For every order we ship, we will plant a tree.  We have partnered with Trees for the Future to offset all of the carbon associated with our office operations and the orders we ship out to customers.  We used carbon calculators available online to estimate our annual carbon use and then added a healthy amount of padding to be conservative.  While it is difficult to find accurate data, we believe this program will also cover the carbon emissions of the silver mined to produce our products.

We researched many different programs and decided that Trees for the Future was the best match for us.  They have a proven track record of partnering with respected companies like Timberland  and we like the fact that they plant many trees that provide food and materials for local populations who then have a vested interest in keeping the trees healthy.  They run programs in Africa, Asia and South America.  Here is how the organization describes its work:

“Since 1989, Trees for the Future ( has been helping communities around the world plant trees.  Through seed distribution, agroforestry training, and our country programs, we have empowered rural groups to restore tree cover to their lands.  Planting trees protects the environment and
helps to preserve traditional livelihoods and cultures for generations.”

Keep your eyes open for the new Tree Counter we will be adding to our home page to track our progress!

April 22, 2011

Earth Day Clean Up Crew

Filed under: Greening — Tags: @ 10:51 am

Last Sunday a small crew from Nina Designs signed up to help clean an East Bay Park near the Berkeley Marina. I’ll be the first to admit that I have never done anything like this before. I’ve always wanted to, always meant to, but never got around to doing it. I was happy when Anna, head of our new Fun Committee here at Nina Designs, decided to plan this event for Earth Day. Thanks Anna!

Having never done this before, I didn’t really know what to expect in terms of what kind of trash we’d find out their on the bayshore. What I imagined (lots of soda cans, plastic bottles, larger chunks of trash) is not what we found. When we arrived to the shore, we were told to focus primarily on plastic, since it never goes away, but only turns into smaller and smaller pieces that get into the food chain. And, focus we did. We picked up three garbage bags full of tiny pieces of plastic in just a 20 ft. area. Much of the plastic was broken, unidentifiable pieces of this and that. Lots of styrofoam and plastic baggies. But we picked up so many plastic straws and plastic soda pop lids that I have taken a personal pledge to never, ever use plastic straws or drink soda again.

Wish me luck as I know my resolve will dwindle as the year marches on. But now that I’ve done an Earth Day clean up once, I plan to do it every year. An annual reminder of just how much plastic I don’t need in my life sounds good to me. Happy Earth Day to our beautiful planet. I pledge to do as much as I can to keep it that way.

Happy Earth Day to our Beautiful Planet!

Bags of Trash!

April 11, 2011

Silver Charms Give Back at Nina Designs

Filed under: Greening,philanthropy — Tags: , @ 8:30 am

Now silver charms and jewelry can not only make us look good but they can do good. Aside from our international charitable donations we are also striving to make local changes and do good right here in the Northern California. We recently became green certified which means we make even more Earth friendly decisions in how we run Nina Designs, like using only 100% recycled paper, never using toxic cleaning products, and about half of the Nina Designs staff bikes to work daily.

Recently Nina Designs donated a beautiful silver bracelet to a wonderful local organization: Breathe California! Breathe California’s mission is to fight lung disease in all its forms and works within communities to promote lung health. Breathe California is hosting its 21st annual Clean Air Awards on Friday, April 15, 2011, in the Julia Morgan Ballroom at the Merchants Exchange in San Francisco. It will focus on positive initiatives that are being taken to reduce global warming and air pollution, with a focus on California. You may purchase tickets, or contribute to this cause here. Don’t miss your chance to bid on this beautiful Nina Designs bracelet and contribute to a great cause that effects us all.

In what small way do you practice being “green”?

Bid on this bracelet at the Clean Air Awards

April 6, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day by helping to preserve the world’s islands and coral reefs

Filed under: Greening,philanthropy — Tags: , , @ 12:01 pm

Our Earth Day Eco-Pledge: Nina Designs will donate $1 to Seacology for every new person who likes us on Facebook by Earth Day, April 22nd. If you’re already a Nina Designs fan, share our Facebook Eco-Pledge with friends and family, then go to our wall and let us know you shared, and we’ll give $1 to Seacology for that effort too! Help spread the word so we can donate as much as possible.

A little bit about Seacology: They are a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the world’s islands and their cultures. Their efforts include 215 conservation projects on 116 islands in 45 countries around the world, protecting over 1.8 million acres of coral reef, rainforest, and other fragile island ecosystems, along with the wildlife they harbor. This includes 50 projects in Indonesia, protecting both marine and terrestrial habitat.

They do great things like building schools and health clinics in exchange for marine reserves, and setting up fresh water systems to villages that need it!

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