Today is Green Monday, where I bring you all things green. Fellow green fashionistas, behold the beautiful and brilliant tagua nut, yielding biodegradable baubles that you will fall in love with.

I came across a bracelet at Anana’s in Oak Park (109 N. Oak Park Ave.) recently – it felt smooth and light in my hand and the colors were resplendent, resembling an agate stone. The material remained a mystery to me. I learned that it was handcrafted of a renewable natural resource: tagua palm nuts.

For those of you unfamiliar with these little natural gems (I was previously unacquainted with this egg-shaped treasure): they are the seeds of South American palm trees that resemble elephant ivory in color, texture and density. They have been used as a substitute for plastic to produce items such as buttons, boxes, and furniture.

Tagua nuts are sustainably harvested from forest floors when the cabeza containing the nuts ripens and falls. Today local artisans skillfully carve the nuts to create jewelry pieces that we can purchase right here in town.

Consumers can make choices that encourage good land utilization and rainforest management through sustainable harvesting. Your purchase will impact the success of ecologically oriented projects and add a charming and affordable accessory to your wardrobe.

Happy Shopping!

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