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5 Things We Love

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    Gordon Tsukamoto of G. Tees shows a “solar powered” outfit. The graphic design changes color in sunlight.

Take a gander at these geese

These adorable, stuffed Tutu Nene geese are hand-sewn on the Big Island out of cotton fabric screened in Honolulu in an array of colors. They are the brainchild of Big Island residents Carol McCarthy and Gale Bates, who started making them in the ’80s to raise awareness of the endangered species. Today, Tute Nene are made by Peavian Logic on the Big Island, with a portion of the proceeds going to Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park to help research and protect the geese. Cute for keiki or as a conversation piece; $9.95 at Native Books / Na Mea Hawaii. — Nina Wu

Sunlight lends a colorful glow

Back in the ’90s, Hypercolor T-shirts that changed color when temperatures rose was a fun concept, but not so great after gym class. G. Tees has refined the idea with its line of solar-powered tees that change color when exposed to sunlight. Most of the designs feature a silk-screened outline of an animal that fills in with color when worn outdoors. Some designs also glow in the dark. Prices range from $9 to $13. The shirts are available at craft fairs, or contact Gordon and June Tsukamoto at or 737-2764. — Donica Kaneshiro

Pop goes the low-fat snacking

I used to tell my kids they could only have the Pop-Tarts with fruit filling and no frosting. That was when I considered them to be a breakfast food, and the "fruit" seemed to offer some redeeming value. But really. I have since relegated Pop-Tarts to the category of snack foods and have relaxed my selection criteria. Which brings me to chocolate chip Pop-Tarts. Warm from the toaster, these things are delicious. Like a chocolate chip cookie, but gooier. Like a slice of chocolate pie, but crunchier. Just sweet enough, and eating one satisfies 2 percent of my daily calcium needs! Never mind the 6 grams of fat. You only live once. — Betty Shimabukuro

Water is always icy in super-duper insulated bottle

The Thermos Thermax Insulated Water Bottle is the Superman of water bottles. A tough stainless steel, it is double-walled to keep drinks cold all day. And I mean all day. My daughter commutes from our Central Oahu home to school in Niu Valley every morning, so by 5:30 a.m. her lunch is packed and water is ready to go. When she empties out the water bottle at 4 p.m., there are still small pieces of ice left. The bottle has become such a hit in our home that she’s on her second and my husband and I now have our own. Superstuff doesn’t come cheap — the bottle retails at Target for $19.99. But in perennially hot Hawaii, it’s worth every penny. — Joleen Oshiro

Sacks in season

Strawberries are good for your body, but this one is particularly good for your eco-soul. The 15-by-15-inch tote, disguised as a strawberry, tucks neatly into its 3 1/2 -inch pouch, at the ready to hold purchased goods. When my turn comes at the checkout stand, there’s no fumbling around through my bottomless-pit purse because the red pops, and it’s gotten quite a few "awe cuuute" comments from cashiers. Available at Longs Drugs for about $4 in the travel-size toiletries aisle. If it’s too cutesy for you, try a straightforward version by Envirosax at T&C Surf Designs for $10 or at for a little less. Just unsnap and unroll. Comes in several patterns but you can’t go wrong with camouflage. — Ruby Mata-Viti

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