Rupak De Chowdhuri/Corbis

DCL

Second only to cotton in production volume and variety of uses, jute is "a long, soft, shiny vegetable fiber that can be spun into coarse, strong threads. It is produced from plants in the genus Corchorus, family Tiliaceae." Most of the world's jut is grown in Bangladesh. According to the International Jute Study Group, "Depending on demand, price and climate, the annual production of jute and allied fibres in the world remains around 3 million tons."

The fact that jute is 100% bio-degradable and recyclable makes it not only very environmentally friendly—it's suddenly everywhere. For some in the eco avant garde, jute is the new hemp and among other things, that means a gazillion uses. For example: rope, twine, chair coverings, curtains, sacks, hessian cloth, carpets, and even the backing used on linoleum. Like hemp, jute can be turned into eco-friendly clothes and accessories.

Learn more about Fair Trade jute products here.

Want to see new-to-green rap star Ludacris and rock star Tommy Lee battle out who can be greener? Check out the newest eco tour on Planet Green TV's Battleground Earth.