Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Archive for August 2009

Clorox GreenWorks Really Green?

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I have seen these products all around now, which made me wonder if these products where truly green or just green washed (faking or just going with the fad)  Inhabitat put this to rest today

Reprinted: Inhabitat Evelyn Lee 8/2009

Launched in January of 2008, Clorox’s line of natural cleaning products, Green Works, currently holds more than a 40% share of the natural home cleaning market. The first year success of their product single-handedly grew the natural cleaning product market by more than 80% in one year by selling Green Works through their current distribution chain in more than 24,000 stores alongside their regular household cleaning products. However the question remains, is Green Works truly green? Critics argue that since no industry standard definitions currently exist for natural cleaners, Green Works is simply deeming itself green against its own standards – a dangerous trend to set. Read on to find out more.greenworks3

According to their website, Green Works sets their own very stringent standards to ensure that their cleaners are at least 99% natural – a.k.a. coming from renewable resources, being biodegradable and free of petrochemicals. They attribute the 1% to synthetic ingredients including a preservative and green coloring but are working to find alternatives to be able to claim that the line is 100% natural. On the other hand, because no standard exists, those who are on the lookout for product authenticity question the use of corn-based ethanol which has a larger greenhouse gas footprint than petrochemicals, as well as the use of coconut oil, which contributes to rainforest habitat destruction. Clorox has done their best to remain openly transparent about the ingredients in their Green Works line by publishing their ingredients on the product and responding to such questions online at their blog and through their Shades of Green Journal.

So where’s the rub, you ask? As stated on their Shades of Green blog, “The Green Works brand stands for powerful cleaning done naturally and we have stayed true to that promise. Our proposition is aimed at the mainstream consumer who is interested in natural products that clean, are affordable and easily accessible. We are achieving our goal to mainstream natural cleaning.” The company has delivered on their promise to bring natural cleaners into the forefront at a 15-20% premium over their natural competitors that are often carried at a 50-100% premium. On the other hand, if it weren’t for the success of their product, it’s questionable whether or not Clorox would continue to carry their natural line unless it continued to drive their bottom line – which doesn’t tend to sit well with those who are constantly on the lookout for a more sustainable product. Despite their commitment to their natural product line, Green Works, Clorox has done little as a company to internalize their sustainable chatter into their overall operations and product manufacturing.

IS IT GREEN?

The simple answer is yes. Green Works is a product that can, for the most part, claim truthfully that their product is 99% natural. On the other hand, those looking for cradle to cradle operations and a company whose foresight is focused on a more sustainable future may want to look elsewhere. After all, in the end Clorox will always be a bleach company that is driven by the success of their products and the bottom line.

We Have A Poll

ryan Hey guys, for those of you who don’t know me I’m Ryan.  I run the site and love doing it.  It also gives me an excuse to spend time gawking at tiny house websites and other such things, but tell anyone I love doing it :)  I was wondering if you would help me out with where this website is going.

The first thing is if you would weigh in on the poll that I have posted here and/or the sidebar.

The second is if you ever wanna chat or have a great story to tell, your own or anothers please shoot me an email at ryan112ryan [at]  yahoo {dot}com  obviously remove brackets and spaces and we can chat!

Finally if you are like me and love to read all about Tiny Houses and would love an avenue to share your thoughts on the issues and share links, I am looking for folks to share their passion with readers.

Thanks all!

-Ryan Mitchell

[poll id="2"]

How We Spend Our Time

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Here is a great interactive graphic that shows how we actually spend our time during the day acording to various demographics.   What would be interesting to see how people from different countries factor into this.  check it out here

My Food Is From Where!?

I always knew that my food didn’t just appear there, that it had to travel there. flying tomatoe I knew that certain things might have come from Mexico or Florida, but until I really got into it, I didn’t realize the scale of this.  The companies use little tricks like packaging the produce in America, even if it was grown in Brazil.  This allows them to say “made in America” they add a little fine print saying packaged = made and they are done.  I found this concept art over at Design Verb, it shows tomatoes with a luggage check tag on it and then a receipt showing the price and distance of the foods.

distance of food

While looking around at this I came across a movie that is in theaters now.  You will most likely only find it in your local independent theater though, but it looks great!  I have added it to my Netflix Queue and can’t wait to watch it.  So check it out!


FOOD, INC.: Movie TrailerFor more of the funniest videos, click here

BE WEIRD!

The other day I was sitting at home talking with a friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in a while.  A tweet came up on my phone from Michael Jazen, our friend at Tiny House Design, which showed a Tiny House and sparked anormal-main_Full conversation. She looked at me like I was crazy for wanting to live in a Tiny House, which I normally get that reaction, but what was interesting was what followed.  She said “that’s so weird, why can’t you be normal?”

I had a little chuckle and said this:

Well what IS normal?  Normal is to get married, have a few kids, drive a nice car, have a successful career, live comfortably and live in a nice houses don’t you agree?

She agreed and I went on.

Well let’s take a bit closer look at this; What are the implications of being normal?

  1. Getting married is great but it ends in divorce 60% of the time (average cost of $15,000).
  2. Having kids means your life isn’t about you anymore and kids are expensive, Half a Million expensive!
  3. The average cost of a car is around $30,000
  4. The average cost of a house today is around $260,000, but you will pay $800,000 through the loan
  5. For living comfortably 1 in 20 Americans have $8,000+ in credit card debt
  6. A successful career means you spend most of your time not with loved ones or doing what you love

So if I am NORMAL it means that in the end I will be done with my divorce, “own” a house and a car that I really don’t own, but will pay 4 times the original price tag for at the end of the loan.  Then to top it off I will have two kids, who I love very much, but will only get to see them for two hours, which debt collectors will be calling during, until I get them to bed and collapse myself.  All in all, I don’t get to spend time with those who I love.  I own nothing and I owe an average of 1.85 million dollars over my lifetime.

If Normal is being away from people I love and forever in debt, then I sure as hell don’t wanna be normal do you?

She looked at me as if she had suddenly seen color for the first time in her life, as if she had be seeing in black and white up to this point.

So people, the rub?  BE WEIRD!