I normally only post Monday to Friday, but since its a holiday I decided to do a quick post.
Check out Green Costumes for kids over at Inhabitat
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.
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.
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.
While I find coasters to be a hassle and I use the Bodum glasses which eliminates the need for them, there are many folks that use them. In addition they make a great gift if you make them yourself. So here is a quick way to reuse old magazine to make some fun coasters.
1. Tear out 6 magazine pages. Cut off the ragged edge on each, then cut each page in half lengthwise. I stacked them and cut them all at once with an X-acto knife and ruler. (To make a coaster with a finer weave, cut each of the half-page strips in half lengthwise again. And note that weaving will take you twice as long!)
2. Fold each strip in half lengthwise. Then fold the resulting piece in thirds, folding the cut edges inward first so they’re hidden inside. Now you have a long, thick strip. Fold it in half at the center. See steps pictured above. Repeat with each magazine sheet.
3. To start weaving, interlock two strips. This is the bottom left corner of your coaster.
4. Add another strip that wraps around the outside of the horizontal bottom strip.
Recently there has been allot of hype when it comes to plastics and chemical leeching. One prime example is Nalgene water bottles and how they used to contain BPA’s. These days you hear about how fill in the blank causes cancer, by the end we find that the majority of things we use will be the death of us.
I have always loved how in the olden days they used to package everything in great little metal tins, they were so durable, reusable and most often recyclable by today’s standards. This might just be me, I have come to realize I have this odd addiction to containers, but that’s for another day.
Lunch Bots are basically Tupperware but made from 100% stainless steel, they are washable, recyclable, durable and look awesome! While they can’t handle liquids like soup, they are good for just about everything else. Combined these with a reusable lunch bag and your golden. Buy them for around $15 each or a set of all 4 for $50 here
In our homes today there are some seriously bad new chemicals. I have a friend of the family that worked for a insurance company and his whole job was air quality. After talking to him some he said something that kind of scared me. He said even with the top of the life filtration systems in our homes today, the air quality is around 6 times more toxic than any of the worst air quality cities. That’s kinda scary!
Now there are some things that you simply cannot reduce their toxicity because the value of having those chemicals is so great. For example if you have a solar array, you will need to have several batteries to capture that power. The batteries have all sorts of nasty chemicals but the value of have your computer running, a fridge and lights out weighs it. Paint is the number one suspect when it comes to ruining the indoor air quality. Thus, replacing it can make a huge impact on the problem.
That said, there are allot of things that we can do address this problem. One of which is using Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) which is the bad stuff. Then there are other paints that are non-toxic which are basically you vegan version of paint, there are only natural ingredients in them. So here is a round up of the best Low VOC and Non-Toxic paints here