Monthly Archives: September 2013

Are There Harmful Ingredients in Your Shaving Cream?

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There are many options when it comes to the ingredients in shaving cream. The most popular shaving creams tend to be less expensive and filled with ingredients you probably can’t pronounce. In anumber of cases, higher quality shaving soaps and creams and lotions tend to contain more pure ingredients that are better for you and your skin. Are these unpronounceable ingredients harmful chemicals? It’s worth a look — after all, what you put on your body is just as important as what you put into it. There are several ingredients that can be found and avoided.

The most common chemicals to look for in aftershave / shaving creams are:

  • Benzyl acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Ethyle Acetate: May cause damage to the liver and kidneys, headaches and dehydration of the skin.
  • Terpineol: Linked to pneumonitis, central nervous system and respiratory damage, and headaches.
  • Propolene glycol is a humectant like glycerin, frequently found in antifreeze and brake fluid.
  • Triethanolamine (TEA) is anemulsifying agent, meaning it helps keep the oil and water from separating. Many formulas containing TEA are found to be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are linked to cancer.
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES): Lauryl mimics estrogen, which is especially problematic for women, and laureth often hosts a known carcinogen called dioxane.
  • Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Uncategorized

Food Waste Composting Tips

ImageGenerally food waste is organic and will decompose, but when mixed with other waste in the landfill food waste actually contributes to the production and release of harmful gases which potentially cause environmental damage. In fact, food scraps are the third largest segment of the waste stream with nearly 26 million tons generated each year. Of the overall aste stream,about 12% is food-related, behind paper and plastic

However, by composting your food waste, you can actually put that waste to good use by putting it back back into the earth. The resulting compost can be used in a variety of different ways to support your yard or garden.

Compostable Food Items:

  • Uncooked vegetables and peelings
  • Salad
  • Fruit
  • Tea bags
  • Crushed egg shells
  • Coffee grounds
  • Non-food materials such as plants and flowers, grass clippings, leaves and shredded paper, cardboard.

Non-compostable Food Items:

  • Food which has been cooked. Cooked food, even vegetables, can attract vermin
  • Meat or fish
  • Dairy products
  • Non-food items such as cat or dog litter, large pieces of wood, coal ash
  • Plastics and metals.

How to Compost

You will need to buy or make a compost bin to effectively to manage your waste to create compost. Check with your local municipality for compost bin rebate programs.

Place your compost bin on a level, well-drained area. Make sure that the base of your compost bin is open and place it on soil ideally. This is so that the compost can absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil below easily. It also enables creatures like worms to get into the waste and they help break it down into compost.

Cover the compost bin with a water-proof cover. Every three months you will need to stir the compost pile until it is ready. The process can take anywhere from four to 18 months depending upon your climate and the types of waste in the compost pile. The compost is ready when the compost is a consistent dark brown and develops an earthy smell.

Tips for Composting

  • The ideal composting mixture will be a combination of all the materials in the first list above.
  • Small items tend to compost faster. Cut larger items into smaller pieces to speed the composting process.
  • Add fresh water periodically to maintain the needed moisture level for a healthy compost pile, but do not over-water. If your compost pile gives off a strong odor, add less water and add wood chips or cardboard  to soak up the additional moisture.
  • Access to direct sunlight will speed the composting process.

Easy and Quick Composting For those that may not want to deal with the physical demands or time it takes for a compost pile to mature, we recommend the use of a tumbling composter Tumbling is the most effective method for making compost quickly because it evenly mixes nitrogen and carbon materials(green and brown) for optimal eco-interaction. Add the benefit of complete distribution of moisture, air, and organic microbes throughout the batch and you’ll create conditions perfect for express composting. Vented ends provide optimal aeration so this tumbler will help create finished compost 4 to10 times quicker than a tradition composting bed. Plus its resistant to animal entry and it’s easy to turn. Just load up the composting drum and tumble it a couple times a week. Nature will do the rest as it creates nutrient rich organic compost in as little as 3 weeks.

Checkout our indoor composters and yard composters.

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Filed under Composting, Food Waste, Recycling

How to “Beat the Peak” Energy Usage

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There is two periods of peak energy use, winter and summer.  “Summer peak times generally occur during the period of May through October and between the hours of 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Winter peak times are November through April and between the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m.”

For all intensive purposes, power users should note the highest strains on the electric grid occur when consumers are getting ready  for their day in the morning and when they arrive t home after work during the evening. “Peak” energy hours are the time of day during which the most electricity is used – typically daytime. During peak energy hours additional power plants, “peak-hour plants”, are needed, which is typically is the most dirty and costly sources. Energy produced from these sources significantly impacts the cost of your electricity and results in the generation of more green-house gas emissions during the worst time period possible.

Here are a few tips to “Beat the Peak”:

Set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher. Greater peak-shaving can occur by increasing (during the summer) or lowering (during the winter) the setting by two to three degrees during the peak time.

  1. Delay use of major home appliances ie. dryers, dishwashers, ovens and washing machines.
  2. Postpone using hot water so that the demand for the water heater is reduced during the peak times, particularly if the source of heat is an electric tankless water heater, which significantly increases demand.

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Filed under Energy Conservation

Engage Green Review

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Engage Green is a line of eco-friendly products such as upcycled bags, totes, briefcases, etc.   They mix an artsy design into their styles, and create quality bags that will last through all weather conditions.  They use sustainable materials to help eliminate their waste output.  Engage Green is known for its unique fashionable designs made out of Recycled Plastic [PET], Recycled Paper and Sustainable materials like Organic Cotton, Hemp and Cork.

Engage Green was born in 2007 in Brooklyn.  Engage Green believes in quality – durable luxury, made to last, made to perform well in all weather conditions. We turn consumerism into something positive by engaging what we call [The Green Cycle] – choosing the right material, creating a functional design and engaging environmentally conscious consumers.

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Filed under Product Review