Category Archives: Sustainable Goods

Ways to Have a Green Christmas

Here are a few ways you can make this Christmas season more eco-friendly:

green christmas1. Buy Less 

Gifts can fit a practical need and need to be bought new, while other are gestures of thoughtfulness. Find gifts that fit without overspending. 

2. Christmas lights

Solar LED lights are the most energy efficient lighting options. Convert those older light strings to save money this holiday season.

3. Wrapping paper

Instead of wasting loads of money on wrapping paper, save your children’s artwork throughout the year and wrap your presents in them. The kids will love seeing their masterpieces being handed around the family. Also, consider using gift wrapping paper from recycled materials.

4. Shop online

Rather than driving around shopping centers and mall car parking lots for hours wasting gas and time, then having to plow your way through the hordes of people in the shops, consider shopping online.

5. Reuse

Reuse or recycle gift packing materials, Bubble wrap can be stored for reuse, or recycled.

6.  Use eco friendly wrapping paper

Choose wrapping paper made using fibers such as hemp or paper using recycled content.

7. Make a list

Make your list and check it twice… Make sure you make a list of all the people you would like to give gifts to, this will reduce the amount of spontaneous purchases. You will also have the time to research online for the cheapest and best options or purchase.

8. Durable decorations

When purchasing decorations, buy good quality or make them yourself from reusable or recycled products. Good quality decorations may cost more up front, but they won’t need to be replaced as often

7. Christmas tree choices

Whilst artificial Christmas Trees last longer, the plastic used to make them can be quite toxic to our environment. Consider purchasing a real Christmas Tree or better yet substitute with an native tree. You can keep it in a pot through the holiday season than plant it in your backyard at the end of December.

8. Green gifts

Consider only purchasing eco friendly gifts. These gifts will tend to be unique will lighten your footprint this holiday season. The products available are often made from recycled goods or are made only of sustainable products and consist of eco friendly packaging.

9. DIY cards and gifts

Make your own cards and presents – these gifts are more likely to be treasured, extending their life cycle. You can also reuse last year’s cards by using them to make gift labels for this year.

10. e-cards

Instead of sending traditional Christmas Cards to family and friends, which cost both money and resources, reduce your carbon footprint by sending an e-card with a personal message.

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Filed under Recycling, Repurposing, Sustainable Goods

Why use Organic Baby Shampoo and Wash

Your baby’s skin is the largest and most delicate organ. Yet we regularly massage the skin with products loaded with petrochemical ingredients. If you would read the label on the back of your child’s shampoo or wash bottle, you would see dyes, preservatives, synthetic foams, parabens and petrochemicals. Remember, the skin is a porous membrane, so up to 60% of products that are applied to skin will make its way into the body. This results in over 90 industrial chemicals that the body can’t breakdown and eliminate. This material will accumulate over time and can lead to serious diseases like cancer.

The average consumer can’t fully determine the long term dangers of applying various chemicals and corrosives to their children’s skin and scalp. As more parents are becoming aware, they are reconsidering using conventional bath products. Here is a further listing of some of the harmful ingredients in many conventional bath products:

  • Diethanolamine or DEA – This is a carcinogen that if used repeatedly could lead to cancer.
  • Propylene Glycol – Ingredient in industrial antifreeze. Gives shampoo slippery characteristic.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – Inexpensive detergent chemical that creates foam. Found in most dish detergents.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Found in industrial engine degreasers.
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate- Inexpensive detergent and makes mixtures foam well.
  • Olefin Sulfonate – Deodorized kerosene

True organic shampoo and wash products offer a wealth of benefits for hair and skin that will be immediately noticeable. Organic products gently infuse your hair follicles and skin cells with natural minerals, herbal extracts, and oils. Keep in mind that not every natural ingredient is safe for a baby’s delicate skin. Some essential oils may be irritating so when choosing a shampoo or body wash for your baby, read the label carefully and be sure it has been proven safe for infants. There are lots of shampoos to choose from, so check out a few to see which one best meets your needs.

Vermont Soap Organic Baby Wash is great because it is two products in one. It can be used to wash both baby’s hair and body.  Bath time will only take about two squirts–one for the body and one to shampoo hair.  Typically, one bottle will last much longer than most store bought brands. So even though it’s a little more per bottle, you will save in the long run. Plus you’re getting the benefit of knowing you’re using the most natural ingredients for your baby’s sensitive skin.

When you use organic bath products, you’re also helping your environment by letting bio-degradable substances go down the drain and not harsh chemicals.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Product Review, Sustainable Goods, Uncategorized

Eco Product Review: H20 Water Powered Can Clock

The H2O Water Powered Can Clock uses state of the art water technology to power a large hi contrast display (LCD) clock. This clock will run continuously for a long time without needing any human intervention.

H2O water powered clock

H2O water powered clock

By using positive and negative electrodes the H2O Water Powered Can Clocks patented technology creates an electro-chemical reaction with water, thus producing the electrical energy for powering the LCD clock display. The Can clock is the size and shape of a conventional can of soda, roughly 11cm x 5.8cm (4.3in. x 2.3in.).

The water will need replacing due to evaporation. The evaporation though should be at a slow rate as the water is well encased, meaning it will only require a water top up every 6 to 12 months.

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Filed under Product Review, Sustainable Goods

Benefits of Solar Power for Outdoor Lighting

Harness the power of the sun with solar powered lighting. There is free electricity readily available in your own backyard. Outdoor solar lights are easy to install and are virtually maintenance free. Solar lighting makes the perfect complement to your energy-efficient landscape.

Solar Lighting Benefits:

• Low energy costs. After equipment purchase, the sun provides all of the necessary power.

solar security light

• Minimal maintenance. Solar products typically have a limited number of moving parts, which eliminates the need to replace parts due to breakage and wear.

• Zero emissions. Solar products use the power resource without any resulting waste material.

• Off grid power needs. Solar lights continue working even if there has been a power outage. Because the energy isn’t coming off of an electrical grid, power outages make no difference.

• Portability. You can use solar lighting to light homes, cabins, campsites, backyards or RVs in remote locations. With no power lines to run, using solar power may be a cheaper.

• Easy installation. The majority of outdoor solar lighting has no confusing wires that must be connected to your main electrical system. Setting up your lights can be as simple as hanging them on a tree or staking them into the ground.

These advantages extend to both the wallet and the environment. In addition to all of this, the benefits of solar lighting are only destined to increase as solar technology advances.

Solar Lighting Placement

•  Place lights in areas that will receive direct sunlight. Placement in shaded areas will result in poor lighting performance.

•  Consider installing  a variety of products for the various applications, including walkway, festive, security and standard lighting applications.

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Filed under Energy Conservation, Solar, Sustainable Goods, Technology

Green Product Review: Smart Faucet

This Smart Faucet eliminates water waste by providing water only exactly when it’s needed  (in the beginning and end of the hand-washing event), and automatically shuts off the water while you’re lathering up, which saves water and heat.  No more constant adjustment with the hot and cold temperature setting trying to get the right temperature, as it is set at the desired heat setting.  The best feature of this product is that it’s made to retrofit directly on to your existing hardware.

Image

The Smart Faucet is a 1.5gpm (gallons per minute) aerator with an antimicrobial handle that controls water flow from the faucet. Water only flows when the handle is depressed, although there is a locking disk for continuous flow when needed.

The Smart Faucet requires no batteries or electricity to control consumption and is produced and packaged in the United States. The Smart Faucet can save up to 15,000 gallons when compared with the use of a standard 2.5gpm aerator. The Smart Faucet is an example of a low-tech solution that can save lots of resources and educate at the same time.

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Filed under Energy Conservation, Healthy Living, Product Review, Sustainable Goods, Water Conservation

Choose Eco Friendly Furniture

Consider eco friendly options when selecting new furniture for your home or office. Choose high quality pieces that will last decades that are manufactured by sustainable ways. Ask questions about the manufacturing process, and about whether timber used is from an FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) source and/or made from sustainable materials, such as bamboo.  Look out for vintage pieces that can be recovered or upcycled. In a contemporary home these can be very effective and become statement pieces in their own right, adding a bit of character.Image

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How Rain Barrel Use Can Save You Money

How Rain Barrel Use Can Help Save You Money Why pay for outdoor water use during dry days when, in most locations, more than enough rain falls right on your roof? Rain in barrels are a time-tested way of collecting water for reuse. Runoff water from your roof, which normally flows onto your lawn or down your driveway and out into the street, can be collected in rain barrelbarrels and used for watering your lawn and garden during rain free times.  The collection and reuse of rainwater can help the environment, but there are also financial benefits for implementing a rain capture strategy. Here are a few ways you can save with rain barrel usage:

  • Reduce dependence upon city or well water by as much as 40% or more, therefore reducing your water bill
  • Possibly avoid water restrictions with a ready back-up water source in times of drought or between rain showers
  • Increase the health of your soil by watering the yard and plants with rainwater, minus the many harmful chemical contaminants (minerals, chlorine, fluoride, and other chemical contaminants).

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Filed under Sustainable Goods, Water Conservation