Category Archives: 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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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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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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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.

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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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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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Top Eco-Lifestyle Changes

1. Compost, Compost, Compost.  Start a compost pile or the use of a compost bin and make the most of your food scraps and lawn trimmings. 

2. Give Up Bottled Water. The production of plastic water bottles and the impact on landfills is significant. The long-term hazards of drinking from plastic bottles is still not fully known.

3. Walk Or Ride Your Bike. – walk your kids to school, walk or ride your bike to work and short errands. Reduce your carbon footprint and tone up by ditching the car keys.

4. Commit to Conservation. Wasting resources costs the planet and your wallet. Don’t overheat or overcool your home–a few degrees make a huge difference. Use a clothesline or manual spin dryer to dry your clothes instead using the dryer.

5. Turn it off – turn off those appliances. Turn off the lights you aren’t using. Switch the TV off at the plug each night and don’t leave your laptops and mobiles plugged in all day everyday. Not only will you be helping the environment but you will notice a difference in your energy bill.

6. Plant a tree or small plant. -  If you have a yard, plant a tree in your yard. If you do not have a yard, make a windowsill planter with a small plant. If every house in America planted one tree in their yard, it would improve air quality by 40 percent.

 7. Insulate your home. - By insulating your home you can cut your energy use dramatically. It follows that you’ll save yourself lots of money too.

 8. Start Recycling. – Get everyone involved. You can recycle not only consumer waste, but old clothes can be given new life by donating to a worthy cause.

9. Be an Green Advocate. – Teach those around you – Make sure your family, your children and your friends know the importance of making small changes in their lives that can considerably reduce their carbon footprint.

10. Ditch the Aerosol. - Stop using aerosol cans when possible. Aerosol cans deplete the ozone layer. Use spray bottles instead.

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Why Use Organic Linen

Why Should We Want to Use Organic Bedding? 

Organic bedding is hypoallergenic. The bedding materials are less likely than traditional bedding materials to cause an allergic reaction. Organic cotton, wool, rubber and latex are processed to remove potential allergens such as dust, dirt or pet dander. Conventional cotton uses 24 percent of all insecticide and 11 percent of all pesticides used in the world every year. Additionally, conventional bedding is treated with further chemicals in the dyeing and preparation processes, which can be damaging to your skin and lungs. To guarantee an excellent night’s sleep, go organic.

bicolor throwIf you’re not already convinced, consider this: the chemicals used in non-organic household items are easily stored in the body and disrupt the function of the endocrine system. While it may be impossible to completely eliminate these harmful chemicals in modern life, it is easy to eliminate our most acute exposure to them. To recap, with organic bedding you will get luxurious comfort, durability, mildew and fire resistance…all without any man-made chemicals at all!

Considering how much time we spend in bed over the course of a lifetime, investing in organic linens is definitely worthwhile. Children especially benefit from organic bedding since their skin is so sensitive. Starting your child off with organic bedding can help reduce allergies and sensitivities to chemicals that could otherwise develop. Conventional cotton uses 24 percent of all insecticide and 11 percent of all pesticides used in the world every year.

Organic cotton and wool allow air to circulate through the layers of fabric. Organic fibers tend to offer better temperature control because they do not retain or trap body heat, and organic mattresses are especially effective at maintaining regular air circulation. They are ideal for people who suffer from night sweats.

What Determines if a Product is Organic?

What determines if it’s organic? Organic cotton and wool are raised entirely chemical-free so they’re great for people with allergies or sensitive skin. These fibers are often much softer, you wouldn’t believe the level of comfort! Wool is excellent for repelling dust mites, mold, mildew and – arguably the most important – fire. It also draws moisture away from the skin and naturally regulates the body’s temperature so you’re perfectly comfortable all night every night. These fabrics are known for their durability; they have never had damaging bleach treatments and are not mixed with weaker (and more hazardous) petrochemicals such as polyester.

How Can I Be Sure a Product Is Organic?

How can I be sure it’s organic? Read the label. If it states the bedding is 100% organic you can rest assured that it is; organic bedding is purchased with an expectation of increased health and comfort so the growing, manufacturing and labeling of such products are heavily monitored. In addition, organic bedding will have no dyes and feels smoother and a bit heavier than its non-organic counterpart.

Key Organic Points

  • Natural protection: Wool naturally is resistant to dust mites, mold, mildew and bacteria that all can cause allergic reactions and disturb sleep
  • Naturally flame resistant: wool is naturally flame resistant meeting all Consumer Product Safety Commissions fire safety standards
  • Wool naturally wicks away moisture: helping to regulate body temperature for a more restful sleep
  • Hypoallergenic: the wool and natural cotton linens are free of irritating chemicals and toxins found in many linens.
  • Long Life and Durable: Natural products tend to last 2 to 3 times longer than non-natural counterparts.
  • Testing and Certification to be Chemical and Toxin Free: many natural linens do not contain he following harmful substances::
    • Boric Acid – Cockroach killer and insecticide
    • PVCs
    • Formaldehyde
    • Arsenic
    • Antimony
    • Cadmium
    • Beef Tallow or petrochemical coatings
    • Dioxins
    • Benzene
    • Phenols
    • Boron
    • Toluene
    • Chemical flame retardants
    • Phthalates

Shop Now for Organic Linen

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Green Product Review: Nokero N200 Solar Light Bulb

Even if you are not one of the many individuals in the world in need of kerosene lanterns, the Nokero N200 is a great eco-friendly lighting alternative. We decided to test the Nokero N200 as an alternative light source for an outdoor building without any access to interior lighting.

At first glance, we enjoyed the light bulb shape design and the clever swiveling solar panel, for optimal charging exposure. At only 85 grams, the Nokero N200 is lightweight. The overall construction of the N200 is also quite durable and well made, which would be beneficial in rugged outdoor situations. This rugged design extends to the waterproof casing of this solar light bulb. The N200 has 4 LED lights powered by a rechargeable battery that receives its charge from a solar panel. There is also an auto sensor that turns the bulb off it is exposed to light.

The Nokero N200 has three modes of operation: On, Off, and Turbo-Task. The bulb received a full 6 hours of sunlight for each of our product tests. For our first test, we tested the Nokero N200 in the “on” mode. We were able to achieve a full 7 hours of light before the LEDs went dim. For the second test, the bulb was tested in “turbo-task” mode. The bulb was significantly brighter in this setting, but provided just over 2 hours and 50 minutes of light in this mode.

We recommend Nokero N200 for the avid camper or anyone in need of an outdoor lighting fixture that is more economical and environment friendly. We also appreciate the vision of Nokero and their effort to support efforts such as the New Beginnings Project to improve millions of lives through clean, safe, solar light bulbs.

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