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Green Tip: Green Wedding Ideas

Your wedding is one of the most important days of your life, but your special day can also result in harm to the environment. It has been calculated that the average wedding can result in up to over 15 tons of CO2 that it also causes substantial environmental damage.

Luckily, if you do not have the time or know how, there are many wedding planners that specialize in eco-friendly weddings. However, there are many easy steps that the do-it-yourselfer can do to minimize waste on their special day.InvitationsOne way to cut down on paper usage, you can send e-cards or emails instead of sending out card invite. This would allow you to limit paper invites to those without computer access. For those paper invites, be sure to use recycled paper.

Flowers

The flower arrangements can be one of the most expensive and wasteful portions of the wedding. Try to get double use of the flowers by arranging to use the same flowers for the wedding and reception. The flowers could have a second life by drying and pressing the flower petals for use as handmade thank-you notes or for placement in your wedding memory book or photo albums.

After the wedding, you could dry and press the flower petals and use them to make handmade thank you cards for your guests and/or incorporate the petals into your wedding scrapbook or photo album. Also plan to have the leftover flowers sent to a hospital or a nursing home. .

Food

There are nearly always leftover food items at weddings. In the first place it’s a good idea to order the food with restraint, as people never eat everything there. If you do have leftovers, choose a venue that supports the environment and has a waste composting capabilities.

If composting is not an option, encourage guests to take home the remaining food or donate the food to a local charity.

Wedding Favors and Decorations

If you opt for favors, avoid disposable itmes that are not recyclable such as disposable cameras.  Use leftover decorations, and napkins either reusable or recyclable Go for favors which are not personalized with your names, so that they can be reused for future use.

Catering Service

This may be one of the most visible ways to make your wedding green-everyone talks about the food at a wedding. Making simple choices like using biodegradable utensils and plates that can be composted. Also choose organic and local food for the cuisine.

Honeymoons

Following the wedding, it’s time for the honeymoon. There are global opportunities for eco-tourism options that get get you fare of the beaten path. There are many companies that specialize in outdoor adventure activity and environmental advocacy. These companies promote sustainable tourism which safely connects people with the world’s greatest places and adventures. By combining the economic power of sustainable tourism with the ingenuity of those connected with nature and aware of its peril.

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Benefits of Compostable Bags

Most people are interested in knowing how and why eco-friendly products should be used. The market for plastic bags, bottles, and foodservice products that are biodegradable or compostable is growing at an ever increasing rate. The use of compostable plastics to replace traditional plastics can have many potential positive environmental benefits, such as lower the amount of fossil fuel created products, reducing landfill waste and leading to the development of new innovative sustainable and biodegradable products.

What are the prominent uses of the compostable plastic products? 

  • Food scrap diversion – instrumental in the process of diverting left over food from landfills.
  • Co-collection of food scraps and service ware in institutional and restaurants.

What are the main types of recyclable trash bags?

  • Compostable Trash Bags - This type of bags break down more quickly than biodegradable bags. They will completely decompose under ideal circumstances in 10-45 days.
  • Biodegradable Trash Bags – These kinds of bags break down into CO2 and water when disposed of in commercial landfills. This process can take 1 to 3 years.

What are the key benefits of compostable bags?

  • Easy to identify
  • Designed to fit most common organic collection systems/containers
  • Becomes part of the compost produced
  • Bag design allows for reduced moisture content by up to 25% within 4 – 5 days, which minimizes usual odorous results.

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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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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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Breathe Easy with Natural Air Fresheners

Everyone wants a nice smelling home, which is why air fresheners are so popular.  Many spray and plug-in fragrance products smell nice, but breathing in that fresh scent also causes you to inhale harmful chemicals such as phosphates, chlorine bleach, or ammonia.

These unnatural substances can cause allergic reactions, trigger asthma attacks, and irritate the lungs.

Spray fresheners dont just disappear into thin airthe chemicals linger on, staying in the home as they land on surfaces and floors and sink into carpets.

The Health Hazards of Home Air

Air fresheners that use chemicals to deodorize the air or cover odors with fragrances contain ingredients like camphor andparadichlorobenzene, which both have the capability to cause damage to the nervous system and increase cancer risk.

Unnatural fragrances added to products may contain formaldehyde, a carcinogen, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), known to cause cancer.

Fortunately, alternatives to chemical-based air fresheners naturally refresh and scent the air, are biodegradable, and are not harmful to your health.

Natural Air Fresheners

Here are some simple, homemade air fresheners to try:

  • Fresh Air; simply open a window. Windows should be opened for a few minutes each day. Indoor air can be more polluted then outside air due to outgassing of plastics, paints and surfaces
  • White vinegar removes odors naturally on surfaces and in the air
  • Candles from Beeswax or soy wax can wipe away odor particles and improve air quality
  • Potpourri made from leftover herbs can make a quick and easy air freshener
  • Baking soda absorbs odors, so place a few open boxes throughout the home
  • Boiling spices like cinnamon in a little bit of water releases its fragrance
  • Essential oils diluted in water can be used as a spray freshenrty a combination of your favorite essential oils like lemon and cedar

Eco Product Picks

Perfect Scents Air Freshener - The “Perfect Scents Green” air freshener is enviro-friendly and totally “green ” inside and out. It is made with natural essential oils and contains no propellants.  The continuous spray packaging is 100% recyclable aluminum.

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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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Product Review: Vermont Soap Certified Organic Baby Wash Shampoo

In carrying for babies, one of the most important items is the shampoo and wash used in baby care. Parents should avoid exposing babies to many of the conventional shampoos. Many common shampoos are made with chemicals and corrosives that should concern many parents.

Thankfully there are organic shampoos available that do not contain harsh chemicals and irritants. Vermont Soap Certified Organic Baby Wash is one such product.  This product is is great because it’s two products in one. It serves as a body wash as well as shampoo. The easy to use bottle pump generates great bubbles and the wash is easily worked into lather.  Parents get the peace of mind of using a 2-in-1 product that is made of natural ingredients and is USDA certified, which is important when considering products that will be used on sensitive skin.

Vermont Soap Baby Wash

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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: Perfect Scents Eco-Friendly Air Freshener

perfect scentsWe were introduced to the Perfect Scents Air Freshener by one of our customers. This natural air freshener is non-aerosol made solely from all-natural essential oils. It comes in a 100% recyclable container. Another nice feature is the continuous spray of the canister. Which allows for spraying the natural air freshener at any angle.

We tested the Exotic Tropical Rainforest for our test, but it also comes in Bountiful Bamboo Breeze. The scent is light and refreshing, but able to power through odors. The 7 oz. air freshener seemed to provide more total sprays compared to other similar size air fresheners.

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