Green Homes

March 19, 2013

Eco-Friendly Nursery: weeDecor Wall Decals (no toxic PVC vinyl!!!)

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For a gift, my son was given some John Deere wall decals (he loves John Deere!). When we took them out of the package, the immediate smell raised red flags. If something smells toxic, then it is toxic. I trust my olfactory sense! Turns out, the decals now popular for decorating kids rooms are made with vinyl and not subject to Consumer Product Safety Information Act regulations for toy safety. Vinyl contains PVC: the most toxic plastic for our children's health.

Fortunately, an alternative exists! WeeDecor makes delightful wall decals that are made from eco-friendly fabric.

Our removable nursery wall decals are made of fabric that will adhere to your wall for years at a time. Sometimes called wall stickers, wall graphics or wall appliques, they are easy to apply and to remove. Our removable wall decals won't damage your wall when you remove them and can be used again and again. Our decals are non vinyl wall decals. Our wall appliques are made of eco-friendly fabric that are more environmentally friendly than standard vinyl. Our PVC-free, lead-free wall decor makes your nursery not only beautiful but safe.

We were sent an Owl Wall Decal and Turtle Wall Decal. They are super cute and delightful. I wish I had a baby nursery to decorate!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 31, 2013

Glass Dharma Glass Straws: Reusable, Durable, and Healthier than Plastic

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If you have sensitive teeth, have children, or just like to have fun, Glass Dharma glass straws are for everybody! I love these straws!

Since March of 2007 GlassDharma has been producing glass drinking straws. The GlassDharma mission is to create world-wide awareness about single use plastics and how damaging plastic straws are to our environment. Glass Straws provide an alternative that eliminates the need for straws made from plastic.

Actually, we were sent a set of straws four years ago to review on my other blog. We have only broken one, which we could have sent back for the lifetime guarantee.  These glass straws continue to remain clean, durable, and popular with my family, plus they help us live a more plastic-free life.

There are five reasons why you should switch from plastic straws to glass ones:

    1. Glass Dharma's straws are handmade in the USA (Fort Bragg, CA)
    2. Glass doesn't leak toxins into your beverages
    3. Glass straws are dishwasher safe making them easy to clean and sterilize
    4. Glass Dharma straws are guaranteed for life against breakage
    5. Glass straws won't end up in our oceans as part of of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Some of these straws also come with a little cleaning brush, but we find that the dishwasher does a great job when you place them in the utensil section and don't really need it.
 

Glass Dharma straws come in a variety of sizes and designs (dots!) to fit your beverage needs. From cocktails to smoothies, there's a perfect glass straw. I am so thrilled to have more Glass Dharma straws in my kitchen!

disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 16, 2012

DewStop Saves Energy and Prevent Mildew by Automatically Turn on the Your Bathroom Fan

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Although I personally love breathing in the condensation that builds up in the bathroom, it is not so good for your home's longevity. Bathroom fans help, but they are often left on long after needed wasting precious electricity.


DewStop FS-100 Condensation Control Sentry Fan Switch automatically turns your fan on and off at precisely the right moments.

Save on Energy and Maintenance Costs
Using an exhaust fan to rid a bathroom of humidity can be a tricky balancing act. Turn it off too soon, and you may leave behind damaging moisture. Leave it on too long, and you waste energy by sending heated or cooled air outside unnecessarily. Because the DewStop only comes on when needed and stops after 30 minutes, it helps you save on home maintenance and energy costs.

Make Your Fan a Smart Fan
With the DewStop Condensation Sentry Fan Switch, you can transform your bathroom from ordinary to intelligent. This clever switch features a "Condensation Sentry", which constantly monitor's temperature, humidity, and dew point to determine a room's condensation level. If the sensor detects rising condensation levels, it will automatically turn on your fan and keep it on until the condensation is no longer a concern and your room is dry.


We don't have the right sort of wall plate to use this kind of switch, so I wasn't able to install it.  Some reviewers on Amazon rave about this product, and some say it does not work.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 11, 2012

Green Home Remodeling: EcoDomo Recycled Leather Tiles

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Are you looking for eco-friendly remodeling ideas? EcoDomo makes unique recycled leather tiles and is a member of the Green Building Council.
EcoDomo's Recycled Leathers are unique for their esthetic qualities and abrasion properties. Made for extreme wear and tear conditions, the recycled leathers of EcoDomo are nearly twice as dense as cork floor tiles, have abrasion rates comparable to linoleum, and are easy to install and maintain. Suitable for floors and walls, our recycled leathers can be customized for size, color, or embossing. They look stunningly beautiful and luxurious in a variety of applications.
I've never though of a leather floor, but after seeing the samples we were sent and the photo gallery online, I can see how luxurious it would look. I am not sure how it would hold up to the hard living of my kids and dogs though. These tiles have been installed in high traffic areas such as business and staircase, so perhaps they would hold up to the test of my family.

Where does the leather comes from? The new leather tiles are made from a by-product of the meat industry, and the recycled tiles come from tanneries, such as one that makes car seats for BMW. Yes, you can have BMW luxury leather in your home!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 23, 2012

Niagara Conservation Showerheads: Exceptional Shower Experience While Conserving Water

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Who doesn't like to take a long, hot shower after a hard day? Although showering uses far less water than bathing, many older shower heads do not conserve water. You don't have to give up that wonderful shower experience in the name of water conservation.

Niagara conservation makes "ultra high efficiency" shower heads. We were sent two showerheads:
Niagara SAVA Water Saving 1.5 GPM Rainfall Showerhead

Niagara's Sava Spa Showerhead offers the look of luxury and performance with the benefits of saving. The Sava showerhead features an oversized 4.4 inch diameter sprayhead for wide coverage, and a patented pressure compensator that ensures a consistent flow, regardless of water pressure, and delivers an exceptional shower experience while conserving water. Featuring solid, durable brass construction and a corrosion resistant high-impact ABS thermoplastic body, the Sava showerhead meets all standards set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The Sava showerhead is available in a white or chrome finish and every model includes an easy-to-use 360 degree swivel head that comes standard with a 10 year warranty.

Bi-Max Showerhead 1.0/1.5 GPM
Conservation with a Twist! Bi-Max is a unique, two-flow rate showerhead, allowing you to match your flow rate to you task and save more while you shower.
• Two pressure compensated flow rate options: 1.0 and 1.5 gallon per minute (3.8 and 5.7 liter per minute)

• Niagara's patented non-removable pressure compensator provides a constant output of water regardless of pressure.

• Easy grip turn-dial for selecting flow rate

• Even, needle spray with a large spray diameter

• Compact, modern design

• Corrosion resistant high-impact ABS thermoplastic body

• Large POM swivel adjustment, virtually lead free

• 10-year warranty

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review would be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 5, 2012

Aquasana Shower Water Filter: It's like Showering in Natural Springwater!

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Many people filter their drinking water, but they forget about the shower. Our skin absorbs toxic chemicals into our bodies just as readily as if we ingested them orally, so filtering shower water is a really good idea.

Aquasana AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System with Adjustable Showerhead is easy to install and removes chlorine, VOCs, and SOCs. "It's like showering in natural springwater!", which is what I do anyways.

Aquasana ® AQ-4100 Deluxe Shower Water Filter System with Adjustable Showerhead Aquasana AQ-4100 Shower Filter was voted "Product of the Year" by Cosmetology Today Magazine! This unique 2-Stage shower water filter is US Patented, has a high filtering capacity and is easy to install. No tools necessary, although pliers may be helpful. The granular copper/zinc and coconut shell carbon replaceable water filter effectively removes 99% of Chlorine, reduces VOC`s, heavy metals and other chemicals, as well as enhancing pH. Stage 1 removes chlorine and enhances pH balance with a natural copper/ zinc mineral media called KDF-55D. The second water filtration stage uses a carbonized coconut shell media for the removal of synthetic chemicals and VOCs that vaporize and can be inhaled or absorbed through the skin potentially causing adverse health and cosmetic effects. Without the harsh influences of chlorine you'll notice significant cosmetic benefits. Also by removing chlorine and other chemicals found in tap water, you eliminate health risks related to inhalation and skin absorption of these chemicals... now known to be a significant source of exposure to harmful VOCs (volatile organic chemicals). Your shower water will feel better, and be better for you. The Aquasana Shower Water Filter provides minimal pressure loss and no change in showerhead height. It`s like showering in natural spring water! The easily replaceable water filter lasts 10,000 gallons, about 6 months, and installs simply.

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

March 2, 2012

Healthy Home: Formaldehyde-free, Soy-Based Adhesive Hardwood Plywood Flooring by PureBond

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Home improvement can be very toxic! New carpeting and plywood contain a host of chemicals that can make you feel sick and create very poor indoor air quality in your home.

Columbia Forest Products has a line of plywood flooring and prints that is formaldehyde free called Pure Bond:


  • Non-Toxic Technology.

  • Soy-Based Adhesive.

  • Cost-Competitive.

  • North American Made.

  • And only from Columbia Forest Products.
The original cost-competitive decorative hardwood plywood without the formaldehyde. PureBond® is Columbia Forest Products' exclusive formaldehyde-free innovation for hardwood plywood manufacturing.

Replacing traditional urea formaldehyde (UF) hardwood plywood construction with non-toxic, soy-based PureBond enables Columbia to eliminate any added formaldehyde from standard veneer-core and non-UF composite hardwood plywood core panels. That's great news for our employees, our customers and the air we all breathe.


There are so many choices when it comes to Pure Bond. Any shade or kind of hardwood is available to make beautiful cabinets and furniture. Upon request, it can be made with Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC) Certified materials. This is a great option, but it should be standard, in my opinion, for all Pure Bond products.

Columbia Forest Products also makes really cute PlyPrints from their PureBond using the graphics of Alexander Girard (1907 - 1993).


Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 25, 2012

StepAhead: Sustainable Carpet Cushioning Made From Nike Grind Shoe Scrap

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Carpet cushioning is one of those things you don't see, but you sure do feel. It only makes sense that it be made from recycled content, and what better content to use than athletic shoes!

StepAhead Carpet Cushion is made with Nike Grind.

* The process of transforming Nike Grind scrap into the StepAhead products helps keeps 67,000 tons of air pollutants from being released - saving more than 675 million gallons of water. * There is the equivalent of three shoes in every square foot of StepAhead and approximately four million pounds of Nike Grind will be used each year to produce StepAhead. * Not only is this material better for the environment, it's better for your carpet - each 30-square-yard roll is supported by a lifetime warranty.
We were sent a small sample of this product, and it has a nice, springy texture. It is available at the Home Depot.

 

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 13, 2012

The Amazing Mat Uses Same NASA Anti-bacterial Adhesive to Capture Dirt and Germs

Shoes transmit disease causing bacteria to enter our homes. Taking shoes off at the door is a good idea, but there still may be dirt and germs crossing the threshold. The Amazing Mat has a solution:

The Amazing Mat is not an ordinary rubber, fabric or grass door mat. It is constructed of separate layers of specially designed clear "sticky" sheets that collect dirt and germs when stepped on. When the top one gets dirty, simply peel it off (along with the dirt) and expose a new sheet. The mat is safe and easy to walk on for adults, children and pets.

The Amazing Mat is being marketed as "eco-friendly" because the throw away sheets can be recycled, as can the mat; however, anything product that has single use design, such as the tear away sheets, cannot be truly green. Personally, I think it would be hard to find a recycling center willing to accept the plastic sheets, and my country home would require constant removal of the sheets. The 30 sheets it comes with wouldn't last long.

Disclosure: The products described above were sent to us as free samples. Prior assurances as to the nature of the reviews, whether positive or negative, were not given. No financial payments were accepted in exchange for the reviews. The reviews reflect our honest, authentic opinions.

ArrowContinue reading: "The Amazing Mat Uses Same NASA Anti-bacterial Adhesive to Capture Dirt and Germs"

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 23, 2011

Aroma Naturals: Holiday Candles Made From 100% Pure Plant Scents and Natural Vegetable Waxes

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People love to give scented candles as gifts, especially to hosts and hostess. I always view such gifts with trepidation, as I don't trust the candles synthetic, chemical fragrances. A natural alternative exists, thanks to Aroma Naturals:

While most other candle companies are still adding synthetic fragrances to their candles and claiming to be natural, Aroma Naturals® candles are made from 100% pure plant aromas and natural vegetable waxes (VegePure®) that are as good for the environment as they are for you. The pure plant aromas and essential oils are harvested at their peak to ensure freshness. Aroma Naturals® uses environmentally kind, lead-free wicks, and soy and vegetable waxes that burn clean and true.

Aroma Naturals® candles are presented by aroma: each scent evokes a particular mood based on the essential oil combination used. Essential oils are the very heart of every flower, fruit, herb, resin, tree and spice on earth. Highly concentrated and extraordinarily fragrant, they are extracted from the cells of the plants through a process known as steam distillation.

Essential oils register scent in the limbic system-the part of the brain where memories are stored, emotions are processed and moods are stimulated. The fragrances of certain essential oils can automatically encourage relaxation, energy or a calming and comforting effect. Best of all, essential oils have antiseptic, antiviral and antibacterial qualities that make them as good for our bodies as they are for our spirits.

"We believe in total transparency - no artificial ingredients and no sneaky marketing jargon to make our candles seem more natural than they really are," says Jeffrey Light, President of Aroma Naturals®. "Each candle is hand-crafted in small batches and we are so proud of the purity of our product that I invite anyone interested in learning more to come make a candle with me at our factory in Irvine!"


We were sent the following holiday scents to try:

I love these products!  They smell beautiful and would make a very nice gift.  The aromas will give your home the holiday spirit!

 

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 31, 2011

GE: Energy Smart Lightbulbs from a Company Making Record Profits and Not Paying Taxes

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We've come a long way when it comes to the energy we consume to light our homes. GE has been the leader in home appliances from the beginning. From Thomas Edison's first light bulb to today's CFLs and LEDs, GE is paving the way.

We were sent the following GE Energy Smart bulbs to try:
GE 74437 15-Watt Energy-Smart Covered Glass CFL Light Bulbs, 60-Watt Equivalent:

GE Lighting 74437 15-Watt energy smart CFL all glass light bulb, 60-Watt output, 1-Pack This bulb was made to look like a regular incandescent light, but uses a fraction of the electricity. Our compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs bring all the advantages of fluorescent lighting to regular incandescent sockets. They use up to 75-Percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer. This bulb has the same look and size as a standard incandescent light bulb, but has GE spiral bulb on the inside. The instant on feature allows it to perform similar to an incandescent. It is energy star compliant and RoHS compliant requiring it to contain lower mercury than before. It uses 73-Percent to 78-Percent less energy! This bulb will pay for itself with energy savings. It provides the same warm soft-white light and lasts 5 years (8,000 hours), 8 times longer than the standard incandescent equivalent.

GE 62180 9-Watt LED Soft White A19 Light Bulb
This 9-watt GE energy smart LED is an A19 General Purpose Bulb. A19 is a Shape of light bulb that you see in most homes also known as a "Household light bulb". They're the most common bulbs in the world and never before has an LED A19 existed that actually sends light out in all directions. We have the solution! This bulb uses fantastic LED technology to ensure it will last longer than other bulbs you've seen. this bulb specifically will last 22 years based on normal 3/hour per day usage. Its rated at 25,000 hours and puts out 450 lumens. The instant full brightness doesn't need to warm up and makes you feel like you have a normal bulb in the socket. It has omni-directional light distribution. Color temperature of 3000K. RoHS compliant with a 10-year warranty.

I think the future of light bulbs are LEDs. Sure they cost a lot more now ($42 a bulb!), but the technology has really improved. The LED bulb we were sent is fabulous, lighting up in all directions as promised.

If GE's record profits and lack of tax paying bother you, than you will want to shop around for other alternatives.  As ABC reported:

For those unaccustomed to the loopholes and shelters of the corporate tax code, GE's success at avoiding taxes is nothing short of extraordinary. The company, led by Immelt, earned $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit.


Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

August 10, 2011

PETA Humane Products for Unwelcome "House Guests"

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PETA is know for the advocacy for animal rights. It only makes sense PETA would provide humane traps for household pests. We were sent three of these products to try:
Frog Saver Lily Pad:

Save the rain forests! Save the whales! Save the frogs? You bet! This ingenious "lily pad" gives frogs just the leg up they need to prevent them from drowning in swimming pools. Snapped onto the pool ladder or attached to the wall, the Frog Saver helps frogs, lizards, and other small animals.

Humane Bug Catcher:

If you're a compassionate person who wouldn't hurt a fly and your motto is "live and let live," even when it comes to tiny, six-legged, uninvited house guests, then this humane bug catcher is for you! Complete with a plastic sliding door and housing to safely contain the insect, the bug catcher makes the transport from your home to outdoors simple.

Humane Smart Mousetrap
When tiny guests stop by, turn compassion into action. Plastic trap catches mice alive and unharmed so they can be released outdoors. Be sure to check the trap frequently, so mice won't suffer needlessly. Each trap is reusable so that you can catch and release each mouse for relocation. We will enclose our Humane Control of Mice and Rats tip sheet with every order.

Glue traps are among the cruelest pest-control devices on the market today.


Personally, I think these products are like trinkets. My father says the frogs get out of his pool just fine using the ladder, and I catch bugs easily enough without a plastic device. Wasps I kill. Sorry PETA. My solution for mice is a cat.

That being said, the bug catcher is actually cool for collecting bug species outside for viewing and identifying. Sure it is not the intended use, but it entertains and educates my kids.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

May 4, 2011

Easy Hardwood Floor Cleaning with Refillable, Reusable Microfiber Bona Spray Mop

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I have four dogs and two kids. My floors get dirty immediately after cleaning. I don't want to always have to fill up a bucket and mop. I once tried the Swiffer Wet Jet, but I hated the disposable pads, batteries that always died, and the chemical cleaner. I would try to reuse the Swiffer bottles by filling them with something less toxic, but even with channel locks, the lids would not come off without ruining them.

Bona Hardwood-Floor Spray Mop with Replaceable Cleaner Cartridge is a much greener solution. It comes with a microfiber mop pad that washes easily in the washing machine. It requires no batteries, as the spray is triggered with a hand pump. The bottle lids unscrew normally, so you can refill it with any floor cleaner you want to use. You can even buy the Hardwood Floor Cleaner in one gallon size for refilling the cartridge.

An effective, environmentally responsible, and non-toxic formula for all types of residential hardwood floors. Specially designed to be safe for floors, families, and the environment.
 I love the convenience of our Bona mop! I also like the flexibility I have to use any cleaner in the mop.  My only complaint is I wish I had another microfiber pad to use while the other one is washing. 

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

October 11, 2010

Natural Enzyme Cleaning: BioWish Healthy Clean Multi-Purpose Spray

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Cleaning supplies can be some of the most toxic products in our homes. In fact, some states are so concerned they have finally required companies to fully list product ingredients so consumers can make wise choices. Ariel Schwartz writes for Fast Company:

The New York law, which will be enforced beginning this week, will be a boon to companies that offer non-toxic cleaning chemicals. Chicago-based BiOWiSH Technologies, offers a powerful, biodegradable system for breaking down organic waste. The technology can be used in everything from multi-purpose cleaning spray to removing unnecessary chemicals from industrial wastewater treatment plants.

"Unlike normal chemical based cleaning products that rely on phosphates--these are used in detergents to stop materials from sticking so that they can be washed away--our tech can do the same task, but without any chemicals," explains Rod Vautier the CEO of BiOWiSH. Phosphates from cleaning products can enter waterways, leading to eutrophication of lakes and generating fish-killing algae blooms.

We have recently tried out BIOWISH's multi-purpose spray called Healthy Clean.
Benefits:

  • Eliminates odors, does not mask them

  • Breaks down fats, oils, grease and dirt

  • No petrochemicals

  • No added phosphates, ammonia or chlorine

  • Safe for plants, animals and septic systems

  • Reduced impact on the environment (less packaging, transport and storage)

  • 100% natural and non-toxic


I like how with this product comes with tablets you mix with water, thus you are not paying for water nor is the liquid adding to the shipping weight of this product. It is also very important to me that BIOWISH is all-natural and makes the products Material Safety Data Sheet readily available to consumers.  From stainless steel to carpet, Healthy Clean is safe and effective  on a variety of surfaces.  

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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