September 24, 2010

Ditch the Paper Towel Habit: PeopleTowels Fair Trade Organic Cotton Reusable Personal Hand Towel

I am always amazed at the number of disposable paper towels we go through when my family visits. It pains me to see them used for little drops of water on the counter, drying hands, etc. I do only purchase Seventh Generation Paper Towels, but they are still disposable.

PeopleTowels has a solution to the paper towel habit. These fair trade, organic reusable personal hand towels are a great alternative to the paper towel. Did you know:

The average person uses 3,000+ paper towels outside the home each year. Ambassadors will promote the B.Y.O.Towel message to their friends and families, and share the benefits of switching to PeopleTowels, such as reducing deforestation, waste and pollution. It is estimated that each person who switches from paper towels to PeopleTowels will save 1/4 of a tree, reduce landfill waste by 23 pounds and conserve 250 gallons of water every year.

These paper towel alternatives are also printed with eco-friendly dyes.

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

September 15, 2010

Really Natural Homes: Keetsa Eco-Friendly Mattresses Ship to Your Home!

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Eco-friendly mattresses can be very expensive, and conventional mattresses can contain pounds of toxic flame retardants. Keetsa offers an affordable, green alternative.

We have three Keetsa mattresses in our home. The most recent one we purchased was the Eco Friendly Memory Foam With Spring Mattress Tea Leaf Classic Bamboo Fabric Castor Bean Oil Based Bio Foam

Keetsa utilizes either an individually wrapped coil base or pre-consumer recycled foam base in our mattresses. The coil bases are made with recycled steel and individually wrapped to provide a supportive base while preventing motion transfer. Our foam bases utilize our innovative process of reclaiming our own scrap foam from the manufacturing process and mixing synthetic latex to create a recycled foam base material.

 The quality of these mattresses is very high, and they are very comfortable.

One unique, eco-friendly aspect of Keetsa is the shipping and delivery. By compressing the mattresses into boxes that fit in most cars, they eliminate the need for large delivery trucks. Not only are these mattresses made of safe, eco-friendly materials, but the company has also considered the transportation footprint of their products.  Plus, shipping is free!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

September 13, 2010

SmartSilk Pillow Protector Certified Asthma and Allergy Friendly

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Nothing lies as close to your head for as many hours as your pillow (1/3 of your life is spent in bed). It only makes sense to protect your pillow from allergens, like dust mites and pet dander, considering its close proximity to your nose and mouth. Smartsilk Pillow Protector offers such protection:

Smartsilk is the only all natural bedding to be certified asthma and allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the Asthma Society of Canada. Smartsilk is proven to be an effective barrier against dust mites, allergens and pet dander and is resistant to mold and mildew. Our Smartsilk silk filled pillow protectors have a 233 thread count 100-percent cotton outer shell, are filled with 100-percent SmartSilk silk fill and are also machine washable in cold water and dryable on low. Smartsilk pillow protectors help to regulate body temperature, keeping your head and neck comfortable all year long. SmartSilk is scientifically proven to wick away moisture thus promoting a more comfortable nights sleep especially for those suffering with night sweats.

Unlike many mattress and pillow protectors on the market, this one is made of all natural materials. Smartsilk is also "scientifically proven to be naturally fire retardant",unlike most bedding that is treated with harmful, toxic PBDEs.  Of course, it would be best if the outer shell was made of organic cotton, like the one I have from Keetsa.

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

June 4, 2010

Natural Home Cleaning Since 1886: New Bon Ami Products

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One thing I love about Bon Ami is you can find it any grocery store. It is my green cleaning standby when I can't shop at a health food store. Now, the company that has been making natural home cleaning products since 1886 has released new products. The new formulas include a tangerine thyme scent:
Bon Ami Powder Cleanser:

Bon Ami still uses the trademark feldspar and limestone as gentle, effective abrasives, but now combines them with even more sustainable cleaning agents from renewable corn, coconut, and palm oils. Plus we've added a touch of baking soda to help absorb odors.

Dish Soap:
Bon Ami Dish Soap was created with the same emphasis on gentle effectiveness as the original powders. Read through the ingredients - right there on the bottle - and you'll see there is nothing in the Dish Soap that will harm the environment either inside or outside your home. The all-natural ingredients are tough on greasy dish soils, but gentle on the skin, and will never contain phosphates or chlorine.

All-Purpose Cleaner:
Bon Ami All Purpose Cleaner is available in a Free + Clear version that has no added scent. And now Bon Ami offers a version of the product scented with natural essential oils. This fragrance, Tangerine Thyme, is a delightful fusion of mandarin orange, tangerine, orange, thyme, and clove.

Liquid Cleanser:
New Bon Ami Liquid Cleanser has the same gentle effectiveness of the original powder, but is easier to apply to vertical surfaces such as shower tiles, tubs, sinks, and walls. Like the powder, it contains the simple ingredients that have made Bon Ami a household friend for more than a century.

Our great grandmothers knew how to clean naturally! Beside, Bon Ami products are much cheaper than most green cleaning products!

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 17, 2010

Green Cleaning: New Earth Friendly Products

Earth Friendly Products was one of the first natural cleaning companies I discovered before going green was in vogue.

Our family began by making cleaners for industrial use before Corvettes had fins. When your grandmother was wearing a poodle skirt and drinking a float at the soda fountain, we were earning our first patents

Decades later, when Jimi Hendrix turned rock upside down and played guitar with his teeth, we started our own quiet rebellion. We decided: only cleaners that were plant-based. Only paper that was recycled. Only products not tested on animals, period.

Does it sound boring to say we're family owned and operated? Because what it means to us is that it's personal. We've been around, well - seems like forever. We know how to make cleaners that CLEAN, paper goods that work (with 80% post-consumer content, and that's good,) detergents that won't harm a fiber of your clothing, and a phosphate-free auto dish soap that won't etch anything. Ever.

Earth Friendly Products has introduced three new products we have tried:
Baby Liquid Laundry Soap, Organic Chamomile & Lavender:
Our new Baby Laundry Soap is a hypo-allergenic, everyday laundry soap containing only the highest quality ingredients. Gentle enough for baby's sensitive skin, Baby Laundry Soap rinses thoroughly, leaving baby's laundry clean and soft. As always, it is plant-based, non-toxic, and environmentally responsible. Baby Laundry Soap employs soothing chamomile and lavender essential oils, and is suitable for hand-washing wools, silks, and other fine washables.

Fruit and Vegetable Wash:
Helps remove pesticides, chemical, heavy metals, dirt, wax and bacteria from the surface of fruits and vegetables. Fruit & Vegetable Wash is tasteless and rinses away clean. Beacuse natural ingredients are used, color and body may vary.

DuoDishâ„¢ is a revolutionary breakthrough in dishwashing. For the first time ever, you can handle your dishwashing needs with one detergent - DuoDishâ„¢. Have a few dishes to clean? Just hand wash to avoid waste. Is your sink cluttered? Use that same liquid for a full automatic machine load. Say bye, bye to etched dishes, glassware and utensils and hello to clean and clear dishwashing results with DuoDishâ„¢ Enjoy another "first" by Earth Friendly Products.

I love the baby liquid laundry soap, and I don't think it has to be just for babies! The use of organic essential oils is a bonus and a first that I do not recall encountering in laundry products. I don't use vegetable and fruit washes. I think that water and a little dish soap is all you need, but I don't even use soap usually, just a rinse in water. Of course, I only buy and grow organic produce, but I have never thought of the need to also remove bacteria when washing fruits and vegetables. The DuoDish is a great idea eliminating the need for two soap products in the kitchen. It also contains organic essential oils.

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

April 23, 2010

Really Natural Cleaning: Wool Sea Sponges Are Not Just for Beauty

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I recently purchased a natural sea wool sponge. I've used such sponges before in the bath; however, this sponge I bought for house cleaning, specifically outside window washing. Sea wool sponges are durable, soft (no worries about scratching windows), and they do an amazing job. My sea wool sponge has quickly become my favorite tool for cleaning all around the house. They are perfect for car washing too!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

April 5, 2010

Non-Toxic Cleaning: PawSafe Cleaners Safe for Pets and Kids

It's long been a source of rumor and concern that common cleaning products are harmful to children and pets. Although many of these internet rumors have been proven false, the truth is most common cleaners do contain harmful ingredients for our health and environment. Snopes explains:

Western society likes its homes and its clothing clean, but satisfying that desire comes at a price -- to do so, consumers must place their faith in polysyllabic chemical concoctions vended by large corporations, entities they don't always trust to have their best interests at heart. Consequently, fears about noxious or dangerous substances being secreted in common cleaning products is a recurring theme in contemporary lore.

Pawsafe offers a non-toxic solution "Pet & Kid Safe".
The ASPCA lists household cleaners in the top 10 list of poison calls handled by their poison control center.

Most household cleaners on the market today use harsh chemicals to provide the cleaning power in their products. Unfortunately, many of these chemicals are toxic and remain in the environment long after use. These products can be safely used but pose a threat if a young child or pet gets into them. Just read the labels and see the ingredients, hazards and warnings that most cleaning products carry. Some cleaners can burn skin, cause blindness, and even death if ingested.

Why take risks when you don't have to.

PawSafe products are formulated using natural plant-based surfactants and citric acid that cut through grease and grime, limescale and soap scum without leaving a dangerous chemical residue.

PawSafe makes:

I have to admit the vibrant colors scare me, as I do not associate them with natural cleaners. I am also concerned with the "vegetable derived surfactants", but here is the company's response:

Q: What are surfactants and are they safe?

A: The surfactants used in PawSafe products come from plants and are a natural wetting agent that helps water and oil mix. This is an important ingredient in helping clean up oils and grease, dirt and grime. All of the ingredients used in PawSafe products are generally safe and temporary exposure should not create problems for your pet or children. However, it is a good, safe practice to keep this and all cleaning products out of the reach of pets and children.

Q: What are emulsifiers and are they safe?

A: Emulsifiers keep the ingredients of PawSafe in suspension and prevents separation so you don't have to shake the bottle before using. Emulsifiers are generally not harmful to pets or children. However, it is a good, safe practice to keep this and all cleaning products out of the reach of pets and children.

The terms "generally not harmful" cause some concern, but anything can be harmful in excess.

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

March 23, 2010

Ditch the Paper Towels: Cloth Reusable "Paper" Towels

Many of my friends have completely ditched paper towels, but I still keep a roll of brown recycled ones for really nasty clean up jobs I don't want to use my kitchen towels on. In fact, when my friend's father visited, he was pleased to see I was a paper towel user, as this was an issue between his daughter and him, and sent me a roll of super absorbent ones (he didn't like my brown paper towels).

Well, I have finally found a solution to paper towels: reusable paper towels! They aren't really made of paper, but they are cloth towels that can be used like a paper towel for those dirty jobs. They aren't quite as absorbent, but who cares when you are doing something that is better for the environment! They also come with a neat little bag you can hang from your cabinets to make them easy to dispense. The towels are made of "super absorbent birdseye diaper fabric", which got me thinking, why aren't I just using all those old cloth diapers I have from two children?

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

March 15, 2010

Really Natural Kitchens: Odor-Free Stainless Steel Compost Pail

I have used the same funky plastic tupperware container for compost for over ten years. The plastic is stained and stinks, but I could never justify buying a new compost pail until I visited a herbalist friend of mine in Oregon. On her counter was a bright and shiny odor-free compost pail. I decided it was worth the expense.

The Odor-Free Countertop Compost Container has a replaceable filter in its lid. It is stylish and holds a lot of compost before having to make trips to the pile. It really classes up my kitchen counter, and I know it will last at least as long as my old tupperware.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 25, 2010

Natural Home Cleaning: Bissell Little Green

I have an older car and live in the mountains, so the carpet inside takes quite a beating. I have tried carpet shampooers at car washes, but the smell of the cleaning products gags me, and it is inconvenient. When I saw the Bissell 1400-7 Little Green Multi-Purpose Compact Earth-Friendly Deep Cleaner, I wanted to try it.

What makes the Little Green environmentally-friendly? When I first saw it advertised as such, I suspected greenwashing. According to the manufacturer:

  • A compact, multipurpose cleaner that has been redesigned with a 95 percent reduction in PVC.
  • Manufactured with tanks made of polypropylene, a material that is more recycling-friendly.
  • The brush block is made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic and the solution tank also contains parts made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.
  • All Styrofoam has been eliminated from the Little Green's packaging, and the carton and inner packaging are made from a minimum of 75 percent recycled corrugated materials.
  • The Little Green uses earth-friendly liquid cleaning formulas that do not contain any heavy metals, optical brighteners, phosphates, or dyes.
The Little Green does not heat the water, but you add hot water to its tank, which actually makes the unit more versatile for cold water applications. It worked very well at cleaning out my car upholstery, and even though it is not recommended by the manufacturer, I will use more natural clean products in the Little Green. 

Is it greenwashing? Probably not, and I am glad I purchased this product.  I only wish the cleaner it came with was truly natural.  
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

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