August 2, 2012

UM! Brands Nano-Suction Peel and Stick Hooks and Dry Erase

No one wants to put holes in their walls, whether they rent or own their home. Um! Brands solves this problem with "nano-suction technology" that "allows users to peel and stick these small pads onto surfaces over and over again".

We were sent two samples from Um! Brands:

The PR company that contacted me to review UM! Brands found this on their website:
"The creative minds at UM! Brands work hard daily to design practical, aesthetic and environmentally-friendly housewares that make your life easier with our revolutionary material."

I could not find any specific information on these environmentally-friendly claims.

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.

UPDATE:  These products only work on smooth surfaces.  If your walls are textured, they will fall off.  We have successfully used them on the side of the refrigerator and a bookshelf. Even though our painted walls are smooth, they fall off.  

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 13, 2012

Green Office: Biodegradable Ballpoint Pen

It is a rare need to buy pens. They just kind of float around between owners and businesses, and sometimes, they are even seen littered on the side of the road. Although they use a small amount of plastic, biodegradable materials are always best for anything that is disposable.

ACME Studios Eco Pen Biodegradable Ballpoint Pens come in many colorful varieties.
Product Description

Made of a corn starch plastic which is 100% biodegradable. When disposed of properly, it will break down in approximately one year. Ink cartridges are not biodegradable. It comes in 12 luscious assorted colors. It features a porthole to check the ink level. The package includes 12 pens, one of every color. It is packaged in a recycled and recyclable box that is printed with soy ink. ECO pens are black ballpoints that are not refillable.

The ink viewing window is a little awkward for your grip, and the ink does not flow so smoothly, yet I am pleased the plastic comes from corn.

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

July 5, 2012

Green Office: Sustainable Earth Products from Staples

Screen shot 2012-07-04 at 7.09.28 AM.png
It is nice to see more and more eco-friendly options at traditional stores, especially office supplies. I still remember when I was in college having to go to a special store just to buy recycled ruled paper, and it was a heavy grey color.

As part of a their Sustainable Earth line, Staples offers many green products. We were sent the following:

Sustainable Earth by Staples™ SE-230E 8-Digit Display ECO Calculator:
Of course, solar calculators aren't exactly hard to find, but this one's casing is made from recycled ink and toner cartridges.

Sustainable Earth by Staples® All-Purpose Cleaner:

  • This product has been formulated in partnership with EPA Design for the Environment Formulator Initiative

  • This product meets the Green SealTM environmental standard for household cleaners based on its reduced toxicity, biodegradability, packaging, and other characteristics
Staples 4GB Bamboo USB 2.0 USB Flash Drive:
Casing is 100% Bamboo, a renewable resource
Sustainable Earth by Staples™ #10 Gummed 100% Recycled Envelopes:

  • 100% post-consumer paper; meets or exceeds the Government Printing Office's and EPA's standard for recycled paper

  • Processed without using chlorine or chlorine compounds
Sustainable Earth by Staples® Wirebound Notebook:
Made from 80% sugarcane waste
My favorite product is the notebook. I love that it also has pockets inside.

Many schools and offices are limited as to where they can purchase supplies. I am thankful that more green options are available from suppliers that accept purchase orders.

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

July 4, 2012

Recycled, FSC Certified Custom Stationary by Invitation Box

I am not very good at writing thank yous and personal notes. I know they are appreciated, especially by my parents' generation, yet I can never find the time. Isn't it easier to just send an email, text, or Facebook message? Yes, I know that is lame, but I am also very sensitive about paper use. It has to come from somewhere!

We were sent two very lovely personal cards by InvitationBox. There are so many choices on their site (over 18,000), that I could not find the exact ones. Fortunately, these cards are green!

InvitationBox is so excited to tell you that we're doing our part to help reduce our carbon footprint through the use of recycled paper and FSC and SFI-certified paper to manufacture our invitations. Many people find it hard to understand this "eco-geek" jargon, so we've broken it down and offered up as much information about our processes as we can.
Our Green Efforts

  • Use of Cougar Paper for Digital Designs
  • 10% Post-Consumer Fiber Content
  • Sustainable Forest Initiative(SFI) Certified
  • Forest Stewardship Council(FSC) Certified
  • Fully Elemental Chlorine Free (ECF) and Lignin Free
  • Manufactured Acid Free
  • 30% Post-Consumer Waste Fiber Content
  • Paper Manufactured Using Green-e Certified Renewable Wind-Generated Electricity
  • Over 15,000 Combined Green Items Available!!
  • donates a portion of its revenue on all InvitationBox Green items to the Conservation Fund.

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

August 19, 2011

Green and Healthy Back to School with Naked Binder

Back to school time starts earlier and earlier each summer it seems. My kids went back to school on Monday. Unfortunately, many common school supplies are toxic and not environmentally-friendly. In particular, binders are often covered in PVC vinyl. The new binder smell alone is enough to make parents seek out greener back to school supplies.

Naked Binder to the rescue!

Started in 2008, Naked Binder emerged having multiple goals: sustainability, great design, preserving wilderness we love and giving back to education that helped us get here.

We designed the strongest, most sustainable 3-ring binders available - cutting waste in manufacturing, processing and travel. We make our binders, folders and tabs in Des Moines, IA in the US of A out of FSC certified, 100% post-consumer waste binders board, 100% cotton cloth, a few FSC certified papers and metal rings. No plastics, vinyls or toxins.

We designed our 3-ring binders to look so good you won't want to get rid of them. We have everything you might need to impress a client, store your taxes or decorate your office.

Naked Binder donates to support wilderness areas and schools around the US. Learning to think and space to think in are important for a better world.

These are great, sturdy binders that are aesthetically pleasing and sure to be the envy of all the green minded kids at school. Plus, Naked Binder makes more green back to school supplies with folders and dividers for those binders! These products are great for teachers too!

I love Naked Binder!

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

October 5, 2009

Recycled Cardboard Fold n' Play Audio Speakers

OrigAudio has created "the first-of-its-kind recycled, self-powered, portable speakers".


Two 1 watt speakers
Cube Size: 3.15 x 3.15 x 3.15 inches (8 x 8 x 8 centimeters)
3.5mm Standard Audio Jack Plug
Made from Recycled Materials
NO batteries or external power required
Universally Compatible with any device that has a headphone jack (MP3 players, laptops, cell phones, cd players, etc.)

These speakers are really cool, as they flatten to fit into any small space. They sound pretty good playing off my laptop, but off my iPod touch the sounds is too quiet (this may be my fault with some setting on the iPod). The OrigAudio Fold N' Play Recycled Speakers come in a variety of designs, and you can even design your own!

OrigAudio has also partnered with the non-profit Music National Service.

Music National Service (MNS) is a nonprofit enterprise that supports and expands the use of music to address important civic and social needs. Research shows music to be an effective intervention in: 1) under-resourced public schools and low-income communities to develop more successful students and youth; 2) health care and therapeutic settings for patient recovery and improved functioning; 3) the public domain for increased civic engagement, diplomacy and peace.

I love our OrigAudio speakers, and think they will be great in situations that require portability.

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

July 6, 2009

Recycled Billboard Bag by Terracycle and Yak Pak

yakpak.jpg The ultimate upcycling company Terracycle has partnered with Yak Pak to create a unique, durable line of recycled billboard bags.
The product line is hip, stylish and because each is made from a different cut of a billboard, every single bag is a one-of-a-kind piece of art. They are manufactured at a hydroelectric powered facility in El Salvador, which is wholly owned by Yak Pak who pays fair wages and assures proper working conditions. The product line includes a variety of functional shapes including messenger bags, backpacks, laptop sleeves and totes and are very affordable, with most retailing for less than $35.
According to Terracycle, over 3,000,000 vinyl billboards end up in US landfills each year. Upcycling billboards into useful products helps close the loop and in my opinion, should be a requirement for any company that uses this form of advertising. Thankfully, Terracycle and Yak Pak are here to help!
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

February 27, 2009

Green Your Taxes with Digital Tax Software Downloads and E-Filing

tax.jpg Can you imagine how much paper is used by Americans each to complete their income taxes? From the booklets printed by the IRS to making multiple copies of returns to send in and keep for personal files, I am sure there is a heavy carbon footprint associated with tax time. How can you green your taxes?

Unfortunately, Americans are not able to delineate their tax money for governmental environmental projects, but there are other ways you can green your taxes. If you self-prepare, you can download tax software and prevent the need for IRS booklets or cd-roms of tax software. After completing your taxes, e-file your return. You don't even need to print a copy of your return for your personal files if you make a back up file of it on your computer. No paper required!

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

January 19, 2009

It's Not Too Late to Get a Green Super Cool Calendar for 2009

supermancalendar.jpg I wish I could get away from a print calendar, as that would be truly green, but in order to coordinate my family's schedules, we need it in print. Asgard Press is making green calendars from archival vintage prints that are very cool. Take for example the Vintage Super Heroes calendar:
The images featured in this calendar are archival-quality reproductions of the covers of the actual Golden Age and Silver Age Covers of DC Comics cover art that were sold many decades ago. In some cases the images have been digitally repaired and restored where creases, tears, marks, or other damage would have otherwise distracted from the appreciation of the artwork as it appeared at that time. Some images have been cropped and/or resized to fit this format.
What makes these calendars green? They are printed on 50% consumer waste recycled paper with soy based inks. They also include vintage images that you are sure to keep beyond the calendar year, thus reducing waste. You may even want to frame the images and give them as gifts!
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 17, 2008

TerraCycle has Done it Again! Eco-Friendly School and Office Supplies

ecobinder.jpg We love TerraCycle! Not only does this company create amazing products from upcycled goods, they also make them available in large retailers making them easily accessible to all consumers. TerraCycle has done it again! Available at Office Max, TerraCycle is offering eco-friendly school and office supplies. From pencil cases made from recycled juice pouches to colored pencils made from used newspapers, these products are of high quality and super eco-friendly (except for the manufacture in China). My favorite TerraCycle office product is Banana Paper.
We're not monkeying around when we tell you that this paper is made from banana peels! Every year, four billion trees are cut down for paper production. With our banana paper, we can begin to lower that number. Now you can be completely eco-friendly without going bananas over quality.
The banana paper is made in the UK, and to my daughter's disappointment, it does not smell like bananas. It is compatible with laser printers, ink jet printers, and copy machines. To think, all I do is compost my banana peels.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

November 14, 2008

Eco Food Friday: Wrap-N-Mat Replaces Plastic Sandwich Bags

wrap-n-mat.jpg I hate plastic sandwich bags. I wash and reuse them until they are full of holes, and my kitchen is always littered with drying bags. I hate recycling them too. The Wrap-N-Mat is an eco-friendly solution for packing sandwiches to work or school. Available from Greenline Paper, a company dedicated to selling environmentally sound school and office products, the Wrap-N-Mat is easy to use, washable, and reusable. I like how it unfolds into a mat, providing a surface to eat your sandwich on avoiding germs from table tops. The Wrap-N-Mat would make a nice gift for an office mate or friend at school.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 19, 2008

Green Plug Develops Single Universal Power Adapter for All Electronic Devices

top-pic-2nd-d.jpg I have a drawer full of cell phone power adapters, camera adapters, and of course, my laptop and modem have different power adapters too! Each time I get a new electronic device, I keep the old adapter thinking I might need it some day, but it never fits the new phone, camera, etc. Green Plug, a start-up company, proposes we use one universal power adapter for all our electronic needs, which would help the environment by eliminating the need to produce and ship a new power adapter with each device. Green Plug explains:
Billions of devices including laptops, printers, speakers, routers, modems, cell phones, entertainment devices, power tools, cameras and so many other portable electronic devices require a power source that converts between 90V and 254V wall power to device-specific DC power. That means that these devices require unique power converters, and that is very costly, is extremely inconvenient and contributes to wasted resources and pollution.
According to MacWorld, Green Plug's universal adapter will also eliminate phantom power draws:
Green Plug's technology allows each device to communicate its individual power requirements to the power adapter, allowing several devices to share one adapter...Each adapter will act like a hub that several devices can plug into... The adapters also will shut off the power supply when a device has finished charging or is turned off, giving further energy savings.
Westinghouse has already endorsed the idea.
Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

June 4, 2008

HP Goes Green with Affordable, Recycled Printer

HP D2545 Inkjet recycled printer Hewlett-Packard has just launched a new line of greener office products. The HP Deskjet D2545 Printer is made from 83% recycled plastic and is Energy Star rated. Even the ink cartridges are made from recycled plastic resins. At a price of $44.99, this is an affordable green office product. HP also offers extensive recycling programs for computer equipment, printing supplies, rechargeable batteries and other items.

Via: Environmental News Network

Jennifer Lance at Permalink social bookmarking

December 1, 2006

Staple-Free Stapler from Made By Humans

staple-free stapler.jpgHere's a tip from the Self-Sufficient-ish boys: Lose your stapler.

Remember back in college when all the Environmental Science eco-hippy kids tried to convince you that using staples was bad for the planet? (No? Hmm...maybe I was hanging out with the wrong crowd.) Well, they had a point.

According to Eco-Logic, if every office worker in the world used one less staple per day, we'd conserve more than 120,000 tons of steel per year. For comparison, the construction of the Staples Center in downtown LA used 2,500 tons.

Do your part with this handy-dandy staple-less stapler from Made By Humans. It "staples" 4-5 sheets of paper by punching wholes through the sheets and weaving them together. And it comes in five fashion colors: red, black, blue, green and chrome. Enjoy staple-free living, at least for your memos and short stacks. Lord it over your co-worker the next time he bugs you about forgetting to print double-sided.

Available from Made by Humans.

Jess Brooks at Permalink social bookmarking

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