Materials used in commercial carpet or rugs can cause health and environmental concerns. According to the EPA, chemicals in carpet can be a potential risk to reduce indoor air quality because of the emissions and VOC’s from the adhesives used in carpeting. The most common adhesive is Polypropylene which can cause health issues.
Choosing 100% Natural rugs like wool, jute, hemp, cotton, sisal, sea grass, etc… could ensure better air quality and reduce the risk of exposure to chemicals. Also, choose carpeting with natural rubber adhesive.
Natural fiber carpets and rugs may not be as soft or cushy as some synthetic carpeting. If you are just protecting the floor, then isn’t it worth it to live in a healthy environment?
EPA on Greening Your Carpet: http://www.epa.gov/epp/pubs/carpets2.htm
Post By Stacy Rockwood of Eco-Napkins
“Rechargeable batteries? Duh mom!”
My son has the majority of battery-operated gadgets in our household. I simply forgot about that fact, as I have no memory of buying him new batteries for many years! I recently went into his bedroom and asked him a few questions regarding his rechargeable batteries. He looked at me like, “Duh, seriously?” After a sigh, he then showed me how he just simply rotates the batteries every couple of weeks from his X-Box controller, remote control car, flashlight, portable DVD player, Mindstorm Lego Robot, etc. He made it sound so simple, commonplace and like there was no alternative. Well, why should there be? I was being schooled by my kid on the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ protocol for batteries. I felt embarrassed, but proud.
Batteries are very toxic. Of course, now there are recycling options for regular batteries. Though, why buy a single-use item with lead, nickel, acid, cadmium, lithium, alkaline, nickel metal hydride and mercury in it – just to be used once and thrown away? I have never heard my son complain that the rechargeable batteries are difficult, complicated, don’t work well or are a problem in any way. Plus, by using these, lots of money is saved. If my child can run all his gadgets on rechargeable batteries, so can the rest of us!
Below are two popular brands that you can easily purchase anywhere. There is also a link to a review on The Best Rechargeable Batteries of 2011 (eco brands).
Best Rechargeable Eco Batteries of 2011: http://www.metaefficient.com/rechargeable-batteries/best-rechargeable-batteries-battery-chargers.html
Update 09/13/11 – Plastic Bag Giants Superbag and Advance Poly Split from Hilex Poly, Drop Out of Lawsuit Against ChicoBag: http://www.chicobag.com/settlement-press-release
Original Post 07/23/11: Did you hear about this? Three of the largest Plastic Bag Manufactures are suing ChicoBag, a reusable bag company for “irreparably harming” their business. I heard about this lawsuit a while ago, and this is my first post about it. The reason I’m doing a post now is because ChicoBag needs our help.
ChicoBags are great and the closest alternative to plastic bags. They are light, compact, and affordable. I got my first ChicoBag several years ago and it is still going strong.
Please show your support for this small company, and don’t let plastic win by polluting the earth. Please click on the link to find out how you can help and spread the word!
The majority of people just toss their old skivvies in the trash and don’t think much of it. No one wants someone else wearing their underwear! What are the alternatives?
You could use your undies as old cleaning rags for filthy messes instead of paper towels. If in good condition, charity shops will accept old underwear so, don’t be embarrassed. They will donate them to get distributed to Third World Countries. There are people in Third World Countries who can’t afford underwear and are uneducated about hygiene. They have more risks of illness and disease from not wearing underwear.
There is also a programmed called Project Underwear. They collect new and gently used underwear and distribute them to poor children in Third World Countries.
If they are natural fibers like 100% cotton, then you could cut off the elastic and put it in your “browns” compost bin.
So, next time you have a pile of old underwear, please consider using some for rags, donating, composting, or be creative in reusing. Whatever you do, please keep them out of landfills.
The Greenfeet Homestore has been in business for 14 years and I have been shopping with them for several years. They were the first company I discovered online back when eco-friendly products weren’t as accessible as they are today. I still shop with them, because they carry several items that are still hard to find.
Greenfeet sells Reusables, Kitchen, Home, Outdoor, Body, Eat and Drink items. The section that I really like is Home: Conservation. There are several items here that can help you reduce your water usage and climate control.
I do recommend shopping local as much as possible, but for those rare items, I suggest shopping with a company that cares about the planet. They use eco-friendly packaging and try to ship in the most sustainable way possible. Check out their store: http://www.greenfeet.com
Do you have an old iPod or iPhone that is not in use and taking up space? Last year I went to the Apple store to get a new iPod and they informed me that they had a recycling program. I came back to the store and turned in my old iPod. They gave me a small discount off of my new iPod, which is great.
When you recycle with Apple, your used equipment is disassembled, and key components that can be reused are removed. Glass and metal can be reprocessed for use in new products. A majority of the plastics can be pelletized into a raw secondary material. With materials reprocessing and component reuse, Apple often achieves a 90 percent recovery rate by weight of the original product.
I know there are a few websites out there that offer cash for your old iPods and iPhones, but I haven’t used them. If you’ve used them and recommend any of them, please leave feedback in the comment section.
Apple recycles in their stores or by mail. Please keep your old electronics out of the landfills and recycle responsibly.
Post By Stacy Rockwood of Eco-Napkins
Simple Shoes. Sustainable shoes. “Your stereotypical, anti-stereotype brand offering good shoes and a big dose of reality”. These shoes are made from recycled carpet padding, recycled car/bike tires & inner-tubes, recycled plastics, recycled wool, natural crepe rubber, hemp, bamboo, cork, coconuts, organic cotton and recycled leather with a vegan option. Some folks have a green thumb. Simple Shoes has a “green toe”. They even keep their packaging to a minimum. No hangtags, 100% post-consumer recycled foot forms and boxes with biodegradable bags for the flip-flops.
In 2007, Simple Shoes won the first ever Footwear Plus Green Award. They have an amazing variety for men, women, babies and kids. Velcro, tie, slip-on, sandals, sneakers, dressy shoes, boots, eco-carnivore, vegetarian or vegan options are also on the menu! These shoes are very cool and stylish. At a glance, you would never know that they are differentiated from the status quo by being eco-friendly, born from a regenerative enterprise and made with soul. They are just that classy! It is not until you see their label and read their ingredients that you know these shoes tread lightly upon the Earth.
Not only are Simple Shoes made with sustainable materials, but the company also follows the strict Ethical Supply Chain Guideline that can be read in depth on their website. These shoes are soles to wear and feel proud of. They are the type of shoes that make you feel smart, fun, attractive, happy, classy and professional as you walk your talk in this world.
Check out their huge selection on their website. Make the step toward environmentally friendly choices and feel even better about your eco-footprint!
I bought a plane ticket for one of my relatives, and the travel website offered the option to offset my carbon footprint. I’ve heard of doing this, but I haven’t had the opportunity to do it before.
When you offset your carbon footprint you help to reduce climate change and restore critical wildlife habitat. Your contribution to The Nature Conservancy’s carbon offset program will help fund projects that produce measurable reductions in greenhouse gasses.
Contributing to the offset program isn’t going to be a substitute for your lifestyle changes. If you must travel by plane and are concerned about your carbon footprint, then offsetting is one way to help the planet. I was excited to make a contribution, and I will continue to do it in the future.
This weekend, July 16 & 17th is called “Carmegeddon” in the Los Angeles area, because one of the largest freeways will be closed for 2 days. The 405 freeway is used by millions of people daily. It just goes to show how dependent people are of their cars. They are freaking out!
So, now what? Well, there are other forms of transportation such as walking, biking, and public transportation. The bus & subway are free all weekend. Amtrak offers a 50 percent discount for travel between Union Station and Bob Hope Airport during Carmegeddon.
Unfortunately, the Getty is forced to shut down during one of their busiest times of the year. I’m sure several businesses are going to suffer this weekend.
Well, this weekend will force everyone to shop local, eat local, and hangout in their own neighborhoods. Hmm… forcing everyone to be green? What a concept!
I have been using the EcoTools™ “One Hand Helps the Other” intensive hand cream for a while now. Some days I forget to moisturize my hands, so they can become dry. EcoTools™ Intensive Hand Cream with replenishing jojoba oil hydrates, helps repair, and nurtures my skin. I can see the results right away.
My feet on the other hand were very dry. I always forget to put lotion on them. I thought they were fine and I didn’t need to moisturize them. Boy, was I wrong. Suddenly, my feet got extremely dry and itchy. I went to the drug store and saw these EcoTools™ Bamboo Moisture Socks. They are lightweight and great for sleeping in. I also got the EcoTools™ natural pumice stone which requires no chemical or additional energy to process. I used both of these products with lotion and my feet are feeling refreshed.
I’ve seen EcoTools™ products at most stores, so please look for them in your area. If you can’t find them, then you could check them out online. They sell several personal products such as cosmetic brushes, cosmetic bags, bath tools, and body care.
EcoTools™ is a member of 1% for the Planet®, an alliance of businesses that support environmental initiatives. Each member donates 1% of annual revenue to environmental causes.