Monthly Archives: July 2011

Natural Carpets and Rugs

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

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Rechargeable Batteries

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).

Websites:

Duracell: http://www.duracell.com/en-US/product/pre-charged-rechargeable-batteries.jspx

Energizer: http://www.energizer.com/products/recharge/Pages/rechargeable-battery-charger.aspx

Best Rechargeable Eco Batteries of 2011: http://www.metaefficient.com/rechargeable-batteries/best-rechargeable-batteries-battery-chargers.html

What to do with old underwear?

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.

Recycling iPods and iPhones

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.

http://www.apple.com/recycling/ipod-cell-phone/

Simple Shoes

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!

Website: http://www.simpleshoes.com/
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Simple

Offset Your Carbon 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.

http://my.nature.org/donate/carbon-offset.html

EcoTools™ Earth-Friendly Beauty

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.

Eco-Products: Rethink Disposables

I have seen Eco-Products compostable cups and containers at several restaurants. I generally bring my own reusable products, but most people don’t. That’s why I like it when businesses offer a more eco-friendly option.

Eco-Products have been around for 20 years. That is awesome! Nearly all of their products are made with renewable resources, reclaimed materials, or recycled content materials instead of oil. They make a cup “Made from 100% Compostable Corn,” that looks and feels like plastic. It’s just as strong and durable, and it can be composted after use. That is just one example of their products.

If you own a food service business and would like to reduce your carbon footprint, then please consider switching to Eco-Products. It would be great for you, your customers, and the planet!

http://www.ecoproducts.com

Elephant Poo Poo Paper

Post By Stacy Rockwood of Eco-Napkins

Paper made from poop???  Don’t worry!  This Poo Poo Paper has as much smell as this review (absolutely zero)!  The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company makes all of its paper products from 100% recycled and ODORLESS elephant poop (they smell like ordinary stationary products, I promise!).  The products do not smell because the fresh elephant poop completely dries up first.  Then, it’s thoroughly rinsed, washed and all that’s left are the fibers from the vegetation that the elephant didn’t digest.  That left over stuff doesn’t stink!

25 large paper sheets are made from only one single turd of elephant poo.  Amazing!  There are over 125 unique items in their product collection.  The poop is collected from naturally dried elephant dung in conservation parks.  This company is very dedicated to ecological responsibility and to creating a sustainable cycle with their products.  The Great Elephant Poo Poo Paper Company has created important job opportunities and awareness towards elephant conservation.  Thus, portions of all their sales go to elephant welfare programs.

My family and I love the Elephant Poo Poo Paper products.  We have them for our own use and also buy them as gifts.  They make plain paper, envelopes, colored stationary sets, note boxes, journals, safari themes, ocean themes and so much more!  Giggles and laughs are as much a part of Poo Poo Paper as is a newfound knowledge and appreciation in conservation.  Check them out today!

Website: http://www.poopoopaper.com/
Facebook:) http://www.facebook.com/POOPOOPAPER

Backwards Beekeepers


Backwards Bees is a group of organic, treatment-free beekeepers in Los Angeles, with branches now forming in other cities.

They’re “Backwards” because they rely on observation and natural practices to keep our bees thriving rather than pesticides, chemicals, or treatments of any kind.

They’re continually growing as more and more people discover the enjoyment and worth of encouraging our native feral bee population. Their goal is to do right by the bees so that the bees can return the favor.

Bees are essential to the environment and we al need to do our part to help them thrive. If you have a bee problem, then please contact Backwards Bees or a humane beekeeper in your area.

http://www.backwardsbeekeepers.com