What I love about the green movement is that it allows new green companies to release innovative earth-friendly products and services and also provides major (and seemingly far-from-green) companies to come out with better lines.
Let’s consider the world of household cleaning products. If you were an established company with a name that could easily be confused for a chemical compound and you suddenly found yourself battling for shelf space with modern, minimalist, au naturale products, you might consider following the footsteps of Clorox.
I’m obviously not getting enough sleep. As a kid growing up in the Midwest – a land of lush green yards – one of my weekly chores was mowing the lawn. And every week I dreaded the Saturday or Sunday when I’d have to walk to the gas station, fill up my metal can with fuel and spend what felt like all afternoon mowing the front, back and sides of our yard.
But for some reason, upon moving from an apartment to a house two years ago, cutting the grass was something I looked forward to. So, in an effort to be both frugal and environmentally responsible, I bought an old-fashioned manual push mower. And for the first few weeks that summer I not only enjoyed mowing the lawn, but I felt good about my method, since it’s believed that an hour’s worth of gasoline-powered mowing produces the pollution equivalent of a car driving 100 miles.
I’m the reason museums have security guards. I love looking at sculptures, but I often get in trouble for wanting to touch the exhibits. I know it’s wrong. But simply seeing the detail up close isn’t enough for my curious senses. I want to feel its surface, exploring the detailed ridges and contours.
Which makes Baltimore “fiber artist” Jennifer Strunge unique. Focusing on “soft sculpture”, Jennifer creates monsters and other larger than life (literally, in some cases) creatures out of fabric scraps and used clothes she finds in second hand stores. With an emphasis on vibrant eyes and large open mouths, her “cotton monsters” are both lovable and imposing.
More good news for the whales.Move over, soccer moms. Step off, rocker moms. There’s a new mom in town and she’s as serious about cold water washes as she is about waste-free school lunches. Enter the eco-mom. With a CFC lightbulb in one hand and a reusable shopping bag in the other, this new breed of mom is ready to conquer the world, one household at a time.
It’s somewhat ironic that moms used to get together for Tupperware parties. Nowadays these PVC receptacles are considered to be the anti-Christ. But according to the
New York Times, women are still getting together in suburban lounge rooms around the country to discuss eco-pertinent issues such as curbing guilt through carbon offsets for air travel. “It’s like eating too many brownies one day and then jogging extra the next,” said Kimberly Danek Pinkson, 38, the founder of the EcoMom Alliance.
I’ve been taken on a journey. When it comes to great wine, I’d always considered myself an enthusiast. But when I came across Modern Cellar, I was inspired enough to become a true collector. I was so impressed, in fact, that I purchased the Sporadic Wall Panel in walnut both Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’m obviously not getting enough sleep. How do I know this? Well, apart from the bags under my eyes and a generally grumpy demeanor, I seem to be preoccupied with sheets and bedding.
Not just any old kind though. My subconscious has much better taste than that. I prefer organic. And not just for aesthetic reasons. The EPA cites that “indoor air is three times more polluted than outdoor air… considered to be one of the top five hazards to human health”. Contributing factors include toxic paints, fabrics, carpets and textiles.
During her high-diva heyday, J.Lo reportedly demanded 600 thread-count sheets in her hotel rooms (maybe impending motherhood has mellowed her). But you know what? I get it. There’s nothing like that feeling of freshly laundered sheets and, generally speaking, the higher the number of threads per square inch, the softer the sheet.
But we shouldn’t be focusing on thread count alone. There are other fabulous developments in world of bedding worthy of our (and J.Lo’s) demands. Like sustainable, healthier fabrics such as bamboo and organic cotton.
I’m obsessed with stationery. As a card enthusiast, I’m always astounded to see people buying cards at supermarkets or pharmacies. What’s up with that? All that horrible Hallmarky, design anarchy. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’m a bit of a germ phobe who enjoys washing dishes – how many day-to-day tasks provide instant gratification the way washing dishes does? But as a germ phobe, I tend to be a bit of a sponge-aholic. So, someone recently gave me a hand knitted dish cloth.
My first thought was “How primitive.” My second thought was “Primitive, yes. But greener than the sponges I use for a week or so and then throw in the trash.”
So, I tried the dish cloth. I liked that I could throw it into the washing machine instead of the trash can, but it ended up performing only about half as well as my tried and true sponge.
But sometimes you have to sacrifice in order to be “G”, right? No way!
Enter Twist, a Boulder, Colorado-based company that believes in a clean world. And to do their part, they’ve come up with 100% biodegradable “naked” sponges. Made from cellulose and containing no dyes, they (according the packaging) “perform the balancing act of form and function, cleaning and conservation.” Which means it scrubs like a sponge but when you’re done with it, you can toss it in your compost.
If you think composting toilets are just for nasty campsites, think again. They’re equally useful in the home. By breaking down human waste into its essential minerals, composting toilets transform… well, crap… into usable soil. And they’re green in just about every way: reducing water use between 20% to 50%, lowering sewage rates, reducing greywater loading, significantly lowering marine pollution and reducing the disruption of soil systems by pipelines.
Plus, if you’re sick of taking that recycling bin out every night (or too lazy), you can also put food scraps, paper, lawn clippings and grease in the toilet for composting. Because of the low water use, they’re also very useful in drought-prone areas.
I can tell you one thing for sure: the only fire I want at my house this Christmas is the open one roasting the chestnuts. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports that from 2000 to 2004, Christmas trees — both natural and artificial — were the first items ignited in 300 of the reported home fires. Furthermore, holiday decorative lighting directly caused an additional 170 home structure fires in the same period with various materials being the primary source of ignition. These fires caused deaths, injuries, and $5.5 million in property damage.