Elan Vital Anthology is posting great eco-tips for cleaning your home all this week. Check it out for homemade suggestions on doing laundry, vacuuming, keeping your bathroom clean, and more!
I’m speechless…again. May 14, 2009
Now, I’m not a perfect “greenie”. It’s like the blog title says – I’m TRYING to be greener. I do my best to make “safer” choices but when the “natural” stuff like cleaners don’t work, sometimes I have to pull out the traditional stuff. I don’t like doing it, and it only happens occasionally, like when I’ve lost the battle with mold in the bathroom. I keep the bathroom window open to ventilate and do it only when I know my daughter will be out of the apartment with me for the afternoon. Many internet sites state that studies have shown the household bleach we use isn’t harmful to the environment or ourselves. Industrial bleach, however, is a different story. But who’s kidding who? If household bleach can irritate or burn skin, I don’t understand how it can’t be harmful.
So readers, I want to hear from you. Would you clean your child’s baby bottles, sippy cups, or toys with a bleach mixture? Do you use a vinegar mixture or soap and water, for example? What’s your choice of disinfectant?
The Environmental Working Group has just announced that they will be releasing a once a month email on “Healthy Home Tips for Parents” for individuals who sign up with them. Each month’s tips will be on one page to make it easy to print out. The June’s issue will focus on personal care products.
“EWG’s scientists and public health researchers created a list of the most important steps you can take at home to promote your family’s environmental health.”
You can sign up for the monthly email here. Just be sure to check off the “Greening the Planet for Kids Health” group so you’ll get the Healthy Home Tips for Parents series.
Head on over to Green Jeans for an easy, eco-friendly way to get rid of tarnish from your silver.
Does your house stink? May 6, 2009
Dutch Boy paint has a new paint product called Refresh. Now, I haven’t tried it but the site explains that it is VOC-free (Volatile Organic Compounds are vapors from chemicals which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects) and contains Arm & Hammer® odor eliminating technology to freshen the air.
- are GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified®
- is Zero VOC, compliant per strictest regional and national air quality standards.
- come in gallon and quart containers that are recyclable.
- are Green Cert™ certified
- are not formulated with formaldehyde and formaldehyde donors, alkylphenol ethoxylates, and crystalline silica.
- give a mildew-resistant coating
To find out where you can buy Dutch Boy’s Refresh paint, click here.
If you feel your home needs a makeover, perhaps you’d like to enter Dutch Boy’s “My House Stinks” contest. The grand prize is 50 gallons of Refresh paint worth $5000.00. There’s a second and third place prize as well. Just post “your ugly, stinky room” at their web site for a chance to win. You can even enter a chance to win four gallons of Refresh paint by voting on the “stinkiest” looking room.
Coming to a store near you: Dioxane-free Seventh Generation April 29, 2009
Last year, my first blog post was about my search for a 1,4-Dioxane free liquid dish detergent. 1,4-Dioxane can be found in claimed natural and non-certified organic products, including dish detergents. 1,4-Dioxane is a “byproduct of a process used to soften harsh detergents”, according to the LA Times. This chemical is believed to cause damage to the central nervous system, liver, and kidneys. On January 1, 1988, California recognized it as a chemical that can cause cancer.
I listed a few options with their levels of 1,4-Dioxane according to a study by the Organic Consumers Association. I started using Seventh Generation’s Natural Dish Detergent because it seemed to have the lowest traces of it and was an option I could find easily. Seventh Generation responded to the findings right around the time of the report, acknowledged that their product contained 1,4-Dioxane, and stated that they want to eliminate it as soon as they can. On their web site they stated:
“The compound wasn’t highlighted on our web site nor detailed in our corporate responsibility report. In this, we had failed.”
I contacted Seventh Generation last week and asked them if their Naural Dish Detergent still contains 1,4-Dioxane. I was informed that it does. However, a new 1,4-Dioxane free formula has been created and you can expect to see it on store shelves at the end of the summer with labeling stating that it’s the new formula. Here is the statement I received from them:
In 2008, the Organic Consumer Association released a report that indicated low levels of 1,4-dioxane in our Dish liquid. As the OCA reported, the compound is a byproduct of a process used to improve the degreasing agent in detergents – not an ingredient. While our levels were fifty times lower than another so-called “natural” brand, we agreed that 1,4-dioxane doesn’t belong in our products and worked with our supplier to eliminate it entirely. I’m happy to report that in March 2009, the OCA reported our products as “None Detected“ for 1,4-dioxane. Even better, this initiative has spurred many in our industry to follow our lead. The reformulated Seventh Generation Hand Dish Liquid will be available to consumers by end of summer.
You can see the full list of soap, shampoo, and cleaning products tested by the Organic Consumer’s Association dated March 6, 2009, with their 1,4-Dioxane levels here.
Indoor composting April 10, 2009
A few months ago, my blogging friend, Jill, guest posted here about vermicomposting. I told her it would be a great addition to my blog since I don’t have experience in composting due to the fact that I live in an apartment building. She quickly responded with – “How about under your kitchen sink?!” I’m all for “going greener”, but I just can’t bring myself to keeping worms in my kitchen!
How about this great Bamboo Compost Pail from The Container Store. It looks perfect for apartment dwellers. Use it for composted soil for your indoor plants or herbs. The former teacher in me also can’t help but think that this would be a great learning tool for young children too. The pail:
- is made from ecologically friendly bamboo.
- has a set of charcoal filters in the vented lid help contain odors.
- has a removable liner that’s dishwasher-safe.
- has a 1 gallon capacity.
If, as an apartment dweller, you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, here’s instructions on how to compost on a larger scale.
By the way, The Container Store is offering 25% off all their merchandise until Monday.
April showers bring…broken umbrellas. April 8, 2009
April’s only been here for a week and I feel like we’ve had so much rain already! As I was out walking in it the other day, I saw so many umbrellas in trash cans on the corners, beaten by the weather. When they cost so little sometimes, it’s easy to think of them as “disposable items”. How many umbrellas do you think are sitting in our landfills? I can’t even imagine…
Here’s a great link I discovered, though, that shows you how to repair a broken umbrella. It’s certainly worth a try before you give up on one!
I never thought I’d see the day. March 16, 2009
This past Thursday, S.C Johnson announced that it will phase out all phthalates from their products and begin listing all ingredients on their household products.
S.C. Johnson will offer information about these changes through a website (www.whatsinsidescjohnson.com), which will be in both English and Spanish by the end of 2009, their toll-free number (1-800-558-5252) and on product labels.
Skoy Cloths, where have you been all my life? March 2, 2009
For many months now, I’ve been searching for alternatives to paper towels in an effort to use less of them. I’ve tried the Twist Sponge and have been very happy with it. For quite some time, though, I’ve been interested in trying Skoy Cloths and over the past few weeks, I’ve had the chance to.
These cloths are amazing
- One Skoy Cloth saves 15 rolls of paper towels.
- They are 100% biodegradable and natural.
- Skoy Cloths are reusable and machine washable.
- They absorb 15 times their own weight.
- They are made from natural cotton and wood-pulp cellulose.
- Skoy Cloths are non-toxic, chlorine-free and are made using water-based colors and inks.
- They come 4 in a pack and are priced from $5.99 – $6.99.
Just as the the website instructed, I’ve been putting my Skoy Cloth in the dishwasher to clean it and have also placed it in the dryer. Another option the web site mentions is to place it wet in the microwave for 1 – 2 minutes to keep it germ-free.
Reducing paper towel use just doesn’t get easier than this, does it?!!! To find a retailer near you, click here.