7 Green Kitchen Products

Daily new companies are popping up with new ways to re-use and recycle the old into something amazing, beautiful and earth friendly. Below are some green, eco-friendly, recycled, sustainable kitchen products that you will love.

1. The new Scanpan Pro with ceramic titanium nonstick finish is the only nonstick cookware available that’s certified to be completely PFOA free. PFOA is a potentially harmful chemical used to make standard nonstick.

2. Eco-Filter, the gourmet re-usable coffee filter eliminates the use of paper filters. Made of 100% natural tightly woven cotton.

3. Recycled Paper Trivets from Are naturals, hand crafted recycled paper trivets with colorful inlays.

4. Organic, Sustainable Bamboo Kitchen Utensils from Pristine Planet.

5. Fire & Light Dinnerware Collection, paint and glaze free, and made with over 91% recycled glass.

6. Method cleaning formulas contain biodegradable ingredients derived from natural materials like soy, coconut and palm oils. Their packaging is made from the most readily recyclable materials.

7. Perf Go Green Biodegradable Kitchen Trash Bags are made from recycled plastics and completely break down in 12-14 months.

August Recycled, Used Clothing Challenge

Its August stores are hopping with back to school shoppers, and every store has a major sale. Its so hard not to buy New when they have such great bargains. The challenge I have taken on this month is not shopping for New clothes throughout all of August. If I make it through August, I am hoping to try to extend it through September. There are only two exceptions to this rule – I can buy Undergarments and Socks new. I have two kids who will be starting school in September, one in high school and one in grade school. I have talked to them and they are behind this endeavor to buy used or restyle the clothes they already have.

I am excited about this challenge. I know we are only a family of 4 but every bit helps when it comes to the environment. Recycling has become a big part of my everyday life and I think that buying used clothing doesn’t cut down on your fashion, it actually adds to it. How wonderful it is to be able to go out and know that you wont be wearing the same thing as the lady in the booth next to you.

I have already made some amazing items from material and clothes I have found at the Goodwill Outlet or Goodwill by the pound(AKA “crap by the pound”). For those that don’t know what the Goodwill by the pound is, it is where they have bins of clothes and you have to search(dig) through the clothes and when you pay, you pay by the amount of pounds you have. The more pounds you buy the better the price. Its an enlightening experience of digging and finding wonderful items. Some items are ready to wear and some need some updating but its such a gloriously fun time, it gets my blood pumping just thinking about it. For some of you weak-stomached people, make sure and bring some gloves for digging and hand sanitizer for after all the digging is done, this is not the cleanest place to shop. They usually have a bathroom right by the exit and I usually head in there to wash my hands and arms before leaving. The next process is going home and washing everything. This is a big task but its so fun to get all your goodies out of the dryer and start trying on what you bought.

Check back for more on my Green, Recycled, Used Clothing Challenge! I will give you updates as to how much was spent on my used clothing. I will also be posting photos of items I have updated or revamped. Keep Checking back!

Green Earth Friendly Furniture

Everyday we as consumers discover new ways to lighten our footprint and make our world a better place to live. Purchasing sustainable furniture is one way we can bring an Eco-friendly choice into our lives.

~ Buy Re-purposed or Used furniture ~ Many manufacturers use reclaimed or recycled materials in new construction. The most efficient and sustainable options are to buy re-purposed or used furniture. Antiques are great choices when buying used, as they were made to last for generations.

~ Buy Local ~ Buying locally keeps your money in the local economy, and most importantly it cuts down on money and fuel that would have been spent to ship the item.

~ Buy Good Wood ~ Buy wood that is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, they have the best policed standards worldwide. Buy furniture that is made from fast-growing commercial species such as bamboo or mango wood. Buy wood from sustainable harvesting program, where forests are responsibly managed, prevents the illegal logging and helps prevent deforestation.

~ Water-Based Finishes ~ Make sure the finishes on your wood are water-based. They have a volatile organic compound level of 50 vs. the legal maximum of 350. VOC(volatile organic compound) are toxins found at high levels in lacquer, varnish, and shellac.

~ Leather ~ Leather is one of the most sought after and bought materials for furniture. Its is very durable, but unless its sourced in the U.S., there are excessive transportation costs involved. Cows also require a lot of pasture, with millions of hectares of forest being cleared for grazing.

For more info on Green, Earth Freindly Furniture check out Green-Furniture.com.

Green Burials

Each year in U.S. cemeteries our loved ones are buried along with:

  • 827,060 gallons of embalming fluid
  • 1,636,000 tons of reinforced concrete
  • 14,000 tons of steel vaults
  • 90,272 tons of steel caskets
  • 2,700 tons of copper and bronze
  • 30+ million board feet of hardwood

Its no surprise that environmentally-minded people are choosing natural burials. By choosing how and where we are buried we can conserve, sustain, and protect the earth.

Reconsider Embalming – Embalming fluids are known to cause cancer and other diseases in the embalmers. These chemicals are not required by law and do not help in preventing the spread of disease. there are other options funeral home are now using for viewing such as, dry ice and refrigeration.

Casket Choices – To minimize a burials ecological impact it is important to request biodegradable materials in everything that accompanies you or your loved ones into the earth. There are many options out there for natural materials, untreated, organic, biodegradable wood, bamboo and unbleached cotton linings. Eco Caskets and E Coffins are two options.

Cremation – For those who don’t want to be buried, cremation can still be a viable option as long as the inputs and emissions are managed properly, as well as the ashes themselves.

Other options – Burial at sea can be green as long the body is in a weighted shroud and not in a traditional casket. A new popular option for a green burial is using a tree to mark the spot instead of a traditional head stone.

For Natural Burials check out GreenSprings Natural Cemetery.

Send Your Styrofoam Packing!

Eco-Friendly Packing Material

Styrofoam is made out of Polystyrene; it does not breakdown easily, it releases chemicals when it gets wet and contaminates the liquid it touches. If burned, polystyrene gives off highly toxic fumes. Its also been known to cause many health problems when ingested over time.

Next time you have a package to send try some of these Eco-Friendly, non chemical releasing ideas.

~ Instead of throwing away the shreds you get when using a paper shredder, use them to fill packages you send in the mail. It doesn’t cost anything, it can be recycled and it’s an environmentally safer product than Styrofoam.

~ Consider using cornstarch packing peanuts. They are made from corn starch and dissolve in water leaving no toxic waste. Organic fill is static free, economical, fast and easy to use. Place them outside and they will either disappear when the birds take them to make their nests or they will melt in the next rainstorm.

~ For holiday packing materials, try dry pine cones and air-popped popcorn. They’re virtually free, festive and can be fed to the birds or put in the back yard after use.

For Clean Green Packing Materials check out Starch Tech.

Camping the Green Way

Camping can take a toll on the environment. Its important to think of the impact we make on the environment in everything we do but with camping most people don’t accurately consider what they are doing before they go.

Tent Placement – Pitch your tent in designated areas only. Make sure and check with the Park you are staying for their rules on tent placement.

Natural Insect Repellents – Does the thought of slathering on smelly toxic insect repellent bother you? Well no need to worry, you have options. MSN did a report on 7 Natural Insect Repellents.

Camp Fires – Camping and campfires go hand in hand, but before you gather the wood and light that fire, check out the article from Care2 on 10 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Campfire.

Cleaning – It’s best to forgo all dish washing products in the wild. But if you must use one, seek out phosphate-free, biodegradable brands that don’t pollute waterways.

Waste Disposal – Always have a few garbage bags with you to dispose of your garbage. Be prepared to carry it out if backpacking and even if you aren’t far from where you parked, you should think about taking your waste home, so that others can enjoy the smell of nature and not your garbage rotting. For human waste dig a hole 8″ deep and pack out all toilet paper.

Off Road – Always stay on trails or designated dirt roads. Don’t make any short cuts or create new tracks.

Lets work together to keep Nature beautiful.

How to Remove Stains from Clothes without Harsh Chemicals

I read the list of ingredients on the back of the stain remover spray and thought, I shouldn’t be reading this because I know this will cause me to want to change and that leads to finding new products and spending more money. The non-harmful, non-chemical, organic, natural products have a much higher price tag then the bad for you, chemical filled products. So I decided to figure out how to remove stains with items most people have around their house.

Here is a list of stains and how to get them out:

Oil or Grease – Oil or Grease stained clothing washes out better with baking soda added to the washing water. You can also pretreat any stain with a paste made from Baking soda and water, rub the paste into the stain and let sit for 1-2 hours.

Under Arm Stains – Spray some white vinegar onto the under arm stains, wait 10 minutes, then wash in hot water with detergent.

Grass Stains – Soak your grass stained clothes in Vinegar for an hour, then wash and dry as usual.

Blood Stain – Using only COLD water dampen the stain, then rub salt into the area and when the blood is nearly gone just throw the garment in the wash.

Ink Stains – Lay the stained garment on a clean white towel, apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and blot with another clean white towel, removing the stain as you blot.

Baby Spit-up Stains – Cover the stain with baking soda then pour club soda directly onto the baking soda. The combination will fizz a bit. Using a scrub brush, gently scrub the stain. Immediately put in the washer and launder as usual.

Berry Stains – Soak berry stains in straight white distilled vinegar. First rinse the stain well then rest the part of the fabric that is stained in a bowl of straight vinegar. Rinse. Launder as usual.

Dirt/Mud Stains – Slice a potato, rub the freshly cut side on the mud stain; let dry and wash as usual. Or if you’ve just boiled some potatoes, wash the stained whites in the water from the boiled potatoes, then launder as usual.

Red Wine Stain – Pour some white wine on the stain immediately, it neutralizes the red wine and will make the stain vanish. If white wine isn’t available, try blotting the stain with vinegar until the stain is completely removed.

I have tried many of these methods and they really do work. Try them and let me know your experience. How did they work for you? Do you have other tried and true, natural ways to remove stains from clothing? Share your tips.

If the easy way sounds better and money is not an object then check out the great organic cleaning products at Seventh Generation.