Thursday, August 27, 2009

Replace Plastic Bottled Water With Stainless Steel

Copious and wasteful use of bottled water is bad. Duh. The plastic isn't sustainable, the water isn't necessarily more pure, and the container itself may very well be leaching dangerous BPA into your drinks.
Obviously, bottled water is necessary in certain situations. We wouldn't want to lose it forever, perhaps just consume less of it. Baby steps, kittens. Baby steps. I wrote about my own family's bottled water crisis, and for the last year we've greened up for good.
This evening, I was perusing Eco-Yogini's post on the SIGG water bottle controversy. Turns out this greenwashing giant has been churning out super stylish aluminum bottles lined with a BPA liner. I don't have one. Instead, I invested in several Kleen Kanteens, and I couldn't be happier. They're manufactured in the States, made of stainless steel, and they stay chilled beautifully. Best of all, no runny, sticky plastic drink bottles to schlep home from the football fields! Yay!
Citizen Green's post on why these plastic containers are hazardous is a great starting point for learning how to mitigate your consumption.

Klean Kanteen 40 oz. Bottles
- $ 25.95
Ban the bottle - the plastic bottle that is. Try the Klean Kanteen reusable bottle and up your water intake while decreasing your plastic consumption.

A healthy alternative to polluting plastics or lined metal bottles, the Klean Kanteen is a reusable stainless steel beverage bottle that won't leach toxins into the bottle's contents. Reusable, lightweight, 40 oz stainless steel bottle comes with a loop cap. You can customize with a sports or flat to suite your needs. All caps are made from safe, non-leaching polypropylene (pp#5).

Product Features: safe alternative to plastic and lined metal containers, high-quality food grade, 304 L.N. stainless steel, durable, lightweight, reusable and 100% recyclable, slim design fits most cup/bottle holders, non-leaching & toxin-free, no inner lining, clean tasting.

Additional Information

See BuyGreen Standards detail for this product

I know $25 for a canteen seems a little staggering in this economy. You'll recoup your investment in a few weeks when you stop buying bottled water. I beat the hell out of these things on a daily basis, and they are still holding up perfectly. So what if it doesn't have some trendy pseudo-tattoo image screened onto its surface? That's totally played, anyway.

It takes balls to make an eco-friendly statement about the laundry!

About a year ago, I added dryer sheets to the long list of things around the house that worry me. Some urban legend or another probably found its way to my inbox and convinced me the teddy bear’s box of sweetly vanillaesque sheets would be the cause of a disastrous conflagration in the dungeon that is my laundry room. I found myself meticulously washing the lint screen with a soft toothbrush and Castile soap suds to dislodge any potential fire starting, fab-smelling lint and fuzzies lest we should burn like witches for our dependence upon lavender and moonbeams.

During that time, my friend Bebe turned me on to a fascinating idea: chemicals in my personal products, indeed all of our household products might be interrupting my endocrine system. Perfumes and petrochemicals might be the cause of all the allergies, rashes and headaches at our house! After doing some research you’re going to be hearing a lot about in these postings, I realized my zeal for a sterile but homey-smelling home might be the cause of many auto-immune health problems and sensitivities. That’s when I ditched the dryer sheets and opted for dryer balls instead (I also got a wooden dryer rack to cut back on dryer use - duh).

Dryer balls are nubby rubber balls that you toss into the dryer with your wet clothes. As the garments spin, dryer balls pummel the fabrics into soft submission, so the items dry faster and fluffier, saving wear and tear on the machine as well as on your threads. I find them to be particularly effective on towels, which are also more absorbent if they are not washed or dried with softener. You use less energy and actually get better results. I have seen them in a wide variety of stores for about $10. My grandma told me years ago I should dry things like comforters and down jackets with clean tennis balls, so I just want to kick myself for not thinking of inventing these first.

Aside from the ridiculous amount of trash generated by the damn things, the perfumes used in dryer sheets may – or may not be laden with carcinogenic chemicals like formaldehyde. Because “fragrances” are considered trade secrets, their ingredients don’t have to be disclosed on ingredient lists, and may actually read more like hazardous waste than what one would expect from baby/spring/summer/tropical freshness.

In an article debunking the myths of dryer safety, Consumer Reports maintains dryer sheets are safer to use than liquids on many frequently laundered household items.

“Avoid using liquid fabric softener on all-cotton clothing made of fleece, terry cloth, or velour. In our flammability tests, liquid fabric softener added to rinse water accelerated the burning speed of these fabrics. If you want a softener, use dryer sheets” the article suggests. For safety’s sake and for our environment I say get some balls instead ---for the laundry room, silly, the laundry room!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Green and Natural Pet Supplies

My little Boston princess' favorite toy is eco-friendly!
Zogoflex dog toys

Best Biscuits
My little darlings aren't finnicky; all the trainers (and whisperers and psychologists) we've had told us Bostons are notorious for wanting to chew and are mainly motivated by food. I realized this long before I paid a king's ransom to learn these particulars! I am always concerned about the quality of food for our pups. Since cookies and tweeties are such a mainstaple, I searched and searched for something tasty, but more holistic in nature. I wanted an American product (no imports for my babies) that was free from fillers and preservatives. Enter Wysong (below)

What is the Sound of One Hand Clapping?

In the title above, I repeat the Zen koan and answer with, "I don't know because smart cats everywhere applaud this product!"

The Home Detox Green Toolbox

It's awesome because it contains everything one would need to test the parts of your house that your inspector might have missed like mold, dust mites, pollen, dander, carcinogenic fibers and bacteria. EEEW! It's especially useful to know what may be lurking in your house if it's older; lead paint isn't the only dangerous chemical that can poison your family!
As a real estate investor, I tour many homes of families from all walks of life. One mustn't assume newly built spaces are completely healthy and safe. In fact, new construction (unless it is conscientiously built from green materials - LEED Certified) can be quite messy. New flooring, upholstery and furniture can off-gas for months as these products can emit toxic fumes like formaldehyde.
Private wells may be contaminated with heavy metals or bacterium that can make your family very sick. Ductwork can be loaded with particulate matter or mold spores. My own home was absolutely bogged down with animal hair when we moved in, though the house looked immaculate whenever we had visited prior to the sale.
Once you know what to clean, you'll want to transition to healthier products in your home. Your respiratory system will thank you! Kitty's Zen of Homekeeping pledges to keep you informed of your options as a consumer, in our usual frank way. Your Kitty has been green for a few years now, and I am passionate about sharing information about keeping a healthy home. Welcome! Don't be greenwashed, read kitty!