I have been using Method products for years now and recently I got invited to have lunch at their office. I heard about new products and got to hear more about the company’s mission. I was a fan of there’s before they treated me to lunch and gave me some samples of their new product, now I love them even more.
Products I have been using for a long time -
Method Laundry Detergent I LOVE the pump. If you haven’t tried this you really must. No mess and safe for the family. I have saved money since I started using this, 4 pumps per load.
Smarty Dish a non-toxic dishwasher detergent. This is the only dishwasher detergent I want to use, the unscented. Eco friendly, good for the fishes.
New Products that I love -
All-Purpose cleaner I just tried this product for the first time this week and it is amazing. I have the scent Clementine. It cleans like a you wouldn’t believe. So far I have used it to clean up finger paints, grease on the stove, crayons on the wall and it works like magic. They have a new technology called powergreen™. Powergreen™ is cutting-edge green chemistry that harnesses the strength of naturally derived, non-toxic ingredients to deliver a mighty cleaning punch. Corn-based cleaning salts bind to dirt to wipe it away, while coco oil derived surfactants remove grease and grime.
Mickey and Minnie hand soap in lemonade in strawberry fizz. My son loves these, so does my husband, they smell wonderful and make a great bath toy.
Method makes products that work, for us and the planet. They are always improving their products and discovering new ways to be more eco-friendly. And their design…well it’s the best in the business by a long shot.
For more information about Method and where you can buy their products – http://methodhome.com/
I want this outfit from Prairie Underground – Collection.
I have seen the phase “Green Fatigue” mentioned a few places and to be honest I have felt it a bit myself. Maybe it’s the economy or maybe it’s because to many brands say they are “green” and turn around and do something unethical.
After reading about what “organic” “natural” and “free range” mean in the United States I don’t know who trust.
Has being “Green” become a marketing ploy versus a real life way to live?
“There are more important things then money” – My Grandma Cherry
Who do you trust? be it Brands? Bloggers? News?
Green Goes Simple: Family Footprints
Winter Boredom Be Gone
By Lynda Fassa for Green Goes Simple
It may be cold outside, but have no fear! Kids can be entertained — and educated — inside. Here are six eco-conscious activities guaranteed to engage any antsy kid.
Not sure what to do with that Christmas tree post-holiday? It actually contains all the ingredients needed to make lovely keepsake sachets. Collect needles and set kids up with 6 x 6-inch patterned fabric squares. Spread the fabric out, pattern-side down, drop a tablespoon of pine needles in, gather into a ghost shape and secure with a ribbon. The bundles can also be filled with dried flowers, herbs or potpourri, and then hidden away in drawers and closets to give spaces a lovely scent.
Start a Pretty-things Box
Often, what’s economical is also eco-friendly! This is especially true when you reuse what you were planning to throw away. After all those carefully chosen and meticulously wrapped holiday presents are, well, presented, there’s an awful lot of paper and ribbons that often get tossed. Save those — not for next year, but for the next time you hear, “I’m bored!” Tuck them away and start a pretty-things box. Arm each kid with a shoebox and have them collect the really good stuff after the presents have been unwrapped: ribbons, foiled paper, glittery name-cards and the like. Let your kids sort and label the goods, then stash them with the art supplies for the ultimate addition to a snowy, crafty day.
Create Your Own Telescopes
For this crafty creation, you’ll need:
- Paper-towel tubes
- Colorful cellophane
- Rubber bands
- Pretty-things boxes
Have kids decorate the outside of their telescopes with the contents of their pretty-things boxes, but leave the ends unadorned. Cut colored cellophane into squares and affix over one end with a rubber band. The world suddenly looks very pink, orange or green!
Clay Your Way
You can cook up your own clay in less than five minutes — and kids can make anything with it, from ornaments to dinosaurs.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
- Food coloring
Mix the flour, salt and oil, and then slowly add water. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dough becomes stiff. Drop onto foil and let cool. Knead until it reaches the proper molding consistency. Divide and add food coloring. If you want to go super-natural, color with spices like turmeric and cinnamon. Try to keep kids and pets from eating this dough — it’s filled with way too much salt! You can store unused dough in zippered plastic bags for the next indoor-activity day.
Baking is truly the activity that gives back. The process is fun and messy, and the results are sweet and delicious! My family can’t get enough of these couldn’t-be-easier peanut butter drop cookies.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
Mix together sugar, peanut butter and egg. Roll into balls and pattern with a fork. Bake at 350 F for 12 minutes. Makes 12 chewy cookies.
Think Apple Pie — All Year Long
Apples are a favorite fruit that won’t break the budget. If you want to put them to use through the winter, try canning — an easy and fun activity to do with the kids.
What you’ll need for apple pie filling and canning:
- 7 quart-sized canning jars, cleaned and sterilized
- Apples, peeled and sliced (enough to fill all 7 jars)
What you’ll need for the syrup:
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 teaspoon nutmeg
- 12 cups water
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
For the syrup, cook the sugar, cinnamon, salt, cornstarch, nutmeg and water together until they thicken. Stir in 3 tablespoons lemon juice. Pour over apples in jars. Seal and process in a canner for 20 minutes. This also makes a great topping for ice cream!
Lynda Fassa is the founder of Green Babies, an organic-cotton baby clothing company, and the author of two books (Green Babies, Sage Moms and Green Kids, Sage Families). She is a frequent blogger for sites like Grist.org, ParentsConnect.com, Treehugger.com and PlanetGreen.com. Lynda has also appeared in People, The New York Times, Parents and Parenting, and on the “Today” show, “Planet Green,” “Fox News Happy Hour,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” “ABC News” and more.
Green Goes Simple: The Green Scoop
Give a Better Gift
By Cynthia Ramnarace for Green Goes Simple
When I was a child, my sister and I treated piles of torn Christmas wrapping paper as if they were freshly fallen leaves — running through them, jumping on them and then helping to throw them in the trash. (Yes, I’m old enough to remember the days before recycling bins.)
Now that I have my own kids, Christmas mornings are still known for their piles of spent paper. I know all this holiday waste isn’t good for the environment, and it always makes me feel a little eco-guilt. So this year I made a plan based on a simple question: How can I waste less stuff?
Try these easy ideas for minimizing your family’s holiday waste:
Instead of wrapping presents, I’m buying a few dozen blank canvas grocery bags. My daughter Mira, 6, will love using fabric paint to personalize each one!
Recycled Gift Tags
Gift cards are lovely, but they hit the recycling bin once the holiday is over. Not this year! I plan to cut out designs from last year’s cards to reuse as gift tags. As for the cards I send, I’m going to send greeting cards with imbedded seeds that can be planted in your garden and sprout flowers come spring. (Check out the cards from the Greenfield Paper Company
Green Gift Wrap
Giving Grandma a sweater? Why wrap the garment box? Instead, I’ll tape the sides shut and glue one of my kids’ many pieces of artwork to the center.
A few tree ornaments will inevitably break each year. In the past, I always bought new ones to replace them. But I love this idea from foodie and mom Damaris Santos-Palmer: Dry orange slices in the oven and then hang them from your tree. “They look like beautiful stained glass,” says Santos-Palmer. “After we’re finished with the season, we just put it in our compost bin. Done.”
What I love most about these ideas isn’t that they reduce holiday waste — although that’s great! It’s that my kids can help me accomplish them. I can’t wait to see those orange slices shining on my tree, breathe in their scent, and tell my kids: “Hey, we made that!”
Cynthia Ramnarace is a freelance writer in Queens, N.Y. She is a regular contributor to iVillage.com and AARP Bulletin. Her work also appears frequently in American Baby and Kiwi magazines.
Green Goes Simple: Conservation at Home
Future Fashion: Eco-conscious Style
By Alison Baenen for Green Goes Simple
For most of us, getting dressed is personal. We use clothes to convey a message about ourselves to the outside world and to express, perhaps outlandishly or subtly, our aesthetic sensibilities. As such, the questions we run up against in the closet range from the prosaic (“Do these jeans make my butt look big?”) to the theoretical (“Can I wear this on a job interview?”).
But as more and more designers acknowledge the importance of a growing eco-fashion market, we may well be asking bigger-picture questions as we build our wardrobe: What kinds of material is this fabric made of? How much energy was consumed to create this item? Under what kind of working conditions was this made?
These are the concerns facing many designers, including the burgeoning niche of fashion purveyors concerned with creating clothes and accessories that are as sustainable as they are stylish.
But what exactly is eco-fashion?
Raina Blyer, the designer behind the cozy yoga-and-lifestyle line Creem, focuses on two things to keep her line sustainable: natural fabrics and local production. “Materials like recycled or organic cotton, bamboo and hemp are much more eco-friendly than anything poly or synthetic,” says Blyer.
According to Earth Pledge — a non-profit that provides business sustainability counseling — thousands of chemicals are used to transform raw materials into fabric. Plus, up to 25 percent of the world’s pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. Some garments, Blyer adds, have a sometimes flame-retardant chemical finish that helps them keep their shape
For her part, Blyer buys vintage when she’s not wearing something from her own line. She also loves trading with other designers and friends. “I try not to buy things that are trendy,” she says. “Buying a lot of cheap items and throwing them out at the end of the season is really wasteful.”
As for the benefits of local production, the same arguments used by locavores — conscientious foodies who eat local grub — also apply to clothes. Less overseas shipping and international travel means smaller carbon footprints and more stimulation for the local economy. For Blyer, who works out of Manhattan’s Garment District, it’s also satisfying on the human level: “I visit my factories a few times a week. I know what the workers are getting paid and what time they go home,” she says. “You don’t really know what’s happening unless you’re there.”
Of course, harder-to-source textiles and fair trade usually lead to higher prices for the consumer. And while some fast-fashion retailers produce a percentage of their garments using organic cotton, Blyer recommends researching a company directly to learn about their sustainability policies. Currently, there’s no official certification for eco-designers, so it’s up to consumers to read labels, familiarize themselves with company policies and (more often than not) pay a little bit more for sustainably produced goods.
Alison Baenen is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Her writing has appeared in Style.com, ContributingEditor.com, Epicurious.com and Concierge.com. In addition to editorial work, Alison is a copywriter for Theory, Gilt Groupe and PRPS.
Carebags can help, they are reusable bags for produce. I love them. Here’s why
- Machine washable
- Can clean produce while it’s still in bag
- Reusable – super eco-chic
- Perfect for snacks on the go
- Great for grains
For more information check out their site http://www.carebagsonline.com/
Great news! I was given a couple bags to test out and a handy pouch of three GotIt bags to giveaway(see photo).
If you want to be entered in the giveway please email email@example.com with Carebags in the subject line.
Friday, November 26th at midnight I will randomly pick a winner. Good Luck!
Last week I attended a luncheon to learn more about Smart Grids. In case you don’t know what a smart grid is it is a way for consumers and suppliers to monitor energy demands and reduce cost by being more aware of usage.
I think smart grid system are an awesome tool to help save energy and cost. I think the electric companies have an uphill battle with gaining the trust of many of their consumers. Many people fear higher costs.
Here are the key points that were discussed -
Why we need the smart grid.
Address our aging infrastructure
- Approximately 60% of the current electric power grid will need to be replaced within the next 10 years.
- Our current electrical grid is built on an aging infrastructure. The average age of a substation transformer is 42, which is two more years than their expected life span.
Save consumers money
- In some recent studies, consumers have been able to reduce their monthly energy consumption by 10-15%.
- There were 41% more outages affecting 50,000 or more consumers in the second half of the 1990’s than in the first half of the decade.
- These outages and interruptions cost Americans $150 billion annually – or $500 for each one of us.
- Increasing energy efficiency, renewable energy and distributed generation would save an estimated $36 billion annually.
- The Norman, OK school district saved $15,000 in just two months after implementing smart grid technology.
- Smart grid technology will reduce the need to build more fossil-fueled power plants while encouraging the use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. This will also lessen our dependence on foreign oil.
- Implementation of the smart grid would reduce carbon from electrical power by 25% or roughly 10% of overall US CO2 emissions. This savings is estimated to have the same impact as removing 140 million cars from the road.
How smart grid technology allows you to take control of your energy consumption.
The smart grid empowers you by making the energy you use and the price you pay for it more transparent.
- The smart grid and smart meters show you how much energy you are using in your home from, day to day, and what it costs you.
- Because energy prices vary considerably during the day because of changing demand, you will soon be able to see the least expensive times to run your appliances, such as washers and dishwashers, which will mean significant financial savings.
The current and future tools of the smart grid technology.
- You will soon be able to receive alerts via text, email, and telephone call as you move through the energy tiers towards higher costs for electricity.
- Smart meter technology will alert your utility company in the case of a power outage so they can restore your power faster.
- In the future you will be able to control the energy usage of the appliances in your home through chips connected to your home area network.
Learn more about Smart Grids here
I wrote this post after attending an informational luncheon on behalf of Silver Spring Networks and Mom Central Consulting and received a gift bag and gift card as a thank you for taking the time to participate.