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/
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.
By Cynthia Ramnarace for Green Goes Simple
“Mommy, you’re not saving the Earth.” Mira folded her 6-year-old arms at me as I cleaned the stove while the water ran idly in the sink.
She was right. I told her so and turned off the tap.
My kids — Mira and 3-year-old Miles — have turned out to be excellent ambassadors for the three R’s: reusing, recycling and reducing. They know that a pair of scissors, a rubber band and some markers can transform a paper towel roll into a fashionable set of binoculars. And when we’re out and about, we never toss an empty water bottle in the trash simply because a recycling bin is out of sight; Mira, for one, advocates bringing the plastic bottle home and disposing of it properly.
These are great first steps, but I’m continually in search of new ways to encourage earth-friendly activities around the house. After all, just last summer I still fielded requests to fill the kiddie pool daily, and I often caught a little one standing in front of an open fridge leisurely assessing its contents.
So I asked some eco-minded moms for tips on encouraging conservation and reducing waste among the younger set. Here’s what they said.
1. Enlist your kids’ imaginations.
Before you recycle a soda bottle, cardboard box or glass jar, ask your kids if they think there’s a way to reuse it. For inspiration, consider what Sheri Amsel’s kids created with a 2-liter plastic bottle. Amsel, author of 365 Ways to Live Green for Kids: Saving the Environment at Home, School, or at Play — Every Day!, helped them create terrariums filled with plants and the occasional small creature. They also used them to store marbles, rocks and action figures.
2. Give them responsibility.
Looking for the perfect starter chore for your young kids? Put them in charge of recycling. Let them decorate each bin — paper, plastic, glass — with pictures, stickers and designs. Then make a game out of recycling, suggests Morgan McKean, blogger at TheGreenChick.me and mother of 5-year-old Jamil.
“Gather several disposable items from around your house, hold them up in front of your children and ask, ‘Recycle or trash?’” says McKean. This teaches kids about recycling, but it also shows them how much waste winds up in the garbage bin. And that might spark ideas for ways to use less!
As kids get older, they’ll outgrow sorting games like this one. Amsel suggests putting older kids in charge of collecting the redeemable recyclables. Their incentive? They can keep whatever money they make at the recycling center.
3. Make it fun.
To get her 5-year-old son to use less water, McKean uses a game called Beat the Timer. Whenever he’s watering plants in the yard or using the shower or sink, McKean sets a timer and challenges him to finish before the buzzer goes off. “This makes water conservation fun and establishes a pattern for respecting water and our limited supply of it,” she says.
“The same can be done with the refrigerator door, I realized. Now my kids count to 10 once they open the door. If they haven’t figured it out by then, they get what mommy picks.”
4. Lead by example.
Last but not least, be a good model. “As much as we want kids to do it on their own, they really model after us,” says Amsel. “So if we reuse things and talk about why we’re reusing them, kids pick up on 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.
How Does It Work? Composting
By Amy Levin-Epstein for Green Goes Simple
I’ve always known my plants could benefit from the fertilizing effects of my family’s cooking scraps, but for me, the idea of composting usually conjured up images of stinky containers bulging with fermenting cucumbers and rotten tomatoes. The process seemed complicated — and intimidating! But instead of continuing to guiltily toss my carrot peels and apple cores in with the rest of the garbage, I asked Deb Martin, co-author of The Complete Compost Gardening Guide, for some tips on using waste wisely.|
How exactly does composting work?
Compost gets made by organisms — from earthworms to bacteria — feeding on organic material and breaking it down.
Why is composting green?
Composting takes the nutrients in parts of food we don’t use and gives them back to the soil, where they can support the growth of more food. Also, it reduces the amount of trash that will never break down in a landfill.
How do I get started?
For outdoor use, you’ll need one part wet waste (like veggie scraps) and two or three parts dry waste (like newspaper), plus air and water. In an area of your lawn or garden, combine the ingredients and dampen them until they’re about as wet as a squeezed-out sponge. Stirring or turning the ingredients circulates air and keeps the process moving, which prevents the “rotten” smell.
How can urbanites compost if they don’t have room for a garden?
For apartment dwellers, there are several options: worm composting bins; under-the-sink units that grind, turn and aerate the materials; and even composting cooperatives.
For more on composting, visit CompostGardening.com.
Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who’s been published in magazines like Glamour, Self and Prevention, on websites like AOL, Babble and Details and in newspapers like The New York Post and the Boston Globe. You can read more of her writing at AmyLevinEpstein.com.
By Marisa Belger for Green Goes Simple
As the mother of a 2-year old boy with an unrelenting affinity for mud pies and finger paints, I spend most of my free time doing laundry. I’m either sorting it, loading it or folding it — which gives me lots of time to think about how I could be doing it better. Better for my family and better for the planet. All it took was a bit of research and some executive decision-making to make some easy eco-adjustments to laundry day (which, in my house, is every day).
For starters, I use cold water exclusively. Choosing chilly on your machine dial saves tons of energy and money. While I’m in money-saving mode, I sometimes skip the dryer, opting instead for collapsible drying racks (winter) and outdoor lines (spring through fall).
And now, all I have to do is save up for an Energy Star washing machine (EnergyStar.gov): It’s guaranteed to save energy and lower electric bills!
Marisa Belger’s work has appeared in Travel + Leisure Family, Natural Health, Prevention and on the TODAYShow.com. She was a founding editor of Lime.com — which specialized in wellness and sustainable living — and she collaborated with author Josh Dorfman on his bestselling books, The Lazy Environmentalist and The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget.
Green Goes Simple: Family Footprints
6 Ways to Go Green for Back to School
By April Davis for Green Goes Simple
When I was a kid, the very best thing about a new school year was all the new stuff that went with it: new pencils, new notebooks and new clothes. Come late August, you went shopping for all the supplies — regardless of what was left over from last June.
But times have changed, and so should the back-to-school routine. Maydelle Fason, a green-living mother of two and a former horticulturist, offers some tips for preparing your kids while protecting the environment.
About that new wardrobe … skip it! The best way to outfit the little ones is a friendly neighborhood clothing swap. It’s a win-win: The kids get new-to-them styles and parents avoid the madness of back-to-school shopping (and even better, they save money!). If new duds are a must, Fason suggests buying clothing that is made from natural fibers and manufactured sustainably.
My Box Is Metal
Bring back the 1970s by giving your kid a retro lunch box instead of a disposable bag to tote back to school. Better yet, use pretty, insulated lunch sacks made from recycled materials. For sandwiches or snacks, opt for easy-to-clean, reusable cloth bags or sturdy reusable containers.
With schools cutting back on bus service to lower costs, many parents are faced with few transportation alternatives. Fason lives in New York City and is able to take her daughter to school via subway. (As a bonus, the two read books on the way.) If public transportation isn’t an option for you, try riding bikes to school or organizing a carpool with other parents.
It’s important to keep kids hydrated, and sending your child to school with a reusable bottle keeps trash out of landfills. Make it even more fun by letting her pick it out herself!
Resist the urge to buy all-new school supplies. (Junior’s crayons don’t need a perfectly pointy tip to create his masterpieces). Gently used binders and book bags can easily last a second — or third — year. And investing in sturdy, simple backpacks that go the distance means you can skip that hot-today-gone-tomorrow celebrity product (sorry, Justin Bieber!). For supplies that must be replenished — like paper — look for post-consumer recycled options.
Increase Your Impact
Greening your children’s back-to-school routine is a great start. But your best move is to encourage local administrators to reduce, reuse and recycle at school. Ask them to email rather than send paper notes home, and encourage an all-school recycling program. Be the spark that gets your school going!
April Davis is a writer and elementary school teacher. She writes a monthly column for the TriCity News, a weekly paper on the Jersey Shore. She has also worked for CBS News and MSNBC.