Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Clorox Goes Green?

 As many of you already know Clorox has recently acquired Burt's Bees and now they are even going a bit "green". The product line is called Green Works and includes a variety of household cleaning products. The ingredients are said to be at least 99% natural, and with a little research and the help of Tree Hugger I found the are mostly "natural" and a big step up from other conventional products. As a "natural cleaning product expert", I decided to give them a shot. So I purchased the all-purpose spray and the bathroom cleaner. As far as scent goes, they are citrusy and not too over-powering and they actually did a decent job. I will most likely stick with my own concoction of baking soda and Dr. Bronner's or Mrs. Meyer's(can't get enough of the lavender), but for those that have been devoted to Clorox for the past 20 years this might be an easy and green switch!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Green Building Exhibit

Check out the "Discover Green Building Exhibit" on January 25-27th at the Charleston Home and Design Show. The show will be located at the Gaillard Auditorium in Charleston (admission $7.00 per person). There will be over a dozen green building companies there to answer you questions and provide information to the public on the benefits of green building. Seminars will also be held throughout the day to provide a more in depth understanding of what goes into creating a healthy, earth-friendly home. Some of the key topics are: green construction, eco-friendly remodeling, alternative energy, water and energy conservation, and creating a non-toxic home. The "Discover Green Building Exhibit" is free with admission to the show.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Organic Produce Delivered Right to Your Door!

Imagine having the freshest produce and grains delivered right to your doorstep. That is what Gary's Organics does all over Charleston. The fruits and vegetables are USDA certified organic and guaranteed to be fresh. Gary offers Go Boxes of various sizes that are customized to your needs and likes. Eating organic is beneficial for many reasons. First being there are no chemicals on your food, they contain up to 50% more vitamins and minerals, and organic food just tastes better! Check out Gary's web site and online shop for yourself, and GO ORGANIC!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Paper or Plastic? A Question of the Past!

Yeah! That ever so complex question, “Paper or Plastic?” will soon disappear at Whole Foods. Whole Foods will no longer carry plastic bags as of Earth Day 2008. To celebrate this event they are offering these great shopping bags for only 99 cents. The bags are made of 80% post-consumer waste, another plus. Another positive point is that you get a 5 cent refund for every reusable bag you use while you shop. Plastic bags will not only sit in our landfills for thousands of years before they break down, but they are harmful to wildlife when disposed of in-properly. So say good-bye to those plastic bags and join the movement! Any old bag will do!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Coffee Drinkers take note...

Did you know that one cup a day at your local coffee shop equals about 23 lb.s of paper waste per year. So why not bring your own reusable cup? Many coffee shops even offer you a discount for doing so. Check out Eco Travel Mugs. They are made of corn plastic and a bit of oatmeal for strength. These handy mugs will even compost after 2 months in your compost pile! For locals, check out The Sprout in Mount Pleasant for a similar mug. This way you can continue to enjoy a nice cup of fair-trade java with out the eco-guilt.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Did you know that after 10 seconds it is better for your wallet and the environment to turn off your car while waiting on the carpool line at school? We waste 10% of our fuel while idling. New Year, new rules. Educate friends about why it is best to turn off the ignition and STOP IDLING!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Organizing Children's Books

A trip to a friend's house inspired me to discuss how to organize all of the wonderful children's books we have. We were strategizing on the best way to organize a playroom and got focused on a book shelf in disarray.

 Here are a few thoughts....

Young children can not read the spine of a book and only recognize their favorite stories by the colorful pictures on the front cover, so in order to find what they are looking for they pull all the books right off the shelf.  How can we avoid this ongoing chore? I like to place books in baskets or bins so they can flip through the books to see what they want. I also organize the baskets according to type of books, hard-backs together in one basket and soft-covers in another. If you have several children of different ages place the books for your youngest on the lower shelf and your older children's book up higher.  As your children learn to read you can then place the books on the shelves the traditional way but until then make it easy on your child and yourself. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Birdbath, neighborhood green bakery

Today I was reading one of my new favorite magazines PLENTY and came across an ad for Birdbath, a "green" bakery in NYC.  I decided to check it out on the web @ www.buildagreenbakery.com. The entire store is made of green materials. The walls are made of wheat, the bakery is wind-powered, all ingredients are organic, the floors are reclaimed wood, and I could go on & on.  They bake all their goodies in the East Village location and transport them by bike rickshaw to the shop in the West Village. Birdbath also offers a 25% discount to those who arrive by bike or skateboard! The web site is great and provides details on their local ingredients and eco-friendly building supplies. Next time you are in NYC stop in for a muffin and some locally roasted coffee.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Paper or Plastic?

Upon leaving Whole Foods today I realized I only had one of my reusable bags with me. I did not feel I could carry everything else like Ed Begley Jr. on "Living with Ed" so when they asked paper or plastic I asked "which is really better?" always curious of their response.  Another opportunity for learning knocked. The cashier explaining that if you live near the water it is always best to use paper. She went on to explain that paper is less likely to end up in the water harming wildlife then plastic.  It is always important to recycle paper and plastic bags but packing your own is best for the environment and reduces clutter in the process.  

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Dwell Smart opens in Mount Pleasant!

Yesterday I spent some time in Dwell Smart, a new earth friendly home store in Mount Pleasant. They carry products for building, decorating, children, cleaning, and the list goes on....It is very impressive and the staff is knowledgeable and passionate about their mission. The store also carries some amazing composters and rain barrels that I have only seen online. Check it out! Another great local store with purpose and commitment to something great.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Health Effects of Clutter?

A close friend emailed me an article from the NY Times medicine and health section today titled Health Effects of Clutter. In the article the writer describes how with the New Year's arrival people are all about organizing. So they go out to and purchase lots of containers and begin sorting. Instead of reducing clutter they just rearrange it! The article goes on to discuss the health implications of holding on to too much stuff. If you are interested on where you rate on the "hoarding scale" check out the link www.nsgcd.org
Everyone always says, "If my house was just bigger, all my problems would be gone". In my opinion if you have not addressed the issues a bigger house just means more stuff! 

Here is a quick plan of attack:

  1. Start small, tackle one place at a time. Pick one drawer or closet a day.
  2. Spend a specific amount of time on that space.
  3. Ask yourself these two questions. Does it celebrate me or something I am passionate about? Is it functional and useful at present time? If not it is clutter, and is holding you down.
  4. Recycle, donate, or pass on before you change your mind.
Good Luck!