Archive for April, 2009

Green Cleaning Products That Work Great and are Good for the Planet

Posted on April 27, 2009. Filed under: living green | Tags: |

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When talking with people about green cleaning products, I am oftern asked “do they really work?”.  With all the reports on greenwashing and skepticism about true green products (See recent MSN article on greenwashing), it’s hard to know what products to trust, and which ones will do the job. If you are not up to the task of making your own (baking soad, vinegar, and lemon juice will go a long way for a good green clean), then join me in deighting over my recent discovery of Better Life‘s green cleaning product line. Started by two dads, these cleaning products not only work great, you also feel great by using them since they are completely safe for anyone in your house – 0ver 99% of the ingredients they use are natural or derived from natural, renewable resources, and the formulas have no aquatic or terrestrial toxicity.  And, their creative packaging makes cleaning fun! (Well, at least for people like me who really enjoy a good green clean.)

The all-purpose cleaner what-EVER has a fresh scent and cleaned everything from my granite kitchen counter tops to my dining room tabletop to my bathroom sink. Even the Kitch Sink left my stainless steel kitchen sink looking shiny and clean.  And I mopped my floors in about 10 minutes using Simply FLOORED, which you can just squirt on the floor and then mop. I also used the I Can See Clearly – WOW! on my glass shower doors and a week later they are still free of soap residue. Quick – clean – green! A winning recipe for getting the job done without spending all day cleaning. I truly feel my life is better with Better Life.

These products are available at Ace Hardware stores in D.C. or online at Drugstore.com. You can be super green by ordering your product online, in bulk, with ground delivery.

Laundry and dish detergents are in the making so look out for those in 2010.

For information on our green home services, go to Green Living Consulting.

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Celebrate Earth Week

Posted on April 20, 2009. Filed under: living green |

Green Living Consulting believes every day of the year should be Earth Day but since the actual Earth Day falls this week, April 22, we’ll take this opportunity to embrace the entire week as a time to celebrate our planet! Help make every day Earth Day starting this week with these simple and affordable eco-practices that can make a big difference, every day this week: 

1)      Why buy, when you can get it for free.  The Freecycle Network is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer. Membership is free. Check out Freecycle.org for free stuff or give yours away.

2)      Just flow with it: Americans buy an estimated 28 billion plastic water bottles every year, and 8 of 10 of those end up in landfills. You can be part of the solution by ending your bottled water habit and switching to a home filtering system that you use to fill your own water bottle and take it with you. Re-useable water bottles aren’t just good to the planet, they are better for you too. Look for aluminum water bottles such as Sigg or Kleen Kanteen, or plastics bottles that are BPA-free (BPA is a chemical believed to adversely harm the human body), such as Nalgene and Platypus. Pure Water 2Go reusable bottles are equipped with their own built in filtration system, so you can fill up wherever you are and never have to buy another plastic water bottle again.

3)      Get in the Game: So you think you’re a gamer. Well Mother Earth can’t tell you to put that controller down, but she will ask you to practice the 3 R’s and reuse games. You can do that by going to Goozex.com where you can swap your games from new ones (at least to you).

4)      BYO-Bag: Always forgetting your re-useable bag at home when headed out for a day of shopping? Perhaps you’ll be inspired to carry one with you everywhere you go with the variety of stylish, eco-chic bags now on the market. Check out Angry Little Girls, Envirosax.

5)      Make the right call: It’s time to get a new phone. Instead of letting your old phone sit in a drawer in your kitchen (the EPA estimates that more than 500 million old cell phones languish in desk drawers and other storage spots), why not get some green for your green efforts by sending your phone to GreenPhone.com where it will be recycled.

6)      Plant a tree: Casey trees has partnered with D.C.’s Department of the Environment to offer a $50 rebate to residents that plant a tree in their yards. Visit Casey Trees for details. 

7)      No more junk in the…mailbox: Unwanted mail is a hassle for you and the planet. By signing up for Green Dimes, you can be one of many consumers eliminating up to 90 percent of junk mail while keeping the mail you do want. Go to www.greendimes.com.

As each of us adopt eco-practices that easily integrate into our daily lifestyle, together we’ll have a big impact!

Be well. Live green. 

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6 tips that could potentially save you $1000 in the next year*

Posted on April 2, 2009. Filed under: living green | Tags: , , |

laundry1. Hang your laundry out to dryYour dryer checks in at number two on the list of household energy hogs (right after your fridge), according to the U.S. Department of Energy. By cutting the dryer out of the equation and using the ample solar energy that falls to the earth every day, you can save some bucks, and prolong the life of your clothes, too.

Annual savings: $70 per year in energy costs.

2. Eat more veggies and less meat

The weighted average price for all fresh vegetables was 64 cents per pound, which averages to 12 cents per serving. Contrast that with the average price per pound of beef, which, in October 2007, was $4.15 per pound; the average price per pound for pork was $2.93. Cutting meat will save more than money; according to a recent UN report, it’ll cut way back on your contribution to climate change, too.

Annual savings: $100 per person, if you cut out one average meal of beef per week (assuming that a serving is about eight ounces). If you go veggie, you’ll save a bundle!

3. Set your thermostat wisely

Properly set thermostat while you’re awake and asleep as well as modulating the settings for summer and winter.

Annual savings: $180, according to Energy Star, if you maintain your diligence for an entire year.

4. Convince your boss to let you work four (slightly longer) days a week

Working four ten-hour days instead of five eight-hour days is not only a great way to have a longer weekend, but it’ll save you some cash, too. You’ll save 20% on whatever you spend for commuting, coffee, lunch, and any other daily expenses you incur by dragging yourself to the office.

Annual savings: $500+ for a four-day workweek (that’s $10 per day, one day a week, for 50 weeks a year — you get two for vacation, right?); slightly less for telecommuters.

5. Walk or bike on one trip that’s two miles round-trip per weekbike

40% of urban travel in the U.S. is two miles per trip (or less), so hop on your bike (or take a walk) once a week, save some wear and tear (and gas) on your car, get a little fresh air, and save some bucks.

Annual savings: $56.26 — 104 miles (2 miles x 52 weeks) at 54.1 cents per mile, the average cost of driving per mile, according to AAA.

6. Make your own all-purpose cleaner

For cleaners, take 25 cents worth of baking soda, 25 cents worth of white vinegar or lemon juice, maybe a touch of essential oil. Small variations can yield toilet bowl cleaner, tub scrub, and toothpaste. Plus, baking soda can clean most anything, including your hair (and it can strip paint, too!). By substituting baking soda for many of your cleaning needs, and adding a little elbow grease, the savings will add up.

Annual savings: $50 — give or take, depending on how much you clean

*Collin Dunn, Corvallis, OR (1 October 2008), http://www.Treehugger.com, http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/10/frugal-green-living-6-tips-save-money-1000-dollars.php

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