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Monthly Archives: February 2010
I was sent a 4 pack of these cute Skoy cloths to review. They are meant to be a replacement for papertowels, dishcloths and sponges while being far more attractive alternatives that are earth friendly. I expected them to be cute and I knew about their eco-friendly properties so what I was really amazed with was their performance. I decided to put them to the test.
I performed a little science experiment to see how much water these cloths could really absorb. I added a colorant (margarita mix!) to 2/3 a cup of water as shown in the picture and then dumped the contents out onto a plate. I set the Skoy cloth over top of the water and it soaked it all up immediately! My husband, aka lovely assistant, was shocked at how quickly it was all soaked up. In fact, the top right hand corner was still a little dry as you can tell from the picture if you look really close. I think it could have held even a bit more water! And it was all soaked up in about 10 seconds or so.
I know that my awesome “experiment” is very reminiscent of the microfiber infommercials that we’ve all watched on long nights plagued by insomnia. However, the Skoy cloth is better than the Sham Wow or it’s comparasions for a variety of reasons. First and most importantly is that the Skoy is much better for the environment than a microfiber cloth. It is made of a mixture of cotton and cellulose found in wood so it’s quickly biodegradable with nothing nasty left behind. In fact, studies have shown that the Skoy is virtually gone in 5 weeks in a compost and 16 weeks in a landfill. The microfiber cloths are completely synthetic while the Skoy is made of natural ingredients and water based dyes.
Another big bonus with the Skoy cloth is that is more absorbent than microfiber cloths. This means that it is more effective at cleaning up spills and wiping up messes. This cloth is so absorbent that it is said to replace 15 rolls of paper towel! Think of the savings for both your family and the planet. All of that and it’s cute to look at too! The colors are bright and vibrant and the patterns are fun and remind me of spring which will eventually come. Won’t it?? This isn’t something that you’d throw under the sink when the neighbors popped by for coffee because it’s ugly to look at.
It’s also really easy to clean. It’s machine washable and dryer safe. If you’re looking for a quicker fix, microwave a wet cloth for two minutes to kill any smelly bacteria that may be on it. The Skoy also just feels better in the hand than a microfiber cloth. The second that you run it under the tap, it plumps up like a sponge absorbing the water. There’s really no way to describe it, it’s just something that you have to feel for yourself. You can buy the Skoy online at their page if you’re in the US, look up one of their many retailers and etailers or even go to Amazon to purchase it.
Skoy has graciously provided two multicolor packs of four of their cloths for a giveaway here at Green Colored Glasses so there will be 2 winners that Skoy will directly ship a 4 pack of cloths to. This giveaway is open only to residents of the USA. Please submit a separate comment for each entry as seen below. Good luck!!
To Enter (One Time Only): Leave a comment on this post about your favorite color or design of Skoy cloths.
- What does the product name Skoy mean?
- *Follow Green Colored Glasses on Twitter and ReTweet this giveaway RT @Green Colored Glasses Giveaway – Eco-Friendly Skoy Cloths (you can Tweet this once a day for Extra Entries)
- *Become a Fan of Skoy on Facebook
- *Become a Fan of Green Colored Glasses on Facebook
- *Blog about this giveaway with a link to this post
- *Suscribe to Green Colored Glasses by RRS Feed
**I was provided a 4 pack of these cloths by Skoy for review purposes. All of the information and opinions found in this post are my own.**
The star attraction of this bench — these wooden foot forms called shoe lasts — were actually found by the side of the road. They were in an Ontario fishing camp on the road side with a sign that said “firewood for cottagers”. The shoe lasts were then transformed into this incredible bench called “Last Place” by Brothers Dressler. The brothers behind the designs are twins Jason and Lars Dressler who are woodworkers who are motivated to create the smallest footprint possible in their incredible works. They explore reuse, repurposing, design and art all while keeping an eye on sustainability. They even make their products so that they are easy to take apart at the end of their useful life and reuse the pieces! Pretty incredible that they would even plan for the eventual demise of their pieces.
The benches in this series are available only in extremely limited quantities because of the salvaged nature of the components. The shoe lasts themselves show the true workmanship of the profession of cobblers in decades past. Although the artistry of cobblers is now extinct, these woodworkers wanted to pay homage to their work while showing a respect for the form and function of the molds. I cannot imagine that someone would actually use these for firewood!!!
I ran into this fantastic shirt today online by a really cool company called Wire and Twine. It’s a very small company that hand prints the shirts they make in a barn. Yup, a big cool red barn. Between making shirts, they occassionally go out and bale hay. Hence the name, wire and twine which are two options to make hay bales. Awesome company, great graphics and a few green designs.
This one is absolutely my favorite. It reminds me of two things. First, I need to get my teenager unplugged and outside more. He has an Xbox issue from time to time. Even my preschooler is a bit addicted to her DS (I did not buy it for her!) and the tv. Second, spring is finally (I hope!) coming! What a great reminder to parents and kids that nature is the world’s best wonderland. It’s a great way for kids to learn and play. It’s healthy, free and always available! No need to worry about dead batteries either…
These shirts are printed on 100% organic cotton, sweatshop free tees and are available in kids and big kids (adult) sizes. Absolutely fantastic!! They have got some other great green shirts available on their site as well including a baby onesie that says I’m a Green Baby Diapered with a Conscience which is a great way to promote cloth diapers as an earth friendly option and a really cool (but not organic) t-shirt that graphically represents 50 ways to help the planet. This shirt is awesome and I’ve absolutely got to feature it at one point or another. It’s got some fantastic and easy ways to live a little greener regardless of how busy your schedule is. Definitely worth checking out!
Recently, a representative of CSN contacted me about doing a product review for them. They literally let me choose from any of their over 200 websites to find a product to review. Sooo many possibilites! I ended up choosing an item from their Cookware site. I really love this site because it has a button on the main page to help you pick eco-friendly items. You just push “Go Green” and you end up with a list of hundreds of environmentally conscious products to pick from all nicely sorted by category. Very, very cool!
I ended up choosing some really unique cookie cutters from a company called Nordic Ware which my daughter is so cheesily posing with above. The company has won several green recognition awards for their efforts in recycling, reducing consumption, reusing water, reducing waste and removing heavy metals from their products. They also are involved in donating useful products that are obsolete or “seconds” instead of simply tossing them away like many big companies do. They’ve even got energy star appliances, eco-friendly lights in the factory and use green methods of heating! Definitely my kind of company.
The cookie cutter set consisted of 18 pieces to make 6 different designs of cookies — a unicorn, plane, sailboat, dinosaur, teddy bear and dolphin. Each cookie has separate pieces to make them stand up to give them their 3D shape. They really turn out to look quite impressive when they are completed. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to capture any of our own cookies completed because they don’t last long enough to ice them! lol A toddler and a teenager can really make cookies disappear quickly!
It was a little tricky to get the cookies to the right thickness so that they stood up properly with all of the cookies fitting together but once youdid, they were awesome. Definitely Martha Stewart-esque results. There’s even a delicious, easy to make, hard to wreck sugar cookie recipe on the box.
My daughter and I have had a blast making these cookies several times now and we’re getting the hang of it. The cutters are easy to wash, durable and come from a sustainable business. Everything that a green cook could want!
Check out the gorgeous hand crafted mobile from Etsy crafter atomicmiss. The mobile is hung by natural jute fibers with bamboo or willow branches forming the bird perches. The birds themselves are made from a variety of fabrics and stuffed with organic filling. She’s got a huge range of fabric patterns available and is open to customizing the mobile to suit your decor.
Items such as this one are clearly crafted with love, care, an eye for detail and design. A mobile such as this one would bring years and years of enjoyment to a child whereas a licensed mobile bought from a big box store would be junked within a year or two. This elegant, nature inspired mobile could hang in a children’s room for years to come! Handcrafted items such as this that are themed after nature instead of the latest cartoon are a much better investment.
This design was created by the artist making a mobile for her friend’s baby. When the design turned out so beautifully, she was inspired to make more and offer them for sale in her Etsy shop. I’m so glad she did!
Check out her shop for some more great eco-friendly finds. I especially love her range of coffee cup sleeves made from upcycled fabrics. They are lined with felt to help keep in the heat and can save 6-8 pounds of carboard over the course of a year for an average consumer who buys coffee to go! It’s much better to bring your own cup but if you just can’t, these sleeves would make a huge (and stylish) difference.
As a mom of two kids, I know that musical instruments are one of children’s favorite kinds of toys. These awesome wood instruments from Plan Toys are sturdy enough to withstand the playdates my house hosts on a regular basis and be handed down to generations of music lovers to come!
Check out this drum kit — two drums, a cymbal and a ridged surface to create some fantastic sound effects with. The kids could definitely get their rock out with this set. Headache?? Sure but kids definitely need an understanding of music. It helps with learning math through pattern recognition and is a great resource to help them express themselves and their creativity. That’s definitely worth popping a Tylenol or two, right??
The banjo from Plan Toys immediately conjures up sounds of dueling banjos in my head. I can automatically picture kids strumming away with a look of pure joy and discovery on their faces. Imagine how much fun a group of kids could have rocking out with a range of these instruments.
The best part of these instruments, in my opinion, is the company’s plan to be sustainable. Their toys are made with organic rubberwood trees which no longer produce latex. This is extremely important because it means no fertilizers of pesticides were used on this wood for at least 3 years. You won’t have to worry about any chemical safety of these toys! The wood is then kiln dried using a chemical free process to strengthen the wood.
What about the paint? We’ve all heard about hazardous chemicals being found in the paint in kids toys lately and it’s enough to scare parents silly! Plan Toys only uses safe water based non toxic dyes on all of their products. They do not use dyes containing lead or any other heavy metals. The heavy metal is saved for the kids to make and rock out to with the instruments! Can you imagine a group of 3 year olds playing Metallica!! lol
The company uses a special non-formaldehyde, non-toxic E-Zero glue to assemble the pieces of their toys. They also are heavily involved in recycling and use soy or water-based inks on all of their printed materials.
They have a huge range of toys for all age ranges from baby to large scale kids toys. I definitely would recommend checking out their website for the huge range of safe toys. They also have a list of online retailers that the toys can be purchased from separated by country.
I stumbled across a great website called We Are What We Do. It’s the website of a global movement that believes that ordinary people can change the world. You don’t have to be the president or a CEO to make a difference. You can be anyone — a mailman, a student, a housewife, a garbage person, a dancer, anyone at all at any age, stage, socioeconomic status, race, religion or country of origin. The key is to get many ordinary people to do something positive. That’s how you get the big change!
The website is awesome and definitely worth taking a look at. They suggest many different actions and ways to make a difference in the world. They’ve already got almost 5 million actions completed! The actions range from tiny to huge and there is something there for everyone.
There are kits to get your school or work environment involved in the movement. There’s a forum, a blog, newletters, postcards, bags and a huge range of books with interesting titles such as “Teach Your Granny How to Text & Other Ways to Change the World”. They’ve got 131 actions listed so far. See how many you can complete! There are lots of environmentally friendly actions listed although some are just people friendly like hugging or smiling at someone. Plant a tree, turn off a light, read a story to a child or better yet, spread the word. I just did!
I ended up with an extra package of these wipes after winning a contest and receiving them as a gift so I’ve decided to give them away to you!! What are they?? Well, they’re cloths called Bummas that you can use instead of buying the disposable bum wipes. They are super soft, 100% cotton (unfortunately not organic), extremely absorbent and can be reused over and over.
Commercial wipes are full of chemicals such as alcohol that can dry out the skin. Even alcohol free ones have added fragrances and such that can cause a babe’s sensitive area to act up. They lead to tons of waste ending up in landfills and empty packaging in recycling bins. Bummas can replace all of that quite simply.
Just wet them a little with plain old water and voila! The manufacturer’s also claim that they help to prevent diaper rash when you use them to dry the area before rediapering as well. This means no talcum powder (which is bad for kids), ointments or lotions are necessary and no painful rashes will errupt to make for a cranky baby. Good news all around!!
Once they’re no longer in diapers, these wipes are still super handy to have around. Let’s face it — kids are just plain messy! There really isn’t such a thing as too many face cloths kicking around. You definitely won’t be disappointed in these!
Wanna win them??
To Enter (One Time Only): Leave a comment on this post about one green living family friendly tip that you’d like to share or have me write about. I’d love to hear everyone’s ideas!
- *Follow Green Colored Glasses on Twitter and ReTweet this giveaway RT @Green Colored Glasses Giveaway – Bummas Eco-Friendly Baby Wipes (you can Tweet this once a day for Extra Entries)
- *Become a Fan of Green Colored Glasses on Facebook
- *Blog about this giveaway with a link to this post
- *Suscribe to Green Colored Glasses by RRS Feed
Make sure that you enter all of your entries separately as comments so that I can properly count how many entries. The draw will take place on March 1, 2010 using a random number generator. Open to residents of Canada and the USA. Good luck!!
**Please Note that I did not receive anything in return for this giveaway from Bummas or anyone else. I will personally be shipping the package to the winner!**
Check out these cool plastic bracelets called Oh Plah!. They’re not just bracelets though — they can be used as teethers, toys and nursing reminders too! They’re made of medical grade plastic to prevent the bracelets from looking like teething toys with tons of chew marks in them. They’re 100% safe for even the smallest babe with no little parts. They’re also non-toxic, phtalate free, BPA free, lead free, latex free and bacteria resistant. They’re simple to with soap and water and dry really quickly so that you can hand it back to the babe or slide it right back on your wrist. They’re made in the US and meet or exceed all of the safety regulations.
This is totally brilliant for Moms who are constantly on the go with little ones. Any mom can tell you that kids are fascinated by jewelery. When my daughter was little, I stopped wearing anything at all for fear of her hurting herself with it. This would totally negate any of those fashion stopping offenses. And it would provide you with something to amuse little ones while grocery shopping, waiting at the doctor’s office or whatever you happen to be doing at the time.
Best of all, the company has an end of life recycling program in place. When you are done with the bracelet, you can go to their website to print off a postage paid label to send it back to them. Then they’ll use the material in the bracelet to make new products! Great idea for sustainable business plan and an absolutely fantastic product. Perfect gift for any new mom or new mom to be!!
There are some really amazing products involving the use of fish to grow organic vegetables. This kind of growing system is referred to as aquaponics. Check out some of the products offered at Earth Solutions. They have a huge range of great ideas and resources to help homeowners unlock their organic gardening potential in some pretty innovative ways.
Aquaponics tries to recreate the natural eco-system between plants and friendly bacteria to create organic vegetables and fish. The idea is that nature does a better job at fertilizing plants than chemicals do. There is no need for artificial fertilizers, filters or even dirt. The waste from fish (aka fish poop) is basically ammonia. This ammonia is transported from the fish tank into a bog of rocks where the vegetables grow. The bacteria living on the rocks and plants use the ammonia as an organic fertilizer. This process also cleans the water by removing the ammonia.
This cleansed water is then cycled back into the fish tank which allows the fish tank to stay clean without the use of any filters or cleansers. The cycle repeats itself every one to two hours on a timer. So the nitrogen and water in the fish tank are no longer thrown away as waste. Instead, they are used to fertilize the plants. And the water from the plants isn’t wasted either because it’s filtered back into the fish tank. What an ingenious way to get great tasting, healthy organic vegetables and fish which can also be eaten when they get too big. Definitely worth checking out how you can get your own aquaponic system. Earth solutions has products ranging from $15 to $3,000 that are definitely worth checking out.
Their website puts it this way: “Aquaponics is the merging of hydroponics (growing plants without soil) and aquaculture (the farming of fish and/or shell fish); and because one systems waste may be another’s sustenance, putting the two together creates a permaculture relationship. Permaculture is a permanent agriculture system that relies on renewable resources, and is molded after natural ecosystems working together.”