September 29th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
While controversy continues to surround the safety of BPA (bisphenol-A), the widely used chemical compound found in a variety of polycarbonate plastics, France’s ecology minister, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, announced she’s seeking labeling requirements for any food containers that contain BPA sold in France.
Read More:France Moving Towards Mandatory Labeling of BPA Containers
June 18th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
In a recent project of extensive brand research conducted by Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates, Penn Schoen Berland and Esty Environmental Partners, the most trusted credible “green” brand for American consumers was found to be the manufacturer of environmentally-friendly household cleaning products and recycled paper goods, Seventh Generation.
Read More:Seventh Generation “Greenest” American Brand, According to New Research
April 23rd, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
Earth Day may be over, but there’s a lasting celebration for the green movement: Whole Foods Market, the leading natural food chain, announced the launch of its Eco-Scale program.
Read More:Whole Foods Launches Household Product Rating System
April 13th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
Go Green Expo makes its third appearance in Los Angeles this weekend at the LA Convention Center with hundreds of vendors and dozens of speakers, films and performances for the whole family.
Read More:Go Green Expo Comes to L.A. This Weekend
January 31st, 2011 - Jill Ettinger
With the popularity of the USDA’s certified organic label since its launch in 2002, those omnipresent hybrid cars, and recent pro-environment action taken against single-use plastic bags, which have been banned by cities, states and retailers across the country, it may not come as a surprise that a new USDA label for green bio-based products will roll out later this spring.
Read More:New USDA Label to Decrease ‘Greenwashing’
July 17th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Confession time: When I was in college, I used to buy off-the-shelf carpet deodorizers with artificial lavender or tropical scents.
Before becoming eco-savvy, I never suspected these carpet “fresheners” were hazardous—or that I was breathing in a nasty dose of their residues as I vacuumed.
Read their labels today, and you’ll find unhealthful ingredients you don’t want to inhale. And newer versions, available as quick-dry foams, have propellants that contain propane and n-butane.
To avoid chemical exposure, go the do-it-yourself natural/organic route, which also turns out to be less expensive. Today’s DIY carpet deodorizer recipe calls for only two nontoxic ingredients:
- Baking soda, which absorbs odors
- 100% pure natural/organic essential oils for customizable fragrances
As with Wednesday’s recipe for DIY Natural/Organic Carpet Cleaner, the aromatherapy experts at Aura Cacia recommend using deodorizing essential oils like bergamot (a refreshing citrus), coriander seed (like bergamot, with a woody nuance) or lavandin (a cross between true lavender and spike lavender).
DIY Natural/Organic Carpet Deodorizer
- 1 cup baking soda
- 18 drops essential oil
- Mix ingredients.
- Sprinkle on carpet, and allow powder to sit for 10 minutes.
- Vacuum normally.
Read More:DIY Natural/Organic Carpet Deodorizer
July 14th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Household cleaners are notoriously loaded with caustic and toxic chemicals, so trading them in for green cleaning products is one of the first steps organic consumers take.
After a while, however, we tend to figure out that we can use common household ingredients like vinegar and fresh lemon juice to create do-it-yourself versions that get the job done effectively and less expensively. Add your favorite natural/organic essential oils, and you can customize your cleaners’ scents—an added bonus.
Today’s DIY carpet cleaner recipe contains only three nontoxic ingredients:
- Baking soda, which gently scours surfaces while absorbing odors
- Natural liquid soap (made from vegetable or nut oils)
- 100% pure natural/organic aromatherapy essential oils
Aura Cacia, a manufacturer of natural and certified organic essential oils, recommends using deodorizing oils like bergamot (a refreshing citrus), coriander seed (like bergamot, with a woody nuance) or lavandin (a cross between true lavender and spike lavender) in today’s homemade carpet cleaner.
DIY Natural/Organic Carpet Cleaner
- 1 cup baking soda
- 18 drops natural/organic essential oil
- 1 teaspoon liquid soap
- Mix baking soda and essential oil.
- Add liquid soap and mix, until a creamy paste forms.
- Apply to spots on carpet. Scrub and blot dry.
Read More:DIY Natural/Organic Carpet Cleaner
May 14th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
Pick up a juicy lemon at your local natural and organic food store, and you’ll have a powerful green cleaner.
Lemon can be used to remove soap scum and clean/shine brass.
Here’s why it works: A lemon’s acidity breaks through soap scum and hard-water deposits, while providing a fresh and natural smell.
- Using a spray bottle, spray fresh lemon juice on tile surfaces to get rid of soap scum or hard-water deposits.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice on a cloth, and polish brass around the home.
Read More:Green Your Cleaning with a Fresh Lemon
May 9th, 2010 - Barbara Feiner
If you live close to your mom, show gratitude for all she has done over the years by tackling her laundry today—and consider giving her an eco-friendly cleaning makeover.
When doing loads of laundry (or stacks of dishes), remember to use less detergent. Appliance experts say many of the repairs they make can be traced to detergent overuse. Today’s appliances have been created to use less water in their cleaning cycles, so less soap is generally required.
Far too often, people equate “clean” with tons of suds, but too much soap can make dishes filmy and streaky and leave clothing stiff. Many environmentally friendly detergents are concentrated, which means less is required for thorough cleaning.
New laundry technologies and ENERGY STAR ratings also cut energy and environmental costs.
“Today’s clothes washers are much more energy-efficient than older models, and manufacturers are introducing new features like LG’s 6Motion technology, which cleans clothes while using less water and energy,” says Betsy Poczkalski, a home economist for LG Electronics USA.
With this new technology, a cold-wash option penetrates deep into fabrics, while providing the same performance as warm-water washing and using up to 51% less energy.
For Your Organic Bookshelf: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning
Read More:Give Mom a Green Laundry Break
March 24th, 2010 - Scott Shaffer
[caption id="attachment_6650" align="alignright" width="160" caption="Photo courtesy of jinglejammer"]
Are you serious about getting healthy? You better ditch that hand sanitizer.
New research suggests that germophobia is bad for the heart. A study by scientists from Northwestern University shows that infants who were exposed to more dirt, germs, and even animal feces grew up to have healthier hearts than those raised in more sterile environments. The study, which took place in the Philippines over the past two decades, tracked the health of 1700 Filipinos from birth to 21 years of age. In particular, the study focused on the C-reactive protein (CRP), which is a sign of heart inflammation and disease.
These findings contradict government advice and common sense. Just last spring, the Centers for Disease Control was strongly urging Americans to wash and sanitize their hands to protect against the H1N1 flu virus. Ever since scientists first developed the germ theory of disease in the 19th Century, people saw dirty hands as hazardous to good health. Now, with asthma and allergies more common than the plague and polio, it seems like it’s time for us to shift our focus to helping children develop healthy immune systems by letting them play in the sandbox every once in a while.
Read More:Health Tip of the Day: Play in the Dirt