Home Goods

September 11, 2008

Skoy Cloths Offer Real Alternative to Paper Towels

Skoy Cloths Skoy cloths are the first product of its type we've tested which actually provide a viable alternative to paper towels.  The cloths are a combination of cotton and wood-base cellulose fibers, are made in Germany and offer consumers an in expensive alternative to the single use paper towel.

Developed by two women in California based on products they'd seen in Europe the Skoy (which means just for fun in Swedish) is a real kitchen and household work horse.

The cloth is 100% biodegradable and completely breaks down in about five weeks.

Each Skoy lasts between a week and month depending on often its used.  The cloths are completely chlorine free and are dyed using water-based colors.

Sustainable is Good Products has been using Skoy Cloths for about two months now and we absolutely love them.  When you wet a Skoy cloth under the faucet it becomes soft like a sponge.  Perfect for cleaning counter tops or other surfaces.  The Skoy dries hard which inhibits the growth of bacteria which is a conern with other types of reusable sponges. 

The Skoy is tough too.  We've used ours many times to clean surfaces or pick up spills.  The makers of Skoy say their cloths are equivalent to 15 rolls of paper towel in an average home.

Its always nice to see a well designed product offered to consumers at an affordable and fair price.  Skoy's sell for $5.99 for a pack of four and the company also offers a "subscription" option where consumers receive 8 Skoy cloths every 3 months for $11.98 delivered!  A great deal by any standard. 

We liked the Skoy so much from our test samples that we've signed up on their subscription option.

June 18, 2008

Gaiam's Organic Cotton Fireside Blanket & Throw

Gaiam Organic Cotton Fireside Blanket & Throw Gaiam is well known for carrying a wide range of eco-friendly healthy lifestyle products. One of their most popular products is their organic cotton Fireside Blanket and Throw.

Both items are made from organic cotton from Portugal, are wonderfully soft and super eco-friendly.

Its no wonder a cashmere-like blanket that is machine washable is a big hit with consumers seeking eco-friendly options for their bedding.

The blanket and throw are free from pesticides, chlorine, dyes and other chemical treatments typically used in conventional cotton.

We absolutely loved Gaiam's Fireside blanket. Its super comfortable, soft and plush and provides just the right amount of cozy warmness for cuddling up on the couch or as a blanket in bed.

There has been a significant increase in consumer interest in greener bedding options over the last couple years. The increased demand has led to more options becoming available to consumers at increasingly affordable prices.

Gaiam's organic cotton Fireside blanket and throw are high quality in addition to eco-friendly. We liked the fact these products are made with Portuguese organic cotton.

Both the blanket and throw are available in a choice of 10 low eco-impact colors directly from Gaiam.

April 16, 2008

Hallmark Eco-friendly Greeting Cards at Wal-Mart

Hallmark_greengiftcard Kansas City-based Hallmark has introduced a new line of eco-friendly greeting cards under its Connections from Hallmark brand.  The cards are sold for 94 cents each exclusively at Wal-Mart stores. 

The new greeting cards are smaller than standard size cards but offer consumers a tremendous eco-friendly value.  Made from fifty percent recycled paper and fifty percent sugar cane pulp the cards are unique in the marketplace.  The eco-greeting cards come with envelopes made from 100% recycled paper and are made in the U.S.

The line currently includes thirty card designs and will be adding another twenty-one designs by the summer a Hallmark spokeswoman told Sustainable is Good Products.

“We’re offering choices to consumers who wish to reflect concern for the environment when they make a purchase,” said Mike Perry, Hallmark vice president of new concept commercialization. “As the industry leader, Hallmark continues to look for ways to help people connect in meaningful ways that minimize impact on the environment. This is a step in an evolution of our products.”

“These cards have a noticeably different look,” said Perry. “They are smaller than an average-sized card, and the paper’s flecks indicate its unique materials. The envelopes are made from 100 percent recycled paper, and the cards are designed to be recyclable as well. It’s significant that no new trees were used in producing these cards.”

The sugar cane cards contain messages for birthdays and other occasions, and sell for 94 cents.

Hallmark_greencard “We also made sure these cards have great messages – they’re cards you’ll want to send,” Perry said. “We’ve combined the quality consumers expect from Connections from Hallmark with an eco-friendly approach.”

Sustainable is Good Products found the new greeting cards featured on an end cap display at the end of an aisle in a local Wal-Mart store.  We purchased three of the cards and are quite impressed with their design and quality.  These new cards are a real bargain at 94 cents.  They feature a number designs covering all the major occasions / reasons one would purchase a greeting card. 

The cards are currently available in 3,600 Wal-Mart stores across the U.S.

Hallmark is working on another similar line of cards to be released this summer which will be sold through a variety of retailers.  Sustainable is Good Products will report on this line as soon as details become available. 

June 04, 2007

QVC Battery Operated Fan

QVC Item F00208 Battery Powered LED Fan

Those of you who know me know how much I like QVC.  Seriously I am a big fan I find the home shopping channel to be informative and quite a detailed look at America's consumer base.  Their products are often well chosen and the shows and marketing are top notch.  They could make significant improvements in terms of sustainability and offering greener products but for what they do they are experts and should not overlooked or under estimated.

I was watching a show last week on outdoor products and they were presenting a battery operated LED portable fan item F00208.  The fan uses six (6) AA batteries and from the presentation you could see it barely produced a breeze. 

I watched in amazement thinking what an awful product.  First off it is incredibly wasteful using six (6) AA batteries and you know most people don't use rechargeables.  When asked by a caller how long the battery life was the presenter said "hours."  Secondly the product barely works producing only a faint breeze, you could see it hardly moved the female presenters hair when she held it right up to her face.  Finally it is made in China and surely traveled by cargo ship to the US for sale.

I just couldn't help thinking that sooner or later products like this are going to become detrimental to retailers.  They will actually have a negative impact on retailers because they simply aren't responsible products to sell.  I was very surprised QVC was even selling it as they are tops in their field and getting a product placed on the network is quite difficult.

Take a look at the comments on the QVC website for this item.  "I purchased two of these battery operated portable fans. I was totally disappointed! Fans do not produce much air at all, unless you put your face directly in front of it. Worst purchase I ever made from QVC!"

QVC does their market research so I am quite interested in how this product was chosen and placed on the network.  Their profit margin must have been very high.  I think QVC and other retailers need to wake up and not even offer products like this for sale. 

As more and more consumers place importance on environmental concerns, QVC should take the the lead, get out ahead of their consumer base.  They have an incredible opportunity to take the green/sustainable market right into consumers homes and they are not doing it.   At least not yet.


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