Kitchen

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.

August 29, 2008

Proforce Reusable Foodservice Towels are Coming Back

Proforce Reusable Foodservice Towels Proforce Reusable Towels by Ecolab are coming back! 

Questions about Ecolab Proforce Reusable Foodservice towels are one of the main questions we get at Sustainable is Good since we ran a story on the paper towel alternatives in June 2007

The story we ran focused on the reusable towels as an excellent and practical alternative to paper towels. 

The Proforce towels were sold through Sam's club stores across the country and after our story became increasingly popular due to their low cost and high functionality.

We have received word the reusable towels are coming back!

Ecolab, the company that produces the towels said:

"ProForce Reusable Foodservice Towels were discontinued by Sam's Club in May 2007.  Since that time the response of our customers has been overwhelming. Due to this customer response, we are working to make these available for purchase online as quickly as possible. Updates and information will be available on our web site beginning later this month."

"As soon as the Towels are available for purchase, all Team ProForce Members will be notified by email.  If you would like to be included in this email notification, please sign up for Team ProForce at www.proforcecleaners.com-- it's free and only takes a few moments."

August 26, 2008

Fagor Portable Induction Cooktop

Fagor Portable Induction Cooktop Fagor, a Spanish company known for high quality kitchen products has introduced a new product available in the US market that offers energy efficient top quality cooking.

Fagor's Portable Induction Cooktop offers consumers a fantastic single burner induction cook unit perfect for the home or apartment. 

The unit is ideal for apartment dwellers who have limited space and/or older inefficient stoves which they can't change.

The Fagor Portable Induction Cooktop brings the power and efficiency of induction cooking into the home.  The unit is completely portable easy to take outside when grilling or use on the countertop inside. 

We've had the opportunity to test out this new unit from Fagor and we love it!

The induction cooktop is perfect for sauteing.  It heats up a steel or cast iron pan quickly and provides a consistent perfectly balanced heat. 

It has six different heat settings spanning from 190 - 430 degrees. Unlike electric ranges which is what several of our writers have in their apartments, the Fagor Portable Induction Cooktop heats quickly and evenly and reaches the desired heat level quickly. 

This is where the Fagor shines in terms of energy efficiency.  Heat is transferred to the pan quickly and the result is a pan ready for use in much less time than on an electric range.  Also the unit allows for precise control over temperatures which is often difficult on a gas stove.

We used the Fagor for sauteing, making breakfast, and boiling pasta water among other common cooking tasks. Each time we used the unit we were pleased with how easy it was to use and how nice it was to have fast even heat.

Fagor Portable Induction Cooktop with Cast Iron pan Induction cooktops work with steel and cast iron cookware including enameled.  The cooking occurs using an series of induction coils inside the unit these coils generate magnetic fields that induct a warming reaction in steel and iron-based pots and pans.

Fagor says their cooktop is efficient because 90% of the heat generated is transferred to and used by the pan.  They say the unit is also about 50% faster than cooking on gas or electric. The unit is easy to clean and has a number of features making it incredibly safe. 

If you are frustrated with your current electric or gas stove or are just looking for the flexibility of an extra burner to use outside or on the countertop the Fagor Portable Induction Cooktop is definitely worth a look. 

Webextra Where to get the Fagor Portable Induction Cooktop?

The Fagor Portable Induction Cooktop is available on Amazon.com with Free Shipping - its received great reviews check it out.

July 07, 2008

The New 90-Day Guarantee

World_centric To me, summer can be summed up in one word, picnics. I love them. From the soft, warm grass to the Frisbees and conversations, nothing compares to a great meal on a blanket with friends and family. Traditionally, picnics, while fun, tend to be wasteful. From the paper napkins and plates to the plastic utensils that get thrown away, a day in a park is a big day for the dump.

Old traditions die hard. It’s time we all learned a new word: biocompostable.

Question: What does biocompostable mean?

Answer: Biocompostable may not be in Webster’s Dictionary (yet) but the word is on the tip of every activists tongue. The word refers to a new range of products that are made from organic materials, like sugarcane, bamboo, corn and reed grasses. All these materials are naturally sustainable and since they are processed without toxins, they all easily, and naturally (that’s important!), biodegrade back into the soil.

So, where do biocompostable products and picnics meet?  Here’s a hint, after the cow jumped over the moon in this nursery rhyme, these two biocompostables ran away together.

Dishes and utensils! World Centric, founded in 2004, is the best one-stop online shop for anything and everything biocompostable. From cups and saucers to dishes and even Tupperware, World Centric is making it.

The problem: most people don’t have their own compost pile out back, so buying biocompostable dishes just doesn’t make sense.

The solution: most cities have their own public compost sites, and if your city doesn’t, why not look into starting your own compost?  It’s easy! Check out this site: http://www.howtocompost.org/

Made from sugar cane, these cups, bowls and plates are tough. They are two chicken breasts, potato salad, a piece of bread and macaroni tough. They can be microwaved, frozen and refrigerated and still maintain their durability and shape. And if composted, this curious crockery will return from whence it came between 60 and 90 days.

This summer, I propose a toast to sugar cane, sweet as a drink and even sweeter on the table. These low-impact, earth-friendly dishes are really going places, and that includes back into the ground.

Beryl Shereshewsky Having traveled around the world, Beryl Shereshewsky, a recent University of Colorado, Boulder graduate, realized that in life, she wanted to accomplish three things. One, travel more, two, write about what she saw and three, save the world. With the recent advances in the green movement, she realized that she could be a superhero writer and write about saving the world. Combing her powers, she now writes for various eco and travel sites across the web, changing the world one article at a time. Feel like chatting?  E-mail her [email protected].

June 23, 2008

Method Smarty Dish Dishwasher Detergent Doses

Method Smarty Dish - the Popular Dish Cubes are Coming Back!

Method Smarty Dish A bit of exciting breaking news from San Francisco-based Method.  The company is bringing back their popular dish cubes this fall in a newly designed and formulated product that is going to be better than ever.

An exact launch date is not known but Sustainable is Good Products has confirmed the popular dish cubes are coming back as a product named Method Smarty Dish. 

The new dishwasher detergent doses, as Method calls them will be available in two formulations, Pink Grapefruit (like before) and Go Naked (free of dyes and perfumes).

Smarty Dish will resemble their previous incarnation in concept but not in shape.  The new products are more tablet like in shape - allowing them to fit all standard sized dishwasher dispensers without any trouble.

We've been testing some samples of both the new Pink Grapefruit and Go Naked Smarty Dish this past week and we LOVE THEM! 

They contain no toxic chemicals, no bleach, no phosphates just naturally derived biodegradable ingredients.  They come in pre-measured doses or tabs so they are ultra convenient - plus your never using too much dishwasher detergent which eliminates unnecessary waste.

The Pink Grapefruit scent is pleasant , not over powering like some dishwasher detergents we've tested in the past.  The scent provides a subtle citrus scent while the dish washer is running - very nice.  And the Go Naked version is obviously fragrance free for those who prefer a scentless option.

Cleaning: no dishwasher detergent can be good if it doesn't do a solid job at its primary task of cleaning.  Smarty Dish does an excellent job. 

In our tests both the Pink Grapefruit and Go Naked versions left our dishes clean and our glasses streak free.  We were highly impressed.

Method is taking an admirable and very smart step by bringing back their dishwasher detergent. 

There is increased attention on the harmfulness of phosphates which many conventional dishwashing products contain.  They cause major problems with algae overgrowth in waterways which has devastating effects on fish and plants.  Washington state just passed a bill banning phosphates in dish detergent by 2010 and other states are likely to follow.

What Does it Look Like, How Much and Where Can I Get it?

The packaging for the new Smarty Dish is cube shaped which is going to make for easy effective storage.  The packaging is made from 25% recycled plastic and is 100% recyclable itself.

The products themselves are oval tablet shaped doses the Pink Grapefruit is light pink in color and the Go Naked is mostly white with a faint yellow color to it.

A cube of 20 Smarty Dish doses will retail for $6 US - though like a lot of Method products we expect them to be available for less at major retailers like Target

Smarty Dish will debut this Fall so keep your eyes out for them, they're a real winner.

May 19, 2008

If You Care Products

If You Care If You Care is a line of kitchen related products designed to offer European quality and eco-friendly characteristics to consumers.  The line includes a wide range of items such as recycled aluminum foil, unbleached coffee filters, natural baking sheets, parchment paper,  wax paper, cheesecloth and other baking and kitchen items.

If You Care is designed to offer a practical yet high quality alternative to the disposable products many Americans use daily.  By switching to If You Care 100% post-consumer recycled aluminum foil consumers can make a big environmental difference.  The recycled foil requires only 5% of the energy to produce compared to regular aluminum foil.  The foil uses 100% post consumer recycled aluminum and can be recycled over and over again.

If You Care's wax paper is made using soybean wax is 100% biodegradable, free of toxins and landfill safe. 

We tested a number of If You Care products and found them to be overall highly effective and of superior quality.  Their natural baking paper sheets are a real winner.  Made with natural silicone, not chemically treated with chrome-bearing Quilon.  The sheets are 12.5x16 and are unbleached.  They come in boxes of 24 sheets and are made in Finland.

If you are looking for a more environmentally friendly option for many of the day-to-day kitchen tasks If You Care's product line is definately worth a look.  The products are available at Whole Foods Market and many grocery and speciality stores across the country.  Amazon.com sells a number of If You Care products in bulk as well, all with free shipping.

May 07, 2008

Palmolive Eco

Palmolive Eco Colgate-Palmolive (CL) recently launched what is calls the first mass marketed dishwasher detergent to be phosphate free.   Palmolive Eco began appearing on store shelves last month and offers consumers a more eco-friendly choice from a long time mass market brand, Palmolive.

The new dishwasher detergent is available in three scents, Lemon Splash, Citrus Apple Splash and Lavender Splash and comes in 45, 75 and 120 oz bottles. 

Sustainable is Good Products tested the new Palmolive Eco Lemon Splash.  We found the product to be effective in doing its job of cleaning dishes.  However we did not find the Lemon Splash scent appealing.  During our tests our kitchen smelled like a commercial cleaner was in use rather than a more eco-friendly product. 

The issue we encountered with the scent was unexpected and was enough for us to conclude we wouldn't opt to use the product.

That said, Palmolive Eco is certainly a better choice for people than using standard conventional dishwashing detergents with phosphates and other harmful chemicals.  Perhaps with some continued work on the formulation the product will continue to evolve into a good sound choice.

Palmolive Eco is available at grocery stores nationwide.

April 04, 2008

Twist Sponges Effective Paper Towel Replacements

Twist European Sponge Cloth A new line of sponges from Colorado-based Twist are the solution for eliminating the need for paper towels the company says.

Made from biodegradable components the company's new products are sold in traditional and not so traditional sponge formats.

For instance the Euro sponge and European sponge cloth resemble more of a microfiber type  cleaning pad made of sponge material than a sponge itself.  Both of these products are marketed as effective replacements for paper towels.

We had the chance to try Twist's line of sponges and found them to be both effective and highly functional. As promised the European sponge cloth can replace many of the tasks paper towels are used for.  The sponge cloth is especially effective in wiping down countertops or cleaning up around burners on a stove – both tasks most consumers leave to paper towels.

Twist made its first appearance at the Chicago Housewares show last month.  The young company has its products carried by Whole Foods Market and is the creation of two experienced entrepreneurs Egil Wigert and Brian Ross.

Twist places a premium on the design of its products and even its packaging offering consumers plans to make birdhouses before they recycle it.

March 28, 2008

Martha Stewart GreenPan

Marthastewart_greenpan Martha Stewart's cookware collection at Macy's has added a line of GreenPan cookware.  The GreenPan cookware was previously only available in the US through the home shopping network HSN. 

GreenPan is a new type of non-stick cookware that uses a ceramic-based nano nonstick surface called Thermolon instead of the plastic synthetics commonly used to create the non-stick cooking surface.  The manufacturer claims GreenPan is a more environmentally friendly form of non-stick cookware.

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