September 03, 2008

Why do you reUse?

4U2ReUSE Bags Ridley Inspired by Bibi Rogers and her creative line of ‘I ReUse’ plastic  bag holders, I asked some people I knew why they reused.

“I started reusing because it made more economical sense, now, I reuse because I have absolutely no reason not to,” says Catherine DelSpina, Marketing Optometrist, who is working with NextLife, a plastic waste recycling company that repurposes plastic into new products.

“I reuse because it’s easier than buying new,” says Annette Caballero, a New York resident and green company assistant.

“I reuse because I know that it is something that I can do that will affect the Earth in the long run,” says Alex Maughan, a bike mechanic out of Boulder, Colorado. “It’s a philosophy through action and it might encourage others as well.”

Every year, over 500 billion plastic bags are manufactured world-wide. After one use, sure, a bag or two might rip, but plastic is tough, I’ve seen bags caught on tree limbs, blowing with the wind and still, they don’t break. So why haven’t we thought about reusing them before? Granted, in recent years, reusing plastic bags has gained some celebrity, but, generally speaking, I think most of us fall into the category of, ‘I would, if I had them on hand.’

Meet Bibi Rogers. Originally from Barcelona, Spain, Bibi is not your typical greenie. A kite-surfing, kayaking green-love advocate, her outlook changed when she saw a plastic bag floating in the river. “In life, I like to lead by example and after seeing that bag I decided, I’m going to reuse my bags. The only problem was, every time I kept forgetting them, so I came up with this design.”

Shaped like the world renowned recycling sign, this bag helps eliminate those, ‘Ah, I forgot my bags’ moments. Small enough for your purse or bag, and large enough to keep track of it (mine hangs in my car), this little bag can pack em’ in.

Made from 100% organic fabrics, even the straps and Velcro are recycled!

“I decided, if I am going to do it, I have to give back, so I started using vintage fabrics and then I found organic fabrics. The purpose is to reuse what you have. Every time you reuse, you raise awareness in some way,” says Bibi. “I want people to see that sustainable doesn’t have to be sloppy, it can be trendy too!”

And trendy they are. For Bibi’s plastic bag holders, it’s all about colors and patterns! And, reaching out to the pooch community, Bibi’s doggy bag sacks can now be found in puppy boutiques across Florida and online.

For the green at heart or the economically conscious shopper in us all, we can all find a reason to reuse.

So, for something new, I am asking a follow-up question, I want to ask you, the readers, a question. In your house, what items do you most commonly reuse, and, if there is an item that you don’t reuse but wish you could, what item is that?

Beryl_2 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 b.shereshewsky@yahoo.com.

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.

August 23, 2008

Sustainable is Good Back to School Giveaway

act2 GreenSmart Back to School Giveaway WINNER ANNOUNCED:

Amy, an Interior Design student at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, CO is our giveaway winner.

Her winning list of favorite green items was:

1) Kleen Kanteen--great enviro-friendly way to stay hydrated in Colorado
2) Trader Joe's reusable grocery bags--colorful & fun, too
3) My two legs, which I use whenever possible to avoid driving
4) Cork flooring, which I'm interested in learning more about
5) Any potential substitute for vinyl wall covering--ubiquitous in commercial design--I know we can invent something better!

Thanks to all who entered!

As students all over the country are getting ready to go back to school or in some cases are already back in school we've put together a great sustainable back to school giveaway.  This giveaway is for students of all kinds: college, high school, continuing ed, and K-8 (parents please submit entry).

Sustainable is Good is giving away two (2) fantastic sustainable bags from act2 GreenSmart.  These bags are brand new for 2008 and just came out on the market.  The bags are made from 100% recycled plastic bottles rPET plastic.  They are stylish and a great way to carry all your stuff around. 

The giveaway is for two bags one large bag - the act2 GreenSmart Horizontal Messenger bag in the color Stone (a very nice gray) and one smaller bag, the Shoulder Pouch bag in Olive (a very nice green color).

act2 GreenSmart is a California-based company who makes a variety of bags from rPET plastic.  The smaller Shoulder Pouch bag uses 5 16oz PET plastic bottles to make and its production saves over 3400 btu or 1kWh of energy which is enough to power a laptop computer for 40 hours.  The larger Horizontal Messenger bag uses 30 16oz PET plastic bottles to make and saves over 20,000 but or 5.9 kWh of energy, enough to power a laptop computer for 236 hours!

For more information on act2 GreenSmart bags visit their website.

How to enter

The contest is open to students only.  Email us with the subject "Giveaway" and tell us the school or college you attend and tell us five (5) green products you find interesting or like to use.  Thats it. We'll pick a winner from the entries.

The contest runs until September 2nd.  We'll contact the winner by email and publish the winner's list on Sustainable is Good.

August 15, 2008

Backward Prints on the Forefront of Green Greeting Cards

Backward Prints When I think of birthdays past, cards with pictures of puppies and old ladies holding hands, pictures of cakes and balloons, I never thought about the trees, or processes that went into making them. And where are they today? Some are stuffed in a folder, but I’d say 90% are sitting in a landfill, surrounded by seagulls cawing and grabbing at pieces of trash. It’s sad to think about in retrospect. Aunt Diane’s 11th birthday greeting is bird food. Sorry Aunt Diane.

In this new world where greenies are taking over, innovation is something not to be overlooked.

Brynne Cogorna, owner of Backward Prints is one such innovator. “I started an eco-friendly greeting card line using paper that is tree-free and grows flowers once watered and planted.”

Seriously? That’s adorable. A greeting card that grows flowers, I love the green revolution.

And what I like most about Brynne is that she is a local artist trying to make a difference. “I graduated from the University of Colorado last year.  I am just trying to save the earth. I think living in Boulder for 4 1/2 years set a spark off inside of me...” she said. Her designs are not hyped or flashy, rather they are simple, sending the simple, world-wide message of love.

So, come happy birthday, happy anniversary, thank you or a simple hello, one thing is for sure, this year I am sending, peace, love and some ever so green tidings.

Check out Brynne’s cards at http://noelart.biz/.

Beryl_2 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 b.shereshewsky@yahoo.com.

August 13, 2008

Pangea Organics Products on HSN

Pangea Organics Pangea Organics products are now available on HSN (the Home Shopping Network).  Thanks to a new partnership announced yesterday the popular maker of organic personal care products will reach a television audience of 90 million households through the network.

Twenty-two Pangea product offerings are currently available through HSN including a package deal of bar soap and body wash for $12.99 - a substantial discount.

Pangea will be featured live on HSN later this month.

The company announced the new partnership in an email to loyal customers late Tuesday. 

"We encourage you to take advantage of the HSN Special, and to show your support by writing a Customer Review.  By sharing your thoughts, you can help educate new customers on the benefits of Pangea products as well as the many reasons you choose to support our company.  You know the old saying a "picture is worth a thousand words"?  Well in the world of HSN, Customer Reviews are worth 1,000 television ads.  And for a small company like ours, the value in partnering with such an outstanding organization like HSN is priceless.  Help us make a difference in this world by sharing your trust in our brand with HSN customers."

Webextra Read our previous story on Pangea's upcoming product launches.

August 10, 2008

How to Pickle Hot Peppers

How to Pickle Hot Peppers

With my crop of hot banana and jalapeno peppers from my containers on the balcony in full force I was looking for a simple solution to pickle the peppers for enjoyment in the months ahead.

I found an incredibly simple recipe for pickling peppers on the blog Blue Willow Journal

The recipe calls for only three ingredients plus a canning jar.  Read the full post on Easy Pickled Hot Peppers.

Using this method I have pickled three jars of hot peppers so far and will likely have enough for a fourth!  Not bad for an urban container garden!

August 07, 2008

Aveda Founder Launches Intelligent Nutrients

Intelligent Nutrients Horst Rechelbacher, the original founder of Aveda is in the process of launching an innovative new concept in personal care products called Intelligent Nutrients

The new health and beauty lifestyle brand, Intelligent Nutrients, was recently unveiled to the press and beauty industry and includes more than twenty SKUs for launch which is expected this fall.

The launch collection includes certified organic aromatics, certified organic scalp and hair care, certified organic hair styling, certified organic total body cleanser, certified organic lip delivery nutrition, and the heart of the line, Intellimune an internal/external certified organic super antioxidant seed oil blend and tablets.

When Rechelbacher sold  Aveda to Estee Lauder ten years ago a non-compete agreement prevented him from starting a new personal products line at Intelligent Nutrients until this year.

We were able to catch up with Rechelbacher at LOHAS in June where he said the standards for health and body care products are not strict enough, with most classifications allowing percentages of petrochemicals and other toxic elements to be used in varying amounts.

The entire health care industry is reliant upon petroleum products and he believes that the only true organic classification is in the food category, what we know as Certified Organic.

Rechelbacher emphasizes that we shouldn’t use anything on our skin that we couldn’t eat. Thus, another level of purity and health being introduced to beauty products using food grade organics will be what makes Intelligent Nutrients unique.  His belief is that beauty follows health.

“The organic industry is just in its infancy but is in danger of getting polluted fast through our environmental mismanagement of natural resources and business exploitation by green-washing marketers," said Rechelbacher.

In addition to launching the Intelligent Nutrients line of products, the company is also launching concepts stores, as stand alone storefronts and within larger premium retailers, spas and salons starting this fall internationally.

A very ambitious launch strategy is being planned that includes stores in the US, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and others right out the gate.

Intelligent Nutrients is a personal philanthropic project for Rechelbacher, while the company itself is a for-profit entity, the majority of the income after taxes will be going to social and environmental projects, especially women’s groups because in his belief, women are the educators.

When asked what the goal is for Intelligent Nutrients, Rechelbacher laughs and says, “My goal is to be bigger than Aveda." 

He was able to raise the bar for health and beauty products years ago when he launched Aveda, now Horst Rechelbacher is doing it again by challenging the entire industry and taking organic products to the next level with Intelligent Nutrients

This is the first phase of an entire lifestyle brand with future products to include skin care, body care, maternal/baby care, love therapy, pet care and INvironmental products for the home.

Anke Anke Corbin recently left her corporate career as VP marketing for a major media company in order to launch an eco-marketing consulting agency and to design her first environmentally responsible indoor-outdoor furniture collection called Anke C.- Real Living launching spring 2008. To network, for consulting or just to chat, contact Anke at ankecorbin@gmail.com

July 29, 2008

Method Smarty Dish Available on HSN

Method Smarty Dish available at HSN

Method's new Smarty Dish dish washing cubes are available now exclusively on the Home Shopping Network (HSN). 

The much anticipated Smarty Dish cubes were expected to become available to consumers this fall according to information from Method.

Method has an established relationship with HSN and does offer limited time exclusives and special configurations through the retailer.

Smarty Dish is available exclusively on HSN for a limited time before becoming available nationwide through other retailers.

HSN is selling two packages of Smarty Dish plus a squeaky green reusable tote bag for $19.99.

Webextra Read our review from last month when we broke the news Smarty Dish was coming back.

July 24, 2008

Oggi Water Bottles: More Like a Wonder Bottle than a Water Bottle

Oggi Water Bottles I live in a state where a relaxing weekend requires one or more of the following: hiking boots, an ice axe, a climbing harness, a mountain bike and a kayak. A romantic date is best spent holding hands at 14,000 feet and instead of high heels, ladies wear Chocos.

I live in a state where Prada means nothing and PrAna creates real brand envy. I live in a state where water bottles are an accessory, not a sports aide.

As of late, water bottles have been getting a lot of bad press. From the impact plastic bottles make on our landfills to the dangers of Bisphenol A, things are looking a little scary when it comes to the big blue. A safer alternative to the once universal Nalgene bottle, aluminum bottles are the new ‘it’ thing.

When it comes to choosing an aluminum bottle, we consumers have a few choices. I found OGGI Bottles. They are part of a travel line and right up my alley. Pricing out at $9.95, there are enough colors to match my moods, and my outfits.

With a screw top and carabineer clip, these bottles are the go anywhere, stand up to anything, keep your drinks cold and your water close at hand kind of bottles that someone like me needs.

So, I put it to the test. 230 feet up on a rock shelf in Southern Colorado and it passed, with ruby red and blueberry blue colors! Clipped to my harness, exposed to full sun, I was surprised to find my water cold and tasty.

This bottle is one tough cookie. Drop it, drag it, throw it, catch it, no matter what you do, one thing is for sure, the water inside, stays inside, and landfills aren’t getting any bigger. It’s time to retire the plastic water bottle along with the plastic bag. Reusable is in, and when it comes to OGGI water bottles, it is stylish.

Check Amazon.com for a selection of Oggi water bottles.

Beryl_2 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 b.shereshewsky@yahoo.com.

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