Posts Tagged with 'products'

Conserving Energy

on May 1st, 2010 by

In an effort to find out where our electricity is being spent, we purchased a Power Monitor by Black & Decker. It displays the electricity use in the home. It looks like a huge headset but for an electric meter. It has a wireless sensor reader that can be placed just about anywhere in the home, so energy consumption can be seen at anytime. We are hoping to learn about where we use electricity and how we can decrease the use and save money. I installed it today, so it will be really interesting to see what we find out.


on April 5th, 2010 by

I have issues taking pills – I have for a long time – but I really like taking daily vitamins. I was determined to find a solution this time.

Since I exhausted all of my options at GNC, or at least all of the options from a few months ago, I went to Vitamin Shoppe to see if they had an alternative. I even talked to the girl behind the counter. She helped a lot and told me she had the same problem. She showed me what she uses and told me some hints & tips other customers have told her too. I ended up buying the Vitamin Shoppe Multi Vitamin & Mineral Powder to mix with water, milk, juice, or a liquid of my choosing. She also recommended a product called Perfect Food Berry that adds even more good stuff to the vitamin shake and said that it really helps mask the taste of the multivitamin powder. I bought that too.

The result. I have taken my vitamins all week and with no issue or stress. The little extra money is so worth it to have that stress lifted. I just have to gradually increase my intake over the next few weeks to coincide with my weight and all should be good. I mix the vitamin powder with Simply Apple Juice and it actually tastes good. My bamboo whisk that we got with our DoMatcha tea also has a second purpose now – to mix my vitamins.

To me, the look doesn’t even make it unappealing either…


on June 10th, 2009 by

The article about Dots has been moved to our new Interior Design & Organization blog.

Earth-friendly Products

on April 10th, 2008 by

Over the past couple of months, I have been asked a couple of times which earth-friendly products I use, so I thought I would share my knowledge and experience.

Most of the earth-friendly products we buy for household and personal care are made by 3 companies: Seventh Generation, method, and JASON. The products are petroleum-free, chlorine-free, toxin-free, cruelty-free, and organic (where the option exists). The reasons we buy these products are many and here are some of them:

  • reduce oil consumption by using smaller plastic bottles though concentrated products, using products that do not contain petroleum, and using items that are made with recycled plastic
  • reduce pollution of our water by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like
  • reduce air pollution in our home by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like
  • reduce toxins in our bodies by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like

Seventh Generation: Laundry, Dishwashing, Household cleaners, Household paper and supplies, For Baby, Feminine Care.
Places that I have found the brand: Drugstore, Amazon, Seventh Generation, Gaiam, Babies R Us, and many more

  • Dishwasher Detergent: Free & Clear Automatic Dishwasher Powder
    Our use: We use city water and the detergent cleans the dishes quite well. We only do minimal pre-washing when it is absolutely necessary. There have been a couple of times that there was still food on a dish or two, but it they were cases where the dishes sat in the dishwasher for a week (we only run the dishwasher once a week) and it was a food that likes to harden like concrete when dry.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
    Our use: Cleans well. Major stains are a little rougher to remove, but I think it would be difficult with other cleaners too.
  • Glass and Surface Cleaner
    Our use: Doesn’t evaporate too quickly. I have not experienced any streaking as long as I wipe the cleaner on the windows until dry.
  • 100% Recycled Paper Towels
    Our use: It took a little for my dad to get used to them, but we love them.
  • Recycled Trash Bags
    Our use: Even though I bought the bags a couple months ago, we used our first one last week. It went well. No breaking or leaking and worked just like other kitchen drawstring bags but they are partially made of recycled plastic, so they are better for the environment.

method: Laundry, Dishwashing, Household cleaners, Aircare, Personal care, Cleaning cloths.
Places that I have found the brand: Target (in store), Drugstore, Amazon, and many more. Here is method’s store locator.

  • All-Purpose Cleaner: Spray & All Purpose Cleaner: Wipes
    Our use: It cleans the bathroom and kitchen beautifully. I have a bottle of spray and a container of wipes in each bathroom so a quick clean up can be done at anytime without running around the house trying to find a cleaner. Best part is that my eyes don’t burn when I clean which means that I enjoy it so much more.
  • Daily Shower Spray & Tub + Tile Spray
    Our use: The shower has never been cleaner. Both bottles hang inside the shower. The daily spray minimizes the hard cleaning and the tub and tile spray gets the job done for the good scrubbing. Again, no eye burning and breathing isn’t stifled from chemical – great stuff!
  • Laundry Dryer Cloths, Laundry Fabric Softener & Laundry Detergent
    Our use: I do all of the laundry in one day a week and I use one dryer sheet for all 3 loads. I know that Method says to use one for every 2 loads, however, that 3 load (and sometimes a 4th) doesn’t seem to get short changed with the extended use of one dryer sheet. The detergent gets our clothes cleaned the fabric softener gives the clothes that extra softness and in its concentrated format, uses less water and less plastic. Lots of pluses.
  • Aroma Soy Candle & Aroma Spray
    Our use: Certain scents are better than others and for different times of the season. There haven’t been any scents we don’t like, just ones that are stronger than others. I love the aroma spray for the bathrooms and the candles get used in every room of the house. I have been so happy converting to soy based candles since they are cleaner and healthier. I think there are only a couple of petroleum based candles left in our house and they are usually just tealights since I have not found a soy candle alternative for tealights yet.
  • Microfiber Cloth: Window + Glass
    Our use: I bought this cloth before there were others like it on the market (or at least before they were easy to find). I find that the texture of the cloth works perfectly on windows.
  • Hand wash & Foaming Hand Wash
    Our use: We use these two soap interchangeably. Most of the time though the foaming hand wash is found in the bathroom most used and the thicker hand wash in the other bathrooms. Once we bought a few of the foaming hand wash bottles, we just refill them by adding a certain amount of the thick hand wash with water and lightly shaking to mix. The mixture works perfectly and we are saving money and using healthier cleaning products… woohoo!

JASON: Personal care.
Places that I have found the brand: Vitamin Shoppe (online and in store), Drugstore, Amazon, GNC (online and in store), and many more.

  • Satin Shower Body Wash
    Our use: We have tried many scents and some are stronger than others, but most don’t noticeably hang with you for long. I love the pump feature. Personally, we usually fill a dispenser on the wall, but the pump is still really nice. It cleans. It smells nice. It’s great.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner: Lavender 70% Organic
    Our use: Just bought the Lavender, so I will have to update later on the use. We were using the Tea Tree Scalp Normalizing Shampoo & Conditioner and realized that it was just not necessary and the conditioner was thick. If we had scalp problems, then it might work really well, but I can’t comment on its effectiveness.
  • Toothpaste with Fluoride and CoQ10
    Our use: Cleans teeth well. There are options for no fluoride and no CoQ10 if that is your thing. I however like the fluoride and it works well for me. I have tried most flavors and some flavors are more powerful than others, however, unlike with other toothpastes, I can eat after brushing my teeth and not have my food taste differently because I just brushed my teeth.
  • Red Elements Skin Care: Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 & Hydrating Night Crème
    Our use: Everyday use. I have had no breakouts from the product. The night creme is heavier than the daily lotion, but neither feel like you are wearing anything once it dries. I only thing I notice when I don’t wear the products is that my face feels drier which makes sense.

No More Plastic Bags… Almost

on March 23rd, 2008 by

In the news recently there has been news of many countries and cities banning and taxing the use of plastic bags. I am very excited to see that some places are taking action. We have to reduce our dependence on oil and this is a small step in that direction (actually it is potentially a big step with a majority of compliance). The US, however, has always had problems issuing blanket regulations due to stifling a freedom, states choosing to not follow, or one of many other reasons. We all choose what regulations we want to follow whether a law states it or not. While no one is telling me to, I am choosing to reduce my plastic bag consumption.

Where I live, over the last couple of months, I have seen a slight change in people’s perspectives with regards to the use of plastic bags. I am not saying that there is a significant movement to the non-use of plastic bags, just the acceptance of not using plastic bags.

I did some research and found some wonderful reusable bags at none other than I have bought many different styles over the last two years and I use different styles for different reasons. I will get into the benefits of certain styles of bags in another post.

One of my first experiences using my bags that I bought from was at Wal-Mart. The cashier told me that if I wasn’t going to use plastic bags, that she wasn’t going to bag my groceries. Well, being the non-confrontational person that I am, I told her that I was going to use my bags so I would bag my own groceries. When I came home and told my husband, he said that she was lucky he wasn’t there with me. I think she would have received one heck of a feedback/complaint to her manager on the spot. I did write the details of the encounter on the receipt, but never did call back and complain. Instead over my next couple of trips to Wal-Mart, as I was asking the cashiers to use the non-plastic bags, I would tell them of my unpleasant experience with one of their coworkers. A couple cashiers even told me who they probably thought it was. I never did see the rude cashier again – I would have reported a complaint should it have happened again – maybe she didn’t last long with that awful attitude. She probably gave everyone a hard time about everything.

This experience just fueled my want to change to buying my groceries at someplace other than Wal-Mart. By this time, I had many reasons to not shop at Wal-Mart that I will write a-whole-nother post about. The one reason that I started going to Wal-Mart was a lack of money on our part. I know how evil the Wal-Mart corporation is in their doing of business, so I wouldn’t be going to Wal-Mart because I like the place. I rarely find nice shoppers during my shopping experience. From the people who run into your cart while you are standing still and never apologize to the people sitting outside of the front doors in their running cars looking like they are going to need to do a fast get away but in fact are just too darn lazy to get up off their butt and walk a couple of steps. Luckily, money is better now and I realized that if we modified our food habits that we could afford to shop at a nicer grocery store like Giant, Superfresh, or Food Lion (since those are our only other choices in the way of larger grocery stores).

Now that I have switched my grocery shopping to Giant, I don’t receive any opposition to my cloth and recycled plastic grocery bags. Actually, I don’t even have to ask. All I need to do is put them on the moving belt with the food in the front and they automatically bag the groceries into the cloth bags. In addition to the friendly cashiers, Giant even gives you a credit of $0.03 for each reusable bag you use during your purchase. Some of the lines at Giant were recently converted to Self-Checkout lines – I really enjoy those. There is a person over there that helps you if you need it and not a lot of the people use the lines so there is no waiting time. Plus, I actually love bagging my own groceries. I know how much I can fill each bag up and how heavy they need to be for me to carry. I like putting similar items together and while they do a really good job of that at Giant, I just wasn’t used to good bagging at Wal-Mart – who really wants 2 items per bag, oh maybe it is because the bags will break if they put too many items in or maybe it is just Wal-Mart’s was of being wasteful – that is probably it. I just need to figure out how to put in how many reusable bags I am using and get my credit and I will have mastered the Self-Checkout lines at Giant.

I do have to admit that I haven’t been fully converted to no plastic bags completely – not out of want but necessity (for now). We have 2 cats and I use plastic bags to clean their litter boxes. I haven’t figured out a sanitary way yet of cleaning their cat boxes without the plastic bags. I can say though that over the past 3 months that I haven’t been getting plastic bags at the grocery store at all, I am still going through the plastic bags that I had stock piled. They will eventually run out though, so before they run out, I need to find a solution.

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