Posts Tagged ‘green household’

Bamboo has long been regarded as an eco-friendly material but how green are bamboo clothes

Bamboo has long been regarded as an eco-friendly material because of its amazing green attributes: It can grow with few pesticides and little water. This is the view of Lotus Organics, who in their usual full and frank style have investigated the industry and presented their finding on their informative Organic Clothing Blog. It is always a great read for anyone with an interest in the greening of the rag trade. None more so than their current peek at bamboo.
Michael Lackman of Lotus concludes, “The growing of bamboo is environmentally friendly but the manufacturing of bamboo into fabric raises environmental and health concerns because of the strong chemical solvents used to cook the bamboo plant into a viscose solution that is then reconstructed into cellulose fiber for weaving into yarn for fabric.”
We also admire them for bravely pointing out that the ISO 140001 and Oeko-Tex standards, while useful in their spheres of influence (management and human health respectively) do not, on their own, indicate sustainable textile practices
Along with palms, bamboos are one of the world’s most important building materials, particularly in areas where timber trees are in short supply. Large timber bamboos, including Dendrocalamus giganteus and Bambusa oldhamii are used for scaffolding, bridge-building, water pipes, storage vessels and to build houses. In fact, as a building material bamboo plays an important role in almost every country in which it occurs. In Burma and Bangladesh, about fifty percent of the houses are made almost entirely of bamboo. In Java, woven bamboo mats and screens are commonly used in timber house frames. With modern polymer glues and bonding cements, bamboos are made into plywood, matboard and laminated beams.

The wooden sword called a “shinai” used in the Japanese martial art of kendo is made from longitudinal strips of strong bamboo culms. Several strips are tightly bound together with string. There are many weapons made from bamboo, including bows and arrows and sharpened bamboo stakes. In Sumatra, native hunters fashion blowguns (blowpipes) from bamboo culms to shoot deadly poison darts.
Giant pandas are completely dependent on bamboo for food, and they require enormous quantities of it. Because of a rather inefficient digestive system compared with other herbivores, giant pandas may consume up to 85 pounds (38 kg) of bamboo per day. Pandas digest about twenty percent of the bamboo they consume, while cattle can digest sixty percent of their intake. Pandas will eat other species of bamboo but apparently prefer the kinds that grow wild in their native habitat, including Himalayacalamus, Fargesia, Drepanostachyum and Sinarundinaria, all native to Yunnan, Tibet, Nepal and northern India. Pandas once roamed over a wide range in southern China. Before the fertile valleys became farmland, they could move from one area to another to find a variety of bamboos. Now they are restricted to isolated mountain regions in which there are relatively few species of bamboo. This habitat isolation is a potentially serious problem when bamboo species that giant pandas depend on suddenly flower and die.
Bamboos are very important plants, both ecologically and economically. They are one of the most useful and valuable plants for people and provide the primary diet for giant pandas. Giant pandas are indigenous to mountain forests of small, cold-tolerant bamboos in the Yunnan province of southern China. Although they have a carnivorous ancestry and are members of the bear family (Ursidae), giant pandas have evolved a vegetarian diet of bamboos and eat the entire shoots, leaves and stems. The Himalayan red panda also feeds on bamboos along with a variety of other plants. It belongs to the family Procyonidae along with American racoons, coatimundis and ringtails.
Bamboos are very useful plants throughout the Old and New World tropics. It has been estimated that they are used by more than half of the world’s human population every day. According to A. Lewington , more than 1000 different products are made from bamboo. Bamboo shoots are edible and are a major component of Asian dishes. Since fresh shoots are more flavorful than canned, bamboo farms have been established in the United States. In Tanzania, “bamboo wine” is made from the fermented juice of the wine bamboo. Although bamboo shoots are tender and weak, they grow very rapidly. In fact, there are records of tropical bamboos growing 100 feet in three months, an astonishing 0.0002 miles per hour! When the shoots leaf out in sunlight they become very strong and woody.Some bamboos stems have the same tensile strength as certain types of steel and are used to reinforce concrete. After about ten years the stems begin to deteriorate in humid tropical regions. Bamboo canes are used to make cooking utensils, blow guns, toys and furniture. Bamboo pulp is used to make paper, and small, polished stem segments are sometimes used in necklaces.
Reeds and bamboos are very significant plants in the development and evolution of musical wind instruments. Different lengths and widths of the hollow culms produce the light airy sounds of small sikus or zampoñas and the deep bass notes of Bolivian toyos. Some of the world’s most beautiful music is produced by these relatively crude instruments. Panpipes have also been made in France and the Balkan countries, primarily from the reed Arudo donax collected in marshlands of the Danube delta.


Energy Saving Products, Energy Saving Appliances

New Energy Saving Appliances Can Make Real Money For You.
The Old Saying goes “a dollar saved is a dollar earned”.

Check out these great new energy saving money ideas for your home or business.

Machines from the USA. Fully guaranteed when run on alternative energy power.
These Staber Washing Machines are the most efficient washers available based on energy, water and detergent usage claims the US distributor “Big Frog Mountain”. It operates similar to a front load washer except you maintain top loading convenience. Used in commercial environments such as Nursing Homes, Restaurants, Salons, Fire Stations and Dry Cleaners. Staber Washers can save the average family of three doing eight loads per week over $300 each year in water, energy and detergent costs ( which is around $0.70 less expensive per load than a traditional top load agitator washer).

The savings come from being a robust commercial design for longer life. The machines use less water, meaning less water heating costs. Tubs are shaped to create a passive pumping action to clean clothes more effectively and a high spin speed drying action dries your clothes using less electricity.

No Fuel Needed with the Energy Saving Products, Energy Saving Appliances. A FREE Energy Outdoor Appliance
(From Sun Oven International)

Slow cooking cycle produces the best tasting meals and you reduce your carbon footprint as a FREE bonus.

The Sun Oven bakes, boils or steams in the natural way. Anything that is cooked in a
Conventional Gas or Electric Oven can be cooked in a Sun Oven. Solar Oven cooking traps and retains all the natural flavors of food plus all those wonderful juices which get baked out using convention dry heat style ovens. The slow, even rise in temperature in a Sun Oven gives the complex carbohydrates time to break down into simple sugars allowing those incredible subtle natural flavors to emerge!! Sun baked foods stay moist. The natural internal juices do not bake out resulting in a superior moist taste with much less shrinkage. The Global Sun Oven is so versatile, so brilliantly designed and so easy to use.

Solar Hybrid Ovens Use Up To 75% Less Electricity. An Energy Miser that operates on FREE solar electricity or normal power after dark.

The low amperage infrared heaters make the Hybrid Solar Cooking Oven as safe and reliable to use as your own household Electric Oven. Hybrid energy efficient Infrared Heaters use 75% less electricity than your own electric Oven! This amazing outdoor appliance can be plugged into any standard electrical outlet to let you continue cooking on cloudy days or in the evening, 365 days a year and uses only 200 watts on low and 400 watts set on high when plugged in. Distributed by the Sun BD Corporation. Sun Oven

Do You Want a Refrigerator or Freezer that runs for FREE.

Sun Frost Refrigerators have the answer. – Available in 12V or 24V DC. Perfect for your Boat, home and runs off any Solar Powered System. Along with energy efficiency, the Sun Frost offers other advantages not found in the conventional Refrigerators including food-saving high humidity storage, quiet operation and an easy to clean interior. With it’s clean uninterrupted lines and choice of more than 100 colors and numerous natural wood finishes, the custom built Sun Frost Refrigerator adds elegance to every kitchen. For the past 19 years, the Sun Frost Refrigerators/Freezers have been used in over 50 countries and have an excellent track record. Sun Frost units are ruggedly constructed and will provide many years of reliable operation even in the harshest environments.

II – Power Saving Products

New Energy Saving, Brighter, Whiter Flood Light. (From Lifetronics)
A New Special Lens Reduces Yellow Light that lasts twice as long as standard Halogen Lamps. X-tra Life Halogen Lamp

Lower wattage Extra-Life lamps replace higher wattage Incandescent Lamps yielding energy savings that benefit you and our Planet. Standard Halogen Lamps last up to only 2,500 hours whereas Xtra-Life Halogen Lamps last twice as long (5,000 hours) giving significant savings on lamp and labor costs. It maintains a consistent light level throughout life and experience only minimal decreases in brightness.“green energy lights”

Solar Powered Attic Fans – Free Heat Removal From Your Loft Saves you Big Bucks on Air Conditioning.

A Solar Powered Attic Fan is an environmentally friendly way to cool and protect your attic and roof. The Solar Powered Attic Fan will save you up to 30% on your cooling costs. During the hot Summer months, the temperature in your Attic can exceed 160 degrees. Small passive Roof vents are often woefully inadequate at dissipating this heat. The attic acts like a giant radiator passing excess heat back into your living spaces, driving temperatures and cooling costs through the roof. In cold climates the heat trapped in your attic in the Winter months can even melt the snow that accumulates on your roof. As the water trickles down, it can re-freeze at the cooler eaves leading to destructive and costly ice-damming. Any good Attic Fan installation will improve your comfort level and should pay for itself within 3 years. “Solar Powered Attic Fans “

III – Water Saving Products

April Shower Heads –
Save water, Save energy and Develop a Richer soap and Shampoo Lather for Softer Hair and Reduced Dry Skin.

April Shower Filters use energy Saver Heads utilizing KDFTM Technology as the filtration media. KDFTM is a compound of granulated copper and zinc that removes chlorine, iron oxides, hydrogen sulfide and traces of heavy metals. It is a bacteriostatic media that inhibits the growth of e-coli, mould and other bacteria. In the presence of hot water, KDFTM literally becomes catalyzed to perform more efficiently therefore it is the most efficient state-of-the-art technology for shower and bath filtration.“April Shower Heads “

Do You Have Long Waits For Hot Water?
Combining an Instant Hot Water System with your normal system could be the answer.

Get Instant Hot Water and Save Water, Save Energy, Save Money.

An Instant Hot Water System (a high performance pump, integrated Controller and Electronic Zone Valve) requires no special plumbing.

It is designed for use with any hot water heating system to provide energy savings and water savings. It is easy to install in new or existing homes or businesses.

Enjoy savings of energy and water plus extend the life of water heaters. A local Instant Hot Water System gives you an excellent return on your investment.

Since eight out of ten homes have long waits for hot water at one or more fixtures, it is easy to see the added convenience and cost savings of local temperature controlled instant hot water delivery system to your hot taps & fixtures.
Some Other Energy Saving Products “Solar Powered Products”

Eco Friendly 911Restoration

As an eco friendly company, 911Restoration is dedicated to safeguard the environment. We do our best by using eco friendly materials in our applications as well as introducing an eco friendly, environmentally responsible cleaning products.
Cleaning chemicals affect the health and safety of the individual who uses it and those who frequent the attended area. There is an impact on the environment in total when using abrasives and acids too.
In the long term, using such materials will cause unpredicted sickness, where one experiences dizziness, headaches, fatigue and more, seemingly without a reason.
Our Bio-Based Cleaning products resolve many of these issues. We make sure to use materials which comply or exceed our environmental standards for general purpose, bathroom, kitchen, carpet and glass cleaners.
Hundreds of people, schools and health care facilities are presently using these natural products and experiencing positive results.
This new Natural Cleaning Technology has some significant advantages:
• These products reach higher levels of performance and quality.
• Chemicals which are the primary cause for dangerous diseases such as Cancer, Asthma, Migraine are not used.
• Reduced toxicity
• No environmental destruction
• Improved indoor air quality
• Use these products for better health and increased quality of life.
Our current product line offers different high performance cleaning products for your home and professional use, while using certified eco friendly cleaning products proven to be better for human health, your family and the environment.

Indoor Plants Good For Your Health

Indoor plants are just as popular as furniture, aside from the aesthetic value they provide your home with, there are also health benefits. Primary school science class tells us that plants cleanse the air through utilizing the carbon dioxide and producing more oxygen. Here are some information on how to care for your indoor plants to gain the best health and aesthetic benefits.
1. Most indoor plants need good lighting. You can provide this through natural lighting in the room or electric lighting. Darker leaved plants usually do not need as much light as others.
Here are some varieties of plants (usually those that only require medium to low light) that are known to be suitable for indoor gardening:
* African violets
* Boston ferns
* Creeping Fig
* Cyclamens
* Orchids
* Philodendrons
2. A basic mistake most people make in indoor gardening is they tend to over-water the plants, which may lead to rotting roots. Make sure to research the type of plant you have, because each kind of plant varies on the water it needs.
3. Pick out good quality and attractive container for your indoor plants. Make sure that the pot is clean before placing your new plant into it to prevent infection and to encourage healthy growth.
4. With indoor gardening, humidity is a big issue. The amount of moisture in the air has effect on the growth of the plants. During mornings, you could spray the plants with water for their much-needed moisture. Make sure the leaves don’t get covered in dust.
5. Just like watering, fertilizing depends on the type of plant. If you have managed to supply your indoor garden with the right amount of light, water and humidity, fertilization may not need much attention. A good indoor organic fertilizer can be bought from most home depot or garden stores.

Indoor Plants: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Caring for Houseplants

Special Report: Potatoes To Plastics

Something exciting is under way in the world of plastics, and it could redefine Maine’s role in a “green” economy. News 8’s Jon Camp reports.

“NO! Thank You To Plastic Bags! By Tom Husnik

It has always irritated me when I go to the supermarket or a department store to see hundreds of people still accepting to use plastic bags to bring home their various purchases. Not only is it still acceptable but it also tolerated and no one gives it a second thought. Merchants always provide you a plastic bag to help you bring home your groceries, shoes, or new handbag. When will the retailers realize that they spend about $4 billion annually on plastic bags? They then pass this extra cost on to the consumer. The time has come to start saying; “NO! Thank you.

Then tell the manager that they should start using bio degradable bags and that you like shopping their but if another store in the aria starts using bio bags you your friends and family will be shopping their.It will take a lot of people to push stores into the change if not just how long will it continue. Remember you are doing it for your children and grandchildren.Store offers biodegradable bags.

With all of the documentation concerning plastic bags one being that they aren’t biodegradable and that they actually break down into smaller toxic particles I ask myself why are we still using them? This process is called photodegradation.Another well documented fact about plastic bags is that thousands of sea turtles, birds, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating plastic bags which they mistake for food. The Plastic Vortex, or what is sometimes referred to as the “Eighth Continent”, is an area of the Pacific Ocean containing an estimated 4,000,000 tons of floating plastic waste in a mass that is twice the size of Texas, over 1,000 times bigger than Hong Kong, or nearly four times as large as Japan.
Meanwhile it is admirable to see that some companies such as National Grocers based out of Canada are doing their part in reducing the use of plastic bags and eliminating as much as possible their use in grocery stores by the end of the year 2009. Luckily hundreds of other companies around the world have started to get on board.

If we all started using bio degradable bags or a handbag just to carry home our purchases our environment and future generations would thank us. Have you considered that maybe if we all started doing our little bit by not using plastic bags we would help to save our greatest treasure earth.Green Products.

Protecting Your Family By Going Green

My journey to Go Green started when I noticed that my son was getting sick more often than he was healthy. We already had him tested for allergies and were well aware of his cat, dog, pollen and ragweed allergies. We had addressed those issues, placed allergy free pillows and pillow cases on his bed and yet he still suffered from unexplained headaches, sniffles, coughs and occasional sneezing.

What’s a parent to do? I scrubbed and disinfected my home, only to find that his symptoms had not lessened, they actually seemed to increase. Could my home be the culprit? Could I be sitting in a toxic quagmire and not even realize it?

The truth of the matter is yes and no, my home itself was no more toxic than my nieghbors home, than the local school, hospital or daycare. But something in my home was most definitely causing his chronic illness. So what was causing my son this level of physical distress?

After a process of elimination I started to read the labels on my everyday household cleaning products. WOW, have you ever taken a look at them? The brands you know and have probably used since childhood are chock full of chemicals. Your carpet cleaner, your window cleaner, your bathroom cleaner, your dishwashing detergent, your laundry detergent, your multi-surface cleaner. These chemicals can be affecting your health and the health of your family.

I found a way to convert my home into a chemical free haven and in the process found that we were actually helping the environment, along with our own health. This began the process of our home GOING GREEN. Besides the obvious change of removing all of the chemical based home products, we also switched to things like a water purifier instead of bottled water. We use bamboo fiber wash cloths and towels. We conserve energy by lowering the thermostat, taking shorter showers, and we are sure to RECYCLE every single item that we can.

By Going Green you can not only help the environment and future generations, you will be improving your own health and that of your families. Converting your home is easy with the right information. Visit my website and sign up for a free Go Green webinar to get the information you need to do a total home conversion. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and your family.

About The Author
Sherry Goode is a business owner and mother of two children. She is passionate about environmental issues and believes that we all can and should convert our homes and go green to make a difference.