Monday, January 05, 2009

House Updated

Here's a video of the house as of about 2 weeks ago. We've unpacked some more and I'll add more videos as we go along. We still have things to do, but I thought you guys would like to see our progress. The baby's room is no where near ready, and is pretty much in the same state you see it here. I figure we'll get it done last minute.

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 02, 2009

2008 Environmental Products I Loved

Happy New Year everyone!

As a follow-up to last years environmentally friendly products I loved I thought I'd do another one for 2008. We have continued our quest to reduce our carbon footprint in so many ways. While we're not always successful I thought I'd share this year's fave finds.

I think there are 2 that top our list this year. The first of the two is a vegtable/fruit wash. We have used both Biokleen's Produce Wash and Veggie Wash. It has really made a difference in getting our fruits and vegtables cleaner then ever before. It even takes off the waxes and pesticides left behind when farmers preserve these items. I don't really know what we did before we had this, but I'm sure glad we found it. As an added bonus all of the ingredients in these washes are all natural.

The other of the 2 was NO VOC paints. When we bought the house I made it my crusade not to bring too many chemicals into the house. Besides being pregnant, Rob, Jonah & Eli all suffer from various degrees of allergies. We needed to be as smart as we could be, within our budget, about the things we used to refurbish this house. David (my brother) pointed me in the direction of many articles written on-line, but also pointed out that he had read Lowe's brand Olympic paints have been rated up there with the best of the best at an extremely affordable price. I did my pricing and he was right. Lowe's came out the cheapest hands down. What was even more surprising was that they had well over 250 color choices and the coverage of the paint could compete with any of the VOC paints out there. If you are looking to paint one room or your whole house I cannot recommend enough trying the no VOC Olympic paints at Lowe's. In case you are wondering we were able to even buy the no VOC primer, trim and ceiling paint too. As a reminder when you do paint with a VOC paint although you cannot smell the chemicals after a few weeks studies have shown they linger in your home for up to 3 years.

Next on our list of favorite environmental products is toilet paper. Yes you read correctly. I figured since this was something we weren't going to stop using ever, I'd find one that was safer for our planet. I tried Seventh Generation and am pleasently surprised at how comparable it is to the 2-ply we used to use. You can find it at many stores included Whole Foods, but I've found ordering it on-line to be cheaper.

I couldn't get myself to try cloth wipes for the tushies, so I thought I'd try Seventh Generation wipes as an alternative to the Pampers Sensitive we were using. Although I still have Pampers around to get rid of, we are definitely going to be switching to the Seventh Generation wipes with baby girl. Now if only I could get Eli to potty train. (Yes, we are going to be cloth diapering baby girl, so if you need any advice in this arena e-mail me.)

For those of you giving kids a bath, and those children have sensitive skin I want to recommend Aura Cacia Baby Body Wash & Shampoo. They also have foaming Kids Wash and Shampoo, but that doesn't seem to be tear free which can be a deal breaker. I'm happy to say though, that both have not had reactions to this brand which is a major plus in our house.

Although, this can be expensive I've discovered a luxurious organic clothing brand. It's called Blue Canoe. I only own 2 items from them, but I will be ordering more from their sales as soon as I can. Their organic cotton is absolutely the softest thickest cotton I've ever experienced.

Getting away from plastic toys in your house? I highly recommend anything from Plan Toys. We were lucky enough to get 2 items in our house this year and the boys adore them. They are well made, non-toxic, green friendly toys. They're available at many different big retailers including Barnes & Noble.

Well, in a year when I do this again I hope to be able to tell you about more great green products I love. We're even scoping out organic formula for the baby. If all else fails and you can't go green the way you'd like remember that every little bit helps. It doesn't have to be everything, but anything is better then nothing.

Happy New Year everyone!