City Pulse

By Jen Wos

Welcome back, my green friends. How about a few ways to make our humble abodes greener? Every little bit counts when it comes to cultivating an earth-friendly lifestyle, so here’s round two. When you stop and think about what we’ve accepted to be the norm, and how much those norms can add up to environmental disaster, there’s no way to sit idly by, especially with Earth Day right around the corner. Read on for some great products that can make your home cleaner, greener, and, yes, even cuter.

Product Spotlight: ECOVER™
It’s almost time to start spring cleaning. Why not go phosphate-free? We don’t really need to fertilize our dishes and clothes, so why subject the freshwater fish to harm for whiter, brighter, and cleaner? Especially when all that can be achieved with ECOVER’s line of cleaning products – without producing toxic algae at a lake near you.

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Laundry Wash

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Chemicals. Think about it. We’re putting chemicals on our clothes and then putting them on our bodies. That “fresh air” scent is actually a bunch of chemicals, too. AND, did you know that when a detergent claims to brighten clothes, it does that with optical brighteners (translation: optical illusion!). So, quit trying to see the sailboat in the Magic Eye picture, and do your skin, your clothes and freshwater resources a favor by checking out ECOVER’s Laundry Wash. After testing it, not only does it clean as well as any big name-brand detergent, it also had a refreshing smell and was sensitive skin-friendly. The detergent is made from plant-based ingredients, is completely biodegradable, has a minimum impact on aquatic life and is not tested on animals…plus the bottle is recyclable. So, get that rolling cart ready. You can now be the greenest one at your local laundromat.

Dishwashing Liquid

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Ah, there’s nothing quite like a good pair of dishpan hands, right? Makes you kind of feel like the 50s have returned with household duty tidings. ECOVER’s Dishwashing Liquid can clean and degrease a sink full of dishes with just a squirt. Don’t worry that your sink doesn’t look like a bubble bath; the dishes are getting clean without any chemicals or a nasty residue left behind. Go ahead. Try it in that frying pan that’s been congealing while you live your busy life. It’ll be clean before you know it, and your hands won’t feel like sandpaper when your done, either. All the same environmental perks as the laundry detergent are in these bottles, too.

Check out ECOVER’s entire line of products at a Whole Foods near you, or check out their website at: http://www.ecover.com/us/en/default_home.aspx

Next, we’ll be staying in the kitchen, but moving from the sink to inside the cupboards with glassware from The Green Glass Co.

Choose your own adventure:
1) Drink wine. Throw bottle in recycling bin.
2) Drink wine. Rinse out bottle and put flowers in it. Recycle when flowers die.
3) Drink wine from a goblet from the Green Glass Co. and realize that someone took adventure #2 and ran with it. Drink more wine.

The common denominator here doesn’t have to be wine, though it’ll probably be more interesting if it is. Green Glass Co. had the ingenious idea to reuse reclaimed bottles and turn them into useful and beautiful glassware. I’ll drink to that.

Each collection inspires a different mood and style. You’re sure to find one that matches your kitchen’s spirit. For example, this Goblet was made from the upper portion of a cobalt Bordeaux bottle. It’s classy, yet simple, perfect for “a bottle of red, a bottle of white, whatever kind of mood you’re in tonight.”

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Or these Cactus Tumblers, which just make you wish every day was Cinqo de Mayo.

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It’ll bring the summer fun just a little bit earlier.

Looking for somewhere to put a few flowers or float a tea light? Here, bed springs and a California chardonnay bottle combine to form a beautiful Spring Table Vase, elegant for any tabletop.

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Find these and many, many more styles at www.greenglass.com. You can also search for a retailer near you. Cheers!

Look down. What do you see? Tile? Wood? Linoleum? Ah, but do you have Flor™?

Before you start scratching your noodle, let me explain. Flor can bring you the freedom you always wanted in rugs and carpets. Whether you want wall-to-wall, a customized areas rug or anything in between, Flor’s modular system can deliver. Each rug tile is 19.7in. x 19.7 in. (50cm x 50cm), which means that you can mix and match colors and styles to create a truly one-of-a-kind rug for your home.

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Simply choose the style you want. Once your Flor arrives, use the FLORDots™ to stick the tiles together without ruining the real floor below. No one wants to lose a security deposit over a rug! Rearrange and play with the patterns to your heart’s content. You can even cut the tiles to fit awkward areas.

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Flor is committed to quality rugs made from renewable fibers and post-consumer recycled backing, as well as making sure that their company doesn’t negatively impact the environment, which means once you’re ready for some new Flor, you can recycle the old tiles. Great for indoors or out, you can finally get the a rug that suits you and fits perfectly. See www.flor.com for more information.

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Well, that’s all for now, but there’s plenty more where that came from. I think this green movement is really snowballing (pun intended) into something big, something we all need to take part in. Do what you can. And stay tuned for more ways to go green with Part 3. Ciao!

Originally published April 2008
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