This is the first in a new series of monthly columns featuring green products. Above, bluetooth speakers from House of Marley feature bamboo facing.
Jan. 8, 2020
It only takes one glance at the headlines to see this planet is in need of some serious attention so when you’re shopping this year, vote with your dollars by supporting companies that are doing some good. To help you do that, we're kicking off a series sharing green products we've discovered - every month!
In our first installment, below are products made by folks who truly care about Mother Earth, just as you do. Together, we can make a difference in 2020!
If you’ve been thinking of going solar but don’t have the funds or wherewithal to do it, there’s a new way to get started without breaking the bank. BioLite’s SolarHome 620 is an all-in-one kit that is just the right size for a shed or small cabin or even as a backup electric system for your home in case of a power outage. It comes complete with a six watt solar panel, battery backup, three hanging LED lights (one with a motion sensor) and MP3 Player with FM Radio.
BioLite began with a goal of bringing energy everywhere with their innovative Camp Stove that cuts fuel consumption in half and reduces toxic emissions by 90 percent, all while charging mobile phones or LED lights. Their products are marketed to outdoor enthusiasts and the revenue from those sales are reinvested to help bring inexpensive energy solutions to impoverished families in India and Africa. The company has impacted more than 660,000 people in developing nations with their energy and cooking solutions. Watch a video about it here.
Electronics are one of the most-prolific waste products in our landfills, especially because last year’s innovation is this year’s out-of-date trash. The House of Marley aims to fix that problem by creating innovative audio products made from recycled or sustainable materials that are also recyclable themselves. Their headphone pads, turntable beds and other soft goods are made from recycled silicon. Speaker fronts are crafted from bamboo, packaging is recycled cardboard and other components are similarly sustainable. The company produces a myriad of nifty gadgets that would please any audiophile such as bluetooth speakers ($30-280), bamboo turntables ($200-250) and headphones (from $15 - 250). Check them out at TheHouseofMarley.com.
Another company that is doing something positive on the electronics scene is Nimble. The company’s phone chargers made from a combination of plants (corn, hemp, coffee beans) and recycled water bottles were one of the top picks in our recent Men’s Holiday Gift Guide. Nimble’s 5-day portable can charge a standard phone 80 percent in just 30 minutes and it holds enough amperage (13,000 mAh) for four more days of charging. Their wireless stand charger has an extra standard USB port as well as a mini-C USB port (for cameras and many bluetooth ear/headphones) so you can charge multiple devices at one time.
But Nimble is more than just products. They are trying to change the way that consumers and manufacturers think about our devices. According to Nimble’s co-founder Ross Howe, Nimble will recycle responsibly one pound of e-waste for every product sold. They even pay the shipping. Find out more at GoNimble.com.
Now it’s a snap to grow fresh, delicious, healthy superfoods right at your fingertips. The Hamama Grow Kit and Seed Quilts are a garden for your kitchen counter, windowsill or even at the office. Grow a wide variety of microgreens with just a few simple steps.
Hamama was founded by Camille Richman and Daniel Goodman to help create a world where anyone can grow and eat fresh food as a part of a healthy lifestyle routine. Their own experience as MIT mechanical engineers and agricultural researchers made them realize that growing yummy microgreens didn’t have to be complicated. The Hamama makes it easy! A recent study at the University of Maryland shows that microgreens contain 4 to 40 times more nutrients than their mature counterparts.
Choose from a variety of microgreen kits including Hearty Broccoli, Spicy Daikon Radish, Energizing Kale, Earthy Clover and several others. Just fill the Hamama tray with water, add a pre-made seed quilt and then harvest your delicious microgreens in about a week! Add to your sandwiches, salads, main dishes and more. Starter Kit is $35 with free shipping. Optional bamboo or ceramic frame. Refill Seed Quilts are about $5 each. Subscription available so they arrive automatically around the first of each month, which makes a perfect gift. Great for classrooms too! Go to Hamama.com to watch a video about the product and place an order.
Savvy Rest's organic cotton sateen sheets are made with the finest organic cotton available and it’s super tough to last years and years. Top sheets and pillowcases are hemmed with a narrow pleat. They feature a natural cream color with a smooth, soft feel, luxurious 300 count and GREENGUARD Gold Certification, which must meet stringent standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air. The added GOLD-level certification includes additional requirements for vulnerable populations, such as children and the elderly. Made in the USA by Savvy Rest, an employee-owned certified B Corp and also Global Organic Texture Standard rated. Savvy helps support the environment by donating trees for every purchase made plus they give pillows to help victims of domestic violence. To date, they have donated more than 23,000 trees and more than 3,000 pillows! Savvy Organic Sheet Set, $129 in queen size at SavvyRest.com.
Going green is a journey and we all learn as we go. Who would have thought that the fuzzy polyester and nylon plush jackets, robes and blankets that we all bought as an alternative to wool would actually be major contributors to microplastics in our oceans? Ocean Conservancy, a major watchdog for cleaner water, reports microfibers have become one of the most commonly detected types of microplastic debris in water samples, found in headwater streams, rivers, soils, lakes, sediments, ocean water, the deep sea, arctic sea ice, seafood, table salt and most recently, public drinking water. So instead of buying more synthetic products for your home, opt for Elm West’s all 100 percent organic cotton Plise Blankets in queen ($100) or king ($130). Soft, subtle and stylish with a lightly puckered finish that looks lovely on the bed or draped over a couch or chair. Certified to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). 230-thread-count. At Elm West stores in Dallas and Fort Worth or at ElmWest.com.
Monarch Watch is a nonprofit program based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly. If you love Monarchs as much as we do, check out the group’s gift shop that helps to support their education, conservation, and research initiatives. A few of our fav’s are the Monarch Waystation Certification and Yard Sign ($33), Milkweed Village T-shirts ($19) and Monarch Rearing Kit ($18) that contains real monarch larvae (caterpillars) and rearing instructions. The babies arrive in small cups and must be transferred to milkweed plants or leaves to feed, so be sure that you have those plants available to them. Your child’s school or other organization can also apply to receive a flat of 50 free milkweed plants to help create a Monarch Butterfly Habitat and Waystation. Application here. MonarchWatch.org.
COLOR ME GREEN
That sentiment is reflected even in the latest trends in paint colors. Behr Paint’s 2020 Color of the Year is Back to Nature, a muted green with hints of yellow that mimic dried grasses stretching out on a Texas prairie.
“As we look ahead to a new decade, Back To Nature encourages us to reengage with the natural world, which we know can have a real, positive impact on our well-being,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and creative services at Behr. “Everyone has a different way of engaging with nature. Whether you’re biking on a forest path, canoeing on a lake or walking on the beach, green is prevalent in nearly every outdoor landscape - it is easily nature’s favorite color.”
It’s our’s too, here at GreenSourceDFW! Find Behr’s Premium Plus no-VOC paints, GREENGUARD GOLD Certified for low chemical emissions, at Home Depot for around $32/gallon. Visit Behr.com for more info.
If you’re planning on redecorating this spring, why not update your walls with Sola-Tile, a cool new felt wall covering made from 50 percent recycled plastic bottles. These mid-century modern looking felt tiles are available in 15 colors and 6 size/shapes and are only 5/8-inch thick which makes them idea as a bulletin board, to cover a damaged wall or just to look amazing.
Originally developed for use by architects and designers as a noise-absorbing material, the tiles have a Noise Reduction Coefficient of .35 which means they absorb more sound than an inch thick of polyurethane foam. Excellent to dampen sound in a bedroom, den, nursery, office or classroom, they are also helping the environment with every purchase. Each tile contains the equivalent of 4 water bottles - effectively removing them from the waste stream.
You can choose from one of Sola-Tile’s professionally designed layouts, start with a 1,2 or 3 color template, or customize an order to your own needs. Sample box available for $4.99. 12-inch-by-12-inch tiles are $6.99 each. Standard shipping is free when your order total is more than $60. Sola-Tile.com.
Next month - see our green valentine gifts for your sweetie!
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