Archive for March, 2009

Eco Scrubby Sponges

March 31st, 2009

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I think this is a post that many of you will feel the same way about.  

We all have something in our lives that I call an “eco-sin.”   It’s basically something you know isn’t the greenest choice, but you still purchase or do this thing because it’s just something you HAVE to have or HAVE to do.     For some, it might be driving an SUV because you have a large family you need to transport around.    For me, it’s my unwillingness to give up my Brillo sponges.

I like Brillo sponges for one reason only: it has a scrubby side.  I NEED the scrubby side to get rid of baked on messes on dishes and pans and to wipe down countertops and scummy surfaces all over the house.  My theory is this: if you don’t use harmful cleaning products to clean with, what’s wrong with using just one petro-based, non-biodegradable sponge?

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The greenest choice for sponges has always been cellulose sponges, which are made from cellulosic fiber and are biodegradable.  They are pretty easy to find, but are without the scrubby side.      So, here to the rescue is an eco sponge that is 100% biodegradable from Twist.   It’s cellulosic sponge on one side, and LOOFAH (genius!) on the other side.  So you can scrub away and not feel guilty at the same time.

I found these sponges at Food Network star Tyler Florence’s shop in  Mill Valley, CA (read about his store tomorrow), but you can also find them near you by visiting twistclean.com

Contest: Win GreenGlass Boylan Tumblers!

March 30th, 2009

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CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.  GOOD LUCK!  WINNER WILL BE NOTIFIED TODAY AND ANNOUNCED MONDAY.

 

I’ve been a fan of this company GreenGlass for at least a decade now and I am so happy that their business has been booming!   This company takes old glass  bottles—soda pop, beer, wine bottles—and uses a patented process to cut them in half, smooth out of the edges, and transform them into truly functional and fun tumblers.   They also make intricate wine glasses, too…which fuses two pieces of a glass bottle together into a a true conversation piece.

In my April Better Homes and Gardens column, I pick my top eco product picks and naturally chose the Green Glass Boylan soda pop tumblers.  I just love the retro and cool look of the finished recycled product and thought how fun it would be to give away a set of (4) glasses right here on this blog.

To enter:  How would you entertain friends or family with these new glasses?    Be sure to leave your email address in the form (will not be published) so we can contact you if you win.

Contest closes Friday.

GOOD LUCK!

Only in San Francisco

March 27th, 2009

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Happy Friday!

I’m in San Francisco for a long, extended, vacation of a whole, luxurious, amazing….. 1 day.

We just wrapped a gorgeous and amazing eco kid’s birthday party story in the middle of the Redwood Forests yesterday and it’ll be out in the July issue of Parents magazine.   I wish I could share pictures with you, but that would totally not be fair to the army of stylists, editors, photographer, assistants and cute-as-can-be kids who starred in the shoot.  

That said, since I was about to pass out from the shoot yesterday, I thought I’d spend the day in San Francisco today scouting for interesting stores, cafes, etc.     Care to share any hot spots that are ONLY in San Francisco? 

Would love to hear!

And while I’m here, be sure to come back Monday for an exciting contest!   We’ll go back to giving away prizes on this blog on Monday!

Window Shopping

March 26th, 2009

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Last week in Seattle, I spent a few days filming a podcast for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program.   The day we wrapped, I found myself with a few hours to see downtown Seattle a bit and thought I’d share some interesting eco-shopping finds.

Over at Anthropologie (who will be carrying my Wholearth Bath and Beauty line this Spring!), they had a lovely and very clever “beehive” made entirely out of old plastic bags and pages from books and magazines.    While inexpensive to make, I can only imagine the hours of time that went into making this incredibly imaginative creation.

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Here’s a close up shot of the layers of plastic, newspaper and other mixed media to make this beehive.    I’ve been told by employees at Anthropologie that they often get asked (correction: BEGGED) by customers to let them purchase visual displays.   Not sure where on Earth someone could put a giant beehive in their house…but funny how the few things NOT for sale in a store are the ones people beg to buy.

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Well, speaking of outdoor homes…over at World Market they had these adorable bamboo bird houses that I thought would be fun to hang in the trees at my house.   As you may recall, I have a 40-year-old bamboo grove on the property and have been trying to figure out things to do with it, since it needs to be pruned and kept in check.  Maybe I’ll try to make one of these…

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Speaking of bamboo…World Market also had these interesting printed bamboo area rugs.    I’m trying to keep things at a minimum in my house, so I’m on a “no busy pattern/color” phase right now and sticking with neutrals whenever I can…. but for someone trying to achieve a boho look in their home, these might be a nice eco addition.

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A close-up of the tag in case any of you are interested in buying it.

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Super cute “pigs” made out of rolled up newspaper.   A magnet is glued to the side so they can be functional on a refrigerator (although, my stainless fridge is not magnetic…maybe yours is?).   

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Summertime service ware !  All recycled glass and they come with rattan cozies, which will help with condensation.  The glasses are removable from their sleeve for easy clean-up, too.    Just $2.99 for a tumbler.  Not bad at all.

Energy Star Shoot

March 25th, 2009

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Last week, I was in Seattle working with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program to film a new educational podcast that will debut on Earth Day (April 22) this year.     It was a long 2-day shoot where we shot tips, ideas and showed behind the scenes areas how businesses (like hotels, office buildings, hospitals, schools) can tune-up their buildings to be as energy efficient as possible.    I learned SO MUCH on the shoot that I feel like a walking billboard when it comes to Energy Star’s program now.  All in all, it was a fun shoot. 

Here I am in an Energy Star rated building in Seattle talking about how buildings DO NOT need to be new to qualify for Energy Star.   In fact, one of the oldest buildings that recently qualified for Energy Star was built in 1830…  How do I know this?  Because the fact is stuck in brain from the script! 

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Pic is a little blurry… but here’s the team behind the shoot:  Liv (who wrote the script and pretty much directed and produced the whole thing), Lauren from Energy Star (who flew in from Washington, DC…so we had lots to talk about since I used to live there, too) and Kathleen (who I called “the other Asian” and was a great help on the shoot, too).

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I’ve done lots of TV shoots over my life and this was a first for me:  LED lighting for the entire shoot.  I’m used to giant light fixtures being brought in to light up rooms, which usually means I’m baking under very hot, very inefficient lights.  But the crew used these new fixtures made entirely from LED bulbs, which do not get hot and cast a very clean, bright white light on the shoot.    I was so happy to be working under these LED lights; it just made for a more pleasant shoot (not to mention a greener one!)

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Hello, Mimi!    We shot the whole thing in high-def, so it was important to have a great makeup artist/groomer. Usually on shoots, I spend the most time with the makeup artist since she’s in charge of making sure I don’t look tired on camera!   Mimi’s following me on twitter….  hello!

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We got to go to some pretty amazing locations for the shoot, like the roof of the building and inside the belly of the building to see all the systems and machines that work to keep the building, well, working.   I was amazed how clean and meticulous this whole area was.  I wish my basement was this colorful and shiny clean!

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And after two days of filming (all digital filming, I might add!), it all goes into the edit bay for careful editing.   Liv will do her magic and put together a wonderful podcast that I’ll share with all of you on Earth Day, right here on Daily Danny.