Thursday, May 15, 2008

Green Vacation

We are leaving for vacation for couple of weeks. Of course, besides the usual preparations, we are trying to figure it out what can we do to stay green while away. Here are some simple “green” things you can do when in vacation:

1. Leave the house in a “green” state: turn off lights, turn off the water heater, turn off the air conditioning, unplug any things you use daily (e.g., clock, battery charger, razor, monitor, etc.). Leave on only your alarm system.
2. Try to find a green hotel or, even better, rent an apartment – in this way you can be like home. The green hotels are usually a little more expensive than normal ones and than rental apartments.
3. Even you rent an apartment/cabin/house or stay in a hotel you can always keep your “green” routine:
- turn on only the lights you need and only when you are in the room;
- do not let the water run if you are not there;
- turn off the air conditioning when you are not at home. It needs only about 15 minutes to cool a room;
- turn off the TV when you are not using it;
- reuse the towels you find in the hotel (like you would do it at home); do not change them everyday.
- minimize waste;
- do not rent a car – walk a lot. This is the fun part of vacation – walking, taking the train – feeling like when we were younger and strong. However, if you need to rent a car, try a hybrid.

What else?

I’ve read about some advice on the internet and I have found some of them being rather extreme: for example planning your vacation closed to your home so you do not need to fly or drive….maybe bike? Of course it is greener than flying but this will not work for me ever; for me vacation means away, far away from home, work, paying bills, etc. Somebody suggested a vacation in your own back yard. Hmmm…..I do not know if I could go in vacation for 3 weeks in my own back yard! It might be green, but it's lame. Enjoy your vacation!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Going Green: Product Review of the Week - Baby Diapers

In reviewing the prices for the baby diapers I chose; but this is not necessarily a cheap source to buy baby diapers. Of course, there are more manufacturers than I am reviewing here; I will try to review the most popular and available diapers. When we left the hospital they gave us Pampers Swaddlers for the baby which were very nice and soft but it did not fit well for my babies shapes so they got their pants wet almost all times. I switched to Huggies Supreme and they worked always very well. At the day care they are using Huggies Snug and Dry which works well; I cannot complain about Huggies – it is good quality; too bad they do use chlorine which makes their diapers un-biodegradable. I am using now Seventh Generation for the little one which are great and, of course, I do not have to feel guilty by adding more toxins on the environment. For the older child I am still using Huggies Pull-Ups; I have tried the largest size from Seventh Generation but they were too tight so he decided not to go potty anymore. And in my eagerness of making him go to potty all times I returned to Pull-Ups, so he is on the potty again. That said, Seventh generations training pants were great -- just 2 sizes too small.
Amazon has reasonable prices for Seventh Generation diapers; (You can find them also at Whole Foods and other traditional retail stores, but they are more expensive).

Here's the table for price comparison.

Natural/Green diapers $/unit Conventional diapers $/unit
7th Generation (sizes 1-6) 0.24 - 0.49 Pampers baby dry(sizes 1-6) 0.17 - 0.34
7th Generation training pants (sizes 2T-3T - 4T-5T) 0.41 - 0.57 Pampers Swaddlers (sizes 1-3) 0.25 - 0.33
gDiapers (small-med/large) 0.36 - 0.45 Huggies snug and dry (sizes 1/2-6) 0.17 - 0.35
Tushies tender care (small-XL) 0.25 - 0.48 Huggies Supreme natural fit (sizes 1-6) 0.22 - 0.46
Tushies gel free (small-XL) 0.27 - 0.55 Huggies Pull-Ups (sizes 2T-3T - 4T-5T) 0.41 - 0.55
Nature babycare (1-6) 0.26 - 0.51 Luvs (sizes 1-6) 0.16 - 0.30

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Target Gets its Eco-Apparel Line

More stores jump on the green and organic bandwagon; now Target (with a marketing splash at Barneys New York and designed by Gregory). Gregory uses 100% certified organic cotton and other natural fibers, such as silk and linen, and his collections are sold at Barneys and Bloomingdale's. Gregory is the eleventh Go International designer who is adding his talent and design into the Target's Go International program, a private label collection that features the hottest trends for guests who welcome individual style at an affordable price. The line includes loose tanks, wrap dresses and hoodies, striped vest, wide-leg trousers, jeans, a strapless knit dress, crochet tunic, trapeze tanks, a plaid linen dress created from organic cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp and the price range is between $14.99 - $44.99.

You can have your (Barney) cake and (afford to) eat it, too.

If you would like to read the whole article go here.