Chemicals in the cabinet

The enemy of skin health is chemicals, yet there are hundreds of them sitting in cabinets disguised in shampoo, whiteners, nail products, etc.  A list of 12 chemicals to avoid was assembled in Marion County, CA because they had the highest cancer rates in the US.  These particular chemicals were found in over 85%+ of pet care products, and are linked to elevated cancer rates and skin disorders among people and pets.
It is from this that we give you:

We have done the research for you.  Please visit SUSTAIN online to see our best-in-class, chemical-free personal care offerings.  


Water Conservation: Facts, Tips & Resources

How many times a day do you turn a shiny knob or tilt a lever and water appears?  When did you last stop to consider the joyous wonder that this is?  Where did it come from? Where will it go? How many gallons did you just use?

3 = gallons per minute from a faucet

6 =  gallons per toilet flush

7= gallons per minute in a shower

12 = gallons per dishwasher load

40+ = gallons per washing machine load

It isn’t hard to conserve water. It is usually a simple matter of awareness that helps us make better decisions.

  • Example 1 — Is it necessary to drown a small spider in two three-gallon buckets of water? Don’t use the toilet if a wastebasket is sufficient = 6 gallons saved water!
  • Example 2 — Want a drink of cold water? Keep a jug in the fridge. Next time you are thirsty it is chilled and tasty, no waiting for the faucet to cool down = 3+ gallons of water saved!

P.S. saving water also saves energy; energy needed to heat water and run appliances. 1 good decision = 2 benefits! It just gets better. Make it a game, when competition is involved you will get quite crafty…

Eco-diapering in 2009

Today, the environmentally conscious parent has lots of choices when it comes to diapers.  Diapering is arguably the most important decision parents could make for the environment and their young children, who are in diapers around the clock for upward of two years.  The choices now go far beyond “disposable or cloth” to “biodegradable”, “chlorine free”, “flushable”, “pre-fold”, “one-size”…..

Where does one start to make sense of all the articles, research, blog posts, studies, and expert opinions?  Is the sodium polyacrylate used in disposables to absorb actually harmful to babies?  Can a landfill ever be compared to a composting facility, the only place things truly biodegrade?  Should the ability to absorb large volumes of liquid be a selling point for disposables, how about changing that soiled child?

The debates are endless.  Manufacturers need water to grow the cotton to make cloth diapers. Parents need water to launder the diapers. Disposable diapers require more water in manufacturing, but also more trees, energy and fuel. We are left comparing apples to oranges: Is a product that uses more water better than a product that takes up landfill space?

On the face of it, cloth diapers appear to be the best way to avoid additional waste dump in landfills. But laundering cloth diapers does appear to suck up a lot of water, which could present a problem in drought-afflicted areas.

A ray of hope for parents can be found in G Diapers.  G Diapers bridge the gap between cloth and disposable.  They consist of a washable, cotton outer ‘little g’ pant and a plastic-free diaper refill. They outer is made of breathable material just like sports clothing, while the refill can be flushed, garden composted [wet ones only], or thrown away.  See the break down for yourself: 

Perhaps the most environmentally friendly option is Infant Potty Training, also called Elimination Communication and Natural Infant Hygiene.  DiaperFreeBaby is a helpful site for explaining the exact particulars and provides resources for those interested in learning more.  Using zero diapers is the best option we can think of.  I have seen it in action and will testify how amazingly it works.   

If your decision on diapering is going to be made solely on cost, check out this comparison chart.

product of the week

Awarded to: Khushi Lavendar Spray

Ingredients: distilled water & essential oil of lavender

Uses: a room spray, a face toner, an after-sun spray, an antiseptic for cuts, a pillow spray for restful nights…the most versatile spray ever!

Retail: $12.00*

This bottle is sitting in my bathroom and gets used about 20 times a day…because it works for  EVERYTHING (even as a dog freshener)! Lavender essential oil is antiseptic and smells great.  I’m glad that Khushi put it in this easy-to-dispense spray form so that everyone can enjoy it. 

*available only in Louisville store

New Tabs

Check out our new tab pages up there for tips on having an “Eco-Friendly Office” and leaving “Greener Footprints”. 

What are you doing tomorrow?

Earth Day 2009

Transforming Energy

Energy is defined as “the ability to do work.”  In this sense, examples of work include moving something, lifting something, warming something, or lighting something. The following is an example of the transformation of different types of energy into heat and power: 


We use energy to light our cities and homes, to power machinery in factories, cook our food, play music, and operate televisions. In a home about 70% of the energy used goes to power the air conditioner & water heater.  


Because of the limited amount of nonrenewable energy sources on Earth, it is important to conserve our current supply or to use renewable sources so that our natural resources will be available for future generations.  Our use of fossil fuels also contributes to air and water pollution.  Possible impacts include a threat to human health, environmental impacts such as rising sea levels that can damage coastal areas, and major changes in vegetation growth patterns that could cause some plant and animal species to become extinct. 

Power Cost Monitor $149.99

You can help solve these global problems. In the U.S., the average family’s energy use generates over 11,200 pounds of air pollutants each year. Therefore, every unit (or kilowatt) of electricity conserved reduces the environmental impact of energy use.  Monitor your family’s usage with products like the Power Cost Monitor [Left: available at SUSTAIN for $149.99].  It helps pinpoint which areas of your home are consuming the most energy.

Another energy alternative is utilizing solar panels.  The initial cost of solar power systems is significant but the renewable nature of PV technology, low system maintenance, and numerous tax incentives make solar panel systems an attractive investment for powering homes and businesses.

Did you know that even the President’s big White House used to have solar panels?  Check out this video from our friends at YERT