Thursday, November 29, 2007

When it's not as Green as it seems

I'm a Consumer Reports website subscriber, so when I saw this article investigating the "green claims" of household cleaning product manufacturers, I was intrigued.

I'm a bit surprised at Seventh Generation's having a questionable ingredient in its dishwasher gel. I've used that stuff happily in the past. I'm not sure what to make of the Biokleen laundry powder finding, considering the company's statement that a questionable ingredient was accidentally listed in their disclosure statement and is therefore presumably not used.

It's a pretty short article without a lot of information in it. I'm glad Earth Friendly Products got a nod, and I'm wondering now about Ecover. Consumer Reports is sending people to its green cleaning website (which has been on my links list for a while) for more information.

Seventh Generation has some new scents

So, Seventh Generation has revamped the scents of some of its products! They all sound wonderful. I was a little tired of the citrus, so this is good news.

The new scents are:

-White Flower & Bergamot Citrus (in their laundry products)
-Blue Eucalyptus & Lavender (in laundry): We just bought this one and I'm sure I'll be reviewing it soon.
-Lemongrass & Clementine Zest (dish soap) : I'd try this one for sure.
-Lavender Floral & Mint (dish soap): I'd also try this. Lavender and mint together is always a good combination.
-Emerald Cypress & Fir (Tub&Tile / Toilet) : Yum!
-Green Mandarin & Leaf (Shower/ All Purpose) : By "leaf", they mean petitgrain and spearmint leaves. I tried to find this one at Whole Foods the other day but it wasn't in yet.
-Ruby Grapefruit & Herb (Glass & Surface) : Also delicious sounding

They kind of had to change their scents. Seventh Generation products have always worked very well for me (except the toilet paper! Ow.), but with other companies (Caldrea always comes to mind, and Earth Friendly Products' Spa line) releasing decadent scent combinations, SG was going to lose customers who are scent junkies. *cough, me* The new products are starting to appear in stores, and I believe has a couple in stock.

You can get coupons for their products here. I think I printed those out eons ago and forgot about them.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Earth Friendly Products Natural Spa Dish Soap (and Junk Mail)

Ugh, the holiday catalog influx has begun! I have been getting 3-4 new catalogs each day, many from companies I've never shopped with. Victoria's Secret is the worst in terms of frequency, but Pottery Barn's is the thickest. Treehuger has a great post on removing yourself from junk mailing lists, but I also sat down and wrote to each company individually. (I was procrastinating other work.)

I just finished a bottle of Earth Friendly Products' Black Currant dish soap. I have never before used a dish soap that smelled this strongly. Every time I used it a wonderful tart berry scented wafted from the sink. I suppose the strong aroma could bother some people, but I loved it. Nice change from most shyly scented products.

Of course, scent is nothing without performance, and the soap worked very well. It didn't make my hands feel as dry as most soaps, but it cut through grease effectively. In the interest of full disclosure, I throw anything that can possibly fit into my dishwasher, so I may not have put this to as tough a challenge as it deserves. It did help me make work of some serious baked pasta dish pans, and it made me hate doing the dishes slightly less... it's definitely still one of my least favorite chores.

Black Currant is one of several scents. Click through to check them out. I want to try rosemary, lemongrass, and cucumber mint the most. Maybe they'll read this and send me a Christmas present ;)

I am currently using EFP's almond scented dish soap from their general product line. Review forthcoming.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Caldrea Daily Shower Cleanser

Huh, I am looking on Caldrea's website right now, and I don't see any shower sprays listed. Perhaps they have been discontinued! That's a shame, the one I tried worked quite well. I nabbed the "Basil Blue Sage" scent from, and it did cut down on the amount of shower cleaning I had to do while using it. My major qualm about it was that the package was too small and we went through it super fast. I am already done the bottle and I feel like we just got started! I felt guilty trying to cover my full shower each time I used it. Considering the price, I'd have preferred the bottle last longer.

Caldrea is Mrs. Meyer's more upscale brand, and they tend to have pretty good, largely essential-oil based scents. I've never been disappointed by anything of theirs I've tried (but that's admittedly limited to hand soap and shower sprays.)

Hey, maybe they're re-doing the package and it'll be back! In the meantime, has the Citrus Mint scent left.

I want to try Caldrea's dishwashing powder (I love powders), hand balm, and laundry detergent. I'm also wondering if their linen spray would be nice before clothes go in the dryer (or to freshen up bed sheets mid-week.)

p.s. Now that I am between store-bought products, I am using a homemade daily shower spray: 50/50 mixture of white vinegar, water, and maybe 6 drops each of tea tree and lemon essential oils. I haven't been using it long enough to gauge its success yet.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Bio Pac Toilet Tabs

I've tried a few things to keep my toilets from getting a brown ring in the bottom. I've tried homemade soaks, pouring Ecover bleach into them and letting it sit, and of course, lots of scrubbing. Even when I did make a dent, they'd be back two days later. (Is the water in Chicago really that hard?)

When I spotted some eco-friendly septic-system safe, biodegradable, chlorine free tabs at Whole Foods the other day, I had two in my cart before I'd even blinked. The downside is that they're the blue kind of toilet tabs, and while I do enjoy making the water turn green every time I go to the bathroom *cough*, I prefer the "Oh, I have no idea why my toilets are so shiny and clean. Elbow grease, I guess!" deniability of the white kind. According to the packaging, the blue is to let you know when to replace the thing. No blue water = new tab. Believe me, with my toilets, I'd know.

Anyway, they work! I don't know how deodorizing they are, but they do make a dent in my stains. I slacked and didn't clean the toilets before dropping them in either. You're supposed to start fresh, as it were.

Bio Pac definitely needs a website redesign, but I am so grateful someone makes an eco-friendly toilet tablet.