June 17th, 2015

Four Green Cleaners Face Off in the Greener Cleaner Showdown!

It’s Spring Cleaning time at the cabin, so we put some of our Green Deal featured spray cleaners to the test with some duct tape and an old windsurfer.

Attitude, Method, Seventh Generation and GreenWorks all brought their triggers to the corral, and we compared them for ingredients, packaging, corporate responsibility, cleaning power and of course, price! Check out the results below.  (Click here for PDF view)


June 21st, 2013

It’s time for green beach days and guilt-free picnics.


Sustainable living doesn’t mean you have to give up on the summer fun. If you’re throwing a beach party and don’t want to worry about washing dishes, World Centric has a line of almost-guilt-free disposable dinnerware. The plates and bowls are made from wheat straw fiber instead of trees. Their cups are made from paper and 100% bio-based lining instead of petroleum-based plastic. World Centric cutlery is made from TPLA, consisting of 70% non-GMO corn and 30% talc. All of their products conform to the ASTM D-6400 standard of biodegradability, meaning they break down in commercial composters in 3-6 months. (Should be no problem for municipal systems like those used by Vancouver’s Green Bin program) If you’re a real green picnic geek, you can learn more on the World Centric website.

recycled-platesIf throwing away your plate still seems evil, try the reusable plates and bowls from Preserve. Made in the USA from 100% recycled plastic, (including take-out containers) these green beauties are BPA-free and dishwasher safe. Preserve will even take them back and recycle therm AGAIN when you are done.

green-sunscreensAs you are basking in your righteous green-ness, don’t forget to keep the warming sun at bay with sunscreen alternatives by Green Beaver and Badger. Green Beaver Sunscreen is certified organic, biodegradable and gluten-free. The Badger formula is non-nano, biodegradable and water resistant.

Barbecue and beach season await, so get out there and enjoy the world. And leave a smaller footprint at the same time.

April 22nd, 2009

Is SC Johnson changing the retail landscape with their new ingredients disclosure? Well, yes and no.

If you’re a label reader like me, you have likely encountered some pretty vague terms – ingredients like ‘fragrance’, ‘colour’ and ‘flavour’ – not very helpful if you’re trying to track what goes on, into, or around your body.
So when I read that packaged goods giant SC Johnson Co. is about to change that, without even being asked to, I was keen!
SC Johnson is literally a household name, turning some $8 Billion a year on products like Windex, Glade, Shout, Off!, Pledge, Raid and Ziploc. Last month they made a couple of major announcements.
First, they say they will list the ingredients in all home cleaning and air care products, including products with fragrances. This is huge in an industry where things like fragrances have been closely held secrets considered confidential business information by the fragrance industry.
Second, SCJ is telling its fragrance suppliers to stop using a category of chemicals known as phthalates. Phthalate esters are the dialkyl or alkyl aryl esters of phthalic acid, used widely as viscosity control agents, gelling agents, film formers, stabilizers, dispersants, lubricants, binders, emulsifying agents, and suspending agents. (Whew!) Although the FDA and European regulators have approved the use of phthalates, and the chemical industry says they are safe, there is some growing concern that they may cause adverse health effects.

The press release directed me to a website – whatsinsidescjohnson.com – so I dug in to find out more. I looked up the Nature’s Source All Purpose Cleaner, available at London Drugs.
Ingredients listed were purified water, Lauryl Polyglucose, Aspartic Acid Tetrasodium Salt, Sodium Hydroxide and…‘fragrance’. Below that was a disclaimer that ‘Fragrance information will be added soon.’
The site currently covers only 27 products – 4 from Nature’s Choice, one Windex product, one Shout product and 21 items from the Glade line – so shoppers hoping to look up their favourite brand from SCJ’s broad product range may be somewhat disappointed. Hopefully SCJ doesn’t wait too long to get their web site caught up with the progressive stance of their press release.
Still, it is refreshing to see companies becoming greener ahead of government regulation.
That a major organization such as SCJ is voluntarily moving away from controversial ingredients and toward greater transparency, shows that consumers’ concerns and the green movement in general are making a huge difference.

March 13th, 2009

What is the best dressed garbage wearing this year? Award winning kitchen bags by GLAD®.

In the world of retail, Canada’s version of the OSCAR® has to be the Best New Product Awards, held in Toronto. In this year’s awards, or the first time, a non-food product won best of show, with the award going to… GLAD® 100% Compostable and Biodegradable Kitchen Bags.
According to Robert Levy, president and CEO of BrandSpark International, which hosts the awards, consumers rated the product highly for being “an environmentally friendly product that works well,” adding that he suspects the green movement has much to do with it. “I think we’ve passed the tipping point and consumers are willing to act.”
According to the package, the GLAD® compostable bags are made from ‘vegetable based material that is 100% biodegradable’. This is backed up with certification by the Biodegradable Products Institute, which means they are designed to compost quickly, completely and safely, without leaving any plastic residues. (Unlike some ‘degradable’ plastics, which only break down into smaller plastic pieces)
The bags are designed for municipal compost systems, which unfortunately, don’t yet exist in all areas of Canada. I called the GLAD® Customer service number (1-800-561-5039) to find out more. Albert, from Peoria Illinois, seemed surprised that we didn’t have municipal composting in Vancouver. Even his supervisor didn’t have an answer when I asked about how well the bags might break down in a backyard compost system. So I guess it’s up to your faithful GreenDeal blogger to find out. Stay tuned.
For regular garbage, using a compostable bag is still a good idea, according to the person I spoke with at the Vancouver Landfill, especially if it contains leaves, food waste or other compostable material. It’s one less piece of plastic, and it does help in the long term.
Glad 100% compostable and biodegradable kitchen bags, made by Clorox, are available at London Drugs.