don’t fear the color…
fall color preview!

Color is the fastest way to brighten and personalize a room, luckily the trend in home décor is moving away from neutrals and embracing color in bold new ways. The easiest, and greenest, way to include color is to use paint and accent pieces in strong colors and keep big-ticket items like sofas in the neutral category.

Color sets the tone in your space; it defines the mood, and establishes personality. Adding color can be scary, especially if you’re accustomed to a sea of beige and other neutrals. The first step to bringing some color into your space is to find what works for you. Consider colors that appeal to you. What do you see most frequently in your clothing and accessories? What colors do you reach for when you look at towels and bedding? What colors make you feel good?  Continue reading

mama keeps whites…
bright whites without the bleach

Laundry

Bleach, for years it has been the go-to solution for whitening laundry and disinfecting our homes. Chlorine bleach whitens our whites, keeps our drains clean and fresh and kills mold and mildew so fast it will make your head spin.

Wait… the spinning you feel is actually not a good thing. Bleach makes your head spin because it’s also a potent respiratory irritant. It’s toxic for the environment and for humans. But who wants gray towels and socks? And nobody wants a bacteria laden bathroom, or worse, kitchen! Fortunately, there are non-chlorine alternatives ranging from commercial to homemade, and they all work without creating a toxic mess.  Continue reading

why is plastic so bad?

Plastic

From all the details about plastic grocery bags that take 500 years to decompose to stories of toxic chemicals like BPA and phthalates and VOCs, plastics are the environmental bad guy. We’ve all seen the photos of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, and the impact plastics have on wildlife. There is no denying that plastic is bad. But just how bad is it?

Let’s start at the very beginning. Most plastic is made from fossil fuels like oil and natural gas. Which means toxins are released into the environment when the raw materials are extracted from the earth, yes, even natural gas. The manufacturing process itself involves additional chemicals, industrial waste and lots of water.  Continue reading

the un-compostables…
dealing with stuff that just doesn’t belong

compostables

Gone are the days of having just a single trashcan for all household waste. And we couldn’t be happier! As much as we love composting and recycling, however, it can be confusing. We’ve written posts on recycling electronics and about the surprising things you can compost. It’s time to talk about the things that can’t go in the compost pile or recycling bin.  Continue reading

how green is it?
the tale of coconut coir

Coir bundles

Coir is the not-so-new word seen in everything from welcome mats to garden twine and planting medium and it’s being lauded for its sustainability and remarkable properties. But what is it really? And just how sustainable is it? And by the way, how do you pronounce it?

The easy stuff first: Coir, most commonly pronounced like coy-er, is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. So much for the easy stuff.  Continue reading