Where there is a will there is a way

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Favourite top performing eco-products that have stood the test of time

Some ideas I have tried for the sole purpose of having less impact on the environment have not been enjoyable or practical.  However, these products have stood the test of time as being used all the time and loved by my family, as well as a good idea in terms of the environment.

Stainless Steel Drinking Straws

When I visited home last year, my sister-in-law Iris had these.  I loved them, and bought ordered some before I returned home.  They prevent the waste of buying disposable straws, and they don't ever wear out.  Over the past several months, although I also have some plastic coloured twisty straws available, my kids actually prefer the metal straws nowThey are lovely to use, try them!  They look really cool in adult cocktails as well.  They don't really require the cleaner thing that comes with them - just hold them under the tap and the pressure of the water will swoosh them out.  They are of course dishwasher safe. 

The set that I bought were called "Handy House Stainless Steel Drinking Straws", but a few companies make them.  You can order them from Amazon.com, search for "steel straw". 

RethinkNZ Reusable Fresh Product Bags

I still get compliments from fellow shoppers and cashiers whenever they see me using these.  They reduce plastic waste every time I buy veggies and fruit from the grocery store as I don't use the plastic film bags, but they are also preferable in function.  They are strong, breathable, you can weigh your fresh produce in them, and just keep your fruit or veggies in them in the fridge or cupboard if you like.  If they eventually get bits of veggie matter caught in them you can throw them in the wash.

You can get these organic cotton net bags at this NZ website, RethinkNZ.com.

Ginger Pye Reusable Sandwich Wraps

Since we started using them over a year ago, we haven't needed to use any plastic cling wrap (Glad wrap, Saran wrap).  My kids love having their own print to identify their wrap.  I clean them by spraying with a vinegar/water solution and wiping.  Or if I want to get serious, I immerse in water and wash with dish soap and hang to dry.  Happy, fun, responsible.  Unlike the "Glad Wrap" commercials that I hate, I can truly mean it when I say, "Better living, everyone."

You can order these ones in NZ, made by two sisters, at www.gingerpye.co.nz.

Ecostore Lemongrass Soap

I have tried all the varieties of Ecostore Soaps, but I love his one.  It smells  great, doesn't cost that much, contains true and genuine lemongrass extract.  Ecostore was started in 1993 by a couple (Malcom and Melanie Rands) who were living in a permaculture eco-village (growing their own food amongst the forest) and didn't want to pollute their water supply.  They did some research and were horrified by the chemicals that were in the products they were using.  They developed their own products (consulting with medical and chemistry people).  Since then it was grown tremendously, recently expanding into the USA (which will fill a sorely absent niche there).  (I recently saw a short piece on them, which led me to become more loyal to them - rather than just seeing the products on the shelves.)

You can find their products in every supermarket in New Zealand.  If you're farther away just wait a little bit (if you're my family I plan on sending you a sample of all of these great eco-products!)  Their website with all of their products is here: www.ecostore.co.nz

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