The day after Memorial Day, and it’s finally summer.  We now get to look forward to long, sunny days full of outdoor grilling, thunderstorms, the 4th of July, trips to the beach, camping and hiking trips, starry nights… and all of the negative things that come along with the summer, too: the heat, the humidity, sunburn, and the bugs.

Bugs are something we’re equipped to help you with at Green Depot!  And unlike many of the conventional products used to combat summer pests, all of the green products that we carry are non-toxic, meaning they’re safer for you, your family, your pets, and the environment.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

1. Oak Stump Mosquito Trap and Lures: These mosquito traps are non-toxic and reusable from year to year.  They work by harnessing the power of a mosquito egg pheromone, which attracts mosquitos to lay their eggs in the jar which traps them permanently inside, keeping them away from you and your family.  Two traps handles an average-sized yard, and eight traps will cover an entire acre, significantly reducing the local mosquito population and their irritating and infecting bites.

2. Glass Fruit Fly Trap and Lures: These glass jars are aesthetically-pleasing enough to keep indoors, yet effective enough to keep pesky fruit flies out of your home.  It sits on the counter or hangs by a window, drawing flies away from fresh fruit, clearing a room full of flies in only a few hours – much more effectively than common types of bait such as red wine and vinegar.  Add the lure packet to water, add a drop of dishwashing soap, and set the trap in an effective area for 10 to 14 days, or until the trap is full.

3. EcoSmart Flying Insect Killer: This insect killer is unlike other common insecticides, in that it is made from organic plant oils, rather than  toxic synthetic chemicals.  This flying insect killer kills all kinds of insects with no pesticide residue, keeping your family safe, and is effective on flies, gnats, mosquitos, moths, wasps, and other flying insect pests.

4. EcoSmart Insect Repellant: Like the flying insect killer, this insect repellant is made from organic plant oils – not toxic synthetic chemicals – and effectively keeps away mosquitos, ticks, gnats, and other annoying pests for hours.

5. Big Dipper Citronella Candles: Lots of common citronella candles are made from a base of paraffin wax – a petroleum-based product that, when burned, gives off gases that are unhealthy for you and the environment.  Big Dipper Citronella Candles are, on the other hand, made from beeswax which is safe for you and your family.  These candles contain the pure essential oils of citronella and cedarwood, both of which are known to deter insects.  Furthermore, the wicks are made of 100% cotton and contain no lead or metal.

6. Beekman 1802 Bug Repellant Bar: These soap bars are made from a base of goat milk, and contain citronella, eucalyptus, and other essential oils that are effective at keeping bugs away.  For a long day outdoors, use them in the shower.  For shorter periods of time outdoors, you can apply the bars dry onto your pulse points, and your body heat will release the scent from the oils into the air.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier this month an alarming trend with serious indications for the health of babies and infants.

According to a study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, up to 80% of all plastic products for babies contain chemical flame retardants.  Many of these are known to be toxic, and the rest are untested.

These chemicals in particular were targeted for analysis by the scientists because they have been linked to “increased risks for thyroid impairment, reproductive problems, endocrine disruption, cancer, and other health issues.”

Scientists studied over 100 samples of child products from items such as baby carriers, changing pages, and portable cribs from the U.S. as well as Canada, and 80 of those samples contained flame retardants linked to the health issues listed above.

An abstract of the study can be found by visiting www.greensciencepolicy.org.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

Luckily for new parents, Green Depot carries a full line of green products that are free of harmful toxins for babies.  Green depot carries books for kids, toxin-free bedding, apparel, hygienic care products, bottles, toys, and safety kits, and even has a feature page on constructing a healthy nursery (complete with a crib, bedding, paint, cleaner, carpets, rugs, and gas and C02 detector).

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

image via flickr user wootang01

Lots of folks are seriously concerned about the health of their indoor environment – and for good reason.  As we’ve written about before, using conventional interior paints which are high in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), can “offgas” fumes which are toxic, and potentially hazardous to the health of people.

When a green product is referred to as low-VOC, it is usually referencing a synthetic, liquid solvent that gives off – or “offgasses” – toxic fumes.  This is the source of the poignant smell in paints, turpentine, varnish, stains, and other finishing products, which can often cause headaches and other health issues, if they are inhaled in enough volume over time.  The troubling thing about conventional products with a high-VOC content is that those substances can continue to offgas VOCs for years after it has dried, and after the poignant smell has abated: just because you can’t smell the VOCs anymore doesn’t mean you’re not still inhaling toxic fumes.

For this reason, most people use low-VOC paints and stains in their interiors.  But there are important reasons to use low-VOC paints and stains on the exterior of your home, or deck: many of the toxic elements in conventional finishes include heavy metals and formaldehyde – substances which can leach out into the environment over time (consider how the paints on the exteriors of homes eventually chip off).  When these gasses and heavy metals leach out of finishes, or chip off into the soil, they pollute.  While the amount being leached into the environment may be trace, any contribution of toxic chemicals into the environment is a negative contribution.

And, if you have a garden around your house, or a well nearby, is it ultimately worth risking these toxins and heavy metals leaching into food and water supplies, when healthy, safe alternatives exist?

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

This week Green Depot is having a 15%-off sale on a full range of paints, stains, sealants, and other finishing products.  AFM Safecoat paints have both interior exterior low-VOC products available.  Ecoprocote also has a number of low-VOC stains, sealers, and clear top coats.  And make sure to check out Ivy Coatings primers and paints, which are available for application to both interior and exterior surfaces.  To see all of the products we’re offering this week at a 15% discount, you can visit our promotion’s page by clicking here.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

One of the topics that might be on your mind currently is ensuring a healthy home environment.  It seems that in recent weeks, contamination of the air, of water, and of food has come to the forefront of many peoples’ agendas.

Chemical contamination and pollution in the home can be extensive.  Whether from the cleaners we use, or the air fresheners we’ve become accustomed to, or the paints and caulks we use to build our homes, or the quality of the pipes in our home, the home environment can be rife with dangerous gases and pollutants that may harm human health.

For those of us looking to conduct an extensive audit on the sources of pollution and radiation in the home, the EPA provides a booklet on indoor air quality which can be found by clicking here. But also keep in mind that Green Depot carries a full line of testing kits, as well as air purifyers.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

Green Depot is currently running a promotion on Austin Air purifiers – running up to 20% off.  Purifiers help to keep air healthy in the home, both on an every day basis and in the event of an emergency or disaster, when the quality of indoor air may be compromised by atmospheric particulates.

Water quality might also be of concern in the household.  Older homes may still have lead piping.  Green Depot carries a wide range of  green products to help ensure the health of the indoor environment, including air and water quality testing kits and air quality monitors.  These can provide an audit of your home for: bacteria in the water, lead in water, paint, and dust, carbon monoxide, radon gas, mold, pesticides in water, radon in water, asbestos, and lead surfaces.

For green building materials, like eco insulation, as well as many other green products for a sustainable lifestyle, visit http://www.greendepot.com.

Happy New Year!

With 2010 squarely behind us it’s a good time to begin looking ahead to the things that 2011 has to offer.  We all make new year’s resolutions.  A lot of the time, these resolutions are simple, easy-to-maintain commitments.  Sometimes, they’re significant lifestyle changes that can be a lot more difficult to achieve.  Whatever they are, we know that they’re always worthwhile to pursue (even if they don’t always succeed!).

This year, Green Depot is committed to providing ideas and solutions to the health and environmental problems everyone faces at home.  All this month, we’ll be looking at some of the ways you can choose to go green in your every day lives – whether it’s by small changes (like packing your lunch with eco-friendly reusable and recyclable packaging) or big changes, like installing energy-efficient water heaters in your home, or replacing inefficient conventional fiberglass insulation with eco-insulation.  Green Depot is fortunate to be able to carry a wide range of eco-insulation, like Bonded Logic recycled denim insulation, and a range of VOC-free caulks and sealants.

The Roman god Janus, whose namesake month is January, was known for having two heads: one that always looks forward to the future, and one that always looks back, to the past.  It’s always a good idea to recollect on the accomplishments of the preceding year, so here’s a quick sampling of a few of our favorite green products from 2010.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

1. Compost: Indoor composting need not be the smelly nightmare many apartment owners fear it will be.  The NatureMill Home Composter fits under a kitchen counter, and using gentle electric warmth  to speed up the decomposition process, ensures a steady supply of compost all winter long for the spring garden.  Additionally – it’s odor-free.

2. Books: Make Your Place: Affordable & Sustainable Nesting Skills, by Raleigh Briggs, is a collection of the author’s zines, illustrations, and thoughts about what makes a truly DIY household.  It serves as a guide towards making non-toxic, homemade cleaning solvents; herbs to use for healing in place of big pharma; and how to start a home garden for grow our own local and organic food.

3. Brewing: The Brooklyn Brew Beer Making Kit – featured by NY Magazine – includes everything you need to make one gallon of your very own brew.  We consider it more environmentally-friendly than a regular six pack, because it reduces on the glass, metal, plastic, and cardboard packaging that regular bottles and cans come in.

4. Gardening: Woolly Pockets planters come in two different styles: Freestanding Islands, and Living Wall Systems.  They are both constructed from thick felt that allows excess moisture to evaporate, and a moisture-barrier reservoir that holds water for plants to draw from.  The wall system is totally modular – allowing stacking to create an entire indoor or outdoor living wall.

5. Off-the-grid: The Solio Rocsta hybrid solar charger is heavier duty, making it suitable for hikers, bikers, and backpackers.  It has a built-in carabiner, and can also store a charge from a wall socket or USB port, in instances where the sun might not be enough.

6. Fresh Air: The Chikuno Charcoal Cube Air Freshener is the safest and most environmentally-friendly option presently on the market and represents design of an extremely high caliber.  It is a chemical-free air freshener made from ultra-fine bamboo charcoal powder and clay minerals.  According to the product’s webpage, Bamboo charcoal is activated at extremely high temperatures which produces an incredibly fine, or porous, interior – “like a micro sponge or honeycomb,” with an interior surface area of 7,500 square feet per gram of bamboo charcoal.  This powder is significantly more fine than wood charcoal (and is more sustainably-produced, as bamboo can mature to harvestable size in as little as six years), and because of its large surface area, has the ability to absorb order for up to a year.

7. Lunch: The Stainless Steel Tiffin Food Carrier is a stackable stainless steel lunch pail that has widespread use in much of east Asia.  The model that green depot carries has two compartments with a handle that clasps them in place.  Each can be heated or refrigerated separately.

For these green products and many more, including green building materials and eco-insulation, make sure to visit http://www.greendepot.com!

Healthy Winter Air

December 30th, 2010 | Posted by tjones in Air Quality | Green Homes | Green Products - (0 Comments)

Winter officially began at last week’s solstice, and we in New York City are certainly in the thick of the cold.  Cold weather outside means significantly more time spent indoors.  We’ve written in the past about the dangers of indoor VOCs – volatile organic compounds – that can compromise the quality of the air you breathe, and indeed dry, heated winter air does have the tendency to aggravate health conditions like asthma.

Creating a green home is about reducing toxins, but also producing interior environments that promote health and wellbeing.  So, here are two green products for improving the environment in your home.

GREEN DEPOT SOLUTIONS

Using a humidifier during the winter months can help alleviate respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and nosebleeds.  The Germ Guardian H1000 Tabletop Humidifier is an Energy-Star rated cool mist humidifier.  It runs silently, using ultrasonic technology, and unlike other humidifiers has an anti-bacterial coating to prevent the introduction of mold and mildew particles into the air it is improving.  It utilizes a metal diaphragm vibrating at high frequencies to create water droplets which are then expelled into the room.

Breathing air that has been purified of harmful gases is beneficial to the health, as well.  The Andrea Air Purifier is the first air purifier capable of absorbing toxins like formaldahyde, using the absorptive properties of living plants.  It contains an air fan to draw air into the plant’s chamber and then releases it, purified.  Any household plant can be used as the filtration agent.

For these green products and many others, including eco insulation, visit http://www.greendepot.com.