Saturday, October 31, 2009

Climate change a challenge for Singapore

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges ahead for Singapore and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the country will bear its fair share of the global effort to reduce emissions.

This is despite the fact that Singapore's carbon emissions are a 'negligible' part of global output and it is not among nations which committed themselves and were obliged to make specific cuts in greenhouse gas emission levels.

'We don't have this obligation,' he noted on Friday in a reference to what is known as Annex I countries. 'But as a responsible member of the international community, we have to bear our fair share of the collective global effort to reduce carbon emissions.

'Therefore, provided other countries also commit to do their part in a global deal, we will reduce emissions from 'business-as-usual' levels and do what we need to do with other countries to reduce humankind's carbon-dioxide emissions.'

Speaking at the launch of the Clean and Green 2010 campaign at the HortPark on Thursday, Mr Lee said that Singapore faced serious limitations in switching to alternative energy sources or reducing its dependence on fossil fuels.

Friday, October 30, 2009

It's the weekend - Go on a Green Date!

Keep it green with these 10 eco-friendly date ideas while hitting the town with your new guy or gal. Here are some eco-friendly dating strategies to aid the earth for your next date.

1. Walk. Pretty straight forward. Walk to your next date instead of taking a taxi or driving. The benefits are numerous for both you and Mother Nature -- you can burn some calories and less carbon emissions will be released into the air.

2. GPS. If driving is essential for the date and the locale is far away, use a GPS system or save the directions onto your phone instead of printing them off. The less paper you use, the fewer trees that need to come down. Most web direction sites will even allow you to e-mail yourself the directions for convenience.

3. Eat at a local restaurant. Try and find a dining establishment who supports local agricultural operations in their cuisine.

4. Presents. If a present is in order for the date, try and gift Mother Nature instead of your significant other. Save a tree in his name, donate to his favorite local charity or drop off shoes you are not wearing anymore to a shelter -- all men love when women can sacrifice shoes for love!

5. Cooking. If cooking up a meal at home for your man, try and use linens and actual plates and glasses instead of the plastic stuff. There are even organic and recycled napkins out there.

6. Decor. When decorating for an at-home date, use fresh cut flowers from your garden or a neighbor’s (you might want to ask before snipping). Purchase organic wine from a local store and walk to your favorite bakery to grab a great dessert -- get out and support your local economy.

7. The date. Take your date on a hike, bike ride or swim in the local lake or watering hole. Try to involve your outing with something that requires fresh air and the outdoors. Even taking the pooch to a dog park (don’t forget to clean up after Fido) is a step in the right direction.

8. Community. Donate your date time to a local non-profit. You and your date can serve up some hot meals at a soup kitchen or help out at a retirement community -- some even allow you to bring your dog for good cheer. Find something you both enjoy doing and make it work for both you two and the community.

9. Give. This might be for a couple dates down the road when you two are more comfortable, but grab a glass of organic wine and go through a closet and get rid of some of the unwanted clothes, sports equipment or clutter. You two could have a good laugh from the outfits one another has held onto. Take the unwanted goods to a local shelter, Goodwill or Salvation Army.

10. Garden! Whether it’s yours, his or someone else’s, get out and get dirty. This is easier in spring and summer when the weather is nicer. You two can start a small vegetable garden for some goodies later on in the season. In fall or winter, start an herb garden inside. There are lots of kits available or you can even pop over to the local nursery and grab some easy-growers such as mint, rosemary or thyme.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Denmark in climate deal warning

Denmark's prime minister says he does not think a legally binding deal on climate change will be agreed upon at a December summit in Copenhagen.

Lars Loekke Rasmussen spoke ahead of an EU summit at which climate change will be one of the main topics. EU leaders must also decide how to secure the Czech Republic's ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. The treaty would create a full-time EU president, and leaders are expected to discuss who could fill the role.

December's eagerly anticipated United Nations' Copenhagen Climate Summit will attempt to hammer out a new global climate treaty to replace the UN Kyoto Protocol. But Mr Rasmussen said he did not believe a final deal on reducing greenhouse emissions could be reached at the meeting. The main story will revolve around what can be gleaned about Tony Blair's chances to become the first President of the European Council. "We do not think it will be possible to decide all the finer details for a legally binding regime," he said.

However, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that even if no treaty is signed in Copenhagen, he was confident a political agreement could be reached there. "We are not lowering expectations," he said. "If we can agree on four political elements, then that could be a hallmark of success on climate change."

At the Brussels summit, European leaders will try to iron out their differences over how much each EU member should pay to help developing nations fight global warming. The European Commission has recommended EU nations pay up to 15bn euros ($22bn; £13bn) a year from 2013 to developing nations to help them cope with climate change. But aid and environmental groups have said Europe should be prepared to pay more than twice as much. Talks last week on how to fund such aid collapsed as EU finance ministers disagreed over how to share the costs.

'Risk of deadlock'

On the eve of the summit, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country currently holds the rotating EU presidency, urged his counterparts to compromise on agreeing climate aid figures to developing nations. "We have a risk for a clear deadlock in the negotiations," he said. "The emerging economies are looking for financing and without it they will not make the required reduction targets."

It is unclear how much money the EU is willing to put on the table and who should pay what.

EU 20-20-20 TARGETS

20% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020
20% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2020
20% increase in energy efficiency by 2020

Poland and other Eastern and Central European countries say they are too poor to contribute much, our correspondent says. The EU is committed to cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% by 2020 and by up to 30% if other countries join in.
Developing nations have been arguing that industrialised countries should carry most of the burden, because they are responsible for the majority of CO2 emissions.

The two-day Brussels meeting must also try to seal an agreement for the ratification of the Lisbon reform treaty with the Czech Republic. Czech President Vaclav Klaus is the only EU leader who has yet to sign the treaty, demanding an opt-out from the treaty's Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Eurosceptic Mr Klaus fears that charter could be used by ethnic Germans to reclaim land they lost in the Czech Republic after World War II. The Czech Constitutional Court is expected to rule next week on whether the treaty complies with the country's constitution, clearing the way for Mr Klaus' decision.

EU leaders are also expected to discuss who will fill the post of full-time president that the Lisbon Treaty would create. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Luxembourg Premier Jean-Claude Juncker have been touted as the leading candidates for the job.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Have a Green Halloween!

Halloween is just around the corner and like any other celebration that usually means two things: spending cash, and decorating with props. Props like costumes, scary skeletons, tombstones and eerie lights that cast an orange-ish glow all are part of the fun and they help create fond memories for kids and adults alike.

It’s all part of bringing in the Halloween spirit so how can you preserve the fun and still do something to reduce impact on the environment? We’ve pulled together some easy tips and they’re centered around three words – reduce, reuse and recycle.

1.Costumes are an essential part of every Halloween celebration and a great alternative to shopping for something new every year is to attend a costume exchange party. It’s a spooky twist on traditional clothing exchange parties, and if there aren’t any happening in your circle of friends host one!

2.Jack-O’-Lanterns are a wonderful way to decorate because they’re almost entirely organic. Pumpkin seeds can make a great snack when roasted and the other remains left after carving are easily compostable.

3.It’s fun to pass out handfuls of candy to ghouls and ghosts trick or treating, but it can lead to waste as kids accumulate mounds of candy – more than they’ll eat. The solution? Hand out one piece at a time, let them work for their stockpiles!

4.If you end up with extra candy, get the family together and pull off the wrappers. Then compost it rather than throwing it in the trash where it will end up in our landfills.

5.Those wrappers you pulled off? Create something unique out of them! Crafts are one idea, or some companies are even making handbags. You could also post free candy wrappers on Freecycle and someone may grab them.

6.Hanging up electric Halloween lights? There are energy friend LED lights available which will last longer and use less power.

7.Rather than drive house to house while trick or treating, walk!

8.When sending out invitations to your party, e-mail them out instead of printing them.

9.Markets provide local, inexpensive outlets for finding pumpkins and apples to complement your haunted cuisine.

10.Lastly, carry two bags when out trick or treating. One for trash and one for candy.

Have fun! :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Doritos bags find new life as MP3 speakers

A US-based environmental firm has developed audio player speakers made from recycled chips and candy bar packages.

TerraCycle is using its large waste-collection program to turn Doritos and Cheetos bags, as wells as Mars candy wrappers, into funky, foldable speakers. The Frito-Lay Speakers have a 3.5 mm universal plug and don't require batteries. They sell at Radio Shack and on the TerraCycle Website, where they're listed for USD$19.99.

TerraCycle "upcycles" waste into over 100 useful products, such as backpacks made from Capri Sun drink pouches, pencil cases made from Chips Ahoy wrappers, and kites made from Oreo cookie bags. The company collects waste from groups across the country and donates money to charities for each item received. It aims to save thousands of tons of packaging from entering landfills each year.

Monday, October 26, 2009

One to put in your diary - World Vegan Day 2009

World Vegan Day is 1 November - This marks the start of World Vegan Month. Feel free to post us your events and how you are celebrating and we'll share with our community.

Veganism and the environment

Throughout the 20th century growing populations and ever-increasing industrialisation had devastating effects on our environment. Global warming, widespread pollution, deforestation, land degradation and species extinction are just some of the problems we now face. The full consequences of such large-scale environmental degradation are impossible to judge, but what we do know is that the impacts on humanity will be most devastating in the developing world. With hundreds of millions of people already not obtaining enough food to meet their basic needs and billions of people lacking access to safe water supplies, it is imperative that we find sustainable methods of food production that do not further degrade planetary health.

"Removing the causes of environmental degradation is often more effective than seeking to control the symptoms." - Cornelis de Haan, Livestock Adviser to the World Bank

Agriculture in general is one of the most resource-intensive and environmentally damaging aspects of industrialised living. What this means for us as individuals is that if we are trying to reduce our car use, limit the amount of water we waste, become more 'energy-efficient' and generally lessen our environmental impact, then we should also examine our eating habits.

People are increasingly becoming aware of the direct correlation between what they eat every day and the health of the planet. Environmentally conscious consumers are concerned not only with food miles, over-packaging, pesticide use and GM foods, but also question the environmental sustainability of modern animal husbandry. Farmers used to be seen as 'custodian's of the countryside,' but the overriding image of modern industrial farming is one of destruction and waste.

World meat production has quadrupled in the past 50 years and livestock now outnumber people by more than 3 to 1. In other words, the livestock population is expanding at a faster rate than the human population. This trend contributes to all of the environmental problems already outlined.

A report commissioned by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Bank concluded that factory farming, "acts directly on land, water, air and biodiversity through the emission of animal waste, use of fossil fuels and substitution of animal genetic resources. In addition, it affects the global land base indirectly through its effect on the arable land needed to satisfy its feed concentrate requirements. Ammonia emissions from manure storage and application lead to localized acid rain and ailing forests."

Friday, October 23, 2009


The Global Day of Climate Action is tomorrow! Join in, show your support and spread the word!

Organised by, this is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis--the solutions that science and justice demand.

Their mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

You can see more here or check out their universal language (cool) animation below:

For Singapore events; Please head to Hong Lim Park, 8 am to 10am or arrive at LASALLE at 3:50pm for the Human Tidal Wave! With so much support already, everyone is really excited about the day itself. 350 organisers are saying it's shaping up to be the most widespread coordinated political event on anything. Ever.

Be a part of history, please help spread the word by:
1) Invite your friends: Not just on facebook, but talk to them about it, send them a text, let them know why 350 is important.
2) Tweet about it: Include 350 in your tweets so that it can become a trending topic leading up to this Saturday.
3) Change your profile pic: Help keep 350 in everyone's mind by changing your profile pic to 350 for the next two days.

We look forward to seeing you Saturday and bring BLUE! Blue shirts, blue hats, blue towels, blue flags! Your support will help protect our future.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Top Green Baby Tips

A new baby entering your life can create an enormous number of unexpected changes. Along with the little one comes a whole new category of things to purchase -- not only the obvious large items like furniture and diapers, but also all the unforeseen extras that seem to accumulate. While having a baby is consumer heaven, the key is to not be gulled into an unnecessary buying frenzy. In truth, a baby has very minimal needs. On the flip side, there is more to a sustainable life with your baby than cloth diapers, organic baby food, and fair-trade clothing....

Choose the right diapers
Studies are divided on the subject of environmental impact of disposables vs. cloth. But knowing that your baby will use approx 6,000 diapers before toilet training, and that disposable diapers take 200-500 years to decompose, this is certainly a key issue to ponder. Washing cloth diapers takes water, energy, and chemicals (not to mention time), but you might want to consider the benefits of a laundering service. One study has found that home-washing cloth diapers has only 53 percent of the ecological footprint of disposables, and if you use a diaper laundering service that impact is halved again.

Feed your little one: From breast or bottle?
This one’s a no-brainer: breastfeeding is best. It's free, has health benefits for mother and baby, has no environmental impact, and is a precious bonding experience. However, in our commerce-driven society there are products for everything, and breastfeeding is no exception. For breast pads, ditch disposables and try re-usable organic cotton or wool felt pads. While there are many great, organic nipple creams available, some locally produced olive oil or organic lanolin does a great job. If bottle feeding becomes a necessity, pumping your own is the first choice. Beyond that, using a fair-trade organic infant formula is preferable. If this is neither affordable nor accessible, then the next best thing is to ensure the brand of formula you buy is from a company not profiteering from marketing their product to developing countries. These companies disregard or try to get around the marketing code set by The World Health Assembly.

Chow down on solid foods
At about six months, babies starts to eat real food. Rice cereal and mushy veggies turn to combinations of fish, meat, eggs, legumes, and vegetables—yep, a regular person’s diet. Buying jars of food is sure convenient, but as an adult you don't live out of jars, so why should your baby? For those occasional situations, purchase organic or fresh frozen baby foods. Otherwise, make your own. Cook up veggies, casseroles, or tofu and lentils, whatever is your thing, and freeze it in tiny containers or ice cube trays ready to take out and defrost when needed. (Be sure you discuss any concerns over dietary requirements with your health professional)

Dress your baby in smart green clothing
All those designer baby clothes are cute and oh so hard to resist in their fruity colors. But be careful. Not only does a baby grow out of clothes amazingly fast, they are constantly sending bodily fluids flying onto those precious outfits. The baby couture might be better replaced with convenient one-piece suits in practical white terry cloth. Choosing organic hemp or cotton, bamboo or wool fabrics made without toxic chemicals are best against a baby's sensitive skin and last longer with the constant washing. Second-hand clothing is the cheapest and most sustainable option. Get hand-me-downs from friends and family or look in thrift shops, Craigslist, or Freecycle.

Lather up with natural skin care
It’s very easy to get sucked into the constant advertising of baby powders, creams, and lotions. But the best baby lotion is plain old olive oil—cheap, natural, and un-perfumed. As for other products, keep it as natural, organic, and fragrance-free as possible.

Wash up: Green laundry, washing and cleaning
It’s quite possible that our war on germs is actually making things worse. Studies have shown that children brought up in over-cleaned houses are more likely to develop allergies, asthma, or eczema. The best thing you can do for sensitive baby skin is not to cover it with synthetic chemicals. Wash nappies with pure soap and warm water. Perhaps, give yourself some extra time to rest and enjoy motherhood, by using our professional green cleaning services!

Make play-time green-time with greener toys
Get back to basics and try old fashioned wooden toys and organic cotton or homemade teddies. Because babies put most things in their mouths, go as natural as possible, then when baby is a little older, get hold of second-hand toys. Also aim for toys that helps build a child’s bond with nature and the natural world. The sad truth is that the average American kindergartener can identify several hundred logos only a few leaves from plants and trees.

Rest easy with green furniture and accessories
Babies don't need much—a secure place to sleep, a car seat, a high chair, and a way to be trundled around. Go for second-hand furniture, everything except cot mattresses (some research suggests a link between second-hand cot mattresses and sudden infant death syndrome) and car seats, (which can have invisible accident damage). If you buy new furniture, purchase high quality, durable pieces made of sustainable, low-toxicity materials. Think about some alternatives to the regular old wooden baby bed; try using an organic cotton baby hammock or a cot that extends into a bed and lasts 6-7 years. The most ethical option for stroller (pram) is recycled.

Improve your indoor air quality and maintain a healthy household environment
It goes without saying that alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking while pregnant are bad for a baby. But it is also very important to avoid exposure to the synthetic chemicals contained in everyday products such as paints, carpet, furniture, bedding, and pesticides. When decorating the nursery, use natural and low-VOC paints and don't lay new carpet before the baby is born. Suspicious new items should at least be left outside to off-gas for a few days before bringing inside.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Glaciers from space....

Amazing images captured by satellites and astronauts on the space station

Glaciers are masses of ice which move over land, carving out the landscape. Because they are sensitive to any changes in climate, they are indicators of global warming. Here we look at images of glaciers captured by satellites and astronauts on the space station.

The Bear Glacier in the Kenai Peninsula along the Gulf of Alaska empties into a lake. Pieces of the glacier that have broken off look like shards of white glass in the blue water. Down the middle of the glacier run stripes caused by the dirt and debris the glacier has picked up as it moved

A detailed view of the leading edge of the Eugenie Glacier's "floating tongue" reveals surface cracks and extensive calving of icebergs in Dobbin Bay.

The Bering Glacier, about 10 km from the Gulf of Alaska, is the largest glacier in North America. Warmer temperatures and changes in precipitation over the past century have thinned it by several hundred metres.

The Southern Patagonian Icefield of Chile and Argentina hosts several spectacular glaciers, including Grey Glacier which terminates in three distinct lobes into Grey Lake.

Glacial lakes in the Bhutan-Himalaya suggest that glaciers in the Himalaya are wasting at alarming and accelerating rates.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"Copenhagen climate change talks are last chance", Gordon Brown

There are now fewer than 50 days to set course of next 50 years and more, PM tells environment ministers from 17 countries responsible for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions.

Gordon Brown today warned that the world is on the brink of a "catastrophic" future of killer heatwaves, floods and droughts unless governments speed up negotiations on climate change before vital talks in Copenhagen in December. This applies to the US as much as anyone, he said, adding that "there is no plan B", and that agreement cannot be deferred beyond the UN-sponsored Copenhagen conference.

There are fears that Barack Obama does not have the political capital to reach a deal in Copenhagen and will instead use a visit to China next month to reach a bilateral deal that circumvents the UN. Downing Street is also concerned that there is no agreement on how to finance a climate change package in developing countries.

The prime minister delivered his warning to a meeting of environment ministers brought together under the umbrella of the Major Economies Forum. The 17 countries in the forum are responsible for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. Brown told them: "In every era there are only one or two moments when nations come together and reach agreements that make history, because they change the course of history. Copenhagen must be such a time. There are now fewer than 50 days to set the course of the next 50 years and more.

"If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late."

Brown said that, according to estimates from the intergovernmental panel on climate change, an extra 1.8bn people – a quarter of the world's population – could be short of water by 2080 as a result of climate change. And the threat was not confined to people in the developing world, Brown said.

"The extraordinary summer heatwave of 2003 in Europe resulted in over 35,000 extra deaths. On current trends, such an event could become quite routine in Britain in just a few decades' time," he said.

"And within the lifetime of our children and grandchildren the intense temperatures of 2003 could become the average temperature experienced throughout much of Europe. In Britain we face the prospect of more frequent droughts and a rising wave of floods."

Brown said that he thought a deal at Copenhagen was possible. But negotiators were "not getting to agreement quickly enough", Brown went on, which was why he was appealing for leaders to get involved personally. "We cannot compromise with the earth, we cannot compromise with the catastrophe of unchecked climate change, so we must compromise with one another," he said.

"I urge my fellow leaders to work together to reach agreement amongst us, recognising both our common and our differentiated responsibilities – and the dire consequences of failure."

Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, yesterday highlighted signs of movement, pointing out that last month India said it was ready to set itself non-binding targets for cutting carbon emissions, while China said it would curb the growth of its emissions by a "notable margin" by 2020, although it did not specify further.

The US special envoy for climate change, Todd Stern, said developing economies must boost their efforts to curb emissions, warning it was "certainly possible" that no deal would be agreed in Copenhagen. "What we need to have happen is for China and India and Brazil and South Africa and others to be willing to take what they're doing, boost it up some, and then be willing to put it into an international agreement," he said.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Green Cleaners - September 2009 Media Corp Suria

Took a while to upload, sorry! As featured on Suria's 'Fajar Ramadan' program Sept 2009. Green Cleaners' director and founder Colin Pudsey talks about Green Cleaners' carefully selected products, eco friendly services and our professional eco trained staff.

We also hear from a satisfied client on why choosing Green Cleaners is important to her family. (Malay / English subs)

Friday, October 16, 2009

North Pole Ice Set To Melt By Summer 2020

The frozen Arctic Ocean will become an open sea during the summer within a decade, according to the latest data. Climate change experts predict a massive melt which will see the ice cover completely disappear throughout the warmer months. British polar explorer Pen Hadow led an expedition to collect the data behind the alarming prediction.

He told Sky News: "We were able to reach the areas the scientists can't get to. Our findings are depressing. In just ten years or so 80-85 per cent of the Arctic Ocean will be ice free, and within twenty years we'll have completely lost the summer ice."

Hadow and the rest of the Catlin Arctic Survey team faced temperatures of down to minus 45C, and even had to swim part of the 450km journey. Using giant drills they measured the depth and age of the Arctic ice. Their results, the most recent gathered from the North Pole, show how the region is gradually disappearing.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge say it is "invaluable evidence". Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Physics Group said: "Up until now we've always thought of the Arctic Ocean as a white lid on top of the planet. But now that lid is being lifted and replaced with an open ocean which changes everything. It really is bad news."

As the ice disappears so too does its wildlife, from polar bears to walrus and seals. Moreover, the Arctic sea ice has been described as earth's refrigerator, and as it melts, it is expected to have a major impact on the world climate.

Campaigners are taking this latest research to the Copenhagen climate conference in December in the hope that the evidence will convince world leaders to take action in cutting carbon emissions. Ed Miliband, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, said the findings set out the "stark realities of a rapidly changing climate" and "illustrated the risk of an ice free summer in the Arctic in the not-too-distant future. This further strengthens the case for an ambitious global deal in Copenhagen in December which the UK is fully committed to achieving," he said.

Dr Martin Sommerkorn, from the WWF International Arctic Programme, warned there was "no time to lose". "Countries must see these results and think there is no alternative. We must deal with the problem and make investments. Humankind and our way of life is at stake."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Plug In Singapore - November 2009

A good friend of mine is holding an event in November focused on electric vehicle infrastructure, technologies and information. The event has some great speakers, both government and private and will be the first EV show in Singapore. Plug-In Singapore provides a platform and meeting place for local and global thought leaders from the Electric, Hybrid, and Alternative Fuels Vehicle and Infrastructure support ecosystem to define actionable frameworks for next generation clean transportation solutions in Asia Pacific.

You can see more at

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dyson launches bladeless fan

Inventor James Dyson has launched a bladeless fan which he hopes will be a healthy and environmentally-friendly alternative to air conditioning. The 62-year-old designer, who gave his name to the bagless vacuum cleaner, said the bladeless fan stops the unpleasant "turbulent buffeting" of traditional desk fans, creating a smooth, constant air flow "like a breeze".

Mr Dyson said the fan, which costs from £199 (approx S$445), could replace unhealthy and uneconomical air conditioning systems. "If only we could open a window and use a fan then we would be saving a huge amount of electricity, and stopping the emission of HFCs and also having a much healthier environment," he said.

"I hope that it will start to replace air conditioning, which is unhealthy and very bad for the environment, because this uses one-50th of the electricity of air conditioning." He added that the fan delivers a "much smoother air flow" than traditional models, was so safe you could put your hand through it while it was switched on, and was also easy to clean.

"A fan with blades chops up the air and sends sort of slices of cake, blocks of air, at you so you feel a buffeting, a turbulent buffeting, when it hits you and it's not really very pleasant," he said. "But because there are no blades you're getting very smooth air, like a breeze, so it's constant and smooth so it's very comfortable to be in front of it.

"There's just as much air flow, and just as much speed, but it's comfortable to be in front of it. And people actually say that, because it's a constant stream, it's much more cooling - I don't know whether technically it's more cooling but it feels like it."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

5 Ways Your Bedroom is Killing You

Your bedroom is the the place you go to rest, relax, and recharge each night, so you want it to be healthy. Perhaps with the except of your office, the bedroom is probably the place where you spend the most time; a full third of your life is spent between the sheets. Yet, there are a handful of ways that your bedroom might be slowly and silently killing you each night. Avoid these hazards in five spots around your bedroom and rest a little easier each night.

Your Pillows

You may not think much about your pillow -- and, hey, you're asleep while you're using it -- but you could be breathing in chemical fumes, or being exposed to synthetic dyes and other toxins. Poly-fill and other synthetic materials, like polyurethane foam, are often made from petroleum derivatives. Aside from the fact that using oil for your pillows ain't cool (since it's a non-renewable fossil fuel and all), it's also extremely flammable -- you've seen what happens when you light gasoline on fire, right? So they're treated heavily with polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) or other brominated fire retardants, and, while that helps them not burst into flames, they can bioaccumulate in your body, and toxicological testing indicates those chemicals may cause liver toxicity, thyroid toxicity, and neurodevelopmental toxicity. Not something you want from the spot where you lay your head.

Pillows also often harbor dust mites, and many people are allergic to their leavings, so finding hypo-allergenic options can also be beneficial for your health; check out our piece on green pillow options to learn more about some of the eco-friendly places to lay your head.

Your Mattress

The pillow for your body has many of the same hazards (plus a few more) that your pillows do. Many mattresses contain polyurethane foams, which have the PBDE or other brominated flame retardants in them, and just about every conventional mattress is given a separate brominated fire retardant or other chemical treatment. State laws have been rapidly changing over the past few years, changing the chemicals used by different manufacturers -- some use boric acid, for example, a common household pesticide that can be toxic when inhaled by humans -- but, in general, none of them are very good for you. To be sure your mattress isn't slowly killing you, check out our guide to buying green mattresses.

Your dresser, bed, and other furniture

Aside from your mattress and pillows, the rest of your bedroom furniture -- your bed, dresser, bedside tables, and the like -- may not be doing you much good. If it's made from plywood, oriented strand board (OSB), particle board or other wood composite material, that means there's a significant amount of glue and adhesive holding it together. All too often, those adhesives are formaldehyde-based (its hazard has been well-documented) which can off-gas volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in your bedroom for years after you bring the furniture into your home.

And, though you can't see them, VOCs aren't anything to trifle with; at high concentrations, some VOCs can cause chronic and acute health effects, and others are known carcinogens. But even low to moderate levels of multiple VOCs can produce acute reactions. Bottom line: Avoid volatile organic compounds as much as possible. To avoid VOC-laden furniture, learn more about choosing good wood furniture.

Carpets and rugs

Your flooring isn't immune from dangers, either. Carpets often contain significant amounts of VOCs, in everything from the padding in wall-to-wall carpets to the adhesive used in modular carpet tiles. Same story for rugs; the backing is often adhered with indoor air quality-damaging glues, and occassionally made from composites held together with the nasty stuff.

To avoid these hazards, perhaps the greenest thing to do is tear up your wall-to-wall carpeting, but if you can't live without the soft padding underfoot, be sure to clean your carpet without chemicals and look for green carpeting options when it's time to replace your current carpet.

Paint and other wallcoverings

Just as your flooring can contain harmful hidden materials, so it is with your wallcoverings. Paint might be the most common (or at least the most widely known) source of VOCs in your home; thankfully, the list of companies and retailers offering no- or low-VOC paints is pretty big and growing all the time, so splashing up a healthier coat isn't as difficult as it was even a few years ago. The hazards don't stop with paint, though; many wallpaper adhesives -- like lots of other adhesives that we've mentioned here -- can be harmful to indoor air quality. And the same goes for wall textiles and other wallcoverings, too -- if it can be glued, it can be full of VOCs.

When installing new wallcoverings, the smell test is the easiest way to test for VOCs -- if it stinks, it's harmful to you, and can continue to be long after the 24 or 48 hours when you can really smell it. Look for no- and low-VOC adhesives, and you'll be breathing easier -- and living healthier -- for years to come.

Monday, October 12, 2009

World Challenge 2009

Now in its fifth year, World Challenge 09 is a global competition aimed at finding projects or small businesses from around the world that have shown enterprise and innovation at a grass roots level. World Challenge 09 is brought to you by BBC World News and Newsweek, in association with Shell, and is about championing and rewarding projects and business which really make a difference.

To check out this year's finalists and vote for your favourite visit

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Top 5 Cleantech countries in the world

The cleantech wave is expected to continue to grow, with some analysts estimating the cleantech market will crack the $2 trillion threshold by 2030. The players in the cleantech space are a mix of world economic, political and social leaders. They include former American vice presidents, billionaire entrepreneurs, Arab Sultans, Internet moguls and huge pension funds.

Which countries are the leaders in cleantech? There are no black and white answers. I analyzed what I thought were the most important factors, such as government initiatives and programs, large investment mandates, entrepreneurial innovation as well as cultural and social drivers.


With the national goal of becoming 100 percent fossil fuel free. The Danes are Europe's largest exporters of energy technology and the birthplace of wind technology. The Danish wind industry accounts for approximately one-third of the world market, with big players such as Vestas, Siemens and Gamesa all having major R&D and production facilities in Denmark. The Danes also have the financial backing of ATP Pension Fund, DONG Energy and AP Pension, all with huge mandates for cleantech. Denmark is truly a model cleantech country where business, international cooperation, entrepreneurship and R&D partnerships are facilitated by such organizations as Copenhagen Capacity, Copenhagen Cleantech Cluster, and Cleantech Scandinavia.


Is the solar capital of the world. Over half of all global solar energy is produced in Germany. Led by powerful government initiatives such as the feed-in tariff program, 10 percent of the energy consumed in Germany was produced from renewable resources in 2008. Germany also tops European countries for cleantech investment in 2008, with $383 million in capital—an increase of 217 percent from 2007. The German government’s "High Tech Strategy" devoted more than €15 billion to technology and innovation between 2006 and 2009 and has helped increase employment in the cleantech industry from 250,000 in 2007 to 280,000 in 2008. Germany's 2050 goal is to have half of primary energy consumption coming from renewable resources.


Is a country fully embracing green technologies, with 43.3 percent of total energy consumption coming from renewable sources. The city of Malmo is a true example of cleantech living—with 39.9 percent of its energy consumption covered by renewable energy. Sweden boasts two internationally renowned sustainable city projects, City of Tomorrow in Malmo and Hammarby Waterfront in Stockholm. Between 1990 and 2007 Sweden's GDP grew by 48 percent while greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 9 percent. Strong legislation has pushed the cleantech industry, fueled by some of the strongest environmental organizations in the world. The Society of Nature Conservation, WWF and Greenpeace have some 500,000 supporters/members in a country with a total population of 8.5 million. Add the backing of financial of such institutions as AP7 Pension Fund, Northzone Ventures, Sustainable Technologies Funds, and SEB Venture Capital, and one can easily see why Sweden is a true cleantech force on the world stage.

4.The United Kingdom

Official commitment to cleantech is strong and growing. It is aiming to achieve a 60 percent reduction in UK carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, and carbon neutrality by 2012 for the government's office estate, all backed by such groups as UK Trade & Investments and ThinkLondon. With the 2012 Olympics aimed to be the greenest games ever, the UK has set a target of 15 percent of energy from renewables by 2020. The UK is also in the running for the financial hub of cleantech with well respected firms such as Generation Investment Management (co-founded by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore), Virgin Green Fund (founded by entrepreneur billionaire Sir Richard Branson), Zouk Ventures, Carbon Trust, Impax, and the Environment Technology Fund.


The 'Silicon Valley' of water technology, is fast becoming the cleantech incubator to the world. Israel recycles 75 percent of its wastewater, invented drip irrigation, and is home to the world's largest reverse osmosis desalination plant. Israel certainly isn't the world's biggest cleantech market, but it might just be one of the world's most important centers of cleantech innovation and R&D, with innovative companies such as CellEra, Aqwise, and Emefcy. Better Place is also making Israel the first test-market for a nationwide electric vehicle recharge network. Leading Israeli VCs include Israel Cleantech, Aqua Argo Fund and Terra Ventures.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Anti-ageing creams 'increase cancer risk'

Many products claiming to rid skin of wrinkles and fine lines actually strip away the protective top layer and leave it vulnerable to sun damage and dangerous toxins, according to Dr Sam Epstein, chairman of the US Cancer Prevention Coalition.

He said the active ingredient alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs), found in many leading brands of face cream, were “probably the most dangerous cosmetic products on the market”. 'Miracle cream reverses ageing' Dr Epstein is campaigning for the creams to be regulated in the US and has urged British consumers to be aware of the health risks.

“So many women, and even some men, slather these products all over their skin in the naive belief that they have nothing to fear but ageing,” he told the Daily Express.

In Britain there is no requirement for a warning to be placed on creams containing AHAs, but the alleged dangers ahve already been recognised in the US. The US Food and Drug Administration has warned consumers that AHAs “could destroy the upper layers of skin, causing severe burns, swelling and pain”.

Dr Epstein, who is Professor emeritus of environmental and occupational health at the University of Illinois, added: “Anything that strips the surface of the skin not only risks sunlight penetrating the exposed layer but also allows other toxic products in. “All of the toxic effects are massively increased by AHAs.” Exposure to the sun's harmful rays can cause skin cancer.

Dr Epstein also expressed concern about other ingredients commonly used in anti-ageing products, such as limonene. “Apart from being an irritant, it is a well documented carcinogen,” he said. Britons spend £673million a year on skin care products, with 42 per cent of all moisturisers claiming to combat ageing.

A spokeswoman for the Cosmetics, Toiletries and Perfumeries Association, told the Daily Express that cosmetic firms were not required to warn consumers if their products contained AHAs but only if they contained these ingredients at such high levels they could be dangerous. She added: “There is a legal requirement for these products to be safe.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Top Green Spring Cleaning Tips

#1 - Reduce
The first step to fighting messes and keeping your home spic-and-span is getting rid of all that stuff you never use. Go through all the places where it accumulates—try closets, junk drawers, out-of-reach shelves, attics and basements, and any other place where you're inclined to toss stuff as you say, "I'll deal with this later"and be diligent about— separating out what you really will use someday from what you never will. Be honest: you may say you like that sweater your aunt gave you for Christmas in 2004, but if it still has the tags on it, you aren't ever going to wear it. And be practical: do you really need that pasta maker? The quickest way to cut your cleaning time is to simply have less stuff to clean.

#2 - Reuse
Now you have a pile that you're ready to get rid of—but wait: don't just trash it. First, go through and see if any of those items could serve a purpose you haven't thought of before: Do you have enough books to stack up and use as a side table? Can you take the frames off those ugly paintings and use them elsewhere? We know of ways to reuse everything from single mittens and broken guitar strings to holiday greeting cards and ceramic tiles—so while we aren't suggesting you keep all this around just in case, see if any of what you have can save you from buying something else.

#3 - Donate
Once you've taken stock of what you can use, separate out items that someone else might need. This includes dishes, kitchen gadgets, clothes, books, magazines, toys, home decor—all of these items could find a second life with someone else. If you need instant gratification, just drop it all off at your local Salvation Army; if you're slightly more patient, try offering items for sale, turning your goods over to an artist, donating through Freecycle, or seeing what you can get for that collection of comic books on eBay. Your house will be less cluttered; someone else can skip buying new; and the landfills will be that much emptier.

#4 - Recycle
Once you've exhausted all the other options, it's time to hit the recycling bucket. Of course you're already recycling newspapers, magazines, and any glass that isn't salvageable, but take a second look at the rest of your trash, too: did you clean out the fridge? Find a compost pile. Get rid of old electronics, from cell phones to VCRs to ancient computers, by passing them off to retailers with a recycling program or to a specialized electronics recycling company. Check anything plastic to make sure it's recyclable, and make sure to safely dispose of anything that's not recyclable or trash-friendly, like old paint or batteries.

#5 - Get the right home organization tools
Now that you've managed to weed out the useless from the useful, you need to find a system for organizing what you've got left—because if you can't find something when you need it, you'd might as well not have it at all. For this, you'll need storage containers, but that doesn't mean you need to stock up on (non biodegradable) plastic bins; instead, try cardboard boxes wrapped in pretty paper, bamboo baskets, or cloth bags made from old t-shirts. Raise your storage with eco-friendly shelving to free up floorspace and make your rooms look bigger. And note: if, while you're organizing, you find items that don't seem to fit with anything else, those are likely goods you could add to the "donate" pile.

#6 - Use eco friendly products or choose Green Cleaners! :)
Take the stress of housework and choosing eco friendly brands away and leave yourself time for preparing the more important things, by having a Green Spring Clean by Green Cleaners’ professional 5* staff. For homes that prefer to do the spring cleaning themselves, our specially selected green home cleaning kits are available to purchase online. With a range of kits to suit every household and lifestyle delivered straight to your door, making the change to a ‘greener’ home has never been easier.

#7 - Plan ahead
If you keep these tips in mind all year, then your 2010 spring cleaning will be that much easier. Don't let stuff accumulate in your home; don't buy things you don't need; and don't be shy about returning gifts you won't ever use. Take advantage of the seasons to edit your collections and donate or sell goods—you might get more at a consignment shop for a winter coat in the fall then in the spring, and your yard sale of extra housewares may do better in late summer if you can catch the back-to-college crowd. Thinking green throughout all areas of your life—from your office to your wardrobe to your home electronics—will put you ahead of the game come next spring.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Mazda to raise $1bn for 'green' cars

Mazda Motor plans to raise Y96bn ($1.1bn) in a share sale to fund development of hybrid vehicles, as it attempts to close a "green car" gap with competitors such as Toyota and Honda. The Japanese carmaker yesterday said it would offer 363m new shares to investors, equivalent to one-quarter of its outstanding stock, and sell an additional 97m existing shares that it bought about a year ago from Ford Motor, its long-time US partner.

Mazda is taking advantage of a rebound in equity prices that has convinced a number of groups to issue stock in recent months, including BNP Paribas, Nomura, UniCredit and HeidelbergCement. Mazda's shares have climbed by nearly 60 per cent from their lows in March, as investors bet the worst of the global recession - and its especially punishing impact on carmakers - has passed.

Mazda's fundraising also reflects growing pressure on small carmakers to join the market for petrolelectric hybrids and other advanced low-emission vehicles, which are expensive to develop and have been sold mostly by large companies such as Toyota.
Investment capital is seen as especially critical for Mazda, whose ties to the much larger Ford group have loosened. Ford sold a majority of its 33 per cent Mazda stake last November to cover deepening losses.

Mazda said it planned to spend Y60bn of the new cash on technological innovation. It plans to raise the average fuelefficiency of its fleet by 30 per cent by 2015 compared with 2008, by introducing next-generation drives and improving the performance of its petrol-burning internal-combustion engines. Mazda uses a hybrid system developed by Ford in the single hybrid model it presently offers, a version of its Tribute small sport-utility vehicle, which is itself based on the Ford Escape. Only a few hybrid Tributes have been sold.

The company said it planned to show a prototype hybrid passenger car at this month's Tokyo Motor show and would begin selling the car by 2011. The new vehicle may use hybrid components supplied by Toyota, which began talks on a procurement deal with Mazda this year, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mazda said preliminary results for its second quarter showed it had returned to profit at operating level - a quicker rebound than it had initially expected. Mazda narrowed its projected operating loss for the full year to Y13bn from Y50bn and raised its global sales outlook by 55,000 vehicles to 1.155m. Of the new shares, 315m are to be sold through a public offering and 48m shares may be issued to Nomura Securities, one of the deal's underwriters, depending on demand.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Zero Waste Fashion Design - Attn: Haney! :)

You may be showing off your bamboo couture skirt and feeling pretty green. While the fabric may be the stuff eco dreams are made of, did you stop to think about the amount of unused material that was wasted and now resides—with all its eco glory, on the top of a dump?

It's not just eco-unconscious designers contributing to the pollution of the planet in the manufacturing of their prized fashions. The latest eco-innovation circulating within the environmentally-minded fashion industry is Zero Waste Fashion. It's a concept that is being mainstreamed thanks to shows like "Project Runway" that challenged their designers to create a Zero Waste outfit.

What is Zero Waste Fashion?

Zero Waste is a concept that crosses many industry lines-- from food to fashion. When it comes to your clothes, it is a way of constructing garments without wasting fabric. The fact is that an average of 15% of all fabrics used in the production of our favorite clothes (both eco and conventional) is tossed like old socks. From pattern-cutting to unused edging, the clothing industry is responsible for a lot of waste. Zero Waste fashion challenges designers to think about fabric as a coveted commodity and use it sparingly-- scraps and all. In other words, the patterns are more carefully crafted to minimize excess fabric being snipped off. The fabric that does end up on the cutting room floor is fashioned into usable embellishments and details instead of landing in a dumpster.

To understand the life cycle of your favorite skirt (hemp or not), take note:

Who's the Worst Waster?

Cutters are often charged with being the worst wasters. But the cycle, mind you, starts with the designer who conceptualizes the pattern's cut requirements, leaving the cutter no choice but to follow on the dotted lines. Sure, the creative process contributes to some of the discarded samples, but the real waste lies in the lack of organization and sloppy pattern designs.

Thankfully, some designers are putting a little forethought into the final pattern preparation stage to help waste less fabric—a few extra minutes of planning that's helping make less of an environmental mess while saving the fashion house money (lest you forget that wasted fabric, means more fabric that must be bought—which is expensive).

How to Make your own Zero Waste Fashions

The salvation Army and Goodwill don't take just any article of clothing. Holes and excessive ware or stains often deem certain items unsaleable leaving you little option than to dump your denied sweaters and jeans with the hole in the butt. Or so you thought... Instead of tossing your once-favorite fashions, here are a few ways to turn your trash to treasure:

- Salvage the details—like buttons, lace, and ornamental fabrics, and sew them on to an otherwise blah shirt.
- For jeans that are too frayed in the knees for wear, you can cut them into jean shorts or open the legs and crotch at the seams and sew them into a short jean skirt.
- Old raggedy t-shirts make the best cleaning clothes that won't scratch.
- Send your old duds to Art of Shade where designer Kayce Armstrong constructs seriously gorgeous, individualized eco-couture dresses out of any old article of clothing, fashion, even vintage fabric home decor.

Now the question arises: When it comes to eco fashion, who is considered the greenest? The "eco" designer who haphazardly dumps half their organic/hemp/bamboo fabric? Or the "conventional" designer who scrupulously fabricates each garment from zero-waste patterns, salvaging every bit of last season's cashmere/wool/cotton scrap?

This one's for you to chew and comment....

Saturday, October 3, 2009

5 Surprising Sources of Indoor Air Pollution

People are becoming more and more aware of indoor pollutants like paints, toxic cleaning products, and mold. But some indoor air pollutants can be pretty surprising if not downright shocking.

1. The Kitchen Stove

The kitchen stove is the main cause of excess nitrogen dioxide in the home. Cooking on a stove, particularly a gas stove, can actually introduce unsafe levels of nitrogen dioxide into the air. Too much nitrogen dioxide is bad for the respiratory system, increasing the risk of asthma attacks and other respiratory illness. This is easily preventable by making sure that your stove is properly ventilated.

2. Air Purifiers that Use Ozone

We use air purifiers in our homes to purify the air but the fact of the matter is that they sometimes can do just the opposite. Ozone is the main ingredient used to give your air a good cleaning. But ozone is also the main ingredient in smog. It can scar lung tissue, trigger asthma attacks, cause coughing fits and lead to permanent damage that could shorten your life. Do not purchase ozone generators that are sold as air cleaners.

3. Cockroaches

The droppings, body parts, and saliva of cockroaches can be asthma triggers. Certain proteins, called allergens, are found in cockroach feces and saliva and can cause allergic reactions, or trigger asthma symptoms, in some individuals. But don't reduce cockroaches by using traditional pesticides to kill them. Traditional pesticides can pollute our ground water and eco-system as well as the air we breath, instead keep the house clean by making sure that food matter is not left out in the open attracting bugs. Pay particular attention to the holes where cockroaches can make an easy entrance as well.

4. Drapes

Drapes attract dust mites. Dust mites are related to spiders and ticks but are smaller than the period at the end of this sentence. They are too small to be seen by the unaided eye. They are also the number one cause of indoor allergies and asthma. Install window blinds instead of drapes to cut down on dust mites' habitat.

5. Incense

Burning incense releases particulate matter as well as benzene and carbon monoxide, two dangerous gases. Studies show a link between heavy exposure to incense smoke and cancer, asthma, and skin irritation. It's best either to stop burning incense entirely or make sure that the room is well ventilated when you do burn it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The World's Top 10 Eco-friendly Hotels

As Determined by TripAdvisor Editors and Travelers - TripAdvisor(R), the world's most popular and largest travel community, recently announced its top 10 eco-friendly accommodations, according to TripAdvisor editors and travelers. From rustic cabins in the forest to contemporary digs in the city, these green properties allow travelers to be environmentally conscious, while enjoying incredibly unique and beautiful places to stay. Here's the top 3 for you to ponder :)

#1 - Eco-Adventure: Hamanasi Adventure and Dive Resort, Hopkins, Belize - Travelers' Choice Winner 2009: Best Bargain, Best Hidden Gem, Best for Romance - Average Nightly Rate: USD$245

Set on 21 acres of coastal forest, this eco-resort's green practices ensure that nothing goes to waste, from composting all vegetable and fruit scraps to using old linens as cleaning rags. In addition, the resort's dive adventures educate guests to minimize the negative impact of human contact with the environment. According to one TripAdvisor traveler, "The fact that the resort advocated reusing towels, limiting sheet changing and using the surrounding natural beauty made us feel that we were contributing to the preservation of Belize."

#2 - Terra Firma: Hotel Terra Jackson Hole, Teton Village, Wyoming - Average Nightly Rate: USD$371

Eco-friendly elements abound in the Hotel Terra, literally from floor (environmentally-friendly carpets) to ceiling (recycled roof shingles). Organic linens, low-flow toilets and solar-powered faucets can also be found in guest rooms, and even relaxation is green here, with organic spa products, and 100 percent natural mattresses made from recycled and organic materials. As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "We were ushered to our suite and discovered that not only was it the latest in eco-friendly hotels, but incredibly luxurious!"

#3 - Organic Accommodations: La Cusinga Eco Lodge, Uvita, Costa Rica - Travelers' Choice Winner 2009: Best Hidden Gem - Average Nightly Rate: USD$166

While stunning views of the Pacific are reason enough to visit La Cusinga Eco Lodge, its eco-friendly programs and commitment to conservation make it all the more appealing. Set in the rainforest, the eco-lodge's electricity is generated by solar and hydropower, and the water is heated by the Costa Rican sun. Buildings are constructed from re-forested wood and local materials, and rely on natural air currents to cool them. As one TripAdvisor traveler commented, "The organic gardens were my personal favorite, and they use all the fruits and vegetables in their daily meals."

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sting sends an SOS to the world!!

Get involved with the campaign ~ it's easy! Simply visit and sign up today!!

YOUR eco friendly tips #5 - Soap Nuts

Sent in by Mrs. D, a friend of Green Cleaners since March '09.

"Soap nuts is the common name for the fruit from the Sapindus genus of shrubs and trees, which grows in tropical regions around the world," writes Mrs. D. "The fruit (nuts) contain saponin, a natural detergent, which has been used as a cleanser for centuries but is just now making its way to our neck of the woods."

Mrs.D explains: "Simply pop 6-8 shells in the cloth bag and throw them in your washing machine—these will last about 3-4 washes. Your wash will come out clean, but without a smell, so if you like the scent of clean clothes just add a few drops of essential oil to the wash beforehand. Soap nuts can also be used for other things as well, like washing windows, cars or pets. When the shells have been used to their full extent just throw them in the compost pile."

"I'm a convert," said a friend, after giving soap nuts a try. "I like how they clean, I like their simplicity, compostability, and utter naturalness. Soap nuts are a great addition in my bid to simplify my ingredient life, and I'm looking forward to a long-lasting love affair."