When Whole Foods announced their new 365 household products, including for laundry, household cleaning, and kitchen, we were thrilled.
Whenever possible, we seek out green options.
They provided us with some samples to review for their eco-friendly and green dish soap.
Until recently, when it mysteriously disappeared, I was loyal to my Method Dish Soap in Pink Grapefruit.
Sure – the bottle was a little awkward – but a bottle would last a really long time and was relatively inexpensive.
I would have preferred dye-free dish soap, but I loved the pink grapefruit smell.
But it’s gone, and we were in search of another green dish soap when Whole Foods told us about their new line: 365 Dish Soap.
365 Dish Soap Review of green dish soap Whole Foods
Green Dish Soap Price
The 365 Brand Dish Soap comes in three options: unscented, Mandarin Ginger, and Citrus.
Strangely the Mandarin Ginger was priced higher than the other two for the same quantity so we opted for the Citrus.
Whole Foods picked up the tab for the bottle, but since I wouldn’t likely spend more of my own money on a different scent I wasn’t going to spend theirs either.
It was priced competitively with the Seventh Generation dish soaps.
Scent and Texture
The citrus smell has a slight citrus smell to it and is not overpowering in anyway.
It’s much closer to being un-fragrance than to being over-fragrances.
It is dye free and doesn’t leave the hands too dry.
Crucial for those of us living in cold and dry winter wonderlands.
I do not want to have to slather my hands with lotion — more chemicals oftentimes — every time I do dishes or scrub a pan.
How Well Does the Dish Soap Work?
The 365 Dish Soap is extremely effective.
It removes both the grease and eggs from our stainless steel cookware as effectively as any other green dish soaps we’ve used.
My only complaint is that the soap is either extra runny or the hole is too big.
Resulting in more dish soap coming out of the bottle in one squirt than is actually needed.
When you turn the bottle over the soap comes pouring out without even having to squirt.
This reminds me of when I buy certain salad dressings and some of the brands and lids have a small hole from which to dispense the dressing and it comes out slowly and others do not have any plastic covering over the lid/hole and out pours more than you could ever eat.
I like that the bottle is not overly large because I don’t like, nor do I have room to store, large quantities of anything in my modest-sized home.
I am never someone who is going to mix together my own “recipes” for chemical-free cleaning products or buy a large quantity of the solution and have to dilute with water.
So when I can find some eco-friendly cleaning products that work, I’m happy.
I’m doing whatever I can to eliminate chemicals and toxins from my home so it is important to consider products you use most often, and then get the best and “healthiest” of those products whenever possible.
Update since reviewing this green dish soap Whole Foods:
One way to find healthy products is to look for the Environmental Protection Agencies’ new “Safer Choice” logo on the product.
After a lengthy and thorough process by EPA scientists, over 1,000 products have been deemed safe from potential health and environmental risks.
Most of the time, the products we use are ones we have bought for years, routinely — never questioning, much less thinking about — the hidden toxins and ingredients in them.
We go to the store, and we put them in our cart without ever thinking about their chemical makeup.
Personal care products like deodorant, toothpaste, makeup, and shampoo are very loosely regulated in the US, which means they often contain harmful chemicals.
The fix: Do your research with Good Guide and Skin Deep and buy products with fewer (or even better, no) harmful ingredients.
Or, if you have the time or interest, make your own personal care products.
Two surprises for me were two of my favorite products:
Dove bar soap and Off! insect repellent.
I love the white, unscented Dove bar soap.
I like that it doesn’t contain perfumes and dyes, and it always seemed hypo-allergenic as I never experienced any symptoms after using it.
I fully expected it to score at least an 8 or a 9 out of a possible 10 points for health/safety on Good Guide and was surprised to discover it scored a meager 4 points for the health concern of the ingredients.
It contains butylated hydroxytoluene, which they consider to be a “medium health concern.”
I usually buy Off!
insect repellent and was surprised to learn that within the same product line there so many differences when it comes to the “Health” of the ingredients.
Surprisingly, this was true of most brands of products I use.
For example, Off! Deep Woods Insect Repellent Towelettes scored an 8/10 in Health.
However, the Off!
Family Care Insect Repellent Towelettes with Aloe Vera, Light & Fresh scored a frightening 0/10 in the Health category for the following reason: “This product contains problematic, banned, or contaminated ingredients.”
I would have assumed the “family” version was safest choice.
Going forward, I plan to check Good Guide for all of the healthcare products my family uses. I want to find out which ones score “10.”
If they don’t, I will look for alternative products.
More about looking up products on Good Guide
What is also very helpful in the Good Guide site is that they rank the health and safety of the products’ ingredients.
They also take it steps further by giving each company an overall grade to include the company’s environment and society rankings.
As stated above, it is remarkable how many differences there are in ingredients within the same brand and same type of product.
Do your research!
Have you ever considered what you may be drinking and cooking with every single day?
Another everyday toxin in homes may be your water.
Your tap water might be contaminated with dangerous pollutants.
Note that bottled water is not the answer; it’s often just tap water put into a wasteful plastic bottle containing BPA.
Bottled water makers don’t fully disclose the source or purity of their water.
Filter your water, either with a simple filter like a Brita pitcher, or with a reverse osmosis system.
Chances are when it comes to baby, most of the things you are buying you have purchased new.
Many, if not most of them, are probably made from plastic.
Even more alarming, most of these newly purchased, plastic items are made in China and other countries with less-strict regulations.
When it comes to babies and children, it is so important to eliminate toxins in homes.
Teething toys and bottle nipples can contain endocrine-disrupting phthalates.
Bottles are often made with BPA.
Baby shampoos, diaper rash ointment and lotion can be chock full of harmful chemicals.
Formula cans can be lined with BPA.
Do your research.
Buy products made in the United States.
Buy natural baby toys made of wood, silicone, and rubber.
Use glass, stainless steel, or BPA-free baby bottles with silicone nipples.
Seek out options other than the standards sippy cups and plastic straws.
Look up your baby’s lotion, shampoo, and other personal care products on Skin Deep or Good Guide.
Another side note that cannot be overlooked: It is important to realize there can be BIG differences in the products you choose.
When I looked up Vaseline Pure Petroleum Jelly Jar for Baby, Creamy Formula, Enriched with Vitamin E, it scored a 10/10 in the “Health” category.
Yet Vaseline Baby Pure Petroleum Jelly Jar, Fresh Scent, scored a 6/10 for Health because of “insufficient ingredient information.”
More info: Best Natural and Green Baby Products
Pillows and Mattresses and Carpeting
The situation: When considering this category, I would have thought the hidden toxins in home pillows and mattresses would be the fact that I’ve kept them for too long, and that they would be filled with dust and dust mites.
Little did I know….Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and other toxic chemicals are widely used to prevent the spread of fire and are likely to be found in dozens of products in the home.
They have been used in products since the 1970’s in plastics; fabrics; foam in cushions, couches, beds and pillows, padding under the carpet, etc.; and electronics, including TV screens.
Since 2005, the PBDEs in foam furniture is no longer legal in the US; however, if you have products from before then — and most everyone does — you could be at risk.
Again, these would include everyday items that aren’t generally replaced, including mattresses, mattress pads, couches, easy chairs, pillows, car seats, carpet padding, and more. PBDEs were also used in vehicle seating, car seats, and office furniture.
The threat: Not many of us have replaced our mattresses and couches since 2005.
These, and our pillows too, all can contain PBDEs, which are chemical flame retardants linked to thyroid problems.
Exposure can be especially bad for babies and kids. PBDE can be passed to a baby through breast milk.
The fix: Buy and use pillows made from natural foam, wool, natural latex, buckwheat, organic cotton, or another natural material.
Buy an organic mattress.
Buy a new crib mattress.
Research the materials used before purchasing new couches and upholstered furniture.
Look for carpet pads that are certified for low VOC emissions and made with 100% new materials.
Ask about PBDEs and other hazardous materials.
Many carpet pads are made with waste and scrap materials so it is important to get information from a reputable source.
Natural fibers such as jute, horsehair, and felt and 100% sheep wool are generally safe.
Use caution when removing old carpet, and clean afterwards with a mop and quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.
More info: Shopping Tips for Green Products
Household Cleaning Products
We use them to make our home and living environment cleaner and healthier.
How can it be that this is another area that we have to wonder about and even worry about?
Have you ever thought about what you are spraying?
What are you and your family breathing in when you clean?
Cleaning products from dishwasher and laundry detergents to all-purpose cleaners are virtually unregulated.
And companies that make those products aren’t required to disclose their ingredients.
Which means that many contain harmful chemicals.
Buy natural cleaning products from eco-minded brands you trust.
Use the Guide to Healthy Cleaning and Good Guide to check your products.
Or learn to make your own green cleaning products.
It is fairly easy to do.
Easy to remove most hidden toxins in homes
The remedy for most of these toxins is education.
Research your favorite products, buy glass storage containers, buy a water filter and a stainless steel water bottle, make your own cleaning products.
When you are armed with information, it will become easier to almost permanently remove the harmful toxins.
Overhaul your home with simple changes
Make a list of what you can change and start to remove hidden toxins in homes.
Others you may not be able to change as easily, like the carpet padding.
However, perhaps you can purchase a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Overall, the goal is to live healthier.
Make simple changes like using a stainless steel or glass water bottle instead of buying plastic throwaway bottles; buying safer and more environmentally-friendly health care products, like toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo; and using glass storage containers instead of plastic for leftovers.
Remember that many hidden toxins in homes can be easily replaced with safer alternatives.
Sustainable Restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul – When we moved away from Washington DC, I knew I’d miss two things above all others: excellent public transportation and amazing restaurants.
I began my quest to find the best sustainable restaurants in Minneapolis – St. Paul.
What did I learn?
Although the public transit in the Twin Cities is comparatively lacking, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the restaurant scene and especially by the top-notch eateries dedicated to sustainable seafood.
What makes a restaurant sustainable?
It is important to make going green a lifestyle. But what makes a restaurant sustainable?
Due to the higher costs involved in going fully organic, it is difficult for most restaurants to compete.
But there are a lot of factors to consider, and it’s important to support restaurants that do even a few things to support our earth, animals, and the overall health of their consumers.
Before you dine, find out where they source their ingredients.
What do they offer that is organic?
Do they buy their produce, dairy and meat from nearby sources?
Depending on where the restaurant is located, it may or may not be possible.
Do they offer vegetarian options?
Find out if the meat they source uses best practices regarding Animal Welfare Standards, including no cages/crates and no crowding; outdoor access; and being pasture centered.
With these restaurants and others that are organic, buy local, support their community, work toward conserving energy and water, recycle and compost, and strive for sustainability, it is easy to make an earth-friendly choice. Food Quotes
What are the best sustainable restaurants in Minneapolis and St. Paul?
These are our top five sustainable restaurants to try in the Twin Cities.
Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market
289 East Fifth Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
My favorite Twin Cities dining experience happened at the chef’s table in Heartland’s St. Paul location.
Locally sourced meats and vegetables, freshly baked on-site breads, and delectable desserts — all paired with delicious wines.
Their nightly changing menu supports artisanal producers and small family farmers and sources organic and sustainable local ingredients.
From their grass-fed roast beef to their many salads, Heartland Restaurant is a place you will want to return to again and again.
3311 East 25th Street, Minneapolis MN 55406
We absolutely love that this restaurant sources from over 40 local producers.
Not only that, Birchwood Cafe actually lists all of these places on their website, with links to those farms, etc. when available.
They list where they get each of their categories of food, including meat and fish; dairy; growers; beverages; and their distributors.
They support local organic farms in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.
Birchwood Cafe is where I go when I want a spicy black bean burger accented by fresh veggies and served with a cold Surly beer.
They have excellent soups and desserts, too, and a dedication to sustainability.
Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Specializing in organic and local foods, Reg Stag was the first LEED-CI certified restaurant in Minnesota and the first facility in the United States to use only LED lighting, which use 90% less electricity than their incandescent bulb competitors.
They also compost and recycle.
I love the vibe at Red Stag.
It is warm and traditional with a contemporary edge.
Everything I’ve had there is fantastic.
It’s one of my favorite places to meet for a business lunch.
We love their support of non-profit and community organizations that support hunger, education, social justice, arts, the environment, sustainability and more.
When you are in the area, check out the Red Stag Supperclub.
4300 E. Lake Street, Minneapolis, MN 55406
I had the best rabbit of my life at The Craftsman on my birthday two years ago.
Then a few weeks back, I tried their locally-sourced charcuterie plate and loved it, and I’m not a big meat eater.
The Craftsman just feels classy, a throwback to another era.
I’d recommend it for a full dinner or just wine and appetizers.
We love that their menu changes with what is in season, offering The Craftsman the opportunity to choose the best in organic produce, artisanal cheese from local co-ops and farms, and humanely raised poultry, seafood, and meat.
Brasa Premium Rotisserie
600 E. Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55414 and 777 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105
Brasa is the perfect place to go with friends who like to eat.
Their sandwiches are fantastic, but I would recommend opting for a few sides and one or two meats.
The slow roasted pork and braised beef are my favorites, but everything is fantastic and local.
Locally produced, natural and organic….
If you have a taste for flavors from southern US, Caribbean and Mexico, Brasa Premium Rotisserie is the place.
Many of their ingredients are locally sourced.
They offer 100% natural eggs, meat, and dairy products, and they offer many organic ingredients as well as offering fair trade coffee and tea.
We love that they offer vegetarian and gluten free choices as well.
Why eat organic?
It is important to learn more about where your food comes from.
Parka in Minneapolis Review: Delectable Dining in Longfellow
Ever since I heard about the impending arrival of Parka in Minneapolis, a new restaurant near my home, I have been impatiently awaiting its opening.
Wednesday night the wait was over, and I was thrilled to experience the fantastic atmosphere, delicious food, and tasty beer on Parka’s opening day — all of which I’ll cover in this Parka Minneapolis ;review.
When you arrive, be sure to take in the laid-back, hip atmosphere of the restaurant, which gets much of its decor (chairs and cups, for example) from Forage Modern Workshop, a cool shop with unique furniture and a modern vibe and atmosphere.
Start your culinary journey with one of three beer choices from the Minneapolis-based Indeed Brewing Company.
We imbibed a Day Tripper pale ale and a Stir Crazy winter ale, and both were delicious.
We absolutely love that this restaurant serves local beverages.
Appetizers at Parka
If you’re tempted to skip the appetizers, don’t.
The succulent rabbit meatball hoagie was the best dish of the night.
The moist, flavorful meatballs are served on brioche-like bun from Rustica Bakery — another local source — and topped with a divine apricot mostarda and pistachio aioli.
The salt and vinegar beet chips that accompany the hoagie are a winner.
This food was unique as I’ve never, ever eaten rabbit much less in a meatball; nor have I ever tasted beet chips.
I love trying new things, and this is the place to do it.
Main course at Parka restaurant
For my main course, I ordered the beer can chicken.
The chicken was moist and tender and served on a bed of popcorn grits.
Being from Texas, I’m picky about my grits, and these were really good.
The salad with roasted red peppers was a nice touch and well put together.
The one thing I didn’t love about this dish was the bitter flavor of one of the sauces.
Another minor point was that the chicken could have been more flavorful; it was a bit plain.
But overall, it was still a tasty dish.
I think I just expected a little bit more given how impressed I was with the appetizer.
My partner in crime loves ribs so she ordered them.
Parka’s glazed spare ribs did not disappoint.
The kale was sparse but tasty, and the vermicelli pudding was basically a fancy mac and cheese — in a good way.
It was put together nicely.
Dessert at Parka in Minneapolis
For dessert, we ordered the apple cobbler with cheddar ice cream.
Check out that presentation.
The cobbler had good flavor and wasn’t too sweet, which I appreciated.
The cheddar ice cream had a good texture, but I think it would have been even better if it were cheesier.
Overall, a tasty dessert.
I never even heard of cheese ice cream before.
It was so interesting, and we would both definitely order it again.
Have you tried Parka Minneapolis yet?
What was your favorite dish?
Parka in Minneapolis address
4021 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55406 http://parkampls.com/ Hours: Weekdays 7AM – 1oPM and weekends 8AM-10PM
We enjoyed visiting Parka in Minneapolis.
It was decently priced, the service was excellent, and the wait time minimal.
Since writing this piece and having been to Parka two more times, it has closed, and is now Dogwood Coffee Bar.
If you’re heading somewhere extremely cold and want to pack socks that are warmer than Thorlos, buy Smartwools.
For both men and women Smartwools are the best travel socks for winter that you can find.
They are insanely warm, cute, durable, and comfortable.
Disposable Underwear: this may be the most un-green traveler thing I have come across in a long time.
And it’s just a little too ridiculous not to post about.
I wish I had found them in time for April Fool’s Day (and the joke would have been that they are real.)
That’s right – they make disposable underwear for travel.
Perhaps the commentator /reviewer with the most helpful disposable underwear review said this:
These are a life-saver for people going on extended trips. They can be washed and dried several times if you choose to be economical and environmentally conscious. They dry much faster than conventional underwear. Since they are lighter than conventional panties, they save a small but useful amount of energy by making your suitcase lighter. I also find them comfortable. I often find conventional panties chafing; these are very kind to my body. If you are going somewhere just overnight, you might be able to save the inconvenience of carrying a suitcase simply by tucking a pair in your purse — not a discreet option with conventional underwear. They look like a little cotton roll and are wrapped in plastic.
Other reviewers also noted how light they are and that they are better because there are no dyes in them.
Besides for travel, it seems people also buy disposable underwear for maternity and hospital stays.
And men have the option of disposable briefs or disposable boxers.
They are relatively inexpensive – $20 for 30 pairs of panties or briefs or $7 for 10 pairs.
The cost of the men’s boxers are $20 for 18 pairs.
Given that they are washable, it makes them perhaps an understandable choice for for extended travel.
One of the most difficult parts of planning for a trip is figuring out what clothing to pack. You have limited space so you have to pack light. I wanted to find the best travel dresses that would be versatile enough to wear traveling and at home.
Dresses are great and easier to wear than skirts. With a dress, you won’t have to worry about finding a matching shirt.
It’s often easier to change up the look with different accessories as well.
For the price, you really can’t beat this. This travel dress flatters most body types because it’s loose fitting and “flowy” in an A-line cut.
The t-shirt material (it’s not thin) lends itself to all sorts of activities. It has a little bit of stretch and a nice loose fit. You can wear it as a cover-up to the beach, walk around town or through museums in the day, and add a scarf or a statement necklace for dinner. This is the perfect cruise dress.
We also like that it looks good with sandals, flip flops, boots, and even heels. (It’s really cute with tights, boots and a sweater or cute jacket in the winter.) You can truly change up this dress to make it work for you. Depending on the colors you choose, it’s available in sizes small to XX large. We found it true to size. We love the pockets. This is a sleeveless dress but it’s very easy to drape a wrap or sweater over your shoulders.
The Zalalus is a great dress for travel, and it will be your summer staple. It packs easily. You can roll it up, and shake it out and won’t have to worry about wrinkles. It comes in solid, neutral, flattering colors — black, wine red, navy, darker green, and more.
Karen Kane 3/4 Sleeve A-Line Dress
Karen Kane 3/4 Sleeve A-Line Dress is machine washable and is available in sizes XS – XL. It’s available in black only. Because of the cut and the scoop neck, it will most likely fit all bust sizes and will be easy to fit.
Made of a rayon and Spandex blend, it is wrinkle resistant and has a bit of a stretch to it, making it very comfortable. It’s great for cooler climates and air-conditioned restaurants because of its longer sleeves. This is one of the best travel dresses to dress up or down and also perfect for a cruise.
I bought this dress for traveling but it has become my go-to for work as it’s easy to change necklaces or add a scarf to change the look. It looks good with sandals, flats, heels or black boots. It’s made in America too.
Toad and Co Rosalinda Jersey Knit Dress
This Toad&Co Rosalinda Dress has three quarter length sleeves. There are so many colors and patterns, it will be difficult to choose which one to get. It’s machine washable and made with organic cotton, Tencel and Spandex.
It has a very flattering fit and is cut really well to flatter many body types. In addition, Tencel wicks moisture so it’s great for outdoor activities too. We like this brand’s commitment to considering the environment.
PrAna Amelie Dress
With a loose-fitting fabric, this is a dress that flatters most body types, from size small to extra large. It’s a modest cut. It’s not form-fitting in the waist but offers you a little bit of shape, more so than A-line styles.
The material is very soft. It is easy to dress up or down. You can easily wear this dress when traveling.
We love pretty much all dresses from PrAna. They are quality items and cut well. Because they come in standard sizes, it’s easy to get a great fit when ordering online. PrAna is known for making some of the best travel dresses.
ExOfficio Sol Cool Dress
This dress from ExOfficio is a cute, versatile, sleeveless dress. You could wear it on the beach or put heels on, and go to a fancy restaurant. It comes in many different colors and patterns available which make it fun for traveling.
Plus, it wicks away moisture and has UPF protection of 50+. There’s even a small zippered security pocket on the right side. This dress is made from a blend of polyester and Spandex so it is easy to pack without wrinkling.
We have several pieces from ExOfficio, and they are all our go-to travel pieces. Click to check out the ExOfficio Sol Cool Dress.
This is one of the best travel dresses for hot climates. Had I realized how cute this dress would be, I would have ordered it in one of their brighter colors, like Deep Navy Bird Print and the Spiced Coral Bird Print.
Now that I see the dress in person and understand the fabric the upper portion is made of, I would have went for the bold color. Even the Spiced Coral, while not dark, is still a statement shade.
Even still, I do like my gray dress, officially called Smoke. This color is nice and neutral but for a one-piece outfit — a dress — I don’t need it to match anything so I should have went for bold.
Like this brand’s travel skirts, you could order this same style dress in multiple colors and it wouldn’t look like you were wearing the same dress.
Great dress for traveling
It looks good with flip flops and sandals. It’s a very casual dress but has a very flattering cut. I tend toward dresses that aren’t form fitting. These are the travel dresses I wear much more often than form-fitting ones, which is why it’s one of my new favorites.
This travel dress has two pockets — one on either side of the hip section. They are practical and not bulky in any way. The only downside to this dress is you can’t really dress it up or down. It wouldn’t look good with boots or heels. It’s strictly to keep you comfortable and cool in the heat.
I live in the very hot and dry southwest and this swing dress has been a lifesaver. I only wear skirts and dresses from May – October because it’s so hot. This Sunkissed Swing Dress works well across the seasons.
At first, I was surprised this travel dress wrinkled. It arrived folded, and it took a few hours on the hanger before the wrinkles disappeared. However, when I rolled it and put it in my suitcase and unpacked it, it didn’t have any wrinkles. So as long as you don’t fold it, it is great.
I asked Toad & Co. for this dress to review. They are a very eco friendly company, and I appreciate the efforts they make in sustainability.
Where to find the best travel dresses
We encourage thrift store shopping both before you go and while you’re there. One of my favorite sweaters is from thrift store in Ireland. However, we know that takes time and patience. When you are in the market for a particular piece of travel clothing it may be time-consuming to find just the right thing.
Maximize the time you spend in second-hand stores by always looking for travel clothing.
Sometimes, before embarking on a trip, it’s nice to have a few new pieces to wear. This is especially true because we often get very tired of wearing the same things on a vacation. Yet, when I have a new dress or other clothing item, I’m excited to wear it again. We hope some of these will become your favorite travel dresses.
When we recently went to New Zealand my rolling carry-on didn’t meet the weight limits for carry on.
This wasn’t only because of what it contained, but because it was just a heavy bag, even empty.
When everyone’s empty bag weighs a few pounds, the result is too much energy being used just to transport the luggage.
When searching for green luggage, try to the bag that weighs less.
Size of Bag
The first rule of luggage size is to buy a bag that’s the right size for your purpose.
While we prefer that everyone pack light, we’d rather you buy a bigger bag that you’ll actually use.
Otherwise you’ll have to buy another bag.
The second rule of luggage size is to buy a smaller bag.
Why? Because the more space you have the more likely you’ll be to fill it with stuff you don’t need.
I prefer carry on sized luggage because it saves the environment because I’m transporting less, and it save me the bag checking fee.
I honestly don’t know time I packed my stuff in a non carry-on size bag.
Even when we went to Argentina for three months (or New Zealand for 10 days) I still just brought a carry on.
Buying an expandable bag may seem to contradict my last recommended feature.
But, I have found that an expandable carry-on bag means that you actually have to own fewer pieces of luggage.
When you end up buying too many souvenirs or get an extra large holiday gift, expandable luggage comes in handy.
You can carry-on one way and check the bag on your return trip.
If you can, buy a bag that’s PVC free and/or made from recyclable materials. Hemp or organic cotton are also great choices.
As I alluded to in my intro, cheap luggage often falls apart.
Buy a bag with good reviews, a good warranty, or a well known brand.
Make sure it feels sturdy.
You might pay a little bit more now, but you will save the earth and some money down the road by not having to buy new luggage every few years.
Last but not least, if you are in the market for some new green luggage, first ask yourself whether or not you can repair your current luggage. If it’s just a broken zipper or wheel you can likely get your luggage repaired.
Luggage and bags are wonderful.
One of my favorite places to browse in a department store is the luggage section.
There are always new styles with fun compartments and nifty pockets.
But, I know the best tips for buying green luggage isn’t a tip at all.
Given the popularity of our Stainless Steel Water Bottle: Smackdown and our recent commitment to covering green home issues, I wanted to write about a surprising and scary issue in the home: nonstick pans – so this post is about the best stainless steel cookware.
I used to be an avid lover of nonstick pans.
I adore eggs and nonstick coated cookware made my kitchen pans incredibly easy to clean.
But, nonstick coatings are unbelievably bad for you and the environment.
So bad that the fumes can kill birds.
Check out this article and the references in it if you want to learn the specifics.
For instance, according to the article, “although an accurate national accounting of deaths is not available, in a single year [a]Chicago veterinarian documented 296 bird deaths in 105 cases involving non-stick cookware.
The problem with nonstick pans is something called polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE.
The most well known brand is Teflon®.
The Best Stainless Steel Cookware Sets
Now, I’m not one to be an alarmist, but I take my personal health very seriously.
At first, when Kimberly tried to convince me to throw out our nonstick Teflon pans I insisted that they were fine.
But I did a lot of research and eventually realized that nonstick is terrible.
The fact that the fumes can kill birds makes me think that nonstick may be even worse for you than BPA (the bad stuff in plastics and the reason to use stainless steel water bottles).
So, when we decided to purchase a new cookware set we researched different types of cookware.
Most professional chefs use copper or stainless steel cookware sets.
If they use these materials, why not us too?
But, our first stainless steel cookware set quickly broke.
The handles came loose and food didn’t cook easily.
The worst part about them was that the pans heated unevenly and were difficult to clean.
Luckily, for a wedding present we received an extremely nice stainless steel cookware set – All-Clad.
They pans have held up exceptionally well.
But more on that later.
Stainless Steel Cookware Set Comparison
To conduct our Stainless Steel Cookware comparison we have several different contenders.
We’ll discuss each one and the importance of their features
Filtered water bottle review – We get a lot of questions about stainless steel water bottles with filters, but until recently I hadn’t used a filtered water bottle review.
The folks at Eco Vessel were kind enough to send us a filtration water bottle to try out.
According to Eco Vessel, the blue water filtration bottle “removes up to 99.99% of pollutants.”
It’s also BPA-free, which I appreciate.
When to Use this Filtered Water Bottle Review
I would recommend using this bottle when you know you won’t have access to your own Brita or reverse osmosis filtered water which is why it is our top recommendation on this filtered water bottle review.
Hiking and Camping
This bottle would be great to use on extended hiking or camping trips where the water in streams is safe enough to drink, but might contain some pollutants.
I wish I’d had it when I was hiking in Patagonia.
The water there was fine, but even just removing the debris would have been a huge help.
Travel – Extended Travel
For extended trips where you’ll be traveling to places where the water is safe to drink, but potentially not tasty or totally clean, this filtration water bottle would be an excellent option.
At the Office
If your workplace doesn’t offer filtered water, this filtered water bottle would be a good choice for the office.
That way you can drink tap water and rest assured that the bulk of the pollutants are removed.
Working Out at the Gym
If you work out at a gym and are used to drinking out of the water fountain, this bottle is for you.
Fill the bottle up at the water fountain and drink it through the filter.
When to Choose A Filter-Free Bottle
For times you have access to filtered water, you won’t need to use this bottle.
And the filter inside makes it a little clunkier (and takes up space where water could be) so it’s not ideal for sports.
If you’re at home or can fill up your bottle before you leave the house, you’re probably just as well off sticking with a traditional (filter-free) stainless steel water bottle.
This bottle could work well for a bike ride, but I would prefer something a little less clunky with more room for water.
Travel – Short Trips
For shorter trips, especially those where you’ll likely have access to filtered water, you’ll probably want to bring a larger, filter-free bottle that you can refill.
How Does It Work?
According to the website, the Eco Vessel water filtration bottle uses an “Ionic-Adsorption Micro-Filtration system.”
I’m no expert on filtration systems, so I’m trusting that Eco Vessel’s system really does remove up to 99.99% of pollutants, as they claim.
I like the contoured shape, which makes it easy and comfortable to hole in your hand.
It also comes with a cloth handle and caribeener, which I suppose could come in handy.
Filtered Water Without Hassle
For people on the go, this bottle is ideal.
Not everywhere you go will have filtered water, but if you have your filtered water bottle, you can create your own low-pollutant water.
Stainless Steel (and BPA-free)
If you’re a regular Go Green Travel Green reader, you know we’re big fans of stainless steel water bottles because they’re lightweight and don’t contain the nasty chemical BPA.
One of our favorites is the Klean Kanteen, but their water filter isn’t quite as compact and integrated as Eco Vessel’s.
Not Made in the USA
Although the filter is made in the USA, the bottle isn’t.
That’s not surprising, though, considering we have yet to find a stainless steel water bottle made in the US.
Because of the filter inside, this bottle is a bit clunky, which might make it awkward for some athletic activities.
I would definitely recommend the Eco Vessel Blue Water Filtration Bottle to someone looking for an easy-to-use, compact filter water bottle.
The built-in filter makes it very portable and the contoured design makes it comfortable to carry.
I hope you find this filtered water bottle review helpful