They eliminate background noises with super-soft ear cups.
The Plantronics technology offers up to 24 hours of listening while providing 330 feet of Bluetooth range, like all class 1 Bluetooth devices.
These work great for audiobooks, movies and music.
What’s great is that you don’t need to have the cord plugged in.
There are dual microphones built into these headphones so you can use Bluetooth for calls without any wire.
There is a cable for a physical connection, and using them both ways works well.
One minor complaint is while they fold flat, they don’t fold “up.”
Audio Technica Active Noise-Cancelling Closed-Back Headphones
With a design created around providing a hi-fidelity experience and noise reduction features that eliminate 90% of the background noise, it is easy to see why these noise cancelling headphones are on our list.
The ear cups are soft and flexible and the set folds flat for easy storage.
Ideal for traveling, these Audio Technica lightweight headphones include an adapter that is compatible with most airlines in-flight entertainment systems, meaning you can plug your headphones directly into the seat jack if you want to watch movies during flight.
They can’t quite duplicate the battery life of Bose, but 40 hours of entertainment is still a bargain.
And when it comes to noise cancelling headphones, they even take the prize for the absence of sound, as Amazon’s customers have selected the Bose QuietComfort 15 as the top rated choice.
If you are planning to fly this year and want to sleep on the plane but seem to have difficulty falling asleep in a strange noisy place like a plane, these headphones can be your salvation.
Great for business travelers, they reduce noise across the spectrum, covering a number of frequencies.
The over-the-ear fit and comfort styling make them ideal for plane rides.
These must-have headphones can also act as a remote control for your iPod/iPhone and provide hands-free calling functionality.
With a 35 hour battery life and weighing barely more than half a pound, these headphones are worthy of the Bose name.
Beats Studio Wireless Over-Ear Headphone – Noise Canceling Headphones
Although you might not normally associate legendary rapper Dr. Dre with an absence of noise, who better than the “Master of Mixology” to create top rated headphones, even if they are as good at cancelling noise out as they are for letting you listen in.
In fact, by blocking the external noise, the Beats Studio wireless headphones bring more life to the music and allow the listener to hear is as the artist intended.
The over-the-ear style headphones are designed for comfort and focus on providing a balanced, full-depth music experience.
Compatible with iPod/iPhone, the built-in mic allows you to take calls effortlessly.
They weigh in at less than a pound.
Beats Studio headphones require two AAA batteries.
They come with a rugged case to protect your Beats wherever the music takes you.
Best travel headphones
When you are looking for the best travel headphones and best noise-canceling headphone, you want to be sure it’s convenient to take with you.
It needs to be the ultimate travel companion.
These all are lightweight and collapsible.
They also all offer a long battery life.
These offer a flexible ear-cup designs to ensure a comfortable fit for any face.
These noise cancelling headphones are excellent at blocking out low frequency noise like automobiles and airplane engines.
They offer a good value.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your music and movies without disturbing anyone around you with these best travel headphones.
Your fellow travelers will thank you for using noise cancelling headphones.
Then enjoy them in other situations “on land” as well in noisy situations.
Best Portable DVD Players – Every year, families across the country pile into their cars or get on planes to set out, see the sights, and participate in that time honored tradition – the family vacation.
One of the most popular diversions for kids on a long trip, are the best portable DVD players for travel that helps keeps kids entertained.
Check out these top-rated portable DVD players that are tailor-made to ease the trials and tribulations of traveling, no matter how far you have to go.
Best Portable DVD Players for Travel Reviews
Coby 7-Inch Portable DVD/CD/MP3 Player
This full featured DVD player also doubles as a CD player and an MP3 player.
The 7-inch screen offers a clear, concise picture and is just the right size to make viewing easy without losing portability.
Don’t forget the headphones, which easily plug into the unit, so your daughter can watch The Princess and the Frog over and over without you having to listen in.
It weighs less than 3 pounds and can easily be handled by children as well as teens.
With a family-friendly price, this deal can’t be beat.
We bought it for a trip but now use it primarily for home.
Our preschools can safely operate it to watch their videos.
We have taken it with us for road trips and for airplane rides but our primary use has been to use it at home.
Which our kids do almost daily!
Sylvania 13.3-Inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player with USB/SD Card Reader
Before we ever considered buying a portable DVD player for travel, we wanted one for home.
We donated our DVD player years before having kids.
After having kids, we found that sometimes we (or they) wanted to watch a video.
We were out of luck until we found this portable DVD player by Sylvania.
The 13.3 inch screen makes it much larger than traditional portable DVD players so we can view it from farther away than our laps.
Several people can watch it at once, and we all see it fine.
Our kids mostly use the Coby (above), so we (the adults) use this for watching movies elsewhere in our home.
We’ve also taken it on trips to a relative’s cabin where there isn’t internet.
The kids gather around at night to watch DVDs while the parents relax without worrying about them.
There is great picture quality and resolution.
We are also very happy with the sound which comes from the two internal speakers.
It also comes with earbuds.
The buttons are straightforward and easy to navigate.
It is very lightweight and is convenient for travel.
RCA Twin Mobile DVD Players
Similar in form and function to the Philips dual player, this RCA mobile DVD player comes with two separate remotes.
Ensure no one will fight over the remote controls!
Both players can be mounted on the back of a car headrest and have a 7-inch LCD screen.
Each unit has separate built-in speakers while the headphones or earbuds can be plugged into the convenient jack for quiet enjoyment.
The package includes A/C adapters and car adapters for both units.
This will enable you to split the two players up, using one it the car and one in the house.
You can even use them in two different locations while traveling.
All in all, these twin players are double the fun.
If your son wants to watch a different movie than your daughter or your hubby is into action and you are craving romance, each of you can watch your own movie since the player can play the same movie for both screens or a separate movie on each.
It is lightweight and stores easily.
It is almost like getting a two for one deal.
Sylvania 13.3-Inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player with USB/SD Card Reader
This portable DVD player has a 13.3-inch screen.
We bought this Sylvania large screen DVD player after our beloved Coby 7-inch — after hundreds (maybe thousands?) hours of use — played its last video.
It had a good run but we wanted a larger screen because most of the time we found ourselves used the DVD player for home use much more than for traveling.
When we all squish together on the coach to watch a video, we have definitely enjoyed this larger screen.
It has good resolution and sound.
It takes a little over three hours to fully charge.
There’s a green light so you know when it’s charged.
Our kids can watch DVDs for about two and a half hours before we plug it in again.
Sylvania Portable DVD Player 7-Inch, Swivel Screen
For the price, this is one of the best portable DVD players around.
This model from Sylvania is easy to tote, and its no-nonsense price will make you happy too.
It’s another one of the smaller ones, with a 7-inch screen, yet it includes all the bells and whistles of the more expensive competitors, including the swivel screen.
We’ve taken this with us in the car 12 – 15 times and found it easy to use with the standard plug and car lighter adapter.
We’ve gotten between 4 – 5 hours of use on a charge, depending if we fully charged it before using it.
The only thing that we might be critical of is the tote bag it comes with.
It doesn’t offer any padding or protection.
Best portable DVD players for travel
These portable DVD players can also be a treasure for business travelers, retirees and moms and dads on the go.
They would make a great addition to a summer cottage or house boat.
They are great for use at home for relaxing or during an illness or recovery.
Our kids love using it for watching movies at home.
No matter your budget, these are the best portable DVD players available.
What’s best for you?
A 13.3 inch screen or one that is 7 or 9 inches?
Get one for your next trip and get through the stress of traveling easier.
It will keep the kids entertained for hours while you get to finally read that book you’ve been carrying around.
It may even help preserve your sanity when you’re stuck in the airport or on the tarmac.
Please all the kids in the backseat or on the plane with this one while the adults enjoy some quiet time!
Whether you plan to use it in the car or in an airplane, you will be so glad you bought one.
While the energy monitor tells me how much an electrical item is using, this product helps me to do something about it.
It’s so simple to use, yet it has the potential to conserve so much energy.
To use the socket, you simply plug it into an outlet, plug your appliance of choice into the Socket, and set the timer for 30 minutes, 3 hours, or 6 hours.
After the designated time, the Socket turns off and your appliance automatically stops drawing electricity from the outlet.
I use the Socket all of the time when I’m charging my phone or computer, but it would also be great for people who rush out the door in the morning and forget to turn off the toaster oven or curling iron.
If you plug your appliance in and set it for 30 minutes, it will turn off even if you forget to unplug it.
For under $20, you can make your home more sustainable and safer.
Why get a power monitor
There really aren’t many ways you can deliberately save money on major ongoing household bills, and utility bills can really be high, especially at certain times of the year if you don’t live in a temperate climate.
Here’s a real chance to do something about them.
You don’t have to be at the mercy of your appliances and the electric company!
After reading this energy monitor review you can see how gadgets like these are long overdue in the US.
Now they’re widely available, easy to use, and inexpensive.
Costco’s laundry detergent is phosphate-free, dye-free, and perfume-free.
What’s more, the container is made from 25% or more recycled materials.
Vaska Laundry Detergent:
This brand of detergent contains plant-based surfactants and conditioners, lavender extract and filtered water.
It does not contain: “NPE’s carcinogenic ingredients, chlorine, phosphates, petroleum products, alcohol, optical brighteners, synthetic scents, animal ingredients, EPA priority pollutants, or materials listed by ACGIH as hazardous.”
Makes you wonder what’s in your detergent – doesn’t it?
How to make your own laundry soap
There is always the option of making your own laundry detergent.
It is like baking a cake or bread from scratch: You will know exactly what is in it.
With some simple washing soda, Borax (which is made from naturally-occurring ingredients) and an unscented and natural bar of soap, you can be on your way to a more environmentally-friendly and green laundry detergent.
Living more green
For more information on environmentally friendly and eco living:
Green Spring Cleaning Checklist: 8 Tips for Your Home What Makes a Home Eco
The best green laundry detergents don’t necessarily cost more and you will have less irritants and toxins in your home and on your skin.
It’s a good idea to research on the Good Guide to learn more about the laundry detergent in your home.
Green Laundry Tips to Save Energy and Money
Since the new year, I’ve been doing my best to live green according to my top resolutions for green moms.
I’ve cut several energy-wasting activities from my daily routine, but laundry remains my nemesis.
With a family of five (including three growing boys who all play sports daily!), large quantities of laundry will be a reality for me for the foreseeable future.
Laundry is probably a reality in yours as well.
While household laundry can’t be avoided, there are ways to reduce energy, water-consumption, and reduce your environmental impact with the following five green laundry tips.
Green dish soap – 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.
Dish Soap 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.
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.