Better World Books

Books are wonderful things. They tell stories, they provide education, they entertain us, they provoke us and make us think. They also take effort and paper and glue and toxic substances to create, which is not so ecofriendly. Used bookstores are a great way to still get excellent books without putting so much pressure on the planet. Ones like Better World Books.


With a ridiculously huge number of titles available, Better World books. provides a spot for you to search for the book you’ve been coveting. They show you the prices on other websites such as Amazon to ensure you’re getting a fair price. Plus, you can get it shipped anywhere in the world for three bucks. That’s right. Shipping is free in the US, $2.95 worldwide.

And, AND, they pair with worldwide literacy programs such as Worldfund, Room to Read and others to spread the love of reading around the world. A quick search showed lots of recently coveted titles, allowing you to indulge your guilty ecochick-lit pleasures – but eco-guilt free! Unfortunately it won’t assuage your guilt about reading Marian Keyes instead of reading War and Peace, but that can be our little secret.

So to fund literacy, care for the environment, and get a fair price on the books you want, visit Better World Books.

Attitude Envronmental Cleaning Products

It was only a matter of time until someone took on Method in the environmentally friendly household cleaner business. The best part is? This company’s Canadian. Quebec based Attitude Environmental Cleaning Products provides a full line of household cleaners, including window and mirror cleaner, stainless steel cleaner, kitchen cleaner and more. Made with simple, natural ingredients including water, essential oils, corn-derived cleansers, citric acids and more, these products clean your home while smelling delicious.

The website alone is worth a visit, with a full product list and fun enviro-tips to boot. They even have a list of what’s NOT in the product – which includes ammonia, phosphates, chlorine and lots of other nastiness.

Attitude products can be found at retailers across Canada.

Lightwedge

Reading in bed. It’s a lovely way to end the day, or get you through a bout of insomnia. However, if a crabby ecodude and snoring ecopup are asleep beside you, you’re best advised not to turn on a glaring light and wake up the house.

There are lots of book lights out there, some of which work better than others. Often you’re left having to awkwardly position the light or constantly shift it to avoid having strange shadows on the page. Lightwedge solves all those problems. Using environmentally friendly LED light, it casts light evenly and smoothly across the page you’re reading and flips easily over to the opposite page. It’s even more environmentally friendly if you use rechargeable batteries (4 AAA batteries are required).

Lightwedge’s partner, Bigger and Brighter, ships internationally but the charges are unknown. Still looking for a source for this cool product in Canada!

UPDATED: Found them at my local Chapters store – check it out in person or you can go to chapters.indigo.ca!

Parenting by Nature


Got a little one on the way and you’re looking for an alternative to landfill-bound disposable diapers? Try Parenting By Nature. They have a wide range of cloth diapering products as well as tons of products for Mama, Baby and Family. They carry both Druide bath care products and Earth Mama Angel Baby products, both of which have been mentioned on ecochick previously so you know they’re environmentally friendly. They also carry Bisphenol A free glass baby bottles – nice!

You can browse the range of products on the Parenting by Nature website and order online.

Live Clean


You’re at the drugstore and you’re wondering how all these environmentally friendly shampoos actually will work on your tender follicles. You’re opening the caps and sniffing the bottles, trying to find one that charms your olfactory bulb, when you notice this set of elegant white bottles on the shelf. You pick them up and notice they are delightfully scented, made from purified water, certified organic botanicals. The formula is biodegradeable, the labels are corn based and the packaging is recyclable. You’re checking out Live Clean products.

The best part is that these products, unlike other natural/green/organic products ecochick’s tried, actually work. They leave hair soft and smelling lovely, not at all weighed down nor flyaway.

Their hair concoctions come in three formulations of shampoo and conditioner: Green Earth Invigorating, to rejuvenate hair and scalp; Clean Air Volumizing, to build volume and strength; and Fresh Water Moisturizing, to cleanse while adding moisture and shine.

Live Clean products are available at Shoppers Drug Marts across Canada.

MacBook Air: Apple’s moves towards eco-responsibility


With this week’s announcement of the MacBook Air, the new item of lust for Mac geeks everywhere, Apple is taking a few significant steps towards making their laptops more environmentally friendly. To wit:

  • The shiny aluminum case is fully recyclable;
  • The display mercury-free
  • The glass in the monitor is arsenic-free
  • The circuit boards are bromide-free and PVC-free
  • The Air packaging is 56% less than that of the MacBook, while still having that awesome New Mac smell.

With the introduction of these green initiatives, it begs the question: How the hell did I not know there was arsenic and mercury in my laptop?

Teragren Bamboo Floors

Looking for a new floor for your home, but hesitant to buy anything that could be damaging to the environment? It’s time to look at bamboo from companies such as Teragren . Bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth, and is delightfully tough. Bamboo floors are created by taking the plants and subjecting them to enormous heat and pressure, resulting in a beautiful flooring solution that is generally harder than traditional wood floors, and can be baked to virtually any colour and finish.

But be careful.. just because it’s bamboo doesn’t mean it’s overall necessarily better for the environment. While bamboo has great advantages over hardwood or synthetic flooring, if it’s not sustainably grown and ethically processed, it can be just as bad for the environment as many other options.

Out of many bamboo flooring retailers, Teragren seems to be the most environmentally conscious, ensuring its products will pass LEED certification and working with a single, ethically managed company.

But what about the product? Take a look above at these beautiful stained floors. These are Signature Cherry floors from Teragren.

Teragren floors are available at retailers across Canada.

Iqua Handsfree Bluetooth Solar Headset

You know when you see obnoxious people in suits walking down the street with borg-like devices in their ears talking to what appears to be nobody in particular? Those gadgets in their ears are what’s called Bluetooth devices, and they hook up with your mobile phone and other devices to allow you to talk hands-free. By nature of the beast, these Bluetooth devices spend most of their time exposed to light.

Finnish company Iqua has taken advantage of this, and has slapped solar panels on the front of the Iqua SUN BHS-603 model so as to recharge it as you walk. Capable of up to 12 hours talk time on a full charge, it will absorb light from any source – indoor or outdoor – to power the device.

Comparable in size and capabilities to traditionally powered Bluetooth devices, the Iqua Sun won’t save the planet on its own, but what it does do is illustrate a brilliant environmentally friendly technology that will actually cause the product to have an advantage over its competitors: Its ability to remain continually charged as long as it’s exposed to light means it’s one less detail for very busy and important people to worry about in their very busy and important day.

The Iqua Sun will be available in stores shortly.

CES – less green than you’d like to think


Last week I blogged about CES going green, with several environmental initiatives including using some environmentally friendly carpeting, purchasing of carbon credits, etc. ecochick was impressed. However, the reality is fairly different than the hype. For example, in wandering around the halls, I did not lay eyes on one recycling bin. And with the dry, recycled Vegas air in the convention center, there was a whole lot of bottled water being consumed. Based on my own experience, ALL of these bottles are heading for the landfill.

Any other green initiatives were well hidden on the part of CES. One of the most effective things an organization can do for the environment is to set an example. CES took a few steps, but they really didn’t make a point of telling anyone at the show. This is crucial. When you tell someone the fantastic product you’re using is environmentally friendly, it encourages the consumer who experiences the product to start thinking of environmentally products in a different way, to look at them as viable options instead of “alternative”. CES wasted this opportunity. Why not create environmentally friendly signage in the Central Hall saying “this awesome carpet is recycled?” Why not have huge recycling bins everywhere? Why not have signage in all the food centers saying “the packaging used here is entirely biodegradeable?”

ecochick strives to be positive and bring you news on organizations that are creating positive change for the earth. Unfortunately, in this case, ecochick is bringing out the rarely used ecotwerp label. CES has not only not come through on its own claims of sustainability, it squandered an excellent opportunity to show itself as a trend leader and expose environmentally friendly products at the same time.

Call2Recycle

Be honest: How many old cell phones do you have kicking around in your junk drawer? The old brick phone, the phone from your first job, the old monochrome screen phone with that annoying ringtone. They’re all around somewhere, and they all have batteries with toxic chemicals that really need to be kept out of a landfill.

The Call2Recycle organization helps you with that. Their network of affiliated organizations allows you to take your old rechargeable batteries from devices such as those in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras, and remote control toys, and recycle them. You can search their website to find a convenient location. Their website also has lots of resources to talk about their recycling program and spread the word. Check it out at http://www.call2recycle.org

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