BYO Water with Brita – and provide clean water with ME to WE

BritaMEtoWEIt’s become a habit in our family, and it’s a good one: we fill up a bottle of water to take with us before we go anywhere. We get thirsty, there might not be a water fountain where we’re going, and it gives me physical pain to buy bottled water for any reason. Today, on World Water Day, it’s worthwhile to remember that when it comes to water, we are the luckiest people in the world: We have clean, treated, safe water coming from our taps for pennies a glass. There’s no need to buy water at a huge markup in a petroleum-made plastic bottle that’s been trucked across the country. Just remember to bring your own. (more…)

Next Issue

Ditch The Paper: Get Next Issue Canada (and a giveaway!)

Picture it. You’re sitting by the pool with a tall mojito on a hot day. You of course have a hat and sunscreen because you’re sun savvy. And if you’re eco-savvy, you also are in the shade because you don’t want the glare to blank out your tablet screen since on your tablet, you have access to almost every magazine you could want, right at your fingertips. Oh, this part isn’t a fantasy, by the way. It’s super easy. All you have to do is download the Next Issue app. Then, right there, you’ve got it all. (more…)

The New ecobee Smart Thermostat

ecobee: A Smart (Canadian!) Thermostat

We’ve all done it.

Left the heat on, I mean.

You head out for the weekend, and then you realize: craaaaaap. I’ve left the heat cranked. (Hey, it was a cold winter!) Heating a completely empty house. $$$ pretty much flying out the air exchanger, not to mention using unnecessary fossil fuels. And the same applies to the air conditioning in the summer. Mmm, delicious power grid failure. Wait, what?

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a way to adjust heating or cooling when you weren’t home? (more…)


Coffee Pods: What’s The Grind?

Gosh, I love coffee. It’s not just an “I must have caffeine” addiction: I really enjoy drinking it. I love the warmth, the roasty aroma, the cultural routine around “meeting for coffee” and the intimacy that brings. At home, I make a latte every morning. We have this gorgeous old Jura espresso machine that cost us a bloody fortune somewhere around 10 or so years ago, and over the years I’ll easily say it’s made 10,000 cups of coffee, give or take a few hundred. 10,000! That’s a lot. And we drink what I would call an average amount of coffee.


Untangled Living

As a new(ish) mom, it’s really hard to know what you’re going to actually need for your kid. And when. And once you figure out that you need something, there’s usually about 15 different versions of that thing, and you don’t know what’s really good until you get the chance to try it out, and then you end up with a bunch of said item that you don’t like and one you do, so the one gets used and the rest get piled somewhere. (Much to the chagrin of my husband.)

So, I’m here to tell you, that here’s one item you will love.

Untangled Living creates stainless steel children’s dishware. They very kindly sent me a set to test way too long ago, ha. But at the time I received it, my kid wasn’t interested in using cups or bowls or plates or utensils; only now at 13 months is she starting to show some indication that she gets the concept that things like food go inside other things like bowls as opposed to just flinging it across the room. Now that she can be trusted within some level of reasonableness to not just tip her cheerios out of the bowl the second I give it to her, we’re able to use it. Hooray!

The set comes with a kid-sized square plate, little bowl, little cup and a knife and fork.  They’re very simply decorated with either a little gecko or a little butterfly (score big points for tasteful kids’ stuff!) and are perfectly sized for little hands. The plate I particularly love, because it isn’t just a flat plate: it has a nice wide lip all around the edge to keep things from falling off (at least, not falling off *easily*). They’re lightweight, dishwasher safe, totally non-breakable (hear that, glass?) and almost 100% perfect. The only downside: when they do hit the floor they’re kind of loud. But my daughter sees that as an upside, actually, so.

The set retails for $44 CDN. You can order the butterfly or the gecko set (or both!) from their online store, or from one of their fantastic retailers.

But you know what? I have one to give you. Aww. Just go to the Untangled Living website and come back here and tell me in the comments what your favourite part of Untangled Living is by Wednesday, August 25. Make sure you leave me an email address (if you put it in the format name AT domain DOT com it can’t be scraped by a spammer) or another way to contact you. Good luck!

SIGG: Making your water look good. And a giveaway!

Congratulations to cyndi who  said…Love,love love the butterfly jewel design. 
You’re getting a SIGG bottle!

Did I mention that I think disposable plastic water bottles will be the downfall of our society? Have I mentioned that? Hmm. Well, if I didn’t before, I did now. And truly, why would anyone want to use horrible petroleum-based plastic water bottles when you could carry your own water – costing you pennies from your own tap – in such style as these gorgeous design bottles from SIGG?  This 102-year old Swiss company started manufacturing their single-colour coated drinking bottles in 1980, and get this – the trendy, multi-colour coated bottle was admitted to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York in 1993. Now that’s style!

Seriously – just fill your bottle (from the tap or your brita filter) and go. So easy! SIGG bottles are lightweight, fully recyclable, and are dishwasher safe although SIGG does recommend hand washing. They come in a variety of sizes and styles, and dozens upon dozens of designs.

And, guess what? Yeah, you guessed. I have one to give away. Wheee! Just head on over to SIGG and figure out your favourite bottle design (it’ll take a while. there’s lots.) then come back over here and tell me which one it is in the comments by Friday, April 30. (Note: the design of the bottle given away may or may not have any relationship to the bottle you like best, heh.) Make sure you leave me a way to contact you! I’ll select a name at random and notify the recipient. Good luck!

Filter for Good: A Campaign To Reduce Water Bottle Waste. And a giveaway!

Congratulations to Anonymous who said

“We’re going to get stainless water bottles for each family member…no more plastic!

 And to Sarah who said

Sarah said…I have also been using a Brita forever, in fact, it might be time to replace it :-) I always drink tap water and I like how the Brita seems to minimize the chlorinated taste of Ottawa water.”

You’re each getting Brita pitchers!

It has been estimated that it takes three litres of water to produce one litre of bottled water.

Worldwide, it takes an estimated 2.4 million metric tonnes of plastic to bottle water each year.

The price we pay per litre of bottled water is comparable to the price of gasoline. 

All this, when if we merely turn on our taps, we have abundant, clean water available for pennies. 

It’s time to change our  habits. The popularity of bottled water is, to be blunt, the biggest crock in the world, the most amazing snake oil ever sold, the most enormous triumph of marketing over common sense. There are so many reasons not to use bottled water – the price, the environmental impact, the sheer lunacy.  But many people persist, because of the convenience or perhaps the belief that bottled water “tastes” better (despite the fact that some common bottled water brands are nothing more than municipal tap water).

Learn more about the issue at Filter For Good. Realize that our bottled water habit is killing us. And consider changing your ways – by, for example, bringing your own water.  Don’t like the taste straight from the tap? Easy. Just go pick up a Brita filter, which will filter over 900 litres of water a year – the equivalent of 1,800+ 500 ml plastic bottles. Learn about their filter recycling program.  And, if you’re in Toronto, you can go down to Yonge-Dundas Square on April 22nd from 11am – 7:30 pm to hang out, play games, hydrate, watch David Usher, and take home a free Brita pitcher from Filter For Good while supplies last. Nice!

Not in Toronto? Pity. Then you’ll just have to sign up for the giveaway here on ecochick. I have two of Brita’s Limited Edition Green Pitchers to give away to you, dear readers.   Just head on over to the Filter for Good website and tell me how you plan to change the way you drink water. Leave a comment by Wednesday, April 28 and don’t forget to leave me your email addy as the recipients will be notified by e-mail. Canadian addresses only please. Good luck!

Awesome Otterbottle: Earth Week Giveaway #1!

And the lucky, lucky recipient of this Otterbottle giveaway is Stisso who said…

The blue tree is a pretty one that donates to cancer and represents both the earth/sea and green land….but it’s not my choice. The green flowers are also pretty, and represent the beauty of nature, but it’s not my choice either. My choice is for the alien, because we’re all going to be living on Mars if we don’t start taking care of the earth, and that would suck donkey balls.

Amen to that, girlfriend.

For the rest of you… venture over to Otterbottle to get your own… they’re so amazing! Thanks for participating, and don’t forget to check out the rest of the Earth Week giveaways.


You’re thirsty. You don’t want to use a plastic water bottle, because plastic sucks. But you’re still thirsty. And frankly, you’re also kind of girly, and you don’t want to drag around one of those hideous water bottles that looks like a leftover WWII torpedo or something.

This is why you need an Otterbottle. Not only are these 100% recyclable stainless steel water bottles uber-lightweight and easy to carry… not only are they aluminum-free… not only do they come with two tops – a sport top and twist top with lid, to suit your needs… not only do they come with a clip to easily hook the bottle onto your bag or knapsack.. not only are they a Canadian company… but girl, they are hot. Really, really hot. In 950 ml, 700 ml and 500 ml sizes and a series of gorgeous designs, this water bottle will be the envy of your yoga class. I’ve been getting compliment after compliment on mine, which of course I smugly bask in.

So… you want one? You could buy one from their website. You could buy one from one of their in-store carriers. (And if you buy one, know that a portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold go to the David Suzuki Foundation.) Or, you could just comment on this post by Monday, April 27 telling me which one of their fancy styles makes the best eco-statement, in your opinion. Don’t forget to leave me a way to contact you such as an email address (sorry, this giveaway is Canada only). And if you do that, I might just send you one. Good luck!

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