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use less with products from useless


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An ironic product name can often take a company a long way.  In this case, use less is the message, and Useless is the name – we all could do a little less consuming of everything – whether it be too many Halloween gummy bears, too many six-packs of bottled water or the plethora of pointless do0-dads and gadgets with which we clutter our lives.

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U.S.-based Useless makes its hoodies, water bottles, bags and tees from trash, recycled, and/or low impact materials and donates a fat 10% of its profits to developing nations’ water and sanitation products.  Good stuff, and far from “useless.”   Find out more at useless.org.

UPDATE:  altCon readers receive a 10 % discount.  At checkout, simply enter code:  uselesstote.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

a big batch of green news


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DIY soap – cleaning up your act


The body wash and shampoo aisle is overwhelming. There are literally thousands of different soaps and shampoos “specially formulated” for your hair by people who have never seen your hair. Here are a few things to watch out for when buying soaps:

  • soap companies can put “natural” on just about anything
  • “fragrance” means a conglomeration of chemicals
  • avoid anything that has palm oil, as it is extremely unsustainably harvested

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A great resource when purchasing health & beauty products is the good guide. They have a rating system that helps you tease out the good from the bad throughout the grocery store. Here’s what they say about soaps. You can also look for local soap producers, and see if you can support their business and get clean, chemical free soap.

If you’re interested in making your own soap from scratch, it’s a pretty complicated process. Especially bar soaps, which easily turn into messy, slimy little balls. You’ll also need several ingredients you probably don’t have lying around the house, such as lye and tallow. If you have the time, and the patience however, home made soaps leave your skin feeling really soft, and they also make great green gifts.

Half way recipes (in which you take a pure form of soap and spruce it up) can be fun and easy to do at home (more…)

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