Fields Organics – Clean Your House, Keep Your Children and Mother Earth Safe

Fields Organics is making a splash as one of our newest eco-cleaning solutions brands in our Green Cleaning section. We are proud to present Fields Organics Floor Cleaner, Stain and Odor Remover and Multi Surface Cleaner as alternative Earth friendly solutions. Fields Cleaners represents the first full product line of organic cleaners devoted to homes with children. These non-toxic cleaners are safe for sanitizing areas where the little ones play (or even eat off of). The life expectancy of these products is roughly a year and half and that’s how you know they’re good for the Earth … this plant-based, non-toxic line is completely biodegradable. Fields Organics really takes eco-friendly cleaning to the next level by utilizing Earth friendly packaging. You’ll find nothing but recyclable packaging along with recycled paper labels that are printed with soy ink. Fields Organics has another job on the side too – it supports a national multi-disciplinary non-profit project, called the Children’s Environmental Health Network, by contributing money, time and marketing efforts to the cause. You’ll find that Fields Organics products are comparable in price to its non-organic and chemical counterparts, so we can all break habits that are bad for the environment without breaking the bank.

Programs and Incentives to Grow Your Eco Business

On May 25, 2009, the World Business Summit on World Climate Change claimed that the United States alone will create up to 2 million jobs by developing clean and renewable energy sources. European Union president Jose Manuel Barroso assured CEOs from some of the top international corporations that these type of investments could also generate up to 1 million jobs in European Union countries. Because of the incentive to turn to wind, solar, and other types of renewable sources, many corporate leaders are working with politicians to create and negotiate a viable new global climate treaty that would replace the Kyoto Protocol that will expire in 2012.

In the United States, President Obama has called for doubling renewable energy capacities within 3 years and has created 30 billion dollars in tax incentives to support his belief that this can happen. His mandate is to generate significant inroads in green sector jobs, which will also inspire colleges to help create a green workforce around the country by offering courses that support these careers. President Obama has created a number of workable tax incentives for small businesses that generate what is now being called “green collar” employment.

In February, Mr. Obama signed an important economic stimulus package that highlighted environmental initiatives that according to Joseph Romm, the former Assistant Secretary of Energy for President Clinton, is a landmark bill for creating a lower carbon economy. President Obama is hopeful that the emphasis on a greener economy will create or save over 3 million jobs over the next two years.

Green Credentials
In both the private and public sectors, partnering with green organizations is becoming an important way to establish environmentally responsible credentials. By aligning with the right partner, businesses can demonstrate their intentions to move towards eco-friendly practices. This would also inspire companies to create greater corporate transparency, providing full disclosure about their eco policies to customers as well as the financial community. Above all, partnering with established green organizations is the ideal way to help companies find solutions to challenging issues regarding sustainability.

Greenpeace and Guitars
One of the most interesting partnerships to date is the alliance between Greenpeace and the musical instrument industry. The Music Wood Campaign has united Martin, Gibson, Yamaha, Fender and other guitar makers in making a concerted effort to maintain eco-friendly habits as some of the most popular wood for making guitars comes from trees that are hundreds of years old.

In the past several years, many instruments makes have been grinding up and recycling old guitars to create new Les Pauls or Martin acoustics. Of late, some of these respected guitar companies are replacing their old construction methods with fast growing domestic wood like eucalyptus and bamboo, often finished with a water-based element rather than the usual polyurethane.

Along with Greenpeace, guitar companies are now insisting that logging practices be investigated so that old-growth wood can be exempted from clear-cutting whereby all trees are removed from a specific area. The prime focus at the moment is on Sitka spruce, a fundamental material used in guitar and piano soundboards. (Source)

Incentives Through the EPA
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has created a wide variety of incentive programs to incite businesses of every size to incorporate eco-friendly practices. By sponsoring both partnerships and stewardships, the company is helping industries reduce their negative impact on the environment. There are now over 13,000 United States businesses and organizations involved in these programs.

Some of these programs include:

Product Stewardship: assisting manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and disposers to share the responsibility for creating greener product lines

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED): – created by the U.S. Green Building Council, this group sets standards and a rating system for environmentally sustainable construction within the building industry.

Design for the Environment (DfE): a program that develops partnerships that can curtail pollution by uniting industry representatives and environmental groups.

Green Power Partnership: a voluntary program that provides technical support, tools, and advice to businesses

For more information on green business programs and incentives see:
http://www.business.gov/business-law/environmental-regulations/environmental-management/industry-partnerships.html

Better Life Products – Eco-Friendly Cleaning With Attitude

With the thumbs up from various reputable sources including U.S. News and World Report, The Healthy Planet, and St. Louis At Home Magazine, Better Life is taking another step for mankind in achieving a healthier lifestyle for the planet. Better Life Green Cleaning products are safe for young children and are only made of organic materials. These products are free of sulfates, ethoxylates, fragrances, dyes, paradens and those nasty VOCs or volatile organic compounds that vaporize into the air we breathe triggering respiratory problems, headaches, and, yeah, you know what I’m talking about. With this product, you’ll know your home is clean by a natural soap scent, not all of that fake mountain rain stuff. Right now, GoVacuum.com is featuring Better Life’s Cleaning Solution Starter Kit with everything you need for a fresh start on household cleaning. In this new millennium, we all are thinking much more about what we put into our mouths, and even what we drink and eat out of … now we are focusing more on how we clean our surroundings and the effect these chemicals have on our bodies and the environment. Better Life products allow you to use Mother Nature’s ingredients to clean the surfaces you work off of everyday.

Better Life Cleaning Products - GoVacuum

Eco-Friendly Businesses: A Greener Future

As the buying public becomes more eco-savvy, consumers are beginning to choose businesses that advocate green policies, both in their manufacturing practices and within their company structures. Business owners who want to stay ahead of the curve are adapting to this growing trend and finding that by doing so, they are increasing their bottom line.

According to Business Wire, more than 47% of Americans are buying eco-conscious products as they become increasingly more aware of their positive impact on the environment. More and more citizens are recycling as well as finding ways to personally conserve energy and water, recognizing that these practices reduce costs, both in terms of the pocketbook and the atmosphere.

Consumers are also realizing that less packaging is the way to go. A higher number of shoppers than ever are bringing their own bags to the grocery store, reducing the need for plastic and paper use.

According to the current statistics, a vast majority of the American public now realizes that businesses must contribute to the advancement of eco-friendly practices. With this awareness, more consumers are choosing recycled and energy-efficient products, eco-friendly cleaning supplies, purer foods and beverages, and clothing that is made with natural fibers and ethical labor policies.

New Habits, Better Business Policies, Smaller Footprint

As consumers’ habits change through awareness, a greater variety of eco-friendly options are emerging in the marketplace. Through strong advertising strategies, companies that support sustainability are gaining popularity. This means that businesses that are not taking environmental issues seriously may be affected adversely as consumers turn to those that are providing better waste management, energy-saving policies, and production ethics.

Because buying consciously also implies that consumers save money in the long run, innovations in packaging and distribution are becoming more prevalent in the marketplace. As manufacturers recognize that healthy attitudes towards business practices not only help reduce our overall footprint but also positively affect the bottom line, more companies are eager to get on the ecologically forward moving bandwagon.

Here are some of the creative ways that companies are reducing their impact on the environment:

• Recycling office flotsam such as paper, plastic bottles, and metal cans
• Reducing the amount of debris placed in dumpsters by recycling scrap material
• Using biodegradable packaging
• Keeping packaging to a minimum
• Using programmable thermostats to conserve energy
• Choosing energy-efficient vehicles when fleets are needed
• Observing speed limits to keep fuel consumption down
• Hiring green-thinking employees and tapping them for ideas

Green Programs and Initiatives

Companies are finding that there are many incentives on both the local and federal level that inspire eco-friendly practices. Partnerships and programs designed to boost sustainability through recycling, replenishing, and sharing provide every sector of the business community with the ability to create and maintain a green ethic, regardless of a company’s size.

Today there are no more excuses for businesses not to pay attention to the growing demand for sustainable practices. By yielding rewards all the way around, it’s a win-win situation for companies, consumers, and our precious environment.

-Michele Kadison

Eco-Friendly Flooring – Standing Your Ground on Environmental Issues

Today we have more opportunities than ever to base our buying habits on sustainability. With a consciousness towards leaving a smaller footprint, there are many companies out there that are offering products that are both eco-friendly and effective. The flooring industry is no exception, with many alternatives to choose from as you decide how to live your life with greater environmental ethics.

Carpeting
Wool
One of the highest quality and most durable carpeting materials on the market, wool comes from a renewable resource and is entirely biodegradable. Additionally it is non-allergenic and flame resistant and carries the benefit of holding humidity when a room is damp and releasing it when the room is dry. Drawbacks are that it is more expensive than other carpet alternatives and requires special cleaning solutions to remove stains.

Polyester
Made from recycled PETE plastic products, polyester is an extremely affordable option that is easy to clean and non-allergenic.

Type 6 Nylon
A relative newcomer on the scene, this is an excellent carpet fiber that can be recycled back into making “new” carpet, making it a “cradle to cradle” product that constantly reinvents itself.

Wood
Bamboo
A grass that looks like hardwood flooring once it is processed, this material is generally harvested from mature plants that are at least 6 years old. To make bamboo into flooring, it must be cut, shredded, packed with an adhesive, layered, and then sealed. A highly durable and beautiful product, there is still controversy regarding its total sustainability due the use of toxic chemicals for processing as well as the energy required for shipping.

Cork
This is a resilient material that creates insulation for both temperature and sound. Cork tiles are considered a “floating floor” and are easy to install and maintain.

Reclaimed Wood
Of all the options, this is the best as the wood is salvaged from building demolition sites and made into usable planks. Using old wood that otherwise would be placed in a landfill, reclaimed wood is not only the most conscious form of creating flooring, but also can provide a space with a unique look.

Note: Before you consider wood flooring, be sure to research the companies you are considering to make sure that they do not “clear cut” trees. A responsible wood flooring company will have a replanting or replenishing policy that makes it sustainable.

Stone
There are many types of stone that have been used for centuries in creating beautiful floors. Granite, marble, slate, and travertine are some examples. Because stone is easy to recycle and does not require much energy to process or maintain, it remains as popular a choice as ever. The stone must be mined, however, which creates doubt as to it being an ideal solution.

Cleaning and Maintenance
There are many environmentally friendly products in the marketplace that can be used to responsibly clean your flooring. (For more information on these products: www.govacuum.com/green-cleaning.html). Similarly, there are many natural, home made products that you can use to clean your home. We will be outlining what we consider the best homemade cleaners in our coming blog posts.

Knowledge is Power
As with everything, conscious research gives you the power to make the right decisions. Make sure you know where all materials come from and how they are harvested or mined. Ask the company you are interested in questions and then determine for yourself whether your choices are the right ones for ensuring that your home will be a good example of eco-friendly principles.

-Michele Kadison

Skoy Cloths – Helping the Planet, One Cloth At A Time

If you’ve checked out our Green Cleaning section you may have noticed one of our newest products, the SKOY cloths. SKOY is derived from the Swedish word Skoj (pronounced Skoy) meaning “just for fun.” These cloths come in a variety of vibrant colors, adding flair to household cleaning. Yes, they are similar to microfiber cloths, but there is a key difference. While both microfiber cloths and SKOY cloths save you the need to use disposable cloths like paper towels, only the SKOY cloth is made from 100% natural products that are biodegradable and compostable. SKOY cloths are made of cotton and cellulose derived from wood. They are a chlorine-free product and are colored only using water-based colors and inks. SKOY cloths are European-made and have been featured on “Green Living” television shows in Los Angeles and San Diego, California.

Skoy Cloths - Paper Towel Replacements - GoVacuum

Traveling Green – Being Green Even When You’re On The Road

Just because you’re leaving home doesn’t mean you have to leave your green habits behind. With a little bit of preparation and a whole lot of consciousness, you can maintain your eco-friendly habits.

Here are some ways you can conserve energy and resources before you leave home:

• Turn off the water. This way your faucets won’t drip and your toilet won’t run.
• Tell your post office to hold your mail. This way you prevent an unnecessary trip to your home, cutting down on gas usage.
• Take your pets to a boarding house or a sitter. Not having them at home for someone to check on lowers heating and air-conditioning costs.

The Way to Go

Driving
If you are driving to your destination, make sure you download your maps rather than buying them. Print them out on recycled paper in black and white. Better yet, go to MapQuest (http://www.mapquest.com) and Google Maps (maps.google.com) and have them upload maps to your cell phone. No paper necessary and much more convenient!

Flying
If you are flying, request an e-ticket and print it out with your boarding pass on recycled paper in black and white. Use your own baggage tags, making sure they are reusable, instead of using the paper ones issued at the airport. When packing for your flight, take only the essentials. Every pound of baggage decreases the plane’s fuel efficiency, and a few pounds of baggage from every passenger quickly adds up. Air travel adds about 3 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere for every transcontinental flight, so if you can travel another way, this is worth consideration.

By Train
Train travel is one of the best ways to reduce your footprint when taking a vacation as carbon emissions are extremely low. It’s a great way to see the sights along the way.

By Ship
Eco-friendly cruises and carbon-neutral cruises, where trees are planted to offset gas emissions, are other good travel options. More and more cruise companies are becoming aware of ways in which to reduce energy consumption while providing you with a great experience.
Once You Arrive It is easy to find eco-friendly hotels that strive to maintain high-level green standards. Take a look online at sites like http://www.greenhotels.com or ask your local travel agent for recommendations. Once you arrive, ask housekeeping to turn off the heat or air-conditioning when you are not in the room. Re-use your towels as much as possible to save on unnecessary energy output through washing and drying.

Once You Arrive
It is easy to find eco-friendly hotels that strive to maintain high-level green standards. Take a look online at sites like http://www.greenhotels.com or ask your local travel agent for recommendations. Once you arrive, ask housekeeping to turn off the heat or air-conditioning when you are not in the room. Re-use your towels as much as possible to save on unnecessary energy output through washing and drying.

Invest in a digital camera to eliminate the need for film. Print only the photos you want and delete the rest. Better yet, save them on your computer or cell phone to eliminate printing costs.

Buy from local craftspeople instead of in generic gift stores where mass produced items have been shipped from afar. Not only will you be supporting the community, you will also return home with something that has soul.

Stay on paths and trails designed for tourists. If you off track, you may be trespassing in areas where the ecosystem is too fragile to support your presence. Additionally, be careful in areas where local wildlife have their lairs by maintaining respect for each animal’s privacy.

The Greenest of All
The most eco-friendly vacation you can take is by enjoying the places you’ve not yet explored that are close to home. This could mean a local park or forest, or even that unused hammock that hangs between your backyard trees! Take a bicycle and explore. Enjoy long walks or jogs with your family, friends, or a loved one. This could be the best trip ever.

-Michele Kadison

Natural Air Fresheners – A Simple Approach To Cleaning Your Home

There are many natural products that are both easily made and used to freshen your home, office, car, or any other enclosed area. Using homemade formulae that contain non-toxic materials is better for your health, the environment, and certainly your pocketbook. Here we’ll outline some of the best uses of normal household materials you can use to freshen up your home.

Baking Soda
One of the most widely used products is baking soda, which works as a wonderful base when creating freshening and cleaning products. Baking soda is not only an effective deodorizer, but also is great for cleaning, removing stains, and softening fabrics. When placed in an open container it absorbs odors from refrigerators, closets, and other small enclosures. Combine baking soda with lemon juice by dissolving the baking soda in two cups of hot water. Add the juice of one lemon and let the water cool before placing in a spray bottle. Spray the combination into the air, and you will easily dispel unwanted odors.

Spice and Citrus Mixes

Everyone knows the beautiful the scent of cooking spices such as cloves, cinnamon, and allspice. Smelling an apple pie as it bakes is nearly as scrumptious as eating it. These spices can also be used to scent our surroundings by simmering them in a pot of water for several hours. The steam will diffuse in the air, scenting your home with a soothing fragrance. Strain out the spices and add the cooled water to a spray bottle to freshen any room with this delightful scent.

You can do the same with slices of lemon and orange rinds. Let them boil for several hours to yield a fresh, citrus spray. If you want to keep your kitchen freshly scented, simply placing a few slices of lemon in an open bowl will help to rid the area of unwanted smells. Lemon is another essential ingredient used to create natural freshening and cleaning products as it cuts grease, removes stains such as perspiration, and works as an alternative to bleach. Herbal Extracts You can find a wide array of herbal extracts used for aromatherapy, or you can make your own. Scents like eucalyptus, lavender, geranium, jasmine, and frangipani will add a special magic to a room. Each scent has its own effect, so test them to see which ones appeal to you. Put a few drops in water to fill a spray bottle, or you can buy an aromatherapy burner where a few drops are placed in water at the shallow top area that sits over the area where you place a small candle to diffuse the fragrance.

Absorbing Odors
A few slices of plain white bread placed on a dish is another way to absorb refrigerator odors. Be sure to change the slices frequently as they will become damp and soggy.

Unscented kitty litter is a great odor-eater, as anyone who has a cat well knows. Place it in pretty bowls to absorb unwanted room odors. White vinegar placed in a cup or bowl also neutralizes odors. Placing vanilla extract in a shallow bowl does the same while adding the sweetness of its own fragrance.

Charcoal is yet another alternative and is ideal for placement in closets. Put some chunks in a bowl and you will see how any stale odor will evaporate.

Make sure you have a packet of matches lying around in the bathroom (away from children, of course). Just lighting a match for a few seconds will eliminate any nasty odor as the flame burns away noxious gases. Burning candles, whether they have fragrance or not, is another option.

-Michele Kadison

Green Cleaning Section On The GoVacuum Store

Green cleaning efforts have expanded in recent years, making an overwhelming number of natural cleaning products available to us. In order to let Green Products really help us conserve natural resources and cut down on chemical use, it is important to find the best products that go beyond the fancy marketing. That’s why at GoVacuum we are using a choosy eye to bring you products that exhibit many eco-friendly attributes, and not just a pretty label.

There are many ways to participate in green cleaning, but some ways are more effective than others. For example, buying a reusable cloth can help save resources by helping you buy less paper towels. But if that reusable cloth is made of synthetic materials, it is not biodegradable and is not natural to the environment. GoVacuum has chosen the SKOY cloth because it meets more eco-friendly standards than other reusable cloths: it is biodegradable, made of natural materials, AND it lessens waste from using disposable cloths.

GoVacuum plans to add more Green Cleaning products soon, but let us tell you about the ones we currently have posted. Our Green Label Vacuums have all earned the CRI Seal of Approval in the areas of soil removal, dust containment, and carpet texture retention, helping you to achieve the highest level of Indoor Air Quality. Leave harsh chemicals behind with our all natural Odor Neutralizers, which are non-toxic to humans, animals and the environment. Our Eco-Cleaning Solutions are effective cleaners made from natural ingredients and our Eco-Cleaning Tools consist of a variety of common cleaning tools that help you replace wasteful cleaning methods with more efficient and chemical-free options, such as reusable cloths and steam mops, which help you cut down use of harsh chemicals.

Simple Green Cleaning Products: An Enduring Brand That Works

Simple Green cleaning products have been around for the past 30 years for both home and industrial use. As an enduring brand, the formula delivers its promise to clean with fresh, natural, unadulterated ingredients that are super efficient and eco-friendly.

Simple Green products have never been tested on animals. They are non-toxic, biodegradable, and come from 100% natural and naturally derived ingredients, including 100% natural oils and plant extracts. They come in PETE recyclable plastic bottles made with 25% post consumer content and include labels printed with soy ink. Because Simple Green is made with the highest quality ingredients that contain no synthetics, the product is safe for the environment and safe for you.

Product Line
Simple Green Naturals Carpet Care - GoVacuum
Simple Green Naturals Carpet Care
This is a great product for cleaning up spills and spots, especially for high traffic areas on your rugs or carpets.

Simple Green All Purpose Degreaser & Cleaner - GoVacuum
Simple Green All Purpose Degreaser & Cleaner
With its deliciously clean citrus mint smell, this is a great one for your larger cleanup jobs. Just dilute with water in a big bucket. You can also add ¼ cup of the solution to laundry soap to boost cleaning action.

Simple Green Naturals Floor Care - GoVacuum
Simple Green Naturals Floor Care
An excellent product for cleaning sealed hardwood, laminates, sealed hardwood, linoleum, and tile. Just spray and mop and your floors will clean up beautifully with a natural wood scent.