To Save and Protect

powersaver.jpgWhat: 7 Outlet Smart Strip Surge Protector

Features: Protects against power surges, saves energy and money by shutting down electronics AUTOMATICALLY!

Green Factor: Uses 1 watt when fully charged; uses NO POWER when the switched outlets are turned off!

Bonus: Pays for itself within a mere three months

Find It Here: Choose Renewables

On Our Blog: Disinfectant Overkill

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Green That Swag

wood-usbpreview.jpgRemember floppy disks? Yeah, the plastic ones that stored about a megabyte of data… These days, we have nifty USB drives to store data and about a thousand times more of it, which is cool, but how about USB drives made from something a bit more natural than say, plastic? Earthimprints takes a greener approach by offering them in walnut, maple, bamboo and redwood finishes. These pocket-sized drives are great not only for consumers, but for businesses, too. They’re an item that computer users either rely on now or will eventually need. With that in mind, they’d make great (read: useful) promotional items—I mean does anyone really need another keychain? Instead of giving away a bunch of plastic junk, entice potential clients & customers with non-plastic 1, 2, 4 and 8gb USB drives they’ll not only appreciate, but will actually use, too.

Find It Here: earthimprints

On Our Blog:  Bite on This: More Grocery Store Secrets

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Neogreene Beats Neoprene

Have you ever heard of “mixed dialkyl thioureas”? It’s a chemical found in neoprene, that squishy, stretchy material used for wetsuits, laptop covers, mouse pads, shoe linings and much more and it was recently named Allergen of the Year by the North American Contact Dermatitis Group. Neoprene contact allergies are becoming quite common due to the cocktail of phthalates, VOCs, chlorine and metals used to make the synthetic rubber material. Suddenly, my cute neoprene laptop sleeve that I got at a conference last year doesn’t look so cute—and neither does this mouse pad sitting next me. Fortunately, a non-toxic, more eco-friendly substitute called Neogreene is now available and we’re giving away a Neogreene laptop sleeve and water bottle tote to one randomly selected winner!

Find It Here: GreenSmart

Win It: We’re giving away a Neogreene laptop sleeve and water bottle tote. Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter NG9 as the giveaway name and give one reason Neogreene is superior to neoprene. Enter by 9/17/09. $50 value. Open to US residents. Winner to be notified by email. Contest closed. Congrats to Sandra.

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These Rejects Rock

rice-laptop-bag.pngWhen I buy Basmati rice, I get it in the big, ten-pound bags that are outfitted with handles, a zippered top and a colourful, festive elephant on the front. When I get home, I dump the rice in a reusable container and save the bag – they’re sturdy and durable, and they’re great for lugging groceries around in.

With that in mind, I love the thinking behind these factory-reject rice bags that have been re-fashioned into fun and funky laptop bags! The Child Health Site has seen the potential these awesome bags have to offer and have come up with a great way to stop the duds from winding up in a landfill somewhere. Why carry your computer around in a dull black bag like everyone else when you can have a bag that’s not only unique and stylish but recycled, as well?

Each bag is hand-held and has two zippered compartments and compared to other options that I’ve seen elsewhere, are reasonably priced at $22.95. They’re made and fairly traded in Thailand, and not only that—with each purchase, The Child Health Site donates 20 cents to The Bamboo Watch Ring, an organization that benefits children who are infected or affected by the HIV virus.

Find It Here: The Child Health Site

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Electronics Recycling Made Super Simple

recycle_electron.jpgThe holidays are upon us and you know what that means…tons of new electronics for the masses. But what about all the old, unwanted electronics that have been stuffed away in America’s closets, junk drawers, garages, attics and basements? Forgive me while I switch into annoying, lecture-y Green Mom mode for a moment—I strongly recommend you don’t just throw that stuff in the trash because, believe it or not, electronics are loaded with heavy metals and toxins that will eventually end up being incinerated and polluting our air or leaching into our groundwater. And? It’s illegal is some locales. But you DO have options—if your city has an electronics recycling program, use it because it’s probably the easiest option of all. But if you’re not that lucky don’t despair because there are several companies that have finally decided to step up  help consumers responsibly recycle their e-waste.



Costco – Costco will accept all computers, LCD monitors, digital cameras, camcorders, game systems & MP3 players and recycle them for FREE—plus, your item(s) may have potential trade-in value, remitted to you in the form of a Costco Cash card. Sounds like a win-win to us! Check here for more info.

Staples –  Staples accepts used computers, monitors, laptops, and desktop printers, faxes and all–in–ones to any U.S. Staples store. All brands are accepted with a nominal recycling fee of $10 per piece of large equipment used to cover handling, transport, product disassembly and recycling. Smaller computer peripherals such as keyboards, mice, and speakers are accepted at no charge. Staples also offers $3 in Staples Rewards toward a future purchase of ink or toner when HP, Lexmark™ or Dell cartridges are returned to our retail stores for recycling. Get all the details here.

DellDell will recycle your unwanted Dell-branded Product for free plus, if you buy a new Dell desktop or notebook and select the free recycling option at the time of purchase, they will recycle your old PC and monitor at no cost to you. Get all the details here.

Sony – Sony will take back any Sony product for recycling. Just find your local drop-off location and hand it over. Sony also offers a trade in program for Sony laptops and camcorders that will net you a credit towards the purchase of a new Sony laptop or camcorder (some restrictions apply). See Sony’s recycling page for details on these and other programs.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation – This company works with tons of stores to accept cell phones and rechargeable batteries (Ni-Cd, NiMH, lithium-ion, lithium-ion-polymer batteries and lead-acid batteries up to 2 lbs. per battery). They do not recycle primary batteries, rechargeable alkalines or lead-acid batteries weighing more than 2 lbs. each. To find more info on battery and cell phone recycling or to find a conveniently located recycling center near you, just go here.

(If you think this info would be useful to others, please use the Share This link below to add it to your favorite social bookmarking sites. Thanks :)

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Night Night Moon

sleeping_moon-medium.jpgTeaching young kids how to power down the computer is a great way to help them understand the importance of saving energy. Now there is a fun and easy way to do that – the turnOFFtool. Created by a team of Stanford students for a school project, the turnOFFtool was inspired by discussions with parents who expressed how difficult it is for a young child to remember all the steps involved in shutting a computer down. The turnOFFtool, which is free and can be downloaded to your computer in a matter of minutes, bypasses all of the steps it usually takes for you to turn off your computer. Instead, all you have to do is click on a little moon icon which is always available on the screen (or minimized at the bottom of your screen). When you click on the moon, your computer will automatically shut down – or you can easily set it to sleep, if you prefer. Currently, the tool only runs on Windows, but future versions will work with Macs, too, and will allow users to add text or sound effects and select their own picture. For the record, though, we think the moon image with the zzzz’s couldn’t be cuter more appropriate for kids to get the “sleep” metaphor. Bravo, Stanford guys — we likey!

Find It Here: turnOFFtool

Eco Fact: According to the Harvard Green Campus Initiative, leaving a computer on all day for a year could result in more than 1500 pounds of CO2 being released into the atmosphere. To put that into context, it would take 100-500 trees to offset that amount of extra CO2!

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Let There Be Light

shake-light-actual.jpgAs someone who went camping just last weekend, I am fully qualified to speak about the complete and total annoyingness of dead flashlight batteries. Kind of makes me wish I’d had a ShakeLight flashlight that requires NO batteries at all. Just shake it for thirty seconds and get twenty minutes of light from an LED lightbulb which will last something like 100,000 hours before it needs replacing. As a bonus, the ShakeLight sports an impressive five-year warranty, is waterproof (look at stuff underwater!) and is also, oddly enough, bulletproof — in case you find yourself in the dark with Dick Cheney :)

Find It Here: Greenfeet

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