The Don Aslett Museum of Clean had a traveling showcase at the ISSA/Interclean show. More than a hundred artifacts from the exclusive 5,000-piece collection were transported from the Pocatello, ID museum and displayed at the Las Vegas Convention Center for this year’s show. Many items dating over 100 years. It was really cool to see how far the industry has progressed, especially the vacuums. Here are a few pictures…
Halloween is right around the corner and if you’ve been looking for ways to make your Halloween celebrations healthier for your family and the planet, then check out our ten tips to green your Halloween.
1. Carpool and Walk
Walk your own neighborhood and then carpool with friends and family to go Trick or Treating in other areas. Park strategically near the entrance of a neighborhood or subdivision and walk through it.
A great way to green your Halloween is to use natural items like straw, corn, corn stalks, pumpkins and squash in place of plastic one time use decorations from the party supply store. Farmers Markets and local farms are great places to look for these fall harvest items. Not only will you reduce your impact on the local landfill with plastic garbage but you will also be helping out your local farmers and the local economy.
3. Compost your outdoor décor
If you used natural items like the ones listed above then you can compost them and use the compost in your vegetable garden or flower bed in the spring. Watch this video for easy Halloween composting tips.
4. Bag those treats responsibly!
Use reusable grocery bags or an old pillow case for holding treats. You can also get creative here and make the bag part of the costume. An old backpack for your little zombie hiker or an old purse for your little princess. You can also purchase reusable trick or treat bags. These can then double as extra reusable grocery bags.
5. Get creative with your costume
Use old clothes and household items as props instead of plastic one time use costumes from the pharmacy. This approach does require a bit of creativity but it’s a great way to spend some quality time with the kids. Another advantage of using old clothes and household knick-knacks is that they are reusable and perfect for a costume swap. Talk to friends and family members to see if they have any of their children’s older costumes that they could swap. Also, check out the National Costume Swap Day™ website for ideas on how to set up a swap.
6. Donate your leftover Halloween candy to a good cause
Instead of throwing away leftover candy that is still edible, where it will end up in a landfill, donate it to a good cause. You can have your candy sent to the troops overseas by donating to Operation Gratitude or Any Soldier. Food pantries, children’s hospitals, and nursing homes will generally accept donations, including candy. Keep in mind that all candy that you donate should be in its original wrapping.
7. Think outside of the candy box
You don’t have to give conventional candy. There are lots of organic and unconventional sweet treats that you can give. Check out the real fruit strips from Stretch Island Fruit Company. Lärabar makes healthy whole food bars. They are also having Halloween sale!
Trinkets and collectables from local businesses and giftshops are great too, especially if they are made locally too. Kids like unique things like polished rocks or some other unique keepsake. Buying locally also strengthens our local economy.
8. Use beeswax candles
Light up your Jack-O-Lanterns with beeswax candles. They are all natural while paraffin candles are a petroleum byproduct. There are lots of online websites selling beeswax candles. If you want to buy locally consider asking around at your local Farmers Market or contact the local apiary.
9. Choose ethical and sustainable chocolate
Choose Rainforest Alliance Certified™ chocolate for Halloween treats. To help support healthy farmlands, forests and wildlife habitat — as well as the well-being of farm workers and their communities — look for chocolate that features the Rainforest Alliance Certified green frog seal! Find certified chocolate here.
10. Throwing a Halloween party? Skip the single-use dinnerware.
If you are going to a party or planning a quick meal with family and friends before trick or treating, skip the single-use dinnerware. Choose a more sustainable option, like compostable products. Click here to find compostable dinnerware on Amazon.
GreenHalloween.org has lots of great tips, ideas and suggestions to help make your Halloween fun, healthy and green. What other green ideas are you employing to green your Halloween? Share with us in the comments.
It was great to see so many customers visit the Clean Conscience booth at this weekend’s Green Sprouts Baby and Family Fest at the Denver Zoo. We held a raffle for a free house cleaning. It’s fun to have an opportunity to meet the people who enter the raffle and hear how much they would love to have their home cleaned by Clean Conscience. This year’s lucky winner was Jill S of Denver. Congratulations Jill! We look forward to giving your home a healthy green cleaning!
Steven Ashkin makes some great points in this article about the importance of ingredient disclosure in green products. We can’t assume a product is safe for everyone just because it has green certification.
By Steve Ashkin of The Ashkin Group
Many of us would assume that if a cleaning chemical has already been labeled green by a leading certification organization it must be pretty safe, assuming it is used correctly as instructed. This is true, at least in comparison to many conventional cleaning products used for the same or similar purposes.
However, these days I think we need to take this a step further. We need to know more specifically what is in the cleaning chemicals we are using, green or not. This “ingredient disclosure” appears to be one of the next big developments in the professional cleaning industry.
There are many reasons for ingredient disclosure beyond the commonsense idea that end customers should be able to know what exactly is in the cleaning chemicals they are using. These are some of the key reasons:
- To identify chemicals and ingredients that might meet a specific need, such as protecting the health of small children in day-care-type settings;
- To identify ingredients that while environmentally preferable may still pose a health concern for some individuals; and
- To note products and/or ingredients that while effective and green may not be best suited for a particular site such as a medical facility or a hotel property.
Some in the industry claim we can already access most of this information by referencing the material safety data sheets (MSDS) available on all professional cleaning products. However, the purpose of the MSDS is not necessarily to report all ingredients in the product but to list only those that might potentially be hazardous or present in the product above a specific amount.
This means that ingredients that fall below these thresholds or might be harmful to only some people or only in certain situations would not be reported. Additionally, the focus of most cleaning chemical MSDSs is the protection of the user—the housekeeper in a hotel. Full disclosure would take this to the next step, ensuring the protection of the health of both housekeepers and guests.
This is all fairly straightforward. It seems there would be no objection to listing the ingredients in a cleaning chemical. In fact, most manufacturers already list many of the key ingredients in their products on the labels. The key issue at stake—and understandably so—is confidentiality. Chemical manufacturers are concerned that if their competitors knew exactly what is in their products—many of which could have taken years and considerable sums to develop—they would quickly introduce similar products. Worse yet, competitors might not have to invest the time and money that went into originally developing the product, which might mean they could sell it at a reduced cost to end customers.
Copycat incidents have happened, of course. There have even been situations when one manufacturer tried to mimic the smell of a competitor’s cleaning product, realizing the fragrance actually helped market the brand. However, programs are now in place that meet the requirements of ingredient disclosure while also protecting the manufacturer’s product confidentiality.
For the most part, these programs require manufacturers to list a product’s ingredients by their “chemical function and/or chemical class description,” as outlined by the Canadian Consumer Specialty Products Association (CCSPA) and the Soap and Detergent Association (SDA). These programs offer a degree of confidentiality while still providing consumers with enough information to know if there are ingredients they wish to avoid or those they wish to have in the cleaning chemical.
What the Future Holds
Although no one can predict exactly how many manufacturers will develop ingredient disclosure programs, my experience in the industry indicates such programs probably will evolve over time. As long as the manufacturers’ “trade secrets” are protected, there are few reasons for this to not move forward. And in an age when everyone is asking for greater transparency, it is likely customer demand will help motivate the industry to adopt some types of ingredient disclosure programs.
Stephen P. Ashkin is president of The Ashkin Group, a consulting firm specializing in greening the cleaning industry and CEO of Sustainability Tool LLC, an electronic dashboard that allows jansan companies to measure and report on their sustainability efforts. He is also coauthor of both The Business of Green Cleaning and Green Cleaning for Dummies.
An interesting article from Fast Company. Certainly a step in the right direction to avoid confusion / green washing.……….
Visualizing Regulations To Prevent You From Being Snookered By Greenwashing
BY Morgan ClendanielFri Sep 2, 2011
With consumers becoming more and more focused on the planet-friendly bona fides of their products, companies today can’t help but give the people what they want: products that tout their sustainability, recyclability, and general cleanliness. But this is capitalism, so wherever the market can bear, you expect to see companies also trying to cut corners and get the credit for making progress that they haven’t actually made. What’s a person to do to avoid this greenwashing?
To avoid some of this confusion, the government is trying to help, with the FTC issuing rules about what claims companies can and can’t make about their products. This infographic, made by Column Five for Ethical Ocean, shows some of what goes into defining government regulations, and how those claims are affecting consumers.
In effect, companies can’t claim their product doesn’t do things it can’t. Seems simple, but in the world of sustainability, it becomes more difficult. The rules state that products can’t be said to be biodegradable unless they biodegrade in less than a year and can’t be compostable unless they will break down in your own home composting pile. You can imagine some products that will break down “eventually” labeled biodegradable, or items that compost in only industrial composting settings sitting sadly in people’s backyards.
The best way to make sure claims are substantiated is to look for the labels of organizations and government programs that accredit products. Here is a good sampling of things to look for:
Products with the imprimatur of these organizations are probably living up to the claims that they make on their packaging. If you don’t see a label, it’s harder to be sure.
How are these regulations affecting our lifestyle? Every year, the National Geographic Society and Globescan conduct a survey that ranks countries by the “environmental impact of their consumption patterns.” The United States comes in dead last:
There are some caveats: It’s easier to have less impact in your consumption if you’re not consuming at all, and developing countries like India and Brazil have millions of people living far below the poverty line, whose consumption patterns aren’t comparable to ours (though, in the end, that may be the better option). Either way, while we’re labeling and regulating our products’ environmental claims, we’re not actually buying them.
Here is the full infographic:
Article Source: Fast Company