Monday, March 23, 2009

New York City Eco-friendly, Low- No- Zero-VOC House Painting Service

I'm delighted to announce the launch of the first of several services that will ultimately comprise Ms. Green-Clean's Eco-Lifestyle Portal:

Eco-friendly Home Painting

I've just partnered with some of the best high-end interior decor painters in New York City (They also do exteriors). That they jumped on the green-bandwagon years ago and insist on using only low- and zero-voc (volatile organic compound) house paints--earth and people-friendlier versions of their highly toxic relatives--makes me swoon with pride.

One of the main reasons the EPA lists indoor air quality among the top 5 hazards to human health and rates it 3 times worse than outdoor air quality is paint. Paints and other coatings--like stain, varnish, lacquer and urethane--release low levels of toxic gas years after application. You would think once the smell is gone, the toxic gas is gone, but although the worst emissions occur during their initial application, the gasses continue to discharge from the surfaces over a period of years before finally becoming inert. Of course, by that time, you may need another coat of paint!

*Please note: The painters serve ALL New York City Boroughs--Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn & Staten Island, also Westchester County & Nearby New Jersey locations.

*For more information click here:

Envirocycle - The best urban composter

I recycle, scour my home with non-toxic cleaners, hang-dry my laundry, get my electricity from wind and hydrothermal sources, and drive a hybrid Prius when I don't take mass transit, so the logical next step on my tree-hugging path seemed clear: begin composting our kitchen scraps.

In the past, I'd successfully vermi-composted, but even though I became fond of the little red wrigglers, my husband really hated the worms, and I can't say I loved the fact they took up prime square footage in our one-bedroom apartment (pre-war and city-roomy as it may it be). So when I decided to try the urban composting experiment again, I was determined to find a viable, apartment-friendly option.

When my research turned up the smartly-designed Envirocycle I warmed with self-satisfaction. I'd found, quite simply, the best compact compost tumbler I'd ever seen. I purchased it immediately and within a week had sweet-talked the building's Superintendent into letting me house it in the basement laundry room by an open window near the recycling and garbage.

Meauring 30.5” x 25.5” x 20.25 and weighing in it at only 19 pounds, the diminutive composter packs a powerful punch. Or tea as the case may be.

The Envirocycle creates not only compost from your kitchen and yard scraps (You have a yard? Wow, aren't you a lucky New Yorker!), but through tiny holes in the drum that also serve as air inlets, its base collects the drippings and provides you with good-as-gold compost tea, a concentrated plant fertilizer and soil enhancer. Think super anti-oxidant for the botanical world.

Americans are moving in the right direction. We do recycle more and more each year , but unfortunately our waste continues to increase due to rising consumption and overall population growth.

In nature, food and paper decompose readily and nourish the soil (which then nourishes the plants and animals, filters rainwater and cleans the air). They are, however, the two largest components in landfills, accounting for nearly 50% of all municipal solid waste. There is more food and paper in landfills than diapers, styrofoam, and tires combined. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste is the #1 least recycled material.

According to New York City's Department of Sanitation, organic materials – anything from yard, wood to food waste (not clear to me if this includes the paper I noted above for the national number) – make up 26 % of our total waste stream. That is 2,860 tons per day, and roughly 1 million tons per year of material that New Yorkers alone could compost.

Though I'm now hooked on the Envirocycle,there are other great composting options here in the city. Consider joining your neighborhood's community garden (They always have composting set up), start a vermi-composting bin (I'll write on this in the future, perhaps), or take your scraps weekly to a drop-off center.

I anticipate that soon it will be mandatory for New Yorkers, and all Americans, to recycle organic material as we do packaging and other items, but until then, take the (organic) matter into your own hands and start composting.

Click here to buy an Envirocycle Compost Tumbler & Tea Maker

Envirosax - Eco-friendly, Green Reusable Bags. Alternative to Paper & Plastic Shopping Bags

"They're like candy toys for adults," I told my sister on the phone last night after opening my neatly pouched set of five Amazonia Print Envirosax bags. "I'm gonna have to send you some." For years I've tried to beat my earth-harming plastic bag habit, but even having several canvas alternatives hanging on a hook RIGHT next to my front door I've never once remembered to take them along when I needed them. Not once. So when a friend a few weeks back giddily showed me her Envirosax and generously gifted me one of her five, I promptly tucked it away in my purse and began using it on my daily errands and shopping trips. I was so enamored of the one, I sent a five-set to my Mom for Mother's Day, then a few days later ordered the same set for myself. The bags store rolled up like fresh little sushi in their mama-kanga snap pouch. They are very lightweight and mooshable so store easily in backpacks, purses and glove compartments. They are waterproof and each one is able to hold the equivalent of 2 plastic shopping bags. And if all this efficiency and practicality were not enough, they are stylish and attractive, available in an assortment of graphic prints. And, if you want to pump up, or down, as the case may be, your environmental footprint, go for their organic series (100% petroleum free), made of hemp, bamboo or linen. Unfortunately, my impulsiveness made me miss this offering completely when I initially perused the site, but when I need to replace my current set I will definitely opt for this more earth-friendly choice. The next time you use plastic shopping bags keep in mind these facts sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and The Environmental Protection Agency:
  • Plastic bags are made of polyethylene
  • Polyethylene is a petroleum product
  • Production contributes to air pollution and energy consumption
  • Four to five trillion plastic bags are manufactured each year
  • Americans use over 380 billion polyethylene bags per year
  • Americans throw away approximately 100 billion polyethylene bags per year
  • Of those 100 trillion plastic bags, 1% are recycled
  • It takes 1000 years for polyethylene bags to break down
  • As polyethylene breaks down, toxic substances leach into the soil and enter the food chain
  • Approximately 1 billion seabirds and mammals die per year by ingesting plastic bags
  • Plastic bags are often mistaken as food by marine mammals. 100,000 marine mammals die yearly by eating plastic bags.
  • These animals suffer a painful death, the plastic wraps around their intestines or they choke to death
  • Plastic bag choke landfills
  • Plastic bags are carried by the wind into forests, ponds, rivers, and lakes
Buy your envirosax bags here:

Welcome to the Ms. Green-Clean Eco-friendly Lifestyle Blog!

I'm glad to finally re-announce the Ms. Green-Clean Eco-friendly blog where I'll share green product and lifestyle tips, information, and stories.

I started the blog back in May of 2008, but didn't quite get the project flying as I'd hoped, so am re-launching it with renewed vigor and the intention to create an ever-growing, resource to simple, green living in New York City and beyond.

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