Natural Linoleum

May 30, 2008

Linoleum aka Natural Linoleum

Compiled by Manina Dodd

General Info:

Linoleum was invented by Frederick Walton in Staines, England, in 1860. It remains in production as one of the few washable flooring surfaces which are made of natural ingredients. Linoleum flooring is made from solidified linseed oil, mixed with resins, ground limestone, wood flour, and cork dust. After mixing, these materials are applied to a burlap or canvas backing, and pressed between rollers in a process known as calendering. Users should not be alarmed if the newly laid linoleum gives off an oily smell, similar to fresh paint, or if it has a yellow tinge known as ‘ambering’. Both these effects are temporary. Linoleum flooring is available as sheet or tiles, for glueing down, or as rigid click-together panels having a linoleum surface on a fiberboard and cork base. Vinyl flooring is sometimes generically referred to as “linoleum,” so be sure to request “natural linoleum.”


Natural Linoleum

Made of Natural Ingredients

Offgassing from Natural Oils

Renewable and Biodegradable

Durable and Self Healing

30-40 Year Lifespan

Color is embedded deep in the surface adding to durability.

Many more color choices available now providing greater competition with vinyl.

Vinyl Flooring

Made of Synthetic Ingredients

Offgassing from Petroleum Distillates

Production and Incineration Creates Dioxin

Lower Durability

0-20 Year Lifespan

Color sits on top and wears off faster.

Vibrant and wide range of colors and textures.

Natural Linoleum can generally be classed as nature friendly or definitely a “green” alternative to vinyl because a Life Cycle Analysis shows that it:

•uses natural raw materials that are rapidly renewable

•primary energy carriers such as mineral oil and gas are not needed in the product although they are used in the manufacturing and shipping (from Europe where its manufactured)

•it does not damage the ozone layer with toxic offgasing

•it has a long lifespan and thus reduces waste products

•it does not result in toxic waste and might be composted; there are some moves to use the incineration of it to produce power

•can be installed with low or no voc waterbased adhesives

•not sure of Fair Trade status, some discussion

1) Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) quantifies the potential environmental impact of a product system over the lifecycle

Added benefits:

•linseed oil is an inherent anti-microbial so it is useful in kitchens, bathrooms and hospitals;

•lineoleum is inherently anti-static and therefore repels dust and dirt

•it is easy to maintain with sweeping and damp mopping with a neutral soap; can be further protected by using a recommended sealer

•if the floor gets scratched, it can be repaired with buffing and a coating of sealer

•it actually increases in strength overtime

•wont melt or ignite except at extremely high temperatures

•comparable in price to high end vinyl


•while it does not emit toxic gasses, it does emit ordor that may be irritating to acutely chemically sensitive people and children; this can be mitigated somewhat by allowing for ventilation between installation and occupancy

•installation can be tricky especially in sheet form and should be done by experienced installers; less of a problem with tiles

•care needs to be taken that sub-flooring is not prone to moisture so locations such as basements may not be appropriate if there is a potential for moisture to seep in

•its important for linoleum to “acclimate” for at least a week prior to installation


The following leading linoleum flooring suppliers have comprehensive websites, with information on all aspects of linoleum flooring, including online catalogs, colours and materials for linoleum flooring, and care and maintenance of linoleum flooring.

Forbo: Linoleum Flooring. Forbo is a leading manufacturer of linoleum flooring under the Marmoleum brand name. Marmoleum, which has been manufactured for more than 100 years, is made from natural raw materials. These include linseed oil, rosins, and wood flour, calendered onto a natural jute backing. It is highly resistant to rolling loads and foot traffic. Marmoleum linoleum flooring is available in two forms: Marmoleum Sheet, and Marmoleum Click. Marmoleum Click takes the form of 12” by 36” panels, or 12” by 12” squares. The panels and squares consist of natural linoleum on HDF with a cork layer; they can be locked together with a simple click system which does not require glue.

Armstrong: Linoleum Flooring. Armstrong World Industries, with more than 13,000 employees, and 48 plants in ten countries, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of flooring, including linoleum flooring. Armstrong linoleum flooring is made from linseed, resins, ground limestone, and wood or cork powder. After pressing, the linoleum is cured in ovens for 14 to 21 days. Armstrong linoleum flooring is available in sheets 6’ 7” wide, in 12 colors including: Holly Green, Aleutian Green, Parchment Beige, Firebird Red, Bluebird, Silver Grey, Silver Mist, Silver Moon, Bamboo Tan, and Yellow Straw. Linoleum Flooring., which is a division of Eco-Products Inc., based in Boulder, Colorado, is an online retailer of Forbo Marmoleum linoleum flooring. It also sells borders, corners, adhesives, floor cleaners, and floor finish, suitable for use with linoleum flooring. The Marmoleum linoleum flooring is available in 79” wide sheets, and in 13” square tiles. The sheet and tiles need to be glued down. It also supplies Marmoleum Click Panels, which are available in 12” square or 12” by 36” rectangles. The wide range of colors are grouped into: Blue, Grey, Green, Sunset, and Neutral.




ARmstrong World Industries, Marmorette, (800) 233-3823

Tarkett Inc., Azrock Linosom, (800) 366-2689

Forbo Industries, Inc., Marmoleum Marmorette (800) 842-7839


Abbey Carpet of San Francisco, 3100 Geary Blvd., San Francisco, CA (415) 752-6620

Anderson Carpet and Linoleum Sales, 4101 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94611, (510) 652-1032

Berkeley Design Center, 3195 Adeline St., Berkeley, CA 94703, (510) 652-6064

Blodgett’s Floorcovering, 3291 Mt. Diablo Court, Lafayette, CA 94549, (925) 284-4807

Conklin Brothers, 2999 Teagarden, San Leandro, CA 94577, (510) 357-1090

Conklin Bros. of Fremont, 40760 Fremont Blvd., Fremont, CA 94538, (510) 651-2166

Linoleum Larry’s Inc., 2598 Lombard St., San Francisco, CA 94123, (415) 921-4937

McCurley’s – Shaw Floor Covering, 3191-M Crow Canyon Place, San Ramon, CA 94583, (925) 866-2200,

Shaw Carpet and Flooring Center/Concord Discount Floors, 2395-J Monument Blvd., Concord, CA 94520, (925) 680-7538

Prosource, 1340 Galaxy Way, Suite L, Concord, CA 94520, (925) 609-9448 www.pswholesalecom Note: Contractor membership required

Prosource, 3051 Teagarden, San Leandro, CA 94577, (510) 614-9435


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Bottled Water

May 30, 2008

by Nancy Nashed

Bottled Water, the production, and consumption, has become a very serious issue, affecting the environment more than most people realize. Below is a summary of how serious this has become, followed by a suggestion to purchase a reusable water bottle, and 2 recommended companies where you can find exactly the right bottle for your specific needs.

Read on to find out how the water bottling industry is dealing with the frightening numbers as well.


Pouring Resources Down the Drain

Emily Arnold and Janet Larsen

The global consumption of bottled water reached 154 billion liters (41 billion gallons) in 2004, up 57 percent from the 98 billion liters consumed five years earlier. Even in areas where tap water is safe to drink, demand for bottled water is increasing—producing unnecessary garbage and consuming vast quantities of energy. Although in the industrial world bottled water is often no healthier than tap water, it can cost up to 10,000 times more. At as much as $2.50 per liter ($10 per gallon), bottled water costs more than gasoline.

The United States is the world’s leading consumer of bottled water, with Americans drinking 26 billion liters in 2004, or approximately one 8-ounce glass per person every day. Mexico has the second highest consumption, at 18 billion liters. China and Brazil follow, at close to 12 billion liters each. Ranking fifth and sixth in consumption are Italy and Germany, using just over 10 billion liters of bottled water each. (See data.)

Fossil fuels are also used in the packaging of water. The most commonly used plastic for making water bottles is polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is derived from crude oil. Making bottles to meet Americans’ demand for bottled water requires more than 17 million barrels of oil annually, enough to fuel more than 1 million U.S. cars for a year.* Worldwide, some 2.7 million tons of plastic are used to bottle water each year.

Kleen Kanteen: The Stainless Steel Alternative to Plastic

Our reusable, lightweight, non-leaching & toxin-free 18oz stainless steel bottle, also known as the Kid Kanteen, is designed for small hands and comes with your choice of a loop, flat or sports drinking cap made from safe, non-leaching polypropylene (pp#5). Weighs 6 ounces.

Product Features

• safe alternative to plastic and lined metal containers

• high-quality food grade 304 L.N. stainless steel

• durable, lightweight, reusable and 100% recyclable

• slim design fits most cup/bottle holders

• non-leaching & toxin-free

• no inner lining, clean tasting

SIGG Swiss Engineered Water Bottle

Choose from all the SIGG water bottle designs available, select the lid and accessories you like and create a SIGG that matches your style. Afterall, it’s not what you drink, it’s what you drink it in.

SIGG combines 100 years of Swiss quality & craftsmanship with a fresh, fun perspective on contemporary style – delivering a water bottle with both function AND fashion!

Plus using a premium reusable bottle like SIGG greatly helps reduce unnecessary environmental waste caused by plastic PET water bottles. Sadly, Americans add over 30 million plastic water bottles to our nation’s landfills – everyday!

While not everyone is ready to purchase a hybrid vehicle, we believe every little bit helps. And thinking “reusable” instead of “disposable” is a great place to start. So, Rise Above Plastic – and consider the advantages of hydrating with a SIGG.


Extruded from a single piece of aluminum, our innovative SIGG Lifestyle Water Bottles is surprisingly rugged, crack-resistant and completely reusable and recyclable. A ground-breaking interior lining is 100% effective against leaching and combats residue build-up, so your SIGG Lifestyle Bottle is easy to clean and ensures that all you taste is the water, juice or the energy drink that you just poured into the bottle, even after its been sitting in the Sun!


lightweight, durable, eco-friendly, leak-proof water bottle in a subtly, sophisticated style. Extruded from a single piece of aluminum and coated with a patented secret formula liner, this water bottle will not leach anything harmful into your beverage. It will not give your beverage any plastic taste or overtone.


Independently tested and declared The World’s Toughest Water Bottle, our SIGG-brand sports bottles are lightweight and extremely durable. A noted favorite of professional athletes and active folks alike! These reusable aluminum bottles will fit most cup holders & bike cages and our active bottle top makes drinking on the go leak-proof and easy! This eco-friendly bottle has a special leach-proof lining that will keep your beverage fresh and the taste pure long after the marathon or spin class.

Our SIGG Thermal Bottle Collection brings you the best double walled insulated bottles and Metro Mugs on the market. Fill them with the steamy soup or beverage of your choice. Our stylish, eco friendly and reusable thermal bottles and mugs are engineered to be the absolute best money can buy. Designed by the Swiss company Sigg, our insulated bottle and mug collection keeps your hot beverages, like coffee – super hot for up to 6 hours, or your iced drinks cold for up to 10 hours…really!

What’s going on in the Bottled Water Market:

Water Bottles Slim Down

It’s not uncommon for bottled-water companies to tout the purity of their waters. But one giant bottler has gone one step further: boasting about the bottles themselves.

Nestlé claims it offers the lightest half-liter bottles in the U.S. market. Earlier this year, it introduced new, sculpted bottles with labels stating they contain “30% less plastic.” On Web sites for its brands Poland Spring, Ozarka, Arrowhead and Ice Mountain, Nestlé clarifies that this isn’t a 30% reduction from the old model, which is still in distribution; instead, its new “Eco-Shape Bottle” has 30% less plastic “than the average half-liter bottle.”

The Eco-Shape Bottle To achieve these savings, Nestlé redesigned its bottles with what Nestlé spokeswoman Jane Lazgin called a “pinched waist.” That combines with ribs that are vertical and angled rather than horizontal, to create a “spring-like mechanism” that keeps the lighter bottle from being crushed when in transit, Ms. Lazgin said.

But how much lighter is the bottle? It weighs 14% less than its 14.5-gram predecessor. Nestlé is basing the 30% claim on a comparison with competitors it commissioned this spring from the market-research company Tragon. At my request, Nestlé shared a summary of that report. And taken on its face, the report does support the company’s claim of 30% less plastic than the average half-liter bottle. But there are a number of caveats: The 30% claim holds up when the Eco-Shape Bottle is compared with bottles containing all sorts of beverages, yet carbonated beverages are heavier by design, to seal in the CO2. When the competitive field is limited to just water bottles, the bottle falls slightly short of the 30% claim, and the comparison is skewed by a few especially heavy competitors — some of whose manufacturers say they’ve lightened their bottles since the study was conducted.

In March and April, Tragon bought half-liter bottles in 12 markets for dozens of brands of water, sodas, flavored water drinks and other beverages. Auditors emptied them, discarded the cap and sent them to a central lab for weighing. The results: Water bottles’ mass ranged from a low of 12.26 grams for Nestlé’s Ozarka, using the Eco-Shape Bottle, to a high of 25.94 grams for Fiji Water’s boxy bottle; the mean of all bottles excluding Nestlé’s is 17.31 grams, making the Ozarka bottle 29% lighter. (The other bottles are 41% heavier, on average; that’s a quirk of percentages, similar to how a 20% sale means the original price was 25% higher than the discounted price.) The reduction is 23% when Eco-Shape is compared with the median of other bottles, a measure that minimizes the skewing effects of the heaviest bottles.

Nestlé isn’t the only water bottler to reduce plastic content, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out in August — meaning the study may already be out of date. I contacted the makers of the four heaviest water bottles in the Nestlé study. Dave DeCecco, a spokesman for PepsiCo’s Aquafina, said the company hadn’t sold for five years a bottle that weighed as much as the 21.6 grams measured by Tragon. (Nestlé re-checked the numbers and stood by its 21.6-gram estimate, Ms. Lazgin told me.) Deja Blue has reduced its 23.8 gram bottles to 19 grams since the study, said Chris Barnes, a spokesman for Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages. Scott Vitters, Coca-Cola’s director of sustainable packaging, said Dasani has begun replacing its 18.2-gram bottles with lighter ones weighing 13.8 grams. Meanwhile, Thomas Mooney, senior vice president of sustainable growth for Fiji Water Co., said he had “no factual issue” with the Tragon numbers, but noted that last month Fiji announced it would reduce the amount of packaging in its products by 20% in the next three years.

For the non-water drinks, none of the brands used a bottle that weighed less than 22 grams, so the Ozarka bottle was about 50% lighter than average — a justification for Ms. Lazgin’s claim that Nestlé’s estimate is “very conservative.” But that’s not a fair comparison, Coca-Cola’s Mr. Vitters told me, because a heavier bottle is needed to “retain the carbonation.” Ms. Lazgin said that’s partly the point: The message to consumers is, “if you’re going to choose a packaged beverage, if you choose bottled water, that’s the one that’s the most healthful, and the one that uses the least plastic.”

The other water companies also pointed out that the plastic content of their bottles isn’t the definitive measure of environmental responsibility. Fiji’s Mr. Mooney said his company’s block-shaped bottles pack in trucks more efficiently, meaning more water can be transported at once. And Mr. Vitters said Coca-Cola strives to balance the size of its bottles with the amount of packaging needed to protect the bottles in shipment. Ms. Lazgin said the Eco-Shape Bottles require no additional packaging.

Then again, tap water uses the least plastic of all, even if municipal water works don’t tend to advertise that fact.


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10 “Green” Furniture Companies (well, actually 11 :)…..

by Sabina Maier Smith

Good Design constructed with renewable materials – without sacraficing style or color!

~ Domino magazine 2007 Its “Inside Green” collection offers modern, handcrafted upholstered
sofas, chairs and ottomans made of pure, chemical-free latex and sustainabley
harvested wood. Made locally right here in SF! An extensive line of classic sofas and other upholstered pieces, all
available in chemical-free wood finishes and organic fabrics. Plus, crib mattresses
produced from orgainic cotton. Located in Massachusetts. The “Natural Lee” package includes furniture with frames constucted
from Sustainable Forestry Initiative wood, armrest padding from reclaimed fibers and
water-based finishes. Located in North Carolina. For more than 30 years, this company has relied only on renewable
natural sources like wicker, rattan, hardwood, grasses and bamboo. Located in
Richmond, CA 🙂 Launched by an interior designer and an environmentalist, this high-
end line boasts well-researched eco-friendly materials, finishes and even
biodegradable textiles! I especially love the case goods, crafted from sustainable
woods. Located in NY. Find cool, contemporary furniture and accessories by such hot green
designers as Lannone Sanderson, Material Furniture and Mio Culture. Also located in

the following resources are companies which I worked with will managing Eco Design
Resources, a “green” home improvement showroom which used to be located in San
Carlos, CA (it’s now located in Redwood City, CA). This SF based, worker owned cooperative builds high quality custom
furniture and cabinetry from responsibly harvested lumber and uses natural finishes. This Berkeley company specializes in furniture made from
recycled wood. It also imports & restores antiques from Indonesia, Europe and China. AlterECO creates unique and beautiful custom bamboo cabinets,
made with ecologically responsible materials. Tom, the owner (a super nice guy), even
has birdsong as his cell pone’s ringtone 🙂 AlterECO currently serves only our local San
Francisco Bay Area. They are located in Sausalito.
Sabina Maier Smith This company hand crafts solid maple furniture from well
managed forests and then finishes them with beeswax and tung oil. My 2 year old sons
each sleep and jump and jump and jump in a Pacific Rim crib on a daily basis… these
puppies are built to last! This company creates hand crafted furniture from reclaimed
materials. Their folding wine barrell chairs are especially cool. They are located just
north of us in Arcata, CA.

Happy sustainable shopping and blessings,


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April 3, 2008

Ecological Tableware: Disposable Plates, Cutlery & Cups

by Steve Garvey

This category includes products used in food service and for informal dining such as picnics. [The information below applies in cases when washable and durable tableware are not utilized or practicable.]

One way to reduce one’s ecological footprint is to use plates, cups, and napkins made from recycled paper. Another way is to use products made from recycled plastics (such as the Preserve brand). Another is to use less durable but reusable tableware such as that made from bamboo. Bambu Veneerware® is a popular brand, and widely available (

Disposable paper products products can also be made from bagasse, a natural by-product of sugarcane processing. Two manufacturers of bagasse products are StalkMarket (available through and EcoWare (through

StalkMarket products seem to be sturdier than Ecoware, and a 9 inch plate costs 10-15¢, depending on amount purchased. Here is a blurb from

Bio-degradable, recyclable, and home compostable

• Made from 100% bio-degradable, compostable sugar cane fiber (Bagasse) that is a by-product of the sugar refining process. Supplies of this material are virtually unlimited worldwide and the use of Bagasse products eliminates the dependence of traditional wood fiber based materials in disposable tableware. Diversion of the Bagasse into the making of the tableware saves harmful air pollution from occurring due to the open burning of this formally thought of waste product from the sugar refining process.

• Each item is press-formed at 200º Celsius (392º F) forming a rigid platform and sterilized piece at one time. In addition, each item is sanitized a second time utilizing UV light prior to packaging.

• Product is capable of handling boiling water or oil up to 212)º F and is both microwavable and freezer safe.

• After use, product can be recycled for the making of paper, or 100% catabolized as compost.

• Cost effective and earth friendly products for both the home and institutional use.

• Packaging with house brand in the size, style and package quantity of your choosing or bulk pack for institutional use.

• Variety of sizes, shapes and uses.

• Cut proof resistant.

Besides products made from bagasse, the other innovation in ecological tableware is in the field of bioplastics, which can be used in the manufacture of cutlery and cupware. Here is a blurb from (an online fair trade and eco store):

Bioplastics are a new generation of biodegradable & compostable plastics, derived from renewable raw materials such as starch (e.g. corn, potato, tapioca etc), cellulose, soy protein, lactic acid etc., that are not hazardous in production and decompose back to carbon dioxide, water, biomass etc. in the environment when discarded. Cornstarch is currently the main raw material being used in the manufacture of bioplastic resins. Mater-Bi (main component corn-starch), and PolyActide (PLA) (made from corn-starch as well) are currently the 2 main resins (raw materials), being used today in the production of compostable & biodegradable plastics and are certified for compostability under standards set by international organizations. However, other resins are coming into the market made from potato starch, soybean protein, cellulose etc. Most of these are currently not certified for compostability, though some are for biodegradability. The field of bioplastics is constantly evolving with new materials and technologies being worked on and being brought to market.

The following information is also important. From

Biodegradability & Compostability

Bioplastics can take 90-180 days to totally compost based on the material and are meant to be composted in a commercial composting facility where higher composting temperatures can be reached. Most existing international standards require biodegradation of 60% within 180 days along with certain other criteria for the resin or product to be called compostable. It is also important to make the distinction between degradable, biodegradable, and compostable, as these terms are often used interchangeably.

Compostable According to the American Society for Testing & Materials, in order for a plastic to be called compostable, three criteria need to be met:

1) Biodegrade – break down into carbon dioxide, water, and biomass at the same rate as cellulose (paper).

2) Disintegrate – the material is indistinguishable in the compost; that it is not visible or needing to be screened out

3) Eco-toxicity – the biodegradation does not produce any toxic material and the compost can support plant growth.

[Note that “home compostable” is a further degree of compostability, not applied to bioplastics.]

Biodegradable Plastic will degrade from the action of naturally occurring microorganism, such as bacteria, fungi etc. over a period of time. Note that there is no requirement for leaving “no toxic residue” and as well as no requirement for the time it needs to take to biodegrade.

Degradable Plastic is plastic that will undergo a significant change in its chemical structure under specific environmental conditions resulting in a loss of some properties. Please note that there is no requirement that the plastic has to degrade from the action of “naturally occurring microorganism” or any of the other criteria required for compostable plastics.

A plastic therefore may be degradable but not biodegradable or it may be biodegradable but not compostable (that is, it breaks down too slowly to be called compostable or leaves toxic residue)

Another manufacturer and brand is Cereplast Compostables™, whose “resins are renewable, ecologically sound substitutes for petroleum-based plastic products, replacing nearly 100% of the petroleum-based additives used in traditional plastics. Cereplast Compostables™ resins are starch-based, made from corn, wheat, tapioca and potato starches that primarily come from the).” (

An assortment of brands are distributed by Excellent Packaging (, as follows:


Biodegradable Cutlery made from 80% starch (potato or corn) and 20% soy or other vegetable oil. Able to withstand High-Heat!


Paper plates, cups, trays, bowls, and boxes made from plant fibers, either grown or recovered as crop residue. May be sugar cane, wheat bamboo or rice based pulps. Microwavable, ovenable and freezable, biodegradable, compostable and sustainable.


Made from bamboo, rice, or sugar cane and corn starches. Sturdy disposable food containers are microwave, oven and steamer safe. 100% biodegradable All natural, no bleach, chemicals or lamination. Oil and hot water resistant.

NatureWorks™ PLA

Made from corn grown in the USA, PLA (PolyActide) is used to make clear plastic cups, bowls, boxes, straws and can liners. Biodegradable, compostable and sustainable


Bags and can liners made from Mater-Bi, derived from cornstarch. Used for T-shirts bags and can liners. Biodegradable, compostable, recyclable and burnable.


Food films made from renewable wood-pulp. Suitable for wrapping and bagging food. Ovenable, heat sealable, biodegradable, compostable and sustainable.


Paper hot cups and soup containers made with a PLA lining, making them fully compostable, biodegradable and sustainable. carries Jaya brand bioplastic eating utensils, at 20¢ per set, for example.

Coop America’s Green Pages list the following resources in the food service category:

• Asean Corporation (Stalkmarket):

Biodegradable, compostable sugarcane tableware. Uses waste fiber from sugarcane. Raw materials renew themselves in 12 months. Home compostable. Sturdy and heavy duty.

• Full Circle Industries:

A wholesale company offering compostable dinnerware products as an eco-friendly alternative.

• Greener Earth Marketing:

Manufacturer of tree free, natural or white disposable food service packaging. Custom make various products with alternative paper and non-GMO starch derived biodegradable plastic.

Note: Many of the companies and brands in this article are manufactures and/or wholesalers rather than retailers. Their products and web sites are sometimes geared toward institutional use or re-packaging under a house brand.


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April 3, 2008

Eco-friendly Clothing Lines

by Tracy Johnson

Relative website that lists a variety of eco-friendly clothing lines


• Sweatshop-free organic linen, cotton, and hemp clothing and hemp products made in USA, Canada, & Europe under fair labor conditions.

• do not carry clothing made from soy (issues with Genetically Modified Organisms — GMOs — and pesticides and chemical fertilizers), bamboo (issues with chemicals and acids in the manufacturing process), PET (recycled soda bottles: issues with outgassing and chemicals), or wood fiber (made from new wood, plus acids & chemicals in processing).

• hemp products are made from certified organic European hemp

2. Blue

• organic cotton clothing made entirely in the USA

• practices are based on a lifestyle committed to living lightly on the earth, following good sense rather than trends, supporting sustainability, recycling and non-chemical alternatives


• organically grown cotton apparel

• The cotton is grown by small farms in Texas, Northern California and North Carolina and then is woven or knit into fabric by textile mills in North and South Carolina

• “Our goal is to work in harmony with people here and abroad to help restore integrity and justice, health and balance to Planet Earth”


• outdoor clothing company

• believes ‘sustainable fabric’ is one that leaves the least impact throughout it’s lifespan of creation, through it’s long life, and once it reaches it’s life’s end

• 3 concepts utlitized in sustainable clothing line: energy and resources used to create a fabric, use of restricted substance list to help push safe highperformance fabrics forward, and traceability in knowing where fabrics are created and reducing impacts in shipping as well as carbon offsets

5. Earth

• organic cotton and hemp clothing

• have revived an ancient dyeing process that combines clays with natural fibers such as hemp, linen, cotton, and organic cotton

• fibers are sustainable, garments made in USA, clay dyes are natural

This site is a compilation of the topmost healthiest options of products in the market today. It has been compiled by Golden Gate School of Feng Shui’s graduating class of 2008.

When researching these products, our students have thought holistically, looking at the broader versions of health, including the company’s practice. They have considered:

~ is it local?

~ is it fair trade?

~ is it organic?

~ is it non-toxic?

~ is it “green”?

We have compiled this list so that all may benefit from each other’s research.


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Organic Favorites

April 3, 2008

Best Organic Products

submitted by Terri Butler

My teeth are so white people always think I’ve bleached them – nope, I use all organic stuff, the best I’ve found is a Oral Elixir from – it is so expensive and it is sooooo gooood. You can even swallow it once you’re done brushing. I use it with Dr. Tung’s Ionic toothbrush. Have not been to a dentist in 15 years…

Our son Tristan has never been exposed to soap, we’ve only used the purest we found: (I do photography for this site in exchange for products, that’s how much I love their stuff) their shampoo’s are great facial cleansers and I even use them as a masque and leave on for a few minutes.

Aubrey Organics has great shampoo and conditioners for women that have processed hair (the Morrocco Method stuff have no things in it to make damages hair appear healthy).

Really good pure facial masque: Flower Acid Facial Masque from

Best eye-gel, by far: Simply divine botanicals “pack your bags they’re leaving”

Best deoderant that works: “Real purity”

Earth’s Beauty has the best organic makeup ,

Jane Iredale has the best natural (not organic) makeup

(I use it on models sometimes for photoshoots).

Good website for organic skincare:

Best eyelash conditioner (they grow longer and thicker) and lipbalm overnight (not vegan): pure Lanolin (available at Whole foods)

Dr Hauschka has great products- like their cleansing cream and love the rythmic night conditioners (remember that for my birthday… he he… they are sooooo expensive here in the States)

Best free eco email:

Best superfoods: E3Live , “Pure Synergy” Superfood and their Manuka Honey

Tristan’s favorite toys that have lasted the best:

BRIO – loves the train set and the toddler wobbler, the quality of Brio is just amazing.

Automoblox – all except the mini’s (the mini’s are great but not nearly as good quality as the big ones and they warp in water)

Seventh Generation diapers are the only ones that worked for him, all others gave really bad diaper rash- we tried them all, hemp, wool, cotton- we got all the washable diapers in all brands and all materials and it just didn’t work. Also tried the G-diaper but they are very low for boys in the front so they leaked, a lot.

Best organic baby clothes we found: and Of The Earth have the most inexpensive organic mattresses I’ve found

Some non toxic toy sites:

and some organic clothing:

Starting an eco friendly photography service this year:


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Lip Balm

April 3, 2008

by Terri Butler

My personal preferenses to some of these products are the Alba line, babybearshop, Racheal Perry, and Samantharoma. I have to admit that I’m not up on cosmetic lines and most to the products that were given a clean rating I had never heard of before. Even highly touted products such a Burts Bees weren’t given a high rating in some of the lip lines. The Alba line is one of my favorites. I’ve enjoyed their products for several years. They are competitively priced, easy to find, and are great for my skin and hair. The babybearshop line has a wonderful website. It gives lots of information on not only their products but links into an organic living site, Inhabitant, Lots of product information, articles and editorials on the greening of Corporate companies, and world events. Racheal Perry and Samantharoma just seemed to have very high quality products with consistent ratings. The website I used for this research is in a link to– This site was developed by the gentleman who established Aveda. It is his hope to provide a accurate guide for organic products, because the industry is so new many regulations have not been consistent or observed or followed. The amount of misleading labeling and ideas about what is organic seemed to inspire him to create this website. Have fun with this information.

May your lips be happy.

Main Website: Skin Deep

BRAND: Candy Kisses Natural Lip Balm

BRAND: Mint Lip Service Lip Balm

Lip Balms

Accu-soothe Lip Balm (lip balm)

Alba Organics Hawaiian coconut cream lip balm (lip balm)

Alba Organics Hawaiian pineapple quench lip balm (lip balm)

Anthony Logistics for Men Lip Balm (lip balm)

Anthony Logistics for Men Lip Balm Citrus (lip balm)

Avalon Active Organics Vitamin C Lip Balm (old formulation) (lip balm)

BABYBEARSHOP All The Better To Kiss You with Lavender Vanilla Certified

Organic Lip Balm (lip balm)

BABYBEARSHOP All The Better To Kiss You with Pepperminty Certified

Organic Lip Balm (lip balm)

Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm – Coffee Roast (lip balm)

Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm – Cool Min (lip balm)

Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm – Creamy Cocoa (lip balm)

Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm – Lime Rocket (lip balm)

Badger Cocoa Butter Lip Balm – Sweet Orange (lip balm)

Badger Lip & Body Balm, Highland Mint (lip balm)

Badger Lip & Body Balm, Lavender & Orange (lip balm)

Badger Lip & Body Balm, Lavender and Orange (moisturizer)

bareFaced Mineral Cosmetics Tantalizing Tubes Lip Balm (lip balm)

Canary Cosmetics Vegan Natural Lip Balm (lip balm/treatment)

Cosmic Dance Fresh Mint Kiss Lip Balm (lip balm/treatment)

Cosmic Dance Natural Kiss Lip Balm (lip balm/treatment)

Cosmic Tree Essentials Ambrosia Lip Balm (old formulation) (lip balm)

Cosmic Tree Essentials Apricot Truffle Lip Balm (old formulation) (lip balm)

Cosmic Tree Essentials Coconut Cream Lip Balm (old formulation) (lip balm)

Cosmic Tree Essentials Turkish Delight Lip Balm (old formulation) (lip balm)

Cosmic Tree Essentials Vanilla Moonbeam Lip Balm (old formulation) (lip balm) Dancing Dingo Shea Lip Butter Balm (lip balm)

Dropwise Essentials Aromatherapy Lip Balm, Licorice Mint (lip balm)

Dropwise Essentials Aromatherapy Lip Balm, Luscious Lime (lip balm)

Dropwise Essentials Aromatherapy Lip Balm, Orange Dream (lip balm)

Dropwise Essentials Aromatherapy Lip Balm, Peppermint Pattie (lip balm)

DuWop Buttercream Lip Balm (lip balm)

Earth Mama Angel Baby Mint Herbal Lip Balm (lip balm)

Farah D Chamomile Lip Balm (lip balm/treatment)

Farah D Peppermint Lip Balm (lip balm/treatment)

Golden Earth soothe lip balm (lip balm)

Inspiration Vibration VIBEsmile beeswax lip balm (lip balm)

Its Elixir Black Cocoa Butter Lip Balm (lip balm)

Inspiration Vibration VIBEsmile beeswax lip balm (lip balm)

Its Elixir Black Cocoa Butter Lip Balm (lip balm)

Khushi Spa Products Lip Balm – Grapefruit (lip balm)

Khushi Spa Products Lip Balm – Lavender (lip balm)

LIPCOTZ Lip Balm, SPF 45 (lip balm)

Max Green Alchemy Chap Defense Lip Balm, Peppermint Tea Tree (lip balm)

Miessence Organic Jaffa Lip Balm (lip balm)

naked cardamom lip balm (lip balm)

Nature’s Gate Organics Lip Balm, Carrot Smoothie (lip balm)

Nature’s Gate Organics Lip Balm, Green Tea & Mint (lip balm)

Nature’s Gate Organics Lip Balm, Neroli Orange & Chocolate Mint (lip


Perfect Organics Shea Butter Lip Balm (lip balm/treatment)

Perfect Organics Shea Butter Lip Balm (lip balm/treatment)

Peter Thomas Roth Matte Lip Balm (lip balm)

Plantlife Herbal Lip Balm (lip balm/treatment)

Rachel Perry Lip Lover Balm Banana Coconut (lip balm)

Rachel Perry Lip Lover Balm Cantaloupe (lip balm)

Rachel Perry Lip Lover Balm Grape Juice (lip balm)

Rachel Perry Lip Lover Balm Mint Tingle (lip balm)

Rachel Perry Lip Lover Balm Raspberry Cherry (lip balm)

Rosebud Strawberry Lip Balm (lip balm)

Samantharoma Lip Balm, Orange Cream (old formulation) (lip


Samantharoma Lip Balm, Orange Cream (old formulation) (lip balm)

Samantharoma Lip Balm, Peppermint Patty (lip balm)

See the Dawn Caress lip Balm (lip balm)

Trimedica Msm Lip Balm (lip balm)

ViDoma Naturals Lip Balm (lip balm)

Weleda Everon Lip Balm (lip balm)

Weleda Everon Lip Balm (lip balm)

Zosimos Botanicals LLC Apricot Nectar Lip Lustre Lip Balm (lip balm)

Lip Schtick (1 product)

Lip Scents, Inc. (0 products)

Lip-Ink International (0 products)

My Lip Stuff (0 products)

Pure Lip, Inc. (0 products)

Vermont Bee Balm (0 products)

Lip Schtick (1 product)

Butter Me Up Body Balm (0 products)

Cactus Nail Balm (0 products)

Lip Fusion (0 products)

Lip Scents (0 products)

Lip-Ink International (0 products)

Mountain Baby Butt Balm (0 products)

Mountain Mama Belly Balm (0 products)

My Lip Stuff (0 products)

Peppermint Tree Foot Balm (0 products)

Pure Lip (0 products)

Sana Balm (0 products)

Vermont’s Original Bag Balm (0 products)


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