I've been cleaning since the Green Living Show
This year was my first trip to the Green Living Show, and I was very excited to see all the certifiably green products on offer – from home improvement and décor to food, clothes and beauty.
There was so much to see, in fact, that I’ve spent the past week sifting through my notes, and the generous cleaner samples!
I was actually really surprised by the number of major retailers displaying at the show – PC Home had an enormous block, as did the Home Depot (who were also sharing some incredible eco-friendly wallpaper designs from Graham and Brown). Clorox’s GreenWorks cleaners, Aveda, Brita and Roots also had their own spots on the floor.
Speaking of Brita, I’ve been thinking it may be time to replace my too-small pitcher with a larger one, and was thrilled to see a model in green at the show. I’d never seen one in that shade before – which also happens to suit my new décor – and was so sad to find out that it was a special show model, not for retail.
But, there were tons of great goodies that I could take home with me!
My first stop (well, after snagging a few eco-friendly samples of yogurt, cheese and tea in the food section) was at the Attitude cleaner booth. This Montreal-based company has started to pop up on grocery store shelves in the GTA, with a great new packaging design featuring stark whites and animals – for example, bright orange fish on the dish soap and penguins on the cold water laundry detergent. I really liked their product samples, and also appreciate the fact that they’re eco-logo certified. In other cool news from Attitude, they’re working on a refill station concept that would allow buyers to refill their existing bottles at select stores.
Next stop was the Nature Clean booth, one of the classic eco friendly cleaners, and, as an added bonus, it’s an Ontario-based, made in Canada company. It’s also eco-logo certified, and available at grocery stores as well as green stores such as Grassroots. Nature Clean already has a refill program in place with Grassroots, allowing consumers to bring in their own containers for the wide variety of products. At the show, I learned that they’ve just introduced take-home refill kits, in recyclable boxes, of course. It is so handy to be able to refill at home rather than schlepping yourself to the store when you suddenly run out of hand soap!
I quickly passed by the Clorox GreenWorks booth, as it was too busy for me to have a chat with the reps, then on to the Bio-Vert station. I wasn’t familiar with this company, but grabbed one of the samples of their biodegradable, biotechnological cleaner to test out. The ‘green chemistry’ in the cleaners is intended to lift away the dirt. I tried the bathroom cleaner and it seemed to work fine, though a little bit of elbow grease was, as always, needed.
I also chatted with the folks at Eco-Max, a brand that has gone from commercial cleaning to household non-toxic options. Their pretty floral packaging and scents was a draw, as is the fact that they’re based in Ontario. I hadn’t seen their products on store shelves before, but I will be keeping an eye out for them from now on.
The green cleaning options seemed never ending, as next up was Seventh Generation. I got the chance to try a load of laundry with their free and clear double concentrated laundry detergent, and it seemed quite nice, but, it is hard to make a concrete opinion based on one or two tries with a wide variety of prroducts. At this point, I can't say which worked best, though Attitude gets points for cute packaging and Nature Clean for their long lasting eco cred.
Getting out of the cleaning section, I found myself getting a warm blast while taking a peek at some artwork. Turns out this was no ordinary framed print, but rather an example of Redwell Infrared Heating, which produces radiant heat – which warms the objects in the room, instead of the air, so it actually requires a lower temperature. With the ability to turn it on only when you need an extra heat boost, this is a greener, and far more attractive, alternative to an energy sucking space heater.
The other booth that really caught my eye was Greenwood Studio. With gorgeous handcrafted, and custom, furniture crafted from sustainable wood sources, including a stunning arching light over a rustic yet delicate chair, it was hard not to stop for a look.
I also checked out Wildflower Farm's booth, as the promise of a lush, low maintenance lawn seems almost too good to pass up! You can read more about them here.
So, while my trip was mostly focused on cleaning (as have the days since as Mr. Speedy and I get ready to move) it was definitely enjoyable and informative, and I'll certainly be heading to the show again next year!