Friday, May 22, 2015

Waste to Riches: How Recycled Filament Can Transform the 3D Printing Industry

Let’s face it: plastic isn’t great for our environment. There are giant landfills of plastic in countries around the world, a small island of plastic floating in the Pacific Ocean, and plastic bags that carry our purchases from most stores. That’s a lot of waste, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity. Imagine if we could harness our plastic bottles, bags, and packaging to create brand new items and drastically reduce our carbon footprint. That’s the idea behind new 3D printers like the EKOCYCLE Cube, which employs a special filament made from 25% recycled plastic. Equal to about three 20oz PET bottles, it’s a welcome trend in the 3D printing world. As we head into a more sustainable age, here are some of the exciting features to expect with a recycle-ready printer.

  • 1. More Affordable Filament:

Typically, filament cartridges for a standard 3D printer will set you back around $50. The plastic material isn’t cheap to fabricate and then roll into a spool, but production costs go down considerably when you use recycled plastic instead. In fact, it’s often more energy-efficient to recycle household polymers (like milk jugs and shampoo bottles) through a 3D printer than taking them to a recycle plant. This is especially true when the recyclable materials need to be transported long distances before being reprocessed. Printers like the EKOCYCLE have brought us one step closer to a fully recyclable system, where you can feel good about buying sustainable filament and spend less money in the process.

  • 2. More Recyclable Materials: 

Organizations like the Plastic Bank and the Ethical Filament Foundation have made it their mission to bring awareness to our filament usage and set environmentally friendly trends for 3D printing. The Plastic Bank understands that plastic waste is an enormous problem around the world, so they’ve created a printing center to educate poor citizens in developing countries about recycling their plastic. These wasted resources are worth around $15 a kilogram when processed into filament, so it’s a real opportunity for people to improve their financial situation and clean up their towns in the process. To achieve similar goals, the Ethical Filament Foundation works with companies to increase the use of recycled filament. In this emerging market, they want to set clear environmental standards for the industry.

  • 3. New Printing Sources:

Right now, 3D printing uses around 30 million pounds of plastic per year, and it’s expected to reach 250 million pounds by the end of the decade. To offset some of that consumption, designers have been coming up with new printers that harness glass and sand as a resource. Glass has the potential to become a bigger source for 3D printers, although the recycling technology is still in its early stages. Creative engineers like Markus Kayser are already using sand as a printer source — he created a printer called the SolarSinter to harness sunlight and melt down sand in the middle of the desert.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Radon detection in the home

Feeling tired or sick? You might have a radon problem.

Radon is a type of naturally occurring gas that can come from the soil outside your home, leaks in your home or even cracks in your foundation. As the soil in your lawn or garden releases large amounts of this gas, cracks in the foundation and windows and damage to other parts of your home allows the gas to enter your bedroom and other parts of your home.

Using kits at home

An easy and simple way to find out if you have radon gas in homes is with a leak detection kit. You can find these kits online and from some home improvement stores. Specifically designed to identify radon gas in homes, the kits can let you know if radon exists. The problem with these kits is that one will only tell you if you have radon gas in your home at that moment. Hiring a professional for an inspection is usually a better option. 

Why choose a professional inspection?

A professional inspection is the only way that you'll know if your home has radon inside, where that radon comes from and how much is in your home. Professionals can use tools and detectors that determine exactly where the radon comes from and how it got into your house. A professional can also tell you if mediation is necessary. When the radon levels keep rising, mediation lets you lower those levels and keep your family safe and healthy.

A special thank you to today's sponsor for keeping us advised to any potential health risk in the home.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Going green for spring parties

It is up to all of us to clean it up and help Mother Earth any way we can. One of the best ways we can do this is by going green. Using environmentally friendly products in our everyday life will help. If every person adopts this way of thinking, the positive impact on the planet as a whole will be staggering. Here are some reasons why you should go green:

1. Reduce the amount of waste
eco friendly disposable platesWith graduation and spring party season in full force, many people rely on disposable table service to make entertaining clean up a much easier task. It isn't necessary to sacrifice convenience. me. By using products such as compostable bowls, you can do your part to reduce the amount of waste that goes into a landfill and stays there for decades, if not centuries. Compostable items will break down once they are thrown away, so they will eventually dissolve and become absorbed into the soil, leaving no footprint behind. Recycling will help to reduce the amount of waste as well. Rather than simply disposing of plastic and cardboard in the trash, take them to your local recycling center. Mother Earth will thank you for your efforts.

2. The world will be better for future generations

Going green is not just about making the world a better place right now, it is about making it better for the future. Your children and grandchildren will also need a clean and healthy place to live. Therefore, it is our responsibility to give it to them. By changing the way we live our lives today, we can ensure that the future remains bright for this wonderful planet we live on.

3. Quality of life increases

When the world is a cleaner and healthier place to live, the overall quality of life for the general public will be increased. It is the right of every human being to have clean air to breathe and fresh water to drink. If going green can help to make these things happen, then it is definitely a worthwhile endeavor for all people.

Thank you to today's sponsor for offering a wide variety of eco-friendly items for the home. 
Our Daily Green is proud to work with such companies. We have been compensated for this post, but the opinions voiced are our own.   

Monday, April 13, 2015

Bee Protective campaign with Vapour Tempt lipstick

Vapour Organic Beauty products

A few years ago, Our Daily Green reviewed lip glosses from Vapour Organic Beauty and discussed the importance of choosing cosmetics carefully. Not only does Vapour offer organic beauty products that are endorsed by The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, but they also utilize wind power in their production, use recycled packaging of both aluminium and paper, and minimize waste.

Vapour has CHAMPION safety status from the Environmental Working Group, an American environmental organization that specializes in research and advocacy in the areas of toxic chemicals, agricultural subsidies, public lands, and corporate accountability. 

We love what Vapour stands for and their commitment to responsible business practices. During the month of April, Vapour will be donating 10% of the proceeds from their limited edition TEMPT Siren Lipstick to the Bee Protective Campaign from Beyond Pesticides non-profit environmental activist organization. The Bee Protective Campaign aims to protect nature's pollinators. Credo Beauty will be matching the brand’s 10% donation for a total of 20% to BEE Protective Campaign during the month of April. 
Beyond PesticidesOur Daily Green is proud to be affiliated with Vapour cosmetics and their mission.  We received a tube of this neutral lipstick as a complimentary token of their appreciation. It's a suitable subtle color that lasts all day. All opinions stated here are purely my own. If you purchase Vapour's Tempt Lipstick this month, they will donate 10% to the Bee Protective Campaign. It's nice to "bee" beautiful and make a difference at the same time. 

Rain Africa: created for living (product review & giveaway)

Spa store

In December of 2013, my daughters and I took a holiday trip to New York City. Being the mid-western small town family that we are, the crowds were completely overwhelming. As we tried to navigate our way through the sardine-packed Rockefeller Center to see the tree, we found ourselves ducking into a store just to escape the throng of the crowd.

created for livingLittle did we know we were about to be transported to a calm, serene place from another continent. Africa, to be specific. The spa-like store was exactly what we needed that afternoon and spent time choosing beautiful products to take back to our hotel room and unwind, pampering each other with pedicures. While chatting with the store employees, we learned that Rain Africa products are hand crafted using organically grown ingredients with African origins. They promise:
  • no parabens
  • no petroleum jelly
  • no mineral oil
  • no liquid paraffin
  • no petrochemicals
  • no animal testing
  • no child labor
In addition to the sustainability of the ingredients, Rain Africa provides jobs, skills and hope to people living in abject poverty, particularly women and the disabled. With a low tech production cycle, Rain products and packaging are hand-made by trained artists. The wild ingredients are hand-harvested by Southern African women who have extremely limited economic opportunities. Rain is the only Southern African beauty and body product company which is accredited by both Fair Trade in Africa and the international Fair Trade body in Europe.

I was so impressed by not just the products, but also the mission of the company that I subscribed to their newsletter upon returning home to follow along with their success. A few weeks ago, I contacted the company to see if they ever worked with bloggers. To my delight, Rain sent me a lovely assortment of products to test and review and agreed to do a Mother's Day giveaway, as well as offer my readers a discount on any purchases.

Rain sent three products to pamper myself from head to toe and everything in between

Hair Mud Mask

Hair Mud Mask

Heel Balm

Heel Balm

For the head, I have a mineral rich hair mud mask from Biologie that contains marula oil. Marula oil is loaded with antioxidants and was recently featured by a leading women's magazine for its healing and restorative properties. This hair mask made my hair feel silky and strong. It has a wonderful fresh scent.

After I rinsed the mask from my hair, I lathered up with the lovely handmade artisan soap. I love bar soaps because they last so much longer than liquid soaps, and have minimal impact on the environment because they don't need specially manufactured plastic containers. Also, another benefit of bar soap is that I'm not paying for water (which is the primary ingredient in liquid soaps).

Omega Rich Soap

After the shower, I treated myself to a foot treatment with the luxurious Bee Essential heel balm that is just perfect for my dry, cracked winter-ized feet. The heel balm contains healing oils including olive, avocado, beeswax, shea, lanolin, argan, cape chestnut, rosemary leaf oil, peppermint oil, and calendula oil. I've been massaging it into my feet nightly since receiving it and they are just about ready for sandles.

I loved knowing that as I was pampering myself, I was also helping build an economy and care for the planet. Rain Africa is one of those companies that takes social and environmental responsibility very seriously and Our Daily Green is proud to promote their products.

If you're looking to spoil your mother or yourself while helping other mothers in a land far away, it's as simple as entering our giveaway. Rain Africa will be shipping a gift set of three olive oil artisan soaps packaged in a paper mache bowl and finished off with a ribbon, a $28 value.

Win This!

To qualify for the entry, follow these instructions:

1. Like Rain Africa on Facebook
2. Follow Rain Africa on Twitter
3. Share this blog post on the social media outlet of your choice and leave a comment below this post as your entry.

All steps will be verified.

One entry per person, US residents only. Giveaway closes at midnight EST April 30th. Winner has 24 hours to send shipping information to or another winner will be chosen. 

Rain Africa is also offering a 20% Mother's day discount code for Our Daily Green readers

It is available April 15-May 1 for all online orders. 

Enter GREENMOM20 at the checkout. 

Our Daily Green received complimentary products to conduct our review. 
We are absolutely thrilled to promote the mission of this elegant and thoughtful company and encourage our readers to do the same.