Don’t Panic – 1GreenProduct.com May Be Temporarily Offline

the 2 macs / panic by kairin

Dear 1 Green Product friends,

As you know, I am in the process of transitioning this blog away from WordPress and to Blogger.

To accomplish this, I had to change registrars and that process is still inching its way toward completion. (For reasons I don’t fully understand, the change apparently requires 5-8 days to take effect.)

Unfortunately, the domain mapping upgrade I purchased a year ago from WordPress is about to expire. As a result, you may not be able to access this site at http://1GreenProduct.com for a short while.

But have no fear, the site should shortly reappear at http://1GreenProduct.com.

In the meantime, you should be able to access the 1GreenProduct.com archives at https://1greenproduct.wordpress.com.

Also, just to give you advance notice, I was not able to import blog comments into the Blogger format. So even after the move, I plan on keeping the archived posts (with their comments) at https://1greenproduct.wordpress.com.

Thanks for your patience and support during this transition phase.

Sincerely,

Aaron Dalton, Editor, 1 Green Product

New Blog Launch — Bikeway Central!

Dear 1GreenProduct.com readers,

As you know, 1GreenProduct.com is on hiatus while I transition the site to a new platform.

Meanwhile, I’d like to invite you to visit Bikeway Central, my brand new site that continues on the eco-friendly theme but focuses more closely on my interest in bikeways, greenways, bike lanes, bike trails and so forth.

My goal is to provide a central hub for news and discussion of national (and occasionally) international efforts to build bike-friendly infrastructure that knits communities closer together, provides opportunities for exercise and gives us fun alternatives to complement our auto transportation network.

So without further ado, I hope you will take a moment to visit Bikeway Central.

If you like what you see, please subscribe to Bikeway Central updates, share comments on the posts and help spread the word about the new site.

Thanks!

Aaron Dalton, Editor, 1GreenProduct.com

Important Notice — 1GreenProduct.com is moving!

4/7 update – I will not be posting any new content until 1GreenProduct moves to its new home. I hope this will happen in early May or early June. Sorry for the delay in posting new content, but please enjoy the existing content until that time. If anything goes wrong in the transfer process, you should be able to get information by visiting https://1greenproduct.wordpress.com.

Dear Readers,

After a couple of years publishing 1GreenProduct.com on the WordPress.com blogging platform, I’m moving back over to Blogger.

The new-and-improved Blogger seems much nicer than WordPress in terms of usability and design.

The move won’t actually take place for a few weeks, but I wanted to give you advance now in case there are any hiccups along the way.

(I did in fact transfer all the old posts over to the Blogger platform today and there were plenty of hiccups, believe me.)

Thanks in advance for your patience and support. I hope you’ll enjoy 1GreenProduct.com even more in its new home.

Scion Unveils 2011 iQ – Premium Micro-Subcompact

Generally 1GreenProduct.com only reviews products that are available for purchase already – preferably after we’ve been able to test the product first-hand.

But rules were made to be broken.

And that’s why we’d like to contribute some advance buzz to the newly unveiled 2011 Scion iQ – projected to hit dealerships early next year. Just unveiled at the NY Auto Show, the iQ looks primed to add some serious style to micro-subcompact sector.

Just how small is the iQ. At 120 inches long, it’s about one foot longer than the Smart fortwo, but a good two feet shorter than either the Yaris or the Mini Cooper.

In my experience, the Yaris and the Mini Cooper (especially the Cooper) were both fun to drive. The Smart fortwo, not so much. Does that mean that iQ will fall somewhere in the middle in terms of excitement and comfort, or will it blow its subcompact competitors out of the water?

Scion promises that through innovative technology (ultra-slim front seat backs!), you’ll be able to fit three adults and a pet (presumably a small pet) into this car.

From an eco standpoint, Scion is gunning for an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV-II) rating, plus combined mileage in the high 30s.

I’ll be honest. I can’t wait to test drive this thing. I love small cars for their maneuverability – and of course for the fact that they take up less room on the road and presumably require fewer raw materials in the manufacturing process. Plus the iQ just looks extraordinarily fun to drive. (Of course, the Smart looked fun to drive too and turned out to be painful, so looks can be deceiving…)

And let’s hope that the tiny iQ doesn’t come with an outsized price tag.

Stay tuned. The next few years should be pretty exciting when it comes to new Greener vehicles.

Paper Mate Biodegradable Pens and Mechanical Pencils

Papermate biodegradable pens

I just got back from a walk in the park. It was a beautiful day and the walk was lovely, but I was a bit dismayed to see litter on the ground – especially plastic litter. That’s because plastic typically takes so long to decompose that the trash will be around for a long time, perhaps posing some danger to animals and certainly making the environment less attractive.

That’s why I was happy to see these new biodegradable pens from Paper Mate. I’m not encouraging anyone to litter, but it’s heartening to know that if someone does leave this pen in the great outdoors, at least the body of these pens is made from a corn-based material that can biodegrade in soil or compose within about one year (according to the manufacturer).

Even better, the pens come in recyclable paper packaging. And on the back of the package is a handy diagram showing how to disassemble the pen when it reaches the end of its useful life, which components should go in the trash and which can be composted.

It’s not often that you buy a product that specifically asks you to ‘dispose of these in yard soil or home compost’, but that’s the advice here from the manufacturer.

Plus it’s nice to know that the pen’s packaging is made from a renewable resource (corn) rather than from a petroleum base.

FYI, Paper Mate also makes a nifty biodegradable pencil.

In terms of quality, I have to say that I think these pens and pencils are very comfortable to hold and seem well built. They’re also affordable and attractive. In my opinion, the writing quality is even better than a more expensive (non-biodegradable) Parker pen that I bought recently.

Bravo to Paper Mate. I’d say this is a Green home run.

Where to Buy:

Amazon.com sells 4-packs of the Paper Mate Biodegradable Pens for $6.99. You can also get a 2-pack for $3.59.

As for the mechanical pencils, you can find a 2-pack of those for $5.99 at Office Depot.

Disclaimer – Paper Mate did give me some biodegradable pens and pencils for testing purposes.

Eco-Friendly Hostels – Hawaii, Boston, Washington D.C., U.S. Virgin Islands

Looking to travel on a budget and still find Green accommodations? Check out this selection of eco-friendly hostels available via HostelWorld.com.

– All accommodations fashioned from recycled materials and renewable products.

– Instead of a typical hotel room, sleep in a converted school bus, a bamboo hut, even an old tractor.

– 3 acres of land, breathtaking views of the ocean and a volcanic crater. Even the outdoor toilet has a jungle view.

– Live off the land by taking advantage of gardens full of spices and salad greens.

– Take a kayak trip down the Charles River

– Hotel’s Green characteristics include recycling stations, energy efficient lighting and appliances, recyclable carpet and low-flow plumbing.

– Walking distance from hostel to Newbury Street shopping, Quincy Market, and Fenway Park. Surrounding neighborhood contains some of the area’s top-notch bars.

– Eight blocks from the White House.

– Each floor has its own recycling center.

– All paper used at reception is 100% recycled, CFL bulbs used throughout the hostel, eco-friendly soap used in kitchen.

– Environmental documentaries screened monthly.

– Stay in a tree house overlooking the ocean and pristine St. John beaches.

– Other lodging options include ecotents and cabins

Disclaimer – HostelWorld provided the information in this post. 1GreenProduct.com has not personally experienced or verified any of the eco-friendly amenities or features described above.

EconoGreen Plastics(TM) bags

Looking for an eco-friendly alternative to your typical plastic trash bag? Check out the line of EconoGreen Plastics bags (and dropcloths) from the whimsically named Jig-A-Loo company.

Jig-A-Loo claims the bags are made from 100% recycled plastic and that they will completely biodegrade leaving “no harmful residue or toxins” in about two years in the environment. (Traditional plastic bags might take up to 1,000 years to degrade in the environment, according to one source I found.)

For a good analysis of the pros and cons of biodegradable plastic bags, check out this article at Natural-Environment.com.

As far as I’m concerned, if you have a choice, it’s typically better to pick a product that’s made from recycled materials and biodegrades as quickly as possible. On both counts, EconoGreen Plastics bags seem to fit the bill.

Incidentally, the bags are also made in North America. For U.S. Consumers, that means fewer resources were used to transport the bags from point of manufacture to point of sale.

Where to Buy – Use the Store Locator on the Jig-A-Loo website to find a retail location near you. You can also buy through the Jig-A-Loo website ($3.99 for 30 tall kitchen bags).

Disclaimer – Jig-A-Loo sent me a free package of EconoGreen bags to review.