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June 2009
Home Green Home Newsletter
Sublime Summer Edition
In This Issue
Grand Reopening!
New Product Spotlight
Quick Links
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Dear Joe,
I love all four seasons in our gorgeous hometown, but the arrival of summer is an extra sweet treat - strawberries coming on, the first gorge hike of the year, heading to an abundant and lively Ithaca Farmers Market, outdoor free concerts...the pleasures are almost too many to take in. Don't forget to hit a few  downtown restaurants this season (my fave is Just a Taste), with their recently expanded outdoor seating - and take in a great flick at the newly reopened Cinemapolis under the Green Street Garage. Here's to many moments of summer bliss this year!

-Joe & HGH staff
FLRC/HGH Grand Reopening!
 2 local businesses focused on healthy lifestyle join forces
FLRC logo

Our renovations are complete, and both Home Green Home and Finger Lakes Running Company are settled in and "running" smoothly in our adjacent spaces, with a convenient doorway in between. Beyond the obvious (running shoes), FLRC has a variety of goods that HGH fans should check out, including sporty organic apparel.
To celebrate our new partnership, we're doing a Grand Reopening Raffle. Grand prize is a $100 gift certificate to each business, plus 2 runners-up will receive $25 gift certs to each! Each person can enter up to 3 ways:
1) Make a purchase at both stores on same day & present receipts at a register
2) Subscribe to the Home Green Home e-newsletter (in store)
3) Subscribe to the Finger Lakes Running Company e-newsletter (in store or email: ian@fingerlakesrunningcompany.com)
Be sure to also give us a phone number, in case we fail to reach you by email.
Drawing will be held July 31, 2009.

New Product Spotlight: Earthlust
  Sexier hydration
Earthlust bottles
It's important to stay hydrated, especially in the hot summer afternoons ahead. Many people have become wary of keeping H2O in plastic containers for any length of time, and those stylish Sigg(tm) aluminum bottles contain a liner made of undisclosed materials (what happens after that lining becomes worn and scratched?).  Fortunately, you can now have healthy stainless steel, plus durability and high style design - from Earthlust (I guess these guys have a case of biophilia!). Come in and check them out - the artwork is truly cool.
Green Planet Paints are Back!

gpp logo
 
After a lengthy transition period, we finally have the new line of GPP paints, with the expanded "Renaissance" palette. A hit with many of our customers, this is the only plant-and-mineral-based paint we know of made in the USA. The new colors retain the same earthy character, but now come in an eggshell as well as flat finish - both more washable than the original matte finish. As one customer pointed out, "You can't make these colors clash, they all harmonize!"

Most products in the zero-VOC market space are developed by starting with the usual complex soup of petrochemicals, then tweaking the formula to reduce the ones that exceed the EPA limit for smog forming pollutants - anything below 5 gm/liter of VOCs can be labeled "zero VOC". What makes this an even weaker standard for indoor ar quality is that various chemicals are exempted from the standard, and semivolatile molecules that volatilize over a much longer period are also allowed in a "zero VOC" paint. The difference between these big company green paints and Green Planet is like the difference between a low fat Twinkie(tm) and a home-baked muffin. We'll take the muffin. Yum.

The price for a gallon is now $52, which may seem high until you realize that the difference between that and another premium zero-VOC paint will be perhaps $10 to $20 for a typical room - not much to pay for the benefits of clean indoor air.
 
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Biodegradable Plastics?
Green Living Tactics

As picnic season approaches, we get frequent requests for biodegradable plastic utensils, plates, etc. But thus far we are feeling wary of the concept. If these items readily decomposed in the backyard heap, it might make some sense. In reality, very high temperatures are required for an extended period of ten days or more, which is unlikely outside of large commercial/municipal composting operations, which are few in number, and generally not accessible to the general public. Most PLA (polylactic acid) items end up in landfills, where either they last for centuries like regular plastic, or get digested by anaerobic bacteria, generating methane, a gas which if not captured is more than 20 times more potent than CO2 in its greenhouse effect. Last but not least, promoting the idea of guilt-free single use disposable packaging is of dubious benefit with respect to effecting the behavior changes in society that we're hoping for.
In general I don't ask that a product be perfect, just better than the status quo, but on PLA I'm still not convinced...I'd rather take reusable stainless containers and bamboo utensils to that picnic (hint, hint)...
Read more on biodegradable plastic...
Have a superlative summer, and hope to see you soon!
 
Sincerely,
Joe & the HGH staff
 
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