Frugal Green Living: Save $1000 A YEAR Using These 5 Tips

Another great post from Treehugger

frugal green living save money telecommute cat laptop photo
Image credit: thievingjoker @ flickr

Convince your boss to let you work four (slightly longer) days a week

Working four ten-hour days instead of five eight-hour days is not only a great way to have a longer weekend, but it’ll save you some cash, too. You’ll save 20% on whatever you spend for commuting, coffee, lunch, and any other daily expenses you incur by dragging yourself to the office. Let’s say you do it on the cheap, and don’t drive yourself, pay for parking, or spend more than a few bucks on lunch. Even if you spend $2 on the bus or public transit, $2 for a coffee and $6 for lunch, you can easily save several hundred bucks by working four days a week. Get the nitty-gritty in our guide for How to Go Green: Commuting.

Alternately, you can telecommute on the fifth day of the week; it’ll cost a bit more in energy and food expenses, but it’ll still save money in the long haul.

Annual savings: $500+ for a four-day workweek (that’s $10 per day, one day a week, for 50 weeks a year — you get two for vacation, right?); slightly less for telecommuters.

frugal green living commuter bike groceries photo
Photo credit: nasv @ flickr

Walk or bike on one trip that’s two miles round-trip per week

40 percent of urban travel in the U.S. is two miles per trip (or less), so hop on your bike (or take a walk) once a week, save some wear and tear (and gas) on your car, get a little fresh air, and save some bucks. Learn more about greening your ride in our guide for How to Go Green: Cars and take the savings to the bank. Ready to really make a change? Take the two mile bicycle challenge.

Annual savings: $56.26 — 104 miles (2 miles x 52 weeks) at 54.1 cents per mile, the average cost of driving per mile, according to AAA

Make your own all-purpose cleaner

Rather than dropping four bucks on individual green cleaning products and five or six bucks for a green toothpaste at the grocery store, you can easily swap out products you (probably) already have at home to do the same job. For cleaners, take 25 cents worth of baking soda, 25 cents worth of white vinegar or lemon juice, maybe a touch of essential oil, and voila! Small variations can yield toilet bowl cleaner, tub scrub, and toothpaste Plus, baking soda can clean most anything, including your hair (and it can strip paint, too!). By substituting baking soda for many of your cleaning needs, and adding a little elbow grease, the savings will add up.

Annual savings: $50 — give or take, depending on how much you clean (we figured six tubes of toothpaste at $4 each and one each of five cleaners — all-purpose, toilet scrub, tub scrub, window cleaner, and floor cleaner — at $5 apiece).

frugal green living save money line drying laundry photoImage credit: katsniffen @ flickr

Hang your laundry out to dry

Your dryer checks in at number two on the list of household energy hogs (right after your fridge), according to the U.S. Department of Energy, and uses more than you might think. By cutting the dryer out of the equation and using the ample solar energy that falls to the earth every day, you can save some bucks, and prolong the life of your clothes, too. Get the full scoop in our guide for How to Go Green: Laundry.

Annual savings: $70 per year in energy costs

Set your thermostat wisely

Properly manipulate your thermostat — hopefully it’s a programmable model — and your savings will mount quickly. Follow Energy Star’s tips — simple things like regulating for when you’re awake and asleep, and modulating the settings for summer and winter — and you can remain comfortably heated or cooled, with a few extra bucks in your pocket. Get more tips in our guide for How to Go Green: Heating.

Annual savings: $180, according to Energy Star, if you maintain your diligence for an entire year.

Below are my tips on how I do laundry and save even more than these tips outline;

My Level of Living Green

I air dry all laundry–had to put a lock on the dryer cord to convince my daughters I was serious–they learned to plan ahead!  I wash all laundry in cold water, always wash full loads, and use a drying rack inside if it is raining. It’s good for the earth and great for your skin, a free humidifier in the house. Which also makes it feel a few degrees warmer in winter and cooler in summer.  I use soapnuts for laundry. SoapNuts

2) Buy all organic meat, fats, butter, and the few veggies I still buy.  Mostly I grow my own.  Click HERE to go to my gardening Blog.  Click HERE to see how I eat 100% organic and do so on less than $60.00 a week! And that includes grass fed organic meat at all three meals, at 2000 calories a day.

3) Buy all organic non-toxic beauty care products and make-up.  I make my own skin care cleanser, exfoliants, and flower hydrosols.  Here is a page on my blog showing the beauty products I use.  Products I Use and Love!

4) Use baking soda and vinegar for cleaning the bathroom, kitchen sink and counters and general purpose cleaning.   I use a loofah for scrubbing dishes (I am growing my own right now so I won’t have to buy them anymore!) My sister is crochets scrubbies for me from old t-shirts.

5) Take cloth bags to store for groceries and all other purchases. Take muslin bags I made to grocery store for produce. (I sell them!)

Picture 002

6) Recycle, re-use, make my own and have stopped buying anything I don’t really need.  Don’t use paper towels, never have.  I used cloth diapers for all 5 kids.  I use a compost toilet, no toilet paper (think cloth baby wash clothes).

7) I compost all paper and food scraps, put all lawn clippings in my compost, use contents from my sawdust toilet to heat up the contents which enables me to do high heat (thermal) composting.  The high heat and microbes render the finished product clean of harmful pathogens and pesticides and pharmaceuticals (if there are any; I eat organic, use no pharmaceuticals, no chemical cleaners).

Ideal; Japanese toilet My economy model; Sawdust toilet Yep, it’s a hose reel, recycled.  But a 5 gallon bucket works great.  You can use sawdust, but I use wheat bran that I buy from the feed store downtown for 12 bucks for 50 lbs…lasts me about 6 months.   And the compost I get is amazing!!!

8) I try to not buy stuff in plastic, I try to buy all glass. Store all food in glass. Re-use glass jars. I mostly buy real food (meat, produce) try to not buy anything that needs a label, so no packaging.

10) Make my own gluten free granola, make my own mayonnaise, salad dressings, spice blends.  I do not buy any packages foods, eat all real food (not products), make my own coconut milk yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha tea.

11)  I use a bike for errands close to the house.

12) Use very low flow shower heads. Ace Hardware has a 1.5 GPM with a shut-off valve.

13) Use all CF light bulbs…and use them as little as possible. I have one evening a week that I use no lights..on Shabbat!  Dinner by candlelight!

14) Use grey water from shower (I keep a 3 gallon bucket in shower and take it outside to the flower beds.

15) Use water from rinsing dishes to water flower beds.

16) Use a broom on all my wooden floors instead of using vacuum cleaner.

17) Run as few errands as possible, car pool and combine trips. Ride my bike around neighborhood and for errands within a few miles.

18) Use micro-cloths to clean with, even on glass you do not need cleaning products!

 

19)clip_image004 I have NEVER bought bottled water. I bought a Kleen Kanteen for each person in the family, we refill and take with us. I’ve had mine over about 2 years.

20) Go paperless or CD-less as much as possible. I provide my clients with emails of my book, but still put cookbook software on CD.

21) Use only a hurricane lamp when we sit outside at night.  It gives enough light to read by…but is perfect turned low …for just hanging out. Very romantic, too!

22)  I carry my lunch each day to work in a insulated lunch box from Built, available at ReusableBags.com, using a stainless steel thermal jar for soup, glass wide mouth canning jars for other food, a wrap n’ mat for baked goods and a beautiful cloth napkin and real silver to utensils.

 

22)clip_image006 I carry my coffee, on the way to work, in a stoneware and stainless steel mug with a silicone lid (NO plastic!). From High Wave.  And at only $12.00, it’s a steal!

23) I have an outdoor solar heated shower that I built.

24)  I  grow most of my food inside under grow light; no pests, very small amount of water use.  I am growing cherry and big sweet tomatoes, basil, thyme.  I have sweet potatoes growing, beets (mmmm, beet greens), onions, lavender (I use it in the skin care products I make and sell), Swiss chard, purple flowering kale, nasturtiums, cucumbers, peppers, bell peppers, purple basil, cucumbers, tomatoes, beet greens, garlic and lettuce in my sunroom hydroponically.  Outside I have lettuce, banana tree, garlic, some tomatoes.

25) I use a non-disposable razor, an old-fashioned stainless steel, very high quality razor that uses double edged blades. It was 24.00 from ClassicShaving.com. The blades are 10 for 5.99, and they are double edged! They give the closest, smoothest shave you can imagine!  No disposable blade can compare.  I spend about 50 cents a year on blades!

26) Wash dishes with 2 dish pans in the sink, one for hot soapy water, one with warm rinse water. Do glasses first, pause a moment to let the soapy water drip off, then move to rinse water. Stop when rinse water is almost full and rinse quickly. Repeat with silver, plates, then pots and utensils. All with 2 dishpans full of water. Then I pour the soapy water, with all that organic matter, onto my plants in the garden. It helps repel pests and loosens the soil. And good for the biceps when you carry it outdoors.

27)  I hand water my garden with buckets from the rain barrels that are under the eaves of my garage. 10 feet from my garden. The front flower garden gets watered entirely from the dish water.

29)  I work out at home, no expensive gym memberships that I never used anyway. I save all the expense of membership, and gas and time driving.  I have a set of weights, two exercise balls, a weighted hula hoop, a yoga mat and a chin-up bar.

30)  Picture 278 I hand grind my coffee each morning with my Zassenhaus Model 169 DG Closed Hopper Walnut Zassenhaus coffee mill that I got at Sweet Maria’s. 

Ibrik I make my Turkish coffee in an Ibrik on the stove top.

beehouse_dripper_large  I use a ceramic filter holder to make pour over coffee, and use a gold coffee filter.

31)  I do not “buy” presents, I make them, and wrap them if I have brown paper bags, which I will decorate, I have done water colors on packages and they come out great…I like the affect.


Toxins in Your So-Called "Organic" Health & Beauty Products

From the Organic Consumers Association

 

 

 

 

Do you use Jason Pure, Natural & Organic, Avalon Organics, Kiss My Face ObsessivelyOrganic, Nature’s Gate Organics, Stella McCartney 100% Organic, Giovanni Organic, Head Organics, Eminence Organic, Physicians Formula Organic Wear, Good Stuff Organics, Desert Essence Organics, or any "organic cosmetic" certified by Ecocert?

Hate to break it to you, but these so-called "organic" personal care products aren’t really organic and actually contain hazardous ingredients that would never be allowed in products certified to USDA organic standards.

Yesterday, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), along with certified organic personal care brands Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Intelligent Nutrients, and Organic Essence, filed a complaint with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), requesting an investigation into the widespread and blatantly deceptive labeling practices of leading so-called "Organic" personal care brands, in violation of USDA NOP regulations.

The complaint, filed on behalf of the estimated 50 million regular consumers of organic products, argues that products such as liquid soaps, body washes, facial cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, moisturizing lotions, lip balms, make-up and other cosmetic products produced by 12 different corporations have been advertised, labeled and marketed as "Organic" or "Organics" when, in fact, the products are not "Organic" as understood by the average health and environmental-minded organic consumer.

Read the complaint

In addition to the complaint, Organic Consumers Association’s Coming Clean campaign has launched a boycott of cosmetics that claim to be organic, but aren’t certified to organic standards as required by law.

Read more

We’re encouraging our members to switch to USDA certified organic body care and cosmetics products, as part of a New Year’s Resolution to "be more organic" in 2010.

On our body care page, we’ve listed 26 different health and beauty brands where every single item under the brand name is certified to USDA organic standards.

We need your help to get the USDA to take enforcement action based upon our legal complaint. Please write to the USDA today.

We’re also collecting the stories of consumers who have been defrauded by fake organic health and beauty care companies. Do you feel shammed? Please share your story with us.

Read more and take action

BOYCOTT THESE FAKE "ORGANIC" BRANDS

Click on the links below to be taken to each brand’s entry in the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Safety Review Database where you’ll find a hazard score for each product and ingredient.

BUY THESE CERTIFIED USDA ORGANIC BRANDS:

Sign The Petition

Note from me; The following products are not endorsed by this company, but are two of my favorites.

Aubrey Organics– One of my Favorites! Thier silk powder is awesome!

Jane Iredale Best Mineral Makeup on the planet!


Organic and Non-Toxic Beauty Products

Reduce your cancer risk by cutting toxin exposure in your home and on your body.

mascara It might make you mad to know that you are a guinea pig for the effects of carcinogen exposure and its effects on the human body. You would be shocked to learn how many known – and suspected – carcinogens are you are using in your home and on your body!

A five-year EPA study of over 600 households revealed that contaminant levels in the average home are up to 70 times higher than those found outdoors!

The Environmental Working Group, a public interest research and advocacy organization, has revealed that more than one third of all personal care products contain at least one known carcinogen. The average woman is exposed to approximately 126 such chemicals on a daily basis. In combination, these products are even worse; some “penetration enhancing” skin care products, for example, allow harmful ingredients to be drawn further into the body.

Penetration enhancers have been used to effectively deliver patch drugs deeper and faster through the skin and into the blood vessels. Although rarely added to cosmetics for the purpose of enhancing penetration, many ingredients used in cosmetics are found to have penetration-enhancing properties. The concern with penetration enhancers in cosmetics lies not in the toxicity of the enhancer itself but in the fact that the enhancers open the skin to greater absorption of carcinogens, toxins, and other harmful chemicals that the product may contain.

My list of what I use.

I make my own facial cleanser with honey, baking soda, lavender oil, rose oil, sweet almond oil, Vitamin C, salicylic acid, a few drops of Dr. Bonner’s hemp soap, xantham gum. It cleans, perfectly, doesn’t strip the skin of essential oils, replenishes with oils that are good for the skin, exfoliates beautifully.  It’s for sale on my web page-  Optimum Nutrition. I also make distill lavender flowers, roses and calendula flowers for toners that nourish the skin.  I have also posted the recipe on my business web page-  Optimum Nutrition – Recipe of the Week.

EveryDay Minerals – Great powders, average packaging. GREAT prices!! And free samples, so you can try them. They let you order FIVE generous samples in different colors so you can find a match. I loved the three colors of powders, wasn’t so wild about the blushes, didn’t show hardly any color on the skin.

Jane Iredale Jane Iredale is pricey, but very clean and decadently elegant. I have a real problem with all the packaging and metal compacts and such…but ooohhh…I love her products. Her pressed powders are amazing. Lipsticks are clean and really stay put, but need gloss as they are very matte.

Evans Garden– ineffective cleansers and chalky powders, but the GREATEST facial moisturizers in the world. So clean you could eat them.  They couldn’t be any higher quality, moisturize perfectly and are very affordable.  And the owners are sweeties!

burts bees Burt’s Bees has the best Lip Balm I’ve ever found.  Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil is my favorite.  They also

Aubrey Organics has wonderful Rosa Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. They are awesome for permed or colored hair. Their Rosa Mosqueta body lotion is the most luxurious and wonderful body lotion I have ever used! However a VERY close second is;

Burt’s Bees Carrot Moisturizer Lotion (the smell is a heavenly vanilla scent!).

 BB Carrot Lotion

Neem Farms Neem Powder- for toothpaste is my favorite.  It’s whitening and anti-bacterial. I also use the Neem Mouthwash.

Dr Hauschka Dr. Hauschka has my favorite lipstick, lip pencil and eye liner. 

PF Organics Physician’s Formula Organicwear for mascara- non-gooey, doesn’t clump, stays on and comes off easy.

UVNaturals is the only sunscreen I have found that I am willing to put on my skin! I can even wear it under makeup. Recent medical research is indicating that certain sunscreen ingredients are in fact having a detrimental effect through cumulative use.

Best exfolient and fade treatment in the world- my daughter Rachel, an esthetician, taught me this- make a paste from baking soda and fresh lemon juice, apply as mask, leave on 15 to 20 minutes, re-wet with lemon juice if it starts to dry out.  It fades brown spots and works as well as glycolics to exfoliate!

These ingredients can mimic oestrogen, create free radicals, or accelerate the production of free radicals in the body. The can also damage DNA within the cells.

When you go read the label on most of the personal care products that you are probably using, you will find parabens and phthalates. These chemicals have been definitively linked to breast cancer.


Organic Mascara, All Natural and I LIKE IT!

I have been trying to find a decent natural, organic mascara for 30 years! I finally did it; it’s not gooey, doesn’t clump and it stays on until I wash it off…and it washes off easily, I might add…no yanking out the eyelashes to get it off. YEAH!!!

Organic wear®

For more information about Organic wear®, visit www.organicwearmakeup.com.

Organic wear® 100% Natural Origin Mascara 

Hypoallergenic. Safe for Sensitive Eyes and Contact Lens Wearers.

Organic wear® 100% Natural Origin Mascara

  • Revolutionary 100% Natural Origin formula contains the purest ingredients and provides 5x Lash Boosting for lash length, volume & definition naturally.
  • 100% Recyclable Eco-Brush defines each lash with ultra-soft plastic bristles.
  • 100% Free of Harsh Chemicals, Synthetic Preservatives, Parabens, Clumping, Smudging, Flaking, Fibers & Dyes.

Shade: Ultra Black Organics Black Organics *

Directions

  • Sweep mascara brush from lash base to tips.
  • Apply multiple coats for added volume.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS: CITRUS AURANTIUM DULCIS (ORANGE) FRUIT WATER*, GLYCERIN, IRON OXIDE, MICROCRYSTALLINE CELLULOSE, GLYCERYL STEARATE, WATER, BEESWAX*, JOJOBA ESTERS, TAPIOCA STARCH*, COPERNICIA CERIFERA (CARNAUBA) WAX*, STEARIC ACID, GLYCERYL CAPRYLATE, ALOE BARBADENSIS LEAF JUICE*, CELLULOSE GUM, CINNAMIC ACID, CUCUMIS SATIVUS (CUCUMBER) FRUIT EXTRACT*, GLYCINE SOYA (SOYBEAN) OIL*, HYDROLYZED ORYZA SATIVA (RICE) PROTEIN, MAGNESIUM ALUMINUM SILICATE, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) LEAF EXTRACT*, PHENYLALANINE. MAY CONTAIN: TITANIUM DIOXIDE *PRODUCED FROM ORGANIC FARMING.

Where to Buy

Net Wt. 0.26Oz./7.5g
Price:  $9.95


5 Greenwashed Myths of the Beauty Industry (And How Not to Fall For Them)

A great post from TreeHugger

1. If it’s "natural," it must be green

washing face "Natural" and "all-natural" may lead us to surmise that a product is as pure as the driven snow (or as pristine as a virgin rainforest), but because they’re not regulated labeling terms, marketers are free to bandy them around with alacrity and, more important, without fear of reprisal. Plus, much like their kissing cousins "nature-inspired," "naturally derived," and "based on natural," they’re also vague, misleading, and essentially meaningless.

Tacking "Naturals" at the end of a company’s name, branding one’s packaging with earthy tones and botanical allusions, and peppering advertising copy with exotic fruit and vegetable extracts are other strategies used to lull us into a false sense of security. The point of this PR legerdemain? You’ll be too distracted to notice the disconnect between the laboriously crafted fantasy and the sordid reality.

2. It contains organic or fair-trade ingredients—totally eco, no?

It’s true that we’re judged by the company we keep, but tossing a couple of organic or fair-trade ingredients into the mix, commendable as that might be, does not an unsullied concoction make—yes, even if you bold said ingredients and strategically craft your marketing campaign around them. When methylparaben and PEG-100 stearate are bumping uglies with organic cocoa butter and fair-trade mango extract, you have a tainted product on your hands.

3. It has no parabens. We’re home-free, right?

Not so fast. While these ubiquitous, hormone-mimicking preservatives are chief among the Big Bads of skincare ingredients, in terms of the attention they’ve received and the controversy they’ve generated, they’re not the be-all and end-all. Be wary of companies that use the exclusion of parabens, usually followed closely by phthalates, as a smokescreen for letting other toxic nasties slide by.

4. It has someone’s seal of approval, so we’re good

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program isn’t the only sheriff in town, even if the Food and Drug Administration is strictly hands-off when it comes to regulating the use of "organic" in cosmetics, bodycare, and personal care products. (Confused? You and us both.) The proliferation of certifications and labels over the past few years has made what was already a sticky quagmire of "who said what" even more unnavigable, with standards like OASIS, Whole Foods’ Premium Body Care, and Sephora’s Naturally Gorgeous either contributing to or muddying up the conversation, depending on whom you ask.

Third-party verification is a wonderful thing, but many of these "internal ratings" are tantamount to saying that your own standards of awesomeness have summarily judged you to be TEH AWESOME. (And Terri Bly at Feelgood Style notes that Sephora is selling a load of crock anyway.) As TerraChoice so eloquently put it, thou shalt not worship false labels.

5. Babies and kids use it, that makes it safe

Think again, kemosabe. Just because a skincare product is geared toward the pint-size, doesn’t mean it’s been tested for safety. With no standards in place to protect them—and despite their increased vulnerability—our children are exposed to some of the muckiest ingredients chemistry hath wrought, including known carcinogens like 1,4-dioxane and formaldehyde. Even a trusted, supposedly child-friendly institution like Johnson’s, maker of the iconic No More Tears shampoo, regularly hits the highest score on the Environmental Working Group’s hazard scale. Won’t someone think of the children?


Clean Beauty Products

washing face I have been reading Green Blogs this morning and found several with lists of what the authors thought were fairly clean products. One listed several that had a toxicity level of “under #3”  on the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep site. I don’t know about you but I do not want ANY toxic chemicals in my products that I use.

I decided to make a list of my favorite products and where to find them.

I make my own skin cleanser; here is the recipe;

MILLIE’S WONDERFUL CLEANSER

3 cup water
2 cups baking soda
1/2 teaspoon almond oil
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 ½ cup honey
1 Tbsp. Dr. Bonners Almond liquid soap
2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin
1 teaspoon ascorbic acid powder
1 teaspoon Salicylic acid
3 Tablespoons Xantham gum

On low heat, combing all ingredients except honey. Remove from heat and let cool. Add honey. Let the recipe mellow a day, then refrigerate most of it. I keep about a cup of it in the bathroom in a glass jar. Apply to the skin like a soap and rinse off with tepid water.

I make my own exfoliator by adding extra baking soda (a fruit acid) to my cleanser to make a paste.  I use baking Soda mixed with fresh lemon juice as a mask to fade brown spots and even out my complexion. Prior to making these products I had used Retin-A and glycolic acids on my face for about 15 years.  I find these inexpensive, non-toxic products just as affective.

images Jane Iredale her loose powder, mascara and lipsticks are simply the best and cleanest available. And her products are packaged in metal, not plastic. Pricey, but luxurious.

EveryDay Minerals – Great powders, average packaging. GREAT prices!! And free samples, so you can try them. They let you order FIVE generous samples in different colors so you can find a match. I like thier blushes and eye shadows also.

light-cream-250 Evans Garden waxy,ineffective cleansers and chalky powders, but GREAT moisturizers. I use their Light Cream for Oily Skin for daytime, Crème Rose and Rose Facial Serum at night.  I don’t think there are any finer moisturizers on the market. 

Burts Bees Burt’s Bees has the best Lip Balm I’ve ever found.

aubrey Aubrey Organics has wonderful Rosa Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner. They are awesome for permed or colored hair. Their Rosa Mosqueta body lotion is the most luxurious and wonderful body lotion I have ever used! However a VERY close second is Burt’s Bees Carrot Moisturizer Lotion (the smell is a heavenly vanilla scent!)

Neem Powder- this toothpaste and mouthwash is my favorite; cleans, whitens and is a natural disinfectant.

UVNaturals is the only sunscreen I have found that I am willing to put on my skin!  Although I hardly ever wear it, there are tomes I do need it; sailing, long bike rides…I can even wear it under makeup. Recent medical research is indicating that certain sunscreen ingredients are in fact having a detrimental effect through cumulative use.

yahoo


Greener Beauty Products

If you have been reading my blog awhile, you know I am serious about not using any chemicals on my body.  However…every once in a while, especially in the summer, I love to paint my toes red.  I have tried a few polishes from the health food store with no luck finding good quality ones…  Here is a post from TryingToBeGreener;

I feel pretty, oh so pretty! March 20, 2009

I would say that I keep things pretty basic with the daily beauty products I use. I don’t have a ton of makeup that piles up or multiple shampoo bottles to choose from in my shower. I do, however, like to wear perfume and nail polish occasionally. In fact, I’ve found that when I do wear nail polish, it helps me to want to keep my hands from looking like they wash dishes all day long – it reminds me to pamper them a bit more. The problem is that I stopped wearing nail polish after hearing how much of  it contains formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.

Nicole, made by OPI, is free of DBT, toluene, and formaldehyde and their glass packaging is recyclable. The Nicole line comes in both the traditional nail polishes in the glass jars, called Nail Lacquers, and brush on pens, called Nail Sticks. Both options come in many, many colors and are available at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, Meijer, Longs Drugs, and Harmon Discount Health and Beauty.

I tried the Nail Stick alone without a top or bottom coat and found it to last respectably for 5 day. Pretty good, if you ask me.

Nicole Nail Sticks

Nicole Nail Sticks

I also purchased Soy Polish Remover from a local “green store” near where I live made by Pritti. Its ingredients are soy ester, corn ester, orange oil, and vegetable glycerin. Their DBP, toluene and formaldehyde free nail polish and polish remover can be purchased through Amazon.

Priti Nail Polish Remover

Priti Nail Polish Remover