Eco-Friendly

Making Eco-Friendly Changing Mats: VOC-Free Diaper Pads Make Great Baby Shower Gifts

 

Most baby changing mats, or diaper pads, are made of a soft, wipeable surface to ensure a hygienic change. However, most are coated with PVC (polyvinyl Chloride) a plastic that has been linked to asthma and other breathing difficulties. PVC does not biodegrade quickly, and when discarded it leaches greenhouse gasses into the air, as it breaks down.

 

Biodegradable Changing Pads

When choosing a fabric for a changing pad, an organic cotton or fabric means that no pesticides were used in growing the material. When the use of the changing pad is over, it can biodegrade quickly. Organic versions of cotton, bamboo fibre, and flannel can be found online, if a fabric store doesn’t supply unbleached or naturally dyed fibre cloth.

Using Online Resources to Buy Organic Fabric

Buying fabric online may make some people nervous: If it’s not the quality of the fabric, or the texture, not being entirely sure if the colour on seen on the computer monitor matches the actual item are all considerations when buying anything over the Internet. However, if the store has a return policy for items bought online, buying organic fabric online may be worth it.

In many cases yardage costs less online than in a store, as shopkeepers don’t have to pay for storage, inventory and staff. If an online purchase is truly an eyesore, sending it back to the warehouse if the purchase policy allows may still be worth the cost of shipping.

Where to Find Organic Fabric Online

Some sites that sell organic cloth online are:

 

  • Organic Fabric Online (Australia)
  • Atlantis Fabrics (USA)
  • Rawganique (Canada)

An online search using words like “sustainable fibres” or “organic, unbleached” along with the name a destination closer to delivery will also reduce the carbon footprint for making this homemade gift.

Making A Changing Pad

Some changing pads are as decorative as others are simple: Some use quilted fabric for texture, and others sandwich a thin foam rubber between two sheets. Using a plastic based foam padding is not recommended for children; the glues and the materials often release deadly Volatile Organic Compounds, or VOC’s, for short.

Once a style of fabric has been selected, making one doesn’t have to involve long and complicated sewing patterns. The average diaper pad should be a foot longer at the head and the foot to accommodate a child who may be up to two years old, and slow to potty training.

Online patterns for making your own diaper pad can be found on the craft blog, Sew Take a Hike, which includes photographs and a step by step tutorial. Another option is modifying a pattern for placemats by making them a foot longer at each end; eHow has several options that include photographs.

A changing mat as a baby shower gift is especially well received when it includes the colours of the baby’s nursery: A discrete peek or some questions can make this gift an eco friendly delight.

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Home

Eureka!

Fall is in the air. The fur kids are grateful for every degree the temperature drops. They want to be outside whenever the mercury drops below 80 degrees. They chase the falling leaves and wait with baited breath for the approaching fall. They know it is coming and they are anxious for it to arrive.

I took some time off from computer repairs so they all got to go to the new property yesterday. It is still heavily wooded, even with the clearing we did for the houses. They frolicked through the woods, getting acquainted with the resident squirrels and birds. They followed all of the wonderful new smells of wildlife and nature. They were excited and overjoyed.

They found deer trails and were awestruck by the fabulous new scent they had never experienced before. They spent more than an hour trying to find the mysterious creature that had left such a heady marking. Soon they will live there and they will find this fascinating animal, but for now they could only smell and dream.

We ran ourselves ragged just keeping them in sight as they explored this wonderland. They found chipmunks, squirrels and birds. Tried to dig out dens and ran headlong into an armadillo. It was hard to determine who was the more startled or amazed. They were all curious about each other, the armadillo cautiously eyeing this horde of fur and flying ears, the fur kids announcing their discovery with raucous barking. The armadillo curled into a ball, patiently enduring the inquisitive noses of this strange pack of impertinent fur balls. The more daring boys cautiously chanced to touch with extended paws while the girls encouraged them from a safer distance. They finally decided that this new discovery did not want to play and soon lost interest when the armadillo, who steadfastly maintained his immobile behavior. The fur kids raced off in search of more adventure and the armadillo uncurled and meandered away apparently unruffled by the encounter.

Every tree and bush had to be examined and relegated to an appropriate category. Each rock was tested and marked. The boys had a very busy day, indeed. The location of the spring was found and committed to memory. The proper tree for each squirrel was carefully determined and noted.
The location of dens, trails and other still unchartered realms were securely recorded for further study.

Finally, tired but content fur kids were ready to be loaded in the truck for the trip home. Now they have flung themselves into the moving preparations with a vengeance. Impatient to have it done and get back to this new paradise that awaits them, they encourage the packing and cleaning with their own special brand of incentive, the thoughts and dreams of this beckoning Eden never far from their minds.…

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Environment

Volunteering for a Healthy Environment: Cleanup Organizations in Florida and Beyond

The old quote from John Wesley that “cleanliness is next to godliness” may not be used much anymore, but the idea that a clean and orderly personal and collective environment contributes to good health is without a doubt the driving principle behind a number of national and state-specific volunteer organizations. Research has shown that neatly maintained homes and communities can not only provide a safer environment for families, but can lift mood and create a more positive, productive lifestyle. When combined with the satisfaction of volunteerism, promoting cleanliness becomes a powerful and healthy way to make a huge difference in neighborhoods and surrounding areas.

The State of Florida is a great example of the ways in which environment can directly impact health and how volunteerism can contribute to personal and collective well-being. Known for its beautiful waterways and recreational opportunities, Florida boasts a number of clean up organizations and projects that enlist the enthusiasm of groups and individuals to help maintain and protect its unique natural resources. Volunteers can show civic pride in Florida’s roadways, tidy up a local park or community center, or preserve the natural beauty of waterways—there’s a job for young and old alike.

Adopt-A-Highway

Sprucing up Florida’s highways for over a decade, Adopt-A- Highway groups help the Department of Transportation put a fresh face on the roads that bring millions of visitors to Florida each year. Hundreds of dedicated volunteers restore the appearance of naturally stunning right-of-ways by picking up litter that detracts from the scenic routes. These efforts enable the state work crews to concentrate less on litter and spend more time on maintenance and special projects. It’s a winning combination that not only improves visitor’s first impressions of the state, but also promotes a distinct sense of civic pride among residents.

Groups or individuals that join the Adopt-A-Highway program are asked to “adopt” a two mile section of a state highway, follow DOT regulations, remove litter at least four times a year, and dedicate two years to the project. The Department of Transportation assists by aiding in safety instruction, providing safety vests and litter bags, picking up collected litter at pre-arranged locations, and posting signs along the group’s section to recognize their contribution.

For more information on Adopt-A-Highway call 1-800-BAN-LITT or visit Florida’s Department of Transportation on the web.

Keep America Beautiful, Inc

Promoting litter prevention, waste reduction, and community beautification and improvement since 1953, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) is a national non-profit network of affiliates and other organizational participants that marshal millions of volunteers to improve land, waters, and built environment. Focusing on education, cooperation, and inspiration, Keep America Beautiful provides programs that strive to effect behavioral changes to reduce litter, reuse resources, and recycle waste. KAB contends that behavioral changes and beautification projects not only clean up the environment, but also have an enormous impact on the economic health and safety of local communities.

There are many active Keep America Beautiful affiliates in Florida that work hard to improve the quality of life for residents by facilitating public service and civic pride through a variety of community improvement programs. KAB’s largest annual campaign, The Great American Cleanup, is a key activity for the most local chapters. For more information on Great American Cleanup activities nationwide, visit Keep America Beautiful, Inc.

Watershed Action Volunteers

While keeping roadways and neighborhoods tidy has spawned national organizations like Adopt-A-Highway and Keep America Beautiful, Florida’s unique network of waterways creates another avenue where keeping things clean is of vital importance. For those who love Florida’s amazing lakes, streams, and rivers and the creatures that populate them, the St. John’s River Water Management District’s Watershed Action Volunteer Program is an excellent opportunity to help protect these splendid resources.

Volunteers are trained by WAV coordinators to test water quality, survey for pollution, participate in revegetation and clean up projects, and conduct educational presentations in the community. Protecting Florida’s water systems is critical not only for the resources used for drinking, maintaining wildlife habitats, and natural resources, but also because they impact recreation, jobs, and food supplies throughout the state. Since research has shown that unhealthy conditions in waterways can be reversed, the more volunteers that commit to making a difference, the more long lasting changes can be made.

For more information call the St. John’s River Water Management District WAV Program (386)329-4345.

Combining the uplifting benefits of a clean environment and volunteerism can contribute to the well-being of individuals in communities everywhere. Picking up litter, providing safe and clean parks and playgrounds for kids or ensuring the waterways that feed into the drinking water that sustains all may prove John Wesley right. Cleanliness may truly be a sacred act. Get involved in a cleanup organization today!

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Green Living

How to Be a Member of the New Greener Generation: A Good Place to Start is Active Participation in Earth Day

 

Since Earth Day was founded in 1970, awareness about various environmental issues has become more and more widespread across the globe. Today, children and young adults are increasingly well informed about eco-related concerns and are more willing than ever to help make a difference. This 40th anniversary of Earth Day is a great time to get involved and join the up-and-coming greener generation to help conserve the planet.

 

Attend a Green Rally

Earth Day, April 22nd, offers an opportunity to be involved in activities beyond the norm as hundreds of millions across the globe participate in Earth-related events. Local rallies should be easy to find, particularly in urban areas: look for flyers around town; check the “Events” section of CraigsList; or contact the city events board to see what’s been planned for this Earth Day. Rallies present the opportunity to connect with others who are passionate about saving the planet, and help to raise awareness about current environmental issues.

Be Proactive and Get Educated

Those who want to be part of the greener generation will be best able to make an impact if they are educated about the facts of certain concerns. Choose an interesting topic and research it to find out applicable information. With controversial topics like global warming, look for studies that present unbiased information about scientifically proven facts. Use credible sources for these sorts of topics – not Wikipedia, volatile comment boards on the Internet, or authors with a political agenda; but websites or books written from a purely scientific angle. The ability to quote well-founded factual information when speaking to others about environmental concerns should be helpful to everyone involved.

Work Hard and Make a Difference

To truly become a part of (rather than an observer of) the greener generation, it is imperative to get off the sidelines and work toward making a difference. Sometimes that takes really hard work but it is for a very worthwhile cause – our planet.

Find a good environmental cause and, after researching it more thoroughly, find out what to do to contribute in a positive way. Link with others through social networking outlets, plan or attend local events, and chip in personally to take action and help make a change.

 

Since 1970, Earth Day has provided an amazing opportunity to connect with other environmentally minded people and get involved with saving the planet. Don’t waste the chance in 2020 to join the greener generation and make a meaningful impact.

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Environment

Majora Carter: Greening The Neighbourhood: Award Winning Environmentalist Speaks About Urban Renewal

 

New York Post awarded Majora Carter the Liberty Medal for Lifetime Achievement for her work in ecological and social awareness. The MacArthur “Genius” Grant was hers for calling attention to what she terms “ecological racism.”

However, the people of South Bronx, New York, know her as the woman who transformed an illegal dump along the waterfront to a tourist-worthy spot of lush greenery and lovely views: In fact, Ms. Carter had her own wedding at the very spot that was once a garbage-strewn wasteland.

A compelling speaker, Ms. Carter addressed issues that everyone who lives in a city – be it Canadian or American or anywhere in the world – asks: Can we afford to be green? How much would cities lose in revenue if they opted for more sustainable industries? Carter addressed these issues in a speech as part of a panel titled, “Greening the Neighbourhood & How Much It Won’t Cost Us.”

University of Toronto’s Hart House seated a crowded room on March 13, 2018. Students, environmental activists and fans of Majora Carter crowded The Great Hall to hear Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone, Youth Activist Ben Powless and Professor Dr. Blake Poland tackle problems about the cost of greening and raising awareness towards environmentally friendly industry.

Majora Carter Discusses “Greening the Ghetto”

Environmental Racism is defined as the tendency for governments or large businesses to place toxic, dangerous or otherwise unattractive industries in poor neighbourhoods, as she phrased it “the ghettos.” Less affluent neighbourhoods that feature house subsidized housing, or concrete industrial wilderness are less likely to be sustainable, and therefore become less affluent.

Carter’s Jacobean analysis of urban living reveals that cities with concrete jungles are less likely to thrive economically, if surrounding areas are unattractive. Broken windows make a neighbourhood appear derelict, which draws neither tourist industries, nor any investors to that part of town.

Broken Window Theory: Broken Branches

Referring to the “Broken Window” social study that maintains that a building in poor repair invites further vandalism, Carter insists that her mission is not to create a sense of ill will towards neighbourhoods with more advantages, but to create as much opportunity for neighbourhoods like South Bronx as its wealthier counterparts have.

“This is what I would call the ‘Broken Branch’ analysis of the city,” says Carter. While she doesn’t condone vandalism, she does feel the city comes down much too militantly on transgressions. Carter repeats that there are opportunities to use the many skills the residents of South Bronx have and branch out their abilities to teach and learn from others.

“If we give people an opportunity to thrive, people will respond positively. I believe that green industries improve people, improve business – the two work together.” The Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx) project boasts green roofs that reduce the reflective heat as well as providing edible vegetation for the locals.

The garbage recycling programs provides jobs for various individuals, as well as job training and bringing money into the neighbourhood in the form of investors. A sustainable and attractive street is one that generates more income and businesses than a barren, concrete runway.

How Aesthetically Appealing Streets Prevent Crime

An example of community improvement, Carter cites the example of Sustainable South Bronx planting trees on street corners. Trees not only reduced the heat in summer and provided more ambient temperatures in winter, but it also reduced street crime.

Streets that looked pleasant drew more people to sit comfortably and socialize under the boughs. With more neighbours in the street, fewer crimes occured where there were witnesses. With more people getting outside and socializing during daylight and evening hours, the crime rate in the area dropped dramatically.

Part 2 of this article features how she raised awareness and garnered funds towards transforming her neighbourhood towards sustainability.

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Home

Throwing Light on Home Repair Grants

Home repair grants is a type of grant given to families who are economically deprived to enable them to make repair or improvements to their building of residence.These are grants given to elderly citizens to enable them to live in a safe and secure environment by removing unwanted hazards from their homes and other obstructions which might pose grave risk in the long run.These grants are normally given to people over the age of 62 years. who cannot afford funding from normal loans because of the high interest levied on them.The eligibility criteria for the receival of these grants are-

1.The person should be national of United States and also he must have a permanent place of residence. 2.Should meet all the legal criterias needed to receive the grant.
3.Should have a good record of repaying of loans in the past.
4.Should be living below the low income line.
5.The person should be in a job with sufficient earning which would enable him to repay the grant.
6.Should be the sole owner of the property on which he is currently living in.

A building or a dwelling usually has a number of projections built into them which is otherwise normal but for elderly people it may pose grave danger as they may slip or trip over them hurting themselves which might even prove to be fatal.Repair grants are used for the purpose of removing these obstructions such as heating ,electrical and plumbing systems and also disposal of water and waste.On top of this they are also used for installing insulation,screens which would further improve the living conditions.

Home improvements also includes modernising of a building so that it is in sync with the current times and the inclusiong of additional rooms,remodelling an existing room.In order to do this the person who has taken funding from the grant must be the current owner of the building and should not be a tenant or somebody who has rented the building. A home repair grant cannot be used for the purpose of constructing a new building, improper repair of a dwelling with the safety hazards still in place and making improvements to places not within the property concerned and the moving of a mobile home.The receiver of a grant cannot misuse the funding for making ellaborate design change or appearance related changes to the building.If the person who applies for a repair grant happens to sell the property within three years of issuing of the grant,then the finance given as per the grant would be converted to a loan and would have to be repaid in full.

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Home

Top 5 Home Renovations that Will Increase Your Home’s Value

The recession has created a buyer’s market for those looking to purchase homes. As a result, people can afford to be a lot pickier about certain details that they’re looking for. If you watch any of the programs on HGTV, you’ll notice a trend in the kinds of features that they expect to see for the amount of money they’re spending. If you’re thinking about putting your house on the market, take a look at these attributes-as they can sometimes make or break a deal.

Bathroom Fixtures

One of the main things that potential home buyers are interested in are the bathrooms. More so than the number of them that exist, people are paying attention to what they look like. Obsolete bathroom furnishings will instantly “date” your home, making room look less appealing. Jazzing up faucets, lighting fixtures, and even the tile will drastically bring your bathroom up to date.

Kitchen Counters and Appliances

If your home has granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, you can consider yourself lucky; because according to many of the experts on HGTV, these two features are the most requested in real estate. In some cases, home buyers consider these accents necessary aspects of a modern, functioning kitchen. But these aren’t the only materials that will improve the value of your home. Take a walk through your local Home Depot and you’ll be surprised by the plethora of textures available that match your home’s character. The idea in essence, is to make your kitchen look warm, relatively neutral, and most of all-modern.

Curb Appeal

Even if all the improvements in your house are phenomenal, you will still need to entice potential buyers to actually enter the premises. This probably won’t occur if your home’s “curb appeal” is less than desirable. You need not spend tons of money to create a fantasy landscape (though it might help in some cases.) But in general, shrubbery should not be overgrown. Debris and supplies should be kept out of sight. And at the very least, the entrance should appear manicured and well-cared for. Once you’ve given your yard a “shave” you can then concentrate on adding a few simple touches to enhance the look. Metro Atlanta’s Pike Nursery (and even Wal-Mart) is literally a landscaping Mecca for those with a green thumb.

Extra Closet Space

Unfortunately, some houses as nice as they are, don’t offer residents enough closet space. Master bedroom closets are often the first to be inspected by potential homeowners. If your closet is lacking a little breathing room, you might want to consider investing in creating some bigger storage dimensions. Sometimes a complete rebuild cannot be accomplished, in which case you might want to consider refurbishing storage space in another area of the house.

Livable Basement Area(s)

In a time when people are looking to cut corners and save money, homeowners are now looking to their basements as viable living quarters instead of places to store old stuff. If you happen to have a finished basement, you’ve probably got a goldmine on your hands. Homeowners love the idea of having a separate area to comfortably house in-laws, older children, or even renters. Suffice it to say, finishing your basement and providing some additional functionality to your house will boost its value tremendously.

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Eco-Friendly

Keep Toxic Chemicals Out Of Trash: Dangerous Wastes Can Enter Food, Water Chains in Household Garbage

 

Your home’s medicine cabinets hold potential dangers not only to small children in your family, but to the environment and — ultimately — all of us.

That’s because disposing of old medicines, especially by flushing them, can allow a virtual cocktail of pharmaceutical chemicals to enter the sewers, natural water ways and, eventually, our freshwater drinking supplies. It’s definitely not a case where “what you can’t see can’t hurt you.”

Scientists are discovering more and more how many ordinary household products end up contaminating water resources and harming aquatic life and other creatures higher up the food chain. Their findings go way beyond the already-alarming recent revelation of the presence of numerous pharmaceuticals in municipal drinking water supplies in the U.S.

Chemicals linked to detergents, perfumes, antibacterial soaps and medications, for instance, have been found in earthworms, which play a fundamental role at the beginning of the human food chain. And discarded birth-control pills, hormone-replacement medications and livestock hormones have been linked to sexual and developmental abnormalities in fish, frogs and other animals.

So how can you avoid contributing to the problem? These three recommendations can help:

  1. Check with your pharmacy before discarding old prescription medications. Initiatives like the Teleosis Institute’s Green Pharmacy Program now accept certain unused pharmaceuticals for environmentally safe disposal. Some aid organizations also collect medications for use in developing countries or after natural disasters. If old drugs you no longer need can help someone else rather than end up contaminating the environment, why not take the time to find out how?
  2. Keep disposed drugs from leaking into the environment. First, to discourage anyone else from using old medications, crush pills, mix with salt, flour or charcoal, and return to the original container. Then, tightly wrap the container with duct tape and seal in a plastic zip bag before throwing in the trash. Tossing out old medications this way helps reduce the chances of chemicals seeping into landfills and eventually entering natural waterways.
  3. Finally, avoid unnecessary medications whenever you can. While some medicated products are essential, you can easily do without others such as antibacterial soaps. These soaps not only contain triclosan that can harm algae and fish, but they’re increasingly being blamed for encouraging the rise of antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” that are dangerous to animals and people alike. Stick with old-fashioned soap and water for hand-cleaning, and consider — carefully — natural remedies for other conditions. You can find helpful information about such remedies at MayoClinic.com and the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine Index.

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Home

Interior Designer Brian Gluckstein: Gluckstein Design Founder and Toronto Interior Design Star

Brian Gluckstein stood in the doorway of his campus at Ryerson University, wondering where his newly acquired BA in interior design would take him. Fast-forward two decades from then, and he is the mastermind behind Gluckstein Design Planning Inc. – one of the most sought-after design companies in the GTA.

“I worked for a small design firm in the city and then a few years after, I opened up my own firm,” Gluckstein recalls of his road to the top. “Some very important architects and art consultants have recommended me to some of Canada’s most important families and it just started right away.”

Today, his company employs a talented group of designers with extensive international experience. They offer a complete range of upscale interior design, planning and project management services to residential and corporate clients, residential developers, as well as the hospitality and leisure industries.

The firm’s design work extends to the design of custom furnishings and accessories, rugs, china and tableware, as well as stationary and signage.

The Power of Word Of Mouth

When asked about his success and professional accomplishments, however, Gluckstein chooses to remain modest. “Staying in business this long is probably my biggest accomplishment,” he laughs. “There is not one project that really stands out as sort of your milestone in the business. I think that each one propels you to the next.”

He explains that his company relies on its excellent reputation and word of mouth to find new clients – something that must constantly be upheld, motivating him to work extra hard on every project he takes on.

“When people see current work, it stimulates new people to hire you. I always think that what we are working on currently will bring more work after that,” he adds. “Its evolution, but all of our work is word of mouth, so most of the people that call us know someone that has worked with us in the past, which is the best thing.”

Gluckstein has had the pleasure of designing for some of the world’s most famous names, in addition to handling the top condominium projects in Toronto. His resume also includes the prestigious Windsor Arms Hotel and the Avenue Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto.

Great Design is More Than Just Following Trends

Gluckstein Design Planning Inc. employs both traditional and modern design styles. The firm aims to create timelessness and cleanness to every space by mixing bits of modern flair into traditional spaces, and vice versa.

“I think great design has longevity to it,” Gluckstein explains. “There is a difference between great design and fads. I think we definitely see a lot of trendy spaces or fads, and that’s fine in a space that may be demolished quickly. So it might be fine for a presentation centre or a retail space or a restaurant that, maybe, has a five-year life. I probably wouldn’t do it in a space like a private residence or the common areas of a condominium where they are going to have to last a long time.”

He believes that great design never goes out of style, citing a book by a California designer in the 1950s as an example. “I was looking at book on a designer named Michael Taylor,” he recalls. “I was showing some of our designers the spaces that he designed that looked just incredible. Just very inspirational space. Traditional space but very light, very beautiful.”

“And then I opened up the book in front of everybody and said ‘I love these spaces, aren’t they beautiful?’ and they said ‘Oh yeah, they’re really cool, they’re beautiful.’ So I said, “Do you realize those spaces are 50 years old? Well they could have been today!’”

Gluckstein’s theory is that great designs can truly last forever. He believes that the only reason homeowners may want to redesign such spaces is because they have lived there too long, rather than the design growing out of style.

He states that a traditional design dating back to the 1920s can still look fresh today with the addition of a few modern pieces. His passion for traditional architectural details allows him to integrate classical designs into the most modern spaces, resulting in a clean, sophisticated design he can be proud to put his name on.

In fact, his own home shows off a blend of antiques mixed with contemporary furniture to complement the traditional architecture of the house. True to his work, you can see a few modern pieces throughout.

“It’s like a woman wearing a beautiful, simple Armani dress with a broche or a necklace that’s from the 1920s,” he explains. “You look at that and say, ‘Wow! That’s such an incredible piece!’ It’s how you use them together to make it sophisticated and current.”

If he moves, Gluckstein …

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Green Living

Eau De Genève

There are three carafe models, all of which have printed on them the words Eau de Genève meaning – Geneva (tap) water.

The classic model, illustrated here, incorporates the words into a minimalist, elegant graphic design that also uses the rest of the logotype: purement et simplement. The other two models leave the ‘’purely and simply’’ out, and feature water-themed images by two popular local cartoonists instead.

The shape of the carafe was specially created for SIG by a local design firm, Stojan & Voumard. Each carafe costs 20 Swiss francs (just over US $ 17).

Eau De Genève Carafes: Recyclable, Practical, Successful

The glass from which Eau de Genève carafes are made is, of course, recyclable as is the cardboard box the carafe is sold in.

 

The dimensions of the vessel have been thought through so the 1.1 liter bottle (just over 37 US fluid ounces) fits on the rack of a refrigerator door.

In view of the success of the carafe, which can be purchased at outlets in Geneva listed on SIG’s website, in April 2020 the water utility company brought out another 10,000 of them.

By the end of April 2020, SIG had sold nearly 12,000 carafes for a total of 58,500 Swiss francs (about US $ 50,550) profit – that included the entire first edition of 10,000 carafes launched in March 2019, and some from the 2020 series.

All of the 5 francs profit on each carafe sold is donated to a Swiss not-for-profit, H2O Energies. With it, the organization is building a water filtration and purification unit in rural Kenya.

Some Other Cities’ Tap Water Carafes

SIG is not the only water utility to feature the carafe idea – there is for example Eau de Paris and London On Tap.

‘’Paris was the first to do this, in 2006’’ says the initiator and manager of the Geneva project, SIG external communication manager Thierry Truchet. ‘’It too has specially-created designs, but they don’t contribute proceeds to a humanitarian cause. London came after us, and has both a special design and a contribution.’’ Part proceeds of the London carafes go to the international NGO WaterAid.

‘’I stay in touch with the people working these projects in both Paris and London; we’re not in competition. It’s valuable to share experiences, ’’ adds Truchet.

Geneva’s Drinking Water

The subject of health benefits (or not) derived from drinking tap water offers just as lively a topic for debate in Geneva as it does anywhere else in Switzerland and elsewhere, but this article is not the place to address the issue. Those with questions in Geneva can study SIG’s abundant technical information about its water, and should doubts persist are free to buy small home water purification units which are in any case easily affordable and available on the Swiss market.

According to SIG, just what makes Geneva’s tap water worth buying a carafe to serve it in?

Truchet highlights the following points: ‘’For one thing, it’s really well balanced as far as mineral salts go, and has a low level of nitrate. For another: we say ‘it tastes good’ and what that means is, it doesn’t have a taste – that’s what makes it good.’’

A third point, Truchet says, is that drinking tap water is more environmentally friendly. ‘’It’s 100 to 1000 times eco-friendlier than bottled waters depending on whether or not they are packaged in plastic and how far away [abroad] they’re being shipped from, not to mention the environmental impact of trucking them to national sales outlets.’’

‘’And finally, of course,’’ Truchet adds, ‘’the cost is just a fraction of what you pay for bottled water.’’…

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