With summer just around the corner, Eco Mist Solutions just released it new line of outdoor cleaners. This new line of cleaners includes a BBQ Grill Cleaner, Deck Wash and Patio Furniture Cleaner. All three cleaners use the same safe and effective technology used in all of their other cleaners, but they are specifically designed to fight the tough stains and grease you would normally find on outdoor items. They are also made from 100% natural ingredients, are non-toxic and affordable to buy.
The BBQ Grill Cleaner is specifically designed to fight tough grease you would normally find on any part of the grill. I was fortunate enough to try the BBQ Grill Cleaner and must say it works as it says. When I first sprayed it on my grill, it started eliminating the grease immediately. I normally use natural cleaners such as vinegar or baking soda to naturally clean my grill, but I found that this cleaner required far less scrubbing and was more effective. It also had no fumes and it felt great that I could spray my grill off with no worries that environment would be harmed. You can also feel safe to eat on your grill immediately after cleaning it. With ingredients like grass, corn and coconut, why would you?
Both the Deck Wash and Patio Furniture Cleaners are designed to remove mold and mildew and safe on just about any surface. The patio cleaner is safe for all surfaces this cleaner is ideal to help brighten your patio furniture. The deck wash is strong enough to get mold, mildew, grease & grime off your deck yet gentle enough for a toddler to pad around on afterwards. It is also safe around your pools, spas and gardens.
Go check your local Home Depot in Canada or one of the many online relaters that carry Eco Mist Solution products to get these great cleaners. Also be sure to check out the great interview I had with the creator of Eco Mist, Ted Fagan if you haven’t already.
Eco Mist Solutions is a leading manufacturer of power eco-friendly cleaners in Canada. They carry a range of cleaning products for every solution in your household.
EcoMist Solution History
Eco Mist Solutions was founded in 2005 by environmentally passionate Ted Fagan. The company all started from a flooded basement and tons of mold and mildew to clean up. In an effort to find environmentally friendly products on the market, Ted failed to find any that were truly as “green” as they said or just didn’t work that well. This inspired him to create his own line of cleaning products that would be extremely effective, while being 100% safe for animals, the environment and of course humans.
Eco Mist products all contain natural products like corn, potatoes, soy and sugarcane, but there is much more to how these ingredients are mixed to create their powerful cleaners. Colloidal Science was used to allow them to heat various plant based ingredients to various temperatures to create millions of tiny cleaning particles. Each of the small particles known as micelles are mixed together but never fully dissolved in the solution, very similar to fog. Each micelle crashes into dirt when used and removed from it’s surface into the water. These particles also help keep the dirty from getting back onto the surface they were just removed from.
The main difference between these types of cleaners and traditional petroleum based cleaners is that they actually remove the dirty from the surface and don’t just thin it. This makes a much more powerful cleaner that uses completely safe ingredients. On top of that, traditional household cleaners contain so many dangerous chemicals, that most people don’t realize the risk they are putting themselves as well as their families in. Even worse, when some of these chemicals are mixed, they can cause a more dangerous mixture than each alone. Why put anybody at risk in your household along with potentially causing more harm to the environment when you can use a environmentally friendly solution like Eco Mist or homemade cleaners?
Ted Fagan explains how each of the different formulas of cleaners are made:
“We are always trying to improve our products without the use of toxins. That means we are dedicated to finding the exact combination that products the best cleaning result no mater what the specific job. The products currently available represent those efforts.”
Various combinations of the natural products I mentioned earlier are formulated together to meet a specific need you may have in your home. Lots of time is spent on testing which combination of ingredients as well as the appropriate temperature to heat them to create the perfect cleaner for each type of situation. The list of cleaners that Eco Mist currently carries includes:
- Carpet & Upholstery
- Stainless Steel
- Tile & Tub
There are many more formulations along with a professional line of cleaners.
I was fortunate enough to try a bottle of their Carpet & Upholtery cleaner and was happy with the results. I tend to have a habit of spilling things of the floor and in particular on our carpet. Along with that, I also own a cat that sometimes gets an upset stomach and throws her food up. Well, I was lucky enough to have both situation happen after receiving the cleaner and it worked pretty well on both. I had to apply it a few times on the cat stains, but it came up after some effort. I have tried traditional carpet cleaners in the past, and this one worked much better than any of those. It didn’t just try masking the smell of whatever I spilled, but actually brought it up.
Where to Buy?
Eco Mist Solutions is sold for about $5 – $7.99 (USD) per bottle all across Canada in Home Depot retail stores. In terms of online stores, TheGetGreenStore.com sells a variety both of their household and professional products which ships to both the United States and Canada.
I got the great opportunity to do an interview with the creator of Canada’s EcoMist household cleaning products Ted Fagan. Ted Fagan is a passionate environmentalist that used the power of natural products to create a line of extremely safe and effective household cleaners. It was an honor to do an interview with Ted and I hope you enjoy.
Where did the name Eco Mist Solutions come from?
The name Eco Mist Solutions was decided on after researching thousands of other names. All the ingredients are ecologically safe, ere go “Eco” and the word “Mist” was used because our primary focus was for industry to use them from a spray bottle. We felt the “Solutions” also worked on several different levels – both as a cleaning “solution” and an environmental/health “solution”. It actually was my wife that came up with the name Eco Mist Solutions and our tagline “Clean With Nature”. She reminds me everyday!
What is your educational background in and was it difficult to come up with the various cleaner formulations?
My educational background is not based in chemistry. I studied Colloidal chemistry long after leaving the school system. Colloidal chemistry helped me to create products that worked without harm. It took years of research, determination and passion to develop cleaning solutions that could be used in all industries. I had no experience in the cleaning industry so I spent two years listening and working with professional cleaners. Based on my experiences, I mixed and matched combinations of agricultural ingredients in Colloidal solutions to formulate Eco Mist Solutions products. Challenging is an understatement.
What are some of the main reasons for choosing Colloidal Science for Eco Mist Solutions products and where did you first find out about this technique for making cleaners?
I decided on the science of colloidal chemistry as opposed to enzyme-based science because enzymes have a tendency to mutate. Meaning they begin efficient and end up becoming non-efficient. Colloidal-based products always work the same because they don’t depend on living organisms to do the work.
Eco Mist has such a wide variety of cleaners, but out of all of them, do you happen to have a favourite cleaner and why?
While I’m very proud of all of our products, I think our Degreaser is my favorite product because it is widely used in all industries, and ours has such amazing degreasing properties. I receive lots of compliments from people who have tried it.
Do you plan on expanding to retails store beyond Canada?
We’re involved in retail negotiations in many countries.
I read an article about how you drank your own product to show just how natural the ingredients were in it. That’s pretty amazing that you were able to drink a household cleaner. How did it taste?
I’ve drank, shaved, washed and brushed my teeth with Eco Mist products. Trust me the degreaser doesn’t taste that great.
Was there a reason behind choosing Home Depot as the prime retailer for your products?
I chose Home Depot first because they “got it”. They understood what I was trying to achieve. They tested thousands of other so-called green products. Their Canadian President is a true environmentalist who cares about the environment and her customers. She doesn’t just speak “green,” she acts on it. For me, Home Depot was and is the perfect partner.
Do you feel that Eco Mist Solutions has had a major impact? Are there any inspiring stories that consumers have sent to you about your products making a positive impact on their lives?
Our company is still too new to have had any major impact but we’re up and coming. After launching in Home Depot, I’ve had hundreds of great emails from consumers thanking me who have tried our products and were very pleased – and sometimes amazed – with them. I’ve attached a recent testimonial.
Where did you draw your environmental views from that helped you create Eco Mist Solutions products?
I’ve always wanted to make a positive difference in this world. It’s upsetting to me to hear environmentalists and governments speak about recycling, energy, emissions and everything else we can do to reduce our environmental impact when there is millions and millions of toxic wastes entering our waterways each day from cleaning products being used in our homes and work place. In addition, the toxins and chemical residues pose serious problems to our short and long-term health. For me, addressing these types of issues this was a good starting place to make a difference.
What are some things that you do in your daily life (on top of using Eco Mist Solutions) to live a more sustainable lifestyle?
In my home I use low energy light bulbs. I turn them off when they’re not needed. We compost, recycle and reuse. I now drive a Hybrid vehicle and try and just reduce the amount of consumerism in general. Most of my days are spent researching and developing new cleaning solutions or travelling to meet owners or buyers interested in what we have to offer.
Do you have any children and were they are source of creating safe and natural products like you have?
I have three children and they are very proud of what I’m doing. My agenda is to create a healthier environment for all humans, animals and the planet.
Do you have any additional comments to share with my readers?
In summary I’m passionate about what I do and I’m proud of what I’ve created for the world.
The (in power) people of San Francisco have spoken. Out with the Happy Meal! Almost…
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that requires any restaurant that includes toys with a purchase to meet specific nutritional guidelines. This continues San Francisco’s distinct lead as the most legislatively progressive City in the United States. After banning plastic bags, requiring all government run offices utilize non-toxic cleaning products, and putting a standard into place that all new government construction must be LEED certified, the people in power in San Francisco continue their visionary practices.
Despite McDonald’s claims of persecution and targeting, the ordinance is applicable to all restaurants that include a toy with purchase that do not meet specific nutritional guidelines. The ordinance has been under consideration for awhile, and restaurant industry groups as well as individual companies like McDonalds have been fighting its passage into law.
Why an Ordinance on Meals with Toys?
The overweight and obesity numbers in the United States are staggering. Sadly enough, 15% of the children in the US are either overweight or obese. An atrocious and unhealthy jump since the advent of fast food. With a variety of factors playing into these numbers, it is difficult to pinpoint a true culprit. Perhaps that is because this epidemic that threatens the health of tens of millions of Americans has a large span of “causes”. Cheap food (with a high true cost to our health, environment, and human rights in developing nations), chemically-simulated food experience (read Omnivore’s Dilemma to read about how through a manipulation of the senses, chemists can make any piece of food trick your senses), and American’s distinct lack of exercise relative to other developed nations. The numbers threatening the lives of children have become such a large concern that the health care industry is has significantly increased their charges, and the health and fitness industry have significantly increased their range of products and enrollments for extreme cases of weight loss.
Now, the Ordinance that was passed actually does not “ban” anyone from selling food, it requires that they meet specific nutritional guidelines in order to provide a meal with a toy. The Ordinance goes into effect December 1st, so restauranteurs have a small bit of time (and plenty of previous notice prior to the vote) to get their new toy-included meals in nutritional order.
Direct-Marketing to Children
Direct marketing to children has been banned in many locations, and there are a few legislative actions that have been put in place to reduce this type of marketing. The first major and successful attack on direct-marketing to children came from the TRUTH campaign and others targeting cigarette companies like Philip Morris with the idea that if the companies target them, the ‘children’ or young adults have the right to target the companies right back. Although meals with toys may be marketed to a younger group, less vocal and action-oriented to fight their plastic toy that comes with their meal, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it upon themselves to protect the children. Some individuals believe that these types of regulation also help give power back to parents and guardians as the decision-makers during a time when the market is flooded with “wants” and “new things” to tantalize even the most well-behaved child.
The Details (honestly)
As stated earlier, this was not a direct attack on McDonalds but instead on an unsustainable and unhealthy practice within ALL food establishments. By creating standards that are clear and accepted by nutritionists and doctors as acceptable for healthy meals, not just happy meals, the government has taken children’s health upon themselves.
The nutritional requiremenst are…
- Calories: Less than 600
- Sodium: Less than 640 milligram.
- Fat: Less than 35 percent of calories from fat; Less than 10 percent from saturated fat (with exception for nuts, seeds, eggs or low-fat cheese).
- Fruits & Vegetables: At least half a cup of fruit or three-quarters of a cup of vegetables
“This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children’s health first and join the wide range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment,” Mar said.
And it challenge it may be for some restaurants to truly adhere to these standards.
Will My Happy Meal be Banned?
This legislation was passed within the City of San Francisco. There has been little talk about other Cities, States, or the Federal government following San Francisco’s lead. That said, if McDonalds and other food establishments with toys as part of meals want to stay in that market, they will have to adapt. If the larger companies adapt, and smaller businesses can share their lessons and transitions to healthier meals, then there is little reason not to adopt the healthier standards. If the framework and advice from similar businesses is available, why not take advantage of it?
Did they go to far?
Companies like McDonalds are claiming discrimination and that the San Francisco government has gone too far. Is the regulation of the industry fair? Well, that can be a pretty subjective discussion. What is important is that it is legal, and the intent behind the regulation was not to discriminate, but to address a growing epidemic of childhood obesity that threatens the lives of our future changemakers. In fact, the issue of childhood obesity has grown into such a health threat in the United States, that First Lady Michelle Obama, and world famous Chef Jamie Oliver are making very public efforts to bring nutrition, proportion control, and education back to food for children in the US.
What do you think? Do you think the San Francisco government went too far, or that we as a nation haven’t gone far enough to address this critical health issue?
Last Happy Meal
That is the question.
Just a little history…I had boycotted Walmart for a good 2- 3 years, due to the corporation’s VERY poor rating on the socially conscious scale. Walmart has been accused of holding their suppliers over a barrel- by offering to pull their accounts unless these suppliers agreed to sell their products for unfairly low prices. Then, there was the issue of some clothing lines being produced in sweat shops (remember the Kathie Lee Gifford fiasco?) And then there were the hiring practices- again in the media, due to the company’s apparently bad choices.
In my area, boycotting Walmart was easy to do. My old store was run down, unpleasant and unattractive. But now, we have the Super Center. Ahhhh, the Super Center. My mom and I decided to pop in one day, just to check it out. Couldn’t hurt, right? And what a mistake that was. Lots of products and brands, organic and eco-friendly choices, oh my. Even my mom, who is very P.C., was enticed by the sheer number of Lean Cuisine entrees. The choice to shop there or not is further complicated by the current state of our economy, and my family, like most, is just trying to make ends meet until things turn around.
So my question is, is it bad to shop at Walmart, given their dismal report card as a company or is it every family for themselves? Is it better to shop organic and green at Walmart, because you can afford it, than not at all? I heard on a Walmart commercial last week that the average family can save about $3100 per year if they shop there exclusively. I’d say that’s a pretty compelling reason to shop there. Or not? What do you think?
Many people depend on products containing bleach for a variety of household tasks, such as cleaning and disinfecting the house as well doing laundry. Before the words “being green” became a catch phrase, television commercials and doctors’ offices alike sent the public the same message, “using bleach is good for your health.” This is due to the fact that bleach is an extremely effective cleaner and disinfectant, killing germs and mold, as well as removing stains. Unfortunately, not only is bleach extremely effective, it is also extremely toxic, both to ourselves and some say, to the environment.
Pure chlorine bleach is toxic to breathe and touch, and can be fatal if ingested. It can be especially dangerous to children and pets and even to adults if they mistakenly mix products containing bleach with other common household cleaners. Recent studies have shown that chlorine bleach, which can also be listed on ingredient labels as “sodium hypochlorite” or “hypochlorite,” and bleach products, can be damaging to the lungs, liver and immune system, to name a few.
The impact of bleach on the environment, however, is not as clear. While chlorine is used to make other toxic compounds, using bleach around the house is considered by some sources to be a safe practice. This is because some say that bleach products will break down harmlessly once washed down the drain. Other sources, however, have expressed concern that chlorine bleach, even when used around the house, will release dioxins into the air, a known carcinogen and environmental foe.
Luckily, if you are uncomfortable with the possible health and ecological risks associated with using bleach in your home, there are some great alternatives.
- Green Cleaning Products
Many mainstream brands are now offering more natural and green cleaning solutions for kitchens, bathrooms and windows. Look for products stating that they contain plant-based or non-toxic ingredients. Beware of labels that claim to be 99% natural or that they are “greener than other major leading brands” as the 1% may still contain harsh chemicals.
- Laundry Products
It is not necessary to buy laundry detergents containing bleach to clean or to disinfect your laundry. Again, there are many brands that offer plant-based cleaning agents and use natural ingredients, such as baking soda, to fight stains. Buygreen.com carries a line of laundry detergents, softeners and dryer sheets, made by Mountain Green, that are all-natural, free of dyes and irritants and are biodegradable. I have recently tried Mountain Green’s Laundry Detergent for Baby, and have found that it gets our family’s laundry clean and doesn’t irritate our kids’ sensitive skin.
- Do-it-Yourself Cleaners and Laundry Boosters
As I often write, when you make products at home, you have complete control over the ingredients you use. Cleaning products are no exception. According to the article, Why You Should Stop Using Bleach, (www.infobarrel.com/Why_You_Should_Stop_Using_Bleach), there are some common, non-toxic household items that can be used instead of bleach. Here is a partial list:
- Hydrogen peroxide: kills germs, disinfects and is non-toxic.
- Listerine (believe it or not!): kills mold and mildew, is non-toxic.
- Vinegar: can be used to clean and brighten laundry, is all-natural, non-toxic.
- Baking Soda: removes stains (use ½ cup as a laundry booster or mix with water to make a cleaning solution), is non-toxic.
- Lemon Juice: removes stains, and is a natural disinfectant, is all-natural, non-toxic.
For more information about Mountain Green Laundry Detergent and other all-natural cleaning products, visit www.buygreen.com.
Who needs a dumpster when you can upcycle?
Upcycling converts items previously considered ‘garbage’ into new creations. Today you can find wallets made out of bicycle tires and purses composed of post-consumer pop tabs. Upcycling was coined in the book “Cradle to Cradle” which flips the ‘cradle to grave’ idea of products into a closed loop ideal. For Cradle to Cradle, each component of a product is designed to continually be upcycled, creating no waste. The vision is to create a world in which waste does not exist, only items that can continually evolve into new things or biodegrade back into nature. The pages of the actual book are waterproof and it is printed with special ink so that it can be collected off the page and reused along with the book.
What if you only owned one book that could be transformed from an economics text book to a romantic fiction novel simply by cleaning and reprinting the pages? The idea is revolutionary, but the concept of upcycling is one we have embraced for quite some time.
You don’t have to be a chemist like Michael Braungart or an architect like William McDonough, the authors, to start upcycling things around the house. The magazine “ReadyMade” hosts stylish and long-lasting upcycling ideas including this vintage Traveling Trunk into a Bar on Wheels transformation. With a quick trip to the hardware store, we can easily makeover defunct or ‘lost’ items into something fun, useable, and unique. ReadyMade is a great source of inspiration because they have anything from small art projects to large-scale furniture and home designs.
It looks like Upcycling has hit the mainstream media as well, check out this article in Reuters about Australia’s efforts.
There are plenty of ‘Do It Yourself’ sites out there, so please feel free to share your favorites and let’s get a rolling list going!