13 January 2009

saving products that are comparably more sustainable

I am continually striving to eliminate the amount of products I use in my home. That even goes for products that are labeled 'eco' or 'green.' Ideally I'd like to clean my home with a few key ingredients, like what's listed here at the Berkeley Ecology Center's website. But I understand that not everyone is ready to abandon ready-made cleaning products just yet.

Enter Arm & Hammer Essentials. You're probably already familiar with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda or Super Washing Soda, both very useful cleaning agents that are light on the planet. Essentials is different in that it competes with conventional cleaning products (think Fantastik, Windex, Clorox). But what makes it better than the polluting competition is the way it is formulated and packaged.

The standard issue spray bottle arrives at the store (and ultimately your home) empty. A small container with the concentrated cleaning solution accompanies it -- just put it in the bottle and add water. This makes the product a whole lot lighter than products that ship fully constituted. Plus, when you run out of product, you just need to buy the concentrated solution instead of buying a whole new bottle full of chemicals.

Apparently, this product is at risk of being discontinued. It hasn't caught on with the public. Whether this is due to lack of marketing budget, distribution, or some other reason, I don't know. The advertising account coordinator who works on the brand started a blog ostensibly in an attempt to save the product, and probably his job.

Is this just a clever viral marketing campaign? Maybe. But this line of products saves a ton of petroluem-based waste in terms of plastic packaging and transportation fuel. I might buy that for $4.88

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