Baby Shower Gift Idea – gDiapers Starter Kit

gdiaper_starterLooking for the perfect gift for the tree huggin’ hippie mother to be? gDiapers are a great alternative for parents that don’t want to use traditional diapers but aren’t ready / interested in trying cloth diapers.  gDiapers are the best of both worlds…you get a cloth style outer diaper with velcro tabs and an insert that you can flush, compost or even throw away. The kits are the best way to save money as they include 2 little g pants and 10 liners. The kit retails for $26.99 but is $26.28 at Amazon currently. That breaks down to around $11 – $12 per pant if you include the liners which are around $0.35 each. “little g” pants normally sell for $16 – $19.

More Info about gDiapers:
gDiapers, which stands for green diapers, consist of a washable, cotton outer ‘little g’ pant and a plastic-free flushable diaper refill. They are made of breathable material just like sports clothing.  So, babies stay dry and happy and are far less likely to get diaper rash.
Flush, compost or toss.
Can’t flush?  It’s ok to toss our flushable diaper refills because they’re plastic-free.  Or garden compost the wet ones.  They’ll break down in 50-150 days.
flush, compost or toss

A totally new way to think about diapers.
Once you get the hang of it, the whole process will seem as normal as recycling your newspaper. In the beginning, you may have an icky encounter until you get into the groove of using gDiapers. You can also compost the wet ones or simply toss the soiled refill. It will break down in the landfill in about 90 days vs. up to 500 years for a disposable. Ah, the beauty of eco-friendly plastic-free diapers.

Learn how to flush the flushable diaper refills and how to get the perfect gDiaper fit.

Green Depot Opening in Newark, Delaware Soon!


We’re in the middle of a bathroom remodel and found Green Depot in Philadelphia which offers environmental living & building supplies. Their current showroom is approx 40 mins away however I just found out they are opening a showroom in Newark, DE. They are supposed to be opening it mid – late April 2009.  I haven’t visited their showroom yet so I don’t know all of the products they offer however I do know they carry kitchen cabinets, bath vanities, flooring and countertops. We are planning on stopping by there sometime this week to check out their showroom. I’ll report back when I have a better idea of what they stock.

Below is a link to Google Maps where their locatin is showing up in Newark, DE.  I’m not sure if this is where the showroom will be or if this is just a warehouse for them.   I’ll find out more information when I stop by their PA location.


Eco Friendly Hot Water Heater – AO Smith Vertex

picture-21Our cheapo hot water heater broke once last year and again this year.  It was only 6 years old however after battling with it more than 2x in a year I decided it was time to get a more energy efficient water heater.  I had initially thought about getting a tankless system as I thought they would be more energy efficient.  According to the specs they are around 80% efficient where standard units are around 75%. When I first started looking at systems, I thought “how ineffective to have 40-50 gallons of water sitting around being heated at all times”.  However after doing some research I realized a few  downsides to tankless systems:

  • You never get hot water w/o firing up the system
  • Tankless systems costs almost as much as the AO Smith but are only sightly better than tanks
  • Often you have to get multiple point of use tankless systems to supplement the whole house system

Here are some key features of the vertex:

  • 90% efficient
  • Up to 33% less NOx Emissions
  • Side mounted hot/cold taps for space heating / water heating applications (radiant floor heating)
  • Deliver endless hot water for showers

According to Consumer reports, this unit retails for around $1,400 and installation is around $500.  I found these number to be completely off in my area (Delaware).  I’m not sure if the price went up on this system recently due to the tax credit or if they priced it out in an area where it’s more readily available however I found the going price for this unit to be around $2,000 online.  As for installation, it can vary by installer.  I had one local company quote me $4,000 for this unit and they pretty much seemed annoyed when I called to get a price in the first place.  This company was actually on AO Smith’s website as a dealer for their product.  In the end, I wound up paying approx $3,200 with all the parts / labor.  That ends up being a $960 tax deduction for 2009 which makes it in the $2,200 price range.  Note, this number changed from my original estimated price as there were some additional parts needed to complete the job (ie expansion tank, 3″ pipe vs 2″ pipe, additional supplies / labor).

Installation is supposed to be just as easy as installing a regular hot water heater with a few exceptions.  The power vent needs to be vented through a wall instead of your chimney so you need to be able to run that to the outside.  The power vent also needs to be at least 4 feet away from any operating window.  In our case the vent is going to run through the laundry room (where the unit will be) in to our garage and out one of the walls of the garage.  Due to the distance from the unit, the plumber had to use 3″ PVC instead of 2″. Other than the powered vent, the system hooks up pretty much the same way as a standard unit. In all it took the plumber one day to install the unit and a few hours the next day to check it over / finish the job.

Based on CR’s numbers, they said payback would take approx 15 years however I don’t believe they accounted for the tax credit.  They also did not mention the decrease in NOx emmissions which in my book also makes this the only true green choice available in water heaters.

Eco Friendly Bathroom Remodel

While we wait for the mortgage refinance to go through, which may never happen, we’ve decided to update some things in our house.  One of the rooms in the most need of an update is our upstairs bathroom.  It has a very PINK tub and the original tile floor / walls. We are trying to find way to go green on this remodel but so far it has proven to be a bit dificult, at least from my initial online research.  I’ve been looking through many sites trying to find a vanity that is both environmentally friendly and not extremely over priced.

Here was the suggestion from eHow:
Look for wheatboard bathroom cabinets, which are typically made from wheat straw ad a nontoxic binder. Cabinets made from conventional particleboard and MDF can emit toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde. Cabinets made from supportive, harvested wood are another eco-friendly option.

So far my search for wheatboard bathroom cabinets has turned up very little.  I have been able to track down a few bamboo cabinets however I have only seen 4 or 5 different cabinets, none of which were within a reasonable price, in my opinion.  I’ll update the site with more information after I check out our local Home Depot to see what green options they have for bathroom vanities.

2nd Annual Green Expo Coming to Delaware

picture-16The 2nd annual Delaware Green Expo will be at the Chase Center on the Riverfront Saturday March 21st from 9am – 5pm. Admission is $7 per person (Kids under 12 are free). As always, I looked for and found a coupon for $2 off. Click through and print out the coupon below.

We went to this last year and got to meet Sara Snow.  This year, Ed Begley Jr. is the scheduled speaker.  As soon as I see a schedule of events online, I’ll post it here.