1. Argo’s Favorite Dog Toy – Zisc by WestPaw

    Posted on September 30, 2011 by Allie

    Everyone has their sacred things.  For me, it’s my writing sweater.  For Argo, it’s his F-R-I-S-B-E-E.  And yes, we have to spell that word around here.  If you say the word frisbee in my house and are not prepared to promptly go outside and play for the next half hour or so, you will be treated to whining that rivals a five year old child in a candy store.

    After we got Stella, frisbees turned into a disposable item in our house.  Stella’s favorite way to get Argo’s goat was to steal and shred Argo’s Frisbee any chance she got.  Oh, dog politics!  Drama! You don’t want to see Argo when he can’t find his frisbee.   Whining that rivals ten five year olds in a candy store!

    So, I was constantly running to the store for frisbees and we were constantly throwing out destroyed toys. So wasteful and expensive! Argo and Stella have a few WestPaw Zogoflex toys (the Hurley was one of my favorite dog products of 2008), and they are amazing.

    Practically indestructible and recyclable when they do get too grubby to keep (although that has yet to happen). So when I discovered that WestPaw came out with the Zisc, a frisbee made of Zogoflex, I bought two.  I believe we’ve had them for about a year, and even with constant use and abuse they have yet to have a single tear or toothmark.  Argo has one constantly hanging from his mouth, always be prepared, just in case someone might want to play F-R-I-S-B-E-E.  Stella has given up on trying to shred them, because despite her best efforts, the Zisc stays in one piece.

    And yeah, I think Argo recognizes the spelled out word now, too.

    From Good Things Green Things:

    “A floatable flyer that goes the distance, Zisc® is a must-have toy for active dogs. More pliable than a hard-shell frisbee and faster than those made from fabric, Zisc is a perfect pick for trips to the park, yard or water. Flexible material makes this dog frisbee gentle on soft mouths and easy to pick up. In the world of frisbee-style dog toys, Zisc flies to the top. Made with durable and buoyant Zogoflex material, Zisc is guaranteed against dog damage. While the Zisc dog toy is not designed to be a chew toy, it is designed to withstand as much active play as dogs can dish out while playing frisbee. Zisc is made in the USA, 100% recyclable, non-toxic and even dishwasher safe.”

    Good Things Green Things has been so kind to donate a whole collection of Zogoflex toys to the #DogKarma Rescue Prize Pack over at my personal blog.  You can learn more about #DogKarma and enter to win the prize pack for yourself or your favorite rescue here.

  2. Sometimes My Mother Really Does Know Best (Shhh! Don’t Tell Her I Said That!)

    Posted on September 29, 2011 by Stefanie

    Image Credit: Sonofnels

    Here’s a quick laundry-related tip. Did you guys know you’re not supposed to use fabric softener when you wash towels? Of course you did, right? Maybe you even know why you’re not supposed to use it—not just because the chemicals in most conventional fabric softeners are pretty sketchy, but because those chemicals actually leave a film on fabric that doesn’t rinse away, and that film, over time, makes towels less absorbent.

    My mother’s tried to tell me this for years, actually, but I’ve always been the sort of goody-two-shoes daughter who picks only the least consequential and risky advice to rebel against and therefore have ignored her warnings, throwing caution to the wind, all “I WILL have soft towels, no matter WHAT you say!”

    As it turns out, though, my mother is right. Martha Stewart recently told me the same thing about towels and fabric softener in one of her Daily Organizing Tip emails, and a quick Google search indicates that the Internet at Large is on my mother’s side in this matter too.

    So what’s a girl who’s ready to submit to motherly (and Martha-ly) wisdom but still wants soft towels to do? Easy. Vinegar to the rescue again. A cup of white distilled vinegar, added to the rinse cycle, helps to remove the previous fabric softener residue on towels to restore their absorbency, and then helps soften the fabric without adding any more chemicals, too.

    I’ve tried this tip on my last few loads of towels, and it does work pretty well (provided I actually remember to listen for the rinse cycle and run downstairs to the laundry room so I don’t completely miss that vinegar-adding window). I think it might work better if I didn’t have hard water, and if I ever remember to buy more Borax, I’ll try adding some of that to see if it counteracts the hard water issue. But overall, the vinegar alone is warding off scratchiness better than I ever thought it would, and since vinegar kills odors and also helps protect colors in fabrics, I’m trying to remember to listen for the rinse cycle and add it to all my other laundry loads too.

    Softer towels, fewer chemicals, and a few extra up-and-down-the-stairs workouts for my body, too. It’s a win-win-win!


  3. Can Google Power Your Home?

    Posted on September 28, 2011 by Courtney

    Sometimes I think we’re moving toward a world where everything is run by either Google or Apple. That doesn’t sound so terrible to me, provided both companies remain ethical, but here’s something that doesn’t dispel that thought: Google is getting into the solar panel businessRead more…

  4. Homemade Sensory Dough

    Posted on September 27, 2011 by Melissa

    My 3-year-old son, Colin, and I have a new afternoon hobby that I’m very excited to share! We have been hard at work in the kitchen, cooking up creative batches of Sensory Dough, our special version of homemade play dough. Making homemade play dough is super cheap, eco-chic, and incredibly easy. Once you get started, you’ll never go back to store bought name brands again! I call it Sensory Dough because the batches we have been making have exciting scents and textures. Read more…

  5. Meatless Mondays: Vegetable Minestrone

    Posted on September 26, 2011 by Courtney

    Looking for a hearty, healthy soup that’s a snap to make and gets a whoooole lotta veggies into you? Look no further!  Read more…

  6. SheaMoisture Giveaway Winner!

    Posted on September 23, 2011 by Courtney

    Wow, you ladies REALLY like your organic hair products! We are blown away by how many people entered our SheaMoisture giveaway. Thank you all for reading!

    After consulting the Random Number Generator, we’ve determined that the winner of our SheaMoisture Deep Treatment Hair Masque and Moisture Retention Shampoo is commenter number 53, which is Jennice!

    Congratulations, Jennice! We’ll be in touch shortly to get you your hair products. Thanks to everyone who entered, and check back soon for more giveaways on The Greenists!

  7. A/V Fridays – DIY Stuffed Animals

    Posted on by Allie

    Start planning holiday projects early with this great video from Threadbanger! Turn old clothes into new stuffed animals!

    Have you started holiday crafting yet?

  8. Gaining DIY Confidence

    Posted on September 22, 2011 by Howling Hill

    Please welcome today’s guest poster, Wolf.

    $250 for a brake job. $350 for a pre-built chicken coop. Over a $1000 for a small porch. One day I stopped and thought to myself: Do these projects really need a professional or can I build/replace them myself? It turns out with a little help from books, the internet and good friends, I CAN do these things.

    Read more…

  9. SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Lotion (and a Giveaway!)

    Posted on September 21, 2011 by Courtney

    Winter’s coming, folks, and you know what that means? Dry skin. For me, it’s constant struggle during the cold months to keep my skin from getting dry and flaky, which means I rely a lot on lotion. If your skin needs a lot of help in the moisture department, have I got the lotion for you: SheaMoisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Lotion.  Read more…

  10. E-cycling bike share program

    Posted on September 20, 2011 by The Modern Gal

    I live near the University of Tennessee, and like many college campuses, UT is one that’s very car-centric. Sure, lots of younger students live on campus in the dorms, but many others live a short drive away from school and don’t take advantage of our city’s public transit. It doesn’t help that Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, and attempting to bike those hills (and in the Southern heat and humidity, no less) often does not make for a fun outcome.

    But like any great college campus, UT is doing its part to change the culture and integrate more green practices into everyday campus life. Currently the university is testing out a first-of-its-kind electric bike sharing program that I think has real potential to catch on. The program is somewhat similar to bike-rental programs in large cities, but instead of just renting a bike, a student uses their college ID to check out an electrically charged battery from an automated system that plugs into the bike. The bike works like a regular bike requiring the rider to pedal, but the electric charge kicks in to power a small motor when pedaling gets more difficult, say when you’re riding one of the massive hills on campus.

    Read more…

Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It


According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.

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