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Icebreaker: Efficient Wool T-Shirts For Warm Weather

by Justin Thomas •

Icebreaker, a New Zealand company, is proving that wool can be worn in warm weather. They have released a new line of  “ultra-fine” merino wool T-shirts.  I’ve been testing their Tech T Lite while biking, it has performed quite admirably in the heat — it keeps you cool, and retains less odor than a cotton shirt. I am prone to …

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Olive Oil Lamps

by Justin Thomas •

Lehman’s is now offering these newly upgraded olive oil lamps with stands. Olive oil is a renewable, non-petroleum fuel which burns without fumes or odor. You can also burn any vegetable oil, or liquid fat or grease in these lamps. The makers of the lamps also publish a booklet entitled “I Didn’t Know that Olive Oil Would Burn!”. It’s quite …

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Bamboo Socks

by Justin Thomas •

Bamboo socks are efficient because they don’t retain odor and are very comfortable to wear. But we’ve also learned that producing bamboo fiber involves a great deal of chemical treatment. Socks made with hemp or organic cotton are the most efficient overall.

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Ceramic Crock: Efficient Composting

by Justin Thomas •

From what we’ve seen, this is the most affordable composting container for kitchen scraps available. We choose this ceramic container because the interior absorbs odors and resists stains, and is more attractive than a plastic bin on your kitchen counter. The crock holds a gallon of scraps and has a lid with an activiated carbon filter to trap odor than …

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World’s Best Cat Litter

by Justin Thomas •

The self-proclaimed “World’s Best Cat Litter” may be able to live up to its name. Because it is made from whole kernel corn, the litter delivers great odor control. The microporous structure of corn provides a large surface area to trap and absorb ammonia and urine odors. We like it because it is biodegradable, comes from a renewable source, and …

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Composting Toilets: Large Scale Systems

by Justin Thomas •

Composting toilets can be a practical solution even for large businesses. We recently visited the Philip Merrill Environment Center, which is the headquarters for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. It has a Platinum rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) from the U.S. Green Building Council. After taking a tour of their offices (about a hundred people work there), …

Merino Wool Baselayer: Hypereffective

by Justin Thomas •

Most outdoors stores don’t even stock merino wool underwear these days, but it is the hypereffective choice. Pure Merino wool provides a combination of softness and thermal regulation. Wool insulates even when wet and helps regulate body temperature while absorbing and evaporating moisture to eliminate bacteria and odor. A women’s version is also available. Available from: Campmor ($30)

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Non-Toxic Adhesives, Caulks and Sealants

by Justin Thomas •

When building, adhesives are often overlooked and considered at the last minute. However, adhesives are often more toxic than the flooring and other products they are made to adhere.