Time out + happy early holidays

November 18th, 2011

Photo via Flickr: 666isMONEY

A lot of environmentalists are the crystals-and-incense type. I’m not; you’re probably just as likely to hear me inquire after someone’s sign or use the expression raising consciousness as I am to eat a factory-farmed cheeseburger. (Which is to say, not very.)

So that’s why I’m kind of semi-cringing as I write this, but lately I feel like the universe is trying to tell me something.

Three different apartments in the space of six months. Four discrete insect infestations. A loss I’m not ready to write about yet. And a kitchen ceiling that two days ago started leaking water all over me at the very moment I took out my laptop to start working again after our move this past weekend.

This is not to say woe unto me; the world at large is a far crazier place right now, to be sure. An apartment full of moving boxes and bouncing crickets is still a more restful abode than a tent in Zuccotti Park (now a backpack on the Brooklyn Bridge?).

Still, I hope you’ll understand if I stop fighting the tide for a few weeks and take an early holiday break. I will still be working on a few exciting projects in the interim (though most important: enjoying time with my little one and getting our home in order), so I’ll have lots to share when I return after the New Year. Happy and healthy to you all–

–Jennifer Grayson

Some holiday posts you might enjoy from the archives:

Real or fake? Rent your tree instead
Holiday travel: Stay at an Energy Star hotel
Sustainably sweet potato pancakes
How to give gifts without giving ‘stuff’

Like this post? Subscribe to The Red, White, and Green RSS feed

Photo via Flickr: Valentinapowers

Babies and formaldehyde are two things that should never be in proximity to one another, but unfortunately, finding the highly carcinogenic chemical in nursery furniture is the rule rather than the exception. Earlier this year, I addressed this issue in a column for The Huffington Post, but I guess I wasn’t thorough enough; below is a related question I received from a reader earlier this week.

Jennifer,

Thank you for writing this article. I too have been worried about the formaldehyde issue since I came across a few articles from 2008 which stated Delta, along with four other companies, were under fire for having high levels of formaldehyde in their products. I have since been in contact with Delta and they would not give me a straight answer whether or not their products still emitted formaldehyde. The only crib I found that said formaldehyde-free was the DaVinci line. Have you come across any updated information regarding Delta’s cribs? Or what crib manufacturers really are trustworthy?

–Monika

Hi Monika,

Glad you liked the article! I’m not all that familiar with Delta’s products, but I took a look at a few different cribs on their website, and I suspect that most of them do, indeed, contain formaldehyde. Here’s how I know: If you click on the product details for each crib, it does say what materials are used. For example, in the case of the Padrona Crib and Changer, the listing says “made of wood and wood components.”

Solid wood you don’t have to worry about; it’s the “wood components” that should trigger an alarm: That’s code for particle board or MDF, which is made from tiny little pieces of wood that are bonded together with a resin that contains — you guessed it! — formaldehyde.

Now, it is possible that Delta uses a particle board made with formaldehyde-free glues, but since the company hasn’t been responsive to your inquiries, I’m guessing that isn’t too likely (if I’m wrong Delta, feel free to set the record straight here). It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so I would look for a crib manufacturer that prides itself on its use of formaldehyde-free, sustainably harvested solid wood. A few of my personal faves: Bloom, Oeuf, and Stokke.

By the way, you may be pleased to know that last year, President Obama signed legislation that will help protect consumers from formaldehyde exposure. It doesn’t go into effect until 2013, though, so for now, you’re on your own. Good luck!

–Jennifer Grayson

Like this post? Subscribe to The Red, White, and Green RSS feed

WATCH: How to Green Your Move

November 3rd, 2011

If you read my post last week about the large amounts of chemicals about to be pumped through our apartment building, you know that we’re trying to move out of here – and fast. So I though I would post this video I made for HuffPo about my tips for a green move, which I filmed over the course of our last move. The tips are current, since that last relocation was but a mere four months ago.

The only difference this time: I’ll be packing our belongings in boxes from UsedCardboardBoxes.com instead of the Recopacks from Rent A Green Box; we haven’t actually found a new home yet, so I need options in case we have to put those boxes in storage. (You only get the Recopacks on loan for a couple of weeks.) Wish me luck–

–Jennifer Grayson

Like this post? Subscribe to The Red, White, and Green RSS feed