Friday Finds: Bird Seed Feeder

Friday Finds

Invite birds to your backyard with this upcycled seed feeder by esprit cabane. The online magazine shows you the sustainable steps for making this rustic-meets-modern “bird bar.” All you need is reclaimed wood, a glass bottle, a hook, some wire, and a sunny Saturday morning. With that, you’ll help the local ecosystem and wildlife conservation.

esprit cabane DIY Bird Feeder

Image by esprit cabane

Meet Sr. Ruby Developer Michelle Yung

Meet Honest Sr. Ruby Developer - Michelle Yung

What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned while working at Honest?

It’s so refreshing working for a company that is hyper-focused on their mission of healthy living and giving back to the community. When you work for Honest, it’s so hard to not be educated on living more sustainably and healthily. Inevitably you find yourself adopting better eating habits, working out more, and making health-conscious choices. I think this type of environment, coupled with all the charity work that Honest does, breeds an atmosphere of goodwill in the workplace. I love the people I work with, and love coming in to work everyday knowing that our brand is making a difference in people’s lives.

What is your favorite product?

That’s a tough question! I use all the Honest products, but if I had to choose just one, I’d have to go with the Honest Shampoo + Body Wash. It’s really gentle and versatile as a wash. And I’ve actually found an unconventional use for it! I use it on knits and sweaters that have shrunk in the dryer. I find that if I handwash it in Honest Shampoo + Body Wash and allow it to air-dry, my clothing will be restored to its pre-shrunken state. I’ve used it in this manner for so many articles of clothing and it has yet to fail me!

What is your most memorable Honest moment?

The most memorable Honest moment has to be the non-traditional Thanksgiving canned food drive. Our company got split up into 10 teams competing for “donation dollars,” with each team trying to outdo the other in team spirit and best tower of stacked Thanksgiving food. All the festivities really put a highlight on the Honest’s charitable donations: every team’s charity of choice received a cash donation and 160 Thanksgiving meal boxes were distributed to local families in need.

How do you embrace the Honest lifestyle at home?

A few months after I started my job here, I took the Honest challenge and haven’t looked back! I threw out all my name brand cleaners and replaced them all with Honest products. They are so effective and give me peace of mind. I can’t live without my Honest Dishwasher Pods or Honest Stain Remover Spray.

If you weren’t at work, what would you be doing?

This year I really started getting into cooking! I’m a total novice, but I’m trying to commit to cooking 3-5 dinners a week and bringing my own lunch everyday. So I guess if I weren’t at work, I’d be trying my hand at a new recipe. I find it so satisfying when the dish turns out delicious and I’m definitely comforted knowing each ingredient that went into it. I’m slowly learning how to make my own adjustments to dishes, such as halving the sugar or butter, or making healthier substitutions for certain ingredients.

Most impressive thing I’ve made so far? For a St. Patrick’s day dinner party, I made homemade basil ice cream and it turned out amazing!

What is Triethyl Citrate?

What is Triethyl Citrate?

This is part of our ongoing series helping consumers better understand chemicals, chemistry, and product formulations. We translate the science, bust the myths, and give you an honest assessment, so you can make informed choices for your family!

Ingredient: Triethyl Citrate

What it is: Triethyl citrate is a chemical naturally present in cherries and wine, but for commercial uses it’s made through the the metabolic fermentation of plant-based ethyl alcohol and citric acid.

What it does: This colorless, odorless liquid is commonly used as a food additive to stabilize foams (like whipped creams and egg whites) and as a pharmaceutical and supplement coating. For our purposes, it acts as a solubulizer to help blend the essential oils in our product. You know how oil and water separate when left standing? Our vanilla and citrus oils would do that, too without the addition of triethyl citrate. It helps keep everything nicely mixed together.

Why we use it: Triethyl citrate is safe (it’s never shown any signs of sensitizing potential and in product formulas it’s non-irritating to skin and eyes), naturally sourced, biodegradable, and effective. It’s really tough finding gentle preservatives, so we were ecstatic when this one worked for our formulations! On top of all that, it’s in The Handbook of Green Chemicals and it’s Whole Foods Premium Body Care approved (whose standards, developed by a team of scientists over the course of years, are some of the strictest available). If these credible sources give it a thumbs-up, we do too.

Why we’re featuring it today: Some online sources question the safety of triethyl citrate because it’s used as a solvent and plasticizer for things like plastics and lacquers. And, certainly to the average consumer, words like “solvent” and “plasticizer” can raise red flags. You might think, “What’s a plasticizer doing in my natural shampoo?”

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Just because an ingredient is included in a product you consider toxic, doesn’t mean that ingredient is toxic.

  • A solvent is a liquid that dissolves a solute. Do you know what’s “the universal solvent”? Water. There are many toxic solvents, and there are many non-toxic solvents. Triethyl citrate is a non-toxic solvent.

  • A plasticizer is something that increases the fluidity of a material. They’re used in plastic to make it flexible. But, again, there are toxic plasticizers (like phthalates) and non-toxic plasticizers (like triethyl citrate).

Still have questions about triethyl citrate? Let us know in the comments. We’re always happy to answer!

References:

Follow This Thread: Eco Innovation Cut from a Different Cloth

With cotton, hemp, linen, and silk, humans have woven the wonders of the natural world into various forms of protection and display for nearly 30,000 years. We’ve come a long way since then, but we’re still working on making materials that keep the world as clean as our conscience and feel just as fresh.

A new crop of companies is showing us that recycling in fashion is not just about trends like grunge — it’s also about being resourceful enough to turn our excess into exciting new material for change. Recycling post-consumer waste, the stuff that would normally end up in landfills and oceans, is transforming plastic from a toxic trap into an elegant innovation in clothing and home accessories.

Because it all begins with the ocean, it makes sense that Bionic Yarn has made a big splash. Started by Tyson Toussant and Tim Coombs, Bionic Yarn makes fibers for durable materials with a dynamic appeal, including canvas substitutes and cloth perfect for outdoor gear and more fashionable pursuits. It’s all about retrieving, recycling, reducing, replacing and raising awareness that taking plastic out of our oceans and the food chain makes us healthier by ensuring the safety of our seawater and seafood.

Once the bottles are brought in, they are converted into smaller flakes, melted down into fiber and the then woven into a yarn with an organic or natural-blend outer layer, an ocean plastic inner layer, and a powerful core that promises peak performance. With the support of brand ambassador, investor, and “hatty” camper Pharrell Williams, Bionic Yarn has been seen in a variety of collections, from G-Star denim and Timberland’s Earthkeeper’s collection to this chic eco vest from Moncler designed by Pharrell:

The Moncler Vest is Made with Bionic Yarn

Image by Moncler

Conscious companies like Patagonia (a fellow B Corp) have made us look and feel good producing iconic styles with post-consumer plastic for years, making the most of modern dilemmas with good old-fashioned ingenuity. Repreve uses certifiably sustainable “first-quality” fibers from post-consumer waste and plastic bottles not only for Patagonia, but for many classic American brands, like Haggar pants, The North Face “Denali” Jacket, and the seats for Ford’s Focus Electric and Fusion hybrid models. Fun fact: Outfitting one Ford Focus recycles 22 bottles, while the Fusion hybrid uses 42!

Ford Focus Seats Made by Using Recycled Plastic Bottles

Image by Ford.

You can also take steps to re-imagine a post-plastic world—literally—and plant your feet on gorgeous rugs made from recycled plastic straws. Fab Habitat has a variety of affordable styles in vivid hues and pop patterns. We love this Berlin rug for its vibrant indoor/outdoor versatility:

Fab Habitat Berlin Rug Is Made from Recycled Plastic

Image by Fab Habitat.

Is post-plastic fantastic the wave of the future? Share with us how you transform your trash into something wonderful in the comments, on our Instagram or Twitter using #honestdiy!

Make it Better: Join National Volunteer Week

 

As a company, it’s always been our philosophy to leave things better for future generations. And we know we can make the most profound difference if we work together.

For the past forty years, National Volunteer Week has also celebrated this belief — that through our collective service we can address the critical needs of our communities, foster change, and positively impact the nation. It’s a time to inspire people to creatively give back, as well as salute the contributions you make in your own backyard.

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’ve launched our Social Goodness Timeline. See how our Honest team has worked to make a difference in our community and get ideas for how you, too, can volunteer. And check out these sources and stories to learn about more opportunities:

We also want you to share your volunteer stories with us! Please join us in giving back during April 6th through April 12th, and let us know how you got involved. Simply share your efforts on our social channels or in the blog comments below by using #honestcares.

We want to recognize what you are doing, so please check back on April 15. We’ll fill you in our day of volunteering with Food Forward. And, as a thank you, we’ll highlight your contributions on the blog too.

National Volunteer Week is the perfect time to find new opportunities to help our local communities. Even a small action can add up to something great. Together, we WILL make it better.