Sunday, January 19, 2014

Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

This is the final post as part of our focus this month on how to clean your laundry the healthier and safer way for the health of your dog and the environment.

Today we are focusing on how to remove those nasty stains in your clothes when your regular detergent just isn't enough.

I'm a dog and I get dirty, especially running around like a crazy dog around our cabin, hiking in the woods, and running at agility trials. That's my sis Gracie after a nice romp in the yard, can you imagine how Mum looked after playing with her?

Mum seems to always have dirt on her after our activities. And almost always needs to treat her clothes and our beds before washing to make sure and get all that tough Georgia red clay out.

The best way to get out the stains in your laundry is by pre-treating. But be careful what you pre-treat with! Many of those commercial stain and pre-treaters contain a wide variety of dangerous chemicals and toxins, including:

  • Surfactants that can be harmful to aquatic life
  • Borates that have been shown to be endocrine disrupters and pose allergic and skin reactions
  • Colorants that pose general systemic/organ effects, damage to DNA, and cancer
  • Optical brighteners and bleaches that may cause developmental and reproductive effects, kidney and vision damage, and cancer
  • Fragrances that are unlisted and undefined that have been proven to create respiratory illnesses, allergies affect the nervous system and more.

So what's a dog to do?

Here's our favorite homemade laundry stain remover recipe. To make it you'll need:
Directions:

Mix all the ingredients together and stir. Store in a spray bottle and you can spray those nasty stains before putting into your wash.

Our favorite homemade simulated bleach recipe includes:
  • 1 cup hydrogen peroxide
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 15 cups of filtered or boiled water
Directions:

Mix together and place in a dark spray bottle. You may want to use a sprayer from another bottle and add to the hydrogen peroxide bottle to make it easier.

Other ideas:
  • Brighten your whites by hanging them in the sun! The sun is a powerful stain remover and can get those whites, super white. 
  • And some of our friends swear by adding about 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to help whiten whites and get rid of stains. In addition, some like adding just 1/2 cup of hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle and believe it works very well.
  • One more idea is to add about 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry detergent to make it more powerful and stain fighting.
You can also use these recipes on your carpets and rugs for muddy, dirty stains. They also work well for quick clean ups in the kitchen, bathroom and more! Just test for color fastness first.

We hope you've enjoyed our green, eco-friendly, healthy and safe laundry tips. We know you're dog will love you for it and pay you back in spades with a long and healthy life.

To learn more about keeping your laundry routine green and healthy visit our other blog posts:

Part 1: The Ultimate Laundry Guide for the Green Dog!
Part 2: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!
Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe dryer sheets for the health of your dog!
Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

Sources:
Science Daily 'Toxic Chemicals Found In Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners'
Enviromental Protection Agency
Environmental Working Group
Photo: Emily Katherine May on Flickr.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Welcome Organic Oscar to the Raise A Green Dog Pack!

Today we welcome Organic Oscar to the Raise A Green Dog Pack!

I remember the very day that Mum brought me home from the shelter. I was pretty infested with fleas, and really needed a good bathing even though I was only 12 weeks old.

Mum was sure to have on hand a safe, eco-friendly, healthy shampoo. So we quickly went to work giving me a nice warm gentle bath with a wonderful healthy, safe shampoo. That was over 9.5 years ago, back before we knew about Organic Oscar.

Today we are very happy to welcome Organic Oscar to our pack! They have a wonderful line of shampoos and conditioners that meet all of our stringent criteria for those we work with. We love that they list every single ingredient on their website, with full disclosure for those of us who care for our dogs and the environment.

The full line of Organic Oscar shampoos and conditioners include Organic Oatmeal Shampoo, Organic
Aloe Vera Shampoo and Conditioner, Organic Lavender Puppy Shampoo, 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner, and Holistic Bite and Itch Relief. Their shampoos and conditioners are fused with organic leaf extracts to soothe your dog’s sensitive skin.

Great ingredients can replenish rather than dry out itchy or dry skin with moisturizers and organic oatmeal; and can nourish and restore the natural shine, keeping your pet’s fur healthy and soft. Their product ingredients are organic, all-natural, and biodegradable and 90% certified organic with no soap, parabens, sulfates, petroleum-based ingredients, dyes or artificial fragrances.

And coming this February Organic Oscar’s will be offering their new Wipe & Go which features a simple and compact design combining 100% biodegradable pet wipes and poop bags. You will never be unprepared during a walk with your pup again! Wipe & Go is great for quick and easy use to keep your pup fresh and clean.

Organic Oscar is committed to the health of our dogs and of our environment. Their packaging is 100 percent recyclable, and their organic grooming products offer the highest percentage of organic, natural and biodegradable ingredients possible, while at the same time grooming your dog effectively. Their collection has been specially formulated to provide for dogs’ unique needs, as well as care for the environment while maintaining strict environmental standards.

Be sure and visit Organic Oscar's website and see all their products. Additionally, you can see all the Organic Oscar products showcased on Raise A Green Dog!

Happy bathing!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe fabric softeners for the health of your dog!

As part of our series this month on healthier and safer laundry for the health of your dog and environment, today we are focusing on fabric softeners and dryer sheets.

You may or may not know, but those commercial dryer sheets with heavy duty fragrances, as well as those liquid fabric softeners are some of the most dangerous and toxic part of your cleaning and laundry regimen.

Why?

According to the Environmental Working Group, 'Fabric softeners and dryer sheets coat our clothes with a subtle layer of slimy chemicals. The most common softening chemicals are called "quats" (short for quaternary ammonium compounds) and include such chemicals as diethyl ester dimethyl ammonium chloride, dialkyl dimethyl ammonium methyl sulfate, dihydrogenated palmoylethyl hydroxyethylmonium methosulfate and di-(palm carboxyethyl) hydroxyethyl methyl ammonium methyl sulfate.'

A leading international authority on asthma, The Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics, calls these chemicals "asthmagens," substances that can cause asthma to develop in otherwise healthy people. In addition, quats have antibacterial effects. That may sound like a good thing, but overuse can lead to antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

And what about all those fragrances? Well, these contain hundreds of untested chemicals including phthalates that are suspected hormone disruptors. These fragrances are also among the world's top five allergens, according to a study by the University of Washington on air contaminants these fragrances include likely carcinogens acetaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, developmental toxicants methyl ethyl ketone and chloromethane, and allergens like linalool.

To search ingredients that are present in your fabric softeners, visit the Environmental Working Group cleaner database.

So what's a dog to do?

Here are six easy, all-natural ways to banish static cling from your laundry and soften your clothing:
  • Add about 1/4 cup of vinegar to your laundry wash cycle or add 1/4 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften your clothing if you are washing synthetic fabrics.
  • Choose clothing made from natural fibers, like cotton, which don’t get static cling as easily.
  • Switch to a green, eco-friendly and healthier fabric softeners, like those made by EcoverSeventh Generation, and/or Planet.
  • Shake out your clothes when you remove them from the dryer to reduce some of that cling and shock.
  • If you feel static in clothing that's been in your closet for a while you can take a metal coat hanger and rub it on the underside to reduce static.
  • Try the new wool dryer balls in your dryer to reduce static.
There are more ways you can have healthier laundry and safe money! Check back later this month for one more post in our series to learn how you can make your own healthy, safer laundry products for the health of your dog! And to read our previous posts, just click below.

Part 1: The Ultimate Laundry Guide for the Green Dog!
Part 2: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!
Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe dryer sheets for the health of your dog!
Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

Source: Environmental Working Group
Photo: MjaMes1408 and Colin on Flickr

Thursday, January 9, 2014

P.L.A.Y joins the Raise A Green Dog Partner Pack!

Today we welcome P.L.A.Y Pet Lifestyle and You to the Raise A Green Dog Pack!

If you like to play then you'll love all the products from P.L.A.Y. And they are serious about making pets and the planet happier.

P.L.A.Y has a line of super environmentally friendly pet beds that are fun, functional, firm and sturdy. We're talking pure comfort here, with the satisfaction of knowing that their beds are filled with Planet Fill™, certified-safe, 100% post-consumer recycled products created from cleaned and recycled plastic bottles!

How do they do that?

108 recycled plastic bottles get cleaned and recycled. Bottles are turned into soft Planet Fill™ polyfiber for P.L.A.Y. beds. And our planet stays a little bit cleaner.

And that's not all they do for our pets and the planet.

Instead of buying a whole new bed, you can purchase one of their P.L.A.Y. Change-a-Covers, with all the style that their other line of pet beds offer, along with the flexibility of filling it with whatever you'd like; from re-purposed and unused blankets, clothes or even towels that you have taking up space! 

P.L.A.Y also has a great line of eco-friendly, fun and entertaining toys; perfect for any size dog. From their hand-made crafted, durable, squeaker filled, plush toys that are eco-friendly, certified-safe with PlanetFill® filler that is made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. Their plush toys are 100% washer and dryer friendly, contain only AZO-free dye, and meet the same strict quality standards for manufacturing infant and children's products.

One toy you won't want to miss is their P.L.A.Y. Wobble Ball Toy. A fun interactive, enrichment for your dog. Simply put a treat in and reward your dog for their persistence and intelligence! Made using tough and durable Polycarbonate and ABS thermoplastic, the Wobble Ball is uniquely shaped to roll around unpredictably and couple that with the sound and sight of dog treats spinning inside, this toy is sure to tease and captivate man's best friend. and it's certified 100% dishwasher safe!

P.L.A.Y. is serious about helping the environment with their commitment to reducing waste that goes into landfills; keeping packaging to a minimum; and giving back to those in need through their charitable giving programs.

Be sure and check out all the wonderful P.L.A.Y products, including their wonderful beds and toys; along with their greeting cards, pillows, chill pads and more on their website, and showcased on RaiseAGreenDog.com!

Monday, January 6, 2014

One Blog, One Tree: Make a Green Gesture for the new year!

Do you have a blog?

If you do here is a great way to make a green gesture and offset the carbon pawprint of your blog!

Did you know that every time someone visits a web page, CO2 is emitted. These emissions come from the cooling and energy consumption of (mainframe) computer servers and hardware.

To help offset these emissions, Green Gestures has instituted a new program called, 'One Blog. One Tree.' that allows you to help take a step to reduce your blog’s carbon footprint. All you have to do is:
  • Write a short blog post about the Make a Green Gesture project, and add the optional “One Blog, One Tree” badge to your site if you like.
  • Send an e-mail to greengestures@retale.com containing the URL of your post.
  • They plant a tree for your blog in association with the Arbor Day Foundation.
To learn more visit the Green Gestures website.

And, if you don't have a blog, there several other ways you can make a green gesture by opting out of receiving paper marketing materials, aka junk mail. You can opt out of credit card solicitations, phone books and more!. Check it out.

Or you can become a member of the Arbor Day Foundation for as little as $10 and receive 10 free trees (suitable for your area of the US) to plant in your neighborhood, local park and more! Or you can select that the Foundation plant 10 trees on your behalf in a one of our nation's national forests.

We've joined in, how about you? It's a great way to start the new year off on the right great, green paw!

Photo by Martin Cathrae on Flickr.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Part 2: How to make your own health, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!

This month we are focusing on how you can have amazingly clean laundry that's healthy and safe for your dog!

This post features our favorite do-it-yourself method for making your own homemade laundry detergent to be certain that you are keeping your dog greener and healthier, and the environment too.

So let's get started!

Many commercial laundry detergents on the market contain a wide variety of toxic chemicals that can be harmful for the environment and for your dog! They can include everything from:

  • Surfactants that can be harmful to aquatic life
  • Borates that have been shown to be endocrine disrupters and pose allergic and skin reactions
  • Clorants that pose general systemic/organ effects, damage to DNA, and cancer
  • Opical brighteners and bleaches that may cause developmental and reproductive effects, kidney and vision damage, and cancer
  • Frgrances that are unlisted and undefined that have been proven to create respiratory illnesses, allergies affect the nervous system and more.

So what's a dog to do?

Make your own laundry detergent with ingredients that you know is safer and healthier for your dog and the environment.

To make your own laundry detergent you'll need the following ingredients:

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup citric acid
1 cup washing soda
1/4 cup coarse sea salt
1 bar of unscented castile soap finely grated

Directions:

Mix all of the the ingredients together and store in a BPA free container, we prefer glass jars. Use two tablespoons per load for a large load, one tablespoon for a regular load.

Ingredient details:
  • We recommend Kirk's Original Coco Castile Bar Soap, Fragrance Free as it contains no fragrance (which can be harmful) and is pure castile soap made out of pure vegetable and coconut oils.
  • Washing soda is also known as sodium carbonate and is one of the safest cleaning products on the market. If you want to be really ambitious you can also turn baking soda into washing soda with these easy tips.
  • Citric acid is a food grade ingredient often found to preserve foods naturally and provide an acidic or sour taste to foods.
  • Baking soda - if you are like me you have lots of baking soda around your home, using it to freshen and unclog the drains with white vinegar, deodorizing the fridge, cleaning the stainless steel sinks, brushing teeth, cooking and more. 
  • Coarse sea salt - We have a lot of sea salt around our home and use it in many things including soups (instead of table salt), as a body scrub ingredient, and we grind it in our kitchen mini grinder to salt human foods when needed. 
Visit the Environmental Working Group cleaning dbase to review the health and safety of all of these ingredients for yourself; and to check the specific ingredients of your current detergent to compare. We recommend bookmarking their dbases to check ingredients including everything from cosmetic ingredients, cleaning product ingredients and more.

This recipe is borax free as we've determined that despite the fact that we've used it in the past, we have discontinued using it as it's listed as fairly toxic on the Environmental Working Group dbase.

Enjoy your clean laundry!

There is one more way you can have healthier laundry and save money! Check back later this month for more of our series of posts to learn how you can make your own healthy, safer laundry products for the health of your dog.

Part 1: The Ultimate Laundry Guide for the Green Dog!
Part 2: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!
Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe dryer sheets for the health of your dog!
Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

Sources:
Science Daily 'Toxic Chemicals Found In Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners'
Enviromental Protection Agency
Environmental Working Group
Photo: smerika on Flickr.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Welcome Turdlebag to the Raise A Green Dog pack!

If you're like me and Mum, taking walks in the woods or hiking on the wonderful mountains of north Georgia where we live, you face a little problem.

What do you do with the doo?

Usually on our hikes, Mum will take our strong biodegradable bags, scoop up our doo and add it to her backpack. Mum always dreads having our doo in her backpack for hours during our hikes.

Now there is a solution!

Today we welcome Turdlebag™ to the Raise A Green Dog Pack! What is Turdlebag? It's a tasteful solution to a not-so-tasteful problem: what to do with that stinky bag of dog poo!

With Turdlebag you not only have those great biodegradable bags at the ready, but you have a wonderful little bag that conveniently sits on your leash, or attaches to your backpack, belt or your dog's harness to stow away that steaming doo!

Turdlebag offers their bags in a three great colors (we like the purple!), and can be machine washed and dried if needed!


Turdlebag™. For the love of dogs and all they doo. Visit Turdlebag on their website to purchase, or you can find their wonderful product showcased on the Raise A Green Dog website!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Part 1: The ultimate laundry guide for the green dog!

Happy New Year everyone!!!

For a dog, there are few things better than rolling around in freshly dried laundry, but not many!

I know! The smell, the warmth in the winter; I love getting my scent all over the bed after Mum changes to clean sheets.

But what you may not know is that many of the laundry detergents, dryer sheets, laundry additives, stain removers and bleaches that many use to getting that laundry clean may contain some dangerous chemicals that expose your dog to life altering toxins.

Let's take a look!

Popular and common laundry detergents, laundry additives, dryer sheets, stain treatments and bleaches can contain a wide variety of chemicals that may help clothes get cleaner, but pose a danger to dogs and humans!

They can include everything from:
  • Surfactants that can be harmful to aquatic life; 
  • Borates that have been shown to be endocrine disrupters and pose allergic and skin reactions; 
  • Colorants that pose general systemic/organ effects, damage to DNA, and cancer; 
  • Optical brighteners and bleaches that may cause developmental and reproductive effects, kidney and vision damage, and cancer; 
  • Fragrances that are many times unlisted and undefined that have been proven to create respiratory illnesses, allergies, affect the nervous system and more.
You can read more about these toxic chemicals and their effects on the Environmental Protection Agency website.

Manufacturers of consumer products are not required to disclose the ingredients of their products, so how do you know what's healthy and what's dangerous? 

Our friends at the Environmental Working Group have analyzed 100's of laundry products and their ingredients to help you determine the safety and health of your laundry products for you and your dog. Not surprisingly, only 60 products contain ingredients that are safe, and over 500 products contain ingredients that are toxic, unhealthy and dangerous.

So what's a dog lover to do?

We recommend utilizing safer, environmentally friendly and healthier products to get your laundry clean. Highly rated and recommended laundry detergents include products from:
You can view all the safer, healthier laundry products listed (and rated A) on the Environmental Working Group's website.

There is one more way you can have healthier laundry and safe money! Check back later this month for our series of posts to learn how you can make your own healthy, safer laundry products for the health of your dog!

Part 1: The Ultimate Laundry Guide for the Green Dog!
Part 2: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry detergent for the health of your dog!
Part 3: How to make your own healthy, safe dryer sheets for the health of your dog!
Part 4: How to make your own healthy, safe laundry stain remover for the health of your dog!

Sources:
Science Daily 'Toxic Chemicals Found In Common Scented Laundry Products, Air Fresheners'
Enviromental Protection Agency
Environmental Working Group
Photo: Randy Robertson on Flickr.
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