Archive for the ‘Eco Friendly’ Category
Tuesday, May 21st, 2013
Spring has definitely sprung and summer is right around the corner. Have you started pulling out your wind chimes, bird feeders or calendar to plan a vacation? Don’t forget another key part of the spring, organizing! Horrible, I know. Well, actually I don’t quite know because I love organizing! That sense of self purpose when you get a room done.
The key is to tackle small manageable tasks one at a time. That desk? Look at what is preventing you from getting work done and start there? The kitchen? Start with those horrible plastic containers that seem to spill out everywhere. No matter your task, we want to help which is why we created this fun infographic! Look at all our products side by side and mix and match them to decide what is right for YOU! We think organization should be personal and easily customizable. With our fun inforgraphic, you can imagine each space and decide exactly what it needs. The only question you should have left is where do I start?!
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
Did You Know?
How did the name Way Basics come about?
Paper as we know it today was invented in the ancient Far East, and the character for recycle in Mandarin Chinese is “hui” (pronounced huey). Hui sounds a bit like ‘way’ and thus we get our first word. The second word, basics, represents our fundamental goal in bringing things back to the basics. Our name depicts how we as a company are doing things in a different way, and our products are built for our customers lifestyles… their way. Best of all, we keep everything simple and way basic.
What does the square logo represent?
To understand our logo, we need to look again at the “hui” or “recycle” character. Take a look at the the “hui” character in Mandarin Chinese:
Notice how the outside square is slightly tilted in our logo. That’s because we are a unique company, as can be seen through our products and the way we do business. We like to do things our way no matter how ‘tilted’ it sounds. If it makes sense, we’ll go for it. You’ll notice that part of the logo is brown which symbolizes nature, strength, and the sustainability of our furniture. Finally, the green inner square represents our heartfelt commitment to doing business the right way. To be proactively conscious in protecting the environment through the way we work and our products.
Our tagline: “building possibilities” describes all aspects of our business. From helping you “build” your career, to helping a customer “build” a furniture solution, we are always building possibilities. With one look at our products, customers instantly see the possibilities of building Way Basics into their lives. The Cube may be a storage unit to a college student, a stool for a toddler, or a footrest to a musician. This is why we do not categorize our furniture as “children”, “office”, “college” or any kind of furniture. A Cube becomes your cube. Use it how you see fit… build your possibilities.
Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
Rachel Sarnoff is the brilliant mind behind both Eco Stiletto and Mommy Greenest. Both blogs focus on maintaining a happy and sustainable lifestyle and we are such huge fans of her work. We were overjoyed when she agreed to write a little something about how she stays happy even when the mess gets too much! What do you do to maintain your sanity when the mess becomes overwhelming?
“Quote: “”I am an obsessive organizer. I keep a calendar synced to my phone, and a daily paper list as well. But sometimes I feel like my focus on being organized stops me from being truly happy. Yes, I like opening drawers and seeing things neat and tidy. But should it ruin my day if they’re not? My husband and kids help me see the big picture. They’re totally comfortable with dishes in the sink and towels on the floor, and with the occasional tardy slip. When I get obsessed with something, sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and step back for a moment. The dishes will get done. The towels will just get used again tomorrow. And taking time to talk with my daughter as we walk to school is far more valuable than rushing her through the door in order to get to kindergarten on time.
–Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, www.MommyGreenest.com”"
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
We are starting to drop pictures and information about our awesome new organizational cube, the Box. It is our traditional storage cube on steroids! Especially good for someone who wants something a little bit special and different!
Each Box comes with a matching door that you can use to hide your goodies and you can purchase wheels to make the Box more portable (if you wish!) Just like our cubes, you can combine them to create a larger piece, but the Box has been especially designed to connect and align for a sturdier fit!
That isn’t really what we are here to talk about today. Not necessarily the mechanics of the Box, but the awesome ways you can decorate it to make it your own!
Have you heard of IKEA hacks? Lots of people take their IKEA furniture and “hack” it (modify it) to make it perfect for their home. We think our products are just as good (and more eco friendly) than IKEA so we have written a Way Basics hack for your new Box!
1) Love the color, but want to make one wall different, or the inside different than the outside? Look at craft stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby for awesome contact paper!
2) Flip through the contact paper to your heart’s content and find something that suits (ex. one customer mentioned they would like a camo Box, so you could buy contact paper here)
3) Make sure you have enough contact paper to cover as many walls as you wish!
4) Measure the walls, cut, and stick!
5) Stand back and admire your handiwork!
What patterns would you like to add to your Box?
Tuesday, February 19th, 2013
Our home is our sanctuary. It is where we return to again and again for comfort, solace, rest, nourishment, etc. Whether you have children or not, your home should be a healthy place. You may not spend the majority of your woken hours there, but toxins, even while you sleep, contribute to both physical and mental health problems.
If you are building a new home, it is pretty simple to go green. Many alternatives now exist. From safer paints to wool carpeting, you don’t have to rely on synthetic, toxic materials. Although it may cost more to go the eco-friendly route, it is worth it in the long run for both your health and the planet’s
Remodeling an existing home can be a bit trickier than new construction, as extra precaution should be used when removing toxic building materials like asbestos tiles and fiberglass insulation. Most of us are not going to go to this extent and you don’t have to tear apart your home or install an alternative energy system to build a safer home for your family. Start with small, simple steps. Eventually you will get to the bigger stuff.
My own home is a mixture of eco-friendly and more traditional elements. We did build our home from salvage timber. We did use only eco-friendly paints on the interior walls. Some of our insulation is made from recycled cotton. We do live off-the-grid
. What I think matters more than these green architectural features is how you fill your home.
One of the most basic places to start building a safer home for your family are your cleaning supplies. When my house is clean, I feel good. Unfortunately, most products used to clean our homes are highly toxic, perhaps the most dangerous chemicals in your house. That pine fresh scent isn’t a good thing!
It’s pretty simple to make your own cleaning supplies. Healthy Child Healthy World
has great recipes making your own cleaners. All you really need is vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice, although I find plain water works great too. If you feel you need some soap, Dr. Bronner’s is a safe, good multi-purpose cleaner. If you feel you need specific products, like for cleaning toilets or windows, there are a lot of eco-friendly products available now at health food stores and many mainstream grocery stores from brands such as Seventh Generation. Of course, don’t forget the laundry. Choosing an eco-friendly, natural laundry detergent is also essential in keeping your home safe.
Beyond the products you use to clean your home, the interior of your home is another place to consider. Only use paint that is non-toxic and low in VOCs
Typical household paint may contain upwards of 300 known toxic chemicals.
Consider purchasing eco-friendly furniture, especially mattresses. Think of how much time you spend in your bed, then consider that each mattress has at least five pounds of chemicals! The Wool Bed Company
These nasty chemicals you’ll find in your traditional, mass produced mattress include Boric Acid (also known as roach killer), Antimony (similar to arsenic), and Decabromodiphenyl Oxide, or DBDPO. These chemicals have been known to cause reproductive and developmental issues, heart, lung, and kidney damage, and even cancer. Inhaling these chemicals on a regular basis is extremely toxic to our bodies and will cause health issues until we resolve the problem.
In my home, all of our mattresses are eco-friendly, but our couches are not. I don’t advise families throw out all of their furniture. That would not be very eco-friendly. I do advise that when you are purchasing new furniture, you use chemical-free as a criteria. New carpeting and couches are notorious for making people ill. Anything with a “new” smell should be avoided.
Finally, you cannot build a safer, eco-friendly home for your family without considering the kitchen. Non-stick cookware
should be tossed out immediately. A majority of the food in your cupboards and refrigerator should be organically grown. Less chemicals means a greener home and a healthier family.
It can feel overwhelming at times when you start to look around your home at all of the toxins. There are simple steps you can take immediately, such as using houseplants to improve indoor air quality and switching to green cleaning products
. You don’t need to take out a second mortgage and completely gut your home to create a safer environment, just seek out greener products when replacing your old ones. Step by step this will lead you to a healthier home.
This guest post was written by the founder & editor of ecochildsplay, Jennifer Lance. Thanks for your amazing advice Jennifer!
Sunday, February 3rd, 2013
According to the DailyGreen.com, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that indoor air pollution can be 2 – 5 times more polluted than the air outside. Mind numbing, isn’t it?! Our homes are supposed to be a safe haven and yet they can cause allergies, asthma attacks and other respiratory conditions. At Way Basics, we would like to help you cleanse your home so it truly can be a place of solitude and health! Here are some of the most common causes of indoor pollution and what you can do to combat the dangers!
1. Smoking - Sort of a “duh” moment there but think about how dangerous second hand smoke is in the outside world, and then trap all those carcinogens into an enclosed space. Even after cleaning, cigarette smoke sinks into everything. Suggestion: Make a designated outside smoking area. I know, I know, it isyourhome but think of your guests and family members, children, pets etc.
2. Paint – It sure is pretty but also extremely toxic. Of course lead isn’t an ingredient in paint anymore, but there are still other toxins that are released many days or months after an area has been painted. Suggestion: Ventilate, Ventilate, Ventilate! Also look for low VOC or no-VOC paints (VOC is the organic compound that is toxic). If you are getting a professional to paint for you, specify what you want because the toxic compound stays in your house long after they are gone!
3. Dirt – Another no brainer, but dirt on the floor and furniture is the perfect breeding ground for allergens. Suggestion: This is a no fun one, but necessary, get your vacuum out and use it! Put on some music, pretend it is a mic, whatever it takes to suck those dust bunnies up!
4. Household Cleaners – As they wage battle against the dirt in your home, they also attack your lungs and brain (metaphorically of course… sorta). Chemical cleaners are extremely dangerous especially for children and women who may be pregnant. You know that tip about processed food? Look at the label and if you don’t understand the ingredients, don’t eat it. Same sorta thing, if you don’t know what is in the cleaners, chances are there are toxins that are killing the dirt and your brain cells. Suggestion: Buy or make non-toxic cleaners. Check out our Facebook tomorrow for our top suggestions (or Google “Home Made Non-Toxic Cleaners”!
5. Formaldehyde – This is the one that we especially wage war on! Formaldehyde is just as dangerous as asbestos and mold and yet it is found in most of your furniture! Formaldehyde is used widely in the manufacturing of chipboard/ particle board (the stuff that all IKEA furniture is made out of). This stuff is extremely hazardous as it continues to release toxic gas into your household for as long as you own it. Scary, huh?! Suggestion: Buy furniture products that do not contain PCB or formaldehyde. Example, all of our zBoard products (ie. Storage Cubes) are completely non-toxic. Pretty cool, huh? zBoard storage shelves look and are in the same price range as IKEA bookshelves and yet are not releasing toxins into your home!
Phew, that was a long one. I think I should go open a window and let in some fresh air while I let all this learning sink in (ps. opening windows in your home- KEY to decreasing pollution). This is just the start of our Healthy Home Campaign. Check our Facebook/ Google + tomorrow for some non-toxic cleaning product suggestions!
PS. I, Deborah, am the Marketing Manager for Way Basics and coordinating this month of Healthy activities! See me here —->
and contact me through Facebook or by commenting below for any questions and suggestions!
Monday, December 17th, 2012
This year we celebrate 5 years! This is all because of your belief in us and in what we are doing to help the world and keep each other organized!
Thanks for all your amazing support. We look forward to a new year of innovation and building possibilities and communities with Way Basics!
Tuesday, September 25th, 2012
We love partnering with organizations that have goals and values that align with others. Like Way Basics, Project Green Dorm, is all about taking simple steps in our every day life to help take care of the planet for generations to come. Project Green Dorm (PGD) is a back-to-school resource to help students move from “conventional to conscious living” in their every day choices. At Way Basics, we are proud to announce that we have helped college student, Amanda, reach her goal of greening her dorm room.
Way Basics donated some of our green storage cubes to the cause and are overjoyed to help Amanda, and Project Green Dorm, spread their message of sustainability for the future. Check out the awesome video of this project Going Green in College Dorms and keep spreading the word about the importance of safety and sustainability in our homes and planet!
Wednesday, August 29th, 2012
Way Basics loves companies that are similarly minded and we have found a kindred spirit in GreenCupboards!
GreenCupboards is an online retailer that specializes in certified organic, fair trade, cruelty free and environmentally friendly products (and foods) for low-impact and healthy living. They have a staff that thoroughly researches every brand and product they offer online (called the Green Compliance Team, how cool is that?). This year, the GCT asked customers about what being green means to them and came up with 24 eco-traits to help decide what products they should offer and how to filter the products online!
Whether you are looking for Vegan, Gluten Free, products made in the USA, or products made with reusable materials, search happy; as GreenCupboards has done the research for you! Just as Way Basics’s goal is to build possibilities and help you organize your home, GreenCupboards goal is to create the most extensive resource for eco-friendly living! Way Basics is so pleased to be included in GreenCupboard’s carefully selected products and you can find them here! Bonus, GreenCupboards offers free shipping on any order over $49, a different “deal of the week” every week and complimentary carbon neutral shipping. Happy shopping with Way Basics and GreenCupboards!
Find them at: www.greencupboards.com
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012
We asked, “The room in my house that needs organization most is __________?” and Maureen Liz answered, “My 8 year old daughters room – can we say TOY STORE LOL.” We loved her comment so much we decided to grant her wish and compile some tips about organizing a kid’s room. Enjoy and thanks Maureen for a great answer!
1) Organize, sort and store – Kid’s rooms are often lacking in space so make sure that their room isn’t crammed (not that we want their stuff overflowing into other rooms). A great example is winter/ summer clothing. Make sure to sort and separate the clothes and store the opposite season way up high in a shelving unit or in another room (garage/ basement?).
2) Get them involved!- Kid’s are definitely more likely to try and keep the room tidy when they are the ones that have to help with the organization. As soon as they are old enough, make sure they are apart of the organizing action (even with little ones, get them to sort through their favorite books or dolls).
3) Get down to their level- Obvious one but make sure they can reach their most used items and need help with the less used items. You could even put the toys with lots of pieces on a higher shelf so they have to ask permission to play with it (and you can remind them that they must put it away when they are finished!). Use clear plastic boxes where possible to organize clothes, socks, etc so they can see what they are grabbing for!
4) Keep your Children SAFE- One of the key things with kids’ rooms is that furniture made out of particle board is full of formaldehyde! This is very dangerous for kids (and anyone) to breathe in. Make sure to use our products for organization solutions whenever possible as they are non-toxic and lighter than particle board. No squished fingers here!
Hope these ideas were a bit of help! What other tips do you have?