2

Hand-Crafted Recreational Vehicles

Tonke Campers are hand-built RVs that are now being sold in the Netherlands. The Campers are a distinct contrast to the mass-produced plastic RVs that are so common in this country (although the market for these RVs is actually plummeting). Tonke Campers are inspired by gypsy caravans, and the classic yachts created by Dutch boatbuilders in the 1920s.

5

Optimal: European Toys

This post has been updated and expanded here: Classic European Toys. Toys that are well-designed and made with renewable materials are optimal. European toys often fit this description. This durable block set, for example, is made in Germany by Haba using solid, natural, untreated beech wood that is harvested from sustainable forests. Toys like this are known for their longevity …

5

Gorilla Glue: A Solvent-Free Glue

Gorilla Glue is a non-toxic, solvent-free polyurethane glue. Natural glues like white glues (e.g. Elmer’s glue) or mastic are optimal, but this glue is much less toxic than most. It works well on wood, but it’s not as specific as most wood adhesives. It bonds pretty well on metals, stone, ceramics, and many plastics. It is waterproof, meaning it doesn’t …

A Paint Stripper Made From Corn

Conventional paint strippers are usually very toxic substances that you’d be better off not bringing into your home. But one company, Green Products, has created a bio-based paint stripper and solvent called aMAIZEing.

Better Basics For The Home: Less Toxic Living

You can make household and personal care products at home. The mixtures you create will be healthier and of a higher quality than those found in stores. Once you have the right ingredients, mixing them up is quite straightforward. The book, Better Basics for the Home, offers more than 800 simple alternatives to toxic household products, covering everything from skin …

Cellulose Tape: Biodegradable

Cellulose Tape is metaefficient because it is completely biodegradable. It is difficult to find, especially in the US. Almost all transparent tape sold here is made of acetate. One store, Green Earth Office does offer it. Brands such as Sellotape are available in the UK. Sellotape is made from wood pulp that comes from suppliers with extensive reforestation programs.

17

Efficient Wood Burning Stoves

Woodstoves can indeed be a metaefficient way to heat your home. Modern woodstoves are an economical and environmentally sound choice for home heating. Wood has a much higher BTU capacity than gas, and wood is a renewable resource. Older, conventional woodstoves emitted between 30 and 80 grams of particulate matter (smoke) per hour, while the new EPA-approved stoves have reduced …

Metaefficient Wood Stains

Napier Environmental is a company in British Columbia that sells non-toxic wood stains that replace the hazardous products widely used to treat wood today. An example of one of their products is Natural Desk Oil, a waterborne blend of natural oils designed to penetrate deep into wood, and protect it like the true oils found in wood. You can buy …

2

Non-Toxic Infant Toys and Teethers

Infants absorb chemicals more easily than adults — their bodies run at a higher metabolic rate, and their skin is ten times thinner. Infant toys and teether made of PVC plastic often leak phthalates (pronounced “thay-lates”) and other toxic substances (see more details in this report on 2003 PVC Report Card on Kid’s Toys Manufacturers).

Lime Paint

This paint is made from natural ingredients and does not contain acrylics or other plastics. The lime in it is slaked, meaning it cures by reacting with oxygen in the air. Other ingredients include a type of clay, marble dust, a natural glue and water. This paint works on all wall surfaces, from wood to drywall to masonry. It is …