October 25, 2010

5 Best Discoveries at Natural Products Expo East. ~ Alex Hanifin

After going to my first Expo East (I’d already been to the larger Expo West in Anaheim earlier this year) in Boston for the Natural and Organic products show, I got to try a ton of cool new products. I looked for two things: first, new and improved packaging. I think, in the food industry, packaging materials and production will be the next big improvements. The second thing I looked for were new, original ideas—products I use in my everyday organic life.

Sun Cups

First: [Disclaimer: I work with Sun Cups. That said, I work with them for a reason—I love chocolate (!), and eco-responsibility] Sun Cups, by Seth Ellis Chocolate. It’s a delicious, organic, compostable packaged candy.

Sun Cups are a delicious chocolate treat. They have a hard dark or milk chocolate shell filled with sunflower butter. They are great for those who have nut sensitivities or just want an organic candy treat. The packaging is eco-friendly—it’s 100% home compostable (meaning you don’t have to send it to a professional composting facility).

Biodegradable and GMO-free Utensils

Second: World Centric has created a sustainable, compostable and GMO-free utensils. They can be a one-time use, or can be gently washed and used again. They are great for picnics or serving a party of guests.

The 100% recycled cardboard (nice!) is “Made in China” (meh). Being made in the U.S.A was really the only thing I would suggest to change.

Their carbon footprint is zero, and they donate 25% to grassroots social and environmental organizations.

Navitas Naturals Chocolate Making Kit

Third: Navitas Naturals created the organic Superfood Chocolate Kit. It’s a fun project to make at home (I’ve done it). The overall experience was fun and the idea is super catchy and cute. I had a great time melting the chocolate and licking the melted mess off my fingers. In the end, it was fun to have a home made chocolate treat to serve to my friends and family.

The little kit that comes in a cute, colorful recycled cardboard box. The ingredients are 100% organic and raw. They come in little plastic bags (boo—they should consider switching to something like a tree fiber compostable material.)

Eco-Me Cleaning Products

Fourth: Eco-Me cleaning products provided a sample of the cleaners. I liked them because the ingredients listed (among them: white vinegar, baking soda, oils and aloe) were supplies I recognized from my kitchen—no big-name chemicals here.  Though, they are not organic and they come in plastic bottles (the plastic was a number two which is better then say a number seven). They seemed to work great when I cleaned around my house with the nice wood polish, tile cleaner, all purpose cleaner, toilet cleaner and a laundry soap. I liked that they didn’t leave a strong scent afterward, either. I even took the soap camping with me, since I could safely dump it and it would break down.

The Bamboo Bottle Company

Fifth: The Bamboo Bottle is one of the more original products that I saw. It is a clean, great looking bottle you could drink hot or cold Liquids from. I was more fascinated by the idea than the materials used. The bamboo is imported from harvested areas designated and supported by the Chinese government for the sustainability of the bamboo. It’s a green-minded company—they want to begin using wind power, solar energy and use less electricity at their facility. One unique way they eliminated using an adhesive label, is by burning their logo onto the bottle.

This is a new fun style for a water bottle or a thermos. It is lined with glass and has two plastic ends that can be easily removed so it can be cleaned efficiently. One of their future goals is to be 100% plastic free. They are always open to suggestions for making a better bottle that protects the one and only, Mother Earth.

Let’s drink to a sustainable life style.

Alex Hanifin is a Boulder local. She climbs rocks to get off the ground. She bakes to enjoy herself.  And her work comes along with it all.

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