Friday, December 26, 2008

Green Kitchen Renovation Project

In personal news, we are undertaking a kitchen renovation project at our home in Columbus OH. The house is 90 years old, the cabinets are 40 years old, and the kitchen is not laid out for functionality. We are going to change all that with a complete remodel (tearing down to studs and building back up). We are using as many green materials and practices as we can along the way.

If you care to follow and comment on our journey, read

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Holidays

Whatever holiday you celebrate in whichever way, we wish you Peace and Hope and a wonderful new year.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Eco Bags from Japan

We received a holiday packaged today from our friend Miyu in Japan. It was really fun to open! Miyu sent Alex and I two “pocketable” eco bags with this cute little note:

Eco Bag from Japan

"In Japan, we're trying to not have (get) plastic bag at supermarket. I always bring a bag for shopping! Please use it with Alex!!"

Of course we already have tons of reusable bags (and more for sale in the store), but none so adorably Japanese. Yeah for the global spread of sustainability!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

1% for Good 2008 Donation Wrap-up

The charity auctions have ended and we made cash donations today. In total, the 1% for Good program provided over $600 to non profit organizations.

We had so many great suggestions that it was hard to choose which charities to support. We researched possibilities and made our selections on the efficiency of the organizations and how their mission aligned with ours.

Here are the 2008 supported charities:

Capital Area Humane Society (membership and Second Chance Fund)
Nature Conservancy
National Audubon Society
4Paws4Ability for Ryan
Mid-Ohio Food Bank
School for Young Children scholarship fund
Turning Point domestic abuse shelter

Thanks for your support and purchases, without which we could not have this program.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Day Nine of Green Gifts and Tips: Shoulder Tote and Cleaning Before the Party

You need something to hold all the presents, right? Try an oversized reusable bag! You might have a paper one laying around from all the holiday shopping. If you don't already have a good collection of durable cloth bags, consider the Toteyl reclaimed billboard shoulder tote from Green Guru Gear. It's made in the USA of reclaimed materials. $29.95 in a variety of patterns.Tip of the day: When cleaning for holiday guests (or any time of the year), we suggest slowly replacing expensive harsh chemical cleaners and disposable wipes/towels with natural solutions and reusable rags. We use vinegar and old newspaper for windows and compost the newspaper when we are done. Vinegar and tea tree oil diluted with warm water is our mopping solution.

For bathrooms and other cleaning, we LOVE Charlie's Soap All Purpose cleaner. It is safe, non toxic to children and pets, and not scented. Best of all, unlike most natural cleaners we try, Charlie's actually works. If you are a local friend, email me to come by and pickup a free sample, as Charlie's gave me an extra gallon (!) in my last order and I want to share the eco-friendly cleaning love.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Day Eight of Green Gifts and Tips: OLovesM and reclaiming packing boxes

I just realized that OLovesM hasn't been getting any love in our 12 Days series! Oops! OLovesM bags are stylish and functional handbags made from reclaimed yoga mat scraps and Chaco sandal straps. Each one is made by hand in Aspen Colorado by fairly paid workers.

The water bottle holder above is a great way to keep your water handy and stay hydrated day hikes or at the farmers market. A mesh pocket holds your keys, cash or business cards. $15.95 in a variety of colors.

Tip of the day: Many people are shopping online these days, which means many people end up with stacks of cardboard boxes at the end of the holiday season. Recycling them is great, but why not keep the boxes in use a little longer? Try these ideas:
*store for the next time you need to ship a package
*allow a child to turn one (or several) into a doll house, rocket ship, or castle
*donate to a local animal shelter if they can use the cardboard for bedding or critter houses.
*cut off or tuck in the tops and use boxes to organize your basement/garage/medicine cabinet
*add in small pieces to your compost box, or add to vermicompost

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Day Seven of Green Gifts and Tips: Squishy Stuffers and Spoiling the Dogs

Day Seven:
Looking for something unique to stuff in a stocking? Try Guyot Designs squishy bowls. These compact silicone bowls easily fit in the toe of a stocking, pocket of a purse, or bottom of a backpack. Pull them out and they snap back into shape! Eat or drink from them. These cool bowls are also dishwasher and freezer safe. $14.95/set of one bowl and one cup. Also available in travel shot size, $6.95 for two.

Tip of the Day: Pets add value to our lives and of course we want to express our affection for them as well. Our dogs have stockings hanging on the mantle waiting to be filled. Squishy Bowls are a fun food dish. If you are looking for a collar or coat, we love Annie's Sweatshop. Annie makes quality durable dog gear from recycled and reclaimed material.

If buying new toys isn't in your budget, maybe your beasts would enjoy a handmade batch of treats? Here's our recipe for dog cookies, from MacPherson's K-9 Cookbook:
3 cupes whole wheat flour
2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk

1. In large mixing bowl, combine flour and garlic powder.
2. Make a well in the flour mixture and gradually stir in vegtable oil, cheese, beaten egg, and milk until well blended.
3. Knead dough on a floured surface, about 3-4 minutes.
4. Roll dough to 1/2 inch thickness.
5. Cut with cookie cutter, or into squares, and place on lightly greased baking sheet.
6. Back for 25 minutes at 400 deg F
7. Cool on a rack and store at room temperature with a container with a loose-fitting lid.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Day Six: Holiday Savings and Durable Gifts

We are halfway through the 12 days of Green Gifts and Tips! Today, we're highlighting green gifts on sale. First, we just announced that all orders placed before December 19 will ship for free. No coupon code necessary. Next, check out our merino wool jackets on sale for 10% off. Finally, visit the clearance corner for great deals on closeout products, including the women's climawool glove, a softshell warm when wet cold weather glove perfect for gift giving. $39 (regular price $70)

Tip of the day: Give durable gifts. Heirloom quality toys and quality clothes will last longer than plastic junk. This will certainly please your gift recipient, but it also keeps waste out of the landfill.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Day Five of Green Gifts and Tips: Balms and Baubles

Today, we are highlighting a local favorite: Jess' Bee Natural Lip Balms. These all-natural balms are hand poured here in Columbus Ohio by a talented friend using all USA ingredients. They are formulated to sooth and restore dry skin. A super stocking stuffer! $3 each, available in tangerine or peppermint

Last night we decorated our Christmas tree at home. It led me to think about the baubles we decorate with this time of year. I know some people who choose a different decorating scheme each year and end up with hundreds of cheap ornaments that are deemed useless on January 1st. What a waste, I say. We like to reuse ornaments year to year and only add gifts or handmade baubles to our collection. It makes the tradition of hanging ornaments all that more meaningful because we remember where we got the ornament each year as we carefully unwrap it. Do you decorate a tree? What kind of ornaments do you have?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Day Four of Green Gifts and Tips: Kids Bottles and Gift Tags

On Day 4 of our ongoing 12 Days of Green Gifts and Tip series, we're focusing on children.
Growing kids are more susceptible to chemicals in their environment than adults, making it even more important to reduce exposure to toxins when possible. To help children stay hydrated without spills or toxins, we recommend the BPA free 12 ounce Klean Kanteen bottle with a sippy or sports top. Our 3 year old daughter prefers the sports top on her "shiny bottle" aka a stainless steel Klean Kanteen. $14.55/12 ounce with sports top, $18.55/12 ounce with sippy, additional $2 for color.

If you have a child, here's a great tip for gift tags: Cut holiday shapes out of your child's old drawings, scribbles, or paintings. If you don't love the idea of cutting all those shapes, borrow or buy a scrapbooking tag punch. Simply write your to and from in a contrasting color and you have a re-used unique gift tag!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Warm Wool and Winter Foodstuffs: Day Three of Green Gifts and Tips

Why not add some wool to your holiday gifts? Ibex merino wool is super soft, breathable, and sustainably harvested. Buy the renzo beanie pictured above for $32.99, wool glove liners for $23.99, or wool underwear for $22.50 (Women's) / $28.00 (Men's) as stocking stuffers.

For the athletic person on your list, give a Shak Jersey they are sure to love. Shaks are getting rave reviews! Men's full zip $145.00, Men's pullover $125, Women's full zip $140, Women's pullover $125.

Tip of the day: Take a trip to the farmer's market. You might be surprised at the local flavors you could add to your holiday table. Here in Ohio, I will be able to get local potatos, salad greens, mushrooms, squash and meat at a minimum.

Don't know where to find local farmers? Check out! It has a database of small farms searchable by food type and zipcode. Happy Eating!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

To receive your package by December 25, please place your order on by the following dates:

For US packages:
Standard (priority) - December 19
Express - December 22

For International packages:
Standard(first class international) - December 10
Priority International - December 10
Express International - December 16

You can read more about our EasyShip program on our website.

Happy Holidays!

Day Two of Green Gifts and Tips: Wallets and Charity

Today we feature a classic gift updated for the green generation: wallets. Green Guru Gear makes these fantastic wallets from reclaimed billboard material and bike tire innertubes. Both have two bill pockets and 6 sleeves for IDs and credit cards made of 100% recycled PETE. They make great gifts for the hipster or cyclist in your life. $24.25 each.

Our tip of the day: Consider charities in your gift giving. In this economy, non profits are needed more than ever, yet have fewer resources to manage the growing need. Maybe you can afford to give part of a holiday bonus to your local food bank or animal shelter. Perhaps someone on your gift list is passionate about a cause and you could give to the cause instead of buying a physical present. Or, get a great gift and benefit nonprofits by bidding on our charity auctions going on now.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Green Gifts and Tips Day 1 - Bottles and Bags

Green Gift: On the first day, we recommend a Nathan Sports Stainless Steel bottle. These bottles have a flip straw top with a built in carabineer in the thumb loop. They are selling like hotcakes this season! $24.95 in a variety of designs or plain stainless steel.

Green Tip: When looking for wrapping, consider reused bags. The gift bag pictured has been through at least two Xmas celebrations around our house. If you don't have any to reuse this year, consider buying sturdy bags that can be saved for next year. There are some festive fair trade bags online at Handmade Expressions. If you live in Columbus OH, head to local store Sprout Soup for fair trade bags.

12 days of Green Gifts and Tips

Over the next few weeks we will offer you 12 green gifts and tips. Stay tuned for interesting ways to make your holiday more eco-friendly and enjoyable!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Cyber Monday = 10% off!

Use the coupon code 'gift10' for 10% off any order. Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Giving Thanks

Baying Hound has many reasons to be thankful this year:

*great repeat customers who make selling enjoyable

*strong relationships with our manufacturers, particularly Hannah at Peregrine Outfitters and the crew at Guyot Designs

*a growing relationship with local brick and mortar Sprout Soup

*exciting new eco-friendly products

*a business successful enough we can give back

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May you have many reasons to give thanks this year as well.

Ibex Jersey reviewed in New York Times

The fashion and style guide at New York Times featured fleece and wool gear today.

About the Ibex Shak, the review says "“Gorgeous!” is how Ms. Chism described this pure merino wool hoody. “I felt very posh in it.”...The wool was “breathable and very thin” but cozy. She was surprised at how soft and “not itchy” it was. Ms. Chism also laundered the top in her washing machine, and then placed it flat to dry, per its care instructions. It dried “beautifully,” she said, and “didn’t wrinkle or stink like wet wool.”"

Buy a women's or men's Shak at and get free shipping with code freeship50.

Monday, November 24, 2008

2008 1% for Good charities announced

Thanks for all the nominations. We selected 6 charities to benefit from our customer's purchases this year:

Capital Area Humane Society
- local Columbus OH shelter that housed our two hounds before we adopted them
UNICEF Children's Fund
Nature Conservancy
4 Paws 4 Amelia - nonprofit organized to provide a trained mixed breed dog for local Ohio girl with autism
Mid-Ohio Food Bank
School for Young Children scholarship fund - nationally accredited preschool in Columbus OH

Some of these charities will benefit from eBay Giving Works auctions listed in our eBay store. Bid and you can get some fantastic green gear while benefiting great charities. We will start more auctions on Thursday of this week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Last Day to Nominate a Charity!

Readers, there are 10 hours left until we choose our charity recipients for this year! Please contribute your ideas to our previous thread where our 1% for Good program is detailed.

We are busily working on writing up listings for auctions to benefit these charities. We will make them live on Monday the 24th ending Monday December 1st.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our viewpoint on Charity Add-ons

I just read a post about Charity Add-ons by Tim Berry over at Small Business Trends. It got me thinking about why we give 1% of sales to charity. Here's what I wrote about our donation program:


I own an online retail store that gives 1% of sales (that’s all incoming revenue, not just profit) to charity. We believe that giving 1% of profits isn’t enough because that number can so easily be manipulated.

We do this to potentially add value in the eyes of the customer and because we believe that success is meant to be shared. We attempt to engage our customer and charities by asking non profit nominations and allowing customers to guide our giving. (We’re actually accepting nominations now, if anyone wants to wander over to

As a micro-business, supporting nonprofits through community leadership or volunteer hours is something I aspire to, but can’t do yet. I just don’t have the time, manpower, or physical resources to donate. As our business grows, I see potential for supporting charities in these ways.

Measuring the ROI of our charity donations is difficult, but I don’t necessarily need to know that number. I operate my business like I operate my life, which is to give back as much and as often as I can."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nathan Designs Stainless Steel Straw Bottle Review

A review of the Nathan Designs bottle from our friend Chris of the Quintessential Quill:

"Nathan, oh Nathan, how do I love ye! Let me count the ways!

  1. Nice wide mouth to put in ice;

  2. Great designs; stylish and nice;

  3. A handy straw; flip up for a sip;

  4. And hook it to your belt with a handy clip!

Bad poetry aside, I love, love, love this stylish bottle. It holds ample amounts of water to see you through an outing; it has an awesome flip straw that lets you drink your fill without tipping the bottle. Its wide mouth lets you clean it easily, as well as add ice to keep your drink cold. The stainless steel means no leaching of harmful chemicals and the designs give it the extra kick that Klean Kanteen is lacking.

Best of all? The clip, oh the clip! Ever overload yourself and need an extra hand to carry the water out to the car? Well, trouble no more! Clip your bottle to your belt, backpack, diaper bag, purse…it can clip to almost anything.

This bottle is all-around awesome. It has replaced my Siggs (sorry Sigg) and is used more than my Klean Kanteen, though it is a toss up there. The Klean Kanteen does come in different sizes; something that Nathan might want to consider. If that happens, it will be only Nathan’s for me!"

BPA free stainless steel Nathan bottles hold 24 ounces and are available for $24.55 from our store in 4 designs and 1 solid.

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Phone Number!

You can now reach us at +1.614.388.9022.

That's all. :)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How to have an eco-friendly holiday

Over consumption - of energy, raw materials, and land - is the central cause of most environmental problems. Unfortunately it is also the central cultural practice in American winter holiday rituals.

We eat huge feasts on Thanksgiving, Hannukah, Christmas Eve, and Christmas. We cut down trees and cover them in baubles to decorate. We hang lights and run them for hours every night. We send cards through the mail to everyone we know. We buy and give material gifts to many people. We party with excess every December 31.

Changing consumption habits is the simplest way to reduce the human environmental impact. The holidays are full of opportunities to do this without losing the meaning and joy of holiday rituals. Here are some things we do in our family to reduce our environmental impact and increase the spirit of the season:

Decorate a potted indoor tree - our Norfolk Island pine has been kept alive for three years running now!
Reuse decorations year to year - they become family heirlooms
Send holiday postcards - to save paper and transportation fuel because they weigh less
Run one strand of lights around the porch and one inside around the tree, both with limited timers
Donate time or money to local food banks for holiday meals
Make gifts at home, purchase green gifts, or skip material gifts in favor of sharing a meal or time with the special people in our lives

What do you do to "green" the holidays?

Friday, November 07, 2008

Nominate your Favorite Charity for 1% for Good

We are accepting nominations for charities to benefit from our annual donation program. All you have to do is Email Rachel or leave a comment below for nominations with your suggestion by November 21!

Because this year we will be using eBay Giving Works, your nomination must be on this list of MissionFish eligible nonprofits. If your favorite charity isn't listed, ask them to register.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

NY Times gear test for water bottles

"Health-conscious athletes are choosing alternatives made from stainless steel, aluminum or BPA-free plastics. “Last year at this time we couldn’t pay anyone to take our stainless-steel bottles,” said Sloan Russell, the president of Guyot Designs, in Deer Isle, Maine. Now bottle sales at Guyot are expected to be $3 million this year, up from $60,000 in 2007. " Check out more of this commentary and slideshow of images from the NY Times.

Klean Kanteen vs. SIGG

We asked our friend Chris Jonard of the the Quintessential Quill to help us cover our most frequently asked question: Should I get a Kleen Kanteen or a SIGG?

Here is Chris' review:

With all the media coverage about BPA and its potential hazards, as well as the massive waste generated by disposable water bottles, getting a reusable water bottle makes sense. There are several options out there, but which one works the best?

Reusable plastic bottles are an option, but for those that want to be BPA free, plastic is kind of scary right now. This leads to metal water bottles. The top contenders are SIGG and Klean Kanteen. In a personal trial between the two, the clean winner came out to be Kleen Kanteen for a variety of reasons.

First, let’s talk SIGG. The SIGG bottles have different designs on them, many of which are just too cool for words. There are some seriously beautiful and extremely cute bottles out there. But judge not a book by its cover, as they say, for looks are not everything. I found that with everyday use, the SIGGs dent extremely easily. In fact, my first SIGG dented before it was even used! However, that is cosmetic and can be overlooked—though for the price one would think they would be a bit sturdier. I do have a friend, though, who says the liner on the inside has cracked due to a particularly deep dent. This however, has not been my experience (yet?) Also, the lids leak—thanks to a VERY determined toddler! Overall, I just am not sold on these, which is sad because, as I mentioned before, they are beautiful!

Kleen Kanteen has sleek lines that make them attractive, though not nearly as pretty as SIGG. However, rugged use with my KKs has yet to dent them at all. They are much sturdier (and a bit heavier) and the sports lid, so far, has been leak free. Oh! Another WONDERFUL thing about the KKs is that the mouth of the bottle is wide, so you can fit in a regular cleaning brush to clean it. The SIGG needs a special brush to get in there to scrub. Also, you can easily put regular ice in the KKs. My ONE complaint about the KKs is they are kind of boring compared to SIGG design-wise, but that is a minor complaint. They have spiced things up a bit by adding colors—I can only hope that designs are soon to follow?

So, to sum it up—the SIGGs are eye candy, but for a meaningful, long-lasting relationship, the trusty, sturdy Kleen Kanteens are the way to go.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Independent Panel of Scientists weigh in on FDA's BPA policy

We have long tracked reports that bisphenol-a (BPA) may be a contributor to cancer, heart disease and more. We also shared the Food and Drug Administration's confusing assessment that BPA is probably not all that bad.

The New York Times published Thursday that an independent panel of scientists agree in a scathing report that the FDA has thus far not proven their case that plastic is safe. The Times published an editorial on BPA Sunday urging the FDA to "complete a more rigorous assessment".

We agree.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Green Guru Contest Winner

Wow! What a great contest!

Our randomly choosen winner is Katie. As soon as we hear from her, we will send Katie the deep purple and white billboard Ute tote!

Thanks everyone for entering, and especially the bloggy giveaways carnival for sending us so many great entrants.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baying Hound listed on Your Green Review

Your Green Review posted our green business profile today. :) Woohoo!

The Green Review's goal is simple "to create an open forum for information sharing and discussion about Green products and the companies that make them as well as environmental and social issues impacting our communities. YGR’s role in all of this is to get the ball rolling until there is enough community participation to support a website consisting entirely of user generated content. Ultimately the community will be both the major contributor and editor of information. We encourage you to participate by

1.) Including your personal experiences and thoughts under the ‘comments’ section.
2.) Making suggestions or telling us about what you’d like to see AND what you don’t by emailing us at YourGreenReview at yahoo [dot] com
3.) Contacting us about contributing to the blog (if you’re so inclined) by becoming a Green Correspondent

This is your planet, your community and your forum-do some research and let us know what you find. Contribute knowledge when you can."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lovin' the EcoClutch and Shak Full-zip

When our new fall gear came in, I decided to try the EcoClutch and Shak Full-zip. Both pieces appealed to my laid back eco-chic style. After a few months of use, here are my thoughts:

The EcoClutch is a very small handbag with tons of style for only $29.95. After two and a half years of carrying a big diaper bag, my daughter finally potty trained and I wanted a new purse. I am walking and riding my bike often and carrying just a small amount of "stuff" appeals to me. The EcoClutch fits just what I need for day to day use: a billboard wallet, phone, keys, and lip balm. It's comfortable to carry over the shoulder and easy to throw in a bigger bag or bike trailer. Here it is at the coffee shop today:

(Sorry about the blurry pic. I still haven't figured out how to use the camera in this phone well.)

What surprises me about the EcoClutch is how durable it is. I'm not very kind on purses. When I wrote "throw" in the previous paragraph, I was serious: I toss the handbag on the floor, in the bottom of the trailer, wherever. I expected with this kind of abuse that the yoga mat material would scuff or smudge, but it still looks brand new. Or brand re-new, I should say, as the material is in the second cycle of reuse after being a yoga mat scrap.

My other fave from the fall line is the Merino Wool Shak Full-zip Jacket. This is a lightweight merino jersey with a zip down the front and single pocket. Once the weather finally turned cool here in central Ohio, there is rarely a day I don't have this jacket on for at least part of the day. I wear it around the house, on walks, hikes (above), and bike rides. I am wearing it right now layered over a QuT.

The jacket is breathable and lightweight but still provides considerable warmth. The cut of the jacket is body hugging without being tight. It fits true to my usual size and hasn't shrunk or stretched through multiple washings. It dries in about 4 hours hung on a line or clothes rack. The small pocket is just enough for a cellphone or keys, all I usually need at the playground or on a walk. In sum, the Shak Full-Zip is so comfortable and designed just right for everyday use. Right now, the full zip is on sale for $119 (women's) and $123.25 (men's).

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Economics of Going Green

You don't have to go out and buy a brand new Toyota Prius in order to be environmentally friendly. I realize that big ticket items like hybrid cars, solar panels, windmills and green home building get alot of attention in the media as saving the environment. However, all of these things are pricey and not realistic goals for the average consumer.

So how can you go about being environmentally conscious in a way that is not only cheap, but might actually save you money? Here are some simple steps with economic motivation:

1. Stop using your clothes dryer. I realize it is easy to throw clothes into it and just turn it on. However, a clothes dryer is one of the biggest energy hogs in your whole house. The average electric dryer uses 5000 watts or more of power and can run $80-$200 in operating costs on a yearly basis. The easy alternatives is to use a clothesline outside in good weather and a drying rack inside in bad weather. It only takes a few minutes to hang a load of laundry, and your clothes will last longer when they are not continuously heated and tumbled dry.

2. Use reusable water bottles. Of course I am going to mention this idea as reusable bottles are one of our premier items in the store. However, there is a very legitimate case for the use of a non-disposable water bottle. The world market for bottled water is $50 billion + annually. When these bottles are emptied, they are discarded into landfills. In the US alone, we discard 22 billion water bottles per year. This accounts for the use of 17 million barrels of oil in the production of the plastic alone. On the consumer side, consider that you might spend $1.25 on a 500 mL bottle of water. If you do this three times a week, your yearly cost for bottled water is $195. In addition, you will be sending 156 bottles to the landfill or recycling center. A comparably sized reusable water bottle from our store would cost you only $16.15 + $5 shipping. This would leave you plenty of money to purchase a very nice water filtration system if you are concerned about the quality of your tap water.

3. Walk or ride a bike in lieu of a car where possible. 40% of urban travel is over a distance of 2 miles or less. By bike you can cover this distance in less than 15 minutes and save the assosciated gas. Imagine reducing your gas consumption by 40% each year. Not only would this greatly help the environment through emission reduction, but it would be a good step towards reducing our country's dependence on foreign oil. Also, consider how much money you would save if you paid 40% less to fill your car each year.

4. Inflate your car tires to the maunfacturer's recommended level. This idea actually gained some traction due to the presidential campaign this year. A softer tire means increased rolling resistance, and your car working harder to go the same speed. According to the US EPA, you lose 1% in efficency for each 2 psi your tires are under-inflated. Doing the math, this means under inflated tires are costing you hundreds of dollars each year.

5. Turn the lights off when you leave a room. This is probably the easiest thing you can do to save money and help the environment in your daily life. Reconsider how many lights you leave on outside at night. Use timers to turn lights off and on during vacation. The US Department of Energy has a very good consumer guide on this subject.

These are five easy steps to help the enviroment and save yourself money. Leave a comment or drop me an email if you have any other good ideas.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Green Guru Gear Tote Giveaway!

We're participating in the Fall Bloggy Giveaway Carnival. There is a HUGE list of giveaways, so carve out a little time to enter yourself in some great contests.

But first, enter the Baying Hound giveaway! We're giving away a Green Guru Gear tote on Saturday, November 1 including shipping in the US. The UTE totes are 98% reclaimed material by weight. Each one is made in the USA from hand-selected billboard panels to give you the most graphic value possible with waterproof durability. Retails for $19.99 at our store.

Want to win this tote? Simply leave a comment including your email address with your choice of colors available, listed at Comments will close at midnight October 31 and winner announced November 1.

Don't forget all Shak Jerseys are on sale through November 1 too!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sometimes the Hounds are bad

Devie and Hawise are sometimes not the best hounds.

We have had a big bag of birdseed sitting in the kitchen for two weeks. Tonight, something got into them and they decided to tip the bag and eat to their hearts content while we were away. Bad Dogs!

Not only did we have a mess of spilled bird seed to clean up tonight, surely there will be remains to cleanup in the backyard for the next few days. Ewww!

Moral of the story: Don't leave food or nearly food in reach of hungry hounds. Birdseed qualifies as nearly food, apparently.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Find Baying Hound products at Sprout Soup!

We are excited to announce a collaboration with Sprout Soup, a local Columbus Ohio natural family living store. Sprout Soup is carrying our Klean Kanteen and OLovesM bags! If you are local to Columbus and want to shop Baying Hound in person, head on over to 4310 N High Street Columbus OH 43214.

Be sure to put this Thursday, October 23, on your calendar. It's the Grand Opening Celebration from 4 - 7 PM. More details including regular store hours are on their Location page.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Squishy Bowls on

Check out this mention of Squishy Bowls on

"I just love the word 'squishy' and these bowls will allow you to say it often. You can be all like, "Did you bring the squishy bowls?" Or, "You know what I love about these bowls? They're squishy." Sniff around @ BayingHound. ($15)"

Cute write up and thanks for the mention!

Ibex Jerseys 15% off!

Now through November 1, Ibex Shak Jerseys for men and women are on sale in the Baying Hound store. They are 15% and still qualify for free shipping with the freeship50 coupon code. Try one today and fall in love with soft, comfortable, breathable merino wool.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Choosing Green as Poverty Solution : Blog Action Day 2008

People choose to buy green products for many reasons. Many are concerned about their personal health and choose bisphenol-a free bottles and safe plastics to prevent toxins. Some are concerned about saving earth resources. Others are attracted to the celebrities promoting conscious consumerism.

Whatever the reason, choosing green may have the added benefit of reducing poverty.
Poverty is worsened by consumption of virgin material goods. When deforestation and commercial development happen, locals rarely profit. Instead they are left with lower water and air quality, which leads to health problems, lost working time, and more poverty (2006 United Nations Human Development Report). Eco-friendly products often use recycled or reclaimed materials, keeping materials in the use cycle and relying less on virgin materials.

Poverty in the US is often the result of health problems bankrupting families. In fact, in 2001 alone, 50% of Americans filing for bankruptcy, or 1.9 - 2.2 million people, cited medical reasons (Policy Journal of the Health Sphere). While there are many factors causing health emergencies, environmental pollution and toxins are surely high on the list. Research keeps confirming that serious health problems are caused by toxins like bisphenol-a, phthalates, and more in everyday products. Earth friendly products eliminate pollutants in the manufacturing process and final materials. As consumers demand and use eco-friendly non-toxic items, I remain hopeful that heart disease and cancers will decline, with the poverty rate following.

Poverty is diminished when workers are paid fairly, have access to health care, and are not exposed to risk at work (World Bank). Most manufacturers of green goods use fair employment practices as a way to increase their trust with consumers and maintain quality. At BayingHound, we ask tough questions of our manufacturers and demand to know where and how their products are made. If a manufacturer can not answer, or is not concerned about fair employment, we do not carry their items.

Poverty is a complex problem, to be sure. Purchasing green gear is one solution among many.


This post is part of Blog Action Day 08 - Poverty

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wallaby Bags

This morning I helped a friend launch her blog promoting Wallaby Bags. These great reusable fabric bags have become a staple in our packed lunches, holding sandwiches, snacks, and veggies. Here is one of her bags that we took on a recent hike:

Soon we will stock the bags at the Baying Hound. In the meantime, check out her new site:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Come visit Baying Hound at Holistic Mom's Network November 3!

On Monday November 3, 2008 we will join local Columbus Ohio vendors at the Holistic Mom's Network Holiday Extravaganza. Join us for Green Shopping and door prizes from 7 - 10 PM at Hayden's Crossing North Clubhouse in Dublin!

Please download and share this flyer about the event.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Reusable Bag Winner!

Caffeine Queen is the winner of our reusable bag contest! Congratulations! As soon as I get confirmation of your choice, an OLovesM ecoclutch or Green Guru Gear billboard tote will be in the mail to you.

A big thank you to everyone who entered and wished me a happy birthday. :) Our consolation prize is a $5 off $25 coupon. Use the code 'getgreen' at checkout to receive this discount anytime before Oct. 19, 2008.

And a bit of truly random knowledge to go with the random pictures of Hawise above: My Dad emailed me this Wiki page in a happy birthday email today. Apparently if I had been born in 1582 in Italy, Poland, Portugal or Spain, my birthday could not have been October 9. In 1582, those countries were switching calendars and skipped from October 4 to October 15. Strange but true!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

24 hours til end of Reclaimed Reusable Bag contest!

Enter today, because there is only one day left!

Woohoo! That means only one day until my birthday too!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Upcycle your Wetsuit!

Just got a tweet from Green Guru Gear. They are looking for wetsuits and will send back a free gift if you send yours in!

Mail to:

2500 47th st Suite 12
Boulder CO 80301

I'm putting mine in the mail today. It's been sitting in our donate pile for a long time and never fit well in the first place.

Monday, October 06, 2008

My Day with USPS, or the things I do for customers

Mail delivery came around 10 AM. Our faithful carrier Maria had an Express package to return to me. It had a note on it (not official form, just handwritten) and she explained that the regional post office could not ship express to the APO address of our customer. Maria told me I could go in to the post office for a refund and ship priority.

I attempted a refund online through the service we had used to print the label. Because it was beyond 48 hours after shipment (it's Monday, we shipped early Saturday), no refund was available automatically.

So, I load up our daughter, the package, and my wallet in the bike trailer and ride 4 miles to the post office. I get there and there is no bike rack. Plenty of security pylons, but those are easy to slip our lock right off. Bugger. Thank goodness for the newspaper machine that had a relatively secure loop I could lock through.

Bike secured, I walked into the post office with daughter, package, and wallet. I wait in line 20 minutes. When the postal worker calls me up, I explain that I need a refund because the postal service cannot fulfill my shipment needs and he gives me a blank stare. I ask for the manager Maria told me could help. More blank stare and then some mumbling.

The next associate over says, "You can't do that." I ask for clarification and he rudely tells me they can't do anything about packages shipped online. I request the manager Maria told me about. "Well, he's higher than her," my blank stare associate says. And the next one over says "Carriers don't know anything about this."

I eventually leave with my daughter, package, and wallet because I am getting no help. I know from experience that this post office and staff is often like this - no attempt at customer satisfaction and no flexible solutions.

Tonight, I will again pack up daughter, package, and wallet and drive to the airport 24 hour post office because the staff at that office has always been competent, kind and helpful. I am confident they will find a way to get my customer his Ibex gear quickly.

As soon as I get a moment (I've already spent over an hour on this today, not including writing this post) I will find a way to contact the local post office, speak to a manager, and let them know how disappointed I was with the service. Of course, I'll also need to leave feedback with the online system because if the service told when I input the address that express was not possible, I might have avoided all this trouble. Whew!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Win a Reclaimed Reusable Bag!

It’s Rachel’s birthday on October 9!

To celebrate, we are giving away a Reclaimed Reusable Bag. We’ll mail a Green Guru Gear Utility Tote or OLovesM Eco Clutch (winner’s choice) to a randomly selected entrant.

Simply leave a comment to enter the contest!

Employees and immediate family members may not enter. Contest closes at midnight October 8, 2008.

More houshold toxins news

Newsweek online has an article about household toxins up right now. One of the main toxins of concern right now is BPA in food/beverage containers. It is nice to see this issue getting exposure in the media as we feel it is an important issue people need to be aware of.

I was especially pleased to see mention of canned foods in the article. We've been especially concerned about this issue for some time as foods stay in contact wit the BPA-containing material for extended periods of time in cans. Also, many foods are acidic in nature (tomatoes, any fruit, etc…) which will only serve to increase the leaching potential from the plastic liner. As a solution, we can a lot of our own food in the home. Rachel had a marathon session last month and canned a huge amount of tomato sauce and apple sauce for use over the winter. We also make extensive use of vacuum sealing and our deep freezer for food storage/preservation.

So what do you all think? How concerned are you about BPA? What do you do to prevent this chemical from entering your food supply?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman was a hell of an actor...

Rachel summed up my feelings on Paul Newman quite well. I've always been a huge fan of his movies, and his charitable giving.

I think that to honor his memory, I'm going to watch The Sting, Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Color of Money all in a row.

Of course, I will do this all while eating 50 hard-boiled eggs.

Rest In Peace, Paul Newman, champion of socially responsible business

We share sadness at the news this morning that Paul Newman passed away.

Paul Newman was an inspiration to us. He not only believed in quality foods, but he sold and promoted them before all-natural foods were a trend in grocery stores. Further, he used his food business, Newman's Own, to create a philanthropic empire. The company reports generating over $250 million to support thousands of charities worldwide and is still going strong. His idea that business profits could be shared inspired our own 1% for Good donation program.

Of course, Mr. Newman was also a fantastic actor. We will miss his face and remember his business spirit fondly.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Totally Off Topic: Swallowtail Chrysalis

A few days ago we found a caterpillar on some parsley in our garden. We brought it in with some of the parsley leaves and made it a little home in a glass jar. It ate and pooped lots.

Today I looked in to find this:

The caterpillar formed a chrysalis! How exciting! I've never seen a caterpillar from nature do this! I'll update if he/she hatches.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Baying Hound at Small Business Marketing Unleashed

This week I am attending Small Business Marketing Unleashed (SBMU). It's a conference put on by the good folks at Search Engine Guide featuring experts in the search engine, marketing, and website development industry. I'm at the conference to learn about how to make our web business more successful and more user friendly.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Package Handling

We use USPS to ship most packages at Baying Hound because we love the convenience of door to door delivery and the prices, especially on international packages, are impossible to beat. We usually order carrier pickups, the USPS service where carriers pick up packages directly from our door. Since they come here every day anyways, this is an ecofriendly choice too because it requires no extra transportation. Here's a picture snapped by nearly 3 year old Lil of Devie waiting for the mail.

Someday I'll take a video so you can hear her bay. I'm surprised Maria (our carrier) ever returns with the ferocity of Devie's bark.

When carrier pickup doesn't work out (usually because I forget to schedule it) we take packages directly to the post office. As often as possible we do this by bike to reduce our impact:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

BPA has been linked to Type 2 Diabetes and heart failure

So in case you haven't heard, BPA (Bisphenol-A) has recently been linked to Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Failure. This latest news is the result of a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA). While we are not surprised to see that this chemical has a wider range of potentially harmful effects, it is still disturbing to hear this sort of news. The full text of the AMA study can be found here.

Of course, everyone must be happy that this important information has been released to the consumer, right? Not necessarily. The FDA has issued a statement that all of their regulated products containing BPA are safe for use with food products. Of course, they include the caveat that there are alternatives to plastic products. Glass baby bottles are mentioned, but might I suggest Kleen Kanteens with sippy lids?

I am personally more inclined to side with the AMA advice over that given by the FDA. As a current employee of the Federal Government (this here is only the side job) in a regulatory capacity, I don't hold the opinion that all government employees are incompetent morons who couldn't investigate their way out of a paper bag. There are many dedicated and hard-working scientist, engineers and other professionals who work for the Big G. However, regulatory agencies as a whole have a tendency to err on the side of not making waves, especially when large amounts of money in the commercial sector are concerned.

However, as a consumer, I believe people need to make informed choices. The AMA is a rigorous and well-respected body in the field of medicine. My inclination is to take their recommendations at face value until someone shows me reason not to.

With this in mind, check out our line of BPA-free water bottles. We have styles in stock right now from Kleen Kanteen and Guyot Designs. By the end of October, we should also have some very interesting designs from Nathan as well. These are good options for drink storage that should help you put BPA fears to rest.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Regrouping after Ike

When Hurricane Ike traveled up the US, it ran into a cold front and slammed us in the midwest with wild weather.

On Sunday night the storm hit Columbus OH with winds up to 50 mph. Trees fell all over the city, causing widespread power outages. We at Baying Hound central were without electricity from Sunday afternoon through 1PM Tuesday. A tree near our garage fell into the neighbor's yard, fortunately sparing both our houses of any significant damage. You can see the remains of the trunk at left.

Because our gas stove still worked we spent Monday canning veggies from our garden. Here you see them (barely) by candle light.

By Tuesday morning we had not been able to communicate with customers or ship packages for two days. We had an elaborate plan to power up at relatives, use the library's wifi, and return to relatives to ship packages when our power turned on. Woo hoo!

The challenge of living and working without power was exciting for a little while but we are glad to be back to normal. :)

Friday, September 12, 2008

What's the best benefit of running an internet business?

For me, the best benefit is all of the cool technology and gadgets you can
buy as a business expense.

Our cell phone service is through T-Mobile, who will be coming out with the
HTC Dream phone in October running Google's Android operating system. This
is the first phone to run Android and will likely be called the G1 by
T-Mobile. This is going to be a full-bore smartphone that, if executed
properly by T-Mobile and Google, will likely rival the apple iPhone. In
addition to running Android, this phone will support T-Mobile recently
opened 3G network.

So, for the first time, I will discard my rules of waiting until the second
generation of a new cell phone before jumping on the bandwagon. I find the
prospect of a Google OS terribly exciting as I love so many of their other
products already. An added bonus is that Android will see heavy integration
with Google's existing online service (maps, calendars, email, documents,
etc.). Rachel and I are both hoping to transition away from Microsoft
products and make ourselves far more mobile by using web-based applications
to run the business.

The one downside is that so far pictures leaked of the G1 indicate it will
be something of an ugly duckling. It looks squarish, blocky and kind of
fugly in general. However, I am a staunch believer in function over form,
so I won't let this bother me.

Hopefully I will be posting again in just about a month concerning my
super-sweet new business expense.


What's the big deal about Reclaimed?

The old addage is reduce, reuse, recycle. The idea is to reduce consumption, reuse materials when consumption is necessary and THEN recycle the unusable pieces at the end of life. Somehow America is still stuck in the last phase, recycle, and even that is spotty. I can't count the times I go to public places and find no recycling facilities.

Manufacturers have plenty of choices that can lessen their impact on the environment. One of the biggest is material sourcing. New (aka. virgin) materials use the most resources because they must be mined (in the case of metals or minerals) or created from oils (for plastics), processed, and then reprocessed into the consumer item.

Some plastics and metal products can be made from recycled sources. In this case, virgin material scraps are melted down and reprocessed which uses less energy and time.

The best case scenario is to reclaim materials. Creative manufacturers find sources for their products in the scraps and left overs of other processes. This way, waste is saved and virgin materials are put back into the consumer cycle. Energy is not needed for processing raw materials. In the best of situations, these scraps are found locally and transportation energy is reduced as well.

Baying Hound is pleased to offer two product lines utilizing reclaimed materials: OLovesM (reclaimed yoga mats, chaco sandal straps, and fabrics) and Green Guru Gear (reclaimed bike tire tubes and billboard signs).

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

nary a second to post

but we are still here!

Busy stocking, taking photos, working with new computer, planning events, and placing orders with new companies. Not to mention waiting for preschool to start so I will have even more time to work. ;)

Blog posts coming soon -

the phones we're dreaming of
what's the big deal about reclaimed
why we aren't in business for the profit

Thursday, September 04, 2008

OLovesM Bags and Purses in stock!

At the Outdoor Retailer conference last month we met a great lady, Merle, who owns OLovesM bags. These super chic bags are made by a group of workers in Colorado from reclaimed yoga mats, fabric, and sandal straps. They are funky, well designed, and eco-friendly.

As each one is a little bit different, we are busy taking photographs. The whole group is seen in these two photos.

Top picture: Large Bernie Bags ($51.95) and Water Bottle Holders ($15.95)
Below: the Ecoclutch ($29.95) and Small Bernie Bags ($39.95)

Remember that through September 15 you can save 20% with coupon code houndhowls20!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Green Guru Gear, All Kolors Here!

We are madly arranging all the new gear that came yesterday - Green Guru Gear reclaimed material bags and the rest of the Klean Kanteen Kolors! The colorful bounty is amazing!

We'll have reviews, more news, and more pictures soon, but for now, explore the store with new items listed.

Special offer for blog readers - 20% off any order from now until September 15 using coupon code houndhowls20

PS. Can't help sharing this cute picture - Hawise playing with a reclaimed climbing rope keychain. She is never still enough to get a decent picture!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Green Guru Gear will be at Baying Hound by the weekend!

We are excited to offer Green Guru Gear starting shortly. We've been looking at their products for some time and were very impressed with what we saw of them at the Outdoor Retailer conference.

Their gear is really top quality, and their environmentally sustainable practices fit right in line with our philosophy. Except for the zippers and buckles, almost every other material used in their products is either reclaimed or recycled. One of the neatest things about their products is the individuality and uniqueness. For instance, the Billboard Messenger bags we will be getting are all crafted from a unique piece of signage. the end result is that your bag will be completely unique to you, and you will never see a duplicate.

We will have quite a few different items, so keep checking back at the store over the weekend to see what shows up.

Personally, I am most excited about the new bag I get to try out shortly. The Vulkar is the largest bag in their Blowout Series. It is almost completely made from recycled inner-tubes, and looks to be about as waterproof as anything could possibly be. I'll post a review as soon as I get the chance to ride around with it for awhile.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Klean Kanteen Kolors

After weeks of waiting, our Klean Kanteen kolors have arrived! A second shipment is still coming to complete all kolors in all sizes, but we have a good selection with all kolors in 18 and 27 ounce sizes and some colors in the sippy/12 ounce size right now. The kolors are a small $2 premium for a big impact!

We also have a new light box. I'll open it up and take pictures of the new shiny bottles sometime this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Gratuitous Hound Pictures

Lillian (3 on September 25) loves to take pictures. Her favorite subjects? The hounds, up close and personal:

Devie ear

Hawise ear

Hawise face

Devie midsection

Dogs begging while Rachel cooks