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?