Thursday, April 15, 2010

A bathmat you'll want to get mouldy...eventually

I love products like this - made from natural sources, useful during their lifetime and then can return to natural sources - just like Nature intended!

Squishy Toes is a bathmat made by Rebecca Berrigan and Nancy Kelly in the USA.  It's made from plant cellulose - the structural component of of the primary cell wall in green plants.  Did you know that 33% of all plant matter is cellulose and in trees, cellulose makes up 50% of the tree's matter.  It's a renewable material - one that nature grows and provides to us for free!    It is used in paper, cardboard, card stock and in this case - to make a bathmat.

This bathmat is a bit different though because in addition to providing a soft mat for the shower, an anti-slip surface for inside the home/camper van shower or on a shower seat, it will biodegrade!  Once your Squishy Toes bathmat wears out, instead of throwing it away in the garbage (like many bathmats which are fabric and rubber and may take years to break down), this one goes in the compost heap!

By placing it in the compost heap or in the soil, it allows microorganisms to break the mat down into humus which is the dark, organic material in soil produced b the decomposition of vegetable or animal matter and essential to the fertility of the earth.

Products like this embody the "Waste = Food" mantra of the Cradle to Cradle concept:

"using environmentally safe and healthy materials; design for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting; the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency" and several more...

This concept has been developed by William McDonough and Michael Braungart who offer Cradle to Cradle certification as a way to label some of the greenest products available today.

One of the only baby product so far to achieve Cradle to Cradle certification has been gDiapers 

These are the kinds of products we'll only see more and more of and as a family wanting to green up your act - look for other examples like these!  If you find some, pass them along and I can share them on the blog.

Tracy Lydiatt - B.Sc, M.Sc
The Green Families Guru

p.s. Remember you can do this, it begins with a single step and lasts a lifetime
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