Coco Mats Eco Product Review

Coco Mats are handwoven 100% natural eco friendly door mats. I was sent one of them to review and to be honest I didn’t expect to be impressed by a door mat, but I am!

The mat I received was the the Monogram single letter with a black border coir coco door mat. First of all these mats are thick, and I mean THICK, mine was a little over the 1.5″ described, it’s like a small step up and feels great. It’s available in five different sizes, and colors so price varies (22″ x 36″,
24″ x 57″, 30″ x 48″, 38″ x 60″, 36″ x 72″).

They’re made from 100% natural coco fibers, which are biodegradable and compostable. They’re created by cottage industry suppliers in India, and I asked Coco Mats more about how they are produced, so this is from them:

Coconuts are harvested every two months throughout the year. Green coconuts contain pliable, white fibers and are gathered after growing for approximately 12 months on the palm tree. Coco Mats make use of the more practical brown fiber, which is extracted from fully mature coconuts when the nutritious layer enveloping the seed is ready for processing.

The brown fibrous layer is separated from the hard shell by splitting (also known as de-husking) the coconut. The coconuts are beaten, to further separate the long coco fibers.

Our handwoven Coco Mats are created by hand as they have been centuries. The Coco fibers are first harvested from surrounding trees and then the outer husk of the coconuts are separated and “tufted”. Coco fibers have a large amount of lignin, which is a complex wood compound, with a low amount of cellulose less so than flax or cotton. This gives coco fibers strength and durability. The unique makeup of coco fibers also allow for coco mats to be water resistant and thus they dry relatively quickly.

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Depending on what size and type you order, they are pretty expensive, but the quality is fantastic and will last a long time with proper care. I’ve been through three cheap mats out the back of my house in 5 years, but I can see this one lasting at least as long as those combined, it’s heavy duty.

Lead time is 2 to 3 weeks to get a personalized one or less for one of the standard designs. Like most similar doormats, this one does shed. It’s pretty easy to clean by shaking off or vacuuming.

They have a huge variety of mats, thick, thin, pet mats, funny mats, even mats that light up when motion is detected! They do custom mats and mats for cars, you can get the coco fibers on a roll to use as flooring, mats to use to play cricket on and even ones for horse ramps and stables. It’s pretty much endless with non-coco mats too.

They start at around $15 for the small thin ones, and go up from there. I really like the one I received, it’s had many compliments in the few days I’ve had it and am sure it’ll last as long time due to the thick woven quality and that my entrance is covered so it should easily handle what little rain it will get (the mats are apparently stain, rot and mildew resistant).

If you’re interested in a natural woven door mat, take a look at Coco Mats.


The Owl CM119 – Energy saving smart meter

By now you may have heard of the Owl, the clever gadget designed to calculate how much energy is consumed within the home. Recent research by environmental experts is showing that using a meter which demonstrates units of electricity used is one of the best ways to remind consumers to think twice about the various gadgets in the home, and begin to reduce consumption accordingly.

The Owl, was originally marketed under the name ‘Electrisave’ by manufacturers Wireless Monitors Australia Pty Ltd. It gathered industry accolades and awards for its simple functionality and low cost design. When the company behind the product was recently purchased by 2 Save Energy PLC, they lost the rights to sell the Electrisave under that brand name, and hence The Owl was born.

In essence, The Owl is simply the original Electrisave gadget, with enhanced features, at a reduced price. It has been developed to store usage information, meaning your energy monitoring is even more simple than before, and more precise.

For newbies to the idea of energy monitoring, here’s the lowdown. Without knowing how your electricity is being used by different appliances, it’s tough to work out how to reduce it by economizing with your domestic activities. Gadgets like The Owl calculate your home energy supply, and provides real-time data about how much fuel you are using. When you turn on a light or appliance, the LCD monitor on the reader tells you exactly how much electricity is being used, what the cost of the fuel is, and how much CO2 you are producing through using the appliance.

Wireless, the Owl is easy to use and a little bit addictive. If you’re anything like me, getting your hands on this clever little gadget will lead to a flurry of activity, turning things on and off and working out the cost of what you do in your home. A bit of a wake-up call for us all, the Owl gives us full control over the choices we make as consumers, and arm us with the data we need to make significant changes.

It’s estimated that the average household is able to reduce energy consumption by a quarter when they arm themselves with a good monitor. Just by being informed and aware, we’re suddenly able to see just how much we use, and make changes accordingly. This helps save money, and of course benefits the environment.

Specifications for The Owl:

Key features include:
• Easy to install and program in 5 minutes
• Monitor and display unit
• Clip-on meter sensor
• Simple instructions for use
• No need to change your existing meter – sensors clip directly onto your existing electricity meter’s cabling
• Portable, easily moved from room to room
• Simple to use by all members of the family push-button menus and easy to read, large LCD display
• Programmable to current and/or individual electricity tariffs
• The OWL monitor shows the level of greenhouse gases that are being generated by your current electricity usage.

Cost is around £30 from Amazon.

100% Beeswax Big Dipper Candle From Buy Green

As well as their awesome Sanctuary candle they sent me, Buy Green also sent me one of their smaller Pure Beehive candles. Available in the same nine scents like the larger candle, I got the Clarity candle which includes a “Lime and May Chang citrus tonic”.

Beehive Candle

I’ve no idea what May Chang is, but it smalls lovely, almost edible. Beeswax is a 100% natural and renewable resource that actually cleans the air by emitting purifying negative ions apparently. This is also entirely beeswax and doesn’t contain any paraffin or soy wax.

According to Buy Green “Most candles are made with paraffin, a petroleum by-product, which is not natural and is unhealthy to burn. To prepare it for candle making, it is chemically bleached and hardened, then artificially scented. Burning paraffin emits harmful, black soot and pollutes the air.”

They even sent me some matches to test it. It’ll burn for 35 hours and looks great in the beehive style glass container. Scent is great and later when summer arrives I might try it outside to see if it wards off the bugs.

It also made me hungry… take a look at the full beeswax candle range here.

Beeswax Candle – Harmony by Big Dipper

Buy Green is a green online store that I love. I love they send me products in reused boxes (like mobile phone boxes) that I can then reuse myself. The packing peanuts that this latest candle came protected in were reused and also are completely biodegradable by soaking in water. I think I’ll reuse them first though.

The Harmony candle I was sent is an aromatherapy beeswax glassware candles and is 100% Beeswax. There are nine scents:
Harmony – Lavender and Geranium is a calming, floral blend that promotes balance and relaxation.
Clarity – Lime and May Chang is a cheerful, citrus tonic that fuels awareness and certainty.
Enlightenment – Bergamont and Mint is a fresh, energizing union that brings wisdom and clarity.
Meditation – Rosewood and Cedarwood is a calm, woody aroma that clears the mind and promotes inner peace.
Radiance – Ylang Ylang and Tangerine is a warm, delightful blend that inspires well being and wisdom.
Rapture – Patchouli and Cassia is a stirring exotic aroma that arouses passion and renews the spirit.
Rejuvenation – Sweet Orange and Clove Bud is a spicy, uplifting medley that revives and restores inner strength.
Sensuality – Palmarosa and Geranium is a warm, floral blend that relieves anxiety and sparks desire.
Vitality – Lemongrass and Grapefruit is a zesty, refreshing fusion that stimulates the senses and restores the spirit.

Beeswax Candle

So what is the candle like? It’s bigger and heavier than expected and smells great, as you would expect. I like it because it’s 100% beeswax, no paraffin added to bulk it up. Strangely I think it smells less when burning, though that’s probably because I’m not sat right next to it. While I have never found inner strength from any candle I think it’s nice and relaxing and covers up food cooking smells really well.

This was is $22 but lasts 120 hours so value for money and none of that harmful black soot. Get it from Buy Green.

Canova Aromatherapy Candle Eco Product Review

Alas, this is the last candle we have to review from Scented Candle Shop. Each one has been pretty decent in its own right, from tea lights to floating candles and to ones like this, a premium glass aromatherapy candle.

Made by Canova, this is an eco-soy wax candle with natural essential oils and a natural wick. What’s also nice to see is the recycled glass, which may account for the premium price, and the box is also made from recycled cardboard.

Canova Brainwave

Hand poured in the UK, this particular scent is called Brainwave and is designed to “achieve that extra genius in love, work or play”. To do that it includes rosemary (to produce “mental clarity)< lemongrass (to "induce a state of calm") and neroli (to "stimulate the intellect").

What it all adds up to is a lovely smell, sort of fresh and fruity. When lit the smell doesn't dominate a room and doesn't really work as something to mask bad smells, but within a few feet of it the smell is lovely.

I'm not sure whether it helped my grey cells out at all but I quite liked it and with 50 hours of burning time it'll be around for a while. It's melts quite slowly with a very liquidy wax as soy wax goes and the flame is nice and bright.

The Canova Aromatherapy Candle costs £11.69 from the Scented Candle Shop.

Seda France Bon Chic Candle Eco Product Review

Believe it or not, when the Scented Candle Shop sent this candle to be reviewed, an argument broke out. After smelling this Seda France Bon Chic candle everyone wanted to take it home and review.

Of course I won and I’m glad I did. It’s lovely. My previous favourite smelling candle was the Method Soy Candle – which although the wick is burnt out still smells gorgeous – but this is just as lovely. The flavour is plum apricot leaf which means I have no idea whether it smells like it should do, all I know is that I love the smell.

Bon Chic candle

And the scent stays around when it’s lit too, unlike a lot of candles, you immediately notice it as you walk into a room. It may only be a little candle in a tin but it packs a punch. The wax is eco-friendly soy wax so as I’ve said before be careful if you knock it over as the wax turns clear. Although it never gets that hot so you don’t need to worry on that score.

Available in a range of fragrances I would recommend trying them all. The cute packaging would make it a great gift but I’d want to keep it for myself if I was you.

The Seda France Bon Chic candle costs £9.74 from the Scented Candle Shop.

St Eval As Nature Intended Scented Candle Eco Product Review

These St Eval As Nature Intended Scented Candles were scent by the Scented Candle Shop whose range of candles seems to have no end.

This is a triple pack which I lit together but each of the glass jars has a different scent – jasmine and rosewood, hay meadow and fig tree. Each glass votive is beautifully presented with a felt/material butterfly on the outside. The wax itself is vegetable wax and the wick is natural cotton. And the whole lot is handmade in Cornwall in the UK.

St Eval Candles

The scents come from essential oils and as I mentioned together they give out a lovely smell. One of those that you don’t notice when you sit in the room, but go out and back in and you really notice it.

As with this type of wax it goes very translucent when lit, but you don’t notice as it’s in the glass, you just have to careful not to knock them over on a worktop as you really can’t see where it went!

These St Eval As Nature Intended Scented Candles cost £18.99, slightly expensive but are more of a gift or a treat than some of the others we’ve reviewed.