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!
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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.

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Brush With Bamboo – Eco Toothbrush Review

Brush with Bamboo is an idea that instead of using plastic handled toothbrushes we should be using ones made from bamboo.

photoWhile it’s been years since I’ve used a full plastic toothbrush (I use a rechargeable electric one and recycle the small heads) I was sent one for review and gave it a go.

It’s a pretty great toothbrush, it’s comfortable and the bristles were softer (but not too soft) that I was used to. I thought the wood would feel odd when wet and in my mouth, but I didn’t notice anything. Toothpaste foamed up great and I’ve been using it for a few days with no problem.

Dentists recommend replacing your toothbrush every three months and I can’t see this bamboo toothbrush having any problems with that.

Over 2 billion toothbrushes are apparently send to landfill every year. While most could be recycled (and even turned into new toothbrushes) most aren’t. Bamboo on the other hand is one of the fastest growing plants on earth (up to 4 feet a day!) and is renewable. It also is naturally antifungal so protects itself against mold.

Brush with Bamboo even give you some instructions on disposing of this toothbrush ecologically:

  • Box can be composted or recycled
  • Wrapper toothbrush is made from plants and compostable
  • The bristles are BPA free nylon and can be recycled if removed from the handle.

There are also instructions on the website about taking care of it. You can also buy it from their shop of course.

It seems a great idea, and the cost is not much more than a plastic toothbrush (less in some cases) so should make a great alternative for those Eco-conscious teeth cleaners out there!

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Eco Nation Universal Eco Speakers Eco Product Review

Maybe I’ve been out of the loop but I didn’t know such amazing things as these existed – build your own speakers. Well you don’t actually really need to build much as the electronics are done for you but these Eco Speakers are great.

I received them as a present so no idea where they came from but it was like a nod back to my childhood. With the complicated bits done all for you, all that’s left for you to do is put the cardboard backing together in a box shape and then decorate it to your heart’s content.

Eco Nation speakers

Which I haven’t done yet but I will when artistic inspiration hits me. The speakers are powered by the mp3 player, iPod or laptop you connect it to so you don’t need another power source. They’re probably useful as travel speakers but as they’re made of cardboard you’ll have to be careful not to rip them as they’ll be difficult to repair easily.

Fun as a gift and quite useful round the house, have found myself using them more than I would have thought. Available online from places like Amazon, Eco Nation Universal Eco Speakers cost between £7-20.00 depending on what type you get.

Bulldog Natural Skincare Original Moisturiser Eco Product Review

While I’ve reviewed Bulldog’s moisturiser before (the Fairtrade version, the sensitive version and the original Hydrate version), it’s time to revisit it. Why? Well not only is it growing in popularity and available in more and more outlets, but it’s got a fresh new look and may have changed in the two years since the last review.

Bulldog Original Moisturiser

As I get sent a lot of free grooming products I haven’t bought one in a while but if I did I would seriously give Bulldog a go. Just opening the bottle reminds me of why I liked it so much in the other reviews, it has a lovely fresh smell which I’m told is now throughout it’s whole range – I’ll let you know what I think of the others soon.

The moisturiser contains eight essential oils, green tea, green algae, something called Konjac Mannan and vitamin E and doesn’t contain things like parabens, sodium laureth sulfate or synthetic fragrances. You can find out more about its ingredients at Meet the Bulldog.

It’s actually a little oiler on first use than I remember and I was worried that would be transferred to the skin but I needn’t have, it rubs in nicely with no oily residue. You don’t need to use too much of it and my skin lapped it up. I really like it.

Looking back at my other reviews, there’s not much more to add apart from suggest you should try it out yourself.

you can now but it directly from Bulldog for £6.99 for a 100ml bottle or it’s available in supermarkets.

Montezuma’s Organic Chocolate Eco Product Review

The first I’d heard of Montezuma’s was when I wandered past a new shop and was intrigued by the display in the window. And when I went in I wasn’t disappointed, there’s a lot of nice, unusual and interesting chocolate creations in there. And I’m not really a big fan of chocolate.

On that first visit I didn’t take much notice of whether they had any organic chocolate but when I was sent some beer to review by Organic Roots, they send me a nice little free gift of Montezuma’s 54% Coca: Milk Chocolate Butterscotch Organic Chocolate.

Butterscotch Organic chocolate

Just a 30g bar of it but that’s all you need really, it’s a heavy, rich chocolate that hits you with flavour as soon as you take a bite. Despite it being milk chocolate, the concentration of cocoa makes it more like a dark chocolate. In fact I found the strength of the cocoa a little overpowering so the actual taste of the butterscotch gets a little lost.

Still it’s an interesting blend and something a little different from the other chocolate out there. Montezuma’s has other organic chocolate in its collection such as Orange & Geranium Dark Chocolate, Very Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate with Chilli, and its 54% Milk Chocolate – all organic.

Montezuma’s 54% Coca: Milk Chocolate Butterscotch Organic Chocolate costs around 75p for a 30g bar and available instore or online.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Organic India Pale Ale Product Review

I recently reviewed Santa Cruz’s Mountain Brewing’s Organic Amber Ale and liked it – after I got used to it. So another trip to Bev Mo! and I bought the brewery’s India Pale Ale, or IPA, which is also organic.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing inscribes the phrase ‘Think Organic, Drink Organic’ on its labels and serves its beers in a big 22oz glass bottles.

This India Pale Ale is a whopping 7.5% abv so I was expecting a hefty taste but it was surprisingly subtle. It was hoppy, but again not as much as I expected and actually found it smoother and more drinkable than the Amber Ale. It’s a little lighter in colour too, still quite cloudy though. Looking back at that review it’s probably hard to decide which I liked best, both are easy drinking and I think if you decide to go with an organic ale you can’t go far wrong with choosing one of these two.

Certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers, nothing in its Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery is automated.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Organic India Pale Ale costs $4.59 from Bev Mo!.

Santa Cruz IPA

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Organic Amber Ale Product Review

With the phrase, ‘Think Organic, Drink Organic’, this Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Organic Amber Ale was impossible to resit at BevMov! So I didn’t.

In a large bottle (a pint in the UK or a pint and six fluid ounces in the US), it pours with a slight head and is a dark, cloudy brown.

Santa Cruz Amber Ale

As with a lot of American handcrafted beers, it has a taste which takes a little getting used to, the first sip hits you in the back of the throat but then the flavour comes through and it settles down.

I like to drink my beers cold but you shouldn’t have this too cold, I found the flavours, hoppy and slightly fruity, came through much better when it warmed up and I’d got used to it. In fact I found it really easy drinking and was pleased it came in such a big bottle, but disappointed I’d opted to only buy one.

Brewed by Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing in California, the company calls it “the official Party Beer of the brewery”. Certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers, nothing in its brewery is automated, and the beer is a blend of organic malts with a primary base of Gambrinus pale malt.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing Organic Amber Ale costs $4.59 from BevMov!