Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The dry cleaning journey - SF Green Clean

Yes, I love my products.  I also love my services....  I want tell you about SF Green Clean.  I know that some of you are in an area that they service.  If you aren't, you can use their resource pages to learn more about green dry cleaning.

I am as picky about our dry cleaners as I am a dentist or doctor.  When we moved to Mill Valley, we could not find a local cleaner that pressed our shirts in a manner we liked.  We traveled back to our old haunt for a couple of years.  Lots of kids later, the time it took to drive for dry cleaning became frivolous.  We then switched to a local company that delivered for "free".  Their prices were higher, but delivery was free.  I LOVED that convenience.

Then, somewhere I read about SF Green Clean.  Yes, I know we don't live in SF anymore.  It never hurts to inquire if they'll be opening a branch near you.  It turns out, they were willing to deliver and pick-up to Southern Marin.  Woohoo.

SF Green Clean drives Prius, uses wooden hangers and fabric garment bags.  They are truly green with no PERC (see their site for technical explanations) and no home waste (no plastic bags or wire hangers).  They do not bug us for their wooden hangers we've kept in our closet.  We try to switch out to our own hangers, but don't have enough, so hang on to a few of theirs.  They have an online clothes tracker.  I think this would be helpful if you couldn't remember what you'd sent to the cleaners.  I always had to do a count to make sure the proper amount of clothes were coming back to me.  Now I can visit my clothes on-line to check on them.  Not that I ever do this... I've become lax in my personal clothes tracking.  They also e-mail to schedule delivery changes.  This is so helpful because I always forget to change my deliveries when I am out of town.  I never have my cleaners phone number with me, so e-mail works better for me.

Originally we had Ted doing our pick-up and deliveries.  I think he was the owner or something.  Now we have Christina.  They both make us feel like we're special and matter.  Shouldn't we feel this way about everywhere we spend our money?  Speaking of money, I've recapped my last 2 years' of cleaning bills and our cost looks to have gone down a bit.  How cool is that?  I get to use a green business, have happy clothes delivered and picked up and save money?  I'll take it, how about you?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rock and roll on - Nirve MP3 Stereo Speakers

Yes, it has been a while.  We had an appendix issue at the beginning of March and then general spring chaos took over.  We are in the throws of it, but I couldn't wait to tell you about my new bike accessory.  I saw it, searched it, ordered it and am loving it within 24 hours of first sight.

I should start by saying that since the weather is nicer, I've been trying to ride my FR8 around town more.  We're running normal "car" errands on the bike now.  A trip to the store can be 10-15 minutes each way.  Some locations are up hills that I'm not very good at.  Music is a huge motivator.  When I am by myself, I can use my headphones.  If #4 is riding along, I cannot.  This is where the item below comes in...

The NY Times did a write up.  gear test and I poked around and couldn't believe how inexpensive and resourceful MP3 speakers could be for a bike.  The Nirve MP3 stereo speakers were well reviewed at most places I searched online.

These speakers are about the size of a padded sunglass case.  They have 2 velcro attachments to go on a bike's handlebars.  The case has a zipper opening and in the bottom section a band to hold your MP3 (or an iphone in my case) in place.  There is a plug that goes into the headphone port of the MP3.  In the top, there is an on/off switch.  4 AAA batteries.  That's it.  So simple, yet functional.

Now, can speakers the size of a sunglass case be heard?  Yes they can.  I have to make sure my music is not set too loud, because these speakers can project further than my local surroundings.

I found mine at Art's Cyclery .  They were $24.99 with $5 shipping.  They arrived the next day!  Woohoo.  Their price is pretty consistent at other online retailers.  Shipping varies.  The only issue I've had is that when I hit big bumps on the road, my iPhone skips to the next song.

Rock on....