Life Goggles: Green Tomato Kit Eco-Product Review

greentomato3.jpgEditor’s note: This week, Adam at Life Goggles reviews a product aimed at “green newbies” in Great Britain: the Green Tomato Kit. This post was originally published on Wednesday, February 27, 2008.

The Green Tomato Kit has nothing to do with tomatoes. Well, sort of. Green Tomato has a simple idea that it’s easy to be kinder to the planet by doing things like not buying those tomatoes on a two for one offer, as you won’t eat them all. They’ve also set up a taxi service in London made up of Toyota Priuses (which, thanks to getting this kit has explained a mystery to me of seeing cars with funny looking apples on the side – they’re green tomatoes).

The Green Tomato Kit is a pack to help those thinking of going green do it a little easier. As regular readers my know, I get annoyed by the packaging of some of the eco stuff I review – it’s all well and good being made of recycled plastic but it’s wrapped in polystyrene. Well, the Green Tomato Kit came in biodegradable packaging made from potato starch and even the label with my address written on is biodegradable — made from corn starch by these guys.

And inside are a host of goodies. It’s all wrapped in a cotton reusable bag (not sure if it’s organic cotton) which is huge actually, so good for your shopping. There’s then a water saving thingy to go in your cistern to help save water, two energy-saving lightbulbs, radiator panels, some stickers and a thermometer.

Each is quite nifty in its own right. The thermometer, or ‘Thermo-Wobbler,’ sticks to the wall, and you can easily check if your house is too warm, or indeed if it’s too cold for the old folk or young nippers. The website’s quite good at explaining all the stuff (and written in a chirpy tone – “have a cuddle” if you’re cold, for example), although it does tell you similar things on the back of the stickers too (check there first, I thought there were no instructions…).

The stickers are obvious, but then they’re obvious to me, maybe not someone else. Indeed the pack is aimed at getting people to go green but don’t know where to start. The lightbulbs are nice, the bag, the water saver, etc., are all good, too. The radiator panels are a cool edition too, something a little less obvious.

All in all, the Green Tomato Kit is a nice bit of, er, kit. It does what it says on the tin and as mentioned is a good introduction to the novice, great as a present. It’s not cheap at £9.99 plus postage and packaging, but it’s not expensive enough to make me say it’s overpriced. Go to www.greentomato.org to order yours and also take a look around the site, as I said it’s quite fun.

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