Emergency Kits for Treating Earth's Hurts


They’re called Eco Started Kits, but they’re more like emergency kits designed to heal what’s hurting our injured planet: greenhouse emissions, energy out the window, water down the drain.

For $97.50, you get a lot more than a Band-Aid. You get essential tools for an extreme green makeover, as well as a method for measuring and monitoring your carbon footprint as your transformation takes place.

What’s the emergency?

“Because of climate change, we need to get people moving as fast as possible,” says Andrea Nyland, the co-founder of Eco Hatchery, which makes and sells the kits. “We have about a 10-year window to make a difference, and all of the tools included are easy to use and will have a big impact.”

Nyland, an environmental consultant, partnered with Adam Borut to package three types of kits (including two new ones being launched next week) that can cut through the green “noise” that creates obstacles for well-intentioned consumers to start conserving and reducing.

The company surfed green websites to research the best products to go place in their kits. “We’re actually putting the tools in your hands, including booklets that list recycling directories,” says Nyland. “If you need to dispose of your old bulbs, we tell you how to do it safely.”

Among the must-have objects in the starter kit: an eco soy candle; reusable filtered water bottle; water quality test kit; two faucet aerators; three leak detectors; an energy monitor (find out which appliances are sucking the most energy); a compact fluorescent light bulb (premium Phillips Marathon 13-watt CFL that replaces a 60-watt incandescent); removable weather stripping; outlet and light switch sealers; water pipe insulation fitting tools; and an Eco Roadmap to help you identify additional savings.

“As you use the products in the kit, you can imprint information online and measure your success as you shrink your carbon footprint,” says Nyland. This is especially true in the home where she says energy use accounts for over 20% of all the carbon dioxide generated nationwide.

Nyland estimates users can reduce greenhouse emissions by two and a half tons per household the first year, saving about $260. In terms of water use, you’re looking at a savings of one gallon per minute.

Still, the kits aren’t geared just for households. Universities, cities and counties are encouraged to work as teams to reduce their impact.

“Energy efficiency is a hot item, especially with the current administration and the recession,” figures Nyland. “Whether you are motivated by the environment or the economy, you are headed to the same place.”

Eco Hatchery has set up the site so you can send the kits as gifts with a message. Among its best customers so far are real estate agents presenting house warming presents to clients.

In a couple of weeks, those thoughtful agents will be able to send a new Green and Healthy Home Kit ($50), which includes some of the items in the starter kit. Another kit being launched is the Energy Efficiency Kit ($60) with more gadgets for people focused on lowering those utility bills.


One of the best selling points is the packaging, which the company has tried to make as visually pleasing as possible, grouping products into sections and categorizing by activity. “Energy efficiency isn’t always pretty,” observes Nyland. “People rarely think of aerators as attractive gifts.”

Luanne Bradley

Luanne Sanders Bradley is the West coast Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in San Francisco, California.