Next month we head out to Anaheim for Expo West , the great green granddaddy of trade shows for the natural and organic industry. We’re anxiously anticipating that, and in the meantime there are a few smaller shows to tide us over, like today’s Green Products Expo  in midtown Manhattan.
We went up this afternoon, walked the floor, and came back with a grab bag of new product information. Vendors covered a wide range of categories, from spice companies to cookware to toilet leak detectors. If there was one unifying theme, though, it was providing reusable substitutes for many commonly used products.
Now let me just reach into the bag and pull out a few of the highlights...
- Conserve: Reusable water bottles have gotten a lot of attention lately, and now we’re seeing that concept evolve into other containers and packaging. Conserve  has come out with a combo pack that includes a reusable spray bottle and four cleaning tablets. Drop in a tablet, fill the bottle with water, and you’ve got your cleaning solution.
- Regreet: This is an even more interesting twist on the “reusable” concept. Rather than throw out that birthday card, Regreet  wants you to cover over the signature with one of its sticky pads and write in your own. It sounds a bit tacky, but the cover-ups are colorful and attractive. Also consider that millions of paper cards get thrown out each year.
- LeakAlertor: According to this company, 1 out of every 5 toilets has a leak in it, creating 5 billion gallons of water loss in this country each day. Yikes. Their solution: A small device  you stick on your toilet that uses sound detection technology to determine if you have a leak or not. As for fixing it — that’s between you and your plumber.
- Skoy Cloths: It’s one thing to be reusable. The next step is to leave no trace behind. Biodegradable is a benefit that more and more companies seem to be claiming these days. One such product we saw today, Skoy  cloths, does the same wipe-up jobs as paper towels, and after a dozen or so uses can be thrown out, and will break down within a year.