I've always been reluctant to use hand warmers, because I figured they're all chemicals and bad by both the manufacturing and disposability factors. Also, I've made re-usable homemade ones by sewing up rice into squares of cloth which can be heated in the microwave before a trip.
However, this year, I lost one of those, and the other doesn't work as well as it did last year (I suspect the rice eventually loses effectiveness as it becames more cooked), so for my first 0*F commute of the season last week, I broke down and went to the hardware store to buy a set of disposable hand warmers.
I was pleasantly surprised that the brand that they carry, Grabber, actually claims to be "non-toxic, environmentally friendly". The ingredients list seems to confirm this, to my layman's mind: Iron, water, cellulose, vermiculite, activated carbon and salt. At least there are no scary-sounding 8-syllable chemical names!
Now I do think I recall hearding something negative about vermicutite mining recently, and of course "environmental" is a really a relative thing. Too much salt on the roads is bad when it gets into the rainwater runoff. And one-time use disposable is still not ideal. But, probably better than some other brands.
Not only that, the company donates to non-profits, including conservation groups such as The Conservation Alliance. That makes them sound good too.
Eventually I hope to make myself another set of the homemade warmers. But, in the meantime, what do people think of the environmental claims of this brand? Believable?