It’s been waaay too long since my last post! My life has been turned upside down and I’m still trying to catch my breath.

So here’s a quick update:

Right before Christmas 2014, Christopher (husband of My Green Side) was flown to California for a job interview with a radio station in a market significantly higher than the Fargo radio market. They loved him and, while we were in Wisconsin at my family’s farm for Christmas, the negotiations began.

One of my favorite ornaments. Made by Missy

Christmas 2014

It became very clear, very quickly that the Gabriel Family was going to be making a move. Soon the contract was signed, family and friends were told and arrangements were made. If I missed sending a personal note to anyone, I apologize! In my defense, it was a whirlwind trying to get everything done and moved. I wanted to make sure the girls saw everyone they wanted to see before we left so I am beyond thankful that we were able to spend time with a lot of our extended family during Christmas. And, frankly, I’m still getting used to the idea that we’re actually living in California!

CG studio shot

Christopher’s last day on the air at WDAY AM 970 and the girls last day of school in Fargo was January 9th. We then commenced saying goodbyes to dear friends, neighbors, our favorite babysitter, classmates, teachers, doctors… I have tears in my eyes now as I remember all the people I love and miss in that part of the world.

The Hotel Donaldson, Fargo

The moving truck arrived and, on January 16th, we were on our way from Fargo to Fresno. We drove the 2,000 miles to give the girls a chance to see parts of our beautiful country that they had never seen before. The weather was incredible and our mini-vacation was so much fun. Seeing sights like the Rocky Mountains through their eyes is an experience I will always treasure.

Fargo to Fresno mug

Fargo to Fresno mug in NebraskaA frozen waterfall in the Rocky Mountains

 

 

 

On January 22nd, Christopher was on air for the first broadcast of The Christopher Gabriel Program in Fresno, California. On the following Monday the girls started at their new school. The people at their school are lovely and as an added bonus, we are close enough to walk.

Since we’ve been in California, we’ve made multiple trips to the Sierra Nevada’s and Shaver Lake, Monterey and Carmel, Yosemite, Disneyland and gorgeous areas within our own community. We feel extremely blessed to be here and hope to be a positive addition to this area.

Carmel-by-the-Sea

Words can’t express how proud I am of Christopher and how he manages to bring his intelligence, sense of humor and humanity to his program each and every day. I hope that talk radio everywhere looks at his model and learns that anyone can scream and yell but it takes a real professional to let everyone be heard with respect and civility. We will never get anything worthwhile done in our homes, in our school or in our government unless we learn to really listen to each other and be respectful no matter which side of an issue you are on. Didn’t we all learn to treat each other the way we want to be treated?

I continue to write for 1800Recycling.com but will not be on Christopher’s program for a Simple Tips for Green Living segment (at least not until we’re all completely settled into our new normal). I am excited to discover what God has in store for this new chapter in my life.

Our neighbor's palm tree

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it ~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: As we head towards a New Year it is always a good idea to take a moment to examine if there are any eco-friendly additions you could make in your day-to-day life.  As Oprah so beautifully put it, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Start recycling. To reduce the amount of waste you produce, stop buying disposable products when there are reusable versions available. Reuse everything, donate gently used items to charity and always recycle as much as you can. The energy saved from recycling a single aluminum can will operate a television for three hours.
  • Bring your own bag. Paper or plastic? Neither is the best choice. Twelve million barrels of oil are used to make the 88.5 billion plastic bags consumed in the United States each year. And it takes four times more energy to make paper bags. (Source: The Daily Green) The best choice is to bring your own reusable shopping bags. Put a few in your car so you have them handy on your next shopping trip. And if you happen to forget your reusable bag (as we all do), choose paper if you will recycle it or plastic if you will reuse or recycle it.
  • Clean Green. Instead of buying costly cleaning products that are full of toxic chemicals, use greener cleaning options like white vinegar, baking soda and some lemons. Healthier for your family, your wallet and the environment.
    • Tub and tile cleaner: Use half a lemon with a sprinkle of baking soda on it to scrub your tub and tiles. I also clean my kitchen sink and counter tops using this method.
    • Oven cleaner: Sprinkle baking soda in your oven and spray it with water, making it into a paste. Let it sit, periodically spraying it when it dries. Then wipe off. Your oven will be sparkling clean without the toxic fumes.
    • Window cleaner: Fill a spray bottle with water and ¼ cup white vinegar. Use a soft cloth or newspaper to wipe.
    • All-Purpose Cleaner: Full strength white vinegar will disinfect and clean just as effectively as harsh toxic chemicals without harming your family.
  • Stop Buying Paper Towels. According to MaryJanesFarm, Americans go through about 2.5 million tons ofChristmas time paper towels annually, and even the ones made from recycled materials usually end up in landfills. Use organic cotton cloths instead.
  • Buy Less Stuff. My Nana grew up during the Depression-era and her motto has always been, “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”! All of our homes are filled with stuff we don’t need. There are even TV shows that help us get rid of all the stuff. Let’s start not buying the stuff we don’t need in the first place. Before you enter a store make a detailed list. Before you purchase something not on your list ask yourself where you’ll put it when you get it home. Do you really need it?
  • Take Five Minutes Each Day To Breathe: Or meditate, or pray. Anything that will reduce stress and help you to stop and refresh your body and soul.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

The Green Guide
The Green Guide and www.thegreenguide.com are published by The Green Guide Institute (TGGI), an independent research and information organization for consumers. Dubbed the “green living source for today’s conscious consumer”, The Green Guide is an invaluable resource for men and women, from young adults to grandparents, striving for a healthy and “greener” lifestyle. It is TGGI’s vision that one day The Green Guide will be, for millions of consumers, the go-to source of information about practical everyday, environmentally responsible and health-minded product choices and actions. Their goal is to ensure that The Green Guide and www.thegreenguide.com serve as your most practical, reliable, and trustworthy content source for product choices and daily practices that are better for health and the environment.

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As part of my partnership with Ecocentric Mom, I receive one of their bimonthly subscription boxes for review. Ecocentric Mom Box for July/August 2014

This is how it works: 

Ecocentric Mom is a natural/green health/home/beauty product discovery subscription service that gives you three different box options: Mom-to-be, Baby Box, or Mom Box. Boxes ship every-other-month (6 times per year). An every-other-month model makes boxes more affordable for all moms. Ecocentric Mom works hard to pack the very best of the best in each and every box… and they deliver (pun intended)!

The November / December Mom Discovery Box is full of products I would never have discovered on my own. It’s a great service to learn about healthier products that can reduce the amount of toxins in your household.

Here’s a look at the great products I received this month and I’ve included some discount codes that you can use also:

Urban Oreganics Makeup Remover (full size 3 oz bottle $8) Urban Oreganics handcrafts the highest quality “skin food” from natural ingredients. This all-over makeup remover binds to consmetics and gently lifts them off. Safe for eyelashes and skin. This product works really well.Urban Oreganics Makeup Remover

Discount: 20% off orders over $20 with code: ECOMOM20, Expires 12/31/14 http://ecmom.co/UrbanOregancis

eInvite Holiday Cards (5 cards included – $8.80 value, Personalized holiday cards start as low as $.72 each) eInvite is a leading online retailer of invitations, announcements, gifts and personalized stationery. They offer a wide selection of quality products, all customizable through their patented online personalization tool. Their line of Baby products includes shower invitations, birth announcements, nursery decor and much more. Made in the USA. I received an adorable set of Christmas cards. The quality was great, I would definitely order cards from them.

Discount: 20% off sitewide with coupon code: HOLIDAYECO20, Expires 12/31/14 http://ecmom.co/eInviteGifts

Oscillococcinum from BOIRON ($9.99 for 6 ct.) Oscillo works naturally with your body to reduce the duration and severity of flu-like symptoms such as body aches, headaches, fever, chills and fatigue. For ages 2 and up. We use this product every time someone is feeling like they are getting sick and I really believe it has helped us get better quicker. I love that it’s a natural product that doesn’t have any side effects. 

Beanfield Chips ($3.99 full size, $1.49 snack size) Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice chips have twice the Beanfields Nacho Bean and Rice Chipsprotein, twice the fiber and one-third the fat of most tortilla or potato chips. They are Non-GMO Verified, certified gluten-free and vegan. My whole family enjoys eating these delicious chips.

Flavrz Organic Drink MixesFLAVRZ Organic Drink Mixes (Tropical Peach is $6.99 for a box of 6, $32.99 for a carton of 36 Sport is $6.99 for a box of 5, $32.99 for a case of 30) FLAVRZ is an organic alternative to the usual artificially flavored, colored and sweetened beverages. They start with real organic fruit juice, add the highest quality organic flavorings and add a hint of organic sweetness. I LOVE that they are organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and have a nice variety of flavors. 

Discount: 15% off use code: ecocentric http://ecmom.co/FLAVRZ 

Soothie Suckers Herbal Pops ($9.99 for 8 pops) Herbal supplements that Soothie Suckers Herbal Popsare certified organic with wild-crafted herbal extracts in each ice pop. Also, no artificial flavors, no high fructose corn syrup and no alcohol. For ages 2 and up. My girls enjoyed these a lot and said they would like for me to get some more!

Discount: $2.00 per box discount using coupon code: ECOMOM valid now through 12/24/2014 on our website only http://ecmom.co/SoothieSuckers.

Organic India Tulsi Tea (18 bag box retails for $5.99) The ORGANIC INDIA vision and mission is to be a vehicle of consciousness in the global market by creating a holistic sustainable business model, which inspires, promotes and supports True Wellness and respect for all Beings and for Mother Nature. The tea is certified organic and delicious!

Lovely Candy CoLovely Candy Company Caramels ($1.49 per 2 oz bag) These all natural, soft, buttery caramels use real butter and sweetened condensed milk to create an indulgent, sweet treat. All candies are certified gluten free, non-GMO, certified kosher and contain no high fructose corn syrup or artificial ingredients. YUM!

Disclosure: I am a part of the Ecocentric Mom Blogger Team and receive bimonthly subscription boxes for review. All the opinions expressed are completely my own. Affiliate links appear in this post.

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Green is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation have teamed up once again for their annual Share a Tree The farm November 2014campaign. This year, for every digital tree shared before the end of December, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant a tree and for every 25,000 shared, Green is Universal will donate $5,000. They’ve created a virtual forest and people can visit the site, decorate a tree and easily share it on social media. Included in the forest are about 40 trees that were drawn by celebrities like Al Roker, Dolvett Quince and Meredith Vieira and if you don’t feel like decorating a tree of your own, you can share a “Celebratree” instead. Watch the #ShareATree hashtag, too, because if you RT or share someone else’s tree, that counts, too!!

Click here to decorate and Share a Tree!

The Share a Tree Program will help the Arbor Day Foundation plant trees all across the United States in our national forests, state forests, and state parks. Two places in which trees will be planted is in Michigan’s Mackinaw and Ausable State Forests.

Jack pine trees will be planted to improve the habitat of the endangered Kirtland’s warbler. This neotropical migratory songbird’s breeding habitat is almost exclusively confined to young, dense Jack pine stands in the area. Today, Kirtland’s warblers are found in only ten counties on Michigan’s northern lower peninsula and four counties in the upper peninsula. Efforts by the Arbor Day Foundation’s replanting partners have increased the number of singing males from less than 200 to more than 1,900, bringing the species back from the brink of extinction.

Christmas Tree in the Crystal Court

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! “Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more!”~from How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess

GREEN TIP: Americans throw away 25% more trash during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period than any other time of year. This extra waste amounts to 25 million tons of garbage, or about 1 million extra ton of garbage per week. Give the planet a gift, take control of your waste this year.

The Use Less Stuff Report offers a checklist of simple things you can do to reduce waste while you eat, drink, and make merry this holiday season. Here are a few:

  • Turn down the heat before your holiday guests arrive. You’ll save energy while the extra body heat of your guests will warm up the room.
  • After your holiday parties, don’t throw away the leftovers. Put them in containers and send them home with guests.

At least 28 billion pounds of edible food are wasted each year – or over 100 pounds per person. Putting one less cookie on Santa’s plate will reduce his snacking by about 2 million pounds.

  • During the nation’s busiest shopping season, bring your own shopping bags.Christmas time
  • Consolidate your purchases into one bag rather than getting a new bag at each store on your shopping rounds.

If each household canceled 10 mail-order catalogues it would reduce trash by 3.5 pounds per year. If everybody did this, the stack of canceled catalogues would be 2,000 miles high.

  • Plan your shopping in advance. Consolidating your shopping trips saves fuel.
  • Rather than piling up “stuff” under the tree, think about what friends and family really want or need. Try giving gift certificates if you don’t know what someone wants, or simply make a donation in his or her name to a favorite charity.
  • Give gifts that encourage others to use less stuff, like a book about making crafts from reusable items, a cookbook for leftovers, a reusable tote bag and so on.
  • For kids, start a savings account or give stocks or bonds. It’s fun to watch money grow and it teaches children the value of financial conservation.
  • Donate unwanted gifts, along with last year’s gifts that the kids have outgrown, to charity.
  • When buying electronic toys and other portable items that are used regularly, remember to buy rechargeable batteries to go with them.
  • Make new tree ornaments out of things you already have around the house, or from materials you might find in the backyard: twigs, bark, flowers and herbs, pine cones and so on.
  • Old clothes and jewelry make a great dress-up box for kids.
  • Tools and gadgets make a great idea box for a young inventor.
  • Give the gift of an experience: tickets to concerts, tickets to a museum, tickets to a sporting event, gift certificates or even gifts of your own time.
  • Tie a bow around oversized gifts like bicycles or CD racks, instead of wrapping them in paper.
  • Wrap gifts in old maps, newspapers, Sunday comics or fancy holiday gift bags. Kids’ art work is a perfect wrapping for presents to proud grandparents.
  • Use brown paper grocery bags to wrap small-to-medium size boxes that have to be mailed.

If every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, the 38,000 miles of ribbon saved could tie a bow around the entire planet.

  • Compost your food waste. Fruits and vegetables and their peels, pits and seeds are all perfect for composting – a great natural fertilizer.

Source: Use Less Stuff

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

One Green Planet

One Green Planet is an awesome site that aspires people to make conscious choices that are good for people, animals and the planet. One Green Planet is an independent publishing platform focused on sustainable food, animal/environmental protection, and cruelty-free/green living. They are also the biggest vegan/plant-based food and recipe site on the Internet. 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Driving and maintaining your vehicle properly can increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and decrease your gas costs. Keep this in mind as you plan your Christmas, New Years and football championship road trips.

Here are some ways to practice more fuel-efficient driving, while creating less pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, just in time for the holidays.

Planning your trip:

  • Get a customized map with low gas prices along the route. Because getting lost while driving in unfamiliar areas could lead to an expensive waste of gas.
    • FuelEconomy.gov provides fuel economy estimates, energy and environmental impact ratings, fuel-saving tips, and other useful information.
    • GasBuddy.com is a network of more than 200 website designed to help you find the lowest gasoline prices
  • Choose the right vehicle. If your family has more than one vehicle, drive the car that gets better gas mileage.
  • Drive during off-peak hours to reduce gas costs and stress by avoiding stop-and-go or bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions.
  • Investigate other travel options. Consider trains, buses, or public transportation to your destination.
  • Explore new ways to get around at your destination. Find information on biking, public transportation routes, car sharing, walking, and renting hybrid or fuel-efficient vehicles.

Preparing your vehicle:

  • Inflate your tires. Keeping your tires properly inflated improves gas mileage by around 3%.
  • Select the right oil. Using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil improves gas mileage by 1 to 2%. Motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol contains friction-reducing additives. Change your oil as recommended to extend the life of your vehicle.
    • If you’re changing your own oil make sure you dispose of your used motor oil responsibly. Used oil from a single oil change can ruin a million gallons of fresh water, a year’s supply for 50 people. Take your used motor oil to a used oil collection site (UOCS) that accepts and recycles used motor oil. In the US call 1-800-CLEANUP and in Canada call 1-800-667-4321 for the nearest used oil disposal facility. Source: Eartheasy.com
  • Tune up. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%.

On the road: Driving Tips

  • Decrease your speed. Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 60 mph. Each five miles per hour over The farm November 201460 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents or more per gallon for gas.
  • Drive sensibly. Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts), and rapid braking can lower gas mileage by up to 33% at highway speeds and up to 5% in town.
  • Use cruise control and overdrive gear. Cruise control cuts fuel consumption by maintaining a steady speed during highway driving. Overdrive gear, when appropriate, reduces engine speed, saves gas, and reduces engine wear.
  • Avoid carrying items on your vehicle’s roof. A loaded roof rack or carrier increases weight and aerodynamic drag, which can cut mileage by 5%. Place items inside the trunk when possible to improve fuel economy.
  • Avoid idling, which gets 0 mpg. Cars with larger engines typically waste even more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
  • Fill up before returning a rental car. Rental car companies charge higher gas prices if you don’t fill up the tank before returning the vehicle. Also save your gas receipts as proof.

The less gasoline used, the less money we pay, the less pollution we create, and the more we protect our planet.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Eartheasy.com Eartheasy provides solutions for sustainable living. They are a family business with an incredible story. They believe that the values of a simpler, less-consumptive lifestyle, with respect for nature, can benefit anyone in any setting – urban, suburban or rural. They want to get us thinking about what constitutes true wealth in your life, and the implications our lifestyle and consumer choices have on the environment.

Sustainable living is about respecting the limits of the earth’s capacity to provide. ~Greg Seaman, founder of Eartheasy.com

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Christmas doesn’t have to be a drain on our planet. We can reduce the environmental impact of the holiday season with a little effort and imagination.

Here are some tips to help you celebrate the season while caring for the environment:Caleigh in an adaptation of the Nutcracker

Greener Gifts

  • Look for locally made gifts. Many products you find in big box stores come from halfway around the world, and the impact of transportation contributes greatly to greenhouse emissions and global warming. Local craft fairs and artisan shops are a good source for gifts that come without the added costs of transportation. And they are a way to give back to your local community.
    • Eco Chic Boutique – a green boutique specializing in eco-friendly, locally made, vintage and re-purposed items.
    • Unglued Market – a boutique featuring handmade items from the best local and regional artists, crafters, and makers. Also, vintage wares, creative workshops, and cupcakes from Bakeology and brewed coffee from Peace Coffee.
  • Look for gifts made from recycled sources. Many individuals and small businesses have developed great products using recycled materials. Supporting these businesses helps reduce the waste stream while promoting the concept of making best use of available materials. Some ideas:
    • ThinkEco2 – this company makes beautiful wooden gift boxes, planters and more from 100% recycled cedar. They would make a beautiful gift any time of the year.
    • The Green Glass Company – the largest producer of reclaimed glassware in the world, located in Wisconsin.
    • Uncommon Goods – an online marketplace offering creatively designed, high-quality merchandise at affordable prices including many handmade and gifts with recycled content.
  • Look for battery-free gifts. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), about 40% of all battery sales occur during the holiday season. Discarded batteries are an environmental hazard. Even rechargeable batteries find their way into the waste stream eventually.
  • Look for gifts that help make living green a little easier. For example, an awesome canvas bag for the man in your life like this one from www.fashionablenotes.com which reads, “Real Men Don’t Carry Paper of Plastic”.

Greener Holiday Lighting

The house with the most lights used to be the ‘best’. Times have changed. The cost of electricity goes way Christmas Tree in the Crystal Courtbeyond the utility bill. Electricity drains natural resources.

  • Reduce the size of outdoor lighting displays. A smaller presentation of lights can still be attractive, and more appropriate in the ‘season of giving’.
  • Use LED lights for house and Christmas tree lighting. LED (Light Emitting Diode) holiday lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. LED holiday lights use .04 watts per bulb, 10 times less than mini bulbs and 100 times less than traditional holiday bulbs. Over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holiday lights will cost you about $18.00 while the same number of LED lights costs only $0.19. As an added bonus, if one of the LED lights burns out the rest of the strand will stay lit.
  • Turn tree lights and outdoor house decorative lighting off at bedtime. It’s a waste of energy to leave the holiday lights on at night after everyone has gone to sleep.

Remember, never install lights with the power on. Test lights first, then unplug to install.

Source: Eartheasy.com

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Sustainable Baby Steps

This awesome site is full of great tips for getting you on the road to sustainable living. Sustainable Baby Steps is dedicated to guiding you to go green, save money and live healthy without stress, without needless spending and without overwhelming information.

When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.  ~John Muir

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP:  Make your purchasing decisions based on informed choices.  Purchase products, whenever possible,Food For Change at the Fargo Theatre that are local and in-season, organic, made from sustainable materials, are fairly traded and have minimal packaging.

I once read a fabulous article by Laura Weldon entitled Your Beliefs Create the Marketplace. In the article she describes a growing trend of ethical consumers who make well-informed choices when “putting their money where their values are.” If you answer yes to any of the following, the “chances are good that you are one of those consumers.  Do you prefer to dine on organic foods?  Do you choose sweatshop-free clothing?  Do you search out sustainable building supplies?  Those choices are probably based on your awareness of today’s health, environmental and justice issues.  You care enough to make purchases consistent with your values. “This growing awareness has sparked a powerful consumer market.  Approximately 25 percent of adult Americans are considered to be part of this group.  Their purchasing decisions are orienting businesses toward more positive social, environmental and humane practices.” Ms. Weldon goes on to list the verifiable impact consumer choices are having:

  • According to the EPA, if every home in America replaced just one standard light bulb with an Energy Star compact florescent light bulb, this alone would save enough energy to light three million homes for a year ($600 million annual energy costs) and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 800,000 cars from the road.
  • International products certified as Fair Trade (guaranteeing a non-exploitative relationship between buyer and seller) support the rights of workers in small-scale enterprises.  Transfair USA reports that villages benefiting from such income are opening craft cooperatives and health centers.  In one area alone, 1,600 acres where poppies and coca once grew for illicit drug trade are now devoted to growing organic coffee.
  • Research published by the National Resources Defense Council indicates that 423,900 trees could be saved if every household in the U.S. replaced just one 500-sheet roll of toilet paper with one made of all recycled fibers.
  • Purchasing local, in-season produce conserves petroleum.  The Organic Consumers Association reports that Small Business Saturdayprocessed foods travel an average of 3,600 miles in the journey from farm to table.  A meal made of locally produced ingredients uses four to 17 times less petroleum than one from typical supermarket products due to transportation requirements.
  • Check the Eat Well Guide to find organic and sustainable food in your area.

In an economy where we are trying to have our dollars stretch as far as possible, let’s make sure our purchases reflect our values.  Let’s send a message to big business.  Just because we don’t have a lot of disposable income we still demand high quality, healthy, sustainable products. As Ms. Weldon aptly writes, “Each conscious choice, each locally grown meal put on the table and every handcrafted chair purchased, makes a world of difference.”

LOCAL REMINDER: TODAY is the 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market

You can find a number of wonderful ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal and celebrate local foods at Concordia College in Moorhead. This year marks the 6th annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market at Concordia.

Where: the Atrium, Knutson Campus Center at Concordia College, 901 8th Street S., Moorhead MN 46462 When:  Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 3pm to 630pm

Each year more and more people celebrate a 100-Mile Thanksgiving by making their meal using only locally-produced food that is good for you and for the environment. The 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market will be an opportunity to fill your Thanksgiving table with products that are freshly harvested, locally sourced and sustainable. The market is co-hosted with Prairie Roots Food Co-op. Their online market at https://www.localfoodmarketplace.com/prairieroots/ will be open to the public November 22nd – 24th, 2014 and pre-ordered items will be available for pickup at the 100-Mile Thanksgiving Market. Additionally, several vendors will have items for sale on site.

For more information, contact Dr. Gretchen Harvey at harvey@cord.edu.

 

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Fair Trade USA

Fair Trade USA, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, is the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the Fair Trade USAUnited States. Fair Trade USA audits and certifies transactions between U.S. companies and their international suppliers to guarantee that the farmers and workers producing Fair Trade Certified goods are paid fair prices and wages, work in safe conditions, protect the environment and receive community development funds to empower and uplift their communities. Fair Trade USA educates consumers, brings new manufacturers and retailers into the Fair Trade system, and provides farmers with tools, training and resources to thrive as international business people. Fair Trade Certified means:

  • Fair Prices
  • No GMOs
  • No Hazardous Chemicals
  • Environmental standards are built in to the certification
  • No Child Labor

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. STARTING OCTOBER 13, 2014 A NEW TIME FOR THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM MEANS A NEW TIME FOR THIS SEGMENT… YOU CAN NOW STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 835AM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Try to plan a more sustainable Thanksgiving. Start by planning your meal based on local ingredients. Choosing a more sustainable way of eating supports your local farming community, is healthier and reduces your carbon footprint. 

Plan ahead for perfect portions and leftover packaging. At least 28 billion pounds of edible food is wasted each year – more than 100 pounds per person.

Use Less Stuff has 42 Ways to Watch Your Holiday Wasteline (pun intended). They’ve created a convenient list of approximate food portions for your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Turkey- 1 pound per person
  • Stuffing- ¼ pound per person
  • Sweet potato casserole- ¼ pound per person
  • Green beans- ¼ pound per person
  • Cranberry relish- 3 tablespoons per person
  • Pumpkin pie- 1/8 of a 9 inch pie per person

100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers MarketEnjoying Autumn

Locally, you can find a number of wonderful ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal and celebrate local foods at Concordia College in Moorhead. This year marks the 6th annual 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market at Concordia.

Where: the Atrium, Knutson Campus Center at Concordia College, 901 8th Street S., Moorhead MN 46462
When:  Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 3pm to 630pm

Each year more and more people celebrate a 100-Mile Thanksgiving by making their meal using only locally-produced food that is good for you and for the environment. The 100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers Market will be an opportunity to fill your Thanksgiving table with products that are freshly harvested, locally sourced and sustainable.

The market is co-hosted with Prairie Roots Food Co-op. Their online market at https://www.localfoodmarketplace.com/prairieroots/ will be open to the public November 22nd – 24th, 2014 and pre-ordered items will be available for pickup at the 100-Mile Thanksgiving Market. Additionally, several vendors will have items for sale on site.

For more information, contact Dr. Gretchen Harvey at harvey@cord.edu.Prairie Roots Food Co-op volunteers

For more Thanksgiving ingredients and organic milk, meats and produce all year long, visit Sydney’s Health Market in Moorhead.

Talking turkey:

According to Sustainable Table, the traditional Thanksgiving turkey is different today than it was 50 years ago. Today, 99% of all turkeys raised in the U.S. are the “Broadbreasted White” variety (sometimes also referred to as the “Large White”).

These birds are raised in confinement in extremely crowded conditions on factory farms. They live in unnatural, uncomfortable conditions and are fed a steady diet of grain and supplements like antibiotics, rather than the grubs, bugs and grasses they should eat.

They are produced because of their large, white meaty breast. The breasts of these turkeys are so large that they are unable to reproduce naturally. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, without artificial insemination performed by humans, this variety of bird would become extinct in just one generation.

Industrial turkeys are often injected with saline solution and vegetable oils in an attempt to help improve the taste and texture of the meat. These factory farmed birds tend to be dry and tasteless, so cooks have developed a variety of methods to try to improve the taste. Turkeys are now marinated, brined, deep fried and covered with syrups, spices and herbs.

You have other options. You can order a heritage turkey, or you can look for organic and/or sustainable birds atLovely leaf pile butchers, specialty shops and at farmers markets around the country.

On to the leftovers:

You know you’re going to have them so make a plan. The Alternative Consumer has a wonderful suggestion in their green Thanksgiving guide.

Avoid plastic wrap. Most plastic wraps contain PVC which quickly winds up in landfills and has been linked to harmful environmental consequences. Use aluminum foil or, even better, send family home with glass or ceramic storage containers that they can return to you.

Or, call your guests and ask them to bring their own container if they’d like leftovers.

Above all, relax and enjoy your Thanksgiving, remember why we are celebrating.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Sustainable Table
Sustainable Table
 was launched in 2003 to educate consumers about issues surrounding the food supply. Sustainable Table celebrates sustainable food, educates consumers about food-related issues and works to build community through food.

Sustainable Table is also home to the Eat Well Guide, an online directory of sustainable products in the U.S. and Canada.

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Before I even opened the book, NEW SLOW CITY: Living Simply in the World’s Fastest City by William Powers, I New Slow City by William Powerswas completely taken by it’s cover. The cover’s illustrator, Kyle Pierce, captures the essence of the book with the incredibly beautiful monarch butterflies that appear to be serenely looking out onto the city.

About the book:

Burned-out after years of doing development work around the world, William Powers spent a season in a 12-foot-by-12-foot cabin off the grid in North Carolina, as recounted in his award-winning memoir Twelve by Twelve. Could he live a similarly minimalist life in the heart of New York City? To find out, Powers and his wife jettisoned 80 percent of their stuff, left their 2,000-square-foot Queens townhouse, and moved into a 350-square-foot “micro-apartment” in Greenwich Village. Downshifting to a two-day workweek, Powers explores the viability of Slow Food and Slow Money, technology fasts and urban sanctuaries. Discovering a colorful cast of New Yorkers attempting to resist the culture of Total Work, Powers offers an inspiring exploration for anyone trying to make urban life more people- and planet-friendly.

I highly recommend this book! I felt myself throughout trying to envision ways that I could slow down in my own life. Having lived in New York and worked in the city, I was so inspired by how the Powers were able to live simply and intentionally in a city with a million distractions.

An inspirational quest to slowdown, simplify, and find serenity in a supercharged city. ~Francine Jay

More about the author:

Born and raised on Long Island, William Powers has worked for over a decade in development aid and conservation in Latin America, Africa, Native North America, and Washington, DC. He is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and is on the adjunct faculty of New York University. A third generation New Yorker, Powers has also spent two decades exploring the American culture-of-speed and its alternatives in some fifty countries around the world. He has covered the subject in his four books and written about it in the Washington Post and the Atlantic. An expert on sustainable development, he is a freelance writer and speaker.

For more information, visit http://williampowersbooks.com/.

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