EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (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: Giving your pet a greener life is great for them and good for the planet as well. It’s the least Cadence and her chickenyou can do when they’re working hard to make you happy and healthy. And, something to think about, the percent of pet owning heart patients who survived serious heart attacks is 28%, compared with only 6% of patients without pets.

Our daughters are really putting on the full court press for us to get a pet. We have tried fish, caterpillars, toads with various degrees of success…

Here are some great tips on How to Green Your Pet from Treehugger.com that our family will probably be implementing soon:

Get Your Pet From a Shelter.

There are 5,500 puppies and kittens born every hour in the United States.

In the Fargo Moorhead area check out:

4 Luv of Dog - They are a 100% volunteer run, non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and rehoming dogs.

Humane Society Fargo Moorhead - Their Mission is to care for, protect and place animals for adoption in life long homes, and to prevent cruelty to animals by educating in the proper and humane care of all animals.

Cat’s Cradle Shelter – The Cat’s Cradle Shelter is a no-kill shelter for rescued cats and kittens. Their residents live in colonies of 6-10 cats in individual units based on compatibility. They are cared for by a core group of shelter volunteers. Young kittens are frequently fostered in private homes where they get 24hr care, and lots of love and attention. And from there, they go to their furr-ever homes.

The Cat’s Cradle Shelter is currently funded 100% by donations and adoption fees. There is no paid staff at the shelter; everyone is a volunteer.

Spay or Neuter Your Pet.

Spaying and neutering helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives by eliminating the possibility of uterine, Caleigh with kittyovarian, and testicular cancer, and decreasing the incidence of prostate disease. And, as mentioned above, there are 5,500 puppies and kittens born every hour in the United States.

Keep Your Kitty Inside.

Two out of every three vets, according to the Humane Society of America, recommend keeping cats indoors, because of the dangers of cars, predators, disease, and other hazards. The estimated average life span of a free-roaming cat is less than three years; an indoors-only cat gets to live an average of 15 to 18 years.

Another reason to keep your cat inside: There are 39 million birds killed annually by domestic cats - in Wisconsin alone (The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service).

I should mention that almost all the cats I know either live outside all the time (the cats on my parent’s farm) or are able to go outside whenever they feel like it and they are all healthy and have lived long lives. So use your own discretion, you know your cat better than anyone.

Give Your Pets the Best Food Possible.

Most conventional pet-food brands are made of reconstituted animal by-products, which is otherwise known as low-grade wastes from the beef and poultry industries. The animals used to make many pet foods are classified as “4-D,” which means they are “Dead, Dying, Diseased, or Down (Disabled)” when they line up at the slaughterhouse. Unless the pet food explicitly states that it contains FDA-certified, food-grade meat, you should know that its contents are considered unfit for human consumption – but apparently good enough for your cat or dog.

Since nutrition is an important factor in keeping your pet healthy, you want to feed them good food.

Natural and organic pet foods use meats that are raised in sustainable, humane ways without added drugs or hormones, minimally processed, and preserved with natural substances, such as vitamins C and E. Certified-organic pet foods must meet strict USDA standards that spell out how ingredients are produced and processed, which means no pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial preservatives, artificial ingredients or genetically engineered ingredients.

Visit NaturalNews.com and check out their article about The Best Organic Pet Foods at http://www.naturalnews.com/028904_organic_pet_food.html.

Clean Up Their Poop.

Pick up your doggie doo in biodegradable bags.

Check out some options at http://www.poopbags.com/ and http://earthrated.com/. In our area, you can find Earth Rated Poopbags at Natural Pet Center, 3037 13th Ave S. in Fargo.

Cat owners should avoid clumping clay litter. Not only is clay strip-mined (bad for the planet), but the clay Cadence with kittiessediment is also contains carcinogenic silica dust that can coat little kitty lungs (bad for the cat). Plus, the sodium bentonite that acts as the clumping agent can poison your cat through chronic ingestion through their fastidious need to groom. Because sodium bentonite acts like expanding cement–it’s also used as a grouting, sealing, and plugging material–it can swell up to 15 to 18 times their dry size and clog up your cat’s insides. Eco-friendly cat litters avoid these problems.

Here’s more information on how to avoid clumping clay litter: www.thelighthouseonline.com

Give Them Sustainable Stuff.

There are toys made from recycled materials or sustainable fibers (without herbicides or pesticides) such as hemp. A hemp collar (with matching leash) is a great sustainable accessory for your dog. You can even get pet beds made with organic cotton or even recycled PET bottles.

Use Natural Pet-Care and Cleaning Products.

Don’t use toxic-chemical-laced shampoos on your pet instead look for natural pet-care products. And, clean up their messes with non-toxic cleaning products that are gentle on the planet and your pet.

This Winter, Use Pet-Safe Products to Melt the Ice.

Use a child- and pet-safe deicer such as Safe Paw’s environmentally friendly Ice Melter. Rock salt and salt-based ice-melting products, which kids and animals might accidentally ingest, can cause health problems, while contaminating wells and drinking supplies.

For more tips on How to Green Your Pet, visit http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-pets.html.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Adopt A Shelter at http://adoptashelter.com/

You can earn money for the shelter or rescue of your choice every time you shop online at hundreds of top retailers through Adopt A Shelter. They also have a excellent blog dedicated to pet tips and information. Check out their site and see if your favorite pet shelter is listed, if it’s not, have them join!

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eCycleBest is a website created by a team of electronic recyclers who have an immense love for new gadgets and electronics. They are a team of environmental activists who believe that gadgets and green thumbs can and should go hand in hand.

I was honored to recently be included as one of eCycleBest‘s Green Guardians. To read the full article, visit wendy-gabriel-mygreensidehttp://www.ecyclebest.com/blog/green-guardians/keeping-touch-green-side-green-living-mom-wendy-gabriel.

To read about other Green Guardians they’ve featured, visit http://www.ecyclebest.com/blog/green-guardians.

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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. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (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: When grilling for your friends and family this summer use these simple tips to reduce waste and keep your grilling a little greener.

  • Use a Better Grill
    • Conventional charcoal burns dirty and produces greenhouse gases. If you have a charcoal grill, look for organic or natural lump brands. Natural gas is the most energy-efficient; however, infrared grills are the greenest as they heat quickly, use the least energy, and use less gas than regular gas grills.
    • Grills made of cast iron or stainless steel are the safest because they remain non-toxic at any temperature. Watch out for models made from chrome-coated aluminum, which can become toxic if the aluminum oxidizes. Stay away from lighter fluids, which release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
    • Buy a grill that is sized to fit your needs. A larger grill uses more energy because it takes longer to heat.
  • Non-Toxic Cleaning
    • Before you turn on your grill, clean the grate with baking soda instead of store-bought chemicals. Use a wire brush and a paste of equal parts baking soda and water.
    • After your cookout, take a halved onion and rub it over the grate to get rid of excess food. Brush olive oil over the grate afterwards so the food won’t stick the next time you grill.
    • When cleaning up in the kitchen, find products with ingredients you can trust to be better for you and for the environment like Seventh Generation and Earth Friendly Products.
  • Set a Sustainable Table
    • When serving your guests, go with reusable cutlery, glasses and plates. Use cloth napkins instead of paper. If you can’t use reusable dishware, cutlery or napkins, choose biodegradable, recycled or unbleached picnicware.
  • Serve Sustainable Foods
    • Fill your menu with greener options by choosing USDA certified organic or local grass-fed meat. If you’re a The Gabriel at a Prairie Roots Food Co-op picnicvegetarian, try certified organic soy hot dogs and burgers. Instead of using tomatoes and onions sprayed with pesticides, shop at your local farmer’s market to pick up your produce. You’ll also find pesticide-free meat products.
  • Recycle & Compost 
    • Make it easy for guests to recycle by placing recycling bins next to the trashcan. Make sure each can has a label clearly marked: paper, plastic and aluminum. If you have a lot of leftover food scraps, compost the proper foods. Remember to never compost dairy or meat products.
  • Prevent Pests 
    • To keep pests from plaguing your cookout, throw sage and rosemary on the hot grill. Mosquitoes hate these plants and will stay away, and the herbs add a pleasant aroma to your get-together. Another mosquito prevention trick is to set out a cup of sugar water. The mosquitoes will flock to the sugar water and stay away from your guests.
    • For more information on preventing pests, check out Green Tip – Natural Ways to Deter Mosquitoes at http://mygreenside.org/?p=6881.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Amy Thielen at www.amythielen.com/

Along with her Food Network gig, Amy is a regular on The Christopher Gabriel Program when she comes on to talk about Adventures in Eating. Her site isn’t my typical web pick of the week but it is definitely worth a look. Amy talks about recipes, gardening, eating and life in general. Her photos are also gorgeous.

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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. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (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: When you’re on vacation, keep the environment in mind by remembering the Road Trip summer 2014sustainable practices that you use at home like recycling, conserving water and conserving electricity.

Vacations are a time to relax but while you’re recharging your batteries remember to continue to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Whether you’re road tripping it, camping or staying in a hotel it’s important to be mindful about how you’re using our natural resources.

Here are some simple tips for your next vacation:

  • Before you even leave for your vacation make sure you turn off and unplug any appliances, computers, TVs to avoid wasting energy while you’re away. Also remember to set your thermostat and water heater at low settings – another way to avoid wasting energy when you’re gone. 
  • As you’re shopping and packing for your vacation, think about how you can reduce wasteFor example, if you are grocery shopping, look for items that have little packaging to reduce what you will throw in the trash.
  • Bring your own water bottle. According to the Container Recycling Institute, more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away in the United States each day. Recycling or reusing those bottles instead would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for an entire day in 15 million households. Travelers can help by recycling and reusing existing water bottles, and refusing to purchase or accept new bottles; instead refilling a single bottle or other dishwasher-safe, reusable bottle with filtered water.
  • Use the right gear. Choose environmentally friendly clothing and travel gear made from recycled, reused, organic, and sustainable natural materials such as cotton, hemp, and bamboo.
  • Bring a reusable shopping bag (or two). Packing a basic canvas tote, or other similar sturdy, washable bag, in your luggage is an easy way to help keep trash out of landfills and off roadsides, conserve energy, and protect marine life. Use the bag—instead of the paper or plastic bags provided by stores—to carry souvenirs and other purchases made during your trip.
  • While on the road, remember to recycle. Bring a small box or bag to collect recyclables in your car so that you Baby Greek goddess and the purple carare not tempted to throw them all in with the trash. Watch for the blue bins while you are on your trip (or wait until you get home) so you can recycle the box or bag of recyclables.
  • Shut off the lights at home and in your hotel rooms.

Source: National Geographic Traveler

Here is a list of the Top Ten Environment Traveling Faux Pas, in other words, What Not To Do While You’re Traveling:

1.  Don’t litter.
2.  Don’t purchase illegal souvenirs or food produce.
3.  Don’t waste water in destinations which face shortages.
4.  Don’t leave lights on.
5.  Don’t leave the air conditioning on in hotel rooms when you’re not in them.
6.  Don’t purchase mineral water in plastic water bottles when the hotel provides drinkable water.
7.  Don’t stand on coral reefs. It takes approximately one hundred years for one inch of coral to grow.
8.  Don’t disturbing wild animals by getting as close as possible for a better picture.
9.  Don’t throw cigarette butts on the ground.
10. Don’t forget to recycle when offered the facilities to do so.

Source: Traveling the Green Way

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

Sustainable Travel at http://sustainabletravel.org/

Sustainable Travel’s mission is to help destinations, business and travelers develop and implement innovative solutions that protect the environment, support adaptation to climate change, preserve cultural heritage and generate economic benefits. Their site is full of responsible travel tips and information.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (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: This time of year in our part of the country means beautiful sunny weather, relaxed summer Summer 2014 Fargooutings and mosquitoes. Read on for some natural ways to fight these and other pests.

Eliminate entry points. Any place air can get in; tiny bugs can enter, too. Repair or replace torn window screens and doors. Make sure thresholds are airtight and use door sweeps or seals when needed.

Plant rosemary. Try planting containers of rosemary around your outdoor entertaining spaces to deter mosquitoes. People also throw rosemary on the grill while barbecuing to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes often strike while people are barbecuing, but this simple trick is said to turn your barbecue into a natural mosquito repellent, while also adding delicious flavor to your food.

Mow your yard. Keep grass mowed regularly and trim shrubs. Too much grass and shrubbery can create breeding and hiding grounds for mosquitoes.

Dump out any stagnant water in your yard. Mosquitoes are often attracted to standing water. Examples of mosquito breeding grounds include old tires, driveway puddles, unfiltered fish ponds, empty flowerpots and any item that can hold water for more than a few days at a time.

A few drops of lavender. I’ve also read in numerous article about how mosquitoes dislike lavender. To keepPesticide Free Zone mosquitoes out of your home, add a drop of lavender to ribbon and place around open windows. Put lavender on your skin. Add 30 drops of lavender essential oil to two tablespoons of vegetable oil – such as olive oil – and rub onto exposed skin. Not only will you smell beautiful, but it will stop mosquitoes from landing on you. Or find a company, like The Honey B Soap Company that uses real essential oils in their products (not synthetic fragrances) and apply liberally.

Attract bats. Bats can reportedly eat 1,000 mosquitoes per night. Attracting bats to your garden can help to significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes and reduce your chances of being bitten.

The Huffington Post tested some natural ways to get rid of mosquitoes. Here’s what they discovered:

  • Dish Soap - A few squirts of dish soap, left in a saucer, did a nice job of keeping mosquitoes occupied…and away from the testers. The results were comparable to citronella candle. Bottom line: According to the testers, this works.
  • Beer Traps - Turns out that mosquitoes are attracted to those who drink beer. So, the testers placed cups filled with beer around their patio. They discovered that the mosquitoes were, indeed, getting trapped inside the cups of beer. But there was a catch. Mosquitoes will still seek you out if you’re drinking beer also. Bottom line: According to the testers, this somewhat works, but if you’re also imbibing, expect to be bitten.
  • Eat Garlic - Garlic is used in many mosquito repellants used in landscaping. So, why wouldn’t it work for us? After eating a garlicky meal, we waited. The mosquitoes didn’t bother us. But really, is this practical? Bottom line: According to the testers, this works, if you’d like to down garlic cloves on a daily basis.

For the full list of How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Silent Spring Institute at http://www.silentspring.org/ 

Silent Spring is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to identifying the links between the environment and women’s health, especially breast cancer.

Silent Spring Institute began in 1994, after members of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition called for a scientifically sound investigation into elevated breast cancer rates on Cape Cod. They founded “a laboratory of their own” and named it Silent Spring Institute in tribute to Rachel Carson, whose landmark book, Silent Spring, launched the modern environmental movement. Carson died of breast cancer just two years after the book was published.

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER Fargo sunshineGABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (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: Whether it’s a playdate, a conference, a wedding or a sleepover, you can take a few easy steps to make your event a little greener.

Our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council have some excellent tips for making your next event more sustainable:

Pick a Convenient Location

Pick a location that is easy for your guests to get to and help arrange for them to carpool to the event. Also, give them information on local public transportation options.

E-vite Your Guests

Emailing invitations saves paper and money, especially if you have a long guest list. If a printed invitation is an absolute must for your event, use post-consumer recycled paper, which is easily available in stores and online. Give a phone number or email for RSVPs instead of reply cards.

For more information on buying paper products, see www.nrdc.org/paper.

Serve Local Food (and Feed the Locals)

Look for a restaurant or caterer that uses fresh, local or organic foods. If you’re planning on serving seafood, make sure it’s sustainably caught or farmed and low in mercury. To find out more about sustainable seafood, visit Seafood Watch Program – A Consumer’s Guide to Sustainable Seafood at www.seafoodwatch.org. Make arrangements with a local food bank to pick up any leftovers at the end of the day.

Use Reusable or Biodegradable Tableware

Stick to cloth napkins and real tableware to reduce the amount of resources your event consumes and the amount of garbage you’ll need to dispose of at the end of night. Many caterers can provide everything you need for serving, eating and drinking. For a gathering at home, use your own dishes, and borrow more from your friends if you need to. If you have to go for the take-and-toss variety, look for post-consumer recycled content paper napkins and biodegradable plates, cups and utensils made from corn starch or agricultural waste. They’ll degrade in just a couple of months in a commercial composter.

Decorate NaturallyDecorate Naturally

Try using “living” decorations like as moss, stones and succulent plants, or organic flowers instead of traditional pesticide-laden bouquets. Send your decorations home with your guests at the end of the night, or reuse them for another event.

Dazzle with Energy Efficient Lighting

A daytime event — held outdoors or in a place with plenty of windows — lets you save big on energy costs and global warming pollution from conventional lighting. For additional lighting, use compact fluorescent light bulbs. They use only about one-third of the energy that regular light bulbs do. Look for energy efficient bulbs and fixtures marked with the Energy Star label.

Make Recycling Easy

Don’t rummage through trash bins the next day looking for stuff that shouldn’t have been thrown away. Make recycling easy by setting out clearly labeled recycling bins for items such as bottles, paper and cans. Check www.1800Recycling.com to find recycling guidelines for your location.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week

Seafood Watch Program - A Consumer’s Guide to Sustainable Seafood

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans. Their recommendations indicate which seafood items are “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and which ones you should “Avoid.” Their site contains great information, sustainable seafood recipes and a downloadable Seafood Watch Guide.

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As part of my partnership with Ecocentric Mom, I receive one of their bimonthly subscription boxes for review. Every Ecocentric Mom Boxother month when I get my box, I feel blessed that I get to try out some new products and tell you about them!

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)!

I just received the May/June Mom Discovery Box and it was, again, 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 wonderful products I received this month:

Playmaker Nutrition All Natural Gummy Vitamins ($14 per bottle) These vitamins are specifically formulated to supplement the dietary needs of active kids and teens and are endorsed by seven world-class professional athletes. All products made in the USA with all natural flavors and colors and do not contain corn syrup, preservatives, gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, and gelatin. I love what isn’t in thesePlaymaker Nutrition vitamins and my girls like the flavors (me too!).

ORGLAMIX All-Natural “Hot Mama” Eye Shadow ($9 per full size .05oz) Orglamix Pure + Natural Color Concentrate contains no fillers, binders or extenders typically found in most mineral makeup. The result is an amazingly velvety texture; rich, dense and decadent color; smooth, uniform pigment distribution and blendability. These colors look like a loose powder, but feel like a cream and deliver a long lasting, crease-free wear in beautifully vivid color. Formulated WITHOUT: parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, triclosan. This is a beautiful color and is very long wearing, I love it!

Licious Organics Raw Honey Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies ($1.20 per cookie) These cookies are made without gluten, soy or wheat and include raw honey, organic chocolate chips, cocoa, vanilla, creamy peanut butter and Utah Pink Salt. This cookie was delicious and very filling (in a good way).

Sili SqueezeThe Sili Squeeze with Eeeze ($15 per Sili Squeeze) The Sili Squeeze is a reusable squeeze pouch with a spill-proof spout. Made of durable silicone and 100% toxin-free materials, their food pouches are meant to last for years. My 10-year old immediately claimed this cute container for her own and has used it to bring her favorite yogurt and smoothies on the go. It’s been wonderfully convenient for us!

Boiron Arnicare Gel ($2 travel size, $11 2.6oz full size) Works naturally with your body to help relieve muscle pain and stiffness, swelling from injuries, and bruising. The unscented gel, which contains homeopathic Arnica montana, is non-greasy, paraben-free and quickly absorbed by the skin. We LOVE this product and have been using it for years! I was so excited to see a travel size in my Ecocentric Mom Box, it went right into the little first aid kit that I carry in my purse.

Rise & Shine Organic Coffee Body Scrub by Simply Rustic ($12 8oz full size) The caffeine in Organic Coffee is loaded with anti-Lovely Candy Companyoxidants and is considered the most powerful and researched anti-oxidant around. Caffeine detoxes and revives your skin creating more even texture and skin tone on cellulite-affected areas and most importantly gives you healthier skin. Organic Cocoa Powder is rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants that nourish skin. Loving this product!

All Natural Chocolate Caramel Swirl ($4 – $5 for a full size bag) The Lovely Candy Company makes delicious, consciously crafted candies for people looking for indulgent treats that offer the best ingredients available. Their all natural, chocolate caramel swirl combines our soft, buttery caramel with a ribbon of rich decadent, chocolate caramel. OH MY GOODNESS! This was (yes, was, because I ate them all in record time…) one of the most delicious caramels I’ve ever eaten.

Monarch Farm Rose Complete Rejuvenating Face Cream ($5 travel size, $15 1.75oz size and $25 4 oz size) Their farm inspired herbal products are crafted with organic oils, waxes, essential oils, and botanicals to deliver the purity you are seeking. Rose Complete Rejuvenating Cream is formulated to ease the advancement of skin aging, Rose petal infused Rosehip Seed Oil, Rose Absolute & Rose Hydrosol synergestically combine to create a deeply moisturizing cream with proven skin regenerative ingredients. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the smell of this product! I’ve been using it since I received my box and I love how it makes my skin feel and look. And, I really think the price is great.

Wild Orange Natural Organic Solid Deodorant by Natures Natural ($2 travel size, $6 2.6oz full size) This Natures Natural deodorantdeodorant is 100% natural and has a great consistency and smells AMAZING. It’s baking soda free and 100% organic. I’m always on the lookout for natural deodorants for myself and now for my oldest daughter. This is a winner and I really liked the Natures Natural etsy shop.

LrCrem Naturals “LeRevital Riche Body Souffle” ($3 travel size, $24 8oz size) All natural and fully concentrated infused with protein rich neem, rosemary, jojoba, avocado and essential oils. Soothing moisturizing cream. No artificial additives, petroleum and parabens. Lightly scented Cherry Blossom. Safe for all skin types. This product smells delicious and I’ve been using it on my legs and it’s working wonderfully.

Antioxidant Rich Organic Nightly Repair Nectar by La Mav ($50 1.1oz full size) An advanced age-fighting serum formulated with CoEnzyme Q10 and Vitamin E to protects skin from free radicals and daily rigors. Eight bio-active organic flower nectars including Rose, Ylang Ylang and Neroli provide dry and dehydrated skin a powerful shield to lock in moisture and restore glowing softness, comfort and radiance while Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids boost skin tone and firmness. Love the ingredients in this product.

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.

Ecocentric Mom

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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. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (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: Look for sustainable ways to enjoy your summer.Bird Watching

Here are some simple ways to enjoy your summer while doing something good for the environment:

  • Eat local and organic. Purchase local groceries from your farmers’ market, sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program or choose local food at the grocery store. You’ll be supporting local farmers and lessening transportation energy.
    • LOCALLY: Join the Prairie Roots Food Co-op to ensure that we always have a place to purchase local, organic produce. For more information, visit http://prairie-roots.coop/.
  • When landscaping, plant native plants. According to Wild Ones,

Native plants have evolved and adapted to local conditions over thousands of years. They are vigorous and hardy, so can survive winter cold and summer heat. Once established, they require no irrigation or fertilization. They are resistant to most pests and diseases. Thus, native plants suit today’s interest in “low-maintenance” gardening and landscaping.

Americans spend $27 billion a year on lawn care, 10 times more than we spend on school textbooks. The average lawn requires 9000 gallons of water per week, and 5-10 pounds of fertilizer per year, more than the entire country of India uses for its food crops. With natural landscaping many of these costs are weeded out. Best of all, these landscapes demand less routine maintance so people can spend more time enjoying and feeling connected to the wonders of nature. Simply stated, natural landscaping is designed to work with, rather than against, nature.

  • Get a rain barrel and use the water for your garden. A rain barrel on a 2,000 sq. ft. home can capture as much as 36,000 gallons of water a year.
  • Make your yard a pesticide-free haven for birds. Hang up a bird feeder, build a bird house.
  • Wash your car at a car wash. Washing your car in the driveway sends soaps, oils, toxic metals and chemicals into nearby waterways and is harmful for downstream drinking water. Use a commercial car wash instead. They are required to send water to the sewer system for treatment before being released.
  • Avoid purchasing new stuff. Instead check out a garage sale. You’ll be reusing and saving money at the same time.
  • Take advantage of the beautiful weather and bike or walk whenever possible. You’ll be doing something good for your body, the environment and your wallet.
  • Avoid too much harmful UV radiation. The best defenses are protective clothes, shade and timing. Read these tips from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) before applying sunscreen:Sunshine
    • Don’t get burned. Red, sore, blistered (then peeling) skin is a clear sign you’ve gotten far too much sun. Sunburn increases skin cancer risk – keep your guard up!
    • Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays – and don’t coat your skin with goop. A long-sleeved surf shirt is a good start.
    • Find shade – or make it. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade – they lack tanning pigments (melanin) to protect their skin.
    • Plan around the sun. If your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. UV radiation peaks at midday, when the sun is directly overhead.
    • Sunglasses are essential. Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts.

For more sun safety tips, visit the EWG’s 2014 Sunscreen Report at http://www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/top-sun-safety-tips/.

  • Put up a clothes line and use it.
  • Replace parts of your lawn with no mow grass or groundcovers and mulch around plants to cut down on evaporation.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

PlantNative.org

PlantNative.org is dedicated to moving native plants and naturescaping into mainstream landscaping practices. The sites contains:

  • Directories for local nurseries, community services and professionals
  • A detailed and engaging tutorial with an introduction, step-by-step descriptions of how to create a native plant landscape, and examples
  • Regional native plant lists
  • Recommended books for each region of the country

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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. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (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: Not only is coal burning responsible for one third of US carbon emissions—the main contributor toSunshine climate disruption—but it is also making us sick, leading to as many as 13,000 premature deaths every year and more than $100 billion in annual health costs. Source: Sierra Club

On June 2, 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, announced the first-ever safeguards limiting carbon pollution from existing U.S. power plants. The EPA proposed the Clean Power Plan that will maintain an affordable, reliable energy system, while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment.

Here’s a quick lesson in why this is a good move by our President and why coal isn’t our best energy option:

1. Mountain Top Removal is Destroying Mountains

In Appalachia, mining companies literally blow the tops off mountains to reach thin seams of coal. They then dump millions of tons of rubble and toxic waste into the streams and valleys below the mining sites.

Mountaintop removal is a relatively new type of coal mining that began in Appalachia in the 1970s as an extension of conventional strip mining techniques. Primarily, mountaintop removal is occurring in West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.

To learn more, visit http://appvoices.org/end-mountaintop-removal/mtr101/.

2. Health Impacts Of Coal Transport

Coal dust and diesel exhaust from coal trains and cargo ships can cause serious long-term health problems like lung and heart disease and cancer. The wide ranging health dangers of coal dust include exposure to toxic heavy metals like mercury and increased rates of asthma, especially in children. Burlington Northern Sante Fe (BNSF) railroad estimates up to 500 pounds of coal can be lost in the form of dust from each rail car en route.

3. Smog, Soot, and AsthmaFlowering tree

In the United States, more than 40 percent of people live in areas with unhealthy levels of air pollution. Pollution from coal-fired power plants leads to smog (or ozone), a toxic compound and a dangerous irritant.

This regulation will “reduce pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick by over 25 percent.” The EPA projects the reductions will result in avoiding 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks in children.

4. Toxic Mercury

Burning coal releases toxic mercury that rains down into rivers and streams. This poison then accumulates in the food chain, eventually making its way into our bodies when we eat contaminated fish.

Pregnant women are the most at risk from the toxic effects of mercury, since the metal is known to concentrate in the fetal brain and can interfere with brain development. Mercury is also known to bind directly to one particular hormone that regulates women’s menstrual cycle and ovulation, interfering with normal signaling pathways. In other words, hormones don’t work so well when they have mercury stuck to them. The metal may also play a role in diabetes, since mercury has been shown to damage cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, which is critical for the body’s ability to metabolize sugar.

How to avoid it? For people who still want to eat (sustainable) seafood with lots of healthy fats but without a side of toxic mercury, wild salmon and farmed trout are good choices. Check out the Seafood Watch guide at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx.Seafood Watch

5. Coal Ash Waste

Every year, the nation’s coal plants produce 140 million tons of coal ash pollution, the toxic by-product that is left over after the coal is burned. All that ash has to go somewhere, and it contains high levels of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and selenium.

6. Coal Plant Water Pollution

72 percent of all toxic water pollution in the country comes from coal-fired power plants, making coal plants the number one source of toxic water pollution in the U.S.

7. Carbon Pollution and Climate Disruption

It’s time to act now to stop carbon pollution. Carbon pollution is the main contributor to climate disruption, making extreme extreme weather worse — including more severe floods, widespread wildfires and record drought.

To learn all the details, visit http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards at http://www2.epa.gov/carbon-pollution-standards

This site will give you the facts about the EPA’s Carbon Pollution Standards including the issues, health effects, the President’s Climate Action Plan and more. It’s full of great information about this important issue.

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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. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (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: Don’t be afraid to get out in the sun. Being outdoors is incredibly healthy for you and your family,Fargo sunshine just use some common sense and smart sun protection!

We’ll be talking a lot about ways to be sustainable this summer and I thought I’d start by talking about how to safely get out in the sun.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s Top Sun Safety Tips:

  • Don’t get burned. Red, sore, blistered (then peeling) skin is a clear sign you’ve gotten far too much sun. Sunburn increases skin cancer risk – keep your guard up!
  • Wear clothes. Shirts, hats, shorts and pants shield your skin from the sun’s UV rays – and don’t coat your skin with goop. A long-sleeved surf shirt is a good start.
  • Find shade – or make it. Picnic under a tree, read beneath an umbrella, take a canopy to the beach. Keep infants in the shade – they lack tanning pigments (melanin) to protect their skin.
  • Plan around the sun. If your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in early morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. UV radiation peaks at midday, when the sun is directly overhead.
  • Sunglasses are essential. Not just a fashion accessory, sunglasses protect your eyes from UV radiation, a cause of cataracts.

More than 2 million Americans develop skin cancer each year (NCI 2013). Half the Americans who live to 65 will be diagnosed at least once with rarely fatal forms of skin cancer called basal and squamous cell carcinomas, both linked to sun exposure.(EPA 2011)

Here are a few more tips to help you reduce your risk of getting skin cancer from the awesome folks at EWG:

  • Don’t depend on sunscreen to prolong your time in the sun.
  • Cover up! Hats, shirts and sunglasses are the best protection.
  • Don’t get burned.
  • Don’t use a tanning bed.
  • Protect kids! Early-life sunburns are worse.
  • Pick a sunscreen with strong UVA protection.
  • Get vitamin D. Adequate levels of vitamin D may reduce the risk of melanoma, and it is known to combat other cancers. Get screened for vitamin D deficiency.
  • Check your skin regularly for new moles that are tender or growing. Ask your primary care doctor how often you should see a dermatologist.

Read more at EWG’s 2014 Sunscreen Guide.

We can also protect ourselves from the sun naturally by avoiding toxic chemicals in sunscreens, using natural ingredients and eating foods that protect against sun damage.

There has been an increase in awareness about the use of chemicals in personal care products and their effects. As a result, there has been more emphasis on researching natural substances. Much of the research only proves knowledge already known from generations past, but there are also very interesting new findings that prove the power of the natural world.

  • Green Tea polyphenols, a substance rich in antioxidants that forms part of the green tea leaves, has been mainstream news for awhile now. Research continues to be done today for using green tea for many conditions, including sun protection. (Yusuf et al.) Green tea high in polyphenols has shown to provide internal and external protection from UV radiation and in turn, photo aging.
  • Black tea gel, another ingredient more recently talked about, was studied for its absorption of ultraviolet rays. The study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science (Dec. 2007) tested exposed skin of six subjects with an artificial source of UV light. Those participants with black tea gel on their skin were unaffected by the radiation, while the subjects with nothing on their skin started seeing reddening after four hours of exposure. (Turkoglu et al)
  • Broccoli extract has been studied extensively for its anti-cancerous effects as a food. A recent study has shown that applying broccoli extract topically, which is rich in an antioxidant ingredient called sulphoraphane, gave subjects protection against inflammation and redness caused by UV light. The research showed that instead of absorbing the radiation, the sulphoraphane penetrated the body and helped cells protect themselves against the damages of UV light, even three days after its application. (Talalay et al)

That is why the best kind of protection after all is what you put in your body. Foods like the ones mentioned Playing outsideabove, like green tea and broccoli that have been proven to be anti-cancer, are a good start to add to any diet. If those are not to your liking, or you can’t get the kids to eat broccoli, maybe some pasta with tomato sauce will do. Studies have also been done on foods high in carotenoids, such as tomatoes. The research has shown that tomatoes cooked with olive oil, are said to release these carotenoids that can supply the body with some sun protection, what could be an SPF of 2 or 3. (Stahl W. et al)

It’s worth mentioning again: Above all, do not be afraid to get out in the sun. Being outdoors is healthy for you and your family, just use some common sense and smart sun protection.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

EWG’s 2014 Guide to Sunscreen at http://www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/.

An ideal sunscreen would block the majority of UVA and UVB rays with active ingredients that do not break down in the sun, so that the product remains effective. It would also contain only active and inactive ingredients that are proven to be completely safe for both adults and children. Unfortunately, there is no sunscreen on the U.S. market that meets all these criteria and no simple way for consumers to know how well a given product stacks up. That’s why EWG created this guide to safer and more effective sunscreens.

The Environmental Working Group’s team of scientists, engineers, policy experts, lawyers and computer EWG sun safetyprogrammers goes over government data, legal documents, scientific studies and their own laboratory tests to expose threats to our health and the environment and to find solutions. Their research “brings to light unsettling facts that you have a right to know”. The mission of the EWG is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment.

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