In honor of Plastic Free July, I have joined the campaign to try and avoid all single-use, disposable plastics for this month and beyond. You can do it too! To join me visit http://www.plasticfreejuly.org/ and click on the “YES, I accept the challenge!” button.

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Follow my progress (and send some encouragement) on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/mygreenside/.

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Ecocentric Mom is a proud member of 1% For the Planet (1% FTP) which means they have pledged to give 1% of their sales to environmental related charities. This month’s boxes were full of wonderful products from other 1% FTP partners. As part of my partnership with Ecocentric Mom, I receive one of their amazing monthly subscription boxes for review. Ecocentric Mom Box

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 monthly. Ecocentric Mom works hard to pack the very best of the best in each and every box… and they deliver (pun intended)!

The March Mom Discovery Box is full of products I would never have discovered on my own. The items this month were selected, like I mentioned, to promote some amazing companies that are 1% FTP members. Getting an Ecocentric Mom box each month has been great way for me to learn about healthier products that reduce the amount of toxins in our home.

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

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GoodLight Natural Birthday Candles ($2.99 for a 12-count box) I was so excited to see this product! I am a huge fan of paraffin-free candles but have never found birthday candles. GoodLight Natural Candles has two stated missions: to provide the most affordable paraffin-free candles in the country, and to create a healthier planet by contributing to the sustainable production of palm oil as well as 1% For the Planet organizations that protect rainforests and endangered wildlife. The adorable colored birthday candle assortment is made with 100% palm wax and pure cotton wicks. These would make a cute addition to any birthday gift… maybe tuck a box of these adorable candles with a gift card or check out their website for a number of other products.

Visit https://www.naturalcandles.com/ to find out more about GoodLight Natural Candles and use promo code “EAKDLD” for 25% off all scented candles.

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U Konserve Food Kozy Snack Wrap ($6.49 for 2-pack) U Konserve offers a full line of quality, safe and reusable food-storage solutions designed to reduce the enormous amounts of food packaging garbage that end up in our landfills and our oceans. It’s easy to clean, dries quickly and the smooth surface is ideal for messy foods. This product is a great addition to any family that is packing lunches, going on road trips or having picnics at the park.

For more information about their complete line of reusable food-storage products, visit http://www.kidskonserve.com/ and use promo code “ECOMOM20″ for 20% off your order.

Mattole Valley Naturals Vanilla Plant Protein ($3.50 for 30g, $39.95 for 454g) Mattole Valley Naturals is a family conceived, owned and operated business. Their nutritional products are made without unnatural additives, fillers or binders. The Vanilla Plant Protein is an easy and delicious way to add a boost of protein without any bad stuff.

Visit http://mattolevalleynaturals.com/ to find out more about Mattole Valley Naturals and their amazing products use promo code “ecocentricmom25″ to get 25% off your order.

Munk Pack Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze ($2.49 per pack) This is a perfect on-the-go gluten-free breakfast or snack. It’s kid approved “yummy” and is a great blend of whole grain rolled oats, flax and fruits. It’s also Non-GMO Project Verified which is something I’m always looking for when I buy food for my family.

To find out more about Munk Pack, visit http://store.munkpack.com/ and use “ECOCENTRIC10″ to get 10% off your order.

SIGIL SCENT ‘Balance’ Scent ($4.00 for 1 ml, $90.00 for 50 ml) SIGIL SCENT loads every bottle of their unisex fragrance formulas with pure flower and plant essences and are made without phthalates, parabens, mineral oil, synthetic fragrance or propylene glycol.

Visit SIGIL SCENT at http://www.sigilscent.com/ to find out more about these products and use promo code “ECOMOM30″ to get 30% off. 

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All Good Lemongrass Coconut Oil Skinfood ($14.99 for 7.5 oz glass jar) Born from Elemental Herbs, All Good offers a diverse line of organically grown, plant-based formulas that smell good, feel good, and are practical and useful for everyday needs. From skin repair and lip care to sun protection and fast pain relief, the products’ ingredients stay true to the company’s roots by always putting the planet first. I have extremely dry skin so when I received this I put it all over and saw an immediate difference in my skin. It smells amazing too! I will be purchasing more of this product.

To find out how you can get your own All Good products, visit http://www.elementalherbs.com/ and use promo code “ECOMOM25″ for 25% off.

LEAP Organics Orange Blossom Lip Balm ($3.49 for 1 lip balm) LEAP Organics is a sustainable, certified organic soap and skincare company based in Boston. All of the company’s products are cruelty-free and the lip balm smells unbelievably good! Their lip balms are made with organic coconut oil and shea butter. In fact, 100% of their products are certified to USDA organic standards.

To find out more about LEAP Organics, visit http://www.leaporganics.com/ and use promo code “LOVE20″ to receive 20% off your order.

1% For the Planet is a global movement of companies donating at least 1% of their annual net revenues to environmental organizations worldwide. To find out more, visit http://onepercentfortheplanet.org/.

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

 

As part of my partnership with Ecocentric Mom, I receive one of their amazing monthly subscription boxes for review.Ecocentric Mom Box

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 monthly. Ecocentric Mom works hard to pack the very best of the best in each and every box… and they deliver (pun intended)!

The January Mom Discovery Box is full of products I would never have discovered on my own. The items this month were selected with the theme of getting a fresh start for the New Year. Getting an Ecocentric Mom box each month has been great way for me to learn about healthier products that reduce the amount of toxins in our home.

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

ACURE Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes ($6.99 for 50 ct.) ACURE was founded on sustainable principles and reasonable pricing to steer people away from toxic chemicals, proving that you don’t have to sacrifice health for beautiful skin and hair. These cleansing towelettes gently remove makeup, dirt, sweat and environmental toxins. They are easy to throw in a bag when you’re on the go and they really work.

IMG_0191Visit http://www.acureorganics.com/ to find out more about ACURE products and use the promo code “ECOMOM20″ for 20% off your order and get free shipping on any order of $25 or more.

Rustic MAKA’s Calming Fields Pachy Deodorant (travel size $7.95) This deodorant smells like heaven and really works! I am seriously in love. My plan was to let my tween daughter test this product but I couldn’t stop myself from trying it first because it smelled so amazing. Don’t worry, I will be buying one for her because… it really works! I am even going to pick up one for my husband to try, he is very stubborn about his deodorants so I am continuously trying to find something healthier for him that he’ll actually use.  Each Rustic MAKA’s deodorant is carefully formulated with rich, organic plant-based oils and butters, along with pure powders and plant extracts. They DO NOT contain aluminum, parabens, synthetic fragrances or propylene-glycol.

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Go find out where you can get your hands on this product, visit http://www.rusticmaka.com/ and use promo code “EcoMom15″ for a 15% discount. I’ll see you there!

Simply Earth Natural Air and Fabric Freshener ($6 for 2.5 oz.) This product is literally a life saver. Simply Earth gives 13% of the profits to human trafficking victims. The air and fabric freshener uses a natural odor eliminator that actually traps the odors and essential oils to make your home and clothes smell amazing. I put it to the ultimate test. My oldest daughter’s cheer team put on a cheer fun night for the younger kids. The fun included learning a few cheers, a pizza party and so on. My husband and I volunteered to pick up the 32 pizzas needed for the evening. We got the pizzas, dropped them off and quickly discovered that, although the pizzas had left the car, the strong pizza smell was remaining. Thankfully, I had Simply Earth’s Natural Air and Fabric Freshener and I used it to deodorize the car… and it really worked!

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Check out http://simplyearth.com/ to find out more about this amazing company. When you’re there use promo code “EcoMom” for 10% off your purchase.IMG_0194

 

Tangie Stain Remover Bar ($5.00 for 3 oz.) This natural stain remover is made with coconut oil, grapeseed oil, soap nuts liquid, oxalic acid, sea salt, citric acid, lemon essential oil and love. This product is tough on stains but gentle on the environment. My youngest daughter loves to wear ballet pink but loves to play tag, football, basketball, soccer, etc. at recess. This results in stains every day so this product has been vigorously tested and has passed with flying colors.

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Visit https://www.etsy.com/shop/ilovetangie to find out more and check out their other great products. Use “Ecomomships” for free shipping and free Laundry Past (up to 12 loads) with purchase.

Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Tablets ($6.99 for 25 ct.) I already use this product and love it so I gave this sample to a friend for her to try. The whole Ecover product line is amazing and they have fragrance-free products as well. Ecover has been a pioneer in plant-based cleaning products for more than 30 years. 

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To find out more about Ecover and find a store in your area that carries these products, visit http://us.ecover.com/.

ENLIGHTENED Crisps – Roasted Broad Beans ($1.50 for 1 oz.) OH. MY. GOODNESS. These crisps are delicious!! ENLIGHTENED Crisps are lightly roasted in sunflower oil, sprinkled with sea salt and seasoned to perfection. They only have 100 calories per serving, are certified vegan, gluten free, non-GMO Project verified, OU kosher and wheat free. And have I mentioned they are SO yummy?! My eight year old talked me into letting her try some and she loved them too. This would be a perfect snack to have in my bag for all those times when people get a little cranky because they need some protein (7 grams per serving).

IMG_0196If you live in the San Francisco area, you can run out to the store right now and pick up this delicious snack, if not, visit http://www.eatenlightened.com/to purchase the crisps online.

Sweater Stone ($8.99 one stone) I love this product not only because it really does remove the pills from my favorite sweaters but because this product is made utilizing the Seattle areas sheltered workshops. In case you don’t know, sheltered workshops are places that provide opportunities for increased independence and self sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.

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Visit http://www.sweaterstone.com/ to find out where you can purchase your own Sweater Stone and make a difference in the life of someone else (along with extending the life of your favorite sweaters). 

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

All this month NBC’s Green is Universal is hosting its annual campaign to support the Arbor Day Foundation. Make and share an NBC Green is Universal gift a tree 2015animated GIF here to help us all have a greener holiday season.

Here’s how:

  • Go to greenisuniversal.com and create and share a holiday GIF. It’s simple and fun!
  • Use hashtag #GIFtATree on social media and for every GIF shared and hashtag #GIFtATREE generated on social media by the end of December 2015, the Arbor Day Foundation will plant one real tree in a state park or national forest up to a maximum of 25,000 trees!

Instagram a photo of your GIF and connect with @greenisuniversal and @arbordayfoundation using #GIFtATree hashtag in your share. While you’re there you can connect with me too @mygreenside.

Tweet to @GreenisUni & @arborday using hashtag #GIFtATree if you’re on Twitter. You can follow me too @mygreenside.

Share your GIF on Facebook using #GIFtATree. Yep, I’m on Facebook too! You can find me at https://www.facebook.com/MyGreenSide/.

Please take a couple of moments out of the busyness of the season to help make a real difference: GIF’t a Tree! Thank you and have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Christmas Tree Lane 2015

About Green is Universal:

Launched in May 2007, “Green is Universal” is NBCUniversal’s ongoing green initiative dedicated to raising Greenawareness, effecting positive change to the environment, and making its own operations more sustainable. Throughout the year, NBCUniversal uses it numerous media and entertainment platforms to educate the public on the environment, with green-themed content airing across over 50 NBCUniversal brands.

 

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Wreaths are a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal and make a wonderful first impression when people come to your front door. You can make wreaths for any occasion, holiday and season. You can also use almost any material to make your wreath from recycled clothing to items you find in nature.

The Base of the Wreath

Metal bases are great for durability and sustainability. I have a metal wreath frame that I bought at a craft store and have used it over and over again.

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I have also seen flat wooden base forms, or you could make your form from paperboard tubes that you can liberate from your recycling bin.

Here are four wreaths you can make from items you may find in your recycling bin, local thrift store or yard:

Tie Wreath

Take a trip to the thrift store (or your husband’s closet) to gather some ties to turn into a fun wreath. I embellished mine with a bow tie.

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The amount of ties that you need will depend on the size of your wreath. Cut your ties into 15-inch-long sections. Position the narrow end of first cut tie, front side up, on a section of the wreath. Secure with glue from your hot glue gun. Wrap tie around form until pointed end is positioned as shown, hiding the rolled tie; secure with glue. Repeat, overlapping ties slightly. Flip wreath over; glue down any spot that may need it. Pin or glue on your bow tie or use a whole tie made into a bow and secure with a pin.

Recycled Greeting Card Wreath

Recycled greeting card wreaths are a great idea if you are like me and can’t throw away the cards you receive. Decide on a shape, like holly leaves, make a template (or find one online) and then start cutting. Cut out enough of your shape to completely cover your wreath base. I find going clockwise with your first layer and then filling in where you need it works great.

Check out Ruffles & Stuff for a bunch of great ways to recycle greeting cards.

Cork Wreath

If you enjoy your wine, and have already made multiple trivet and coasters with your leftover corks, this is your next project. A wreath made of wine corks would look adorable in a dining room or hanging above your wine storage.

For this wreath, you will need around 20-25 corks, two pieces of long green floral wire, 20-25 small red jingle bells and a ribbon to hang your wreath. You will need to drill a small hole in both the top and the bottom (1/4 inch from the top and bottom) of each cork. The hole needs to be big enough to fit the floral wire. Connect your corks by pushing your wire through the bottom hole first (save enough wire at the end to twist together). Then connect the tops by pushing your wire through the top holes; alternating between the corks then jingle bells. Twist wire to close on top and bottom, shape your wreath and hang your beautiful creation with a length of ribbon.

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Here are the instructions for another adorable cork wreath.

Nature Wreath

A natural wreath is beautiful and fun to create. I trimmed my rosemary bush to use for this wreath, but you could also use evergreen branches, pine cones or whatever happens to be handy. Wrap your branches around your base, securing them with twine or glue. What is an added bonus of rosemary, lavender or an evergreen wreath is the lovely scent.

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The fun part about creating a wreath for your home is you can make it uniquely your own. Once you have a base, you can recycle almost anything from magazine or book pages to old t-shirts or sweaters to make your wreath.

- This was originally published at  http://recyclenation.com/ on October 09, 2015.

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As part of my partnership with Ecocentric Mom, I receive one of their monthly subscription boxes for review. Ecocentric Mom Box for October 2015

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 monthly. Ecocentric Mom works hard to pack the very best of the best in each and every box… and they deliver (pun intended)!

The October 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:

EccoBella Cocoa Soft Eyeliner Pencil (full size $17.95) I love this company’s philosophy – as an “activist” company, they source ingredients from ethical suppliers of organic materials and stay away from ingredients that may cause harm to people or the environment. They speak out on behalf of animals and the environment at every opportunity. Just my kind of company AND they have a plethora of amazing products. Check them all out at http://www.eccobella.com/

Silk Therapeutics Silk Therapeutics Nourishing Moisturizer / Silk Therapeutics Intensive C Serum (moisturizer $45, serum $60) Silk Therapeutics is dedicated to providing skincare products that deliver immediate benefits and are free of harsh preservatives and harmful chemicals. The Silk products are ideal for all skin types, including those with the most sensitive skin. “Silk protein surrounds, protects and delivers the full benefits of our active ingredients.”

Go to http://silktherapeutics.com/ to take a look at the wonderful Silk products and use promo code “ECOMOM” to save 20% on your order.

Birtsy’s Brainfood Smart Cookies (5 oz. resealable bag $4.99) OH MY GOODNESS! These cookies Bitsy's Brainfood Smart Cookieswere delicious! At Bitsy’s, they’re on a mission to make great food that starts with a simple belief – healthy bodies and healthy minds are connected, and learning to eat smart should be fun. Every day, they work to make mega-delicious, ultra-nutritious foods for your kids and their own, to nurture their bodies, minds and imaginations and to inspire them to learn and grow. Check out their website at http://www.bitsysbrainfood.com/, it’s adorable.

Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts (8 oz. $8.99) Manitoba Harvest is the largest hemp food manufacturer to sell, make and grow their own line of hemp food (including Hemp Hearts, hemp protein powder and their brand new Hemp Heart Bites). As a B-Corp certified company, they are also passionate about promoting health and wellness and fostering positive change for the community and the environment. I have been using the Hemp Hearts in salads to give my family the healthy Omega 3s and 6s and a ton of protein.

Take a look at their products at http://manitobaharvest.com/ and get 20% off Hemp Hearts with promo code “ecochhh1115.”

Lasting Smiles Organic Lip Balm (.15 oz. $4.99) I am LOVING this product! It smells amazing, it really work and the company is incredible! Lasting Smiles lip balms are organic and Fair Trade Certified (yay!) with pure and moisturizing ingredients sourced from small scale global farming cooperatives. Not only will your Organic Lip Balm keep your lips feeling great but it will help to fund a cleft lip surgery – transforming a child’s life forever! Visit http://lastingsmilescare.com/ to find out more.

Ellovi ButterEllovi Mint Chocolate Butter Minis (3.5 oz. $26) Every Ellovi product is made with six wildly harvested ingredients so pure you can eat them which is good because my 8 year old is in love with this product. She slathers it all over and keeps telling me it smells good enough to eat. Ellovi promises that the butter will soak in deep and keep your skin intensely hydrated and nourished for days. 

Go to http://www.ellovi.com/ to get some of your own and use promo code “Ecocentricmom” for a 15% discount, maybe I’ll see you there.

People Towels Logo a Go Go Towel ($3.99) People Towels are an on-the-go, sustainable alternative to paper towels. It comes with a convenient hangtag so I can clip it to a backpack, picnic basket or purse. AND it’s made of 100% organic Fair Trade Cotton! I will be getting more of these, they are a perfect addition to my girls’ lunch boxes.

Go to http://peopletowels.com/ to see their adorable designs which are printed with earth friendly dyes. Use promo code “ecomom15″for a 10% discount.

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

Ecocentric Mom Box

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I was extremely honored to be asked recently to be a part of Sheaffer Pen’s #LifeStories campaign. Sheaffer Pen’s and I go way back. In middle school, I really became interested in calligraphy and hand lettering. My uncle, an amazing artist, gave me a Sheaffer Calligraphy Set to get me started. He was such an inspiration and I miss him dearly (he died when he was only 38 years old). So Sheaffer Pen has since been a reminder to me of him and his talent.

Sheaffer Pen #lifestories

Christopher was also asked to be a feature in the campaign. I’m so proud of him and the way he has completely immersed himself into talk radio for all the right reasons. He opens his heart and mind to his listeners every day and he does it with humor, intelligence and respect.

Sheaffer Pen #lifestories

This was another one of my favorite Sheaffer Pen #LifeStories, Mindy Lockard, The Gracious Girl. Mindy is an amazing woman who lives and breathes gracious living at it’s most authentic.

Sheaffer Pen, #lifestories

For more of Sheaffer Pen’s #LifeStores, check out their site at http://sheaffer.com/, Twitter feed at https://twitter.com/Sheaffer_Page and Instagram at https://instagram.com/sheafferpen/.

 

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I’m coming up on my 5 year Write-aversary (I’m sure that’s a thing) for Recycle Nation so click on over to http://recyclenation.com/author/wendy-gabriel to see what I have been writing about.

Some recent articles include, What Can You Recycle – A Pictorial Tutorial.

Recycle

 

And, Preserving the Harvest, or Saving the Season.

Cadence harvesting strawberries

This photo makes me smile for so many reasons… wonderful memories, Cadence’s adorable smile and those yummy strawberries.

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.  ~Og Mandino

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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!

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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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