New Year

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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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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: Simplify, simplify, simplify.Happy New Year!

Yes, it’s that time of year again, that magical moment when we all are able to take a deep breath and begin anew. Take one last look back at the old year and then onward into the new year.

Many people believe that going green takes more money than continuing to do business as usual. That could not be further from the truth. Being green is about living simply, sustainably and thoughtfully.

Here are a few resolutions to add to your list:

1. Clean Green. Next time you go to the store to pick up some cleaning products bypass the toxic chemicals and buy some 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.

2. Start Recycling. If you don’t currently recycle, start with one thing like your newspaper or plastic bottles. If you do recycle, find something else you can consistently add to your recycling bin.

3. Stop Buying Paper Towels. According to MaryJanesFarmAmericans go through about 2.5 million tons of paper towels anually, and even the ones made from recycled materials usually end up in landfills. Use organic cotton cloths instead.

4. Buy Less Stuff. 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?

5. 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.

Here’s a wonderful article from The Sydney Morning Herald entitiled, How to keep your New Year’s resolutions. Some highlights:

  • Write down your resolutions.
  • Make your resolutions specific.
  • Create a plan on how you’re going to make your resolutions a reality.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

TreeHugger.com

TreeHugger is one of the most popular green living blogs out there. According to Time Magazine, “TreeHugger is the go-to guide and news feed for sustainable living.” They cover everything from green technology, cars, science, design, building, fashion and more. TreeHugger is huge and prolific, they set the standard for coverage of cutting-edge green information.

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Editor’s Note: Each Tuesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living toThe 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: As we move into a New Year 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 of 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 of 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 is an online magazine from National Geographic offering tons of tips for living a green lifestyle. There’s information on topics including eco-friendly home and garden, sustainable food and green buying guides. You’ll get updates on issues like green energy and find out how to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals.

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bubblesby Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Keep yourself up-to-date on the latest green issues, trends, news, recipes and shopping. Here are some of My Green Side’s favorite green sites of 2009.

  1. A Little Greener Every Day: Some useful information, some anecdotes, some rantings, and some inspiration from Robin Shreeves in her quest to make her family and the world around her A Little Greener Every Day.
  2. Center for Health, Environment & Justice (CHEJ): CHEJ’s overarching goal has consistently been to prevent harm—particularly among vulnerable populations such as children. If a safer process, material or product exists it should be used. They believe that everyone, regardless of income, race, religion, or occupation, has a right to live, work, learn, play and pray in a healthy community.
  3. ChefMD: Healthy recipes from Dr. John LaPuma.
  4.  Ecosystem Gardening: Carole Brown teaches us how to manage our properties to benefit the environment, conserve natural resources, and create wonderful habitats for the wildlife around us.
  5. Eat Well Guide: Find wholesome, fresh and sustainable food in the U.S. and Canada.
  6. Environmental Working Group: The EWG exposes threats to our Reduce, Reuse, Recyclehealth and the environment and finds solutions.
  7. Fake Plastic Fish: This site is a record of Beth Terry’s journey to live with as little unnecessary plastic as possible. Our oceans are filling up with plastic: plastic that harms wildlife and never biodegrades; plastic that enters the food chain and leaches toxic chemicals.
  8. Glue&Glitter: A fun site filled with craftsand great writing. One of the site’s goals is to create products that help folks waste less in their day to day, especially in the kitchen
  9. Green Living Ideas: Keeping going green down to earth.
  10. Green Upgrader: This site helps to make sustainable living accessible to everyone, because they believe that if everyone makes at least a small change, the impact will be big.
  11. Healthy Child Healthy World: They are igniting a movement that inspires parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. Filled with tons of relevant information.
  12. Lighter Footstep: No matter where you are on the journey toward a lighter, more Earth-friendly lifestyle, this site is here to help along the way. A healthier family. A cleaner planet. Making the most of your weekly budget.
  13. Love Earth Always: Founders Glenn and Donna Fay created this site with a passionate commitment to sustainability, renewable energy and social responsibility.
  14. Loving Nature’s Garden: Alison Kerr, writer and editor, founded this site to connect, to share, to inform and to inspire others to make positive green changes.
  15. My Zero Waste: A site dedicated to reducing waste and environmental contamination. It documents a family’s journey to Zero Waste. Filled with great tips and articles.
  16. Natural Papa: A site focusing on natural parenting and fatherhood, Gorgeous leaves - taken at the Walker Art Center's Sculpture Gardenshome remedies for common children’s ailments, homeschooling, green and simple living for families, and natural foods.
  17. Raising Them Green: Melissa Hincha-Ownby created this site to help parents raise eco-conscious children.
  18. Recycle Your Day: Giving back to nature one excellent article at a time.
  19. The Cornucopia Institute: Seeking economic justice for the family-scale farming community. Through research, advocacy, and economic development their goal is to empower farmers, partnered with consumers, in support of ecologically produced local, organic and authentic food.
  20. The Good Human: A destination that encourages people to be better humans through working to clean up the environment, being active in political issues and being more aware of one’s life and surroundings.
  21. The Grass Stain Guru: Kid-at-heart Bethe Almeras is always reminding us all to get outside and play. A charming, fun-filled, information packed site.
  22. The Green Mom
  23. The Greenists: Providing simple green answers to everyday life.
  24. The Smart Mama: Simple steps to non-toxic kids.
  25. Twilight Earth: This is one of my favorite sites run by one of my favorite people, Adam Shake. Twilight Earth is dedicated to saving the Environment through shared News, Discussion, Advocacy and Activism.

Happy New Year!It would be impossible to include every outstanding site I’ve either stumbled upon or become an all-out fan of over the past year. There are enormous amounts of people all over the world doing amazing things to improve the way we live while being mindful of educating us on how to better treat our planet. To suggest the list above is partial would be The Understatement of 2009.

If you’ve not visited the sites I’ve listed, do so. Now. It’s a great way to bring in 2010.

And in the coming year… Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Green.

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By Wendy Gabriel

Good-bye 2007, you’ve been a great year.  A new baby made her on-time arrival at Gabriel Manor, another had a tail wind and came a bit early for my sister, we’ve all had life teach us new lessons and more than anything, we’ve had enough joy and laughter to fill up several years.

We’ve also had some low-lights . . . but that’s a blog for another time. 

Hello, 2008.  This year promises to be amazing, one that will be full of firsts.  Baby Greek Goddess’s first birthday.  Little Greek Goddess’s first skating lessons followed in short order by her first hockey class (she’s already tackled her first ballet and soccer classes).  My oldest niece will be the first of our 10 nieces and nephews to graduate high school.  Oh how time flies: I blinked and she went from wearing diapers to wearing Prada.

And so with the clock ticking down to 2008, it’s time for The Big Finish.  The grand finale to My Green Side, 2007.  For quite some time, I’ve been looking for a jumping-off point to leap into the new year; a light to follow, if you will, that will be something of a guidepost for the year to come.  As if on cue, I stumbled across a quote by Mother Teresa which really struck a cord . . . call it the sign in the road I was seeking:

“People are often unreasonable and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.  If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.  If you are honest, people may cheat you.  Be honest anyway.  If you find happiness, people may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.  The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.  Do good anyway.  Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.  Give your best anyway.  For you see, in the end, it is between you and God.  It never was between you and them anyway.”

You might be wondering what the previous paragraph has to do with living green.  To me, living green is more than just Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  It’s about living life in a way that benefits not only yourself and your family, but those around you.  It is about seeing the world, living in the world and improving the world in ways that leave a healthier blueprint for our children to follow, both physically and emotionally. 

Happy New Year!

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