WDAY Green Tip

You are currently browsing the archive for the WDAY Green Tip category.

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.

Tags: , , , , ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Use Less Stuff

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

One Green Planet

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

Tags: , , ,

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

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

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

Planning your trip:

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

Preparing your vehicle:

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

On the road: Driving Tips

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

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

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

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

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

Tags: , , ,

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

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

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

Greener Gifts

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

Greener Holiday Lighting

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

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

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

Source: Eartheasy.com

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Sustainable Baby Steps

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

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

Tags: , , , ,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Fair Trade USA

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

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

Tags: , , , ,

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

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

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

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

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

100-Mile Thanksgiving Farmers MarketEnjoying Autumn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talking turkey:

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

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

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

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

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

On to the leftovers:

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

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

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

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

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

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

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

Tags: , , , ,

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: America Recycles Day is November 15th. Take the time to review your city’s recycling guidelines and make sure you are doing all you can to keep recyclables out of your local landfill.

For more information about America Recycle’s Day, visit http://americarecyclesday.org/.

Here’s a look at what is allowable in the City of Fargo’s curbside recycling program:MInnKota Recycling

Cardboard: Corrugated cardboard boxes, brown kraft bags, beverage containers, shoe boxes cereal and food boxes, chipboard and paperboard.

Plastics: #1-7 Clean plastic container such as soda bottles, milk containers, detergent and shampoo bottles, yogurt & cottage cheese containers, ice cream pails, margarine tubs and vegetable containers. All containers with a recycling symbol of 1-7. REMOVE THE PLASTIC LIDS BEFORE PLACING YOUR BOTTLES IN THE RECYCLING BIN.

Newspapers and Magazines: Newspaper, shoppers and anything that is delivered in the newspaper, including glossy inserts. Magazines, small catalogs and similar printed material with glossy pages.

Aluminum and Tin Cans: Aluminum, steel and tin cans.

Glass: Clear, brown and green glass bottles and jars.

For more information about the City of Fargo’s recycling programs, visit http://www.cityoffargo.com/CityInfo/Departments/SolidWaste/Recycling/, for the City of West Fargo, visit http://www.westfargond.gov/ and for the City of Moorhead, visit http://www.ci.moorhead.mn.us/.

RECYCLING FACTS from the National Resources Defense Council and Keep America Beautiful:

  • The U.S. currently recycles 32.5 percent of its waste, compared with about five percent in 1970.
  • According to the EPA, recycling cuts global warming pollution by the equivalent of removing 39.6 million passenger cars from the road.
  • Before 1973, no curbside recycling programs existed in the United States. By 2006, about 8,660 curbside programs had sprouted up across the nation.
  • Less than half of all post-consumer paper discarded in the United States is recovered for recycling.
  • Only 13 percent of water bottles are recycled. In 2005, Americans purchased 30 billion water bottles, and 26 billion of them wound up in landfills.
  • Airports and airlines recycle less than 20 percent of the 425,000 tons of passenger-related waste they produce each year.
  • Aluminum cans have 68% recycled content. Used aluminum cans are recycled and back on the shelf as new cans in as few as 60 days.
  • Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your TV for three hours.
  • Recycling one glass bottle saves enough energy to light a 100-watt light bulb for four hours, power a computer for 30 minutes, or a television for 20 minutes.
  • It takes 24 trees to make one ton of uncoated virgin (non-recycled) printing and office paper.
  • Using recycled scrap paper instead of virgin material saves 7,000 gallons of water per ton of paper produced.
  • Recycled paper production creates 74 percent less air pollution and 35 percent less water pollution than virgin paper production.

Reducing our waste before it becomes recycling or goes to a landfill, is a goal we can all work towards. 

Here are a few tips:

  • Buy products in bulk and bring your own reusable containers to store them in. This eliminates food waste by helping ensure you buy only what you need. This will become even more of an option in our area once the Prairie Roots Food Co-op has a physical store. If you’re not yet a member, visit http://prairie-roots.coop/ and join today!
  • Share or swap items with friends, family and neighbors to avoid unnecessary purchases.
  • Choose products and companies that support sustainability.
  • Focusing on quality over quantity.
  • Have items repaired instead of throwing them away.
  • Set aside unwanted, still-good items for schools, shelters and other organizations that will accept them.
  • Cook from scratch rather than buy packaged foods.
  • Reduce multiple trips to the store by stocking up on essential items, which will save gas and reduce pollution.
  • Avoid disposable items and instead use durable goods such as thermal cups, permanent plates and utensils.
  • Avoid taking freebies that you aren’t going to use.
  • Buy from thrift stores.
  • Before you purchase an item, consider what you’ll do with it’s no longer useful.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

MinnKota Recycling

MinnKota Recycling is a local company that specializes in multiple material recycling and brokerage services. Their business covers most of North Dakota and Minnesota. While operating five recycling facilities and over 600 commercial accounts in this region, MinnKota has been recognized as the “Best in North Dakota” by the State Department of Health. Major production mills have also recognized MinnKota across the U.S. for their quality materials.

MinnKota Recycling keeps all the materials they collect in the U.S., they don’t ship it out to other countries. For example, their #2 plastics go to Bedford Recycled Plastic Technology, a company in Worthington, MN that manufactures FiberForce Plastic Lumber out of it. Glass goes to Glass Advantage in West Fargo and they tumble it into landscaping rock and other products.

Tags: , , ,

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: When the little trick-or-treaters knock on your door this Halloween, give them healthy treats that also treat the environment kindly.

Before you head out the door with your own little trick-or-treaters, make sure you’ve feed them a healthy and hearty dinner. This way, they’ll be less likely to fill up on sugary treats during your walk around the neighborhood.

Eco-friendly Candy

There are a number of different eco-friendly candies now available at your local grocery stop, health food stores or co-ops. These organic candies can provide Halloween treats that are a little friendlier for your trick-or-treaters and are produced using methods that are gentler on the environment.

Where you can find them locally:

  • Sydney’s Health Market: My number one choice for all my healthy shopping needs. They have organic fruit snack, fruit strips, lollipops, organic juice boxes and many other options.
  • Cash Wise: They have a wonderful organic section which include a lot of organic candy, boxes of organic raisins and bars.
  • Hornbachers: Their natural and organic sections has a number of organic treats.
  • Target: They have a number of better treat choices in their Halloween section including pretzels, Pirate Booty and Boom Chicka Pop.

My favorite find: Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop. Not only are they a Minnesota company and the official kettle corn (just one of their awesome flavors) of the Minnesota Vikings, the products are whole grain, vegan, Og trans fats, non-GMO, certified Kosher and certified gluten-free. This is one of my girls’ favorite snacks and a great Halloween treat option.

Non-GMO candy

Or Avoid Candy Altogether

Another option is to avoid candy altogether and to give your trick-or-treaters useful treats, such as colorful pencils, small boxes of crayons, or erasers in fun shapes.

Other ideas:

  • Fun magnets
  • Seed paper/bookmarks for planting or reading
  • Wash off tattoos
  • Stickers
  • Craft kits (Michael’s has fun craft kits for $1.00)
  • Adhesive bandages with fun themes
  • Barrettes or other hair things
  • Mini pumpkins or gourds
  • Fun toothbrushes
  • Unfinished wood items
  • Decorated pencils
  • Polished stones

Where you can find them locally:

  • Target
  • Pout Baby Boutique: They have a large eco-friendly section including Piggy Paint Nail Polish. They also have a new location, you can now find them at 1801 45th St S Fargo, ND 58103.
  • Michaels
  • Hobby Lobby

Be Sure to Reuse and Recycle

If you don’t already compost, Halloween is a great time to start. You can add post-Halloween jack-o-lanterns to your compost bin, along with fallen leaves, food scraps, and other organic, biodegradable yard and household waste.

Compost creates excellent soil for your garden. You might even use the compost from your backyard bin to help grow the pumpkins that will become next year’s jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin pies.

If you are interested in composting, your local hardware store, garden center, county extension service, or waste disposal agency should be able to help you get started.

Locally, the City of Fargo has a wonderful compost bin you can purchase at a reasonable cost. For more information call 701-241-1449 or visit http://www.cityoffargo.com/CityInfo/Departments/SolidWaste/Recycling/Backyardcomposters.aspx.

Instead of throwing away your Halloween decorations each year, store and reuse them year after year, just as you do decorations for many other holidays. Source: About.com, Environmental Issues

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Rodale News

Rodale is one of the world’s leading healthy lifestyle company and they publish some of the best-known health and wellness lifestyle magazines, including Prevention, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Runner’s World, Running Times, Bicycling, and Organic Gardening, and is one of the largest independent book publishers in the United States. Rodale brings you the ideas, insights, and information that inspire and enable people to improve their lives and the world around them.

Rodale News has great information and tips about topics like Organic Living, Health, Pets, Family and Food.

Tags: , , , , ,

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: With winter fast approaching, make sure your indoor air is healthy. Finding ways to sustainablyKeep your indoor air as healthy as possible improve the quality of your indoor air will minimize your health risks.

Everything that’s in our home makes up our indoor air quality. The materials we’ve used to build our house, the paint on our walls, our furniture; all the pieces that make our house a home can potentially be harmful to our health.

Pollution from power plants, cars, and other transportation is a well-known contributor to outdoor air pollution, but our indoor air quality is often worse; it can be up to 10 times worse for you than the air outside. Microbial pollutants like mold, pet dander and plant pollen can combine with chemicals like radon and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to create a pretty toxic environment in your home; since we spend an average of 90% of our time indoors and 65% of our time inside our homes, according to the National Safety Council, that can add up to allergies, asthma and worse.

Source: Treehugger.com

Some ways to keep your indoor air healthy:

  • Maintain proper ventilation.
  • Minimize the use of harsh cleaners or cleaners with strong fragrances. Anything that is artificially scented pollutes your environment. The word “fragrance” on a label can mask up to 100 different chemicals, and synthetic scents have been found to trigger migraine headaches and asthma attacks.

Check out this University of Washington study to find out more information about why the word “fragrance” in products should be a red flag for consumers: http://www.washington.edu/news/2008/07/23/toxic-chemicals-found-in-common-scented-laundry-products-air-fresheners/

  • Garden and take care of your lawn without using pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. These toxic chemicals can be tracked into your home on shoes, clothes or paws.
  • Houseplants are some of the most effective air cleaners.
    • Aloe Vera soothes burns and removes formaldehyde from the air.
    • Corn plants remove benzene and cigarette smoke from the air.
    • Spider plants absorb carbon monoxide.
    • Peace lilies remove acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde.
    • Dwarf date palms negate harmful effects from xylene (found in paints).

Source: Natural Health Magazine, July/August 2010

  • Avoid smoking indoors. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of indoor pollutants at high concentrations.
  • Don’t idle cars, lawnmowers and so on in the garage (especially attached garages).

For more tips on improving indoor air, visit Greenguard Environmental Institute.

Check out this really amazing air purifier – the ANDREA air filter. ANDREA employs both active plant filtration, along with water and soil to provide a multistage system that cleanses air from harmful toxins that can irritate and be harmful to your lungs. It naturally purifies air by drawing it with a whisper-quiet fan to propel it through the leaves and root system of a plant, then out through water and soil filtration and back into the room environment.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Greenguard Environmental Institute
The GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) was founded in 2001 with the mission of improving human health and quality of life by enhancing indoor air quality and reducing people’s exposure to chemicals and other pollutants. In keeping with that mission, GEI certifies products and materials for low chemical emissions and provides a free resource for choosing healthier products and materials for indoor environments.

Tags: , , , , ,

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: October is breast cancer awareness month. According to a report by the World Cancer Brazaar - Bras on BroadwayResearch Fund (WCRF) and the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), a significant amount of cases (a minimum of 38%) could be prevented if we followed a few recommendations that were confirmed during their research.

None of these recommendations should be a big surprise. They are all things we know are building blocks of a healthy lifestyle… common sense. The choice is ours. To implement these recommendations into our daily lives or to ignore them. Especially when 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime and there are 230,000 new invasive breast cancer cases discovered each year.

Here are a quick look at some of the Cancer Prevention Recommendations from the report:

  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Convincing evidence shows that weight gain and obesity increases the risk of a number of cancers, including bowel and breast cancer. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity to help keep your risk lower.
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and limit your consumption of energy-dense foods (foods high in fats and/or added sugars and/or low in fiber). Translation: avoid process foods, soda and juices and eat whole foods.
  • Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes such as beans. Organic whole foods reduce the risk of breast cancer by modulating estrogen, a chemical that’s native to our bodies but a frequent precursor to cancer when present in the wrong amounts. For example, cruciferous vegetables—such as broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts and collard greens—contain a compound that changes how estrogen is metabolized, making the body’s own estrogen less likely to promote cancer. Source: OrionMagazine.org
  • Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with salt (sodium).Bras on Broadway 2013

And always remember do not smoke or chew tobacco.

For the complete list of recommendations and the full report, visit http://www.wcrf.org/.

What’s not covered in these recommendations, but we know are also contributing factors to cancer and other chronic diseases, are toxic chemicals. With more scientific evidence emerging all the time, it’s clear that the chemicals in our environment play a role in altering our biological processes. It’s also clear that our exposures to toxic chemicals and radiation are connected to our breast cancer risk (and other cancers and diseases but this month we’re focusing on breast cancer).

One big culprit when it comes to toxic chemicals is our personal care products.

In the U.S., major loopholes in federal law allow the cosmetics industry to put thousands of synthetic chemicals into personal care products, even if those chemicals are linked to cancer, infertility or birth defects. At the same time as untested chemicals have been steadily introduced into our environment, breast cancer incidence has risen dramatically. Source: Breast Cancer Fund

Following are some of the chemicals commonly found in our personal care products and how they impact our health:

Phthalates: Phthalates are a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are found in cosmetics like nail polish and in synthetic fragrance—both perfumes and fragrance ingredients in other cosmetic products. Phthalate exposure has been linked to early puberty in girls, a risk factor for later-life breast cancer. Some phthalates also act as weak estrogens in cell culture systems. This class of chemicals has been linked to hormone disruption, which can affect development and fertility. Although some phthalates are being phased out of cosmetics under consumer pressure, diethyl phthalate (DEP) is still used in many products, including fragrance. In 2010, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics found DEP in 12 of 17 fragrance products tested for their report, “Not So Sexy.” Product tests conducted by Consumer Reports ShopSmart magazine in January 2007 found the phthalates DEP and DEHP (which is banned in Europe) in each of eight popular perfumes tested. DEP is a ubiquitous pollutant of the human body, found in 97 percent of Americans tested by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recent epidemiological studies have associated DEP with a range of health problems, including sperm damage in men. Most fragrances don’t list phthalates on the label, but hide them under the term, “fragrance.”

Triclosan: Triclosan is used in antibacterial soaps, deodorants and toothpastes to limit the growth of bacteria and mold. It is a common antimicrobial agent that accumulates in our bodies and has been linked to hormone disruption and the emergence of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and antibacterial products. The chemical, which is classified as a pesticide, can affect the body’s hormone systems—especially thyroid hormones, which regulate metabolism—and may disrupt normal breast development. Along with its negative health effects, triclosan also impacts the environment, ending up in lakes, rivers and other water sources, where it is toxic to aquatic life.

To get the full list of chemicals you should avoid, visit http://www.breastcancerfund.org/clear-science/environmental-breast-cancer-links/cosmetics/.

To find out what is in the personal care products you and your family use every day, visit the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database at http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.

If you haven’t already, watching Annie Leonard’s, The Story of Cosmetics is a must see. She has an excellent way of getting to the heart of an issue in a really disarming manner. “Toxins in, toxins out.” To view, visit http://www.storyofstuff.org/movies-all/story-of-cosmetics/

Locally, you can donate to Bras on Broadway, a fundraiser where every dollar donated stays in our region to help those who are fighting breast cancer. To find out more, visit http://brasonbroadway.com/.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

The Breast Cancer Fund

The Breast Cancer Fund works to connect the dots between breast cancer and exposures to chemicals and radiation in our everyday environments.

They translate the growing body of scientific evidence linking breast cancer and environmental exposures into public education and advocacy campaigns that protect our health and reduce breast cancer risk.

They help transform how our society thinks about and uses chemicals and radiation, with the goal of preventing breast cancer and sustaining health and life.

Tags: , , , ,

« Older entries