Eat Well Guide

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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: As you travel this summer, make sure you’re using the same sustainable practices that you use when you’re at home. For example, continue conserving water, recycling and reusing even when you’re away.

Here are some sustainable tips to remember when you’re traveling this summer:

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

Here are some more tips from National Geographic Traveler from their Ultimate Guide To Sustainable Travel:

  1. Before you even leave for your vacation make sure you turn off and unplug any appliances, computers and TVs to avoid wasting energy while you’re away.
  2. Bring your own reusable bottle. According to the Container Recycling Institute, more than 60 million plastic water bottles are thrown away in the United States each day. Recycling or reusing those bottles instead would save enough energy to power a 60-watt light bulb for an entire day in 15 million households. Travelers can help by recycling and reusing existing water bottles, and refusing to purchase or accept new bottles; instead refilling a single bottle or other dishwasher-safe, reusable bottle with filtered water.
  3. Shut off the lights. When you leave your hotel room, turn off the lights, television, and radio to save electricity. In the summer, close the blinds and/or curtains to reduce heat gain in the room. In the winter, open the blinds and/or curtains on sunny days to let in the sun’s warmth.
  4. Use the right gear. Choose environmentally friendly clothing and travel gear made from recycled, reused, organic, and sustainable natural materials such as cotton, hemp, and bamboo.
  5. Bring a reusable shopping bag. Packing a basic canvas tote, or other similar sturdy, washable bag, in your luggage is an easy way to help keep trash out of landfills and off roadsides, conserve energy, and protect marine life. Use the bag—instead of the paper or plastic bags provided by stores—to carry souvenirs and other purchases made during your trip.
For more sustainable travel tips from National Geographic Traveler, visit http://traveler.nationalgeographic.com/sustainable-travel-tips.

More sustainable DO’s for your green vacation:

  • Eat Local. Find local restaurants during your trip that source their foods from local farmers. You will get better tasting, fresher food and you’ll be supporting the environment at the same time. Visit the Eat Well Guide and search their extensive database to find local, sustainable and organic food at http://www.eatwellguide.org/.
  • Buy Local. Buying keepsakes from local artists and businesses who have local products will give you something that is truly reminiscent of your vacation destination. But buying locally also supports a reduction of emissions because you aren’t purchasing an airbrushed t-shirt that shipped from some far away location.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

SustainableTable.org

Sustainable Table celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues and works to build community through food. The program is home to the Eat Well Guide, an online directory of sustainable products in the U.S. and Canada, and the critically-acclaimed, award-winning Meatrix movies – The MeatrixThe Meatrix II: Revolting and The Meatrix II½.

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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: Do not flush your leftover/expired medications down the sink or toilet.    

The old recommendation that leftover and expired medications be flushed down the toilet is one of the worst things we could be doing. Researchers have found traces of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in our rivers and streams around the country. Not good for our wildlife. Also, our wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove medicines from the wastewater so it’s important not to let them go into the sewer systems.

Four of every five patients leave the doctor’s office with a prescription according to the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS 2002), so the disposal of pharmaceuticals is an important issue.

The US Geological Survey studied water from 139 streams in 30 states and found that 80% contained traces of pharmaceuticals. The affect that those traces may have on the environment, plants, marine life and human health is unknown.

Tips to lessen your environmental impact:

  • DO make sure you take all of your prescription when a medication is prescribed to you.
  • DON’T flush your unused pharmaceuticals down the sink or toilet.
  • DON’T throw your unused pharmaceuticals in the garbage.
  • DO establish good eating/nutrition and exercise habits to prevent disease.
  • DO contact your city or county government’s household trash and recycling service and ask if a drug take‐back program is available in your community. If not, inquire into your city’s household hazardous waste collection sites.

A study of this issue was done for Environmental Health Perspectives and is posted on the Environmental Protection Agency’s site.  Its author, Christian G. Daughton, begins by stating:

Since the 1980s, the occurrence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) as trace environmental pollutants, originating primarily from consumer use and actions rather than manufacturer effluents, continues to become more firmly established. The growing, worldwide importance of freshwater resources underscores the need for ensuring that any aggregate or cumulative impacts on (or from) water supplies are minimized.

Some highlights of the study:

The age-old wisdom of flushing medication down the toilet (still recommended by many professionals)… is probably the least desirable of all the alternatives…

The key and critical disease-prevention role played by nutrition should continue to be explored and emphasized at all levels.

The connections between health maintenance/improvement via proper nutrition and the reduced need for medication are well documented.

Probiotics (beneficial, endogenous microflora) have long been used and studied for the protection of the gut [largely by blocking pathogen adhesion (e.g., Kaur et al. 2002)]. More recent work has expanded this important domain of clinical microbial ecology to other medical uses such as prophylaxis for postsurgical infection [in lieu of prophylactic antibiotics (e.g., Harder 2002; Reid et al. 2001)]. 

Local Disposal Locations

Residents of Fargo, ND can dispose of medications including liquids, pills and inhalers at the front desk of the Fargo Police Department. Items can be dropped off between the hours of 8 am to 6pm. Check with your local law enforcement agency to see if they provide this service, most do.

TakeAway is a national program to help you find disposal locations for your unused prescription medications. TakeAway pharmacies are located in all of North Dakota’s counties and at over 225 pharmacy sites around the country. Find a site near you.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Sustainable Table – Serving up Healthy Food Choices
Sustainable Table
celebrates local sustainable food, educates consumers on food-related issues and works to build community through food. They have recipes and tips, a list of issues faces sustainable food, an informative blog, a searchable database (Eat Well Guide) of sustainable food in your area and much more.

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com. NOTE: SIMPLE TIPS WILL AIR ON TUESDAYS BEGINNING OCTOBER 25 2011.

GREEN TIP: Try to plan a more sustainable Thanksgiving. 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

Locally, you can find a number of wonderful ingredients for your Thanksgiving meal at Sydney’s Health Market. If you not been there yet, head over this Saturday, November 13th 2010 for their Healthy Holidays Celebration from 10am to 3pm. Sign up for door prizes, samples some treats and soak in their warm and welcoming atmosphere.

Go to Sydney’s Health Market’s website for more information.

Talking turkey:

According to Sustinable 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 at butchers, specialty shops and at farmers markets around the country.

Locally: Pre-order your turkey at Sydney’s Health Market. They have local, free-range, organic birds available for $2.99 per pound. Head on over to 810 30th Ave S in Moorhead or give them a call at 218-233-3310.

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 and to encourage individuals to switch to healthier, more sustainable eating habits.

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

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By Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: Make your purchasing decisions based on informed Shop Wellchoices. Purchase products, whenever possible, that are local and in-season, organic, made from sustainable materials, are fairly traded and have minimal packaging.

I recently read a wonderful article by Laura Weldon at NaturalNews.com 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 processed 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.”

When you are out and about this Memorial Day weekend being bombarded with amazing deals for products you may or may not “need,” remember to think before you buy.

Shop Well. Be Green.

Portions were originally posted November 30, 2008

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By Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP:  Precycle.  Stop needless consumption.

Adam Shake with Twilight Earth describes precycling as “the act of ‘not purchasing’ something that would otherwise be recycled or thrown into a landfill.”  It’s a fancy, more compelling word for reducing your consumption.  Remember our mantra: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  Now let’s kick it up a notch: Reduce/Precycle, Reuse, Recycle.  Very catchy.

For many people this decision has been taken out of their hands.  Due to the current economic situation most people do not have a lot of disposable income to spend frivolously.  But we do have a choice:  We can continue to complain about the world’s economic bleakness and blame anyone who seems culpable, or we can embrace this great opportunity we now have to stop and think about how we spend our money.  Some ideas for precycling:

Buy used stuff

Sports equipment, workout equipment, consignment/thrift store clothes, used cars.  There are local shops all of the country that resell anything and everything.  Also, take a look at FreeCycle.com.

Buy local and organic

This has become a priority in our home, not only for the sustainability but for the health benefits.  The more I research conventionally processed foods, I find they’re becoming more and more devoid of nutrition.  But not only are our nutritional needs being shortchanged, we’re getting a lot of things that are making us unhealthy.  From the  irradiation of produce and meat, pesticides, herbicides, GMO’s, mercury and who knows what else is allowed to be put in our food in the name of keeping us “safe,” our food supply is slowly killing us.

Meanwhile, it takes connections to the CIA to find and purchase healthy raw milk products in my state.  Thankfully, I can always rely on the Eat Well Guide and Sustainable Table to help me find good food. 

I’m not telling you to stop buying stuff.  I am imploring you to stop and think about the stuff you’re buying.  Do you need that 10-pack of paper towels or could you use and reuse a nice set of dish towels?  Do you need a case of bottled water or could you use a filter for your tap water?  Do you need a brand new Lexus or could you outfit my home with solar panels?  OK, maybe that last one is a stretch…

Be Thoughtful.  Be Green.

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By Wendy Gabriel

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

Just 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 processed 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.”

Shop Well.  Be Green.

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by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP:  Plan to make your Thanksgiving a little greener this year.  Whether you’re hosting a Thanksgiving dinner or traveling to celebrate the holiday, there are many things you can do to have a greener Thanksgiving.

I absolutely love Thanksgiving.  We have a big family and over the years my parents always randomly invited wonderful and interesting people to share our Thanksgiving meals.  Now that I have a family of my own, I endeavor to make my daughters’ memories just as memorable.  I have much to be thankful for so trying to make Thanksgiving a little greener is the least I can do in my quest to save the world.

Little Greek goddess at the pumpkin patch

Here are some great tips with some help from the Green Team:

  • If you’re cooking, try to find ingredients that were grown locally.  Do your shopping at farmers markets or your local co-op.  To find out where they are, look in your local newspaper or search the Eat Well Guide.
  • For food you buy from the grocery store, choose items with minimal packaging.  And be sure to bring your own bags with you.
  • Serving turkey?  Choose an organic bird.
  • Provide cloth napkins and reusable dishware and utensils.  You won’t be sending napkins, plastic plates and cups to a landfill and you’ll save money.
  • Adjust the thermostat down a couple of degrees.  All that cooking and the body heat from your guests will surely compensate.  You’ll save energy and that will save you money.
  • Compost all the waste you can.
  • If you’re traveling to enjoy dinner at someone else’s house, carpool with family or friends.  And of course if you’re bringing food, follow the tips above and pack your dish in a reusable container.

As you begin to assemble your Thanksgiving to-do list, take your time, drink responsibly and think green.

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