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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: Eating organic produce, meat and dairy is healthier for your family and the environment (and it tastes better). Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.  

Here are some money saving tips to help you eat healthier and stay within your budget:

  • Comparison Shop. You may be able to find less-expensive alternatives at different stores. Many major chains are coming out with their own organic brands but make sure it’s certified organic. According to Mark Kastel, the senior farm policy analyst at The Cornucopia Institute, ”Major food processors have recognized the meteoric rise of the organic industry, and profit potential, and want to create what is in essence ‘organic light,’ taking advantage of the market cachet but not being willing to do the heavy lifting required to earn the valuable USDA organic seal”. Products with a USDA Organic label were grown and processed without toxic pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. Certified organic production also prohibits sewage sludge, antibiotics, ionizing radiation, synthetic growth hormones and genetically modified organisms.
  • Check out the 2014 Environmental Working Group’s Shoppers Guide to Pesticides in Produce and find out what produce is highest in pesticide residue.
  • Grow One Thing. Unless you have a lot of land, you’re probably not going to feed your family only from yourPeppers home-grown harvest, but you will find that growing a tomato plant can produce a lot of tomatoes. Pick one (or three) things to grow in your yarn, on a balcony or in a sunny window.
  • Cook More. The more convenient the food is, the more expensive it is. For example, buying an organic frozen dinner may save you time in the same way a conventional frozen dinner would, but it costs quite a bit more than its non-organic counterpart and much more than a homemade meal. Buy organic items that are lower in price (such as produce), and make your own dishes from scratch.
  • Stock Up. Stock up on your favorite items when they go on sale. Or try something new that is on sale or is priced well, and you may find a new favorite.
  • Buy in Bulk. Buying in bulk will keep costs down. Look for many pantry staples often available in bulk, such as beans, legumes, rice, flour, nuts, chocolate chips and so on.
  • Organic Coupons. Keep an eye out in the Sunday paper and grocery circulars for coupons and, again, stock up to take best advantage of the savings. Organic bargains are everywhere so click on About.com’s Frugal Living page where you will find All Organic Links.
  • Shop in Season and Buy Local. Shop farm stands and farmers’ markets for the freshest produce and support local farmers at the same time. Purchasing in season produce from your grocer may also keep costs down. And you can also save money by becoming a member of your local food co-op.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Prairie Roots Food Cooperative at http://prairie-roots.coop/

Prairie Roots Food Co-Op is dedicated to building a healthy community by providing access to natural, organic and local food. A food co-op is a member-owned, member-controlled grocery store that operates for the mutual benefit of all members and according to common principles established for cooperatives. A food co-op provides community members with access to local, all natural, organic, and specialty foods. In turn, local producers gain broader access to the local market. Food cooperatives play an important role in helping to foster the relationship between local producers and community members.

THIS WEEKEND: Find Prairie Roots at Eco Chic’s Junk Market and Alley Fair

Find out more information about Eco Chic’s Junk Market at http://beingecochic.com/junk-market/.

Eco Chic Junk Market 2014 Find out more information about Alley Fair at http://www.alleyfair.com/. The Alley Fair is Saturday, September 20th, 2014 (Daytime Events) from 11am to 7pm and include an Artist and Makers’ Market, Harvest Market, food, games, live art demonstrations, music and performers.

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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: Instead of spending time raking and bagging up your leaves this fall, use them as mulch for your lawn. Leaves can be used to improve your lawn and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers.

We have talked before about grasscycling and the long term benefits to your lawn. This fall mulch your leaves back onto your lawn. Leaves can be used to improve your lawn and reduce the use of chemical fertilizers. Leaves also make great mulch, garden cover and rich compost. It’s good for your lawn and reduces the time you spend raking.

A Drawback of Leaving Leaves at the Curb: Phosphorus

Tree leaves are full of phosphorus. Piles of leaves can release large amounts of phosphorus into surface water run-off, ultimately resulting in high concentration in rivers, lakes, ponds and streams. This can lead to changes in animal and plant populations and degradation of water and habitat quality (exessive algae bloom).

To learn more about the effects of phosphorus on our water quality visit the U.S. Geological Survey’s website. Source: Pleasantville Recycles

Mulching Leaves On Your Lawn

Use your mower to cut leaves into small pieces, allowing them to fall into and under the grass instead of resting on top of it. This process results in increased surface area, which in turn makes it easier for insects and microbes to consume the leaves and get the nutrients back into the soil.

Lawns where leaves are mulched directly into the grass are healthier than the lawns with no leaves added and a healthier lawn has fewer weeds.

Compost Your Leaves

Composting is another great way to handle leaves at home. When you add leaves to your compost bin be sure you also add some nitrogen rich material to help the leaves (which are high in carbon) break down. Grass clippings, fruit scraps and vegetable scraps are an excellent source of nitrogen. You can also speed up the composting process by chopping up your leaves before you put them in the bin.

Some people like to keep a few bags of leaves to add to their compost piles throughout the year.

Source: City of Madison

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Ecosystem Gardening

Ecosystem Gardening is about teaching you how to become a steward of your own property and to begin making positive choices in your own backyard for wildlife and the environment. This site has great tools and resources to help you make a difference in your own outdoor space.

Conservation Begins In Your Own Backyard with Ecosystem Gardening

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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: A properly maintained vehicle will last longer, pollute less and save fuel.Baby Greek Goddess on her bike

There are many reasons to practice good vehicle maintenance and to take steps to reduce your vehicle’s impact on the environment and public health. A properly maintained vehicle will last longer, pollute less and save fuel.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Avoid excessive idling. Excessive idling wastes fuel and can actually reduce the life of your vehicle. Newer vehicles are designed to warm up in 30 seconds or less, even in cold weather. Turn your engine off if you’re waiting for an extended period of time. Contrary to popular myth you typically don’t use more fuel restarting your vehicle. If you wait over 10 seconds to restart your vehicle, you are saving fuel.
  • Don’t top off your tank. Fuel spilled when your tank is over-filled usually evaporates and pollutes the air. Topping off also produces excessive gasoline vapors that contribute to bad ozone days and are a source of toxic air pollutants such as benzene. Remember you pay for the gas that evaporates or is spilled on the ground.
  • Care for your tires. Keep your wheels aligned and your tires properly inflated to increase fuel efficiency and make them last longer. Studies show that a 7 psi under-inflation can result in 10% increase in rolling resistance. Under inflated tires can lower gas mileage up to 1 mile per gallon. Check the tire pressure once a month.
  • Combine errands to make fewer trips. Your vehicle burns more gas and pollutes more in the first few minutes after a cold start then when warmed up and operated for longer periods. Combine trips or seek alternative modes of transportation like walking, biking or public transit.
  • Watch your speed. The average vehicle loses nearly two percent in gas mileage for every mile per hour over 55. Driving at high speeds also causes tires to wear out sooner because rubber breaks down faster at higher temperatures.
  • Drive smoothly. Over-accelerating and braking quickly are hard on your vehicle. If you can drive smoothly, you’ll save up to two miles per gallon. Fast starts use up to 50 percent more gas than slower starts.
  • Travel light. Clear out the trunk. For every 50 pounds of stuff you’re carrying around, you lose 1/4 miles per gallon.
  • Don’t ignore the light. In newer vehicles, the check engine light on your dashboard will turn on if the on-board computer on tour vehicle senses something is awry with your emission control equipment. Visit your mechanic and have your vehicle checked. If you don’t have a check engine light but your car sounds different, is running rough or emitting smoke visit your mechanic sooner rather than later. Small inexpensive repairs can turn into large expensive problems if left unchecked.
  • Recycle your used car products. Most fluids from your car are toxic and must be handled carefully. You can dispose of many used and unwanted car products properly at a household hazardous waste facility. They’ll recycle them or dispose of them safely. Batteries, tires, antifreeze, gasoline, motor oil and oil filters, diesel fuel, brake fluid and automatic transmission fluid can be recycled.
    • Antifreeze is toxic to pets and harmful to humans. Don’t pour it down the drain. Store used antifreeze in its original container.
    • Batteries contain lead and acid that can be recycled. These materials can contaminate ground water if not disposed of properly.
    • Used motor oil can be recycled at the curb in the Portland area. Pour the oil into an unbreakable, see-through container with a screw-on lid like a milk jug. Never pour oil down a household or storm drain where it can travel directly into streams and underground water sources or disrupt waste-treatment facilities.
    • Tires can be recycled but services vary across the state. Never burn tires. Tires emit highly toxic and noxious smoke when burned.

Source: State of Oregon Department of Environmental Control, Fact Sheet, Save Money and Clear the Air

LOCALLY

For more information about the City of Fargo’s Hazardous Waste Facility, visit http://www.cityoffargo.com/CityInfo/Departments/SolidWaste/Householdhazardouswaste/. If you’re in the Moorhead, Minnesota area, check out http://www.ci.moorhead.mn.us/departments/operations/sanitation.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Be Car Care Aware at http://www.carcare.org/

The “Be Car Care Aware” campaign is a consumer education program about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair. The site has great tips and information on things like Car Care Resources and Car Care Service Schedules. There is also a comprehensive Do It Yourself section.

Being kind to your environment through refined, renewed and resourceful living.

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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: Pack a zero waste lunch. You’ll save money and help the environment. The best way to Reusable Lunch Boxreduce garbage is not to create it in the first place.

We’ve talked before about using reusable products, Green Tip – Think Reusable NOT Disposable, let’s take it a step further and make our packed lunches both nutritious and environmentally friendly.

A zero waste lunch means that you have no packaging to throw away when you’re done – nothing other than apple cores, banana and orange peels, peach or cherry pits.The best way to reduce garbage is to not create it.

 

Tips for a zero waste lunch:

  • Use a reusable cloth bag or lunchbox. Avoid using disposable bags.
  • Use reusable containers (preferably ceramic or glass). Avoid using plastic wrap, foil or styrofoam.
  • Use a stainless steel bottle for drinks. Avoid using single-use cartons or cans. If sending a plastic bottle or can is unavoidable, make sure the container comes home to be put in the recycling bin.
  • Use cloth napkins to wash and re-use. Avoid using paper napkins but if you have to use paper napkins, look for napkins that use recycled content.
  • Use stainless-steel forks and spoons to wash and re-use. Avoid using plastic forks and spoons.
  • Only pack the amount of food you know will get eaten. Get to know what things are getting eaten at lunch time and what is being avoided. Ask your child to bring home lunch leftovers. Looking at leftover lunches is a great way to get information about your children’s lunch preferences. Find out why certain foods have come back uneaten. Did your child not like it? Was she not hungry enough to eat everything in the lunchbox? Was there a birthday celebration at school that day? Did she share someone else’s lunch instead? Maintain a dialogue without criticizing. Consider making a list of foods that your child likes to eat for lunch and update it regularly with input from your child. You may find that she prefers romaine lettuce to red leaf lettuce. By making this simple change, she might start eating salads more regularly. Providing a dip for carrot and celery sticks might make eating them more fun. Source: Waste-Free Lunches

Lunch Waste Facts

Eat a Rainbow

  • FOOD WASTE: A 2004 University of Arizona study reported that Americans throw away almost 50 percent of all the food we produce for domestic sale and consumption. In round numbers that’s $43 billion annually on wasted food.
  • FOOD WASTE: Researchers at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) concluded in a 2009 study that each year a quarter of U.S. water consumption and over 300 million barrels of oil (four percent of U.S. oil consumption) go into producing and distributing food that ultimately ends up in landfills.
  • ALUMINUM FOIL: More than 20 million Hershey’s kisses are wrapped with 133 square miles of foil every day.
  • ALUMINUM AND TIN CANS: Half of the 100 billion cans sold in the U.S. last year were landfilled or incinerated.
  • FOOD WASTE: Food debris in a landfill decomposes only 25% in the first 15 years. Compost that food waste instead of throwing it away.
  • JUICE BOXES: Most inorganic trash retains its weight, volume, and form for at least four decades.
  • PAPER BAGS AND NAPKINS: It is estimated that 17 trees are cut down for every ton of non-recycled paper.
  • PLASTIC BOTTLES, FORKS, WRAP: Every year, Americans throw away enough paper and plastic cups, forks, and spoons to circle the equator 300 times.
  • STYROFOAM: U.S. citizens throw away 25 billion styrofoam cups EVERY YEAR.

Source: Scientific America and Global Stewards

We must shift our way of thinking, from what is the most “convenient” way to do something to how can we do something more sustainably. If we don’t, we are leaving a mess for our children and their children to clean up. Let’s leave our world better than we found it.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Waste-Free Lunches at http://www.wastefreelunches.org/

Several years ago, a group of eco-conscious moms in California decided to start packing waste-free lunches for their children and themselves.

When teachers, parents, and friends became interested in the concept, they started collecting waste-free lunch information that they could share with one another and with others who were interested. It soon became clear that families in other parts of the country were interested in learning more, so they decided to start putting the information on a website at http://www.wastefreelunches.org/.

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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: Green this year’s back-to-school shopping by reusing last year’s supplies, buying items that contain recycled materials and packing a waste-free lunch.

According to National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2014 Back-to-School Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family with children in grades K-12 will spend $669.28 on apparel, shoes, supplies and electronics, up 5 percent from $634.78 last year. Total spending on back to school will drop slightly to $26.5 billion as the survey found there are slightly fewer students in households this summer.

Combined spending for back to school and college is expected to reach $74.9 billion. To find out more information, check out their infographic on this year’s back to school numbers, https://nrf.com/news/infographic-top-2014-back-school-and-college-trends.

Here are some ways to make your back-to-school shopping a little greener while helping you to be below average when it comes to your spending this year:

Back to school

  • Reuse last year’s supplies. Go through the school supplies you already have at home before you hit the stores. Chances are, there are items that you can reuse. Backpacks, lunch boxes, magnets, locks and so on.
  • And while you’re going through your home stash of supplies, don’t throw away unwanted items, gather up extra pens, pencils, rubber bands, paper clips and the like for donation to a local elementary school or to nonprofit organizations that accept school supplies.
  • If there are supplies you have to buy new, make sure the items is made with recycled materials, including paper, backpacks and pencils, etc. Look for pens and pencils made with sustainably harvested wood or recycled content.
  • Avoid polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) plastic school supplies. PVC is unique among plastics because it contains dangerous chemical additives. These harmful chemicals include phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be toxic to your child’s health. Look for PVC-free lunch boxes, binders, backpacks and other school supplies. Download the Center for Health, Environment & Justice’s (CHEJ) Back-to-School Guide to PVC-free School Supplies.
  • Pack a waste-free lunch. Here are some tips from our friends at Litter Free Lunch:
    • Replace brown paper bags with a reusable lunch box or bag (remember to avoid PVC lunch boxes).
    • Swear off plastic bags and use stainless steel food containers.
    • Switch from disposable paper napkins to reusable cloth napkins.
    • Give up the habit of disposable water bottles and replace it with a reusable stainless steel water bottle. If you buy a plastic reusable bottle, make sure it’s BPA-free. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a hormone-disrupting chemical that can impact health at even very low exposures.
    • Skip disposable plastic cutlery and pack a reusable spoons or forks.
    • Save money by avoiding individually wrapped or packaged items like yogurt, cheese, cookies or crackers. Buy larger sizes and pack portions in reusable containers.
  • Organic apples, oranges, bananas and other fruits are healthy additions to any lunch and they come in their own compostable wrapping.
  • Create a weekly meal plan in advance so you can get everything you need in one trip, this will save time, gas money and reduce your carbon footprint. Also, keep a running list of needed items on the fridge, which will help you stay organized to avoid multiple, last-minute car trips.
  • Explore options to safely bike and walk to school or find a classmate willing to carpool.
  • Check thrift stores for reusable school supplies like binders and backpack and back-to-school clothes, giving good-quality, one-of-a-kind fashions a second life.
My Green Side’s web pick of the week:
The Center for Health, Environment & Justice is an organization that provides assistance to grassroots community groups in the environmental health and justice movement. The Center was founded in 1981 by Lois Gibbs, who helped win the relocation of over 900 families from their neighborhood which was contaminated by chemicals leaking from the Love Canal landfill in Niagara Falls, NY. Through this effort, people began to recognize the link between people’s exposures to dangerous chemicals in their community and serious public health impacts.

 

Visit their blog for insightful conversations about environmental health and justice at http://chej.org/backyard-talk/ and make sure to download the Center’s Back-to-School Guide to PVC-free School Supplies. They also have a convenient pocket-sized guide you can take with you while you’re shopping.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Your daily workout is another area that you can make more eco-friendly by hiking and Caleigh on the bridge over High Fallsbiking outdoors or encouraging your local gym to make greener choices.

There are numerous ways to green your daily dose of physical fitness. Here are some tips for energizing your exercise with a green boost courtesy of EarthShare.org:

  • Whenever possible, get outside to get some exercise. Instead of increasing your energy consumption via home and gym exercise machines, take advantage of hiking and biking trails in your area. One big advantage to the great outdoors – it’s free and always interesting.
  • Recycle your cross-trainers. After putting in all of that extra mileage, your new shoes are bound to lose their bounce. Instead of tossing them, give your shoes new life with Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program. Worn out shoes are used to build new tracks, basketball and tennis courts. Nike has collected over 25 million shoes since 1990.
  • Buy used workout DVDs. Check out garage sales or local thrift stores, it’s a great way to recycle and save money.
  • Use refillable water bottles and avoid using one-time use plastic water bottles. It’s time to commit to using refillable water bottles for workouts and everyday hydration. Using a refillable bottle means less waste in landfills and more money in your wallet. According to the Container Recycling Institute, only 23% of plastic bottles are recycled in the U.S. which means 38 billion plastic bottles go into landfills each year.
  • Inspire a green makeover at your health club or gym. If the great outdoors just aren’t for you, consider CG and his walking stick Lake Superiorencouraging your gym to make some eco-friendly upgrades.
    • Recycling bins and energy efficient machines.
    • Signage asking patrons to limit their towel usage.
    • A few large televisions generally run less electricity than individual TVs on every machine. A sign on the screen reminding users to turn it off after use could save a kilowatt-hour per unit, per day.
    • Turn the thermostat up a little in the summer, and down a little in the winter. Climate control accounts for far more energy than all the treadmills combined.
    • If you’re looking for a new gym, ask what they’re doing for the environment.

See how this Sierra Club volunteer got gyms to clean up their acts. Visit http://ow.ly/A2bOA to read the article.

  • Join a neighborhood gym that’s within walking distance to where you work and/or live. Support your local economy and save gas at the same time.
  • Looking for some new workout clothing or gear? Organic cotton and bamboo threads are a great place to start for sweat-friendly green fabrics. For eco-conscious equipment choices, check the web or a local sporting goods shop like 2nd Wind Exercise Equipment and Play It Again Sports for great deals on secondhand bikes and weights. For new clothing or gear, be sure to check out Gaiam and Natural Fitness Inc. Both companies are practicing some pretty innovative manufacturing techniques and are utilizing recycled rubber and materials to produce their workout goods.
  • Get creative with your workout routine. It’s not always easy to find time to head to the gym or commit to Lake Superioran after-work jogging schedule. Try to throw in an extra walk or bike ride during your lunch break for a calorie-burning boost. Another great way to supplement your gym routine: Try knocking out some house or yard work by attacking the job with gusto! Mowing your lawn, shoveling snow, raking leaves, vacuuming and dusting can be great activities for getting your body moving.

Source: EarthShare.org

Instead of a web pick of the week, this week My Green Side is highlighting a “green” activity:

LOCALLY: On Sunday, August 24th 2014, you can get your body moving at StreetsAlive! from noon to 5pm.

Activity Alley at 10th Avenue North, Fargo
Games and events for kids – street painting – hula hooping – active living theme parkCadence at Streets Alive 2013

Downtown Fargo
Pole vaulting, gymnastics and fencing demonstrations – outdoor yoga – slow bike races – street cafes – live music – Arts Partnership Chalk Festival

Davy Memorial Park, Moorhead
Healthy living exhibitors – healthy food vendors – farmer’s market

Three miles of streets through downtown Fargo and Moorhead are shut down to motorized traffic to encourage walking, running, biking, rollerblading, skating, dancing and other human movement. Start anywhere on the route!

StreetsAlive! works to inspire people and organizations to adopt and celebrate more physically active lifestyles – to help change our culture to make active living the status quo. It’s about embracing public spaces for activity and community engagement. It’s about encouraging people to walk and bike to work or school. It’s about connecting neighborhoods and people.

To find out more information, visit www.fmstreetsalive.org/.

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As part of my partnership with Ecocentric Mom, I receive one of their bimonthly subscription boxes for review. Ecocentric Mom Box for July/August 2014

This is how it works: Ecocentric Mom is a natural/green health/home/beauty product discovery subscription service that gives you three different box options: Mom-to-be, Baby Box, or Mom Box. Boxes ship every-other-month (6 times per year). An every-other-month model makes boxes more affordable for all moms. Ecocentric Mom works hard to pack the very best of the best in each and every box… and they deliver (pun intended)!

I just received the July/August Mom Discovery Box and it was, again, full of products I would never have discovered on my own. It’s a great service to learn about healthier products that can reduce the amount of toxins in your household.

Here’s a look at the great products I received this month:

Cream Foundation from Lauren Brooke Cosmetiques ($27 full size) This SPF 28, lightweight, all-natural foundation is wonderful. It has zinc oxide (for sun protection), certified organic Argan Oil and extracts of green tea, passionflower and raspberry. I never wear foundation but tried it for this review and now I am a big fan of this product!

Before The Flow / After The Flow Herbal Supplement from BIORAY ($58 full size 4 oz bottle) BIORAY, the BIORAY, the Natural Detox CompanyNatural Detox Company, make liquid herbal supplements for adults and children that naturally remove toxins, support immunity and replenish strength and vitality to the body and mind. I’m really excited to try this product.

Lip Balm from Savannah Read ($2.99 per tube) This vegan friendly lip balm is made with natural and organic ingredients and comes in a variety of flavors.

Spices and Tea from The Natural Suburban ($7 “Summer Herb Garden Savory Spice” 6 oz, $9.50 “Need a Little Sunshine in My Day Tea” 20 oz) The Natural Suburban makes handcrafted all-organic spice blends and herbal teas. They are packaged beautifully and taste fantastic!

AROMAFLAGE Botanical Fragrance & Insect Repellent ($3.75 sample size, $30 8 ml) This time of year I am always on the lookout for a safe way to keep my family bite free. This product smells amazing and is free of synthetic fragrances, parabens and sodium larel sulfate.

Body Beanz Dietary Supplement ($57 for a 30 day supply) Most vitamin/supplement brands are synthetic, man made crystalline isolates, not organically whole vitamins you find in real food. They lack the enzymes, phytonutrients & trace minerals your body needs for maximum absorption and bio-availability. In contrast, Body Beanz is a organic and wildcrafted superfood supplement with no synthetic chemicals.

Yogavive Apple Chips ($4.49 40 g bag, chocolate) YUM! These apple chips were SO delicious, I was sad whenYogavive Apple Chips they were gone! They’re made from the highest quality USDA certified organic Fuji apples. They use a two part drying process where they oven bake and then pop the apples so give them a satisfying crunch.

Sample Personalized Cards and Stationary from eInvite (4.96+ per card) eInvite is an online retailer of invitations, announcements, gifts and personalized stationery. They offer a large selection of products that you have the option of customizing through their patented online personalization tool. The cards I received are adorable and I’ve already had an occasion to use one.

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

Ecocentric Mom

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: When you use water wisely you help the environment, save energy and save money.The lake at Glen Hills County Park

We all know that water is essential to life on earth. We need water for a variety of everyday needs from growing food, providing power to drinking.

We are using up our planet’s fresh water faster than it can naturally be replenished so we all need to use our water wisely.

To provide enough clean fresh water for people, water is cleaned at drinking water treatment plants before it is used. And after water is used, it is cleaned again at wastewater treatment plants or by a septic system before being put back into the environment.

Saving water is good for the earth, your family, and your community.

  • When you use water wisely, you help the environment. You save water for fish and animals. You help preserve drinking water supplies. And you ease the burden on wastewater treatment plants—the less water you send down the drain, the less work these plants have to do to make water clean again.
  • When you use water wisely, you save energy. You save the energy that your water supplier uses to treat and move water to you, and the energy your family uses to heat your water.
  • When you use water wisely, you save money. Your family pays for the water you use. If you use less water, you’ll have more money left to spend on other things.

Source: JEA.com

Here are some easy ways you can save water:

  • Xeriscape: Choose perennials, annuals, bushes and trees that do not need more water than normally falls in your region. Native plants are ideal picks for landscaping that thrives in your specific region.
  • Sweep your driveway and sidewalks clean instead of spraying them with a hose.
  • Turn off the water while brushing your teeth and save 25 gallons a month.Water pump in Wisconsin
  • Use the garbage disposal sparingly. Compost vegetable food waste instead and save gallons of water.
  • Adjust sprinklers so they don’t water your driveway or sidewalks.
  • Use a water-efficient showerhead. They’re inexpensive, easy to install, and can save you up to 750 gallons a month. And, for added water conservation, take a shorter shower.
  • For cold drinks keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator instead of running the tap. This way, every drop goes down you and not the drain.
  • Run your clothes washer and dishwasher only when they are full. You can save up to 1,000 gallons a month.
  • Designate one glass or stainless steel bottle for your drinking water each day. This will cut down on the number of glasses to wash.
  • Use a commercial car wash that recycles water.
  • Listen for dripping faucets and running toilets. Fixing a leak can save 300 gallons a month or more.
  • When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your plants, trees or shrubs.
  • When you have ice left in your cup from a take-out restaurant, don’t throw it in the trash, dump it on a plant.

Source: Water Use It Wisely and Big Green Purse

More interesting information about water: Three Myths about WaterCadence by the water in Jamestown

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Water – Use It Wisely

Check out Water – Use It Wisely to find hundreds of ways to conserve water, tips and fun facts for kids, interactive guides an much more. This site has specific information for people who live in Arizona, The Water — Use It Wisely campaign was launched in 1999 to promote an ongoing water conservation ethic among Arizona’s rapidly growing population, but has great tips for conserving water no matter where you live.

LOCALLY:

The City of Fargo has put together a publication to help with Planning and Installing a Xeriscape Landscape. Click here to go to the link.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Giving your pet a greener life is great for them and good for the planet as well. It’s the least Cadence and her chickenyou can do when they’re working hard to make you happy and healthy. And, something to think about, the percent of pet owning heart patients who survived serious heart attacks is 28%, compared with only 6% of patients without pets.

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

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

Get Your Pet From a Shelter.

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

In the Fargo Moorhead area check out:

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

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

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

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

Spay or Neuter Your Pet.

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

Keep Your Kitty Inside.

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

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

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

Give Your Pets the Best Food Possible.

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

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

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

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

Clean Up Their Poop.

Pick up your doggie doo in biodegradable bags.

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

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

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

Give Them Sustainable Stuff.

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

Use Natural Pet-Care and Cleaning Products.

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

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

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

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

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

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

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

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

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

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

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