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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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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 grilling for your friends and family this summer use these simple tips to reduce waste and keep your grilling a little greener.

  • Use a Better Grill
    • Conventional charcoal burns dirty and produces greenhouse gases. If you have a charcoal grill, look for organic or natural lump brands. Natural gas is the most energy-efficient; however, infrared grills are the greenest as they heat quickly, use the least energy, and use less gas than regular gas grills.
    • Grills made of cast iron or stainless steel are the safest because they remain non-toxic at any temperature. Watch out for models made from chrome-coated aluminum, which can become toxic if the aluminum oxidizes. Stay away from lighter fluids, which release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air.
    • Buy a grill that is sized to fit your needs. A larger grill uses more energy because it takes longer to heat.
  • Non-Toxic Cleaning
    • Before you turn on your grill, clean the grate with baking soda instead of store-bought chemicals. Use a wire brush and a paste of equal parts baking soda and water.
    • After your cookout, take a halved onion and rub it over the grate to get rid of excess food. Brush olive oil over the grate afterwards so the food won’t stick the next time you grill.
    • When cleaning up in the kitchen, find products with ingredients you can trust to be better for you and for the environment like Seventh Generation and Earth Friendly Products.
  • Set a Sustainable Table
    • When serving your guests, go with reusable cutlery, glasses and plates. Use cloth napkins instead of paper. If you can’t use reusable dishware, cutlery or napkins, choose biodegradable, recycled or unbleached picnicware.
  • Serve Sustainable Foods
    • Fill your menu with greener options by choosing USDA certified organic or local grass-fed meat. If you’re a The Gabriel at a Prairie Roots Food Co-op picnicvegetarian, try certified organic soy hot dogs and burgers. Instead of using tomatoes and onions sprayed with pesticides, shop at your local farmer’s market to pick up your produce. You’ll also find pesticide-free meat products.
  • Recycle & Compost 
    • Make it easy for guests to recycle by placing recycling bins next to the trashcan. Make sure each can has a label clearly marked: paper, plastic and aluminum. If you have a lot of leftover food scraps, compost the proper foods. Remember to never compost dairy or meat products.
  • Prevent Pests 
    • To keep pests from plaguing your cookout, throw sage and rosemary on the hot grill. Mosquitoes hate these plants and will stay away, and the herbs add a pleasant aroma to your get-together. Another mosquito prevention trick is to set out a cup of sugar water. The mosquitoes will flock to the sugar water and stay away from your guests.
    • For more information on preventing pests, check out Green Tip – Natural Ways to Deter Mosquitoes at http://mygreenside.org/?p=6881.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Amy Thielen at www.amythielen.com/

Along with her Food Network gig, Amy is a regular on The Christopher Gabriel Program when she comes on to talk about Adventures in Eating. Her site isn’t my typical web pick of the week but it is definitely worth a look. Amy talks about recipes, gardening, eating and life in general. Her photos are also gorgeous.

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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’re on vacation, keep the environment in mind by remembering the Road Trip summer 2014sustainable practices that you use at home like recycling, conserving water and conserving electricity.

Vacations are a time to relax but while you’re recharging your batteries remember to continue to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Whether you’re road tripping it, camping or staying in a hotel it’s important to be mindful about how you’re using our natural resources.

Here are some simple tips for your next vacation:

  • Before you even leave for your vacation make sure you turn off and unplug any appliances, computers, TVs to avoid wasting energy while you’re away. Also remember to set your thermostat and water heater at low settings – another way to avoid wasting energy when you’re gone. 
  • As you’re shopping and packing for your vacation, think about how you can reduce wasteFor example, if you are grocery shopping, look for items that have little packaging to reduce what you will throw in the trash.
  • Bring your own water 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.
  • 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.
  • Bring a reusable shopping bag (or two). 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.
  • While on the road, remember to recycle. Bring a small box or bag to collect recyclables in your car so that you Baby Greek goddess and the purple carare not tempted to throw them all in with the trash. Watch for the blue bins while you are on your trip (or wait until you get home) so you can recycle the box or bag of recyclables.
  • Shut off the lights at home and in your hotel rooms.

Source: National Geographic Traveler

Here is a list of the Top Ten Environment Traveling Faux Pas, in other words, What Not To Do While You’re Traveling:

1.  Don’t litter.
2.  Don’t purchase illegal souvenirs or food produce.
3.  Don’t waste water in destinations which face shortages.
4.  Don’t leave lights on.
5.  Don’t leave the air conditioning on in hotel rooms when you’re not in them.
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.

Source: Traveling the Green Way

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

Sustainable Travel at http://sustainabletravel.org/

Sustainable Travel’s mission is to help destinations, business and travelers develop and implement innovative solutions that protect the environment, support adaptation to climate change, preserve cultural heritage and generate economic benefits. Their site is full of responsible travel tips and information.

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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: This time of year in our part of the country means beautiful sunny weather, relaxed summer Summer 2014 Fargooutings and mosquitoes. Read on for some natural ways to fight these and other pests.

Eliminate entry points. Any place air can get in; tiny bugs can enter, too. Repair or replace torn window screens and doors. Make sure thresholds are airtight and use door sweeps or seals when needed.

Plant rosemary. Try planting containers of rosemary around your outdoor entertaining spaces to deter mosquitoes. People also throw rosemary on the grill while barbecuing to keep mosquitoes away. Mosquitoes often strike while people are barbecuing, but this simple trick is said to turn your barbecue into a natural mosquito repellent, while also adding delicious flavor to your food.

Mow your yard. Keep grass mowed regularly and trim shrubs. Too much grass and shrubbery can create breeding and hiding grounds for mosquitoes.

Dump out any stagnant water in your yard. Mosquitoes are often attracted to standing water. Examples of mosquito breeding grounds include old tires, driveway puddles, unfiltered fish ponds, empty flowerpots and any item that can hold water for more than a few days at a time.

A few drops of lavender. I’ve also read in numerous article about how mosquitoes dislike lavender. To keepPesticide Free Zone mosquitoes out of your home, add a drop of lavender to ribbon and place around open windows. Put lavender on your skin. Add 30 drops of lavender essential oil to two tablespoons of vegetable oil – such as olive oil – and rub onto exposed skin. Not only will you smell beautiful, but it will stop mosquitoes from landing on you. Or find a company, like The Honey B Soap Company that uses real essential oils in their products (not synthetic fragrances) and apply liberally.

Attract bats. Bats can reportedly eat 1,000 mosquitoes per night. Attracting bats to your garden can help to significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes and reduce your chances of being bitten.

The Huffington Post tested some natural ways to get rid of mosquitoes. Here’s what they discovered:

  • Dish Soap - A few squirts of dish soap, left in a saucer, did a nice job of keeping mosquitoes occupied…and away from the testers. The results were comparable to citronella candle. Bottom line: According to the testers, this works.
  • Beer Traps - Turns out that mosquitoes are attracted to those who drink beer. So, the testers placed cups filled with beer around their patio. They discovered that the mosquitoes were, indeed, getting trapped inside the cups of beer. But there was a catch. Mosquitoes will still seek you out if you’re drinking beer also. Bottom line: According to the testers, this somewhat works, but if you’re also imbibing, expect to be bitten.
  • Eat Garlic - Garlic is used in many mosquito repellants used in landscaping. So, why wouldn’t it work for us? After eating a garlicky meal, we waited. The mosquitoes didn’t bother us. But really, is this practical? Bottom line: According to the testers, this works, if you’d like to down garlic cloves on a daily basis.

For the full list of How To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Silent Spring Institute at http://www.silentspring.org/ 

Silent Spring is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to identifying the links between the environment and women’s health, especially breast cancer.

Silent Spring Institute began in 1994, after members of the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition called for a scientifically sound investigation into elevated breast cancer rates on Cape Cod. They founded “a laboratory of their own” and named it Silent Spring Institute in tribute to Rachel Carson, whose landmark book, Silent Spring, launched the modern environmental movement. Carson died of breast cancer just two years after the book was published.

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER Fargo sunshineGABRIEL 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: Whether it’s a playdate, a conference, a wedding or a sleepover, you can take a few easy steps to make your event a little greener.

Our friends at the Natural Resources Defense Council have some excellent tips for making your next event more sustainable:

Pick a Convenient Location

Pick a location that is easy for your guests to get to and help arrange for them to carpool to the event. Also, give them information on local public transportation options.

E-vite Your Guests

Emailing invitations saves paper and money, especially if you have a long guest list. If a printed invitation is an absolute must for your event, use post-consumer recycled paper, which is easily available in stores and online. Give a phone number or email for RSVPs instead of reply cards.

For more information on buying paper products, see www.nrdc.org/paper.

Serve Local Food (and Feed the Locals)

Look for a restaurant or caterer that uses fresh, local or organic foods. If you’re planning on serving seafood, make sure it’s sustainably caught or farmed and low in mercury. To find out more about sustainable seafood, visit Seafood Watch Program – A Consumer’s Guide to Sustainable Seafood at www.seafoodwatch.org. Make arrangements with a local food bank to pick up any leftovers at the end of the day.

Use Reusable or Biodegradable Tableware

Stick to cloth napkins and real tableware to reduce the amount of resources your event consumes and the amount of garbage you’ll need to dispose of at the end of night. Many caterers can provide everything you need for serving, eating and drinking. For a gathering at home, use your own dishes, and borrow more from your friends if you need to. If you have to go for the take-and-toss variety, look for post-consumer recycled content paper napkins and biodegradable plates, cups and utensils made from corn starch or agricultural waste. They’ll degrade in just a couple of months in a commercial composter.

Decorate NaturallyDecorate Naturally

Try using “living” decorations like as moss, stones and succulent plants, or organic flowers instead of traditional pesticide-laden bouquets. Send your decorations home with your guests at the end of the night, or reuse them for another event.

Dazzle with Energy Efficient Lighting

A daytime event — held outdoors or in a place with plenty of windows — lets you save big on energy costs and global warming pollution from conventional lighting. For additional lighting, use compact fluorescent light bulbs. They use only about one-third of the energy that regular light bulbs do. Look for energy efficient bulbs and fixtures marked with the Energy Star label.

Make Recycling Easy

Don’t rummage through trash bins the next day looking for stuff that shouldn’t have been thrown away. Make recycling easy by setting out clearly labeled recycling bins for items such as bottles, paper and cans. Check www.1800Recycling.com to find recycling guidelines for your location.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week

Seafood Watch Program - A Consumer’s Guide to Sustainable Seafood

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program helps consumers and businesses make choices for healthy oceans. Their recommendations indicate which seafood items are “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and which ones you should “Avoid.” Their site contains great information, sustainable seafood recipes and a downloadable Seafood Watch Guide.

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