Healthy Child Healthy World

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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: Pediatric cancer is now the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children. Preventable childhood cancers are totally unacceptable so do your part to keep our children healthy.

In the U.S., 15,780 children under the age of 21 are diagnosed with cancer every year; approximately 1/4 of them will not survive the disease. A diagnosis turns the lives of the entire family upside down. (Source: American Childhood Cancer Association)

Check out Healthy Child Healthy World’s 5 Easy Steps to get you started:

  • Avoid Pesticides: Pesticides have been linked to a range of health problems, including asthma, hyperactivity and behavior problems, cancer, learning disabilities, reproductive disorders, and compromised brain development.
    • Use non-toxic or least toxic pest remedies such as soapy water to kill ants and boiling water to kill weeds.
    • Prevent pests through good sanitation.
    • Remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in pesticides.

Use these resources to help you make safer decisions:
Beyond Pesticides Alternatives factsheets
Pesticide Action Network

  • Use Non-Toxic Products: Think about all the products you come in contact with every day: personal care products, cleaners, computers, carpeting, cabinetry, cushions, cosmetics and much, much more. Do you know what’s in them? Many contain known carcinogens. Protect your health from this constant assault by making sure your products and furnishings are non-toxic. There are an increasing number of safe and healthy alternatives.
    • Read labels and ask questions about what chemicals are in the personal care and cleaning products, as well as furnishings, that you buy.
    • Look for products made from natural, rather than synthetic, materials.
    • Buy, or make your own, safer cleaning products.
    • Look for personal care products with certified organic ingredients and those with the fewest ingredients, or make your own.
  • Clean Up Indoor Air: We are breathing all the time so our air quality is very important. And, typically, the worst air is generally inside, where most people spend roughly 90% of their time.
    • The products we use are the source for a substantial portion of indoor air pollution. Because of this fact, it’s essential to know what’s in the products you buy and opt for the most natural and non-toxic choices.
    • Utilize plants to filter indoor air.
    • Open windows for a few minutes a day to ventilate rooms.
    • Wipe your feet on a doormat or remove your shoes at the door.
    • Check your homes vents, ducts, and heating and cooling filters.
    • Vacuum at least twice a week using a HEPA filter, and/or mop floors.
    • Change your vacuum bag, and be sure it has a clean filter to prevent the spreading of dust, which can be redistributed into the air.
  • Eat Healthy: Pound for pound, children eat and drink more than adults. Therefore, healthy eating is Community Garden harvestessential in order to safely nourish their growing bodies.
    • Choose to eat and prepare organic, whole foods rather than packaged foods whenever possible. The easiest way to eat healthier is to start making your food instead of buying prepared food and warming it.
    • Avoid genetically modified organisms (aka GMOs or genetically engineered foods).
    • Choose safer seafood. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website to learn more and print a pocket guide.
    • Read labels. Look for foods with few and identifiable ingredients. Avoid the top five risky additives: Artifical Colors (anything that begins with FD&C ), Chemical Preservatives (Butylated Hydroxyanisole [BHA], Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Benzoate), Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin), Added Sugar (High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS], Corn Syrup, Dextrose, etc), Added Salt (Look at the sodium content and choose foods with the lowest amounts.)
  • Be Wise With Plastics: Plastics are everywhere and in most cases are very affordable and convenient. But, increasingly scientists are finding that a hidden cost may be our health. Some common plastics release harmful chemicals into our air, foods, and drinks.
    • Reduce the use of plastics, especially with foods and beverages. For example, opt for filtered water in a stainless steel reusable water bottle rather than single-use, plastic bottled water and reusable glass storage containers over plastic.
    • If you do buy plastic, chose safer plastics #2, 4 or 5.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Healthy Child Healthy World

Healthy Child’s mission is to help parents create healthier environments for our children. “With a growing body of evidence linking everyday environmental contaminants to asthma, learning disabilities, obesity, cancer and more, Healthy Child translates the science and inspires parents and caregivers to create healthy environments where families can flourish.” Their site in full of great information, tips and an awesome blog.

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Looking good doesn’t have to mean exposing your growing baby to toxic chemicals!
Check out these known dangers found in common personal care products as well as the safer alternatives to try while pregnant. Brought to you by the non-profit organization Healthy Child Healthy World, this infographic is a part of their Safer Pregnancy Resources campaign.

To learn more, read their Easy Steps to Safer Pregnancy e-book here and use this interactive resource to learn how reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Healthy Child infographic

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When we moved to our current home I found a piano on Freecycle.net and had it moved along with our furniture.Playing the piano It has been my hope that one or both of our girls will develop a love of the piano. Both my husband, Christopher, and I play a little and Christopher’s side of the family is full of amazing musicians. His mom is an incredible pianist (she was playing by ear at three!), his dad plays beautifully and his brother is a fantastic jazz drummer. Surely some of those musical genes made it to our children.

So far they both love to play but don’t want to take lessons… They also enjoy making up their own songs to go with a dance or theatrical piece they’re regaling us with, which is wonderful, but composing takes up a lot of paper. To conserve paper and make a permanent spot for writing notes and, if lessons are in their future, to write down practicing schedules, I thought it would be a great idea to paint both inset panels on the face of the piano with chalkboard paint. So when I was given the opportunity to try Lullaby Paints, I jumped at the chance.

A little bit about Lullaby Paints:

  • Lullaby Paints is non-toxic, doesn’t have an odor and contains no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). It’s safe enough that the girls could help me with our chalkboard piano project.
  • Lullaby Paints has 32 amazing colors and they will match other paint samples, color swatches or furniture pieces. Their Chalkboard Paint collection is offered in sixteen colors. The low-sheen finish is ideal for all kinds of chalks and is fully washable to make masterpiece after Preparing to paintmasterpiece after masterpiece.
  • Chalkboard Paints are also available as a kit, including paint (sufficient for a board of thirty square feet with two coats) a roller, tray, chalk and edging tape. And, their safe formula means kids can paint their own chalkboard – perfect for artwork, poetry, or anything their imagination can dream up.
  • The paints were developed without chemicals which have been shown to cause asthma, allergies and eczema in children.
  • Lullaby Paints are safe for use on baby’s walls, cribs and toys. Also safe for pregnant mothers to use.
  • A gallon of Lullaby Paints provides more square feet of coverage than a traditional gallon of paint. One gallon of Lullaby Paints provides 560 sq. ft. of coverage and one gallon of traditional paints provides 375 sq. ft. of coverage.

It was hard to chose the color because there were so many. I finally picked the Chalkboard Paint color Pavarotti which seemed appropriate for inspiring young minds to make beautiful music.

Painting!

The paint was easy to use, no odor (as promised) and I felt confident that I wasn’t exposing the girls to anything that would adversely impact their health. They even have Healthy Child Healthy World‘s Our pianostamp of approval, which to me means they really are as fabulous as I thought.

The girls were so excited to help and I’m so pleased with the color and how the whole project turned out. I wasn’t able to capture the color as well as I’d hoped in this photo but it’s stunning in person.

For more information about Lullaby Paints, visit http://lullabypaints.com/. To read a great article about why you should avoid conventional paints, especially if you have children, read 5 Unbelievable Facts About the Paint on Your Walls.

 

 

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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: We have a right to know what is in our food. Demand mandatory labeling of GE foods. Visit JustLabelIt.org to take action.

Some GE Stats:

  • The U.S. Government approved GE crops nearly 20 years ago. Today GE soy and corn make up more than 90% of the acreas planted.
  • Only 5 countries grow 90% of the world’s GE crops. They are the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Argentina and India.
  • More than 40 nations require that genetically modified ingredients are listed on product labels, the U.S. is one of the few that does not require labeling. Visit JustLabelIt.org for more information about labeling GMOs.
  • 92% of Americans want labeling on GE foods.
SOURCE: USDA’S NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE, USDA’S ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.

This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same. Read more about GMOs at http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process.

The buildup surrounding GM agriculture was that these new crops would be of increased nutritional value and would increase productivity. They would be able to grow in the desert and feed the worlds hungry. This, however, is not the reality. The only advantage goes to the companies selling the seeds. If you want to read a great article on the topic, visit civileats.com and read the view of author and food advocate Anna Lappe.

According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, “the two main traits that have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit.”

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and blogger at Huffington Post, writes “Unless we want to wait until more studies are done, risking allergies and immune dysfunction, infertility, infant mortality, or poorer health inherited by the next generation, we will have to opt out of the GM food experiment. Without required labels, it isn’t simple.” And currently the U.S. doesn’t require GM foods to have labeling describing them as being genetically modified.

The Star Tribune recently recently ran a piece entitled, “Those Bugs Are Going To Outsmart Us,” which shows some of the struggles of farmers due to the pitfalls of GMO crops. And a simple solution, according to the farmer profiled, “rotate, rotate, rotate”. Instead of planting the same soil depleting crop in the same field year after year which encourages “superweeds” and bugs, a crop rotation will help keep the soil healthier which makes the plants healthier.

Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.

Top Ten Genetically Engineered Food Crops from Healthy Child Healthy World

• Corn: Our number-one agricultural commodity. In 2000, 79.5 million acres of harvested cropland in the U.S. were corn, 25% of which was genetically engineered. This includes Bt and Roundup Ready corn varieties.

• Soy: The number-two U.S. agricultural commodity. Sixty percent of processed foods contain soy ingredients, and 82% of edible fats and oils consumed in the U.S. are soy-based. In 2000, 54% of the 74.5 million acres of soybeans grown in the U.S. was Roundup Ready soy.

• Potato: Currently, the only GE potato is a Burbank Russet variety, marketed under the name NewLeaf. This Bt-producing plant is lethal to the Colorado potato beetle – and possibly to beneficial insects.

• Tomato: The first GE tomato, the Flavr Savr, was introduced commercially in 1994, but flopped because it proved tasteless. Since then, other varieties, including a cherry tomato, have been genetically engineered to delay ripening and extend shelf life.

• Canola: Of the 15 million acres of canola grown in the U.S. and Canada annually, 35% is GE, mostly for herbicide-resistance.

• Cottonseed Oil: In 2000, 61% of the 15.5 million acres of cotton grown in the U.S. was genetically engineered. Every year, half a million tons of cottonseed oil makes its way into salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods. About 1.4 million tons of cottonseed meal is fed to livestock annually.

• Papaya: More than one third of Hawaiian papayas have been genetically engineered to withstand the papaya ringspot virus. Organic papaya growers in Hawaii worry that the pollen from GE papaya trees will contaminate their crops.

• Radicchio: Currently one variety of radicchio, called Seed Link, has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glufosinate.

• Squash: Several varieties of summer squash have been genetically engineered to resist mosaic viruses. Some scientists are concerned that resistance to the virus may spread to weedy relatives, such as gourds, found in the U.S., creating invasive superweeds.

• Salmon: A company called Aqua Bounty has engineered a salmon with genes from two different fish species so that it grows much more quickly than non-GE salmon. The company now seeks FDA approval to market this fish for human consumption. Escaped into the environment, (which is inevitable on fish farms), the GE fish may be larger and more aggressive, eat more food, and mate more often, though their offspring are less fit to survive in the wild, raising the possibility of wild species extinction. Human health effects are also relatively unknown. Currently, research on transgenic strains of 35 fish species world-wide is underway.

Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.

For more information, visit the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, offers North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. They are committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Just Label It

We have the right to know if our food has been genetically engineered.

Studies show that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. Yet for twenty years we have been denied that right. While our reasons for wanting to know what’s in our food may vary, what unifies us is the belief that it’s our right to know. Without labeling of GE foods, we cannot make informed choices about our food. The Just Label It campaign was created to advocate for the labeling of GE foods.

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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 approximately1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: September is National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Pediatric cancer is now the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children. Preventable childhood cancers are totally unacceptable so do your part to keep our children healthy.

Check out Healthy Child Healthy World’s 5 Easy Steps to get you started:

  • Avoid Pesticides: Pesticides have been linked to a range of health problems, including asthma, hyperactivity and behavior problems, cancer, learning disabilities, reproductive disorders, and compromised brain development.
    • Use non-toxic or least toxic pest remedies such as soapy water to kill ants and boiling water to kill weeds.
    • Prevent pests through good sanitation.
    • Remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in pesticides.

Use these resources to help you make safer decisions:
Beyond Pesticides Alternatives factsheets
Pesticide Action Network

  • Use Non-Toxic Products: Think about all the products you come in contact with every day: personal care products, cleaners, computers, carpeting, cabinetry, cushions, cosmetics and much, much more. Do you know what’s in them? Many contain known carcinogens. Protect your health from this constant assault by making sure your products and furnishings are non-toxic. There are an increasing number of safe and healthy alternatives.
    • Read labels and ask questions about what chemicals are in the personal care and cleaning products, as well as furnishings, that you buy.
    • Look for products made from natural, rather than synthetic, materials.
    • Buy, or make your own, safer cleaning products.
    • Look for personal care products with certified organic ingredients and those with the fewest ingredients, or make your own.
  • Clean Up Indoor Air: We are breathing all the time so our air quality is very important. And, typically, the worst air is generally inside, where most people spend roughly 90% of their time.
    • The products we use are the source for a substantial portion of indoor air pollution. Because of this fact, it’s essential to know what’s in the products you buy and opt for the most natural and non-toxic choices.
    • Utilize plants to filter indoor air.
    • Open windows for a few minutes a day to ventilate rooms.
    • Wipe your feet on a doormat or remove your shoes at the door.
    • Check your homes vents, ducts, and heating and cooling filters.
    • Vacuum at least twice a week using a HEPA filter, and/or mop floors.
    • Change your vacuum bag, and be sure it has a clean filter to prevent the spreading of dust, which can be redistributed into the air.
  • Eat Healthy: Pound for pound, children eat and drink more than adults. Therefore, healthy eating is essential in order to safely nourish their growing bodies.
    • Choose to eat and prepare organic, whole foods rather than packaged foods whenever possible. The easiest way to eat healthier is to start making your food instead of buying prepared food and warming it.
    • Avoid genetically modified organisms (aka GMOs or genetically engineered foods).
    • Choose safer seafood. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website to learn more and print a pocket guide.
    • Read labels. Look for foods with few and identifiable ingredients. Avoid the top five risky additives: Artifical Colors (anything that begins with FD&C ), Chemical Preservatives (Butylated Hydroxyanisole [BHA], Sodium Nitrate, Sodium Benzoate), Artificial Sweeteners (Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin), Added Sugar (High Fructose Corn Syrup [HFCS], Corn Syrup, Dextrose, etc), Added Salt (Look at the sodium content and choose foods with the lowest amounts.)
  • Be Wise With Plastics: Plastics are everywhere and in most cases are very affordable and convenient. But, increasingly scientists are finding that a hidden cost may be our health. Some common plastics release harmful chemicals into our air, foods, and drinks.
    • Reduce the use of plastics, especially with foods and beverages. For example, opt for filtered water in a stainless steel reusable water bottle rather than single-use, plastic bottled water and reusable glass storage containers over plastic.
    • If you do buy plastic, chose safer plastics #2, 4 or 5.

Download Healthy Child Healthy World’s 5 Easy Steps brochure at healthychild.org.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Healthy Child Healthy World

Healthy Child’s mission is to help parents create healthier environments for our children. “With a growing body of evidence linking everyday environmental contaminants to asthma, learning disabilities, obesity, cancer and more, Healthy Child translates the science and inspires parents and caregivers to create healthy environments where families can flourish.” Their site in full of great information, tips and an awesome blog.

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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 or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Plastic is generally toxic to produce, toxic to use, and toxic to dispose of. Learn how you can make safer choices.

Plastic products are everywhere. More and more we are discovering there are health risks that make these convenient products not so desirable. Plastics are releasing harmful chemicals into our air, foods, and drinks.

While studies are showing the health risks of plastics, they are also overtaking our landfills.

Every bit of plastic that has ever been created still exists (except for the little bit that has been incinerated, which releases toxic chemicals). In the ocean, plastic waste is accumulating in giant gyres of debris where, among other thing, fish are ingesting toxic plastic bits at a rate which will soon make them unsafe to eat. Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

According to Healthy Child Healthy World, the best thing to do is to reduce your use of plastic. Look for natural alternatives like textiles, solid wood, bamboo, glass, stainless steel, etc. Also, look for items with less (or no) plastic packaging. If you do buy plastic, opt for products you can recycle or re-purpose (e.g. a yogurt tub can be re-used to store crayons). And, get to know your plastics – starting with this guide:

The most common plastics have a resin code in a chasing arrow symbol (often found on the bottom of the product).

PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate): AVOID
Common Uses: Soda Bottles, Water Bottles, Cooking Oil Bottles
Concerns: Can leach antimony and phthalates.

HDPE (High Density Polyethylene): SAFER
Common Uses: Milk Jugs, Plastic Bags, Yogurt Cups

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride, aka Vinyl): AVOID
Common Uses: Condiment Bottles, Cling Wrap, Teething Rings, Toys, Shower Curtains
Concerns: Can leach lead and phthalates among other things. Can also off-gas toxic chemicals.

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene): SAFER
Common Uses: Produce Bags, Food Storage Containers

PP (Polypropylene): SAFER
Common Uses: Bottle Caps, Storage Containers, Dishware, Yogurt Containers

(TIP: You can recycle some of your #5 plastics including your used Brita pitcher filters through Preserve’s Gimme 5 recycling program.) 

PS (Polystyrene, aka Styrofoam): AVOID
Common Uses: Meat Trays, Foam Food Containers & Cups
Concerns: Can leach carcinogenic styrene and estrogenic alkylphenols

Other this is a catch-all category which includes:
PC (Polycarbonate): AVOID– can leach Bisphenol-A (BPA). It also includes ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene), SAN (Styrene Acrylonitrile), Acrylic, and Polyamide. These plastics can be a safer option because they are typically very durable and resistant to high heat resulting in less leaching. Their drawbacks are that they are not typically recyclable and some need additional safety research. New plant-based, biodegradable plastics like PLA (Polylactic Acid) also fall into the #7 category.

Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

My Plastic Free Life
Beth Terry is the founder of My Plastic Free Life and, upon learning how plastics were adversely impacting wildlife, she decided to try to completely reduce the amount of new plastic that came into her home. This site has tips on how to reduce plastic consumption. Her Top 2 Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste: Bring your own shopping bag and give up bottled water.

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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 or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

I’ve received a number of emails containing some great questions so today, instead of talking about a specific Green Tip, I thought I’d share a few more questions and answers.

Can you suggest a green cleaner for a stove with a ceramic cooktop?

I use a baking soda paste and it’s easy to make the surface sparkle afterwards by spraying with vinegar and wiping dry with a clean cloth.

You’ve talking a number of times about why we should avoid polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) so I’m trying to find an alternative to vinyl shower curtains. I found both EVA and PEVA ones. What is the difference and is there one that is less toxic than the other?

PEVA is a nontoxic vinyl (it doesn’t have the chlorine molecule that makes PVC toxic). EVA is Ethylene vinyl acetate, a copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate. Both of these are plastics made from petrochemicals but they have very low toxicity and either a PEVA or an EVA shower curtain would be better than a PVC shower curtain.

An even better alternative is a curtain made from hemp. Hemp is naturally resistant to mold and bacteria and it is also quick drying so it won’t trap moisture in the tub like vinyl liners. A hemp curtain will get wet, but it will not leak through which means you don’t need a liner. They are pricey but it’s a worthwhile investment because they’re healthier for you, healthier for the environment and they don’t need to be replaced constantly.

Can you give me some green gift wrapping ideas?

Here are a few: 1. Give the children in your life markers, crayons, stickers, stamps, etc. and have them decorate flattened brown paper bags (also a wonderful way to recycle them). 2. Use newspaper pages as a base for festive magazine collages. 3. Decorate paper bags and tie them with ribbons. 4. Use pieces of fabric and either sew them into gift bags or wrap the gift and use ribbon to tie the fabric in place. 5. Wrap gifts in something that’s reusable, like a canvas shopping bag, storage jar, hat or towel. Two gifts in one.

I’m trying to make healthier choices for my family and have started with organic food. Is there any advice you can give me about organic fruits and vegetables?

The EWG’s 2010 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides is a great resource for anyone trying to eat a healthier diet. According to the EWG, the growing consensus among scientists is that small doses of pesticides and other chemicals can cause lasting damage to human health, especially during fetal development and early childhood. Scientists now know enough about the long-term consequences of ingesting these powerful chemicals to advise that we minimize our consumption of pesticides.

Use the Shopper’s Guide to avoid those conventional fruits and vegetables found to be highest in pesticides – the Dirty Dozen – and, instead, choose items from the Clean Fifteen list.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Healthy Child Healthy World
Healthy Child Healthy World
offers simple steps to create a safe, clean, green home for your baby, kids and family.

Last minute gift idea: Make a donation in someone’s name to Healthy Child Healthy World. Together we can change the world, one home at a time.

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GREEN TIP: Use natural ways to stay healthier this winter. As always eat whole foods, avoid processed foods and sugar and get enough sleep.

Now that we’re deep in the heart of cold and flu season, I wanted to look at some ways to keep our families healthier this fall and winter. I had some help from a local and highly recommended Naturopathic Physician, Dr. Todd Ferguson, to compile this list. As always, talk to your doctor if you are at risk from complications from flu.

  • Wash your hands. Also, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth, which can introduce germs into your receptive passageways. If you cough or sneeze, use a tissue or cough into the crook of your arm. This is probably both the easiest and the most important thing to do to keep your body healthy. Make it a habit in your young children and it will help them keep healthier immune systems throughout their lives.
  • Eat immune boosting foods and avoid sugar. Here are great examples:

Citrus: Loaded with Vitamin C, citrus fruits are a yummy, easy way to support your immune system. Grab a glass of OJ, or make some lemonade. Even better, mix lots of lemons into filtered water with raw honey and cayenne pepper. Not only is it a zingy tasty treat filled with Vitamin C, it also alkalinizes your body, which helps it fight infection.

Red chili peppers (cayenne): Cayenne pepper has long been appreciated for its medicinal properties and can help your body during states of emergency.

Garlic: Filled with immune-boosters, garlic has been used to treat everything from the common cold to the Plague.

Carrots: Bursting with beta-carotene, carrots give your body a leg up when you’re fighting infection. Drink a few carrot juices to get enough in your body. Sweet potatoes and spinach also contain lots of beta carotene, so eat up.

Shiitake mushrooms: They contains all eight essential amino acids in better proportions than soy beans, meat, milk, or eggs as well as a good blend of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, B12, C, D and Niacin. (Source: DietandHealth.net) These yummy mushrooms can be put into soups and provide immune boosting benefits.

  • Get plenty of sleep. When you’re well rested, your body fights infection more effectively. Lack of sleep may profoundly inhibit your immune system.
  • Make sure you’re taking your Vitamin D. More and more studies are showing that Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system. Try Nordic Naturals Cod Liver Oil.
  • Give up alcohol and caffeine for a while. Staying away from these substances helps your body mount immune responses.
  • Instead of your morning coffee (or mimosa) try drinking a green juice. Juice some kale, celery, cucumber, swiss chard, lemon, spinach, ginger, garlic- whatever you’ve got around that can support your good health. Also, avoid processed foods and eat a whole foods diet.
  • Stay hydrated. Increasing your water intake will help you stay healthy and lessen the chance of you coming down with flu. When you are feeling under the weather, drinking extra fluids prevents dehydration caused by fever, loosens mucus, and keeps your throat moist. Warm liquids are preferable, and there is some evidence that inhaling steam early in the course of a cold or flu may reduce the spread of viruses in your upper respiratory tract. (Source: Oscillo.com) Try Traditional Medicinals, they make excellent teas and care about the environment while doing it.
  • Supplement with probiotic bacteria, which alters the intestinal flora and helps your body resist infection.
  • Try elderberry syrup. It’s a natural anti-viral.
  • Get your exercise. While this may not be the best time to go to a crowded gym, a long hike in nature can do wonders for your immune system, your general health, and your psyche.
  • Handle stress properly. Stress weakens your immune system. Everyone has stress in their lives, the key to manage it in healthy ways. Go outside and notice the simple things, take a walk, take a deep breath – find your own healthy stress-relieving activities.

If you get the flu:

  • Seek help if you get worse. If your symptoms become significantly worse after the first three days of illness, especially if your fever subsides and then returns, be sure to seek medical attention right away. The reason that flu is considered a potentially dangerous infection is that it leaves the body vulnerable to other infections like pneumonia.

So, wash your hands, take a nap and, if you’re looking for a new doctor, head over to see Drs. Todd and Molly Ferguson at Prairie Naturopathic Doctors.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Healthy Child Healthy World
Their mission is to ignite a movement that inspires parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. They have Quick Tips for Healthy Living, they keep you updated on all Issues related to our children’s health and their Blog is fantastic.

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.

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by Wendy Gabriel

GREEN TIP: If you haven’t already, make the switch to greener laundry products. Conventional laundry products are harmful to the planet and your family.

Made from synthetic petrochemicals, most conventional laundry detergents don’t readily biodegrade and they threaten wildlife after they go down the drain. Many also contain chemical fragrances and phosphates (which build up in streams and lakes, upset the natural balance, and starve fish of the oxygen they need to survive). They also contain chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive problems. Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

Look for products with the Green Seal. Green Seal, Inc. is the only organization that comprehensively evaluates non-toxic products.

Here are some great non-toxic alternatives for your laundry:

Laundry brightener: Add 1/2 cup of strained lemon juice to the rinse cycle.

Fabric rinse: Add 1/4 cup of vinegar to the washing machine’s rinse cycle to remove detergent completely from clothes, eliminating that scratchy feel. This will not leave your clothes smelling like vinegar!

Detergent booster: To reduce the amount of laundry detergent you need to use, add baking soda or washing soda. These minerals soften the water, which increases the detergent’s power. For liquid detergent, add 1/2 cup of soda at the beginning of the wash. For powdered detergent, add 1/2 cup of soda during the rinse cycle.

Bleach: Use hydrogen peroxide instead of chlorine bleach. Soak clothes overnight in a solution of one part hydrogen peroxide to eight parts cold water. Wash as normal.

Dry cleaning: Many delicate “dry clean only” items can be washed at home by hand. In general, it’s best to use cool water and a mild liquid soap. Squeeze or wring gently and lay flat to dry.

Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

More laundry tips:

  • When you have several loads to wash, do them back-to-back so you can use the residual heat in the dryer. (this tips is from my friend Lyz)
  • Run the washing machine only when you have a full load.
  • Wash with cold water to save 80 to 90 percent of the energy costs of washing.
  • To prevent static cling, add one cup white vinegar to the rinse cycle, using your washing machine’s dispenser. Static cling is caused by using synthetic fabrics, so you could also switch to cotton. The vinegar also kills bacteria and prevents the buildup of detergent residue.
  • Clean out the dryer’s lint trap after every load to improve circulation and reduce energy use.
  • Air dry whenever possible using indoor racks or an outdoor line. This conserves energy—and your clothes. They will not wear out or fade as quickly.

For more laundry tips: Green Tip – Eco Your Laundry

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Project Laundry List
Project Laundry List leads the air-drying and cold-water washing revolution. They provide information about these and other simple, effective ways to save energy and money.

Some Quick Facts from Project Laundry List:

  • Less than 4% of Italian households own a dryer.
  • Approximately one quarter of Americans use an ENERGY STAR washer. There are no ENERGY STAR dryers on the market.
  • You don’t even need soap to wash most loads. The agitation of washing machines often does the job on its own.
  • Sunlight bleaches and disinfects.
  • Approximately 23.8 billion pounds of clothing and textiles end up in U.S. landfills each year.
  • Cotton production accounts for 2.4% of total arable land yet accounts for 11% of global pesticide use and 25% of global insecticide use.
  • You can reduce the full lifecycle climate change impact of your jeans by up to 50 percent by line drying and washing them in cold water.

LOCAL NOTES:

Eco Chic Boutique in Fargo is having a costume swap. Bring your child’s gently used costume to their shop between now and October 15, 2010 and you will receive a ticket for a “new” costume. You can pick up your “new” costume between 5pm and 7pm on Friday, October 15th or between 9am to 12pm on Saturday, October 16th. All remaining costumes will be sold for $5 with proceeds going to 4 Luv of Dog Rescue of Fargo.

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.

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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 or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Avoid genetically engineered food. Until further testing has been done, the impacts to our food supply, human and environmental health are not clearly known.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held public hearings to determine the introduction of AquaBounty Technologies’ Transgenic salmon into our food supply. The FDA panel questioned some of the data submitted by AquaBounty, including the small sample size represented in its findings and the potential for allergic reactions (fish as a food group inherently contain a high level of allergens).

Consumer advocates are united with salmon farmers and fisherman in their shout out against the production of genetically engineered (GE) fish until independent tests prove the fish are safe for the food supply, the environment, and safe for human consumption.

Are we going to allow more sketchy food into our food supply that hasn’t been adequately tested?

One (of many) concerns is the presence of iGF-1, a growth hormone linked to an increased risk of cancer, in this fast growing test tube fish.

The FDA panel has not reached a conclusion. The next step is an environmental assessment and a 30-day period for the public to voice their comments. If approved, the first GE salmon could be in the grocery store in two years. Under FDA guidelines for food labels, the salmon you buy will not require a label stating it is GE in origin.

AquaBounty is against mandatory labeling sighting it as unfair and costly. Elliot Entis, AquaBounties founder, would support voluntary labeling by producers who want to communicate that their fish was not GE. Place the cost and burden for the label on the guy supplying nature’s fish? Fair?

Besides the cost of voluntary labeling, AquaBounties fear is the GE label would be read like a warning. Other critics of mandatory labeling imply labels are too confusing to consumers. Source: Phoenix News Times

Don’t we deserve to know where are food comes from and how it’s produced?

I also think there’s also an ethical piece to this issue. Even though we can, should we make changes to nature that aren’t natural?

Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.

Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, they help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

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