With all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I've made a conscious decision to slow down. This is one of my favorite seasons. The following are some tips on how to celebrate an eco-friendly Christmas (stress free).
1) Instead of rushing to attend or participate in various holiday activities, we limit ourselves to a handful of events. One of these events is a local town parade; another event is a craft event at our local library and some holiday gatherings with friends.
2) Bake. Bake. Bake. This is the time of the year in which I bake as much as possible. This keeps my home warm with the fragrant smell of gingerbread, cinnamon and pumpkin pie.
3) Unplug the television and limit internet usage. Read by the fireplace and/or candlelight. I love candlelights and this is the time of the year to light them up!
4) Make a daily gratitude list of at least two things you are grateful for. For example, I am grateful for the weather today. We had a wonderful abnormally warm day! I am grateful that I have a fridge stocked with food.
5) Make holiday gifts. I recently learned how to make jewelry and plan to give some away as holiday gifts. A number of crafts store sell beautiful eco-friendly recycled glass beads (most of these beads where glassware, bottles, etc. previously).
6) Unsubscribe to the Facebook newsfeed of family and friends (I really don't need to know every thought and event in their lives) and spend time living my own life. If I am really curious, I can always check their facebook page once a month or call them.
We are counting down the days til Thanksgiving. We love Thanksgiving. After our thanksgiving dinner, we trim and decorate our Christmas tree. Over the past few years, I've discovered some eco-friendly ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, here are some of my tips:
1) Cook only as much as you, your family and guests can eat. This sounds like a "no-brainer" but we tend to often serve too much food on Thanksgiving and wind up tossing out the leftovers.
2) Volunteer at a local shelter or church to serve a Thanksgiving meal for the homeless. Instead of spending time and money scouring for the latest Black Friday gadgets and deals, this is a great way to share with the community.
3) Plant your spring bulbs. By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, most places have experienced their first frost and so, it's time to plant your spring bulbs.
4) Teach a friend or family member how to create homemade gifts (this can involve sewing, knitting, woodworking, cooking, etc.). By helping your loved ones build their creative abilities, you are also teaching them that great gifts do not need to be bought.
5) Attend or join a holiday parade. This is one of our favorite activities to do. Walking in a parade is eco-friendly and also builds a festive holiday atmosphere. My son is part of the cub scouts, and their troop tosses the leftover Halloween candies to parade bystanders. Believe me, those parade bystanders love the candy!
6) Share and learn a new recipe. I love baking and plan to bake my favorite pumpkin pies and apple pies.
7) Have children make and send holiday cards (instead of buying holiday cards). Children rarely write letters and utilize the postal office these days. It's a great experience to have them write and personalize holiday cards. I have recently taught my children how to write using calligraphy and they are looking forward to writing the holiday cards this year. We use calligraphy pens (with refillable ink cartridges so we do not need to discard the entire pen after the ink has been used).
I have been gradually increasing my running distances and have been experimenting with different recovery drinks. There are protein shakes, juices, vitamin infused water, water, chocolate milk, etc. The list goes on and on. I have found that drinking iced green or white tea helps me recover after my long runs. I enjoy drinking Mighty Leaf organic teas, especially the Green Tea Tropical blend which contains green tea, banana, strawberry, pineapple, guava and exotic fruit flavors. Their tea bags do not have any glue or staples and are made of 100% unbleached cotton. The tea bags are 100% compostable. While most runners may not have discovered the benefits of drinking tea as a recovery drink, I believe the following are some great reasons to drink tea instead of other recovery drinks: low caloric drink, contains anti-oxidants that aid recovery, contains natural levels of caffeine that helps one increase their energy levels, and great mild taste. Another great benefit is that tea can be served chilled or at room temperature, depending on your preference.
For more information about Mighty Leaf, please visit www.mightyleaf.com
Drink your tea and enjoy!
We are so excited to be celebrating Halloween today! The following are some tips on celebrating an eco-friendly Halloween:
1) Use a reusable pail or bucket for trick/treating (my kids use the same buckets for Easter egg hunting and other events throughout the year).
2) Don't water your lawn today (your grass will survive and the neighborhood kids will appreciate walking through your dry lawn to your front door).
3) Consider going trick/treating earlier (before it gets too dark), you will be able to cover more houses and conserve energy from limiting the use of flashlights.
4) Wear reusable reflective gear on top of your Halloween costumes.
5) Avoid purchasing single use items (avoid buying glow sticks) and use flashlights instead.
6) Consider donating your extra candy to a local women's/children's shelter.
7) Have your kids reuse old Halloween costumes. If your kids have outgrown old Halloween costumes, donate them to friends, family members or the local salvation army.
8) The following are healthy alternatives to candy: stickers, erasers, pencils, and other school supplies. Avoid giving away disposable plastic toys (that are poorly made and non-recylcable).
9) Consider giving away discount coupons to local entertainment activities to support local stores and businesses (we received a discount coupon to a local bowling alley before and it was the most thoughtful Halloween treat).
10) Do not litter. Make sure kids place candy wrappers and other holiday trash where they belong.
11) Do not discard your carved pumpkins. Instead, include the pumpkins in your compost bin. If you do not have a compost bin, ask a neighbor who has one if he/she would like to include your pumpkins in their compost.
12) Use leaves to decorate your homes (instead of plastic decorations). If you do use plastic decorations, remember to store them in clearly marked Halloween bins so that you can easily reuse them next year.
Congratulations to Becky L for winning the Reusable Food Kozy Wrap 2 Pack product giveaway! Please email me your mailing address so that the product can be shipped to you. Enjoy!
Eco-friendlyliving.com and Kids Konserve have partnered together to offer you this great free giveaway - the Reusable Food Kozy Wrap 2 Pack. In order to have a chance to win this free giveaway, please post a comment below by October 15th 12PM EST. A winner will be randomly chosen from those who have posted a comment below. Best of luck!
Please check out this great video
for more information on this product giveaway !
They are on sale til the end of October! Best of luck!
In the meantime, if you would like to learn more about this great product, please visit http://store.kidskonserve.com/SearchResults.asp?Cat=27
When I started pursuing an eco-friendly living a few years ago, I started taking a number of group classes which included ZUMBA, circuit training, step aerobics and yoga. I didn't enjoy yoga that much because the moves were not challenging (I later found out that the instructor was not as challenging as other instructors). After running a number of races and truly developing a passion for running, I realized that I needed to cross train in order to keep my body injury free so I tried yoga again. Now I love yoga! I have recently tried hot vinyasa yoga and really enjoyed the challenging poses in the heated studio. Most of all, I believe that yoga has helped me strengthen my core muscles so now I am a stronger and better runner.
If you tried yoga before and didn't feel like you have gotten a good workout, please seek out another class and instructor. Perhaps, a beginner class is too easy for you and you will benefit from a power yoga class.
Another summer is about to end. I am looking forward to the fall season. On a recent trip to the NC mountains, we came across a beautiful hummingbird (captured here in this photo) in a garden. Hummingbirds are so fascinating! Hummingbirds are the most popular bird pollinators in the world and are responsible for pollinating over 50 different types of plants.
The FDA has officially set standards for gluten free claims on food labels. This is a positive advancement for individuals with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. Gluten is made of starch and proteins found in certain grassy grains like wheat, barley and rye. When eaten by people with celiac disease, gluten can trigger the production of antibodies that damage the lining of the small intestine.
The gluten free market is over $4 billion and growing. More and more individuals have been diagnosed with gluten sensitivity over the past few years.
These strict standards will aim to ensure less trace gluten ingredients to be found in packaged gluten free foods. The FDA set a gluten limit of 20 parts per million in products labeled gluten free. This has been the unofficial limit since 2007. With the official standard announced, there is less ambiguity for new and established companies to enter the gluten free market. As more products are offered, agricultural changes will support production of more gluten free foods and will eventually result in lower cost gluten free offerings. For more information about the FDA regulations, please visit www.fda.gov.
Recently, PepsiCo has agreed to remove the “all natural” label from its Naked juices
and pay $9 million to settle a lawsuit that argued some of the ingredients in the fruit and veggie drinks aren’t “natural,” the Associated Press reports. The lawsuit also claimed that vitamins are synthetic ingredients, including a fiber made by Archer Daniels Midland. Pepsi didn’t respond when asked if the juices include synthetic fibers, the AP says.
Like many, I feel very disappointed and betrayed. Therefore, to ensure that I have more control of the types of foods and drinks I intake, I have decided to drink only homemade smoothies and juice.