10 Great Resources for Living a Greener Lifestyle
Green is more than just a color these days.
It is also the term for living a greener lifestyle that is more friendly to the environment around us.
Other than feeling good about doing something to help save the planet, there are additional reasons to consider incorporating at least some green lifestyle options into your everyday routine.
As the economy remains unsteady, it is comforting to know that some green efforts just might put a little more green back in your wallet.
Use Green Transportation
Let’s start with the way you get around. Consider forming or joining a carpool instead of driving to work yourself.
Another option is to ride your bike to work, or walk if work is close enough.
Many cities have bike trails open to the public.
Even commuting with a neighbor or co-worker can make your life a little greener, not to mention cut down on travel expenses such as gas and parking fees.
Another option is public transportation.
According to one estimate, taking public transportation instead of driving can save you about $70 a month.
Some employers even offer incentives for workers who opt for public transportation.
Walking or biking are the greenest options. When that is not a realistic option, joining with fellow commuters in a carpool or on public transportation is the next best thing.
Reusable Cups, Containers and Bottles
One of the easiest changes you can make when shifting to a green lifestyle is the containers, bottles and cups you use everyday.
It may be cliche, but you really are saving a tree or two when you bring a mug, bottle or coffee cup to work instead of using a paper cup. Many coffee shops will offer you a small discount just for bring your own reusable coffee mug with you.
Instead of buying a plastic bottle of water, use a reusable bottle to get water from the water cooler at work or the tap. You can extend this to include the containers you use to store your food or even the way you bring your lunch to school or work.
Reusable containers may be a little bit more expensive at first, but you will save money – and a few trees – in the long run. Use some reusable shopping bags when you shop for groceries and other items and you’ll be even greener.
Use Energy-Efficient Appliances
Appliances need to be replaced at some point anyway, so this isn’t really much of an adjustment. Selecting energy-efficient appliances cuts down on the amount of energy required to run those appliances. This has a ripple effect and puts less of a burden on the resources needed to produce the energy we use.
Fuel efficient appliances extend to everything from washers, dryers, stoves and refrigerators to coffee makers, television sets, air conditioners and computers. You use appliances at home and work. You don’t have any control over how fuel-efficient the appliances at work are – although, since energy efficient translates to savings, it shouldn’t be that hard to persuade your employer to make the switch – but you can control what you have and use in your home.
Buy ‘Green’ Clothes
Green clothes today are more than just hemp hats and scratchy materials. Many top fashion designers are making clothing with conscience, as some designers have called it. You don’t have to buy high-end clothing to go green either. All you really need to do is look at the label. Green clothing can include clothing that is made of durable fabric so that it lasts longer or clothing made with organic materials.
Even if you just buy clothing that is more durable, you will be making a green effort since you’ll get more use out of them. If you want to extend the green effort, donate your used clothing items.
Cigarettes spew more than 4,000 toxins into the environment. Quitting smoking is, according to the American Cancer Association, the best thing you can do for your health and the environment. (Smoking is Bad)Until you are completely off cigarettes, you can switch to the green alternative – an electronic cigarette.
The device looks like a cigarette, but only contains four ingredients. None of them are harmful to the environment. Giving up smoking also means fewer health issues and a little more green in your wallet.
Turn Things Off
Simply turning off lights and appliances you aren’t using can do wonders for the planet. You should go a step further and unplug appliances you aren’t using. Even when off and plugged in, appliances can emit phantom energy. Turning things off and unplugging stuff cuts down on CO2 emissions and saves a little green on your electric bill.
As long as you are it, replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient light bulbs – those funny looking ones – and switch to appliances that use alternative energy sources such as solar energy. You can even buy solar powered appliances such as coffee makers and mixers.
A great way to make your life a little greener is to recycle. These days, you can recycle more than just aluminum cans. Everything from clothing to appliances can be recycled. In the age of digital media, odds are you have CDs and DVDs lying around that you no longer use.
Some used music stores or electronic stores will buy these and either resell them or properly dispose of them. Even old cell phones, monitors and computers can be recycled. Cell phones can be electronically cleaned and resold or donated for use by the elderly and disabled.
Organic items can be found just about everywhere these days. Even your local supermarket is likely to have an organic section. Organic just means naturally grown. In the summer, a great way to go organic is to look for farmer’s markets.
Most of the produce available at farmer’s markets is locally grown, meaning little or no processing was involved.
Organic items include more than just fruits and vegetables. You can find organic meats and cheeses and similar items right along side the traditional versions of these items at most grocery stores. Organic clothing is clothing made without natural dyes or materials cultivated without the use of chemicals.
Buy Recycled Items
If you are going to recycle, you should make an effort to buy recycled items as well. Most recycled items will either say that they are made from recycled materials or have the recycle symbol somewhere on the product or label.
Most of the time, you cannot even tell that an item was made from recycled or partially recycled materials. The manufacturing process usually eliminates any signs of previous use. When you buy recycled items, you can actually see the results of your recycling efforts firsthand.
Buy a Hybrid Car
Electric cars aren’t really a practical purchase just yet, especially with the lack of sufficient recharging stations. As gas prices climb, gas-only cars are quickly eating up the month budget. The logical solution is to go with a hybrid car. At one time, a hybrid car wasn’t very practical either – but, times and technology have changed.
Hybrid versions of the Cadillac Escalade, Porsche Cayenne, Mercury Milan, Lincoln MKZ and Nissan Altima all boast an excellent fuel economy and impressive performance stats. On top of that, they use about half the gasoline of a traditional car. This reduces emissions and increases fuel efficiency. All good green qualities.
This is just the tip of the green iceberg. There are other little things that can be done to enjoy a greener lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be a shock to your system. Making subtle changes here and there can still make a difference. If others see that you are saving money and enjoying the health benefits of a greener lifestyle, they might follow your lead. There is something to be said for leading by example.
Green Living, Green Wallet ~ Easy Ways to Live Green
We live in a world that is driven by excessive consumer spending and excessive consumer waste. We often buy things we cannot really afford, and in many cases these are things we don’t really need. Everything has a carbon footprint associated with it.
These things we are buying have an impact on the planet. More than that, often we are buying things that detract from our health and longevity, too. It’s important to explore green living. There are easy ways to achieve this; you may be doing some already.
It can be truly eye-opening to consider, for example, how much waste is associated with grabbing a burger meal at a drive-thru window. There is little nutritional value in fast food meals.
The footprint associated with the waste of each individually wrapped item, and the process of making that food in a plant somewhere, shipping it to the restaurant, and preparing it for you is considerable.
It would be healthier, more affordable and far more eco-friendly to eat at home. This is, of course, just one decision that many of us make each day without really giving thought to it. The fact is that green living is not just healthier for you and for the planet, but it is also more affordable, too.
A Plant-Based Life
You may have heard other people state that nature provides us with everything we need to live, but you may not have given much thought to it. Consider some of these points:
Prescriptions and OTC medicines:
Herbal medicines have been used for centuries to treat everything from hair loss to migraines. In general, they provide effects equally as strong as expensive prescription and over-the-counter medications, with far fewer side effects in many cases. Often, you can cure common colds and other ailments without having to turn to the doctor and use your health insurance.
Manufacturers today make clothing with petroleum-based materials. These include polyester, nylon, and acrylic fabrics. These are processed clothes that are more likely to irritate the skin.
The manufacturing process involves drilling for oil, refining the petroleum, and then using that product in the creation of the material before the actual clothes-making process begins. Cotton and hemp clothing are generally a more affordable option, are less likely to irritate the skin, and are an organic material.
Many people today consume a diet of processed foods filled with refined sugars and excessive fats. These foods in general offer far less nutritional value than all natural, organic foods. When consumed regularly, processed foods can lead to a person gaining excessive weight.
This can contribute to a variety of healthy issues over time like diabetes, heart disease, and more. All-natural foods, when purchased in season, are not just healthier for you but may be more affordable as well. Living a healthier lifestyle and keeping your weight down may help you to qualify for inexpensive health plans and low cost life insurance, too.
Green Living in Today’s Economy
When you hear the term “green living,” you may think about living an eco-friendly, environmentally conscious lifestyle. You may not realize that green living might be more affordable for you. However, the recent economic downturn has certainly inspired many people to make some changes in their personal spending. Quite a few of these changes are eco-friendly:
- Canceling cable TV and reading a used book or books from the library
- Weatherproofing your home to save on energy costs
- Planting a garden
- Eating healthy meals at home rather than going out to eat
These are simple ways to live a greener lifestyle and save money too. By making an effort to live a more environmentally responsible lifestyle, you are choosing to live a life that is healthier for you and the planet. Many of these lifestyle changes are also far easier on your wallet,too.
Great Practical Ways to Go Green
Most people know what going green means. However, few know the practical steps that can be taken to achieve this lofty ideal. This piece takes a look at some of the best ways to go green. Most of the methods covered here are relatively cheap to implement, ensuring that you can start making a positive impact on the environment right away without feeling the pinch.
Great Practical Ways to Go Green
Embrace local organic food
Choices about the food we eat are ingrained into our habitual routines, so it is often difficult to make changes to where our food comes from.
However, a good way to go green is to make sure you don’t eat food that has travelled more than 1,500 miles to get to you. Most of this faraway food is unhealthy anyway, and by making your personal stand you will be doing your bit to discourage long distance food industries.
Cancel the unwanted mail subscriptions
If you look through what comes through your mail box you will find subscriptions that are either unsolicited or no longer useful. Cancel them right away. This will ensure the companies delivering this mail will have one less recipient.
Assuming you receive 5 of these weekly from different sources, cancelling them means you have saved the needless publication and delivery of 260 items to your home alone! If you already have a pile of such mail consider recycling.
Embrace green transportation
Embracing green transportation means getting a bicycle, walking, and taking a bus more frequently. It also means ensuring that you drive more slowly, on fully inflated car tires when you need to use the car. Similarly, combine your trips where possible and take the train for longer journeys.
When buying a car purchase a hybrid or electric vehicle, or at least a car with high mpg. You should probably steer clear of diesel Volkswagens for now. This article takes an indepth look at green ways to commute.
Embrace reusable water bottles
The bottled water industry may appear a luxury you can’t live without. Did you know though that most of the bottled water companies use municipal water sources, so there is nothing very special about them. Billions of plastic water bottles are sold annually and less than 20% of the bottles are recycled!
The world spends $100 billion annually on bottled water alone. This is a shocking statistic, especially when you consider the fact that water is free! Think about what you are drinking from.
Cut down on solid waste
Living a green lifestyle is impossible if you can’t cut down on the amount of waste you bring into your home, and the amount of waste that you subsequently send to the landfill sites from your home and office. Cutting down on waste is tricky. It means changing our buying habits, and the way we handle rubbish.
Cut down on water usage
If your home is anything like the average home you can cut down your water usage by at least a third.
We waste water in a variety of ways, including boiling excess water for our cups of tea, using more water than necessary to brush our teeth and bathe, and using the washing machine with half loads.
The misuse of water across the globe and the effects of pollution mean our fresh water supplies are diminishing at an alarming rate.
Turn your tap off when brushing your teeth, draw shallower baths, and generally be conscious of the water you use.
Help your children understand how to be eco-friendly
Your efforts to go green will be helped greatly if you have children that properly understand the concept of eco-friendliness. Help them to understand why you take certain actions and why they should mirror your behaviour.
Make the process interactive and fun or they can quickly lose interest. The Jackpotjane goes green program shows 5 easy, fun lessons on recycling. Use tools like this to help them understand. Children are the future after all.
Cut down on your energy use
As the years roll by, fossil fuel energy is getting harder and costlier to produce. It also contributes up to 21.3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year making it largely responsible for the greenhouse effect and global warming. Saving as much energy as possible ensures you are doing your part to cut down on CO2, whilst saving money in the process.
Depending on your current usage levels, conserving energy may cut your energy bills in half. Turn the lights off. Air dry your clothes when possible. Buy eco-friendly devices and appliances. Turn the heating down a degree or two.
Become a green ambassador
Your efforts to make the world a greener place can only go so far if you don’t educate others about the benefits of going green. Find ways to bring the topic into conversations without being overbearing about it, and use your habit changes as examples. You need to be able to provide a listening ear to people that buy into your message and start looking for ways to go green.
If you build on these core areas you can begin to go green immediately, and help contribute to a healthier, more sustainable environment.
Eco-friendly Can Also be Economically Friendly
With electric bills and other utilities soaring, consumers and homeowners are looking for ways to reduce living expenses while still being able to maintain their current standard of living. Many are turning to eco-friendly means to make these desires a reality.
Whether it’s through alternative energy, technologies that help reduce energy consumption, or even eco-friendly ways to reduce waste, being eco-friendly can be financially beneficial.
While most think wind and solar are the only ways to reduce electric bills and overall expenses, that isn’t necessarily true. These technologies are certainly beneficial and can significantly reduce monthly bills, but they can also require a fairly large investment depending on the type of system being installed.
Luckily, many states are now offering incentives and tax breaks for individuals and companies that invest in renewable energy. For large homes and businesses, these solutions can provide a huge financial break. Excess energy produced can even be sold back to power plants, helping investors in this technology realize a return on investment.
However, for smaller homes and those looking to lower their energy costs but not necessarily produce their own energy, there are other ways to be eco-friendly while also benefiting economically.
Energy monitors are extremely useful because they help to monitor when and how much energy is consumed during the day. Individuals can then make better decisions as to when energy consumption can most easily be reduced.
Creating this compilation of energy consumption statistics better helps home and business owners to realize how much energy is being wasted, as well as areas and times when it can be drastically reduced. This method doesn’t require the production of energy but can still save a significant amount of money on monthly bills.
Solar thermal energy is a fantastic way to heat water in an ecofriendly manner. Hot water tanks can cost a lot of money to heat each day, but solar thermal energy uses the suns radiation to create heat. This heat is then captured and transferred to liquid and heats the water in the hot water tank. While many are reserved about this type of solution because they believe that solar energy only functions under optimum conditions, recent technological innovations have led to systems that can now function during cloudy weather.
There are also minor things that can be done that can significantly reduce energy consumption and cut down on waste. Turning off the faucet while brushing teeth, using reusable rags instead of paper towels, air drying clothes instead of using the dryer, using the dishwasher rather than washing dishes by hand, taking shorter showers, and reusing containers, such as those from sour cream, instead of purchasing new tupperware are just a few ways to save money and help the environment.
In recent years, eco-friendly ways of life have become increasingly popular, but there are still particular stigmas that go along with these types of decisions. But, living in this way doesn’t necessarily mean changes in normal, everyday life. Often times, simply taking the time to look at daily activities is enough to realize the ways in which these activities can be done in a more efficient manner.
How Lawnmowers Can Be More Environmentally-Friendly
Lawnmowers are not traditionally thought of as being environmentally-friendly tools. Like any car, van or motor boat, petrol lawnmowers run on gasoline, which contributes to carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, and ultimately impacts on global warming.
As our understanding of climate change continues to develop, the link between CO2 emissions and global warming is undeniable, and people now from all walks of life are choosing to find ways of living their lives in a more environmentally friendly way.
It might seem like a subtle area of home life, but anyone who is serious about their personal impact on the environment should consider alternative ways of cutting their grass than using petrol-fueled mowers.
While petrol lawnmowers are by far the most effective, most efficient way to cut your lawn back to size, there are plenty of alternatives that can prove useful for those cutting down on their carbon footprint.
While it seems hard to think of now, given the widespread reliance on petrol lawnmowers, there was a time when petrol models didn’t exist and so there was no need for lawnmower-based services from places like Small Engine Plus power equipment repair. In their place, people used to cut grass with hand-propelled mowers.
These mowers had no power source other than human energy, and while they can prove effective it is often much harder physical work. Today, push mowers still exist, and can be used in place of petrol mowers as a more environmentally sound solution.
Because push mowers have no fuel source other than your own effort, there is no carbon footprint associated with their use. They even come with the extra bonus of delivering a workout, free of charge, to whoever chooses to mow the lawn!
For those who do not quite have the interest to opt for a push mower, electric lawnmowers are also available. These tend to be at the lower cost end of the market, but there are also more advanced models that can be bought and used if desired.
Electric lawnmowers are powered by plugging in at home. This often means you need extension cables for larger areas of grass, and while this can enable roaming, you feel more directly restricted and limited versus a petrol mower.
For better roaming capabilities, there are also battery-powered lawnmowers that can do an effective job. These charge up through a cabled connection like electric mowers, but can then be used freely without being cabled to a power point.
Both battery-powered and electric mowers still require some amount of energy to be used or charged, and in this sense they still present a drain on the environment. Nevertheless, this impact is less severe than with petrol mowers, which more directly impact on the environment as you use them.
Lawnmowers can be environmentally sensitive, and there is a growing trend among gardeners and homeowners to think more carefully about their personal environmental impact.
While the push mower might not be the best solution for everyone, both battery and electric-powered lawnmowers can provide a cleaner route to keeping your lawn tidy – without jeopardizing the environment for now and for future generations.
Going Green Technologies In Childbirth
We all know that efforts to going green can go a long way in helping our environment. We have found ways to be environmentally conscious in our work life, our personal lives, with our eating, and with our modes of transportation.
Going green technologies is seeping into every aspect of our lives. Pregnancy and childbirth are also not immune to the green lifestyle changes people across the globe are making.
If you are expecting a new bundle of pink or blue, consider using these green technologies to contribute to the well-being of our earth, and you and your baby.
Going Green Technology in Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding itself is green. It cuts down on the number of cows needed to produce milk for formula, which cuts down on methane in the environment. It also decreases waste from packaging formula, and energy needed to transport formula. Breastfeeding is sustainable and naturally renewable. However, there are aspects of breastfeeding that are not so eco-friendly.
Many moms need to use a breast pump for one reason or another. The majority of these breast pumps are not to be used for multiple mothers, as bacteria, viruses, and fungus can be passed through a used pump.
However, one company, Hygeia created pumps that can be safely passed on from mother to mother. This decreases the amount of waste in the form of breast pumps in our landfills, not to mention saves moms some green by allowing them to borrow or buy used pumps.
In addition to this, many moms are now choosing to use cloth nursing pads in place of disposable nursing pads. These pads have come a long way, thanks to technology. They are now made with hemp and other more environmentally friendly materials that help wick away moisture from the skin.
Clean Water for a Green and Healthy Pregnancy
Water is extremely important during pregnancy. During this time period the body needs more water to keep up with all of its changes and to have healthy blood cells.
Water during pregnancy can decrease edema, headaches, nausea, preterm labor and dizziness. It is recommended that pregnant women consume at least three liters of water per day, more if they participate in heavy exercise.
However, water can be a contaminant. Most municipal water supplies are safe, but they are not tested at the home tap. It is recommended that pregnant women install a water filter, such as the Ukf8001 filter, in order to decrease the amounts of lead and other toxic metals they could be exposed to, and in turn, expose their fetus too. Filtration systems for water is not a newer technology, but it is an important one, especially when it comes to having a green pregnancy.
Going Green Online: Buying Used Baby and Maternity Items
The internet has allowed us the freedom to connect with people all over the world, and people in our own communities for many different purposes. Pregnant moms can use the technology of the internet to connect with others for the purposes of buying maternity clothes and baby items.
Websites such as Freecycle.org, Craigslist.org and even Facebook allow users to advertise, search, and buy gentle used maternity clothes and baby gear. This means less waste in our landfills, less waste from producing such items and materials, and money saved for new moms and dads.
Pregnancy is a time to focus on yourself and to make positive changes. With the help of many different technologies, it has never been easier or more affordable to have a green pregnancy and childbirth. These positive changes not only lead to a better and healthier planet, a better and healthier you, but also a better and healthier baby.
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Educating The Elderly About Sustainability
Sustainability should be something that is on everyone’s mind, no matter how old we are, how many offspring we have for the future or how much time we have left with the Earth. If sustainability issues, commonly called green initiatives, are not addressed, there will be nothing left for anyone’s future. The issues need to be addressed by everyone if we, as a society, will be able to turn around global warming.
Green education for the elderly should be kept to a smaller scale. Elderly people are not going to add solar or wind to their homes because they may not keep their homes long enough to see the profits. They are not going to participate in forcing big companies to go green because those campaigns sometimes require years of hard work. The elderly population needs tasks that are simple and provide shorter-term solutions.
One of the biggest avenues for educating the elderly about sustainability is recycling. If everyone recycled their trash, we could save millions of pounds of trash filling the landfills every year. The elderly can recycle plastics, glass and other materials. It is a solution that they can participate in right now, and it is a solution that provides short term benefits that the elderly can witness firsthand.
How do we reach out to the elderly, however? How do you properly educate them on the realities of recycling? We want to make sure to reach as many people as possible, and we want to make sure their efforts are tangible. We can begin in assisted living centers and in local neighborhoods.
Assisted living centers should be holding classes for all interested residents concerning sustainability and what the residents can do to be sustainable today. These classes would cover recycling. Local communities need to reach out into the elderly population by holding events at local clubs, such as the Elks Club, the library or the town center. When these events are created to be open to the public, the elderly are very likely to join.
The courses taught at such centers or facilities should review what the elderly can recycle, how it can be recycled and why it should matter to them. Those who have offspring are reached most easily; of course they want to provide a place for their loved ones when they are gone.
These courses need to be very clear as to why anyone should bother with recycling if they hope to get elderly folks in the habit. Instructors of these courses should be knowledgeable about the habits and abilities of the elderly, and should be holders of certain certifications or degrees, such as a masters in aging.
Manufacturers also need to step up and help educate the elderly on sustainability. They can do this by making it far more evident when their product is made from recycled materials. The wording needs to be bigger so the elderly can see that their recycling efforts are paying off.
The recycling facilities can also work with manufacturers who provide products for the elderly then figure out how to use recycled products to serve the elderly. This would give people something tangible to witness in return for their recycling efforts.
The elderly are very intelligent but are used to moving through their day in a set routine. It may take extra effort for them to rinse out a juice bottle and set it aside for recycling, so it is important to show them why they should recycle and what happens when they do recycle.
The future elderly may already be in the habit of recycling, but if we all work together, we could create a society of present day elderly people who are also in the habit. Sustainability needs to be taught and practiced by everyone if it is to be successful.
Best Mobile Apps to Find Green Solutions
Green Solutions: Since there is a mobile app for just about everything under the sun, and since “going green” is all the rage these days, surely there must be a large area in which the two overlap. And there is — a range of apps for those who like to go green is now available; of those described below, all are for the iPhone, and all are free, unless otherwise noted.
We start our presentation of apps with one for your car. The refuse from the exhaust pipes goes into the air, where it can be toxic to breathe. The iPhone is equipped with an accelerometer that measures the forward acceleration of the vehicle. It then sends this information to greenMeter, which uses it to deduce information about the car’s power use and fuel economy.
The user can enter additional information, including the average level of fuel consumption for the area in which he or she lives, the weight of the car and the ambient weather conditions, which can be useful in calculating drag — and the app will determine the impact such a vehicle is likely to have on the environment. greenMeter can even let the driver know if his driving habits are environmentally friendly. It costs $5.99.
The second app, on the other hand, is ideal for when you take a walk in the park. Using the camera and the GPS receiver in the iPhone, you can create a map of your location, and even share it with other users. The photos you take can be incorporated into the maps, thus keeping you from getting lost. And unlike those that Hansel strew along the path to mark the way home — which were eaten by birds — these BreadCrumbz will always be there.
Ecorio can help you track your “carbon footprint” by keeping track of where you go. It can even plan your trip to make as “environmentally friendly” as possible, compare your carbon footprint to the national average, tell you how you can change your trip and even purchase “carbon offsets” from your smartphone in support of green initiatives.
Rippl is from Ocean Conservancy and gives you free green tips each week, each coming with a customizable alert so that you can not only live greener, but also save money. It will, for instance, remind you to grab your bags before leaving the house, bring your own mug when you go to your local coffee house so that you can get a discount and other things. You can also use Rippl to make green goals and track your progress and share your findings with others.
A Real Tree
A Real Tree, designed to fight deforestation, was developed by people who have worked with organizations that work to replenish forests in Haiti, Honduras, India and Nicaragua — one of these organizations plants a tree each time the app is purchased for 99¢.
Real Tree is still only in its initial stages of development — its designers intend to add other features as time goes on, but right now the user can make different things happen by adjusting the “gestures” of trees, such as making birds fly or flowers drift with the breeze.
Environmentally unfriendly habits can affect the food that we eat every day, a fact that is testified to by the amount of pesticide in our dishes. The Japanese food known as sushi is made wish various types of fish, many of which have dangerously high levels of mercury.
With the Safe Sushi app, you can keep track of which kinds of fish have the highest mercury levels. You can also use it to learn what kinds are available in your area — the best kinds of sushi are usually the ones made locally.
Nature Near You
This is one of many apps available from the Nature Conservancy. It provides photographs of nature where you live and gives news on environmental developments, both of which you can share with your social networks. Plus you can download photographs as wallpaper.
Bikes, E-Waste, Petlessness, Reflections from Portland
This past week I had the opportunity to share the Transforming Cultures (blog by Worldwatch Institute) message in Portland and it was refreshing to see so many efforts to grow a sustainable culture wafting out of the Rose City. Though there were some scary trends oozing out from there as well. But let’s start with the positive: Bike sharing Creating Better Places
Living in DC for 11 years I have seen many cyclists hit by drivers distracted by their cell phones or simply because the motorists assume they have the right of way. So spending a week in such a bike friendly city was very refreshing.
From the city Bike Map that shows the best ways to commute by bicycle to the new “Bike Boulevards” that have speed bumps and no stop signs (and minimal car traffic); and from the comprehensive long-sighted Bicycle Plan for 2030 to the “Bike Bar” that has long rows of bike parking for the thirsty cyclist, the biker has a much higher place in the transportation pecking order than in any other American city I’ve been too.
While in Portland I spent a few nights at a youth hostel that was impressively green. It captured its rain water to use in its toilets, it had a green roof, a garden, it composted, and was energy efficient. And most importantly it effectively educated guests about all of these efforts (including in the most strategic way possible—by putting signs next to the toilet, where one’s attention is quite captive). In a fun neighborhood and right on a bus line, it is an affordable place to stay when visiting this city.
One of the true highlights of the trip was to take a tour of Metro Paint. This is a government run initiative that recycles 300,000 gallons of house paint each year and sells it at a lower cost to consumers.
Metro Paint produces 18 colors, generates $1 million in revenue, and now has 5 percent of the market share. It’s a self-sustaining operation, when this revenue is added to the funds that come from a disposal tax on paint (70 cents a gallon). It’s quite a great government initiative to prevent perfectly good paint from ending up in the landfill.
It seems that all major cities in the U.S. should follow suit—though ideally coupled with more aggressive efforts to encourage citizens to not paint as frequently in the first place. Like with most things, we often paint more out of novelty than out of need.
Even worse than getting a peek at the overwhelming scale of e-waste, I visited a carpet “recycler,” or in reality, a carpet downcycler. This company shaved carpets and took the nylon to make fake wood, fabric, and other things. But there seemed to be more nylon floating in the air than was ending up in bundles and the place screamedlung disease.
I don’t know the effects of inhaling nylon day-in and day-out, but I imagine it can cause serious problems, just like silicon or even the fake buttery flavor of microwave popcorn. Yes, there’s a disease called “Popcorn Lung” so I’d bet “Carpet Lung” is a concern too.
This visit—as I exited the facility and again as I removed black snot from my nose the next morning—made me think that people need to simply stop using industrial carpets and for the few places carpet is really valuable (perhaps at the entryway to one’s home), we should return to traditional Turkmen carpets—made from organic wool and plant-based dyes, made by hand with no fossil fuels, made to last 100+ years, and fully compostable at the end of their lives. Yes, they’d be expensive but not when costed out over their full lifespans.
Green Your Pet
When our daughter began teetering around our home independently, I became seriously concerned about the dust on the floor surrounding our feline powder room. How could I be sure it was safe?
I soon realized that our litter was clay-based, meaning it was created through strip-mining (a process that is massively destructive to the earth), and the silica dust left behind was a health risk to our kitties’ lungs as well as our own. Fortunately, there are litter alternatives, including those made from newspaper, wheatgrass and pine. We made an easy transition to a pine variety and voila: No dust underfoot and less impact on the earth!
If your pet is a pooch, you can easily green your walks with biodegradable waste bags. These corn-based sacks break down and begin composting within days. Of course, if you want a truly earth-conscious pet, bring home a guinea pig or hamster. These fuzz balls eat little, create minimal waste and are blissful in their cages, earning them top billing as the greenest pet. Plus, you can’t beat holding your pet in your palm!
Perhaps even worse than the carpet recycler was the series of advertisements by the Portland Humane Society, calling on people to “End Petlessness.” On the surface, this is a noble effort, and has been wildly successful in increasing pet adoptions. According to Leopold Ketel & Partners, pet adoption rates have increased 6% to 96% for all pets since this advertising campaign has started, and web-based donations have increased 20%.
But of course, the last thing we can afford as a species is to provide a “furry soulmate” to every man, woman and child. Not if we want to somehow curb our consumption and our ecological impact and prevent the mass die-off of our species, and in turn the mass die-off of dogs and cats (What do you think we’ll turn to when food suddenly becomes scarce during the collapse?).
But as I learned from friends living in Portland, pets are sacred there, and unfortunately the odds of shifting this trend is probably as high as getting people to stop buying modern carpeting and new electronic junk (Did you hear Amazon is making a new tablet?! Where do I get one!?).
We are consumers to the core (thanks to a hundred years of cultural engineering), but at least in Portland more people consume bikes than cars. That’s something to celebrate–perhaps over a local microbrew at the Bike Bar, or at home over a genuine Hot Dog and some homegrown fries.
Choosing Environmentally Friendly Certified Wood ~ Eco Products
Choosing Environmentally Friendly Certified Wood and Eco Products, is a growing concern for many. The world’s rainforests and forests cover 31% of the earth’s land and are home to a staggering 70% of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, with thousands of species that haven’t yet been discovered.
These species have the potential for new medical and scientific discoveries and breakthroughs, as well as the enhancing human understanding of the earth’s biodiversity. Forest ecosystems’ are complex.
The trees provide homes for birds, mammals, reptiles and fungi. The ground provides home for bacteria, insects, microbes, plants and much more. Forest ecosystems are naturally self-sustaining, yet the cycle can be easily disrupted, and as a result, the forest can begin to die.
Deforestation, resource exploitation and poor management of forests destroy the habitat of whole communities within the forest ecosystem. Felling trees cause a physical loss of habitat, but also causes the loss of protection from the sun: soil quickly dries out and becomes barren and temperatures soar, harming plants and animals.
Clear cutting of forests, the cutting down of whole areas fragments the forests, leaving species isolated and unable to sustain large populations.
Environmentally Friendly Certified Wood ~ Eco Products
Eco Friendly Harvested Wood
Forests also play a crucial role in regulating the earth’s climate by acting as a carbon sink. They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere: some of this is released as oxygen through a process of photosynthesis, and some is stored as carbon within the trees and plants themselves.
Deforestation prevents the uptake of carbon dioxide by trees and is therefore a contributing factor to carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. It is estimated that deforestation has contributed to an estimated 30% of the carbon dioxide build-up in the atmosphere.
Deforestation comes in various forms: forest fires, degradation due to climate change, clear-cutting for agriculture, and unsustainable or illegal logging are just a few.
Forest fires can be devastating but are actually an important part of a forests life cycle. There are certain plants which have evolved to use forest fires to spread the seeds and germinate.
The rate of deforestation by man-made activities such as clear cutting and logging has only really taken off in the last 150 years as the demand for land and resources have drastically increased, due to increased population, technological and industrial advances. As science has revealed the importance of forests for the earth’s biodiversity and climate preservation, an increased emphasis has been placed on sustainable forestry and responsibly managed forests.
A sustainability forest is one which is carefully managed so that felled trees are replaced with seedlings which will grow and eventually replace the felled trees. This system has to be managed in such a way that it protects the biodiversity of species and wildlife by avoiding the destruction of whole habitats at a time. Water and soil quality must also be protected, and the overall health and function of the forest preserved.
Choosing Environmentally Friendly Certified Wood ~ Eco Products
A study by Oak Furniture found that two thirds (66%) of consumers are willing to pay more for furniture that is built from sustainably managed forests, yet less than half (46%) were willing to ask about the sustainability of the wood furniture they are purchasing. Forest certification programs were launched to create a way for consumers to track if there wood has come from forests which are sustainably managed.
Wood which is certified can legally carry the sticker of accreditation, allowing consumers to know what products they buy come from sustainable resources. Wood is certified if it meets particular criteria. As well as sustainable felling, forests need to respect native cultures and economies; prevent illegal logging and clear-cutting; avoid or restrict pesticide use; protect the rights of workers, communities and indigenous people; and apply to laws and correct development and appeals processes in order to become certified.
Certification audits are carried out by third party accredited certification bodies. There are several certification schemes, however, FSC is the most credible and endorsed by various charities.
Many forest owners do not get their forests certified as it is cheaper for them to log wood illegally than to comply with national laws. Illegal logging is a major problem for timber producing countries. In some countries, illegal logging is actually more common than legal logging.
Not only does illegal logging degrade forests, it deprives developing countries of up to $15 billion in royalties each year and lowers the price of timber, causing a knock on effect as more industries turn to illegal logging to compete with low prices. By choosing to only buy certified wood, consumers create a demand for businesses to comply with laws and regulations.
Ultimately, it is the choice of the consumer to buy wood that is sourced from sustainably managed forests – by asking for certified wood products when none is available, consumers can increase future supply and ensure that businesses being to buy wood from certified suppliers.
There are several certification programs available to choose from but the most credible is the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as it has stricter standards for the responsible management of forests than other certification programs. The FSC provide a database which allows consumers to check the validity of certificates, or to check which manufacturers, suppliers and retailers use FSC certified wood.
Other certification programs include the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (FSI). Both of these also feature online databases, which you can find retrospectively here and here.
Environmental Consequences of Forest Fires
Green Consumerism Is No Solution
The header for this article is a headline from an article published by the American Anthropological Association, by Richard Wilk. I read it in the Green blog of the Huffington Post. I saw Wilk just a few days before this at a conference sponsored by SCORAI (Sustainable Consumption Research and Action Initiative). I was one of the group that established SCORAI. Here’s the beginning of what Wilk wrote.
Greenwashing is not just for corporations anymore — it has gone personal. Instead of feeling guilty about the huge gaps between wealthy and poor, the ways consumerism causes global warming, or how our daily pleasures cause rainforest destruction and despoil the sea, we can drink a few cups of fair-trade coffee, eat a rainforest crunch bar and instantly feel better. The consumer marketplace today offers us every kind of ethical, ecological and healthy option we can imagine, from recycled toilet paper to household wind turbines.
Goodness and moral values have been privatized in our post-Reagan-Thatcher neoliberal world. “Green” consumer goods promise the eternal lie of the huckster — that we can have our cake and eat it too, that we can change the world without sacrifice, or any more effort than smarter shopping. Because our gold ear-studs have been “ethically mined” we are absolved from thinking about why we feel we ‘need’ to wear gold at all. We can take expensive vacations in exotic tropical lands, ignoring the poverty around us while we enjoy “sustainable” gourmet meals and an organic mud bath… Green consumption reduces all of the problems of the world into making the right shopping decisions.
All this fits into the classic case of quick fixes that attempt to cure the symptoms without addressing the root causes. I have argued that consumption is an addictive habit created and supported by the underlying cultural beliefs of our so-called modern society.
Wilk adds an important additional causal factor, the disappearance of public moral values. We lack a public voice shouting, “Mindless consuming is not OK; it is destroying the social and environmental fabric of civilization.” (my words)
Wilk goes on to argue that we, in the affluent world, possess sufficient knowledge to appreciate the harms we are producing.
Another difference between our own consumer culture and that of our ancestors, is that now we know so much more about the way our consumption connects us to each other, to our own health and that of the planet. For the first time we can see, or even talk to the people who grow our gourmet coffee, weave our artisanal rugs, and put beads in our cornrows on a holiday beach. This marvelous network of information leaves consumers more exposed to moral fault than ever before, and makes the burden of moral behavior heavier and more perilous. Often the only choices seem to be tokenism — making changes that are more symbolic than substantive — or cynicism grounded in the experience of falling for new trends or solutions that turn out to be misguided, co-opted, or fraudulent.
Patagonia’s advertising campaign based on the moralistic phrase “Don’t Buy This Shirt” may have persuaded some of its clients to postpone their purchases, but the overall effect was to increase sales.
[Consumer] choice is held to be a cornerstone of liberty by perhaps a majority of Americans, who see every instance of public values emphasizing the Commonwealth as a reduction of that liberty. Couple that to a foundation-level belief that we are constituted as “I’s” by an insatiable set of needs, and the ultimate outcome of consuming the Earth should become patently clear.
We can continue to value consumer choice, but not in the unlimited way we do at present. Even the most ardent libertarians should recognize that some rules are always needed to enable the freedom they seek. Traffic signals allow for the flow of drivers, free from the threat of injury and death at every crossroads. The free market is never completely free. Some rules are always needed to prevent misuse that contravenes the intents of those who see opportunities to collect excessive rents.
A shift in understanding of who the “I” really is could retain choice, but within limits. The seemingly slight change from an image of human beings as constituted by need to one where one’s humanness springs from care can convert the quick fix of green consumerism to a more fundamental system capable of producing sustainability-as-flourishing.
Care requires goods and services to satisfy one’s intentions in the several domains I wrote about just two blogs previously. The insatiability vanishes, however. One consumes only as much as is required to satisfy the target of care in all domains. The process is continuous as the world keeps changing, but is not insatiable.
With this belief, end points are dictated by existential assessments, not by comparisons with others, triggered by cultural values, or driven by persuasive mechanisms. The ideal of the Sabbath can be realized because one can cease consuming, satisfied that his or her world has been taken care of, at least for the moment.
It will take a cultural transformation to get to such a point, more than Wilk’s call-out, “Shock treatment through dramatic public events that bring shame on high consumers, and other direct action has to be on the agenda.” This would be a good start, exposing the amorality of today’s consumer culture, but without an accompanying shift in existential beliefs, would only slow down the race toward catastrophe.
Sustainability in 10 Bullet Points
I have just finished proofreading my new book, Flourishing: A Frank Conversation about Sustainability, written with my former PhD student, Andy Hoffman. It’s hard to be objective about one’s own work, but I think it is very good.
In the five years since Sustainability by Design was published, my thinking about sustainability has become clearer, at least to me. I think this new book is more accessible and focused on the moat important issues.
I gave a talk yesterday at the Northeastern University Business School to a small group of the faculty that left me with a sense that little has changed in the understanding and appreciation of the true nature of sustainability in the past five years.
Granted that this meeting was not dispositive, sustainability is, if anything, less understood. I hear the same confusion between what used to be called greening, but now gets called sustainability or sustainable something and what I call sustainability. I have a slide that asserts that everyone in the audience who believes that they are doing something or thinking about sustainability is merely doing something to (unsustainability) less bad. Nobody has yet challenged me on this.
The distinction is critical. For sure, we are mucking up the world by overconsumption and we need to do something about that. But becoming more eco-efficient won’t change the story. We may be able to slow down the growth of negative impacts, but will not reverse the trend. The global GDP has grown at a rate far exceeding the increase in eco-efficiency over long periods.
To keep the mess at current levels, the two growth rates (GDP) and eco-efficiency must be equal. And to reverse the damaging impacts, the change in eco-efficiency must exceed the growth of GDP. Tim Jackson, in his book, Progress Without Growth, calls the belief in decoupling (growth in GDP without concomitant growth environment harms) a myth.
Expectations that the so-called information society would grow without the damage created by huge material demands are just that—thoughts. Nothing like this has happened. Per capita indices may be improving, but aggregate damages (the only thing the planet responds to) keep rising. Recent scientific assessments of the rate of climate change have found change is happening faster than previously predicted.
That’s the Planetary situation; the human condition is no better. If the US is to be held out to be the most advanced modern, industrialized nation, one should not look too closely at data related to individual and social conditions. It’s akin to the old saying that if you like sausage, never visit a sausage factory.
In spite of the extremely high level of average affluence, we have lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, more prisoners, more homicides, and many more instances of negative measures of well-being. Inequality is highest in the US among peer nations.
If we do nothing more than what businesses call sustainability activities, we will not change the current “unsustainable” conditions of the nations and the world. “Why not?” members of the audience ask. What we want and need is to grow. That’s the solution to all of our problems. The unemployed will find jobs. Our well-being will continue to increase.
It’s not just economists talking here; just about everyone takes this as gospel, especially just after an election where promises of growth are aimed both at the left and the right. More wealth for the right (the richer) and more jobs for the left (the poorer).
Wake up and pay attention to the arithmetic as President Clinton advised in his speech at the Democratic Convention. We are living on more than one planet today and are headed for perhaps as many as 5 or so when the rest of the world becomes as affluent as we are. There simply is not enough ocean or atmosphere to absorb all our s—-.
We will soon be faced with a Solomonic choice. Who gets the limited resources needed to feed the hungry mouths of the people and the societal machines that provide them with everything they consume?
Everyday, the way into our problems and the way out becomes clearer to me. Without any elaboration (that’s what my books and other writings try to do) to build the case I will make in a few sentences, here is the story in bullet points.
- Our unsustainable situation is fundamentally rooted in the failure of our most basic beliefs to match the way the world works.
- The mismatch results in “fixes-that-fail” that leave the root causes in place, and in ever-growing (destructive) unintended consequences. The meaning of sustainability, itself, is misunderstood. It is an “empty” word, requiring an explicit quantity or quality to sustain. All present measures of sustainability or sustainable being used are based on an erroneous world view and are leading us astray.
- The institutions that have evolved on the foundation of these beliefs are the proximate cause of the problematic situation. Capitalism itself is suspect, perhaps not at its core, but in the present form it has evolved to take. I am not equipped to take a more critical stance than suspicion.
- Trying to design new institutions and modify the existing ones, but based on the same fundamental beliefs, is doomed to failure. When it will collapse is uncertain; it may be far enough off in the future to fool us into thinking what we are doing to cope today is working. Referring again to the language of systems dynamics, we are living out a massive shifting-the-burden or even addictive pattern. It will get increasingly difficult to cope, adapt or mitigate the damage as we continue to work on the wrong problems.
- We have to stop thinking about the world only in mechanistic terms, as a system that we can come to know and manage through technology and technocracy (scientifically based institutional rules). We think there is only one way of knowing, science, and only one set of truths about the world. The “only” is important because our present system of knowing is not wrong; it is incomplete and insufficient to guide our human efforts to sustain life on the Planet in a state we deem normatively satisfactory.
- The more powerful way to think about the world is as an organic, complex system in which we humans are simply about seven billion nodes interconnected to each other and to the rest of the world. Because it is complex, we can never come know precisely how it is working at the moment and, thus, are unable to manage it as we believe we can (see the preceding paragraph). The reality of the world (the set of meanings by which we operate) is created in and through language, and is historically situated, changing as our experiences change. If we start to think about the world in this manner, we will design new effective institutions to guide our societies. I believe that we will and should explicitly introduce pragmatic methods in place of our present deterministic ways of design, decision, and operating. We can never avoid unforeseen problems and failures, but in a complex world, pragmatism can lessen the likelihood of fixes-that-fail patterns. Immense and daunting changes to be sure, but absolutely necessary!
- We have to stop thinking about ourselves as Homo economicus, creatures driven to acquire material goods as a measure of well-being. Said another way, we have to stop thinking that the main motivators for human live are the acquisition of pleasure and the avoidance of pain. These ideas arising during the Enlightenment are, like our mechanistic understanding of the world, incomplete and inadequate, but also are incorrect, so that the “only” qualifier does not apply here.
- Our actions in the world take place in the flow of language—a manner of living together in a coordinated flow of consensual action—not a collection of words and grammatical rules as commonly understood. Humans also exist in the flow of emotions, body dynamics that specify what we can and cannot do at any moment in our relational behaviors. Emotions represent our attunement to the world, a general description of how we respond to our situations. The most primal and fundamental of human emotions is love, but not merely romantic love.
Love is the domain of those relational behaviors through which another arises as a legitimate other in coexistence with oneself under any circumstance. Love does not legitimize the other, love lets the other be. Through seeing the other, entails acting with the other in a way that they do not need to justify their existence in the relation. (Maturana and Nisis)
- The shift in thinking about what it is to be human is profound but can be voiced in a word or two. Being human is all about care, not need. Care and love are naturally connected. Our interconnectedness to the world means that we better pay attention to it and take care of it. We cannot simply view the world outside of our bodies as simply an independent resource for giving us pleasure and avoiding pain. Our actions inevitably and necessarily interact and change the human and non-human world. Our humanness is not expressed in insatiable demands, but in a continuum of actions to make sure the targets of our care are satisfied. Satisfaction lies outside the body in the world, not inside as we are told by psychologists and economists. We are part of that world so we will experience satisfaction whenever we perceive that the world outside is taken care of. Whenever that happens we will be in a state of existential completeness, which I (and others) call flourishing. The attainment of this human condition will and should become the primary measure of the success of our societal institutions in place of the economic measures used today to indicate well-being.
- Closing the loop back to the beginning of the brief explanation, flourishing is the right and relevant reference to use for the semantically empty word, sustainability. Hence the origin of my definition of sustainability: the possibility that human and other life will flourish on the planet forever.
This is a brief and dense itemization of the story of sustainability, but the essential points are all here. A warning. If you are serious about sustainability, then you have to take in the whole story. You cannot be selective, as present day businesses and other institutions are doing. It’s all or nothing. This doesn’t mean that you abandon the parts of the present paradigm (belief and institutional structure) that do continue to work. 2 + 2 will still equal 4.
It does help to slow down the destructive momentum of today (but not at the expense of neglecting the real problems). But you cannot work from within this old and effete paradigm when you set out to make sustainability-as-flourishing show up. You will look like an alien to those still comfortable in the status quo. So stick in there.
You have the right stuff; they do not. Rational arguments will not convince anyone. Different paradigms do not connect rationally one to another. You may be able to convince others that the old paradigm is the problem, not the solution. That’s how science advances. But you (and anyone else) will not be able to argue that the new one (sketched briefly above) is the way to go.
You will simply have to plunge in and wait for the results to come. They will be the legitimating evidence. Each of the elements sketched out has already been “proven to work,” but in much smaller contexts than that of the sustainability problematic. So you will not be simply hanging out there.
“Many people need desperately to receive this message: ‘I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.” (Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake)
A Green Clean
Here is a little tip of mine after having had my carpets cleaned the other day. As of being a conscious consumer I was pleased to come across a rug cleaning.
I was shocked to learn that many of the popular professional cleaning agents and protectants on the market are known toxins, linked to serious cancers, liver damage, and even birth defects, but Green Choice Carpet uses time-tested cleaning products, many components of which my grandmother and great-grandmother trusted to clean their homes, including salt, baking soda, and citric acids.
Since they use OSHA-approved, green cleaners, I know that my rugs are in good hands and that my small children and pets are also safe playing on the clean floors. And the house even smells fresh, without any underlying chemical residue!
They put health and wellness first. As a family-owned business with over 20 years of experience, Green Choice Carpet understands that our family’s safety is the priority, using only safe, organic cleaning agents. The result was fresh, clean carpet, upholstery, and rugs without the threat of dangerous toxins in our home.
Although I knew that my carpet and upholstery needed a deep-cleaning, I was worried about the price since money is tight around our house. They put my mind at ease with a single phone callThey were even running discounted prices, making them very reasonable for my family.
Best All Natural Supplements For a Green Living Family
“Green living.” That is one of the biggest buzzwords today. So many people, thinking that the earth is fragile and that unless we change our ways it will come to an end, are turning to alternative ways of life. The earth is not really fragile, to be sure, but green living can also be good for our own internal physical and mental health.
And so, here is an article on some of the best all natural supplements for a green living family. It should be realized that the digestive tract contains over 80 percent of the immune system, and so anything that strengthens the digestive system is also good for boosting one’s immunity. Besides, digestion takes large amounts of energy, and the less you use for that function, the more you have to do other things.
1) Supplements for good gum health
Dr. Paul Gilbert has recommended organic blue green algae and other similar multi- nutrient supplements to reduce the chances of developing periodontitis, a serious gum disease which can cause the teeth to fall out and it’s the primary cause of tooth loss in adults according to most dentists around the world including the dentists in Perth. The Alpha Sun certified organic algae drink contains a wide range of “micronutrients” that help the body feel better, and it promotes:
-biomodulation—improves the overall way in which the body performs
-the functioning of the immune system
-levels of cholesterol—Alpha Sun is a natural source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Most especially, the drink is an excellent source of vitamin A, of which it has more than of all other vitamins put together; the amino acid leucine (the only one that aids in the synthesis of muscle protein), used by the liver, muscles, and adipose tissue, where it aids in the production of sterols; and the trace element titanium, which is commonly used in medical and surgical tools.
Dr. Gilbert also recommends the drink SBG Zymes, which contains a special combination of enzymes that provide nourishment from the foods the user eats, and helps to break down carbohydrates, fats, fiber, and protein.
It also contains substances, including lipase and lactase, that make the digestion process more efficient, so that you never get that “after meal slump.” Enzyme supplements are important because processing foods that are low in enzymes is very hard on the digestive system. The SBG Zymes drink is made of plant fibers, rice bran, and water.
2) Growth supplements: StemPlex
StemPlex is the perfect supplement for cell growth, as it provides stem cells with the nutrition that they need to grow, and its unique combination of substances support the natural system of cell renewal that the body has. It also protects cells against free radicals, which can do them harm. Ingredients: plant fibers, maltodextrin (an easily digestible food additive often used in candy and soft drink production), and water.
3) Items that promote heart health
Fish oil definitely belongs in the category of substances that keep the heart healthy. (I myself take three fish oil tablets a day with a meal.) It lowers both the blood pressure and the level of triglycerides, reduces inflammation, improves the circulation, and slows the process by which the arteries become harder.
The arteries, too, may be kept healthy by Ultimate Artery Cleanse, available from Hampshire Labs. It contains an amino acid commonly used in baby food; and it lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, supports the immune system, strengthens the bones within two months, dissolves artery blockages—thus reducing the risk of a heart attack—and is even known to improve the memory!
Also available from Hampshire Labs is Ultimate Asian Heart Health, which can be used to remove clots from the bloodstream and reverse the process of heart decay without the need for drugs or surgery, and without producing any harmful side effects.
4) Feel young again with this product…
The people of Okinawa are among the healthiest and longest- lived people in the world. The ingredients of the foods they eat has been put into a products called Nutri- Sea.
5) Conclusion: GO GREEN!
So now that you know what green products can do for you, the thing to do is go green! It is ultimately the healthy way of living.
Best All Natural Supplements For a Green Living Family
All-Natural Immune System Boosters
All-natural Diet Supplements That Will Boost Your Energy
How to Make Your Groceries Last Twice as Long
If you are searching for ways to make your groceries last twice as long, you will be glad to know that there are many things that you can do to help make your groceries last twice as long. By taking the time to follow the tips discussed below, you will be on your way to getting the most out of your groceries and saving a significant amount of money each year.
Use Airtight Contains to Store Foods
One of the easiest things that shoppers can do to make their groceries last twice as long is to purchase storage containers that are designed to help groceries last longer. By investing in a wide variety of storage containers that are designed to keep food fresh longer, people will find it easier to make their groceries last at least two times longer.
What is great about storage containers is that they are inexpensive to purchase and they can be used for all types of food, including but not limited to food that has already been cooked, fresh fruits and vegetables.
Store Foods in Either the Freezer or Refrigerator
Many foods are designed to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer and others are not. By taking stock of what groceries you should store in your refrigerator or freezer, you will be on your way to making your groceries last twice as long. By taking the time to store foods correctly, you will be on your way to helping your food to last at least twice as long.
Use Vacuum Sealed Bags
Another technique that people use to make their groceries last twice as long, if not longer, is by using vacuum sealed bags to store their groceries. By using vacuum sealed bags, people can lock in the freshness by sealing their food in an airtight environment. Vacuum sealed bags help keep groceries much longer than typical storage containers because vacuum sealed bags have no air whatsoever.
Freeze Unused Portions
Another thing hat shoppers can do to make their groceries last twice as long, if not longer, is to get in the habit of freezing food. Many foods purchased at the grocery can be frozen for months at a time without going bad.
Shoppers who want to save a tremendous amount of money should take the time to wrap and freeze any leftovers and unused portions of food for future use. By taking the time to freeze food, shoppers will be taking the steps to help their groceries last twice as long.
Exercise Portion Control When Preparing Foods
When planning meals, another way to get groceries to last twice as long is to cook only as much food as you need. Instead of cooking larger portions of food, shoppers should exercise portion control and choose only to cook as much food as they know they will eat. By taking the time plan out meals and portion meals, shoppers will be able to cut down on waste and help their groceries last twice as long.
Put Dates and Projected Expiration Dates on Containers and Bags
Another way to take control of your groceries and get them to last twice as long is to mark a purchase date on a label along with a projected expiration date. By keeping track of when you purchase items, you will have an easier time keeping track of all the foods in your refrigerator and freezer. In addition, by keeping track of food in your refrigerator and freezer you will have an easier time remembering what date to use foods by.
Do Not Store Rotten Vegetables or Fruits With Other Fruits or Vegetables
Even if a vegetable or fruit is only slightly bruised, do not store it with all of the other vegetables and fruits. Fruits and vegetables that are spoiled or bruised actually contribute to the spoilage of other fruits and vegetables in close proximity. By taking the time to separate foods that look rotten or even slightly bruised, you will be taking the steps to help your groceries last twice as long.
By taking the time to follow the tips discussed above, you will be on your way to getting your groceries to last twice as long in no time whatsoever.
Chronic Dehydration: Choose Water for a Healthy Beautiful Life
Chronic dehydration is virtually an epidemic in America. Most people are so accustomed to being dehydrated that they don’t even notice it. They attribute headaches, joint pain and digestive issues to other problems, when they might be able to alleviate all of these symptoms just by drinking more water.
Americans are fortunate to have ready access to potable water pretty nearly anywhere they go. While running errands, traveling, on vacation and even taking a cruise that reusable water bottle is again a convenient source of hydration.
Plus, with technologically advanced water filtration systems (like Pelican Water Systems), that water is usually clean, pure and refreshing.
Reusable water bottlesare also readily available. Most people probably own at least one or two. Why are Americans dehydrated?
Water for a Healthy Beautiful Life
Signs of dehydration
Dehydration is associated with feeling tired and groggy. When the body is dehydrated, the brain cannot function optimally. Being hydrated enables better concentration and makes it possible to focus. The brain also relies heavily on the body’s blood supply to keep it going.
When someone is dehydrated, their blood supply becomes reduced, resulting in imbalances that may manifest themselves as emotional outbursts and slower mental functioning. Stress only contributes to the problem.
A body under stress releases certain stress hormones, which also adds to dehydration. Accordingly, drinking plenty of water and learning to manage stress can both help anyone feel healthier and more energized.
When a person is dehydrated, the condition can wreak havoc with their digestive processes. The body is unable to secrete adequate digestive juices. Consequently, the body cannot break down food as efficiently. It may miss out on absorbing vital nutrients.
An uncomfortable and all too common side effect of this inefficiency is heartburn. However, the digestive problems don’t end there. Many people also become constipated as a result of dehydration. This happens because the colon needs water to produce stool.
If the body is dehydrated, the colon sends water to other parts of the body. It does not keep enough to create waste. The result is high levels of discomfort, frequently on an ongoing basis.
What contributes to chronic dehydration
A number of factors contribute to chronic dehydration. Busy schedules and constantly on-the-go lifestyles are two of the main culprits. Sometimes people don’t get enough water because they drink other things, like soda and alcohol, that don’t offer the same kind of beneficial hydration.
Other people don’t like the taste, or lack of it, of water. Whatever the reasons may be for an individual, dehydration can have serious short and long term consequences.
Symptoms of chronic dehydration
Chronic dehydration can even contribute to joint pain. Joints need lubrication to function. Without water, they can’t get the lubrication they need. Joint pain keeps people from being active and living life to the fullest. A lack of water affects muscles. When properly hydrated, muscles are elastic and function optimally. Without water, muscle fatigue and shrinkage mean that the body cannot perform to its highest potential.
A lack of water even affects physical appearance, most noticeably in the skin. Well hydrated skin is elastic and firm. Skin may appear dry, papery and wrinkled when it isn’t getting the water it needs. Proper hydration can minimize the appearance of some wrinkles.
Dehydration can even cause people greater suffering through allergies. Histamine levels rise when the body is not adequately hydrated. The immune system quickly becomes unbalanced and allergic reactions begin. Good hydration may mean less sniffling and sneezing.
As uncomfortable as the immediate effects of dehydration may be, the long term, more severe consequences can be absolutely devastating. The body’s organs, in particular the kidneys, may cease to function.
Without adequate hydration, people are also susceptible to heat related injuries like heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Dehydration also causes an electrolyte imbalance which can lead to seizures. It can even send the body into low blood volume shock as the blood pressure drops to dangerously low levels. The most extreme cases of dehydration may lead to coma and eventually death.
Warning signs of dehydration
Fortunately, the body offers plenty of clues that reveal low hydration levels. Thirst is the most obvious indicator, but other symptoms like confusion and fatigue can also be early warning signs. The onset of a headache and a dry mouth may also be initial symptoms of dehydration. Additionally, urine that is dark or particularly odorous indicates a need to consume more water.
There’s always the question of how much water is enough? Once, drinking eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day was the recommendation. Some people might require more than that while others might do very well on less.
It also depends on the climate; if you live in or visit a dry climate, you will need to drink more. The best advice is to experiment with different amounts of water for a few days. By doing this, most people can figure out the optimum amount of water consumption for their body.
Tips for drinking more water
For people unaccustomed to drinking water, incorporating more water into their daily intake can seem daunting. However, small adjustments can yield good results. Start and end the day with a glass of water. Make a point of drinking a glass of water with each meal.
Before working out, drink some water, and then keep the hydration going during and after the workout. A desk at work can become a hydration zone by keeping a reusable water bottle on hand. While running errands, traveling, on vacation and even taking a cruise that reusable water bottle is again a convenient source of hydration.
Of course, consuming all this water may mean less consumption of other liquids. Although the body does get some water from sodas, sports drinks, coffee and other beverages, it gets a lot of other things too. Sugar, excess calories and caffeine can all have an adverse effect on the body and affect the adsorption rate of nutrients.
Switch out a few of these drinks with water for a better nutritional effect. If plain water just seems too boring, squeeze in some lemon or lime or throw a few berries into a drinking glass. Regularly consuming clean, filtered water may be the key to a healthier, richer life.
via Pelican Water
Can Spices Make You Skinny? Here’s 5 Great Ones to Try
Spices add flavor and complexity to food as well as an impressive dose of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and medicinal qualities.
Better yet, they can boost your energy levels while helping you shed unwanted pounds. Several of the tastiest culinary spices are also associated with improving metabolism — a key to successful long-term weight loss.
Be generous when you spice your food and you may notice your waistline diminishing. But really, can spices make you skinny? Can eating help you lose weight?
Amplify Your Weight Loss
By spicing your food, you can support your entire body with smart nutrition. Spices and herbs often contain more antioxidants than foods do. For example, oregano has 42 times more antioxidant activity than apples. Cloves, a common spice added to soups, curries and meats, are actually one of the richest known sources of concentrated antioxidants in the plant world.
Research has suggested that spicy food creates a quicker sense of satiety, resulting in less caloric intake. The compounds in spices can be a potent ally in appetite control — another requirement for successful weight loss.
Introducing 5 Skinny Herbs
To add spice to your life and spring to your step, start with these herbs. They are well-documented to raise the metabolism. Starting off the day with spice can spike your metabolism and help control your appetite. Be creative by adding these spices not only to your dinners, but to your breakfasts as well.
1. Cayenne Pepper
Fueled by capsaicin, cayenne pepper is famous for adding heat to dishes around the world. Capsaicin is a compound that creates the warmth of pepper. Capsaicin is known as a thermogenic compound because it creates heat. Thermogenic compounds can fight obesity by decreasing appetite and by shrinking fat tissue. Capsaicin can boost metabolism by up to five percent over the course of a day, which can contribute to steady long-term weight loss. Cayenne pairs wonderfully with Mexican sauces, Thai noodle dishes and plain rice.
Turmeric is the main ingredient in most curries. It adds a distinctive yellow-orange hue to food. A key medicinal compound in turmeric is curcumin, which has been extensively studied. The established benefits of curcumin include its ability to reduce the formation of fat tissue by cutting off blood flow to fat cells.
This remarkable property of curcumin can lead to more successful weight loss. It has even been correlated with preventing certain types of diabetes. Turmeric makes an excellent base for slow-cooked meat dishes, complementing the robust taste of lamb and lean beef.
3. Black Pepper
This staple of the dinner table harbors remarkable metabolism-boosting qualities. A substance called piperine gives black pepper weight-loss efforts when combined with cayenne pepper and turmeric. To slim down, don’t pass on the pepper. Black pepper is excellent when freshly ground on soups and salads.
The mustard plant is actually a vegetable in the same family as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. Mustard seeds increase the resting metabolic rate by up to 25 percent, helping to burn calories efficiently. Usually, you can buy mustard seeds that are ground.
You can add them to soups or make them into a paste with vinegar. For most individuals, just 3/5 of a teaspoon of mustard seeds a day can result in burning an additional 45 calories an hour.
Ginger’s anti-inflammatory properties help to soothe and relax the intestinal tract, assisting in digestion and assimilation. A healthy digestive system is the foundation for any long-term weight loss success, so ginger plays a potentially profound role in weight management.
The spice makes an excellent tea to sip between meals. Also, you can add ginger to curries and other spicy dishes. You can consume ginger as a delicious crystalline candy for a sweet treat that won’t derail your diet.
How Can Spices Make You Skinny
So, can spices make you skinny? They have numerous health benefits. Use them to flavor your organic choices, and enjoy profound health benefits, oftentimes weight loss that comes from a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Supplements That Will Boost Your Energy
Following a well-balanced diet, as well as getting plenty of regular exercise, is quite essential for everybody’s health. The foods that we eat can supply us with the vitamins and minerals that we need; however, it is often good to supplement your diet with all-natural pills that can give you extra energy. Some such dietary supplements are discussed below.
Ingredients used in all-natural dietary supplements
Dietary pillsof the kind dealt with here include one or more of the following herbs taken from nature:
- creatine—occurs naturally in human striped muscle; can increase performance in sprinting and other athletic events that require “short bursts of energy”
- ginseng—enables the body to deal with stress better and can relieve fatigue
- l-carnitine—found in brain, cardiac, muscle and other cells; should be taken by people who are following a vegan diet, as most of it is taken from meat
- spirulina—a form of freshwater algae that boosts energy levels and is known to delay the time of exhaustion in runners by about one third;
- tongkat ali—taken from the root of a tree that grows in Southeast Asia (the Malay word tongkat means crutch or walking stick); increases levels of testosterone and thus sexual energy
Bee pollen supplements
Xtendlife has introduced two formulas that make use of bee pollen—more specifically, the kind found in a pollution-free area of New Zealand. One of them, Natural Energy, is especially helpful if taken in the middle of the day, when people often feel like taking a nap.
It is not like those “energy drinks,” which often contain harmful chemicals and may induce a craving for junk food! The other, Total Balance, is created specially for men. It contains enzymes, trace elements, carotenoids, neuronutrients, amino acids, antioxidants and more, in addition to all the vitamins and minerals needed for good health. It increases testosterone levels and promotes prostate health.
Dragon Herbs Supreme Creation
Contained within these pills are the most powerful herbs that man knows of. In addition to ginseng, these include deer placenta and antler tips, eucommia bark, Chinese yam rhizome, roots of morina, polygala, rehmannia and achyranthes, and red jujube fruit.
Requa CharcoCaps, as its name suggests, is made from activated charcoal, the purest form of carbon that can be found. It is a detoxifying agent, removing toxins that would otherwise cause gas and flatulence (what we commonly refer to as “farting”).
Supplements containing acai
The açaí plant grows natively from Central American to Brazil. Healthy To Go has açaí supplements in two forms—a powdered drink and chewable pills. Both products also contain grapes, mangos, pomegranates and other fruits, as well as vitamin B, a rich antioxidant cocoa extract called Chochamine, and chromium.
Unfortunately, due to the recent hurricane, they are currently awaiting some of the ingredients for these products, so anyone who wants to order them will have to wait a while. A warning flag should go up here: You should not believe the claims you may hear about the health benefits of açaí—they have not been scientifically proven and the plant has been the subject of much online fraud, even from companies that pretend to warn about such dangers.
Cocoawell True Energy
These pills may be just the thing you want if you are seeking to be full of energy the whole day through. It keeps your heart healthy with its combination of organic cocoa and green tea and acacia catechu-derived flavinol complex and also promotes “holistic health balance” with three unique herbs.
Unlike all the products that we have discussed so far, this one is not meant to be eaten. Rather, if you are suffering from a migraine headache, you soak it into a facecloth, which you then apply to either your neck or head. When thus used, peppermint aromatherapy will relieve tension and leave you feeling more alert afterwards. If you are allergic to peppermint you should avoid this product completely.
Supplements You Can’t Be Without
Even to the most well-read, healthy savvy, medical journal reading individual, the massive scope of supplements for your health can be very confusing and hard to maneuver. With so many commercial companies and celebrity endorsed regimens and products all telling you that they are number one, it can feel like you’re a kid on the playground getting circled by a bunch of know-it-alls. You can’t just take anyone’s word on what are right for you and your health – especially where herbal supplements are concerned.
There are of course, your traditional supplements that don’t necessarily cure any ailments but have within them vitamins, minerals and other goodies that will support healthy living. Regardless, it is always important that you get the advice of your family doctor or a certified medical practitioner on what is best for you as well as the things you should steer clear of.
This bit of advice is by no means an attempt to freak you out, but you should always be aware of the effects some things will have on your body and health in both the long and the short term. It should also be noted that some supplements consist of just one major ingredient or herb, where others are actually combinations of several ingredients that are meant to work with each other to produce specific results. Always read your labels!
With comprehensive and transparent vendors like Pure Formulas, you will be offered a distinctively vast array of supplements that you can choose from to add some extra oomph to your health regimen. It is important that you go to this caliber of website when buying supplements online because they have the reputation and policies that can make sure your purchase is catered to you.
Not only do they provide products, more importantly, they provide information that you can use to either conduct research on their site or you can use it to conduct your own offsite, individual research – you may want to do this in case you feel your vendor is particularly biased to a specific brand or preparation.
When you get your supplements, make sure you identify the expiration date – this should be part of your personal quality control and will help you make sure that you’re taking supplements that are potent. Should you ever miss a dose, just roll on to your next scheduled consumption – do not double up! Some supplements can be toxic if ingested in non-recommended overdoses, and this can be devastating to your health.
Here is one important supplement that you can add to your daily regimen. As usual, don’t just take our word for it – go ahead and read up all that you can on your own!
Supplements that focus on or contain Omega 3 have long demonstrated the capacity to improve and increase several healthy outcomes. Some of the most sought after results include loss of body fat, a reduction of inflammation, stabilization of blood sugar levels, decreased insulin levels, appetite suppression, increase in energy levels and healthier looking and feeling skin and hair.
Sensa: A Leader in Natural Weight Loss Products
Obesity is a continuing epidemic in many western cultures. However, sometimes our efforts to lose weight just aren’t good enough. We may try to work out more and eat better foods, but the pounds just don’t seem to melt away as they ought to. The Sensa Weight-Loss System was designed for the average person in this same dilemma.
It encourages gradual weight loss that doesn’t disrupt your natural body systems. Sensa is often nicknamed as “The Sprinkle Diet” because it works by sprinkling flavored crystals on the foods you already eat. However, the term “diet” doesn’t necessarily justify this system because Sensa is not a fad diet. In fact, Sensa helps users establish natural and healthy lifestyle choices for long-term results.
The flavored crystals in the system work by naturally increasing your brain’s hunger signals. Eating habits in western societies can be problematic. First, the portion sizes are much larger than they should be, so people are exposed to more food than they ought to eat. Eating fast only exacerbates the problem because you may eat too much before your brain has a chance to tell your stomach that you are full.
When you eat food with Sensa crystals, your brain is better able to send out its full signals. This happens just in time before you eat more than you should. When you eat less, you consume fewer calories. After your body experiences a reduction of 3,500 calories, you lose one pound of fat. The Sensa Weight-Loss System works particularly well with an active lifestyle because you will likely experience quicker results.
The problem with fad diets is that they don’t work in the long term. It is frustrating to lose a great deal of weight only to gain it back as soon as you stop dieting. The ingredients in Sensa ensure that you lose weight gradually so you won’t disrupt your metabolism. When you lose too much weight at once through a fad diet, your metabolism slows down.
This is an undesirable situation once you start to eat more after the diet is over because your metabolism isn’t able to handle the extra calories.
The gradual reduction with Sensa makes more sense because its goal is to help aid long-term weight loss.
One of the greatest benefits of the Sensa Weight-Loss System is that you can use it on any foods you like.
There are no dietary restrictions because the system focuses on portion control.
With that being said, users will see better results if they eat better foods.
If you already eat organic foods you are off to a great start.
Sensa is easily sprinkled onto any meal or snack, including those that have organic fruits and vegetables.
Flavor crystals help to enhance the taste of foods.
While the crystals make the foods taste for sugary or salty, the product itself is both sodium and sugar-free. In fact, this system doesn’t contain any calories whatsoever.
Hair Growth Supplements For Women
Women everywhere spend massive amounts of money on hair products that promise to make their hair long, silky and luxurious.
When that fails, some have been known to buy hair altogether, forfeiting the battle against short, uncooperative hair.
No matter what we do, we have come to the painful realization that hair growth operates on its own speed and while it may not be able to be speed up significantly, the hair that some techniques can produce, is a lot better than what we may feel we’ve started with.
Hair growth requires patience and hair care that is constant.
Once you understand that you won’t have waist length locks overnight, the process won’t be as frustrating as it may seem.
One of the best ways to address the issue of growing your hair is to make sure that the hair you grow is healthy.
You want your hair to be strong and able to withstand the elements as well as the abuse you may inflict on it.
How we brush our hair, when we brush is and what we brush it with can really thwart our hair growth efforts.
Hair can snap and break before it has the chance to achieve length.
Hair that is damaged at the end may run a split all the way to the root, rendering it useless.
With some many minefields when it comes to hair and hair care, you’ll probably wonder if your hair will ever have a chance.
A good option to bolster your hair growth efforts is hair growth vitamins for women.
These vitamins attack the goal from the inside out, producing strong follicles, robust shafts and long, soft hair that you can be proud of.
Below we have provided a couple suggestions for you to try to help make your hair grow to movie star length.
Remember, nothing happens overnight, but with our tips you can help the process along.
Resist the urge to wash your hair every single day.
This will prevent you from stripping the hair of natural oils and lipids, making it susceptible to breakage.
Breakage is counterproductive to any long haired goals you may be trying to achieve.
Also, when you’re dealing with wet hair, make sure than you comb through it and not brush it while it is wet.
Don’t sleep with your hair untied or uncapped.
Most people have a tendency to toss and turn when they are having a nap or sleeping for the night.
This tossing and turning contributes to hair that is down, to become mussed and knotty.
When trying to maneuver this kind of hair once you’re awake can prove to be disparaging.
Again, the breakage and snappage make hair really difficult to grow successfully.
Have a trim.
Hair that is broken or has split ends doesn’t have to be a death sentence for the entire shaft.
When left un-monitored a split can run right up the length of the shaft and ruin it entirely.
If you have a trim, you can remove the problematic portion of the hair without sacrificing the entire lot.
Best All Natural Supplements For a Green Living Family
All-Natural Immune System Boosters
All-natural Diet Supplements That Will Boost Your Energy