Category Archives: Natural

Green Clean with a Twist

Are you a paper towel freak? Do you use paper towels for cleaning and cooking and instead of cloth napkins? Well let me tell you something, using paper towels is not green my friend. Here are some great alternatives to you using paper towels – a company called Twist Clean has sponges for every occasion out there. From cleaning the kitchen to cleaning your unmentionables. Check out their selection here.

Mix My Granola

mixmygranola_containerThe brain child of Andreas, Matt and Raoul, Mix My Granola was founded in 2008. They came up with the idea at breakfast one morning when they were talking about what they thought the perfect granola combination would be. After they realized each of them had a different idea of what that would look like and not being able to find those combo’s at the store they started making their own mixes.And from that came MixMyGranola.com: The website where YOU can custom-make your own granola. The way YOU like it!

The Container:

They treat the environment with respect and all of our packaging is 100% recyclable. A soy-based ink is used to print our labels, which means less chemicals are leaking into the environment.

Organic Ingredients:

They take great pride in our ingredients and have hand-picked all of our ingredients from the best producers in the U.S. Most of their ingredients are organic, and all their granolas, nuts and seeds are preservative-free and all-natural products. All fruits are dried fruits and have been carefully processed to preserve their natural flavors and nutritional value. All of their fruits, nuts and seeds are cholesterol-free.

How it works:

  1. You get to pick your granola base: Organic Granola, Low-fat Granola or French Vanilla Granola.
  2. You add your ingredients: Ranging from dried berries/fruits, nuts/seeds, extras such as M&Ms, animal cookies, jelly beans, chocolate raisins, etc.., and you can add enhancer powder.
  3. Then you get to give your granola mix a name.
  4. Finally you order.

Prices range from $4.49 – 4.99 for 16 oz. of granola and depending on the ingredients you add it costs anywhere between .49 – 1.99 for 1 oz. Shipping is free with a $40 purchase.

This is an interesting concept and one that I look forward to trying. Check it out for yourself and start enjoying your own personal granola.

Make Your Own Cleaning Products

Woman vacuuming rug.

Making your own cleaning products is easier than it sounds. When you look at the prices on the organic cleaning products its enough to send you into shock. So the best way to get what you want and not have to pay those high prices is to make your own. The advantage to making your own is that you know the ingredients you are adding.

Common household items to use:

  • Lemon
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Cornstarch
  • Borax
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Soap

Lemons work great for dissolving soap scum, hard water spots, cleaning brass and copper, freshening up the garbage disposal drain, and bleaching white linens.

Vinegar is used as a natural disinfectant, deodorizer, and great all purpose cleaner.

Baking soda is great as an abrasive cleaner, excellent for dissolving dirt, mildew and grease, and is a natural deodorizer.

Borax works well as a deodorizer, all purpose cleaner and disinfectant.

Cornstarch can be used to clean windows, polish furniture, shampoo carpets and rugs.

Here are a few sites with cleaning product recipes –

Pioneer Thinking

Earth Notes

Eco Cycle

6 Reasons You Should Buy Organic Meat

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Marlon Pather is the proprietor of The Butchers, Toronto's first organic butcher shop.

I have to say grocery shopping is probably my most favorite thing to do aside from eating the food that I purchase. So in my grocery shopping experiences I don’t come across organic meat very often, unless I am at a store that specializes in organic, natural foods. But the average grocery store doesn’t carry much organic meat. And meat is probably the most important item to buy organic, aside from dairy products.

Here are 6 reasons why you should buy organic meat:

1. Organic meat is free of antibiotics, added hormones, GMO feed and other drugs. Animals raised organically are not allowed to be fed antibiotics, the bovine human growth hormone or other artificial drugs. Animals are also not allowed to eat genetically modified foods. Further, animal products certified as organic can not have their genes modified.

2. Animals aren’t forced to be cannibals. Animals are fed 100% organic feed without ground up animal parts.

3. Animals are treated more humane and more likely raised without cruelty. Factory farms treat animals like commodities, and they are kept in tightly confined pens and often never move more than a few feet their whole lives. Words like free-range and ranch raised are clues that the animals were raised in a more human way.

4. Organic farms use manure as organic fertilizer. On small, diverse farms, manure is used to naturally fertilize soil. Industrial farms produce so much manure, on the other hand, that it is a human health risk.

5. Fewer chemicals are used on organic farms. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are not used on the food or land. Residues of persistent chemicals such as DDT, PCBs, dioxin, and many pesticides concentrate in animal fat. Eating organic animal fat reduces your exposure to these chemicals.

6. The money you spend on the organic meat supports the farm they come from. You can contribute to the well-being of your community by supporting small, local, diverse organic farms.

Green Cosmetics by Tarte

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Tarte Cosmetics, started in 1999 by Maureen Kelly, is the leader in earth engineered™ beauty offering the widest selection of natural cosmetics full of skinvigorating™ ingredients including our proprietary t5 super fruit complex™ (a blend of the five most active, free-radical fighting super fruits), vitamins, minerals and natural fruit and plant extracts. But it’s not just about what’s in our healthy formulas; it’s what’s not in them that really sets us apart! We are 100% free of parabens, petro-chemicals, phthalates, sulfates and synthetic fragrances, just to name a few.

They offer a plethora of wonderful green items. And their cosmetics are loved and have been used by many of Hollywoods top Actresses and Models.

New for the Fall of 2009: Dark circle defense natural under eye corrector and brush, Femme Fatale refillable natural eye palette, Green siren natural cheek stain, and Lifted natural eye primer with Firmitol.

One of the best parts of Tartes company practices is that they give back. “every year a chunk of land equivalent to the average-size U.S. state disappears, affecting an estimated 1 million of the world’s 5 million species of plants and animals”. Sambazon, the global leader in acai, started the Sustainable Amazon Partnership (SAP) as part of their market-driven conservation business model in the Amazon Rainforest. With the purchase of every tarte product that has their new t5 super fruit complex™, customers will be helping to preserve the Amazon Rainforest through forest conservation, improved living conditions and educational opportunities for communities in Brazil. What could be better than that? Next time you are on the look out for new makeup, check out Tarte and be a part of rainforest conservation.


Natural Ways to Repel Mosquitoes

mosquitoCamping, cooking out, picnics, swimming at the lake, and whatever other fun thing you love to do in the summer, seem to all come with those pesky mosquitoes.

Here is some helpful ways to keep those mosquitoes at bay.

Try Planting Marigolds -

Place the fragrant flowers in a garden bed to keep the insects away, their odor may deter mosquitoes, but to be sure they stay off you, its still best to apply repellent directly to your skin.

Other mosquito repellent plants are, Rosemary, Catnip, and Citronella Grass. Make sure and do some research before you buy these plants, do to the different needs of each plant. Some may not be right for your garden. Another help can be to plant basil near your doorway to keep the mosquitoes away. Another great tip would be to throw some herbs on the fire – Next time you barbeque throw some sage or rosemary on the coals to repel the pesky insects.

Mosquito Sprays -

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Spray

eHow has a How to Make Pesticide Free Mosquito Spray that you can try. Made with Thai Lemongrass, which contains citronella oil and is safe and effective in repelling mosquitoes.

EcoSmart Insect Repellent Powerful, all natural formula is made from organic plant oils, and keeps bugs away for hours.

So the next time your in need of some mosquito help, try some of these suggestions for a natural, safe repellent and enjoy the summer as it was intended.

Natural Non-Toxic Deodorant

tropicalDid you know that underarms can absorb applied substances directly into the bloodstream? Most conventional deodorants contain artificial fragrances, harsh chemical antiperspirants and preservatives. Natural deodorants, on the other hand, use herbs or salts found to be very effective at reducing odor-causing bacteria. What to you want to absorb?

Here are a few natural deodorants for you to try:

Toms – Natural Care of Maine

Toms secret ingredient on their natural aluminum-free deodorants is hops, the same kind used in beer. Hops inhibits the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

Terra Naturals

These deodorants contain no synthetic chemicals, propylene glycol, parabens or aluminum. Their plant based formula results in odor control, performance and a natural feel.

JASON- Pure, Natural & Organic

JASON Aloe Vera Deodorant Stick is formulated without Aluminum Chlorohydrate. Formulated with certified organic Aloe Vera Gel and Corn Starch, Vitamin E, Lavender Oil,  and Clove, this deodorant delivers soothing freshness.

LAVANILA Laboratories – Home of the 100% Healthy Collection

These All-Natural, freshly scented deodorants provide superior, long-lasting odor protection. Soothing essential oils blend with powerful anti-oxidants and beta glucan technology for daily defense & nourishment. Clinically tested. Dermatologist Recommended. No Aluminum. No Paraben. No Propylene Glycol. No Harsh Chemicals.

Why You Should Drink Organic Milk

1163228_61960853Milk is comprised of water, lactose, fat, protein and minerals, and is a food rich in calcium, protein, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin and Vitamins A, D, & B12. And when its organic milk from sustainable farms, it ensures a body is receiving these essential nutrients without added hormones.

Most milk contains recombinant Bovine Somatatropin (rBST), also known as recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone(rBGH), which is an artificial stimulant that increases a cow’s milk production by 10-15% and causes undue stress to cows.

Monsanto and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) insist that rBGH milk is indistinguishable from natural milk and safe to cows and consumers. However:

  • rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), excess levels of which have been incriminated as major causes of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
  • rBGH milk is contaminated by the GE hormone which can be absorbed through the gut and induce immunological effects.
  • rBGH milk is contaminated by pus from mastitis induced by rBGH, and antibiotics used to treat the mastitis.
  • rBGH makes cows sick. Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 veterinary health risks on its Posilac label including mastitis and udder inflammation. Taken from Shirley’s Wellness Cafe, What is rBGH.

Organic milk is produced by cows on certified organic farms, fed organic feed, and never treated with antibiotics for rBST. Federal statutes require farms to restrict pest control and receive third party certification in regards to certifying that the milk is organic. Organic dairy farmers also focus on humane and holistic animal treatment.

There has been some controversy on whether or not its worth it to buy organic milk, but with all the research that has been done, its easy to see that organic milk or natural milk that is rBST free are much better for you.

Tips for growing organic herbs

herbsHerbs are one of the easiest and best type of plants that you can grow in your home or local garden. Farm Fresh Living has some great tips on how to grow herbs, where to place them and how to plant them. Don’t be afraid this summer to give growing herbs a shot. It can be done easily in small pots in your kitchen window or outside in a backyard or garden. You can also incorporate herbs into gardens with perennials or on the corner of a flower patch.

Farm Fresh Living suggests, When planting herbs either from seed or from established plugs and plants, always start with soil that has been amended with organic matter. For container plantings do not use garden soil as it is too heavy and will not drain properly, instead use a good quality organic potting soil that contains perilite for drainage. If you are growing herbs from seed, always use certified organic herb seed whenever possible. Certified organic herb seeds are not anymore expensive than standard herb seeds but are much healthier for you and for the environment.”

Here are a few of their basic tips for successfully growing organic herbs:

  • Most herbs will grow well with the same sunlight (6-8 hours), fertility, soil, growing conditions, and cultural techniques required by vegetables grown in hardy gardens.
  • The soil should not be extremely acid or alkaline; a soil nearly neutral is best for most herbs. A pH reading between 6.5 and 7.0 produces the best herbs.
  • Most herbs do not require a highly fertile soil. Highly fertile soils tend to produce excessive foliage that is poor in flavor.
  • Herbs grow best when soils have adequate organic matter. Add new organic matter every year to your herb beds
  • Growing herbs in raised beds is an easy way to correct soil and drainage problems.
  • Mints can be invasive; grow mints either in pots or in segregated areas of the garden.
  • Herbs make great container plants and can be added into container plantings with annuals such as violas and verbena for added splashes of color.
  • Grow herbs in a location that is convenient to harvest the herbs on a regular basis.

Happy Planting!

3 Eco-Friendly Fashioin designers

While cruising through a magazine, I was looking at articles on clothing and kept reading about designers who were making strides to become more Eco-friendly or completely sustainable. These are 3 that stuck out to me:

lp_090420_21. Hessnatur – A German Eco-ethical clothing company. Their goal is to be 100% organic in everything they make. All of their pure cotton is 100% organic. The availability of the other luxurious, natural fibers they use in organic quality is still limited. 20-55% of their range in these fabrics is organic. However, everything they make is pure and natural. Made by people whose human rights are respected.

Hessnatur offers eco-friendly clothes for the whole family. Make a statement and change your tee and help change the world. A simple tee shirt can change the world.

2. Zoe & Zac – Created to democratize green fashion by making it affordable and accessible, and enabling more people to participate in sustainable living. Zoe & Zac products are made from Eco-friendly materials such as organic cotton and linen, natural hemp, jute, recycled rubber, and water-based glues. The packaging is Eco-smart too, with 100 percent recycled shoe boxes printed with soy-based inks.

Zoe & Zac have shoes for women and girls and the entire collection is under $30.

3. Bodkin – A collection designed in accordance with principles of sustainability in materials and production methods. Manufactured in New York City using organic cotton and organic wool and artisanal vegetable dyes along with innovative fibers such as recycled-PET nylon, cellulosic fibers, and kapok, Bodkin consists of understatedly classic yet forward-thinking pieces that reconcile style with utility and transparency, supporting and encouraging both traditional craft and environmentally beneficial technologies of the future.

Bodkin offers wonderfully sustainable clothing for women.