The End is Near – for bottled water

Restaurants, Large Companies and even college students are taking on the challenge of drinking tap water instead of still bottled water. The Food and Water watch has written a report; Take Back the Tap: Why Choosing Tap Water over Bottled Water is Better for Your Health, Your Pocketbook, and the Environment; to educate consumers about the various problems with bottled water and why they should switch to tap water. This report also illustrates the importance of supporting local water utilities through increased funding.

Did you know??

* The production of bottled water causes many equity, pubic health and environmental problems?

* The bottled water companies often take water from municipal or underground sources that local people depend on?

* Producing the plastic bottles uses energy and emits toxic chemicals?

* Transporting the bottled water across thousands of miles spews carbon dioxide into the air?

* And in the end, those empty bottles are piling up in landfills?

Why has tap water gotten such a bad rap? Bottled water is no cleaner, safer or healthier than tap water. Tap water is put under far more tests and regulations than bottled water and some bottled water is just bottled tap water. Bottled water is also much more expensive than tap water. If your tap water just doesn’t taste good, check out the water filters at PUR or Brita. Also Pure Water Technology carries non-bottled filtered systems for businesses or companies that want to Go Green.

Join others in the campaign to Take back the Tap by pledging to eliminate or reduce your use of bottled water.

8 Ways to Whiten your Teeth Naturally

I have always used those over the counter teeth whitening systems but my teeth started to get amazingly sensitive, that I had to stop. And don’t get me started on the price, some of them run close to $50 for a weeks supply. So I decided to look through the Internet to find ways to whiten my teeth naturally, without harsh chemicals and without going broke.

Here is a list of things I found and want to try:

1.) 1 ripe crushed Strawberry combined with 1/2 tsp Baking soda – Brush onto your teeth and leave on for 5 minutes, then brush thoroughly with toothpaste to remove. Rinse well.

2.) 1 tsp Baking soda combined with a dash of salt and a few drops of vinegar – Brush with your toothbrush.

3.) Combine hydrogen peroxide with a heaping teaspoon full of baking soda – Make a paste and brush thoroughly.

4.) Rub the inside of an orange peel on your teeth.

5.) Make a paste of ground, dried bay leaves and dried orange peels (you may need to add some water). Use this as a whitener in between brushing teeth.

6.) Burn a piece of toast, then scrape off the black layer of the toast (it is charcoal) and mix that with your toothpaste. Brush your teeth with this at night before you go to bed.

7.) Mix equal parts of lemon juice and salt – Brush with your toothbrush.

8.) Mix mustard oil and salt to make a paste – Brush with your toothbrush.

Our everyday practices are what cause our teeth to become yellowed or stained. So make sure and brush your teeth daily, after every meal is great but if thet’s not possible, try to make sure you do it twice a day. The second thing to always do is floss, this keeps food from sticking around your mouth too long and causing plaque build up. Another way to help keep the stains away is to give up coffee, black tea and red wine, these are the biggest culprits in teeth stains. Another important thing you can do for your teeth is to stop smoking, not only will your teeth thank you, but your body will thank you. And most important make sure and go to your dentist every six months.

Why Should You Buy Organic Clothing?

Organic clothing is showing up everywhere. Whats all the hype? Why should you buy it? Think about it this way, what chemicals were used in making your favorite jean skirt? Were the dyes they used on your jacket safe? Many clothes contain toxic chemicals that are hazardous to human health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies eight of the pesticides used in non-organic U.S. cotton as possible carcinogens. Some of these chemicals have even been known to cause cancer. Check out this article from organic clothing blogs.com Is your Clothing Intolerable?

These following websites are some organic clothing websites that I found to have great designs, comfort, quality and good for the environment.

Green Label is certified 100% organic, low-impact reactive dye and made with organic ring spun cotton. They offer tee shirts for Men, Women, and Kids.

Green T offers chic, quality, natural clothing for women and kids. They use organic cotton and bamboo fiber.

Jonano uses bamboo, organic cotton and hemp to make their fashions. They offer a wide variety of clothes, from scrubs, to baby clothes, to women’s clothes.

New American Dream has a massive list of organic, natural clothing sites. You can even find organic cotton towels and sheets.

More and more organic clothes and household items are becoming available. Do the best for your health and environment, buy organic!

All Natural Pet Products

Our pets are part of the family too. So why is it that we don’t put much thought into what they are ingesting and the toxins they are being exposed to every day? Check out these products and lets Green-up our four-legged friends.

CATS –

Swheat Scoop ($10 for 14 lbs) is biodegradable and made from nonfood-grade wheat; it is also flushable, and unused litter can be composted in your backyard. Swheat Scoop also makes biodegradable litter boxes, perfect for travel.

One Earth Cat Litter $10 for 7 lbs) is biodegradable

Newmans Own Organic Pet Food ($1.50 for 3 oz can) is 95% organic, grain-free canned beef and liver products. No artificial colors, flavorings or preservatives.

If you want information on how to make your own organic cat food, check out this article by ehow.com.

BioBag Cat Pan Liners ($8 for 10 bags) are made from corn and a good choice if you to discard the litter in the trash.

DOGS –

Spot Organics Bug Off Dog Flea Spray ($13 for 4 oz) all natural spray is formulated with organic ingredients; leaving behind no potentially toxic chemicals. Perfect for sensitive or allergic pups.

BioBag Dog Waste Bags ($7 for 50 bags) are 100% biodegradable and 100% compostable.

Karma Organic Food for Dogs ($40 for 15 lbs) is an all natural, 95% organic food based on ground free-range organic chicken and organic grains.

YARD, PLANTS AND GARDEN –

Planet Natural has some great Organic Lawn Care, Fertilizers, Pest Control and almost anything you can think of for your garden needs and to keep your pets free from ingesting dangerous toxins.

Check out ingredients before you buy anything that may come in contact with your pets.

Stop Junk Mail and Help the Environment!

In an article at ecocycle.org they give you seven easy steps to stopping the Junk Mail Monster. This will take time and effort on your part but none of these steps are difficult. As for most of us who care about the environment, it’s more than the annoying junk mail we have to sort through, it also is a huge waste of our natural resources. Each year 100 million trees are used to produce junk mail and 250,000 homes could be heated with one day’s supply of junk mail.[1] Those statistics amazed me.

Junk Busters is another site that has some good info on how to stop junk mail along with so many other helpful hints. There mission is to enable you to get rid of any junk mail, telemarketing calls, junk faxes, junk pages, junk email, unwanted banner ads and any other solicitations that you don’t want. This site is very easy to navigate, with simple to follow, step-by-step instructions.

Another site I found that I think is a neat idea is greendimes.com. They actually pay you $1.00 to sign up with them and stop junk mail or in place of the dollar you can have them plant a tree on your behalf. They say the service lasts about 5 years on average.

One thing you have to remember is that this is an ongoing process and though you may get fewer pieces of junk mail after implementing these steps, you have to be diligent in keeping up with the little junk mail that still comes and continue to follow these steps. So lets get out there and stop the junk mail and help our environment! Do you have any helpful hints on how to keep the junk mail at bay?

Camping the Green Way

Camping can take a toll on the environment. Its important to think of the impact we make on the environment in everything we do but with camping most people don’t accurately consider what they are doing before they go.

Tent Placement – Pitch your tent in designated areas only. Make sure and check with the Park you are staying for their rules on tent placement.

Natural Insect Repellents – Does the thought of slathering on smelly toxic insect repellent bother you? Well no need to worry, you have options. MSN did a report on 7 Natural Insect Repellents.

Camp Fires – Camping and campfires go hand in hand, but before you gather the wood and light that fire, check out the article from Care2 on 10 Ways to Have an Eco-Friendly Campfire.

Cleaning – It’s best to forgo all dish washing products in the wild. But if you must use one, seek out phosphate-free, biodegradable brands that don’t pollute waterways.

Waste Disposal – Always have a few garbage bags with you to dispose of your garbage. Be prepared to carry it out if backpacking and even if you aren’t far from where you parked, you should think about taking your waste home, so that others can enjoy the smell of nature and not your garbage rotting. For human waste dig a hole 8″ deep and pack out all toilet paper.

Off Road – Always stay on trails or designated dirt roads. Don’t make any short cuts or create new tracks.

Lets work together to keep Nature beautiful.

Fresh Ideas for Old Tired Clothes

The best way to recycle your old clothes is to make something new from them by adding to them or taking away from them and putting more then one item together. If you can sew than this will be easy, if you cant than this may be a challenge. But there are lots of options when it comes to updating old, tired clothing.

First step – go through all your clothes and take out the clothes you don’t like or never wear, put them in a pile.

Second step – Now go through that pile and look at each one carefully. Is there anything you like about it? Is it great fabric, the print nice or do you love the style. If you cant find anything you like then set it aside.

Third step – Now think of creative ways to embellish the item, with beads, appliques, ribbon, or lace. Also think of ways to make the old item new by taking it apart. Take the arms off and add lace to the sleeves, take the jeans apart and sew together to make a skirt. You can even use dye to make the item a more appealing color.

Fourth step – Find your inspiration. The Internet is filled with great ideas.

Fifth step – Learn to sew. If thats out of your league you have options, with no sew glue, safety pins or you can ask a friend or family member to help you sew.

Sixth step – Make this fun. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, sometimes its more beautiful when its a bit off.

I found so many wonderful ideas at Amour Sans Anguish. All recycled clothing with such beauty. Amazing patterns on wonder how to. Another site with step by step instructions is DIY fashions from about.com. Here is a site that offers Free patterns burdastyle.com. These are just some of the sites I found that inspired me, there are a ton more out there.

Remember to take any of the clothes you will not revamp to the nearest goodwill or salvation army. Even if you think its too worn out, because they will send items they cant sell in their stores to a rag center. Also some famous brands buy these run down clothing items so they can make their recycled clothing. Nothing has to go to waste and into the landfills.

The Country’s First LEED Certified Dental Office

As I was looking through a magazine at the doctors office, I found an article on Mint Dental Works. Its the country’s first LEED certified Dental Office. LEED – Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Through rigorous planning and careful construction, they have created a high-performance green facility that is a healthy, productive place to work; less costly to operate and maintain; and reduces their environmental footprint. This office has made very effective choices for the good of their patients, employees and the environment.

Below is the list of environmentally friendly choices they made.

Improved Air Quality – Fresh air exchange and Co2 Sensors, 100% recycled cabinets and all paints, floor finishes, adhesives and furniture/fabrics were selected for their sustainable properties

Elimination of Toxic Materials – Mercury free office, only natural cleaning products used, no latex gloves used, and new digital Xray system exposes patients to up to 90% less radiation than a standard Xray system.

Waste Reduction – Recycled items all over the office, and they use alcohol hand rub to eliminate the use of sinks, faucets, paper towels, water and soap.

Energy and Water Efficiency – Florescent lighting, occupancy sensors, low flow fixtures, sensor operated faucets, and they purchase renewable energy from PGE.

I was impressed by this office, not only for the ways they are working to lower their impact on the environment but also for what they offer to their patients.


How to Remove Stains from Clothes without Harsh Chemicals

I read the list of ingredients on the back of the stain remover spray and thought, I shouldn’t be reading this because I know this will cause me to want to change and that leads to finding new products and spending more money. The non-harmful, non-chemical, organic, natural products have a much higher price tag then the bad for you, chemical filled products. So I decided to figure out how to remove stains with items most people have around their house.

Here is a list of stains and how to get them out:

Oil or Grease – Oil or Grease stained clothing washes out better with baking soda added to the washing water. You can also pretreat any stain with a paste made from Baking soda and water, rub the paste into the stain and let sit for 1-2 hours.

Under Arm Stains – Spray some white vinegar onto the under arm stains, wait 10 minutes, then wash in hot water with detergent.

Grass Stains – Soak your grass stained clothes in Vinegar for an hour, then wash and dry as usual.

Blood Stain – Using only COLD water dampen the stain, then rub salt into the area and when the blood is nearly gone just throw the garment in the wash.

Ink Stains – Lay the stained garment on a clean white towel, apply rubbing alcohol to the stain and blot with another clean white towel, removing the stain as you blot.

Baby Spit-up Stains – Cover the stain with baking soda then pour club soda directly onto the baking soda. The combination will fizz a bit. Using a scrub brush, gently scrub the stain. Immediately put in the washer and launder as usual.

Berry Stains – Soak berry stains in straight white distilled vinegar. First rinse the stain well then rest the part of the fabric that is stained in a bowl of straight vinegar. Rinse. Launder as usual.

Dirt/Mud Stains – Slice a potato, rub the freshly cut side on the mud stain; let dry and wash as usual. Or if you’ve just boiled some potatoes, wash the stained whites in the water from the boiled potatoes, then launder as usual.

Red Wine Stain – Pour some white wine on the stain immediately, it neutralizes the red wine and will make the stain vanish. If white wine isn’t available, try blotting the stain with vinegar until the stain is completely removed.

I have tried many of these methods and they really do work. Try them and let me know your experience. How did they work for you? Do you have other tried and true, natural ways to remove stains from clothing? Share your tips.

If the easy way sounds better and money is not an object then check out the great organic cleaning products at Seventh Generation.