Green Your Thanksgiving Day

You have heard it before if you have read any of Green Glancy before, but I am here to remind you, in case you have forgotten. Here are some tips for greening your Thanksgiving Meal.

1. Use Seasonal & Buy Local – Find humanely raised turkeys using the Eat Well Guide. Check out your local farmers markets for the best selection of seasonal roots and veggies.

2. Naturally Decorated – Look around outside or at your local farmers market for some great Natural Decorations. Useing pine cones, dried leaves, nuts and branches all can add beauty to your table. Display corn or pumpkins for the centerpiece. Country Living has some great photos of ways to decorate your table.

3. Drink Naturally – When choosing drinks, think natural and organic. Use water from the faucet, and buy only organic juices and wine, seeing that apples and grapes are among the most heavily sprayed crops. Check out a local winery if you are concerned about the price.

4. Stay Away From Throw Aways – When setting the table, remember that your everyday wear or china makes the table look more beautiful and reusing and re-purposing items instead of buying new means less stuff destined for the landfill.

5. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint – Choose a central location, take public transportation, take the train or bus or fly an airline with environmental policies in place.

6. Compost – Reduce the amount of waste they ship to the landfill by composting food scraps. And you don’t need a garden to make use of all the rich, organic fertilizer that results—compost can be used on houseplants, landscaping plants, lawns, and more.

7. Be Thankful!

We can all think of ways to be greener on Thanksgiving and everyday of the year. Please share your tips of how you Green Your Thanksgiving.

Green Your Dinner Party

Countdown to Christmas – 42 Days!

Everyone loves a party and at this time of year there are many to be had, enjoyed and invited to. So while you are planning your next party, why not think about how you can make your next dinner party green.

Over at Planet Green they have all the info you would ever need on Green Dinner Parties.

The Top Green Dinner Party Tips:

Plan and Invite Wisely – Knowing the number of people coming to your party is the first big step in cutting back on waste. Send on an Evite, online to save the waste paper invitations create.

Encourage Your Guests to Travel Green – For those who do travel green, you can offer fun little rewards or green favors.

Decorate With an Eco-Conscious – Instead of buying one time use decorations, look outside in your yard for nature inspired decorations. Petroleum free soy candles can help you create a mellow mood.

Buy Seasonal and Local Produce – Local produce is good for the Earth: the shorter distance it travels to get to your plate keeps carbon out of the air. To find out what’s in season for your party you can check out a seasonal produce calendar.

Sip Green Drinks – When you’re planning what drinks to serve at your dinner party, try avoid buying those that come in cans and bottles. Options: Make your own sangria, pick up beer from a local brewery, try some green wines, or
brew up some shade grown coffee.

Think about Reducing the Amount of Meat on Your Menu or Go Veg Altogether – Meat production contributes significantly to climate change. Check out the Eat Well Guide for information on sustainable meat in your area. Why not take your party a step further and make your menu entirely vegetarian.

Choose Sustainable Seafood – In buying sustainable seafood, you will avoid contributing to the overfishing devastating global seafood populations.

Use the Right Tableware – Use dishwasher safe china and glasses you already have around the house. If you are stuck on using paper products for your party, look for unbleached or biodegradable products.

Send Your Guest Home with Leftovers – Instead of letting them sit in your fridge, potentially serving them up for the next few meals, why not send some home with your friends.

Clean Up Green – Set up bins at your party that clearly mark where guests can recycle, compost and send trash to the landfill. When it comes to scrubbing your countertops post-party, opt to do it with green cleaning products.

For the complete article click here!

5 Foods That Travel the Furthest to Reach You

The local food movement has gained momentum in recent years, but it hasn’t gone without its challenges. Some argue that the environmental impact of transporting food from faraway locales is negligible compared to the harm done by producing foods such as meat and dairy goods.

Still, buying local means you’re reducing your food miles (the distance and energy it takes to ship the food to your plate). You’re also helping to support small family farms and your local economy.

1.) Blueberries – South America is the main source during the winter months.

2.) Grapes – Coming from Chile and South America from December to April and from Mexico during April and May.

3.) Peaches – From November through spring peaches come from all over the globe; including Argentina and Thailand.

4.) Asparagus – During colder months they come from Peru and in the spring from Mexico.

5.) Canned Fruits and Veggies – Canned mandarin oranges are from China, canned pinapple is often from Thailand and Costa Rica, and canned asparagus is likely from Peru.

For the complete article Food Mile Secrets Revealed from MSN click here!

10 Kid & Pet-Friendly Edible Christmas Tree Ornaments

Countdown to Christmas54 Days!

If you have young children or pets running around the house, edible tree ornaments may be the answer to keeping them safe this holiday season. Making these treats are not only just for beautifying your tree, but they can be a great family bonding time. Also they make great Christmas favors when friends & family come over. Check out the recipes below and share your edible ornament ideas with us.

1. Popcorn Balls – Follow the directions to your favorite popcorn ball recipe, wrap in cellophane and tie a ribbon around the top. Make a loop out of the ribbon to hang on the tree.

2. Dried Fruit Ring Ornaments – Materials: Dried Fruit, egg & ribbon. Thinly slice apples and pears into rings and pop them into a low oven and allow them to dry out. Once dry, you can simply tie a ribbon through the hole or you can brush egg white onto the fruit rings and sprinkle them with coarse sugar before adding the ribbon.

3. Rice Krispie Treat Ball Ornaments – Follow the recipe for the original rice krispie treats but instead of smashing them in the pan, make 3″ balls, wrap in cellophane and tie a ribbon around the top, making a loop to hang on the tree.

4. Gumdrop Ornaments – Materials: Toothpicks broke in half, Gumdrops, 2-3″ styrofoam balls & ribbon. Insert one end of a toothpick into a gumdrop and the other end into the Styrofoam ball. Repeat until the ball is covered with gumdrops. Tie the ribbon around the ball to hang it on the tree.

5. Angel Ornaments – Materials: Sugar ice-cream cone, Three-ring pretzel, Royal icing (blend 1 egg white with 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar), Colored sugar, Tootsie Pop, Life Saver and red candy heart. Using scissors, cut off 1/2 inch from the cone’s point. Ice the cone and pretzel, then roll them in colored sugar. For the head, insert the lollipop’s stick into the cone. Using the icing, affix the Life Saver to the head and the pretzel to the back of the cone. Add icing features and a candy heart.

6. Candy Glass – Materials: Cookie Cutters, Hard Candies & ribbon. For a mold, wrap the bottom and sides of a cookie cutter with foil. Set on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Fill each cookie cutter with a single layer of candies. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 10 minutes, or until melted. Add sprinkles, cool for 2 minutes, then use a chopstick to poke a hole near the top for hanging. Once cool, remove from the mold and hang with a ribbon.

7. Pretzel Garland – Materials: Pretzels dipped in white chocolate & ribbon. Thread one pretzel onto the ribbon and tie the end to the pretzel. Continue weaving on pretzels until the ribbon is full. Secure the ribbon to the last pretzel and hang.

8. Life Saver Wreath – Materials: Shoestring licorice & life savers. Use scissors to cut a piece of shoestring licorice 12 to 15 inches in length. Next, carefully string on about 15 Life Savers. Gather the ends of the licorice together and tie them into a bow to form a wreath.

9. Snowball Bundles – Materials: White chocolate covered malt balls, plastic wrap & white ribbon. Cut pieces of the plastic wrap in six inch squares and lay flat on the tabletop. Place approximately a half dozen of the malted milk balls in the center, gather the edges of the plastic wrap around the candy, twisting at the top to form a pouch of milk balls. Tie a length of ribbon around the gathering to close it, leaving a good length of ribbon left trailing from one end (a total length of about 6” of ribbon should do). Loop the remaining ribbon and tie off to form a hanger for the ornament.

10. Gingerbread Men – Follow the directions to your favorite gingerbread men recipe. Poke a hole in the head before baking with a straw. When the men are completely cool, add a ribbon through the hole and hang on the tree.

If the thought of decorating your tree with edible ornaments doesn’t appeal to you, you can always just hand edible ornaments on the bottom area, where the kids and animals can reach.

Some of these recipes and crafts were found at FamilyFun.go.com, and essortment.com.

Questions to Ask Your Favorite Restaurants

Eating out is a regular part of most families lives, with nearly half of a typical family’s food budget spent on food prepared outside the home. As I have become more aware of the world around me, what ways I can help it and how to be good to my body, I have learned to ask questions before ordering. Most all of us would like the food we are ordering to be organic, local and certified whenever possible. I was reading the Chinook Book(Coupons, maps and resources for living green) and found this section on questions to ask your favorite restaurants.

Wine & Beer – Is it local? Is it organic? Is it certified Salmon Safe?

Meat & Dairy -Is it local? If not, where is it from and why? Are antibiotics used?

Seafood – Is it on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list? Text the word FISH to 30644 and the name of the fish in question and the Blue Ocean Institute will send back its assessment and better alternatives to fish where concerns exist.

Produce – Is it local? Is it grown organically or using Food Alliance standards? Does the restaurant use seasonal produce on its menu?

Take-Out – Always ask for compostable take-out containers, or bring your own to reduce waste.

After you have found the restaurants in your area that serve, local, organic, and certified foods, make sure and let them know that you support their business because of their sustainable choices.

Trick or Treat…Organic Style!

With Halloween only ten days away, your probably going to be going to the store soon to pick up your stash of candy for the cute pumpkins, superheros, princesses and other kids that will be knocking on your door on All Hallow’s Eve, waiting for a delicious treat. If your trying to figure out healthy options to hand out (rather than boring apples or oranges) think about checking out your local Whole Foods, Toys R Us, Linens N Things, Babies R Us, Party City or others that are selling Organic Candy!

Organic Candy can be a great way to feel like your treating your kids and others to a organic safe candy so that they can enjoy Halloween and you can rest in peace that the candy they are eating is made with, “no chemical colors, artificial flavors, corn syrup or other chemicals”. Yummy Earth has some great candy products such as lollipops and other candies that go for a decent price and are sold at many different stores such as the ones mentioned above.

My personal favorites are the Yummy Earth Organic Candy Drops which boast unique flavors such as “pomegranate pucker” and “mango tango” which last a long time in your mouth and I feel at peace knowing that what I’m sucking on isn’t chemical or artificial, but natural, made with real fruit and they even use, “organic black carrots, organic wheat grass juice, and organic pumpkin for fabulous color”. The flavors taste just as good if not better than a normal candy drop and the lollipops are pretty good too. The candy is decently priced for being organic. A 150-Count container of lollipops can go for $16.15 on Amazon and a 16 ounce candy drop bag is $20.00.

You can also check out Pamela’s Raw Organic Candy and Candy Tree for more organic Halloween candy options.

So keep a few more chemicals out of your kids and the neighbordhood children and think about Organic Candy for your Halloween treats!

The Soda Pop Addict Going Green – Soda Stream by Soda Club


Are you a seltzer or soda pop addict? Do you constantly have a fridge full of soda-pop? This morning I read about this new product, Soda Stream by Soda Club. It sounds interesting.

“Tired of waiting for sales, lugging home heavy bottles, storing them, and having them go flat? Do you ever have to run to the store at the last minute because you’ve run out of seltzer or soda? With the Soda-Club® home soda maker, you’ll make your own great tasting seltzer or soda in a variety of flavors at sale prices, anytime at your fingertips. It’s fun, easy and ready in seconds.”

So how green is this product?

Recycling – 1,200 fewer aluminum cans will be manufactured because your family drinks Soda-Club soda. Since only about 55% of cans are recycled, that’s a lot less waste cluttering up our environment.

Waste – With almost 45% of soft drink bottles and cans ending up in the trash, people who use Soda-Club’s reusable carbonating bottles will cut back dramatically on disposables. Your family will go from using 21 cubic feet of landfill space for soda cans and bottles each year to virtually nothing!

Soda-Club and Sodastream BPA-free carbonating bottles are recyclable and toxin-free.

Saves Energy – No Electricity, No Batteries, No Transport Miles.

Reduces Packaging – Reusable Bottles and Concentrated Sodamix.

On the site they have a 4 step video that tells you how to make the seltzer or soda in minutes. It looks pretty easy. I don’t usually have soda-pop in the house because it is so bad for you but this alternative, if adding juice straight from the fruit to the caronated water, wouldn’t be bad for you. The price is a bit high at 99.00(19.99 shipping) but for a healthy alternative, it may be worth it.

3 Climate Friendly Food Tips

On my monthly visit to the local health food store I picked up the latest issue of Delicious Living and found an article on Take a Bite out of Global Warming by Anna Lappe. She makes a few convincing reasons why buying and supporting organic farms can make a huge difference in the fight against global warming. “The current food system, from seed to plate to landfill, is responsible for as much as one-third of the world’s human-made greenhouse-gas emissions. Livestock production alone, including factory farming and pasture-grazing animals, accounts for nearly one-fifth of all greenhouse-gas emissions — that’s more than transportation. Organic farms emit less than half the carbon dioxide of conventional farms and use up to one-third less fossil-fuel energy, in part because they’re not dependent on petroleum-based pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. In fact, long-term studies at the Rodale Institute indicate that if we transitioned just 10,000 medium-size farms to organic production, it would be the carbon-saving equivalent of taking one million cars off the road. Remember that the next time you’re waffling over whether to spend that extra dollar on organic apples.”

3 Climate Friendly Food Tips

1. Eat Real Food – Choose energy efficient items: fresh, whole foods with minimal or no packaging.

2. Enjoy Meatless Meals – Cut back on meat. Go meatless at least once a week. And, if you choose to eat meat and dairy, go for organic options from small-scale family farms.

3. Live La Vida Local – Minimize your footprint by buying from locally stocked supermarkets and farmers markets. Become a member of a community-supported agriculture program, csacenter.org, or by visiting a U-pick farm, localharvest.org.

5 Sugar Substitutions for Cooking

The health dangers which ingesting sugar on an habitual basis creates are certain. Simple sugars have been observed to aggravate asthma, move mood swings, provoke personality changes, muster mental illness, nourish nervous disorders, disturb diabetes, hurry heart disease, grow gallstones, hasten hypertension, and add arthritis.

One of sugars major drawbacks is that it raises the insulin level, which inhibits the release of growth hormones, which in turn depresses the immune system. This is not something you want to take place if you want to avoid disease. (From Healingdaily.com: Sugar’s Effect On Your Health).

The best thing we can do for our bodies is to work at substituting sugar when possible, cooking from scratch, and not buying processed foods. Staying away from sugar doesn’t have to be a hard thing. Here are some suggestions for substituting sugar:

  • Raw Unfiltered Honey – Natures sugar, made from bees, consisting of fructose, glucose, maltose, and sucrose. Use 3/4 cup for 1 cup of sugar and reduce the other liquid ingredients by 2 tablespoons.
  • Molasses -A byproduct of refined sugar production. Consisting of sucrose, glucose, fructose and also contains small amounts of B vitamins, calcium, and iron. Use 1 1/3 cup for 1 cup of sugar and reduce the amount of liquid in the recipe by 5 tablespoons.
  • Maple Syrup – The sap of sugar maple trees. Consisting of a combination of sucrose and glucose. Use 3/4 cup for every 1 cup of sugar, decrease the amount of liquids by 3 tablespoons.
  • Brown rice malt syrup – Consisting of maltose, glucose, and complex carbohydrates. 1 cup of brown rice malt syrup for 1 cup of sugar, decrease the amount of liquids by 1/4 cup per 1 cup of rice syrup.
  • Fruit Juice concentrates – Juice concentrations consists of fructose and glucose. Use 3/4 cup for every cup of sugar, and decrease the amount of liquid by 3 tablespoons.

The best way to find out if the substitutions work in a recipe is to try them. You may not always like the flavor the Molasses adds to certain desserts and Honey may be the best option when it comes to desserts that you don’t want a strong flavor in. But play around with the substitutions and you will soon find yourself quickly on your way to living without sugar.

Pomengranates and other fruits give you the antioxidants you need

A recent study done by UCLA found that pomengranate juice is one the top of a list of healthy juices to drink to minimize sugar, live organically and gain the antioxidants your body needs to fight off disease and infection. The study reported by CBS states that antioxidants are, “voluntarily bond with molecules of oxygen, preventing them from glomming onto any other substance in our body, and that helps keep us healthy”.

With fall and the cold weather coming around, the cold, the flu and others are going to become more and more prevalent in households and families. One way to fight off these diseases and prevent against them and others that are more serious is to intake antioxidants. These juices are the top three of a list of ten that contain what you need to help fight against disease:

Pomegranate Juice-Pomegranate won because it contained the most antioxidants. They believe it may help to protect against cancers, modify heart disease and is healthy for your heart
Concord Grape Juice-Has some really strong antioxidants, can reduce blood pressure and is also good for your heart. Grapes are also high in fiber.

Blueberry Juice-Tons of Fiber, antioxidants and Vitamin C. Also a belief that blueberries, because of their antioxidants, “may have some effect on age-related cognitive abilities.”.

While eating the fruit itself is more healthy for you and has fewer calories, encouraging your children to drink these types of juice and to look for others that have antioxidants can have positive short and long term effects.