Monthly Archives: September 2008

Can You Trust The Beauty Industry? Are Safe Cosmetics A Myth?

Cosmetics CounterDo you think that the beauty and personal care products on the shelves at your local drugstore or department store are safe?  Do you think they are tested for safety by an independent agency before they are marketed?

If you think the answer is yes, you’re not alone. Most of us believe that the products we buy are safe, and that they are rigorously tested to address safety concerns before they are placed on store shelves. Various national surveys have found that a majority of us agree with statements such as “currently, the government carefully tests chemicals used in all major consumer products to make sure they are safe for people to use.”

Unfortunately, it isn’t true.

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Money Saving Green Tips

While the idea of going green is generally a popular lifestyle choice, there is a commonly held perception Piggy Bankthat going green is more expensive.  This is true – many suggestions to go green end up being more expensive than the old way of doing things.  So to help inspire you in your efforts to go green, here are some frugal ways to make a smaller environmental footprint while making your pocket book happy!

Re-usable coffee filters: If you’re not already using these kinds of filters switch now – you’ll still have great tasting coffee but you won’t have to run out to buy filters again!

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Let’s Eat Cake

I’ve got a sweet tooth that, when satisfied, can wire me for a peaceful calm, but also causes me to spend a ridiculous amount of money and occasionally compromise my health for a pleasure that comes and goes so fleetingly. If you allow yourself to be controlled suffer from a sugar addiction as I do, then you too may know (and understand) the cravings I experience. I have actually climbed into my car at 10pm at night because there was nothing in my house that would satisfy a craving I was having. On the whole, I eat very healthy and feed my family the same, but when it comes to desserts, I have to hold my head in shame.

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Collecting Rainwater: Is it necessary and who owns the rain?

I’m fascinated by rain barrels and collection of rainwater. My husband and I debate this because he does not believe that collecting rain water is necessary. The idea that we can’t make more water just does not “click” with him. The Great Lakes surround us and I see people every day taking this resource for granted, as if they can wiggle their noses and suddenly have clean safe water anytime they want. Maybe they need to visit a third world country. I’ve considered tricking my husband into some sort of trip to pry open his eyes and see just how hard it is to get clean, safe drinking water.

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Becoming Part of Your Child’s Classroom

It’s a month into school, and the opportunities to become involved in my daughter’s classrooms are plentiful. There’s lunchroom monitoring, Gala planning, helping with art projects, holiday planning…the possibilities are endless. Anyway, Jessica’s post from last week about the benefits of volunteering coupled with this week’s activities got me thinking about how you can volunteer at your child’s school regarding green education and community service. Here are some suggestions about how to help turn the classroom into an eco-classroom. As we all know, school involvement is crucial to all students, and the rewards for you and your children are immense!

1.

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When Fresh Water Becomes the New Oil

I was shocked last week to learn about the Great Lakes Compact legislation that was sent to Congress two weeks ago. Now trust me, I am not the hip news gal that can quote the NY Times or tell you what is what with the NASDAQ so this was huge news to me. Although, since my husband works for Lehman, I could tell you a little bit about the economy right now… I digress! Or do I?

Everyone who is old enough to spend money knows that we are all short if it. We can all relate to paying more for our groceries, tank of gas or airline tickets (if we can afford to go on vacation).

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A Certifiable Backyard

I never know what to do with my backyard.  I don’t have a huge yard…it’s just under an acre…but it’s big enough for a small garden, a dozen or so trees, and a handful of flower beds.  I want my yard to be as natural as possible, so we never use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides and we try to minimize mowing and watering. But I’m just never quite sure which vegetables, tree, and flowers are most well-suited to my yard and which plants will provide the maximum benefit to the surrounding natural environment.

Until now.

I recently when I came across a website that is going to walk me through the process of making my yard not only green, but critter-friendly to the birds, bees, butterflies, and toads that stop on by. 

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It’s Getting Cool: 5 Easy Ways To Warm Up

With the temperatures dropping and fuel prices soaring, you may be wondering how to stay warm this winter without going broke. According to one statistic, the average American household will spend $1900 each year on energy bills and release double the amount of greenhouse gases than does the average car. Luckily, there are several ways to live green, stay warm, and save money all at the same time. Below are 5 easy ways to warm up:

1. Tame Your Thermostat. The Energy Information Administration, which provides official energy statistics from the U.S. Government, in a 1997 report states that households that lowered their home temperature by 1 degree Fahrenheit during the winter saved between $15 and $40 on average; mind you, this report was done over 10 years ago.

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Green Your Ride: Family-Friendly Eco-Cars

Family-Friendly Eco-CarsWith gas prices at all-time highs, who couldn’t use a few less trips to the pump? Of course, the absolutely best way to save gas is not to drive at all.  Walk, ride bikes, or carpool instead.

But if you need to drive, the next best thing you can do is to make sure that your ride is a green as possible…and if you think that means riding around in a veggie-oil powered tuna can, think again! The market for environmentally-friendly cars has exploded over the past few years, so there is now an eco-savvy option for every family. These cars release fewer emissions into the air and help you go further on each tank of gas.

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Go Green and Get Happy!

What is the key to happiness? Does happiness correlate with wealth, demographics, reputation, attitude, etc.? One quote, attributed to the Buddha, regarding how to improve one’s own happiness says that “Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.” Based on this idea, that when our words and deeds are aligned with good and helpful intentions we feel happier, it makes sense that people who volunteer report feeling greater trust and connectedness to their communities.

So, just how can you lend a hand and go green at the same time? When it comes to pitching in and volunteering on behalf of the environment, opportunities are abundant.

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