Author Archives: Guest Contributor

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Green Beauty: Are Cosmetic Labels Meaningless to Determine Safe Products?

johnson's head to toe baby washHow do you figure out what’s safe in beauty and personal care products? I previously posted about how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not test cosmetics before they go on the market. Cosmetic manufacturers must list all ingredients on cosmetics, but who in the heck even understands the chemical names? How do you figure out what is safe when you are standing in the middle of Target, reading the back of a bottle of liquid foaming soap? It says that it contains sodium laureth sulfate derived from coconut, so it must be safe, right? It says it is natural, so it is okay, right?

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Acupuncture for Seasonal Allergies

Autumn brings the best and the worst in the same season. Long before the official beginning of fall, I am ready for the sweaters and the jeans. Reborn with the crisp morning air as I wake up, I long to snuggle into my warm comfy sheets at night. By far I am more peaceful (than usual) this time of year.

However, as the cooler temps bring me pleasure, they also bring me pain. I have seasonal allergies that irritate my sinuses when the leaves start to die and the mold count climbs. In the past, I have relied on prescription nasal decongestants to get me through.

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What Does Buying Local Mean To You?

What does the term “buy local” mean to you? There is an increasing push for people to start buying local foods and products of late. I think it’s a great idea. You need to first ask yourself, what does that mean to you? Does it mean that you buy foods and products from just your community? Your state? Our country?

It can mean all those things. Here in Idaho, we have a campaign called “Buy Idaho”. T.V. and radio ads encourage Idahoans to purchase goods and services within our state. I’m sure other states have this kind of program too.

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I Bet You Can’t Do This!

Remember when someone would dare you? Taunt you. Tell you, you can’t do something. You wanted to prove them wrong. Well, that’s sort of my theory behind this post. I’m going to dare you. Taunt you. I want you to prove me wrong and join the EnviroMom Challenge of reducing your waste.

I’m bet you can’t do it.

Nah. Nah. Boo. Boo.

EnviroMom has is challenging families to cut back. Reduce, reuse and recycle. If the friendly garbage mans collects one can a week from your curb, make it one can a month now. The same can you use now just fill it once a month not once a week.

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Finding Simplicity by Going Scratch

When I first wrote this article, I was gung-ho all fired up about a campaign I started on my blog called Going Scratch. That was nearly a month ago. I write for this blog once a month, sometimes more when I get a bee in my bonnet. Going Scratch was an idea I had to help myself return to basics. My question to myself was: Why am I relying on the store to provide things for my family when I can just as effectively make them myself? It’s a good question I thought. Why not? Things like food items I would normally buy I can make at home.

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Is Walking Becoming Obsolete?

While I walked 20 miles each day for the Michigan Breast Cancer 3 day this weekend, I had a lot of time to look around and just think. One of my big realizations over the weekend was that we were the only ones walking around in the downtown, neighborhood and nature areas along our path.

Coming from living in downtown Chicago where we all walk around like crazy, it made me wonder. Let me clarify that I don’t think it has anything to do with Michigan suburbs. I actually think it has more to do with our country than anything. Take for example, the new campaign I saw for the first time last night as I cozied on the couch to rest my weary gams.

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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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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!


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