Friday, November 30, 2012

Recycling 101

Recycling....it's the standard move towards "Going Green"...you separate the recyclables from your trash and put it out every other week and you've done your ECO duty for the month right?  Well hold on there...while recycling is a fairly easy task, there is actually a bit more involved in terms of what you need to do, in order for your eco-efforts to go to good use....

So here it is.....Recycling 101:

1.  First and foremost you need to find out what the recycling jurisdiction in your area requires and accepts for recycling, for instance does it need to be sorted? and do they accept all 7 classes of resin?  I know...it may sounds kinda dorky to call down to the recycling center in your city and ask a bunch of questions but it's so important to know!!  It would be a bummer if you were throwing newspapers in the recycling bin every month all the while someone down at the recycling plant is sifting through everything, removing the newspaper (wasting lots of time and energy) because unbeknownst to you, they don't accept newspaper....know what I mean?
2.  Next, Rinse your bottles and flatten.  Yes, the recycling center throughly cleans all bottles, but the process is much quicker if you can simply rinse the bottles before you throw them in the recycling bin.  Why should you do the job for them you ask? Try not to think of it that way...think of it as saving the money and energy that is spent on recycling.  If you are going to the trouble of recycling then you obviously care about the environment right? So saving some of the energy that it takes to recycle a bottle and making that process go just a tad bit faster is just another way of being eco-friendly :) And flattening the bottles saves tons of space in your bin, allowing you to recycle more!

3.  Remove the cap! So while you're removing the cap to rinse the bottle (see above) just leave it off and throw it in the trash, yes the trash.  Usually the cap is made with a different type of plastic which can end up contaminating the other plastics that are being recycled


4.  Few odds and ends:

  • Batteries - This is a great way to keep harmful levels of dangerous acids and metals out of landfills and while you can't add them to your recycling bin you can take them to places like Office Depot and Radio Shack where they will recycle them for you!'
  • Aerosol cans - These can be recycled, you just need to make sure to remove the plastic can and discard of it and make sure that the can is completely empty....and don't even try to flatten it....that could get dangerous! Yikes!
  • Compact Florescent Light bulbs - These contain mercury and should not be thrown in the trash or the recycling bin, but Home Depot and Ikea have a CFL recycling program where you can take your used CFl and they will properly discard of them for you!
  • Cell Phones - A lot of people don't realize that you can recycle your old phones! Mine was shattered to death so I had to replace it and AT&T ended up giving me $50 for it (SWEET!), there are also places like the Wireless Foundation that recycles used phones and gives them to victims of domestic violence....you can find out more about that here at calltoprotect.org
  • Crocs - This is my favorite one! The manufacturer of Crocs recycles used Crocs and donates them to underprivileged families...how cool is that?  You can send your used Crocs in to : Crocs Recycling West, 3375 Enterprise Ave., Bloomington CA 92316
As you can see, there are so many way in which you can recycle and so many different things that can be recycled and reused for the benefit of others....I know I didn't list everything, so if you have something you want me to add to this list let me know! Leave me a comment below!

So that's my Recycle 101 Roundup....pretty simple, nothing too hard, but hopefully some good info that will put your awesome Eco-Efforts to good use!

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Sources
http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/organizing/tips-techniques/recycle-anything-00000000006117/index.html
http://www.homeandgardenideas.com/home-improvement/appliances/trash-compactors/how-recycle-properly
http://www.earthodyssey.com/How_to_recycle.html
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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Today is Food Day! - October 24th

Today is a special day....October 24th marks the 2nd annual Food Day.  What is Food Day you ask? It's a "a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food".


Food Day's 5 main priorities are:
1.  Promote safer, healthier diets
2.  Support sustainable and organic farms
3.  Reduce hunger
4.  Reform factory farms to protect the environment
5.  Support fair working conditions for food and farm workers


Now what's not to love about that kind of a mission?
Thanks to this awesome movement you get to enjoy lots of fun, and very healthy I might add, events that are being held all around the country, yes right in your town!  To find the events nearest you check here  Everything from cook-offs, food drives, restaurant deals, discussions, and lots more!

Find out more about Food Day here and find out how you can get involved and join the movement :)

Liebster Award Nomination

Well this is pretty cool....Thanks to Elizabeth over at Silkiness, she nominated me for the Liebster award.     It's for up and coming bloggers who just don't quite have that many followers yet, under 200 to be precise.  And the whole idea is to help them get more followers....how cool is that? That's why I love the blogging community...everyone looks out for each other :)

The rules were stated to me as follows:

  • Each person tagged must post 11 things about themselves
  • They must also answer the 11 questions the tagger has set for them.
  • They must create 11 more questions to ask bloggers they have decided to tag
  • They must then choose 11 bloggers to tag with less than 200 followers.
  • These lucky bloggers must be told.
  • There are no tag backs.
Alright so here we go...

11 Things About Me:
  1. I was born and raised in Indiana and can't see myself living {permanently} anywhere else.
  2. I am not the greatest cook...but I do try my best
  3. I am a bit scatter-brained and I tend to want to do more than I can handle...and I have to slow myself down sometimes.
  4. In college I studied abroad in London, England and lived there for a summer and had an internship with Esprit. 
  5. I played basketball in High School
  6. I'm 5'10 but I have no problem wearing 6" heels...helps that my husband is 6'5" but I would wear them regardless.
  7. I like the fact that I can change a tire on my jeep, check my own oil, handle a screw gun, bait a hook, and mow the lawn all the while loving fashion, and being girly...I've never been into the whole Guys have to do these type of things and Girls do these ...Being independent is important to me.
  8. My cat, Harry, who we later found out is in fact a girl, not a boy like we were first told, has thumbs on her paws.
  9. My Family is everything to me.
  10. I love doing charity work.
  11. I recite my wedding vows everyday
Questions from my nominator Elizabeth at Silkiness
  1. What is your favorite Christmas cookie? Can I have your recipe?  - I am so boring...Sugar Cookies with Icing...I really don't have a good recipe :(
  2. What is a favorite Christmas tradition you have? - Decorating our house for Christmas...we make a night of it, been doing it since I was really little.
  3. What is your favorite kind genre of music and your favorite band or artist? - Love country music...gotta be George Strait
  4. What do you do to relax?  - Light a candle and put on some music
  5. Are you the person you imagined you would be? Your ideal you?  ( I always had this image of who I would become in my head growing up. I wonder if others have that too) - Not yet, Still getting there..
  6. What do you do to face your worries? - Acknowledge that they are there
  7. What is your least favorite holiday, why? Valentines Day, In my opinion it was only created to help the economy....it's just pointless
  8. Where would you love to travel to, why? Back to Europe and take my husband with me this time.  It's just so amazing over there.
  9. What is your favorite game? Gin Rummy
  10. What is your favorite date night idea with your spouse? A Concert
  11. What is one thing you wish you had right now? A Dog
Questions for my nominees:
  1. What is your dream job?
  2. What are you going to be for Halloween?
  3. What is one item that you could not live without?
  4. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would you choose?
  5. What is your favorite thing to eat?
  6. What is your favorite sport to play? Watch?
  7. What is your dream car?Mary
  8. Toilet Paper roll under or over?
  9. What's the greatest city you've ever visited?
  10. Was it the Chicken or the Egg? :)
  11. What do you think about the whole Organic Food stuff?...Feel free to be totally honest, won't offend me a bit.
My 11 Nominees:
Jen and Leslie - Real Food Freaks
Mary  - Back to the Basics
Lyza - Chic Shades of Green
Tamara & Kelly - Oh Lardy
Elizabeth - Food Ramblings
Jenn - I'm Cookin' in my Kitchen
Jackie - Jackie's Joie de Vivre

There you have it! Check these blogs out!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunscreen Spray Recall...potential FIRE risk

If you have watched the news lately then you are aware of the fact that Banana Boat has recalled some 23 sunscreen spray-on products due to the fact that roughly 5 people have caught on fire after applying them!  The maker of Banana Boat, Energizer Holdings, is pulling the Banana Boat Ultra Mist Continuous Spray series and claims that the problem is actually in the spray valve which is over applying the product.  

A flammable product that is over-applied and unable to dry quickly poses a fire risk, I can wrap my brain around that....but what I don't understand is why exactly are we putting something so flammable on our skin?  And how is this type of product being approved, safety wise?  
I'm sure the argument will be made that this is similar to anything out of a spray bottle, whether it's hairspray, spray deodorant, insecticides, even cooking spray, it becomes flammable when used in a aerosol form.  So WHY are we using the aerosol forms?  Convenience? .... 3rd degree burns all over your body doesn't really sound convenient to me...and neither do all the respiratory health concerns surrounding spray bottle products.  

Let's put aside the fact that a great deal of sunscreens {in lotion form} aren't very good for us because they contain oxybenzone and retinly palmitate, which, by the way, through studies has been found to increase your chance of getting skin cancer {you can read more about that here from an earlier post} but why take a product that is already harmful and then add more bad stuff to it?  The chemicals used to make aerosols can include - volatile hydrocarbons, propane, alcohol and dimethyl ether - call me crazy but I just can't see how putting a bunch of potentially harmful chemicals on our bodies protects us from ANYTHING....Can you?

What are your thoughts?  


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Sources
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57536368/banana-boat-sunscreen-recalled-over-fire-risk/
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/is-sunscreen-flammable/
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Long Time No Blogging...

Hi There! It's been a while hasn't it...

This past month and a half has been nothing short of CrAzY!  In efforts not to bore you with too many details it has included a move from Florida back to Indiana and then a very small temporary move back to Florida and then back {yes, back again} to Indiana.  Living out of suitcases, boxes and boxes of our things everywhere, not knowing where anything is {including my own brain}....yeah, that has been our life, but it's ours and I still wouldn't trade it for anything in this world...  

Being back in Indiana means that we get to move into our house! Finally! I have to admit, I was so excited about the thought of getting to go furniture shopping, buying little knick-knacks to decorate the house, picking out artwork, putting pictures in frames, doing a couple of pinterest projects, the whole sha-bang.... yeah ...ummm I don't know about you but this stuff is far from being fun...it's a J.O.B.  I am at the point where I know employees and sales associates by name because I have been buying and returning so much....it's the wrong color, the size isn't quite right, it's damaged, it has mismatched legs {YES! that actually happened}.  Oh and then you order two chairs off the internet to try them out, get them, put them together, LOVE them and then find out that they are discontinued and no longer exist... anywhere, and you still need 6 more of them....LOL.  Don't get me wrong, it is so nice that I have a home to decorate, and I have the time to do it, but somehow I was convinced that this was going to be way more fun than it actually is! 
{trying to decide on chairs...}
I've mentioned our house before and the fact that we did some construction have had some requests for photos...so I thought I would post just a few...We are further along now, but these were the most recent ones that I had...
{before}
{after}


                   
{before}
{after}

And then sadly, out of nowhere, early one morning we found out that we had to put our family dog down.  It was probably one of the hardest days I have had in a long time.  All of a sudden she started to have a really hard time breathing...and just like that there was nothing that could be done, it was her time to go.   Now, she was 14 and for a dog her size I know that's pushing it, but she had the most incredible spirit about her, you would have never thought she was as old as she was.  She has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old, at night she used to make the rounds to make sure all of us kids were in our rooms safe and sound, and she had this funny thing about her where she always wanted everyone to be together.  At the lake she hated it when some of us would go out on the boat and the others would stay in....I can still see her swimming out to the boat and us pulling her up because she figured that the people staying behind were safe, but she wasn't too sure what we were doing, or where we were going and that she needed to be with us.  She taught us a lot, and gave more love, loyalty and friendship than we could have ever dreamt for....

Alright....so back to what this blog is about...sorry I got a little carried away there folks...One thing that I have noticed in the process of gradually switching over to eating organic food and learning about the issues regarding our food, is that it really has a snowball effect...well at least in my case it does.  First it's about eating healthier foods, then all of a sudden I am asking around trying to find GMO free grass seed to plant in my front yard.  I know what you're thinking..."WOAH THERE CRAZY LADY"....but seriously it does, and as long as we keep it under control, myself included, we can gradually move toward a greener, better way of living all around.  Just be glad that rather than going out and doing all the research yourself you can just come here and get little tid bits, take what you like and go about your day...right?  :) Me on the other hand... not so much

Moving forward I've got lots of great things to share with you; Lots about FOOD of course, as well as things about creating a greener home, environment, etc :)  If there is anything in particular that you would like me to cover or address just leave me a comment below or contact me directly! I would be more than happy to accommodate you!
    

Also....thanks for being awesome readers/followers!! You guys are the best :)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Apple and Almond Organic Chicken Salad

We eat A LOT in this household - not sure if two people qualifies us as a "household" but we'll go with it - so I am constantly looking for new ideas to help spruce things up while at the same time keeping things healthy and well-balanced.    

Well... this Organic Apple and Almond Chicken Salad recipe is always something I find myself CrAvInG!  It's the perfect marriage between salty and sweet, the apples and almonds give it a nice crunch.... and the best part is that you're getting protein, a serving of fruit and a nice sized serving of good fats {from the mayo}.

Ingredients:
2 Chicken Breasts*
1 Red Apple* 
1 Green Apple*
1/2 C of Dried Cranberries*
1/4 C of Chopped Lightly Salted Almonds*
About 20 Red Grapes*
About 1/2 C of Mayo* add more if needed {I used Earth Balance Organic Mindful Mayo}
* = Organic
Instructions:
1.  Start out by cooking the chicken.  Be sure to do this first so you can chop everything up while it cooks.  Bake it in the oven with a little olive oil or boil it over the stove {I prefer this way b/c it's faster}.  
2.  Chop up the apples, almonds, & grapes and place into a large bowl with the cranberries
3.  Once chicken is cooked, chop up into small pieces and add to large bowl with mayo
4.  Combine all ingredients together and add salt to taste

Grab your favorite Hoagie Bun, Whole Wheat Bread or Croissant and make it a Saturday afternoon lunch sandwich, serve as little bite sized sandwiches for your friends' wedding or baby shower, or {my favorite} keep it all in a large bowl and serve with crackers like you would chips and dip - great for football games ;)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Whole Grain 101: What it Means and How to Make Sure You're Buying the Right Stuff

Whole Grains, Whole Wheat, Multi-Grain,Wheat.....What's the difference? What do they all mean? 

I talked recently about how shopping for Eggs was starting to be a rather exhausting task....understanding all the different labels while trying to find the best price....I mean it really shouldn't be this hard...right?  

Well, these days shopping for bread and pasta isn't any easier!! So many labels, so many claims, so many benefits, but are we really getting what we're actually trying to buy?  When I head to the grocery in search of bread and pasta my goal is to buy 100% Organic Whole-Wheat.  Why is that?  It's healthier!  Whole grains, as opposed to refined or processed grains, have more nutrients, vitamins, and fiber and the Organic part means it's free from GMOs which are highly common in wheat and grains overall.  When grains are processed, 2 of the 3 components of a grain are removed {the bran and germ}, leaving you with lots of calories and very little nutritional value {the endosperm}.  I mean...if you are shopping for wheat bread or pasta the idea is to be healthy right?  Then you need to make sure that you are actually buying the healthier option and not getting convinced by labels that multi-grain and whole grain are the same thing....because they're NOT!  

Let's breakdown some definitions:
Whole Grains - These are grains that contain all the essential parts {bran, germ, endosperm} and all naturally occurring nutrients. Oats, Barley, Wheat, Corn, Rice are a few examples.
Whole Wheat - Is a type of Whole Grain and means that the wheat is made with the whole grain {giving you the most benefits and nutrients} which is the goal!
Wheat - If something is labeled as just 'wheat' then this is where the grain has been processed or refined and the bran and germ {2 of the 3 essential components of a grain} have been removed leaving just the endosperm. Not the goal!
Multi-Grain - Means that the food is made with more than one grain, but does not mean it is made with whole grains. Check the ingredients!
Enriched Grain - While processing or refining the grain, 2 of the 3 parts of the grain are removed, so with enriched grains companies are compensating by going back in an adding the missing nutrients.  What's so wrong with this?  First and foremost it's not natural and secondly it is not as nutrient and good for you and it never will be no matter how hard they try!  

So how do we make sure that we are buying the right thing?

  • Check the ingredients! Don't even pay attention to the front label, just go straight to the ingredients list.  
  • Less is more! Try to find foods with 5 ingredients or less...I promise it's not as hard as it sounds!
  • Good Ingredients {Whole}: Organic Whole Wheat Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Organic Durum Whole Wheat or anything with the word "Whole" in front of it.  
  • Bad Ingredients {Processed}: White Flour, Wheat, Enriched Flour, Unbleached Enriched Wheat Flour, Whitewheat, Evaporated Cane Juice, Rice Flour, Brown Rice Syrup
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Sources
http://thefoodillusion.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/understanding-grains-corn-wheat-multi-grain-etc/
http://www.wholegrainscouncil.org/whole-grains-101/what-are-the-health-benefits
http://livingawholelife.blogspot.com/2009/03/what-does-whole-grain-mean.html
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