One of the things we missed after going vegan was cookies. I mean, without milk, eggs and milk chocolate, it is impossible to make good cookies right? Wrong! Thanks to the Burlap Bag, we found an awesome and simple vegan cookie recipe made with only two ingredients and then whatever mix-ins you want to add to have the cookies suit your (or your kids) tastes.
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Every winter, the majority of us catch at least a cold or two, if not something worse, like the flu or pneumonia. It is just the way of the world. Typically when we catch one of these, we reach for over the counter cold medicine to help us deal with the symptoms and get through our day. In fact, in 2011, we spent over $4 BILLION dollars on cough and cold medications.
However, as innocuous as over the counter cold medicines seem to be, they are still full of drugs and chemicals. So, this winter, when I felt myself coming down with a cold, instead of just taking the nearest over the counter cold medicine, I decided to research them a bit to see what there ingredients were and what they could be doing to my body.
The Holidays are upon us once again. As green-focused people, the Holidays can present somewhat of a challenge. You want to take part and celebrate with your friends and family, but you also want to make sure that you do not waste or increase your impact on the Earth too much. Some people choose to make their own gifts or buy only used items, which are both great ideas, if you have the time to do so. However, not all of us do.
Luckily, the number of eco friendly gift choices keeps expanding each year. So, if you do not have the time to make something yourself or spend hours hunting for the perfect used item in thrift or antique stores, you can still buy something and feel good that it does not harm the environment too much.
Here are our Green Gift Guide for 2012.
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I was cleaning out our bathroom cabinets the other day, looking for materials to take to our local county special trash collection. While I was cleaning everything out, I came across our medicine box. I opened it up and found that about half of the over-the-counter medicine we had was expired. I threw it all into a box, figuring that I could take it to the special trash collection that was happening in a few days. However, after thinking about the types of trash that I had taken to previous special collections, I started to wonder if they would accept expired medicine or not, so I gave them a call.
It turned out that they do not accept medicine of any type, expired or not. I looked at my box of medicine and started wondering what I should do with it. So, I started researching how to properly dispose of medicine. Here is what I found out.
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We have known for a while now that the Earth is warming. Granted, there was still some debate as to whether global warming was caused by human actions or not up until a few years ago. But now, it is generally accepted that mankind has at least contributed somewhat to global warming. That is why it was so shocking to see that in a recent survey in National Geographic, the U.S. ranked last in terms of green lifestyle choices.
With all of the advertised green household products we see in advertisements, and the campaigns for environmental sustainability and the drastic weather changes we have seen over the past few years, you would think that the U.S. would be on its way to becoming one of the leaders in global sustainability. Granted, the 2008 financial shock and lingering recession definitely dampened the ability of some U.S. families to be able to spend a little bit more for greener options. However, as we have noted in some of our other posts, being green sometimes does not have to cost anything. In fact, being green can save you money.
Here are five ways that you can save money and easily go green.
For many of us, our routine includes a daily shower, which includes washing and conditioning our hair. It has been a habit for so long for most of us that we don’t think twice about it and if it could in fact be harming us.
I was in the shower the other day and reached for one of the numerous shampoo bottles in our shower holder like normal. However, this time I took a second to think about what I was putting on my head. I took a glance at the ingredients list on the shampoo bottle and found that it was a very long list and that I could not pronounce half of them. This worried me. Over the past few years, I have found that when the ingredient list is long and there are many ingredients that you are not familiar with, it usually means the product contains things that can be harmful to your health.
After I got out of the shower, I decided that I was going to research shampoo and the main ingredients found in it and if they can have harmful effects on your health. Per usual, I was shocked and amazed at what I found.
Like many people, we have cats. Despite the fact that their litter smells sometimes and that they throw-up hairballs on the carpet and shed all over our couches, we really do love them and try to do our best by them.
In truth, they are really my cats, as I am the one that takes care of them, gives them food and water and cleans out their litter boxes. The other day, I was cleaning out the litter and started to wonder what the litter was made of and if it was safe for them to use. I mean, every time I poured new litter into the litter pans, I would hold turn my head and hold my breath to keep from breathing the dust in. I knew litter was primarily made out of clay, but I did not know what else was in it or what kind of environmental impact it had.
I also wondered if there was a better way to deal with the dirty litter. My existing method was to scoop the dirty litter into a plastic bag and then throw that plastic bag in the trash, which is not green at all. But, as far as I knew, there was no other way to dispose of dirty cat litter.
So, I finished cleaning out the cat litter, filling up their food and water bowls and set out researching my questions. I soon found out that traditional clumping cat litter is not very good for cats, people or the environment and that there are much better options out there that also help with the problem of disposal of dirty cat litter.
It is hot these days and getting hotter every single year. Fortunately, there are many different ways to beat the heat. But, if you don’t have air conditioning, a pool or live near high-elevation mountains, your options are a bit more limited.
One of our favorite ways to beat the heat is with a cool drink. Sure, you can grab an ice cold soda, but as we have seen, sodas are not very good for you. You could also grab a milk shake, but who wants all of those calories and fat? No, the best drink we have found to cool you off in the heat is a smoothie.
Not only are smoothies cool, but they can taste great and be packed with nutrition as well, if you make them right. We started making smoothies about a year ago and now make them pretty much every day. During that time, we have tried many different smoothie recipes, including some that are very bad and some that are so good that you won’t believe that it is a smoothie and not a shake.
Below are our favorite 3 recipes. We come back to them time and time again as they are healthy and delicious.
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Ah, summer. The time for cookouts, outside fun and, sometimes, unwanted visitors to your yard. One of these unwelcome visitors are ground bees (much like wasps, which we wrote about how to get rid of naturally a while ago).
I was out in the front yard a few weeks ago picking up some branches that came down after a rainstorm and our daughter came up and told me she had seen bees coming out of the ground. I was skeptical at first, as I had mowed the grass recently and done some other yard work and had not seen any bees. But, she took my hand and led me over to where she saw them. Lo and behold, there they were, small black and yellow bees flying out of the ground.
I wanted to get a better sense for the bees and their behavior, so I watched them a while. They were very small, only about an inch long. They were also not very aggressive towards me as I watched them, which made me think that they were not yellow jackets. However, I did not know for sure, and I had heard before that yellow jackets could nest in the ground and be docile at first and get very aggressive later in the summer. So, I started researching ground bees to determine what type they were and how I could get rid of them naturally if it made sense to.
If you have been following are blog, you have learned that modern, processed and prepackaged foods contain very little nutrition and can be full of hormones and nasty chemicals. Not only are processed and prepackaged foods not that healthy, but producing them typically causes great damage to the environment in the forms of: dangerous chemicals used as herbicides and pesticides, hormones used in meat production, GMO’s used in the growing of corn, wheat and other crops, and extreme use of energy (read: coal and oil) to produce and transport food across the globe.
Hopefully, you have switched over to eating natural and organic foods when you can. If you have, you are likely eating out a lot less and cooking at home more, which is great. However, how you cook the food you eat is just as important as the actual food itself. You can buy 100% natural and organic food or even grow your own food in your backyard, but if you cook it in the wrong pan, you can still introduce dangerous chemicals into your body.
Today, the most ubiquitous type of cookware available is non-stick. It is heralded as a quick and easy way to cook food and clean up afterwards. But, is nonstick cookware safe?