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Hidden Dangers in Your Baby’s Nursery

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Is YOUR Fragrance on This List?

I really love things that smell good but in the past few years I’ve become keenly aware of just how toxic they can be and thus, I was compelled to search Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetic safety database and compile a list of the worst-scoring fragrances.

This means that based on their ingredients, these fragrances rated the highest in categories relating to cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity and/or developmental & reproductive toxicity—YIKES!

This list isn’t all inclusive of every fragrance out there and it only contains some of the ones that got the highest overall “hazard” scores (9 and 10) .

There are plenty that I didn’t list and many that have only slightly lower hazard scores so yourself a favor and check Skin Deep yourself to see where your scents and cosmetics rank. FYI…my fave scent scored a 6 out of 10 :(

And now…

THE LIST

Read the rest of this entry »

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Cool Craft: Cell Phone Charging Holder

Make a stylish cell phone holder to stash your cell phone and cord while charging your phone — from a LOTION BOTTLE. I love this idea because it keeps those annoying cords out of your way and you’ll be upcycling a plastic container into something useful!

Get the instructions at Make It and Love It

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Vinegar: Over 400 Various & Versatile Uses

What: Before chemicals were king, people used natural products like vinegar for cleaning, cooking, preserving and health. This book is a great resource for all the different ways you can use vinegar as a natural alternative to numerous chemical products.

Features: This comprehensive guide covers all types and uses of vinegar. Contains a full index and whimsical illustrations make the book informative and fun.

Green Factor: Any time you can use something natural instead of a potentially dangerous chemical, it’s green. This book gives you over 400 ways to do that.

Bonus: Using vinegar instead of expensive chemical-based cleaners also saves you money!

Find It Here: Vinegar: Over 400 Various, Versatile, and Very Good Uses You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

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Greener Entertaining

Parties are notorious for consumption and waste but there are things you can do to green your party and be kinder to the environment. Remember, going green is not an all or nothing proposition—do what you can and it’ll help in the long run.

Recycle: Don’t let a party keep you from recycling. Provide plenty of refuse containers for garbage and recyclables and label them so that it is clear what kind of waste goes in it. The best containers are those that require some action or thought on the part of the user, like lifting a lid, stepping on a pedal or opening a cabinet (trust me, I got a masters degree in this stuff).

This simple act forces your guests to think and notice your recycling sign. If you have these types of containers and label them correctly, you’ll limit misplaced items. If you don’t, just use any containers and label the heck out of it. You’ll still get misplaced items but it’s better than nothing. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Year’s Worth of Green

What: 365 Ways to Live Green: Your Everyday Guide to Saving the Environment book

Features: Is being more green one of your New Year’s resolutions? Not sure where to start? This book might be just what you need to get the year started off on the eco-friendliest foot possible! It also comes in an electronic version so you can download it to an e-reader and save a few trees.

Green Factor: It gives you a year’s worth of ways to live green every day!

Bonus: If you have an iPhone, there is a 365 Ways to Live Green app. Check it out here!

There is also a similar book just for kids (by a different author), 365 Ways to Live Green for Kids: Saving the Environment at Home, School, or at Play–Every Day!

Find It Here: Amazon.com

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Easy Liquid Soap Recipe

To make liquid soap by the half gallon the easy way, just follow this simple recipe that uses no dangerous ingredients or special equipment. Basically, this recipe changes hard soap into liquid (gel) soap with the addition of glycerin and water.

I’ve tried a number of liquid soap recipes from the internet that didn’t work and finally, out of frustration, devised my own. This is my own original recipe and it does work!

Easy Liquid Soap Recipe

This recipe makes just under half a gallon of general purpose liquid soap. It is best made in the evening, as it will need to cool overnight before the final stage of blending the soap.

Ingredients:

1 cup soap flakes or grated bar soap
2.5 quarts of water
1 tablespoon of glycerin

You will also need:

A large saucepan
A measuring cup and a tablespoon measure
A sealable glass jar, or an assortment of cleaned hand pumps or shampoo bottles
A stick blender, electric mixer or handheld egg beater

Method:

Mix soap flakes, water and glycerin together in a large saucepan over a low heat.
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Recycling Unwanted Electronics: It’s Easy!

best-buy.jpgWhat: Best Buy’s electronic recycling program

Features: Did you know that Best Buy will take pretty much any electronic item off of your hands for recycling? From cell phones and video game consoles to big screen TVs, Best Buy will accept it. The web site offers program variations for each state, as well as information on how to dispose of the few items the program doesn’t accept. All US stores, (and stores in Puerto Rico, too!) run the program.

Green Factor:  Last year, Best Buy repaired, refurbished or recycled over 60 million pounds of old electronics. Recycling electronics helps keep toxic waste out of our landfills and water supply.

Bonus: Best Buy has several recycling programs in place as well as an informative FAQ page on their electronics recycling program. Check their web site for information,

Find It Here: Best Buy

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MilkMuny

milkcarton_juicecarton.jpgWhat: Company that will pay for cardboard milk and juice cartons

Green Factor: MilkMuny keeps milk and juice cartons out of landfills. Considering that we throw away about 510,000 TONS of them away each year, anything that can lower that number is a big fat WIN in our book.

Bonus: Schools and non-profits can collect them and get 25¢ per carton PLUS prepaid shipping. You can also help support MilkMuny’s efforts by buying a nifty wallet made from those very same cartons.

Find it Here: MilkMuny

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The Pollution INSIDE Your Home

babycarpet.jpgWhen you think of air pollution, chances are you’re thinking of the air outside—but have you ever considered the air pollution inside your own home?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the air indoors can be two to five times more polluted than the air outside. That’s a pretty sobering statistic because indoor air pollution is linked to a host of health issues including but not limited to headaches, dry eyes, nasal congestion, nausea, fatigue and allergic reactions, as well as diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis and cancer.  Studies have shown that infants, children and the elderly are the most susceptible to air pollutants.

Indoor air quality is compromised, primarily, by particles and gases. Most homes have many potential sources of air pollution such as: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Six O’Clock Scramble

six-oclock-scramblecover3.jpgWhat: SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue!

Features: Aviva Goldfarb’s new cookbook, SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue!, is packed with ideas for preparing meals for busy families, as well as ways to eat with the environment in mind. Aviva dishes up tips on efficient meal planning, buying in bulk and freezing/storing meals. Also helpful are suggestions for weekly plans and shopping lists that will make the most of your grocery trips.

Green Factor: Teaches readers how to lessen their environmental footprint by eating seasonally, cutting out waste, knowing when to buy organic and by moving toward a slightly more vegetarian menu.

Bonus: Subscribe to The Scramble to receive weekly menu plans, newsletters and nutritional information. Create your own Recipe Box, search the database to customize your weekly dinner plan and organize your meals, all in one place!

Find It Here: The Six O’Clock Scramble

Win It: We’ve partnered with The Six O’Clock Scramble to give away a copy of SOS! The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue! PLUS a three-month subscription to The Scramble!

Click here to fill out our simple entry form. Just enter SS04 as the giveaway name and tell us what magazine is giving the cookbook rave reviews. Giveaway ends 05/04/10; $37 value. Open to US & Canadian residents only. Official Rules. Giveaway has ended.

On our Blog: The Pollution INSIDE Your Home

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Greener Organizing

green-blocks.jpgFor those of us to whom organization does not come naturally, it can be quite a challenge. Personally, I know when I watch those organizing shows on cable, it makes me want to empty my whole house and start fresh. If only that were an option…

While being organized is a great feeling, getting there can be a less-than-green proposition, especially with all the stuff that’s now available to “help” us. But here’s a little known secret about buying all that great organizational gear—you will only stay organized if you work at it.

Buying those things will not magically transform one into a more organized person and frankly, one of the best ways to stay organized is to simply buy less stuff and get rid of the stuff you don’t use. You may have heard the old expression “Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.” It’s especially relevant to green organizing. In short, the less you have to manage, the less you have to manage. Read the rest of this entry »

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