Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Alternative Energy Options for the Home

The trend toward homes that are powered by alternative energy sources, ranging from wind turbines and solar collection cells to hydrogen fuel cells and biomass gases, is one that needs to continue into the 21st century and beyond. We have great need of becoming more energy independent, and not having to rely on the supplying of fossil fuels from unstable nations who are often hostile to us and our interests. But even beyond this factor, we as individuals need to get “off the grid” and also stop having to be so reliant on government-lobbying giant oil corporations who, while they are not really involved in any covert conspiracy (in my opinion), nevertheless have a stranglehold on people when it comes to heating their homes (and if not through oil, then heat usually supplied by grid-driven electricity, another stranglehold).

A monobloc (thermosiphon) solar heater in Cirq...Image via WikipediaAs Remi Wilkinson, Senior Analyst with Carbon Free, puts it, inevitably, the growth of distributed generation will lead to the restructuring of the retail electricity market and the generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure. The power providers may have to diversify their business to make up for revenues lost through household energy microgeneration.

She is referring to the conclusions by a group of UK analysts, herself included among them, who call themselves Carbon Free. Carbon Free has been studying the ever-growing trend toward alternative energy-using homes in England and the West. This trend is being driven by ever-more government recommendation and sometimes backing of alternative energy research and development, the rising cost of oil and other fossil fuels, concern about environmental degradation, and desires to be energy independent.

Carbon Free concludes that, assuming traditional energy prices remain at their current level or rise, microgeneration (meeting all of one's home's energy needs by installing alternative energy technology such as solar panels or wind turbines) will become to home energy supply what the Internet became to home communications and data gathering, and eventually this will have deep effects on the businesses of the existing energy supply companies.

  Taken by NeutronicImage via Wikipedia
Carbon Free's analyses also show that energy companies themselves have jumped in on the game and are seeking to leverage microgeneration to their own advantage for opening up new markets for themselves. Carbon Free cites the example of electricity companies (in the UK) reporting that they are seriously researching and developing ideas for new geothermal energy facilities, as these companies see geothermal energy production as a highly profitable wave of the future.

Another conclusion of Carbon Free is that solar energy hot water heating technology is an efficient technology for reducing home water heating costs in the long run, although it is initially quite expensive to install.  However, solar power is not yet cost-effective for many corporations, as they require too much in the way of specialized plumbing to implement solar energy hot water heating. Lastly, Carbon Free tells us that installing wind turbines is an       efficient way of reducing home electricity costs, while also being more independent. However, again this is initially a very expensive thing to have installed, and companies would do well to begin slashing their prices on these devices or they could find themselves losing market share.

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Recent Toxic Load News

Every day there are more discoveries of the negative effects that environmental toxins produced as byproducts of our industrialized society are having on our health and well-being. Here are some recent news stories, including a very thought provoking two-parter on our exposure to toxic metals.

Class 6: ToxicImage via Wikipedia
 Sometimes it can seem a daunting or even impossible task to protect ourselves and our children from all these sources. Stay tuned, as I will post an original article shortly on how to make small healthier choices that can have a big impact on reducing your toxic load.  In the meantime, be sure to visit our main holistic living website and subscribe to the free newsletter to get your free checklist on reducing toxins in the home.

How to Avoid and Eliminate Toxic Metals, Part 1 | Health | Epoch Times
The answer may be toxic metals. Though we may honor our bodily temples with nourishing foods, we cannot realize our full health potential so long as we remain waste dumps for mercury, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, lead, and nickel. ...
Publish Date: 10/16/2010 8:53

How to Avoid and Eliminate Toxic Metals, Part 2 | Health | Epoch Times
Many people suffer adverse effects from low-level, chronic exposure to multiple metals.
Publish Date: 10/24/2010 14:32

Study finds toxic chemicals in home improvement products | KVAL ...
The same chemicals and toxic metals restricted or banned in children's toys are being found on the walls and floors of homes where children live. Results of a nationwide study target toxic home improvement products that put children at ...
Publish Date: 10/21/2010 8:00

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Recycling: How You Can Make An Impact

Have you been bombarded with advertisements and news stories about the desperate shape our planet is in and thought to yourself, "I'm only one person, I can't even put a dent in what needs to be done to make things better?"  With all of the media coverage on issues like, acid rain, loss of rain forests, endangered animals, the depleting ozone layer and even former Vice President Al Gore's pet project, global warming, it's an easy thing to feel over-whelmed and small on this great planet.  But the reality is this; if not you, then who?

As an individual you can't control factories pouring toxins into water ways or prevent oil leaks that endanger entire species, but you can make an impact, none the less.  How?  First, by not adding to the madness and wasteful ways others are handling items and materials that can be recycled and secondly, and maybe more importantly, you can make an impact by being a leader in the crusade to save the planet by doing the right things.

Recycling in Curitiba.JPGImage via WikipediaIt's a well-known fact that when we are parents we are the top role-models for our children and that they will imitate what they see us do.  Even if you are not a parent, you can still lead the way for others by taking on the awesome responsibility of being the leader.  Imagine the people you come in contact with in your neighborhood who see that you don't just talk about recycling but every week your trash collection is separated and ready for the recycle truck.  What if the people you work with come to notice that instead of having your coffee every morning in a throw-away cup from the local coffee chain, you are drinking from a mug you brought from home that you rinse out and reuse?  Can you just imagine the impact you would have for someone who is maybe not quite recycling like they should but decides that, after seeing that you take this responsibility seriously, decides to change the way they do things and follow suit?

Most people don't recognize the impact they have every day on the other people in their lives.  As a leader you "walk the talk" by abiding by the causes that mean the most to you and not just by saying the words.  We are all aware of people around us and never know what we may do that will make a difference for another person.  Don't misuse this opportunity to make an impact for recycling.

When you recycle, yourself, believe that there are people whose actions may be influenced by seeing how you handle yourself.  Big issues are often started with a few concerned, aware people, well before the word gets out to big corporations and law makers that there is a change that needs to be made.

Make every step you take count for something.  Do your part in the efforts to keep our planet healthy; reduce, reuse, recycle!
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Alkaline Water - Miracle or Scam? (Part 2)

pH scale showing common substancesImage via WikipediaOkay, so here we are with the second part of the alkaline water debate...  These are some ideas from the opposing camp. These bloggers are of the opinion that alkaline water is, if not a scam, at least not the miracle cure that many others claim. Again, we'd love to hear your own ideas and experiences, so feel free to share!

We're still on the fence, but would be happy to hear what our readers have to say on either side of the issue, as this could be very relevant to reducing toxic load (if the supporting claims prove true):

QuackWatch | Real Water Health
Dr. Gabe Mirkin of QuackWatch has an opinoin on Acid/Alkaline Theory of Disease - He says Alkaline Water is a Scam. Opinions are great. I realize.
Publish Date: 09/18/2008 21:40

pH Paranoia - Alkaline Water - Distilled Water
As a Harvard Medical School graduate, Dr. Weil is eminently qualified to evaluate the health claims of alkaline water. He says, “The health claims for water ionizers and alkaline water are bogus. Save your money. ...
Publish Date: 09/22/2009 11:16

Alkaline Water According to Dr. Mercola
Most likely the optimal pH of the water you were designed to drink is somewhere between 6.5 and 7.5. via ...
Publish Date: 09/11/2010 9:40

Kangen Water Scam 817-966-5199 If you want to know the truth about Enagic and Kangen Water and Alkaline Water then watch this video and click on the links above. You deserve to know the truth about the phony “me too” ...
Publish Date: 09/05/2010 23:23
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Monday, October 18, 2010

Green Living Made Easy - Video

Here is a short video on energy (and money!) - saving tips that anyone can implement. You'd be surprised at how many easy ideas there are to reduce your impact and keep you healthier as well - and it's simple! (And of course you know I love the "eat local" tip! If you want some ideas on how to find great local foods, just visit our website at:

Green Living Made Easy - The Eco-Friendly Lifestyle
Go Green this week on Six Minute Style as host Susan Doherty walks you through your home, room by room, with simple steps designed to help you save the planet and your cash. Yes, green living is good for your wallet too!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Alkaline Water - Miracle or Scam? (Part 1)

It seems everyone and their dog lately is touting the miraculous benefits of alkaline water. My boss recently purchased a very expensive system for his family (costing a few thousand dollars), as he was so convinced of its benefits. This may or may not be the case - time will tell, I suppose!  The only difference I've heard him mention so far is how often they are using the bathroom....

Clean drinking water...not self-evident for ev...Image via WikipediaSupposedly this water has all sorts of wonderful health benefits, including possible curing of many diseases, more energy, and of course, flushing toxins from the body. Detractors call the alkaline water craze a scam, but after quite a bit of searching on the internet, most of them don't seem to have any valid or proven reason for saying so, at least that I can tell.

Personally we at New Holistic Living are still on the fence.  The majority of the glowing reviews I've seen seem to be from those selling an alkaline water system (or promoting one for personal gain). Then again, some of the studies and the science behind it sound rather intriguing....

What do you think?  I thought I'd post a couple of articles from opposing sides (though the "pro" side seems much more vocal). Here are several of these in the "miracle" camp -- check back in a couple of days for the opposing side. And of course, let us know what you think! Is alkaline water a miraculous substance, and if so, what benefits have you experienced?

Top 10 Benefits of Drinking Alkaline Water | Grateful 2 Love Water
We all know that drinking an adequate amount of water is good for us. Do we all drink enough water? No, not usually. If we remember we might drink a glass.
Publish Date: 09/14/2010 19:10

stars2man: Dr. Mercola and Alkaline Water: Natural Health Information
Understanding this is important for two reasons: (1) it reveals one of the primary benefits of alkaline water -- more "available" oxygen in the system and (2) it explains why alkaline water helps fight cancer, which we'll talk more ...
Publish Date: 10/04/2010 10:43
Introduction and Reviews About Alkaline Ionized Water: By Doctors ...
There are more benefits to “alkaline water” than simply the alkalinity or pH. The most important feature of alkaline water produced by a water alkalinizer is its oxidation reduction potential (ORP). Water with a high negative ORP is of ...
Publish Date: 10/09/2010 10:28

The Alkaline Water Ionizer May Permanently Increase Your Health ...
Alkaline Water is clearly an excellent choice for your drinking requirements. It's not sold in plastic containers and it is free of contamination. In addition, Alkaline Water has nutritious benefits not present in ordinary drinking ...
Publish Date: 09/30/2010 13:17
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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Recent News for Women on Reducing Your Toxic Load

Here are a few recent articles specifically for women on the importance of reducing your toxic load. Although toxic chemicals in your household and environment can have a negative impact on anyone, women are at special risk to fertility, as our reproductive systems can be adversely affected by many of these environmental toxins. Pregnant or nursing mothers also have more to watch out for to avoid sharing these toxins with your new baby, which can cause birth and developmental defects, and worse.

Here are some relevant articles that may prove helpful:

Are Everyday Products Affecting Your Fertility? | Vitamin D ...
What you chose to put on your skin can also play an important role in decreasing your toxic load. As important as eating an organic whole food diet when preparing for a pregnancy is reducing the amount of toxins that you're exposed to. ...
Publish Date: 10/08/2010 7:00

Normal People Scare MeImage via WikipediaReducing Your Child's Risk of Autism And Other Disorders ...
Everything you can do to reduce your child's toxic load from environmental sources will help prevent or reduce the severity of health issues from occurring – from his or her environment in the womb to after birth. ...
Publish Date: 09/29/2010 14:24

Menopause; Weight Gain And Other Signs Of Menopause
Detoxifying to reducing menopause weight gain and other signs of menopause. Approaches that involve detoxification are based on evidence that the lower the toxic load of the body, the more easily it manages menopause symptoms. ...
Publish Date: 10/02/2010 8:14

For some other ways to reduce the toxins in your environment, visit for a FREE home checklist.
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Monday, October 11, 2010

Finding Greener Cleaners

It wasn't so long ago that you didn't have a choice. If you wanted a clean house, you had to use a commercial cleaner that emitted horrible-smelling fumes and contained questionable chemicals. These bottles of wonder clean may have kept you from using a lot of good old-fashioned elbow grease and did a good job of cleaning, but at what price? These products that we've inhaled, absorbed through our skin, ingested through food prepared on these surfaces, and sent to our waterways all have poison control information on their labels.

Now we have greener choices in our cleaning products and our cleaning tools. Just check out your local supermarket and you'll see plenty of new products on the market that are better for you and better for the environment. (Many are even similarly priced to traditional chemical-based cleaning products, and work just as well.)

When trying to decide what new cleaning product to purchase you need to look first at the ingredients. Green products are proud to list all their ingredients and some go so far as to explain what the ingredients are and what they do. Plant-based is usually better for you than petroleum-based. If you're not sure what an ingredient is, look it up online and get the facts.

Easy-Eco-Blog-Green-Glass-Surface-CleanerImage by EasyEcoBlog via FlickrLook for independent seals of approval, not at the products' self-proclamations of "all natural" or "fully biodegradable". Independent 3rd party seals such as the one by the EPA show that they've passed certain criteria regarding the environment and your health. (For some more tips, and recommendations for truly natural products, as well as a FREE greener home checklist for reducing other toxins in the home, visit

As far as your cleaning tools go, you can go greener here too. Instead of using throw away paper towels to clean, get a package of cloth diapers. They do a good job of absorbing and will last a long, long time. Give old t-shirts a second life by using them for garage and outside jobs. Another option is to use microfiber multi-purpose kitchen cloths. Not only do they absorb a ton of liquids when cleaning up spills, but they can be used to dust furniture when dry. If you must use paper towels, choose a brand that uses recycled paper and is chlorine-free.

Green cleaners may or may not be more expensive than traditional commercial cleaners, but I believe they're a better choice all around. Don't decide on a cleaner based on price; take a look at the ingredients and then try it out. It may take a little testing to find the product that works best for you, but you'll find one and your environment will thank you.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

13 Easy Green Living Tips for Everyone

Here is a great list of easy tips that anyone can implement, to keep both your environment and your body cleaner, greener, and healthier. Living green doesn't have to be difficult or expensive, and isn't limited to a particular race, income, or age -- anyone, anywhere can help keep our planet clean and healthy. These ideas are a great place to start!

Live green made of weedsImage by davesag via FlickrHealthy Green Living Tips
13 Easy Green Living Tips for Everyone To live green means to help our environment from the dangers that are destroying it. Green living starts with each of us. Here are just few easy tips to help you get started. 1. ...
Publish Date: 10/03/2010 13:03

Got more ideas of your own?  Feel free to share below. Also visit for more ideas, and to download a free checklist on reducing toxins in your home!

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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Do's & Don'ts of Green Living - Video

Here is a helpful video on green living, including some realistic tips you can use in your every day life, how to stick to your "green" changes, and more. 

The one nearest and dearest to my heart is local food (as those who have read my cooking from scratch and sustainable gardening blogs well know!), and I am in total agreement with her ranking of food choices. Watch this short video and tell us what you think....

Do's and Don'ts of Green Living
In this clip learns some of the most realistic ways to go green, as well as some surprising tips for the eco-minded.

 So what's your green passion?  We'd love to hear your comments on ways you have chosen to "live greener"!

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Monday, October 4, 2010

Natural Homemade Beauty Recipes

Nature is the newest trend in skin and hair care. For years, we’ve been putting toxic chemicals into our bodies that build up and make us feel tired and sick, regardless of whether we eat them or if they seep though our pores. And people are finally catching on that natural is better.
Olive oil cosmetics from Matarrania.comImage via WikipediaMost stores now have a line of “natural” beauty products. Unfortunately, they often come with a big price tag attached too. Often times many of these products are not actually “natural” so it does pay to do your homework to ensure you are getting what you pay for.  (For some tips on selecting truly natural beauty products see our previous post, or for some recommendations, visit our website at )
Fortunately, making beauty products yourself isn’t too difficult. So if you want beauty products that you know are natural and are also inexpensive, just make them yourself. Here are 5 quick and easy recipes you can make at home yourself.
Face Mask
Eating good food helps give you the right nutrients you need to look good.  You can get more of these vitamins and minerals by putting the good stuff right on the skin.
Combining a mashed carrot, mashed avocado, and a beaten egg with a half cup a few tablespoons of honey creates a great face mask that provides vitamins, and improves the tone and texture of your skin. Just stir well, apply, let sit for about 15 minutes, and then wash off with cool water.
Two lemons, one whole and one sliced in halfImage via Wikipedia
After you’ve washed and nourished your skin, you can use grated cucumber or diluted lemon juice as a toner to help tighten your skin and close up your pores and keep your skin looking great.
Hair Conditioner
Many people pay a lot of money for a conditioner that actually makes your hair look and feel good. Here’s a great natural recipe to save you money and help your hair.
Just mix an egg yolk with a tablespoon of castor oil and apply to hair. Let sit for about ten minutes and rinse out. You can use this every so often as a conditioning treatment for healthy shiny hair. If you like being experimental, you can try mixing other kitchen items, herbs, and natural items with eggs for healthy, shiny hair.
Hand and Foot Cream
A quick face mask will help make you look great in not a lot of time, but hands and feet require extra care.
Use ½ cup of olive oil mixed with natural sea salt and massage into your hands and feet. Leave a few minutes to soak and then rinse off with warm water.
When it comes to natural beauty products, these recipes are just the start.  You can find hundreds of different combinations in natural beauty books, magazines, and on the internet. Or you can go to your kitchen cabinet and make your own special creations.  (Or, for reasonably priced beauty products that you know are safe and 100% natural, check out Aubrey Organics, or other recommendations on our website:
And feel free to share your own favorite recipes below!
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Saturday, October 2, 2010

Recent News in Green Living

Operation: PollenationImage by PicturePurrfect685 via Flickr
Here are some excellent recent articles I found on the topic of living greener. The first one is great food for thought, and the others offer some helpful tips - particularly the video at the third link.  These are good ideas that all of us can implement to live cleaner and greener, and build a healthier world for all of us.
As always, please feel free to post your own suggestions in the comments section below!

Going Green for the Average Person | Green Living Tips and Ideas
Going Green-how to Upgrade the Environment. Environmentally friendly houses are a factor an exceptional environment and save owners money. By reducing energy consumption, utility bills... Categorized under: green living. ...
Publish Date: 09/24/2010 16:27

What Is Green Living All About?
Green living can be defined as the lifestyle that preserves the environment and natural resources for human beings and other life.
Publish Date: 09/23/2010 8:21

10 Tips To Go Green At Home | Green Living Explained - 10 Tips To Go Green At Home 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Green | Worldwatch Institute · Environment ...
Publish Date: 09/24/2010 2:39

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