Monday, May 30, 2011

Green Tips for Summer Fun

Here is an article with some tips for keeping your holiday "green" and healthy for both you, your family, and the planet. Have fun, and enjoy your holiday!

It's getting hot in here! - | TerraPass: Green Summer Tips ...
Though washing your car on a hot summer day can be fun and save some cash, it's kinder to the planet to leave the job to the professionals. Commercial car washes tread lighter on the environment because most facilities ...
Publish Date: 05/24/2011 20:25
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Natural Skin Care Recipes

To wrap up this week on natural and organic skin care, here are a couple of cool at-home recipes you can try. Beware: some of them sound so yummy you will want to eat them! (E.g. Chocolate Face Mask? Avocado and Banana Scrub?)  But they are tasty treats for your skin - not your tummy. :-)

Enjoy, and feel free to share your own recipes below!

Woman with nails paintedImage via WikipediaA Couple Of Organic Skin Care Product Recipes
Organic skin care products are very beneficial to your skin, as they offer the same benefits as the commercial products but without the harsh...
Publish Date: 05/01/2011 12:38

Simple All Natural Skin Care Recipes | All Natural Skin Care
Simple All Natural Skin Care Recipes. Comments Off. With hundreds of skin care products in the aisles of the local drug store, you may be tempted to try every one of them, but that can really add up. So what can you do instead? ...
Publish Date: 05/14/2011 11:00

Natural organic skin care recipes | Detox Your Body Discover how to make natural organic spa quality skincare products from items you have in your kitchen! Organic, natural, products that can save you THOUSANDS of dollars compared to chemical concoctions ...
Publish Date: 05/11/2011 10:41

Make Your Own Organic Skin Care Products at Home | Pure Skin Care
Websites with recipes and helpful information about making your own organic skin care products are plentiful, and you should check out several to find a good array of options. Some offer tips on modifying a recipe to make it more to ...
Publish Date: 05/01/2011 4:03

More Natural Skin Care Recipes:
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Video - 10 Tips for Choosing Natural Beauty Products

Here is a pretty cool video. I've covered some of these tips in previous posts, but it's nice to have them all here in a video for you. Also I am very excited to announce that I am planning the launch of a new natural beauty product review site, where you can find all kinds of information on natural beauty products, including ingredients, independent ratings, customer reviews, and more - all in one spot!  It's a big project, but I'm very excited about it, and will let you know when it is live, although it will be ongoing for some time.

Stay tuned - and in the meantime, check out this helpful video!

10 Tips on Choosing Natural Beauty Products
The average adult is exposed to over 168 synthetic chemicals each day from cosmetic products. Many of these are toxic and can cause serious health problems. Choosing natural products are a great choice for both the environment and your skin. glamolog...

For more information, and some suggestions for TRULY 100% natural beauty products, check out
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Organic Skin Care Ideas

Organic skin care is the most natural means of skin care, as it contains no man-made chemicals or preservatives - even the ingredients are raised organically. Organic skin care is not only friendlier to skin, but healthier for your body over all, and can also be inexpensive, if you make it yourself. If exercised in the right way, organic skin care can prevent the occurrence of a lot of skin disorders and can help keep your skin healthy and young-looking for a much longer time.

A glass of milkImage via WikipediaOrganic fruits and vegetables are the most popular ingredients in home-made organic skin care routines. For example, cucumber is a great soother of the skin. Turmeric, apple, papaya, ginger are others that find wide use in organic skin care routines. Many of these items have a very refreshing and vitalizing effect on your skin. Almost every skin care book/guide has section on organic skin care (including the actions of various fruits and vegetables on skin). So choose the ones that are more suitable for your skin type and start experimenting with them until you finally select the ones that are most suitable for inclusion in your organic skin care routine. It’s important that you use fresh organic fruits/vegetables. Don’t try to save and use the ones that are going bad, for your skin -- use those instead to feed your compost pile!

Milk is known to possess good cleansing properties, and is also very soothing to the skin. A combination of milk with ground oatmeal acts as wonderful cleanser.

Ground oatmeal is especially good for oily skins and is a popular ingredient in an organic skin care regimen.  It is used in various combinations e.g. with egg, honey, milk and fruits, for preparation of organic facial packs.

Oatmeal directly from the packing.Image via WikipediaWheat germ is another common ingredient in organic skin care procedures. It is rich in vitamin E and is known for its exfoliation as well as moisturizing properties. Wheat germ, in various combinations with other organic materials, is used to prepare facial masks for normal and dry skin types. Wheat germ oil is sometimes also used.

Yogurt and sour cream are some other popular options that are used for their exfoliation and moisturizing properties. Use of organic honey is also popular in organic skin care procedures. It helps in retention of moisture and helps impart a glowing look to skin. (Honey also has antiseptic properties, so it can aid in healing of blemishes and inflamed areas.)

Rose water and lavender water are often used as a toner.

A good organic skin care routine utilizes combinations of various organic materials that complement each other and enhance each other’s effectiveness. Staying away from using man-made chemicals on your skin can provide many long-term health benefits, both for your skin and your overall health. By combining some of the natural ingredients at home, yourself, you can also make organic skin care not only efficient, but affordable as well.
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Organic Skin Care Ingredients:

Friday, May 20, 2011

Video - Raising Chickens Naturally

Here is a cute video on raising chickens - it shows a nice little chicken coop, nesting boxes, fresh eggs, and some happy free-ranging chickens and children. She also dispels some chicken myths, shows you how to tell if your eggs are fresh (in case you find a hidden nest that may have been around for a while), dealing with snakes in the hen house, and more. Check it out if you're at all interested in raising your own chickens for tasty and healthy fresh eggs! (And the kids may like it too.)

Raising Chickens Naturally
On candling eggs:
If you like eggs then you really should be raising them yourself! It's so healthy ...

Want to try raising chickens yourself? Here are a couple of places to find plans for building chicken coops - the easy way:

Product Box
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Top 5 Reasons to Raise Chickens

Raising your own chickens is a great and easy way to ensure you are eating the best quality eggs (and meat), instead of the ones from the grocery store, which are not only full of various toxins (due to commercial chickens being raised in horribly dirty and crowded quarters, and fed all kinds of crap - literally), but also much lower in nutrients than they should be. There are actually several reasons why more and more people are starting to cultivate chickens in their backyard.

Chickens pecking at feedImage via WikipediaReason # 1 – Chickens love leftovers
A chicken’s appetite is incredible. They can eat almost everything, even their own kind! (Which is pretty gross, but is one of the reasons you don't want to eat commercial chickens!) You can now say bye-bye to those unwanted leftovers being left rotten in your fridge. You feel less guilty now that you're not just throwing them away. Plus, you can save on chicken feed. But do be somewhat careful what you feed your chickens - keep in mind that you're eating what they're eating - either in their eggs or in their meat. And you might want to tone down the onions and garlic - they're not so good for them.

Reason #2 – Eggs!!
Who doesn’t love eggs? Have them boiled, scrambled, sunny side up, etc. Admit it, pets that live comfortably inside your houses are fun, but they don't generally produce yummy food! (Fish, of course, can be eaten, but who would want to eat Goldie?) None of these domesticated animals produce something edible. Well, chickens, on the other hand, have lots of benefits - one of the best ones being eggs.

You can eat fresh eggs right from the source. Eggs taken from chickens minutes or hours ago are much more tasty and nutritious than those purchased in the grocery store. (For some of the extra benefits of eating eggs from pastured poultry, see this post on our Cooking From Scratch blog.) You’ll immediately notice the texture and color is way different than the store-bought ones you're used to.

Reason #3 – Source of natural fertilizers
Your lawn or backyard may have never looked better! Chickens love to freely walk around. Chickens also love to peck on anything they see that can be considered as food. And what is food to them? Possibly anything that’s organic. If you let your chickens roam around your space, you’ll find out how reliable they can be. They eat pests living in your backyard – grubs, beetles, insects, earwigs, and anything that comes close (this is what makes their eggs so much more tasty and nutritious).

After the digestion has set its due, they will transform what they’ve eaten into poop. But this is not just any kind of poop but a treasure called natural fertilizer. And you know what natural fertilizers do right? They keep the soil healthy for plants to grow. Cool. (If you haven't already, be sure to check out our Sustainable Gardening blog for some ideas on how to use all this fertilizer!)

eggsImage via WikipediaReason #4 – Low Maintenance Pets
Unlike dogs that need combing and brushing, and walking everyday, chickens doesn’t need such time-consuming treatment. All you have to do is provide them their daily needs like food and water. You also have to clean their pad at least twice a month and change the beddings too. In return, you can gather all the eggs. Aside from just gathering, you could even start a small business of your own by supplying poultry stores with fresh eggs or chicken meat. And if you raise them from chicks and handle them often, they are usually quite tame, and kids love them!

Reason #5 – Grass and weed clippers
Got that right. Now you can save on mowing your own lawn by getting yourself chickens! For chickens, grasses, weeds, and leaves are treats. It’s like a lifetime dessert offering. It’s like having a cow in your own backyard (only without the huge cow-pies). They will dig through whatever it is without even complaining about the hard work. Chickens will clip it then clean it all at the same time.

When you raise your own chickens, you can have a pet, a lawn mower, a supplier of organic fertilizer and an egg producer all in one. (And maybe a tasty dinner one day, if you decide you need a big pot of chicken noodle soup!)

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Organic Foods: Why You Should Buy Directly From Farmers

Are you interested in improving the way that you eat?  If you are, you will want to examine natural, organic foods.  After a close examination, you will see that there are a number of benefits to eating organic. 

As previously stated, there are a number of benefits to eating organic foods.  One of those benefits is your ability to shop at a wide range of locations.  Organic foods are available for sale at supermarkets, organic food stores, and online.  With that said, organic foods are also commonly sold directly by the farmers who grew them.  If you have local farmers who sell organic foods, you should consider doing your shopping directly through them.

A farmers' market in Lhasa, Tibet. Celtuces ca...Image via WikipediaWhen it comes to buying many organic food products, such as fruits and vegetables, directly from organic farmers, many individuals wonder why they should do so.  In all honesty, there are a number of reasons, as well as benefits to buying organic foods directly from the source.  One of those benefits is the assistance that you will be providing to local farmers.  It is no secret that many farmers find it difficult to stay afloat financially.  In fact, hundreds of small farms shut down each year.  Instead of shutting down, many farmers are now making the switch to organic foods.

As previously stated, a large number of farmers, all across the United States, are now making the decision to go organic.  Unfortunately, this decision isn’t always easy.  It can be costly in the beginning, as well as very risky.  Although you may not necessarily think about it at the time, you can provide financial relief and assistance to organic farmers by buying their products directly from them.  When you buy organic fruits and vegetables directly from the farmer or farmers who made them, they are able to receive all profits, not just a portion of them.  In this aspect, you can consider buying organic fruits and vegetables directly from farmers your good deed for the week or month.

As nice as it is to hear that you should purchase some organic foods directly from the farmers who grow them, you may be curious as to how you can go about doing so.  For starters, farmer’s markets should be examined.  Farmer’s markets typically involve the setup of stands and booths.  Many farmer’s markets in the United States allow a large number of farmers to attend and set up booths.  Depending on your local farmer’s markets, its size, and who is present, you may be able to find organic food sold.

The New Leaf CSA (community-supported agricult...Image via WikipediaIn addition to visiting one of your local farmer’s markets to see if organic foods are for sale, you can also visit local farms in person.  To help you decide which farms should be visited look for signs or advertisements in local newspapers.  It is also usually easy to spot farms where organic foods are being sold - many set up roadside booths or have a storefront building on their property, which is usually easy to see from the road.  If you do make the decision to shop with a local farmer, be sure to bring cash, as many small operations are not equipped to accept checks, debit cards, or credit cards.

Another option is to join a Community Supported Agriculture program - my personal favorite! We've written several posts on here about this, and so won't repeat it all here, but feel free browse through our archives for more info on CSAs, or visit our website for more info.

As highlighted above, there are a number of reasons why you should buy your organic foods directly from the source - local farmers.  With a number of different buying options, you are encouraged to support your local organic farmers - both for your benefit, and theirs!
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Video - Build Your Own Solar Panels

Building your own solar panels to power your home can save you a lot of money (especially if you follow some of the tips from our last post, for finding affordable sources of solar panel parts). This video is part of a series on how to build your own solar panels from scratch. It's a little longer than most of the videos we post, but it is quite comprehensive and step-by-step, so it's worth an extra few minutes to check out. Follow along and learn how you can make your own solar panels to provide energy to your home and electronic equipment.

How to build a Solar Panel from Solar Cells DIY Part 1
How to build a Solar Panel from Solar Cells DIY Part 1 This is a video of how I build solar panels from single solar cells wired in series. This is a great DIY "do it yourself" Green power project. These solar panels are very powerful and following t...

(We will try to post the next video in the series shortly, but in the meantime, here is the link if you just can't wait: )
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Tips for Building Inexpensive Solar Panels

Harnessing and utilizing solar energy is one of the most efficient sources for powering our homes. However, solar panels can be very expensive, and even building your own can add up to quite a bit. This short video and article gives some good tips for finding cheap solar panel parts, which you can then use to build your own.

Cheap Solar Panels – Build Quality Home Solar Panels | Green ... – There are many different ways you can get cheap solar panels. There are dozens of websites available that can walk you through the whole process of making your own solar energy systems, with the panels being ...
Publish Date: 03/31/2011 3:00
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Monday, May 9, 2011

How to Make a Solar Space Heater

Here is a pretty cool article with step-by-step instructions for making your own solar-powered space heater, which will work great for heating a small space such as a garage or other small room in which you need a little extra heat. Unlike many expensive models on the market, this one won't cost you more than dinner for two, and only takes a few hours to put together. If you're looking to increase the efficiency of your home, or if you already have a solar-powered home but need a little extra heat somewhere, this is a great solution to try.

Have fun building, and be sure to come back and let us know how it turns out!

How to Make Solar Space Heater for Your Garage or Enclosed Porch
If you are looking to learn how to make solar space heaters then this is the tutorial for you. This is a step by step process using recycled materials to help you lower your heating bill and bring warn air into an otherwise unreachable ...
Publish Date: 04/20/2011 19:28
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Easy Money Saving Tip - Make Your Own Dishwashing Detergent

Here is a great video that shows how to make a non-toxic dishwashing detergent that is super-cheap!  It literally takes less than 2 minutes (and you could easily put together a big batch that would last quite a while - it's not going to go bad), and has only 3 very affordable ingredients (plus the vinegar for the rinse cycle).

Give it a try, and feel free to post back about your results!

Go Green and Save Green: Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
For Earth Day I put together a slew of video posts that are not only earth-friendly but they're wallet friendly too. It's a series called Go Green and Save Green and I really believe it's going to help all of us go greener environmentally by hel...

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Healthy & "Green" Money-Saving Tips

Wald1Image via WikipediaAs a follow up to Monday's article, here are some other great ideas for "going green," helping keep both your family and the environment healthy, while saving money at the same time. Of course I especially love the one about organic cooking! (If you are interested in more healthy cooking tips, you can also visit our Cooking From Scratch blog or website.)  You can also visit to find out more about finding affordable sources of local, clean, fresh organic foods, or for more about growing your own!

Check these articles out, and see how much money you can save, while reducing toxins in your home and environment.

Go Green on a Budget! | Created Woman
Go Green on a Budget! I love when I can kill two birds with one stone. There is something in me that takes great satisfaction when I can get two things accomplished with one activity. There are so many ways to “go green” but there are a ...
Publish Date: 04/08/2011 10:00

Organic Cooking on a Budget: Go Healthy, Go Green - Legacy Writers
Organic Cooking on a Budget: Go Healthy, Go Green. Healthy, nutritious, organic foods don't need to be extraordinarily expensive. Most grocery chains have organic or natural foods, but they are generally above everyday budgets. ...
Publish Date: 04/25/2011 13:38

EARTH DAY: 7 Ways to Go Green on a Budget | 7 Daughters
EARTH DAY: 7 Ways to Go Green on a Budget. Happy Earth Day! Going green isn't always cheap or easy. But we've put together a quick list of simple solutions to making your lifestyle more eco-friendly, without draining the bank. ...
Publish Date: 04/22/2011 11:13

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Monday, May 2, 2011

Save The Environment and Save Money

Microgeneration Certification SchemeImage via Wikipedia
As we often point out on this blog, "going green" doesn't have to be expensive - in fact, it can actually save you money. With the cost of gas these days, rapid climate change (noticed the INSANE weather the past month or two??), and increasing pollution problems in most major cities, there's no better time than now to start conserving energy, reducing our carbon footprint, recycling and reusing what we use. But did you consider that what's better for the environment is also better for us? Not only does your health benefit, but so does your wallet.

Here are a few ways you can help the environment while also saving money:

1. Keep your car maintained and follow a tune-up schedule. If your car is leaking fluid it will cost you to continuously replace the fluid. If your car is emitting obnoxious fumes or smoke, something may be going wrong with your car and it's a good idea to fix it while the problem is small. Neither scenarios are good for the environment or your pocketbook.

2. Keep your car tires inflated to the recommended pressure and this will save you on gas and get you the least rolling resistance. Some of your precious gas goes to overcome rolling resistance. Replace your tires when it's time and get the best ones available for lower rolling resistance.

WPV 19th Century cookingImage via Wikipedia3. If you eat out a lot, consider making more meals at home. Preparing food at home can take the same amount of time that it takes to drive to a restaurant and wait for your meal to arrive at the table. The benefits to cooking at home are in using fresh organic ingredients which are good for your body, plus it's cheaper to eat at home and you don't waste gas driving to a restaurant. (See our Cooking From Scratch blog for some great cooking tips, ideas, and recipes!)

4. When you need to run an errand, make sure you take care of several errands while you're out. Plan your route out ahead of time to use the least amount of gas possible. Did you know driving to your errands in a clockwise direction saves time and gas because you're making right hand turns? Sitting at a light waiting to make a left turn uses more gas and causes your car to spew more emissions into the air. (Nifty tip, huh?)

5. Get a programmable thermostat in your home. The price of a new programmable thermostat is not terribly expensive and you can save a lot of money on your energy bill because you can program it to a lower heating temperature at night when you're asleep and during the day when you're not at home.

farm market bootyImage by amy_b via Flickr 6. Plan your meals to get the maximum usage from the groceries you buy. Think about how much food you throw away each month because you didn't eat it and it spoiled. Leftovers can be given new life by turning them into soups or stews, putting them on a pizza crust, or tossing them with pasta or lettuce. Before you buy perishable food, plan how you will use all the food, even the leftovers. (And for even better benefits to your health and the environment, why not check out a local farmer's market or CSA, and support the local community? Or even better, grow your own sustainable garden!)

7. Take shorter showers. Every minute you shave off showering saves gallons of water. Put a gallon bucket in your shower to catch the water while you're waiting for it to warm up. Use this water to water your potted plants or your garden. Turn off the shower while you're sudsing up and shaving and turn it back on when it's time to rinse off. If you tend to linger mindlessly in the shower, you might want to consider setting a timer to remind yourself to finish up.

Taking care of the environment can also mean saving money. Try these ideas and any others you come up with and enjoy your results. (And feel free to post a comment below, with your own tips!)
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