- Carpooling - offered to pick up our friends twice this weekend.
- Garden - going to start some of my seeds and begin planning for others. I still have a few cold weather and companion plant seeds to purchase.
- Reusing/Recycling - cleaned out half of the old/expired bottles from the fridge door. Recycled the plastic ones (yes, Rumpke accepts them!) and kept the glass ones for bulk bin purchases.
- CSA - downloaded the application, will print at work and fill out.
- Haircut - asked my mom to cut my hair. She is pretty good at cutting my hair with a little style in it.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Buying from the Whole Foods bulk bins has resulted in a large collection of the tags that you write the bin code on. I do not know an alternative to using these (aside from writing on the bag with a permanent marker or making the employee search for each code) or what to do with these in the mean time (other than storing them in a container). HELP!
Monday, January 23, 2012
This week's challenge comes from Reduced Footprints.
This week, please share road blocks to green living. If you're not struggling with any road blocks at this time, then please share ones which you've heard from others. For example, one of the most common reasons is that it's too expensive.
Then ...Take a look at the road blocks shared and offer solutions. The idea of this challenge is to help us all find solutions and "bust" all excuses for not living green.
Today, I am sharing some of the road blocks I have experienced on my path to more eco-friendly and green living. I am going to take after Jen and Joey and call them "speed bumps." I have learned to pick my battles because they are slightly bigger eco-friendly fish to fry (no, not frankenfish).
Speed Bump: Paper
The amount of paper products used in our house is unimaginable. Sometimes, I feel like little evil elves come out at night to steal our toilet paper, tissues, and paper towels. There is nothing better than throwing away a used tissue and not having to worry about washing a handkerchief, but the guilt reminds me that paper used one time is very wasteful!
1. Purchase and use cloth napkins and rags (we already reuse old socks and washcloths for cleaning rags)
2. Offer, do not force, for others to use them
2. Put more blankets on the couch and the bed
3. Snuggle up to stay warm
Speed Bump: Water
1. Turn water off when I walk by (not recommended)
Final Note: I do not mean to call my husband out so much here because I am wasteful myself. My husband has come a long way in supporting me and being more eco-friendly. I am grateful for his support! I hope that we can continue to remove waste from our lives.
Catalog Choice assists by submitting the unsubscribe request on my behalf. I have to do a little more on my side by searching for each catalog I would like to unsubscribe from. I could only think of one catalog off the top of my head, so I will save any unwanted mail I get and submit it on there.
Catalog Choice: https://www.catalogchoice.org
We receive Val-Pak coupons, look through each one, save a few, and never use them. Very wasteful, so I stopped this also! I hope my husband does not notice...
Val-Pak Removal: http://www.coxtarget.com/mailsuppression/s/DisplayMailSuppressionForm
We also get the weekly local ads, which always get recycled. Supposedly, there is a box with mailing list removal somewhere on there, so I will look next time I receive the ads.
Red Plum Removal: http://www.valassis.com/1024/Contact/consumersupport.aspx
A few clicks of the mouse, a few taps of the keyboard, and I feel better already. Less unwanted mail, less clutter!
Friday, January 20, 2012
• more durable fabric (35% thicker than average grocery bags): 110 gsm NWPP
• inside pocket
• foldable with a snap in three places: at folding, at the top, and at the pocket
• machine wash cold, line dry
Promotion Code: Use ALLNATRALKATIE20 to save 20% (expires January 26, 2012, cannot be combined with other offers, one code per customer)
The Not So Good
Holds a lot of stuff
Durable NWPP fabric
No base liner/support
Adorable color and style
Longer straps to fit over your shoulder
Easy to fold
Disclosure: I received the sample from 1 Bag a Time in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my personal experiences. This review is objective and completely honest.
>> What would you like to read about? What eco-friendly interests do you have?
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I spent almost one hour looking through the extensive product selection. I have switched to all natural cosmetics and body products, but I still have one toxic item left that I use on a daily basis - mascara! To be honest, I was a little skeptical at first, but the testimonials page made me confident that all natural mascara could work for me. Let me tell you how the Real Purity Mascara compared against my toxic mascara.
Promotion Code: Save 15% off your order with ANK15, expires 2/29/12
Free samples with every order.
Product samples are also available for purchase.
Free shipping on orders over $100.
The Not So Good
All natural ingredients (EWG Skin Deep: 2)
Slightly “spidery” eyelashes
Thickening and lengthening mascara
A little crumbly to touch when dried
True to color (black)
Did I mention no toxic ingredients? J
How did Real Purity Mascara Compare to My Standard Toxic Mascara?
Real Purity Mascara was a little different the first few times I used it. However, I remembered that every time you switch between any mascara brand, the application method will be a little bit different. The application method depends on the size/shape of the wand and the consistency of the mascara. After a few days of applying Natural Joy Beauty’s Real Purity Mascara, I got the hang of the wand and was able to get the desired effect. The wand is slightly smaller than my toxic mascara, but the consistency is the right thickness and the color is true black. This all natural mascara provided the same thickening and lengthening results as my toxic mascara. No toxic ingredients, same results!
Disclosure: I received the sample from Natural Joy Beauty in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my personal experiences. This review is objective and completely honest.
Monday, January 16, 2012
I researched online. I have no other options for recycling these. I am going to take one for the team and hand these over to the trash man. Some of the containers I am keeping to reuse for starting seeds, but they will eventually be thrown in the trash also.
Lesson Learned: When grocery shopping, check what type of plastic container I am purchasing to make sure I can recycle it with Rumpke or at Whole Foods. If I cannot, then I will either find alternative packaging or not purchase the product. This is the next step for recycling - being aware of what I am buying and if I can recycle the packaging.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
There are two types of workout plans: Customized and Pre-Designed. Kim works with each trainee to design a workout that fits their goals, fitness level, and availability.
The Customized workouts would be perfect for a busy mom because they include 10 minute bursts of ab workout, arm endurance, cardio, lower body, etc. These exercises can be performed at home because they do not require any specialized fitness equipment. Kim even provides the schedule for each type of workout.
The Pre-Designed workouts are geared more toward a trainee who has access to fitness equipment like dumbbells, exercise balls, bands, and weight machines. Workouts are available at the Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced level. The Pre-Designed workouts are a better match for me because we recently joined the gym. (I have realize the gym is not very eco-friendly, but I cannot get myself to run in 20 degree whether and I have really enjoyed all of the classes.)
After discovering the Pre-Designed workouts, I realized they were all focused on strength. I mostly do cardio workouts and here is a workout plan to do strength. Ugh! But of course, strength workouts are what I need, not more cardio workouts. Kim definitely has a plan!
I have been wanting to join a CSA for several years, even before I become "green." Honestly, I have been overwhelmed and did not know how to approach deciding on which CSA to join. So many options, so many decisions. How much of a share do we get? What produce will we get and eat? When and where do we need to pick up the box of produce? Do we need to put in a certain number of hours on farm? I decided to throw out all of the decision criteria and analysis I always do and just go with it!
We choose a CSA based on a convenient schedule and pick up time and because they use organic growing practices. The first year will be trial and error as we figure out what works and what does not work for us. I am excited about eating local and organic produce because the flavors will be out of this world! Our next step is to write a check and submit the application. I pray that this will finally be the year my CSA dreams will come true!
If you are interested in identifying CSAs in your area, check out Local Harvest (this is not a sponsored post, Local Harvest is a good resource).
Thursday, January 12, 2012
This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.
You might ask, “what is going on with Walgreens?” Walgreens, your 24-hour and drive-thru neighborhood pharmacy, is no longer part of the Express Scripts network. Thousands of customers are upset because they have come to rely on Walgreens and Express Scripts!
Express Scripts Causes Disruption
Express Scripts acts as a middleman between pharmacies that provide health care services and employers and health plans who pay for the medication. Payers pay Express Scripts. Express Scripts pays Walgreens.
Since negotiations between Walgreens and Express Scripts were unsuccessful, many of Walgreens patients will now be forced to find another pharmacy to continue using their in-network pharmacy benefits. Express Scripts is causing disruption to the Walgreens patients who currently use Express Scripts because they have to change pharmacies, potentially drive farther to fill their prescriptions, and potentially be constrained by inconvenient hours.
Removing Walgreens from the Express Scripts Program will not result in any lower costs for patients, just inconvenience and disruption to their normal routine. Thousands of customers are upset! How would you feel if you had to switch to another pharmacy?
Express Scripts Affecting the Military
Tricare, one of Express Scripts’ clients, is a health and prescription drug program for men and women part of America’s Military. Walgreens wants to help support the military troops, so it offered a price match or beat guarantee to help protect the military from being caught in the middle. Express Scripts rejected the offer. The men and women in the military deserve better prices and benefits; Express Scripts is standing in the way of this!
Are You Affected? What to do!
Patients with certain prescription insurance plans managed by Express Scripts are affected. Check with your local Walgreens pharmacist or the back of your insurance card. If the back of your card says Express Scripts, you may be affected. Are you ready to give up your Walgreens pharmacist, with whom you have built a relationship and trust? No? Then, contact your local media and voice your dissatisfaction!
What is Walgreens Doing?
Patients who are members of the Prescription Savings Club at Walgreens will receive a special discount on the annual membership. This will help minimize disruption to patient’s pharmacy visits. Walgreens cares about its patient and wants to make this transition as smooth as possible.
What Am I Doing?
Walgreens is one of the two pharmacies I use for filling prescriptions. I am supporting Walgreens in this dispute by liking Walgreens on Facebook and following Walgreens on Twitter. I encourage you to also show your support.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
This post brought to you by Cafe Well. All opinions are 100% mine.
What is Café Well?
I just joined Café Well, the Social Network to Get Well and Stay Well. This social network is very unique because it offers a corporate wellness program to keep employees healthy and well. The community is safe, secure, and anonymous. You can register on Café Well even if you are not associated with any corporate wellness program.
Café Well covers a variety of health topics, from healthy living to heart disease to cancer. Think of Café Well as your online support group. Not only do you have access to communities for specific health topics, but you can connect with Coaches and Experts who can help you with your toughest question.
What Can You Do at Café Well?
- Explore and join discussion groups to share your experiences and get support
- Connect with other Café Well members with similar health interests by giving advice and sharing your experiences
- Join fun challenges to improve and maintain your health
The best feature of Café Well is a corporate wellness program called Cafe Well Race to the Moon. This program motivates people to become more active (walking or running) by offering a free wireless pedometer to track their steps. A participant gets rewarded for their total steps and milestones. By leveraging positive peer pressure from the support and power of a social network, you can achieve amazing success. Incentives help too!
Race to the Moon is sponsored by HealthAmerica. If you are a member of HealthAmerica, you may be eligible to join the Race. Register to find out if you are eligible for this free program!
What Would My Challenge Be?
I am always trying to motivate my friends and coworkers to be more active. If I were to create a challenge for my coworkers, it would be two-fold: a 5K Run with our office team and a healthy food challenge, focused mostly on a plant-based diet. Café Well would be a perfect home for our office challenge so we can stay connected, update each other on our progress, and provide motivation.
Monday, January 9, 2012
The Not So Good
Easy access to workout program
Website difficult to navigate
Daily or weekly workout log
Website content is somewhat static
Nutrition Log and Recipes
Customizable workout routine and length
Convenient - access on your own time
I love that I can access the website whenever I want. Any busy mom or dad would be able to log in, get their workout program, and complete it in 15-30 minutes. These workouts can even be done at home without any equipment.
My usual workouts are pretty cardio heavy. Renewal Fitness has helped me to supplement with strength exercises to build muscle.
The Not so Good
I have been working out at the gym a lot more and my workouts are mostly cardio based. I would love to see more gym strength exercises that are customized for me.
The website also has an opportunity to become more user friendly by offering on-demand and user customizable content.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Thank you, Christmas tree, for filling our house with a delicious smell and for making our living room look festive.
Friday, January 6, 2012
Pocket Change Shopping Blog awarded me the "Green Award" for being Editor's Choice! Pocket Change features a Be Green category with lots of tips and advice that anyone can follow. I am proudly displaying my award on the left side of my blog.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Renewal Fitness provides personal training online. Very convenient for those of us who spend a good amount of time online! Kim specializes in Online Personal Training for Moms to help moms everywhere reach their fitness and weight loss goals. She is passionate about helping women find the time they deserve to take care of themselves, so she has designed her programs to fit into even the craziest schedule.
Let me tell you about the program. The workouts are created for me, so all I have to do is log in and get my workout plan for the week. I have access to an online nutrition log where I can keep track of everything I eat, recipes, and a journal where I can document my progress. Some of the other resources include educational and motivational emails to keep me updated on health and fitness. There is nothing better than daily motivation from another person. My favorite part is that the workouts and the meal plans are tailored to my goals! Kim is acting as my Online Personal Trainer for the month of January. At the end of each week, I will write a summary of my experience.
If you would like to learn more about Renewal Fitness and help Kim to grow her business, please check her blog: www.renewalfitnesssolutions.com. Kim also writes about healthy and fitness topics here, so you can get some great (free) tips on a daily basis.
Disclosure: I received the services/products from Renewal Fitness Solutions in order to facilitate my review. No other compensation was received. This product review is based on my personal experiences. This review is objective and completely honest.
Monday, January 2, 2012
This is my first blog award!
- Link back to the person who gave you this award
- Complete the form below
- Award 10 other blogs and let them know in a comment or email
- Share 7 random thoughts about yourself
Current one is My Wish by Rascal Flatts
2. Name your favorite dessert:
Flourless Chocolate Cake
3. What ticks me off:
Aggressive drivers and rude people
4. When I'm upset I:
Vent and dwell for hours
5. What's your favorite pet:
No current pets, but I like cats, dogs, and fish
6. Black or white:
7. Biggest Fear:
Living the rest of my life without my husband
8. Everyday attitude:
I'm usually in a pretty good mood, especially when I can fit in a good cardio workout
9. What is perfection:
10. Guilty Pleasure:
Sweets and extra dark chocolate
- Tina at My Baby's Green
- Lisa at It Keeps Getting Better / Lisa Brown Design
- The Moody Sisters at Moody Sisters Organic Skincare Blog
- Jen at Jen and Joey Go Green
- Katherine at Katherine's Corner
- Stephanie at Good Girl Gone Green
- Small Footprints
- Lauren at Hobo Mama
- Kiersten at The Type A Housewife
- Charise at I Though I Knew Mama
- I am an amateur organic gardener
- I love to travel internationally
- I love working from home when snow is falling outside
- I despise going to the dentist
- I would love to be at least 50% self-sustainable
- The last toxic commercial/off-the-shelf body product I still use is mascara (but I am currently reviewing a natural version)
- Green smoothies make me gag (this might be related to the green smoothie I made from raw radish greens a few months ago; it was not good)
Hoppin' John Salad
Serving size: about 10 1/2-cup servings
2 cups cooked black-eyed peas, or 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, drained
1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
Combine black-eyed peas, rice, green onions, celery, tomato, and parsley in a mixing bowl. In a small bowl, mix together lemon juice, oil, salt, and garlic and pour over the salad. Toss gently. Chill 1 to 2 hours if time permits.
Nutrition per 1/2-cup serving
- Calories: 91
- Fat: 1.9 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
- Calories from Fat: 18.5%
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Protein: 3.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 15.4 g
- Sugar: 1.3 g
- Fiber: 3.6 g
- Sodium: 68 mg
- Calcium: 20 mg
- Iron: 1.2 mg
- Vitamin C: 5.4 mg
- Beta Carotene: 137 mcg
- Vitamin E: 0.4 mg
Source: Turn Off the Fat Genes by Neal D. Barnard, M.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond M.S., R.D. via NutritionMD
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Our plans for New Year's Eve celebrations have varied over the past few years. However, our New Year's Day activities have always been focused on spending time with family or friends. Instead of staying up way too late and drinking way too much, we prefer to spend the first day of the new year with the people we love. Today's plans are focused on spending time with friends, enjoying delicious "slow food." I am preparing Giada's Panettone Bread Pudding. Panettone is always part of our holidays traditions.
>> What are your traditions for the first day of the new year?
Although I do not see myself going 100% vegan (I would miss European butter and cheese way too much), I do see myself eating very little meat/fish going forward. My reasons are below.
- Finding organic, grass-fed/grain-fed meat is difficult and it is usually expensive
- Meat has a huge negative impact on the environment from the cost to raise it to the cost to transport it
- Grains and beans are extremely healthy
- Organic produce is readily available