Monday, May 16, 2011

Is Tuna Fish Becoming More Toxic?

According to Dr. Mercola:

"The rate of mercury contamination in tuna and other Pacific fish has increased 30 percent since 1990. The increase is a direct result of China's rapid industrialization, and the mercury content is expected to increase another 50 percent by 2050 if China continues to build more coal-fired power plants."

I don't know about your family, but tuna fish salad was a weekly staple, when I was growing up. Not so for my kids as I limit our tuna consumption to once a month or less. Why? Mostly because I worry about the long term health concerns of mercury (and or other toxins) that may be found in tuna.

Pregnant and nursing moms need to be especailly careful to limit or avoid tuna to reduce their baby's exposure to toxins.

As for missing out on the health benefits of eating fish? I say please pass me my ultra pure, pharmecutical grade capsules... and that great tasting chewable version for my kids. In my view, why take a chance when there are safer ways to get the benefits of fish without the risk.

To your good health,

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can You Recycle Disposable Razors?

A great question, especially with refillable razors costing considerably more to purchase and then $20 or more for a box of a few refills... and a disposable retails for about $2. Ouch!

Earth 911 has a great post on this. Bottom line, the answer is no, not at this time.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 30 - Go Vegetarian at least one meal a week

For those raised on a meat and potatoes diet, skipping meat for even one meal may be difficult, but the benefits for the Earth are great.

Raising animals for food takes not only large amounts of food and water, but a 2006 United Nations report found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than ALL the SUVs, cars, trucks, planes, and ships in the world combined.*

According to the Environmental Defense Fund, "if every American had one meat-free meal per week, it would be the same as taking more than 5 million cars off our roads." Now that's an impact!

I encourage you, try one meat free meal next week, and then try to do it again the week after, and the week after. It's good for the Earth and it may be good for you too!

*H. Steinfeld et al., Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options, Livestock, Environment and Development (2006).

As I look back over the 30 Earth Day, Every Day tips I posted, I'm sure I've missed many of your favorites, but I've tried to share the ones that I thought were easiest to do, while still having a great impact. And I hope I've shared at least a few that you've not yet done.

So, Happy Earth Day 2011, and please do a little each day to leave the Earth a bit better than we found it.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 29 - Pack a Bag Lunch

The sides of our streets and highways are littered with fast food wrappers and drink containers. Not only is unsightly, but it's wasteful... all that Styrofoam, plastic and paper.

Bringing your lunch to work one or two days a week not only saves money, but if you pack it in reusable containers, it's a trash free lunch as well!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 28 - Green Choices for Baby

Preparing to welcome baby? The amount of lotions and potions for baby are endless.

So are the diapers, at least for the first few months... Lets face it, no diaper choice is perfect. Washing cloth diapers uses lots of water, and most disposables are loaded with chemicals and plastic.

My advice, do lots of research on this touchy subject, and then choose what's right for you and your little one.

But one place it's easy to "Go Green" and it comes with savings of both time and money, is to breastfeed.

Breastfeeding is one of the most natural things a new mom can do and it can save you over a hundred dollars a month! Not to mention, no bottles and nipples to sterilize, or formula to buy and mix. Besides your little one will be getting the "perfect milk" for optimal growth.

Another way to save big, make your own baby food. It takes just a few minutes to steam and grind what you're having and the cost saving over buying baby food (and all those jars that need recycling), wow.

As for those baby lotions, choose carefully. My favorites are made with organic ingredients and lack all the stuff that keep new moms up at night.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 27 - Eliminate Junk Mail

Or at least Reduce It

According to groups that track this stuff, the average US home gets over 30 pounds of unwanted mail a year!

Most of mine goes straight to the recycling bin or into the shredder. But there is a better way and I've seen a reduction in mine since Opting Out.

For catalogs try: and for those annoying credit card offers there's

While you're online, visit and sign the petition to congress for a "Do Not Mail list" that would work like the "Do Not Call List." A Do Not Mail List... that's a list that I'd LOVE to be on!

Best of Health,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 26 - Invest in a Creamic or Thermal Mug

Having coffee or tea at the office? Or stopping at the deli or coffee shop? Buy your own mug or thermal cup and remember to use it.

My husbands company went so far as to give every employee their own ceramic mug. A single investment that saves hundreds of trees, and after the short term cost to buy everyone a mug, a long term monetary savings for the company that will last years.

At my favorite coffee spot the owner truly appreciates that I bring my own thermal mug... it's one less cup and lid he needs to buy.

Above all, avoid styrofoam cups which will sit in land fills for generations to come.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 25 - Reuse" Packing Peanuts...

and other packing material... boxes, air pillow packs, brown packing paper, etc.

My first choice is to offer it up on Find your local chapter, join (it's free) and post an "Offer" for your packing peanuts.* Fairly quickly you should receive an email from someone who would love to reuse your packing materials.

If you don't have a local FreeCycle group, try your local shipping store. They may not take all your packing material, but they'll usually take the peanuts.

*For safety, I only share my address with the person picking up my donation, and I always leave my FreeCycle items in the driveway.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 24 - Proper Medication Disposal

Americans take numerous prescription medications and often don't finish what the doctor prescribed.

The natural inclination is to dump unused or expired medications down the toilet, but it is VERY important that you DO NOT FLUSH unused medications down the drain where they can contaminate rivers and streams and harm both animals and humans.

Don't toss them in the trash either... at landfills they can leach into nearby waterways, contaminating them.

Instead, check with your local pharmacy or hospital about medication disposal days, or follow the recommendations at:

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 23 - Install a Programmable Thermostat

A small investment and a few minutes of time can save you big. For each degree you lower your thermostat in the winter, you can save 5% on your energy bill.

In the winter, set your thermostat at 67 degrees during the day, and 64 degrees or lower at night. Feeling cold, put on a sweater or an extra blanket on the bed.

In the summer, do the reverse. Set your thermostat at 74 degrees or higher. Truthfully, once the humidity is out of the air, you feel cooler and can set the thermostat a degree or two higher.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 22 - Happy Earth Day!

Today I'd like to recognize Shaklee Corp., a company that's been offering concentrated green cleaners for over 50 years! Their Basic H household cleaner was first introduced way back in 1960, ten years before the first Earth Day!

A few years ago Shaklee doubled the concentration of their Basic H and it's now known as Basic H2 Organic Super Cleaning Concentrate. This super-concentrated, Green Seal Certified cleaner has 1000's of uses at a very consumer friendly price, and it's been a favorite of mine for years. Even made Oprah's list of Favorite Things!

Through May 22, 2011, you can get Basic H2 and a selection of other Get Clean prodcuts at a very Special price. Called the "Special Earth Day Healthy Home Kit" it includes Basic H2 (16 oz), Two Spray Bottles, Get Clean Super Microfiber Cleaning Cloths, Get Clean Dish Wash Liquid Concentrate, Get Clean Fresh Laundry Concentrate (32 oz), and Shaklee Energy™.

On this, the 41st Earth Day, I thank Shaklee for offering products that protect my family and the Earth... and I thank them for the special too!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 21 - Do you FreeCycle?

This falls into RECYCLE under the 3 R's.

FreeCycle is one of my favorite ways to recycle! To get stated, find a local group, join, then "OFFER" perfectly useable items that you no longer want or need. You'll then get a response via email, for that item and arrange with the person to pick the item up at your home.*

This is a great way to de-clutter your home and find a new home for that perfectly good whatever!

*For safetys sake, I highly recommend you leave items outside your door when possible.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Earth day, Every Day - Tip # 20 - Make a Low Flow Toilet to Conserve Water

Many Americans have old-fashioned toilets that are BIG water users, and if you're not ready to replace yours with a new one, you can easily make your own "low flow" toilet. Doing so could save up to 250 gallons of water per month, not to mention the savings on your water bill.

Simply take a plastic juice (64 oz) or soda bottle (1 or 2 liter if it fits with the lid on) and fill it with sand or small stones. Once filled, screw the lid back on and place it in your toilet tank, AWAY from the flapper and the flushing mechanism, then with the toilet tank lid off, test to make sure the toilet flushes and fills properly. The tank should fill to the same level as usual, but the bottle displaces some of the water in the tank, and thus reduces the amount of water per flush.

Redoing your bathroom and looking to replace your toilet? Shop around before making your selection, as there are choices in style, color and even seat height.

We recently installed the American Standard Champion 4 and are very pleased.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 19 - Scented OR Unscented?

More and more products are available scented, and not just that perfume your co-worker is wearing, or that candle on the counter... think trash bags... makeup... hair care... pens... cleaning products... fabric softeners... Somewhere along the line we've been lead to believe that scented is better, but is it?

To begin with, fragrances can be made from natural or synthetic compounds and the US government doesn't require safety testing either way, nor does it require that the ingredients used in fragrances be identified on product labels... it's privileged info.

Secondly, a "fragrance" can contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and/or phthalates (no, they're not just in plastics).

As for avoiding fragrance, for some things it's easy. If it reeks or states that it's scented, choose one that's not. But unfortunately, it's not that simple for all products. Your favorite facial cleanser or toner may not mention fragrance, yet contain it, so choose your companies carefully and check out the EWG or National Institutes of Health Consumer Products Database websites for help finding products.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 18 - Environmentally Friendly Paint

Indoor air quality (IAQ), according to the EPA, is a major health and environmental issue as your IAQ may be many times worse than outdoors.

One case in point, paints, or should I say traditional paints.

Today however, there's no need to use a paint that reeks for days. Choose no or low VOC paints, which are safe for you and your family. They're available at your local paint store, as well as the large home improvement chains. Plus you'll find a large variety to choose from, many with top ratings, so there's really no reason not to choose a no or low VOC paint.

Some of your choices...

The Freshaire Choice (Home Depot)
Milk Paint
Sherwin Williams Harmony

Benjamin Moore AURA or Eco-Spec
Sherwin Williams Duration Home

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 17 - What's your Body Burden?

Check out the National Institutes of Health Household Products Database

Sadly, we're all exposed to way more chemicals than we realize, as the Body Burden project confirmed. The National Institutes of Health Household Product Database makes it easy for you to look up products by name or ingredient to see if there are any ingredients of concern.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 16 - Shop Local

...the closer the better

Support your local farmers by shopping at your local farmers market or CSA's (community supported agriculture). The saving for the Earth are great, as your food wasn't picked unripe and flown half way around the globe to get to your table.

The benefits of buying local are multiplied in that your local farmer picked fully ripe produce, and usually sold it at a better price, often with little or no pesticides (ask the sellers), plus they'll usually share how to best prepare what you purchased.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 15 - Choose Organic

I know, way easier said than done.

I started slowly, adding a few organic products over a period of time.

I started first with organic carrots and apples.
They didn't cost much more than the conventional produce I was purchasing and they tasted so much better!

Gradually over time, I added more organic foods, milk, potatoes, lettuce.
As my budget adjusted, I added more until the majority of my purchases are now organic or local.

Still, it's not always easy. Often I forgo something because I just can't afford to pay the organic price, and I won't feed my family the conventional version.

I know organic is healthier for us and the planet, but it's sometimes a delicate balance of the wallet, and like many, I'm doing the best I can...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 14 - Buy a Power Strip (or several).

Manufacturers of electronics have eliminated the warm up time for many products by having them be in "stand-by" mode when they're off - which means they're still drawing electricity.

These "energy vampires" can eat up electricity at a rate that's both alarming and expensive - about $100 a year according to the EPA.

The biggest vampires in our homes? Televisions, especially flat-screen plasmas; desktop computers and the stuff we use with them like printers and scanners; and last but not least stereo and sound system equipment.

The simple solution is to pull the plug on electronics not in use. For me, the easier solution was to invest in a few power strips and plug in my electronics then flip the power strip to "off" when I'm not using those items.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 13 - Ditch the Paper

Keep the TP (toilet paper), and eliminate the rest of the paper.

Ever thought about just how many paper towels you use in a week... a month? What about paper napkins?

Instead of paper napkins, the environmental solution is to invest in several sets of cloth napkins - they take no space at all to launder with your regular wash, and they're especially great when you're eating something messy.

In place of paper towels, purchase a few microfiber cloths in different colors. One for washing windows, another for wiping down the kitchen, another for cleaning up spills, etc.

As for the TP... last fall Kimberly-Clark "rolled out" tube-free Scott Naturals TP. This technology is a huge step forward in eliminating the paper core, and I applaud their effort. The drawback for me, Scott Naturals are only available at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, neither of which is near me.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 12 - "Green Remodeling" for your Kitchen is a "kitchen recycler." Homeowners donate their gently used kitchens (donors get a tax deductible receipt), then Green Demolitions resells them, with the profits going to charity.

Donations come and go daily, so visit often. Plus if you're looking for a carved wood mantel, a pedestal sink, a stained glass window, a high end Wolf Range or a double oven, they just might have it, and at a fraction of the retail cost. You can find Green Demolitions stores in NY, CT, PA and NJ.

Speaking of Kitchens... “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution,” returns for its second season TONIGHT, Tuesday, April 12 (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) on ABC.

This time Jamie heads to Los Angeles, working to educate families on choosing healthier food choices... and encouraging the school district there to offer better school lunches.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 11 - Go Solar

Have you Considered Solar Energy?

Not every home is well sited for a solar panel installation, but for those that have a south facing roof, now may be the time.

Solar technology has made huge advances in the last few years and there may be state, local and federal incentives.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 10 - Plant A Tree

We've all learned how trees conserve water, harbor wildlife and moderate climate. Trees also absorb air pollutants such as OZONE, CARBON MONOXIDE, and SULPHUR DIOXIDE -- and give off OXYGEN, which improves air quality.

Yet realistically, many people do not have the outdoor space to plant a mighty oak or a majestic maple, so plant what you can, where you can... forsythias by the road, a pine in the back yard, even a small plant in a pretty pot on a sunny windowsill.

You can also have a tree planted through the Arbor Day Foundation or through American Forests for a nominal charge of $1 per tree. Consider planting a tree in honor of a loved ones birthday or anniversary. It's a special gift that just may change the world.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 9 - Retire Your Aging Appliances

Replacing an older model refrigerator, dishwasher, or washing machine can made a huge difference on your energy bill. Purchasing new Energy Star appliances can save you up to 30% a year.

My new Energy Star refrigerator saves me about $30 a month over my old fridge - and it looks nice too!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 8

Skip the Bottle

Bottled water may be convenient... it's also very expensive and a waste of resources.

Instead, purchase a filter style water carafe or install a water filtration system and get in the habit of carrying reusable BPA free water bottles.

After the initial outlay, your saving will add up as water filtered at home generally costs pennies per gallon, as opposed to prefilled water bottles which can cost a dollar or more per gallon.

Another huge plus, filtering your water saves the energy and OIL required to produce and deliver water bottles -- most of which are NOT recycled.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 7

Fix the Drip to Conserve Water and Save Money

A dripping faucet or toilet is a waste of water AND money.

Repairing or replacing a leaky toilet can save up to 200 GALLONS of water a day - that's 6000 Gallons a month or roughly enough to fill a good sized swimming pool!

Fixing a dripping faucet can save gallons of water daily as well!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Every Day, Earth Day - Tip # 6

Pay Your Bills Online

Paying online saves fuel (needed to ship your mail), trees (to print the stamps, envelope, check, etc.) and postage (.44 per envelope as of this posting)!

I find it easiest, and most secure to pay my bills via my banks secure website. Once I entered all the data required to set up a payment, I choose what name to call the payee. The data is now stored and only the name I gave it appears on screen. (Word to the wise, if you have two Verizon accounts, or similar, make sure you label them so you know which is which, so you don't pay the wrong one.)

Then, once a month I go in, select who to pay, how much and on what date. So simple, and no more concerns if my envelope arrived at the destination intact and on time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Every Day, Earth Day - Tip # 5

Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Visit and use the Carbon Footprint Calculator to complete a short survey on your CO2 emissions, then learn how to offset your carbon footprint with trees.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 4

See The Light

Switch from traditional incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) or LED bulbs. Each CFL can save you up to $30. a year, with LEDs savings even more per year, plus a longer bulb life, and no mercury.

To give a comparison:
A regular 60 watt bulb lasts about 6 months and will use about $10 in electricity which means it will cost about $20 a year to light (plus the cost of two bulbs).

An equivalent CFL lasts about 3 years and will use about $16 in electricity which means it will cost about $5.50 a year to light (plus the cost of the bulb).

An equivalent LED lasts about 17 years and will use about $34 in electricity which means it will cost about $2 a year to light (plus the cost of the bulb). LEDs are absolutely the best long term savings, despite the larger upfront cost.

Please note that CFLs as well as all fluorescent bulbs do have a small amount of mercury so be sure to recycle them at Home Depot or another qualified recycler.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Earth Day, Every Day - Tip # 3

Clean Up Your Act

Choose non-toxic concentrated cleaners.
Not only are they safer for you, your home and our planet, but because they're concentrates they save companies from having to ship water (think of all the gasoline that saves). After all, you have water at home, so use a concentrate and mix it yourself.

I especially like the top rated Get Clean line of household cleaners from Shaklee. They're highly concentrated, work well and are so inexpensive.