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Nitrates and Homemade Baby Food: How to avoid nitrate poisoning

Homemade baby food is a great way to go green, but you may have heard about the risks of nitrates with homemade baby food.

Beets, carrots, broccoli, spinach, and cabbage are all high in nitrates. 

"Blue Baby Syndrome" can be caused by nitrate poisoning.  However, it's extremely rare and usually caused by contaminated well water, NOT homemade baby food.   It's also treatable, but PLAY IT SAFE!  Here are some tips to avoid nitrate poisoning from homemade babyfood: ... read more

Organic Brands: Who Owns What?

I was always a big fan of Tom's of Maine.  From their deodorant to their toothpaste, I've bought many of their products.  Aside from the fact that they offered widely available products without all the garbage in typical personal care stuff, I also liked that they were not a major corporation. In 2006, I was a little disheartened when the Colgate-Palmolive company purchased Tom's of Maine.

It made me think a bit about some of the other big brands of natural and organic products, and who owns what. ... read more

The Lowdown on Takeout Containers

When it comes time to order some takeout, obviously, the greenest option is to bring your own containers...but, let's face it, that's not always realistic, especially if you order delivery or aren't planning ahead.  takeout containers green

So, what are the most common types of takeout containers and how can you dispose of them?

The worst is Styrofoam.  It baffles me that some places still use it, since it's both environmentally unfriendly and dangerous.  But if you get some food that comes in Styrofoam, don't throw it in the trash.  It can sometimes be recycled, but you'll have to take it to a recycling center.  Visit http://earth911.com/ to find a recycling center that takes Styrofoam.

The most common is plastic containers.  They're better than Styrofoam, but they're still pretty bad.  If you get takeout from these types of containers, don't microwave the food, as chemicals can get into your food.  As far as recycling these containers, not all municipalities will take this type of plastic, so check with your city.... read more

Have an Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving with Free Range Turkeys

green thanksgivingGobble, gobble!  Can you believe that we're a month away from Thanksgiving?

If you're hosting Turkey Day at your house, there are many things you can do to make sure it's as green as possible.  I won't bore you with the tips of the "don't forget to recycle on Thanksgiving!" variety, but there might be something you hadn't thought of in terms of greening your Thanksgiving:  buy your turkey directly from a farm!  ... read more

Indoor Gardening

It's been an unseasonably cool year in New England, and after having our first frost warning come this week (really early!), we quickly picked our tomatoes to let them ripen inside.

If you're like me and you love the taste of garden fresh fruits and veggies as well as the eco-friendly benefits of organic gardening and local produce, but you live in a climate where you can't garden year round, there is the option of indoor gardening.

aerogardenThe easiest way to garden indoors is by using an Aerogarden.   It's a hydroponic method of gardening.

At first I was concerned about the energy consumption of it, but it only uses as much energy as a 60 watt bulb.  Not bad!  We've only grown herbs in it (the picture on the left is of the very, very early slepts of that), but now that it's too cold to garden outdoors, we'll be doing some peppers and tomatoes.  It is really easy to use, even if you don't have a green thumb.  It lights up when it needs more water, so it's really hard to mess up.  We had fresh herbs all winter long!  We ate insane amounts of pesto.  The things you grow from the Aerogarden are also typically organic, because you don't need pesticides since the garden is inside.... read more

Clean Tech applications: Ride share and carpooling

Remember how hitchhiking was an accepted mode of transit in America years ago? Well, now we have ride sharing. With approximately ¾ of commuters driving alone to work in the U.S. every weekday, alternative transportation modes bring many benefits.

Photo by dreamstime.comPhoto by dreamstime.com

Ride sharing is a simple way to save money, reduce one’s carbon footprint, provide opportunities to network and expand one’s contacts, reduce driving stress, as well as pleasant. Find friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are traveling the same way you are – for school, work, events or leisure – and share a ride.

There are several variations of sharing transit: carpooling, where pool members use their own private cars. Ride-share also refers to members jointly share the costs of a rented car; or sharing a ride in a hired vehicle with a hired driver, like a shared taxi, shuttle, vanpools, etc.... read more

A Green Glossary

There are a lot of buzzwords when it comes to the environment these days.  For some of the stuff, it's hard to figure out what it all means.  What is carbon offsetting really?  What are photovoltaic panels?  Why am I seeing products boasting that they're BPA-free and PVC-free?

Here's a list of some of the green terms you might be hearing these days, from A to Z.  Well, actually, it's from A to X, because I couldn't think of anything for Y and Z!... read more

Is McDonald's Going Green?

Many of you probably read Newsweek's story about the greenest big companies in America.   Some of the listings on there really surprised me.  The biggest one that surprised me was McDonald's and its ranking of #22.  In the magazine's green rankings, they don't go into great detail about what the companies are doing to go green, but I was in such shock to see McDonald's have such a high ranking that I had to look into this for myself.

As it turns out, McDonald's is making some solid efforts to go green. ... read more

Fair Trade: Also Good for the Environment!

Fair Trade Certified LogoThere are lots of benefits to buying Fair Trade items, such as helping farmers and workers in developing countries.  But, did you know that it can be better for the environment?

Many Fair Trade items are often organic.  Currently, over 60% of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the U.S. is also certified organic.  Even if they're not certified organic, they often produce things in a more eco-friendly way such as minimizing herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants as much as possible.  The Fair Trade certification limits the use of agrochemicals, instead favoring environmentally sustainable farming methods.  Fair Trade also helps small farmers become organic-certified.... read more

Don't Flush Old Pills Down the Toilet!

Don't Flush Old Pills Down the Toilet!Previously, people had been encouraged to flush unused and expired pills down the toilet to avoid children or pets getting their hands on them and potentially eating them.  This was initially thought to be safer than throwing them in the garbage, but over the past few years there has been evidence that pills flushed down the toilet is as bad for the environment as tossing them in the trash.

Pills flushed down the toilet end up in waterways.  It is believed that once they end up in the water, they can cause health problems in fish and other marine wildlife.   There have even been studies showing that  fish are developing reproductive abnormalities due to exposure to birth control pills.... read more

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