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eco friday

Eco- Friday: 3 Steps to a Greener, Healthier Home

 

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It’s easy being green. Follow these three steps to a greener and healthier home.

1. Prevent Pests

Pests are a nuisance and a hazard to human health in many cases. Cockroaches, for example, can trigger or worsen allergies and asthma. Mosquitoes are known carriers of disease like Zika and West Nile. Rodents can contaminate food and spread disease. Termites can eat away at the wood in your home’s structure.

There are hundreds of pests that can make your home unsafe. However, there are simple measures you can take to keep pests from making your home their home. Keep a clean and tidy home to eliminate food sources that attract many of these pests. Prevent moisture in the bathroom, kitchen and yard, too. Seal up access points such as cracks and crevices in your house’s foundation to keep pests like rodents out, keeping your family safe.

Even pests that are not known carriers of disease, like bed bugs, can still cause chaos in your home. And they aren’t just limited to hotels, either. Families can pick up these pests in any public space, from daycare and school to the gym and airport. Their bites can cause serious redness, itchiness and swelling, a nightmare for parents with small kids. To keep your family and home free of bed bugs, always wash your linens in hot water and dry them on the hottest setting when returning from trips and avoid purchasing items like furniture second-hand. This is especially important for families living in cities such as Chicago, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, as these places fall within Orkin’s report of the top bed bug cities.

2. Buy Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products

Despite being marketed as “safe” or “green,” many cleaning products on the market contain harmful chemicals. Keeping a clean home is important to ensuring your family stays healthy. Bacteria and germs are lurking everywhere, from the kitchen to the bathroom. But green-minded experts suggest swapping standard cleaning agents for cleaning supplies that are natural and healthy, such as white vinegar and baking soda.

3. Invest in Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling

Automation is one of the biggest trends in home technology right now. For good reason, too. Not only is automation convenient for homeowners, it is also eco-friendly. Take Nest, for example. This automated, self-learning thermostat controls the heating and cooling when you’re home and when you’re out of the house, ensuring that no energy is wasted. Compatible with your smartphone, this self-learning “smart” thermostat also offers insight into how much energy you are consuming every single day with the Energy Report and every month with the Home Report.

Additionally, Nest’s leaf feature helps you keep the environment in mind when you’re adjusting your heating and cooling. When you change the temp to save energy, a small, green leaf appears on Nest’s display, showing that you are making an eco-conscious decision. Nest also alerts you on your phone when your home may be unsafe. It sends alerts if the temperature is too low, which means pipes could burst, and if your furnace is acting up.

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Eco-Friday: 20 Memorial Day Eco-Friendly Grilling Tips

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It’s Memorial Day weekend and many families around the US may be hosting barbecues and cook-outs in celebration of the holiday remembering fallen soldiers of war or military servicemen who have passed away. As you prepare to host an event in your home, consider implementing some of these simple suggestions for having a Green, Eco-Friendly and Environmentally-friendly event.
  1. Plan ahead so you don’t have too much food.
  2. Use natural charcoal or better yet natural gas or propane grill which are more environmentally friendly.
  3. Buy local produce from local farmer’s markets
  4. Buy organic foods
  5. Consider vegan or vegatarian options which are better for the digestive system
  6. Use all natural insect repellant and bug sprays which are better on the skin, especially for small children
  7. Bring home the goods in a recyclable or paper not plastic bags
  8. Serve food on reusable plates and utensils or biodegradable or recyclable flat and tableware
  9. Start your fire with a chimney starter instead of lighter fluid
  10. Cook with pans and items made of recyclable materials
  11. Spread the energy consumed cooking around by having guests bring a dish
  12. Grill as much as you can, and even cook the foods in the burners on the grill because it saves energy
  13. Cover pans while cooking to reduce cooking time or energy bill if you are cooking on the stove in the kitchen
  14. Cut up the food into smaller pieces to let them cook faster and save energy
  15. Consider using a water-filter pitcher or a faucet mounted filter for water instead of bottle water
  16. Mix up a batch of lemonade or iced tea and serve in a large pitcher or punch bowl to cut down on cans and plastic bottles
  17. Figure out creative ways to “remix” the leftovers rather than dump them out.
  18. Compost the veggies or grill scraps.
  19. Clean up using non-toxic cleansers and Green cleaning products
  20. Recycle when you’re done!

 

Even if you can institute a few of these suggestions, you would have done at least something to reduce your carbon footprint, and give back to Mother Earth. Happy Grilling!

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Eco-Friday: Save Money on Your Home with These 5 Upgrades

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Fifty-five percent of global online consumers across 60 countries say they are willing to pay for products and services from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact, according to a report from Nielsen. Fortunately, it’s now the mainstream for retailers and manufacturers to offer a wide variety of eco-friendly products and upgrades. Brands are listening to their customers and continuing to develop the green products they want. Here are five money-saving, eco-friendly upgrades to get started.

Dishwasher drawers

Skip the large dishwashers if you live solo or as a couple. Dishwasher drawers are perfect for smaller homes and apartments. Fisher & Paykel make a single-drawer dishwasher that’s Energy Star-qualified. The dishwasher blends in with your home decor and leaves more room for cabinets, storage and other eco-friendly appliances.

Remember that your homeowners insurance typically only covers the repair of structural damage — it doesn’t touch appliances and systems in your home. You’ll need to invest in a home warranty from a company like TotalProtect to cover the repair or replacement costs when appliances break down from everyday use.

Smart thermostat

Heating and cooling systems are often left on all day while at work or away. In some cases, you have no choice but to let them run or face a freezing home with cracked water pipes when you get home. Meanwhile, a smart thermostat like Nest can learn your habits and adjust around your life. Nest creates a cooling and system schedule and can adjust when your needs change. On average, Nest saves up to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling bills for a savings of nearly $145 a year.

Energy-saving windows

Install Energy Star windows and skylights to lower your overall energy bills and save money. But more importantly, you can help reduce your part in greenhouse gas emissions. The low-emissivity coatings on Energy Star-certified products can also help reduce UV sun damage to your furniture and carpet. From a money-saving standpoint, homeowners can save anywhere from $101 to $583 a year when replacing single-pane windows. You’ll also save the environment up to 6,205 pounds of CO2 a year.

Lighting

Light-emitting diodes, or LED lighting, prove an energy-efficient alternative to incandescent bulbs. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, replacing your home’s lighting with LED and Energy Star rated bulbs can save $75 each year. Meanwhile, 90 percent of the energy from incandescent bulbs is given off as heat and wastes resources and money. Other eco-friendly lighting choices include Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) bulbs and eco-friendly halogen incandescents.

Bamboo flooring

Quality bamboo flooring is less expensive and more durable than its wooden counterparts. Bamboo grows rapidly and regenerates itself in around seven years, while it can take trees 40 to 50 years to replace themselves. Bamboo is also easy to clean and gives a modern, clean aesthetic to your home. But like any flooring, the trick is to invest in a quality product. Cheap bamboo flooring will dent and scratch and need replacement sooner. Always go with a reputable, top of the line retailer and product to get the most out of your home upgrades.

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Eco-Friday: This New Single Serve Brewing System Is Better for the Environment (Unboxing Video)

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I admit being a coffee addict and that I get a euphoric feeling after having a hearty cup of brew.  Earnestly, I think coffee not gets me through my hectic day which usually starts at 6am. My hectic schedule includes corralling my kids and shipping them off to school, then schlepping back to my home office to blog, work on deliverables for legal or consulting clients, social media networking blog posts, try to squeeze in a trip to the gym, conduct meetings or interview people and then end the day by picking up the kids and taking them to the library before returning home to make dinner, and get them to bed, before working until midnight.

I’ve been known to spend a pretty penny at my local Starbucks as well. People give me Starbucks gift cards as presents because they are aware of my love of coffee. My husband wanted to help me save money from all those Starbuck runs and get me a single serve coffee system for Christmas but I discouraged him because of my concern that the capsules are not too environmentally friendly. Also, the costs for the capsules could be astronomical compared to a traditional coffee maker.

When I was asked to review a newcomer to the industry Touch Coffee, my interest was piqued because it looked to be a more eco-friendly alternative to what is on the market now.

It starts with the fact that unlike the standard Keurig K-Cups® in that popular machine, Touch® T526S brewer’s capsules have been re-engineered to so they are larger and thus can brew a larger cup of coffee. The makers boasts that the system has revolutionized and re-invented the  single-serve coffee platform Touch’s easy-to-use systems brew superior-tasting, coffee shop-quality coffee in significantly less time than current machine

They also boast that compared to most K-Cups®, which only fit up to 12.5 grams of coffee, XBold Cups ™ pack up to 15 grams of coffee and XLARGE CUPS™ provide up to 18 grams of coffee.

Nonetheless, the brewers are still  fully compatible with any cup at all—from existing to generic cups, in addition Touch  XBold Cups™, XLarge Cups™ and reusable Refill Jumbo Cup™.

The Refill cup is also another eco-friendly feature because you can save money and instead of buying replacement capsules, you can simply use grounds and spoon them in that filter! Sweet!

Touch has a Flash Heating system that starts brewing in under 20 seconds even if it has been off all night and it heats up just the water needed for the cup and not the entire tank of water.  It stands out from other machines that take much longer to warm up, a company release notes. Those machines shoot water through the coffee grounds too quickly, so users  then end up throwing away untapped flavor with the used capsule.

No bueno!

The T526S brewer allows you to choose from eight cup sizes (6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, or 18 ounces and carafe)

The fact that you can make up to 18 ounces means that one capsule can create up to 4 cups of coffee makes it more environmentally friendly and I noticed that the machine turns itself off automatically which is an energy-efficient alternative to existing brewers in this market.

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“We have incorporated our innovative technology to our single-serve system—and the single-serve cups that accompany it—with one goal in mind: the perfect cup, every time,” its CEO Sam Kim said in the release. “Not only did we succeed at designing a machine that produces coffeehouse-quality coffee, but we have also made it convenient, intuitive, quiet and quick with a high-end design.”

The brewer retails for $249.99 and can be purchased at  www.TouchBeverages.com, Amazon.com, HomeDepot Online,  BestBuy.com, and  select Best Buy stores.

But if you are inclined to purchase one based on my review and unboxing below, I invite you to use my affiliate link HERE to do so! Thanks for supporting a blogger! 🙂

My camerman is my 13-year old son Caleb! We had some fun taping this. Check it out! 

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Eco Friday: The Numbers behind Global Food Waste (INFOGRAPHIC)

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Subconsciously, we waste food every day. Each time we take too large a heaping of mashed potatoes or extra servings we don’t eat, we wast food.  This casual disposal of leftover is common world wide and contributes to global food waste.

But there are things we can do to reduce waste like shopping responsibly and cooking in smaller portions. Here is an infographic that goes into the dilemma of food waste and offers suggestions on being a personal catalyst change agent.

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Eco Friday: Made From Earth Skin Line is All Natural Goodness (REVIEW)

JJ Ghatt   jjghatt  • Instagram photos and videos

With the winter months come dry, cracked skin, and added need for a moisturizer.

If you are interested in maintaining balance in your face, hands, lips and neck these colder days, while still keeping it all natural, a good bet is the products sold by Made from Earth. Back in the fall, the makers were generous enough to send me some of their wonderful products. They’ve been a God send and I’ve incorporated them all into my daily and weekly cleansing, toning and moisturizing ritual.

At least twice a week, I cleanse my skin with the grapefruit glycolic wash ($29.99) to keep the break outs away.  It’s been working because before, during the warmer months, I was getting pimples regularly.

Also, daily, I moisturize my face and neck with the vitamin c moisturizer. ($36.00)  The organic ingredients and vitamin c are defenses against the sun as well. To keep to my skin tight, I’ve been having success with the vitamin enhanced face firming serum (44.99) . It goes on non-greasy and dries quickly.  On some days, I’ve gone with the vitamin enhanced moisturizer  ($74.55) which has anti-aging properties that I can appreciate given I’m like most women out here fighting the effects of getting older.

Because I am always reading or working on a computer for long periods of time, my eyes get tired often. For five days at a time stretches, I’ve dabbed on some of the chamomile eye therapy cream ($22.95) around my eyes each morning after washing my face. The 5-day regimen does a great job to pick me up and I think it has collagen in it to firm up that area! Good for combating crow’s feet!

 

I also dig the Cucumber Cooling Gel ($13.49) and wear it regularly because it leaves my face refreshed. It’s also cool that it too has a toning property, and fights against sun damage and bags under the eyes. Good stuff.

Before applying make up, I spray on the skin correcting toner ($17.00). It is tingly and leaves my face feeling refreshed. I love the apricot scent it has too.

Finally, I keep the blueberry lip balm ($4.99) in my purse to moisturizer my lips and keep them from getting chapped. Sometimes I use the beeswax butter balm ($18.99) as a back up but it’s a bit greasy for the lips. Not my fave.

All of the ingredients, according to the makers, are organic, paraben free, eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious in ingredients, testing and manufacture!

Nice! If you’re looking for earth-friendly beauty products check out Made From Earth on its website!

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Magic Potion: Rub On Some Breast milk To Cure These 17 Health Conditions

Bellyitch Rewind

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Aaaah nourishing breast milk.  Great for giving a newborn nutritious nutrients and passing on critical antibodies crucial for their healthy growth. But did you know that breast milk is great for solving eye irritations for any person, not just the baby? Did you also know that hospitals use donated breast milk to soothe the scars of burn unit victims?

Yup! It’s that miraculous source from the heavens that keeps on giving. Who knew you could recycle breast milk?
Researchers reveal that there are lots and lots of uses for breast milk that many people probably were clueless about, Check out some other uses:
1. Pink eye breast milk (eye infections). You can put a few drops of breast milk into baby’s eyes or any family members who are suffering from pink eye. The breast milk will keep the area clean and will initiate healing. You can do this as often as possible.
2.Eye puffiness or redness. Wonderful for removing puffiness and is used just as you would cows milk for the same purpose. Dab on with some cotton wool.
3. Opening a stuffy nose. Breast milk is natural and a great alternative to medications which might even make the situation worse. Just squirt a few drops into baby’s nose while he is lying down, then use a bulb to suction the excess out from his nose.
4. Sore throats and mouth sores. Swirling some of the breast milk around in the mouth and even gargling with it can help. Even a breastfed baby can be given some breast milk in a cup to rinse out the mouth.
5. Eczema and other skin rashes. Breast milk will keep the skin clean and will prevent flare ups. Just apply a layer of breast milk to the area and allow to air dry.
6. Dry skin. Using breast milk as a moisturizer.
7.Cradle cap. Just apply to baby’s scalp a few times per day.
8. Breast milk diaper rash. Using breast milk to treat and prevent normal nappy rash.
9. Breast milk ear infections. Squirt a few drops inside the ear for healing and some pain relief. (can be used for infants and grown-ups)
10. Insect bites. Rub a small amount on the bite to relieve the itching and promote the healing process.
11. Chicken pox. Apply the breast milk on the skin to relieve itching just as you would any other ointment.
12.Warts. Apply daily on the wart until it dries up and falls off.
13. Treating sore nipples. Putting some breast milk on your nipples can often heal them faster than any over the counter nipple cream. It can also prevent cracking by keeping them supple.
14. Immune boost. Older children can be given a glass of breast milk or more everyday to boost their immune systems and keep them from becoming ill.
15. Ease cold/flu symptoms. Get over your cold quicker with some liquid gold breast milk. Drink as much as you can.
16. Make-up remover. Breast milk can naturally and easily remove eye make-up.
17. Skin cleanser. Breast milk will gently cleanse your skin and can prevent acne because of its antibacterial properties.
M

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EcoFriday: DIY Tips with Mom-to-Be ‘FABLife’s Leah Ashley (VIDEOS)

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So here’s what happened.

A little while ago, I got the heads up from the folks on the new lifestyle talk show FABLife  about an episode where the daily show’s DIY enthusiast and Lifestyle specialist Leah Ashley did an awesome upcycle job turning a pair of baby cribs into children’s desks.

Ashley co-hosts  the show along with show creator Tyra Banks and our Bellyitch Bumpwatch mom-to-be Chrissy Teigen, design stylist Lauren Makk and Fashion expert Joe Zee.

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On the show, Ashley helped a mom to quadruplets go through the kids’ grandmom’s garage and pull out their old cribs and eventually convert them into two awesome kids’ desk workstations! Amazing. You can see the clip here!

Perfect for our occasional Eco-Friday segments on the blog.

On the episode with the cribs transformation, I noticed that Ashley was also preggers and naturally, being obsessed with pregnant women, I started to do some online research and landed on her Living with Leah Facebook page and soon learned that the YouTube Star turned regular DIY featured guest for several TV shows is expecting her first child, a son, Finn with her husband of about a year.

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She had a baby shower on the show recently and then had one with an audience full of other expecting women.

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And I also discovered that Ashley has been rocking her stylish looks on her channel and on air during the daily talk show.

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And Ashley also shares some pretty cool DIY vids that moms-to-be could appreciate, like this video on how to make  your own baby shower ornaments and items:

.How to make a Baby Mobile!

Ashley even took her fans into her own baby shower at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills, California!

 And she recently gave out Nursery tips this week!

We also dug the Baby Shower Bites that Teigen whipped up for Ashley’s on-air baby shower
 

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Eco-Friday: Why You Need to Reduce the Rinse When Dishwashing

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It’s been a while since we brought you an Eco-Friday post with tips on how to lean a greener life. Here are some tips about conserving water while dishwashing.

Consumers often think that investing in new home appliances is one way to save energy, water and money. Newer appliances will run more efficiently simply by being new. Appliances in your hope can help you save the earth, and money on the water bill.

Reducing the rinse is one way to do so. People tend to think that hand-washing and pre-washing are ways to go when it comes to water conservation, but that is quite the opposite. Hand washing alone uses 84% more water than running a load in the dishwasher.

Samsung brings you this infographic on the importance of not washing dishes by hand, pre-rinsing or soaking and other water wasting steps families take that are not eco-friendly.

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Eco-Friday: Father’s Day grilling guide for vegetarians!

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Most people are looking forward to grilling for the 4th of July holidays, but how about starting a bit early and turning the tables on the grill master and grilling for dad on Father’s Day?To be greener, ditch the wood and go for propane or natural gas for the grill which are more cleaner and efficient. Pick up some hot dogs and burgers and consider organic and grass-fed beef, which is not only better for the planet, but more nutrient-rich and lower in saturated fat

Grab some multi-grain buns which are healthier and better for you and dad.

Pick up some ketchup, chips, veggies and head outdoors.

Since meat production is tough on the environment, going meatless reduces your carbon footprint and is a more healthier option.

For dads and relatives that are vegans and vegetarians, our friends at Veggie Patch want you to pick up some of these goodies:

Good Grillin’ – Veggie Patch’s Ultimate Meatless Burger is the better-for-you burger that contains 2/3 less fat than ground beef burgers.  Toss on the grill, top with Tribe’s Classic Hummus and serve on a whole wheat bun.

The Perfect Platter – Serve something simple such as fresh veggies and Tribe’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. This easy-to-prepare platter will have your guests asking for more.

Veggie Patch Veggie Dogs are a good source of protein and contain zero grams of trans fat. Serve them spicy with honey mustard, ketchup and a bit of heat from chopped jalapenos.

Kids’ Table Classics – Veggie Patch Broccoli Bites with Cheese are made with real vegetables, perfect for the little ones!

Celebrate Dad this Sunday, Have Fun and Enjoy!

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