Monthly Archives: April 2010

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There Are No Polar Bears in Brooklyn

I know it sounds crazy for me to being saying this on a rather “green” blog, but…

I don’t know what my carbon footprint is or what my greenhouse gas emissions are. I don’t count each and every kilowatt on my electric bill, I didn’t install solar panels on my roof, and I haven’t taken any steps to save the polar bears.

Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those things.

But there just aren’t any polar bears in Brooklyn where I live.

Where I live, the only green that most people are interested in is the kind that you pay bills with. So my perspective on being green is a little bit different. At my house we recycle and we reuse as much as possible. We sell things on ebay and give to goodwill before throwing things out. We no longer use paper towels, we print on both sides of copy paper before we shred them to use as packing material. I plan to start composting next . I make our laundry soap, our dishwashing detergent, our air freshener, our body creams and anything else I can think up and we don’t use bleach or harsh chemicals. We have power strips and dimmers in each room so that we turn electronics off when we’re not using them and we keep the thermostat at around 68 degrees. We use reusable grocery bags and we own energy star appliances. For the second year in a row, I’m growing a container vegetable garden.

BUT Continue reading

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I Found My Favorite Hair Styling Tool at an Auto Parts Store

Believe it. I went with Sexy (my husband) one day to AutoZone because he needed some things for his car, and as I passed the “Car Detailing” Aisle I stopped dead in my tracks and backed up. There was an entire row of microfiber cloths, chamois and other detailing cloths. First, I thought about how I could use the smaller multi-pak ones to clean with, since we stopped using paper towels. But then, I saw the biggest microfiber cloth I’d ever seen, and all I could think about was my HAIR.

Microfiber is highly absorbent and I kept hearing about these great microfiber towels that you can dry your hair with that will preserve and not break your curls when drying it! But every time I found one I liked, it always cost like $20 per towel, and that, my friends, is NOT in the budget. But here before me, in Aisle 6 of AutoZone, was a microfiber towel for less than $10! And it wasn’t one of those 12 x 12 ones that you dust with either. It was 28.5″ x 40″! I immediately grabbed it and ran over to Sexy and started raving about how fabulous it was and he gave me the same look that I guess most men give their women who start rambling on about a non-masculine subject in an auto-supply store, and just said “OK” and headed off to the register.

Well folks…

I

LOVE

THIS

TOWEL Continue reading

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Life Star Beauty Health and Hair Challenge 2010

Vida Starr, a fellow blogger from Life Star Beauty contacted me recently about a Health/Hair challenge that she’s having on her blog starting May 1st! Here’s the scoop…

Many of you know the relationship between a healthy lifestyle and healthy hair. We know the importance of drinking more water, eating healthy veggies and proteins, and definitely getting more exercise. Well www.lifestarbeauty.com has a hair challenge that incorporates them all! This hair challenge will take place in stages because for many of us it is difficult to abruptly start a new routine. Stages help to make sure we slowly incorporate each of these things into our routines!

May 1st (Stage 1): Drink at least 5 bottles of water (that’s 10 glasses of water at 8 oz) a day. It is recommended you drink 2 bottles before lunch. Also, eat one serving of green veggies per meal. If you don’t want any veggies at breakfast you can swap it for one serving of fruit. Remember to snack on fruits/veggies between meals.

June 1st (Stage 2): Eat salmon AT LEAST once a week. Salmon is a food that is loaded with omega 3’s, protein, and Vitamin B-12 which contributes to scalp health. A healthy scalp leads to healthy hair. If you don’t like/don’t prefer/can’t afford salmon you can replace it with other fish/foods high in protein. Two tablespoons of ground flaxseed included in your daily diet will also contribute to scalp health. Continue reading

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Quick Tomato-Avocado Snack

Whoops! I was supposed to post-this yesterday for “Meatless Monday” but I guess I’ll share it with you for “Meatless Tuesday” LOL. This is a great low-calorie, filling snack that you can make quickly. It  has “good” fats in it like olive oil and avocado and since there’s no cooking involved, you can do it at the office or where ever. The best part? The ingredients are CHEAP!

Quick Tomato-Avocado Snack

Ingredients:
2 slices organic beefsteak tomato (those are the big ones!)
1/2 hass avocado (those are the small bumpy ones, sometimes called “california” avocados)
A few leaves of fresh basil (optional)
2 organic brown rice cakes or toasted whole grain bread
cracked pepper
sea salt
1 tsp olive oil Continue reading

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A Cheap Easy Way To Clean Sterling Silver

I watched my brothers do this once at my mom’s house, and was fascinated. (We’re all geeks so it doesn’t take much). As an example, I’m using a piece of sterling silver flatware from my grandmother’s collection. This works for Jewelry as well as silverware however.

Materials:
1 aluminum pie plate, pan or aluminum foil (this is important!)
1-2 tbsps of baking soda
2 cups of hot water (not quite boiling) Continue reading

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Savvy’s on The Nappturalite Radio Show Tomorrow!

Hey folks! I’m going to be on the Nappturalite Radio Show on blogtalkradio.com tomorrow 3pm – 4pm PST/5pm – 6pm CST/6pm – 7pm EST. I’ll be co-hosting with show creators Dawn Yerger and Jaye Reliford. I’ll be talking about how ingredients in our diet, beauty and cleaning products affect our health and our hair, and what are some affordable solutions.

The guest on this week’s show will be Mahisha Dellinger, creator of CURLS natural hair products Continue reading

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Coupon Sherpa’s Eco Frugal Life Guide

I mentioned Coupon Sherpa in another post this week 15 Healthy and Green Ways to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill Now. It’s a coupon aggregate site, which means it gathers online coupons from many different sources and many different stores. Not all of the grocery coupons are healthy, BUT I did find coupons for Newman’s Own and Morningstar Farms and a few other healthy foods. The Sherpa is also good for printable discounts at clothing and retail stores like the Gap, Target, Sports Authority and Kohls. They even have online coupons and discounts for various retail websites. My favorite find, however is the Coupon Sherpa App for the iPhone. (Y’all don’t know but I’m a geek from WAY back), which actually allows you to download a coupon while your shopping, and then creates an onscreen barcode that can be scanned at checkout! (Modern technology, gotta love it!)

Last week, Coupon Sherpa added something new to it’s site, it added The Eco Frugal Life Guide. Which is actually,  a pretty good read. It talks about real-life tips and tricks to saving money. Everything from food storage and energy efficient appliances to natural beauty and electricity-free exercise! There’s even a section on travel and green savings for kids. Continue reading

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What is Earth Day?

Earth Day was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental day of speeches and events held on April 22, 1970 and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. Senator Nelson hand-picked Denis Hayes, a Harvard grad-student, activist and environmentalist to organize the first Earth Day events in the US. It was created to inspire concern and knowledge about nature and expose polluters. Earth Day marked the beginning of the modern environmental movement. Approximately 20 million Americans participated. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife. It has grown from a day to be celebrated to an entire week of activities and environmental issues.

In 1989 Hayes created Green Seal, a non-profit group that created science-based environmental standards to help consumers make green choices about products they buy, and to hold manufacturers that list with them to environmental standards. The “Green Seal” is still in use today. Hayes took Earth Day international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations. Earth Day is now observed each year on April 22 in virtually Continue reading

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Dangers of Hydrogenated “Anything” Oil

Any oil in it’s naturally occurring state is a liquid. That’s common knowledge. However, when you hydrogenate an oil, you turn it into a solid. That’s why margarine can be made from sunflower oil and corn oil. Hydrogenated vegetable oil is made by removing all nutrients, smell, taste and impurities from vegetable seeds and bleaching them. Then the seeds are pressed into oil which is heated at a high temperature. Nickel (yes, the same metal that’s hidden between the cushions of your couch right now) is then added as a catalyst. (A catalyst is a substance that instigates a chemical reaction in another substance). If nickel isn’t used, many times platinum or palladium is used. The metal is then filtered out leaving hydrogenated vegetable oil, which is now a thick viscous substance. Water, whey, food coloring, emulsifiers and other items are then added to make margarine. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil is also called Trans Fat.

Why would someone want to go through all of this to make a product?

Manufacturers like this process because it creates a substance that will stay solid at room temperature and has a long shelf life. It means they can sell products and not have to worry about their freshness! (There’s a reason why that Hostess cupcake can stay in the cupboard forever).

Why is it Hydrogenation Bad for us?

The process of hydrogenation changes the molecular structure of a natural substance into an unnatural one. Our bodies have never had to deal with anything like it in it’s evolution, and we can’t fully process it. EVER. Traces of those heavy metals used in the processing,  (nickel, palladium, and platinum) are filtered out, but NOT removed, so they end up in our bodies as well. Trans fats are similar in structure to the thickening agents used in making soaps and candles. In our bodies, they thicken and harden, and as a result lower HDL (good cholesterol), raise LDL (bad cholesterol) and harden arteries over time because they cannot be fully digested.

Trans Fats are also linked to the onset of insulin-resistant Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity and even cellulite. Think about it. Food that your body cannot properly Continue reading