Posts tagged with products:

Green Spring Cleaning

The world has been tricked into thinking that the only way to get a sparkling clean kitchen is to wipe and spray every inch of our eating and living surfaces with toxic chemicals. But a few natural ingredients can do the trick for a fraction of the cost to your health and budget! 

Toxic Ingredients

To start with, begin looking for and avoiding harsh chemicals in your cleaners. Familiarize yourself with some of the following culprits: 

  • Chlorine bleach: Even short-term exposure can cause mild asthmatic symptoms or serious respiratory problems.
  • Ammonia: Used in many window and glass cleaners, it is a serious eye irritant that may cause headaches and lung irritation. 
  • Nitrobenzene: In furniture and floor polishes, it has been associated with skin discoloration, vomiting, cancer and birth defects. 
  • Petroleum: Many conventional detergents, solvents and polishes contain paraffin, mineral oil, diethylene glycol, perchloreothylene or butyl cellosolve - all of which are derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource whose refining process causes major pollution. 
  • Phthalates: While they make those perfume smells last longer, they are also linked to cancer and disease of the reproductive system in laboratory animals. 
  • Phosphates: Encourages algae growth in water systems, which damages other marine life. 

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 Choose Some Eco-Friendly Alternatives

  • Clean your sink with a sprinkle of baking soda and rub with a damp cloth. 
  • Nylon sponges are derived from petroleum, which means they are not recyclable or biodegradable. That Muppet-green sponge will live forever in a landfill somewhere. You can reduce the waste by using natural scrubbing options such as Cellulose sponges or natural sea sponges. Just pop them in boiling water for three to five minutes to disinfect.
  • Use a simple homemade natural antiseptic and antifungal spray by filling a bottle with water and ten drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil. 
  • For a variety of around the home cleaning uses check out: 51 Fantastic Uses For Baking Soda, 23 Ingenious Uses For White Vinegar, 22 Uses For Lemon Peels and How To Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit.

Earth-Conscious Companies

Here is a short list of a few companies I have tried or heard good things about. The top two are my personal favs featured in the pic above. :) 

What are some of your personal environmentally-friendly cleaning tips or tricks? Which green companies are your favs?

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Salad Serenity - what makes a salad even healthier?

For vegans, vegetarians, or people who just want to cut back their meat consumption, eating more salad is usually a no-brainer. Everybody likes at least one kind of salad and you can always discover new combinations that make your taste-buds twirl. Salads are the most versatile, customizable & nutritious meals; right up there with fruit smoothies! In my experience though, especially when eating out, not all salads are inherently healthy.

The key to a healthy salad is in the dressing. Most people are shocked to learn that most dressings heavy in oils & fats (like nearly all store bought varieties - check your labels) make your healthy green dish into the fat equivalent of a big mac with cheese! Nasty! You can avoid these fatty & over-processed dressings fairly easily though. For example: when I eat out with friends & family, I ask for dressing on the side so I can put on only as little as I want, or I get a small bowl of lemon, tomato and lime wedges to use instead! It sounds like slim pickins, but acidic and flavorful fruits can make the best light & healthy dressings! Some restaurants will go above and beyond and bring you whole bowls of fruit

Then there is Caesar salad. I love Caesar salads, truly. When I went vegetarian, I learned not long after about the animal products & bi-products in most Caesar dressings and I was crushed. There are some brands that are vegan or vegetarian friendly, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack if you’re a label-checker like me.  

So what do you do if you crave the Caesar-style but want to keep it clean? Check out this new completely raw, gluten-free & nut-free vegan dressing by RawFoodz!

It’s called Sea-Zar Serenity and it is 100% organic, raw, vegan, gluten and nut-free! Sounds pretty good right?Well to top it off it’s made in Toronto from a company that promises "no short cuts, no fillers, no preservatives and no regrets!" Now there’s a bottom line that I can get on board with! :) 

I was straight up impressed with the taste. For only 50 calories a tablespoon I was expecting something a little on the bland side, but it was light, zezty & full of the Caesar flavor that I know and love! I think I’ll be trying out a few other styles of dressing from these folks.

 If you’re interested in giving this healthier alternative a go, you can order their dressing with Eco-Place Organics Delivery this summer and The Meatless Market in London has started selling RawFoodz products as well! 

 Spring really is the perfect time for salad, don’t you think? ;)  

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Good for the Body, Earth & Soul

When I buy beauty products, I try to asses which item to purchase by asking myself if it’s good for my body (no harsh chemicals or toxins), good for the Earth (biodegradable and organic certified), & good for my soul (meaning I’ll feel no regret about the purchase; not tested on animals or containing any animal by-products).

When I was a teenager, I used to go out and buy whichever shampoo had the best commercials and not give it another thought. These days, I try to do a little research ahead of time and invest my money in a company who’s ideals and actions I can support. I believe that every time we make a purchase, we are voting for and offering up our silent approval of the company and whatever it is they might stand for. I’m not always perfect when it comes to finding biodegradable detergent, or paraben-free hand soap but over the years I’ve found some great products that I can feel good about reccomending to my friends and family.

My Most Loved Products: 

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Lush’s Ocean Salt - This is definitely my favourite cleanser. I only use it two or three times a week tops, so it really is a lot of bang for your buck. If you’re not prone to oily skin however, you may want to purchase the smaller container; these handmade products spoil a little faster than commercial products with preservatives.

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Lush’s Karma Soap - The patchouli and lemongrass smell is what keeps me buying this soap, and the fact that its vegan and cruelty-free. One bar lasts me quite a while and leaves my bathroom always smelling fun.

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100% Pure Cosmetics - I discovered this line of beauty products about a year ago and I absolutely fell in love with it! They are the first cosmetics line to be colored from antioxidant rich fruit and vegetable pigments and not synthetic dyes or minerals. Once again, since they are natural products, they spoil more quickly so  it’s best to buy smaller amounts than you usually might. But as certified organic, all natural goes, this is by far the best cosmetic line I have found.

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Yes To Carrots Shower Gel - Paraben free and organic. A solid bath or shower gel  for a good price. Leaves no residue or overwhelming scent on your skin.

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Avalon Organic’s Rosemary Shampoo & Conditioner - While a little on the pricey side, this shampoo has transformed my hair to deliciously bouncy and light locks instead of feeling greasy after one day. Paraben free and cruelty free, organic certified and 100% recyclable bottles: what more could you ask for in a shampoo?

What To Look For: 

  • Paraben/Phthalates/PCB-free: Contains no traces of these harsh chemicals. Parabens and phthalates are found in the ingredient list of a product, while PCBs can be found in the plastic of the product’s container.
  • USDA Organic certified: The Certified USDA Organic symbol is one of the most trustworthy labels around, especially on foods. But because the USDA only has jurisdiction over farm-raised ingredients, not all beauty product ingredients are regulated under this program.
  • 100% Organic: The product must contain only organically produced ingredients.
  • Organic: The product must contain at least 95% organically produced ingredients.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients: The product must contain at least 70% organically produced ingredients.
  • Organic Ingredients: Products which contain less than 70% organically produced ingredients can only include organic ingredients on its ingredients list, but these products cannot display the USDA Organic seal.
  • The IOS Natural & Organic Cosmetic certification: requires that all food ingredients be organic and that the company follow a strict set of eco-friendly guidelines, including use of recycled and fair trade materials and production methods with minimal environmental impact.

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Thanks for reading guys! Hope you found this helpful in someway! :) 

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