Make Your Home Green!

Building Green What would it be worth to get advice on how to make smart purchases for your home; purchases that are not only good for your health, but good for the planet? What if that advice came from the ‘Father of the Green Building Movement”? You have the opportunity to get that with David Gottfried, […]

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World Water Conditions

World Water Conditions Water. We take it for granted, but though it covers 70 percent of our planet, all that water isn’t necessarily accessible — or useable due to poor water conditions. Eleven percent of the global population does not have access to clean and safe water. To put this in perspective, that’s double the […]

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Building Green

Sick Buildings We spend most of our waking hours, in fact, most of our lives, inside buildings – schools, offices apartments. What many don’t realize is that this time spent inside is making us sick. There is a term called Sick Building Syndrome (SBS). SBS describes the situation where the time people spend in a […]

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Green Your Cleaning Routine With These DIY Ideas

Spring is always a good time to review your cleaning routine. If you’re looking to get away from chemicals and add more natural products in your home, here are a few options to get you started. Switching to a green cleaning routine can save you money in some cases, and spare you exposure to harsh chemicals tied to health problems such as asthma, allergies, hormone disruption and even cancer.

Simple is best: A couple of budget-friendly solutions are vinegar and baking soda. Mix in a bit of warm water to either of the two and you have an instant all-purpose cleaner. A vinegar (distilled or white is best) and water solution works for polishing metal, cleaning bathroom tile and sanitizing the garbage disposal. Baking soda can be used as an air freshener and carpet cleaner.

Start in the kitchen: If you want to go the natural route when it comes to cleaning, look no further than your own kitchen. Many foods can do double duty as cleaning products. Club soda can remove stains from clothing and carpeting. You can use a lemon wedge to clean and remove stains from wood cutting boards. Plus, you can put slices of lemon down the garbage disposal to deodorize.

Use natural scents: Pungent, store-bought air fresheners can be replaced with milder scents such as fresh flowers. You can also boil cinnamon sticks or vanilla on your stovetop to create a delicious aroma. Freshly baked cookies also give your home a lovely scent.

Go-to brands: If you prefer to skip the DIY route, there are plenty of green cleaning products on the market:

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day: This line of household cleaning products is available nationwide and uses plant-derived ingredients and essential oils. Dish soap, multi-purpose cleaners, laundry supplies and air fresheners are among their best sellers.

Dr. Bronner’s: The brand claims its Castile Liquid Soaps are gentle enough for washing body, face or hair, but also strong enough for dishwashing, mopping, laundry and even pest control.

The Honest Company: This celebrity-endorsed line of bath and body, and home cleaning products comes in stylish, eco-friendly packaging. While it’s best known for its monthly subscription-based shipments of diapers and other baby products, the brand can now also be found in Target, Whole Foods Market, Costco and Nordstrom, among other stores. No monthly subscription needed.

Green Your Cleaning Routine With These DIY Ideas is a post from: Well.org. Well.org designed and built by Colorado Local SEO marketing company 21st Century Technologies, Inc.

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Commentary: Happy Earth Day! How Far We’ve Come… And Still Need To Go

When Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth came out, it sparked a lot of controversy and discussion about the health of our planet. It opened eyes and reinvigorated the green movement in America, helping expand it across the world.

This is when we realized that mankind can’t keep operating the way it has been by harvesting and polluting Earth without care. Many people began doing their part to try and stop climate change through things like recycling, composting and taking shorter showers.

The government has stepped in by passing legislation to help encourage homes and businesses to go green. Loans were given out to businesses focused on helping the environment through things like clean energy. The wind industry may not be around today if not for the “green stimulus” built into the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

It’s been awhile since any real big legislative change has been set regarding the environment. The last major environmental act passed by Congress was the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which created laws for MPG in future vehicles, increased production in biofuels and refined standards for appliances and lighting.

But recently, some push did come from the White House when President Barack Obama, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy came together to talk about how the environment affects our health. They said as emissions levels rise, people with asthma face increased risks and the rest of the population will suffer from spikes in insect-borne diseases. Though this discussion is definitely a much-needed shake up of the status quo we’ve been stuck in, much more still needs to be done.

Solar panels on residential properties are taking off, but citizens still need to be educated about the incentives and the process that helps most homeowners save money.

Another problem is fracking regulations. Fracking, the method used for extracting natural gas, can cause more seismic activity around the site and also has the potential to contribute to drinking water contamination. Plus, the liquid chemicals used in fracking is a major concern.

Not many long-term studies have been done on fracking, because it’s only been used widely in the last couple of decades. Other methods should be researched and funded as alternatives to fracking.

Deforestation is still a huge problem in places such as Africa and South America. This is a huge problem as it contributes to the greenhouse effect while also displacing much of the wildlife in the area. According to the 2010 Global Forest Resources Assessments, deforestation releases almost a billion tons of carbon each year.

Finally, more regulation is needed for the use of pesticides. When some pesticides are messing with bees and others are being linked to ADHD, something has to be done.

The path to a greener Earth is a long and hard one, but it’s a battle worth fighting. Be sure to write your representatives and let them know you want them to help preserve the planet for future generations. If you want to help more directly, find an environmentally-focused volunteer organization [...]

Commentary: Happy Earth Day! How Far We’ve Come… And Still Need To Go is a post from: Well.org. Well.org designed and built by Colorado Local SEO marketing company 21st Century Technologies, Inc.

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Start Your Own Urban Farm

One way to get the most out of your house, condo or apartment and eat better while doing it is to start your own fruit and vegetable garden. Scott Murray has some advice.

Murray is an organic farmer, sustainable development consultant and co-owner of Edge of Urban Farm in San Diego County. His current project is the restoration and development of a 250-acre historic farm owned by the county. On the site, his 15-acre organic farm feeds a neighboring boarding school and supplies local Whole Foods Markets with fruits and vegetables.

Murray says, “Eating is really the only solution” to much of what ails us these days. Eating right, that is. No fad diets with unbalanced or flat-out bad nutrition. Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential. So, aspiring urban farmers should keep in mind the following things:

*An urban garden can be started anywhere in your home that gets at least some sunlight. Raised planter boxes in your front or back yard are ideal, obviously, but small patios and balconies, even window sills can work.

*“All you need is enough space to hold a magazine on the counter of your kitchen because you can have four-quart jars of sprouts,” Murray says. “If you start sprouts every four to seven days, you can even have a continuous supply depending upon the variety of sprout. If you just have space on a window sill, you might be able to have three or four 6-inch pots, each with a different herb in it, like a chive plant, a thyme plant, a parsley plant. These you can harvest and use directly in your food very quickly, and they’re wonderful. If you have a little more space for maybe 1-gallon to 5-gallon pots on that little tiny balcony or something, then you can grow many different plants in those pots.”

*Planting sprouting seeds over regular seeds can be more nutritious and give a budding gardener a bit more momentum. Murray suggests “a quarter a cup of garbanzo beans in a cup of water, soak them overnight, drain that water off the next day, and start rinsing the seeds and keeping them moist in the jar. The jar can be open with a ventilated cap or a piece of cheesecloth. Twice a day, we rinse those seeds to get them moist and carry away the waste products, and they’ll sprout.”

*Don’t go to the store and buy just any old bag of dirt. Murray says we must think of soil as “a whole ecology that is growing our food.” Organic soil specifically designed to grow vegetable or fruit trees – depending on what you want to grow – is where you start, but expect to add things to it later like worms and composted material to enhance and “build the life of the soil.”

*Create a compost pile (the saving of various organic materials to use the nutrients naturally created from decomposition) in your yard or even in a can on a balcony. Pre-made composters are also available.

*And lastly, be patient. “There’s going [...]

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One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Compost

Welcome to Composting 101 What’s Compost? Compost is just decomposed organic materials. While composting may seem complicated, it’s actually really simple and easy to do. Composting involves a combination of digested and undigested food that is left on the forest (or your garden) floor. The end product is a rich, soft soil. It’s amazing how […]

One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Compost is a post from: Well.org. Well.org designed and built by Colorado Local SEO marketing company 21st Century Technologies, Inc.

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Air Pollution and Mercury Raise Risk of Autism in Children

Recent studies link exposure to air pollution during pregnancy to the rise in autistic children. Pregnant women exposed to diesel particulates and mercury were twice as likely to have a child with autism. Can we clean up our act in hopes of a brighter future? It’s not unknown that air pollution affects brain development, but […]

Air Pollution and Mercury Raise Risk of Autism in Children is a post from: Well.org. Well.org design and built by Colorado Local SEO marketing company 21st Century Technologies, Inc.

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