Balanced Living » March/April ‘12

Yogurt Cups Get Their Day of Glory

If are like me, you always feel guilty throwing away cottage cheese, yogurt, and three bean salad containers. Thinking there has to be a better way!  There is! As of January 1st, Veolia Waste Removal started taking ALL plastic containers! All of them! So no longer do you have to store #5s to take them to Whole foods the next time you’re heading to the cities. No more saving them in your basement to send to Gimme 5, where you pay the shipping. No more guilt for eating your Stoneybrook Vanilla every morning. Plus they also take the deli containers that your ham spread or potato salad comes in, which are generally #7. So begin noticing people! Look at your plastics and if it’s #1-#7, you are free and clear to take it out with your trash.  And enjoy the feeling of doing one more good thing today!

Who Would Have Thought …

That olive oil is a great makeup remover. It is cheaper than cosmetic removers and serves as a great moisturizer.  That is about as organic as you are going to get.

Keep Recycling Those Batteries

A whopping 13.1 percent increase over 2010, totaling more than 7.6 million pounds of rechargeable batteries collected for recycling.

Since 1994, Call2Recycle has diverted more than 70 million rechargeable batteries from landfills with the help of a network of 30,000 drop-off locations.

Sprint Goes Greener

Sprint announced in early January that it will require all new phones to go through third-party testing to improve repairability, recyclability, and energy efficiency.

The testing criteria, includes materials used, impact on health and environment, energy management, sustainable innovation, performance, and product stewardship.

Through the 2012 standard, which includes packaging as well as product design criteria, Sprint will also introduce a line of sustainable packing materials for its phones. To up the green factor of its packaging, the company plans to eliminate plastic laminate, print with vegetable-based or low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) inks and use water-based or eco-friendly adhesives.

New packaging standards are expected to encourage the reduction of packaging volume and size, increase the use of recycled fiber and post-consumer waste, and minimize the use of glues, inks, labels, and plastics.

To learn more about green phones visit Earth911.org.

Woof Woof Wash

GOOD TO KNOW: A helpful blend of essential oils made just for our four-legged friends! This soap is sure to get rid of those pesky fleas and keep mosquitoes away! Gentle enough for sensitive skin.

ELEMENT: Water, Fire
$4.00, mycleanaura.com

Spinach Strength

We all know where Popeye got his strength from, but did you know it may have kept him skinny too? Swedish researchers have discovered that spinach contains thylakoid, a substance which slows down metabolism. When fed to rats, those who ate the spinach with thylakoid gained less weight and had lower blood sugars and blood fats.

Sweet Dreams

Did you know that our sleep duration and quality depends on our sex, race, and socioeconomic status? University of Chicago researchers discovered that African Americans sleep less than Whites and men sleep less than women. The mean scores are as follows: Time spent in bed: 7.5 hours; Time to fall asleep: 21.9 minutes; Sleep duration: 6.1 hours; Time spent sleeping: 80.9 %.

We have all experienced those sleepless nights. Give these ideas a try the next time you are counting your 276th sheep.

Guided Imagery: A study in 2007 in Brazil found that 12 insomniacs slept better after listening to guided imagery CDs for 5 consistent weeks.

Herbal Tea: Many herbs like passionflower, chamomile and skullcap have sedative properties.  Look for them in tea form at your natural health food store and relax with a cup about an hour before you head to bed.

5-HTTP: This is a new drug that is derived form tryptophan, which helps up serotonin levels, a brain chemical that helps regulate sleep. Natural Medicine doctors recommend taking 1 capsule of 100 milligrams nightly.

Smart Tips

Tired of sweeping out the soot in your fireplace?
Add ½ cup of salt to natural wood every time you burn; the sodium chloride forms a weak acid that dissolves the creosote (black soot) that is left after a fire.

Have a dresser knob that won’t stay tight no matter how many times you’ve tried?
Unscrew the knob and coat the screw with clear nail polish. Reassemble while wet. When the nail polish dries, the knob will be glued in place.

Clean candleholders are right around the corner.
Mist the inside of a candle holder with cooking spray and a few drops of water before inserting your candles. The oil stops the wax from sticking to the sides of the glass, and the water provides moisture, which allows the burned candle to be easily removed.

Good Stats

HEALTHIER FOR ME AND MY CHILDREN: Number one motivator cited by parents for choosing organic for the third consecutive year.

78% of U.S. families are buying organic food, up from 73% in 2009.

Four in Ten families are buying more organic products than they were a year ago.

Seventy Two Percent of parents are familiar with the USDA Organic seal, up from 65% in 2009.

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