The Green Beauty Movement: fad or new direction in the beauty industry?

The Green Beauty Movement: fad or new direction in the beauty industry?

Last month, actress Olivia Wilde was named “chief brand activist” for True Botanicals, a luxury skin care and makeup line that leverages science and technology to create toxin-free products. She is not the only A-list celebrity promoting green beauty products. Emma Watson, currently on tour promoting her “Beauty and the Beast” movie, is using the opportunity to call attention to the eco-friendly products she uses in her beauty routine. In 2015, Gwyneth Paltrow began a partnership with Juice Beauty organic beauty products as the company’s Creative Director of Makeup and in partnership with her own green venture, Goop. Also in 2015, Jessica Alba and Chris Gavigan’s successful eco-venture Honest Co. which markets to moms and their tots, expanded its line to include skin care, cosmetics, and hair care products.

The significance of these endorsements and ventures goes beyond the usual lamentations about famous people latching onto the latest beauty fads. I believe they signal a major shift in the beauty industry, one that reflects consumers’ growing awareness and alarm about the prevalence of harmful chemicals in most commercial personal care products, chemicals that have contributed to an epidemic of chronic allergies, ailments and diseases. Cosmetics are no exception: the chemicals they contain have been linked to symptoms ranging from skin rashes to cancer.

Read More

Be Power Smart This Summer (infographic)

Be Power Smart This Summer (infographic)

guest post by Jennifer Adams, with introductory paragraph by Green and Prosperous

Energy waste is a problem that most developed, and developing, nations are guilty of, with the US and UK being among the top 5 nations that contribute most to energy waste. The problem isn’t only an environmental one: it costs businesses and households billions of dollars and pounds each year, consigns millions of homes to fuel poverty, and squanders opportunities to put all that wasted energy to use in the renewables industry to provide resources for domestic, commercial, and industrial markets.

Many people think of winter as the season with the greatest energy use, as people consume more fuel in order to heat their homes and businesses. However, with temperatures in many parts of the world reaching unprecedented highs, cooling structures eats up an enormous amount of fuel, too. Whatever the season, it’s increasingly important to find ways to decrease our energy consumption. The infographic below contains many tips to help you cut consumption and energy costs at the same time.

Read More

Organic vs. Non-GMO Labels

Organic vs. Non-GMO Labels

Guest post by PacMoore

There was a time fairly recently where you were lucky if food labels listed the ingredients. In keeping with the Information Age, however, today there’s a surplus of information on labels in every aisle of the grocery store. Food labels tell you what’s in your food, how many calories it contains, how large a portion is, and so on and so forth. And, as the food industry and consumers continue to become more demanding, the amount of information those labels contain is increasing.

For example, more people today are apprehensive about eating non-organic foods or foods prepared with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), so organizations such as the USDA and the Non-GMO Project are labeling foods to help consumers make better-informed decisions. For many people, especially people trying to uphold a vegan diet, food labeling has become an important component of their lifestyles.

Read More

Get Ready for Summer with These Organic Non-toxic Sunscreens

Get Ready for Summer with These Organic Non-toxic Sunscreens

Summer is coming really fast and the sunlight is getting stronger.

Basically, sun exposure is very beneficial for us, especially if we work long hours in an office with artificial lighting. Natural sunlight stimulates vitamin D production in the body. And as we know, vitamin D is extremely important for developing our bone structure, boosting our natural immune system, and even healing from and preventing depression and anxiety!

On the other hand, it is also very important to take sun baths with caution and to always use sunscreen. The rule also applies in winter when the snow reflects the sun rays even more strongly. Unfortunately, most commercial sunscreens contain lots of unhealthy and toxic substances that may do us more harm than good.

Read More

7 Ways to Make Your Campsite Greener

7 Ways to Make Your Campsite Greener

Camping is one of the most enjoyable things there is. It is the perfect way to bond as a family and allow yourself the luxury of enjoying the fresh air. It’s good for your health and can really help you to disconnect from our social media drenched world and restart your mind a little bit.

The only problem is that camping tends to be rather detrimental to the environment. We tend not to think about places that we are only inhabiting temporarily; this is a malaise that affects pretty much all of humanity.

Thankfully, there is a way to be a little eco-friendlier while camping. Listed below are seven ways that you can make your campsite greener, so pack your tent and your tree climbing harness and get ready to have fun that won’t impact the environment in a negative way!

Read More

How to Build a Sustainable Garden

How to Build a Sustainable Garden

Guest post by Matthew Smith

According to the Brundtland Report, created by the United Nations back in 1978, sustainability or sustainable development includes design, construction, operations and maintenance practices that meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. In other words, being sustainable means being able to recognize the importance of thinking ahead, not looking for and applying short-term solutions for benefit.

Nowadays, it is becoming even more important to be aware of the exact impact of your actions on your community and ways to minimize the possibility of further, unnecessary damage.

Even though humans are becoming well aware of the terrible influence they've had on the planet, green solutions are usually expensive. There are, though, solutions which are cost friendly.

Read More

Tackling Food Waste Starts in Your Kitchen

Tackling Food Waste Starts in Your Kitchen

guest post by Jodii Helmer via eReplacement Parts

Today’s guest blog post tackles the subject of food waste, which is a major problem around the world. It is an issue that many people don’t think about, or associate primarily with farms, which experiences a loss of about 30% of their produce annually, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. In the US and Europe, much of this waste happens because the food on farms is considered “unfit” for consumer markets.

Did you know, however, that much more food waste occurs in individual homes? This means that each person has the ability to address this major environmental problem by making a few changes in how they handle the food they buy and eat. Click here to read the full article and find out more; there’s also a helpful infographic in the article, and included on this page, that also breaks down what you need to know!

Read More

How to Jump Start Your Spring Planting

How to Jump Start Your Spring Planting

This is the first in a 3-part series of posts on gardening

Are you excited about the idea of unplugging for a while and getting in the garden to grow delicious fruits, herbs, and veggies, but still haven’t quite gotten to the point of translating that enthusiasm into action? Or maybe the weather hasn’t quite cooperated – if you’re living in a climate like mine that’s cold one week and hot the next, rainy for two days in a row and boiling hot afterwards, then you may have to take a few extra steps this growing season. But there’s certainly plenty of time to still have a healthy, abundant harvest in as little as a few weeks.

If you want to go beyond planting just a thing or two to eat, or need detailed advice about how to grow food you can eat every week, even if you don’t have much space to work with, you can find out a lot more information in my second green guidebook, Go Green without Going Broke.

On the other hand, if you just want a few bits of advice, read on...

Read More

Boosting Your Brain with All-Natural Vitamin Supplements

Boosting Your Brain with All-Natural Vitamin Supplements

guest post by Amy Trotter

Ever been asked how your mental faculties are? Probably not, or at the very least the question was likely posed in a more commonplace way of asking. But let’s take a look at the question just exactly as it is here, and start by weighing the meaning of the word ‘faculties’ in this context.

Merriam-Webster - the world’s premier online dictionary - provides 4 definitions for faculty. Definition 1b applies here, ‘an inherent capability, power, or function’

  • Capability
  • Power
  • Function

Does that sound like you and your brain? If so, great: your mental faculties are going strong. If not, perhaps you’d like to learn more about natural supplements to boost brain power. They do exist, and more than likely they can be found at your local pharmacy or health and wellness store.

Read More

The Brutal, Honest Truth about Indoor Air Quality at Work

The Brutal, Honest Truth about Indoor Air Quality at Work

guest post by Todd Simpson

I recently had the opportunity to test the air quality in a building. This building does light fabrication and the owner wanted to know if the inside air is a problem to their employees. Does breathing 10 trillion particulates sound like a problem? Let me explain.

I use a Dylos machine to check the indoor air. There are two important numbers you need to know...

Read More

Eco-friendly cleaning? How to do it without the “greenwashing”

Eco-friendly cleaning? How to do it without the “greenwashing”

This is the second post in a 3-part series on green cleaning

A quick survey of store shelves these days will tell you that there are more options for purchasing “green” cleaning products than ever before. In North America, Europe, and Australia, the options for buying eco-friendly products reflect regional and class disparities: the coastal areas of the US tend to reflect current trends in eco-conscious lifestyles with greater ubiquity than the southeastern belt and Midwestern heartland, while generally, wealthier neighborhood stores offer more options for “eco-conscious” shopping than stores in poorer neighborhoods. With few exceptions, the cheaper the product, the more likely it is that the company that manufactured it will have engaged in “greenwashing.”

Read More

Picnic Tables That Help Solve a Plastic Problem

Picnic Tables That Help Solve a Plastic Problem

guest post by Mike Copsey

When consumers buy groceries, clothing, fast food or practically anything else, it almost always involves plastic. I don't mean the kind of plastic that has value like a credit card, but plastic that is worthless once used. Polyethylene terephthalate (PET or PETE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), polypropylene (PP) or even polystyrene (PS) are some of the most common types of plastic that you will buy, or have handed to you because of your purchase. We have become dependent on plastic. Plastic straws, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic milk jugs, bottled water in plastic bottles, plastic laundry soap containers, plastic siding, plastic insulation (polyurethane), plastic equipment cases, plastic coated cardboard containers for liquids like milk, plastic coated furniture and wood to make it last longer and even plastic trees. Try to think of purchases that didn't involve plastic! Manufacturers are designing products made of plastics that must be thrown away, which is a huge design flaw. Plastic is a great material when it is used in the right kinds of products -- like recycled plastic picnic tables.

Read More

Easy, natural spring cleaning tips

Easy, natural spring cleaning tips

Well Earth Day came and went and if you were in the US and blinked, you’d have missed the mainstream media coverage that marked the moment. No problem: as I wrote in a blog post to commemorate last year’s Earth Day, we don’t really need it anymore. Considering the near-steady diet of alarming environmental news we are treated to --natural disasters both looking and realized; contaminants in the water; stubborn spates of denial about the death-spiral of the fossil fuel industry era (tar sands pipelines, anyone?) –, we passed the need for Earth Day about 30 or so years ago...

Wanting to live more ethically is the first step in a long process of making it happen, and you may always fall short in the end. Reducing consumption is an important part of being green(er), and it may be the hardest one for many people to actually put into action.

Small steps are better than no steps at all.

This post offers one small – yet important – way you can reduce waste in your own home...

Read More

Spring planting: how to have an abundant harvest from late spring into late fall

Spring planting: how to have an abundant harvest from late spring into late fall

Growing some of your own food has numerous, scientifically proven physical, emotional, and mental health benefits. To anyone who has committed to a healthy lifestyle, it’s no surprise that eating a mostly plant-based diet is better for your health and can help you avoid some common pitfalls of aging, such as developing chronic inflammation and its associated illnesses. In the United States, food gardening is at its highest levels in the past decade, with the largest growth in participation among young households.

In my book, Go Green without Going Broke, I have written in detail about some of the benefits of growing your own food, and offered advice about how to do so, even if you’ve never grown anything before. Depending on the growing zone you live in, or the equipment at your disposal, you may have already started preparing your vegetable and herb garden by sowing seeds or transplanting seedlings. Today’s post focuses on a few key strategies that I have found to be very effective for reaping an abundant harvest that starts in spring and continues throughout the fall season, producing fresh food for you to enjoy for many months to come.

Read More

Natural Bathroom Cleaning Tips

Natural Bathroom Cleaning Tips

guest post from Erica Garlands, with slideshow by Modern Bathroom

(this is the first post in a 3-part series on Green Cleaning)

Did you know that there are 150 chemicals found in the home that are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and physiological disorders? And most of these chemicals are found in bathroom-cleaning products! Bathrooms are high traffic rooms, and obviously need to be kept clean due to the high level of germs that can collect in bathrooms. There are many cleaning options available to us, many containing harmful products, but there are ways to effectively clean by only using natural ingredients. Some of these natural ingredients include grapefruit, lemons, salt, and baking soda.

Read More

Can you really reduce inflammation with dietary changes? (roundup post)

Can you really reduce inflammation with dietary changes? (roundup post)

This post is the 3rd and final one in a 3-part series on chronic inflammation. For this post, I asked the opinions of four experts in the fields of medicine, wellness, and holistic healing for their advice on treating chronic inflammation with diet and herbs.

This roundup post is a little different from others you may have seen. In addition to the opinions of experienced professionals, it also refers you to several additional pieces of information – 3 clinical studies and online courses offered by 2 physicians -- that can help you learn more about the causes and health outcomes for chronic inflammation, and treatments that involve making dietary changes to reduce or eliminate it.

Even if you pursue a healthy lifestyle, eating well and exercising regularly, you may still be feeling fatigued, foggy, bloated, or experiencing joint pain or frequent respiratory infections. This roundup post + has something for anyone who may be feeling the effects of chronic inflammation, so read on…

Read More

5 Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime

5 Foods to Avoid Before Bedtime

Guest Post by Sarah Cummings

Is your sensitive stomach causing you sleep deprivation problems? Inflammation of the stomach lining can put your body in a state of shock, where lack of sleep will be the least of your worries. Over time it affects the function of other internal organs as well. Furthermore, this process can cause miscommunication issues in the endocrine system, eventually leading to many psychological complications.

To avoid all of these self-induced problems, all you need to do is pay attention to your diet so that every other piece of the puzzle falls into place and creates a healthy YOU. 

Read More

Some unexpected ways that gardening helps fight chronic inflammation

Some unexpected ways that gardening helps fight chronic inflammation

Last week I wrote that switching your home cleaning and personal care supplies to non-toxic varieties is a good way to decrease your chances of developing chronic inflammation. This week’s post discusses another strategy – gardening -- that also helps with prevention, and brings relief from chronic inflammation in ways you might not have realized.

I know what you’re thinking: grow the food that prevents or remedies inflammation, and it will help you make most of the food you eat plant-based. (Mostly plant-based diets have been clinically demonstrated to result in a dramatic decrease in the symptoms, health problems, and end results of chronic inflammation.) Well yes, that is true, and this post will give you some tips on what to grow, along with advice from an expert gardener about how best to grow it.

Read More

The disturbing connections between chemical pollution and chronic inflammation

The disturbing connections between chemical pollution and chronic inflammation

Chemical pollution affects us all in ways you may not realize. It is responsible for a significant amount of chronic illnesses in the U.S. While the poor are disproportionately affected, even the wealthy can’t escape some of the effects that chemical pollution is having on our collective health.

This is, at least in part, why agencies like the EPA were formed: to step in and address the problems that are not only harming the environment, but the health of ordinary, everyday people. That may end if the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts to the EPA are passed.

Read More