Top 4 ways to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle

Top 4 ways to lead an eco-friendly lifestyle

Guest post by Rosana Beechum

Due to the ongoing discussion about global warming and climate change, more people are starting to change their day-to-day behavior to help protect the planet. If you want to contribute to this, you’ll need to start making some adjustments that will help you do your part for the environment. The following tips can not only help you make a difference, they’ll also enable you to lead a healthier lifestyle.

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How Driving Commutes in Your State are Affecting Global Climate Change

How Driving Commutes in Your State are Affecting Global Climate Change

Infographic by Heidi Theil; with introduction by Green and Prosperous

Early yesterday morning I sat seething in my car after finishing a 1.5-hour commute (one way!) to my kids’ school, a journey that normally takes a little over half an hour. Among my gripes (Why is it that SOME folks just can’t drive in the rain? Why is public transportation here so much slower and more expensive than driving?) and promises (I will carpool to work next year when my kids can take the school shuttle; my next vehicle WILL be 100% electric) was a thought that I have often had while sitting in bad traffic in the metro Washington, D.C. area. How much longer can we keep up this love affair with our gas-powered vehicles before it’s too late to do anything about reversing climate change?

According to scientists, it’s under 12 years.

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Why Growing a Food Garden Is More Important Than Ever

Why Growing a Food Garden Is More Important Than Ever

(images from pexels.com and Green and Prosperous)

The industrial food system, sometimes referred to as industrial agriculture, or “big ag,” refers to the current system of commercial food production, which relies heavily on synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This system developed during World War II, when militaries relied on chemical weapons to fuel their war machines. After the war, the leftover chemicals began to be used in agricultural applications, enabling farmers to go from self-sufficiency to major commercial growth in a relatively short span of time. However, the technologies that enabled farming to go big also brought changes that are currently threatening the livelihood and health of farming families, their workers, the environment, and each one of us.

In other words, the food you eat is nowadays being produced in ways that are often detrimental to your health and the health of this planet. This is just one reason why more people are beginning to grow at least some of their own food at home, or in a community garden plot.

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Yogurt Bread

Yogurt Bread

In my last year of college, one of my housemates and best friends was a guy who knew how to make the best potato breads I’ve ever tasted. That was my introduction to bread making, and I’ve loved it ever since. Making bread at home is a pretty basic DIY skill that anyone can master with a little practice, and basic bread requires few ingredients – flour, water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Check the store brands you buy – most have added ingredients, and if you see a lot more ingredients in that list than the ones I’ve named above, then you know the bread is over-processed, full of preservatives, and possibly contains chemical substances – like phosphates -- that have been linked in clinical studies with intestinal inflammation, kidney disease, osteoporosis, and heart problems when they are eaten on a regular basis. Store-bought breads are also not cheap, and a single artisan loaf or “healthy” brand can cost $5 or more.

So learning to make bread at home can not only save you money, it can also help you avoid some of the health problems that come with regularly eating processed foods.

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Sustainable Food Initiatives and How Eco Labels Drive the Consumers (Infographic)

Sustainable Food Initiatives and How Eco Labels Drive the Consumers (Infographic)

Guest post by Hannah Findlay

Food has always been a big part of our lives. In the past it was either an object of constant worry for the poor, or a way for the rich to enjoy life through over-indulgent eating. Only in the past century have people started wondering about the healthfulness of our meals, and how food production is affecting the planet. Initially they were concerned about body image and health, the rising threat of cholesterol-related diseases and obesity, and finally people became aware of the dangers of unsustainable food production for future generations.

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Honey-roasted carrots with sesame seeds

Honey-roasted carrots with sesame seeds

This is one of my go-to quick and easy recipes for busy weekday nights. My kids love it, and it goes from the oven to the table in about 20 minutes. If you have kids who aren’t crazy about vegetables, this one might win them over with its sweet and salty taste. It goes well with rice and chicken, fish, or potatos. Alternatively, use it to add a light and sweet balance to heavy entrees. You can also make it a day ahead of time.

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Set for Your Spring Clean? These 50 Marie Kondo Quotes Will Help Motivate You

Set for Your Spring Clean? These 50 Marie Kondo Quotes Will Help Motivate You

Guest post by Natalie Atterbury

 

Have you KonMari’d any of your home or belongings yet? By now, you may have heard about Marie Kondo and her famous decluttering and tidying methods. Whether you’ve heard of her from her “Magic of Tidying Up” book, her very own (and very addictive) series on Netflix, or maybe you really haven’t ever heard of her before, this is one woman on a mission to make a difference with tidying and to change people’s perspective on clutter. Marie Kondo is an organising consultant and her “KonMari” method is to simplify and organise the home – just a quick warning though, her idea of clutter is probably far from your own idea of clutter.

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Eco-Friendly Parking Tips

Eco-Friendly Parking Tips

Guest post by Ian Todd

 

“Was this trip really necessary?” Motorists during World War II heard this phrase often because they were encouraged to avoid any unnecessary car trips. This was part of a larger concerted effort to prevent wasting precious resources in support of the war effort. Today, that phrase takes on new relevance. More people are aware of the effect they have on the environment throughout their everyday lives — especially when it comes to their driving habits. Although many people have taken steps such as buying hybrid or electric vehicles, there are some other, more surprising ways to reduce the emissions we contribute to the air. One of the most significant may be changing the way we park.

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How to Use Baking Soda as Organic Fungicide for Your Garden

How to Use Baking Soda as Organic Fungicide for Your Garden

Guest post by Owais Shah

 

The use of baking soda as a fungicide is not new. Scientifically known as Sodium Bicarbonate, it has been an effective and safe fungicide for the treatment of various fungal diseases. It is also effective at eliminating the effects of fungal diseases on common vegetable plants.

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Road Tripping in an Electric Vehicle

Road Tripping in an Electric Vehicle

Road trips have been a great American tradition since cars were first made popular in the early 20th century. Though at first a privilege granted only to the wealthy, cars were soon made available for families, who were then able to explore all across the country.

Road tripping is still a popular family vacation today, but Americans have different concerns than they did 100 years ago. The harmful emissions caused by cars are polluting the air and harming our environment, which is why many families and car owners have opted to go the green route by investing in an electric vehicle.

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How to take care of your indoor seedlings

How to take care of your indoor seedlings

Spring is officially around the corner! Although the weather may not have begun warming significantly where you live, there’s no reason you can’t start your growing season a little early. After visiting my local nurseries for the past month now and repeatedly being told that no new herb or vegetable plants had come in yet, I decided to invest in a few simple tools and start planting some seeds indoors. Whether you’ve got the itch to grow right now, or you’re interested in getting a jump start on your gardening, there are a few things you can do today to start growing something good and make sure that it thrives well into the warm season.

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Turkish lentil soup

Turkish lentil soup

This fast, easy, and healthy recipe for kırmızı mercimek çorba, or (Turkish) red lentil soup, is one of my family’s favorite. My 8-year old requests it every week. It’s one of several ways that this soup can be made: you can omit the carrots and Hungarian paprika if you prefer, or take more time and strain the soup through a sieve if you like, creating a thinner consistency (which is the way you will usually find it being made in Turkey). You can also add more water to make it less thick and hearty.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Indoor Gardening

A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Indoor Gardening

Guest post by Ashly Rosa

When the winter gets you feeling down and you find yourself dreaming of fresh herbs and veggies from the summer garden, consider creating your own garden indoors! Besides providing plenty of delicious food to eat, indoor plants clean the air in your home and add a pop of vibrant green space to the indoor space.

Indoor gardening is a great solution for those who do not have enough outdoor space, especially for those who live in cities where space is at a premium. Plants do not have to take up much space - if a sunny window, table, or shelf can work with the current configuration of your space, then a plant can thrive. For outdoor garden spots, indoor gardening may be a great way to get seedlings going before planting them outside the spring.

Here are some important things to consider when starting an indoor garden:

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Make Green Living easier with these free zero-waste checklists

Make Green Living easier with these free zero-waste checklists

Guest post by Jeff Smith

 A huge part of reducing your carbon footprint is being mindful of the amount of waste you produce on a day-to-day basis. While businesses and corporations are hugely responsible for their impact on our planet, individual consumers make up a lot of the waste as well, so it’s on all of us to do our part to leave the earth in better shape than when we first entered it.

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Why You Should Avoid Taking Antibiotics Whenever Possible

Why You Should Avoid Taking Antibiotics Whenever Possible

Ok, at least here in the US, we’re nearing the end of cold and flu season (or so I thought!), yet there are still plenty of people around me getting sick. Several of my students had emailed in sick these past 2 weeks, and others came in to class anyway, even though they clearly should have stayed at home in bed!

So I thought it was time to write a post about not resorting to antibiotics to cure yourself from many of the sicknesses that will resolve on their own, or that can be cured by other means.

Let me say one thing from the start, though. This is NOT an anti-vac post or anything like that. Even though we do not take the flu vaccine in my household (and never get sick, even when we are exposed to the flu), we have all our required shots. Whether or not you take antibiotics is ultimately up to you, and there are definitely times when you absolutely should take them. The problem with antibiotics is that many people take them when they should not, and that is ultimately what this post is about: why you should avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics.

Here are 4 reasons to avoid antibiotics when they are not absolutely necessary:

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