MOVING DAYS !!!
I wanted to let everyone know we'll be going off line for a few days during the move into our new place. Hope everyone has a nice couple of days and I'll catch you up on the challenge and all when I'm back on.
Sharing my first steps into becoming earth conscious and creating a better life for my family and me...
MOVING DAYS !!!
Posted by Yanic at 8:55 AM
“For one full day this week, eat only local foods. No tropical fruits from across the world ... no veggies that traveled hundreds of miles to get to your table ... only locally grown foods (this includes meats, dairy products, etc., if you eat them).
OR, if you're already eating only local foods full time ... and may I say congratulations to that ... post one of your favorite "local food" recipes on your blog.”
What does this mean?
It means take a few days, look around, and think of seasonal foods you love and find them at your local farmer’s markets and local grocery stores that feature local foods. This may take you out of your comfort zone, but what is a challenge without a bit of challenge?
What does this do?
For a day, for every food you buy and eat that didn’t have to travel thousands of miles to get to your plate, you get to reduce your carbon footprint by tons of CO2 that is released into our air and atmosphere. Plus, you encourage local farmers and business!
Here are things that you can usually easily find during the growing season (from a North American point of view – I would love my readers to share their own list) :
Everyone knows that plastic is bad for the environment. We don’t need to spell it out again, but some facts are important to know and since people respond to numbers, here are a few facts on plastic bags I found on LivingGreen that may help solidify your resolve :
Just wanted to share with you a post by one of my favourite bloggers, Small Footprints at Reduced Footprints.
Last week, she started a challenge series with her readers of taking 10 minute showers for a whole week. This week, it’s about absolutely refusing plastic bags everywhere.
I would like to send the same challenge to all my followers and readers! Write a comment and take the pledge! Take it to your readers by sharing this challenge. And like in her blog, all of you who are already plastic-free and have a blog, write, within the next week, a detailed article on why plastic bags are so horrible to the environment. Send me your links when you write your articles and I will post them here!
Together, we can reach so many people and prove that every little action counts!
Are you in for the challenge?
So, following my post on the hidden dangers of dryer sheets from a few weeks ago, we went looking for an eco-friendly alternative in a fabric softener. I was a bit overwhelmed by the number of options that were presented to me, until suddenly I caught a little glimpse of a print on one of the bottles :
“Driven by an ideal : To live and consume responsibly. Our future depends on the choices we make today”
Bio Spectra is a Montreal company that believes in fighting global warming, responsible consumption and good quality, eco-friendly products. Their ATTITUDE line of cleaning products is based on their “CO2neutral” approach which is quite interesting :
“What is ATTITUDE® doing?
ATTITUDE® not only offers quality products that are third-party certified eco-friendly, but also contributes actively in the fight against global warming by offering Carbone Neutral products: products that have GHG emissions equal to ZERO. Thus, by using ATTITUDE® products, you are reducing your personal environmental footprints.
The carbon neutral approach can be translated into three big steps:
The carbon neutral approach quantifies the whole company’s emissions and not only the emissions associated with the production of ATTITUDE® products. The report is a great tool to identify weak areas where emissions are at their highest. Thereafter, these areas are analyzed to determine the most effective ways to reduce the emission rates. We believe that it is possible to reduce our carbon footprint, all the while reducing operational costs, and believe that all self-respecting businesses should adhere to a similar model.”
The product I will be reviewing today is their Ylang-Ylang & Tangerine Fabric Softener. (It also comes in Lavender & Grapefruit). First a few facts : This product is certified EcoLogoM (an Environment Canada program), CO2 Neutral, natural, eco-friendly and biodegradable. It comes in HE formula (of course) so it is specifically designed for high-efficiency machines.
The ingredients are water, essential oils and soy based surfactants. That’s IT! The product is vegan (free of animal tallow derivatives), non-carcinogenic, hypoallergenic, non-tested on animals and free of artificial dyes and fragrances.
We’ve been using it for a week now and it has proven itself wonderful on both clothes that went in the dryer and clothes that were hung to dry. The fragrance is barely noticeable once the clothes have dried. All that is left is a very mild and pleasant smell. I found that 1/3 of a cap is more than enough more a normal sized load which leads me to believe that the bottle will last me way beyond the 52 loads it advertises. And at 7$ a bottle, it is a steal and can make your laundry cycle completely safe for you and your family.
They sell everywhere in North America, many countries in Europe and over in Japan so I really hope all of you will get your hands on these products because they are well worth a try! I’m looking forward to trying their entire line!
What are some of your favorite eco-friendly brands?
I’m very honored today to have a guest blogger, Mr. Bill Hawthorne, who represents maacenter.org, a leading web resource for asbestos exposure and mesothelioma cancer information. This organization is dedicated to increasing awareness of the terrible health consequences of asbestos exposure through the distribution of the best informational materials and public outreach efforts.
Green Living: Improving Health Today and Tomorrow
Much attention has been paid in recent years to what seems to be a growing environmental conscience in the United States. Going green used to be considered expensive and a luxury for those who could afford the trend. Now it appears that we are learning that not only is adopting more environmentally conscious attitudes good for our economic situation, but also our….health? Yes, if we dig a bit deeper we can see that dirty industries and backwards policy is actually harming the health of the earth for our children and the health of her inhabitants today.
How Does Environmental Policy Affect Public Health?
There are two levels of health consequences associated with dirty industry, both direct and indirect. The direct consequences are examples like increased asthma rates in areas with high smog indices. Chlorofluorocarbon release into the atmosphere has shown to decrease the filter of direct sunlight on the planet, resulting in more concentrated ultraviolet light reaching the surface of the earth. Perhaps it is no surprise then that in countries with depleted atmospheric gas, skin cancer rates are among the highest in the world.
The indirect health consequences are harder to see immediately, but closer examination reveals that these are, in fact, perhaps the most hazardous. Bi-products of dirty and backwards industries, such as coal and oil processing, include cancer causing substances like asbestos and benzene. A U.K. study conducted in 2002 indicated that coal and oil industry workers are at a much higher risk of developing mesothelioma (associated with asbestos exposure) and leukemia (traced to benzene and heavy-metal exposure). Dr. David Sugarbaker among many other doctors who specialize in this area understand that these are substances that can be directly traced to antiquated pre-regulation equipment in industries whose environmental hazards are even more inherent.
Can we really afford to continue on the path we were on before? Investment in clean industry means not a healthier planet for our children and grandchildren, but also a healthier place for us to live today.
--June 8, 2009 Written by Bill Hawthorne with the maacenter
Good morning. How are you all doing? I hope you are well.
One thing I’ve found that has help in our “going green” project is cooking and baking more from scratch. The reality of going organic with your food is that pre-packaged organic things can be quite costly. But organic base ingredients barely cost a few pennies more sometimes so I decided to do my own recipes more and more.
Now, like most of you, I just don’t have time to sit there night after night and pull out the recipe books. So it was about finding recipes that were easy, quick and flexible so that it could feel like I was making something new all the time with only changing a few ingredients. Well after months of experimenting with muffin recipes, I finally refined my own basic muffin recipe that you can then add whatever you want to and they will always turn out great!
Preheat oven at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
One of our missions while trying to transform our household into a green haven for our family was to replace products as we ran out of them. We figured that throwing away boxes and bottles full of products away was wasteful and it would make it easier on the wallet to go one item at a time instead of suddenly needing to replace everything in our home.
One of the things that have taken forever at getting to the bottom of has been our box of dryer sheets. Why? Because we hang so much to dry that we use them very rarely and when we absolutely MUST use the dryer, we cut them in 2, sometimes 3 parts. So a little box of 70 dryer sheets has been lasting us going on a year now.
When I pulled one out to realize there was only left in there this morning, I jumped for joy at the idea of finally switching to eco-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable fabric softener.
Then my curiosity got tickled and I decided to look at how bad for the environment dryer sheets really were. I was very shocked and quite scared by the info I found. Not because of the dangers for the environment, but because of danger to us!
According to World-Wire.com, this is a list of some of the chemicals found in commercial fabric softeners and dryer sheets :
Good evening to everyone!
Thought I would stop by and give you all an update on our preparations for our challenge starting on July 1st.
Of our list of staples, it seemed to me that the hardest thing to find in my area would be grains. So I decided to contact local mills and find out if any of them milled purely local flours. Unfortunately, although they do take quite a bit from local sources, they also import grains from the Canadian prairies and from the Midwestern USA. *Sighs*
As I was widening my perimeter (never exceeding 167 kilometers – 100 miles – of course), I was lucky enough to find a mill right on the edge of our area (155 kilometers) that mills buckwheat that is all from local sources!
Le Moulin seigneurial de la Carrière prides itself in producing local grown and milled organic buckwheat flours that are not only produced in our challenge circle, but have even more local (downtown Quebec City) sell points. So we will not have to drive to get it! I am planning on doing research on recipes for buckwheat breads and muffins. This will be very exciting!
I’ve also found local growers of fall wheat (which could be great for the end of the challenge), spelt and rye. They are organic and within 30 minutes drive. They will de-shell the grains for us no problem, now to find the mills to make it into flour…
And we did!
Les Moissoneries du Pays is an organic flour and grain producer. Now, although many of their grains are local, they could not promise that all grains were. To supply the demands, they do also import grains from Ontario and the Prairies. But they did say that if we brought them organic grains, they could transform them for us. They also grow organic garlic flower and garlic that you can self pick starting in July. So we decided to make it an adventure at the beginning of the challenge : Get some grains, take a drive, and pick some garlic while they mill our flours! The ideas I’m getting for homemade breads, cereals, breakfasts bars… My head is spinning!
Last but not least : We are lucky enough to have within our 100 miles the only 100% Quebec grown and produced organic sunflower oil! La Ferme Champy is a unique Quebec enterprise that produces cold pressed, organic, non-transgenic, oil and they have a counter right here at the downtown farmer’s market. We will be checking them all out in the next few weeks.
So if I go down my list of staples so far this is what we have secured for ourselves :