Cold and flu season is at its peak right now, although you don't need me to tell you this. At the office something is always 'going around' this time of year. And the kids pick up germs at school faster than they pick up geometry. Everywhere you turn, whether you're at the grocery store or waiting in a crowded elevator, someone is coughing or sneezing in your general direction. While it's simply not possible to prevent every little icky bug that will come your way, you can ward off winter illnesses with a few easy to use essential oils. Plus, once you've succumbed to being sick, there are natural ways to soothe your symptoms without standing in line at the drugstore. 

Read more

As green as you try to live, sometimes there's just no getting around hurting the environment. Take holiday travel for example. You know that those jumbo jets aren't exactly emitting pine-scented clean air, but you have to get the family to grandma's house some way. And until you can transport yourself Star Trek style, you'll have to find a way of creating a karmic balance between traveling and the environment. How will you do it? Simply by off setting the emissions created by traveling in the first place. 

Read more

If it's your family tradition to help usher in the holidays with a seasonal, sensational wreath, don't let me stop you. Wreaths add a festive touch to a bland front door and can look lovely above a fireplace mantel. Plus they make great gifts. But before you head over to your local florist (or wherever you like to buy your seasonal plant items), stop and think about what goes into making those wreaths. Chances are the news isn't good. Traditional plant and flower farms use toxic pesticides that poison the soil and water sources, harming the local ecosystem. Many flowers are shipped from far away places like Ecuador or Columbia, which wastes tons of fuel and pollutes the air. Plus these types of farms aren't exactly known for great ethics when it comes to working conditions. That doesn't quite say happy holidays like you imagined does it? Instead go organic with a gorgeous wreath from organicbouquet.com favorite place to give and get flowers. 

Read more

The past decade has seen a dramatic increase in the use of bottled water. It’s convenient! It tastes good! Hey look, I’m being healthy by toting around water in a plastic bottle! But don’t be fooled. Not only are the bottles ending up in the trash (The Container Recycling Institute reported that over 14 billion water bottles were sold in 2002… and only 10 percent of those actually made it to a recycling facility), but the water itself may not be as purely healthy as those commercials would like you to believe. 

Read more

Reincarnation of a Sneaker

October 16, 2007

A friend of mine recently went all-out eco conscious. She started researching organic clothes, chastised coworkers for wasting plastic when they used water bottles and trashed all of her old toiletries and makeup for organic stuff. (Her reaction was “Organic is much more expensive but my face feels and looks so much better”. Her favorite new product: Dr. Hauschka's Translucent Makeup). She even taped a piece of paper to her 'blue' recyclable trashcan that reads "Please recycle!! 100% paper. All staples removed" because she was afraid the cleaning staff just chucked all of the stuff in the blue bin into the normal trash. But when it came to her running shoes, she was perplexed. She found a green running shoe, Should she get it? She came to me for advice. 

Read more

Tea Party

October 11, 2007

Whether it's a steaming cup of green or earl grey in the winter or a iced glass with lemon during the dog days of summer, there's nothing quite like tea. Sure I love the taste, but I also love the antioxidants and other body-benefiting ingredients that are packed into every little bag. But if you thought those ingredients only had advantages when consumed internally, you're about to discover a whole new way to benefit from what's inside a bag of tea. 

Read more

Buying recycled paper may always be on your mind. The same may go for fabrics and plastics too. But have you ever given a thought to your jewelry? Anyone who's seen the recent film Blood Diamond knows that a lot of devious stuff goes on in the jewelry industry. But besides using and harming people (as seen in the film), mining precious metals and gems also uses and harms the environment, contaminates the water supply and endangers the health of humans and animals in the area. Ecosystems are constantly being destroyed to help us fill up our jewelry boxes. But that doesn't mean you have to start shunning your addition to sparkly baubles. There's a better way. buying jewelry made from recycled gold and gemstones. 

Read more

So you've mastered food label-reading when you make your weekly trip to the market (make that daily trip to the market if you have a house full of hungry kids to feed). Now it's time to move on to reading clothing labels. There are more organic fabrics than ever out there. And they not only help the environment, but they're pretty, comfortable and stylish. So whether you want organic wool in the winter to keep you warm or a light organic cotton dress for steamy summer days, there are multitudes of organic fabrics out there to fill your closet with. 

Read more

There are a lot of eco books out there, and most of them are as dry as the (hopefully) recycled paper they're printed on. So when I received Ecoholic, a new book by NOW magazine columnist Adria Vasil as a gift, I was happily shocked. And now, after thumbing through it front to back and back to front, I have to admit I'm completely addicted. Ecoholic started as an eco-conscious column in Canada's NOW magazine written by Adria Vasil, a talented writer and self-titled ecoholic. (Hence the title of the column and book.) She turned all of her knowledge and passion into a seemingly rare blend of reference book and fun-read about how to live green. 

Read more

I don't consider myself a materialistic person. After all, my mother grew up in India and raised us to be socially and environmentally conscious. But everyone has a weakness, and mine has been for BMWs. I've never actually bought one, and probably never would. I've always been able to think of better things to do with my money. Now I don't have to feel so guilty dreaming…meet the BMW Hydrogen 7. 

Read more