Giving green and socially conscious gifts just got a whole lot easier

If you found this page, you’re probably like me–scouring the web for just the right holiday, birthday or special occasion gift that is also eco-friendly and manufactured without child labor or near-slave labor. I am thrilled to report that this year, giving green gifts and socially conscious gifts that are beautiful and well-made is easier than it’s ever been. Below are my top ten web sites for wonderful,...

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How to keep cool in warm weather

Keeping cool – without using air-conditioning. Although I’ve lived in South Florida for over twenty years, I don’t use air-conditioning in my home and I find it perfectly fine to keep cool in other ways. Why? Well, there are several reasons. One is that air-conditioning is expensive to run and to maintain or repair. We’re all trying to cut down on using the planet’s resources and our air-conditioning used...

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Gifts for Animal Lovers:  For The Birds

Bird Houses and Feeders for Your Yard Part of the pleasure of having a yard around your home is watching the visiting wildlife. It varies from one home to another. Some might have deer and raccoons, sometimes its bunnies. You’ll find frogs, lizards, insects of all sorts, and a lovely selection of birds. Every area will have a different variety of birds as well. It can be a joy to your entire family to see what birds will visit. If you...

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Take a Walk in the Park Day

A Walk in the Park. You might be getting tired of all the national days that seem to keep popping up.  It makes one wonder if anyone can pick a day, name it and claim it.  Nonetheless, any day to get outside in the fresh air or to enjoy visiting a park is one we should all support. After the winter we’ve seen this past season, I bet everyone is anxious to get outside. Maybe that is why they schedule Take a Walk in the Park Day for...

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How to remove wallpaper without using chemicals

Embed from Getty Images Some people like wallpaper. It can really change the look of a room. I’m not a big fan of wallpaper, and I prefer a freshly painted room. So if you’re like me and you have a wallpapered room that you would like to change but you just keep putting it off, here is a step by step method. I’m not an expert or even a professional. I’m just going to tell you what I have learned from my own...

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The Invaluable, Versatile Baking Soda

The Invaluable, Versatile Baking Soda Recently I discovered that baking soda has its own national day. Naturally I wanted to know why. What makes baking soda such awell used product? I’ve heard it recommended over the years for various things by various people. My Dad even used it for teeth brushing at times. These days with more people trying to get back to basics, we are seeing increased usage of it again. It’s a very effective...

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Ten items you don’t need in your home

Ten things you may not need in your home So many of us are downsizing and decluttering these days and I was having an interesting conversation with a friend about what we really need in our homes and what is superfluous. Of course, it’s personal tastes so I’d love you to leave your comments below. Over the years, I’ve given a lot of accumulated ‘stuff’ away. If I haven’t used something for months,...

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Mason Jar Solar Lighting

Beautiful, practical, sustainable solar lighting. I could carry on and use even more words to describe these wonderful solar lights. They look fabulous, work brilliantly and provide jobs and education to the artisans who create them. These fabulous lights were originally developed for use in Africa in areas where traditional lighting fuels are unavailable, in short supply or prohibitively priced.  The lights use solar power and will...

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Drying the laundry: The green way

A few years ago, when I was drying my weekly wash in our condo building’s community laundry room, I was cleaning the fluff filter in the dryer. ‘Where does this all come from?’ I wondered. The answer was obvious really – the fluff generated in dryer was fibres from my clothes. That must be bad. And then I remembered that wonderful smell from when I was a child – that gorgeous aroma of sheets and clothing...

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Stylish Entertaining with Sustainable Serveware

Service with a style. Whether you’re entertaining guests or simply serving family meals, the presentation of your food is always important. Our eyes make our mouths water in anticipation before we even taste the food. Today, I want to introduce you to a fabulous range of serving ware that has objects that are not just useful, they are beautiful, practical and made from sustainable materials. For example, I love the tray you see...

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Re-purposing Wine Bottles: Wall Vases

We drink wine. Often. And this means that we have lots of wine bottles to recycle or re-purpose. A lot of the time, I must admit, we put them into the recycling. That’s fine but I love ideas for using them to make décor items or useful goods for the home. This is one I especially love. It’s so simple but looks so good. If you wander into Home Depot, or any DIY store, you’ll find plenty of u-clamps or strap clamps....

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From Material to Minimal:  Could You Do It?

Funny, that in a world that has spent the last decades accumulating and building larger homes to hold everything,  some of the most popular sites on Pinterest and elsewhere are tiny homes and minimalism or simple living. Could it mean a turnaround?  Is it common sense or driven by the economy?  As the routine jobs have grown harder to find, people are learning to need less.  That is one influence.  It is a natural adjustment to having...

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Gift Ideas for Bicycle Lovers: The Siva Atom, USB Charger & Battery Pack

The Green Way: Charge Your Electronics While You Cycle A long bike ride on the weekend is a wonderful way to enjoy the fresh air while getting some exercise.  You can cover so much more ground besides!  In our area, along the Oregon Coast, we see many couples and families  all packed up with sleeping bags and gear, cycling their way down the coast.  For some reason, they do always seem to be going south.  One time a family made the...

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Gift Ideas for The Environmentally Friendly

Help Eliminate the Plastic, Seriously We are all becoming more and more interested in protecting the environment. When we see a seagull with plastic caught around its neck, when we read that the plastic water bottles we buy and discard would stretch around the world if lined up, it hopefully inspires us to do what we can to help. The rwo very simple ideas included here would be so helpful to our environment it seems that everyone...

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The Battle for the Everglades

It doesn’t look like a battle, does it? The Everglades seems to be much the same as always, with the slow, shallow stream of water – what Majorie Stoneman Douglas famously called the River of Grass – flowing slowly south. I recently visited the Miccosukee Tamiami Trail Reservation Area – a beautiful lily-pad dotted expanse of water alongside U.S. 41, known as the Shark River Slough. Experts consider this one of...

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A Sea Turtle’s Soliloquy

I arrived at the shore at the usual time, around a half hour before sunrise, crossed over towards the dunes and headed for the shore. It it wasn’t for the presence of that morning’s Sea Turtle patrol, who had spotted her tracks I might have missed her completely. Moma green was selecting a spot for her nest and the light was growing. I watched and wondered what she was going through. Seaturtles of all kinds like to lay...

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Ring in the Spring – Woodland Bluebells

It’s been a long time since I lived within walking distance of an English wood. At this time of year the best ones become a magical perfumed carpet of blue flowers and can’t help but remind me of a childhood long gone. On visits to England I always to try to take a walk through the woodlands, to breathe in that heady scent concoction: Gorse, wild garlic, Scots pine, wet woodland, hawthorn blossom, honeysuckle, stinkhorn,...

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What is Earth Hour?

What is Earth Hour? Earth Hour is a worldwide initiative. It has its roots in Australia where the idea began in 2007. In 2015, Earth Hour is on March 28th and takes place between 8.30 and 9.30pm. Worldwide, people are encouraged to turn of their unnecessary lights between those times. This refers to your own local time. The goal of Earth Hour To be honest, there’s someone else who can explain this so much better than I can. See...

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Rume Bags, The Ultimate Reusable Grocery (and more) Bag

Re-Usable Bags Last for Years After five years of use of these wonderful bags, I consider them an investment that will save you time and money and–at the same time–help the environment. Every day we hear more about the pollution being caused by plastic. Bottles and bags especially seem to collect in oceans, causing harm to fish, mammals and wildlife. Some cities are voting to ban plastic bags entirely. Would you go along...

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Why I make my own Green Juice

Why I make my own Green Juice It is common knowledge that we should include fresh fruit and vegetables in our diet every day, and that we should steer clear of prepared foods. My rule of thumb is that if it looks like a cabbage, then it must be a cabbage (please tell me if I’m wrong!). If it’s in a packet then goodness only knows what food it actually is. I am a scratch cook! Although my husband and I have always eaten...

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Eco-Friendly Life Hack For Going Green

Here is a really cool eco-friendly life hack you should know if you are trying to go green or want to reduce your carbon footprint. One small change you can make to living a greener life is to eliminate store bought candles which contain paraffin wax and non-natural fragrances. Most of these candles contain carcinogens and other harmful pollutants which are not good for your health or the environment. Paraffin is also a by-product of...

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British chef Jamie Oliver: Why don’t we eat ‘wonky’ produce?

British chef Jamie Oliver: Why don’t we eat ‘wonky’ produce? Do you remember what food looked like many years ago? I remember ‘double-legged’ carrots. Potatoes that were the most peculiar shape. Double ‘co-joined twins’ strawberries … It happened gradually but now our produce is all uniformly attractive and ‘normal’. The oranges with the rugged peel are thing of the past....

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Doing the dishes: The planet-friendly way

Doing the dishes: The planet-friendly way I’ve read all the arguments. And I know that people are devoted to their dishwashers. But I still can’t see how using electricity to run machine a for an hour or more can be more planet-friendly that doing the dishes by hand. Truly. Dishwasher manufacturers are full of statistics about how cheap their appliances are to run but I’m not even remotely convinced. There’s...

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Time to own up to an issue that nearly all of us contribute to…using bottled water

Time to own up to an issue that nearly all of us contribute to….using bottled water. Are you one of us? Are you willing to stop? Bottled water is fast becoming more than a pet peeve to me. When I see a celebrity talking about how we are destroying the environment, then taking a sip from a plastic bottle of water, it severely lessens the impact of their message. Don’t they realize the damage water bottles are doing as well?...

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Planet-friendly tips from wartime Britain

Planet-friendly tips we can learn today from wartime Britain It seems strange but it’s true that there are lots of planet-friendly tips that were common practice in the UK during the Second World War. Everything,particularly food, was in short supply.Clothes were severely rationed. The motto of the time was: Make Do And Mend An entire generation was brought up to make the most of what they had. Clothes were repaired rather than...

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Why I can’t grow vegetables

Why am I not allowed to grow produce? Crazy, isn’t it? I live in a wonderful area in Florida. When the area was first settled, in 1893, the residents could leave their houses and pick food from the trees – grapes, mangoes, oranges and more were all growing wild. When the new residents cultivated the area they found that many fruits and vegetables could be grown here successfully. These included tomatoes (which formed the...

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Why choose a meat-free lifestyle?

Why eliminate or cut down on meat in your diet? So many people are trying to reduce the amount of meat they eat these days and as a long-time non-meat eater and a one-time owner of a health food store it’s something I’m often asked about. How hard is it? What sort of meals so vegetarians eat? Do I ever cheat? Do I eat fish? Chicken? Then there are questions from people who are happy to eat meat on a regular basis but...

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Freedom: Downsizing to a smaller home

There are many reason why you might want to – or have to – downsize into a smaller home. With us, it was purely financial and it was forced upon us, it wasn’t by choice. But I’m so glad it happened. We moved to a tiny apartment in a small complex and it was only once we had done so,I realised just how liberating the move had been. With a little ingenuity, we found that living in a small space is actually vastly...

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