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CHECK OUT THIS MONTH’S CLASSES & EVENTS!

See what classes, seminars, or local and national events are happening this month.

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WHATCHA GOT COOKIN’ THAT’S HEALTHY & TASTY?

Melanie is regularly posting new and tasty recipes with the healthiest foods on earth. Check back often for ideas on making yummy meals and delightful treats that have health benefits.

WHAT’S THE HEALTHIEST FOOD TO BUY?

Going to the grocery store or farmer’s market and not sure what to buy to achieve your best health or how to purchase good, quality food on a budget? Melanie’s food buying guide for healthy meals and snacks is here to help!

Household / Green Living Products

Many of us don’t realize that most of the household cleaners and products we use are toxic to us and the environment. Or we think as long as we don’t directly touch the chemical, we are safe. This is not true. While these concepts will eventually be covered in blogs, I thought I’d go ahead and put together a buying guide for household products to help you make better choices. As far as the cleaners go, most of this is taken from the EWG’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning.

*When it comes to cleaners, you can make some of your own. I hope to share some recipes for homemade cleaners that work, but for now, these are all store bought ones that are less toxic than others. You can do a ton of cleaning with baking soda and white vinegar. Look up recipes for homemade cleaners using these two all natural products. I’ll eventually post some.

*Just because a brand might have some safe products, this does not mean that all of their products should be considered safe. I am personally glad that I did the research to put this guide together as I will have to change some of my products because I thought “everything” some of these brands sell is all safe.

*****THERE WILL BE MORE ADDED TO THIS SECTION LATER*****

Cleaners

WINDOW CLEANER – I have been using GreenShield Organic Glass Cleaner. You can also try Citra-SolvNatural Window & Glass Cleaner or Simple Green Naturals Glass & Surface Cleaner.

MULTI-SURFACE CLEANER – I personally tend to like all-purpose cleaners because they usually do the trick on most surfaces and I can spend less money. Try these: GreenShield Organic All-Purpose Cleaner; Ecover Cream Scrub (my mom loves this); good old-fashioned Bon-Ami Powder Cleanser; and Planet All Purpose Spray Cleaner.

SURFACE WIPES – Wipes can be a convience, but unless they are biodegrable, they can be less friendly to the environment (aside from what toxic chemicals they may contain). These wipes from GreenShield Organic are supposed to be biodegradable.

BATHROOM CLEANER – My favorite bathroom cleaner is someone that I can pay to clean my bathroom. Other than that, try GreenShield Organic Bathroom Cleaner. It was the only general bathroom cleaner to score an A rating.

SHOWER/TUB CLEANER – I use a homemade shower and tub cleaner, but you can try either of these until I post my recipe: Earth Friendly Products Shower Cleaner or Seventh Generation Tub & Tile Cleaner.

TOILET BOWL CLEANER – I have been using Seventh Generation Toilet Bowl Cleaner and I’m glad to see it is one of the few Seventh Generation cleaners that got an A rating (which surprised me, but then not really, when I think of how mass marketed Seventh Generation is now). Other options are: GreenShield Organic Toilet Bowl Cleaner and Earth Friendly Products Toilet Cleaner.

LIQUID LAUNDRY DETERGENT – I’ve been buying giant jugs of ECOS at Sam’s Club, but EWG gives it a C, so I am not going to purchase that any longer. I was planning to quit Sam’s anyways. So, I will look to try one of these: GreenShield Organic Laundry Detergent (Free & Clear version only); GreenShield Organic HE Elite Care Laundry Detergent (Free & Clear or Lavender); Ecover Laundry Liquid Concentrate; Planet Liquid Laundry Detergent.

POWDER LAUNDRY DETERGENT – I personally prefer to use liquid, but powders can work just as well. Shop for one of these safe powders: Nature Clean Laundry Powder; Seventh Generation Laundry Powder; Planet Ultra Powdered Laundry Detergent.

FABRIC SOFTENER – I generally do not use liquid fabric softener because, for some reason, my washing machine does not seem to suck it out of the little bin I am supposed to pour it in. I use one of those plastic laundry balls that you put in the dryer that bounces around and beats everything up and makes it softer. I have used the Ecover fabric softener (which EWG gives a B, but the only A rated product is no longer being made). *EWG posted a warning against the use of fabric softeners in general.

WRINKLE REMOVER – I didn’t come across a safe wrinkle remover product per se, but I think laundry balls work great. You know, those plastic balls with the little nubbies on them that bounce around in the dryer.

LAUNDRY SHEETS (For static cling and fabric softening) – Seventh Generation Fabric Softener sheets get a B rating, but there were no A rated products.

LAUNDRY STAIN REMOVER – I admit that I am so totally disappointed that EWG gave a C rating to the Ecover Stain Remover. I find it to be an effective product that I thought was safe. I will use up what I have and look at switching to one of these: OxiClean Baby Stain Soaker (doesn’t have to be just for baby stains) or Nature Clean Oxy Stain Remover. *For those of you that don’t want a powder, the Ecover Stain Remover is less toxic than any of the sprays and gels.

LAUNDRY BLEACH – I am so against the use of chlorine and its toxic effects. I think Clorox is not a healthy product. I am so glad that EWG gives it an F rating. I personally just use hydrogen peroxide in my laundry. There are a variety of safe, non-chlorine bleach available, like these: Ecover Laundry Bleach Powder; Ecover Laundry Bleach Liquid; Nature Clean Oxygen Liquid Bleach; Seventh Generation Chlorine-Free Bleach; and Earth Friendly Products OXO Brite Non-Chlorine Bleach. Grab Green Bleach Alternative pouches are also safe.

AUTOMATIC DISHWASHER LIQUID – Good options for liquid are either GreenShield Organic Automatic Dish Detergent or The Honest Co. Auto Dishwasher Gel.

AUTOMATIC DISHWASHER POWDER/PACS – I have been using Ecover tablets, but this is another product that Ecover has let me down on (actually, they got a B rating which isn’t too bad). So, I will have to switch to one of these: Nature Clean Automatic Dishwasher Pacs, Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Powder or Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwasher Tabs.

DISHWASHER RINSE AID – I have been using Earth Resuce, which I found at Wal-mart, but there is no rating from EWG, plus I’m not sure it works that well. I like Ecover products (when they get a good rating), so I may switch to the Ecover Rinse Aid. The Nature Clean Rinse Aid is also good.

HAND DISHWASHING LIQUID – I am switching from Seventh Generation as it no longer rates well to the Planet Ultra Dishwashing Liquid. You could also choose the Eco-Me Dish Soap or the Better Life Dish It Out Dish Soap.

CARPET CARE – I don’t have carpet as I don’t think it is the healthiest flooring that you can have (but that’s another story). So, if you do have carpet that you aren’t replacing with wood or tile floor anytime soon… Here are some less toxic cleaners: Simple Green Naturals Carpet Care; Earth Friendly Products Carpet Shampoo; Martha Stewart Clean Carpet Stain Remover.

FLOOR CARE – I like a homemade vinegar and water solution, so I have not used either of these, but they are both rated as reasonably safe: Simple Green Naturals Floor Care or Martha Stewart Clean Wood Floor Cleaner.

SPECIALTY CLEANERS – CLR Calcium, Lime, Rust Cleaner (I like this and I am glad it got an A rating)

AIR FRESHENERS – EWG suggests that we “avoid air fresheners because they can cause allergies and only cover up odors”. I agree. Make your own from essential oils or purchase some of the aromatherapy mists from Aura Cacia. I don’t buy air freshener as I don’t usually have stink around my house. Every now and then the garbage can smells, and I usually just burn a candle. If you have some stinks that are strong and feel the need for stronger air freshener, these are stronger and get B ratings which isn’t too bad: Citrus Magic Odor Eliminating Air Freshener Spray (Tropical Citrus Blend only) or Earth Friendly Products Uni-Fresh Air Freshener.