Need more magnesium? Natural magnesium lotion recipe…

I have been looking for some really great homemade soaps and lotions to make family and friends for the Holidays this year and found a really neat magnesium lotion recipe- which got me wondering how in the heck magnesium actually helps our bodies!

Turns out up to 57%- (some think up to 80%) of Americans do not receive their recommended daily allowance of magnesium- over half. So what is it?

Magnesium is the eighth most abundant mineral on earth, and the third most abundant in sea water. More importantly, it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and it is necessary in over 300 reactions within the body.

Magnesium isn’t just abundant in the body, but vitally important too. As this article explains:

Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, wellfunctioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.

Magnesium is necessary for hundreds of functions within the body, but is especially important for:

  • Gives rigidity AND flexibility to your bones (more important than Calcium in many cases)
  • Increases bioavailability of calcium
  • Regulates and normalizes blood pressure
  • Prevents and reverses kidney stone formation
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Helps prevent congestive heart failure
  • Eases muscle cramps and spasms
  • Lowers serum cholesterol levels and triglycerides
  • Decreases insulin resistance
  • Can prevent artherosclerosis and stroke
  • End cluster and migraine headaches
  • Enhances circulation
  • Relieves fibromyalgia and chronic pain
  • Treats asthma and emphysema
  • Helps make proteins
  • Encourages proper elimination
  • Prevents osteoporosis
  • Proper Vitamin D absorption
  • protection from radiation
  • To aid weight loss
  • Lessen or remove ADD or ADHD in children
  • in proper carbohydrate digestion
  • emerging evidence is showing a preventative role in many cancers
  • (source)

 

Are You Deficient?

As I said above, the answer is likely ‘yes’ in today’s world.

Low magnesium levels are often diagnosed by symptoms alone, and the following symptoms can point to low magnesium levels:

  • Inability to sleep or insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Mental disturbances
  • Anxiety, depression or restlessness
  • Muscle soreness or spasms
  • Infertility or PMS
  • High levels of stress
  • Headaches
  • Heart “flutters” or palpitations
  • Fatigue or unusual tiredness
  • Coldness in extremities
  • Fuzzy brain or difficulty concentrating
  • Allergies and sensitivities
  • Lack of appetite
  • Back pain
  • Body odor
  • Bad short term memory
  • Poor coordination
  • Insulin resistance
  • Carbohydrate cravings
  • Constipation
  • Frequent cavities or poor dental health
  • Gut disorders
  • Kidney stones
  • Thyroid problems

So basically, low levels of magnesium are not good for our bodies.  Without having my levels tested, I can answer an unequivocal ‘yes’ that I have bunches of symptoms, incuding noise sensitivity, cavities, back pain, allerties, carb cravings, heart flutters and restlessness.

There are a lot of foods that naturally provide the body with much-needed magnesium, I wanted to try out a really cool lotion recipe that was natural enough to use on my kids, too- and I found this A wonderful recipe that uses only four ingredients and took me about a half hour from start to finish…

Again, check out the recipe here-

 

 

Finished lotion (left) with some oil for oil-cleansing on the right…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d love to hear about any natural lotions or oils you’ve been using!

 

Is green tailgating even possible?!

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but football season has begun… and tailgaiting pairs with football like Bell’s Two Hearted pairs with all the foods.

NDSU’s first football game is tonight, and that got me thinking about the possibility of green tailgating. Possible or no?

Before answering my initial question, though, I needed to do a bit of research on the essence of tailgaiting… what are the rules and secret tips? In my search, I discovered a few guidelines for proper tailgaiting…

  1. Don’t get wasted, i.e. don’t be that guy. No one likes that guy.
  2. Don’t trash the place- obvious. If I need to explain this, there is something wrong with you.
  3. Be a good guest -Evidently it is really rude to show up week after week and eat free meals. Bring things and share.
  4. Bring Beer.
Here is what North Dakota tailgaiting typically looks like. Note beer cans, aluminum trays for food, etc. Fun- Yes. Delicious- Yes. Wasteful- …..also Yes.

 

Not to be a Debbie-Downer or anything, but couldn’t we all do a little bit better when watching our beloved Bison or UND teams?

Here are some easy ways to green up your tailgaiting party:

The green barbecue

Your lowest-impact grilling option is propane. Sure, propane is a fossil fuel, but it burns a lot cleaner than charcoal or wood. Propane also leaves behind less waste, and is particularly convenient when you’re cooking away from home.

 

If you’re going the charcoal route, consider something like Greenlink’s All Natural Briquettes. They’re made from environmentally friendly wood sources and renewable plant wastes such as coconut husks. Unlike conventional briquettes, Greenlink doesn’t use clay or anthracite fillers.

 

Forget the charcoal starter: it’s rich in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which you don’t want in your food or in the air. Use an electric starter. If that’s not practical, a good-quality charcoal chimney will get those coals glowing in minutes using nothing more than a sheet or two of newspaper.

Ditch the disposables

Sure it is much easier to plow through all kinds of plastic silverware and paper plates, but it isn’t that much more difficult or time consuming to bring some from home. In my home, we use cloth napkins that I round up at local thrift stores. Grab some- they’re all over! They can be in your tailgaiting kit and can be thrown in the wash at home.

Silverware and plates can also be easily brought from home. They don’t have to be your best china, but can be a second set or thrifted set you won’t mind chipping.

Recycle your cans and bottles

Enough said. May be a pain to lug a container home or to the recycling bin, but if you do you’ll feel like a king and you’ll at least keep those items out of our landfill.

Cook more veggies than meat

I feel some may balk at this, so just read here

Bottom line: veggies are great. Great for you. Don’t require tons of transportation, processing, etc. resulting in massive greenhouse gasses among lots of other things. I’m not explaining this part very well, but know this: veggies=good.

 

Any other tips??!

E.

 

 

90 Day Nothing New updates?

How are all of you ‘nothing new-ers’ doing?!

 

As awesome terrible as I am?

 

Month one went really well- but then the itch starts and it seems tougher and tougher to avoid filling that gotta-buy-something need.

I guess what I’m looking for is some motivation, inspiring stores, and experiences from ya’ll!

 

Oh… coming soon???

Homemade Kombucha. So excited!

 

1000 worms- All named ‘George’

photo (2)

My dreams have finally come true.

I’ve been coveting composters for years. I am not even sure why they’ve always seemed fascinating to me… the natural processes going on, the smells.

When I told my husband many months ago about my heart’s desire, he laughed off my interest and said it would be another bread machine. *whichbythewayheactuallywantedand notme  Anyway, we don’t have the ability to have one outside, so an indoor one is necessary. I found a really expensive one I liked that uses heat to break down organic matter originally, and he balked.

I dropped the subject for a while because we had other expenses come up and, frankly, I felt I wasn’t being taken seriously. Then I stumbled across this little gem:

Product Details

 It’s a worm vericomposter! I have felt awful every time I throw any food waste in the garbage knowing what could be done with it all and what happens to it in landfills, so I researched and decided to follow through with my intentions.

I thought to myself, ‘self- you’ve supported your husband through countless crazy hobbies and passions (aeroponic growing system, circuit bending, recent nose piercing) – and you’re an adult. You can actually buy anything you want.’

And so I did.

She’s beautiful- I also ordered 1000 worms… and they’re all beautiful.

How Can I Compost?

  1. Collect and pile your organic wastes (fruit & vegetable wastes, yard waste, etc.) in an inconspicuous spot out of the wind and sunlight.
  2. Surround the pile with chicken wire, cement blocks or some kind of fence, or you can use a homemade wooden bin or commercially made composter.  This keeps all of the compost in one place and prevents animals from making a mess.
  3. Keep the compost pile continually damp, but not soggy.
  4. Turn the pile every few days to help speed the process.
  5. Add more organic wastes as they become available.
  6. Your compost is ready to use when it is dark and crumbly like rich soil.               

90-Day-Nothing-New realizations

tags

Piece of cake, I thought. What a great way to really reflect on needs vs. wants and to become more aware of what I’m purchasing and where it comes from.

I recently read a couple of articles about people who purchased nothing new for an entire year, so 90 days, one quarter of that time, is a good starting off point for a gal like me… in theory, right?

 

I’m happy to report that, six short days into this experiment, all is well! I have not purchased anything new other than food and beverages for my family at all. I haven’t even really been tempted, which helps.  Have I taken measures to protect my fragile self from the thrill of spending? Definitely. I did not walk up and down the street fair and I do not go on my favorite shopping app, GILT.  The reality is; I just don’t need anything.

I have a closet full of clothes I never wear.

Almost anything I’d need from the street fair I can make myself. I’m crafty!

 

  • In the past week I’ve come to some interesting realizations:Buying nothing new has lowered my consumption: I’ve found myself watching how MUCH I use of my beauty products. I have a particular primer I love because it takes years and wrinkles and makes them disappear. I used to slather it on with abandon- but now I go easy, and you know what? My face looks exactly the same.
  • Buying nothing new has resulted in me having a larger wardrobe: I have found some ‘new’ items in my closet by reworking and by simply digging around a bit. There is no need to bow to every trend and to waste valuable resources purchasing new items when reusing and using what I’ve already got is perfectly fine. I’ve made a point of buying pretty timeless items in the past and have focused quite a bit on blacks, grays, and other neutrals, so most mix and match well.
  • Buying nothing new has forced me to get creative: I am consigning some of my wood projects with a local store that sells handmade goods from local crafts-persons. One of their requirements is that the items need to be ready for sale, i.e. with price tags. I don’t actually have any price tags. My first thought was to send Steve to the store for some- because it wouldn’t be me purchasing the new item. But he and I later came up with the idea to use a hole puncher, some twine I already had, and some brown paper bag to make really cute price tags similar to these:
  • Buying nothing new is resulting in me using up items I already have: I am not sure about you, but I have closets and drawers full of beauty supplies- all half gone, but still there. A few months ago after reading Zero Waste Home, a wonderful book, I did a really deep minimizing on my home leaving the place feeling so much better and less cluttered. I halfway went through my bathroom reducing duplicates and donating things I no longer needed, but in there things seem to multiply. I have my ‘good’ hairspray and my ‘crappy emergency’ hairspray saved for, well, emergencies. I’ve now decided to a. use less of my ‘good’ hairspray and to use up my ‘crappy’  hairspray.

Before

After

  • Buying nothing new has not reduced my wine consumption: That is where I draw the line.
I’m super curious to hear from others who have taken this challenge and who are in the mindset of lowering consumption, reusing, reducing, recycling, repurposing, etc.
Oh- you can also like Sustainable Me on Facebook. I post tips and other ideas there regularly.
Have a great and responsible day!
E.

90-Day-Nothing-New Challenge starts today!

I’m excited to begin a 90 day challenge to not purchase anything new with the exceptions of foods and diapers.

There are a handful of other people in the FM community who are also taking on this challenge to see if they can reduce their overall impacts.

What a great opportunity to re-use, borrow, barter and to get creative. I’m most excited to thrift for things I may need and to use craigslist or other sites.

I invite you to like our Facebook page and to join in the challenge.

 

Final call…90-Day-Nothing-New-Challenge

nothing new

Buy nothing new for 90 days??  This is the challenge. Who’s in it with me?!

There are so many benefits to purchasing used items, borrowing, or bartering…  For me, focusing less on consumption and on filling that weird gap with things- the gap I’m referring to is, I guess, that thing in us all that says ‘buy this, it will make you feel better, cooler, etc.’ is one benefit.  The other obvious reason is to reduce my overall impact on the environment.

Keeping purchases used and local will reduce your carbon footprint immensely because there are no factories making your products and no trucks hauling the raw materials and the finished goods. This is a huge opportunity to visit local thrift stores or garage sales and to buy quality used items that still have loads of use.  There is also Craigslist, which is a wonderful way to spend less money and to get really neat items.

Here are the rules: Food and diapers have the green light on buying new. Everything else needs to be purchased used, borrowed or traded. Thrift, repair, up-cycle, trade, borrow, scavenge. Be creative and free up your money and your time while lowering your impact.

I’ve tried this a couple of times (admittedly, I love spending money… makes me feel good.) and have found the following questions super helpful:

  • Do I need this?
  • Why am I buying it?
  • What else could I use this money for?
  • Can I get this secondhand, rent it, borrow it?
  • Can I repair or reuse something I already have?
  • Where did it come from?
  • What is it’s environmental and social impact?
  • Is this a trend or a fad?
  • Can I live without it?
  • Where will it go when I’m done with it?

I think new clothing and shoes will be the most difficult for me to part with. Even though this is only a 90 day challenge, I do enjoy a new shirt here and there- but again, I need to see why I buy things when I have an enormous closet full of clothes I never wear. I can re-work outfits and can get creative. I’m excited for that part.

So- food: ok. diapers: ok. Everything else… be imaginative!

 

 

Right now there are three takers- are you up for the challenge? Like our Facebook page and join. I’m super excited to hear your feedback.

E.

Natural Sunscreen that isn’t toxic:

zinc oxide

The Trouble With Sunscreen Chemicals

  • Sunscreen chemicals should be engineered with great care. They are used in products intended for repeated application to large portions of the body. To offer effective protection from the sun’s rays, sunscreens must stick to the skin. So-called active ingredients – substances that filter out UVA and UVB radiation – are present in large concentrations.
  • Over the past decade dozens of studies have examined the potential health hazards of sunscreen chemicals. These include possible skin irritation or allergy, hormone disruption and skin damage that occurs when sunlight acts on sunscreen chemicals.
  • The federal Food and Drug Administration has not formally reviewed any of the recent  studies in this category.  Most sunscreen ingredients were already in use in 1978, when the FDA announced its intention to regulate sunscreen safety.  Since then the agency has approved just one sun-filtering chemical – avobenzone,
  • Active ingredients in sunscreens come in two forms, mineral and chemical filters.  Each uses a different mechanism for protecting skin and maintaining stability in sunlight. Each may pose hazards to human health.
  • The most common sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters.  These products typically include a combination of three to six of these active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.
  • Nearly every chemical sunscreen contains avobenzone because it is the best agent for filtering skin-damaging UVA rays.  However, avobenzone alone may break down when exposed to sunlight.  Chemicals such as octocrylene must be added to the product to stabilize it.  This practice has become more common in recent years.
  • Laboratory studies of several sunscreen chemicals indicate that they may mimic hormones and disrupt the hormone system (Krause 2012, Schlumpf 2001, 2004b, 2008).  Some research on animals suggests that oxybenzone and two other sunscreen chemicals – 4-MBC and octinoxate – are toxic to reproductive systems or interfere with normal development.  (See Table 1)
  • Experts caution that the unintentional exposure to and toxicity of active ingredients erodes the benefits of sunscreens (Krause 2012, Schlumpf 2010). But most conclude that more sensitive tests are needed to determine whether these ingredients pose risks to sunscreen users (Draelos 2010, Gilbert 2013).
  • The most problematic of the sunscreen chemicals used in the U.S. is oxybenzone, found in 80 percent of chemical sunscreens. EWG recommends that consumers avoid oxybenzone because it can penetrate the skin, cause allergic skin reactions and may disrupt hormones (Calafat 2008, Rodriguez 2006, Krause 2012). Preliminary investigations of human populations suggest a link between higher concentrations of oxybenzone and its metabolites in the body and increased risk of endometriosis and lower birthweight in daughters (Kunisue 2012, Wolff 2008).
  • Generally, chemical sunscreens deserve special scrutiny because most are known to permeate the skin to some degree. Two European studies have detected common sunscreen chemicals in mothers’ milk, indicating that the developing fetus and newborns may be exposed to these substances (Schlumpf 2008, Schlumpf 2010).  A 2010 study by Margaret Schlumpf of the University of Zurich found at least one sunscreen chemical in 85 percent of milk samples. Four of the chemicals detected are commonly used in U.S. sunscreens.
  • The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detected oxybenzone in more than 96 percent of the U.S. population, based on a representative sampling of more than 2,500 Americans children and adults (Calafat 2008). Higher concentrations of oxybenzone were measured in samples collected from participants during the summer months.
  • The FDA is considering the approval of two sunscreen ingredients used in Europe – 4-methylbenzylidine camphor and 3-benzylidine camphor.  Lab studies indicate they may disrupt the hormone system.
  • Products in EWG’s sunscreen database that utilize minerals to filter UV rays are made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, usually in the form of nanoparticles.
  • Though no ingredient is without hazard or completely effective, on balance our ratings favor these mineral sunscreens.  They do not penetrate the skin, and they are stable in the presence of sunlight.

There are some exceptions. Mineral sunscreen could pose a risk of skin damage if  manufacturers do not select forms that are coated with inert chemicals to reduce photoactivity.  Nano-powders could potentially lodge in the lungs and reach the bloodstream, where they could damage internal organs. To date, no such problems have been reported.  Still, FDA should set guidelines and place restrictions on zinc and titanium sunscreens to minimize the risks to sunscreen users and maximize these products’ sun protection. Our detailed analysis of nanoparticles in sunscreens is here.

Safer, more effective solutions may be on the horizon. The European sunscreen chemicals Mexoryl SX, Tinosorb S and Tinosorb M are promising UV filters not yet approved for use in the U.S.

Active ingredient toxicity

This table summarizes human exposure and toxicity information for nine FDA-approved sunscreen chemicals and four ingredients now being considered by the FDA.  We asked these questions:

  • Will these chemicals penetrate skin and reach living tissues?
  • Will they disrupt the hormone system?  Can they affect the regulation of the reproductive and thyroid systems and, in the case of fetal or childhood exposure, permanently alter reproductive development or behavior?
  • Can some ingredients cause skin allergy?
  • What if they are inhaled?
  • Other toxicity concerns?

 

Chemical EWG Hazard Score Use in U.S. sunscreens Skin Penetration Hormone disruption Skin Allergy Other concerns References
UV filters with higher toxicity concerns
Oxybenzone 8 Widespread Detected in nearly every American; found in mother’s milk; 1-to-9% skin penetration in lab studies Acts like estrogen in the body; alters sperm production in animals; associated with endometriosis in women Relatively high rates of skin allergy Janjua 2004, Janjua 2008, Sarveiya 2004, Gonzalez 2006, Rodriguez 2006, Krause 2012
4-MBC 7 Pending FDA approval Found in mothers’ milk; skin penetration in lab studies Stimulates estrogen-dependent tumor cells; associated with reproductive disorders and behavioral changes in animals Krause 2012, Janjua 2004, Janjua 2008, Klinubol 2008, Schlumpf 2004
3-BC 7 Pending FDA approval Found in mothers’ milk; skin penetration in lab studies Hormone-like activity; delays puberty and impairs reproduction in animals Krause 2012, Durrer 2007, Schlumpf 2004
Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate) 6 Widespread Found in mothers’ milk; less than 1% skin penetration in human and laboratory studies Hormone-like activity; reproductive system, thyroid and behavioral alterations in animal studies Moderate rates of skin allergy Krause 2012, Sarveiya 2004, Rodriguez, 2006, Klinubol 2008
UV filters with moderate toxicity concerns
Homosalate 4 Widespread Found in mothers’ milk; skin penetration less than 1%  in human and laboratory studies Disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone Toxic breakdown products Krause 2012, Sarveiya 2004, SCCNFP 2006
Octisalate 3 Widespread; stabilizes avobenzone Skin penetration in lab studies Rarely reported skin allergy Walters 1997, Shaw 2006 Singh 2007
Octocrylene 3 Widespread Found in mothers’ milk; skin penetration in lab studies Relatively high rates of skin allergy Krause 2012, Bryden 2006, Hayden 2005
UV filters with lower toxicity concerns
Titanium Dioxide 2 (topical use), 6 (powder or spray) Widespread No finding of skin penetration No evidence of hormone disruption None Inhalation concerns Gamer 2006, Nohynek 2007, Wu 2009, Sadrieh 2010, Takeda 2009, Shimizu 2009, Park 2009, IARC 2006b
Zinc Oxide 2 (topical use), 4 (powder or spray) Widespread; excellent UVA protection Less than 0.01% skin penetration in human volunteers No evidence of hormone disruption None Inhalation concerns Gulson 2012, Sayes 2007, Nohynek 2007, SCCS 2012
Avobenzone 2 Widespread; best UVA protection of chemical filters Very limited skin penetration No evidence of hormone disruption Relatively high rates of skin allergy Klinubol 2008, Bryden 2006, Hayden 2005, Montenegro 2008
Mexoryl SX 2 Uncommon; pending FDA approval; offers good, stable UVA protection Less than 0.16% penetrated the skin of human volunteers No evidence of hormone disruption Skin allergy is rare Benech-Kieffer 2003, Fourtanier2008
Tinosorb M 1 Pending FDA approval; offers good, stable UVA protection Very limited skin penetration No evidence of hormone disruption Skin allergy is rare Ashby 2001, Mavon 2007, Gonzalez-Perez 2007
Tinosorb S 0 Pending FDA approval; offers good, stable UVA protection No evidence of hormone disruption Ashby 2001
6 other ingredients approved in the U.S. are rarely used in sunscreens: benzophenone-4, benzophenone-8, menthyl anthranilate, PABA, Padimate O, and trolamine salicylate

*from: ewg.org

 

 

Natural Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
  • 1/4 cup beeswax
  • 2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder). This makes a natural SPF of 20+ or more can be added.)
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
  • Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference

 

 

 

Melt all ingredients except the zinc oxide in a pan or in a double boiler- once everything is melted, add in the zinc oxide. Pour into a tin or mason jar for storage.

 

Dealing with food waste

Landfills are a major source of human-related methane production in the US accounting for more than 20% of methane production. Methane is a greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide.

One way to reduce our methane production is to reduce the amount of food we waste and discard into our local landfill.

Here is an image of a landfill showing how the methane gasses escape- And surely we’ve all smelled the gasses coming off of our landfill?

There are several ways to do this: One way I think a lot of us overlook is to simply try to use ALL of our food and to not waste it by letting it go bad or by over purchasing.  I am weaning myself off of being bulk-obsessed with a weird fear of running out of food. My refrigerator is always full as is my pantry, extra freezer, and closet to hold bulk products I have no space for. Often time too many options results in wasting of meats, vegetables, and dairy that goes bad. I regularly do mini-inventories when looking in my fridge and planning meals. I look at things that are about to go bad to see if there are ways I can use them or freeze them. This has saved us money and has reduced the amount of food that gets tossed.  Here are a couple of tips I’ve learned along the way when it comes to reducing food waste in the kitchen:

  1. I store stale bread in a large jar in the freezer. Once the jar gets full, I make a delicious bread pudding with local Hempeck eggs purchased at Swanson Health.
  2. I freeze berries when they’re about to go bad along with bananas. I can easily grab out a handful of berries here and there for different recipes.
  3. When grocery shopping I’m purchasing smaller quantities of items- thinking only of what we’ll need for the upcoming week so as to reduce the amount that gets thrown out.

Another way of reducing food wast is to compost! There are so many environmental benefits to composting, such as improving soil health and my favorite; reducing the need for supplemental water, fertilizers, and pesticides. Composting improves sanitation, as well- dumpsters will not stink as bad and they will not attract rodents or insects.

Businesses that recycle food waste will pay less on disposal fees, our community will pay less in labor costs, and the landfill will last longer and will not produce as much methane gas. Remember this story about the City of Fargo’s landfill?

I’m so excited that MY new composter is on its way along with 1000 Red Wriggler worms…

I’ll keep you abreast of how much it minimizes the amount of food products my family throws into the trash. I plan to use the compost tea for household plants and will either use the compost or will give it away to friends and neighbors.

One more way to reduce the amount of food we waste and throw into our landfills is to donate food items. Anything we’re unable to eat that is still safe and healthy can be given to a local shelter or facility that feeds our area friends who do not have enough to eat. Shelters that feed homeless or those seeking assistance more often than not receive donated goods with little or no nutritional value- Our community will be healthier and stronger if we support each other in this small way.

 

 

 

 

Plastic Bag Dilemma

dog-waste-bags-no2

I used to have a huge plastic bag under my kitchen sink filled with other plastic bags. I hated to throw them out and often used them to pick up my dog’s waste.  Occasionally I’d buy biodegradable bags at a local store, but when I ran out I’d go strait back to grocery store plastic bags.

Since I began using my envirosax exclusively several months ago, I no longer have plastic bags in my house unless they sneak in with guests or because I was not paying attention.  Even then, I’ve continued to use random plastic sacks found outside with my dog.  The problem is that plastic bags never biodegrade. They do photodegrade, but that process requires sunlight, which the sacks never see while buried within our landfills.  What to do?

I know loads of people in the FM area have pets, so here are a few green solutions to the pet waste/plastic bag dilemma.

  • Biodegradable bags- there are several manufacturers who produce biodegradable bags… these do eventually biodegrade in landfills, but are not idea.
  • Flushing- City sewers and septic systems are built to safely process solid animal waste, so flushing is much greener than throwing waste in the trash. Just be sure you use something biodegradable such as toilet tissue when flushing.
  • Composting- If you have a hard, you can safely compost your dog’s waste. The site should be located at least 100 yards from any water source as well as a good distance away from edible gardens or other composting sites.  You can purchase a dog waste composter or better yet, make your own!
  • Use old papers from the house to pick up your dog’s waste.
Plastic bags can be taken to the front entrance of any local Cashwise, Walmart or Hornbachers for recycling. Trex Company recycles them into composite decking.
Suggested site of the week: Beyond Pesticides