New here? Get more useful information by subscribing for free to the RSS feed

Archive for Healthy Living

January 6th, 2017

My Picks: 4 Non-Toxic Mascaras for the New Year

If I had to pick one type of makeup to use every day it would be mascara with lipstick coming in at a close second. When I was in my teens lipstick or lip gloss would have been the front-runner since at the time I had long, dark lashes and rarely used mascara (or any makeup!). Now, when I want a little extra lash length one of the four mascaras below are my go-to.

Before I was in the know I would head to CVS to grab an over the counter mascara that promised to lengthen my lashes. Over the years I’ve discovered that I have very sensitive eyes. Those conventional mascaras with all sorts of questionable ingredients were making my eyes irritated. I began investigating safer mascara options and found a few that work and don’t make my eyes inflamed. When investigating the safety of makeup I always start with the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetics database.  The database rates the safety of over 64,000 products.

Beautycounter Lengthening Mascaras ($29)

I can’t say enough good things about Beautycounter as a company. Their mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone. Not only are they selling safer products (without ingredients from their “Never List“) but they are also advocating for meaningful regulation in the beauty industry.
My Picks: 4 Non-Toxic Mascaras for the New Year Groovy Green LivinBeautycounter Lengthening Mascara rocks! Your lashes won’t clump together and the mascara stays on for hours without smearing and smudging. The ingredient list looks relatively clean and even includes a few organic ingredients. This mascara received a 2 (low hazard) from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.

Pacifica Dream Big Lash Extending 7 in 1 Mascara ($16)My Picks: 4 Non-Toxic Mascaras for the New Year Groovy Green Livin

Pacifica Dream Big Mascara is vegan and cruelty-free. The applicator is innovative with a twisting feature that allows you to adjust the length and the volume of your lashes. I took a look at the ingredient liked what I saw.  This mascara doesn’t irritate my eyes even when I forget to remove it at night.

W3LL PEOPLE – Expressionist Bio-Extreme Black Mascara ($27)My Picks: 4 Non-Toxic Mascaras for the New Year Groovy Green Livin

I love my W3LL PEOPLE Black Mascara. I also have it in pro blue, which is a really fun color to use on my dark lashes. This mascara doesn’t have any harsh artificial chemicals or petroleum derivatives that can irritate the sensitive eye area. It’s also 100% cruelty-free, petroleum-free, paraben-free, gluten-free, coal tar-free, aluminum-free, fiber-free, and clump-free!

Zuzu Luxe Mascara ($18)

My Picks: 4 Non-Toxic Mascaras for the New Year Groovy Green LivinI’ve been using Zuzu Luxe Mascara  for a few years and I’m really happy with the product. Zuzu cosmetics are lead-free and each product is tested during and after manufacturing for pH values, viscosity, microorganisms or any other contaminants. They also don’t use any parabens in their products. The mascara is gentle and non-irritating as well as clump proof and non-smudging. This mascara received a 2 (low hazard) from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.
Take a look HERE for a few more non-toxic beauty products that you’re going to LOVE!


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


Disclosure: Some links on this page are affiliate links, which means that at no additional cost to you I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. None of the companies in this article have paid me. I just really like their products!

December 20th, 2016

How to Fill Your Plate With Good Food (Plus a Free eGuide!)

How to Fill Your Plate With Good Food Groovy Green Livin

Having healthy food in my kitchen has become a priority over the years. Once I had children my commitment to good food and healthy options took over. After years of attempting to create healthy habits, my kids still give me a big eye roll when they’re looking for snacks. Much to their dismay, we generally don’t have large amounts of junk food hanging around. And I like it that way. The hope is that my kids will someday understand the importance of healthy eating and incorporate some of the things that we do into their own homes.

Overall there’s a general misconception that healthy foods are always more expensive than unhealthy options. First off it’s important to acknowledge that processed, packaged food is usually cheap because it’s cheap to make. It’s true that quality food can cost more, however, there are plenty of ways to add good food to your diet without much of an added expense. The most important way to tackle this is to plan ahead and do your homework. 

Here are a few ways to add good food to your diet.

Buy organic

Buy organic foods whenever you can. In a nutshell, products with an organic certification are grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms, or ionizing radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones. For most of us, it’s not feasible to buy organic all the time so pick and chose where you spend your hard earned dollars. A study found substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides in organic fruits, vegetables, and grains compared with conventionally grown produce.

Read your labels

All packaged foods come with a label that’s filled with valuable information. Use this information to learn more about what you’re putting in your body. For example, sugar is sugar. It can be disguised in may ways on a food label, but it’s all sugar. Sugar is hiding everywhere: cane sugar, beet sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, glucose. There are over 50 names for sugar. Also, look for foods that are labeled non-GMO.

Learn to cook

Cooking your own food is the only way to know exactly what’s in the food you’re consuming. It’s also a great way to try something new. Cooking can also be creative and fun. Pass on that cooking gene on by letting your kids be active participants in the cooking process.

Variety

Spice up that dinner plate by adding color! A plate filled with colorful, fresh, organic food is a good indicator that it’s a healthy plate.
This coming year I’m continuing my commitment to good food.  I’m not perfect and unhealthy foods do sneak in, but I try. I hope you’ll join me. Take a look HERE for a variety of ways to include good food in your life.

Here’s your chance to win a $100 gift card!

Did you know that there’s an app that tells you where you can find near-expired products still sitting on the shelf? The closer the product gets to the expiration date the lower the price. For this info and more great tips and trends take a look at  Feeding the Good Food Future eGuide.

Everyone who downloads the Feeding the Good Food Future eGuide between now and Dec. 31 will be entered to win a $100 gift card to help you get started on new ways to support good food! Three lucky winners will be selected in early January.

What good food resolutions will you make this year?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 Disclosure: I’m working in partnership with New Hope Network and I am compensated for my work. All opinions are my own.  Always. I do my best to only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like.  
December 16th, 2016

Kick Off the New Year With Safer Products

As a green living advocate, the most frequent question I receive from someone looking for safer products is “where do I begin?” As simple as this may sound, the answer isn’t always easy. Much of the response depends upon what the person is hoping to achieve. Do they want safer products for their new infant? For their teens? For themselves? After digging deeper, I’m generally able to come up with a plan of attack that’s manageable, and not too overwhelming.

If you’re wondering when to begin, the new year is a perfect time to kickoff adding safer personal care products to your stash. Rather than creating a New Year’s resolution that we’re sure to dump by mid-January we can choose to focus on something meaningful like our health and the health of our loved ones.

Why not focus on kicking off the new year with a commitment to using safer products? Here’s how to do it.

Start by picking one product that you use on a daily basis. Shampoo, toothpaste, conditioner or deodorant are all good starting points. Educate yourself and spend some time finding a safer alternative. The trick is not to overwhelm yourself by starting off replacing everything at once. My motto is: small, simple changes can have a big impact.

A safer product suggestion

I’m going to help you get started by offering a suggestion for an easy swap. Tom’s of Maine has one of my favorite kinds of toothpaste on the market, Tom’s of Maine Botanically Fresh™ Toothpaste. Most conventional toothpaste contains all sorts of nasty ingredients. After studying the ingredient list for this toothpaste, I liked what I saw. I love how Tom’s of Maine is completely transparent when it comes to the ingredients in their products. They always share as much detail as possible including each ingredient, its purpose, and its source.

Although not all Tom’s of Maine toothpaste is fluoride free, Tom’s of Maine Botanically Fresh™ Toothpaste is. It’s also free from sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS). As the new year rapidly approached make a commitment to swap out one of your personal care products for a safer alternative. I know you can do it!

If you were going to swap out one personal care product for a safer alternative what would it be? 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 Disclosure: I’m working in partnership with Tom’s of Maine and I am compensated for my work. All opinions are my own. I do my best to only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you), which in turn helps support this site.  Thank you!

 

 

 

December 13th, 2016

Top 10 Tech-Free Gifts For Teens

This time of year it’s always a mad dash to try to find the perfect gift for the teens in my life. All things techie seem to be a sure thing with this age group, but I truly hate to add to their growing pile of electronics.

A few years ago I put together a list of holiday gifts for tweens that turned out to be a big hit. I also created a list of tech-free gifts for tweens for everyone in the same situation.

This year I was struggling yet again. My boys are now straddling the teen/tween world and their interests have changed over the past few years. I decided to do some market research and ask friends with teens what non-techy items topped their teen’s holiday wish list.

Here are a few favorite tech-free gifts for teens.

 iKNOW Trivia Game ($16)

iKNOW Trivia GameTech-Free Gifts for Teens Groovy Green Livin is perfect for some family bonding over the holidays. Test your trivia knowledge and use your bluffing skills to excel at this game. Even if you aren’t the best trivia player at the table, you can excel this game by using your bluffing skills to lead other players to the incorrect answer. Ages 15+ 2-6 players.

Kendama ($13)tech-free gifts for teens groovy green livin

Kendama‘s have been a big hit around here, providing hours of entertainment. First made popular in Japan, the Kendama is a hand-held game.The number of tricks you can do with this wooden toy is endless.

Spikeball ($60)

Spikeball is all the rage. It’s the reverse of volleyball. Hit the ball on the net to your opponents who have three chances to bounce it back. This can be played inside or outside.

Jamstik Electric Guitar tech-free gifts for teens groovy green livin($300)

The Jamstik Electric Guitar does have a little tech in it, but I’m OK with that since it’s being used to make music. This compact and portable instrument makes learning guitar simple.

Kooba Magnetic Target Game ($70)non-tech gifts for teens Groovy Green Livin

The KOOBA magnetic target game is such a clever concept. By combining the action and dexterity of darts with the strategic play of a board game the goal is to be the first to stack your markers to win the race.

Solarbotics Perpetual Motion Marble Kit ($44)

non-tech gifts for teens groovy green livinThis Perpetual Motion Marble Kit is a great gift for any teen who loves to build. It’s easy to put together with some solder, glue, and tools you have at home. Once built  it will collect energy from its solar cell and will then release that energy in pulses turning the gear wheel.

Fascinations Metal Earth Grand Piano 3D Metal Model Kit ($11)

non-tech gifts for teensIf you’ve never tried a Metal Earth model now’s your chance!The Metal Earth Grand Piano model is amazingly detailed which is fun and challenging to assemble. Each model starts out as 4 inch square metal sheets and you simply pop out the pieces using wire cutters and follow the included directions to assemble.

Learn To Play Ukulele Starter Kit ($70)tech-free gifts for teens groovy green livin

Ready for your teen to learn the ukulele? Check out this Ukulele Starter Kit which comes with everything you need to start playing immediately.

Over-The-Door Mini Basketball Hoop ($28)

non-tech gifts for teens Groovy Green LivinFor all the teens out there who love sports, this is a great gift. The Spalding NBA Slam Jam Over-The-Door Mini Basketball Hoop is a quality hoop that will provide hours of entertainment for your teens and friends.

Design Your Own Headphones ($30)

non-tech gifts for teens Groovy Green LivinSuch a great idea! Crank up your creativity and Design Your Own Street Art Headphones. With bright paints and cool stencil shapes, there are endless ways to make them your own.

Do you have any favorite tech-free gifts for teens to add to the list? 


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 Disclosure: Please know that if you make a purchase using a link on this page, I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you), which in turn helps support this site. None of the companies I promote on this page have paid me, I just really like their products. Thank you!
December 9th, 2016

How Are You Going to Pay it Forward This Year?

How Are You Going to Pay it Forward This Year and Every Year Groovy Green Livin

Thanks to the kind folks at Stonyfield for donating the gift card for this Pay it Forward post

Welcome to the holiday season. It can be the most wonderful time of the year filled with festivities, celebration, stress and responsibility. Yes, responsibility. As we shop for the holidays it’s important to remember those without and take the time to pay it forward.

Imagine if everyone did something good for someone else, then the cycle of generosity and kindness would continue. One good deed might not seem like much, but it is.

Over the past few years, I’ve connected with an incredible organization called The Box Project which is an organization working to enrich the lives of families living in rural poverty. Through this organization, we were matched with a family living in rural poverty.

Take the time to remember those without and pay it forward. Here's how! #stonyfieldblogger Click To Tweet

What I love most about The Box Project is the ability to directly connect with and help a family in need. The support you provide to your Box Project family can be as much or as little as you are able to supply. These families have very little and are eternally grateful for anything sent their way. We try to involve our children as much as possible by sending letters, photos, and other items so they can get to know and trust us. We talk about our Box Project family as much as possible with the hope that our kids will someday understand and feel compassion towards those living in extreme poverty.

How Are You Going to Pay it Forward This Year and Every Year Groovy Green Livin

Photo courtesy of The Box Project

This year we asked our match family to send us a list of their immediate needs. The list was long and included things that many of us take for granted such as toilet paper and school supplies. Rather than tackle the list on my own I reached out to friends and family to ask for help. Within days the gifts started flowing to this family in need.

Many of you have seen the movie, Pay it Forward. It’s a story about a social studies teacher who gives an assignment to his junior high school class. Their task is to think of an idea to change the world for the better and then put it into action. One student discovers how one random act of kindness can spread into a wave of human kindness. This becomes the pay it forward phenomenon.

One of my favorite companies, Stonyfield, has kicked off a “pay it forward” campaign this year. They are encouraging families to spread good fortune in the form of a charitable act with the hope that others will be inspired to do the same. I’m hoping you’ll join me. It doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it, just take a moment and do something unexpected to spread holiday cheer. Maybe it will spiral into something much larger than you imagined.

We took a family vote and decided to use our $50 gift card generously donated by Stonyfield to purchase something other than a “necessity” for our Box Project family. We bought each of the children a watch and the mother a slow cooker and a cookbook. How Are You Going to Pay it Forward This Year and Every Year Groovy Green Livin

Now it’s your turn!

How you can pay it forward

Take the time to do a good deed for others without asking for anything in return. Hold a door open, pay for someone’s groceries, leave a care package for someone in need. Find an organization that means something to you and ask how you can help. Take your passion and pay it forward.

Happy holidays!


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 Disclosure: Thanks to the kind folks at Stonyfield for donating the gift card for this Pay it Forward post. All opinions are my own. 
December 2nd, 2016

5 Green Holiday Travel Products You’ll Love

Green Holiday Travel Products You'll Love Groovy Green Livin

This holiday season you might find yourself traveling by planes, trains or automobiles to visit family or friends. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but can also be stressful. Please remember to take care of yourself.

Take the time to make your holiday travel eco-friendly by using any one of these green travel products.

Reusable water bottle

Photo courtesy of Kleen Kanteen

Photo courtesy of Kleen Kanteen

When I’m traveling my reusable water bottle comes with me. At the airport, I take an empty water bottle through security and fill it on the other side. I’ve had an opportunity to try many different types of water bottles and Kleen Kanteen (with a bamboo lid) continues to top my list of favorites. I also like Lifefactory water bottles, which are made from glass and have a silicone sleeve for protection.

2. Squeezable travel tube

gotoobbuyimage

GoToob Travel Bottles are made from soft rugged silicone, so it’s easy to squeeze out your shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. The 2 fl. oz. size is the only size to feature a handy suction cup that can briefly attach to walls for moments when you need your hands-free. All GoToobs are approved for airline carry-on, they’re food-safe (FDA), and they’re 100% BPA-free and PC-free.

Solar charger

Photo courtesy of Anker

Photo courtesy of Anker

The Anker USB Solar Charger ($50) is a rock star in the solar charger category. Use this charger when you’re on or off the grid by harnessing the power of the sun. Simply spread out the solar panels or attach to your pack to start recharging your gadgets. Although this power pack is a bit more pricey, the GOAL ZERO Power Pack ($80) has so much to offer. I like the look and it’s lightweight and fully waterproof.

Eco-friendly backpack

Photo courtesy of Booq

Photo courtesy of Booq

Check out the Booq Cobra Squeeze Backpack ($190) made from recycled PET for your next trip. The backpack fits everything including your laptop, yet is small and compact. There’s a designated small, safe compartment with easy access for your phone. The backpack also comes with a Terralinq serial number, a service operated by Booq designed to help you recover your lost bag.

Headphones

Photo courtesy of LSTN Facebook page

Photo courtesy of LSTN Facebook page

LSTN wireless headphones are made of reclaimed wood discarded from furniture and unused flooring. I love that each pair of handcrafted LSTN headphones and LSTN earbuds are unique. LSTN donates proceeds from every to help provide hearing aids to people in need.

What are some of your favorite holiday eco-friendly travel products?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


*Some links are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you purchase a product. Thanks for your support!

 

November 16th, 2016

Amazon Gets an “F” For Not Having Chemical Policy

Amazon Gets an "F" For Not Having Chemical Policy Groovy Green Livin

It’s been a rough few days for many of us while we try to process the results of last week’s election. Thank you to all who reached out to share your feelings and concerns. It’s times like this that reinforce why this amazing community is so valuable.

Amidst all the turmoil in the world right now, it’s comforting to know that there are many organizations out there continuing to do important work.

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families is one of those organizations that continues to chip away at our broken system. I’ve been working closely with them since the launch of their Mind the Store Campaign in 2013. Together we’ve been reaching out to the nation’s top 10 retailers to ask them to stop carrying the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals have been linked to cancer, infertility, learning and developmental disabilities, behavioral problems,obesity, diabetes, and asthma.

New report released gives Amazon and other retailers failing grades for not having a chemical policy in place

Safer Chemicals Healthy Families released a new report today, Who’s Minding the Store? — A Report Card on Retailer Actions to Eliminate Toxic Chemicals,” showing that some of the nation’s biggest retailers have cracked down on toxic chemicals in their products while others are dragging their feet.

Amazon Gets an "F" For Not Having Chemical Policy Groovy Green Livin

Major U.S. retailers earned grades ranging from B for good progress to F for failing to develop and make public even basic safer chemical policies.  The average grade was a D+, which is not something to be proud of. These stores have some work to do to meet rising consumer demand for safer products.

The top three retailers were Walmart, Target, and CVS Health. Each has made meaningful progress toward safer chemicals and products. Meanwhile, other large retailers remain serious laggards. Amazon, Costco, and Albertsons all earned failing grades.  

Amazon?! Costco?! These are stores that many of us use on a regular basis. As Amazon continues to grow and expand it’s surprising that they don’t seem to care about the health of their customers. 

Big retailers cracking down on toxic chemicals BUT too many lag behind. #MindTheStore Click To Tweet

Retailers were graded on a scale of 0 to 130 points and then given a letter grade.

Here’s a list of the retailers with their letter and number grades, ranked from the highest to the lowest graded companies:

  1. Walmart Stores (Walmart and Sam’s Club):  B (78.5 points)
  2. Target: B (76.5)
  3. CVS Health: C (53)
  4. Best Buy: C- (41)
  5. The Home Depot: D+ (35.5)
  6. Lowe’s: D (29.5)
  7. Walgreens: D (29.5)
  8. Kroger: D- (15.5)
  9. Albertsons: F (12.5)
  10. Costco: F (9.5)
  11. Amazon: F (7.5)

Target continues to rock! Over the past year they’ve made significant improvements made to their chemical policy.  The company: 1) Added cosmetics to their policy; 2) Expanded its list of chemicals to include chemicals banned in cosmetics in the European Union and Canada; 3) Significantly improved its evaluation of suppliers’ transparency practices; and 4) Added new criteria pushing suppliers to publicly disclose their fragrance palette, allergens in fragrance, and nanomaterials.

CVS also rocks! The report card also reveals for the first time that CVS Health has become the first pharmacy chain in the country to become a signatory to the Chemical Footprint Project.  Additionally, CVS Health has pledged to publicly disclose its restricted list of chemicals in 2017.  Best Buy also disclosed it is developing a safer chemicals policy, restricted substance list, and manufacturing restricted substance list, to drive harmful chemicals out of electronics.

This holiday season take the time to educate yourself before you shop. Give a little love to those retailers who are working towards safer products on the shelves in their stores.

Will you join me and tell big retailers that it’s time to eliminate toxic chemicals?


P.S. If you liked this post you might enjoy our FREE Groovy Green Livin NewsletterReceive new posts and special opportunities delivered right to your inbox! Sign up HERE.


 

subscribe
Alper-46

About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us.

Click HERE to contact Lori

Lori on ABC World News

Grab Button

Want to add a link back to Groovy Green Livin? Just place the following html code on your website.
Groovy Green Livin

Archives