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Archive for Healthy Living

April 27th, 2016

Join Me in the Tom’s of Maine Less Waste Challenge

Join Me in The Tom's of Maine Less Waste Challenge

Did you know that the average American family produces nearly 125 pounds of waste every week? That’s a lot of garbage!

I think about the amount of trash we generate every Sunday evening as we roll an overflowing garbage can to the curb for pickup the following morning. Although our recycle bins are generally filled, I continue to be amazed each week by the amount of garbage our family of 5 continues to produce.

It’s time to change that.

Tom’s of Maine #LessWasteChallenge

For 45 years, Tom’s of Maine has been taking its own #LessWasteChallenge by developing natural personal care products with a focus on natural, responsible and sustainable practices and materials. Today, Tom’s of Maine has a goal of zero waste to landfills by 2020 at its manufacturing facility in Maine. Now it’s time to bring the challenge into our own homes. 

My Week of Less Waste

As many of you know, I work closely with Tom’s of Maine as a brand ambassador in their Goodness Circle. It’s my job to share both the products and all the good things the company is doing. This month, in honor of Earth Month, Tom’s of Maine has teamed up with recycling leader, TerraCycle, to decrease the amount of trash ending up in landfills by launching the #LessWasteChallenge.

I decided to join in and take the pledge to reduce the amount of trash we’re adding to landfills by signing up HERE. I hope you’ll join me (it’s free and only takes 30 seconds)!

Tom’s of Maine and Terracycle challenged me to reduce my household waste for one week and track my progress using the Waste Less Tracker.

Waste Less Tracker

Here are a few things that our family was able to do:

Tom’s of Maine teamed up with TerraCycle to create a few Less Waste Tips. Here’s one of my favorites: 

Less Waste Tip – Turn Your Toothpaste Carton into a Gift Box 

I’m happy to report that we’ve added another recycling bin and significantly reduced the amount of trash we’re sending to a landfill each week. It would be fantastic if you joined in and took the Less Waste Challenge. Let me know how it goes!

How much waste do you produce each week? Ready to change that?!


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


Disclaimer: I’m working in partnership with Tom’s of Maine and I am compensated for my work. All opinions are my own. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

April 13th, 2016

Better Life Loves Target and Here’s Why

Better Life Loves Target Groovy Green Livin

Thank you to Better Life for sponsoring this post

Last week I had a few hours to kill while my son was at soccer practice. There was a Target nearby so I decided to run a few errands. While walking up and down the aisles at Target I was amazed by the number of organic and natural products displayed throughout the store. I was thrilled to see a brand that I’ve been using for many years prominently displayed on their shelves: Better Life!

Better Life Groovy Green Livin

For a limited time Better Life Natural Cleaning Products are being featured in the seasonal section of over 800 Target stores.

Why I Use Better Life

Some of my favorite non-toxic cleaning products are from Better Life. A few years ago I worked closely with the company as an official blogger. Do you remember when Better Life was on Shark Tank? They’ve really taken off with a new look and a new motto: “Safe for the Mess Makers (Not the Mess)”. Their products are plant-derived and are free of dyes, synthetic fragrances, sulfates, and petroleum solvents. They’re also biodegradable, packaged in recyclable containers, and never tested on animals.

Created by two dads, Better Life has come up with a line of non-toxic cleaning products that keep kids, pets and the planet safe. And their ingredients are actually all listed on the label. Something you don’t always see on cleaning products since manufacturers are NOT required to list all ingredients. Not only are their products safe, but they don’t cost a fortune.

Enter the SweepstakesBetter Life Loves Target Groovy Green Livin

Better Life Natural Cleaning Products are now available in more Target stores than ever from March 27 through May 13.

They’re celebrating this partnership with a massive 6- week sweepstakes through May 13th.

To enter choose any of the options HERE, but keep in mind: sharing a photo of the Target display on the Better Life Facebook page, on Twitter, or on Instagram with the #BetterLifeLovesTarget hashtag will give you more entries. The more you share between March 27 and May 13, 2016 the more chances you have to win the Grand Prize!

Grand Prize: Better Life’s No Dirt Left Behind Kit valued at $139.49, a $500 Target gift card, and a gift basket of some of their favorite natural brands.

Head to the site to ENTER !

The winner will be drawn and announced at 5pm CST on Friday, May 13th

If you’re planning to head out to buy some of your favorite Better Life products don’t forget to print out a $1 off coupon.

Have you tried Better Life? What’s your favorite product? I’m loving the Floor Cleaner for my hardwood floors.


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


Disclaimer: I’m working in partnership with Better Life for this post and I am compensated for my work. I also received several Better Life products to test out. The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

 

 

 

April 12th, 2016

Is Aluminum Foil Recyclable? The Answer is Complicated

Is Aluminum Foil Recyclable? Groovy Green Livin

Aluminum foil made its way into our kitchen a few years ago, joining forces with other alternatives to plastic wrap. Plastic wrap has been around for generations, preserving leftovers and keeping food from becoming stale. Unfortunately plastic wrap is made from a form of plastic called low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Plastics that have been touted as safe and “BPA-free”, such as LDPE, might not be as safe as we once thought. We have no way of knowing if any plastic is safe without fully testing the chemicals used. Chemical additives have been found to leach from “safe” plastics into food and drinks. Plastic wrap also ends up in our overflowing landfills where it will likely sit for years.

Our kitchen drawer is now filled with reusable napkins and a roll of aluminum foil ready for occasional use. Last week I was asked about recycling aluminum foil. I’ve been asked this question many times, so here’s the scoop.

Is Aluminum Foil Recyclable?

Is Aluminum Foil Recyclable? Groovy Green Livin

The quick answer is yes, but of course it’s a bit more complex.

Aluminum cans, used for sodas and other popular beverages, are recyclable. Cans have the highest recycling rate of any beverage container in the U.S., much higher than glass and plastic. Recycled cans go from the recycling bin to the store shelves within 60 days. Making cans from recycled materials takes 95 percent less energy and 95 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than using new metal.

Here’s the complicated part. Aluminum foil is just as recyclable as aluminum cans, but some recycle programs aren’t equipped to process foil. Aluminum foil is many times covered in food scraps and most recycling facilities won’t accept  food covered items. Also, smaller aluminum foil scraps can clog the recycling equipment.

I just checked with my town and found that commingled recyclables (plastic, glass, and metal containers) can be placed in the recycle bin. The only aluminum that can be recycled are beverage cans, metal food cans aluminum pie plates and trays. They all need to be rinsed clean and crushed if possible. NO recycling aluminum foil in my town.

Bottom Line

You’ll need to do a bit of research to determine whether or not your city or town recycles aluminum foil. If there’s a way to recycle your aluminum foil do it! Today’s aluminum cans have an average of 68% recycled content.

Do you know if your city or town allows aluminum foil to be recycled?


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


photo credit: Aluminum-Foil_14964-480×360 via photopin (license)

April 8th, 2016

I’m Working With Tom’s of Maine in Their Goodness Circle!

I'm Working With Tom's of Maine in Their Goodness Circle! Groovy Green Livin

As many of you know, last year I was invited to work with Tom’s of Maine as a brand ambassador in their Goodness Circle. It was a great partnership and an incredible experience. Throughout the year I had an opportunity to get to know the company and many of their products ranging from toothpaste to lip balm and share my experiences with you.

I have some exciting news to share for this year~ Once again, I’ll be partnering  with Tom’s of Maine as a member of their Goodness Circle!

My family’s been using Tom’s of Maine for many years so this partnership feels very natural. When my kids were little we had a tough time finding a toothpaste that they liked. We went through tube after tube of toothpaste, looking for a winner. Most flavors made them scrunch up their little faces and say “ewww”. Tom’s of Maine Silly Strawberry saved the day and they still use it many years later. Tom's of Maine Goodness Circle Groovy Green Livin

What is the Tom’s of Maine Goodness Circle?

The Goodness Circle is a group of passionate and enthusiastic bloggers who share a passion for writing about healthy living. Last year I had an opportunity to head to Maine for a Tom’s of Maine luncheon with many of the bloggers involved in the Goodness Circle and the Tom’s of Maine team. It was so nice to finally put names with many of the faces I’d been in touch with over the year.

Why I Love Tom’s of Maine

Tom’s of Maine is headquartered in one of my favorite states- Maine! Their offices are only about an hour from my office so hopefully I’ll have an opportunity to hop in the car to visit their new offices.

My philosophy has always been to support companies doing good things. While this company is not perfect (what company is?!),  they have amazing initiatives in place and they’re taking so many steps in the right direction.

This sounds like my kind of company. Their site says:

“We are a company of kayakers and campers, hikers and mountain bikers and parents who poke around in tidal pools and take walks in the forest with our kids.

That’s why caring for the environment is something we’ve focused on since 1970. This value comes to life in the way we select ingredients, our manufacturing practices at our Sanford, Maine plant, and the packaging we use.”

If you’re interested in hearing more about some of the ways they’re making a difference our world check out their Goodness Report.

My Favorite Tom’s of Maine Products

I'm Working With Tom's of Maine in Their Goodness Circle! Groovy Green Livin
My personal favorite Tom’s of Maine product is the Tom’s of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant. Finally a safer deodorant that actually works. I love the natural powder scent.  I’ve been using this brand for years and there are no artificial colors, or fragrances or preservatives. Tom’s of Maine products are simple to find at many retailers and come in a variety of mild fragrances.

More Good for the Planet News From Tom’s of Maine

This month Tom’s of Maine has teamed up with recycling leader, TerraCycle, to decrease the amount of trash ending up in landfills by launching the #LessWasteChallenge. For 45 years, Tom’s of Maine has been taking its own #LessWasteChallenge by developing natural personal care products with a focus on natural, responsible and sustainable practices and materials.  Tom’s of Maine has a goal of zero waste to landfills by 2020 at its manufacturing facility in Maine. Pretty impressive!

I’m planning to take the pledge and I hope you’ll join me. For one week work I’m going to work to reduce my household waste and track my progress. Stay tuned for more on this!

Take the pledge yourself right HERE! Its free and only takes 30 seconds!

Have you tried Tom’s of Maine products?  Which is your favorite?


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



Disclaimer: I’m working in partnership with Tom’s of Maine and I am compensated for my work. All opinions are my own. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. Some links are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase.

April 5th, 2016

How to Make the Switch to Clean Energy With MyDomino (Giveaway: Nest Programmable Thermostat!)

How to Make the Switch to Clean Energy & MyDomino Nest Giveaway! Groovy Green Livin

 This is a sponsored post created in collaboration with MyDomino. I did receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

When you hear the phrase “clean energy” what do you think?  Clean energy is heat and electricity produced from renewable resources such as solar, wind and water. This form of energy generates little or no pollution or emissions when used. When our electricity comes from clean energy sources we avoid the carbon dioxide emissions that would have come from burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, or natural gas. What a simple way to help prevent climate change!

Over the past few years we’ve been making small changes in our home to help reduce our carbon footprint. A few years ago we installed a tankless hot water heater (which I love). This water heater only provides hot water when needed and is therefore much more energy efficient than a standard storage hot water tank.

We also installed a Nest Programmable Thermostat and it doesn’t disappoint (*enter below to win your own Nest valued at $249!).  Nest learns the temperatures you like and programs itself in about a week. It automatically turns itself down when nobody’s home to help you save energy. With the Nest app, you can change the temperature, check energy history and get an alert if your home is too hot or cold.

I have a long bucket list of simple energy efficient upgrades I’d like to make at home, but I never seem to get to them….until now.

What is MyDomino?

How to Make the Switch to Clean Energy & MyDomino Nest Giveaway! Groovy Green Livin
When I was contacted by MyDomino I had no idea what the company was all about. After doing a bit of research I soon discovered that it’s a pretty cool service that helps consumers make environmentally friendly choices in their own home. They help with everything from getting and comparing solar quotes to finding the right electric car to picking the right LED light bulbs for your home.

Here’s how it works*:

Sign up to speak with the MyDomino Energy Concierge service.

  1. Visit MyDomino.com. Click “Get Started” and submit your information.
  2. Your concierge will schedule a 15 minute phone call with you to discuss energy saving options.
  3. After your call you will receive a dashboard where you can purchase products and track your actions.
  4. MyDomino concierges are available to answer questions about their vetted products or about new clean energy projects you undertake, such as a solar installation or purchase of an electric vehicle.

I made an appointment and ended up speaking with a very knowledgeable concierge from MyDomino. During our short call I quickly discovered that MyDomino concierges are not pushy salespeople and do not work on commission. What I love most about MyDomino is how personalized their service is. They spend the time getting to know you and then make energy saving suggestions specific to your situation. During my consultation we ended up talking about adding solar to my home, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a while.

If you’re wondering how MyDomino makes money they make a small referral fee from vendor products and services purchased through their site.

After my telephone consultation, I was sent an Energy Savings Plan tailored to my needs. The plan included several actions that I was able to take right away to start saving energy and money (switch to LED lights, wash laundry in cold water). On my personalized dashboard I was able to click on the suggestions and read additional articles filled with helpful information about energy savings possibilities.

MyDomino is a gem. Their service is so simple to use. Everything is laid out neatly and it’s easy to choose what energy saving actions will work for you and your family. There’s no pressure to do anything-it’s really up to you to decide what makes sense.

*MyDomino Nest Programmable Thermostat Giveaway (value $249)!

Now for the good stuff! The kind folks at MyDomino have  offered one Groovy Green Livin reader a Nest programmable thermostat. How cool is that?! There’s a two step process for entry (make an appointment and a short phone call with an Energy concierge) and you must enter by April 15, 2016.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE. Good luck!


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



Disclaimer: I’m working in partnership with MyDomino for this post and I am compensated for my work. I also received a Nest programmable thermostat to test out. The opinions and thoughts contained in this post are 100% mine. I only work with companies I support and think you, my readers, will like. 

March 30th, 2016

Is BPA In Your Food Cans? New Report Says Yes!

Is BPA In Your Food Cans? New Report Says Yes!

There’s some bad news for those of us who thought BPA was a thing of the past.

A new report released today tested nearly 200 food can linings for the toxic chemical, Bisphenol A (BPA) and found that two out of three cans tested have the chemical in the lining. The report took a look at cans of vegetables, fruits, soups, broth, gravy, milks and beans from Campbell’s, Del Monte, General Mills, Kroger, Albertsons and more.

BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that negatively impacts our hormonal systems. It can also contribute to breast and prostate cancer, infertility, type-2 diabetes, obesity, asthma and attention deficit disorder. Other studies have shown that BPA can migrate into food and then into people, raising concerns about low dose exposure.

For the first time ever, this report also took a look at the replacement materials for BPA in can linings, and to what extent their safety has been studied.

Here are some of the report findings:

  • 100 percent of Campbell’s products sampled (15 of 15) contained BPA-based epoxy, while the company says they are making significant progress in its transition away from BPA.
  • 71 percent of sample Del Monte cans (10 of 14) tested positive for BPA-based epoxy resins.
  • 50 percent of sampled General Mills cans (six of 12, including Progresso) tested positive for BPA.
  • BPA was found in private-label cans sold at both Target and Walmart, the largest grocery retailer in the United States. In their private label products, 100 percent of Target cans sampled (five out of five) and 88 percent of Walmart cans sampled (seven out of eight) tested positive for BPA-based epoxy resins.

Some good news:

  • On the positive side, Amy’s Kitchen, Annie’s Homegrown (recently acquired by General Mills), Hain Celestial Group, and ConAgra have fully transitioned away from BPA and have disclosed the BPA alternatives they’re using. Eden Foods reported eliminating the use of BPA-based epoxy liners in 95 percent of its canned foods and stated that it is actively looking for alternatives. Whole Foods has clearly adopted the strongest policy of the retailers surveyed in the report. Whole Foods reports that store brand buyers are not currently accepting any new canned items with BPA in the lining material.
  • Upon learning about this report, Campbell Soup Company  agreed to switch to all BPA-Free packaging by 2017. While this is a step in the right direction we still don’t know what they’ll be using as a replacement liner. BPA-free isn’t enough.

What about the BPA alternatives?

The report found that retailers and brands that are phasing out BPA could be replacing it with substitutes that are just as toxic, if not worse. Unfortunately not much is known about the safety of these substitutes. Some of the retailers were lining the cans with a PVC-based copolymer that is made from a known human carcinogen. I think we can all agree that known and possible cancer causing materials don’t belong in a can liner that comes in contact with our food.

What can you do?

  • Consumers should choose fresh or frozen foods, or only purchase canned food from manufacturers and retailers that fully disclose the identity and safety of their can linings. Look for food packaged in other materials such as glass and Tetra Pak containers.
  • Demand that national brands, grocery stores, big box retailers and dollar stores eliminate and safely substitute BPA from all food packaging and label all chemicals used in can liners.
  • Join the national online campaign calling on Kroger and Campbell’s to eliminate and safely substitute BPA.

Campbell Soup Company‘s decision to switch to all BPA-Free packaging by 2017 is a step in the right direction. Hopefully other canned food retailers will follow their lead.

The question now becomes what will they switch to and will it be safer than BPA? 


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


 

 

March 28th, 2016

Big Changes in GMO Labeling! What You Need to Know

Big Changes in GMO Labeling! What You Need to Know Groovy Green Livin

Many of us want GMO labeling and it’s finally happening!

For years we’ve been fighting for something that seems so simple. We want to know what’s in our food. We’ve been asking for GMO labeling and transparency and after years of effort food industry giants now have no choice but to comply.

A few weeks ago the Senate failed to pass a bill that would prevent states from requiring GMO labeling. This was a huge victory for consumers and a disappointment for many organizations who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to prevent  labeling. This defeat also gave a green light to the small, but powerful state of Vermont. Vermont passed a GMO labeling law back in 2014 and it’s scheduled to go into effect in July 2016.

What does Vermont’s GMO labeling law mean?

As of July 2016 if a food company wants to sell food in Vermont it must comply with Vermont’s GMO labeling law. Food companies can’t realistically create separate packaging for their products sold in Vermont, so their only option is to start labeling all products. This little state has created a labeling standard that will go into effect nationwide. Pretty amazing Vermont.

Over the past few weeks we’ve seen quite a few companies come forward with an announcement that they’re going to include GMO labeling on their products. This is a huge win for all of us!

Here are the companies who are “voluntarily” implementing GMO labeling in response to Vermont’s law:

This is BIG news for all consumers. GMO labeling is rapidly catching on throughout the country thanks to Vermont’s GMO labeling law. It’s important to read your labels since the GMO language can sometimes be challenging to find (small print). Try to buy organic food when you can. Remember that a non-GMO label is only certifying that a product does not contain GMOs. An organic certification provides much more, including a certification that the product doesn’t contain GMOs.

Stay tuned for more companies jumping on the GMO labeling train. When you shop do you look for food without GMOs? 


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


 

 

 

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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

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