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Archive for Healthy Living

April 16th, 2015

Top Picks: Safe Deodorants for Teens

Top Picks: Safe Deodorants for Teens Groovy Green Livin

Today’s the day. My 5th grader is watching the 5th grade puberty movie at school.

Having two older brothers who also viewed this rite of passage, I know the video is no big deal. I’m pretty much an open book when it comes to this information, so hopefully there won’t be much new information passed along to him.

But there’s always one big takeaway for the kids. And it’s not what you would think.

The video stresses over and over that the boys should start wearing deodorant. There is also mention of antiperspirant.

Both of my older children came home after watching the movie and let me know that needed to start wearing deodorant IMMEDIATLY.

Deodorant and Antiperspirant

I’m not so sure I agree with that takeaway. Not every 5th grader needs deodorant. And no 5th grader should be wearing antiperspirant. As we all know, kids develop at different rates. There might be some kids out there who have begun puberty and are offensively smelly. Deodorant is a good option in this case. But it really comes down to personal choice, not a video mandating that they wear it.

We need to provide education about deodorant and antiperspirant

Conventional deodorants and antiperspirants contain controversial aluminum and their ingredient list is long and filled with other suspicious chemicals that I don’t want on my body and I certainly don’t want on my teen’s developing body.

We are a culture obsessed with smelling pretty.  Take a stroll down the deodorant isle at any supermarket and the options are endless. A recent poll of over 500 parents revealed that approximately 50% of children ages 4 to 11 are using deodorant by age 11.

Don’t Buy Into Those Super Smelly Deodorants

You know what brands I’m talking about. They seem to be the go-to brands for many teen boys. Many of the highly scented deodorants contain synthetic fragrances that are made up of literally hundreds of chemicals, including hormone-disrupting phthalates, and other ingredients that have been associated with cancer. And they stink!

Say no to antiperspirants

Aluminum-based compounds are the active ingredients in antiperspirants and they block the sweat glands to keep sweat from getting to the skin’s surface. Some scientists have claimed that using the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may be a risk factor for the development of breast cancer and/or Alzheimer’s. If you are determined to use a product use a safe deodorant,not antiperspirant.

Safe Deodorant Options

Yes, you can make your own deodorant, but if you aren’t a DIY type of person here are a few product suggestions for safe deodorants:

      • Tom’s of Maine – I’ve been using this brand for years and there are no artificial colors, or fragrances or preservatives, although it does contain propylene glycol, which is a petroleum derivative.This brand is simple to find at many retailers and comes in a variety of mild fragrances.
      • Nourish Organic Deodorant – This organic deodorant comes in lavender mint or vanilla almond– good enough to eat! It’s also free of parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals, artificial fragrances, preservatives, silicones, propylene glycol, mineral oils, sulfates, synthetic dyes, triclosan, EDTA and aluminum.
      • Primal Pit Paste Natural Deodorant Stick –  I really like this brand. The deodorant goes on smoothly and doesn’t leave a white film. It comes in a variety of scents, including unscented. There’s no bad stuff in this deodorant: NO Aluminum, NO Parabens, NO Toxic Chemicals, NO Fragrances, NO Corn, NO Gluten, NO GMOs.
      • Miessence Roll-on Deodorant – Another certified organic deodorant with a fantastic ingredient list. This deodorant also scored well on the Skin Deep site.

Don’t forget to read your labels and find a deodorant that works for you. Not only will each of these deodorants work well for your teens, but they’ll work for everyone!

What’s your go-to brand for deodorant?

 


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.


Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links meaning, at no additional cost to you, I may get a small commission if you make a purchase. Thanks for your support! 

photo credit: 20130716-4 DCPR Practice 2013 via photopin (license)

April 14th, 2015

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore Groovy Green Livin

Earth Day is quickly approaching and it’s time to kick off the celebration. April 22nd is the big day. There are fun events planned everywhere. Here in Boston there’s truly something for everyone. 

Although there’s a designated “Earth Day”, I think we can all agree that the earth needs more than one day to heal. Let this one day serve as a catalyst to get the do-gooder in each of us up and running for the remaining 364 days of the year. Remember:

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~Anonymous

Earth Day at ClimateStore

As you know, I’m one of 8 bloggers working with ClimateStore as part of their newly launched Ambassador Program. You can check us all out HERE. This program was created by ClimateStore to help get the message out about climate change, and more importantly, to increase the awareness surrounding our own ability to lower our carbon footprint. ClimateStore was founded in 2013 and is building a national brand where consumers can learn about climate change, make an action plan, and find products to reduce their carbon impact.

What a perfect fit for Earth Day.

Happy anniversary to ClimateStore.com! Their online shop opened for business one year ago.

In honor of Earth Day and their exciting anniversary, ClimateStore has teamed up with Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF).

While living in the US it’s  easy to forget that there are millions of people in other parts of the world that have no access to power. SELF, based in Washington D.C., is a nonprofit whose mission is to implement solar energy solutions to assist the 1.5 billion people living in energy poverty with their economic, educational, health care and agricultural development. SELF does this by conducting small solar installations in places with a specific need. For example, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, SELF solar installations helped power eight health centers.

Shop for the Planet This Earth Day at ClimateStore Groovy Green Livin

In honor of Earth Day ClimateStore will be donating 10% of proceeds from all purchases made during Earth Week (April 20 – 27) to the Solar Electric Lighting Fund. Your Earth Week purchases through ClimateStore.com help support SELF projects in more than 6 countries.

This Earth Day initiative, which ClimateStore has dubbed #10forSolar, gives consumers an opportunity to shop for themselves while donating to an amazing cause at no extra cost. 10% of the proceeds for every purchase will provide solar power!

Use #10forSolar on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to show your support.

Head on over to ClimateStore  and take a look at some of their new products. They’re constantly adding more to their site. I just ordered these small, round pots for my son to start seeds for our garden. Shhhh it’s a surprise.

How are you celebrating Earth Day this year?

 


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 work in partnership with ClimateStore as a blogger ambassador and I am compensated for my work . 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 13th, 2015

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Month

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth MonthApril is officially Earth Month, but why not make every month Earth Month?

This years Earth Month theme is “Our Planet In Peril”. There are so many important issues plaguing our global environment, including climate change and air pollution. It’s time to step it up and for each of us to make conscious changes that will ultimately have a big impact on our planet.

Let’s focus on the earth every day together. Here are a few ideas to help you get started during Earth Month.

Remember Those Reusable Bags

I’m still working on this one, but I’ve come a long way.  I try to keep several reusable bags on the passenger side of the car so I have easy access. I also keep smaller bags with me for trips to the pharmacy, bookstore or any other store.

Take a Waste-Free Lunch to School

Children’s lunches create more than 3.5 billion pounds of garbage each year, which amounts to a crazy 18,760 pounds of trash annually from an average sized elementary school. That’s a lot of waste. Making a lunch box zero-waste through the use of reusable products will minimize the amount of garbage kids create through their school lunch. Check out some of my favorite waste-free lunch gear HERE.

Recycle Your Waste

It’s easy! Tom’s of Maine has partnered with TerraCycle®to provide a second life for empty and used toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, floss containers, mouthwash bottles, soap packaging, and antiperspirant and deodorant containers. They can be any brand. For information on how to join this free program click HERE. In 2014, volunteers kept 11,000 pounds of personal care packaging out of landfills. Big kudos to Tom’s of Maine, who gives 10% of their profits back to helping people and the planet.

Walk, Bike or Skateboard to School Instead of Driving

Now that the weather has finally warmed up we’re going to try to take advantage of the nice days by cycling to school as much as we can. This is a tough one for us since much of the path to school doesn’t have a sidewalk, but we’re giving it a try! It’s a great way to get some exercise before having to sit in a classroom all day. It’s also a great way to help improve air quality – less cars on the road emitting toxic chemicals into the environment.

Make Every Day Earth Day

How are your joining in the Earth Month fun this April…..and every day?


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 work in partnership with Tom’s of Maine as a Goodness Circle Blogger and I am compensated for my work and receive products to test . 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. 

 

photo credit: isaac and aaron bike to school via photopin (license)

April 9th, 2015

Moms Clean Air Force Honors EPA Adminstrater Gina McCarthy

In celebration of Women's History Month, Moms Clean Air Force in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation organized a reception in Washington, DC honoring one woman who stands out as a continual source of inspiration when it comes to protecting public health and the environment: Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Groovy Green Livin

Moms Clean Air Force Team

A few weeks ago I traveled with Moms Clean Air Force to Washington DC to celebrate (and meet!) an incredible woman, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. This article was originally published over at Moms Clean Air Force

I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. ~Mother Theresa

Last month was Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate and pay tribute to the generations of women who have provided contributions to events throughout history. These women have helped shape our society and have paved the way for others to follow, while continuing to be a source of inspiration for all.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Moms Clean Air Force in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation organized a reception in Washington, DC honoring one woman who stands out as a continual source of inspiration when it comes to protecting public health and the environment: Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

In celebration of Women's History Month, Moms Clean Air Force in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation organized a reception in Washington, DC honoring one woman who stands out as a continual source of inspiration when it comes to protecting public health and the environment: Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Groovy Green Livin

Dominique, Browning, Co-Founder of Moms Clean Air Force and Administrator McCarthy

Administrator McCarthy was appointed by President Obama in 2009 as Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. Throughout her years as EPA’s Assistant Administrator and now as Administrator she has continued to be a strong advocate for addressing climate change. Administrator McCarthy is committed to carrying out President Obama’s Climate Action Plan which would reduce carbon pollution and address the impacts of a changing climate.

According to Politico:

As the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, she’s become the face of Obama’s plan that will, for the first time in U.S. history, regulate the amount of carbon dioxide released by the nation’s fleet of power plants as part of the strategy to shrink the pollution that scientists blame for global warming.”

In celebration of Women's History Month, Moms Clean Air Force in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation organized a reception in Washington, DC honoring one woman who stands out as a continual source of inspiration when it comes to protecting public health and the environment: Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Groovy Green Livin

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy

The reception was well attended, honoring the efforts by Administrator McCarthy to protect our planet. When she spoke she elicited laughter and many heads nodding in agreement. Her words were powerful.

Administrator McCarthy kicked off her remarks with: “Isn’t every woman a Super Woman?

In celebration of Women's History Month, Moms Clean Air Force in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation organized a reception in Washington, DC honoring one woman who stands out as a continual source of inspiration when it comes to protecting public health and the environment: Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Groovy Green Livin

Lori Popkewitz Alper, Groovy Green Livin, EPA Administrator McCarthy, Diane MacEachern, Big Green Purse

Congressional leaders and faith leaders came together as a united front on this issue of climate change along with many activists and non-profit partners. Administrator McCarthy reminded us that nothing happens in Washington unless people make their voices loud enough.

Representative Brenda Lawrence, Dominique Browning and Administrator McCarthy

Representative Brenda Lawrence, Dominique Browning and Administrator McCarthy

The desire and commitment to making the world a better place filled the room. As I mingled with all the fabulous men and women I realized that so many women are worthy of being honored for working tirelessly to keep our children and families safe.

In celebration of Women's History Month, Moms Clean Air Force in conjunction with the National Wildlife Federation organized a reception in Washington, DC honoring one woman who stands out as a continual source of inspiration when it comes to protecting public health and the environment: Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Groovy Green Livin

Harriet Sugarman, Climate Mama, Ronnie Citron-Fink, Managing Editor Moms Clean Air Force, Lori Popkewitz Alper, Groovy Green Livin

My parting thoughts when heading out the door after an incredible evening were: We are a powerful bunch. Every woman truly is a Super Woman and together we can change the world! One easy way is by signing petitions that make a difference, like this one…

TELL YOUR SENATORS HELP STOP CLIMATE CHANGE

 


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.


 

April 2nd, 2015

6 Healthy Additions to a Smoothie

6 Healthy Additions to a Smoothie Groovy Green Livin

Smoothies are a staple in our home. We love them for breakfast or as an after school snack. There are endless possibilities for healthy add-ins. Sometimes my kids have no idea what’s inside their smoothie, but they do know that it tastes great.

Here are six healthy additions to any smoothie to help you make the most delicious and nutritious smoothies year round

Chia Seeds

Add a sprinkle of chia seeds to your smoothie and you’re guaranteed a powerful dose of nutrition. Chia seeds are very rich in omega-3 fatty acids-even more so than flax seeds and salmon.They are also rich in antioxidants. One serving size includes 18 percent of recommended daily calcium and four grams of protein. They’re low in cholesterol and sodium and they’re packed with fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, iron,  niacin, and zinc. WOW.

Spinach

There’s some truth to Popeye’s spinach eating philosophy. Here’s what one cup of spinach is packed with:

  • Nearly 20% of the recommended allowance of dietary fiber.
  • Over 337% of the recommended allowance of vitamin A which helps to keep colds and other illnesses at bay and also helps to ward off infection.
  • One cup of boiled spinach provides over 1000% of the RDA of vitamin K which helps to maintain the strength and density of our bones.

Don’t add too much spinach to your smoothie or it will turn a lovely shade of brown.

Ginger

Fresh ginger is a great addition to any smoothie. Ginger has been known to reduce pain and inflammation, stimulate circulation and inhibit rhinovirus, which can cause the common cold. Ginger can also do wonders for intestinal issues such as diarrhea, gas and stomach ulcers.

Try adding about a teaspoon of grated fresh ginger per serving of smoothie.

Nuts

In a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found people who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20 percent less likely to die from heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses over a 30-year period than were those who didn’t. Adding a handful of nuts to your smoothie is simple. I generally add almond milk or almond meal.

Matcha

Matcha (powdered tea) tea is the dried leaves of  green tea ground into a powder.  Add the powder directly to your smoothie to give it a nutritional boost.

The list of health benefits is long including  providing many minerals and vitamins. It can also protect against many kinds of cancer and help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are a perfect addition to any smoothie. A bit bitter tasting on their own, when mixed with other flavors the taste is delicious. Packed with antioxidants, goji berries provide immune-boosting and vision-protecting properties.

What’s your favorite healthy addition to a smoothie?

 


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: Green Monster #2 via photopin (license)

March 30th, 2015

Introducing: Stonyfield Greek With Chia and Oh My Yog!

Stonyfield Greek and Chia and Oh My Yog! Groovy Green Livin

Most of you know that I’m a Stonyfield fan. I’ve been working closely with Stonyfield for many years and they walk the walk. I love so many of their products, with their Greek yogurt and their frozen yogurt at the top of my list at the moment.

Stonyfield has a few new and exciting products that just launched. So many different types of yogurt to try!  I was able to test out Greek and Chia and Oh My Yog! this  weekend. I found them at my local Whole Foods Market.

Stonyfield Greek and Chia

Our latest and greatest after school snack is a smoothie using Stonyfield yogurt. It’s such an easy snack when my kids burst through that door completely famished. The best part-my kids make their own smoothies. Everyone wants different ingredients so it’s much easier to have them throw in exactly what they want.

Chia seeds are a staple in our house when it comes to smoothies. We all love the added texture and I love the nutrients that go in.

Greek and Chia is an amazing combination of Chia seeds and yogurt. The Chia seeds are hydrated so they’re larger than dry Chia seeds and not quite as crunchy. There’s still texture and crunch when you eat this yogurt. That coupled with the Greek yogurt makes it something so unique and delicious. It’s organic and there are no artificial colors. Hard to pass this one up.

Oh My Yog!

This yogurt is decadent and delicious. Oh My Yog! is three layers. The top layer is cream and then you’ll find whole milk yogurt and if you dig deep enough the bottom is covered in a layer of fruit or vanilla.

There are six flavors to choose from. Yum! Don’t let the cream and whole milk scare you away-there are only 5 grams of fat per yogurt. I tried the apple cinnamon and it was delicious.

Click HERE to find Oh My Yog! or Greek and Chia near you!

Have you tried Oh My Yog! or Greek and Chia? What’s your favorite flavor?

 


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 work in partnership with Stonyfield as a YoGetter and I am compensated for my work . 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 27th, 2015

10 Things I Love About the ClimateStore

 

What I Love About climatestore Groovy Green Livin

I have some really exciting partnerships lined up for 2015. Stay tuned-I’ll be sharing the full list with you shortly. What I’ve really been noticing this year is the number of brands who are truly committed to protecting our families and the planet. They get it. No greenwashing, no gimmicks, just the real deal. They want to educate, encourage discussion, and find solutions, while selling a product or products in the process. I’m OK with that. A winning combination in my eyes.

ClimateStore Background

ClimatStore has stepped up to the plate in this category.

They are the real deal-working hard to make it fun and easy for families to learn about climate change and to find energy efficient and sustainably made products that will help them reduce their carbon footprint.

Check out the 10 things I love about ClimateStore

  1. I’m one of 8 bloggers in their newly launched Ambassador Program. There are plenty of familiar faces (some of my fave green bloggers!). You can check us all out HERE. I’m incredibly honored to be a part of such a remarkable team. This program was created by ClimateStore to help get the message out about climate change, and more importantly, to increase awareness surrounding our own ability to lower our carbon footprint. How amazing is that?!
  2. The company launched with about 250 carbon lowering products. These include energy efficient lighting, water saving devices, smart home technology, home décor, laundry items, travel gear, educational materials, and accessories. Each product is evaluated to identify exactly how it reduces carbon emissions, including the production, use, and disposal phases of the product’s lifecycle.
  3. ClimateStore uses a simple carbon footprint icon system. They review all their products for carbon impact and award icons to those that produce fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) in either the production, use and/or disposal phases of their lifecycle. For example this Stainless Steel Compost Kitchen Caddy.
  4. The site isn’t only about selling products. There’s a large educational component. There are summaries of the latest climate science and impacts, the importance of acting now, content and activities for children, and frequently asked questions.
  5. You can set up your very own personal action plan. They start with easy achievable actions, such as taking shorter showers, and then move on to steps that lead to larger reductions that will be even more rewarding.
  6. ClimateStore is local! They’re practically in my backyard, based in Massachusetts. When given the opportunity, I try to support local businesses rather than the big box stores.
  7. They offer carbon neutral shipping on all orders. ClimateStore purchases verified carbon offsets cover its entire operational carbon footprint.
  8. They have sustainability partnerships. ClimateStore supports environmental non-profits as a 1% for the Planet Partner. They donate 1% of their revenues to support non-profits with missions to mitigate climate change.
  9. The ClimateStore website is powered by renewable energy. Their website is hosted by GreenGeeks, a web hosting service that is 100% powered by renewable wind power.
  10. Office recycling. Currently, the ClimateStore office recycles more than half of their office waste.

Check out the ClimateStore site. There are plenty of great products and a lot of important climate change information. I’d love to know what you think.

 


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 work in partnership with ClimateStore as a blogger ambassador and I am compensated for my work . 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. 

Polar bear photo credit Hugh Rose of Hugh Rose Photography.

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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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