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Archive for Healthy Living

January 11th, 2016

Introducing Beautycounter: Putting the Truth Back In Beauty Products

Introducing Beautycounter Putting the Truth Back In Beauty Products Groovy Green Livin

A wide assortment of beauty products fill an entire drawer in my bathroom. I’m always on the lookout for new, safe, non-toxic beauty products. I was first introduced to Beautycounter at Shiftcon two years ago. After trying out a few of their products I was intrigued. The Every Day AM Hydrating Cream was my first addiction. Over the past two years I’ve spent some time getting to know this company and the deeper I dig the more I like what I’m uncovering. I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll be hearing a lot more about Beautycounter in the near future.

Putting the Truth Back in Beauty

Beautycounter stands out from other beauty product companies. They are on a mission to get safe beauty products into the hands of everyone. They have taken the initiative to ban more than 1,500 ingredients from their own personal care products. Beautycounter is all about transparency (ingredients are fully disclosed in all products). Not only is this company selling personal care products, but they are also a social-mission company, providing safe products and working to change the broken system that allows harmful ingredients in the products we use every single day.

An interview with Linsday Dahl, Director of Policy and Partnerships at Beautycounter.

Beautycounter Putting the truth back in beauty products Groovy Green Livin

I’ve worked closely with Lindsay Dahl for many years. I first met Lindsay when she was the Deputy Director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. Now she works with Beautycounter as their Director of Policy and Partnerships. She also the founder of the widely read blog, Recently I had a chance to catch up with Lindsay to ask her about Beautycounter.

What makes Beautycounter stand out from other beauty companies?

A lot. Beautycounter is a skin care and cosmetic brand that is dedicated to brining safe, high-performing products to market. We also bring radical transparency to an industry that was built on secrets. We tell you everything about our formulations, ingredient screening and sourcing even when the answers aren’t perfect. We have an industry-changing Ingredient Selection Process, which starts with a list of 1,500 ingredients we will never use and goes on to screen each ingredient for safety before it’s used in a product. And we are proud to lead the industry by screening every batch of color cosmetics for heavy metals like lead and cadmium before they come to market.

How is Beautycounter hoping to impact the beauty industry (through regulation or any other means of advocacy)?

BeautycounterWhen we talk about “getting safe products into the hands of everyone”, we don’t just mean Beautycounter products; we want to transform an industry and make products safer for everyone. Our company is dedicated to moving a market away from harmful ingredients and we’re leading by example with our formulations. But what really stands us apart is our outspoken advocacy for stronger state and federal laws on cosmetics. We are unafraid to ask Congress to regulate our own industry.

We recently worked with team at the Oregon Environmental Council and played a small role in passing one of the strongest consumer safety laws in the country, the Toxic Free Kids Act. The bill requires manufacturers of children’s products to disclose and eventually eliminate 66 of the most toxic chemicals. In November of last year Beautycounter headed back to Washington D.C. to ask Congress to prioritize safe cosmetics legislation.

What are the top three things consumers should look for when buying safer beauty products?

  1. Look for companies who are dedicated to telling you everything about what’s in their product. With unregulated marketing terms like “natural” “preservative-free” and “botanical”, sometimes you need to look up ingredients on your own and you can only do that homework if a company tells you what’s in their products. (I recommend the Skin Deep database to learn how ingredients rank).
  2. Avoid products with generic ingredients like “fragrance” “musk” or “parfum”. This can be code for known allergens and ingredients that disrupt the hormone system.
  3. Buy color cosmetics like lipstick, blush and bronzers from a company you trust. Most aren’t screening these products for dangerous heavy metals like lead, cadmium and arsenic. At Beautycoutner, we do the homework for you.

Share with us your favorite Beautycounter products

Where do I start? I love our Countertime Restorative Night Cream, it helps even my skin tone from years of sun damage. Our Eye Perfector is great at reducing dark circles and fine lines under my eyes. I wear our Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 20 everyday to give a little coverage and I’m in love with our newer Cream Blush in Caramel, which gives a natural pink cheek and can double as a lipstick or eye shadow.  And I love massaging our best-selling Lustro Face Oil #3 into my face after a shower or before bedtime.

Thanks to Lindsay for this eyeopening interview!

In case you were wondering, here are a few of my favorite Beautycounter products:

Have you tried Beautycounter? What’s your favorite product?

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: This post may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something using an affiliate link they’ll kick me a couple of bucks to offset the cost of the coffee I drank while writing this post. So thanks.

January 6th, 2016

How to Clean Your Microwave With a Bowl of Vinegar

How to Clean Your Microwave with a Bowl of Vinegar Groovy Green Livin

My microwave is (now was) a complete disaster. We don’t use it very often, but when we do everything seems to explode. And it’s generally not a mini explosion. I’m talking a big, powerful explosion that leaves sauce or grease everywhere. Over the years we’ve all tried to keep up. Each person is responsible for wiping out the microwave after warming or cooking something. That strategy worked for a while, but then the build up couldn’t be stopped.

The inside of the microwave started to look like a war zone. It got to the point where it was better to never open it so we wouldn’t have to look inside.

Vacation week wasn’t filled with as much skiing as we had hoped so we had to be creative with our time. My husband stumbled upon a CNET video, How to Clean Your Microwave With Just a Bowl of Vinegar. We watched the one minute video as a family, because we all knew that the microwave was just that bad. There were a few oohs and aahs (or maybe they were groans of boredom?) and I knew we had to give this a try.

It was so simple. Seriously simple.

How to clean your microwave with a bowl of vinegar and water

What you’ll need:

  • Water, vinegar, bowl and damp cloth
  • 7 minutes

Watch this video for the full instructions. Make sure your sound is turned on so you don’t miss the snazzy tunes.

Now give it a try! I would love to hear if it worked for you. I have to admit that I needed to do the 7 minutes twice, but my microwave is looking much better.

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.

How to Clean Your Microwave with Just a Bowl of Vinegar Groovy Green Livin

photo credit: Bowl via photopin (license)

January 5th, 2016

Groovy Green Livin Biggest Green News and Best of 2015

Groovy Green Livin Biggest Green News and Best of 2015

Happy 2016 everyone!

It’s hard to believe that it’s a new year. I have to admit that I’m having a hard time focusing on work this week. After a lovely week off with my family I’m still savoring every moment of the time away.

There are so many exciting things lined up for Groovy Green Livin readers in 2016. As a small preview, I’ll be working closely again with Stonyfield as a Blogger Captain, bringing you the newest Stonyfield products first. You’ll see more of me over at Moms Clean Air Force, Healthy Way and The Huffington Post! I’ll be working closely with quite a few new brands and continuing my relationship with many of the fantastic brands I’ve been working with for years. Stay tuned for more details!

There were quite a few Groovy Green Livin stories that really stood out last year.

Here’s a rundown of the Groovy Green Livin top posts you loved in 2015.

The Scary Truth About Red Dye No. 40

Many of you were shocked to learn that Red Dye No. 40 is an ingredient most candy and in much of the foods and drugs that we consume on a daily basis. It’s been approved by the FDA for use in food products and must be listed as an ingredient on labels. And it’s not only found in candy. Red Dye No. 40 can be found in soda, salad dressings, toothpaste, mouthwash, and even medicine (think about the lovely pink hue of your antibiotics). And here’s the kicker-Many candy companies in the U.S. use artificial food coloring for the candy they sell and distribute in the United States, but that same candy sold in Europe gets its coloring from natural sources.

Everything You Need to Know About Cast Iron

Good news! It looks as though many of us are making the switch to safer pots and pans. Cast iron is an old favorite for many of us. I’ve been gradually making the switch to safer pots and pans. Nonstick finishes have come under fire in recent years due to the toxic fumes emitted when the cookware is exposed to high heat. Bye, bye Teflon, hello cast iron and stainless steel.

How to Do a Tick Check on Your Kids

Since the weather has been shifting we’re seeing many more ticks crawling around throughout the year. There are many types of ticks out there, but the deer tick is of concern since Lyme disease is caused by bacteria transmitted by the deer tick. After your kids come in from playing outside it’s always a good idea to check for ticks.

15 Food Facts That Will Knock Your Socks Off

Did you know that a typical 20 ounce bottle of soda contains about 16 teaspoons of sugar from High Fructose Corn Syrup? That’s a lot of sugar! You seemed to really enjoy this list of groovy food facts!

7 Safer Containers for Food Storage

Not only are you swapping out your toxic pots and pans, but you’re also making the switch from plastic to safer containers for storing food!

As another year comes to a close there’s more and more proof that together we are making a difference!

To all of you- I can’t say thank you enough. You make writing, advocating  and continuing with this journey on Groovy Green Livin worthwhile. Thank you.

Now let’s make 2016 even better!

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: Happy New Year via photopin (license)

December 23rd, 2015

Wishing You a Wonderful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

Wishing You Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year! Groovy Green Livin

As 2015 comes to a close and the holiday season takes off I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your support this year. I am truly grateful for each and every one of you and all you bring to this amazing community that we’ve created together.

As the momentum we create continues to grow I can see clearly that together we can and will continue to make a BIG difference in 2016. Change is happening!

I’ll be closing up shop for a few days to spend some quality time with my family. Although there’s not much snow at the moment I have high hopes that mother nature will dump some of her white stuff on the ski slopes. If you need me, chances are I’ll be skiing, reading, cooking or playing a board game by the fire. If you want to follow along on my daily adventures I’ll be posting photos on Instagram– so head on over and check them out. I would love to see what you’re up to.

May whatever you do to celebrate during the holiday season bring you much joy and happiness. I am going to take a few days off from writing and I will be back in 2016 with more groovy green info to share. I’m looking forward to connecting with you here and on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Instagram, Google+ or maybe even in real life.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Wishing you much love and groovy greenness in the new year.

See you back here in 2016!

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: candy canes ♥ via photopin (license)

December 21st, 2015

One Simple Question to Ask Your Children

One Simple Question to Ask Your Children Groovy Green Livin

This post is created in partnership with Stonyfield as part of their YoGetter ambassador program. All opinions are always my own.

Have you ever asked your children this simple question:

How can I help you feel loved?

The question was first raised in a Babble article, The One Question You Should Ask Your Child Tonight.

Although a simple question, it has the potential to unleash so many thoughts and emotions.

“Love isn’t just a word; it’s an action”

How do you think your kids will answer it?

A few years ago I was forced to think about a somewhat similar question at home. At the time I had recently retired from practicing law after only 10 years in. I was making the transition to my new writing career, where much of my time was spent working from home. My kids were young and I was new to the blogging community. I felt compelled to write between 4-5 posts each week in addition to working with various brands and writing for numerous other sites. My days were filled with work and many times that work spilled over into the late afternoons and early evenings. The time when my kids needed me most.

The boundaries were becoming blurred. The time spent working was bleeding into the time meant for my children. One of the reasons I had shifted careers.

Change and balance were needed. I had an ah ha moment after one of my children made a comment that I was always on my computer. This was not how I wanted them to think of me.

I’m not perfect, but I do make a concerted effort to be present when my kids are with me. My phone is generally tucked away and my laptop is often in sleep mode. For the few hours that I’m with my children after school and before bedtime I try to be there for them. I’m not always successful, but I try.

It’s not easy to ask teen boys “How can I help you feel loved?” without getting a strange glare or grunt in response. Before the answer they respond with another question “Mom, are you alright?” Then the answer. There was a similar theme: time. The wish for more time with me.

So the next time one of my kids asks me to play FIFA 16 or even Candy Land I’m going to resist the urge to say I’m busy or to run out of the room screaming “never”. My answer is going to be “yes”.

How do you think your kids will answer?

As a parent I try to choose healthy products for my kids and products that they’ll love. Stonyfield is one company I can stand behind! Our favorite over here is the Stonyfield FroYo. Have you tried the Minty Chocolate Chip? Decadent!

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 will like. 

photo credit: Don’t leave me via photopin (license)

December 14th, 2015

How to Find Non-Toxic Flooring

How to Find Non-Toxic Flooring Groovy Green Livin

This was originally published at Moms Clean Air Force

Choosing non-toxic flooring for your home might sound like a simple task, but unfortunately, many of the flooring options available contain harmful chemicals. Toxic chemicals in flooring can be a significant source of indoor air pollution. Air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk according toestimates. In 2012, around 7 million people died, one in eight of total global deaths, as a result of air pollution. 4.3 million of those deaths were attributable to indoor air pollution.

If you are in the process of choosing new or replacement flooring, it’s important to understand how each option could impact the indoor air quality of your home.


While carpeting has been a popular choice, we now know new carpet installation is a large contributor to indoor air pollution. Carpeting can fill household air with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including probable carcinogens like formaldehyde, benzene and stain repellents. There are a few safer carpet options available, but there are also alternatives to carpet including tile, hardwood, linoleum and vinyl.

Ceramic Tile 

Ceramic tile is generally a safe, non-toxic option that is easy to maintain. It’s important to ask the distributor and installer specific questions about the safety of the grout, the ventilation process used during installation and any other materials used that could cause toxic fumes.


For anyone with allergies, hardwood is typically a good option. The wood surface allows for dust and other allergens to be removed easily. True hardwood is made from solid wood harvested from trees. It’s important to choose a non-toxic finish when installing new flooring. Hardwood is not to be confused with laminate, which was called out in a 60 Minutes story back in March 2015. Laminate flooring is a synthetic product made to look like real wood. The flooring giant, Lumber Liquidators, was accused of selling illegally sourced laminate wood with high levels of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Vinyl and Linoleum 

Many consumers are opting for vinyl or linoleum because they are durable, versatile and economical options. Vinyl and linoleum are sometimes used interchangeably, but they are very different types of flooring.

Linoleum flooring is made from all-natural and biodegradable materials including linseed oil, cork dust, pine resin and wood flour. It is very resilient and can last up to 30-40 years. Vinyl on the other hand is a petroleum-based synthetic product, made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin along with additives, such as plasticizers, stabilizers, pigments, and fillers. Vinyl flooring can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years.

Why is vinyl flooring hazardous?

A recent study found that most vinyl flooring, made from reprocessed plastic, contained toxic phthalates, lead, cadmium, brominated flame retardants, and other toxic chemicals. These chemicals can contribute to indoor air pollution by drifting out of the vinyl and into the air and dust inside homes. There’s some good news for consumers: major retailers including Lumber Liquidators, Home Depot, Menards and Lowe’s are all taking steps to remove toxic phthalates from their vinyl flooring.

What to look for when purchasing flooring

    • Instead of carpet, chose hard-surfaced flooring and rugs that can be removed and cleaned outside.
    • Look for non-toxic and eco-friendly options. Ask questions of manufacturers and installers regarding materials used, safety and environmental claims.
    • Decline any stain-resistance treatments.
    • Look for products made without vinyl such as hardwood, linoleum and ceramic tile.

For the health of our families, please continue to support meaningful legislation that prevents these chemicals from ending up in our homes.

What type of flooring do you have in your apartment or home?



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: aa2 res via photopin (license)

December 10th, 2015

Gift Guide for That Pet Lover on Your List

Gift Guide Pet Lover Groovy Green Livin

Almost everyone has a pet lover in their life. Here are a few unique gifts for them to enjoy this holiday season and beyond!


Port A Bowl Collapsible Travel Dog Food Bowl and Water Bowl ($5)

Green Gift Guide for That Pet Lover on Your List Groovy Green LivinWhen our dog was alive we used this all the time. It was perfect for hikes and traveling. The bowl is collapsible and tucks easily into a backpack, pocket, or purse and provides an easy way to give your dog food and water while on the go.


Naptime with Theo and Beau($11)

Green Gift Guide for That Pet Lover on Your List Groovy Green LivinIf you haven’t seen this you must. It’s such an adorable read. It all started when a loving mother posted a few pictures of her son, Beau, and their new puppy, Theo, napping together on her popular blog Momma’s Gone City.


Dog Love Mug($17)

Green Gift Guide for That Pet Lover on Your List Groovy Green LivinThis bright, fun and funky mug is hand painted stoneware that’s dishwasher safe. Perfect for the dog lover in your life.


Black & White Cat Coffee Ceramic Mugs  ($30)

Green Gift Guide for That Pet Lover on Your List Groovy Green Livin

Calling all cat lovers! These mugs are for you. The mugs are a perfect size to hold warm beverages on a cold winter night. I love the design. This set comes with two mugs.


Poof – Dog Waste Bag ($18)

Green Gift Guide for That Pet Lover on Your List Groovy Green LivinBrace yourself for this one!Poof is a reusable dog bag. It’s a 16 inch diameter coated nylon round double sided dog waste sack. Using the bag allows you to take your dog’s waste to a toilet bowl so it can be treated in the sewer plant. Poof is simple to use, simple to carry and simple to clean. I have to agree, this is the most environmentally friendly option on the market. It’s not for everyone!


Stephen Huneck – Love Is Give and Take – Indoor Welcome Mat($30)

Stephen Huneck is one of my favorite dog artists. His art is bright and whimsical and many times very funny. This indoor 27″ x 18″ welcome mat is a perfect addition to a dog lovers home.


Any other ideas for the pet lovers in your life?

Check out my tech free gift ideas for tweens HERE

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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 supporting this site!

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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

Lori on ABC World News

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