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Archive for Sponsored Post

July 28th, 2014

Calling All College Students! Head Back to School with Zipcar

Groovy Green Livin College Zipcar

 This post was created in partnership with Zipcar. I did receive compensation. All opinions are my own.

Whether you have kids in college or not, the back-to-school college buzz is hard to miss. It’s happening right now. Walk into any big box store over the next few months and I can promise you that you’ll be bombarded with all the “necessities” for dorm living coming at you in every color imaginable.

Thankfully my kids are a few years away from college. I don’t think I could handle an empty nest anytime soon. Right now I’m having enough trouble dealing with a few weeks of overnight camp.

When I was in college having a car on campus wasn’t an option. The university I went to was car friendly, but parking spots were hard to come by.

At that time college transportation options were few-buy a car, use a bike, a scooter, public transportation (which didn’t get you most places) or walk.

I ended up getting a scooter, something like the one pictured below. I hope I didn’t look like this guy when I was riding.

Groovy Green Livin College Zipcar

Having a scooter was such a cool ride. Parking was a breeze. Pull up and park at any bike rack.

Times have changed and now even scooter parking spots are hard to come by. Plus the cost of the scooter and insurance isn’t cheap.

Thankfully if you’re headed to college today there are many more sustainable options for transportation.

What is Zipcar?

Have you noticed the Zipcar symbol on cars zipping around town? Groovy Green Livin Zipcar For those of you aren’t familiar with Zipcar, it’s a car sharing service.

Car sharing programs like Zipcar are an important component of a sustainable transportation network on university campuses where parking is often in high demand.  

Each Zipcar can meet the needs of between 40 and 60 students, faculty and staff,  helping to make parking on campus a little more manageable. And at a time when campuses have been forced to ration parking spots, offering Zipcar is a great way to give people an option.

Zipping around College Campus: What is Zipcar for Universities?

This is where mom and dad with a kid or two headed off to college should really tune in.

Zipcar for Universities is all about the convenience of having a car without the hassles of having a car on campus. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Zipcar pioneered the use of car sharing on college campuses.  They first partnered with MIT and then Harvard.  Now Zipcar is on over 350 colleges and university campuses across North America.  It’s easy to check if your school is on the list

Discount for You Through Zipcar’s Alliance with Ford University

Zipcar has an alliance with Ford Motor Company that enables them to offer $10 off the $35 annual membership fee for the first 100,000 new university members who sign up, plus $1 off the Zipcar hourly rate for the first 1 million hours of use on any of the new Ford vehicles at participating colleges and universities.  

Here’s How Zipcar works

After paying the annual fee of $25 you’re ready to roll. Zipcar charges by the hour for use of a Zipcar. No car ownership required! No car payments, no gas payments and no costly car insurance.

Zipcar for Sustainability

Traffic on campus creates significant pollution and emissions. Many schools have programs like transit passes, bike lockers, ride sharing and others that get people to campus without a car. Zipcar gives these people access to a car on campus without needing to drive one to campus. This helps reduce the carbon footprint and increase air quality.

This combination of benefits – cost savings, convenience and fun for students along with practical and cost saving options for universities is what is driving the expansion of Zipcar on campuses across the country.

Using Zipcar while at school is an eco-friendly and financially sound option.  

Using a Zipcar is simple: Grab a Zipcar near campus and use it for an hour or day. Gas and insurance included. Join Zipcar and get $10 off the first-year membership.

TO JOIN: First check if your school has a Zipcar program HERE then click HERE  to join.

Have you tried Zipcar? I’d love to hear what you think.

Groovy Green Livin ZipcarDisclosure: I’ve been chosen as an official Zipcar influencer. I’m incredibly honored to be given this opportunity since I believe in what Zipcar is doing.  This post was created in partnership with Zipcar. I did receive compensation and there are affiliate links which help support this blog. All opinions are my own.

photo credit: James Alby via photopin cc

May 19th, 2014

Help a Sister Out With a Free Sample Softcup

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

Softcup and I are friends again.

A while back I introduced you to the reusable Softcup. Let me be clear-we were never not friends, but I took a break.

What is Softcup? Bye bye tampons and pads

Never heard of a menstrual cup? Softcup is a flexible cup, worn internally around your cervix (do you know where your cervix is?), that collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It replaces the need for tampons and pads if used properly.

There are two Softcup options:

Groovy Green Livin Softcup

  1. Disposable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and is then discarded, and
  2. Reusable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle.

I tried SoftCup a few times over the past few years and actually liked it.

But then I became lazy and went back to my trusty organic tampons.

Well, I’m back again Softcup and this time I think I’m here to stay.

Time to “green” your period

Fifty to 70 percent of American women use tampons. A typical woman can use anywhere between 8,000 and 17,000 tampons in her lifetime. The number varies quite a bit since every woman is unique and her cycle is different. The average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products in a lifetime. Then there’s the plastic wrapper around the tampon box, tampon or pads and the paper or plastic packaging around every box and individual tampon or pad. I haven’t even mentioned the cardboard or plastic applicator. So much waste.

The process to make each and every tampon and pad also involves a lot of waste. The cotton alone is resource intensive as the farming of cotton requires large amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizer.

My Softcup experience 

When I was asked to try out Softcup again I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive. My box of organic tampons was working just fine and I wasn’t sure I wanted to change it up again. But then I thought about all that waste……

Picking up right where I left off I still have a bit of a Softcup learning curve to work through. I’ve been using Softcup for the past month and I’m still not perfect at placement (I’m at best awkward), but I’m certainly more comfortable. It’s not easy, but I know from past experience that practice will payoff.

One of my favorite Softcup features is that you can wear it for up to 12 hours during any activity. I’m pretty active and there are times when I’m out and about for hours at a time. Finding a spot to change a tampon is always challenging. Here are a few more reasons to steer clear of conventional tampons:

  • Conventional tampons are chlorine-bleached and made with synthetic fibers.
  • Conventional tampons may contain residues of dioxin, as well as chemicals to aid in absorbency. Think about where you are placing those toxins.
  • One of the biggest risks is tampon-induced Toxic-Shock Syndrome (TSS) which is a rare, and potentially fatal, disease.  These risks arise from the synthetic fibers that make tampons and the chemicals used to bleach them.

Send a Free Softcup to a Friend: Help a Sister Out Campaign

If you’re interested in trying out your own Softcup I have good news! On Tuesday May 20th at 1pm EST, Softcup will be hosting a Sampler event which will run until Tuesday June 3rd at 1 pm EST or until supplies run out.

During this time 15,000 free Softcup samples will be sent out!

It’s simple: 

Anytime between May 20th at 1 pm EST and June 3rd at 1 pm EST click HERE to Help a Sister Out by sending a free sample of a reusable Softcup (provided supplies don’t run out)! 

 

Have you tried Softcup or a reusable menstrual cup? Tell me about it! 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have been hired by The Sampler App to write this post.  This is a “sponsored post.”  Softcup sent me a sample of Softcup and compensated me via a cash payment for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers and only share my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

photo credit: Lieven SOETE via photopin cc

November 15th, 2013

3 Tips to Make Recycling Easy (Sponsored)

Groovy Green Livin Recycling

The national recycling rate has increased every year for the past 30 years.  The current recycling rate is 34.7%. That sounds a bit low to me. It’s time we step it up a notch!

There are many creative ways to improve an existing in-home recycling system or to create a new recycling system from scratch. The folks at Rubbermaid and The Home Depot have teamed up to make it simple for each of us to find a recycling system that works!

American Recycles Day is November 15th

America Recycles Day, a program of Keep America Beautiful, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. Since it began in 1997, communities across the country have participated in America Recycles Day on November 15 to educate, promote environmental citizenship, and encourage action.

Recycling Makes Sense

Recycling allows us to reuse materials, which in turn conserves natural resources. It also saves water and energy, improves air and water quality, lowers pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and preserves landfill space.  After we’ve worked hard to reduce our consumption the need for recycling becomes important.

Recycling is Easy

1.    Make recycling a habit

Create an indoor spot where recyclables are collected before they make their way to the outdoor bins. Place a recycle bin in your kitchen to hold all your recyclables before you take them outside. This will make it easier to remember to recycle, you won’t have recyclables cluttering your counter space, and you’ll make fewer trips outside.

2.    Make recycling convenient

Recycling systems are actually very personal. They are created based upon the layout of your home and they need to work for you and your family. If it’s not a convenient system it’s not going to work.

Different recycling requirements are in place depending upon where you live. If you live in an area where you need to sort your recycling you’ll need to set up a bin system that accommodates this.

If you live an area with a single stream recycling program you can place all of your recyclables together in one bin.

Find a system that is convenient and works well for your family. Making recycling and access to your recycling bins convenient is the only way recyclables will end up where they should.

3.    Find Bins That Work Within Your Space

Keep Recyclables Out of Sight

Do you cringe when you see recyclables piling up on the counter or a trash bin sitting out in plain view? Do you like clean counters and closed doors? If you answered yes to both then you are most likely an Out of Sight (but not Out of Mind Recycler). Check out The Hidden Recycler from Home Depot. It attaches to the inside of a cabinet door to collect recyclables out of sight and keeps your counters clear. The bag is durable, machine washable, and is made of recycled material. Collect your recyclables and simply take them out to your recycle bin. This is a great product for single stream recyclers.

Combine Trash and Recyclables

The 2-in-1 Recycler contains trash and recyclables all in one location. The top bin is perfect for collecting recyclables the lower bin tilts out to hold your trash. The 2-in-1 Recycler could also be used to sort two different types of recyclables.

Keep Recyclables Outside

If you don’t have the space to sort your recyclables inside then check out The Stackable Recyclers from Home Depot. They’re the perfect solution for storing recyclables outside or in the garage. Three sizes can be stacked and interchanged to suit your sorting needs.

The Home Depot has a great assortment of Rubbermaid® Recycling bins available in their stores. There is an even bigger assortment of Rubbermaid® Recycling bins available on homedepot.com with 44 different products to choose from.

 (This post is brought to you by  Home Depot and Rubbermaid. All opinions are my own. For more information on sponsored posts, read here.)

photo credit: Rubbermaid Products via photopin cc

February 23rd, 2012

Softcup: Green and Reusable

ski poles

This past week was school vacation week for many families on the east coast. We are big alpine skiers and try to spend our vacations out on the slopes. Although there hasn’t been much snow this season, we still managed to get some skiing in. Most of the days were spent gearing up three children in snow pants, ski boots and helmets so we could spend the majority of the day outside on the mountain.

For those of you who are non-skiers, skiing generally entails being outside, in a remote area, for hours at a time. When you need a bathroom break there’s not always a bathroom in close range. Finding one can take a while and then using it can be a big production. The skis need to come off, the multiple layers of ski gear needs to be shed and somehow you need to get to the bathroom in those big, clunky ski boots. Not a small effort. Add changing a tampon or pad to the mix and there’s no question I would have been sitting in the lodge with a cup of hot cocoa (for those of you not interested in hearing about tampons, pads and reusable menstrual cups now’s your chance to opt out of the discussion).

As some of you know, I started using a reusable Softcup a few months ago. I’ve been reporting to you on my progress and it’s been slow and steady. This month I’m feeling a bit more comfortable with it and can finally say that I have successfully greened my period.

What does “greening” your period mean?

Fifty to 70 percent of American women use tampons. A typical woman can use anywhere between 8,000 to 17,000 tampons in her lifetime. The number varies quite a bit since every woman is unique and her cycle is different. The average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene related products in a lifetime. That’s a tremendous amount of waste. Then there’s the plastic wrapper around the tampon box or pads and the paper or plastic packaging around every box and individual tampon or pad. I haven’t even mentioned the cardboard or plastic applicator. So much waste.

The process to make each and every tampon and pad also involves a lot of waste. The cotton alone is resource intensive as the farming of cotton requires large amounts of water, pesticides and fertilizer.

Using organic tampons and pads reduces the amount of waste on the production end, but doesn’t solve the actual waste of the product and packaging.

Reusable Softcup menstrual cupReusable Softcup

Reusable Softcup is a menstrual cup that can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle. The cup is worn internally, around your cervix, and it collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It’s non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, latex-free and completely safe when used as directed.

Softcup is affordable and an eco-friendly alternative to conventional tampons and pads. Think of all the waste that’s avoided by using a resuable menstrual cup.

Back to skiing

I still have to make the occasional trip into the bathroom with one of my boys, but I don’t have to carry extra, bulky tampons or pads in my ski jacket. The best part-I can stay out for hours and there’s no worry about leaking.

Ready to give it a try? Let me know how you do.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have been hired by Evofem, the parent company for Softcup, in their Softcup Brand Ambassador Program.  This is a “sponsored post.”  Evofem sent me a sample of Softcup and compensated me via a cash payment for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers and only share my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

[Photo used under Creative Commons from Laffertyryan/Flickr]

January 23rd, 2012

Green Your Workout with Softcup

cycling solo

To my parents, in-laws and anyone else who doesn’t want to hear about my menstrual cycle: this post isn’t for you. For the rest of you brave souls, read on…..

A while back I introduced you to the reusable Softcup. Softcup is a flexible cup, worn internally around your cervix that collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It replaces the need for tampons and pads if used properly. You can use one reusable softcup throughout an entire cycle…saving you money and helping the environment.

SoftcupWhy make the switch to Softcup from conventional tampons and pads?

  • Tampons and pads are wasteful. They are single-use and disposable. They generally come wrapped in plastic or paper which also gets tossed. That’s a lot of waste.
  • Conventional tampons are chlorine-bleached and made with synthetic fibers.
  • Conventional tampons may contain residues of dioxin, as well as chemicals to aid in absorbency. Think about where you are placing those toxins.
  • One of the biggest risks is tampon-induced Toxic-Shock Syndrome (TSS) which is a rare, and potentially fatal, disease.  These risks arise from the synthetic fibers that make tampons and the chemicals used to bleach them.

Not too long ago Kimberly-Clark recalled over 1,400 cartons of tampons, claiming the plastic tubing could contain a bacteria capable of causing “dangerous infections”.

Softcup has never had a reported incidence of Toxic Shock Syndrome. More good news: it doesn’t contain any of the following:

  • Bleached cotton
  • Pesticides
  • Residual fibers
  • Dioxins
  • Carcinogens
  • Latex
  • Polycarbonates (PCB)
  • Bisphenol-A (BPA)
  • Polyvinylchloride (PVC)
  • Phthalates

Softcup: the greener option during a workout

I’m a workout-a-holic. I like to be active most days-could be a run, cycling, kickboxing, yoga or skiing (finally there’s snow!). During my workouts I’m moving at a relatively high intensity-jumping around. When it’s that time of the month I used to dread my workouts for fear that my tampon would need to be changed during class or wouldn’t stay where it was supposed to stay. This was especially worrisome when I was a teenager. I have vivid memories of the fear of leakage at an inopportune time. There have been too many times to count when I’ve forgotten my trusty supply of tampons. I’ve had to seek out tampons in some pretty embarrassing situations (haven’t we all?).

I’ve been using Softcup for about 2 months and my learning curve continues. I’m still not perfect at placement (I’m at best awkward), but I’m certainly more comfortable. It’s not easy, but practice will hopefully payoff. One of my favorite Softcup features is that you can wear it for up to 12 hours during any activity. If it’s in properly, you won’t even know it’s there. Softcup is reusable so there’s no need to bring a carton of tampons along. Since I was constantly forgetting them, this was a huge relief.

Ahh-that wasn’t so bad. I think my parents and in-laws could have handled that.  This isn’t the end of my Softcup journey. Thanks to the kind people at Softcup, my Softcup adventures will continue and I will be sharing more not-so-gory menstrual cup details with you.

Have you tried Softcup or any reusable menstrual cup?

[Photo used under Creative Commons from lululemon athletica/Flickr]

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have been hired by Evofem, the parent company for Softcup, in their Softcup Brand Ambassador Program.  This is a “sponsored post.”  Evofem sent me a sample of Softcup and compensated me via a cash payment for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers and only share my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

December 22nd, 2011

Go Green with Softcup

Softcup

Brace yourselves.  I’ve decided to ring in the new year by going out on a limb. The topic I’m about to discuss is a bit outside of my comfort zone and could be outside of yours: a menstrual cup. I know that I just lost some of you, but please stick with me. This is for women and men (because you know women who might want to hear about this) and you can handle it.

What is Softcup? Bye bye tampons and pads.

Never heard of a menstrual cup? Softcup is a flexible cup, worn internally around your cervix (do you know where your cervix is?), that collects rather than absorbs menstrual flow. It replaces the need for tampons and pads if used properly.

There are two Softcup options:

  1. Disposable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and is then discarded, and
  2. Reusable which can be worn for up to 12 hours and reused throughout one menstrual cycle.

My Softcup experience (without being too graphic)

When I was asked by Softcup to try out their product I have to admit I was a little apprehensive. I have birthed children and been using tampons for many years, but I wasn’t sure I knew where my cervix was! I was also pretty happy with my box of organic tampons. Recently a few friends made the switch to a menstrual cup and swore they would never go back-so I was curious and open to giving it a try.

I decided to go with the reusable Softcup (rather than disposable) because it was the greener option. The first attempt at putting it in was pretty awkward-to the point where I had tears of laughter streaming down my face. A deep breath was required and it actually helped. My biggest fear was that once the Softcup was in it wasn’t coming out. Thankfully that’s impossible. Whew! There’s definitely a learning curve and I’m proving that practice makes perfect when it comes to Softcup. I have to say once it’s in properly (took me a few attempts) you can’t feel it at all.

Softcup is a green and eco-friendly alternative to tampons and pads

I spend a lot of my time sharing small, simple ways to make a big difference. Switching from disposables to reusable products-napkins, bags and lunch boxes-are simple ways to make a change that has a big impact on our pocketbook and the planet. According to Zero Waste Lifestyle:

A woman who uses tampons is estimated to go through nearly 10,000 in her lifetime. The thousands of applicators disposed of every day contribute to over-clogged landfills and blockage problems at some municipal sewage treatment plants……….Disposable pads have environmental implications….. Often they have plastic backing and are laced with perfumes and odor neutralizers, and may even have a rayon content.

Not only are the tampons and pads wasteful, but they generally come wrapped in plastic or paper which also gets tossed. That’s a lot of waste.

After using Softcup for one cycle I’m hooked. Going forward into 2012 I’m a Softcup convert.

There, you made it through my not-so-gory discussion. Are you hooked or at least open to giving it a shot (or passing the info on to any women in your life)? Thanks to the nice people at Softcup, my Softcup adventures will continue and there will be more info to come.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have been hired by Evofem, the parent company for Softcup, in their Softcup Brand Ambassador Program.  This is a “sponsored post.”  Evofem sent me a sample of Softcup and compensated me via a cash payment for this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers and only share my honest opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

November 14th, 2011

Nature Makes Perfect Scents

nature's ocean

This post is sponsored by Social Moms and Seventh Generation.

Have you ever noticed that certain scents from nature bring back childhood memories? Most memories of specific scents come from the first time we smell something, which is usually when we were children. I can think of quite a few scents that trigger incredible childhood memories, however nothing transports me back to my childhood like the smell of the ocean.

The Smell of the Ocean

I spent the majority of my childhood in the lovely city of Madison, Wisconsin. If you take a look at a map you will quickly notice that Wisconsin isn’t anywhere near an ocean. There are many beautiful lakes and other bodies of water in and around Madison, but getting to an ocean is a long trek.

The ocean was still a big part of my childhood. To this day the smell of the salt water and ocean air takes me to a very special place where I spent almost every vacation as a child.

Here are a few clues to help you guess where I was vacationing all those years:

  • It was H-O-T and humid, making my hair do all sorts of funny things the minute I stepped off the plane.
  • Restaurants opened for dinner at 4:30 and the lines started forming around 3:30 (and we were usually in them).
  • Shuffleboard was our afternoon activity. Relatives were hopeful I’d meet that special someone on the shuffleboard court or laying by the pool (didn’t happen).
  • When the vacation ended I was very tan (there was a lot of baby oil and very little sunscreen being applied).

If you guessed FLORIDA you were right on.  I was very fortunate to spend almost every vacation with my grandparents on the east coast of Florida. The smell of that salty, thick air brings back incredible memories of the time we spent together.  It was a happy time-a time when my grandparents could spoil me rotten and share stories about coming to America.

The smell of the ocean makes me feel safe and relaxed and reminds me of the many years I spent with my grandparents. I live closer to the ocean now and each trip to the beach is a trip down memory lane. As the smell of the air hits I am reminded of the fabulous times I shared with all four of my grandparents.

Seventh Generation knows that scents are powerful. That’s why Seventh Generation has created a line of dish liquids featuring natural scents from real lemons, clementines and lavender.  To celebrate their new line of dish liquids Seventh Generation is offering a giveaway: you can enter to win a trip for two to one of the regions where lemons, clementines and lavender grow, including France, Italy and Vermont!

What are some scents from nature you love, and where do those scents take you?

Disclosure: I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Seventh Generation blogging program and I was compensated for this post. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

[Photo used under Creative Commons from epSos.de/Flickr]

 

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About Lori

I’m Lori Popkewitz Alper, a recovering attorney, mom of three and the Founder of Groovy Green Livin. I hope you'll join me as I embark on a journey to live a healthy life. Along the way I might make a few pit stops to fight for issues that affect the health and safety of our families. Come along with me as I work hard to make the world a little safer for each of us. Together we'll discover that simple, small changes can lead to a healthier lifestyle and a greener planet.

Click HERE to contact Lori

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Lori on ABC World News

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