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March 17th, 2014
I’m back in Boston after a day of filming a green living makeover video with the fabulous team from Manilla. As many of you know I’m Manilla’s Green Living Expert and I was asked to makeover a college student’s apartment that was a complete ‘green’ disaster!
There’s nothing like heading into Manhattan for the day. Yes, it’s exhausting, but it’s such an easy trip. I just hopped on the Acela and took a 3 1/2 hour train ride into Penn Station.
My morning in New York started off when I arrived at the prestigious Hearst Tower in Manhattan, home to Manilla and some of the most well known magazines including Marie-Claire, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan.
The filming of the makeover took place on the 29th floor where Good Housekeeping Magazine is located. It was incredible to see the test kitchens and various rooms filled with appliances and vacuums.
Green Living Makeover
The purpose of the video: It was my job to makeover a college student’s apartment and turn it into a lean, green, eco-friendly machine.
Annie, a senior at Fordham University, was in desperate need of a green living makeover. Her apartment was filled with plastics and paper products along with toxic cleaning supplies. She was a great sport and so much fun to work with, as was the entire Manilla team.
I’ve filmed other videos for Manilla, but this was different. We spent about 6 hours filming, which will ultimately end up as a 4 minute video. We shot each segment over and over so the editing crew has quite a bit of footage to choose from. There were hand closeups, b-roll footage (extra footage) and me trying desperately to get through each take without a mistake!
We started off using cue cards, but that didn’t work very well. I ended up memorizing my lines and improvising. Now the makeover editing team will have to work their magic.
After the Green Living Makeover
I was really excited to see Annie’s apartment after some of my suggested changes had been made. Stay tuned to see what happened!
While you’re waiting feel free to check out my other Manilla Mini videos:
- Green Your Kitchen in 4 Easy Steps!
- 5 Simple Steps to a Greener Life
- Eco-Friendly Cleaning Tips and
- 5 Ways to Go Green and Save Green
- The Benefits of Going Green
If you were offered a green living makeover what’s the first thing you would want to change?
photo credit: simonk via photopin cc
October 3rd, 2013
Remember when I traveled to New York to film 5 short videos for Manilla covering the many ways we can all lead a greener life?
The first video is ready to share! I would love to hear what you think.
Simple Steps to a Greener Life
If you’re not a green king or queen, switching to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle can be daunting. Fortunately, there are simple ways to reduce your environmental impact without drastically impacting your daily life.
1. Phase out plastics from your home—especially those used for food storage:
Plastics can leak harmful toxic chemicals into our food, which can affect our long-term health. Switch to glass storage containers to ensure that your food stays fresh and you stay healthy.
2. Switch to reusable bags:
The next time you visit the supermarket, bring along reusable bags. Leave them in the front seat of your car or in another visible spot so that you remember them. Not only will you be saving the environment, but you’ll also be reducing the clutter in your home.
3. Start using non-toxic cleaning products:
Conventional cleaning products are filled with toxic chemicals that don’t belong in your home. Instead, try to find brands that don’t contain harsh chemicals like. ammonia, synthetic fragrance, chlorine bleach, parabens and phosphates, or consider making your own cleaning supplies.
4. Replace your personal care items with safe, non-toxic alternatives:
The most eco-friendly way to a greener life is to replace items with environmentally conscious alternatives as you run out of them. When your shampoos or other personal care items run low, replace them with non-toxic products like those found on the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. If a product has a high hazard score, it shouldn’t be coming in contact with your body.
5. Leave your shoes at the door:
While the Jones’ lawn might be green, it’s also full of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. All of those toxins march right into your living space when you wear your shoes from outdoors into your home. Create a space outside or in the garage where you can kick off your shoes until the next time you venture outside.
I would love to hear your steps for a greener life!
The video is also airing on the Manilla blog and at Yahoo! Finance. More videos are coming so stay tuned!
photo credit: epSos.de via photopin cc
May 3rd, 2013
Welcome to the first edition (and maybe the last) of Green Report: Weekend Edition.
I’m finally feeling almost caught up after vacation. For some reason the catch-up process took longer than usual.
There are a few things that landed on my desk this week that I wanted to share. Perhaps a little weekend reading for those of you with some spare time.
Over 5,000 Kids Products Contain Toxic Chemicals
This week thanks to groundbreaking legislation in Washington State, makers of kids’ products have to report when they use chemicals that have been flagged as dangerous. Over 5,000 kids’ products in Washington contain toxic chemicals— everything from cadmium to phthalates to flame retardants. And these chemicals are in products with trusted labels—everything from Walmart to the Gap to H&M. Hopefully other states aren’t far behind in requiring this too.
Lipsticks and Glosses May Contain Potentially Troubling Levels of Metals
I’ve told you this before-I am a lip balm/lipstick junkie. I can’t get enough of the stuff. I have lipstick containers stashed everywhere-in the car, drawers, coat pockets, bathrooms-no space is spared. I love lipstick.
I’ve written in the past about studies which showed lead in many of our favorite brands of lipstick. Now a new study has found that many popular lip products also contain cadmium, chromium, aluminum and other metals — some at levels that may be harmful.
4 Sisters Take Their Photo Every Year For 36 Years
This photo display is very touching so I wanted to share. Back 1975, American photographer Nicholas Nixon took a photo of his wife Bebe and her three sisters, and they came up with an idea to make it an annual tradition. Over a period of 36 years they took an annual photo of the four sisters, in the same order. If only we had done something similar in our family. Hindsight at this point. Take a look at this beautiful journey through interesting hairstyles, sweaters and aging HERE.
Five Minute Vegan Strawberry Sorbet
For those of you finally in the throws of spring and warmer temperatures, this is the perfect weekend to try out this recipe for Vegan Strawberry Sorbet. It really does take 5 minutes to make. And for those of you getting hit with a May snow storm, I’m so very sorry.
Stay tuned for another Green Report (that’s the plan). Happy, groovy green weekend to all!
What are your weekend plans?
photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin cc
August 27th, 2012
A challenging piece of my ongoing green journey has been to reduce the amount of paper used in my home. Let’s just say upfront that I draw the line at toilet paper. There will be no reusable toilet paper in my house. Ever.
I have the reusable napkin piece down. We have a drawer in the kitchen dedicated to all different designs and sizes of reusable napkins.
The paper towel switch to reusables has been a bit more challenging. Thanks to our dog and three young boys we are constantly in need of something to clean up the messy trail left behind.
Now there’s a one-stop shop for paper towel alternatives and green kitchen products: Paperless Kitchen. The founder of Paperless Kitchen, Sachin, grew up in a household obsessed with paper towels and was shocked by how easily as a culture we become used to using something once and throwing it away. The company was formed to help all of us adopt greener lifestyles by offering alternatives to single-use kitchen paper products. Here are a few of the products that Paperless Kitchen offers-
I have been testing out SKOY cloths from Paperless Kitchen over the past few weeks. The cloth is great for everything from wiping the table to cleaning up dog disasters. The SKOY cloth is a European created product which is completely 100% biodegradable. Using one SKOY cloth is equal to using 15 rolls of paper towels in an average house. My only complaint is I wish the cloth came in a variety of sizes.
I have been a fan of PeopleTowels for a long time and thanks to the generosity of Paperless Kitchen I now have my very own. They are reusable personal hand towels and are a fantastic alternative to paper towels. Made of 100% organic Fair Trade Cotton, they are an easy way to go green, save trees, reduce landfill waste, cut CO2 emissions and conserve water. An added bonus: there are so many adorable designs to choose from.
Paperless Kitchen is generously offering the Paperless Kitchen Starter Kit to one Groovy Green Livin reader. This kit is valued at $130 and includes:
You can also connect with Paperless Kitchen on Facebook and Twitter. By entering your name and other information you acknowledge that you have read and are agreeing to our Official Rules.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: Paperless Kitchen generously sent me SKOY clothes and PeopleTowels to try out. The opinions are my very own.
July 25th, 2012
It’s Wednesday and all over the internet you will find photos with no words of explanation. Why? Because pictures say a thousand words and today is Wordless Wednesday.
I’ve been writing a lot about our small, itty bitty organic garden. I can’t stop writing and sharing photos because I’m in shock that we actually got our act together this year and planted. I’m also amazed that the garden is thriving (it looks like a jungle out there). Here’s what we picked this week. Impressed? I am.
What’s growing in your garden?
Linked up with Crazy About My Baybah, I Thought I Knew Mama, Dagmar’s Momsense, My Organized Chaos, Farmer’s Daughter, The Progressive Parent.
June 22nd, 2012
The combination of heat and humidity have been draining over the past few days. To keep everyone cool and happy we have ramped our smoothie addiction up a notch. We are now experimenting with different flavors of sorbet, which are just as easy to make (if not easier) than a smoothie. This week we tested out a few different flavors and voted on our favorite. The Vegan Strawberry Sorbet was the winner.
The key ingredient in this sorbet are a few frozen bananas. As our bananas ripen and begin to turn brown I put them in the freezer so they’re ready for use.
- A few frozen bananas ( one banana for each 12 oz. bag of frozen strawberries)
- 12 oz. bag of frozen strawberries (I like to use organic strawberries)
- You will also need a food processor or blender
- Place a banana in the food processor and blend until creamy.
- After banana is creamy add the bag of frozen strawberries (do not defrost prior to use).
- Blend together until mixture reaches desired consistency.
- Scoop right away or place in container and freeze for later use.
Have you ever made sorbet? What’s your favorite flavor?
Linked up with Natural Mothers Network Seasonal Celebration
May 31st, 2012
I’ve said it before: one of my passions is promoting groovy, green businesses who are doing their part to make the world a better place. Well, I found another one to tell you about. Ecocentric Mom is a new site that knows moms are an unstoppable driving force and when it comes to the well-being of their children…we moms are a power to be reckoned with. By using our spending power to purchase food and products from clean, natural and safe brands moms (and dads) can make a difference.
What is Ecocentric Mom?
Finding safe, eco-friendly products can be overwhelming, costly and time consuming. How cool would it be if you could try out green, non-toxic products before heading to the store to invest in them? Ecocentric Mom allows you to do just that! Each month a box is sent your way containing healthy, natural and organic products exclusively for moms, moms-to-be and babies. Your monthly box will be packed with natural and eco-friendly goodies from businesses that care for the planet and our health.
3 Membership Choices
Ecocentric Mom has 3 membership boxes to choose from, the mom, mom-to-be or baby box. Your box will be delivered in chic eco-friendly packaging and the products inside will be a surprise until they arrive at your door. Your membership also includes exclusive product discounts, monthly product giveaways and tips and information on fitness, green living and clean food choices. My friends Kathy over at Safe Mama and Diane at Big Green Purse are the fabulous Ecocentric Mom green living experts you’ll be hearing from!
The boxes make a great gift and are priced reasonably ($17/box).
Ecocentric Mom Mission
The folks over at Ecocentric Mom are dedicated to helping people live a greener, healthier lifestyle by introducing you to the most ethical, sustainable, and honest businesses with the highest quality products.
Ecocentric Mom will help you find these safe products. Receiving a monthly box loaded with green goodies allows you to explore, test and compare products before tapping into your bank account. They have selected brands committed to using the best, non-toxic ingredients to create innovative, performance based products that respect people, animals and the planet. This means that the products you receive in your Ecocentric Mom box will be FREE of ingredients known or suspected to cause harm.
The launch of Ecocentric Mom is set for July 15th. Their first boxes will be “Founding Members” boxes. These are very special and there will only be a limited amount. Founding members will receive an additional free surprise with their first box.
To hold your spot, sign up here.
Disclosure: Ecocentric Mom compensated me for sharing my honest opinion about their company. The opinions expressed here are my very own.