Smart Gardening Tips

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Do you cultivate a garden? The beauty of planting your own fruits and veggies is that every season has something new to offer. Summer gardens have a unique allure, however, given the optimal growing conditions and consistent sunshine. And it’s hard to beat that gorgeous summer produce! These tips will help inspire you: Read the rest of this entry »

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Gluten-Free Beauty Basics

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If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you probably go to great lengths to avoid gluten in your diet. Should you also avoid personal care products that contain this ingredient? Maybe so, when you consider that up to 60% of what you apply to your skin can be absorbed into the bloodstream.

If you don’t eat gluten, why let it seep into your body topically? The cosmetic industry assumes the position that gluten molecules are too large to be absorbed through the skin, therefore people with celiac disease can safely use their gluten-containing products. However, many doctors disagree.

Kenneth Fine, M.D. of EnteroLab.com states that: “Gluten sensitivity is a systemic immune reaction to gluten anywhere in the body, not just that entering the body via the gut. Therefore, topically applied lotions, creams, shampoos, etc. containing gluten would indeed provide a source of gluten to the body, and we therefore recommend all such products be discontinued for optimal health.”

Personal care products pose a challenge, however, as most labels don’t include the term gluten in the ingredient list, though many ingredients are derived from wheat, including:

• Tocopherols and mixed tocopherols
• Fermented grain extract
• Amp-isostearoyl hydrolyzed wheat protein
• Hydrolyzed wheat gluten
• PG-Propyl Silanetriol
• Amino Acids Hydroxypropyltrimonium
• Steardimonium Hydroxypropyl Protein/PVP Crosspolymer
• Triticum Vulgare
• Bran Extract
• PG-Propyl Silanetriol, Triticum Lipids
• Germamidopropyldimonium Hydroxypropyl
• Cyclodextrin
• Dextrin Palmitate
• Stearyldimoniumhydroxypropyl

The following brands─available in high-end natural food stores and/or on-line─offer many gluten-free soaps, shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and cosmetics. They’re also free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, and other unhealthy chemical additives:

Joelle Cosmetics─These luscious products are gluten-free and very affordable
Ecco-Bella Cosmetics─These cosmetics, hair and body care products are beautifully effective, well priced, vegan, and gluten-free
Afterglow Cosmetics─All items are gluten free and high-quality, if a tad pricey
Tropical Traditions─Soaps, lotions, and lip balms are all gluten-free, with many fragrance-free as well
Aubrey Organics─You’ll find a long list of safe, effective, natural products here

How about sunscreens that contain neither gluten nor unhealthy chemicals? Your best bets─also available in high-end natural food stores or on-line─include these brands:

Nature’s Gate
Badger
California Baby
Lavera
Desert Essence

These tips should help you navigate through your beauty routine happily gluten-free!

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The Health Benefits of “Greening Your Life”

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Earth-friendly living is increasingly popular and many people are doing what they can to “green” their lives. And certainly, daily actions like recycling everything we can, composting kitchen scraps, and bringing our own cloth bags when shopping make a huge difference, especially when each of us do our part. Read the rest of this entry »

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National Arbor Day: 5 Reasons to Love Trees

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National Arbor Day is April 27, inviting us to celebrate trees─true wonders of nature─and to “green” our future by planting more of them. When Julius Sterling Morton declared the first Arbor Day in 1872, he was ahead of his time in understanding the value of trees. But even Julius might have been surprised by all we’ve learned since about the many ways trees benefit our lives. For example: Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Find Rainforest Alliance Certified Products: Shop the Frog!

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Are you concerned about our rapidly diminishing rain forests? If so, you’ll be glad to know that you can help the Rainforest Alliance protect this incredibly precious resource simply through the purchases you would often make anyway.

As you may know, the Rainforest Alliance is a non-profit organization that has long worked to prevent deforestation, conserve natural areas, and protect vital ecosystem services. They also provide communities and businesses with economically sustainable alternatives to forest destruction, which is where Rainforest Alliance certified products come in. Read the rest of this entry »

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World Wildlife Fund: Tiger Spotlight

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Are you familiar with the World Wildlife Fund? For 50 years, WWF─the world’s leading conservation organization─has been protecting the future of nature. WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF’s unique approach combines global reach with sound science, taking action at every level from local to worldwide and creating solutions for both people and nature. Read the rest of this entry »

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How to Green Your Life on a Budget

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Are you living the green life? Certainly, minding the environment and our homes is as essential as life gets. Green living is about more than saving energy, however. It’s also about protecting your health─and that of those you love. Fortunately, many simple, affordable changes benefit both the planet and your wellness simultaneously. This earth-friendly journey is about making that first small change, and progressing from there─on any budget. What a great example to set! See if the following tips inspire you: Read the rest of this entry »

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10 Things You Should Know About Global Warming

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If you live a “green” lifestyle, you probably consider the subject of global warming─also referred to as climate change─now and then. So what exactly is this environmental phenomenon, and why should you care about it? While it’s a complex issue, here are 10 related facts to be aware of: Read the rest of this entry »

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Eco-Beauty Essentials

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Just what is eco-beauty? It could be described as your ability to take fabulous care of yourself from head to toe without exposing your body─or the planet─to potentially dangerous toxins. While technology and science have advanced us in many ways, we’re also paying a price in the form of numerous chemicals and pollutants which pose a danger to both the environment and our personal health. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rainforest Alliance Essentials

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Are you familiar with the Rainforest Alliance? This non-profit organization─founded in 1986─works to prevent deforestation, conserve natural areas, and protect vital ecosystem services. They also provide communities and businesses with economically sustainable alternatives to forest destruction, which is where the Rainforest Alliance certification comes in. Read the rest of this entry »

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