• (Photo: Buena Vista Images / Getty Images)(Photo: Buena Vista Images / Getty Images)By Michelle Schoffro Cook
    More from Care2 Green Living blog

    The days are getting shorter. Fall has arrived in all its resplendent beauty. While the changing colors are lovely, insufficient daylight may find you down in the dumps and more tired than usual.

    The Cleveland Clinic estimates that at least 10 to 20 percent of the population suffers from some sort of seasonal depression brought on by shorter days. An additional 4 to 6 percent of North Americans suffer from a more extreme version of "winter blues" called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

    At this stage of the research, the disorder seems to be related to insufficient light and the resulting hormonal disruptions caused by the pineal gland. When the pineal gland believes it is in darkness, it secretes a hormone called melatonin, which has sedative properties.

    There are numerous symptoms of the winter blues, but the main ones usually appear in the colder season and include:

    • Change in appetite, particularly for
    Read More »from Five natural ways to beat the winter blues
  • By Becky Striepe
    More from Care2 Green Living blog

    (Creative Commons photo by DimitriDF)(Creative Commons photo by DimitriDF)Wasted food is wasted energy and wasted money, so rather than scraping your plate into the garbage or leaving uneaten portions at the restaurant where it will end up in the trash, try turning that leftover food into a different meal for later on in the week!

    Not only does cooking with leftovers reduce waste, it can help stretch your food budget. And this mean always eating the same meal twice. If you're looking to spice up your leftovers, here are some easy, tasty ways to make yesterday's meal into a whole new dish.

    1. Wraps and quesadillas

    Burritos and wraps used to mean some combination of beans, rice, and veggies. While a traditional burrito is great, you can really spice things up by wrapping leftovers from another meal along with some veggies in a tortilla.

    Think outside the box -- Thai or Indian leftovers would be delicious wrapped up with some sliced potato and shredded spinach, for example.

    Or heat up a

    Read More »from Six ways to make leftovers into a new meal
  • Benyamin Cohen, Mother Nature Network(Photo: Nick White / Getty Images)(Photo: Nick White / Getty Images)
    More from Guest Bloggers blog

    For nearly a century, Americans have been springing forward and falling back, and this year will be no different. Come Sunday morning, we'll be snuggled soundly in bed as the clocks fall back an hour. Daylight saving time is the autumnal gift that provides the proverbial snooze button to our circadian rhythm.

    But whether or not we should get that extra sleep has spurred some passionate debate from many disparate groups.

    To better understand the situation, it's best to look at why we do this annual clock change each fall and spring. Agrarian cultures built their societies around sunlight, waking up with the sun to toil in the field and heading home as the sun lowered beneath the horizon. But the Industrial Revolution, and electricity in particular, brought the freedom to unshackle us from nature's clock.

    As far back as 1897, countries began instituting daylight saving time, adding an hour of sunlight to the day. Read More »from Do we still need daylight saving time?
  • How to spend less time on laundry

    By Lori Bongiorno(Photo: Tetra Images / Getty Images )(Photo: Tetra Images / Getty Images )
    More from The Conscious Consumer blog

    Laundry is one of those chores that you can never truly cross off your to-do list. No matter how many loads you wash, there's always more coming. This is particularly true for those who handle laundry for an entire household.

    "A lot of people feel overwhelmed by the amount of laundry they have to do," says Jodie Watson, president of Supreme Organization. "But you can reverse the situation so that you're on top of it, instead of it being on top of you."

    Here are some simple tips to get you started:

    Schedule laundry day
    Pick the days you are going to do laundry and stick to it. Rather than randomly doing laundry as it piles up or trying to do a dozen loads on a Saturday, split it up into two or three days.

    Watson does laundry twice a week -- two loads every Wednesday or Thursday and another couple on either Saturday or Sunday -- and she doesn't stress in between. Some people find it helpful to have a more

    Read More »from How to spend less time on laundry
  • Six tricks used to sell junk food

    By Melissa Breyer(Photo: Photosindia / Getty Images)(Photo: Photosindia / Getty Images)
    More from Care2 Green Living blog

    The nation's largest producer of baby carrots launched an advertising campaign earlier this year positioning baby carrots as the extreme new junk food. It was hilarious, but you have to wonder what this says about the effectiveness of junk-food marketing. If carrots are adopting these tactics, something must be working. And working well!

    According to the Federal Trade Commission, food makers spend $1.6 billion annually to reach children through advertising; while obesity statistics show that 34 percent of adults and 17 percent of children are now classified as obese.

    Below are some of the tricks the junk-food industry uses to subtly sway us, and especially kids, into buying their wares. Learn their tactics so you can avoid falling for them.

    1. Marketing to children

    The food industry understands that children are a very lucrative market. Kids in the U.S. have terrific purchasing power: Children between 3 and 11 years

    Read More »from Six tricks used to sell junk food
  • By Amanda Greene

    When it comes to driving mistakes, most people are in the "it's not me, it's you" camp. Everything from minor scrapes to major collisions can easily be blamed on the other driver. But what if it is actually your fault? We spoke to the experts and discovered that oftentimes, you (yes, you!) really are the one to blame. The good news? You're not alone. Read on to find out the most common driving mistakes people make, and what you can do to improve your road skills.

    1. You're not paying as much attention to the road as you think you are.
    Distracted driving is a huge cause of accidents, and cell phone use is one of the biggest culprits. Think you're in the clear because you're wearing a headset? E

    10 Driving Mistakes You Probably Make10 Driving Mistakes You Probably Make

    xperts agree that even if you're talking hands-free while behind the wheel, you're still endangering yourself and others. "You're driving a two- or three-thousand-pound piece of metal, and anything you do that distracts you from driving is a danger," says

    Read More »from 10 Driving Mistakes You Probably Make
  • By Brian Clark Howard(Photo: Chris Eckert / Studio D)(Photo: Chris Eckert / Studio D)
    More from The Daily Green News blog

    The nontoxic, natural cleaning powers of baking soda have been known for generations, and many people leave a box of the stuff in their refrigerator to try to fight odors. But many of us aren't using it correctly. There are some things you should know about how baking soda works to get real results and the best value for your money.

    Baking soda, which is really 100% sodium bicarbonate, eliminates odors by neutralizing strong acids and stabilizing strong bases - the root causes of most bad odors.

    According to Leslie Stein of the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia, there aren't any real-world studies that prove the odor-eating effectiveness of baking soda, but there are reams of anecdotal evidence and lessons from the lab.

    To get the most out of baking soda, follow these three guidelines.

    1. Replace it often
    Most of us leave an open box of baking soda in the fridge for months, if not years. But

    Read More »from The facts about removing odor from the fridge
  • By Philip Schmidt, Networx(Photo: David Gould / Getty Images)(Photo: David Gould / Getty Images)
    More from Guest Bloggers blog

    If you're looking for a career change and want something with rock-solid security, you might consider becoming a plumber who makes house calls. This advice is based on two truths: 1) People will always need plumbing - or more specifically, plumbing that works - and, 2) people will always do stupid things that stop their plumbing from working.

    Keep in mind that the service side of plumbing often requires a strong stomach and the will to suppress amusement with other peoples' self-imposed misfortune. But rest assured that the two truths mentioned above will always keep you in business.

    The items below are just a small sampling of what you might expect on an ordinary day in the field.

    1. Leaving hoses connected during winter

    This is a classic plumbing error that one must assume is caused most often by extreme laziness. Unlike holiday lights, hoses can cause damage when left out all year: They can lead to freezing

    Read More »from Seven stupid things people do that ruin plumbing
  • By Lori Bongiorno

    (Photo: Ross Anania / Getty Images)(Photo: Ross Anania / Getty Images)Americans are notorious for wasting food. Each year, we toss out about 27 percent of edible food, and the average family of four throws out about $600 worth of groceries.

    Here's one way to visualize the collective impact of all the limp lettuce and moldy bread that makes its way to landfills. We waste enough food each day to fill up the Rose Bowl (a 90,000 seat stadium in Southern California), according to Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland on CNN.

    We're not only wasting money, we're also wasting energy. New research from the University of Texas quantifies just how much. Americans waste the equivalent of 350 million barrels of oil every year on wasted food -- or 2 percent of the annual energy consumption of the United States.

    The upshot? Preventing food from going bad saves money and energy. Here are some tips to help you waste less food:

    Plan ahead

    You've heard this before, but that's because taking the time to plan your meals

    Read More »from A step-by-step guide to wasting less food
  • By Trystan L. Bass
    More from Green Picks blog

    Most pumpkin-carvers have made a basic jack o' lantern with triangle eyes and nose plus a jagged smile. But this year, how about something different? Maybe a creative scene etched onto the pumpkin skin or a wicked smile that will scare the trick-or-treaters.

    Take a look at the unusual jack o' lanterns below for inspiration. And while you're carving, don't throw anything away -- the pumpkin seeds, meat, and rind can all be used.

    Pumpkin seeds are full of protein and vitamins so toast them up and sprinkle with a dash of salt, sugar, or spices for a snack.

    The pumpkin insides aren't just for pies either. Try these nine pumpkin recipes for everything from cheesecake to ravioli. Even the rind is edible and can be turned into a unique treat.

    And when the jack o' lantern is finished its turn on the porch, send it to the compost pile.

    Read More »from Pumpkins make wild jack o' lanterns -- and tasty treats


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