• Surprising uses for aspirin

    By Allison Ford, Divine Caroline
    More from Care2 Green Living blog

    (Photo: Veer)(Photo: Veer)In this age of flashy new medicines and cutting-edge medical treatments, it's comforting to find a simple cure that's tried and true. In 400 BCE, the Greek physician Hippocrates described the healing powers of willow bark, which he recommended for easing pain and reducing fevers. It turns out that willow bark's active ingredient, a chemical called salicin, is the foundation of aspirin.

    Healers used willow bark to treat pain and inflammation for centuries, and since the 1700s, chemists and doctors used salicylic acid for medicinal purposes, but it had terrible gastrointestinal side effects.

    Then, in 1897, a German chemist was searching for a new formulation to help his father's painful rheumatism. By tinkering with the chemical structure of salicylic acid, he ended up with a milder and gentler version. The pharmaceutical company he worked for, Bayer, named the compound aspirin and began marketing its new pill

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  • Our latest One in a Million member is Nancy, an Episcopal priest and practicing psychologist who lives in central New York state. The One in a Million campaign encourages people to shift $1,000 of their household budget to greener products and services. I was amazed to learn that Nancy shifted so much she actually saved more than $10,000 without feeling deprived. Here's her story.

    What inspired you to make so many "green" changes in your life? My doctoral studies were in MindBody medicine and holistic healing...which led directly to my first change: become a vegetarian(1991)-which reversed bone loss. In the intervening years I continued to study, teach courses, and give lectures and workshops on holistic healing and spirituality. My studies and workshop presentations expanded in 2005 after I learned about the known health risks associated with land fills at a meeting of the local chapter for the League of Women Voters. The local land fill had expanded despite opposition and was (and is

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  • By Lori Bongiorno
    More from The Conscious Consumer blog

    (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)Experts unanimously agree that you should NOT pre-rinse your dishes before loading the dishwasher.

    Why not? Because your dishes will not get any cleaner if you rinse them before loading your dishwasher. Pre-rinsing is therefore a complete waste of time, water, energy, and money. And, in some cases, it can actually harm your glassware.

    Still not convinced? Here are the details.

    Dishes will not get any cleaner if you pre-rinse them.

    Modern dishwashers and detergents have come a long way in the past couple of decades. "You will not improve your wash performance one bit by pre-rinsing," says John Dries, a mechanical engineer and owner of Dries Engineering, an appliance design consulting company. He points out that heavily soiled dishes are used in pre-market "wash tests," not pre-rinsed dishes.

    In most cases, all you need to do is scrape your plates over a trashcan to get rid of bones or chunks of food. One

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  • By Jeff Yeager, The Daily Green(Photo: Robin Macdougall / Getty Images)(Photo: Robin Macdougall / Getty Images)

    If you are what you eat, then I should weigh-in at under $1 a pound.

    That's because, as a general rule of thumb, I try to only buy foodstuffs that costs under a buck per pound. Under $1 a pound, year-round -- that's my grocery shopping mantra.

    It's not just because I'm a world-class penny-pincher and smart shopper; believe it or not, it's also about eating healthier. When you look at the USDA's "food pyramid," many of the things we should be eating the most of -- grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables -- happen to cost the least.

    It's often the stuff that's bad for us (at least in large quantities) like red meat, fatty dairy products, and processed foods high in trans saturated fats, that cost the most, on a per pound basis.

    To prove my point, I've put together this list of 50 healthy foods that I've purchased at least once in the last six months for under $1 a pound.

    So rev-up your shopping cart, but be careful: There's a Green

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  • Eight scary fast food burritos

    By Vicki Santillano, Divine Caroline via Care2
    More from Care2 Green Living blog

    Burritos have a lot of calories. That's not exactly "news at 11," but even the most calorie-conscious among us would be surprised by how quickly the numbers add up between the flour-tortilla folds.

    Sure, we could cut out the shredded cheese and even the tortilla itself and save a few calories, but that'd be ignoring one important fact -- life is short. Too short, in my opinion, to waste it worrying about the occasional foil-wrapped indulgence. (Unless "occasional" means multiple times a week, in which case you probably don't give a flying fiesta bowl about calorie counts.)

    When it comes to burritos, I say, go big or go home. And at these Mexican fast-food chains, it's hard to do otherwise.

    Qdoba lets patrons build their own burritos, offering a plethora of meat, bean, and sauce options. So, what if you order ground beef on a flour tortilla with cilantro-lime rice, black

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  • Seven myths about veggies

    By Lori Bongiorno
    More from The Conscious Consumer blog

    (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)Is it healthier to eat raw veggies or to cook them? Is fresh broccoli more nutritious than frozen? Is eating iceberg lettuce a waste of time?

    You may be surprised by the answers to these seemingly simple questions. In fact, there are several misconceptions when it comes to vegetables. The one universal truth is that most of us could be eating more of them.

    As summer approaches, we have more vegetable choices than at any other time of year. Here's a guide to what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to eating your veggies.

    Myth: Fresh vegetables are more nutritious than frozen

    Fact: Studies show that sometimes you can get more nutrients from frozen veggies, depending on variety and how old the vegetables at your supermarket are. That's because produce starts losing nutrient quality as soon as it's picked.

    Frozen vegetables are flash-frozen right after harvest so they are preserved at their peak of

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  • By Michelle Schoffro Cook, Care2
    More from Guest Bloggers blog

    (Photo: Getty Images)(Photo: Getty Images)Have you been wondering "what's all the fuss about green tea?" Now you can stop wondering and start drinking ... green tea, that is. This flavorful beverage offers many health benefits to anyone who drinks it regularly. Green tea contains a potent plant nutrient known as epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG, for short. But don't fret, you don't have to keep track of its chemical name to reap the health benefits.

    Here are nine reasons to start drinking green tea or continue drinking it if you're already hooked.

    1. Green tea is a superb fat fighter. Its active ingredient, EGCG, increases the rate at which fat is burned in your body.

    2. It targets belly fat. Research at Tufts University indicates that EGCG in green tea, like other catechins, activate fat-burning genes in the abdomen to speed weight loss by 77 percent.

    3. Green tea keeps energy stable by balancing blood sugar levels. EGCG improves insulin use

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  • When it comes to global warming, burning less gas has always made sense. And the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico has reminded us all why we need to use less oil. Now that gasoline costs almost $3.00 a gallon, reducing our consumption at the pump makes "cents," too. These ten tips offer the fastest, easiest ways you can save gas -- and money.

    1. Drive smart - Avoid quick starts and stops, use cruise control on the highway, and don't idle.

    2. Drive the speed limit - Remember - every 5 mph you drive above 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.10 per gallon for gas.

    3. Drive less - Walk, bicycle, use a scooter or moped, combine trips, and telecommute.

    4. Drive a more fuel-efficient car - Consider one of the new hybrids; at the very least, choose from among the EPA's "Fuel Economy Leaders" in the class vehicle you're considering.

    5. Keep your engine tuned up - Improve gas mileage by an average of 4.1 percent by maintaining your vehicle in top condition.

    6. Carpool -

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  • Still wondering why you should bother recycling your aluminum cans from this weekend's Memorial Day party? Just ask Greg Wittbecker. He's the director of Corporate Metal Recycling for Alcoa and a big proponent of boosting the paltry amount the U.S. recycles (52% of cans) to 75%.

    Can_pile_2Can_pile_2 What's the big deal? Greg says it's all about energy and waste disposal. "If we could recover and recycle 75% of the aluminum cans being currently tossed into landfills - 600,000 metric tons of aluminum - we could save 1286 megawatts of generated electricity. That's the amount produced by two coal fired power plants, and consumed by two aluminum plants," says Greg. "Replacing this production with recycling would keep 11.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from being generated and released into the atmosphere." It would also reduce the amount of mercury going into the environment, since power plants emit polluting mercury when they burn coal.

    Why is recycling so efficient? According to Alcoa,

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  • Recent media reports have questioned whether the chemical BPA, found in the popular plastic polycarbonate, is truly safe for use in plastic glasses, dishes and other products that come into contact with food.

    While the the facts, science, pros and cons behind the BPA question could fill a lengthy article, if you're a concerned shopper, you probably aren't too into scientific arguments -- you just want to play it safe and avoid BPA. But conflicting reports about which products might contain BPA make it tough to choose plastic drinkware and dishes with confidence.

    Happily, it's quite easy to find BPA-free plastic tableware. There are many different plastics used to make drinkware and dishes -- and most are and have always been BPA-Free! But you need to know what to look for, and what to avoid. Here are a few tips to help you in your search:

    Tip 1: In Plastic Tableware, if it's not Polycarbonate, it's BPA-Free
    Among the many different plastics used to make glasses, cups

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