• undefinedCheap costume jewelry contaminated with toxic chemicals is not a new story, but what's incredible is that despite warnings, recalls, and regulations, the danger still hasn't gone away.

    Researchers from the Ecology Center recently released their findings that out of ninety-nine items of jewelry purchased from stores across the nation, 57% contained harmful chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and chromium. "There is no excuse for jewelry, especially children's jewelry, to be made with some of the most well studied and dangerous substances on the planet," said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director at the Ecology Center and founder of HealthyStuff.org, in a press release. "We urge manufacturers to start replacing these chemicals with non-toxic substances immediately."

    The larger retailers included H&M, Claire's, Walmart, and Kohl's.

    The study's key findings were:

    • Twenty-seven percent of the jewelry tested contained greater than 300 parts per million (ppm) lead in one or more
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  • 5 herbs to grow right now...5 herbs to grow right now...There are a few herbs that I find myself constantly buying at the grocery store - basil, parsley and cilantro, just to name a few. Knowing how easy they are to grow at home, I usually cringe when I have to actually spend the money on them. Now that we are heading into spring, I've got my mind on getting my herb garden up and running so that I will be able to enjoy fresh home grown herbs again in no time.

    It's easy to get your very own kitchen herb garden started. All you need is a few inexpensive pots, a big bag of dirt, a sunny spot and a little patience. You will in turn be rewarded with lots of flavor to add to your cooking, I promise.

    What's your favorite herb to cook grow and cook with?

    ChivesChives1. Chives

    Chive do best in full sun to part shade so select and area that provides a little of both. Chives are very low maintenance and can be divided and turned into multiple plants when they get to big for your pot. Keep them harvested to promote growth and always use fresh for best flavor (a

    Read More »from Gardening in the Kitchen: 5 Best Herbs to Grow for Spring

  • dryer sheets
    Fresh-smelling laundry is amazing.

    But those chemical-laden dryer sheets you've been using? Not so awesome. You're going to want to lose your lunch when you read this, but conventional dryer sheets are usually coated in beef fat.

    Say what?

    Dirty Laundry

    Yep, those little sheets contain a dose of tallow (stearic acid derived from animal fat), aka the little secret ingredient manufacturers are determined to keep you from knowing about.

    Beef fat is what they use to keep your clothes soft, but you won't find it on any ingredients list on a box of dryer sheets. That's because the conventional cleaning products industry has fought vigorously to keep their formulas government-protected trade secrets, covered by intellectual property laws that let them hide whatever they want. So unless you want your body coated in lard from the residue on your clothes, sheets and towels, just say no to dryer sheets.

    Related: What Should I Buy? Bleach Alternatives

    Do You Smell That?

    To mask the smell of

    Read More »from Dryer Sheets Are Often Coated in Beef Fat
  • Four Legendary Trees

    Join horticulturist and HGTV host Erica Glasener for a tour of 4 legendary trees.
    By Erica Glasener, Networx

    Chances are, you may have a champion tree in your own neighborhood and not even know it. For more than 70 years, the mission of The National Register of Big Trees, coordinated by American Forests, a nonprofit based in Washington, DC has been "to preserve and promote the iconic stature of these living monarchs and to educate people about the key role that these remarkable trees and forests play in sustaining a healthy environment."

    Champion trees are documented using a formula that takes into account the circumference, height and crown spread of individual trees. Find out if you have one in your own local landscape.

    1. The Osage Orange at River Farm in Alexandria, VA

    New national champions in 2011 include the Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) at River Farm, the headquarters for the American Horticultural Society in Alexandria, VA. It's over 200 years old and is prized not only for its age and size, but for the cool environment created under its

    Read More »from Four Legendary Trees
  • By Amy Westervelt

    A first-of-its-kind, peer-reviewed study published Environmental Health Perspectives today reveals an alarming number of unlabeled chemicals of concern in commonly used household and personal care products. The study was funded by Silent Spring Institute, which had 213 consumer products (in 50 categories) independently tested by Battelle Labs in Ohio for 66 specific chemicals associated with either endocrine disruption or asthma.

    The study included both conventional products, such as Windex original glass cleaner and Irish Spring deodorant soap, as well as "alternative" products marketed as containing safer ingredients than their conventional counterparts, such as Seventh Generation Free and Clear natural glass and surface cleaner and Tom's of Maine natural moisturizing body bar. Lab tests detected 55 chemicals of concern-including parabens, phthalates, bisphenol A (BPA), antimicrobials, cyclosiloxanes, glycol ethers, and fragrances-in the conventional product

    Read More »from Study Highlights Hidden Dangers in Everyday Products -- Even the "Green" Ones
  • by Michael Greger M.D.

    The Adventist Health Studies offer some of the best science on the impacts of the plant-based diet on health and longevity.

    Based in California, they include both the longest running study of vegetarians in history as well as the largest contingent of vegans.

    Most of the attention on the benefits of plant-based eating, thus far have focused on reduced rates of many of the top killers, such as heart disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes, obesity, and high blood pressure.

    The Adventist Health Study, which began back in 1974 offered insight into how broadly the potential health benefits of consuming a plant-based diet may extend.

    7 Creative Ways To Grow Your Own Herbs
    Find Healthy Recipes At Ecomii

    Read More »from Plant Based Diet Can Cut Your Odds of Needing Medication in Half
  • Recycle Those Stinky Old Sneakers

    by Green Diva Meg

    Why Should We Care About Recycling Sneakers?

    I recently climbed into my closet and unearthed a PILE of sneakers - tennis shoes, 2 pairs of running shoes, those weird calf-building things, cross-trainers. Seriously? All three of my daughters wear the same size shoe and none of them were interested in any of them. huh. I usually put shoes that aren't too badly beat up in the nearby Goodwill depository, but I had heard about some interesting sneaker recycling programs. So, I did some homework. Here's what I learned . . .

    Most sneakers are made from natural and synthetic rubbers and synthetic foam, which is primarily composed of polyurethane and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The upper portion is usually mesh or natural or synthetic leather. [ from earth911.com article]


    In 2008, Runner's World Magazine did a fairly in-depth study on the carbon impact of running. The Bonneville Environmental Foundation supported their research. They found that the average serious runner (of which I am NOT), burns through 3 pairs of running shoes a year and this represents 430 pounds of CO2. Not exactly sure what that means, but it was quadruple any other running gear, and the CO2 output is more than driving 400 miles. I'm also not sure this takes into consideration the issue of landfills being loaded w/ nasty old sneakers that mostly don't biodegrade very well either.

    So, What Can We Do?

    Read More »from Recycle Those Stinky Old Sneakers
  • Have a tight budget? Save money by using items you already have on hand that will do the same job, for less.
    1. Wall filler: You can use white toothpaste to fill in errant holes in your walls. As long as the walls are painted white, the toothpaste will blend right in.
    2. Scuff remover: To get rid of scuff marks, rub the inside of a banana peel over silverware, leather shoes and leather furniture. Wipe with a soft cloth. Be sure to test on a small, inconspicuous section first.
    3. Wallpaper cleaner: Soft chunks of crustless white bread will get smudges off wallpaper and wipe away fingerprints and other grime.
    Related: DIY your way to savings--cleaning products you can make yourself!
    4. Drain cleaner: Sprinkle 1/4 cup baking soda in the drain, followed by 1 cup vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes, then flush with a pot of boilng water.
    Related: Get 45 MORE ways to use vinegar around the house.
    5. Blind duster: Use an antistatic spray on blinds to keep dust from piling up.
    6. Antibacterial

    Read More »from Save Your Cash! 23 Products You Don't Need to Buy
  • The best eco-friendly toys hitting shelves this year...The best eco-friendly toys hitting shelves this year...Of course there were a lot of outrageous electronic toys and plastic on top of plastic at the New York Toy Fair, but we also found plenty of safe, thoughtful, eco-friendly new toys about to hit shelves this year. All of these toys have something about them that's great for the environment - some are 100% biodegradable, even more are made from all-natural products, and some even go as far as to be made from sustained food products! Whether you're looking for fun bath toys for your little rugrat or life-like food for your tyke's play kitchen - these eco-friendly toys are just the ticket! Take a look at our favorite "green" toys of 2012:

    Scented ScoopsScented Scoops
    1. Scented Scoops | Ages 3+
    One of my favorite Toy Fair finds was the new company BeginAgain toys, which - beyond using natural rubber and sustainable wood - is pioneering a new material called Green Dot. Green Dot is a cornstarch bio product that's 100% compostable, and will be used to make the scented scoops that sit on top of wooden cones in this

    Read More »from The 10 Best Eco-Friendly Toys Hitting Shelves in 2012
  • Fitness MagazineFitness MagazineBy Josh Dorfman

    Reduce your carbon footprint and boost your bank account with these easy, healthy, earth-friendly tips from Josh Dorfman, author of The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget.

    1. Choose eco workout wear.
    Look for tops, pants, shorts -- even sports bras made with recycled materials, such as Cocona fabrics, which come from coconut shells. They dry quickly and provide excellent sun and odor protection. (For info and products, go to www.coconafabric.com.) Need new sneaks? Brooks running shoes feature the industry's first biodegradable midsole (www.brooksrunning.com).

    Related: Workout Gear Cute Enough for Outside the Gym

    2. Make a fair trade.

    Instead of buying new fitness DVDs and books, use swapping sites like www.swapadvd.com and www.paperbackswap.com to trade with thousands of other people for free.

    3. Wheel and deal on exercise equipment.

    Whether it's a bike, a Bowflex, or a Precor elliptical machine, you'll find great deals at craigslist.org in the local classified ads

    Read More »from 10 Ways to Go Green, Get Healthy, Save Money


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