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Earth Friendly Tips

February 5, 2010

Refined Sugar

The following are better for your body and the planet:

  • Stevia-use sparingly, as it’s really sweet
  • Organic honey
  • Manuka honey-it’s expensive but has health benefits beyond regular honey
  • Agave syrup-it’s yummy sweet syrup, which has low glycemic index, so diabetics can use it
  • Barley malt syrup-very healthy and not too sweet, it’s great for baking
February 12, 2010

Growing your own Herb Garden

Good planting soil is a must!  Make sure that it is completely organic.  Don’t be persuaded into buying chemical fertilizers-you won’t need them.    If you want a fertilizer make sure it is completely organic.   First make a list of the herbs that you want to plant.  Here are few of Sophie’s favorites:

  • Rosemary-it’s really easy to grow.  You’ll get a lot, and it works well as a decorative shrub.
  • Sage-Think of a dish of fresh ravioli with sage butter.
  • Parsley-You need it for thousands of dishes, so plant loads.
  • Thyme-You can always add this herb to soups and stews to make them extra special.
  • Bay tree-Bay trees are beautiful, easy to maintain, and the leaves flavor soups and stews.
  • Oregano-You can use it for all Italian dishes, from marinara to pizza.
  • Basil-You can use basil wherever and whenever you can.  Fresh pesto is heavenly.

You can plant all of these herbs in just two large planters, in your yard or in small pots.  Make sure you have well prepared soil.  While they take root, water them regularly.  Summer herbs like basil and oregano like a lot of sun and warmth.  The rest can do fine in partly shaded and cool climates.

February 19, 2010

Luxurious Bed Linens

Comfortable, luxurious bed linens are a must.  Polyester sheets are not only scratchy and slippery, but they have a weird electrostatic charge that attracts positive ions.  In the world of ions, negative ions are the ones we want around us.  They give off a fresh, clean smell and charge the air with great energy.  To add insult to injury, polyester is made with petroleum-based fibers which are not good for your health.  Moreover, anything that has a no-iron finish is toxic, because it is covered an icky resin that will never wash out.  So you are now probably wondering, what should I be using?  The answer is simple, organic cotton sheets.  They are so comfortable and luxurious – as are organic cotton comforters, blankets and duvets.   One last and very important point, if you suffer from allergies, get a wool pillow, because dust mites hate them.  If you prefer something firmer, go for an organic cotton pillow and feel the negative (good) ions floating around your head as you sleep.

For the yummiest organic sheets, check out one of the following:

Luxurious Rose Face Oil

The most green thing you can do for your beauty regime is to make your own face and body oil.  It is so easy and incredibly fun to do and will save money, energy and trees (for the packaging).   All you need to do is go to and order your oils and five or six glass bottles and a funnel.  Make sure the oils you buy are 100 percent organic.

  • apricot for sweet almond oil (for the base)
  • Essential oils:
  • rose, lavender, and geranium
  • vitamin E oil

Wash and dry your little bottles and set on the table.  Then fill each one almost to the top with, using your funnel, with your base oil/oils.  Next add 5 drops each of  your essential oils.  Then add 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil, and voila.

After cleansing, work a generous amount of the oil into the skin on your face and neck with small circular movements.

February 26, 2010

Fair-Trade Coffee & Chocolate

According to Coop America, fair trade is “an alternative trading system that creates opportunities for farmers and artisans who are most vulnerable and most disadvantaged by conventional trade.”  Fair trade ensures that farmers get a fair price and that sustainability is practiced.  Chocolate and Coffee have been a huge point of focus for fair trade, because most of the world’s cocoa and coffee beans are grown on small family farms and are the main source of income for family farmers.

Some big companies use child slaves in the harvesting of cocoa beans.  Many work twelve-or fourteen hour -days with no pay, little food and sleep and are treated poorly.  You always want to buy fair-trade chocolate and coffee.   Look for a “Fair Trade Certified” label in your local grocery stores to make sure you’ re getting the real McCoy.  You can also go to these websites:

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