Tag Archives: environmentally friendly

EARTH DAY RECIPES: To Die For Delicious

What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to eat environmentally friendly, healthy and green!

Our Lady of Weight Loss’s Earth Day recipes feature seasonal fruit, veggies and heaps of good energy! Not your usual salads! These ARE exciting! Woo Hoo!

Salacious Strawberry & Fabulous Feta Salad

1 cup slivered almonds
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar
1 head romaine lettuce, torn
1 pint fresh strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

In a skillet over medium-high heat, cook the almonds, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and set aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, honey, Dijon mustard, and fig balsamic vinegar.
And now, in a large bowl, toss together the toasted almonds, romaine lettuce, strawberries, and feta cheese.
Drizzle dressing over the salad and toss!

Our Lady of Weight Loss finds that there’s no need for oil dressings when cheese is a part of the recipe. Try it! You’ll like it!

Beatific Baby Spinach and Apple Salad

2 (6 ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
1 medium sweet apple, chopped
1/3 cup raisins
3 tablespoons chopped peanuts, raw (not salted or roasted)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon mango chutney
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
sprinkle of salt

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, apple, raisins and peanuts.
Then, simply, combine the remaining ingredients in a tight-fitting jar. Shake it up, baby! Drizzle over salad and toss.

Best EVER Fruit Salad

2 medium sweet apples, chopped
2 nectarines, pitted and chopped
2 plums, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1 cup green grapes, no pits please!
1 container of raspberries (organic frozen if you can’t find fresh)
juice of 1 fresh lemon
drizzle honey (not so much)

In medium sized bowl mix together all the fruit.
Then the juice of the one lemon and the drizzle of honey.

Enjoy!!! These three salads are meals within themselves. Go Green; Go Healthy!

Spread the healthy word … NOT the icing!



Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, the author of the Our Lady of Weight Loss books.
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"Janice Taylor is a certain kind of kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you." ~ O, The Oprah Magazine

Which Bin Does It Go In? Recycling and Composting 101

A friend was telling me about a recent trip to Germany, where she was daunted by the strict and varied recycling rules there. Apparently, they have a host of different color-coded bins (brown, blue, yellow, and gray) for sorting waste recyclables. That really puts me to shame, since I have trouble deciding between recycling, compost, and trash! Since hearing about Germany’s eco-diligence, I’ve decided that it’s time to brush up on my recycling and composting routine and learn to avoid common mistakes.

As of 2005, the last time the U.S. General Accounting Office collected statistics, the recycling rate is 32 percent, up from 10 percent in 1980. This is good news, but not good enough, since municipal solid waste has also grown by 60 percent in the same amount of time. The numbers work out to an approximate 246 million ton yearly increase in landfill waste. Most people understand that they’re supposed to recycle, but many—I plead guilty as charged!—have forgotten or never quite understood how. Sure, putting your empty water bottle in the plastics bin is a no-brainer, but what about that paper plate with pizza grease on it, or the packaging from your latest purchase?

Different municipalities have slightly different recycling rules, so you should check with your local town or county for specifics, but here are some basics for what to throw where.

Whether your municipality does single stream recycling (all recyclables are collected in the same bin) or separate containers, the basic recyclables are similar.

DO: Envelopes, paperback books, catalogues, cartons (with any plastic or cellophane removed), writing pads, brochures, loose leaf paper, cereal boxes, newspapers, clean paper plates.

DON’T: Photographs; anything with food or other soilage. The basic rule here is to keep it clean. That greasy paper plate or pizza box is compostable, not recyclable. By throwing it in with your other paper recyclables, you risk sullying the whole bin. This is a big problem in offices, where people often throw their lunch detritus in the blue bin next to the copy machine. Learn the difference and don’t be that person!

DO: Aluminum foil, plastic wrap, tins, cans, glass bottles and jars, yogurt cups, soap/shampoo/lotion bottles, plastic bags (some places have separate drop off for these), margarine tubs; really any plastic, glass, or aluminum containers. Check if soda bottles or cans are redeemable in your state. You can usually collect a small refund at your grocery store and those nickels and dimes do add up!

DON’T: Mirrors, broken glass ware, compostable food containers, batteries, and other non-recyclables. Try to keep it relatively clean. Although a little food residue on containers won’t gum up the whole system (that wedge of lime in your beer is fine), it’s a good idea for sanitary reasons to rinse everything out before tossing it in the bin.

Growing up, we always had a canister on the kitchen counter for composting. We’d empty it into a larger bin in the backyard and my mom would use it to fertilize her garden. Almost anything biodegradable can be compost and you don’t even need a garden to develop these eco-friendly practice. As part of its initiative to reach 75 percent citywide recycling by 2010, San Francisco now has green carts for food scraps and yard trimmings that get picked up with other recycling, and other cities are starting to follow suit.

DO: Stale bread, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, fruit and vegetable scraps, nutshells, hedge trimmings, leaves, grass clippings, weeds, dead flowers, twigs, saw dust, straw. You can also throw in biodegradable paper products like used paper towels, paper coffee cups, paper milk cartons, take out containers (with metal parts removed), egg cartons, etc. And although in your personal garden compost piles you don’t want animal products like meat, bones, or fats (it attracts vermin), when throwing it in the yard waste bins for city pick up, these items are sometimes acceptable.

DON’T: Ash, cigarette butts, anything recyclable or not biodegradable.

Other Recyclables
Although not usually picked up with your regular trash and recycling, electronic products, including TVs, cell phones, and computers can all be recycled or reused. The EPA has reference page which gives links to drop-off centers nationwide. Other items that should be kept out of the trash include batteries and fluorescent light bulbs (in some states it is illegal to throw them away because they contain pollutants); you can usually drop these off for free and they will be recycled or disposed of properly. Many items, like motor oil, scrap metal, treated and untreated wood, bronze, radiators, and other building materials can be recycled or reused. For some items, like scrap metal, you might even earn some money.

Toxic household items like herbicides, paints, solvents, and poisons should be taken to a hazardous waste drop off center—almost all cities and counties have these and drop off is free.  

Regular Trash
Basically, everything that doesn’t fall into any of the above categories goes into the trash. Make sure you can’t reuse or donate items. Broken glass, chip bags, chewing gum, feminine products, diapers, vacuum cleaner bags, and mirrors should be thrown in the trash.

Most towns have scheduled curb-side pickups for recyclables. Check with your waste management company to find out when pickups are scheduled and what items will be accepted (this is important, since non-recyclables placed at the curb will be left there and can blow away to become litter). If your town does not have a recycling pick-up program, visit Earth 911 to find a recycling center near you. Though the process can be confusing and daunting at first, once you get into the habit, you’ll stop asking, “What can I recycle?” but rather, “What can’t I?”

By Molly Mann for DivineCaroline.com

Toxic Chemicals in Your Home

Virtually every object used in building your home and the objects within it—the insulation in your house, your sofa, food storage containers, floor cleaners and even fabric softener—impacts both your health and the health of the planet. Unfortunately, in spite of the “all natural” or “safe” labels that are included on some of these products, many of them are unhealthy.


The good news is that concurrent with growing consumer awareness of the dangers in ordinary household objects is an increase in the availability of environmentally-friendly and human-healthy choices as manufacturers acknowledge and try to meet this burgeoning market.


Nowhere has the impact of the average consumer been greater than in the food industry, fueling the rise in the availability of organic food. Organic retail sales have grown an astonishing twenty percent per year since 1990—compared with an increase of between two and four percent of total food sales in United States.


As desire for organic food grows, so does the demand for healthful products of all kinds. Even though the major manufacturers are aware that there is a demand for healthful products, the vast majority of them are still not offering them. Although many businesses appear to be providing environmentally-friendly and healthful products; beware of the company that advertises its product with terms that are unregulated—such as “natural.” “Natural,” when used to describe shampoo, is usually a complete misnomer—the shampoo may be filled with synthetic chemicals and might contain only minute amounts of truly natural ingredients, such as jojoba or honey.


In addition, the government has historically allowed unsafe products to be sold as safe in this country. The use of lead is a great example. In 1909, eight European countries banned the use of white lead for interior painting. It took half a century for the United States to catch up—lead was not banned in paint and gasoline in this country until the 1970’s and 1980’s respectively.


Today, there are still thousands of toxic products being sold. To exacerbate the problem, manufacturers continue to pollute our air, water and land. There is no way to avoid all contamination while living on earth, but this chapter provides practical information and tips to help protect you from excessive exposure to the variety of pollutants that most of us are subjected to.


In addition to providing tips on how and what to purchase to live in an environment free from toxins that are made from cheap, unsustainable methods, this chapter explains how to eliminate nearly all pollutants from your home. You may be shocked to discover that many seemingly harmless household products contain dangerous chemicals. However, most of these products can be easily removed and replaced and some will lose their toxicity over time, so you needn’t panic and think everything in your house must be replaced. For example, freshly installed wall-to-wall carpeting emits toxic gases into the environment; however, carpeting stops outgassing six months to a year following installation. Another example is painting your walls with paint containing volatile organic compounds (VOC’s): the damage is already done, the paint stops outgassing and you may as well wait until the next time to use an eco-friendly paint.


Indoor pollution greatly increased after the end of World War II, with mass-produced housing. These new houses were made with new, lightweight materials, materials that were produced by the petrochemical industry. These products, made from petrochemicals, release chemicals into the air—through a process known as outgassing. Outgassing is the slow release from the material of chemical residues used in the  manufacturing process into the atmosphere. They include VOC’s and many other petrochemical derivatives. Materials made from petrochemicals include plywood, particleboard, carpeting, vinyl flooring, adhesives, paints, fabrics and much more.


Excerpt from Chapter 1, 

Harmonious Environment, Copyright 2007.


An Ecological…Font?

We all know to use draft mode to save ink when printing documents. Printer ink is expensive AND it is made from finite resources – plastic (petroleum) and metal. Recycling printed paper requires a de-inking process. The more ink, the more impact on our land and water.

So then, how ingenious of the SPRANQ designers to have created this “holey” ecological font that saves 20% of the ink simply by omitting to print certain filled parts of the letters. The Ecofont is free to download HERE. It is based on the aesthetically pleasing on the Vera Sans, an Open Source letter.


“With the Ecofont SPRANQ hopes to increase environmental awareness too. Increasing customer awareness about printing behavior: is printing really necessary or (partly) a waste of ink and paper? We also hope to inspire software giants and printer manufacturers to innovate in an environmentally conscious manner.”

Well said. I’m so thankful that some people think of these things!

Gorgeous Eco Alternative to Wasteful Gift Wrapping

Since we will all be gift wrapping something in the next few days, might as well do it more eco-consciously. And beautifully too. I was thrilled to discover the Bobo Wrapping Scarves, inspired from an ancient Asian wrapping tradition. See my complete article here and an offer for 15% off to readers.

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