The ultimate guide to keeping your holidays “green”!

christmas bulbThe holidays seem to be moving toward us at warp speed! We’re nearing that two week deadline and, if you’re anything like me, you still have plenty to do.  (Okay, so maybe I am one of the few dragging dreadfully behind but, humor me for a moment and let me feel like I’m not alone!)

There are plenty of ways to avoid the excess and waste of the season, as well as making gifts selections that are fabulously green and giving.  So that we (okay, so that I) don’t waste any more time getting to it, let’s just throw it on the table and get it all out of the way now!

Here are my four must-read posts that will help you through (click below and read on!):

  • My favorite gifts guide – a list of all the tangible gifts that I enjoy giving, because they happen to be great gifts and they are also fabulously green ideas too.
  • My favorite gifts that “give back”: – a list of gifts that give to a worthwhile cause:  wildlife, nature or the environment.  Sometimes we don’t need to give those tangible gifts that clutter the recipient’s home… giving to a cause in the recipient’s honor may be the biggest present of all!
  • Green party planning – a list of all the ways you can keep your holiday soiree goin’ green.  From decorations, to your menu choices, to your clean-up… there are simple ways to keep from abandoning all of your green principals!
  • Wrap it up in a big “green” bow – a list of all the ways those tangible gifts can be given without creating mountains of trash.

FACT: the average household output of trash actually increase by 25% between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.  There are a lot of opportunities to misstep this time of year…gift w cones

Hopefully, this ultimate guide will help see to it that your household isn’t one of them and the gifts that you give will be useful, practical and, sometimes, just simply serve a cause.

The clock may be ticking, but there is always time to make wise choices.

Happy green holidays, my friends!

Houseplants that can purify your indoor air!

Iareca plm pltndoor plants are a fantastic way to bring the outdoors inside, no matter what time of year it is.  Not only can they breathe life into a room, but did you know they can also, literally, breathe fresh clean air into your home as well?!?

Sadly, our indoor air can become even more polluted than outdoor air(!) due in part to everything from VOCs in paint to all of the horrible things we track in on our shoes and then send airborne!

Just take a look at what some of the most common household plants can “do” for your home!:

  • Areca palm – this one is the top purifier and also humidifies the air as it cleans!  (Lady palm and bamboo palm also do an amazing job!)
  • Peace lilies – also a great all-around air purifier, and incredibly easy to maintain.peace lly plt
  • English ivy – fantastic for removing airborne mold (up to 60% of airborne mold in just six hours, by the way!).
  • Spider plants – great at removing 100% of the carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide from the air in only 24 hours.
  • Boston ferns – another great over-all air purifier but especially for removing formaldehyde from the air.
  • Rubber plants – great for cleaning out those VOCs.

To reach maximum effectiveness, it’s recommended to have at least one 6” plant per 100 feet of living space.

Amazing, isn’t it? Actually, it’s exactly what I would expect Mother Nature to provide… something to clean-up our dirty work (and dirty air!).

“Unscented” vs. “Fragrance-free”: KNOW the difference

frag freeSo, imagine this scenario:  You find yourself shopping for a product and, among the array of choices, you notice “unscented” or “fragrance-free”.  You might opt to choose one of these over a scented variety because it implies that there is at least one less additive in the product.  But are these terms synonymous? And do YOU know the difference?

Until recently, I didn’t.  I mistakenly assumed they meant the same thing.  Guess what?  I was wrong.

frag free methd 2“Fragrance-free” does mean that there is nothing added to the product, but unscented is a whole different ball game.  In fact, “unscented” is a fragrance additive, used to mask any other chemical smells, and it most likely contains phthalates.  What’s bothersome is that phthalates are known hormone disruptors and can affect fertility in both men and women.

Sure, some of us may not have family planning in our near future, and our brood may already be complete, but isn’t this a chemical we’d all simply like to leave out of our systems?

Stay “free” of the phthalates and, given the choice, always choose “fragrance-free”!