“WHAT global warming?!? We’re buried in snow!”

blizzThis comment would NEVER come from me… but I’ve heard it (at least 20 times from family and friends over the past three months).

Each time I want to scream.  I desperately want to get in arguments and pull out all the facts.  My husband pleads with me to “let it go” and brings me down to (our undeniably snowy) earth.  But I do have to share the reality with them….

I understand how this is a quick, easy argument from anyone who doesn’t believe in global warming or climate change.  It seems logical, but it’s not supported by science.  The fact:  hotter air can hold more moisture and this, in turn, creates and releases massive amounts of snow when the temperatures are below freezing. This is the same reason hurricanes have become so destructive… warming waters, rising sea levels and an increase in the intensity obliz radf the storm.

We could all argue the point until we’re blue in the face (and yes, the naysayers would tell you you’re turning blue because you’re freezing your a$$ off!) but the evidence of the earth’s temperature rising is factual. It’s on record. The 11 warmest years on record have occurred in the last 13 (and that record dates back to 1880!)

We can debate (until we’re BLUER in the face) if a portion of that is caused by human behavior, activity and INaction, but that’s another huge conversation.

Take a look at this quick interview with a physics professor to prepare your defense to family and friends.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Call it global warming, climate change, global swings, whatever… but the fact is undeniable… we’re heatin’ up, baby, and yes, that means lots of snow too!

“Certified Organic” vs. “Organic Ingredients”: the difference

organic slProduct labels can be tricky… in fact, they can be a bit deceptive.

My recent post about knowing the difference between “Unscented and Fragrance-Free” got some surprised comments.  I hadn’t even known the difference until I uncovered that tidbit and got a little schooling of my own!

Another label that can often cause confusion is the organic label.  It’s easy to be misled about what’s contained in the product and tricky labeling doesn’t help.

Here is one thing you should know… the difference between Certified Organic and Organic Ingredients.  These are the facts:

  • “Certified Organic” – this means that all ingredients contained are 100% organic.  Simple as that. This is the label you WANT to see.org unsure
  • “Organic Ingredients” – this actually means that only 70% of the ingredients are actually organic.  The other 30% is not.  Even a label saying “100% Organic Ingredients” is misleading. While that 70% is 100% organic, you still have that 30% that is not organic at all.
  • (By the way, if it says “Contains Organic Ingredients” that means less than 70% is organic, and you have no idea what that organic percentage might be!)

Tricky, tricky labels.  But if you know what the labels mean, you’ll never be misled.

Free giveaway time: Kiss My Face Peace Collection!

(ThKMF castis giveaway is now closed for entries… see “comments” for the winner!)

I’ve been a huuuge fan of Kiss My Face products for the longest time. I love their story, their mission and their commitment. All of their products focus on a healthy you and a healthy environment and those qualities always get a big Mom Goes Green thumbs-up!

I’ve given away tons of great stuff from Kiss My Face… cleansers, toner, soaps, moisturizers, lip tints and shines… but now let me introduce their Peace Collection.

The goodies included? Well, there’s a fabulous 100% natural all-purpose castile soap that can be used from head to toe, ceiling to floor (nKMF cast fmo kidding! You can use it on you OR your home!) and a terrific foaming hand soap too! Both of these products are biodegradable, and contain no parabens, SLS, phthalates, artificial fragrances or animal ingredients. (Got your attention now, didn’t I?!?) The collection also includes a yummy soy candle scented with essential oils. It has an unbleached cotton wick and no petroleum paraffin or carbon soot, PLUS the glass and packaging is 100% recycled

Oh, I knew I loved Kiss My Face for a reason!!!

KMF cndlI can already hear you yelling “Me, Me, ME!!!” If you’re interested just leave a comment here saying you’d like to win, or send a Twitter message that includes a reply to @momgoesgreen and a link to this blog. Facebook friends can also leave a comment to be entered. The winner of this $40 collection will be randomly selected on February 7! (U.S. entries only… sorry!)

Yes, I love Kiss My Face and oh, friend, if you win… you’re gonna wanna kiss my face too!

Know (and admit!) when cookware needs to be replaced

ckware collFor me, that time is NOW! I’m embarrassed to say that I have yet to replace all of my cookware that is in DESPERATE need of replacing.  There are many pots and pans that have taken up permanent residence in my cabinet but I never use them.  I see them, and I know I wouldn’t dream of cooking with them but, there they sit.

The reason I don’t cook with them?… they’re non-stick and some of them are looking a bit unhealthy.  They have scrapes on the surface and I worry that their coating will end up in our food.  In actuality, the flakes are inert, but those non-stick pans can actually omit toxic fumes when they get too hot.

These aluminum pans, coated in polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE – also known as Teflon), emit fumes when subjected to high heat. Inhaling these fumes can actually cause flu-like symptoms. And although the long-term effects haven’t been studied, we do know that exposure to PTFE can create problems like low birth-weight babies, thyroid and liver issues, as well as weakened immune systems.

The better options for cookwares are actually stainless steel for stove-top cooking and glass bakeware for the oven.  Cast iron is another choice. I know there are more and more “green cookwares” becoming available and those will definitely be on my list of things to research too.

In the meanwhile, if you feel “stuck with your non-stick cookware”, there are a few tips to lessen your exposure to the fcast irn pnumes:

  • Cook at lower temperatures and don’t pre-heat your pans at high temps.  It may take a little extra time, but it’s worth it.
  • Never bake at over 500 degrees.
  • Use your exhaust fan.
  • (A little side note too:  these fumes are highly toxic to birds, so keep your feathered friends far from the kitchen.)

Over the holidays, my family gifted me with more “cash than prizes”… and I think it’s due time Mom Goes Green uses that cash, makes good on her self-promise and kicks that nasty cookware to the curb!

(BTW… if you have recommendations, I would looove to hear them!)

One fab (chemical-free) furniture polish!

furn polshA friend of mine, Vicky from Askthemama.com, recently ASKED ME a question… what do I recommend as a green alternative to commercial furniture polish?

The answer is worthy of a little sharing since furniture polish contains some nasty toxins.  Not only is it a petroleum distillate, but it also commonly contains nitrobenzene.  This chemical can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.  Because it’s readily absorbed into the skin it can also affect the central nervous system… quite a lot to take for some shiny, clean furniture!

Just like my favorite multi-purpose cleaner recipe, you can whip-up a batch your own (chemical-free) furniture polish:

  • ¼ cup of distilled white vinegarol oil2
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • 20-25 drops of essential oil (I recommend lemongrass, lemon or lavender)

Apply it like you would your regular furniture polish but, just like any other homemade concoction, give it a good shake before each use.  If you want to get even greener, use a piece of an old t-shirt for the rag!

As an extra bit of advice, did you know you can remove water stains from wood furniture with white toothpaste too!… ahh, the things we learn.

(And while I’m on the subject) when you purchase furniture try to be conscious to avoid certain hardwoods like mahogany, teak, rosewood and hemlock.  The harvesting of these trees contributes to tropical deforestation.  Instead, look for used, refurbished or antique furniture, or at least furniture made from sustainably-produced materials (e.g. plantation grown).

As is the case with every post about green cleaning, the worst part?it reminds us that it’s time to clean(!), so whip-up a batch and let’s get started!