Do you know what your PLU produce labels mean?

PLUOkay, another “confession”… until recently, I had no idea either!  I’m talking about the little stickers on the produce we purchase.  They’re actually called PLUs, (“Product {or Price} Look-Up” labels), and would you believe the numbers actually mean something?… they aren’t just random numbers.

(*Insert a look of surprise from me too!*)

The important number is actually the first digit and they can tell you a whole lot about the produce you purchase.  It tells you exactly how it was grown.

Here are the digits you need to remember:

  • 3 or 4 – indicates conventionally grown produce (grown with pesticides, herbicides & fertilizers)
  • 9 – indicates that the produce is ORGANIC

The next time you pick up a piece of produce: (1) look at the first digit of the PLU label, (2) remember these numbers, (3) know what you’re buying and then (4) rest assured that they’ll tell you everything you want to know about the food you’re buying for (and serving to) your family.

(*Yes, continue that look of surprise from me 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.

Extraordinary (and GREEN) last minute gift ideas!

christmas globeOh, the ticking clock to the holidays… it’s getting louder and louder!

I have already given you the list of Mom Goes Green holiday recommendations, from gifts to party planning, so I hope you’ve already discovered some great ideas and tips.

But then along comes another list that’s worthy of some sharing! It’s from The Huffington Post and may help you if you’re still really, really struggling for a last minute gift idea! Take a look!

I also realized that there is one VERY important organization that I didn’t mention loudly enough: Kiva!

Kiva is really quite extraordinary… through their gift certificate program you can “loan” your gifted money to a “working poor” recipient of your choosing.  Once they are able to repay the loan, you are given back your donated money to grant to another needy recipient… and this wonderful cycle starts all over again!

We’ve personally supported many families. They’ve including a man in Tajikistan who desperately needed money to buy seeds for farming, to a gentleman in Palestine that needed funds to improve his organic chicken farm! It’s rewarding (and admittedly fun!Kiva holiday) to go through the list of people, see who you would like to help and check on their progress as time goes on, and until their loan is repaid.

Consider giving a Kiva gift certificate to someone (or make a donation yourself) and just a small amount will allow them (or you!) to give again and again and again…

Isn’t that really much better than that lousy sweater you were considering?…

A great gift to give… that gives again!

minespireThe clock is ticking… tick, tick, tick. Yes, I know you can hear it too.

I am always a huge advocate of giving gifts that have a purpose, that don’t fall into that “huge pit” of things that just cause clutter, but actually do serve a cause.  Well, what if I told you there is a gift that is tangible AND serves a purpose?

Let me introduce you to Minespire.  These beautiful earth-inspired tees are truly the gift that give the tangible, but also the gift that gives again!  50% of the net profits from the sale of the tees are donated to organizations that support the environmminespire lgent, and human and animal rights.  Minespire has partnered with Friends of the Earth to offer tees that are made from 100% organic cotton and ethically produced in a fair-wage, non-sweatshop environment.  It’s the perfect combination of giving and giving AGAIN!

You must know someone left on “the list” that will be moved or inspired by the message.

It’s not really abfoe_logoout getting… it should be all about giving, and then giving some more… and with Minespire, you CAN do both!

‘Tis the season to remember your reusables!

no plastic bagsAs I’ve spent the last week doing some major shopping for the holidays, I’ve armed myself with my own reusable bags at every stop and in every store.

But one thing has certainly gotten my attention… where are all of my “reusable bag comrades”?!?! I’m shocked that I sometimes look around and can’t find a single other soul toting their totes, yet I DO see a sea of plastic! It’s so disheartening. It’s no wonder statistics place the worldwide usage of plastic bags somewhere around one TRILLION annually!

Please, please… if you haven’t already done it, make a small investment in reusable bags and make them a part of every shopping trip you make, no matter how big or small.  I could go on and on about the disastrous effects of plastic bags, including the heartbreak of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but I think we all “know”… they’re simply bad news. And once you have them, REMEMBER THEM! That is the other half of the equation.  Buying them is not enough. They need to be USED! Come’on… you can do it!

Plastic bags are a serious topic, but sometimes serious topics also deserve a little levity too… are YOU stuck in a “Plastic State of Mind”???

It’s time to change the habit! Ban single-use bags made of plastic!