Pope Francis Pushes for Environmental Climate Change to Save the Poor

Pope Francis sets to transform climate change, wealth and poverty in light of environmental issues Thursday, June 18.

Pope Francis will address climate change and its effects on the world’s poverty.

Halleujah! Pope Francis, dare I say, “endorses” protecting the environment for the poor and the world for all of mankind this week.

Peter Turkson, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and close to the Pope, said in a recent speech, “I think a question that we are not asking ourselves is: isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature? Safeguard creation because, if we destroy it, it will destroy us. Never forget this.”

The Pope’s letter will address much more than environmental issues, but also important matters to all of humanity. This is a letter that will speak volumes not only to Catholics but all of mankind. Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Peru, one of the Pope’s advisors was quoted:

It will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people’s life and health.

The Pope’s letter comes at an opportune time, since he’ll be meeting with U. S. President Obama in September before his address to the US Congress and the UN general assembly concerning emissions among other controversial topics.

Read the entire article from The Guardian.

Review: Vinegar Uses as #DIY Home Cleansers and More

I like to save money and use less chemicals in my home, so I have tried several of the suggested vinegar uses. Here are my reviews on ways to use vinegar in your home for cleaning and more.

I’m sure you have heard or seen posts on Facebook or Pinterest about the many uses of vinegar – 11, 20, 31, 50 or 101 – but does it really work as a home cleanser? What are the benefits of using distilled vinegar vs. store bought cleaners?

vinegar-usesVinegar really does have many uses and due to high acidity, it is effective to kill many bacteria, mold, mildew and germs. It is safe for the environment, does not harm plumbing, does not leave stains or harm most non-porous surfaces, so it’s safe to use around children and pets.

I like to save money and use less chemicals in my home, so I have tried several of the suggested vinegar uses. Here are my reviews on ways to use vinegar in your home for cleaning and more.

  1. Household Disinfectant – Works just as good as a general purpose cleaner. No harsh scent or residue. I dilute with water and put in a clearly marked spray bottle for frequent use. Kills most bacteria, mold, mildew and germs that cause allergies and illness.
    Uses: Bathroom and kitchen surfaces, inside trashcans and refrigerators, sinks, and any non-porous surface.
  2. Extend freshness of fruits and vegetables – Best way to keep fruit and veggies from spoiling.  Put equal amounts of water and distilled vinegar in a small spray bottle. Spray once and they will last several days longer and sometimes up to a week before the skin starts to wrinkle. You do not have to refrigerate many fruits and vegetables to keep them fresher longer. I have a couple large flat bottom baskets that I leave on the kitchen counter or table with the fresh produce.
    Uses:  Instead of washing fresh fruits and vegetables before eating, spray it with the diluted solution and it’s safe to eat. Especially good for soft edible skin produce such as tomatoes, oranges, apples, eggplant, cucumbers, and green peppers.
  3. Removes coffee/tea stains – Combine with salt for stubborn stains and a little elbow power and you’ll have a safer cleanser than bleach in a can. Use full strength for stubborn stains, let it sit for awhile (an hour or overnight), scrub, rinse and you’re done!
    Uses: I use on my stainless steel coffee pot, and plastic or glass iced tea containers as well as stained coffee mugs. (No, it won’t taste like vinegar.)
  4. Removes lime buildup – Yes, it does work on lime scale buildup on shower heads and tiled bathroom/kitchen walls. Remove your shower head and put in a container (bowl or bucket, depending on the size). Add enough full strength vinegar to cover water inlets. Allow to soak for several hours or overnight, and rinse in fresh water. You’ll see an improvement with your shower stream!
    Uses: Removable shower heads or tiled walls. For stubborn buildup on walls, make a paste with salt and vinegar and scrub walls. Rinse clean and dry.
  5. Carpet Stains – Have pet or food stains on your carpets? Use vinegar and baking soda (yes, together!). Remove as much as the substance as you can by blotting the stain (never rubbing or scrubbing). Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and spray or cover with vinegar. It will bubble and foam, do not stand directly over the stain until the foam settles. Cover with a plate and allow to sit overnight. Remove plate and vacuum up remaining residue. Poof! Stain disappears!
    Uses: This works on old stains too, however, you may need to repeat the process a couple times to remove the stain. This method is so much less cumbersome than using a store-rented carpet shampooer and much less expensive than having your carpets cleaned.

I’ll add more as I try them, but I love the many uses of white vinegar instead of using toxic commercial household cleaners.

What have been your experiences using vinegar? We’d love to hear your stories!

Welcome New Blogger, Kelly!

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It’s been a work in progress, but I’ve hired one new blogger to keep this site updated monthly.

Please give a warm welcome to Kelly! We met many years ago in high school and we were reunited about a year ago when I relocated to my hometown. I’m soo excited to have her on board as a writer, friend and greener living advocate.

Kelly has dabbled in freelance writing, but nothing as exciting as Just About Greener Living. Her passions include baking her own bread and making food from scratch without additives or preservatives. “Passionate about using Scratch Cooking as a way to be healthier and healthier for the planet too,” Kelly says.

If she won the lottery, “I’d give everyone in my family professional mixers because they’ve been my most useful kitchen tool.”

Kelly is a true angel of the heart, she enjoys helping people out in any way she can whether it’s cooking a meal or donating some of her own canned food to just lending an ear.

A Random Act of Kindness Kelly likes is, “giving strangers a compliment to make their day.”

Look for blogs about her experiences and love of cooking, canning and other homesteading topics.

Got a question about the above topics for Kelly? Email kpelton@greenerlivingblog.com

Welcome to the Just About Greener Living family and advocating a healthier lifestyle for the planet!

Earth Day 2014 Celebrates 44 Years!

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One of my favorite un-holidays of the year. Besides St. Patrick’s Day, this is the best green-wearing day. Recognizing all the many ways to celebrate the Earth.

A few notable websites and initiatives that have encouraged me to become even more eco-friendly are:

Earth Day Network – a worldwide initiative in 192 countries taking action to protect our planet. Schools, organizations, and individuals pledge their green acts of kindness. Buy Earth Day T-shirts, evaluate your Ecological footprint, and so much more.

I took the Ecological footprint quiz – my results based on questions such as my grocery buying habits (buy produce vs. packaged goods, local vs. regional), living accommodations, travel/commuting, recycling, etc. My footprint is: According to my lifestyle, if everyone lived like me, we’d need 3.6 Earths to provide enough resources (ouch!) To support my lifestyle, it takes 15.9 global acres of the Earth’s productive area (16.1 tons of carbon dioxide) – btw – I do not a consume meat or dairy frequently either. What can I do to reduce my footprint? Travel by airplane less, take a local vacation (I usually do), reduce amount of animal products by ½ that I eat, and most importantly, purchase products that use less packaging or were made out of 100% post-consumer recycled content. – Take the quiz, what’s your footprint say about your lifestyle?

Earth Hour – A call for action against climate change held annually on or around March 27. Participants turn off their lights for 1 hour. I’ve seen many businesses do this as well. Put it on your calendar for next year and spread the word.

Earth911 – An invaluable resource for finding what is recyclable and where to recycle your items as well as articles on reusing items and news.

Green Living Tips – A blog resource for many green and eco friendly news, how to’s, simple living, impact of sustainable living and more. This was one of the blogs that encouraged me to get this site live on the web-o-sphere! (Thank you!)

Shipping Container Homes – I don’t remember where or when I first saw my first one, but this is my passion now – to self-finance and build a shipping container home. One of the most eco friendly and affordable homes to build. You’ll be seeing more of these in the next few years in the U. S., I’m sure! I have a huge Pinterest board filled with shipping container images, exterior and interior designs. Find and follow me on Pinterest.

Earth Day News Articles and Information

This year marks the 44th anniversary of celebrating Earth Day in the U.S. Read about the first Earth Day celebration and how it has become a worldwide event, activities for teachers and students, and more!

Earth Day 2014: How It Became a Global Environmental Event – National Geographic

What is Earth Day 2014? – The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Earth Day Activities – Scholastic

Earth Day Freebies – WRAL

How are you contributing to reduce your global footprint? Preserve the Earth’s resources? Reduce waste or other contributions for the Earth this year? Share your activities here!

Making Green Resolutions and Goals for 2013

New Year’s resolutions and goals include green resolutions too. Four goals to add to your list to live a healthier and greener life in 2013.

We survived the end of the world and many of us awoke to a snow covered landscape on December 22, 2012. So while you’re still working on your 2013 resolutions, be sure to include some green goals too.

I changed my focus of making resolutions that I couldn’t stick with to making goals several years ago. Goals are great because if you don’t achieve them, you’re not as disappointed and you may just need to reword them or create smaller goals to achieve the larger one.

Include ways to green your life in 2013.

A few of my goals for 2013 include greener choices for my lifestyle and the environment…hope you have included a few of your own as well!

Buy more eco friendly cleaning products that aren’t harmful to me, pets or the environment. Through the use of using coupons, I found Method does a better job of cleaning than other brands and they smell soo good! I ditched the other brands in my cupboard. Although a little more expensive, I will buy when Method cleansers are on sale and I have coupons to use. Other eco friendly cleaning products I like include Seventh Generation and Green Works.

Buy local. It’s true that if you buy from small local businesses and local farms that more of your money goes back to your community. As much as 50% is returned to local businesses when you choose to buy from small businesses and local farms instead of buying from national big box stores. It’s oftentimes easier to just buy all your groceries and home supplies from 1 location; however, I find that I will spend more and pickup more POS items that I DON’T need. Make a list of sale items and stick to it. Buy fresh produce when it’s in season and learn to can/freeze it for the off-season months. Ask your local farmers if they will sell blemished produce for less & buy in bulk. Small businesses love returning customers – tell your friends to shop there too.

Enjoy nature and the outdoors more than commercial entertainment. Almost every city & town has some acreage that’s reserved just for enjoying. Whether it’s a bike trail, walking trails, ski/sledding hills or man made lakes and ponds – get out and enjoy the fresh air. Health experts say we only need 20 minutes of sunshine to get our daily dose of Vitamin D. And if your little burg doesn’t have a trail, take a walk or work in your yard…green is good for the soul, mind and body!

Eat less processed food. Not only is it healthy, it’s also better for the environment. Read EVERY label, look for  “artificial flavors, colors, high fructose corn syrup (this also goes for any type of high ___ ___ syrup) Yellow #5, sugar substitutes, MSG, BHT, soybean oil” and other ingredients I can’t even pronounce. Here’s a list of 12 Additives to avoid in food for your disgusting enjoyment!

So what’s on your goal list for 2013? Share here!

Save on Personalized Greeting Cards

I really love this company and ordering personalized (paper) greeting cards is just one more way to make someone’s day special! Take advantage of this offer – you can order them all at once and personalize each one!
Tiny Prints 10 Free Thank You Cards

Tiny Prints 10 Free Thank You Cards

“Thank you.”

Two words not said enough, by bosses, by spouses, by friends, or by strangers on the street. Tiny Prints is out to change that.

For one week only, you can get 10 FREE thank you cards from Tiny Prints. All you pay is shipping (as low as $3.50).

These cards can be completely customized and personalized to your tastes. Choose from thousands of designs, add pictures, change the text, the fonts, the colors. You get to make these cards uniquely you.

Just use the promo code FREETHANKS when you check out and pay the shipping and Tiny Prints will send the 10 cards right away. Then…it’s up to you to use them!

Let’s start a Thank You Revolution!

Visit Tiny Prints now to take advantage of this incredible deal.

Keep Your Body and Bathroom Clean and #Green Part 2

Tackle turning your house green one room at a time. The next room in this series is the bathroom. Besides using non toxic chemicals such as vinegar and peroxide to clean your bathroom, you’ll want to treat your body with toxic free scrubs and rubs.

I use coupons with just about every product I buy; however, I started using plain baking soda as my facial scrub with surprisingly success and now I don’t pay exorbitant prices on brand name facial scrubs and soaps. You can make your own body soaps, scrubs and lotions that are good for your skin and the environment.

 

Use handpicked herbs to create your own green and chemical free homemade body soaps.

Milk and Honey Soap

Rosemary and Lavender Homemade Soap

Moisturizing Hand Balm

Sugar Body Scrub

Brown Sugar and Honey Body Scrub

Brown sugar is a natural exfoliate while honey and almond oil are natural moisturizers that your body will love.

What you will need

3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil (or extra virgin olive oil)
2 tablespoons oat bran

Instructions

Place the ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Spoon into a storage container. To use, apply to damp skin on your face or body and gently exfoliate. Wash off with warm water, then moisturize.

Storage

Store leftovers in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Create your body lotions and lip balms with easy to follow recipes from The Urban Farm Handbook available on Amazon.com.

What types of bath, body and beauty products have you made at home with success or learned from your failures? I’d love to hear your stories!

Greener Living Celebrates 3 Years

Yeah! We are celebrating 3 years!

Thanks to all who have visited, read, shared, commented and mentioned this blog over the last 3 years! It’s a work of love and sometimes, yes, labor to push out a blog once a week or a couple times a month.

If anyone is interested in contributing blogs/articles to this site, I welcome anything related to greener, healthier living & will add your name as Featured Blogger! Sorry, there is no compensation other than having your name below your post, but we do have a faithful following!

Cheers to us & you….sip something green and refreshing AND NOT from a plastic bottle please!

Thanks,

Alicia

Healthy Food Combinations

Need an Energy Boost, Lose a Few Pounds, or Increase Mental Clarity?

We all know that certain foods when combined together will give us an energy boost in the afternoon when we need to get through the day, or help us lose a few pounds (or more) to fit into that new dress or pants for a special party; however, these foods change (it seems) from year to year.

I read so many of these “superfoods” that it makes me dizzy just reading so much and then I forget what I should eat and when. Sometimes I think I should just carry a notepad with me to keep track of everything.

However, I did read an article in the recent issue of All You, that is simple to remember, only combines 2 foods and you only need to remember the combinations that you need.

Try a Meatless Monday dinner with this black bean and red pepper dish - cornbread salad. Courtesy of Ezrapoundcake.com

Good for the Waistline

Whole-grain toast with cinnamon. Think of your childhood cinnamon toast (one of my absolute faves too), but without all the sugar. Since whole-grain bread doesn’t make your blood sugar spike and make you hungry again so soon, this is a good breakfast treat. Butter your toast and sprinkle with a little cinnamon, which is also known to help keep you alert and focused.

Boost Immune System

Black beans and bell peppers. Black beans are full of iron that helps increase your immune system; however, the plant-based protein is harder to absorb unless you add vitamin C. Red bell peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C. So combine these two plants together whether you’re making a salad, salsa, chili or mixing them with rice. (These 2 are a staple in my cupboards and frig!)

Increase Mental Clarity

Blueberries and strawberries. Truly brain food in these fruits. Increase memory, mental clarity and may even reduce feelings of depression. Opt for a 1/2 cup each of blueberries and strawberries every day. Blueberry juice is also another way to boost your memory (ensure you are drinking 100% and not mostly high fructose corn syrup).

 

 

#DIY Household Fixes with Items You Already Own

Anytime I read an article, see or hear a tip about using everyday household items to replace another store bought chemical or cleaner, I am ecstatic. So when the email subject line “xx Ways to Make Your Old Stuff New” begged me to open it, I just couldn’t resist!

I’m sharing my favorites with you.

Banana Peels – Before you throw in the compost bin, use the inner banana peels to banish scuff marks on leather and silverware. Then wipe with a cloth to remove any banana residue.

Toothpaste – Not only good to fight against cavities, but also works well with jewelry and filling holes. White toothpaste can be used to fill in small nail holes on white walls. Remember this when you’re ready to move out of your apartment or rental house so you can retain more of your deposit.

White Bread – Remove the crusts and you have a wallpaper cleaner. Tear into bite sized pieces to remove grime, fingerprints and small smudges. Who knew??

Vinegar – Another reason to keep a gallon of this gem in your cupboard; combine vinegar and salt into a  paste and apply to bathroom tile and faucets to remove lime buildup. Need a drain cleaner? Pour 1/4 cup baking soda in your drains, then follow with 1 cup of vinegar. Set for about 15 minutes, then pour a pot of boiling water down the drain.

WD-40 – Spray on stainless steel and wipe with a clean cloth for a spotless shine.

 

What other tips have you heard about and tried that worked? Share your tips here!