A Happier Healthier 2014 For You

999922_619252368141411_1083645899_n (1)“Maybe you can’t change the whole world, but you can change your world.” Harvey Mackay

Climate change is real, human activity is causing it, and with all of us taking simple actions we can make a big difference. Below are my suggestions for a new commitment to our earth, our children, and to our own health!

 My top TEN suggestions for a happier healthier 2014:

  • Always turn off lights and unplug electronics when not in use.  For me this is a constant effort because I love light during the winter!
  • Drive less: Walk, bike, ride share, Carpool, combine errands, and take public transport.
  • Reduce two-cycle engine pollution:  Add more garden and pollinator friendly plants to reduce your lawn mowing, shovel snow by hand, and choose silent sports. Polluting our air is not cool!!
  • Purchase products made from recycled materials.  This saves energy, trees, water and natural resources. Recycled paper products are the easiest to find.
  • Reduce or eliminate your use of pesticides, especially Neonicotinoids. You, your pets, birds and butterflies will be much healthier.
  • Reduce or eliminate beef from your diet.  Producing beef uses lots of energy!
  • Recycle all plastics, glass and metal cans, and of course paper.  According to TerraCycle 84% of household waste can be recycled
  • Turn down the thermostat and survey your home for ways it can be more efficient. Schedule an energy audit from your local power company.
  • Read Labels: Never purchase or use hand wash or cleaning products with Triclosan. There is evidence they are hormone disrupters and they concentrate in our lakes and streams.  Change your cleaning products to reduce chemicals in your home. Baking soda and vinegar can clean almost anything! This is a link to make your own products:  http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/view-document.html?gid=11368
  • Finally, work to elect leaders that believe in Climate change.


http://mashable.com/2013/10/22/reduce-carbon-footprint/    What you can do for climate change





Love these Go Green Forever stamps
Love these Go Green Forever stamps

Happy Holidays!

Made 300 fruit baskets for food shelves
Made 300 fruit baskets for food shelves

I recently read that Americans aren’t very happy. What could make us happier?

Below are 10 Commandments of Happiness from the Happiness Project:

* Take it easy.

* Be yourself!

* Handle your responsibilities.

* Exercise understanding.

* Leave your worries behind.

** Live honestly!

** Behave positively.

** Open your heart and your mind!!

** Share your time, attention and talents with others.

My Additions:

*** Smile

*** Recycle at least 50% of your trash, and do everything you can to protect our water and air.  I promise, this will make you happy!   recycle

Lake Superior
Lake Superior


http://gretchenrubin.com/ Happiness project

Consume Less, Recycle More

Shop local, shop green
Shop local, shop green

“It’s not shopping in itself that’s so harmful, it’s what we buy,” says information released by Adbusters. “As consumers, we should question the products we buy and the companies who produce them.”

SO, How can we become better consumers?  We have incredible power with our consumer dollars.  How can we use that power wisely?

Why would you want to reinforce corporate greed with your purchases when we can support local green home grown businesses?  This holiday shop where business are trying to do right by our earth and for their employees.  Every year I am amazed at the creative businesses  I discover……  Imagine all the wonderful small green businesses we could reinforce with our wallets.

Everyone wants to save money, but you are not saving money when you purchase lots of cheap junk that will end up in the land fill next year!.  About 8 years ago, I stopped shopping Target, and was surprised by the money saved because I was avoiding lots of cheap products we could live without. One of the best things we can do for our planet is to consume less.

We can use our dollars to support local, green, and homegrown businesses. We can shop for quality and keep dollars in our own communities.

My ten tips for Health4earth holiday shopping:

1. Always shop with your reusable bags, and avoid plastic.                026

2. Read the labels and ask where products are manufactured. Local craft fairs of handmade items are wonderful for holiday gifts.

3. Shop businesses that pay a living wage and businesses that sell fair trade items.

4. Shop local in your neighborhood, walk or take public transport if possible.

5. Reinforce businesses and restaurants that recycle and do not use styrofoam.  I just learned the Mall Of America does NOT recycle bottles and cans.

6. Never buy products for children, including toys, made in China unless you are certain they are chemical free.

7. Avoid purchases from developing countries that lack regulation and enforcement of worker standards such as China, Bangladesh, and India.  The closer to home our purchases are manufactured the better handle we have on working conditions and salary. Some countries do not enforce child labor laws! You can be confident “fair-trade” doesn’t have these problems.

8. Purchase for quality and things that will last.  A friend’s new apartment refrigerator lasted 3 years, and it was replaced instead of repaired.  That must end!!

9. Don’t forget consignment and reuse businesses.

10. Always recycle packaging and purchase products with minimal packaging.  recycle

Below are some great sensible businesses that care about our earth and their employees.






http://www.mossenvy.com/    http://m.startribune.com/?id=234843231 Article on Moss Envy




Related Articles

http://www.indigenous.com/public/uploads/blog/transparency-2.jpeg What is fair trade?


http://action.greenamerica.org/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12485  less tinsel, more joy pledge


Bees and Monarch Butterflies Can’t Wait

This ad from Save-Bees.org is running in newspapers across the United States:   http://savebees.org/


“Honey Bees, native bees and other pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat.  Bees pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that make up 90% of the world’s food supply. Many fruits and vegetables, including apples, blueberries, strawberries, carrots and broccoli, as well as almonds and coffee, rely on bees.  These beneficial insects are critical to maintaining our diverse food supply.

Honey bee populations have been in alarming decline since 2006 Widespread use of a new class of toxic pesticides, neonicotinoids, is a significant contributing factor…..

This week, 15 countries are imposing a two-year restriction on the use of several of these chemicals.  Meanwhile, the United States is stalling.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates it will be 2018, 5 years from now, before it makes a decision on this deadly class of pesticides

Bees can’t wait 5 more years–they are dying now. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the power and responsibility to protect our pollinators.  Our nation’s food system depends on it.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/sunday-review/the-year-the-monarch-didnt-appear.html?_r=0   An important article about the state of our pollinators.


One of the few monarch buttlerflies in 2013
One of the few monarch butterflies in 2013