Category Archives: eco

#CleanCouponing Twitter Chat on Earth Care Features Eco Author & Sierra Club

Clean Couponing is about being frugal with more than money.  If this month’s #CleanCouponing Twitter chat is about Earth Care, what would your shopping choices have to do with being frugal in this area?

I like to save money as much as the next person, and I also look for value in the quality of the food – for instance picking organically produced foods when I can, to protect my family’s health and to support farmers who are doing what’s right for our environment.  I appreciate brands that are mindful about the packaging they use so it creates as little waste as possible.

If you’re frugal with health, you might want to know about the connection between health and clean air, a key component of the cleaner energy movement to stem climate change while building healthier communities.

If you’re frugal with pre-teen and teen values, you might want to ask teacher and author Katy Farber about the motivation behind her new book, The Order of the Trees, which she’ll be giving away during our chat.

Earth Care can also mean avoiding the greenwashing that is rampant in the market today. So, while this #CleanCouponing chat is not sponsored and not designed to sell you anything in particular, we may have room for some honest conversation about avoiding greenwashing.  That, because if you are in #CleanCouponing mode, you have authentic values like caring for your family, being good stewards with the budget you have, and picking products that are useful, not wasteful.

Happy child in spring field. Young girl relax outdoors. Freedom concept

Please join us on Twitter Thursday night, April 9, from 9 to 10 pm Eastern, and follow both @CleanCouponing and @FlourSackMama as well as our special guests @SierraMidTN and @Non_Toxic_Kids.  Please use hashtag #CleanCouponing to join the conversation.

Here are a couple of suggested tweets you could use to tell your friends about our chat:

Care about kids? Join @Non_Toxic_Kids @SierraMidTN for Earth Care #CleanCouponing chat Thurs, April 9, 9 pm ET hosted by @FlourSackMama!

Ask @SierraMidTN about #ReChargeTVA at Thurs 9 pm Earth Care #CleanCouponing chat with @Non_Toxic_Kids @FlourSackMama @CleanCouponing & more!

Hope to chat with you soon!

Sign up here for my free newsletter.

 

Stretching a Dollar with Castile Soap Refills

“We can’t afford that!”

“It’s too expensive!”

Do you find yourself saying that about certain home products you’d like to try but don’t think fit your budget?

I used to think that about hand soap, until I realized the real cost…

Castile Soap Refills

Dr. Bronner castile soap with four soap dispenser refills

This is not a sponsored post, just an honest show & tell about one way we use #CleanCouponing at our home to stretch a dollar while choosing to be frugal with our health.

Anti-bacterial triclosan that could be adding to antibiotic resistance, synthetic fragrances hiding potential hormone disrupting phthalates, artificial colors and even more mystery ingredients are all things our family can easily expose ourselves to every time we simply need to wash our hands.  There are numerous reasons why I decided to switch what we use at home every day to something that simply gets the job done: castile soap.

I realize we’d been spending between $3 and $6 for a typical 8-ounce plastic bottle of plastic hand soap.  How  wasteful!  We switched to reusable soap dispensers for our home instead.

I typically spend no more than $12 for a 32-ounce bottle of Dr. Bronner’s castile soap (you could use any brand, but this is a leading one and you absolutely need to find a brand that is transparent about the ingredients inside).  Then, if I put 8 ounces of castile soap into four different bottles, I’m at no more expense that I was spending before on soap bottles. Since this castile soap is actually touted as three times as concentrated as traditional soaps, here’s where the potential for extra savings comes in.  If I stretch this soap with distilled water, it costs half or even a third of those other soaps.

If texture is important to you, and you want to get fancy with it, I’ve noticed that pure vegetable glycerin in my soap dispensers helps give this castile soap a thicker feel on the hands.  Otherwise, when I dilute the soap it with water, it does feel watery, although it certainly seems to clean just fine on our hands.  Instead of the artificial scents in other soaps, our family alternates choosing a castile soap scented with the natural oils of everything from almond to lavender to peppermint.

One of the biggest mistakes with concentrated castile soaps is using too much, so I would suggest stretching it in some way or at least getting accustomed to using less than you did with those other soaps that contain artificial fillers.

The oils in these soaps can tend to clog pumps, so it takes a little attention from time to time. Definitely worth the trouble for our family, since we have peace of mind about what’s going on our children’s hands.

An added #CleanCouponing bonus of using castile soap for refilling is cutting down on petroleum-based plastic bottle waste and protecting our environment.

How are you #CleanCouponing in your home?

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Let’s Talk #CleanCouponing this Thursday Night!

Are you frugal with more than money?  Are you only interested in coupons and discounts IF a product is the best value or meets some special need?  Come join us Thursday, September 25 from 9 to 10 pm Eastern Time for another #CleanCouponing chat!  Follow us here on Twitter and watch for the hashtag.

Twitter chat September

We’ll keep it simple this month.  Let’s share strategies for stretching a dollar with REAL food or for seeking out non-toxic products without spending a fortune.

We’d love to hear your favorite topics that you want to see discussed here, too!

What about a value like supporting local farms and businesses?   We’ll talk a bit about that, as well.

Looking forward to chatting with you Thursday night along with the Flour Sack Mama blog!

 

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Guest Post: Global Day of Action to Cut Conflict Palm Oil

When problems seem overwhelming for our children, we remind them to take things “one day at time.” Amazingly, their problems often don’t seem so big or so overwhelming anymore.

On May 20, 2014, you and your family can join me and my family and thousands of other folks around the world as we take one day and create thousands and thousands of actions around ONE ask: PepsiCo The Power to Cut Conflict Palm Oil is #InYourPalm.

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For most of us, making a difference and creating change around huge global problems like the destruction of the world’s rainforests and climate change seems way too big and too hard to imagine taking on. As parents, between work in and outside our homes, getting to and from lacrosse games, music and dance classes, putting nutritional meals on the table, arranging play dates for our kids, and finding time for the occasional play date of our own, our lives are full, busy, and regularly frenetic and hectic. Continue reading

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Is Palm Oil Healthy For Your Family? Dr. Weil Weighs In

So, you’re reading more ingredient labels and watching out for things that don’t sound like food.  You may be delighted to read about an ingredient like an oil that at least sounds naturally good for you and the planet.  The following guest post from Rainforest Action Network helps clear up some confusion about palm oil.

by Ashley Schaeffer Yidliz, Rainforest Action Network

Mother Ashley Schaeffer Yidliz with baby boy

Ashley Schaeffer Yidliz of Rainforest Action Network

Now that we’ve added trans fats to the list of ingredients to look for – and avoid – in supermarket labels, and the FDA is poised to ban them from the food supply altogether, we’re good, right?

Not so fast, warns Dr. Andrew Weil, America’s leading expert in integrative medicine.

Conflict Palm Oil is often used to replace those artery-clogging trans fats. It makes a good substitute because palm oil, like partially hydrogenated oil, is solid at room temperature. But is it actually healthy? Continue reading

Photos Courtesy:  SOS From Texas

Texas Farmers Offer USA-Made Organic Cotton Clothing

*The following is a sponsored post for #CleanCouponing Twitter party sponsor SOS From Texas.  All opinions are my own.

Colorful t-shirts in all sizes, for all seasons, plus tiny baby-sized organic cotton creations fill the online catalog for SOS From Texas.  Just when you might have given up on organic cotton as too rare, too expensive, or not-to-be-found in the USA, there it is.  Would you believe I found some cute t-shirts on sale there for under $10?

Oldham Farm Family Courtesy:  SOS From Texas

Oldham Farm Family
Courtesy: SOS From Texas

Today’s USA-made clothing creating fair wage jobs is also helping farm families like the Oldhams preserve their heritage.  Gary Oldham says he comes from a family that was growing cotton in Texas a century ago.  He has the photo to prove it.  Oldham proudly continues the tradition with sustainable, organic growing methods like crop rotation, using beneficial insects, and avoiding toxic, persistent pesticides when he grows cotton.

Photos Courtesy:  SOS From Texas

Photos Courtesy: SOS From Texas

Continue reading

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Giveaway: Zoeganics Offers a Fresh NEW Approach to Clean

*The following is a sponsored post for Zoeganics, but my opinions are always my own!

We’re thrilled to have woman-owned green business Zoeganics co-sponsoring our March #CleanCouponing Twitter party on March 6!  If you’ve been concerned about toxins in typical cleaning products but underwhelmed by non-toxic choices on the store shelf, this may be the new product you need to try.  Zoeganics shared five new cleaning products for us to try at home, and we want to let you know how they worked for us.

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We’ve all discovered in recent years that the freshly cleaned house smells we grew up with were often deceptively toxic.  Back in the day when I learned about keeping house from my grandmother and mother, who knew we were all breathing in fumes unkind to our lungs and potentially exposing ourselves to nervous system damage, DNA damage and cancer?  I learned that chlorine bleach and, used separately, ammonia products, were my two most useful tools  around the house.  As recently as my youngest daughter’s toddler days, I was still cleaning up bathrooms with bleach products, until the night when she struggled to breathe and thank God we had a rescue inhaler nearby. Continue reading

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Why CleanCouponing.com Prefers Rafflecopter for Sponsored Giveaways

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(L to R) Rafflecopter Product Manager Jared Polivka with Rafflecopter Co-Founder Greg Goodson

You’ve been following all your favorite blogs, including FlourSackMama.com and our NEW CleanCouponing.com.  You’ve been seeing occasional fun giveaways, but some of you have been hesitant to enter.  Here’s why you should go ahead and try it!

When bloggers make connections with brands that are a good fit for their niche, for instance #CleanCouponing, it may be something that you’re interested in.  In the case of Honey Dew Naturals sponsoring our February #CleanCouponing Twitter party, the products we’re giving away are from a line I’ve personally reviewed, and I love them.  I appreciate that this family company discloses all of their ingredients and uses non-toxic ingredients mild enough for their own young children.

We prefer using Rafflecopter to run giveaways like this because it provides a third party service that is convenient for everyone.  It’s reputable and used by over 100,000 bloggers.  I recently had the opportunity to meet Rafflecopter co-founder Greg Goodson, who helped start the Boulder, Colorado company.  ”We saw folks trying to run a giveaway and the way they were running giveaways was just very inefficient. So we said to ourselves, ‘we think there’s a need for a product that would make it easy to run a giveaway on your website and blog.’ ” explained Goodson, “That was three years ago.  We’ve been doing that ever since.” Continue reading

Green Valentine’s Day: Join us Tonight on Twitter for #EcoTipTue

What’s on your Valentine’s Day wish list?  Are you lavishing someone special with treats? What about goodies for children’s gift exchanges?  Do you love chocolate even more than, you know what?

It turns out that all Valentine’s Day chocolate is not created equally good for your sweetheart’s health or for the environment.  Before you go shopping, find out more tonight at the #EcoTipTue Twitter party on having a Green Valentine’s Day. Continue reading

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Chilling with Honey Dew Naturals Review & Giveaway

*The following is a sponsored post for Honey Dew Naturals.

Has parenthood changed your perspective on life?  Nate and Alicia Huff say it certainly has for them.  As the parents of premature babies on two different occasions,  the Huffs dove headlong into a search for the healthiest approach to family living.  Now thankful to be raising four thriving children, this couple stays busy in the enterprise that grew from their personal concerns about what’s in personal care products.  And so Honey Dew Naturals was born.

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Nate & Alicia Huff & family
Founders of Honey Dew Naturals

Take toothpaste.  Young children often swallow some of it when learning to brush.  Aside from concerns about flouride are a list of other ingredients like SLS and synthetic colors and flavors in the typical toothpaste you’ll find.  The Huffs started making their own kid-friendly toothpaste .  Alicia says,  ”Our kids actually eat our toothpaste and we let them! But, like all our other products, it’s not a problem because it is 100% non-toxic.”

Alicia says parenthood forced her to look closely into every aspect of natural living, from nutrition to using herbs for a multitude of everyday needs.  She learned about the soothing properties of herbs like plantain, calendula and echinacea.  She developed her own herbal salve and lip balm, all with ingredients to give other parents peace of mind. The Huffs also explored ways to make deodorant free of aluminum and endocrine disrupting parabens.

Nate Huff has become a popular beekeeper in the East Tennessee area, incorporating some of what the apiary produces into Honey Dew Naturals products.  You’ll find their honey in the artisan made Honey Lips lip balm, and some of their beeswax in the herbal salve.  As product demand increases, they’ve needed even more beeswax than their own hives can produce.  Yet, they’re careful about everything that goes into Honey Dew Naturals, seeking the best organic and wild sourced ingredients possible.

MudMouthToothpasteCleanCouponing

I was thrilled to sample some of Honey Dew Naturals’ most popular products recently! Because they use gentle bentonite clay to make their popular Mud Mouth toothpaste, the brushing experience looks different.  Yet, the taste is extremely mild.  I tried the Peppermint flavor that just barely hints at mint while cleaning teeth shiny smooth.  Unlike other natural toothpastes on the market, Mud Mouth contains no glycerin.  So teeth can absorb minerals from the clay and Celtic sea salt, strengthening enamel.  The clay is also supposed to help clean up dental bacteria and stains.  The toothpaste name comes from the Huffs’ son, Jack, who regularly says,”I love brushing with mud!”

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My favorite sample was the bath salts/body scrub and headache and congestion relief stick both in the new CHILL scent! Honey Dew Naturals has masterfully crafted essential oils of peppermint, rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus into these products that are sure to be best sellers.  Soaking in the hot bath to try out the bath salts/body scrub was just what this blogger needed after a busy week of managing typical work/life stress.  The scent is distinctly soothing and invigorating.

The CHILL stick crafted from the same essential oils blend is nothing short of brilliant!  I feel safe using it to help naturally clear congestion in my little ones.  Plus, rubbing just a little on my temples at the first sign of a headache is a soothing stress reliever.  I think I need to keep one at home and take another along in my purse wherever I go.

These Honey Dew Naturals products feel like much needed pampering to me.  Yet, many are essentials filling an everyday need for non-toxic products safe enough for children.

How do they do it?  You’ll have the chance to chat with the Huffs at our upcoming #CleanCouponing “LoveWhat’sInside” themed Twitter party on Thursday, February 13 when @HoneyDewNaturals will be joining us!  We’ll reveal the secret word during the Twitter party for your bonus entry in the giveaway below, then we’ll be drawing live during the party for the Honey Dew Naturals gift package of a Be Free! Deodorant, Mud Mouth Herbal Toothpaste and CHILL stick (Headache and Congestion Relief)!  Enter via the Rafflecopter form or link below and we’ll all look forward to chatting on the 13th!

– Anne from FlourSackMama.com

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(Product statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. This blog is not intended to provide medical advice or professional advice of any kind. Seek the advice of a professional if you have questions about your own health.  While this was a sponsored review post, my opinions are always my own.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway