Organic Brands Against GMO Labeling? I’m SO OVER YOU! #LabelGMOs

Buyer Beware

When you think of companies that sell organic products, you may be inclined to think good health and the well-being of the environment is a priority.  So you would think organic companies and brands would support the push for GMO labeling, right?  After all, what do companies that deal in organically produced products have to lose?

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Action Alert: Don’t Let the USDA Cave to the Pesticide Lobby!

WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT’S ON OUR FOOD!

If you’re like me you rely heavily on EWG’s annual Shoppers Guide to Pesticides.  I can’t always buy organic, but with EWG’s Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen list I know which items to avoid if they’re not organically grown and which I can compromise on when my budget is tight.

For the past few years the pesticide industry has been lobbying hard to get the USDA to repackage its pesticide data with industry talking points that downplay risks to the public as well as consumer’s concern.  We CANNOT let this happen!  It is only through complete transparency that we can make informed decisions about the produce we purchase for ourselves and our families.  IT’S OUR RIGHT!

Tell the USDA to stand with consumers and NOT the pesticide industry.

If you care about this issue please tweet it, like it, email it, or whatever else you can do.  Thanks. ;)

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We’re Gettin’ Social!

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Making Connections

First, I would like to take the time to say hello to all of @greenearthbazar ‘s new follower’s.  Thanks for taking the time to say hello, leave lovely comments, and make me feel really good about what I’m trying to do with Green Earth Bazaar.  It’s always a pleasure to share what I know, what I think, and what I feel passionately about with others.  Thank you!

Secondly, I’m excited to announce the launch of a whole new community for those who follow this blog, and have an interest in all things green.  You can access Green Earth Bazaar’s Community on Blog Frog at the present, and once the kinks get worked out you’ll be able to interact with other community members without having to leave Green Earth Bazaar.  Simply click on the Community link (it’s at top right in the menu).  Totally cool!

My goal with the community is to share thoughts, ideas, and inspiration.  It’s a way to connect individuals who care about green, sustainable living, are interested in learning more about it, or who just want share their knowledge with the rest of us – we can always learn something from one another.

The discussions needn’t only be about living green.  If you’re into handmade, make jewelry (like me), love DIY with a passion, or are a consummate foodie, feel free to share.  All are welcome.

There’s much to discuss about life, love, and caring for our planet.  I hope to see you there! ;)

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Spring is in the Air…Ten DIY Green Projects

Spring Fever

Spring Fever

The sun is shining, birds are chirping in the trees, and I’ve got a bad case of spring fever!  I can’t say our winter here in CA has been horrible, but it’s been a bit unusual.  Lots of fog and rain have made for many a gray, dreary day, but things are beginning to look sunny once again.

Trees are beginning to bloom,  creatures are starting to emerge from their wintry slumber, and although my seasonal allergies will probably pay me a visit, I’m so ready for spring to begin!  It’s time to think about what to plant in the garden, what junk to donate or recycle, and what new spring DIY projects we want to tackle.

I love the promise of new beginnings and rebirth that spring brings into the world.  It’s hard to feel low in spirit when there’s such beauty, promise, and hope to be found right out your front door.  Nature is such a miraculous, wonderful creation.  A true blessing and mercy from God the All-Mighty.

Here are ten fantastically green DIY projects to get you ready for a wonderful spring season! Enjoy! ;)

  • Mason Jar Garden I love the beauty and simplicity of this project.  It’s all about bringing the outdoors into your living space, plus it’s a great way to reuse your old glass containers and jars.  Love it!
  • Make new candles out of left over candle wax This is a project I’ve been putting off for far too long.  I’ve been saving my used jar candles specifically for this purpose (wax and all), but have been lazy about acquiring the needed wicks.  I’m hoping to remedy that this spring, and this recycled candle tutorial will surely come in handy when I’m good and ready.
  • DIY recycled planner/agenda I still love to use good old fashioned pen and paper when it comes to organizing my schedule.  Let’s face it, technology isn’t perfect, and I really don’t want to miss any important dates or appointments.  This project not only feeds my need for some hard copy, but it also helps shrink my pile of paper recycling too.  I totally love that!
  • Pine cone bird feeders I’ve been on a bird watching frenzy lately, so this bird feeder project will definitely come in handy.  I’ll get more face time with my fine-feathered friends, and get a little good karma from feeding them too.  Very green, and very easy to do – cool!
  • Got cardboard?  Make a shelf! This project is a useful way to reuse that pesky cardboard that seems to collect during the year.  My son is always coming up with different ways to re-purpose old cardboard boxes and containers, so I think he’d love to give this project a try.  It’s a good way to keep small items organized, and less trash in the landfills.
  • DIY Natural Laundry Soap Dirty laundry will never cease to exist, but you can get your wash clean without the use of harsh, toxic chemicals.  Make your laundry chores greener and healthier with this non-toxic natural laundry soap recipe.  Did I mention it’s totally easy and inexpensive too?
  • Organic All-Purpose Cleaner Two ingredients make this organic all-purpose cleaner a winner in my house.  It’s so natural you could even brush your teeth with it!
  • DIY Bronzer/Face Powder Love a healthy glow but don’t want the nasty chemicals?  Make your own bronzer!  It’s easy, cheap, and totally works.
  • Garden-Themed Charm Bracelet Spring always gets my creative jewelry-making juices flowing.  I love creating pieces that remind me of nature and all that I love about it.  This project is an easy way to turn your love of the great outdoors into a pretty, wearable reminder.
  • Easy Homemade Trail Mix Spring is the perfect time to get outside and start taking nature walks with the family.  Don’t let hunger kill your natural nature high, be prepared with some delicious homemade trail mix!

Have something to say?  Let us know by leaving a comment below. ;)

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It’s Green Find Saturday! | Alba Botanica Terra Tints in Bloom

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Pucker Up

Welcome to another lovely Saturday Green Find.  This week:  get pink and pouty with Alba Botanica Terra Tints in Bloom.

I’m not big on make up -  I’m the kind of girl who loves the natural look.  Every once in a while, however, I like to add a hint of color to my face with a little tinted lip balm or gloss.

I purchased my Terra Tints from Whole Foods for a whopping $3.99.  The color is soft and natural looking (Bloom – it sounds all lovely and spring-like, doesn’t it?), and the texture is similar to a gloss.  It has a tiny hint of peppermint to it, and contains chemical free SPF.

Although it’s 70% percent organic, the color, texture, and price make up for the other 30% that’s not.  I’m definitely going to give another shade of Terra Tints a try – this one’s a keeper. ;)

What about you?  Have a favorite natural/green beauty product?  Feel free to leave a comment and share it! ;)

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It’s DIY Friday! | Super Yummy Homemade Chocolate Lip Balm

Chocolate Lip balm

It’s Friday once again, and that means it’s time to get your weekly DIY fix!

This DIY Friday! is being brought to you by my lovely DIY blogging pal, Victoria.  She’s keen on making naturally scrumptious beauty concoctions that are good for your skin – and who doesn’t want to look like a natural beauty?  This chocolate lip balm recipe looks and sounds super delish – I can’t wait to try it!  Enjoy! ;)

Super Yummy Homemade Chocolate Lip Balm

Today we are going to have a double DIY lesson. Not only will we make super yummy and eco-friendly chocolate lip balm, but I will also reveal to you my secret on how to simply make lip balm in a lipstick container. Personally, I hate taking my balm from a lip balm container with my fingers. I just can’t seem to get rid of it afterward, and I feel it on my hands and underneath my nails. This also feels unhygienic, especially when we are talking about a homemade skin care product because hands are a breeding ground for bacteria. This is a very easy way to introduce bacteria to a homemade lip balm, which will make its shelf life much shorter.

The chocolate lip balm that we are going to create today is extremely moisturizing, and it is also very tasty and smells like heavenly chocolate. Try not to eat your lips while wearing it! :-)

Ingredients:

  • •1 tablespoon beeswax
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa butter
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips or 1 tablespoon cocoa
  • Few drops almond oil or any vegetable oil

Melt the cocoa butter and beeswax in a double boiler or the fastest setting on the microwave. Add the chocolate chips or cocoa, and stir until melted. If you melt the cocoa butter and beeswax in the microwave, you may have to microwave the mixture again for a few seconds. If you melt it in a double boiler, remove it from heat. Don’t forget to stir thoroughly throughout the entire process, or the lip balm will become lumpy. Now is the tricky part, which is how to make this balm in a lipstick container:

To do this, you can purchase special containers, or you can clean out an old lipstick container, like I do. After you have removed the mixture from heat, pour it into a 5 cc syringe. Put the syringe in the refrigerator with the top facing up for a few moments until it starts to thicken. Then take out the syringe and cut the top open with a knife. Finish by squeezing out the balm into a lipstick container (see the pictures below).

I have a long list of my favorite recipes, and this recipe was proudly included on my list amongst other beauty recipes. I also compiled all of my best recipes and tips in my Natural Skin Care Handbook e-book. This guide includes a number of homemade remedies and tricks and was written especially for those who want to give up on commercial products and start to naturally care for their skin without the use of chemicals. All of the information about the Natural Skin Care Handbook can be found here.

Getting back to the balm, you may find that this balm is a great little gift! I now free myself up from the headache about what to give to my girlfriends for special occasions. They are all so in love with this lip balm that they always ask me to make it, and I still haven’t revealed to them the secret that making this balm takes only about five minutes and uses three ingredients. So I will purchase a beautiful lip balm container, decorate it, and voilà – I have an amazing gift!

Do you ever try to make your own homemade lip balm, or maybe you already have your own perfect formula?

Victoria Lewy loves to experiment with different natural homemade beauty recipes. Her passion has inspired her to share and discuss them with others at her Homemade Beauty Blog: MyHomemadeBeauty.com.  Thanks Victoria! ;)


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The Organic Debate

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Don’t Hate Me, I’m Organic

I’m very passionate about healthy, green, sustainable living, and while our household hasn’t perfected the art of erasing our environmental impact yet, we’re trying very hard to get there.

I recently read an interesting article about the food we eat, namely what may be left on it while it sits in the produce section of your grocery store.  Another informative piece on the importance of knowing what you’re eating, because unless you know your food source or buy organics, chances are you’re produce has potentially toxic pesticide and herbicide residues all over it.

Safe Pesticides?

What I found to be more interesting than the article, however, was the debate it sparked.  One commenter, so far the lone dissenting opinion, made the argument that commercially grown produce is safe for consumption, and that pesticide residues are below EPA standards.  His other point was that if you think you’re safe buying and consuming organics, to think again.  It’s his opinion that certain plants are more dangerous and/or toxic than most pesticides – things like caffeine, vanillin, capsaicin, and the allicin contained in garlic.

I’ve lived in California’s Central San Joaquin Valley for nearly thirty years, and know what pesticides can do to the environment, to the people who consume them, live near them, and work with them.  I cannot feel comfortable with the idea that pesticides are OK because some of their detectable residues fall below EPA standards.  Time and again we discover that government standards fall far short of reality.

I have serious health issues, and so do many of the people I know and love who have spent time in the valley I hail from.  California’s Central Valley was once known as the bread basket to the world.  Now we’re left to contend with air pollution so bad we have “Spare the Air” days, sky rocketing cases of asthma and allergies,  and polluted ground water sources too.  It’s not all sunshine in the Golden State anymore.

Why I Choose Organic

Besides my concerns about good health, I choose to buy organic because it’s better for the environment, and better for the folks who work hard to produce the products I like to eat and use.  I care about the workers and manufacturers who grow and make the items buy, plus I care about the environment.  I feel it’s my responsibility to make informed, conscious choices when I shop – it’s not all about my needs.

What about the needs of others?  It may sound grandiose or cliche, but I care about the little guys around the world and here at home who work tremendously hard so I can buy the things that make my life a little sweeter, and a whole lot easier.  I also care about the world we’re leaving for our children – and I mean than in the global sense.  I want my kids to have clean, healthy food and water, as I’m sure any parent would list that as one of their top priorities.  So why not want the same for all parents and children who dwell on this Earth ?

It really boils down to my convictions.  Organic isn’t just a fad or catch phrase for me, it’s a way of life.  I do my best to put my money where my mouth is – literally.

What about you?  Where do your feelings lie when it comes to buying organic?  Feel free to leave a comment and let us know! ;)

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Homegrown Zucchini

Oue zucchini from June, 2010

It’s A Mystery…

Our single zucchini plant has been a mystery to me. Once it began producing I was very excited that our zucchinis were actually growing as they should be.  This was the first year our family attempted growing our own food, so it’s been a constant learning experience – a lot of trial and error.

Our single zucchini plant began growing and producing at a very fast rate, and although we weren’t getting a large amount from the one plant we planted in our up-cycled entertainment center turned raised garden bed, I was happy nonetheless.  We certainly had enough for some tasty homemade zucchini bread, as well as some nice steamed zucchini with dinner on a couple of occasions.

Zucchini squash is a funny thing.  They seem to grow at break neck speed, and before you know it you have a squash that’s 10+ inches long and in dire need of cutting before it gets too big to be used for anything.  Then growth seems to come to a halt, and you’re left with yellow, shriveling fruit that doesn’t want to do anything but cease to exist and become compost fodder.

At least that’s been my experience thus far.

Our plant growth started to slow down considerably.  The zucchini that was being produced was growing at a much slower rate than their predecessors, and seemed to be deficient in something.  They would grow to a couple of inches in length and then turn yellow before reaching maturity – I assumed they were lacking some kind of nutrient, or that the red ants that invaded our garden bed managed to ruin the plant’s rooting system. I thought our zucchini plant was done for and that we had gotten all of the squash out of the plant that it was going to give. We didn’t give up watering it however, and lo and behold, our zucchini plant began producing once again.

It’s amazing, the power of nature!

What about you?  Do you have some great gardening tips to share, or some useful tips for growing award-winning, killer zucchini?  Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you!

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It’s Green Find Satruday! | Green Blogs Galore

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It’s Saturday once again, and that means it’s time to discover another nifty-keen green find (or four).  This week you get a heavy dose of green with some of my favorite green and healthy blogs written by some very crafty, very smart, and very inspiring bloggers who think being green is pretty keen!   Enjoy! ;)

  • Angie’s Healthy Living Blog: If you love healthy recipes, you’ll love Angie’s Healthy Loving Blog.  She’s got some wonderfully healthy recipes, like this recipe for black bean burgers that I’m dying to try out!  Plus, Angie chronicles her wight loss success on her blog too – I think we’ve all been there…   
  • Our Daily Green: Lots of useful green tips from FreshGreenKim.  I particularly like Our Daily Green’s latest post, Extreme Green.  It’s though provoking, and makes one wonder how far out of our comfort zones are we willing to go for a greener planet?
  • Peace, Love, and Muesli: “Healthier eating one bowl at a time” – that’s Peace, Love, and Muesli’s tag line – love that!  They have lots of great suggestions, tips, and info. for eating better, and have recently written a post about raising healthy eaters – it’s a great discussion, check it out.
  • The Inadvertent Farmer: I love this blog!  There’s a lot of inspiration to be found at The Inadvertent Farmer, and a camel!  Camels are pretty neat.  You’ve got to check out their garden photos, they’re so lovely!

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It’s Green Find Saturday! | DAGOBA Organic Chocolate

DAGOBA Organic Chocolate

It’s time again for another Saturday Green Find.  This week:  a little chocolaty treat (also known around my house as “mother’s little helper”) that’s good for you and good for the environment too.

DAGOBA Organic Chocolate it the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted!  One bite and I was hooked.  Not only is their chocolate organic, delicious, and one of life’s little indulgent pleasures, but their company strives to practice full circle sustainability.  That means they’re all about making quality chocolate, while at the same time doing their part for community, ecology, and fair trade.  I totally support that!  So, while getting my chocolate fix, I can feel good that I’m indulging in something that’s good for me (no funky ingredients) and good for the planet too.  I like that!

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