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Archive for July, 2012

Get Free GE Stainless Steel Appliance free....

Fill your home with GE stainless steel appliances when you rent with morEnergy’s two for one sale. Great news for first time home buyers or just upgrade your existing appliances…

Call us at 1-866-225-7204 to know more….

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7 scary ingredients: Avoid these in your next grocery shopping

7 scary ingredients to avoid in your food…

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ImageEach summer, doctors and public service announcements remind us about the importance of slathering on the sunscreen before heading outdoors.

The biggest benefits of course are that sunscreen helps absorb and/or reflect harmful UVA and UVB rays, which can cause premature aging and skin cancer.

Let’s green up your medicine cabinet, which means the beach bag will be including healthier sun products. The chemicals used to make sunscreen may not always be great for our bodies.

While sunscreen is an absolute must, there are things you can do to choose one that is better for you and the environment.

If You Can’t Pronounce It, Do You Really Want It on Your Skin?
The advent of more advanced sun protection offered hope for improved skin care, until research revealed the dangers of certain ingredients in these common products. Parabens, found in many sunscreens and sunblocks, were outed as estrogen mimics and endocrine disruptors. Commonly used sunscreen ingredients like benzophenone (oxybenzone), octinoxate, cinnamates, and homosalate were found guilty of increasing the risk of cancer!

Avoiding Store-Bought Sunblock

Some folks choose to forgo the chemical sunblock industry all together. They use natural ingredients found at health food stores to create their own sunblock lotion, or they wear sun-protective clothing and limit their time in the sun.

To make your own sunscreen without worries about the possible effects of nanotech elements found in store-bought products: Purchase plain zinc oxide ointment at a drugstore and mix it into your favorite skin lotion to make your own sunscreen.

Go mineral:
Sunscreens containing zinc dioxide or titanium dioxide are great alternatives to those with chemicals such as oxybenzone. Zinc and titanium are minerals that provide broad-spectrum coverage, reflecting both UVA and UVB rays. An added benefit is that many zinc and titanium sunscreens these days are micronized to avoid the white, painted-on look. Carefully read the list of active ingredients before purchasing as some sunscreens contain zinc and titanium in combination with other chemicals.

Pick healthier ingredients:

Not all sunscreens claiming to be natural are equal. Many cosmetics and sunscreens, even those with natural and organic labels, contain preservatives to insure products remain as fresh as possible. When shopping for a sunscreen, consider avoiding ones with harsher chemical preservatives such as parabens (including butylparaben and methylparaben), which have had mixed health reviews. Instead, look for sun products without preservatives or those with milder preservatives such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate.

Also, steer clear of sunscreens with petroleum-based ingredients such as mineral oil. Look for natural emollients such as olive, sunflower and jojoba oils, and shea and cocoa butter, to name a few.

Quick guide to sun protection that respects both the body and the earth:

•    First, use common sense. Try to stay out of the sun during peak sun hours, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when sunburn and sun damage is most likely to occur.

•    If you have to be out in the sun during peak hours, try to find a shaded area, an umbrella, or wear a wide-brimmed hat. If you have the budget, check out sun-protective clothing. Make sure to research protective clothing vendors, as some of them use chemical additives to confer sun-protective abilities into the clothing.

•    When you use sunblock, try to choose one that isn’t going to make you worry about carcinogens or environmental toxins. Make your own sunblock with zinc oxide and lotion or check the labels on sunscreens to see that that they don’t contain too many chemicals. Remember, if you can’t pronounce it, you probably don’t want it on your skin! Do your own research to find out what feels best for you and your family.

•    Try to eat plenty of dark green, red, and yellow fruits and vegetables, to keep your skin healthy and less prone to skin damage.

•    If you do end up with a sunburn, consider natural, eco-friendly remedies for sunburn relief. Aloe vera gel is very soothing and effective. It can either be purchased from a natural foods store or taken directly from an aloe vera plant. A soothing oatmeal bath can also be helpful.

•    Finally, remember that every choice you make has some kind of an environmental impact. It’s a good idea to treat the planet kindly by living lightly—you will also reap the benefits!

Like most things, think moderation! A little bit of sun can be a good thing. Don’t overdo it!

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Tip of the day...

Preventing weeds on cracks…

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In the last couple of decades, scientists have discovered more reasons (beyond vitamins and fiber) to pack your diet with fruits and vegetables: phytochemicals. All plants contain these compounds, which protect them from a variety of dangers—from harmful UV rays to predatory pests.

We take in phytochemicals when we eat fruits and vegetables and, as it turns out, they protect us too. Some act as antioxidants, mopping up unstable “free radical” molecules that can damage cells and lead to the development of heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and other health issues. Others work by boosting the immune system.

What’s fascinating is that nature seems to have a way of highlighting these beneficial nutrients by giving them bright colors that allow you to spot them at a glance.

For example, anthocyanins make blueberries blue and may help to keep your mind sharp. Tomatoes get their ruby hue from lycopene, a phytochemical that may help to prevent prostate cancer.

To get the maximum disease-fighting power that phytochemicals can provide, choose foods that represent all colors of the rainbow. The USDA suggests paying particular attention to orange and red (5 1/2 cups per week) and dark green (1 1/2 cups per week) produce, both good sources of vitamin A and other important nutrients

Why Red?
Red foods, such as tomatoes and watermelon, contain lycopene, a phytochemical that may help protect against prostate and breast cancers.
Guava?Pink grapefruit?Red peppers? Tomatoes ?Watermelon

Why Orange?

Alpha and beta carotene make foods like carrots and sweet potatoes so brilliantly orange. The body converts these compounds into the active form of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes, bones and immune system healthy. These phytochemicals also operate as antioxidants, sweeping up disease-promoting free radicals.
Apricots ?Cantaloupe?Carrots ?Mango ?Oranges ?Papaya?Pumpkin ?Sweet potatoes ?Tangerines?Winter squash

Why Yellow & Green? ( part 1 – leafy greens)

Many yellow and green vegetables are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that accumulate in the eyes and help prevent age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older people. Leafy greens are also rich in beta carotene.

Artichoke ?Corn ?Lettuce ?Summer squash ?Wax beans?Arugula?Chard ?Collards ?Mustard greens ?Turnip greens

Why Green?  (part 2 cruciferous)

Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli and kale, provide compounds called indoles and isothiocyanates, which may help prevent cancer by amping up the production of enzymes that clear toxins from the body.

Broccoli ?Brussels sprouts ?Cauliflower ?Green cabbage ?Kale

Why Blue & Purple/Deep Red ?

Blue, purple and deep-red fruits and vegetables are full of anthocyanins and proanthocyanins, antioxidants associated with keeping the heart healthy and the brain functioning optimally. Blackberries

Blueberries ?Eggplant ?Plums ?Cranberries ?Grapes?Radishes (red)?Raspberries ?Strawberries

Do you have any interesting recipes with these fruits and vegetables? Please share in the comments section below…

Thanks to Who’s green

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* Add about two capfuls of baking vanilla extract (you can also use almond or orange extract) into an oven-safe coffee cup. Turn the oven on to about 250 degrees and place the coffee cup in the center of the oven. Very quickly the house will begin to smell incredible. (Just be prepared for people storming the kitchen looking for whatever you’re “baking”!)

* Place a small pot on the stove. Add about 2 cups water, 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, and the peel of 1 orange, lemon or grapefruit. Simmer on low heat, and the warm smell of citrus and spice will quickly suffuse the house.

* There are countless great ideas for freshening with essential oils. For example, drip some onto a cotton ball, then put it anywhere you need a little pick-me-up of clean scent, like in your diaper pail, at the bottom of the garbage can or in your laundry hamper.

* Another idea is to mix about 15 drops of your favorite essential oil with 1 cup water in a glass jar, then place about 10 wooden skewers so they are sticking out the top of the jar (break them in half if they’re way taller then the jar) This makes a great air freshener for the bathroom.

These are just a couple of ideas to get you started. Essential oils are incredibly versatile, and a much greener and healthier alternative to artificial chemical plug –in or spray air fresheners.

Do you have any other green ideas or tips to freshen up your house? Please do share below in the comments.

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ImageAs we promised, here is a great alternative to the traditional laundry detergent.

Simple Washing Powder

16 cups baking soda

12 cups borax

8 cups grated castile or glycerin soap flakes*

3 tablespoons lavender, lemon or grapefruit essential oil

Combine baking soda, borax and soap flakes.

Add essential oil and mix with a wire whisk.Use 1/8 cup per load.

Yield: This recipe makes enough powder to last a family of four one year.

*Try Sun Feather Natural Soap Company, or buy bars of castile soap (e.g. Dr. Bronner’s) and grate with a kitchen grater.

Pre-Wash Stain Spray

1/2 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup baking soda

3 cups water

Stir together and fill a labeled spray bottle. Spray on soiled spots just before washing. Always test a hidden spot first.

Bleach/Brightener Substitute

1 cup hydrogen peroxide

1/4 cup lemon or grapefruit juice

12 cups water

Store in a labeled plastic jug. Add 2 cups per load along with detergent.

Extra tips:

For extra-clean clothes, follow your detergent with ½ cup of borax, an all-natural laundry booster. Add baking soda to wash water at the same time as detergent to soften and freshen clothes and linens.

If you have any tips and ideas to share about home made laundry detergent, Please share in the comments section below.

Follow morEnergy Blog to help you ‘Go morGreen’ with our easy to follow “Green Tips”. We strive to provide our community with the most current resources, ideas and information that will guide each of us in making greener choices for ourselves.  

Thanks to who’s Green?

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