Author Archive | Jennie

Holiday Traveling? Can a Long Distance Trip be Eco-Friendly?

Eco-Friendly-FlightsNOTE: This post was written for me – thank you for supporting the companies that help keep Sweet Greens in business.
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Like most families, the annual vacation is something we all look forward to – my family is super excited for our fall family trip later this month! With the holidays right around the corner, we will be traveling again to spend time with friends and family – like many of you! While most of our travels are done by car, your long distance trip may require you to fly to your vacation destination. Naturally, you may be concerned about flying and whether you will be undoing a year’s worth of good eco-friendly living with this one trip, while flying isn’t always the most eco-friendly option – it is something a necessity, so we have outlined 3 tips to help make your next flight to your vacation destination more eco-friendly.

1. Flying the Eco-Friendly Skies
Lowering emissions on a jumbo jet is no easy task, but the major airlines are trying to find new ways to lower emissions and make the skies a lot friendlier. First of all, airlines are exploring the use of biodiesel fuels as an alternative way of fueling flights. While there have been several successful flights with 100% biodiesel on board, bio diesel has a major drawback in that it freezes, thickening up like gravy. All is not lost, though; blending biodiesel with jet fuel generates a more environmentally-friendly fuel that won’t freeze up at 40,000 feet. While the fueling debate and experimentation continues, airlines are taking other steps to assist environmentally-savvy travelers, helping them to travel with peace of mind. Many airlines are using environmentally-conscious materials, both inside the plane and in the structure itself, to increase efficiency and decrease excess carbon output. Airlines are also adjusting flight patterns, improving the quality of landing procedures, and making it easier for planes to fly higher and faster. Hopefully as more time passes, flying the eco-friendly skies will become easier to do.

2. Off-Set Your Carbon Vacation Footprint
Even with all the advances that airlines are making, you have to acknowledge that, no matter where you go,  you will be in an aircraft producing greenhouse gases. Nearly ten percent of the greenhouse gases on earth are produced by aircraft. For the environmentally-conscious, this is a real problem; the solution for many is carbon off-setting. Carbon off-setting allows you to make up for the polluting emissions that your flight will be causing by having trees planted to restore balance in the environment. Many airlines, including American Airlines, are partnering with carbon off-setting companies to offer passengers a way to restore balance to the environment and still enjoy the vacation. Once you have your flight information, you can enter it into one of a number of websites that calculates flight mileage and total carbon emissions. Then, simply pay the desired amount to off-set the effects of your vacation footprint.

3. Look for Alternatives
Planning a family vacation that required you to fly to your destination means considering the effects that your trip would have on the environment. I recommend looking at alternatives to flying but, when a flight can’t be avoided, to do the research and try to make your trip as green as possible. After selecting your flight plan carefully, look for an airline that demonstrates a concern for the environment and a desire to improve their carbon footprint by increasing fuel efficiency and offering eco-friendly features such as carbon off-setting.

It is possible to travel the world and keep on saving the world in the process. All it takes is some savvy research and careful planning.

How to Upcycle Wine Corks into Place Card Holders for Your Thanksgiving Table


Every Thanksgiving, I encourage Eben to spend some time crafting something special for the Thanksgiving table. He has made apple printed napkins, pine cone turkey centerpieces and floral arrangements. This year we really wanted to utilize the corks we have saved over the past year – so we started brainstorming fun crafts. We decided to use the corks along with a handful of other supplies from the recycling bin and craft closet to make turkey inspired place cards.

This project is super simple and will keep your child busy Thanksgiving morning while you are cooking, baking, cleaning and getting ready for the big day. At the end of the project your child will have these fun colorful place cards to offer as their part of the Thanksgiving table decor. Then, as your guests leave after the feast, they can take their turkeys home with them as a memento of a cherished day together. Jump over to Inhabitots for the simple instructions on how to make these upcycled wine cork turkey inspired place card holders for the Thanksgiving table.

Green Your Thanksgiving: Our Organic Menu for the Big Day

The mister has finally decided on the menu for this years organic and Earth friendly Thanksgiving dinner. He has planned a meal that leaves me drooling, just reading it. He is a lovely cook and I can not wait to have my entire family with us for a nice Thanksgiving vacation.The mister is preparing the entire meal from scratch and he only uses the finest organic, natural, local and Earth friendly ingredients. Here is the menu, I will be sharing some of the recipe with you soon. If there is something that you want to recipe for immediately, leave me a comment or send me an email.

The Menu:
Appetizers:

* Organic Homemade French Onion Soup.

* Organic Homemade Rolls.
* Organic mixed salad with delicious yellow apple, Bermuda onion, sliced almond and a honey mustard vinaigrette. {This is a fave among the little ones}

Main Course:
* A free range organic Turkey roasted with organic oranges and fresh herbs.

* Orange and herb gravy.
* Organic mashed potatoes with sour cream and chives.
* A sweet Italian sausage stuffing with sage.
* Organic broccoli Le Gruyere Gratin.
* Organic apply and cranberry relish.
Dessert:
* Organic pumpkin cheesecake
* Organic Creme de Banana pie
* Homemade Organic French Vanilla Ice cream.
I can not wait, I love Thanksgiving and think this year will be exceptional.
What are you having for Thanksgiving dinner?

Make Your Move More Earth-Friendly

NOTE FROM SWEET GREENS: Thank you for supporting the companies that keep Sweet Greens in business.
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There are a number of ways to reduce your carbon footprint on the planet. One way is to have a green home. You can even make your move easier on the environment as well by hiring a moving company. If you are making a long distance move hiring a moving company, such as North American Van Lines, it is much more cost efficient and is also easier on the environment since you will be moving all of your belongings at once rather than having to make multiple trips in a personal vehicle. That saves a substantial amount of gas and will also make your move go much more quickly.

What a Green Home Has to Offer

In order for your home to be considered a “green” home there are a number of things that you need it to have. Your appliances should be Energy Star compliant. Energy Star appliances use much less energy than appliances that do not have the sticker on them. Your home should also be built with materials that have been locally sourced, renewable, or non-toxic. You could even use materials that have been repurposed such as old barn wood. You may also choose to have your home situated in a certain way so that you can make the most out of what mother nature has to offer. For example, if your home faces the south, you can get the full benefits of solar heat that the sun gives off, and you will not have to turn on your lights and heat on as often. This is a more green way to live and will also save you money on your utilities.

Enjoy the Benefits of Green Features

The sun also has therapeutic benefits, so you will be able to enjoy a better mood and happier outlook on life. You can also cut down on your water usage by utilizing a rainwater recapture system or by using more efficient plumbing fixtures. Even if you implement a few green features into your home, you will gain the benefits that a green home has to offer. You can gradually add more green features of your home but a great place to stay is with your appliances since you use them often and you can save a lot of energy consumption in that area quite easily.

Ways to Make Your Home More “Green”

Other ways to consume less energy are to get an on-demand water heater and to install triple-paned windows. You should also replace your regular bulbs with LED lights. Be sure also to unplug anything that you are not using such as your printer, computer, and television as they can still drain power when they are not in use.

Take a Load Off and Hire a Moving Company

Hiring a moving company for your move will make moving less stressful, and you will not have to worry about moving those large items on your own. You can also focus on other things while your movers take care of the heavy lifting. Moving a few items on your own is no big deal, but when you are moving far away from your old home, and you are moving an entire household, it is just simply too much to do on your own. Not only will it take much longer but you are more likely to injure yourself and to break things as you hurry and try to get everything done on your own.

It is just not worth the headache. Plus, hiring a moving company can save you money as you will not have to take as much time off of work to get moved. You also won’t have to get all of your moving supplies or make multiple trips with your vehicle to get the move completed.

It can also be helpful to stay organized so that you spend less time hunting around for things once you get to your new place. You can do this by properly planning boxes to their corresponding rooms. So, if things belong in the kitchen, you should label it as such. Try to pack similar items together as well so that you can put things away more quickly since you unpack. A little planning will save time and your sanity.

6 Health Screenings That Could Save Your Life!

NOTE FROM SWEET GREENS: Thank you supporting the companies that keep Sweet Greens in business.
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Medical screenings or tests are examinations that are used by physicians in order to find illnesses and health conditions before any symptoms or signs appear. Such medical screenings or tests can become lifesavers in the event that they locate a serious health condition. Medical screenings or tests are gender or age specific because some ailments only attack certain groups of people. The following tips will help to lead people in the right direction.

A Pap smear is a test given to females in order to inspect cervical cells for abnormalities. These particular tests are important for women aged 21 and older. Abnormal cervical cells that are taken, being kept in a biorepository, might be found to be cervical cancer. Women that are between the ages of 21 and 29 should visit their gynecologist every three years in order to have a pap smear test done. For women that are aged 30 to 65, it is recommended that they have a pap smear test done every five years if the test is completed with a human papillomavirus test.

Mammograms are health screens that x-ray the breast of men and women in order to identify the presence of breast cancer. Individuals should begin this health screening by the age of 50. If an individual has a family history of breast cancer then it is recommended to start having the health screens done by the age of 40. Mammograms can help to save a life in the event that they catch images of cancerous cell. Early detection means that a patient can start early treatment, which helps to increase the chances of beating the disease and stop the cancer from spreading. Patients should receive mammogram screenings every other year or annually. The frequency of the screening will depend on the person’s family history and also if abnormalities were found in the health screening.

There are two important health screenings that can help to identify heart disease. A stress test monitors the heart while the patient is engaging in a number of exercises. A stress test can help to show the existence of blood flow problems. The more vigorous the exercise gets, the harder the heart will have to work. A hard-working heart is able to pump blood faster and if there are any abnormalities within the heart, the stress test will be able to reveal it. The second health screening that helps to monitor one’s heart is an electrocardiogram or EKG. This screening is different from the stress test because a patient does not have to engage in any exercises. The EKG has the ability to monitor the beats of the heart. An abnormal heartbeat can reveal dangerous heart conditions such as arrhythmia or a heart attack. EKGs and stress tests should be given to individuals that have a family history of heart disease, chest pains, shortness of breath, or a decrease in one’s ability to perform everyday activities.

A fifth health screen test is a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy can help to reveal colon cancer. Colon cancer is the third most dangerous cancer in the United States. In order to battle this deadly disease, physicians urge patients who are over the age of 50 years old to have the procedure done. Patients may want to have this procedure done earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer or if the patient has had inflammatory bowel disease for more than 8 years. Colonoscopy testing should be done every 10 years, as long as no abnormalities are found.

Finally, a prostate-specific antigen test or PSA test is a health screen that can help to reveal early signs of prostate cancer. This particular screening measures prostate-specific antigen, a protein created in the prostate gland. This particular test is recommended for men that are 50 or older. If a male has a family history of prostate cancer then it is recommended that the screening is done earlier. It should also be noted that African-American men are at a bigger risk of developing the disease so they should begin testing at the age of 45.

All of the above health screenings should be taken seriously due to the fact that they can help to save a life. These tests can help to identify health threats and help you to begin early treatment.