Tag Archives | green lifestyle

How to Make Organic Instant Oatmeal for Cool Fall Mornings

I love oatmeal on cool, crisp fall mornings! Am I the only one? You can make your own organic instant oatmeal packed with flavor in a few simple steps taking your regular oatmeal from ho-hum to yum-yum. Read on to learn how you can make organic instant oatmeal and wake up to a better tomorrow.
 
Step 1: Bake It!
Preheat the oven to 350°, spread 4 cups of organic old-fashioned rolled oats on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Let cool.
 
Step 2: Pulse It!
Pulse in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
 
Step 3: Mix It!
Mix in a cup of your favorite oatmeal add-ins such as; almonds, walnuts, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, and coconut.
 
Step 4: Store It!
Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.
 
Step 5: Boil It!
Stir boiling water into a cup of your organic instant oatmeal until you reach your desired consistency.
 
Step 6: Enjoy It!
Oatmeal is my favorite on a cool, crisp fall morning – top with honey too!

8 Reasons to Shift From Private to Public Transportation

Styled Stock Photos for Instagram and Social Media, Flatlays, Social Squares from the SC Stockshop

Public transportation plays a significant role in our society today. People in large cities around the world rely on buses and trains for convenient and affordable travel. Additionally, many methods of public transportation have embraced new technological advancements in order to attract more people. If you’re still unsure about moving away from private travel, here’s a look at some important benefits of public transportation.

Community Asset

Many state government leaders believe that public transportation improves community relations. Public transportation also helps promote an active lifestyle. Riding public transportation likely means that you have to walk to your nearby stop, which is a form of exercise to help you stay in shape. Health experts recommend that people perform at least 15-20 minutes of physical activity every day. You could fulfill that requirement simply by riding public transportation on a regular basis.

Higher Fuel Quality

Using public transportation reduces your carbon footprint for several reasons. These types of vehicles use more eco-friendly fuel sources, for one. Public transportation vehicles receive high marks for utilizing electric resources as fuel. The vehicles are also more fuel efficient than other vehicles that also rely on gas. Less fuel is consumed utilizing public transportation compared to driving a public car on the road.

Mass Appeal

Public transportation is a major asset to people who live in urban and rural areas who don’t have the ability to drive on a regular basis. Public transportation helps people reach their intended destinations to complete tasks when they would be immobile otherwise. To that end, research shows that over 95% of public transportation buses are equipped to accommodate people in wheelchairs. In that sense, public transportation helps ensure that no one is left behind.

Stimulates the Economy

Supporting public transportation helps improve the local economy. When you use public transportation, you’re supporting the workforce and small businesses in the area. Perhaps you decide to shop at a local store near your bus or train stop. Popular transportation systems also stimulate the local community’s workforce. This helps create more jobs and also makes it easier for people who don’t own a vehicle to make a living.

Public Transportation Is Eco-Friendly

Recent data shows that traveling using the most common methods of public transportation (bus or train) is more environmentally friendly than driving your own car or flying. For reference, with a full tank, helicopters can usually fly around two and a half to five hours before running out of fuel. Public transportation can help you reach your destination way more efficiently. It really can’t be said enough; utilizing public transportation is a great example of green living practices.

Minimizes Traffic

Getting stuck in traffic is every person’s worst nightmare. Traffic jams also have a negative impact on local infrastructure. However, turning to public transportation is a potential solution. Public transportation can help reduce wear and tear on highways and other roads because there are fewer vehicles on the road at once. Utilizing public transportation also reduces the likelihood of potential traffic jams.

Reduces The Risk Of Serious Accidents

Driving requires all of your attention. However, many drivers have caused accidents because they were talking or texting while driving. Driving under the influence is also a major issue. Even for a first DUI offense, penalties can include license suspension, fines, community service, mandatory attendance at an alcohol program, mandatory overnight incarceration, and the required installation of a car ignition locking device. Relying on public transportation allows you to relax and avoid being overwhelmed by the pressures of driving. You won’t have to worry as much about evolving road conditions or the behavior of other drivers on the road.

Helps You Save Money

Public transportation also helps you save money in the long term because you aren’t spending as much money on fuel every month. Driving less frequently can also lower your car insurance premiums. Plus, many public transportation programs offer loyalty rewards programs to help you qualify for future discounts.

There are many advantages to using public transportation. Consider switching over to help support your community and the environment.

6 Healthy Back To School Lunchtime Snacks

 

Fall is right around the corner, and that means it’s back to school for children, teens, and young adults across the country. For parents, that means it’s time to handle getting lunches packed, balanced breakfasts on the table, and sleepyheads out of bed!

I always get a wonderful nostalgic feeling from the end of summer, back-to-school time. It always reinvigorates me and makes me excited to try new things and make changes in my life, even though my own schooldays are long past. I think part of this has definitely been from raising Eben! 

Watching him go through the process of starting a new grade each year has been so rewarding and inspiring (and now, he’s applying to Graduate School, can you believe it!) I always want to support him and his efforts at school, and part of that means making sure he’s well fed and properly fueled so his brain can do all that learning each day (at least until he leaves us!)

One of the things I like to try and do each year is come up with new types of healthy snacks. Kids always seem drawn to any kind of single-serving snacks and fun foods—just think about those awful packaged varieties that your kids have probably begged you to buy while shopping. Packing the same things all the time gets boring and doesn’t offer much variety in terms of vitamins and minerals, which only eating a broad diet can do.

If you’re stumped for new ideas when packing lunches, here are some of our favorites, which I’m sure your kids will love, too:

  • Fruit Skewers: Use whatever fruits you have on hand (melons, apples, clementines, grapes, etc.) and stick bite-sized chunks onto wooden skewers or reusable plastic or metal skewers if you want to be extra eco-conscious. These colorful snacks are fun to eat and easy to share with friends at school!

  • Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter & Pretzels: This fun, dippable snacks make eating healthy nut butter a breeze. Eben loves these so much he had already gone through the package of them before school started! Like a healthier version of Nutella, these snacks feel like an indulgence, but they’re made from high-quality, all-natural ingredients with a focus on sustainability. Definitely a winner!

  • Fruit and Vegetable Chips: Whether you choose to make these in the oven, dehydrator, or buy them from your local health food store (such a variety is available these days!), fruit or vegetable chips are a great way of making healthy eating fun and delicious for kids. The possibilities are endless: apples, sweet potatoes, kale, zucchini, eggplant, all with any combination of flavored salts, herbs, and spices.

  • Stonyfield Organics YoKids Squeezers: This squeezable yogurt is both healthy and tasty. Eben loves the Cherry and Berry flavor pack, and they never come home uneaten when I pack them in his lunch! As with all of the Stonyfield products, they are organic certified by the USDA and made with pasture-raised milk.

  • Nuts and Seeds: I buy organic nuts and seeds in bulk at Costco and pack them in Eben’s lunch every day. They are the perfect snack to grab right before a big test or for an after-lunch pick-me-up!

  • Homemade Granola Bars: Unlike their store-bought counterparts, when you make granola bars at home, you don’t need to add any processed sugars and can control exactly what goes into them. There are endless healthy granola bar recipes online, and I guarantee at least one of them can be made with whatever you have in your cupboards right now!

What about you? Do you have any favorite back-to-school snack ideas that your kids devour? Or any packing secrets or life-changing products you can’t do without? I’d love to hear about them—the more inspiration, the better!

Green Treatments for Common Health Conditions

Many families struggle with common health conditions they can handle without going to the hospital. While prescription medications are important, their costs can increase in the long run. It’s important to consider the alternative in this case: embracing “green” treatments. Understand that these treatments use natural approaches to address common health conditions you may have. This guide explains which natural treatments and ingredients could help set you up for a healthy life.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is among the plants with effective medicinal properties you can use to treat common health conditions. In alternative medicine, aloe vera can treat skin abrasion and alleviate joint pain. The anti-inflammatory properties in the plant are also vital in treating arthritis pain. Aloe vera is also important to people struggling with osteoporosis and low bone density. More than 52 million people are struggling with osteoporosis and low bone density in the United States alone. With aloe vera as an alternative treatment, addressing health conditions and enabling healing can be easy.

Chamomile

Addressing common health conditions naturally goes beyond the physical symptoms you see. It is possible to address your mental health issues in this way as well. Chamomile is a common medicinal plant used to treat anxiety and enable relaxation. The plant is also effective in reducing inflammation and swelling and treating wounds. When added to tea, it helps soothe the mind, making it possible for you to relax and concentrate more. Chamomile is a plant you can grow in your home and enjoy the related benefits. Use the flowers to get the expected medicinal results faster.

Traditional Diet

Besides breastfeeding, you effectively address dental health issues in your child by embracing and encouraging a traditional diet. A meal with plenty of fat-soluble vitamins and healthy fats is crucial to dental health. Did you know that one out of every three orthodontic patients in a dental care clinic is an adult? It is important to consider traditional diets as they help address dental health issues in adults and children. As a parent and homeowner, encouraging your family to eat avocados, pasture butter, fermented foods, and fish is important for their dental health. Reach out to nutritionists and dieticians to know more about vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and collard greens that contain high calcium content to add to your traditional diet and address your dental health issues.

Garlic and Ginger

As you look for ways to get the best natural treatment, know that adding garlic and ginger to your diet is beneficial. While garlic is widely used for cooking, the medicinal benefits are great. You can use the compounds found in garlic for antimicrobial, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory needs. Know that garlic is effective in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Ginger is effective in easing motion sickness and nausea. Like garlic, you can effectively use ginger as an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant. Understand that you reduce medical needs and costs by embracing and encouraging natural health in your family.

Perilla or Stinging Nettle

The little-known perilla plant is effective in the treatment of people struggling with allergies. Note that this plant has antidepressant properties you can effectively use to alleviate asthma or allergic rhinitis symptoms. You can also use the plant to treat different skin conditions, helping you avoid costly prescription medications. While it is the belief that allergic rhinitis or asthma can spontaneously go away, medical reports and statistics show that the likelihood of positive results is only 1% per year. For this reason, embracing alternative medicine remains beneficial. You can conveniently use stinging nettle leaves as an alternative treatment to alleviate allergies or asthma. Studies show that you can benefit from stinging nettle’s antioxidant, astringent, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Embracing “green” treatment is an effective way to achieve your health objectives without spending much. You can grow most of the plants, vegetables, and herbs in the garden in your home and enjoy the benefits. By learning more about natural treatments, you easily address common health conditions and care for your family.

Here’s Why You Should Finally Ditch Your Car This Year

Cars are a combination of convenience and trouble for the environment, essentially becoming a necessary evil for the most part. However, something has to tip the balance. With the state of the environment growing more dismal by the day, you may have a few new reasons to ditch your car this year, and here are some of them.

You Can Carpool

There’s a chance that everyone else you know owns a car. If you know someone who works in the same place as you or even close by it, you can carpool with them and someone else. This makes it possible to live without a car because work is the main reason that many people need to have a car in the first place. Ask around from your neighbors to find out which one among them is willing to carpool, and you will enjoy not only saving resources but also leaving a smaller carbon footprint as a group.

The Environment Will Thank You

With the United States roadways averaging over 5,891,000 motor vehicle accidents a year, this is clearly due to having a large number of cars on the roads. While people may do their best to drive safely, car trouble and unforeseen issues like extreme weather can lead to accidents that are unavoidable to a large extent. When you ditch your car, you will not only help put one less possible accident on the highways, but you will also decrease the carbon emissions you’re responsible for, and for this, the environment will be grateful!

You Can Work Remotely

A few years back, there was a small fraction of jobs and employees that would allow working from home. It’s becoming the norm now, and so if you bought your car to get to and from work like many other people, there’s a chance you won’t need it. It’s possible to make your next position a telecommuting one and spend a majority of your time in and around your home. Even if you will need to go to an office physically on one or two days of the week, you can manage to do so without a car as you simply need to find means for those days.

There Are Many Ridesharing Apps

In this age of ride-hailing apps like Uber, you can enjoy the convenience of a taxi service that will pick you up from your home and drop you at the doorstep of where you need to be. This means that you need not worry about living too far from public transport stations as you can hail a car from wherever you are. This is especially true if you don’t need to commute daily, and even if you do, hailing these car services will be a lot cheaper for you than keeping a car. With around 125 oil rigs currently in operation in the Gulf of Mexico, there’s a lot of oil around, but it’s still a costly commodity. Rather than fuel your car every time you need to go somewhere and maybe get poor value per gallon depending on your car, you can rideshare.

You Will Be Healthier

Finally, not having a car will mean that you will need to walk a bit more than you would have otherwise done, and this is a form of exercise in itself. If you keep this up for a while, you will get into good shape without needing to sign up for a gym membership. Breathing the clean, fresh air as you enjoy the scenery will remind you what a great decision you made too!

If you were wondering whether it’s worth it to get rid of your car, the reasons above should make it easier for you to decide. The benefits outweigh the perceived downsides, so go ahead and ditch it this year and start your journey in green living.