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Sunday, January 23, 2022

Simple Solutions to Restore our Earth

For publisher and creator of Green Living Magazine Dorie Morales, the transition to eco-conscious living was a deeply personal one.

The mission of Green Living Magazine is to inform, connect, and empower others to make eco-conscious choices for a healthy life and planet. Part of this empowerment is showing that living eco-consciously is tangible for every individual and starts with small steps in everyday life.

For publisher and creator of Green Living Magazine Dorie Morales, the transition to eco-conscious living was a deeply personal one. Morales’ early life was marked by activities that helped her appreciate the natural world, such as horseback riding and helping in her father’s garden. Through her time as a foreign exchange student in France, she also had extensive exposure to a culture that incorporated many aspects of sustainability. Needless to say, the concept of living with regard for human and planet health was not unfamiliar to her.

It was not until later in life, however, that Morales decided to make serious efforts to live a green lifestyle. The most significant events that contributed to her decision were the loss of her parents and siblings to cancer and other health issues. Through this, paired with her children experiencing severe allergies, there was no question that there would be serious consideration to not only the way her and her family lived their lives, but also every food and product in their household.

In hopes to encourage others to incorporate these same practices into their lives, we will be taking a hypothetical tour of the Morales household, getting insight into different products and practices that promote a greener lifestyle.

The Morales family.

The Laundry Room

First on the list for the laundry room: is to ditch the chemicals and switch to all-natural cleaners made from local vendors. Some examples of companies that can get you the simple and safe products you need are Truce and Eco Mama.

Tru Earth is a company that offers eco-friendly laundry detergent in strip form. This detergent is said to be sensitive on both your skin and the environment! For more information, visit the Tru Earth website and use the code GreenLiving10 for 10% off in the web-store.

Along with eliminating harmful chemicals from the laundry room, it is also important to take steps to promote conservation when possible. A few simple ways that you can take leaps to help the planet is by using a front-loading washing machine and using the cold cycle. Shockingly enough, a front-loading machine uses half the water of a top-loader and washing your clothes on the cold cycle can eliminate 1600 pounds of carbon emissions per year.

Bedroom

Unbeknownst to most, cotton is the world’s dirtiest crop, being the leading cause of air and water pollution. This being said, let your next mattress investment be organic. Organic cotton is grown without toxins, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers. Brooklyn Bedding manufactures a wide selection of organic mattresses and sheets, making them a go-to choice for those looking to craft an eco-friendly bedroom. Along with this, Arizona’s Organic Living offers a plethora of home products that highlight the importance of eliminating waste and living sustainably.

Bathroom

Making our way to the bathroom, we are met with ample options for sustainable beauty and cosmetic products. Some simple practices to eliminate waste are finding products that are naturally packaged, along with reusing the jars that some beauty products come in. 

A jarring fact that might nudge us further towards buying naturally is that most cosmetic products contain at least 16 toxic chemicals in them. Therefore, it is important to know where our everyday cosmetic products are coming from.

Choosing organic hair coloring and swapping perfume for essential oils are key ways that you can remove these toxins from your cosmetic cabinet. Companies that can help you make these necessary changes are Juice Beauty, Peak Scents and Dr Bronner’s. With their specialty in essential oils, PoppyMed and Sister Power also have an ample selection of products that will alter your lifestyle for the better.

Another helpful tip is to check your products for the color-enhancer nano-titanium dioxide, as this chemical can be a harmful water-pollutant. Along with these simple solutions for topical products, companies like Unpaste and Truthpaste are working to reduce the 1.5 billion toothpaste tubes that end up in landfills each year. To reduce plastic all the more when brushing your teeth, you could even use a toothbrush made out of bamboo.

Living & Dining Room

Rounding the next corner of the Morales home, we are met with helpful solutions in the dining and living rooms. The first solution is to choose flooring that is made up of natural material. Using natural flooring like wood or cork flooring prevents harmful toxins from being emitted into the atmosphere during the manufacturing process of synthetic floors. Next, we are reminded to never underestimate the power of live plants in the house. Soil-potted plants can actually cleanse indoor air of toxic substances and promote the health of your home’s inhabitants. Timely for those Arizona summers, tinting your windows can serve as a great way to limit energy use and lower your electricity bill. Surprisingly enough, window tint can reduce the heat in your home by 80%. For Energy is a green solar company that provides energy audits of homes in order to help owners maximize their energy efficiency; this is a great company to have in your corner when seeking to become more energy efficient.

Kitchen

The kitchen: where the magic, and unfortunately excessive waste, happens. Some tips to maximize your resources in the kitchen are using your excess water to nourish the plants and using vinegar and water, rather than soap, to wash your fruits and vegetables. One of the most significant problems that we reach in the kitchen is plastic use: ziplock baggies, saran wrap, tupperware, you name it. The use of these products adds up to a serious amount of non-biodegradable waste. 

Instead, utilizing reusable jars and bottles are the way to go. There are even reusable food containers made out of beeswax, some of which are made by Bees4Seas. Terracycle is an organization that offers a free recycling service for hard-to-recycle waste items; if you wish to start your recycling journey, there are resources to help along the way! Stasher is another great company that advocates for waste reduction by creating reusable food containers out of silicon. For storing your liquids, stainless steel containers by U-Konserve are a great choice.

Eliminating pre-rinsing during dishwashing, using bamboo cooking utensils, and using copper stainless or cast-iron stoneware are some simple alternatives to limit waste. Along with these helpful tips, composting is an engaging way to start limiting organic waste. This practice is valuable due to the way it limits organic waste from improperly ending up in landfills. Instead, composting allows the natural composting process to break down the material in a safe way. Recycled City can provide you with everything you need to start composting this week.

Backyard/Garden

The Morales family in their backyard with their aquaponics system.

In order to protect your garden from the outdoor pests, choose eco-friendly pesticides, as these natural alternatives will remove the health risks that normal pesticides pose. If you are looking to hand the pests over to the professionals, Blue Sky Pest Control offers pest control services using natural, eco-friendly products. 

For projects that include paint, make sure to dispose of the excess using companies like Green Sheen, Lowe’s, or Habitat for Humanity that specialize in properly recycling paint.

Finally, aquaponics is a remarkable food production method dating back to the ancient era where aquaculture is paired with hydroponics. Meaning, aquatic animals are raised in a container that then feeds nutrient-rich water to the plants, facilitating their growth. Endless Food Systems offer different types and sizes of systems that can be installed in your home and provide you with a rich, flourishing garden.

As a part of its vision to see the world live eco-consciously, Green Living hosts monthly events across Phoenix that bring together the community, showcasing local businesses, beer, wine, and food. Along with events of their own, Green Living encourages all to attend different events that will spur on sustainability in the community. Examples of upcoming events include Green Living’s December event and the Earth Day Extravaganza. Both events will promote unity within the community under the common goal of living sustainably.

A closer look at the aquaponics system.

Keep up with all of Green Living’s original content online and on social media.

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