Buy Organic or Go to Hell

Go to Hell Organics

A mundane trip to the grocery store has turned into a time of moral reflection for Dreg on the cost of organics. He truly wants to do right for the health of his family and to benefit the earth but can he afford it?

It’s a showdown between good and evil and a choice must be made.

Either way, is he willing to pay the price?

Just Pretend You Can Afford a Green Home

If green design seems to be available for only those who are sustainably wealthy, you can always just pretend. I found a really cool website that lets you play around building your dream home and gives you choices on energy use, recycling and appliances.  Even how you eat will affect the overall green rating of your new casa.

All Natural Me designed a virtual home that rated: so fresh, so clean.

I will confess that I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t opt for the green roof option. At the time, I really wanted the bamboo siding instead and I was thinking that truly, the roof would need to be flat to have a garden on it, right? We wouldn’t want peat moss and posies sliding off and plopping into my chemical free lawn. The wood siding was just so pretty…

Oh darn. I could have really lowered my energy use by choosing the living roof top. Can I edit My Abodo and make it even more green?

Green House

Produce Codes Actually Mean Something

Pop Quiz!

Who knows the produce code for bananas?

I’m not sure if it is from my debut as a checkout cashier in college or my life long label reading obsession, but I know the answer is 4011. Here’s a bonus question: Do organic bananas have the same code?

If you answered Heck NO! Then you are pretty savvy on the fruit stickers my friend!

All organically grown produce will have sticky labels with a 5-digit number that start with the number nine as compared to 4-digit conventionally grown produce.

Watch out though, genetically modified foods also have a 5-digit number that starts with the number eight. Avoid GM foods if you can. They haven’t been around long enough to know if they are safe or not.

Bottom line, remember the 9 starts for organics and you’ll be fine.

Happy Eating!

Tree Planting Grants

 Do something amazing for your community and plant some trees…. A LOT of trees!

American Forests’ mission is to grow a healthier world with trees. Through community-based initiatives they help people understand the many values of trees and restore forest ecosystems in urban and rural areas. Their work encompasses tree planting, urban forestry, environmental education, and community-based forestry.

Have a HUGE project planned?  You may be able to receive some financial help to aid your green goodness.

2008 Tree Planting Grants Available
American Forests in search of tree planting projects

Global ReLeaf, a program of American Forests the nation’s oldest nonprofit citizens’ conservation organization (www.americanforests.org), is offering annual grants towards tree planting projects. Currently they are accepting tree planting project proposals for 2008. American Forests’ mission is to grow a healthier world. Global ReLeaf is American Forests’ education and action program that helps individuals, organizations, agencies, and corporations improve the local and global environment by planting and caring for trees. Since it’s creation in 1988 the program has supported plantings of over 25 million trees worldwide.

The Global ReLeaf grant program provides private dollars to support local reforestation efforts and help match other funding sources. American Forests raises a dollar for every tree planted with Global ReLeaf. The dollars fund the reforestation projects. Competitive grant requests must maximize the use of total project funds per tree planted. Grants are available to support rural seedling projects restoring damaged forest ecosystems. Further information regarding Global ReLeaf Grants including application forms and criteria can be found at: http://www.americanforests.org/global_releaf/grants/

Please forward this grant opportunity to all motivated treehuggers planning 2008 plantings. Deadlines for grant proposals is July 1st.

Get Kids Thinking Green

eco kid

Earth Day is coming up and that’s always a great time to plant the seed of environmental knowledge and activism that can continue to grow all year. Earth Day is more than just a date, it’s something to be celebrated and practiced every day.

Here are 7 Fun Activities to help water the seed:

Take the EnviroKidz Pledge!

Pick up virtual trash with Starfall.com

Decorate Earth Day Grocery Bags

Choose Your Earth Mission: Recycle, Build, Plant

Help Your Teacher Make Your Classroom Eco-Friendly

Have an Eco-Birthday Party

Plant a Tree – It’s Easy!

Nurture the seed and watch our children grow up conscious about the beautiful world they live in. Set a good example and show how fun it is to be green. More resources and games can be found on Green Links for Kids.

No Plastics Pledge

Americans generate 10.5 million tons of plastic waste a year but recycle only 1 or 2 % of it. Yeah, we totally suck and so do plastics. Take a pledge to go plastic free to not use or purchase any new plastics for whatever amount of time you can commit to.

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All Natural Me was only #721 so let’s spread the word about this pledge!

Sign today at http://www.leonardodicaprio.org/pledge/

What a great idea to get folks a little more conscious of their plastic use and consumption. I say consumption because every time we eat or drink something stored in plastic – You betcha, we are ingesting small amounts of chemicals found in plastics.

AllNaturalMe.com wonders: How much plastic are you eating?

Unplug Appliances and Reduce Electricity Use

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You can reduce your electricity consumption and the energy emissions you create with a simple green step of unplugging your appliances when you are not using them.  Even if it’s not actively being used, the appliance still has energy flowing into it.  As a green practice and to have better fire safety in your house, remember to unplug your toaster, hair dryer, coffee maker, radio, blender and juicer when you’re not using them.

When it’s time to replace appliances, look for the blue energy star which means the product is more green by being energy efficient.  You can even look for energy star approvals when looking for a new home or making improvements.  More information can be found at energystar.gov.

All Natural Me Online Communities

The best way to learn more about being All Natural Me and living an eco-friendly lifestyle is from each other!

Connect with All Natural Me

Natural Me persons love that natural stuff….
Natural living, herbal medicine, essential oils, aromatherapy, acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, chiropractic, homeopathic medicine, flower essences, vitamins, holistic healing, nutrition, organics, gardening, growing herbs, sustainable living, vegan, vegetarian, environmental issues, reduce, reuse, recycle, animal rights, vermiculture, composting, chemical-free cleaning, attachment parenting, natural family, finding inner peace, contentment, having fun and living life to its fullest!!

We invite you to join and participate in a Natural Me Online Group:
Natural Me Myspace Group
With over 29,000 members, there is always something fun to talk about. You’ll need to sign up with a myspace account and learn to over look the huge amount of spam, porn and rude behavior but overall, we think you’ll like it there.

Natural Me Yahoo Discussion Group!
Join us to discuss Natural living topics, Ways to improve the environment, How to be healthy, Your thoughts on the latest All Natural Me Zine And any other topic that’s “all natural me”! After you sign up, you don’t even have to login to yahoo, you can reply to group easily from your email inbox!

Natural Me Care2 Group!
We adore Care2.com with all their green ambition and are thrilled to have a growing Natural Me group there along with the environmental information they offer.

All Natural Me also makes appearances on social networking sites like Friendster, Yuwie, Etsy and MyBlogLog. As the message of living green continues to grow, I expect to see hundreds if not billions of All Natural Me persons, groups, promoters and really cool copy&paste codes for your website sprouting up everywhere!

🙂  Let us know about the wonderful All Natural Me things YOU are doing!

All Natural Me Chemical Free Cleaning

All you really need to know is Baking Soda and Vinegar!! Pair these guys up with essential oils and natural based soap and you are ready to give your home an aromatic cleaning you will both appreciate!

ROSEMARY SOFT SCRUBBER ~ Great for bathrooms!

1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/8 cup liquid vegetable-based soap
10 drops Rosemary essential oil

MIX up then Scrub the crud!

The next homemade recipe:

TEA TREE MOLD -n- MILDEW ZAPPER

1 cup white vinegar
25 drops Tea Tree essential oil

Spray on ~ go put your feet up for 10 minutes ~ wipe or just spray it and leave it!

HANDY KITCHEN SPRAY

Fill your spray bottle up with naturally disinfecting white vinegar along with a good squeeze of natural dish soap and 20+ drops of your favorite essential oils. Lemon, Pine or Clove are great!! Spray on counters, table, high chair and greasy messes!

SUNSHINE WINDOW CLEANER

In a spray bottle add:
1/2 cup white vinegar
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon or less of natural dish soap
5 to 10 drops essential oil of LEMON, ORANGE or GRAPEFRUIT essential oils

AROMA~CLEANSE AIR SPRAY

Brace yourself for this genius breakthrough…
Get a bottle, fill it with water, add naturally disinfecting essential oils,
shake it and spray it….. wow.

Use single oils alone such as Lavender, Sweet Orange, or Clove or make complimenting combinations such as Patchouli~Rose or a Citrus Blast with Grapefruit, Lemon, Orange and Lime! Make an air purifying sick room spray of Eucalyptus, Thyme and Lemon.

LOVELY LAVENDER CARPET DEODORIZER

In a glass jar with a tight lid combine equal parts of baking soda and dried Lavender flowers.
To remove the stinkers, Sprinkle this mixture on your carpet. Let it sit for at
least an hour, then vacuum.

GROUNDING SPICE MOTH REPELLANT

1/4 cup Dry Thyme
1/4 cup Whole Cloves

Combine and separate into clothes bags to put in drawers, chests,
or to hang in closets.

All recipes are all natural, smell fresh and are very effective.

Happy Cleaning!

10 Ways To Be All Natural Me

1. Be positive & Love yourself.

2. Treat your body with respect. Be open to nature’s medicine, self-healing & Alternative therapies.

3. Eat healthy foods and support organic farming.

4. Be environmentally responsible and Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.

5. Care for and help protect the Environment & animal rights.

6. Support fair trade, small business, Non-profits & independent artisans.

7. Use natural body care products and incorporate Aromatherapy into your life.

8. Avoid all artificial flavors, artificial colors and Chemical fragrances.

9. Never use pesticides, chemical cleaners or Flame retardant products.

10. Spread The Word about information and Causes you believe in.

How to Start Being Natural Me Even if you know absolutely nothing!

Many people are hesitant about going natural and being more eco-friendly because they are aware of the odds being stacked against them and feel like they won’t make a difference. “I’m only one person, what can I do?” A lot! Never underestimate the impact YOU can have.

Have you heard the saying, “Think Globally and Act Locally”? Well it’s not just some nice sounding eco-babble; it’s so true! It ALL starts with you.

Sometimes people will ask me why I care so much about the environment & recycling and comment that my individual efforts are not going to change the world. I tell them they may be right! Alone, I cannot change the world but it’s a good starting point. Then, I tell them to eat compost. I’m going to keep living my life with a conscious and setting a good example so they need to start taking some notes. Act more and talk less!

Another thing people commonly ask me is if it is necessary for them to use organic deodorant or organic underwear or organic whatever? And I tell them, absolutely YES! Anytime you can show your support, buy organic! Whether it is body care, clothing, household goods or food; Organic is ALWAYS better. Support the companies who are choosing alternatives to pesticides and chemicals. Organically produced products are better products for the world we live in. So choose organic. Even your deodorant! It ALL starts with you.

Only you can make the decision to use natural products, eat organic foods, take healthy vitamins and start being more aware of issues that affect your health and the environment.
You can start living TODAY as a Natural Me!
These new changes may seem to only affect you but they collectively add to everyone’s right to a healthy environment. Mother Earth Thanks You!

The next step is to adopt your new Natural Me lifestyle in your home environment. Start using natural cleaning products. No more chemicals! Plain and simple, they are poisonous and pollute your indoor air. They do not add to your health but only add toxins to your body. Find eco-friendly cleaning alternatives and eliminate the hidden chemicals as well like artificial air fresheners, “fragrance”, moth balls, dishwashing and laundry detergents, bleach and bleached paper products and pesticides! Please stop using chemicals and pesticides. There are many other effective and safe options that are better choices for your healthy home.

Make recycling happen in your house. Plastics, glass, tin, aluminum, paper, cardboard and food scraps should not be allowed to enter the trash can. Get to know your recycling center and appoint a certain time each week or month to drop off your recyclables. Build or invest in a compost bin for your decomposable products like food, leaves and grass clippings. Start reducing the amount of waste YOU create.

When you go shopping, look for products that are recycled biodegradable and are not over packaged. Before you buy anything, ask yourself IF you really need it? Do you really need to bring MORE STUFF into your home? (and eventually into a landfill) Remember it’s REDUCE, Reuse then Recycle. Buy used, Buy Eco-friendly or Don’t Buy it at all.

As you are buzzing around trying to fight the hungry commercial demon inside of you, let your Natural Me lifestyle trickle into your car by using natural cleaning methods and only scenting your car with essential oils or herbs. Say goodbye to that fake smelling green tree you have dangling on your mirror and hang up a diffuser scented with real evergreen oil instead.

After you start being Natural Me within yourself, at home and in your car, then you can start sharing this new outlook in your daily life with your friends and family. Let the eco-vibe rub off on all that you do at school, at work and everything that you participate in. There is always a better way to do things. Teach others how to be more natural and create less waste. Encourage your school and workplace to adopt a recycling and chemical-free policy. Think about all the people you know. You have the power to make an impact on them all.

We are proud of you and are touched that you want To live your life as a Natural Me!

Remember, Change is possible and It ALL starts with one person ~ YOU.