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Choose a Live Tree...
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Plastic trees are made of petroleum products (PVC), and use up resources in both the manufacture and shipping. Discarded artificial trees are then sent to landfills, where their plastic content makes them last forever. Live trees are a renewable resource grown on tree farms, that are replanted regularly. They contribute to air quality while growing, and almost ninety percent are recycled into mulch. Live trees are usually locally grown and sold, saving both transportation costs and added air pollution. They also smell like Christmas!

35 Healthy Christmas Stocking Stuffers
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1) homemade coupons (special outing with parent, cooked dinner, trip to the park, etc.)

2) healthy trail mix

3)puzzle of themselves or a picture of your choice

4) homemade magnets.

5) fun toothbrush you might not normally buy with healthy toothpaste.

6) organic popping corn.

7) organic cocoa nibs.

8) DVD- exercise DVD’s, favorite TV shows, movies etc.

9) nice cooking utensils (stainless steel, wooden spoons)

10) eco friendly coffee cozy

11) sunglasses.

12) flashlight.

13) pocket knife (this would not be for a child).

14) gift card to a favorite store.

15) water bottle.

16) reusable travel coffee cup.

17) CD - relaxation.

18) playing cards (Go Fish, Old Maid, Classic Cards).

19) sudoku, crossword puzzles.

20) organic lip/body balm.

21) new wallet.

22) play dough (can make your own).

23) a special ornament for a favorite team or an event that year (graduated, got a dog, had a baby etc). 

24) travel packs of non-toxic skin toiletries.

25) sporting stuff: golf balls, sweat bands, fishing lures etc.

26) garden markers.

27) tickets for a special outing.

28) fun bandaids (kids love these).

29)  reusable shopping bag.

30) USB drive.

31) art supplies- crayons, colored pencils,

32) soft socks or slippers.

33) tea infuser.

34) tea cup and herbal teas.

35) organic coffee.

Green Holiday Travel Starts at Home...
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There are all sorts of clever ways to make your Holiday trip more sustainable, but the easiest one takes place before you leave. Remember to unplug all unused appliances, especially computers, cell phone chargers, and televisions. Also, you could plan by eating all the perishables in your fridge, then changing it to its lowest setting. And finally, don't forget to turn your water heater down as low as possible.

These are simple things to do, but they will save energy.

Decorate with Nature for Thanksgiving!
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There are some beautiful, eco-friendly options out there for making your house festive for Thanksgiving. They are also a fun way to get your family involved in the decorating. Here are a few ideas: Pumpkins: Use Pumpkins, gourds and squash around the house and as center pieces. Hollow out a pumpkin as a candle holder or for fresh flowers. Pinecones: You can create pinecone name-tag holders to place at each setting. Maybe you could scent them with cinnamon or have the children create turkeys out of them. Pinecones also look great in a glass vase. Acorns: Use acorns with strings tied around them as napkin holders. Or fill a glass vase with them, and they will serve as an anchor for tall autumn branches. Fall Leaves: Fall leaves can be used in a garland or to surround a candle. You can also put them in a glass bowl with water and use floating candles for a beautiful center piece.

Pork Removed from Federal Prison Menus
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Due to decreasing demand, pork has now been removed from all federal prison cafeterias in the United States for the new fiscal year. This decrease, according to Prison Bureau spokesman Edmond Ross, is due to the fact that prisoners are becoming more health conscious. Ross also explained that pork continues to be rated low by inmates and asked, “Why keep pushing food that people don’t want to eat?” Earlier this year, a federal court in Michigan ruled in favor of a vegan prisoner who was denied vegan meals during his sentence. The 2016 national prison menu will include items such as tofu fried rice, soy burgers, and steamed vegetables such as peas, green beans, and broccoli.


Not Just for Halloween...
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If you're purchasing or making a brand new costume for your kids this Halloween, why not make it one that your child can enjoy year round. Fairy costumes and ninja suits are just a few costumes that your kids can play with after the holiday, and maybe even use again next year.

Should Government Issued Dietary Guidelines Address Sustainability?
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The question of whether government-issued dietary guidance should address sustainability has been in the headlines. A report issued by the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) earlier this year recommended that sustainability be a factor in determining the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). Of the 29,000 public comments received on the DGAs during this year’s comment period, 19,000 focused on sustainability, and of those, 97% were positive on its inclusion. Notably, the US Conference of Mayors passed a resolution supporting sustainability in the DGAs. If history is the teacher, we should not be too discouraged that sustainability is not yet part of the DGAs. Consider the precedent of physical activity, a topic that could also be ruled “out of scope,” as it is not specified in the DGA law. It took three cycles of DGA discussions before physical activity was included in 1995: “Balance the food you eat with physical activity: maintain or improve your weight.” Ever since, the DGAs have included physical activity, and the connection is considered obvious and necessary.

Read more: http://theconversation.com/building-a-case-ove...

Plant-Based Diet May Save Planet
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Human consumption of animal products is one of the most powerful destroyers of ecosystems and biological diversity.

A new study slated for a December release in Science of the Total Environment reports that adopting plant-based diets instead of animal-based diets can significantly reduce ecosystem destruction and loss of biodiversity while benefiting human health. “Human carnivory is likely the leading cause of modern species extinctions, since it is not only the major driver of deforestation but also a principle driver of land degradation, pollution, climate change,overfishing, sedimentation of coastal areas, facilitation of invasions by alien species, and loss of wild carnivores and wild herbivores,” the study says. One of the study's graphics shows that carbon dioxide emissions are almost 60 times higher for free range, grass-fed beef than for beans, peas, and soy per kilogram, and 25 times higher for feedlot-produced beef than beans. “Ideally,” the study says, plant-based diets will constitute “a global average of 90 percent of food consumed” to slow the adverse effects of animal-based diets, even accounting for a three billion-person population increase. Given extensive evidence that “diets based largely on plant foods are associated with health and longevity and shifts toward diets richer in animal products often lead to less-healthy populations,” scientific studies increasingly prove that vegan diets are best for the environment, human health, and animals.

Los Angeles to Lease Electric Vehicles; Aiming for Sustainability...
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Los Angeles just made a big change to their municipal fleet, with energy-efficient vehicles. The LA Police Department announced that the city is leasing 160 battery-powered vehicles and 128 plug-in hybrids, which makes Los Angeles “the largest city-owned fleet of battery-powered rides,” Engadget reports. Read more: http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/n...

California unveils plan to build overpass for wildlife
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The $30 million overpass across one of Los Angeles County’s busiest freeways will be designed for wild animals, whose habitats are shrinking because of urban sprawl. Washington state broke ground on its first wildlife crossing in June. Ben Tracy reports on how the largest animal bridge in America could help save one of the last big carnivores in the western U.S.


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