Concentrated Juices Will Save Money and Resources

Does your family go through several cartons of juice each month or dozens of juice boxes? The problem is that both can create a lot of waste. Instead, Do Your Part and buy concentrated juice.  You’ll create less trash and you’ll even save some money.

Concentrated juices simply mean that the water has been taken out. Then, you rehydrate it at home by adding a few cans of water.
So, one can can produce the same amount of juice as a much larger jug of juice. The concentrated varieties also take less energy to store and ship because they arrive without all the extra water.  And, its packaging is easily recyclable.

It’s also more economical. You’ll save about a nickel on ounce.  And that adds up.  If someone in your home drinks 12 ounces of juice a day – you’ll save more than 200 dollars a year. You’ll save even more if you swap out juice boxes for concentrated juice you can put into a reusable container. If your child uses one of these a day, you’ll save more than a hundred dollars a year. Plus, juice boxes a tricky to recycle and will be tossed into the trash at most schools.

Do Your Part when shopping for juice. You can go easy on the planet and your wallet by making a few better choices.

A Kids Craft To Bring Crayons Back To Life

Here’s an easy, craft idea that will help your kids understand the power of reusing things. It’s a way to Do Your Part and get more life out of your stash of broken crayons.

All you need for this project are:
•  Old pieces of crayons, wrappers peeled off
•  Aluminum tins to melt the crayons
•  A candy mold, soap mold, candle mold, or muffin pan (optional)

First, pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees. Then separate the crayons by individual colors or other combinations of your choice and place them in the aluminum tins. Next, put the tins in the oven for about 10 minutes. Once the crayons are melted, remove the tins. If you’re using a mold, pour the melted wax into the selected mold, otherwise let the tins sit on a flat surface to harden. You can also put the molds in the freezer to cool down faster.

And there you have it. Crayons that are brand new to the kids and perfect for art projects. It’s another easy – and creative way – to Do Your Part with the youngest members of the family.

Pine Cone Bird Feeder

There’s no need to go out and buy a bird feeder when you can Do Your Part and have a lot more fun creating an all natural one!

Green Halloween Costume Swap

Who says Halloween has to be unhealthy? And who says healthy can‘t be fun? Green Halloween® is about making Halloween happy and healthy and about creating community traditions we can all be proud of.

What is Green Halloween?
Green Halloween® is a non-profit, grassroots initiative striving to create healthier, eco-friendlier holidays– starting with Halloween. Launched in Seattle in 2007 by a mother of two, the nationwide movement, now a program of EcoMom Alliance, is all about educating and inspiring communities by showing how easy, affordable, and fun it can be to factor our earth and our health into our daily choices.

To read all about Green Halloween and find fun events near you, visit GreenHalloween.org. You can learn how to get involved locally, sign up for the super nifty newsletter, and get fab DIY costume ideas, recipes, upcycled décor how-to‘s and more. There‘s even a trick-or-treat bag design contest for kids!

So forget orange and black. With upcoming events in cities across the U.S., this community initiative is adding much-needed green to Halloween. It‘s a scream!

Green Halloween In Charlotte, NC

Get your Halloween off to a “Green” start at Charlotte’s Green Halloween Costume Swap on Saturday, October 8th. Don’t buy new this year – save some money and help green our community by swapping out your children’s gently used costumes. If you’re not in Charlotte, you can also visit www.greenhalloween.org to find a location near you.

Hosted by Natural Luxe and Atherton Mill and Market, this is a great opportunity to reduce your carbon footprint and support your local farmers and vendors. We will have goody bags filled with great discounts and offers from our sponsors for the 1st 50 swappers to arrive. 

Green Fact from Use Less Stuff – If half the costumes kids wear each year were swapped, we could reduce the annual waste by 6,250 tons, equivalent to 2500 mid-size cars!

Drop off costumes until October 5th  at the following Charlotte locations.

Keller Williams Realty SouthPark – 2115 Rexford Road 704-602-0400

Belly Elan – 9816 Rea Rd – Shops at Blakeney 704-544-3226

Eco-licious – 1916 Commonwealth Ave 704-966-7030

Atherton Market – 2104 South Boulevard – Open Tuesday 3 pm – 7 pm Wednesday 9 am – 1 pm and Saturday 9 am – 2 pm

The deadline to submit costumes is October 5th. Feel free to contact Jennifer with Natural Luxe at 704-904-2535 or naturalluxe@yahoo.com with any questions.

We are accepting gently used children’s costumes. For every costume you donate, you will receive a ticket to swap out for a new one. We will gladly take donations of costumes too and help you clear some space in your home!

Join us Saturday October 8th at Atherton Mill Market 2104 South Boulevard, Charlotte

From 10am – 12pm swappers who have donated a costume will be able to pick out a “new” costume, after 12pm the swap will be open to the public to select a costume. All costumes left after the swap is over will be donated to a local charity.

For the kids – Children between ages 1-13 can enter the ChicoBag 4th annual Trick-or-Treat Bag Design Contest.

 

Top 5 Surprising Sources of Formaldehyde in Your Home

Have you heard about formaldehyde in pressed wood furniture – or in your flooring? They release the most formaldehyde in our homes – which is a leading cause of indoor air pollution. Do Your Part to track down other surprising sources of formaldehyde. Here are my top 5.

First up – nail polish. Formaldehyde is often used in them to act as a preservative and hardener. One solution is to pick polishes that are water-based and formaldehyde free.

Next – hair products. Formaldehyde is actually released from preservatives found in many personal hair care products.

Seeing the ingredients quaternium-15, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea formalin and methylene oxide on the back of any bottle should raise a warning flag.  So, just avoid them.

And, if you’re at a salon. Ask questions about what they’re using…especially if you’re getting a hair straightening treatment.

Source number three – bedding. So-called “wrinkle free” bedspreads, sheets, and pillowcases are usually loaded with chemical products which release formaldehyde which can’ be washed away. Opt for bedding made from flannel or cotton jersey.

Then, there is kids’ hard plastic dishware. Avoid ones made from melamine resin. One way to tell if it’s labeled not safe for microwaves.

And air fresheners come in at number 5. Formaldehyde is a basic ingredient in the popular brands. But you have many natural options including sprinkling baking soda in problem areas, airing out your home, or lighting a soy candle.

Formaldehyde causes all sorts of problems from asthma to cancer. When you Do Your Part to keep it out of your home and our environment we’ll all breathe easier.

Save Money, Make Money on Kids' Clothes

If you’re a parent like me, you know how quickly kids grow out of their clothes and how soon we are shelling out money for even more. Instead of buying brand new clothes, Do Your Part and check out resale shops.

You can find name brands, trendy clothing and all kinds of accessories at national chains like this one that specialize in teen and young adult clothing. And, your kids can actually help pay for their stuff by selling some of the items they no longer wear.

There are other stores across the country which focus on clothes for younger kids. These are the perfect places to find smart deals on brand named, high quality clothing in even the smallest of sizes.

And it’s not just about the clothes. Why buy new when you can opt for like-swings, cradles, strollers and other gear for just a fraction of the cost?

Not only will you save and make money at resale shops – you will also help keep those items from going to waste in a landfill. What an important lesson in Doing Your Part to pass along to your kids.

To Learn More Visit:
Once Upon a Child
Plato’s Closet

Top 5 Ways Chemicals Sneak Into Your Home

Everyday we bring dangerous chemicals right into our homes. It could be from our shoes, a new piece of furniture we buy, or even the type of shower curtain we pick out. Here are ‘Terri’s Top 5 Ways Chemicals Sneak Into Your Home’ and the solutions you need to make a healthier home for you and your family.

Great Diaper Debate

The diaper dilemma is a tough one for any parent. Most people think there are two choices – cloth diapers or disposable ones. Now there’s something else. Do Your Part and make the best decision for you and the planet.

The most popular diapers are disposable ones because they’re just flat out convenient. But did you know that they take up 2% of our landfill space? Babies go through roughly 7-thousand diapers. Multiply that by the number of children you have and it adds up quickly.

If disposable is what your choice, try to buy the diapers in bulk to avoid excess packaging and you can usually recycle the box it comes in.

Cloth diapers are usually thought of as the greener option. Even though they don’t end up in a landfill there are a lot of natural resources that go into washing them. And you have to consider the cost of the water, energy and detergent used, too.

But new hybrid diapering systems provide the best of both. Ones from gdiapers have organic cotton inserts that you can wash or these biodegradable, disposable inserts when you’re on the go.

Dealing with diapers is obviously a dirty job. Do Your Part to know how your choices impact the planet. Then, you can make best decision for your family.

Put Your Old Clothes & Cloths To Good Use!

One easy way to Do Your Part is to make sure clothing you no longer need is getting reused. But what if you have items that are torn or you think really aren’t usable again? Goodwill wants them both. If your clothes have no tears, stains or buttons missing, they’ll go to the Goodwill sales floor.

Bo Hussey from Goodwill Industries of the Southern Piedmont says, “Something that you would give someone as a hand me down or something that you would give your neighbor to use.” Many of the items are brand name clothing and some are brand new. Hussey says someone could put together an outfit for under $10.

But what about old clothing or other things like rags, bedding or towels that are too worn out to be re-used? Well, Goodwill wants these, too. But, the textiles cannot be wet or contaminated with chemicals. These items are sorted and sold for recycling or many other uses such as sofa stuffing.

Donating these textiles means they are kept out of our growing landfills. All of the money Goodwill generates through your donations goes right back into helping people in your community find work. More than 80 cents of every dollar Goodwill takes in goes directly to their job training programs. Don’t forget, when you make a donation, you’ll also get a tax deduction.

So don’t just toss out your torn clothing or items you think can’t be used again. Make sure they’re getting reused too. It turns out they’re not so worthless after all!

To Learn More Visit:
Goodwill

What's Really In Your Sunscreen?

It’s something we should all do before heading outside – put on sunscreen. But did you know some may not really work? And, others contain ingredients that can be bad for us and our planet. Do Your Part and pick a better sunscreen.

One common and controversial ingredient to watch out for is oxybenzone. It’s allowed in sunscreens but is linked the health problems and even cancer. Many other chemicals found in the most popular brands of sunscreen can also seep into your bloodstream, triggering rashes or even altering our hormonal systems.

Not only that, most popular sunscreens on the market aren’t effective when it comes to preventing skin cancer. And if you opt for spray on sunscreen, you could inhale dangerous chemicals. So what should you look for?

The Environmental Working Group recommends looking for sunscreens that contain zinc and titanium instead of oxybenzone. Those will provide the safest protection from the sun. Their website rates sunscreens for you and if you’re stumped in the store, they’ve got an app that makes it easy for you to shop smart.

Remember, chemicals in the sunscreen we use eventually build up in our bodies and the environment! And, since the labels on sunscreen bottles go largely unchecked, it’s critical to Do Your Part and pick the safest sunscreen.
To Learn More Visit:
Environmental Working Group: Sunscreen Investigation
Environmental Working Group Sunscreen Guide
CDC: American Carry ‘Body Burden’ of Toxic Sunscreen Chemical
A Sizzling Test of Seven Eco-Sunscreen Brands