Friday, February 28, 2014

Avoiding GMOs -- Friday's IOTUT

It's Friday! That means I'm going to give you some tips on replacing the bad with the good on this week's segment of Instead Of This Use This. Like I promised yesterday, today we're talking GMOs, or rather, how to avoid them.

These days in America, it seems you almost need a magic wand in order to avoid genetically engineered foods, right? Continuing on with a recent report from the Environmental Working Group, here are three ways to avoid GMOs:

Buy organic

Sounds simple enough. But it's not always easy. Many people don't have access to grocery stores that offer a nice selection of organic foods. Others find it way too expensive to fit into their budgets. It's a real dilemma, but if you truly want to keep your family away from food that's been engineered in Frankensteinian ways, you have to find a way to work organics into your budget. But how? 
    • Eliminate as many disposable products as possible from your home. Cloth napkins and rags can replace paper products. Cloth diapers are, in the long run, much cheaper than disposable diapers. 
    • Homemade laundry detergent and dishwasher detergent are less expensive than store bought ones (unless you're used to buying the Dollar Store, toxin-laden brands). 
    • Limit meals out (where you're sure to be dining on genetically modified food anyway).
    • Sacrifice some other things -- do you really need that new purse? Do your kids need that new game.
    • Get creative and enlist your whole family to help discover ways to cut back on certain things so you can all eat healthier, organic foods. 
It can be done, folks. Sometimes, it just takes a bit more effort.

Buy "Non-GMO Project Verified" foods

That's right. Just look for this label.


What does the label mean? It means, to the best of their knowledge, the food bearing this label does not contain any genetically engineered ingredients. Of course, with the problem of cross contamination that I mentioned yesterday, there is never a 100% guarantee here.

The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization offering a detailed and voluntary certification process to food producers who allow them to test and verify their food. It is the only organization offering independent verification for GMO products in both the United States and Canada.

Finally, grab a copy of EWG's Shopper's Guide to Avoiding GE Food 

By the way, the letters GE and GMO are interchangeable (in case you were wondering). Genetically engineered and genetically modified are the same thing. 


Since eating only organic and Non-GMO Project Verified foods are not always options for today's busy moms, this shopper's guide helps you find products made without ingredients likely to be genetically modified. It also helps you decide which products are the most important to buy that are non-GMO. You can get your copy here.

Oh, and it's important for you to know I did not receive any compensation for this post or the others I wrote regarding the EWG. I simply appreciate the work they do and thought the info I've shared would be of value to all of you. I hope it's helped.

So, what have we learned today? Instead of this (genetically modified foods), use/buy/consume this (Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified foods).

Now, to see if I can get that magic wand working....

Presenting you with alternatives,






You can access the other posts in this series by clicking the links below:

The GMO trade-off
Dr. Frankenstein, you've created a monster

The EWG's Factory Four -- can you spot the GMOs?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

The GMO trade-off

Today, I just want to continue this week's series on the EWG's report on GMOs. On Monday, I told you about a few products to watch for that may or may not be genetically engineered. Yesterday, I listed the Environment Working Group's Factory Four (the most common GE ingredients in food). Now, I thought it would be good to fill you in on some other info we all need to know.

Image by Petr Kratochvil

Did you know that while the U.S. government mandates strict safety evaluations on each new drug before it hits the shelves, there is no requirements to do the same for GMOs. None. Is that because they're safe? Of course not. The fact is there have been few studies, and they've all been conducted by independent scientific institutions. The independent research includes testing for carcinogenicity, for harm to fetuses, and for long term risks to animals and humans. The government hasn't bothered.

As we continue to genetically modify the crops to make them herbicide-tolerant, we reap the "benefits" of what the industry calls "superweeds." These weeds have mutated in order to survive the herbicides sprayed on them. As a result, 61 million plus acres of farmland in the U.S. have Roundup-resistant weeds cropping up everywhere (according to Farm Industry News 2013). So what happens? The farmers have to treat their fields with older, more toxic herbicides (dicamba, and 2,4-D). In addition to posing an increased risk of cancer, these chemicals cause birth defects and reproductive problems. That's not a assumption. It's a documented fact.

So, the bottom line is that these genetically engineered crops have created the need for even more toxic chemicals being sprayed on our food! Does this not make you furious?! According to Charles M. Benbrook, research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University, herbicide-tolerant crops that stimulated superweed growth caused farmers to use an estimated 527 million pounds more herbicide between 1997 and 2011 than they would have needed had they planted only non-GE crops. Click here to read more about this issue from Environmental Sciences Europe.

Then there's the problem of cross-contamination. Wind, insects, floods, and machinery all play a part in cross-contamination of crops due from the pollen of GE plants. Wonderful. Some of the results include a potential lost income for organic farmers totally $90 million annually from their corn crops alone -- and that's according to research over a decade ago by the Union of Concerned Scientists!

Do genetically engineered crops produce more? Perhaps. But at what cost? Thanks to Monsanto and the likes, we now have many, many more herbicide-resistant weeds and our exposure to toxic pesticides is higher than ever. Gee, thanks.

On tomorrow's Use This Instead Of This, I'll touch upon some ways to avoid GMOs. All week, I've presented problems. Tomorrow, I'd like to present some solutions.

Caring about you and your families,





Other posts in this series:


Dr. Frankenstein, you've created a monster

The EWG's Factory Four -- can you spot the GMOs?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The EWG's Factory Four -- can you spot the GMOs?

On Monday, I wrote about the EWG's Watch List -- Foods that could be genetically engineered. Today, I want to share their list of the most common GE ingredients in food. Look out. Here are the EWG's Factory Four:
  • Field corn and corn-derived ingredients. My main problem with this one is -- it seems like corn or corn-derived ingredients are in nearly everything! And in the U.S., where 90% of the corn grown is genetically engineered, it's just plain scary. Since we're the world's largest corn producer and many countries reject any GMO corn, what chances do we have in this country of not being exposed to the genetically modified corn in our food? Last year, corn was the biggest crop for American farmers (according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture), with most of it being field corn which is used in animal feed. But nearly 12% is processed to 
    • corn flour
    • high fructose corn syrup
    • corn starch
    • masa
    • corn meal
    • corn oil
If any of the above ingredients is listed in the food you eat, unless it's organic, assume you are consuming GMOs.


  • Soybeans and soybean-derived ingredients. Recently, my husband switched from taking lecithin capsules (which he's taken for decades) to eating lecithin granules. Why? Because it was the only lecithin he could find listed as non-GMO. According to the EWG's report, soybeans are the second most planted American crop, covering more than 76 million acres last year. Of those grown, 93% are genetically engineered. Soybean-based products and soybean-derived ingredients are ridiculously common on the shelves of every supermarket. If the following ingredients are listed, assume they are genetically modified, unless they are certified organic or GMO/GE-free:
    • soy proteins
    • soybean oil
    • soy milk
    • soy flour
    • soy sauce
    • tofu
    • soy lecithin
 Keep that in mind when feeding your infant soy formula. If it's not organic, it's swimming with genetically modified organisms. Yuck!!!


  • Sugar. Yes, sugar. Did you know that 55% of U.S. grown sugar is extracted from sugar beets? Well, it is. And 95% of the sugar beets are genetically modified. If the sugar is not listed as "pure cane" sugar, chances are high that the product contains GE beet sugar. Thank you, FDA.
  • Vegetable oils. Okay, get ready to assume, at all times, that the following oils are made from GMOs, because in the majority of cases, they are:
    • vegetable oil
    • canola oil
    • cottonseed oil
    • soybean oil
    • corn oil
Approximately 90% of American oilseed production is soybeans, which I already mentioned are almost entirely genetically engineered. What about the other 10%? Good question. Those crops include
    • cottonseed
    • sunflower seed
    • canola
    • rapeseed
    • peanut
Again, according to the EWG, canola and cottonseed oil are mostly from GE varieties and over 90% of corn oil is derived from GMO corn.

Scare tactics? No, simply facts. Grocery shopping is becoming more and more difficult. It's frustrating, at times overwhelming, expensive, and depressing. I, for one, have been known to break down in tears in the middle of the store on more than one occasion.

Listen, moms and dads, I know how tempting it is to simply bury your heads in the sand. But the "what we don't know won't hurt us" mentality doesn't cut it here when it comes to safely feeding your family. Hate me if you want to, but I feel an obligation to inform.

Take it for what it's worth. I do it because I care.




Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Detox the Box!




From the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:


Vagina. Lady parts. Down there. No matter what you call it, we can all agree that we don’t want toxic chemicals anywhere near it. 

Tell Tampax and Always to detox the box! 

Our partners at Women’s Voices for the Earth recently released the report Chem Fatale, which exposes toxic chemicals linked to cancer, reproductive harm, hormone disruption, and allergies in feminine care products like pads and tampons.

That’s why we’re asking Tampax and Always, two of the top-selling tampon and pad brands, to detox the box by listing all ingredients in their feminine care products and removing harmful chemicals! 

Not-so-fun facts about secret toxic chemicals in pads & tampons:
  • Tampons contaminated with harmful chemicals maintain contact with some of the most absorptive skin on our bodies for hours at a time.
  • Pads commonly contain adhesive chemicals linked to allergic rash in women.
  • Pads and tampons are regulated as “medical devices,” which means that companies aren’t required to list any of the ingredients used in these products, unlike other personal care products.
  • Fragrance is commonly used in pads and tampons, and all fragrance ingredients are kept secret.
We know that Procter & Gamble (the makers of Tampax and Always) uses harmful chemicals linked to cancer like styrene, pyridine, and methyleugenol and synthetic musks like galaxolide and tonalide in its fragrances, which are potential hormone disruptors linked to increased risk of breast cancer. We have a right to know if those chemicals are in its pads and tampons too!

Toxic chemicals don’t belong in feminine products. Period. 




 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dr. Frankenstein, you've created a monster



Genetically engineered foods. It's a hot topic. While many people prefer to simply bury their heads in the sand, I cannot keep quiet about the dangers of GMOs. I can't and won't. In my opinion, Monsanto is perhaps the most evil organization in modern day history. Period. The damaging results of their "creations" are countless -- from food sensitivities, to cancer, to hormone imbalances, to death. Yes, death. The chemicals in RoundUp, for instance, are ridiculously hazardous to the health of our families and pets, wildlife, marine life, and the insect kingdom. Just look what's happening to the Monarch butterfly and bee populations. The research proves it, yet the U.S. government continues to protect and back Monsanto and other corporations responsible for this assault on life

Remember Dr. Frankenstein's monster? Sometimes, it's best not to mess with nature.

If I seem heated about this issue, I am. I'm tired of having to figure out what is safe to eat and what I should avoid. I'm tired of watching young frazzled moms unwittingly filling their grocery carts with processed foods and conventional produce... just trying to feed their families on a budget. I'm tired of watching neighbors spraying chemicals on their yards just to produce that perfect shade of green, and then watching their children play on those same chemically-laced lawns. I'm just tired.

If you're like me,  you know it doesn't matter how tired we are. We still have to be proactive in our attempts to protect our families. So I thought I'd share some info on GMOs which you might find useful. 

Here are a few foods on the Environmental Working Group's Watch List. These have the potential of being genetically engineered, yet, because labeling is not mandatory, we have no way of knowing if these are safe --
  • Zucchini and yellow summer squash. Ouch. This hurts me personally, as I'm a huge fan of squash. Some of the varieties are modified and some aren't, but your guess is as good as mine.
  • Sweet corn. Another favorite of mine. The fact is that most of the sweet corn you find in the grocery store and at local farm markets may not have grown from genetically modified seeds, but, like the squash, some are. Unless it's marked as organic, you're playing Russian Roulette with your corn.
  • Papaya. Here's one that doesn't affect me, as I don't think I've ever purchased a papaya. But according to the Hawaiian Papaya Industry Association, most of the island's papaya is genetically engineered to resist the ringspot virus. Over 75%, as a matter of fact.
Later in the week, I'll provide a list of EWG's Factory Four -- the most common GE ingredients found in our food. Keep in mind, this list pertains to the U.S. specifically, as many other countries have banned GMOs completely.

Keeping you informed,





Saturday, February 22, 2014

Baby Hip Hugger Eco Plus Giveaway

Baby Nari Eco Plus Giveaway Event 

Hosted by: Easy Green Mama
Co-hosted by: bloggieaway
Sponsored by: Baby Nari

 
Back in the early 80s, I was a baby wearing mama. Keep in mind, that was long before Mommy Blogs and social media. As a cloth diapering, breastfeeding (exclusively until 6 months), baby wearing SAHM, I had no idea how cool I was. Really. Today, moms have an incredible amount of like-minded community support to back up their choices. In the 80s, I simply relied on my common sense. 

I toted my kiddos around in a carrier because there was no other way to get anything done around the house. I wore my babies as I did dishes, cooked, threw laundry in the washer, hung diapers on the line, etc., etc. It was practical. But I had no idea whether or not I was doing it the right way. I was doing it the only way I knew how. And I'm not even sure there were baby wearing choices. I just remember my carrier was a cobalt blue and I got a lot of use out of it.

Easy Green Mama recently had the opportunity to review the Baby Hip Hugger Eco Plus Set. Check out Easy Green Mama's Review Here. Baby Nari's Baby Hip hugger is The PERFECT SOLUTION for holding your baby! It allows our babies to walk, get picked up and put down to walk again seemlessly! The Baby Hip Hugger is an easier, more comfortable way to carry your child. It is an essential product for a mother or anyone else that carries a child for a long period of time. It is recommended for babies 4 months – 36 months of age and they must be able to sit on their own, up to 40lbs. For a hands free option for the Baby Hip Hugger you can add the Eco Plus straps! This is sold separately. 



 

Features:
  • Fast and Easy to use.
  • Designed for Comfort.
  • Durable wide Velcro straps with safety buckles.
  • Multiple sitting options.
  • Durable light weight material with soft padded foam for comfort.
  • Non slip heart shaped material and raised back to help your child stay in place.

Baby Nari Hip Hugger Eco Plus



To learn more or purchase visit Baby Nari's website.
Connect with Baby Nari on Facebook.
Enter to win 1 Baby Hip Hugger Eco Plus!
One winner will receive a Baby Hip Hugger Eco Plus in their choice of color, valued at $139.99!

This giveaway is open to US residents, 18+ only.
The giveaway will end at 11:59 pm CST on 3/15.

Disclosure: Green Grandma and Easy Green Mama are not responsible for prize shipment, as this is a sponsored prize from Baby Nari. We were not compensated in any way for promotion of this giveaway. Easy Green Mama received the above mentioned item, in exchange for an honest review. Our opinions are not influenced in any way. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and any other social media are not affiliated with this giveaway. If you have any questions please contact the host of this giveaway at amber@easygreenmama.com.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The paper towel dilemma

Welcome back to Friday's IOTUS (Instead Of This, Use This). If you're looking for Vinegar Friday, you'll have to stop back on the first Friday of the month or just browse through my old VF posts. Let me assure you -- there are plenty of them!



Did you ever count how many paper towels you throw away each week? If not, I challenge you to do so this coming week. If you're like most people, it's quite a few.

Several years ago, we stopped using paper towels except for the occasional need to clean up cat puke. What do we use instead? Rags. Stained tea towels. Old washcloths. We keep a selection of them in the cabinet under the sink and simply toss them in the rag hamper when we're done cleaning up a mess. It's just one more way to cut back on disposable products in our home, which saves trees and limits the amount of trash our family contributes to the landfills. 

But paper towels aren't that big of an issue, are they?

Well, let's look at some stats and then decide. According to Nate Lipka, writing for the Earth911.com, "13 billion pounds of paper towels are used in the U.S. every year." Whoa! That's a lot of paper towels! He continues, "If all Americans used one less paper towel a day, 571,230,000 pounds of paper would be spared over the course of the year."

So, what would happen if every home limited their paper towel use to occasional rather than daily? The statistics would be staggering!

But what about drying your hands when you're out in public and your only option is paper towels? Check out this short video for the solution. It's all about shake and fold. Watch and discover how you can help with the solution rather than contributing to the problem. Instead of this, use/do this.




Sharing eco-friendly solutions,




 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

National Tooth Fairy Day -- Let's celebrate with a giveaway!

Disclaimer: I am a Hyland’s Homeopathy Ambassador and receive various products and gift cards from Hyland’s and promotional partners at no cost to me. All views and opinions expressed on this blog post and corresponding social network mentions are my own and are not to be interpreted as medical advice.



 
Did you know February 28th is National Tooth Fairy Day? Well, it is, and Green Grandma, along with Hyland's and some other fantastic companies, is planning to celebrate with a fantastic giveaway dedicated to the oral health of your little ones!

Starting on February 28th, Hyland's will launch a social networking giveaway. 2,000 fans will receive a free bottle of Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets (40ct). But that's not all! By entering to win on the Hylee's Tooth Fairy page on the Hyland's Baby website, 50 lucky fans will win a fun, and practical, oral care box, featuring:
  • Hyland's Baby Teething Tablets
  • Hyland's Baby Teething Gel
  • My Dentist's Choice Tooth Tissues
  • Jack n' Jill Toothpaste and Toothbrush
  • Smart Mom Jewelry's Teething Bangle
Each box is worth almost $50!

Plus, if your visit the Hylee's Tooth Fairy page (click here), you can download fun teething items, including
  • a First Tooth Certificate
  • Tooth Chart
  • Teething Tips Coloring Sheet featuring Hyland's own tooth fairy, Hylee, of course!
You'll also find tips for approaching oral health care from teething to toddler years from the other sponsors. From the first peek to big shiny teeth, this is complete natural oral care for infants on up!

Watching my two older grandchildren go through teething, I cannot imagine their having done it without Hyland's! They seemed to love the Teething Tablets, which melted in their mouths and almost instantly calmed them. During the rough times when a new tooth was just about to emerge, the Teething Gel was a godsend! Now with my newest grandbaby about to cut her first tooth, I'm sure we'll be keeping plenty of the tablets and gel on hand.


While I've not tried these yet, the My Dentist's Choice Tooth Tissues sound like such an awesome product, I can't wait to try them out on the Marvelous Little Miss M. The Tooth Tissues™ contain xylitol and are certified all natural dental wipes which are unflavored. As practicing dentists, Drs. Grace Lo and Jonathan Korn know how important it is to clean babies' teeth and gums after feedings and before bedtime. But Drs. Lo and Korn aren't just dentists; they're parents, too, and they know how difficult it can be to do this. Tooth Tissues™are the results of their efforts to find a simple and pleasant way to jump start good oral hygiene.

When it comes to toothpaste, my 5 YO granddaughter is super fussy. She hates the taste of mint. Made in Australia, Jack N' Jill Natural Toothpaste with Organic Strawberry Flavor and Organic Calendula is suitable for babies aged 6 months and up because it's safe to swallow. Rich in Xylitol, it is flouride, sugar, color, SLS, preservative, and mint free -- do you hear that Lovely Little Lady L? Organic Calendula soothes young gums and the Organic Strawberry flavor makes it taste YUMMY! The combination makes it perfect for introducing good oral habits. 


Of course, the little ones need a toothbrush when they begin to use toothpaste, which is where the Jack N' Jill Biodegradable Toothbrushes come in. Did you notice the word biodegradable? Yeah, that caught my eye right away. The toothbrushes come in 2 ergonomic designs (Hippo and Bunny) and are made of cornstarch. Comfy for tiny hands to hold, their bristles are just the right softness to be gentle on young gums while cleaning effectively. The cornstarch handle and recyclable nylon bristles are the things that really sell me on this product! When the toothbrush wears out its welcome, simply snap off the head and place it in your recycling bin. Then take the handle and toss it in your compost where it will break down over a two year period. Don't have a compost? No problem. Simply push the handle into your garden soil and use it as a plant stake or herb sign!


Finally, for all those babies out there who love to grab everything and put it in their mouths, the Smart Mom Jewelry Teething Bangle is the solution you've been looking for! Stylish for you, the Smart Mom Teething Bling is the original teething jewelry. Made from the same FDA-approved silicone as most teething toys, the bangles look great on mom, but are completely safe for baby to handle and chew. Soft, flexible, chemical-free, and non-toxic, this line of jewelry contains no lead, latex, phthalates, BPAs, or PVCs. Perfect. Based on my recent lap time with the Marvelous Little Miss M, I think this grandma needs a couple of these before my gold and silver jewelry is destroyed, bent, or simply slobbered on again. 

So, here's what you need to do if you are a parent of a teething sweetheart or if you're looking for the perfect baby shower gift. Enter on the Rafflecopter below and Good Luck! Winners will receive all the products mentioned above. And don't forget to visit the Hylee's Tooth Fairy page for more chances to win!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A fresh idea in K-cups -- the people have spoken

Every once in awhile you come upon a company that, for a multitude of reasons, you simply love. Rogers Family Coffee Company is exactly that, for me. Why? Because they're
  • socially conscious
  • environmentally conscious
  • family owned and run
  • conscientious
  • affordable
This family is the real deal. As a coffee company, they're not importing coffee from farms with slave/child labor. They own their own coffee farms and believe their farmers should be treated fairly. They care about the environment. That's why they developed an eco-friendly alternative to standard K-cups. As a family, they oversee and participate in every phase of production for each box/bag of coffee shipped. And they do something else that is becoming a thing of the past with many companies these days -- they take pride in all they do and will not settle for anything less than the best they can offer. Oh, and they care about cost. They work hard to make sure their coffee is affordable. What's not to love?


Not convinced? Here is an excellent video with further explanations of all I've already said. Meet the Rogers family.





I was happy to review some of their single cup coffees for them. Since I don't personally have a Keurig or other single cup coffee brewer, I took the boxes of coffee to my church, where I shared it with congregation members. I brewed a cup in the Keurig machine in the back of the Sunday School room, as did several others. I also allowed people to take coffee home with them to try on their own.

I received feedback from a variety of folks. Of course, much depended on which of the flavors they tried. For me, I liked some, but didn't like others, which is to be expected. Generally, on a scale of -5, the coffee rated a 3.5 - 4. That was a bit disappointing, because, quite honestly, I would give it a 5, but I'm looking at the whole picture.

Bethany shared her thoughts:

Overall, my rating would be a 4. Some flavors were better than others. Yes, less waste is always good. Depending on the price, we would likely purchase this coffee over another K-cup brand. Overall, I like coffee dark and bold. One of the flavors fit the bill, but most of the others I tried seemed bitter and weak. I was concerned about freshness. Since we usually buy in bulk (boxes of 80), I don't know how we would keep them fresh after we opened the bag.

Hmmm. Freshness. That issue was addressed by Daryl, too, who wrote:

The coffee I sampled is the San Francisco Bay Breakfast Blend single serve. I do have a Keurig brewer and the cups performed flawlessly in the machine. The coffee has great flavor, and, after opening the biodegradable inner bag, great aroma. However, that's where the negatives begin. 

I drink coffee, on average, less than once per day, so a box of 12 K-cups lasts more than two weeks. The inner bag is not resealable so, unless you remove the cups and place them in an airtight container, the quality of the coffee quickly degrades. Either the inner bag should be a "zip lock" type bag, or the base of each K-cup be encased in a "peel away" bottom made of the same biodegradable material. The latter solution would eliminate the inner bag all together, reduce the amount of material used, but increase the cost and complication of individual cup production. 

If I have to use my own zip lock bag to guarantee freshness, you've partially defeated the "green" goal of the product.

Okay. Interestingly enough, as I had to put all the coffee pods in zip lock bags of my own, I had the same issue with the coffee. There was a level of wastefulness I didn't like. I do like Daryl's suggestion of taking the biodegradable bag material and creating individual encasements or bags for the coffee. Of course, if I had a single cup brewer and ordered large quantities of the K-cups, I would simply purchase a large sealable container to keep them in. Problem solved.

Jess told me she and her husband liked the coffee for the most part (rating it a 3-4), although she thought some of it was a little bitter. However, she usually buys flavored coffee, so adjusting to regular coffee may have tainted her taste slightly. She tends to not buy things online, but would definitely consider buying this coffee if it was available where she shopped at a decent price. 

Erin (who rated the coffee on a scale of 1-10) added her thoughts:

I tried 2 of the coffee flavors, Rainforest (organic) and the Donut Shop. I would rate the coffee a 5 because, for me, there was not enough flavor. However, the coffee was smooth and the flavor wasn't bad. I just feel I would not spend money on the product. I do love the idea of the packaging and I would say that is the product's most redeeming quality. 

Her last statement was mimicked by others, who all agreed the biodegradable/compostable aspect of the K-cups was most appealing.

For me, that was the aspect that most interested me when I was initially approached to do this review. I've been quite vocal about how much I hate the waste of individual K-cups. It makes me cringe to think of the thousands that are tossed into the trash each day. Seriously, folks. If you care about the growing problem existing in the landfills, this is simply unacceptable. 

So, here is a solution to that. As far as the taste of the coffee, there were some I enjoyed and others I did not. For example, as excited as I was to try the organic Rainforest coffee, I found it to be too bitter for my taste. On the other hand, my husband and I both loved the San Francisco Fog Chaser and I plan to buy that particular flavor from Rogers. I'll be buying it for my drip coffee maker, however. Since I don't have a single cup brewer, I brewed the coffee at home by cutting open the bottom of each K-cup and pouring the grounds into a filter. Then I tossed the cup into my compost bin. Loved that! As we both like light to medium roasts, we also enjoyed the Breakfast Blend and the Donut Shop coffee.

I'm not a flavored coffee drinker, so the Hazelnut and the Pumpkin Spice did not appeal to me. However, the aroma is amazing, so I've actually thought of hanging one of them in my car as a chemical-free air freshener!

As far as the cost, there are different price points for the coffee. A 12-cup box of K-cups is just $6.99 plus s/h. If you would like to try the bagged coffee, you can do that for a mere $1.99 for a 2 oz. bag, and shipping is included! You can also try a 3 pack of single serving cups for the same price!

The more you buy, the more affordable the coffee -- 
  • 18 cups -- $9.99
  • 36 cups -- $18.99
  • 80 cups -- just $34.99 -- that's less than 50 cents a cup

 
Right now, for orders over $50, you receive free shipping and, while supplies last, a free San Francisco Bay travel mug if you type FREEMUG as the code.

They also have a coffee club you can join for additional specials and savings. Click here for more info.


Bottom line for me: I love this company and will support them, not only because I believe in what they are doing, but also because right now, I'm craving a cup of San Francisco Fog Chaser. It's that good! 

Reviewing it for you,



Monday, February 17, 2014

Eco-friendly presidents worth mentioning


Happy Presidents Day! 

I thought the best way to blog on this day would be to honor 3 eco-friendly presidents -- those who actually made a difference for the earth and its inhabitants. Whether or not you agree with their politics, these three leaders took stands for environmental issues and succeeded!

Theodore Roosevelt

 President and Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt seated on lawn, surrounded by their family

President Roosevelt created 5 national parks, 51 wildlife refuges, and 150 new national forests. He's worthy of a Nature Award, don't you think?

Richard Nixon

Did you know that, while he was president, Nixon established the Environmental Protection Agency? Not only did he work to protect the environment through the EPA, but he also signed 2 important pieces of legislation -- the Clean Air Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. Honest, he did.



Jimmy Carter



Credited with creating some of the basic ideology of the green movement, President Carter supported alternative fuels and proposed an energy policy to back up his passion for improving the environment. He also promoted a lifestyle of energy conservation, something you read about often here on the blog.

Like I said, you don't have to agree with their politics or regard them as great, or even good, presidents. But you have to give them credit for using their position of power to enact positive changes for their own, and future, generations. 

That's why I'm honoring Presidents Roosevelt, Nixon, and Carter today. Please feel free to share any additional green initiatives enacted by American presidents. Do you have a favorite one?

Sharing a bit of history with you,






Please note: All pictures shown are from the public domain.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

A K-Cup alternative

Welcome back to Friday's IOTUS (Instead Of This, Use This). If you're looking for Vinegar Friday, you'll have to stop back on the first Friday of the month or just browse through my old VF posts. Let me assure you -- there are plenty of them!

This is a sponsored post. Green Grandma received product and/or compensation in exchange for an honest review. 


Today, I want to focus on the single serving coffee explosion that seems to be taking the country by storm. Let me ask -- do you own a Keurig or similar machine? If you know me very well, you know that I hate the idea of the Keurig. Why? Because of the enormous amount of packaging that ends up in the landfill every single day. Now, some of you, who really care about the environment, yet love your Keurigs, found a solution -- the reusable one cup filter. Fantastic!

But there are a whole lot of others who are using the single K-cups day in and day out. The impact on the environment is horrific. So, other than replacing your Keurigs with multiple cup coffee makers, what do I propose? Instead of plastic one-cup coffee pods, use these wonderfully 97% biodegradable and compostable one-cup coffee pods from Rogers Family Coffee, a family run business for over 30 years.

I'll be posting a review of the coffee on Wednesday, so be sure to check it out. I've handed out quite a variety of the K-cups to others so there will be a balanced review. In the meantime, take a couple of minutes to watch the following video. It gives you an idea of why I love Rogers Coffee!


 



Presenting environmentally-friendly alternatives,


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