Tag Archives: Environment

Meet the Makers: Brigit True Organics

Organic skin products were scarce in the early 2000s. However, even then, Brigitte Rau had a vision of these becoming the new age of skin care. In 2001, Rau created Brigit True Organics (BOT), based in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through this venture, she creates and sells natural body care containing organic olive oil for sensitive skin.

IMG_7155Brigitte, co-owner and founding partner of BOT, understood that not many products were helping the global community with ingredient impact. With this in mind, she stood by creating products that didn’t leave a “footprint” on our planet. All of her skin care products are 100% natural and 74-99% organic. They are great for your skin, and great for the environment too! Even the packaging is green and sustainable to pair with the products.

“As the formulator, my primary goal has always been to find the purest materials and highest quality organic ingredients available”, says Brigitte. “We have followed organic practices since we began in 2001, and are grateful for our loyal customers who appreciate our commitment to quality and purity standards.”

IMG_7157The company offers body lotion, soap, lip balm, skin balm, baby product, and even laundry and cleaning supplies. All of these are now USDA National Organic Program certified. These products can be used for any skin type since they are gentle enough for the most sensitive skin.

“We are recognized as one of the very few true organic body care producers,” explains Brigitte.

The ultimate goal of Brigit True Organics is to create a skin care line that can be worn by every skin and can produce little waste for the environment. This means that BOT’s philosophy goes beyond the life of their products. By supporting sustainable agriculture and green production methods, they join a growing movement of people and companies committed to putting Earth first.

IMG_8038Brigit True Organics’ products can be found at www.brigittrueorganics.com.

P.S. We are giving away a really cool prize pack over on our Facebook page! Check it out!

 

Written by Stacy Shrader

Gardening Without Breaking the Bank

Ladies, it’s just about time to break out those watering cans! Summer is just around the corner and we know what that means… fresh vegetables and flowers straight from the garden! We wanted to help you make the most out of your gardens this year while still being able to stay within your budget. Also, we have a few ideas to keep you out of those annoying hardware stores buying gallons of chemical-filled products for your garden, and instead spending more time enjoying your garden by making your own products at home!
First, did you know that you can actually regrow some vegetables like lettuce, celery, onions, tomatoes, carrots, and even potatoes from the scraps left in your own refrigerator? This is a huge time and money saver because you’re regrowing from something you have already purchased and you’re starting from a base instead of a seed! So, stop throwing them away and find a planting pot, fast! For flowers, you and your neighbors can share and propagate cuttings from your larger flower bushes/plants in order to save one another money.  Plus, this way everyone has beautiful flower beds while building stronger relationships with their neighbor! Another super easy way to save money is to, instead of waiting until the middle of the day when it’s the hottest to water your flowers or vegetables, do it first thing in the morning or after the sun has started to go down. This saves money because you end up using less water because plants will need more water in the middle of the day to prevent becoming wilted. However, if you water them in the morning or the evening, then they already have all the water they will need to make it through the day! While this may seem like a difficult time of the day to squeeze another task into your morning/evening routine, spending quality time in your garden during the most peaceful times of the day is good for the soul. You might even find that it puts you in a better mood for your day by just spending a few extra minutes in your garden each morning/evening.
gardening1Making your own organic sprays or fertilizers in order to avoid spraying your flowers or vegetables with potentially harmful chemicals is a great alternative! Even better is that making your own organic sprays prevents you from going into those overwhelming home improvement stores trying to sell you unnecessary things in order to have a successful garden. If you are active on Pinterest you can find tons of recipes for both organic pesticide sprays and fertilizers here. Our favorite organic pesticide spray to use on vegetables and flowers is from LavenderandLime.com and contains only the best ingredients to keep pests and chemicals out of your garden! For more ideas on how to have a successful garden and how you can get an early start, pick up our March issue out now!

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Bella Loves: Three Bridges

Either you’re running late for the second night in a row, you have a million things to do, or you’re just plain exhausted and you don’t have the energy to cook dinner. No worries, the Bella girls have you covered! We just discovered Three Bridges meals that are so easy to make and are good for you too!
Three Bridges got their name from the three “bridges” that they stand for: chef-crafted recipes, endless creativity, and good living. They are a company that worry about not only what is best for your body, but what is best for the environment. In order to keep you healthy they only use the best ingredients in their meals. You can purchase dishes like their ravioli or their tortellini at your local grocery store or from their website! It’s so easy; it helps you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing what you love instead. In order to do what’s best for the environment, Three Bridges has begun to generate over a third of the electricity they use in producing their meals using their very own solar panels!  Even better, they also use paper-based packaging and soy-based ink.
If you’re on a special diet, don’t sweat it; they also have gluten free and vegetarian options too! Three Bridges’ goal is to make you feel that you are making the best choices at the grocery store for you and your family. You shouldn’t have to feel guilty on the nights that you don’t have time to cook! Put down the phone, don’t order that pizza…instead check out Three Bridges and know that you’re making the right choice for you and the environment!

 

Written by Kathleen Duffy

Gift Idea for Coffee Lovers

Tis the season to consume.

Especially coffee. As the weather gets colder, it is easy to pop into a coffee shop more than once a day to treat yourself and get that extra caffeine boost.

Don’t worry, we have no intention of telling you to cut back on your coffee. What we are concerned about, however, is the amount of coffee cups that are being sent to the landfill.

You’ve already heard the environmental reasons why you should recycle or use reusable cups instead of the disposable kind. What you might not know is that most coffee shops actually offer a discount to customers who bring their own cups. This is true for larger chains and local coffee shops alike. A few cents off each cup of coffee adds up, and you are also doing your part to keep our world a little cleaner.

20oz-tumblers Healthy Human makes it easy to do your part, save a little money, and look stylish while you do it. Their line of stainless steel stein bottles, tumblers, pints, and growlers are perfect for all of your camping and daily needs. They also sell travel pet bowls that can be layered and clipped together for all of your pets on the go needs.

61y06gTSsFL._SL1000_Visit www.healthyhumanlife.com to view their complete line of products for your entire family. These make excellent holiday gifts, and you can get 10% off of your purchase by using the code bellam10 from now until 12/31/2015.

 

Go Green!

Whether you’re motivated by a workplace initiative, a personal goal or the opportunity to teach your children lifelong positive habits, now is a great time to become more environmentally friendly.
Here are three ways your family can create positive environmental change starting today.

Recycle

Research shows that less than 2 percent of waste in the United States is recycled, yet almost half of all trash can be recycled. Packed lunches are one source of waste that most families don’t consider. These are tossed away each afternoon once lunchtime is finished. This is true during the school year and during summer vacation, as some children in daycare have to bring their own lunch.

Instead of throwing out plastic wrappers, collect them and send them to a company like TerraCycle. They turn recycled wrappers into products like tote bags, pencil cases, and even picnic benches! Visit www.terracycle.com for more information.

Protect water resources

Water is one of the most important resources people have, yet every year billions of gallons are needlessly wasted. You can conserve water in your home by teaching your children to take shorter showers or baths, turning off dripping faucets and avoiding letting the water run while they are brushing their teeth.

You can also reduce water waste in your home by investing in water-saving appliances and by reducing or eliminating the practice of watering your lawn, relying on rain to do so instead.

Help plant a tree

Few things are as beautiful as a tall, healthy tree. But trees are more than just a beautiful backdrop, as they are also essential to the environment. Here are four reasons why from the Arbor Day Foundation:

1. Trees help clean the air. They improve the quality of the air you breathe by capturing dust and pollution particles that can affect your health.

2. Trees help fight climate change. As trees grow, they remove greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from the air, store carbon, and release pure oxygen into the atmosphere.

3. Trees planted along waterways can help filter out chemicals that might otherwise wash to water sources. They also can create stable soil and help prevent soil erosion, flooding and even landslides.

4. Trees properly planted around a home can help lower air conditioning and heating costs by up to 25 percent.

Environmentally friendly habits are easy to pick up and they can be a great way to bond with your children on a shared project while developing lifelong habits. So don’t wait another minute! Start your family down the eco-friendly path today.

Boost your home’s energy efficiency

It’s now easier than ever for homeowners to transform their homes into models of green living thanks to the growing availability of affordable, energy-smart building products and materials. From replacing incandescent light bulbs to reviewing the energy rating on new appliances, more homeowners are making informed decisions on how to cut energy consumption and boost efficiency.

Homeowners who are serious about boosting their home’s energy efficiency should consider working with a certified Home Energy Rater. These professionals conduct a series of tests to assess a home’s energy efficiency to provide an overall efficiency rating in much the same way that appliances are rated. Armed with this information, homeowners can make home improvement decisions that further boost their home’s energy efficiency.

According to the U.S Department of Energy, heating and cooling accounts for about 56 percent of the energy use in a typical U.S. home. While using smart thermostats can help correct daily energy use, homeowners should consider how thoroughly sealed their home truly is. For instance, the amount of air escaping from the home via cracks and gaps within the building envelope can have a significant impact on the overall efficiency of the heating and cooling system.

Why does this matter? Escaping air means the furnace or air-conditioner must work overtime to compensate and maintain a comfortable living temperature. As a result, energy consumption remains high, monthly bills continue to climb and any efficiency achieved through other methods is done in vain.

Understanding the factors that contributes to air leakage is essential for improving efficiency and lowering monthly bills. One of the key areas to consider is the home’s insulation. While some homeowners may think simply layering more insulation on top of existing insulation may do the trick, typically these traditional insulation types are unable to provide a thorough air seal or promote better heating and cooling efficiency. In fact, all the small gaps left behind by regular insulation materials like fibreglass can add up quickly.

One effective consideration is replacing traditional insulation with a high-performance spray foam insulation. Spray foam insulation, such as Icynene, both air-seals and insulates to stop air leakage from occurring, allowing homeowners to reduce energy consumption, effectively control their indoor environments and live greener.

When installed, spray foam insulation expands to completely seal a home’s walls, floors and ceilings to prevent air leakage. Insulation experts from Icynene note that quality spray foam insulation can noticeably reduce heating and cooling costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent. More information on how spray foam insulation can help improve household energy efficiency and reduce air leakage is available at icynene.com.