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Better Choices --10 Simple Ideas for Natural Living,Roses and Chocolate Skin Care
January 24, 2008

Greetings and Welcome In This New Year

What's In This Issue:

  • What Will You Do To Bring More Natural Living To Your Life?
    Check Out These 10 Great Ideas .
  • What's In The Fridge Skin Care:
    Treat Yourself With Chocolate and Roses.
  • What's New On NLW.

  • 10 Simple Ideas For Natural Living

    1.Buy Rainforest Coffee

    Did you know:

  • 150 acres of rainforest are lost every minute of everyday.
  • At present rates seventy percent of our rainforest will be gone by 2050.
  • Rainforests cover 2% of the earth but 50% of all plant species, many of which have important medicinal value and animals call this home.
  • Rainforests regulate temperatures for us all.
  • Your purchase of Rainforest Alliance certified coffee helps to preserve our rainforest and provide workers with a fair wage and better working conditions. Yes, it does cost more to buy specialty coffee. If this is beyond your budget Yuban a product from Kraft and available at most grocery stores could be an option. It does allow us to support rainforest growing in an affordable way. If at all possible when I shop for products with a big environmental impact I buy from the small company committed on all levels to doing the right thing.

    Online retailers for rainforest coffee:
    Audubon Coffee Club
    Good Coffee Online

    Want to know about the rainforest and what you can do to help. Check out:
    Nature Conservancy
    Rainforest Alliance

    2.Ditch toxic chemicals in cleaning products.

    While you are getting rid of chemicals in your skincare products why not take a look at the products you are using around the house. The same problems exist here of so many different chemicals from so many different products. While you don't apply them to your skin, you and your family come in contact with them or they become part of the air you breathe in your home. Alternatives exist at affordable prices.

    Check out Method. Great safe ingredients, no animal testing and they work very nicely. Affordably priced and they can be found in many area grocery stores or purchased online.

    A leader in natural household products is Seventh Generation. Nontoxic, safe and effective, Seventh Generation can be found at some local stores or health food stores. Online I like to shop with Gaiam.

    Click the link to save on Seventh Generation and other green items during Gaiam's sale this month. $10 Off $50 Purchase. Use Code AP2P. (1.1.08 - 1.31.08)
    Remember the code.

    You can learn more about chemicals in our cleaning products along with some simple recipes to make your own stuff for cleaning at World Watch.

    3.Stop buying water bottles.

    We go through 2 million bottles of water every 5 minutes in the U.S. and many of them are not being recycled. We aren't supposed to reuse them so out they go. This is quickly becoming a big problem which we can help solve in a fun and stylish manner.

    Why not buy a refillable bottle? Not the plastic kind, I don't care what any one says I find my plastic bottles take on a slight odor after a few washes. Besides I am trying to stay away from plastics around things I consume.

    Check out these fun designs at My Sigg. These bottles are long lasting, lightweight, attractive and have been tested for safety. At present 144 different styles are available for you to customize.

    4.Become an educated label reader.

    For those of us concerned about what we are buying knowing how to read a label is vital. It should be simple but unfortunately many times it isn't. When you know what to look for on the label you ensure that what you are buying is what you really want.

    As an example suppose you want to buy an organic body cream. You see organic on the label but when you understand organic labeling you know to check further and you will know the difference in the different kinds of organic labels you might see.

    To help understand labels on all kinds of products look to

    Reading the New Eco Labels
    Greener Choices.

    Do you know what the term "cage free" means or what is GMO food? Learn what the terms we see on our foods mean in the Sustainable Dictionary.

    5.Buy cruelty free products.

    I think many of us are aware that cosmetics and skin care products may be tested on animals but what about your laundry detergent or oven cleaner? There is a good chance that some of your cleaning products were also tested on animals. We all want our products to be safe and many companies have found ways to provide great safe products without animal testing.

    To learn which companies do and don't do animal testing see Caring Consumer. You may be surprised to find brands you buy everyday on the list of those that do.

    6.Shake the plastic bag habit, buy reususable bags.

    I just checked the reusable bag website and as of this writing 28 billion plastic bags have been used so far this year and it's still January. These bags require large quantities of oil to produce. When trashed they pollute the soil and harm wildlife.

    This is something we can change by purchasing reusable bags. I have been using reusable bags for some time now and they are finally a habit. I am even remembering to take them in to places other than grocery stores. I still end up with a few plastic bags but what a difference. You can find a great selection in all different price ranges at Reusable Bags.

    7.Clear clutter, save trees and energy.

    End the deluge of unwanted catalogs and junk mail cluttering your life and making mail more of a chore than it already is. Sign up for GreenDimes. For $20 they will remove your name from mailing lists and monitor your account monthly. An added plus is planting 10 trees on your behalf.

    Another service to look at is Catalog Choice. This free service helps us eliminate unwanted catalogs from our mail. I signed up for this service several months ago and while it can take up to 10 weeks for some companies to stop sending catalogs I have noticed a reduction.

    8.Try skin brushing.

    Taking care of ourselves is an important step to natural living and skin brushing is an easy, inexpensive, feel good and healthy way to take care of your skin. The simple process of dry brushing your skin exfoliates dead skin cells, stimulates circulation, prepares the skin for moisturizing and promotes lymph drainage.

    All especially important during cold dry weather and winter heating. See Skin Brushing to see how to do this.

    9.Buy something organic other than food.

    Support organic farmers while purchasing products that are better for you and the environment. How about an organic t-shirt or maybe an organic hemp wallet and don't forget skin care. Now that there is finally beginning to be more clarification and certification for organics it will be easier to determine whether products other than food are totally organic.

    Read about more options for bringing organics in to your life at Organic Living.

    10.Make your own skin care recipes.

    Save money by making your own fresh easy to make facial scrubs, cleansers, bath salts and more. You can use ingredients found in your refrigerator and pantry. If possible use organic ingredients to eliminate pesticides or wash items thoroughly.

    Create more sophisticated blends with herbs and botanicals or butters and essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs.

    Each month new skin care recipes are highlighted in this newsletter for you to try.

    What's In The Fridge Skin Care:
    Treat Yourself this Valentines Day With Rose and Chocolate Skin Care

    Why not make a date with yourself to spend a little time relaxing. We have so many demands on our time and we women have such a hard time saying no even if saying yes is inconvenient for us. But with stress being on the rise our health is going to be affected.

    We have it all wrong. We take care of everything and everyone else first, we are at the bottom of the list if we are on the list at all. I have come to realize that this is not a good message to send to our kids, Mom doesn't matter or to the world, I don't matter. We need to be kinder to ourselves and I believe we will be healthier and happier
    for it.

    So why not start this Valentines Day, claim a few hours for yourself. Try a facial or a mask, give yourself a pedicare, soak in the tub whatever floats your boat. To help you along I've included a few skin care recipes with a Valentine theme of chocolate and roses.

    The scent of rose has been found to soothe the heart and stimulate the emotions making it the all time favorite romantic flower. For years it has been a popular and effective ingredient in skin care products especially for aging or sensitive skin.

    Rose Water which can be easily found health food stores and even some drug stores is an easy way to provide the scent and the soothing qualities of rose to homemade skin care and bathing.

    Cocoa powder is finding it's way into our skin care products. Cocoa flavanols are thought to help skin stay hydrated and decrease dryness and scaling along with improving blood flow to the skin. See for yourself with the recipe below.

    Rose Water Bath

    Add 1/2 cup rosewater along with 1 cup epsom salts in warm not hot bath water. I know hot water feels good but it is very drying to the skin so make it nice and warm but not really hot.

    Rose Water is good for all skin types and can even be patted on the skin after bathing to moisturize.

    Rose Water Face Mask

    1/2 cup powdered milk
    1 tbs. rose water
    3/4 tb milk cream or sour cream

    Combine ingredients to a creamy paste adjusting the consistency by using a little more or less of rose water. For a warming mask heat slightly in the microwave. Apply to skin for 5 - 10 minutes. Rinse with warm then cool water. Can't find rosewater locally find it online at Bulgarian Rosewater.

    Chocolate Facial Mask and Scrub

    I have seen several variations of this recipe but I prefer this one.

    1/3 cup cocoa powder
    1/4 cup honey
    2 tbs cream or sour cream
    3 tsps oat powder or make your own oat powder by using a blender or grinder

    Combine all ingredients into a thick paste. Apply to skin and gently massage. Leave on skin for about 20 minutes then rinse with warm water.

    New Additions to NLW Website

  • A new addition this month to NLW is the ability for you to write reviews, make comments and rate products. At present you can only make mineral makeup reviews but this will be expanded to other areas.

    If you have been using mineral makeup and would like to let us know what you think about it, tell us. Help others decide if mineral makeup is for them. It's easy to write your own review at Mineral Makeup Reviews

  • Blog Action:

    In keeping with the theme of starting a New Year and the resolutions so many of us make, this month's blog has focused on ideas to make natural living more a part of your life.

    We also mentioned organic certification being used on body care products and the benefits of bringing clarity to organics in items other than produce.

    If you have not signed up for my blog yet, check it out at NLW Blog and see if it's for you.

    Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I won't know unless you tell me. I'd love to hear what you think. Just reply to this e-zine and let me know. If you like this e-zine and think a friend will too, do me a favor and pass it on.

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