The Life Cycle of Electronic Devices

No compensation was received for the following post.

We live in a world surrounded by cell phones, televsions, computers, and more.  But, what do you do with your old and broken electronics?  Did you know that every year we generate 50 million tons of e-waste worldwide, and only 12.5% of it is being recycled?  What kind of impact does this have on our environment?  Check out the following infographic on the e-waste problem and what you can do to help reduce it! 

Infographic created by Digital Doc

In addition to recycling services such as E-Stewards and Best Buy, many cities now have their own electronic recycling programs.  Consider these options before throwing away your used electronics.

Eat More Veggies with Tommy’s Superfoods {Review}

** I was compensated for the following review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

This past week, my family and I have had the opportunity to try several different varieties of frozen vegetables from Tommy’s Superfoods.

The products are all-natural, non-GMO, gluten free, low-sodium, and many are vegan. All of them come in microwaveable steamer bags (which is how we heated them), but they can be done on a stovetop, as well. In all of our samples, the vegetables looked fresh (not wilted), and had a good flavor.

Root Fusion (Carrots, Beets, Apples, and Sweet Potatoes) – My one year old and I love sweet potatoes, so we really enjoyed this! Normally, I would expect a pairing of apples, beets, and sweet potatoes to be sweet…but this had a sage seasoning that was deliciously unexpected. I served it with leftover turkey breast, and it gave the meal a bit of a Thanksgiving vibe!

Super Greens (Spinach, Collard Greens, Kale, and Lemon Juice) – No one else in my family likes kale, so I was on my own here. I didn’t really notice a lot of seasoning on this one compared to the others, but it’s hard to mask the earthy taste of kale! I mixed it with a pasta dish though, and it was fabulous!

Vegetable Medley (Broccoli, Peas, and Carrots) – My 5 year old preferred this one. His only objection…”Too many green peas!” Hahaha This was an easy one to serve as a dinner side, because it’s all veggies that we eat pretty frequently.

Cauliflower and Green Beans – This was my husband’s favorite. He loved the cauliflower, and though he’s not usually a fan of cooked green beans, he said these were nice and crunchy.

Asparagus with Uncured Bacon (Asparagus, Carrots, Bacon, and Red Bell Pepper) – The asparagus was cooked well…not soggy like asparagus can get. I thought there would be a really obvious bacon flavor, but I didn’t really notice it at all. Still delicious, though. (The one year old kept sneaking some off my plate!)

The only sample we didn’t try was the brussels sprouts, because we’re just not big fans of them. But, I’m sure we would have been just as impressed with the taste and quality.

Tommy’s Superfoods frozen vegetables have definitely increased our veggie intake, and given us new options for meal times! Visit their website to see all of their products, check out new recipes, and find out where to buy Tommy’s Superfoods near you.

{I received six samples of Tommy’s Superfoods Frozen Vegetables in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.}

Save Money with Green Home Upgrades

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

Green home improvement is a hot topic these days. With the cost of water rising throughout much of the country and energy policies facing an uncertain future, more homeowners than ever before are showing an interest in energy-saving remodeling projects and upgrades. The following infographic explains energy saving upgrades that will put money back into your pocket within two years.

Natural Bathroom Cleaning Tips

The following is a guest post.  No compensation was received. 

More than 150 chemicals found in your home are connected to allergies, birth defects, cancer and physiological disorders. The majority of these chemicals are used in routine bathroom cleaning. There are many DIY “recipes” that combine household ingredients to create a natural cleaning solution, and eliminate harsh chemicals. For example, you can combine baking soda and vinegar to create a tile cleaner. The following slideshow displays different recipes and methods for cleaning your bathroom without using harmful chemicals. Try these solutions to help clean your house safely.

How to Clean Your Bathroom…Naturally by Modern Bathroom, a company that offers sinks, faucets, and wall-mounted vanities.

 

Yummy Snacks from Funley’s Delicious {Review}

** I was compensated for the following review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Over the last week, my family and I had the opportunity to review several snacks from Funley’s Delicious. Funley’s Delicious products are 100% Natural, GMO Free, and have NO Preservatives, Trans Fats, or High Fructose Corn Syrup. Their products come in resealable bags, which make them easy to grab and take on the go.

funleyscollage

Funley’s Super Crackers each have a hidden superfood in them (to get some extra nutrients in those picky eaters!) We tried three of the flavors: Pizza n’ Stuff (hidden Carrot), Cheddar n’ Stuff (hidden Broccoli), and Cornbread n’ Stuff (hidden Sweet Potato). If you’re a fan of a particular brand of crackers that are shaped like a fish, you will really love the pizza and cheddar flavors! They are nearly identical in taste to the other brand, but Finley’s has a much shorter and healthier ingredient list. My 3.5 year old had no idea there were veggies hiding in these crackers until he saw a carrot on one of the bags, and even after that, he didn’t really care. We weren’t huge fans of the cornbread flavor, though. It was too bland, in my opinion, and I didn’t notice much of a cornbread taste until I ate several of them. The Pizza flavor was a winner for the whole family. They also offer Ranch n’ Stuff (hidden Spinach), which I would definitely try!

Thumbs up for Funley's Pizza Crackers!

Thumbs up for Funley’s Pizza Crackers!

In addition to the crackers, we tried all three flavors of Wholly Granolly Clusters. DH liked the Peanut Butter Pretzel, but I didn’t notice much of a peanut butter taste myself. DS’s favorite was the Wild Apple Berry. I only got to taste a couple of them before he ate the rest of the bag, but I really liked the combination of crunchy granola and a bit of chewy sweetness from the fruit. The Double Chocolate Chip was my favorite, because…chocolate! I may have hidden this bag from everyone else, so I didn’t have to share…lol

Overall, I was very impressed by Funley’s Delicious, and I’m looking forward to trying some of their other products! You can find these, and other Funley’s snacks online, or at your local store! Be sure to check out Funley’s Delicious on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and coupons!

{I received six samples of Funley’s Delicious snacks in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.}

How I Celebrated National Cereal Day! {Review}

** I was compensated for the following review, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Last Saturday, March 7th, was National Cereal Day. (Yes, that is a real thing!) To celebrate, I tried out a few new (to me) cereal brands! I’m trying to clean up our act as far as what we eat, so having the opportunity to review products that are non-GMO and have fewer ingredients was pretty exciting to me!

Erewhon Corn Flakes – Since 1966, Erewhon has led the organic revolution. Their foods are made of non-GMO ingredients. While I’m not a big fan of corn flakes, I do love that there are only TWO ingredients in this brand – organic milled corn and sea salt! They must have been pretty tasty, because my 3.5 year old ate them both with and without milk.

Peace Cereal Walnut Spice – Peace Cereal only uses premium ingredients that have been verified by The Non-GMO Project. The Walnut Spice cereal was my favorite! My husband liked that it stayed crunchy in milk, and I thought the cinnamon flavor was awesome! We both felt like the walnut pieces could have been bigger, though. They kind of got lost in the bowl with everything else.

Uncle Sam’s Raisin Bran – An American Original since 1908, Uncle Sam’s high fiber and heart-healthy cereals are made from simple and non-GMO ingredients, and have nourished families for over 100 years! Uncle Sam’s Raisin Bran only has four ingredients (Whole wheat kernels, Raisins, Salt, and Barley malt), and I think it’s better than the other brand we all know! It could use a few more raisins (in my opinion), but it’s definitely not lacking in flavor!

I was very impressed by these cereals, and I’m looking forward to trying other Erewhon, Peace Cereal, and Uncle Sam’s products. You can find these, and other Attune Foods brands, at a store near you!

{I received three full-size boxes of cereal in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% my own. Please see my disclosure policy for more information.}

My Favorite Green Smoothie

** This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support of PGM! 

My in-laws got me a NutriBullet Blender for Christmas, and I absolutely love it!  I use it pretty much everyday.

I’ve tried several different recipes for green smoothies over the past couple of months, and the following is my favorite, so far.

greensmoothie

– 2 handfuls organic kale
– 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
– Fill the rest with frozen mixed fruit (The one I buy is our local grocery store brand, and it’s a blend of strawberries, peaches, cantaloupe, and seedless grapes.)
– Add a spoonful of flax seeds and water, then blend

If you like the earthy taste of kale, you can omit the banana, but I find that I need it to add some sweetness and a smoother texture.

I can’t wait to try some new recipes, and share them with you!

{This post is not sponsored by Magic Bullet, NurtiBullet, or Amazon.com. It does contain affiliate links to Amazon.com. Purchases made through these links support The Practically Green Mom Blog.}

How to Find Safer Cleaning Products for Your Home

The following is a guest post from Hannah at Wild Mint.  No compensation was received. 

Hello, The Practically Green Mom readers! My name is Hannah Helsabeck and I reached out to Allie recently after finding her blog and falling in love with her “green(ish)” attitude and advice. I couldn’t agree more with her motto of doing the best you can and trying new things when it comes to green living, which really aligns with the inspiration behind my company Wild Mint. I’m obsessed with researching all the ways to live a more toxin-free life and sharing what I learn with others. On Wildmintshop.com, I provide all the information and products that I use to do just that.

Today, Allie was gracious enough to let me share my knowledge about green and natural cleaning products, a big topic for anyone else who is a clean-freak like me! Harmful, chemical-based cleaning products have been the norm for so long that even the most dedicated toxin-free individual can have trouble finding the best types of solutions to use at home. The unfortunate practice of companies “greenwashing” products only adds to this confusion. If you haven’t heard this term before, greenwashing refers to companies claiming to be environmentally friendly by marketing products with misleading information.  These companies can mislead consumers by falsifying claims, using vague terms, and exaggerating green practices, just to name a few.

My team and I at Wild Mint strongly believe in the importance of transparency, awareness, and education so you can make your own informed decisions.  Alongside awareness, we suggest the following tips when looking for safer cleaning products:

  • Be a Label Checker – A good line of defense is to buy products from brands that list all of their ingredients on their label and are transparent both on their website and in their product offerings. A product should clearly state what is and is not used in its production in a way that is easily understood. You should also look out for and avoid products with the following terms listed on the label or packaging:
    • Fatal if inhaled
    • Fatal if swallowed
    • Watch out for terms like “poison,” “danger,” or “fatal”
    • Vague terms like surfactant or solvent
    • Skip phosphate additives
  • Be a Certification Critic – Some companies go above and beyond to certify their products and make their brand even more reputable, with certifications such as USDA Organic, Fair Trade, Cruelty Free (PETA), Energy Star, Green Seal Certified, and so on. Take a look at the certification on a label, and do a quick search on your phone or at home to see if the certification is valid.
  • Vague Terms – A prevalent greenwashing tactic to look out for is “vagueness”. Some common phrases to look out for include Eco Friendly, Environmentally Friendly, Earth Friendly, Environment Safe, Harnessing Nature, and Eco Chemistry. Remember, transparency is key; a company should be able to prove their products are indeed safe.

So what brands can you trust? Well, some of my favorites include Better Life, Dr. Bronners, and Eco-Me, which you can find here.  I use this all purpose cleaner and this multi-area scrubber cleanser by Better Life regularly.  I love that the Better Life products never leave a toxic smell after cleaning (like some chemical cleaners do!), are plant-based, and made without the use of harmful chemicals, making them safe for people, pets, the surfaces in your home, and the environment.

hannah Wild Mint - guest

You can also try your hand at making natural cleaning solutions yourself! Try Allie’s homemade air freshener made with essential oils or a combination of vinegar-based solutions.

Thank you to Allie for letting me guest post today and feel free to send me any of your questions about toxin-free living at hello@wildmintshop.com!

~ Hannah Helsabeck

President, Wild Mint Shop

Hannah Helsabeck is President and Co-Founder of Wild Mint, an online shop dedicated to helping families find toxin-free and eco-friendly products for healthier lifestyles.  She is passionate about educating others on the benefits of healthy living and the importance of taking small steps towards eliminating exposure to toxins in people’s daily lives.  She also enjoys finding new ways to be eco-conscious and is often found in the kitchen cooking up simple meals with real, whole foods. Hannah is the oldest of six kids, has amazing parents as role models in business as well as life, and currently lives in South Florida with her incredibly supportive husband.

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