Monthly Archives: November 2007

Green Living

Rethink Your Recycling

There are many, many theories about how to go about recycling and save the earth. One of the best ways you can do this is by eliminating plastic from your home and daily activities. Plastic is one of the most ubiquitous products to be found, and it has certainly made many of the things we do more convenient. The problem with plastic is although it is has made many things we do easier, it is also toxic to our health. The best solution involves reducing plastic as much as possible and changing to other substances such as wood, metal, ceramic, and glass. Here are some statistics on plastic. As you read these, consider just how big of an impact plastic has on our health and environment:

  • According to the EPA, over 380 billion plastic bags, sacks and wraps are consumed in the U.S. each year.
  • According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. goes through 100 billion plastic shopping bags annually. (Estimated cost to retailers is $4 billion.)
  • Plastic bags don’t biodegrade, they photodegrade-breaking down into smaller and smaller toxic bits contaminating soil and waterways and entering the food web when animals accidentally ingest.
  • Hundreds of thousands of sea turtles, whales and other marine mammals die every year from eating discarded plastic bags mistaken for food.
  • Plastic bags are among the 12 items of debris most often found in coastal cleanups, according to the nonprofit Center for Marine Conservation.
  • Four out of five grocery bags in the US are now plastic.
  • The average family accumulates 60 plastic bags in only four trips to the grocery store.
  • Plastic bags are light and hard to contain. Because of their light weight, plastic bags fly easily in wind, float along readily in the currents of rivers and oceans, get tangled up in trees, fences, poles, and so forth, and block the drainage.
  • Plastic bags are made from a non-renewable natural resource: petroleum. Consequently, the manufacturing of plastic bags contributes to the diminishing availability of our natural resources and the damage to the environment from the extraction of petroleum.

Although people intend to recycle plastic containers, the reality is that more of these containers are not recycled and end up in land fills to leach into the soil, or harm our ecosystem in many other ways. The reverse is true for wood, metal, and glass. Paper bags, glass, and metal can all be reused and if not, they do not harm our environment the way that plastic does.

There is a new product on the market produced from corn that could be the potential for replacing plastic altogether. This substance can be used for many items including cups, bags, clothing, and food containers just to name a few. The product is called PLA or polylactides. Visit The Christian Science Monitor to learn more about this clean product that degrades in just 47 days.

For more information on how to clean up the environment intelligently, visit the following web sites:

Bring Your Own

Environmentally Speaking

Read about how one food store in Seattle, Washington has changed their bags from plastic to paper (and fabric):

PCC Natural Markets

Healthy Living Real Food

The Connection Between Raw Foods and A Healthy Immune System

Our immune systems and our bodies are becoming increasingly compromised and weakened. Why? There are many theories and causes. One reason why we hear about outbreaks in the news media is because the average American’s immune system is so weak that many foreign bacteria we come into contact with have the potential to cause a serious issue. As a result, the government has increased legislature and laws regarding the sale of raw foods – in particular, meats, fish, and dairy products.

The requirement came about as a result of the continuing weakening of the immune systems of people in our country’s population. Studies have shown that a healthy immune system is directly linked to the diversity of bacteria found in the digestive tract – in particular, the intestinal system. Raw foods provide these bacteria and help to develop an environment where the body stays healthy. American diets are extremely deficient in those foods, with mostly dead food that is devoid of good, living bacteria vital to health. Immune systems are then rendered unable to protect us, as they should, against foreign (or harmful, as doctors call it) bacteria. To keep your immune system in good working order and maintain good bacteria, consumption of living foods is paramount. This includes raw dairy, raw vegetables and fruits, sprouted grains, legumes and seeds, and even some raw meats.

Raw foods contain less trans and saturated fats than that found in most of the foods in typical Western diets. These foods are low in sodium and high in potassium, magnesium folate, fiber, and health-promoting plant chemicals known as phytochemicals. These elements are associated with a reduced risk of illnesses such as Diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that consumption of a raw food diet lowered plasma total cholesterol and triglyceride.

Raw meats are actually healthy if they are prepared correctly and your immune system is healthy. For more information on raw meat preparation, read Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions.

Taking a good probiotic daily is also very important, which can be found at or ordered through most health food stores. The best kind to take are the liquid variety. The brand I take is Nature’s Life Green Apple Pro 96 Acidophilus. These supplements contain living bacteria (just like the kind found in yogurt), but they do not contain pasteurized dairy products because they are just the bacteria and some other ingredients that are also living-food based (plant, fruit, and vegetable). They will boost your immune system and provide you with necessary good bacteria so that you can eat raw and living foods that will nourish your body in the best way possible.

Organic Pastures is a good resource for food items like raw dairy. Visit their site for more information. Visit the Raw Foods site to read more about the benefits of raw foods, preparation, and lifestyle.

Types of foods found in raw food diets (preferably organic, unprocessed, whole foods):

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Grains
  • Legumes
  • Dried fruit
  • Seaweed
  • Unprocessed organic or natural foods
  • Freshly juiced fruit and vegetables
  • Purified water
  • Young coconut milk

If you have never before eaten raw foods consistently, you may experience a detoxification reaction – especially if your previous diet has been high in sugar, meats, and caffeine. Starting out slowly and gradually by incorporating some raw foods into your diet daily is a good way to introduce yourself to the idea and lifestyle of raw. Eating 75% or higher raw food content in your overall diet takes commitment, research, and time. Many foods are made from scratch and are grown and sprouted, or are difficult to locate in health foods stores. It may not be appropriate for everyone.

Here are some great resources for additional information on raw foods. Visit:

Shirley’s Wellness Cafe

Livrite – Natural Nutrition