Archive for November, 2009

Singing the Praises of Chipotle

Posted in Being Green on November 30th, 2009 by Lacey – 1 Comment

LunchAs a vegetarian, a mom, and a picky eater, I truly appreciate the awesomeness that is Chipotle. Let me tell you why:

  • simple, healthy, delicious food
  • if you like meat, they use free range and antibiotic-free animals
  • nice staff
  • clean restaurants
  • very little and/or biodegradable/recyclable packaging and waste

It really beats getting a white paper bag full of styrofoam and plastic wrap!

While I usually feel kind of bad when I leave a Chipotle and there’s a ton of rice and beans on the floor from where my toddler misses her mouth, I am showing the love here and in my tips. They are also very environmentally-conscious in their energy consumption and design (LEED certified, green cutlery, wind turbine energy, solar panels, wow!). And did I mention it’s delicious? Find a Chipotle near yourself and thank me later.

Organic Shampoo

Posted in Being Green on November 26th, 2009 by Lacey – Comments Off

I feel like I am one of those people that is CONSTANTLY buying shampoo, conditioner, and soap/body wash. I don’t even wash my hair everyday. However, I am kind of a sucker for specific skin treatments–for example, I have a regular body wash, an exfoliating body wash, and a body wash to keep away acne (I’ll save that topic for another post), a baby body wash, a baby bubble bath…you get the idea. But recently I felt the need to simplify and simultaneously, look at whether the ingredients in my current products could be harmful. Additionally, I figure that if I’m simplifying, I might as well go organic…so I took the leap.

365 Everyday Value Shampoo (image courtesy of Whole Foods)

365 Everyday Value Shampoo (image courtesy of Whole Foods)

I would rather purchase something under $5, . So, I bought Whole Foods365 Everyday Value body wash, shampoo, and conditioner.  I don’t think any one bottle was over $2.99, so it’s truly a good value.  The only thing that would make it better is if I could refill the bottles in the bulk aise…but I’ll just keep dreaming.  They use essential oils to scent what appears to be really simple formulas, so everything smells good in addition to gettin’ the job done, so that’s good.

So, what are the benefits to using organic shampoo? From what I’ve been able to find, the most important being the avoidance of sodium lauryl sulfate. While this stuff isn’t a carcinogen, it’s been found to cause skin, eye, and tooth irritation (it’s used in toothpaste sometimes). Some sources even refer to it as a poison.  I am saddened to learn that my Target brand body wash, Johnson’s bedtime bath, Neutrogena Clean Shampoo, and perhaps most sad is Cetaphil cleanser (good acne products are hard to find!)–all of these have SLS. Guess I’ll be dumping these and recycling the bottles. From what I’ve found our Aveeno baby products are SLS-free (but not all Aveeno products are–I noticed that this “Active Naturals” shampoo has ammonium lauryl sulfate, a similar skin irritant, in their ingredients). I’m honestly afraid to look at my Proactiv products…I really don’t want to ditch those.

On my list to try are Kiss My Face and Avalon Organics (we’re already using their tea tree shampoo, but I’m open to more options). Any other suggestions?

Going Vegan

Posted in Being Green on November 22nd, 2009 by Lacey – 1 Comment

Here at A Greener Life we’re committed to greenifying (I know that’s not a word…) every aspect of life.  That’s why we’re going to share with you, from time-to-time, our exploits with cooking and baking…of the vegan variety.

Why vegan? Why not vegetarian? Well, part of this is business and part of this is personal. I’ll focus on the personal for the purpose of this site, but there are many environmental reasons to go vegan.  There is also the ethical point of view, which I’ll just steer clear of on here, but if you want to see a more artistic campaign for going vegan, just go check out the work of Sue Coe.

So on to the personal–my daughter is one of those unfortunate people that is allergic to a lot of stuff. Tons of nuts, dairy, eggs…that’s her!  And basically, since she doesn’t eat meat either (we’re admirers of the food learnings of Dr. Joel Fuhrman), my husband and I cook all her meals (unless we find the rare restaurant that has things she can eat…like Chipotle).  I have never been much of a cook in my life until this point, but for the benefit of my daughter I decided to just suck it up and cook and bake most of our food. I thought I would hate it but…I actually find it really relaxing. Also, it’s incredibly satisfying watching her scarf down some braised tofu that I made for her.

I will be able to post recipes occasionally, but I will likely point you in the direction of where I got the original recipe. Here’s my flaw as a cook: I can’t really get too creative because I don’t know what I’m doing. I enjoy following directions and I am learning about food, but for the most part I’m still a novice cook and have to play by the rules.

Look forward to some vegan goodies on A Greener Life!

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