Green Living

Eating Whale Blubber in Greenland: Politely Partake or Politically Pass Up?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | October 25th, 2013 | 5 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: adventure, alaska, diet, eating locally, Eco Travel, environment, extinction, food, Green Living, Greenland, healthy-eating, International Whaling Commission, Inuit, natural-habitat-adventures, nature, nutrition, Siberia, subsistence hunting, threatened species, travel, whales, whaling, wildlife

Greenland

Throughout human history, the sharing and exchange of local food between people of different cultures has cemented social bonds and sealed agreements. Feasts often brought people from far-off places and varying ways of life together.

Today, whether you’re in a friend’s home or visiting a foreign land, partaking of your host’s served meal is considered polite — or, at least, that’s what I have been taught. So, when I recently traveled to Greenland and visited an Inuit community, I happily agreed to taste the traditional foods offered, including raw whale blubber, dried cod and simmered seal stew.

Wanting to share my adventure with friends, I posted a photo of myself eating the uncooked blubber on a social media site. To my surprise, I was met with strong disapproval by an acquaintance who works at an environmental organization.

When traveling, should you indulge in the traditional foods offered, even though eating them may not be “politically correct” in your own country?

7 “Yoga and More” Retreats to Nurture Body & Spirit

Wendy Worrall Redal by Wendy Worrall Redal | October 21st, 2013 | 7 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Fitness, Green Living, Yoga | tags: Apostle Islands, backpacking, Banff, Big Sky Yoga Retreats, Canada, Canyon Lands, Cascade Mountains, Cowgirl Yoga, cycling, Eco Travel, EcoYoga Adventures, Green Living, Haramara Retreat, hiking, horseback riding, italy, Kaf Adventures, kayaking, Lake Superior, Laos, Lumeria, Madeline Island Yoga Retreats, Maui, meditation, mexico, Montana, Mount Rainier, outdoor activities, Puerto Vallarta, Punta de Mita, Sayulita, SoulFit Adventures, Southeast Asia, stand-up paddleboarding, SUP, surfing, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Yellowstone, yoga classes, yoga retreats

yoga retreats stand-up paddleboarding

If you’ve avoided yoga retreats as a vacation option because you’re worried you’ll spend all your time contorted in meditative silence, it’s time to take another look. Not only do many yoga retreats blend spa treatments and body work with asanas, but a whole new trend combines contemplative practice with activities such as horseback riding, mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding and other outdoor pursuits.

“Green Lemonade! Fifty Cents!”

Ginny Figlar Colón by Ginny Figlar Colón | May 30th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Family Health, Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Eating | tags: artificial flavors, children, compost, compostable, environment, green kids, Green Living, high fructose corn syrup, kids, lemonade, lemonade stand, organic, paper, parenting, plastic, recyclable, recycle, recycling, reusable, sugar, summer

Green Lemonade Stand

When my daughter held her first lemonade stand this past week, I was so caught up in the “milestone” aspect of it all that I totally missed out on an opportunity to add an environmental lesson to the mathematical/economical one.

Has Earth Day Lost Its Appeal?

Leslie Garrett by Leslie Garrett | April 19th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Green Tech | tags: bikeshare, carbon-footprint, carshare, clean energy, climate change, Earth Day, Earth Month, economic issues, energy efficient, environment, environmental issues, EPA, fossil fuel, Green Living, hybrid cars, plastic bags, politics, radio show, recycle, reduce, renewable-energy, reusable grocery bags, reuse, save money, solar panels, wind energy, wind turbines

Earth Day

I recently did an interview with a local radio station. I’d been invited on to talk about Earth Month and what we can do in our homes to reduce our carbon footprint.

I offered up my usual advice — neither new nor glamorous, but nonetheless worth repeating. We must, I said, remember that the three Rs start with “reduce.” We absolutely must reduce our consumption of fossil-fuel-burning energy. And then I outlined how incredibly simple — as well as economically sound — this is. If you’re doing it right, I said, living green should, overall, save you money.

The radio interviewer interrupted. “Hasn’t Earth Day lost its appeal?” he asked. “Didn’t it used to be trendy? Don’t you worry now that no one cares?”

Artificial Reefs: Ocean Junk or Help for an Endangered Ecosystem?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | February 8th, 2013 | 8 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: climate change, coral reefs, Eco Travel, environment, environmental awareness, environmental impact, environmental toxins, Florida, green, Green Living, Gulf of Mexico, health, marine creatures, marine environment, marine habitat, nature, New York, ocean, ocean health, PCBs, reefs, save the environment, travel, World Wildlife Fund

Sea turtle

Coral reefs around the world are in trouble. According to the World Wildlife Fund, about one-quarter of coral reefs are considered damaged beyond repair, with another two-thirds under serious threat. Some suffer from heavy fishing pressures, while others are succumbing to pollution or careless tourism. Climate change, with its attendant rising sea temperatures, is exacerbating the problem, speeding coral deaths.

More than half a billion people live near corals, relying on them for food, shelter from storm surges and the income that tourism brings. With natural reefs diminishing, artificial reefs are increasingly gaining favor. These structures usually take the form of sunken ships, decrepit oil platforms or other human trash.

But is depositing more human refuse in the oceans in order to create artificial reefs healthy for the environment — and for us?

New Year, New Beginnings

Cheryl Terrace by Cheryl Terrace | February 4th, 2013 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Personal Growth | tags: change, eco decor, Eco Decorating, gratitude, Green Living, habits, happiness, health, hibernation, home, meditation, new year, reflection, resolutions, season, soups, warmth, wellness, winter

It’s hard to believe that it was only a few weeks ago that we were contemplating the end of the world. Not only did we survive the apocalypse, we survived the holidays!

Now the conversation is all about ‘New Year = New You!’ and making huge life changes now!

I prefer to work with the earth’s gentle cycles as my guide. For me, the winter season is for hibernation and quiet contemplation … a time to go deep ‘inside.’ It is a time for rest (with so many hours of darkness) and for reflection, a perfect time to tap into dreams and journal.

When we attune ourselves with the seasons, we allow our inherent natural rhythms to flow, which are easy to follow and feel good about.

Zoos: Saviors of Threatened Species or Creators of Unnatural Ones?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | December 17th, 2012 | 6 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: africa, biodiversity, cheetahs, China, conservation, Eco Travel, elephants, endangered speices, environment, Ethiopia, extinction, genetic diversity, genetics, giant pandas, Green Living, lions, natural habitats, nature, North African Barbary lions, Smithsonian National Zoo, South African Cape lions, species extinction, Tasmanian tiger, threatened species, travel, wild animals, zoos

Lion Under Tree

A new species of lion has recently been discovered, announced the National Geographic Society a few weeks ago. Were the animals caught by camera trap or spotted by a tracker in the remote regions of Africa? No. They were found — in all places — in an Ethiopian zoo. It’s questionable whether any other representatives of this species are alive in the wild today.

All over the world, the struggle to keep endangered species from going extinct is often played out in zoos or in captive breeding centers. The last known Tasmanian tiger lived out its life in a zoo before it died in 1936, giant pandas are being bred in Chinese reserves and whooping cranes are being raised at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland.

Living in zoos or in other places of captivity, however, changes wild animals — sometimes to the point where behaviorally they little resemble their wild counterparts. But is keeping an altered, threatened wild species from going extinct better than losing it altogether?

Care for Yourself, Check Your Cosmetics

Annie B. Bond by Annie B. Bond | December 17th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Detox, Green Living, Health & Wellness | tags: Cosmetics, environmental working group, EWG, FDA, green cleaning products, Green Living, personal care product resources, personal care products, product safety, safe skin, safe skin care, scorecard, skin care products, skin deep, toxic products, toxins

Set of perfumery

My sister Kathy is pretty green; in fact she is the one who got me into green living from a toxics perspective years ago. I was visiting her for the weekend recently, and as it often goes when we are together, our conversation touched on healthy/green news. I mentioned that she might want to check the personal-care product line she uses on Skin Deep, the online cosmetic safety database developed by Environmental Working Group, to see if it is as healthy as she assumes.

Recipe for a Grounded Holiday

Cheryl Terrace by Cheryl Terrace | November 20th, 2012 | No Comments
topic: Green Living, Health & Wellness, Healthy Home, Personal Growth | tags: animals, books, Brain function, detox, diet, food, Green Living, Grounded, health, healthy-eating, holiday season, love, meditate, nature, nutrition, read, reading, self-love, sleep, soul, thanksgiving, toxic, toxic environment, walk, Yoga, You are what you eat

The holiday season is upon us, with many of our thoughts turning to food. The popular adage “you are what you eat” is literally true, according to new research that claims a person’s diet has a profound influence on their brain function and overall health.

Just as our eating style reflects and affects who we are, I believe how and where we live reflect ‘us’ even more. Our homes are intimate expressions of ourselves. Similar to the correlation between poor diet and disease, living in a toxic environment — in any sense, physical or emotional — also impacts our health in a negative way. Luckily, the opposite is also true. By creating an environment that supports our well-being, health and happiness, our bodies and minds will respond in positive ways.

The holiday season inundates us with recipes galore (as well as stress and temptations to overindulge). To balance that, choose an ingredient (or two, or three!) from my “healthy-self’ holiday recipe below, and treat yourself to a generous helping of grounding — whatever that means to you.

Gaiam TV Goes Zen

Girlfriend@Gaiam by Girlfriend@Gaiam | November 13th, 2012 | 1 Comment
topic: Fitness, Girlfriend@Gaiam, Green Living, Health & Wellness | tags: box of the month club, documentaries, eco-friendly products, Fitness, free trial, gaiam tv, Green Living, holiday, interviews, monthly subscription service, movies, November, online videos, organic snacks, personal care, Yoga, yuzen

Gaiam TV and Yuzen

Gaiam staffers have been smitten with Yuzen ever since the company started shipping its “boxes of Zen” earlier this year. (Not familiar with Yuzen? Read my review of it here.)