The Truth About Mercury

mercury batteryAt IKEA a few weeks ago, I picked up a few things. Candles, a few Beskuren, some replacement Ivrig—you know, the usual essentials. And AA batteries, better known as Aklalisk in IKEAland. When I got those home, I took a closer look at the label where, to my surprise, I found that it listed “0% Mercury.” Do most other batteries contain mercury—and if so, what else? I decided to find out.  [Read more…]

Healing Heartbreak Through Yoga: Mandy Ingber

mommy-greenest-mandy-ingber-yogalosophy-photo-600Like all of us, I’m no stranger to heartbreak. And I’ve always used exercise—particularly yoga, over the last 20 years—to get me through. So when I read about yogi-to-the-stars Mandy Ingber’s new book, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength: 12 Weeks to Heal Your Heart and Embrace Joy, I knew I had to talk to her. “Heartbreak is a universal experience,” she writes in this amazing book, the second in her New York Times best-selling Yogalosophy series. “In this moment of truth lies the opportunity to find action-oriented ways to love yourself.” This idea—that events which challenge us can also inspire critical growth—really resonated with me. With surprising perspective provided by yoga clients like Jennifer Aniston and Brooke Shields, Yogalosophy for Inner Strength is a twelve-week program that focuses on physical and emotional health with the goal of transitioning through grief to joy. Mandy took time out to connect with me in this exclusive interview. [Read more…]

How to Garden Like A Ninja + Giveaway

diy homemade salsa recipeI’m so thrilled to share this guest post from author Angela England, whose Gardening Like a Ninja: A Guide to Sneaking Delicious Edibles into Your Landscape book is on shelves now. Don’t know how to garden? Angela shows how container gardening lets you grow food and foliage anywhere—from indoor pot or window shelf to a front stoop. I’ve got the scoop on Angela’s world-famous “salsa garden,” and you can also enter to win a copy of her amazing new book! [Read more…]

Turmeric for Health

turmeric root and powder against white backdropEveryone seems to be mentioning turmeric for health, these days. And it’s not just about a spice that you put in your curry. A proud member of the ginger family, turmeric is said to be an immune system builder and powerful antioxidant. I got the scoop from Randi Ragan, holistic well-being expert, founder of GreenBliss EcoSpa and author of the brand-new book A Year of Living Mindfully: Seasonal Practices to Nourish Body, Mind and Spirit. This beautifully-illustrated book is chock full of recipes, teas, tonics, exercises and daily practices—including instructions on how to make an easy turmeric for health tonic, which I’ve included below. All are designed to reduce stress, avoid illness and improve wellness. Interested? I’ve got two copies to give away! [Read more…]

What’s Made Safe? Amy Ziff Explains

made safe product labelWhat an honor! I grabbed Amy Ziff in the press room of Expo West for this quick interview about her brand-new endeavor, Made Safe. The organization’s goal is to “ensure that goods are made entirely from ingredients that are not known or suspected to cause human health harm as determined by scientifically recognized lists from around the world.” Pretty cool, right? Because we all know that what’s listed on–or left off of–a product label doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story about the ingredients that are in it. Made Safe vets those ingredients and actually tests products (in some cases), so you know that a cleaning, beauty or household product that features the Made Safe label is, indeed. How does it all work? I got the inside scoop from Amy herself. [Read more…]

Can the Share Economy Save the World?

share economy photo of consignment clothing against a blue backgroundThere are so many ways to describe the share economy–including  “sharing economy,”  “collaborative consumption” and “circular economy.” But the essential concept is the same: Access to goods and services is more important than owning them. In this way, the share economy could solve some of the environment’s biggest problems. [Read more…]

What You Need to Know to Avoid VOCs

woman's hands applying VOC free nail polish removerA lot of people are worried about volatile organic compounds, better known as VOCs. These compounds can cause health issues like allergies and asthma—some have even been linked to cancer. Yet because you often can’t see or smell them, it’s difficult to know when your air has been compromised. Especially now that most new homes are built airtight for energy efficiency, VOCs are often trapped inside. Learn how to identify and avoid VOCs found in most American homes. [Read more…]

Vegan Chocolate Easter Eggs? Yes Please!

vegan chocolate on a boardTis the season for chocolate. Between Valentine’s and Easter, we’re practically made of the stuff. For several years, I’ve asked readers to boycott Hershey’s—the biggest chocolate manufacturer in America—because of delays in implementing third-party certification to reduce the prevalence of child labor, forced labor, child trafficking and verbal, physical and sexual harassment in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, where the company sources its cocoa. I even published candy guides to help parents navigate away from companies like Nestle, which phased out artificial food additives in their European confectionary line three years ago, but have yet to make the same move here in America. (Oh, and bottled California’s water without remorse during the drought.) Until recently, I had no idea that there was so much choice when it comes to conscious chocolate! From fair trade to organic to—yes—even vegan chocolate, this candy has come a long way, baby. [Read more…]