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Fair Trade

Living An Environmentally Conscious Life

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Living An Environmentally Conscious Life

We are days away from opening the door on 2015 (wasn't it just Y2K?!) and with every passing day we have more challenges and but also more opportunities to make environmentally-conscious choices. The first step to living an environmentally-conscious life is to be connected. How connected are you to what you purchase? Living an environmentally-conscious life requires us to be connected to whatever we are doing. From what we buy to what we eat to how we live, our choices not only impact our earth but also our fellow mankind.

Questions to ask yourself:

- Do I know who made this?

- Do I know how it was made?

- Do I know how far it traveled?

The second step to living an environmentally-conscious life is to be knowledgable. Knowledge is power. And when you are empowered you take action to live a better life. Did you know that chocolate and coffee are two of the top crops that are grown using unfriendly environmental methods (pesticides, endangering rainforests) as well as slave/child labor? Palm oil is another crop that is destroying our precious rainforests. Big Food companies routinely harm our earth as well as our health. Your purchases have power to create change or they have power to keep people sick and harm the environment.

Questions to ask yourself:

- Where does my meat come from? How was it grown, raised?

- Where does my chocolate come from?

- Where does my coffee come from?

The third step to living an environmentally-conscious life is to be aware. When we are aware that our actions and choices are impacting so many things, it forces us to make conscious choices. Are we leaving lights on in the house needlessly? Leaving the TV on in empty rooms? What kind of products are we buying? Can we buy local? Can we get to know our local, organic farmer who doesn't use toxic pesticides and support them?

Questions to ask yourself:

- Can I buy local this Christmas season?

- Can I turn off the TV and go outside for a walk?

- Can I buy products that support my values and ethics?

Learn more about enrollment in Windsource!

Cover photo credit: Najarich

 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Xcel Energy. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Your Easter Candy Guide

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Your Easter Candy Guide

What’s in your Easter basket?

Holidays- Halloween, Valentine’s Day and of course Easter- are synonymous with candy and that means consuming chemicals, toxins and of course ungodly amounts of sugar. There is nothing wrong with having a sweet treat (yay!), but what is wrong is the ingredients IN those Big Food candies. Here are three reasons why most candy & chocolate on the supermarket shelves should not be bought, eaten, given and additionally a guide of what candy and chocolates that you can enjoy every now and then!

 

1) Ingredients 

It’s probably not a surprise that the ingredients in candy are not good for the human body. Made with GMOs, artificial dyes, flavorings, preservatives, hydrogenated oils- what makes up the candy you are eating is more like eating a sweet treat of death! Artificial dyes alone are a known carcinogen (cancer) and have also been linked to tumors and hyperactivity. GMO ingredients have been linked to infertility and reproductive problems, cancer, leukemia, allergies, alters our DNA, immune problems, fast aging- the list is quite appalling and long. GMO ingredients are in 80% of processed food-like products. Another reason to eat real food!

 

2) Unethical 

Many don’t stop to think “how was this made?” when they pick up a bag of Cadbury Eggs or Hershey Kisses. But sadly the majority of the products on commercial supermarket shelves are made with unethical labor and also unethical sourcing of ingredients. Cocoa (chocolate) and coffee are the two most popular crops that are produced with less than desirable ethics. Sustainability is very important and the sustainability of small farms in developing countries is a justice issue that concerns you. Hershey’s is one company that has frequented the news headlines with their use of child labor in harsh conditions. Additionally, Big Food companies routinely participate in land grabs, driving out small farmers, their communities and their way of making a living. So that bag of candy you buy is either keeping people trapped in poverty and unfair conditions or giving them a fair living. it is imperative that chocolate (and coffee) are bought with the fair trade label. Like Fair Trade states “every purchase matters”. Consumers can change the world through what they buy. Our purchases say much about us. What people buy reflects how they live and view life. How can you change what you buy to make a positive, sustainable statement?

3) Sugar

No doubt you know that sugar is addictive and the research that goes along with that. Sugar has also been said to be more addictive than cocaine! The health risks of consuming sugar (artificial sweeteners included) range from obesity (which will then cause heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease), weight gain, headaches and mood disorders. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) is not a GMO ingredient but has been linked to a host of health problems. It’s a cheap filler and is many, many Big Food candy and chocolate products. It’s okay to have a sweet treat on occasion but for optimal health, make sugar a rare part of your nutrition.

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If you are thinking “but you just took away my favorite candy!” do not fear! We’ve created a special Ethical Easter Candy Guide just for you (all the links are below). And here are some additional ideas for your Easter baskets:

Gardening:organic seeds, indoor garden kit, shovel, veggie crayons

Cooking: kid size cooking utensils, apron, kids cookbook, herbs

Play+fitness: kites, jump rope, organic cotton socks, pedometer, yoga mat

Easter Candy Guide links: (click to enlarge)

Seed and Bean 

UNREAL

OCHO

Newman's Own Organics

Surf Sweets

Justin's

SunRidge Farms

Torie & Howard

Alter Eco

Have a wonderful Easter and may you experience His love and grace!

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