Make your own sunscreen at home! ~ Sun Stick Recipe ~

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Now that things are heating up outside, it’s time to break out the sunscreen!

But not so fast…have you seen some of the warnings and fact sheets about conventional sunscreen?

Ugh. It’s not fun news that many of the most common brands contain chemicals that are endocrine disruptors, common allergens, and can be detrimental to the environment.

What’s more confusing is that despite our increased use of sunscreens, skin cancer is on the rise and many Americans have Vitamin D levels that are way too low (vitamin D is critical for healthy bones and a strong immune system).

We certainly still need to protect ourselves from the sun, but maybe we need to rethink the way that we’re finding our protection.

So how do we do this while still staying safe from excessive and dangerous exposure to UVA and UVB sun rays?

Here are some of the top tips:

  • Wear big hats, shirts, and pants to protect your skin from the sun.
  • Go outside in the early morning or late afternoon rather than at mid-day when the sun is most intense.
  • Hang out in shaded areas, or bring shade in the form of umbrellas.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation.
  • Research sunscreen options and find the best, safest choice for your family when you must be out in direct sunlight!

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The Solstice Within & Without

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“The winter solstice happens in nature around us.  But it also happens inside of us, in our souls. […]   In the dark place of our soul, we carry secret wishes, pains, frustrations, loneliness, fears, regrets, worries.  Darkness is not something to be afraid of.  Sometimes we go to the dark place of our soul, where we can find safety and comfort.  In the the dark place in our soul we can find rest and rejuvenation.  In the dark place of our soul we can find balance.  And when we have rested, and been comforted, and restored, we can return from the dark place in our soul to the world of light and new possibilities.”  – John Halstead
FullSizeRender-25I finished my holiday gift gathering last week.

This week, I rested.  Continue reading

DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls

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Here’s a quick and easy project to help “green-up” your laundry: felted laundry balls.  They’re non-toxic, save energy, and can be composted when you’re done with them!

But why would you want to use balls of wool instead of your usual dryer sheets?  Commercial dryer sheets often contain harmful chemicals that attach to clothing allowing them to enter your body as you wear your clothes.

Healthy Living How To lists the 7 most common chemicals found in dryer sheets: Continue reading

For lovers of moss and waterfalls….

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We had our joining ceremony (commonly referred to as a “marriage”) on June 21, the ripest, longest day of the year — the summer solstice.  It was absolutely perfect and very uniquely “us”.  I will soon be sharing ways we tried to keep the day “green”.

For now, I’ll share some photos containing much green in the form of moss and trees! Seriously, the Smoky mountains are a moss lover’s fantasy land.  And the waterfalls — AH! Breathtaking.  It was a wonderful way to get away for a few days without going too terribly far.

I invite you to relax and imagine the smells and sounds that accompany these photos…IMG_6928 Continue reading

Simply Homemade: Broth Powder and Face Wash

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Last weekend, I was at the Chicago Bioneers conference.  It was extremely empowering to be in the presence of so many inspirational figures who are leading the way toward a new future  — one that is less dependent on oil, better at following the patterns found in nature, and is resilient to the inevitable fluctuations that happen in life. (My favorite presenters included Vandana Shiva, Richard Heinberg, and Starhawk.)

One of the themes that continually appeared was the need to focus on creating community and living simpler, more regionally-based lives.  However, people often asked, “How? What can I do to help us transition?”

I believe one of the primary answers is, in fact, embarrassingly simple: we need to consume less and produce more.  This cuts our carbon footprint, decreases our exposure to toxic chemicals, reduces the need to extract far away resources, supports local (and often home-based) economies, gives us meaning and purpose, reduces costs, produces less pollution, and on and on….

And so in case you haven’t noticed, that is one of the main things that I am attempting to do with this blog — get you excited about these simple-living changes!  It’s one of the easiest ways to walk the talk of being environmentally friendly, socially just, and a participant in a new Earth-centered way of life.

Today, I’m sharing two new homemade products that I’ve been meaning to write about (although on different ends of the homemade spectrum) — broth powder and face wash. I know…totally unrelated to one another, but they are both about producing more ourselves and consuming less!   Continue reading