A NOTE FROM LESLIE AND MARIE
HEALTHY YOU We all have to learn how to reengineer healthy living back into our lives.
Here we go! Finally! Our days of sitting on the couch and looking out the window at the beautiful fallen snow have ended. It’s time to get up, get energized and welcome spring! We could all use a bit of freshening up in our lives, and our second issue of Clean Green Living Magazine will help us get there! In this issue, you will discover all kinds of ways to make every part of your day run a little faster, go a little smoother, and look a little better. Want to freshen up your wardrobe? We can help. Looking to eat a little healthier? We got you there too.
You’ll also want to browse through our beauty section for the latest tips on keeping your skin looking young. Then set aside some time to dive into the world of organic gardening. Finally, lighten your load and increase your “me” time by finding out why you should hire a professional to clean your home this spring. Read on and congratulate yourself for taking the first steps towards a cleaner healthier lifestyle. All our Best,
Leslie and Marie
Christine Guanipa is a handbag designer from Whitinsville, MA. Her company , Little Man Origionals, designs and manufactures fabric handbags and accessories in an assortment of modern prints.
Plot for Success: Pro Advice for Starting Your Vegetable Garden Biting into a home-grown tomato or a cucumber is the memory I am holding onto to get me through this seemingly endless winter. The cucumber tastes like cool rain. The tomato like sunshine. I long to feel the soil beneath my fingernails again. The soil of hard work. Because growing vegetables is hard work, I want to use the best practices so my harvest will be bountiful and delicious. So I caught up with Maggie Saska, Plant Production Specialist at Rodale Institute. Saska is responsible for growing the flowers, vegetables and herb annuals for the Institute’s store sales, demo gardens and chefs’ and caterers’ plots. Saska recommends starting with a soil test, by sending a soil sample to your county extension agent. “The test results will indicate any need for supplemental nutrition,” Saska advises. She cautions that overdoing soil amendments and treatments can create harmful imbalances in the microorganisms within the soil. If your soil’s pH is too acidic or alkaline, it cannot be corrected in just one treatment, so be patient. (Patience is also a best practice!) The soil test is relatively inexpensive – in the $10 – 15 range – and well worth it. Whether you are starting seeds indoors or sowing directly, use organic soil. “Look for organic seeds without any synthetic coating, such as fertilizer,” Saska told me. If you start seeds indoors, the plants need sufficient warmth, moisture and light to germinate, so their location is important. If you can’t provide enough ambient warmth, try setting your seed trays on heating pads. If there is insufficient natural light a grow light, found at most hardware stores, will prevent leggy seedlings that are susceptible to damage from wind and rain due to weaker cell walls. “Before you sow, read the seed pack,” Saska cautions. “Different seeds require different planting depths and some must be nicked, soaked, or chilled before planting in order to germinate well.” Succession planting will provide a steady yield; rather than having all your plants ripen at once. It’s exciting to have a big yield, but hard to consume such abundance while it’s still fresh. Saska recommends sowing smaller amounts of lettuces at regular intervals. Carrots and beets can be
sown in early spring and again in late summer for a second, fall harvest. Succession planting also maximizes your garden space. “When pea plants are done in July, pull them and plant something new in that area,” she suggests. Companion planting takes advantage of the beneficial relationships, Saska adds. “Three sisters” is a common combination in which corn, runner beans and summer squash take care of each other. Saska explains, “Beans take nitrogen, which corn requires in great quantity, from the air and transfer it to the soil. Beans may climb the corn like a trellis. The squash provides a ground cover to help block out weeds.” Mix in annual flowers with daisy-like heads (such as zinnias and sunflowers) to attract good pollinators, she adds. “Rotation planting cuts down on disease and insect pressure,” Saska reminds me. So be sure to relocate plant families from year to year. Finally, we talked tools. Saska’s favorites are a soil fork or broad fork, a sharp shovel, a stirrup hoe, a trowel and a garden knife – which is a new tool to me. “I prefer the serrated edge of the knife over a hand trowel for dividing plants,” she told me. By following Saska’s advice, I feel confident my 2015 summer garden will be my best yet. If I can just hang on a few more chilly weeks, I’ll be good to grow!
by Cloud Conrad, green living author and organic vegetable gardener. Conrad is an eco-friendly landscape designer and gardening writer who lives and gardens near Atlanta, Georgia.
Organic beauty bar
Why is “Less” more? Less clutter = more space, clarity, and freedom to move and do things Less dust = more fresh air and easy breathing Less pollution = more health and well-being Less stress = more channeled productivity and happiness
Less Chemistry = More Health
Less Chemistry = More Time
Endocrine Disruptors (EDs) are chemicals that are in many conventional cleaning products that act like hormones in humans (and wildlife). Tiny amounts of EDs can have a big effect on the way our bodies function. Hormones control growth, development, moods and many other aspects of health. Reducing or limiting exposure to unnatural EDs means more possibilities for good health.
Chemicals leave residues. Many chemicals are biodegradable, which means that microbes feed on them unless they are rinsed from surfaces. Residues create harborage for germs, and contaminate surfaces. Residues take time and effort to remove. Instead you can use non-chemical interventions, like water, steam vapor, microfiber cloths, which will save time while preventing exposure.
Less Chemistry = More Money Cleaning chemicals cost several hundred dollars per household per year. Less money spent on chemicals means more money for other purchases.
Less Chemistry = Cleaner Environment What is not brought into your home, does not have to be removed later. If we stop introducing chemical cleaners (an oxymoron to be sure) into homes, we will have a cleaner more natural environment.
Allen Rathey promotes healthy indoor environments, and writes and speaks on healthy cleaning and facility topics. He is president of The Healthy House Institute® (HHI) Educational Center and Website. www.healthyhouseinstitute.com
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Marie Stegner, Consumer Health Advocate for Maid Brigade
It’s been a long winter. You’ve tracked through mounds of snow, slipped on mountains of ice and stepped in slushy puddles at least four inches deep. You’ve cleaned enough snow suits, gloves and fleece socks to clothe an army. And you’ve pushed through storms of windy snow and ice just to drop the kids off at school and make it to work on time. The last thing you want to do is go home and vacuum up the sand, salt and mud creeping in from the melting snow off the driveway. Spring can’t come soon enough! After a tough winter, you want to look forward to spending time outdoors, taking brisk walks, bike rides and tending to your garden. You should be looking forward to sipping cold lemonade while sitting in your rocking chair on the porch. We are all looking forward to lazy days in the beautiful sunshine. Let’s face it, there are only so many hours in a day. Half of that time is spent working, sleeping and taking care of the family. This leaves very little time to enjoy the things you like to do. Because of hectic schedules, time is very valuable. By hiring a cleaning company, you can get some of that “me” time back that you have been craving.
Why hire a cleaning company for the spring? To lessen your stress and reduce anxiety. A mess in your house can cause anxiety. Anxiety causes stress. Hiring a housecleaner can alleviate that stress by keeping your home clean. For allergy sufferers, hiring help on a weekly or monthly basis will help keep your indoor air clean and your family healthy by eliminating dust and bacteria buildup. Housecleaners can custom design a cleaning schedule to meet your needs. After all cleanliness is essential in keeping your family healthy, and a clean environment is conducive for relaxation! To help you clean the things you don’t want to clean. When it comes to cleaning, you may shine in the kitchen but struggle with the bathroom shower and tub. We all have a cleaning task in our home that seem to be pushed aside. This is where a cleaning crew comes in. They can clean the areas in your home you don’t want to. Wouldn’t it be great if you never had to scrub another bathroom tub or toilet again?
laundry is as far as you go on the cleaning scale, hire someone to tidy up your home on a weekly basis. After all, the amount of money you spend on buying coffee each month may be more than what you would spend on a housecleaner. To regroup/declutter/reorganize. Give yourself the “me” time you still haven’t been able to set aside since January. Focus on the decluttering or organization process. For those who work from home, hiring a cleaning service can free-up some hours that you can devote to working instead. Besides having tidy, organized surroundings will help you be more productive.
Just because you’re worth it. Whether you’re old or young, married or single, working or staying at home, you’re worth it. After a long, hard winter, you deserve to come home to a clean house! We get flowers to say, “I love you,” why not hire a cleaning service in lieu of flowers? We splurge on expensive dinners or new clothes eveTo reduce your cleaning time. Did you ever notice there is ry now and then, why not splurge on a housecleaner? After all, the time you budget for a cleaning service is time never enough time to clean everything? If you prefer to you give back to yourself and your family…that time isn’t tidy your home instead of deep clean, call in a cleaning professional once a month. If cleaning dishes and folding just valuable, it is priceless.
Photo Courtesy of A Keene Sense of Style