Have An Eco-Friendly Party With This Organic Tequila

Just because you like to have a party doesn't mean you can't think green at the same time. While most liquors aren't designed to be environmentally-friendly, there are a few brands out there that specialize in making organic, gluten-free options that are healthier and more sustainably produced than conventional spirits.

One such brand is Baron, who make their tequila with a careful triple distillation process that removes all the impurities that can lead to a bitter, harsh flavor. This stuff is smooth, and when mixed with some lime juice and Cointreau​, will give you one of the best margaritas you've ever had!

Another nice thing about Baron Tequila is that, unlike many other brands, it's made by a family-owned business. The Ansan Distillery, located in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, was started by Jana Khaimoff, and continues to adhere to its origins as a craft spirit company, despite having experienced substantial growth in the past few years.

When people talk about organic food products, they tend not to focus on alcoholic beverages, but if you like to have a beer, glass of wine or cocktail every now and then, make sure you're buying brands that focus on creating environmentally friendly products. Here are a few things to look for in an organic, sustainable liquor:

  • For beer, find companies that feed their "spent grains" (the barley malt that is removed from the beer before fermentation) to livestock
  • For wine, look for producers who use only organically grown grapes, meaning that they didn't use pesticides or conventional fertilizers.

Lastly, always recycle the bottles that these drinks came in!

Keep visiting LifeIsGreen.com for more information on the benefits of going green!

Looking For An Eco-Friendly Disinfectant? Try These Alternatives To Bleach

Bleach is a remarkably effective disinfectant, but it's also toxic and corrosive. If you're committed to removing cleaning chemicals from your life and replacing them with eco friendly products, we have good news: There are alternatives to bleach available that are cheap, effective and best of all, non-toxic and green.

Here are some solutions that you can use without fear of causing harm to yourself, your family or your pets:

  • Baking soda: This is a great cleaner that also removes odors from whatever you're washing. 
  • Lemon: Mixing lemon juice with water can kill some bacteria, and since most homeowners have some around the house it's typically easy to find and use. However, it's not as powerful as our last option, which is by far the best choice for green-conscious residents.
  • Vinegar: You probably already have this in your kitchen, as some recipes call for it. It's also a great cleaning agent that will even kill salmonella, E. coli and mycobacterium, the organism that causes tuberculosis. It's also biodegradable, so you don't need to worry about pouring it down the drain. Simply mix one part vinegar with eight parts water, and you'll have a terrific disinfectant for your kitchen areas.

You can also purchase green disinfectant from companies like Seventh Generation and PureGreen 24.

If you're looking for other alternatives, the Environmental Protection Agency has a list of sanitizers that they have determined to be eco-friendly. With so many options available to green-conscious homeowners, there's no reason to keep using bleach and other chemicals that create health hazards for you and your family. Instead, check out the above environmentally-friendly options and make your home clean and green at the same time!

LifeIsGreen.com is your number one source for green living tips and ideas, so keep visiting for more!

Green Tips For The Dorm Room

Colleges are famous for their efforts to make campuses more sustainable and environmentally-friendly, and this wouldn't be the case without pressure from students. If you're one of those college kids that wants to make sure their school is mitigating its environmental impact, we hope you're also doing your part to make sure you're individually producing less pollution, trash and waste!

Here are some green ideas for college students to follow:

  • Drink tap water: It's tempting to simply pick up water bottles at an on-campus convenience store, but it's important to note how damaging bottled water can be to the environment. To begin with, the water itself isn't any cleaner than tap water (in fact, it's often worse in terms of contaminants and toxins). Additionally, all those plastic bottles simply end up in dumps. Try using a reusable bottle instead.
  • Reuse materials as much as you can: Whether it's converting a plastic container into a pencil holder, or purchasing used textbooks instead of new ones, there are many opportunities for college students to recycle. The more you do, the fewer of these items will end up in landfills, where they can decompose over time and create greenhouse gases.
  • Use your school's printing resources: Many students will purchase a printer for their desk when they start college, but this is a waste of resources. Given that many professors are now asking their students to turn papers in electronically, try using your school's printers in the library. Not only will this save you money, it will also keep you from generating waste when you eventually have to throw out your printer.

Check back with LifeIsGreen.com frequently for more tips on environmentally friendly products and practices!

Limit Your Paper Towel Use To Save Trees And Cut Down On Trash!

Generally speaking, people really shouldn't use paper towels. Americans use 13 billion pounds of paper towels every year, and it's difficult to overstate how wasteful this is when a cloth alternative is both more cost-effective and easy to obtain. However, it's also virtually impossible to avoid using paper towels entirely. After all, you can't control what the owner of a public building chooses to use in his bathrooms, and sometimes the substance that you're cleaning is something you don't want to get on your cloth towels at home.

Having said that, there are ways to use paper towels so as to minimize your impact on the environment:

  • Follow the instructions that Joe Smith, a former District Attorney in Oregon, provided during a Tedx lecture, which you can view on YouTube by clicking here. To summarize, you don't need to pull four or five sheets out of a paper towel dispenser. Instead, shake any excess moisture off your hands (Smith recommends shaking your hands 12 times), then fold your paper towel so that it is thicker and thus more absorbent, and wipe away any remaining moisture.
  • Whenever possible, use recycled paper towels rather than new ones. Although recycled paper can't itself be recycled, you're at least ensuring that another tree has not been cut down.

Smith points out that by following his directions and cutting paper towel usage by one sheet a day per person, Americans can save over 571 million pounds of paper every year – and that's by simply reducing your usage by one sheet! Imagine how much paper would be saved if you relied almost exclusively on cloth towels instead!

If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of going green, your best resource for tips and information is LifeIsGreen.com. Keep checking back for more!

Green Ideas For Your Bedroom

Not too long ago, green living was considered just a trendy fad. Now, it's virtually essential for homeowners and buyers, many of whom have placed energy efficiency at the top of their house-hunting shopping lists. There are two obvious benefits to going green. For one thing, using less energy in your daily life and opting for more eco friendly products is simply better for the environment. The other is that these avenues provide considerable savings on monthly utility bills.

One of the easiest ways to adopt a greener lifestyle is to create a more eco-friendly home. Not sure where to start? The bedroom seems like a good first step, particularly since you spend roughly one-third of your life there as it is. 

Greener Ideal has compiled some helpful energy saving tips that can make your bedroom more environmentally sound:

  • Place hot water bottles under the duvet before going to bed. No one likes jumping into cold sheets at night, but this an easy and energy-saving way to ensure that your bed is nice and toasty before sleeping.
  • Seal up windows. Use weatherstripping or caulk to plug up any cracks or leaks that may be letting cold outdoor air draft into your room. If more extensive work is required, it may be better to simply replace the window outright.
  • Use curtains and duvets made from natural, organic material. These covers create a more insulated room, helping to inhibit any heat loss that may occur in the winter and keep you warm for cheaper.

For more energy conservation tips that can ensure a comfortable, eco-friendly and cost-effective home life, be sure to check back with LifeIsGreen.com!

Top Green Living Habits

It's time to go green! If helping protect the environment and living green is among your list of New Year's resolutions, take a look at some energy-saving habits to implement in your day-to-day life. Although going completely green may feel like a big jump, the key is to take baby steps throughout the year.

Check out some of the top tips suggested by the Huffington Post for green home improvement projects:

  • Commuting: Commuting to work every day can waste a lot of energy as well as lead to unhealthy smog in the atmosphere. If you work close to your home, try walking or biking instead. Or, opt to use public transportation. If you must drive, carpool with a colleague so that you save gasoline.
  • Green gardening: If you have a green thumb, complement it with green living habits. The news source suggests collecting water from your drain pipe and using it to water your lawn. Also, stay away from any harsh fertilizers and chemical pesticides. Instead of putting toxins into the land, look for all-natural formulas  at your local store.
  • Light-switch: "Start with conserving the amount of energy you use in the home," suggest the source. "Turn a light off when you leave a room or when you're no longer using it. Replace fluorescent bulbs with energy saving lights. Changing one light can save you six dollars a year in electricity costs, and they use 75 percent less energy than traditional incandescent light bulbs."

For more energy conservation tips, be sure to follow our blog and visit LifeIsGreen.com!

Indoor Plants Improve Air Quality

It may seem counterintuitive, but the air inside your home can contain much more pollution than the air outside. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has many resources on its website dedicated to educating the public about the adverse effects of too much exposure to pollution from indoor sources.

What are these sources? Sometimes it's something as simple as cigarette smoke, which can have detrimental health effects not just for the smoker but for those around them. Other times it may be the paint on the walls that is slowly releasing toxic particles into the air, or mold spores that have developed in dark, moist corners of a room.

In any case, ventilating your home can mitigate the effects of these pollutants, but that's not always an option. If you live in an area where temperatures drop dramatically in winter, it's simply not economical to leave windows open and waste energy from your heating system.

One solution you may want to consider instead is to stock your house with indoor plants. As LivingGreenMag.com points out, there are a number of species of plant that are particularly adept at purifying the air in your home and removing toxins that can cause long-term health issues. Some examples include the spider plant, ivy and ferns, all of which are very low maintenance, require only indirect light and do a good job of filtering out carbon dioxide and other pollutants.

The effects of too much exposure to indoor air pollution are very real, and range from lung cancer and asthma to heart disease. But by using house plants as air filters, and embracing healthy green living, you can avoid these problems and live a longer, happier life.

Keep checking back with LifeIsGreen.com for continuing coverage of green news, topics and information.

Practice E-cycling To Avoid Toxic Waste

Despite the harms that can be caused by disposing of electronics in landfills along with other refuse, e-cycling is mandated by law in only half of the United States. As a result, in many areas it is left up to the consumer to make sure they throw away their used batteries, computers, cell phones and other equipment through the proper channels.

According to 8NewsNow.com, a Nevada local news station, electronic waste is the fastest growing stream of garbage in the country. But very few people realize that all of those items they're tossing in the garbage can contain heavy metals and toxic substances that, if sent to a landfill, could seep into the groundwater supply and contaminate drinking water.

Some municipalities also burn their trash for energy. When electronic refuse ends up in these incinerators, it can release toxic materials into the atmosphere, causing respiratory problems for local populations.

Another reason to have your electronic products recycled is that they often contain valuable materials that can be reused in other consumer goods. This could result in lower prices for electronics in the long run as manufacturers don't have to mine for new materials, and can instead rely on a steady stream of recycled supplies.

In other words, e-cycling isn't just an environmental imperative, it's also an economic one. If you're unsure where you can dispose of your used electronic items, we recommend checking out the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's website. There you can find information on local recycling programs, as well as the many public health risks associated with improper disposal of e-waste.

LifeIsGreen.com will continue to provide news and green tips, so keep visiting!

Does Your Nail Polish Contain Harmful Substances?

Heading to the nail salon may be one of the highlights of your day, but recent studies have shown that you might want to be careful about what you let others apply to your nails. You may find that these substances aren't exactly environmentally friendly products conducive to living a healthy lifestyle.

According to The New York Times, many nail product manufacturers have removed what are known as "the toxic trio" of chemicals from their polishes and paints. These include formaldehyde, a carcinogen that is used to preserve cadavers, and two substances known for causing developmental defects: toluene and plasticizer dibutyl phthalate (PBD).

While researchers are quick to note that the occasional nail painting isn't going to lead to any long-term health effects, they caution that many manufacturers have yet to remove these chemicals from their polishes. As a result, doctors recommend not letting young children paint their nails, as they tend to chew on them and could potentially swallow small amounts of these subtances.

As further proof that these products are dangerous, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has an entire website dedicated to educating workers in the cosmetics industry about the risks of long-term exposure to nail products, particularly from breathing in the fumes they produce. 

If you're looking for a greener alternative for nail polish that is non-toxic, you may want to check out Honeybee Gardens or Zoya, two brands that produce all-natural, healthy nail products that contain none of the toxic chemicals listed above. In general, look for items that are labeled "Three Free" or "Five Free," indicating that they aren't made with dangerous substances.

For more information on green living and consumer goods, keep visiting LifeIsGreen.com!

Do Antiques Carry Environmental Health Risks?

One of the best and easiest ways to limit your impact on the environment is to reduce your overall waste and purchase used, recycled furniture rather than new products. Although it's nice to invest in environmentally friendly products, which we recommend doing when used products aren't available or won't suffice, purchasing recycled consumer goods ensures that they won't end up in a landfill.

This line of thinking may lead you to believe that filling your home with antiques not only gives it a classy, ageless vibe, but also helps the environment. To an extent, this is true. But it's important for consumers to understand that antique items can come with their own health risks. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a number of resources on its website that provide information about which types of antiques may present risks.

The EPA focuses heavily on the presence of radioactive elements in many antique products, including watches, clocks, ceramics and glass. Manufacturers of old timekeeping devices would coat the hands and numbers of the clock face with radium because it would give off a glow at night, but would also slowly contribute to the development of bone cancer in those who were heavily exposed. The glaze on tiles and pottery made before 1960 would sometimes contain uranium, thorium or potassium-40, which gave off gamma, beta and alpha radiation. Additionally, glaziers would occasionally add uranium to glass products to give them a greenish tint.

Before you go purchasing antiques for your sustainable home, make sure that the items you invest in are free of these materials so that you don't put you and your family at risk for serious illness.

For more information on eco friendly products, keep visiting LifeIsGreen.com.