Monday, September 10, 2012

She Said WHAT?

I was listening to a new Nicki Minaj song "Pound the Alarm", wondering how parents feel about their young teens listening to songs with lyrics like:  
Sexy, sexy that's all I do
If you need a bad bitch
Let me call a few
Pumps on and them little mini skirts is out
I see some good girls, I'mma turn 'em out
Ok bottle, sip, bottle, guzzle
I'm a bad bitch, no muzzle, hey?
Bottle, sip, bottle, guzzle
I'm a bad bitch, no muzzle, let's go.

We CAN have great songs that make you want to dance and party but without the degrading/vulgar lyrics. I would like to share an inspirational remake of this song done by my friend Monica Morong: The Conscious World Hip Hop Mom. She didn't want her kids listening to these lyrics so she rewrote them and uploaded her own version. Awesome! Click on the image below to have a listen...she's just getting started!

Here are some other great suggestions for kid friendly music:
10 Kid Friendly Songs for the Car (That Won't Drive Parents Nuts)  - from TLC
Common Sense - Best Suggestions for Kid Friendly Music (have about 10 different huge playlists)
Putumayo Kids collection - simply awesome

To Your Health!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dear Valetine, it's easy being green.....

Easy Ways to Green Your Traditional Valentine's Day

When we think of Valentine’s Day, a romantic dinner with flowers, wine, a beautifully cooked meal and chocolates comes to mind as the typical Valentine’s Day date.  Our actions are made with good intentions although many of us do not know the full implications of how our Valentine’s Day choices impact the environment and societies– including us!

No one wants to think about the potential pesticides sprayed on their food, the green house gas emissions from transporting flowers, or the child or slave labor used to harvest cocoa beans for chocolate.  When viewing these impacts, Valentine’s Day is actually quite depressing!

Don’t despair!  There are many choices available that don’t have such a huge impact on the environment and humans. It’s easy to impress your loved ones even more this year and show them the extra care you took in putting a new ‘eco-friendly twist’ on your Valentine’s Day celebrations by passing your efforts and gifts through a sustainability ‘lens’.  Your mission is to look for choices that:
1.     Reduce the use of petroleum and its by-products
2.     Are non-toxic
3.     Support the health of natural systems
4.     Support fair wages and international labor standards

Here are some suggestions for you:

Romantic Dinner – whether it’s a night out or a home cooked meal, one of the best ways to incorporate sustainability into your meal planning is to find a restaurant that offers organic options or uses locally grown produce in their meals.  Check out to search for one near you.  If you’d rather stay at home and exercise your culinary skills, focus on organic and/or locally grown foods. The benefit is you reduce your carbon footprint, are in support of local agriculture and agriculture initiatives that protect the planet and your long-term health.  If you choose to splash out on seafood, look for fish varieties that are certified by sustainable seafood initiatives like Marine Stewardship Council.   Finally, when choosing a bottle of wine, the perfect pairing for any meal is choosing a wine that is made as locally as possible to reduce the use of petroleum in its transport from the vineyard to your table.

Candle Lit Romance – Candles are perfect for setting the mood – at the dinner table, to lead up to a surprise or to relax in the bath! While the US Food and Drug Administration deem paraffin wax non-toxic, it is made from hydrocarbons (a byproduct of petroleum), a substance we need to shift away from.  As well, some candles contain chemical based fragrances and wicks with lead wires – both a big no-no from a toxicity point of view.  Your best alternatives are to look for candles made from 100% beeswax or vegetable based-wax, use cotton wicks and natural aromatherapy oils for fragrance.

Chocolates – Hmmm – many of us cannot get enough of this dark, sweet, white and dipped stuff, especially on holidays!  The sad reality of the chocolate industry is that it has a reputation as dark as the sweet treat. Slave and child labor, unfair wages to farmers and pesticides used in the growth of cocoa beans for chocolate are issues that continue to plague the chocolate industry. Recently Purdy’s Chocolates committed to sustainable cocoa farming initiatives and companies such as Divine Chocolate USA, which is 45% owned by the farmers, are great options for your chocolate gifts from a sustainability perspective.

Flowers – The classic and much loved way to express your sentiments on so many occasions are to send flowers. Although beautiful, the ugly truth is hidden from view: almost 90% of the roses sold for Valentine's Day have a huge carbon-footprint and are pesticide intense in their cultivation.  According to, “In Colombia, flower-plantation workers are exposed to 127 types of pesticides and flower farms have polluted and depleted Bogota's streams and groundwater. 20% of these pesticides are illegal in Europe and America.”  If you give flowers to your loved one this year, choose an organic bouquet if possible from one of these retailers:,, or flowers sold at Whole Foods, Trader Joes or on that are “Veriflora Certified Flowers”.

Typically these ‘alternative’ choices do not cost more than traditional ones and the added benefit is to know your choices are contributing to maintaining your health and the health of the environment. I couldn’t think of a better gift to receive on Valentine’s Day!
To your green family success!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Green New Years Resolutions? Join My Green Your Life Online Program

NEW to 2012: FLEXIBLE start dates and the choice between a 7-Day or 7-Week program. Start either anytime during the week of January 16th -20th, 2012.

This online program is specifically designed to walk you and your family one step at a time towards your sustainable living goals without going broke or crazy in the process. Going green is more than changing light bulbs and using reusable grocery bags – this succinct program brings everything together conveniently into one place for easy-breezy learning and empowerment.

Register now for the 7-Week Program($75)

Register now for the 7-Day Program ($75)

See what others are saying about the program..... CLICK HERE!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Top 4 Tips for Greening Your Holidays

How many of you feel obligated to give physical gifts? How many of you have received gifts that broke soon after and were not recyclable? How many of you have sat and wondered at the giant pile of wrapping paper that was left over on Christmas morning?  Did you know that in Canada, the annual waste from gift-wrap and shopping bags equals about 545,000 tons which is enough paper and bags to cover 45,000 hockey rinks?

The holidays are a time of celebration, family gatherings and we create the space to remember and celebrate the things we are grateful for.  Sometimes these core focuses at holiday time can become thoroughly overwhelmed by expectations on our time and resources.  Holiday parties and gift giving can instigate feelings of guilt and overwhelm as many of us pack our social schedules and feel pressured to gift give and participate. Not only does it put pressure on our time, resources, health and well being it also affects our efforts to green our lives and live sustainably. Thankfully there are ways to be green that do not dampen the spirit of our favorite holiday activities like sharing meals, meeting up with friends and exchanging gifts.

Being green during the holidays doesn’t have to be hard and can actually be a very fun and creative exercise. The following are suggestions to easy strategies:

Tip 1: Reduce
The ol’ gift exchange between family members or within your circle of friends falls under this category and is a wonderful way to reduce the pressure to gift everyone with something and reduces the impact on our environment by consuming less.   Wrapping gifts in reusable cloth bags or colorful green shopping bags that can be used later is a creative way of reducing the amount of gift-wrap that is thrown in the landfill during the holidays. If you travel during the holidays by air or motor vehicle, you can choose to give the gift of carbon offsets and make your trip carbon neutral that reduces your contribution to adding extra carbon dioxide to the environment.

Tip 2: Substitute
Number one on this list is the opportunity to get rid of toxins! They can be present in pretty much everything: that new sweater for Dad, those plastic toys for the kids, the pretty smelling candle for a friend, and the new bottle of perfume for Mom. Even old, fake plastic Christmas trees can contain lead and phthalates contained in the PVC used to make the trees.  Look for gifts that are toxin free: gifts made from natural fibers such as hemp, organic cotton, silk, bamboo; kids toys free of BPA, phthalates, lead and sweat shop free (buy local!); vegetable based, soy or bees wax candles scented with essential oils; and essential oil based perfumes.

Another suggestion is to give the gift of your favorite recipes or food products.  Last year, I bought a dozen mason jars from the thrift store and filled them with ingredients for a chocolate chip cookie recipe and put the recipe with a ribbon on the jar. This kind of idea reuses items, nourishes the receiver, provides an opportunity to create a family activity in the kitchen and have some fun!

Tip 3: Give Services Not Products
Your friends and family will love this tip. Not only does it save you time and energy running around at holiday time, battling the shopping crowds, it gifts them some of your time, energy and skills or a service they could really benefit from. Consider where you might be able to help someone by gifting him or her with your time, energy and skills instead of just reaching for your wallet to buy something.  Providing your loved ones with services instead of products is a great opportunity to support their health and wellbeing.  Other ideas include a gift certificate to a spa (non-toxic of course) for body-nourishing services that will help them relax is a welcome alternative to finding the right gift for that someone that “has everything”.  This could also include haircuts, massages, chiropractic or naturopathic doctor care.  It’s also a great way of including the family: why not challenge your children to think about services they could provide like babysitting, mowing lawns, gardening, running errands and help them to create a creative gift voucher? 

Tip 4: Think Outside the Box
I once had someone boldly state to me that money was only good for buying “things”.  I actually strongly disagree and feel there are many ways that money can be used in a supportive, non-traditional consumerism way. Even though it might seem faux pas to give cash, why not consider setting up an RESP (registered education savings plan) for friends or family members? Another opportunity is to use your money to help grow local economies and contribute to education and wellbeing initiatives provided through local non-profit organizations or charities. Likely there are thousands of organizations to choose from in your area so pick your topic and research organizations you resonate with. The best part is you can usually make a contribution in someone’s name. Several years ago when I was living in Australia, I ‘adopted’ (on paper) two koalas in my father and brother’s names. They were excited to receive a koala for a Christmas present!

If you are more focused on supporting people in developing nations, check out, which provides a user-friendly portal for micro-lending. With as little as $25 you can support someone in a developing nation.  Oxfam Unwrapped is another great program that allows you to support farmers in developing nations by purchasing anything from a family of ducks, a pig, a water well, fruit trees or a pile of manure!

Including “green” in your holidays is not a difficult and only requires a slight shift in mindset. In no way does it impact the quality of time you have or your sense of satisfaction during the holidays. In fact, you might find it contributes to an improved sense of connection with friends and family and a deeper sense of peace and wellbeing for yourself.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Top 4 Tips to Green Your Holidays - Tracy's Global TV BC Interview!