What Do You Do When Something Breaks?



Our recent trip to the local children's museum included checking out the new exhibit "Broken? Fix it! Getting inside repairs." This fabulous celebration of ingenuity and conservation had great appeal for old and young. My kids loved all the interactive stuff, and I loved reading the signs and learning about how shoes, cars, ceramics, clothing, bikes, toys, and more can be repaired. One of my first thoughts upon entering the exhibit was how much my plastic-free hero Beth Terry (author of the blog and book My Plastic-free Life) would enjoy it. I immediately thought of her post on fixing her broken rice cooker so that she didn't have to contribute to the creation of additional plastic.

7 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Family's Exposure to Toxic Flame Retardants

© Depositphotos.com/alenkasm

Flame retardant chemicals are Persistent Organic Pollutants, meaning that they are toxic, persistent, bioaccumulative, and capable of long-range transport from their original source (flame retardants have been found in high concentrations in polar bears and the Inuit people). They have been linked to "cancer, neurological deficits, developmental problems and impaired fertility" (source). Fetuses and young children are particularly susceptible to their effects. They are also nearly impossible to avoid.

How to Buy a Sofa without Toxic Flame Retardants



Although I would have been happy to keep our decade-old sofa set for a few more years, my two-year-old helped me decide it was time to purchase new sofas.

5 Reasons to Choose Antibiotic-free Meat



Antibiotics are routinely given to livestock as a part of their feed to promote faster growth and to prevent diseases that may result from unhealthy living conditions. In fact, an astonishing 80 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to animals, not people. You can limit your family's exposure to superbugs and help preserve the efficacy of antibiotics for everyone by saying no to products from animals raised with antibiotics. 

Here are 5 reasons to choose antibiotic-free animal products.


Even Meat Labeled "No Nitrates or Nitrites Added" Contains Harmful Nitrites



For those trying to avoid the cancer-linked preservatives nitrates and nitrites, I have some bad news.

All processed meats -- that's bacon, deli meat, sausages, hot dogs, pepperoni, salami -- contain nitrates and nitrites, even those natural or organic products labeled as "uncured" with "no nitrates or nitrites added." Take a look at the additional (sometimes very fine) print on your favorite "uncured" meat and you will most likely find some wording similar to the following: "no nitrates or nitrites added except for those naturally occurring in ingredients such as celery juice powder, parsley, cherry powder, beet powder, spinach, sea salt etc." (emphasis mine).

The Perks of Being a Regular at the Farmers Market

No matter what time of day I shop, this farmer gives me the end-of-the-day special.

Find your local farmers markets here.

I've been shopping at the same small neighborhood farmers market for about four years. Shopping at the farmers market has numerous benefits, from fresher and better tasting produce, to the welcome absence of produce stickers and high fructose corn syrup. Here are some of the perks that I get for being a regular that go above and beyond the regular benefits.


My Surrogate Garden: the Farmers Market



So here's the deal. I don't have a garden. I drool a bit over all the garden photos on The Green Phone Booth and elsewhere. I even have a Pinterest Garden board. I do aspire to having a garden, but I just don't have the mental space, time, or energy to embark on this new endeavor just yet. (If you'd like to come plant stuff in my yard for me and tell me exactly what to do afterwards, just let me know!)

But you know what I've got? I've got the farmers marketAnd oh, how I love the farmers market. I shop at one, sometimes two farmers markets every Saturday and purchase at least 90% of my family's produce there (bananas being the major exception). I kind of like to think of the farmers market as my garden. My surrogate garden, if you will. So for the last few weeks, I've been annoying my children by whipping out my smart phone to take photos at the farmers market.

Are you ready? Here are some photos of my pride and joy: my local farmers markets.

Click here to continue reading at The Green Phone Booth.