Wholesome Sweeteners Supports Fair Trade

Wholesome Sweeteners is proud to support fair trade – all of their products are fair trade certified. What does that mean exactly? Glad you asked! When a product is fair trade certified it means the farmers that produced the crop have been paid a fair price. Other benefits of a fair trade system include (source):

  • Fair labor conditions
  • Direct Trade with Producers
  • Democratic and transparent organizations
  • Community Development
  • Environmental Sustainability

Essentially, the fair trade system allows for smaller-scale farmers to compete with the larger factory farms. When a smaller farmer is supported through fair trade they can afford to keep their own land and support their own family’s growth. That sounds pretty good!

Environmental Responsibility

The Wholesome Sweeteners products are made using traditional methods:

Sugar cane is hand cultivated and grown without synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

Products are made in small mills the spent sugar cane or blue agave remnants are recycled as fuel to generate electricity for the mill and nearby villages.

Partnerships are in place with Fair Trade Certified Cooperative Farmers wherever possible – specifically in Malawi, Costa Rica, Mexico, & Paraguay.

Learn More about Wholesome Sweeteners

Look for Wholesome Sweeteners samples at the ONE Booth during the upcoming Naperville Last Fling in Naperville, IL!

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I’ve composted all summer – now what?

Spread your compost love:

Your compost will ‘cook’ much more slowly in the winter – causing your bin to fill up more quickly, so it is best to empty it out before the winter.  And before the snow makes it’s return for the winter season, it is time to make use of the beautiful compost dirt you have nurtured this summer.

Shovel your compost into the soil of your garden and work it in pretty well. If fall leaves are still available, cover the garden bed with them for the remainder of the winter season.

Tips on composting this winter:

The composting process will still continue through the cold months, just at a slower rate.

-Make things easier on yourself – use a larger compost container under your sink so that you can take fewer trips out to your main compost pile outside.

-It is also best to save some of your fall leaves so that, if needed, you can layer them within your compost during the winter to keep your two main compost ingredients in equal balance. (See our previous composting post for details on compost ingredients.)

-Cut up food scraps into smaller pieces to encourage faster breakdown.

-Be sure your outdoor compost pile gets plenty of winter sunlight to help keep the materials heated as best as possible in the winter.

-Don’t forget to turn the pile once in a while to allow air to get added into the mix.

-Consider worm composting indoors. Jump here for more details on this composting option.

-Spend some of your downtime planning your spring garden!

Freezing temperatures? If you live in a climate with freezing temperatures, consider using a compost bin that can be covered to keep snow from piling on top. If your compost freezers over completely, don’t lose hope. Keep adding to it from your kitchen and wait to turn the pile until the temperature warms up.

And once the spring season comes back around you’ll be a step ahead in getting your much more active compost going.

Let us know how your composting goes this winter!

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Need another reason to choose Numi Organic Tea? Check out their commitment to sustainability:

Through thoughtful choices, we are committed to reducing our impact on the planet. A few of our more than 90 sustainable initiatives are:

  • Organic tea cultivation protects the health of farmers, the planet and you
  • Natural biodegradable filter-paper tea bags; not GMO corn or plastic “silky” bags
  • Recyclable boxes made of 85% post-consumer waste, printed with soy-based inks and without unneeded shrink-wrap
  • Programs that lower and offset our carbon emissions including a solar-powered production facility

“We invite you to take the Numi Tea transformation and celebrate people, planet, and pure tea!”

-Your Friends at Numi Organic Tea

Read further about Numi’s commitment to sustainable initiatives on the Numi Organic Tea website.

Also, find your favorite Organic Tea at the Numi Organic Tea online store or by using the store locator at www.NumiTea.com!

Hour CarHourCar.org

Instead of owning a car you can ‘car share’ with Hour Car. Reserve a car when you need it then drop it back off. You don’t have to worry about the expenses of owning a car and you will be helping the environment by driving less.

Ride SharePickUpPal.com

Find a ride for yourself or offer to pick up someone on your way. It’s a free, global service using social network sites to connect you to people with similar interests or with people which you are already connected to via work colleagues or other friends.

Public Bike Sharing

Public bike sharing. Rent a bike from the numerous bike hubs when you need a ride and then return it to another bike hub.

Chicago – BCycle.com

Denver – BCycle.com

D.C. – SmartBikeDC.com

Miami – DecoBike.com

MinneapolisNiceRideMN.org

Stay up to date on future bike sharing – Bike-Sharing.blogspot.com

Recycling 101 Earth911.com

Learn more about recycling and reusing household materials. Search for recycling options near you with their zipcode search.

ReduceReduce.org

Find easy things you can do to reduce your waste.

Host a Clothing Exchange

Swap your clothes with other women from all over the world online! SwapStyle.com

Neighborhood children clothing exchanges are great ways to reuse clothes that are outgrown.

Or, throw a party for all of your girlfriends and exchange all your unwanted clothes for new ones. It’s fun and saves you from having to buy new clothes.

Get CraftyTipNut.com

Reuse household items to makes something new. Sites like TipNut list numerous ideas to re-purpose things you no
longer use.

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We can all do things every day to reduce our carbon footprint and improve the sustainability of our environment. Do your part! Here are some easy things YOU can do:

–         Work From Home: Saving one trip to work and home will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. It will also save you time and money!

–         Eat Organic: What you eat matters and effects our environment. Read Food Facts from the Natural Resources Defense Council http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/eatgreen.asp

–         Join a CSA – Community Supported Agriculture: Supporting your local farmers increases the sustainability of your community and reduces transportation emissions. Visit www.localharvest.org to find a CSA near you.

–         Change your commute: Take the bus, ride your bike, ride share, or take the train. Summer time is the perfect opportunity to try other forms of transportation. Why not get some exercise on your way to work?

–      Switch to paperless: Pay your bills online. It’s easy and the whole process is much faster.

–         Choose Wild Caught Fish: Studies have found that farm raised fish can contain high levels of mercury and leave bigger carbon footprints. Use this guide to make better decisions about buying fish: http://www.simplesteps.org/food/shopping-wise/consumer-guide-mercury-fish

–         Reduce Meat in Your Diet: This is not only great for your waistline and heart, but cutting out one day of meat you can make a difference for the atmosphere. The average American diet is responsible for emitting 3,578 pounds of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere each year. Just by simply reducing your red meat intake, you can reduce approximately 1,500 pounds of pollutants each year.  Source: http://www.simplesteps.org/food/shopping-wise/co2-smackdown-step-6-trimming-out-beef-and-pork

Next time you are about to drive to work, buy dinner, or pay bills take a moment to think about how you could lessen your impact on the environment. Every little step makes a difference!

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What does Organic and Natural really mean?

So you’ve heard all about the excitement surrounding organic. But what does organic really mean? Simply put, when a product is labeled organic, the USDA Organic symbol certifies that the product contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, fertilizers or pesticides and contains no irradiated ingredients (food exposed to radiation). More in depth details about the rigorous certification inspections and standards of production and processing associated with labeling a product organic can be found on the Organic Trade Association website by following this link: http://tinyurl.com/5rejlk.

Why is Organic and Natural important for your family?

  • Pesticides found in conventional foods and absorbed by our bodies can have serious health impacts; including birth defects, nerve damage and cancer. Because organic products are regulated, choosing organic is a way to ensure that you are providing your family products that are safe for them. Read more about the potential health problems that can arise from exposure to pesticides on the US EPA website: http://tinyurl.com/24zhwpm.
  • Organic farming keeps harmful chemicals out of our air, water, soil, and bodies. These chemicals are especially found in produce. The Environmental Working Group has compiled a full list of 49 fruits and vegetables ranked from best to worst when it comes to pesticide levels.
  • Organic farmers use less energy, produce less waste, and use less chemicals which also supports sustainability and long term benefits for your community. Read more about the benefits of purchasing organic products on the USDA’s website: http://tinyurl.com/344vjuy.
  • Like our ONE partners, organic brands are dedicated to taking progressive action and making products that are safe for the environment and for you. Ways of becoming more sustainable come in many forms such as initiatives to recycle, to reduce waste, and to advance renewable energy.
  • You can trust organic. The organic system is a federally regulated production process with strict standards, strict inspections, and annual verification. Not to mention it takes three years of modifications before the farmer can call it’s products USDA Organic.
  • Mounting evidence shows that growing crops in healthy soil results in foods with more healthy nutrients. Organically grown products are rich in nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and vitamin C. The Organic Trade Association provides details and research: http://tinyurl.com/e4pnj.

Keep these tips in mind when planning your next meal and save money on healthy and nutritious organic and natural products with the coupons in your ONE Coupon Book!

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Creating a compost pile is a great way to eliminate waste, reduce your carbon footprint, it is the best natural fertilizer for your garden, and it is very easy to get started!

Here’s the Where, What, and How

Where:  Choose a place out of the way, ideally has 1/2 day sun, and away from extremely windy spots.

In What: You can choose to either have you compost pile in a holding bin, a trench, built in holding units, turning units, or in a simple heap.

Tip: Build your own! You can do this easily with stiff wire mesh. It is inexpensive, it will give your compost pile the air it needs, and it will keep your pile all together in one spot.

How: A compost pile needs a variety and equal balance of carbon and nitrogen for the materials to break down and decompose.

Carbon materials are dry materials such as leaves, lint, paper, straw, dried garden debris, and dried grass clippings.

Nitrogen materials are food products like fruits, vegetables, vegetable peels, tea bags, coffee grounds, and shredded cardboard.

Tips for a Successful Compost Pile:

– Your compost pile should remain moist at all times. If it is dry you may want to water the pile, and if it is too wet you can add more carbon materials to soak up the moisture.

– Your pile needs to be turned with a shovel or pitch fork once a week to stop the pile from compacting. A compacted compost pile will have insufficient air and may start to smell.

–  A compost pile needs the right amount of air along with heat. The pile will not heat up if it is too small, too dry, lacks enough air, or lacks enough nitrogen. Try adding more nitrogen materials like fruits and vegetables, adding water, and turning the pile.

– If the compost starts to smell it may be due to not enough air, over-watering, being too compact, or having too much nitrogen. You can add more dried grass and leaves to soak up the water or turn the pile to increase the air flow.

Come fall, your compost pile will have successfully broken down into nutritious dirt, ready to use in your yard and garden!

More compost tips and uses to come.  Check back!

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