Eating seasonally promises many nutritional benefits. A seasonal diet ensures that you are able to consume only produce grown in the United States which carries a, somewhat, higher standard. Produce that has a long journey to market is picked prematurely and then ripened with chemicals. Choosing produce that is allowed to mature naturally “on the vine” ensures that you’ll be receiving maximum nutritional value.
Comitting to consume only locally grown produce will turn you into a seasonal eater overnight. It will also offers you the luxury of choosing exactly who you purchase your food from. Use sites like localharvest.org to find farms in your area whose growing practices are in line with your own personal values. In addition to participating in farmers markets, smaller family farms often foster personal relationships with their consumers by opening up the farm for visits a few days a month. This can make for a fun outing with the family and also give you an inside look at where your dinners come from!
Being a local consumer allows you to invest your money back into your area by supporting the family owned establishments that make up the heart of your community. It is an easy and fun way to reduce your household’s carbon footprint (even if the store’s produce is American grown, it still likely had a very long journey on a semi) and empowers you to chose fruits and vegetables that are fresh and nutritionally superior.
Comment #11 - DebK!
Congratulations Deb and best of lucky next time to the rest of you! Don't forget to stop by my giveaway page and enter my other giveaways!
**Deb- please make sure you respond to my email coming from firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your gift certificate!
Over the past two weeks I have shared with you my experiences with NaturOli and their amazing soap nuts, soap bar and Extreme 18x detergent. When I received my NaturOli products in the mail, I thought I was about to discover some fabulous new green products. I didn't realize that I would actually discover a whole world of possibility revolving around this little dried berry. NaturOli's passion for consumer education is evident as soon as you visit their website. If you are interested in learning more, here are some of their articles that I would recommend:
It's Time for Change
The Power of Marketing
Soap Nuts and Soap Nuts Making
Win NaturOli Soap Nuts!
And now for the fun part! NaturOli is generously offering TWO lucky winners a 4 oz. bag of soap nuts. This bag will wash 40 loads of laundry!
Visit NaturOli's site and take a look around. Then come back here and tell me one thing that you learned about soap nuts or NaturOli that you like. This first step is mandatory and must be done before any additional entries are accepted.
For Additional Entries:
1. Join the NaturOli Revolution here and then leave a comment on this post telling me you did. Joining is free and painless and will give you access to their newsletter, special promotions and offers, bulletins and site updates. As a member you'll also be the first to know about special closeouts and discounts!
2. Become a follower of Spots On My Apples and then leave a comment telling me!
3. Subscribe to my blog, then leave a comment telling me you did!
4. Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with your link.
5. Tell someone about this giveaway then leave a comment telling me!
6. Enter another one of my giveaways then leave a comment telling me which one you entered.
This giveaway is open to US residents and will close on January 16th at 11:59 PM CST. The winner will be announced on January 17th and will also receive an email from me that they must reply to by January 19th 11:59 PM CST or another winner will be chosen.
- It's made with only a few simple, all natural ingredients which are given in plain view on the label and on the website
- It is super concentrated so one large bottle will last me a long time, reducing the amount of plastic I have to send to the recycling plant and thus reducing my carbon footprint
- It does not stink, it does not smell like anything. It just smells clean. This is important as my daughter has respiratory issues that can be aggravated by perfumed detergents.
- No need for fabric softener! It softened my laundry naturally.
- It works! My white towels even came out brighter.
- Competitive price. You can purchase an 8 ounce bottle from NaturOli's site for $16.95. That is enough to wash at least 96 high efficiency (HE) loads and 48 standard loads! It will likely go even further than that as you can get away with using as little as 1/2 a teaspoon with low soil loads!
- Easy on your fabrics and on your skin! NaturOli started out initially as a natural skincare company, so they have a strong understanding of how certain ingredients interact with skin. This knowledge was also applied to their Extreme 18x formula. (See my recent review of their soap bar!)
- It's a product I can trust. My experience with NaturOli and it's president over the last month have instilled in me a trust in the integrity of their company and the products they offer. They are committed to educating consumers and this is evident in their literature, their website and in all communications I have had with them. Though they are quickly growing into a major contender in the green market, they continue to run the company as they started it- with that personal, hands on approach that demonstrates their commitment to quality and their respect for their customers, products, employees and, above all, our environment.
A Few Tips On Using Extreme 18x
- Once you've filled and loaded your washer, leave the laundry to soak for 15 minutes before beginning the cycle. This is not necessary but does allow the detergent to be even more effective. I did this every time with fantastic results. I set my kitchen timer so that I wouldn't forget about it.
- Pour the liquid into the water while it's running into your machine. This mixes it up well and even produces a little sudsing. Keep in mind that the presence or absence of suds means nothing. It's just something that we have been trained to look for by conventional soaps and detergents that contain nasty chemical sudsing agents. 18x is low sudsing but very effective.
- Don't over pack your machine. The laundry should have room to move around during the cycle. (This is recommended with any detergent.)
- Play around with your measurements. As I mentioned earlier, it is not always necessary to use a full teaspoon. Some loads will come out perfectly clean and fresh with only 1/2 a teaspoon! After a few loads you'll be able to judge for yourself how much is needed.
This detergent was a hit with me. I plan on keeping my laundry room well stocked with Extreme 18x and soap nuts.
If you want to give NaturOli this Christmas, visit their site and check out their adorable seasonal gift sets! But hurry. They only have so many of their seasonal soaps left and they won't last long!
But I have to say hands down that this is the most moisturizing soap I have everI honestly did not feel the need to moisturize at all! Knowing the effects that blown heat has on my severely dry skin, I still chose to moisturize. But the soap nuts soap bar had already done the job! It reminded me of how my skin feels after having a massage and then washing off the oil.
They are the only major baby bottle brand that is 100% made in America.
Boiron has a coupon available for print through their website for $1.00 off any one item from their line of homeopathic Children's cold, cough and flu medicines. You can print as many as you need and they don't expire until 2012! Click on the picture above or go here.
I was quite a sight in my sweat pants and bed matted hair as I scoured the shelves for a cough syrup labeled 3 yrs. and up. Of course there were none. No homeopathic medicine either. I went home defeated with a bag of natural honey throat lozenges which she of course would not keep in her mouth. I gave her some honey on a spoon hoping that it would help and thanked God when she finally fell back to sleep at sunrise.
Two weeks after later I received a line of homeopathic cold medicines for children made by French company Boiron. I received Coldcalm Pellets for multi-symptom cold relief, Oscillococcinum for the treatment of flu-like symptoms, and Children's Chestal for coughs. It was a relief just knowing I had them and three weeks later when my daughter developed another nasty cough and cold I was ready.
At the onset of her cold symptoms I began her dosage of Coldcalm. I gave her the recommended 5 pellets to melt in her mouth every twenty minutes for the first hour. The pellets are small and sugary sweet. I had to continually remind her that they were not candy and not to crunch them. The process quickly turned into a game that, combined with the powers of Scooby Doo, distracted her from her stuffy head and sore throat. After the first hour we spread the dosage out to 5 pellets every two hours. Her cold didn't clear up immediately, but it did make a difference in the symptoms and she complained less about her throat and nose hurting. The cold was gone in a matter of days and never became too severe, which I credit to the Coldcalm and regular doses of vitamin C.
At nights I was also prepared should the hacking begin. On the second night it did. She woke up around midnight and couldn't stop coughing long enough to fall back asleep. I swooped in with a dose of Children's Chestal cough syrup. Its honey based formula contains only homeopathic ingredients and is completely safe for children 3 and older. It immediately coated and soothed her throat and she slept the rest of the night through with no interruptions.
From their humble beginnings in 1932 in Lyon, France Boiron has grown into the world leader of homeopathy with a presence in major countries around the world. They are one the main suppliers of homeopathic medicine to American consumers and physicians today. Their US headquarters in Pennsylvania also houses a state of the art manufacturing laboratory, fulfillment center and large warehouse and shipping operations.
Boiron sees their commitment to scientific homeopathy as the most "compassionate, ecological and comprehensive approach" and aim to teach physicians how to integrate it into their every day practice. They have received numerous recognitions and awards including the Vity Award which they won in 2009 for the 8th consecutive year.
It is reassuring to have innovative companies like them striving for natural solutions and as a mom I am glad to have them in my arsenal. I look forward to trying more of their products and highly recommend them!
Unlike other homeopathic brands, Boiron's products are very competitively priced. I have found them to be comparable to major over-the-counter cold and flue drugs like Vicks and Tylenol. Go here to find a store near you that carries the Boiron brand.
Boiron Children's Chestal Honey Homeopathic Cough Syrup 8.45 fl oz (250 ml) Regularly Priced at $12.19 On Sale for $8.07
Boiron - Coldcalm Pellets Children, 160 pellets, Regularly Priced at $16.49 but On Sale Here for $8.41
Boiron Oscillococcinum for Children, Regularly Priced at $11.99 but On Sale here for $9.03
Because of their moisturizing ingredients and absence of harsh chemicals and
detergents, they are the perfect choice for babies, people with sensitive
skin or simply anyone who hates coming out of the shower feeling tight skinned
I fell in love with their lavender soap bar. The scent is fabulous- subtle wafts of lavender softened by a clean, milky aroma. It leaves my skin literally squeaky clean without drying it out. My husband, who actually has oily skin, also loved it. He had never realized how harsh commercial soaps were until using Alabu! He began using the tea tree soap on his face and likes how it gives him a deep cleanse while still leaving his skin moisturized. The soap bars come beautifully wrapped and have a long "shower life." They will make excellent gifts for the holidays.
How to Enter
You can increase your chances of winning by doing any of the following for additional entries:
- Follow my blog and leave me a comment telling me!
- Subscribe to my blog and leave me a comment telling me!
- Subscribe to the Alabu Blog and leave a comment here telling me!
- Blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with a link to your post!
- Spread the word about this giveaway (complete with link) through Twitter or Facebook and leave a comment telling me about it!
- Tell someone about this giveaway and leave me a comment telling me you did!
- Enter another one of my giveaways and leave a comment telling me! (Keep checking back as I will be posting a lot of giveaways over the next two weeks!)
This giveaway ends December 19th at 11:59 PM and is open to US residents only.
I recently stumbled across this amazing product online called soap nuts. They are the dried shells of soapberries that grow on the Sapindus tree in locations around the world. What makes these husks so special is their unique and natural soaping agent called saponin. For thousands of years this substance has been used for laundry detergent and body soaps. As a consumer always on the search for sustainable products, soap nuts definitely rang my bell.
I found a fantastic company called NaturOli that has embraced the soap nut in their line of home and personal care products. Their website is chock full of information that I happily lost myself in for the better part of an hour. When I emerged, it was with a new passion for this tiny nut that is boldly slinging stones at the chemically fueled giants of the home care industry. I had caught the soap nut fever. I couldn't wait to try them and the kind people at NaturOli were happy to send some my way.
Before trying them out on my first load, I made sure to read through the literature. While soap nuts are just as handy (if not more so) than typical detergent, they are a completely different product, so it makes sense that the method of usage would also be quite different. After reviewing the instructions and tips I got started.
The first wash was a load of lightly soiled dark clothes. They came out clean and fresh just as they would have with the other detergents I use.
I decided to test the powers of soap nuts a little further with a load of heavily soiled kitchen towels. My husband has this dreadful habit of using the kitchen towels to wipe up spills on the counter- any spills including the most common, coffee. This does not bode well for our white towels.
I made more tea and started the wash. Thirty minutes later I was eager to see how the soap nuts had done. The towel came out much cleaner. The coffee spills were still visible but it is important to note that 1) no detergent I have ever tried has been able to get them any cleaner 2) I did not use any stain treatment as I would typically have done.
I had opted for warm water on this load as well as a more vigorous wash cycle because it contained a heavily soiled bath mat and towels. Since I was using warm water, I skipped the soaking process and just through the bag of soap nuts into the wash with the towels and mat.
Many of the towels came out fine, but one particularly soiled washcloth (it’s just makeup people) and bath mat (my dog likes to sleep on it when I’m in the shower) were slightly cleaner but not enough to make me want to use them again. This could be because I had already used the soap nuts five times and they had lost some of their effectiveness, or because I did not use the tea method. (This method seems to be most effective with heavily soiled loads.)
Overall, my experience with soap nuts has a positive one. I will definitely be using them more! They are the purest, most natural and earth friendly form of detergent available.
Here’s what I like most about soap nuts:
They are gentle on fabrics and completely fragrance free.
My laundry comes out simply smelling fresh and clean.
There is also no need for fabric softener with soap nuts as they naturally condition and soften fabrics.
They are also hypoallergenic, making them the ideal choice for homes with babies, people with sensitive skin, allergies or asthma.
They are naturally anti-fungal and anti-microbial.
They are a natural odor remover.
They have multiple uses around the house. Make the soap nut tea or grind them into a powder to incorporate them into all your household chores. They are even reported to be effective on your windows!
Are not harmful to pets and are 100% free of animal testing or cruelty!
Endless shelf life
Come from a sustainable resource and require little energy to harvest and process.They are 100% natural, chemical free and biodegradable! They come in reusable bags and are shipped in recyclable packaging.
They are also very affordable. You can purchase an 8 oz. bag of soap nuts online from NaturOli for only $12.75! If you stick to the recommended five loads per five nuts that comes to 80 loads, making it the most affordable natural detergent I have been able to find!
NaturOli’s soap nuts have received the prestigious Green Dot Award and continue to be recognized for their quality and positive impact on the environment. I highly recommend them and will be ordering these cute bags to give with my some of my Christmas presents this year. Visit NaturOli’s site if you’re looking for unique gifts that carry a positive impact this season.
Have you found other uses for soap nuts? If so please share them in a comment below!
Congratulations Elena! You have won the entire Weleda Pomegranate line!
Thanks to all for participating and don't be down if you didn't win. I have tons of great green giveaways coming up before Christmas! Stay tuned... :)
Act fast. This giveaway closes at 11:59 tonight, CST!