Travel expert Nicole Hockin shows us all how to stay committed to the planet even while traveling! Follow her 5 simple travel tips below to ensure you have a healthy, happy (and green!) vacation as you hit the road this summer!

Eco-Friendly Travel Tips

  • Choose sustainable hotels such as The Orchard Garden Hotel, San Francisco; Hotel Monaco, Chicago; or Habitat Suites, Austin, Texas.
  • Pack your own reusable water bottles. Not only is this cost-effective for you but it significantly cuts down on plastic waste.
  • Purchase travel size refillable bottles for toiletries. This is a significant change you can make as solid waste disposal and landfills become an even bigger environmental issue.
  • Reuse hotel towels. According to Zerowaste.org, the average amount of water used (in a luxury hotel) is 475 gallons per room/per day.
  • Consider alternative transportation. Choosing a hotel that is centrally located to the sites/interests that you are visiting may enable you to eliminate the need for a rental car. Minimize your carbon footprint and get to know an area by walking to nearby sites.

About the Author

You can read all of Nicole Hockin’s tips & travel anecdotes on her blog, Travel Smart Blog.

Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is excited to announce that the Winner of the Cascade Ice Water Giveaway is Sheila K! We hope that you enjoy your very own case of Cascade Ice Water as the weather warms up! Thanks to everyone who entered this eco-fabulous giveaway!

*Image provided by Cascade Ice Water.*

Dress em’ up! Carrots go from ho-hum to WOW with this delightfully easy courtesy of CHOW.com!

Roasted Baby Carrots with Herbed Mustard Butter

Ingredients

  • 1 pound baby carrots (about 2 bunches), peeled (optional), green stems trimmed to 1/2 inch, and wispy carrot tips removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons coarse-grained mustard
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh herbs, such as dill, Italian parsley, chives, chervil, or tarragon

Preparation

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place the carrots on a baking sheet, drizzle with the oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat. Roast, shaking the pan occasionally, until a knife easily pierces the carrots, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Smaller carrots will cook in less time.) Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the herbed mustard-butter.
  3. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat until foaming. Add the mustard and stir to combine. Add the roasted carrots and herbs and toss to coat the carrots in the butter mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

*Recipe and image courtesy of CHOW.com.*

From flip flops to playground? Yes! In honor of Earth Day, TerraCycle and Old Navy have partnered together in the Flip Flop Replay, which runs from April 22 – May 21, 2011. Now you can Reflip, Reflop, and Recycle for a fantastic initiative this Earth Day!

TerraCycle and Old Navy aim is to collect used flip flops and recycle them into four public playgrounds around the country. The public can stop in any Old Navy store in the U.S. to deposit used flip-flops in designated collection bins. This is the first time a nationwide retailer has initiated a large-scale effort to collect and recycle flip-flops. Where are you headed this Earth Day? Get the whole family involved by making the trip together to Old Navy to recycle last summer’s flip flops!

About TerraCycle
TerraCycle, Inc. is an international upcycling company that takes difficult to recycle packaging and turns it into affordable, eco-friendly products. Founded in 2001, TerraCycle (www.terracycle.net) is the world’s leader in the collection and reuse of non-recyclable post-consumer waste. TerraCycle works with over 30 major brands in the U.S. (and in a growing number of other countries) to collect used packaging and products (chip bags, candy wrappers, juice pouches, pens, toothbrushes, etc.) that would otherwise be destined for landfills. It repurposes that waste into new eco-friendly materials and products that are available online and through major retailers. The waste is collected through TerraCycle’s Brigade programs, which are free fundraisers that pay schools and non-profits for every piece of waste they collect and return. For information on how to join a TerraCycle Brigade and on purchasing TerraCycle products please visit us at www.terracycle.net.

Elegance and whimsy grace every piece of wearable art in the Leakey Collection™! Zulugrass™ jewelry specifically offers the modern woman versatility in the gorgeous and bright strands of color that can be worn separately or together to compliment any look. Handmade by skilled Maasai artisans, each bracelet, necklace, or pair of earrings captures the spirit and essence of the Maasai, and feels as though you are wearing a part of history itself. Brilliantly colored beads made from readily available and sustainable grass are hand-dyed, and then strung together with hand-blown Czech glass beads, and the outcome is simply gorgeous! Not only are the pieces truly one-of-a-kind, but the women crafting these pieces are given a chance to provide for themselves and their children through their natural talent and abilities. To learn more about the story of the Maasai, click here.

The Zulugrass™ Collection is simply beautiful! You can create your own look by twisting various colored strand necklaces together, wearing a bracelet as an anklet, or adorning your wrists with a variety of bangles! The possibilities are endless for this eco-chic collection. Plus, with every purchase, you are supporting an amazing cause by helping the Maasai women empower themselves by providing an opportunity for them to care for their families with grace.

To learn more about the Leakey Collection™, to locate a retailer near you, or to order online, please visit www.leakeycollection.com. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, now is the perfect time to find a stunning, eco-fabulous gift for the special Mom in your life that also gives back!

*Company generously provided samples and images for this review.*

Salsa, on French Toast? Yes! This fruity salsa containing blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries graces thick slices of French Toast with just the right amount of sweetness! Dig in!

French Toast with Fresh Berry Salsa

Ingredients

Berry Salsa

• 10 strawberries, hulled

• 1/2 cup fresh blueberries

• 1/2 cup fresh blackberries

• 2 packets Stevia Extract In The Raw®

• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

French Toast

• 3 large eggs

• 1 1/2 cups lowfat (1 %) milk

• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• 1 packet Stevia Extract In The Raw®

• Pinch of salt

• 4 slices (1″ thick) challah or egg bread

• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation

Thickly slice strawberries vertically, rotate 90 degrees and slice to make long batons. Place strawberries in mixing bowl. Add blueberries, blackberries, STEVIA IN THE RAW, and cinnamon. Using fork, toss gently to combine, and set Berry Salsa aside.

In a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, whisk eggs until well beaten. Add milk, vanilla, STEVIA IN THE RAW, and salt and whisk to combine. Add bread and soak 10 minutes. Turn slices, and soak 10 minutes, or cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate soaked bread overnight.

Melt butter in large skillet, preferably cast iron. When it stops bubbling, add soaked bread and cook until browned on bottom, 3 minutes. Using wide pancake turner, turn bread and brown on second side, 3 minutes. Divide French toast among 4 plates. Top each with one-fourth Fresh Berry Salsa. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

*Recipe courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw.*

Bruce Yacko, the dedicated founder behind JAWS International, Ltd., took the time out of running his environmentally-friendly company to answer a few questions for Tiny Green Mom. His commitment to the environment is evident in the end product of the 4 JAWS cleaners, with which you will find simply fabulous for cleaning your home!

An Interview with Bruce Yacko, Founder of JAWS International, Ltd.

Tell us about your eco-inspired company!

JAWS International, Ltd. is a technology company committed to protecting the environment and making innovative products to that end. We created and market JAWS® (Just Add Water™ System), a patented cleaning system designed to reduce the environmental impact of packaging used in conventional spray cleaning products. While reducing plastic waste and the landfills that result, we’re able to offer high performance, highly economical cleaners. JAWS delivers ultra-concentrated, eco-sensitive and highly biodegradable cleaning chemistry in patented refill cartridges for use with reusable bottles and sprayers. JAWS is a simple, effective solution that gives everyone the chance to care for their home and take care of the planet.

How do you choose to go green in your own life?

I buy local, which can have a tremendous impact on our environment and transportation costs. And I recycle, reduce and reuse plastic whenever possible. With landfills closing at a rate of one per day, eventually, where are we going to put it? Lastly, I continue to invest my personal finances in JAWS with hopes that it helps us all become better stewards of the world’s resources.

Guilty green pleasure?

I started growing fruits, vegetables and herbs a few years ago and working in the garden has become one of my favorite things to do.

Can you offer any encouraging words for those with a small sustainable business?

Running a business in today’s climate requires tremendous focus, courage and passion. Having a talented and committed group of people who share your undying vision is essential. Additionally, a healthy fear of failing along with believing what we’re doing is important helps keep me motivated.

*Image provided by JAWS International, Ltd.

It’s time to get down and dirty this Spring as you feather, spruce and clean your nest with the best planet-friendly cleaners available! Take a peek at the latest in planet-friendly cleaners, laundry & dishwasher detergents, soaps, and more to help you fight grime – naturally, of course!

Whole Foods Market All Purpose Citrus-Scented Spray Cleaner

Wipe away the dirt and grime on any surface with this eco-conscious cleaner new to Whole Foods Market! Lightly scented with revitalizing citrus essential oils, this will lift your spirits as you clean! Phthalate-free, phosphate-free, and chlorine-free, even the packaging is fully recyclable. Locate a Whole Foods Market near you by going to www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

Whole Foods Market All Purpose Concentrated Cleaner

Another newbie to the Whole Foods Market line-up of eco-fabulous cleaning products is this concentrated cleaner that makes mopping floors a (pine-scented) breeze! Dust bunnies will run for cover when you bring out the mop and bucket of warm water graced with this cleaner that is phosphate-free, chlorine-free, and phthalate-free, and has just a hint of all-natural pine essential oil! Learn more at www.wholefoodsmarket.com.

JAWS (Just Add Water System)

Reduce, reuse and recycle is the mantra behind the JAWS cleaning system! One bottle can be used multiple times – simply insert a new cleaning cartridge into the fully recyclable bottle, and add water. Each JAWS bottle arrives with two extra cartridges for use, and after the initial purchase, the cartridges are sold separately at a fraction of the price. (Read: 2 full bottles for less than $2 each!) Four JAWS cleaners are now available, including JAWS Glass & Hard Surface Cleaner, JAWS Multi-Purpose Cleaner/Degreaser, JAWS Bathroom Cleaner/Deodorizer and JAWS Disinfectant Cleaner Degreaser. For more information about this effective, eco-friendly new cleaning system that encourages you to reduce waste, visit www.jawsclean.com.

Earth Friendly Product’s ECOS Magnolia and Lily Detergent

Freshen up the laundry room with the scent of Magnolia & Lily! For planet-friendly cleaning of all of your bedding, clothing, blankets, throw rugs, and more, Earth Friendly Product’s ECOS Magnolia and Lily Detergent is non-toxic and suitable for all types of fabrics! It is 100% biodegradable, chlorine-free, enzyme-free, and petroleum-free. Plus, it is also available in a fragrance-free version, for extreme sensitivities. Check out www.ecos.com.

Produce Magic by Vermont Soap

It’s magic! This one little spray can do it all – naturally washing away the residue from pesticides, fertilizer, dirt, road grit, mold, fungi, the wax coating on fruits, and more! Produce Magic is an eco-friendly alternative for avoiding contaminated produce and food-borne illnesses that strike 48 million Americans each year. Plus, this planet-friendly, organic fruit and vegetable wash is biodegradable and free of artificial colors, fragrances, preservatives, animal products or gluten. A spray or two goes a long way in keeping the fruits and veggies in your home fresh and contaminant-free! Produce Magic can be purchased throughout the country (and beyond) at health food, gourmet and specialty stores and online at www.vermontsoap.com.

*Companies generously provided images, information, and samples for this article.*

Eco-fabulous deal alert! To celebrate its exciting launch at Babies “R” Us, Go GaGa has a great promo going on right now on their planet-friendly Slide Diaper Bag at BabiesRUs.com! One of “Mom’s” favorites, the Slide Diaper bag is now available for $101.99 (regularly $119.99) – a 15% discount!

Hurry – this offer ends April 23rd. Click here to take advantage of this special discount which includes free shipping!

*This is not a paid advertorial. Please see disclosure.*

Refreshing, this homemade lemonade offers all of the flavor and sweetness, without the calories! Graced with fresh mint, this cooling lemonade will be a hit on a summer’s day!

Stevia Extract in the Raw® Lemonade

Ingredients

• 2 quarts water

• 1 1/2 cups Stevia Extract In The Raw® Cup For Cup

• 1 1/2 cups (about 7 large lemons) fresh squeezed lemon juice with pulp, seeded

• Lemon slices

• Fresh mint leaves for garnish

• Ice cubes

Preparation

In 2 1/2 quart pitcher combine water, Stevia Extract In The Raw and lemon juice. Stir well and chill at least 2 hours.

Fill each tall glass with ice and lemonade. Add lemon slices and fresh mint and enjoy!

*Recipe courtesy of Stevia Extract in the Raw.*