Monthly Archives: November 2017

The Top 3 Eco-Friendly Toothpaste and Mouthwash Options

Not all toothpastes are created equally. Many people like the idea of having greater control over their toothpaste and mouthwash options. The old days of having two or three different toothpaste and mouthwash options is over. Today, there are dozens of different toothpastes and mouthwashes on the market. Many of these oral health products offer surprisingly large benefits. In this article, we’ll look at a few of the best options for improving your overall oral health in a safe and environmentally friendly way!


Top Eco-Friendly Oral Health Option #1 Xylitol

If you haven’t heard of xylitol, you are certainly not alone. Until the last few years, xylitol was keeping a pretty low profile. But now, entire books have been written on xylitol and its diverse and interesting properties.


Part of what makes xylitol such a potentially great product is that it has been widely tested, is all-natural and comes with an array of health benefits. Used as a sugar substitute due to its low glycemic number, xylitol has long been the friend of diabetics and others looking for a sugar substitute. Unlike other sugar substitutes which are chemical based, xylitol comes from natural sources, such as birch trees.


Xylitol almost seems tailor made for inclusion in toothpaste and mouthwash. The reason is that xylitol actually works to inhibit the bacteria responsible for cavities. Xylitol’s ability to stop the bacteria that causes cavities has led to it being used in everything from mouthwashes and toothpastes to gums and even candy.

Since xylitol is safe for human consumption, it can even be added to coffee, tea and baked sweets. In addition to reducing one’s risk of developing cavities, xylitol consumption has also been linked to a lower incidence of ear infections in children. One word o

f note, however, xylitol is toxic for dogs, so if you use it as an ingredient in your food, be sure to not allow your pups to eat any of your leftovers.

If you are looking for an all-natural way to reduce your cavity, risk then it is tough to beat what xylitol offers. Look for this ingredient in a very wide range of oral health care products.


Top Eco-Friendly Oral Health Option #2 Propolis

Our second eco-friendly toothpaste and mouthwash option believe it or not comes to us from bees. Propolis is literally the glue that bees use to build their hives. It forms a type of sealant and is used in areas where there are small gaps.


Scientists who studied propolis discovered that it was something of a wonder. There are many different types of propolis and its properties can vary by region and season.

Propolis is being studied for its ability to help reduce mouth pain and it is even being used in cough drops. Studies are being done into propolis’ ability to help heal wounds, fight bacteria, cold sores and even for its ability to accelerate wound healing after oral surgery. Propolis may be an anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory compound that is particularly useful for protecting oral health.


A natural antibiotic, propolis is a great addition to oral health care products and does not have a strong taste especially in the amounts used in toothpaste and mouthwashes. There are products on the market that incorporate both propolis and xylitol into the same toothpaste. One good example is Tom of Maine’s Propolis and Myrrh toothpaste which contains propolis, xylitol and myrrh.


Top Eco-Friendly Oral Health Option #3 Manuka Honey


Manuka honey has much in common with propolis. Grown in New Zealand, Manuka honey has been studied for its antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Manuka honey has been used extensively, and with good results, for the treatment of serious burns.


Manuka honey comes in different grades which correlate to its potential healing power. The UMF rating which stands for Unique Manuka Factor indicates the strength of the honey’s antibacterial properties. The higher the number the higher the potential healing benefits.


What some scientist believe is that there are components found in Manuka honey that may stimulate the production of special cells responsible for repairing tissue damage. Hydrogen peroxide is naturally found in honey, and there is evidence that Manuka honey could play a role in decrease plaque. In short, Manuka honey is very impressive and a welcomed addition to toothpaste, especially for those looking for an eco-friendly toothpaste option.


Manuka Health’s Manuka and Propolis Toothpaste was designed to reduce plaque and fight tooth decay. It used 400+ Manuka honey as well as high strength propolis and contains no fluoride or sodium lauryl sulfates. Due to the high demand for Manuka honey products, it is important to note that there has been a surge of fake Manuka honey products. It is important to choose reliable, well-known brands and sources of distribution.

Those looking for an alternative to traditional toothpaste and mouthwash options will discover that there are more options than ever. The typical toothpaste and mouthwash options tend to use a variety of chemicals, colorings and additives that many consumers will wish to avoid.


Toothpastes and mouthwashes containing xylitol, propolis, Manuka honey or a combination of the three offer a different way to protect teeth and gums. Importantly, many dentists recommend products containing xylitol and even sell them. When you are looking for eco-friendly dental options you’ll definitely want to check out not just what toothpastes and mouthwashes are on the market but also what gums, mints and candies are available. There is a well-built up industry around xylitol in particular and that means lots of products to try.

Incorporating xylitol and Manuka honey into your meals is another easy way to boost overall oral health. Manuka honey in order to be effective should not be heated, but this is really its only limitation. Just remember that if you stir it into hot tea, you will not receive the full benefits of this wonderful ingredient. Combined with regular flossing and dental visits, xylitol, propolis and Manuka honey can help you maintain and improve your oral health.

Posted by November 19, 2017 at 5:55 PM under Home Living Tips
Seven Often Overlooked Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

Many people feel that the “whole carbon footprint thing” is mysterious and confusing. While there is no doubt that the topic can become someone complex, at the core reducing our carbon footprint can be surprisingly simple.


How much energy you use, especially from polluting and non-renewable sources, determines in part, how much of an impact you are having on the world. Climate change is real, and the consequences of climate change will become ever more evident in the years to come.


Recently, studies have shown that the insect population has dropped by as much as 75%. While those of us who are not biologists or environmental scientists don’t think about the importance of insects in the food chain, they play a simply enormous role. Climate change is really slowly evolving into more of a story of environmental devastation and destruction. Yes, that is bleak, but there are small steps you can take to help the environment.


Lowering your carbon footprint doesn’t have to be mysterious or complex. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that you might have missed that you can do to easily lower your carbon footprint.


Idea #1 – Fly Less Often

Flying is one of the single biggest and quickest ways to send your carbon print through the ceiling! This should come as no surprise as it takes a lot of energy to get a plane off the ground and fly it through the air at roughly 500 miles per hour with a couple of hundred people on board. Commercial aircraft are true energy hogs and the less you can use them the better.


If you are trying to go a relatively short distance, consider driving or taking a train. After all, you’ll get to see the sights from the ground. When you subtract the time it takes to drive to the airport, park, go through security and deal with possible delays, you may very well find the time difference is not as dramatic as you think.


Idea #2 – Buy an Electric Car and Solar Roof as Soon as Possible

This tip is definitely looking into the future. Electric cars are not just yet for everyone, and solar roofs are still cost prohibitive. However, the future is changing and fast. Soon electric car performance will exceed that of traditional gasoline powered cars in every way, and solar roofs and solar power systems are poised to drop dramatically in price.


Once solar roofs are cheap enough the day could come when you could say goodbye to your gasoline powered car, which is definitely harming the environment, and opt for an electrical power car that is solar fueled. Making this big switch will serve to dramatically lower your carbon footprint and excitingly enough this change is closer than many may believe!


Idea #3 – Never or Rarely Drink Bottled Water

Bottled water isn’t just expensive, but it is also very wasteful. In fact, most bottled water is really just slightly purified tape water. Investing in your own water purifier and a rubberized glass bottle is a great way to save money while lowering your carbon footprint.


Idea #4 – Eat Local Food


Where one lives can play a factor in how much local food one can consume. For example, it is much easier to “eat locally” if you live in Oregon or California than it is if you live in Hawaii. Yet, for most people in most markets it is possible to eat at least some locally grown food. Remember that the longer food has to travel the greater its carbon footprint.


Idea #5 – Eat Less Animal Protein

It takes a lot of energy and a lot of water to grow beef, pork and chicken. Simply cutting back on animal protein and getting more of your animal protein from free-range eggs, will help you cut your carbon footprint. Again, anything you do to interact with the environment will have an impact.


No one is saying that you have to trade in your hamburgers for cricket paddies, which may be a food of the future, but going vegetarian or vegan for one meal a day or one day a week will help you lower your carbon footprint.


Idea #6 – Buy Local Products

Buying local products may be one of the easiest ways to lower your carbon footprints. Just as eating local foods lowers your carbon footprint the same holds true for buying local products. When you opt to buy a local product, you are not just helping to stimulate the local economy but are also reducing carbon emissions.


Idea #7 – Eliminate One Bath or Shower a Week


If you go to the gym every single day, then this tip might not work for you. But most people don’t work out quite so much and they really may not need as many showers as they take. The simple fact is that showering uses considerable water and, unless you are taking cold showers, a lot of energy as well. Eliminating just one shower a week, or 52 showers a year could really help lower both your carbon footprint and your water bill too!

Of course, in addition to these overlooked ideas, there are the obvious ones as well. For example, bring a canvas bag when you go grocery shopping and try to walk and/or bike as much as possible.



Biking and walking are not just good for the planet, but they are also good for your health as well. Scientific studies have shown a clear link between walking and improved brain health. If you want to be smarter, more alter and feel better then walking is an easy, safe and low-impact way of achieving this goal.

You can be sure that there are plenty of other ways to lower your carbon footprint as well. Whenever you use energy, you are increasingly your carbon footprint. There are many exciting technologies on the horizon, such as carbon sequestering that can remove carbon from the air, but we can’t rely on these still unproven technologies which may or may not be profitable and scalable. Instead, we all have to find ways to help take the pressure off the planet we live on and love.

Posted by November 05, 2017 at 4:31 PM under Environment Home Living Tips