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  • Writer's pictureSecond Opinion Magazine

Balanced Living » Nov./Dec. ‘13

$17 Billion a Year

That’s how much money the United States could save in health-care costs if everyone just ate the recommended 2.5 cups of veggies and 2 cups of fruit every day.

Doing so could also prevent 127,261 heart disease and stroke deaths per year in the United States.

Adding just one daily serving (1/2 cup) of either fruits or vegetables could save us $5 billion in health-care costs and prevent 30,301 deaths every year.

Improving your own health is as close as your garden, farmers market, or supermarket.

Improve everyone’s health by encouraging your elected representatives to pass a farm bill that supports fruit and vegetable farmers, sustainable agriculture, and policies that help low-income citizens get access to gardens and affordable fruits and veggies.

Got Too Many Reusable Shopping Bags?

Get in touch with ChicoBag, a company in California that redistributes the bags to low-income people and creates new materials from bags that are worn or in bad shape. All proceeds go to a program that assists victims of domestic abuse.

Aluminum Cans

Not only can recycling aluminum cans save energy, it can also contribute to the increasing recycling rate for these beverage containers. New statistics released by the Aluminum Association this year indicate the aluminum can recovery rate is on the rise and reached 65.1% in 2011. That makes aluminum cans the world’s most recycled beverage container.

Greener (and Healthier) Rinse Cycle

Why not give your dishwashing routine an upgrade and choose more eco-friendly products.  It’ll be better for all eating!

The Honest Company Rinse Pure rinse formula safely cleans & adds sparkle – eliminating haze, streaking, spots, and calcium deposits.  Your dishes and glassware come out naturally crystal clear, without risky chemical residues left behind plus it will not etch metal or silver.  Plant + mineral based ingredients, including urea salt, provide tremendous cleaning without the corrosive effects of many conventional products

NO harsh bleach, vapors, questionable residues, or worries!

Biodegradable / Non-Toxic / pH Neutral / Septic + Graywater Safe

Earth Friendly WaveJet All natural spot and residue eliminator for auto dishwashing machines. Works just like the conventional auto dishwashing spot removers; but without the petro chemicals. 100% biodegradable. Comes in a number 1 PET bottle that is recyclable.

Homemade Dishwasher Rinse Aid 1.  Place small cup in your dishwasher’s top rack. 2.  Fill with a small amount of white vinegar. 3.  Run dishwasher as usual.

Too Many Bras?

Bras that don’t fit right? Send them to Bras for a Cause.

There are plenty of women around the country who need your bras and lingerie. No matter how many you have, new, used, type, color, size we will take them all. Bras that cannot be repaired usually end up as art and sold to raise money.

Message in a Bottle

If you travel a lot and accumulate lots of little soap bars and other toiletry samples, donate them to local charities, like Beacon House or the St. Francis Pantry, so that folks in need can receive them. An international group that does the same is Globus Relief.

Are Your Bookshelves Overflowing?

Besides donating to the local public library, consider Books for Africa (, which helps build libraries throughout Africa, and Operation Paperback (, which supplies books to troops overseas.

You’re a Card

After the holidays, how can you repurpose all those greeting cards? St. Jude’s Ranch for Children reuses them and the proceeds fund programs and services for abused, neglected, and abandoned children.

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