Green Living

Natural Health is Green

Sustainability starts at home.

Inspiring you with the tools and ideas you need to live a simpler, healthier, and greener life.

  • The 10 Best Seed Companies for Heirloom and Non-GMO Seeds

    If you’re looking to buy seeds for your vegetable garden from socially responsible seed companies that are not associated with GMOs, Bayer/Monsanto, or any of their subsidiaries, like Seminis, look no farther… Each of the following seed companies have taken the Safe Seed Pledge and tested their stock to be free of GMOs. While there are dozens of great seed companies that have signed the Safe Seed Pledge, I particularly like the following ten companies because I have used their seeds, and they each have something extra special about their mission, their catalog, or their business practices that fosters greater sustainability for people and planet. Each of these companies specialize in rare seed preservation, or they are employee-owned, or they focus on seeds that are adapted to a particular climate. The larger companies on this list carry open-pollinated, heirloom and hybrid seed varieties, as well as onion and garlic sets, planting potatoes, berry plants, fruit trees, tools, and more. Although you can’t reliably save hybrid seeds because of their genetics, hybrids are not GMOs, and can offer advantages like disease resistance, or special traits, colors or flavors (like seedless watermelons or “burpless” cucumbers) that you can’t find in open-pollinated and heirloom varieties. Continue reading The 10 Best Seed Companies for Heirloom and Non-GMO Seeds at Small Footprint Family™.

  • 21 Dairy Free, Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes

    Holidays can be tough for people with food allergies or sensitivities. Most traditional dishes seem to be loaded up with wheat, corn, butter, milk, and more, making it hard to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal. Fortunately, there are tasty alternatives to all the common allergens today. Here are 21 delicious, healthy, dairy free and gluten free Thanksgiving recipes to complete your main dish (turkey, Tofurkey, etc.). Each recipe is a twist on a traditional favorite that will make your holiday dinner safe and satisfying for everyone. I’ve culled together these recipes from some of my favorite real food blogs from around the web. Just click on the image to go to the blog with the recipe. These recipes are suitable for low-carb, vegetarian, Paleo or GAPS diets, but feel free to make adjustments or substitutions where needed. Recipes for Thanksgiving Leftovers Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables Black Friday Pie Dairy Free, Gluten Free Thanksgiving Side Dishes Dairy Free, Gluten Free Thanksgiving Desserts We wish you a very happy, healthy Thanksgiving holiday! Continue reading 21 Dairy Free, Gluten Free Thanksgiving Recipes at Small Footprint Family™.

  • Why You Should Soak Your Nuts and Seeds

    High in vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats, nuts and seeds are little powerhouses of nutrition. However, nuts and seeds also contain phytic acid and large amounts of enzyme inhibitors which protect them from sprouting until they have the rain and sun they need to grow. And unfortunately, these natural chemicals can be quite hard on the stomach. So, if you’ve ever had tummy trouble after eating nuts and seeds, don’t give up on them yet! Why Soak Nuts and Seeds? In nature, a seed or nut normally gets enough moisture from rain to wash off the acids and enzyme inhibitors so it can germinate and produce a plant. By soaking nuts and seeds before you eat them, you imitate nature by neutralizing these growth inhibitors, releasing the natural enzymes and vitality within them. These enzymes, in turn, increase the vitamin content of your nuts and seeds, especially the B vitamins. Soaking also makes them much easier to digest and enables their many nutrients to be more easily absorbed by your body. After you soak them, you can do one of two things: Sprout them for a few days. Continue reading Why You Should Soak Your Nuts and Seeds at Small Footprint Family™.

  • 10 Tips for a Healthy, Planet-Friendly Back-to-School

    It’s the end of the summer and time for the kids to start school, whether they’re staying home or attending in person this year. So how do you combine school’s three R’s of reading, writing and ‘rithmetic with the planet’s three R’s of reduce, reuse, and recycle? Here are 10 green back-to-school tips for a healthier school year. 1. Get new school clothes second hand. Kids outgrow clothing very quickly, so buying new clothes from retail stores not only wastes a lot of money for very little value, but “fast fashion” also contributes greatly to both sweatshop labor and environmental degradation from the GMO crops, oil-based synthetic fabrics and toxic dyes used to make them. In fact, the clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world—second only to oil! A great way to get new school clothes for free is to organize a clothing swap with family, friends or neighbors. Some communities have “Swap, Don’t Shop” events every fall, but if there isn’t one where you live, consider organizing one yourself! Continue reading 10 Tips for a Healthy, Planet-Friendly Back-to-School at Small Footprint Family™.

  • Why You Should Join a CSA This Year

    Over the last 20 years, CSA or Community Supported Agriculture has become an increasingly popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal—often organic—food directly from a farmer at a great price. Here's how it works... Continue reading Why You Should Join a CSA This Year at Small Footprint Family™.

  • How to Grow Winter Squash Organically

    Winter squashes are members of the Cucurbitaceae family and relatives of both the melon and the cucumber. Winter squashes like butternut or pumpkin have hard shells that are difficult to pierce, enabling them to have long storage periods under the right conditions, making them an essential crop for anyone trying to grow a lot of their own food. History of Growing Winter Squash Modern day squash developed from wild squash that originated in an area between Guatemala and Mexico. While squash has been grown and eaten for over 10,000 years, they were first cultivated specifically for their nutritious seeds because early squash did not contain much flesh, and what they did contain was very bitter. As time progressed, squash cultivation spread throughout the Americas, and varieties with a greater quantity of sweeter-tasting flesh were developed. Christopher Columbus brought squash back to Europe, and like many other native American foods, their cultivation was introduced throughout the world by Portuguese and Spanish conquerers. Winter Squash Varieties Today, there are hundreds of beautiful varieties of winter squash, and the largest commercial producers include China, Japan, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Egypt, and Argentina. SFF readers get 10% OFF all squash seeds at MiGardener! Continue reading How to Grow Winter Squash Organically at Small Footprint Family™.

  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About (25 Types of) Sugar

    Many people are confused about the different kinds of sugar and sweeteners available today, and whether they are healthy and safe. Here is the lowdown on 25 different types of sweetener on the market today. Continue reading Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About (25 Types of) Sugar at Small Footprint Family™.

  • Dandelion Magnesium Lotion for Muscle Cramps

    There are over 85,000 chemicals in use in our soaps, shampoos, deodorants, lotions, make-up and home cleaning products. Guess how many have been tested for safety? Almost none. Chemicals Get No Safety Testing Up until 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has mandated safety testing for only a tiny percentage of the industrial chemicals in use today. And once chemicals are in use, the burden on the EPA is so high that it has succeeded in banning or restricting only five substances: polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxin, hexavalent chromium, asbestos and chlorofluorocarbons. Because of this, hazardous chemicals have become so ubiquitous that scientists now talk about babies being born pre-polluted, sometimes with hundreds of synthetic chemicals showing up in their blood at birth. The increase of harmful chemicals—like the bisphenol A (BPA) in can linings, cash register receipts and hard plastics; the flame retardants in couches; the stain-resistant coatings on fabrics and the nonylphenols in detergents, shampoos and paints—have caused experts to call for changes to our laws to require better testing and set much stricter standards on what chemicals are allowed in the products we use every day. But until we have adequate scientific evaluation of the tens of thousands of chemicals in everyday household use (which will take years), the only way to be sure your personal care and house cleaning products are safe is to either check them against the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database, or to make your own. Continue reading Dandelion Magnesium Lotion for Muscle Cramps at Small Footprint Family™.

  • Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan)

    Is your dairy-free family obsessed with yogurt like mine? This homemade almond milk yogurt recipe is a delicious, affordable option if you and your family love yogurt but are vegan or can’t tolerate dairy products. Years ago, I made a gallon of homemade cow’s yogurt at a shot. My kids would gobble it up in a few days. It was simple to make and the control over each ingredient made me happy. Fast forward a few years. We discovered milk caused tummy aches, diarrhea, and heartburn in my kids. It was heartbreaking. My kids loved milk and yogurt! But the cost of non-dairy yogurt was a hard pill to swallow. The way my kids eat yogurt, they kick a pint size yogurt container each by 10am. I experimented with making my own almond milk yogurt. It was a rough road: Lots of failed yogurt batches and disappointed little kids when a batch didn’t pan out. We made the best of it. Here are 3 lessons I had to learn the hard way. Don’t make the same mistakes. Let’s save you time, money and frustration. 1. You Must Use Homemade Almond Milk I have attempted to make yogurt with several varieties of store-bought almond milk.  Continue reading Homemade Almond Milk Yogurt (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan) at Small Footprint Family™.

  • 10 Green New Years REVolutions

    Here are 10 things you can resolve to do this year to help make a big difference in the world, and save you some money, too. Continue reading 10 Green New Years REVolutions at Small Footprint Family™.

  • 12 Ways to Have an Eco Friendly Holiday

    Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Americans throw away a million extra tons of garbage each week. Here are twelve ways to reduce your environmental footprint this holiday season. Continue reading 12 Ways to Have an Eco Friendly Holiday at Small Footprint Family™.

  • Thanksgiving Leftovers: Black Friday Pie (Gluten-Free, Paleo)

    Named for the Friday after Thanksgiving (U.S.), when all the stores have big sales to start the winter holiday season, Black Friday Pie is an easy and delicious way to make the most of your Thanksgiving leftovers. Similar to Shepherd’s Pie, but even faster to make, you will have Black Friday Pie on the dinner table so quickly, there will be plenty of time to hit the post-holiday sales! More Leftover Recipes: Turkey Soup with Root Vegetables (Gluten Free, Paleo) Easy Roasted Butternut Squash Soup (Gluten Free, Paleo, Vegan) Print Black Friday Pie .wprm-recipe-rating .wprm-rating-star.wprm-rating-star-full svg * { fill: #343434; } This easy to make turkey pie is a very tasty way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers! Course DinnerCuisine American, GAPS, Holiday, PaleoKeyword Leftovers, Thanksgiving Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 40 minutesTotal Time 50 minutes Servings 8 servings Calories 103kcal Cost $3 Equipment 9-inch pie pan Ingredients 1-2 cups leftover mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes (or combination) 1/2 cup leftover cooked turkey cubed or shredded 1/2 cup leftover cooked green beans 1/2 cup leftover turkey gravy 1-2 cups leftover stuffing 2 Tbsp. Continue reading Thanksgiving Leftovers: Black Friday Pie (Gluten-Free, Paleo) at Small Footprint Family™.

  • 16 Ways to Eliminate Indoor Air Pollution

    According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the air we breathe inside our homes and offices can be five times more polluted than the air outside, and this may be affecting your health and the health of your family members. “Indoor air quality can be worse than outdoor air quality in almost every case,” according to William J. Calhoun, MD, professor of medicine and vice chair of the department of medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. That’s because enclosed spaces like homes and offices allow pollutants to accumulate and concentrate in the very places where we spend almost 90% of our time. Improving Air Quality Improves Your Health I believe the health of the human species directly correlates to the health of our environment. It’s not an accident so many of us are facing chronic illness, autoimmune disease and cancer at the same time that the planet has become so polluted. We are inherently interdependent with all things.To heal one, we must also heal the other. Because children, elders and people with illnesses are particularly sensitive to pollution, getting the toxins out of your air at home is just as important as getting them out of your food and water. Continue reading 16 Ways to Eliminate Indoor Air Pollution at Small Footprint Family™.

  • 10 Things You Should Not Put In Your Compost Pile

    While technically you can compost anything that was once living, some things are better left out of the compost pile for the sake of a better compost and less hassle. Here are 10 of them... Continue reading 10 Things You Should Not Put In Your Compost Pile at Small Footprint Family™.

  • 20 Perennial Vegetables to Plant Once for Years of Bounty!

    With the exception of asparagus, rhubarb and artichokes, most gardeners are unaware of the tasty, nutritious bounty that perennial vegetables can offer. Continue reading 20 Perennial Vegetables to Plant Once for Years of Bounty! at Small Footprint Family™.