Over 80 Natural Remedies to Help Beat Cold and Flu Season

Campus Bike - Sharing Locally, Impacting Globally

Saving Sharks and Their Habitats One Doll at a Time

The A to Z of Soaps - Navigating the Soap Aisle to Find the Best Soap for Your Needs

21 Green, Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Things to Do and Experience California Wine Country

nature conserve

Over 80 Natural Remedies to Help Beat
Cold and Flu Season

Wild Mint is dedicated to helping people live eco friendly, healthy and non-toxic lifestyles. Started by a mother of 6 in her quest to find safer alternatives to toxin-laden products, the company shares invaluable knowledge and resources on their website, http://www.wildmintshop.com. They are on a mission to positively influence people’s lives, Wild Mint is a one-stop source for trusted information and safer, more environmentally friendly products.

To help people fight the cold and flu this season, Wild Mint, an eco-friendly and toxin-free resource for families, released a guide with over 80 natural remedies. The list of remedies, hand selected from a group of well-informed natural living bloggers, covers a variety of recipes and suggestions from homemade cough syrups to healing teas and supplements, to naturally overcome cold and flu symptoms.

Many people prefer natural remedies to over the counter Western medicine because they believe it can help treat the root cause of the sickness, instead of just treating the symptoms. Additionally, there is strong belief that natural remedies can also help build people’s immune systems year-round to help prevent sicknesses before they begin.

 “Since our company helps people live healthier, safer lives, we thought creating a list of natural solutions to the cold and flu for people to have as an alternative to conventional drugs fell in-line with our mission,” said Wild Mint President, Hannah Helsabeck. “The list conveniently covers a variety of remedies for different symptoms, and people can save it to help treat and prevent sickness throughout the year.”

Many of the remedies, such as the Asian Pear and Honey Cough Remedy, can be made quickly with little time required. And some of the suggestions are as simple as remembering to drink lots of water (in BPA free water bottles) to stay hydrated. Click the link for the complete list of 80+ Natural Remedies for Cold & Flu Season. Or Pin It to save for future use.  www.WildMintShop.com


Campus Bike - Sharing Locally, Impacting Globally

Eco-Friendly Entrepreneurs Launch Campus Bikes to Create Bike Sharing Program That Meets College Students’ Needs

The Campus Bike project was created to transform college transportation in a healthier and more environmentally sustainable manner. Founded in August 2013, Campus Bike focuses on providing an innovative, inexpensive, and easy solution to transportation pitfalls that college students face on a daily basis. The Campus Bike team’s solution combines the flexibility and convenience of owning a bike with the accessibility of public transportation.

The vision of Campus Bike is to deliver an innovative service that will facilitate full service bicycle sharing stations on college campuses across the country. Easy, 24/7 access to these bike stations will promote health and fitness while helping the environment by providing an outlet to a non-motorized mode of self-powered transportation. The team is currently in the process of designing and developing a delivery system to make these on-campus bikes easy to access at any time. The Campus Bike stations they envision address the needs of students, faculty, and visitors who want to travel around campus without burning fossil fuels. Campus Bike is different from many traditional systems in that it will tap into emerging technologies, such as quick release fingerprint scanners, solar power, and even airless tires on the bicycles to minimize hassles and maintenance while enhancing bike rider convenience. Rapid release modules at each station will also ensure that all riders are on their way in the quickest time possible.

After months of dedication, research, and development, the team has laid the entire foundation to make this new model of on-campus transportation possible. At present, they are working closely with developers to finalize the logistics and overcome design challenges in order to bring their vision from concept to reality.

Call to Action:
The co-founders of Campus Bike are currently seeking funding which will provide them with the capital needed to move forward with the next phase of development. Once development is completed, they plan to immediately begin working with corporate sponsors to manufacture and implement these systems at their first targeted location, Baylor University.

This campaign will receive all funds raised even if it does not reach its goal. Funding duration: January 24, 2014 - March 05, 2014 (11:59pm PT).

Check out more about the Campus Bike project on their Indiegogo page: http://bit.ly/1fZ7Mk5.


Saving Sharks and Their Habitats One Doll at a Time

Indy Plush™, the makers of eco-friendly dolls and clothing that is based in Los Angeles, California has created a dynamic partnership with New York Based Shark Angels.

In 2007, three dynamic shark conservationists --Julie Andersen, Alison Kock, and Kim McCoy-- got into the water with sharks and cameras to bring attention the unnecessary destruction of sharks and their habitats. They were dubbed the “Shark Angels.” Their video grabbed enough world attention and momentum that it allowed Julie to officially form a non-profit organization by the same name.

The Shark Angels are leading a positive, contagious movement to save sharks and the oceans by raising awareness and educating children to change perspectives and connect advocates to act locally to save sharks and their critical ecosystems they support.

Indy Plush™ has created a whimsical collection of eco-friendly plush dolls and clothing that will help the Shark Angels carry out their mission. Every time a doll, t-shirt or zip-hoodie is sold, Indy Plush™ will give a generous 15% donation to the Shark Angels. Each doll carries a tag that describes the type of shark and if they are endangered, how many are left in the world. Each tag also informs the consumer that the dolls are certified green, made from fabrics sourced in the USA and filled with fibers made from 100% recycled plastic water bottles that were melted and spun in the greater Los Angeles area.

Indy Plush’s Shark Angel collectibles and clothing are now available at The Malibu Beach Supply Company, Four Seasons Hotels in Hawaii, selected boutiques throughout the continental US, the Indy Plush™ Atelier Showroom at Fisherman’s Village in Marina del Rey, and through the http://www.indyplush.com website.


The A to Z of Soaps - Navigating the Soap Aisle to
Find the Best Soap for Your Needs

French-milled or glycerine soap? Hot or cold-process or "melt and pour"? What about essential oils versus fragrance oils? Liquid or solid and what is a beauty bar, anyway? And what does natural versus organic mean? These are all choices that we are confronted with in the soap aisle. And there is little regulation that protects consumers or ensures standards. The FDA doesn't even require ingredient labeling of soap, although those who do label are required to be honest. Following are definitions of common soap types and what it means for your skin.

First, what is soap? Soap is defined as "a substance used with water for washing and cleaning, made of a compound of natural oils or fats with a strong alkali to initiate saponification, and typically having scent and coloring added. And what about those "beauty bars" and brands like Dove and Dial that you find in grocery and drug stores? They are not soap and not labeled as soap. They are detergents, with mostly or completely synthetic ingredients. Do you really want to use that on your face or sensitive skin?

Within real soaps, there are further classifications:
French-milled ( also called rebatched soap): refers to labor-intensive process whereby the initial soap from cold-process/ traditional soap is ground up, mixed with some additional oil, water and/or fragrances, heated and then poured back into a form to let cool and cure. This was initially done to recycle "bad" soap batches. Advocates often say that those process allows for some delicate oils and ingredients that would not survive the initial saponification process to be added back in. However, this has become a widely used marketing term and most "french milled' soaps are not only not from France but also are not enhanced with any meaningful amount of special ingredients, especially not if you are getting them for under $10 a bar.

Glycerin Soap: This is a very misleading term as all authentic soap contains glycerine,which is a natural bi-product of the vegetable oils and fats in the soap-making process. "Pure" glycerine soap was heavily marketed some years ago as gentle and moisturizing and the translucency appeals to some consumers associating it with purity. What most people refer to as glycerin soap is a gel-like transparent soap. Transparent soap goes through a process where the soap is continuously heated with sugar and alcohol until the mixture reaches a clear, jelly-like consistency. The alcohol prevents the soap from crystalizing so the soap remains clear. Although some soap is labeled as 100% glycerin soap, soap cannot be made with only glycerin. Transparent glycerin soaps contain alcohol along with the usual mixture needed to make all soap; oils, water and lye. Many transparent glycerin soaps contain synthetic foaming and wetting agents to prevent the hydroscopic (water attracting) qualities that result in soap deterioration. While some glycerin can feel very silky on the skin, these gel-like glycerin soap can be drying over the long term as they attract moisture from the lower layers of the skin and the added alcohol in the soap is drying as well.

Castille (Olive oil) Soap is another commonly used term. Most soap labeled as castille or olive oil soap is not actually 100% from olive oil. By itself, olive oil would make for very greasy soap, with extremely long cure times. Generally, it is one ingredient that is balanced with other oils with specific properties that consumers like, for example coconut (for lathering), castor (for lather stability) and other oils. As stated above, the law does not require soaps to be labeled with ingredients so consumers are often mislead about their "olive oil soaps." This does not mean the bar is bad, but most consumers prefer to buy products form companies that honestly label their products.

Cold-process is the traditional method for making soap,originally mixing ash with water for an alkali base and mixing that with tallow or vegetable oils to spark the transformation of the oils to soap. Over the centuries, we have migrated to more nourishing vegetable oils,or organic vegetable oils like those used by Route One Pumpkins. Each soapmaker combines various oils to achieve the specific results, but common oils are palm, coconut, olive, castor and sunflower for the base, and especially nourishing oils like pumpkin seed, jojoba, almond oil, and meadowfoam added for additional benefits. Some consumers prefer to avoid palm oil due to concerns over orangutan habitat in Malaysia. Route One Pumpkins sources organic, certified sustainable palm from Colombia, but continues to reduce the amount and does offer some palm-free options. Cold-process soaps will need to cure anywhere from 2 weeks to several months, depending on the oils used and how quickly they harden.

These soaps can be scented with essential oils (which are extracted from real plants, often with aroma-therapeutic benefits) or fragrance oils, which are synthetic but are allowed to be referred to as natural. One easy way to know, when you are buying bulk soap that doesn't show full ingredient panel is if it smells like pomegranate, cherry,strawberry, etc. it is most likely a fragrance oil and there is no essential oil from these fruits. Many real essential oils like Sandlewood and Jasmine have gotten to be so expensive that soapmakers have turned to synthetics to manage costs. If it isn't labeled as an essential oil, there is a good chance it isn't real.

Organic: Unlike the term "natural" which has no legal definition, the NOP or National Organic program offers two alternatives for labeling products organic. 1) If the product contains 95%+ of organic ingredients by weight it can qualify under the USDA (green seal) organic program and 2) if it contains 75%+ organic ingredients by weight it can qualify for the "Made with organic..." claim on the front panel. If the product contains less than 75%, then it cannot legally claim organic on the front panel, but can list organic ingredients in the ingredient panel. Either way, to be certified, the product needs to be produced in a certified facility, which incurs a lot of cost and paperwork and isn't really feasibly for a small soapmaker. Also, because soap is made with a lot of water, it is difficult to get to the 95% level unless you fully substitute water with something like organic coconut water or milk. At Route One Pumpkins, nearly all ingredients are certified organic, but the facility is not certified, so the products are not labeled organic except within the ingredient listing and in compliance with the NOP.

Prices vary by selection, lots of wonderful products to peruse.  Visit Route One Pumpkins at www.routeonepumpkins.com.

21 Green, Sustainable, Eco-Friendly Things to Do and Experience California Wine Country

“Visitors are invited to experience green, sustainable, eco-friendly events, destinations, and activities in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. From tasting the difference sustainable farming in vineyards, groves, and ranches makes; and hiking rare, protected landscapes; to distinctive art, eclectic fashion, pure, natural products and spa treatments, and more,” said Kimberly Adams, Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO. “Less-busy weekdays make for potential conversations with talented winemakers and gracious artisans. Temecula hotels and resorts also offer appealing (better-than-weekend) Sunday-through-Thursday nightly room rates.” Welcoming 2 million visitors yearly and featuring Old Town Temecula, Temecula Valley Wine Country, Pechanga Resort & Casino, and Temecula Wine Country Golf Trail, casual picturesque Temecula Valley is located 60 minutes from San Diego, Orange County, Palm Springs; 90 minutes from Los Angeles, Hollywood.

1 - Temecula Valley Wine Country World of Wine Barrel Tasting:
Recycled-Cork Art Contest (March 1 and 2)
Event includes self-guided, 30+ winery-tour; wine tasting; cuisine samplings. Vote in wineries’ recycled-cork art contest.

2 - Old Town Temecula California-Certified Farmers Markets
(March 1-15-22-29; April 5-12-19-26; May 3-10-17-24)
Fresh-picked, organic strawberries are distinctively sweet. Shop for organic lettuces, spring vegetables, avocados, citrus; free-range eggs, chicken; natural, goat-milk soap.

3 - Olive Ranch Tours (March 8-22; April 12-26; May 10-24)
Reserve for Temecula Olive Oil’s rural-countryside tours; learn about sustainable agriculture, cold pressing; taste olive oil.

4 - Grape Day: Temecula Valley Wine Country (April 17)
Aspiring/current winegrowers, vintners, and wine-curious harvest full day of Temecula Valley Winegrowers winemaking education, sustainable winegrowing insights.

5 - Earth to Wine Tours at South Coast Winery (April 21-22-23-24-25) Join exclusive tours at California certified-sustainable, 2013 California Winery-of-the-Year; includes wine pairing, chef’s selection.

6 - Recycled Art & Fashion Show at Monte de Oro Winery (April 26)
Savor wine, hors d’oeuvres; experience distinctive artwork; creative designers’ fashions.

7 - GrapeSeed Spa at South Coast Winery: Relax, Rejuvenate
Reserve to indulge in “Nature to Nurture” body treatments, luxuriant Vichy shower.

8 - Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve: Hike, See
Some of California’s rarest landscapes host wildflowers, California quail, meadowlarks. Learn of Vail family: stewards of property, 1904 to 1964.

9 - Cunningham Organic Farm: Tour, Taste
By reservation, tour, pick, sample tree crops in-season; oranges; avocados; guavas; loquats; kumquats; cherimoya; persimmons.

10 - Temecula Olive Oil Company: Taste, Shop
Old Town’s TOOC makes freshest, 100% extra-virgin, California olive oil. Savor purity at complimentary-daily tasting bar.

11 - Temecula Lavender Company: Browse, Shop
Old Town’s friendly TLC boutique handcrafts pure-ingredient, small-batch bath, body, home products: bath salts, hand lotion, candles, essential oils.  www.temeculalavenderco.com

12 - Journey at Pechanga: Golf, Dine
With respect for nature and Pechanga heritage, design/construction of highly ranked golf course preserved native California oak trees including ancient Great Oak (one of world’s oldest), and mature oaks, holes 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9. Beautiful clubhouse includes restaurant.

13 - Pechanga Resort: See, Dine
Pechanga Resort has dramatic, new, multi-million dollar, hotel lobby grand entrance. Replaced with responsibly sourced marble, 20,000 square-feet of old stamped-flooring was recycled. Water in the extraordinary focal-point water feature re-circulates. On-site are 11 restaurants.

14 - Extraordinary Artisan Table: Dine, Shop
Local artisan-food-movement champions, farm-to-plate eatery also features locally artisan-created foods (pickled vegetables; raw honey; eclectic cupcakes).

15 - Palumbo Vineyards & Winery: Tour, Taste
Reserve in advance to experience Mini-Tour and Tasting, at California certified-sustainable, artisanal wine estate; includes wine tasting.

16 - Ponte Estate Winery: Tour, Taste, Dine
Reserve for electric-bus tour of California certified-sustainable vineyard property; includes traditional wine tasting, taste from fermentation tank or oak cask. Restaurant features pizzas, sandwiches.

17 - Foot Path Winery: Wine Taste
Visit California certified-organic vineyards and small, no-frills winery tasting room (handcrafted reds).

18 - Monte de Oro Winery: Tour, Taste, Dine
By reservation, experience Barrel Tour and Tasting (Fridays-Saturdays-Sundays); includes traditional wine tasting, taste from oak barrel in subterranean cellar. Bistro serves pasta, paninis.

19 - Callaway Winery: Tour, Learn, Dine
Learn about sustainable vineyard practices; visit demonstration vines, crush pad, fermentation cellars, barrel room; tours, daily. Local, fresh, restaurant menu features tapas, entrees. www.callawaywinery.com

20 - Oak Mountain Winery’s new Cave: Tour
Call ahead or see website about under-construction tours; completion, autumn with tasting room, banquet room, barrel-storage.

21 - Wilson Creek Winery: Tour, Taste, Dine
Weekends, ask about environmentally conscious, vineyard efforts on wine-tasting tours. Restaurant serves salads, sandwiches.

Information current at time of publication.  Always call ahead to verify.  Info subject to change.  For more great things to do in Temecula Valley, visit www.VisitTemecula.org