Healthy Living Organic  &  Green Living

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    Allergy season is upon us, my friends. Are you ready? It's time to gather your allergy survival kit. We asked our fellow sufferers what must-have remedies they keep on hand every year -- besides the obvious boxes and boxes of the softest tissues you can find. Oh, and the big guns: Steroid nasal spray and allergy shots. Yikes! We're talking about soothers you can get without a prescription and keep in a basket on your desk, in your bedside table drawer, and in your glove compartment.

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    Say it isn't so! A new study reveals the happiest shade on the color spectrum isn't as mellow as we think. The yellow dyes found in items that many of us have in our homes -- because, let's face it, yellow is pretty -- could contain a dangerous chemical called PCB-11. Yep, everything from our towels and kids' pajamas to papers and the very paint on our walls may contain traces of polychlorinated biphenyls, which are linked with cancer, birth defects, irritations, developmental problems in children, and severe acne.

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    People of Earth, a new age of hand-washing is dawning: The tyrannical reign of triclosan (and its attendant weird smell) is coming to an end at last. Not only is there no evidence that the stuff helps prevent the spread of germs, the FDA says antibacterial soap may pose health risks. Soon, manufacturers of antibacterial washes will have to prove their product is safer and more effective than plain ol' soap and water if they want to keep peddling their goods. And wow -- it only took the FDA 40 years to come to this conclusion.

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    Feeling the spring pollen allergies yet? Here's some really weird news. Apparently being born in the U.S. puts you at a higher risk for allergies. Kids born outside the US are less likely to have allergy diseases like asthma, eczema, hay fever, and food allergies than kids born here. And even if you're born outside the U.S., your chances of coming down with those allergy diseases is higher if you move here. Yikes, why are so many of us allergic to America?

    Well, the short story is doctors don't really know for certain. But they have a few ideas. Here's what some suspect are causing our allergies, and what you might want to do about it.

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    Poor egg yolks. They get a bad rap. They're loaded with cholesterol and they're fatty and they'll make you a fatty and then you'll die. Except they're actually the most nutritious part of an egg and eating them will not raise your cholesterol levels (science says so!) so why all the egg yolk angst? That's the best part of the egg, and people all over America are depriving themselves out of this misguided notion that they're deadly. It just makes me sad!

    Egg yolks aren't the only foods that get unfairly judged as unhealthy.

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    Good morning, New Year Resolvers! Who else has pledged to eat healthier this year? I know I have, so I've been scouring the Internets for healthy food blogs. I'm talking daily inspiration -- blogs that support my goals for a healthy new year, with recipes for high energy and a robust immune system.

    I've been reading a lot lately about what makes change possible. It's not always about will power! Sometimes it's about finding inspiration and tearing down barriers. And when it comes to making healthy changes in your life, those barriers could be time, money, and kitchen skills. Here are 10 websites that will help you overcome those barriers and inspire you with yummy-looking nutrition superhero recipes you can make for the whole family.

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    Spring has sprung, but hopefully the springs on your bicycle seats haven't done the same, because this is the time of year to get out and hit the trails or wherever there's road to meet the rubber on your tires ... which hopefully aren't flat.

    Now is the time to dig your bikes out from under the discarded Christmas lights (yours are down now, aren't they?), brush away the cobwebs, and get your family rides ready to ride. With gas prices what they are, bikes offer a great alternative method of travel as well as a fun way to exercise and relax.

    Of course, you can take them into a bike shop for a tune-up, but you can also do the work yourself and save a few bucks. Here are a few tips to help get your bike in gear:

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    The following is a post from our sponsor, Brita.

    The FilterForGood campaign raises awareness of simple changes everyone can make to live eco-friendly lives. Help us improve the environment one bottle at a time by staying hydrated with filtered water and a reusable bottle instead of disposable bottled water.

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    Last month, a Pew poll showed that 53 percent of Republicans said there is no evidence of climate change. Clearly, they're not interested in listening to the 97 percent of scientists who agree that human-created carbon emissions from cars, factories, etc. are turning up the temperature of our planet. But that's OK. Those of us who know what's really happening may get a kick out of the latest "fix" that researchers say could result in a healthier Earth: Birth control.  

    That's right. A new report from the Worldwatch Institute (an independent research organization that focuses on climate & energy, food & agriculture, and the Green Economy) states that better access to contraception could, in fact, fight global warming.

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    Would you possibly be able to give up your car? The place where you can indulge your NPR habit, the place where you have a few minutes of peace commuting back and forth to work or your kids' school, the thing that houses all those reusable grocery bags, two strollers, and a month's supply of baby wipes so you never have to worry about running out?

    Some people do, and never look back. Tammy Stroebel wrote about doing so for Wise Bread and estimates she and her husband save over $10,000 per year by not having cars anymore ... and she didn't reveal this, but you know they have admirable quadriceps as well from all that pedaling.

    Moms have different concerns when it comes to car-free living, though; here are some pros and cons to giving up your automobile for a life on two wheels:

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