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As spring brings light and length to our days, our hair begins to come out from under our winter hats. Now is a great time to think treating your hair to a little extra TLC.

Healthy hair is actually more about doing less than about doing more. The loss of your gloss is actually due to the unhealthy practices of over washing, blow drying, and using chemical products. Even the best shampoo washes out the natural oils in your hair, leaving hair dry even after using conditioner. The first steps to healthy hair are wash your hair less, only once or twice a week. Rotate between shampoos to keep things balanced. Use a gentle, non-detergent based shampoo.

A healthy, balanced diet also contributes to both healthy hair and skin. Brushing your hair and scalp massages not only feel good but help to distribute your natural oils and stimulate blood flow to the hair follicles.

Instead of hair conditioner, consider using an herbal hair rinse or herbal vinegar rinse. You can buy an herbal rinse from companies like Honey Bee Holistics, with their Organic Rosemary Hair Rinse for itchy scalps, or a Sage Herbal Hair Rinse from Dragonfly Herbs. However, it’s also easy to make your own with a little patience.

Here’s a recipe for a vinegar hair rinse for dry hair.

1 oz. nettle

1 oz. marshmallow root

1 oz. calendula

Apple cider vinegar

Drops of an essential oil of your choice (peppermint or myrrh is great for dry hair)

Distilled water

1. Fill a quart jar halfway with the herbs. Cover them with the vinegar and cap tightly. Place in a warm spot for 3-4 weeks. Shake it daily to keep the mixture agitated.

2. After 3-4 weeks, strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer or double cheesecloth. Add the essential oils, rebottle it in a plastic bottle, and store this is your bathroom.

3. Before you take a bath, dilute the rinse with distilled water. For dry hair, dilute 1 part rinse with 6 parts water. After you shampoo, pour the vinegar rinse through your hair, massaging it into your scalp. Rinse with warm water and if you can stand it, cold water too.

You can play with the essential oils in this mix to give it different scents, but I chose peppermint not only for its properties but also because it is invigorating and awakens the senses. You can also use essential oils such as lavender or chamomile for normal hair, or lemon, patchouli, rosemary, and tea tree oils for oily hair.

I encourage you to get your hair out from under that hat, grab a friend, and exchange head massages with a drop of your favorite essential oil. You’ll thank me!

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posted by Lydia Krupinski

It’s the eve of the eve of Valentine’s Day and you’ve totally forgotten to get a gift for your sweetie! What do you do? Make a handmade eco-friendly gift of course! Pinterest and blogs are teaming with easy tutorials that will give a personal spin on your v-day gift giving.

My favorite is the Birds on a Wire project. Unisex, stylish, and upcycled, this mini-art piece will speak volumes to your crush. Not into birds? Change up the subject to match your own message. This simple and easy-to-make project gives you the flexibility to take it in any direction you choose.

Do you have another suggestion for a handmade gift? Post your ideas in the comments below!

by Lydia Krupinski
Do a search for eco resolutions and you’ll see a flurry of articles that will encourage you to use fabric shopping bags, change your light bulbs and skip bottled water. These are great tips for the entry-level eco-curious – but if we really want to push ourselves we should set the bar much higher. Isn’t that the point of resolutions in the first place? To challenge us to change behaviors and grow as individuals?

My mother had a brilliant insight several months back. When discussing sustainability movements and green trends she commented that, “What you are describing is how I lived as a kid.” And she’s right! Growing up in rural Poland my mother and her family rarely drove, grew their own food, mended clothes, and lived life simply, yet fully.

To make 2012 the year you make a real change – try to “Go Retro.” You’ll find yourself living a simpler lifestyle that will reduce your ecological footprint while adding a bit of vintage spice to your life.

Here are some potential “Go Retro” resolutions: Read the rest of this entry »

Here is a collection of favorite items from my hubby and my Etsy hearts! The following are the perfect gifts for the discriminating green gentleman. Many of the items featured below can even be found locally – should you fear last-minute online shopping.

1) No Bottle Shampoo & Conditioner Pack by Ethically Engineered

2) Underwood Typewriter Necktie by Cyberoptix

3) Wooden Slingshot Catapult by Gift Go Green

4)  la pluie de pluie partent Print by Little Pink Pebble

5) Avant-Gardener T-Shirt by Black Sheep Heap

6) Wood Ear Bud Holder by Acoustic Design

7) Reclaimed Wood & Iron Steel Headboard by Blake Avenue

Not numbered: Vintage Camera Bilora Bella 127 Camera from Good Bones Vintage

Talk about carbon omission offsets – O’Hare International Airport recently unveiled it’s newest piece of interior decor – an edible vertical garden. While I’m not completely convinced that the airport has all of its intentions aligned with the traditional urban farmer – this effort to showcase alternative green space deserves mention. To learn more about the garden and who was behind it, check out the whole story here.

By Lydia Krupinski

If you’re anything like me you’ve procrastinated with writing your New Year’s Resolutions for 2011. Seeing that we’re still in the first few days of the year I think there is no shame in getting them in a tad late. Perhaps this can be a resolution in and of itself!

To help you come up with at least one eco-minded goal for the New Year we’ve compiled the following suggestions: Read the rest of this entry »

Photo from the Green Festival website

We’ve been waiting for this – the moment when the Green Festival rolls into town!

This weekend we will be attending the eco-extravaganza that is hailed as one of the top green events to hit Chicago. Last year we learned about conscious non-profits, scoped out some fun vegan tees and jewelry, loaded up on holistic body care samples, and tasted some incredible local cuisine.

The event is also sprinkled with children’s activities, green-living workshops, presentations, and more! Check out A Fresh Squeeze’s Insiders Guide” before heading out and print out a free pass!

What: Green Festival

Where: Navy Pier

When: Saturday, May 22nd 10-7 and Sunday, May 23rd 11-6

Cost: $10 or free if you ride your bike!

To celebrate the people and places that make Chicago green, Mindful Metropolis is accepting nominations for its “Best of Mindful Chicago” list. Visit their site to cast your ballot for your favorite green destinations: from restaurants and boutiques, to blogs and bookstores.

“Nominate people, businesses, organizations and communities that deserve recognition for the way they incorporate mindful practices. These practices may include any or all of the following: use of green products, use of sustainable materials, recycling initiatives, holistic healing, fostering of community, kindness and compassion. These businesses and organizations make a difference in the lives of their clients, patrons and community by making sure every facet is mindful.” Mindful Metropolis

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