Saturday, April 30, 2011

Celebrate Earth Day Everyday

Earth Day 2011 was on April 22nd, but you know, it's not too late to start celebrating everyday! Earth day is a day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment. Jim and I have slowly made some changes around the house and in the way we live that I believe have made a big positive impact on the environment. First of all, we started recycling religiously. As many wine bottles that we go through a week.... It was a simple change, but we now look to see if each piece of trash is recyclable and lucky for us, Austin has a great recycle program.

Jim has also gone through the house and changed out the lights to more efficient light bulbs to save on energy and they also last longer.  Earlier this year we purchased some energy efficient appliances. The new front loading washer and dryer is I had no idea how much more "efficient" they would be. I wash on the cold setting most of the time because the washer does such a good job and that saves energy by not heating the water . The dryer also completely drys our clothes in a quarter of the time our old dryer did. One of my favorite change was the new energy efficient dishwasher. It got me thinking about what other small changes can I make in the kitchen (my domain) which would please mother earth.

Earlier this month HEB sent me a gift basket with a number of their Central Market Organics breakfast items. In honor of Earth Day I was asked to review the basket. I've previously tried a few of the Central Market Organic products and have always been impressed with taste and quality. This was a great opportunity for Jim and I to try some items that we may not have picked up on our own. Here are the products that came in the basket:
  • Central Market Organics Agave Nectar 
  • Central Market Organics Coffee (French Roast, Sumatra Mandheling and the Breakfast Blend)
  • Central Market Organics Licorice Peppermint Tea
  • Central Market Organics Peanut Butter Dots Cereal
  • Central Market Organics Oats and Flax Instant Oatmeal
  • Central Market Organics Vanilla Almond Milk
  • Central Market Organics Rice Vanilla Milk
It was obvious that the Central Market brand offered by H-E-B represents a passion for food and a commitment to buying organic. By choosing organics, you’re helping to reduce the chemical runoff in our ground water sources and to reduce the use of environmentally harmful artificial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides commonly used on conventional crops. 

I read online that tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water and for a lot of people it's a way of life. Researchers say that drinking three or more cups of tea a day is as good for you as drinking plenty of water and may even have extra health benefits.

Many conventional tea plantations are converting to organic after seeing the harmful effects of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The conventional way of growing tea is also non-sustainable. It leads to soil erosion and disease, and the pesticides are a health hazard for the workers who pick the leaves. Organic tea is said to provide a fuller and richer taste, which is healthier for consumption.

The CM Organics Licorice Peppermint tea was a favorite product of mine. This tea was sweet and minty and although caffeine free, it tasted like a bright wake up call each morning. It was a great feeling to know that the tea is made with organic peppermint grown on the slopes of the Pacific Northwest mountains. Bonus: The box it comes in is made from 100% recycled cardboard and the tea is in a biodegradable pyramid tea bag. Sip responsibly!

I like my morning tea just a tad sweet, so I tried the CM Organics Light Agave Nectar and it was fabulous! Want to know what else the Agave Nectar was great for?

My Skinny Margarita! Tequila is pressed from blue agave (ah-GAH-vay). Agave nectar is pressed from wild agave. The former is agave juice that has been distilled and fermented; the latter is agave juice that has been heated until reduced to a syrup. The resulting nectar is sweeter than sugar, runnier than honey and only slightly less maple-y than most Grade A maple syrups.
What better sweetener to accentuate agave than agave? Here are the proportions for this recipe:
  • 6 parts blue agave tequila
  • 4 parts lime juice
  • 1 part agave nectar
Now this is the perfect "skinny" margarita! You can find this Agave Nectar along with the other CM Organic line at your local Central Market or some HEB grocery stores. Thank you HEB for the opportunity to review.

What changes can your family make to celebrate Earth Day everyday?

Disclosure: HEB sent me this gift basket gratis in exchange for my unbiased and unpaid review. All opinions in the post are mine!

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