"There is more to life than increasing its speed." -- Mohandas Gandhi
"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need forComplicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the Philosophy is kindness." --- Dalai Lama
"This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet." ---Rumi
"All that we are is a result of all that we have thought" ---Bhudda
"If every household in the US replaced one bottle of shower cleaner containing chlorine bleach with a hydrogen-peroxide-based shower cleaner we could prevent 1 million pounds of chlorine from entering our environment."
"If every household in the US replaced just one box of 48 oz petroleum-based powder laundry detergent with a vegetable-based product we could save 96,000 barrels of oil."
"Not by harming life does one become noble.One is termed noble for being gentle to all living things." ---Dhammapada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
"If every household in the US replaced just one box of 85-sheet virgin-fiber facial tissue with recycled ones, we could save 280,000 trees."
"He who knows that all things are his mind, That all with which he meets are friendly, Is ever joyful." ---Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
"If every household in the US replaced just one 25 oz bottle of petroleum-based dishwashing liquid with a plant-based product, we could save 81,000 barrels of oil."
"In whom there dwells no self-deception and no pride, Who is desireless, whose wrath is put away, whose self hath cool become --He is Brahmin." ---Udana
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." ---- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of the decisions on the next seven generations." ---Great Law of the Iroquois
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." ---- Dalai Lama
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ---Mahatma Gandhi

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Archive for the ‘fresh air’ Category.

Spring Cleaning Your Bedroom

It’s been a mild winter for many of us, but that doesn’t mean we’re not giddily anticipating spring. On the next warm day, try opening your bedroom windows and airing out your sleeping space. And here are some tips for keeping your bedding fresh, clean and sanitary so you can count sheep, healthy and worry-free.

  1. Your mattress should be aired out twice a year. If you have the space, it’s a great idea to bring the mattress out into the sunshine for a few hours (UV rays kill mold and mildew)… then don’t forget to flip it over when you put it back on the bed. If you can’t bring it outside, another option is to prop your mattress up in a well-ventilated room and open all the windows for a few hours.
  2. Then, vacuum your mattress to eliminate dust, mites and dead skin.
  3. Wash your pillows in the bathtub (or on gentle cycle in the machine, if they’re down) with some mild liquid detergent, then put them in the dryer with a brand new, clean tennis ball to fluff them back up.
  4. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to wash not just your sheets, but all your bedding — including quilts, blankets and mattress covers.
  5. While your bed is dismantled, it’s a great idea to vacuum those hard-to-reach spots underneath!
  6. A spritz of diluted essential oils makes a great air freshener. You can buy essential oils at Whole Foods and most natural markets and pharmacies.  Simply mix 20-30 drops in a glass spray bottle with water, and use to freshen up your sleeping quarters with the aroma of your choice. We particularly like: lavender (it has a calming effect — the better for sleeping), peppermint (it’s cooling and sweet), and eucalyptus (an invigorating, sinus-clearing scent!).

It’s a big job, but the benefits are worth it. You’ll sleep better (and who knows, maybe even snore a little less!) with clean, cared-for bedding.

Plants: Nature’s Air Purifiers

Houseplants are a great way to improve the air quality in your home, especially if you live in an urban area where fresh air is a luxury. As the winter months settle in, houseplants will keep your home’s atmosphere healthy… and your spirits are buoyed by the green, too.

Different houseplants are known for different purifying properties:

  • If you have a diagnosed issue with formaldehyde, for example, stock up on any of the following genuses: aloe vera, philodendron, bamboo, rubber plants, English ivy, ficus, or Boston ferns.
  • The Draceana known as “Janet Craig” is great at sucking up cigarette smoke.
  • Dwarf Date Palms can neutralize xylene, a toxin found in paint and solvents.
  • Peace lilies mask acetone (like in nail polish remover).
  • Spider plants are a remedy for carbon monoxide. (Although if you suspect a carbon monoxide issue in your house, best to get a carbon monoxide alarm and have it looked at right away!)
  • Mums (aka chrysanthemums) take care of the scent of ammonia.
  • Palms (like the Areca Palm or Lady Palm) are great catchalls for generally clean air. Like a splash of color? Gerbera Daisies are good for this, too.

NASA has actually conducted an official study on the matter (The Clean Air Study, natch), so if you want to hear what the scientists have to say, Wikipedia hosts the breakdown of common houseplants and how they rate: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_air-filtering_plants

Car Air Fresheners That Don’t Smell Like the 70s

If your car is starting to smell a little funky from the summer sweat, there’s a subtle, natural way to clear the air that doesn’t involve hanging tacky, artificial-smelling Christmas tree air fresheners from your rearview. And you can choose your own flavor from a range of essential oils.


  • A few same-sized squares of a breathable fabric (Cheesecloth is great for this and can be found in most kitchen supply stores, and even in the kitchen supply aisle of your local grocery.)
  • A handful of cotton balls
  • Several drops of your favorite essential oil (Suggestions: cedar, citrus, sandalwood, peppermint)

Sprinkle essential oil onto the cotton balls until they are pungent but not soaked. Place the cotton balls on one square of fabric, place another square over the top like a piecrust, and then either stitch, glue, or staple the two squares together.

If you’re feeling particularly inspired, you can attach a string or ribbon to hang the newfangled air freshener from your rearview. Else, just toss it in the console or under a seat. And enjoy the luxury of being stuck in traffic in a sweet-smelling, refreshingly summery car!