How to pick a Green Wine

It’s no secret I love a good glass of wine. With the 100’s of bottles to choose from it might be difficult to find the best one for you. Many wines declare they are green, but what do all the labels on the bottles really mean?

100 Percent Organic – The US Government regulates the term “Organic”. To have this on the label the wine has to have been grown using NO commercial fertilizers or pesticides. It also can not have been grown using any commercial fungicides or herbicides.  Basicly no chemical or GMO’s.

Biodynamic – The concept of Biodynamics started in the 1920’s with an Austrian philosopher named Rudolph Steiner. It is a holistic, homeopathic manner of farming that, of course, also includes viticulture. It is the oldest, anti-chemical agricultural movement that predates the creation of organic farming by about twenty years. This wine is grown in a vineyard that is approached as its own Ecosystem. It does not follow common wine making manipulations like adding yeast or adjusting the acidity in the wine. Thsi wine is grown using no chemicals or GMO’s.

Sustainable – This is just a step down from the Organic. Meaning it is less restrictive. Some herbicides are allowed for this label. The vineyard that uses this wine designation follows energy conservation, for example rain water and winery waste water are captured and used to irrigate the vineyard. Most sustainable vineyards also follow Social Responsibility and economically viable practices.

Vegan – Some times during the wine making process egg whites,  fish oils, gelatin or other animal products are used to filtering the wine. Thankfully, there are several common fining agents that are animal-friendly and used to make vegan wine. Carbon, limestone, plant casein, and vegetable plaques are all alternatives. You can check your local organic or health food stores, local organic winemakers, and co-op’s, and most regular wine/liquor stores will order vegan wines upon request if they do not carry them already. To get a Vegan label no animal products are used in the process.

 

Water- if you don’t get a filter, you are going to become a filter

Water if you don't get a fliteryou are going to become a filter

I was doing some reading this week and come crossed this great quote from one of my favorite teachers David Wolfe.

“If you don’t get a filter you are going to become a filter”

He’s talking about water, and it got me thinking about all the water I drink. What is in our water? Do we really need a filter?

Here at The Ahimsa Life water is every thing! The best thing you can do to keep your body healthy is drink enough water.  But whats in the water coming out of our tap?

First thing you need to do is become educated. Visit the National Water database. On this site you can input your zip code and your water company and get the latest test results about the water in your area. I just did mine, and I am glad I am using a filter. My water has over 138 contaminates in it, including radiated soil and Tetrachlorethylene, a common solvent used in dry cleaning, automotive, and metal work! Commonly called “dry cleaning Fluid”, the health effects of drinking water contaminated with Tetrachlorethylene are liver problems and increased cancer risk.

For me, personally that was enough to make me do some thing about the water my family uses. I glanced at some of the others, and saw words like radiation particles, radioactive, and decided I did not even need to look in to the 137 more toxins.

My next question was is the filter I am using good enough? Whats the best way to remove these toxins?

There are six types of filters you can get, pitcher/large-dispenser, faucet mounted, faucet integrated, on-counter, under-sink, and whole house.

With in Those six you have a few types of systems for removing water toxins, the most common are

 

  • Carbon filters (pitcher, tap-mounted or large dispenser) are affordable and can reduce many common water contaminants, like lead and byproducts of treatment processes.
  • Reverse osmosis filters remove contaminants that carbon filters can’t eliminate, like arsenic and perchlorate (rocket fuel), but can be costly.

I suggest you make the choice on which one is right for you by looking at your budget, and reading up on what best removes the toxins you have in your water. The EWG web site also has a list on what filters work best for your specific toxins.

The best filter for toxins in my area is a filter containing GAC (granular activated carbon). With a quick search, I found some on Amazon, they were between $89-$100 for counter top versions that can connect directly to my faucet. Since I do not like to buy plastic water bottles, and drink a ton of water, I think this sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Did you go to the National Water Database and check out the water in your area?

P

Movie Review! Bag It

 

plastic bag turtule

My review of Bag it the movie.

 

Q.What is the worlds number 1 consumable item?
A. Plastic shopping bags

I was recently told about the movie Bag it! A documentary about plastics, specifically plastic shopping bags.
I try to bring my reusable bags with me where ever I go. But like most people, I am not always prepared for an impromptu stop, and am asked the famous question, paper or plastic? I know enough to feel bad, and swear I will try to do better next time, but why?
Bag It does a great job of explain it all with loads of facts, lots of experts, and most of all a great funny attitude for a serious problem.
The movie is broken down into easy to digest pieces, what is the problem with plastic? where does it go? Is it bad for us, and why? We follow Jeb Berrier as he embarks on a quest to find out more about the plastic we have come to rely on.

Jeb is not a radical environmentalist with an agenda, but a lovable guy next door type with a few questions he wants answered. He goes well beyond plastic shopping bags, and the cities who have successfully (San Fransisco) and unsuccessfully (Seattle) banned them. Since the movie came out Seattle has passed a ban on plastic bags that went in effect July 2012. Jeb covers environmental impacts of all plastics, what these plastics are doing to us, the earth and the animals, and what we should do about it. His search for answers changes the way he lives his daily life, Will it change yours?
It was clear, funny and inspired me to get up immediately and put some smaller bags in my purse so I am always prepared.
Bag It! is available on Amazon Instant if your a prime member, or you can rent the movie. Its worth a watch. 

Watch the trailer here!