Walk in These Shoes: Green Shoe Styles

Many of us are making more eco-friendly choices. We’re learning to say no to the super plastic, battery-laden, shipped around the world, in a mega-sized package toys and saying yes to local, handmade toys made from natural materials.


We’re saying no to socially and ecologically unconscious coffees and saying yes to fair trade coffee. Sometimes our green options are clear, like eco-friendly, non-toxic and biodegradable household cleaners verses, well all of the toxic ones.

On the other hand, or on the other foot perhaps, sometimes we just aren’t even aware that there are greener options available. If you’re trying to walk down the green path, just what are you walking on?

Walking and cycling are of course great eco-friendly, not to mention healthy, transportation alternatives but are you’re shoes planet-friendly?

As Fashion Week kicked off in Berlin, showing off the winter collection for 2010, there were shoes of many, many colors but some were also “green.” One new line is the BIO-D Biodegradable Shoes from Simple Shoes.

Thomas Briel, of Simple Shoes explains the scary truth about shoes. “The big problem with shoes is the sole,” said Briel “It takes about 1,000 years to compost the average shoe…”

The new BIO-D shoes will break down in the landfill in about 20 years verses 1,000. There’s a technology involved that ensures that the shoes won’t begin to break down under normal wear conditions and the process will only begin under the condition found in a landfill.

The price? The Bio-D shoes are 90 to 120 euros.

Are there other “greener” options beyond wearing the same shoes for 20 years or buying them at a second hand store? We all know that buying less is important but if we just have to have new shoes are there more options that are more eco-conscious? Sure there’s plenty of green washing out there too.

We have to be realistic about what is greener verses what is truly green. But it’s good to know what eco-friendly efforts are at hand, even for our feet.

Read this: Keeping Your Child Safe Goes Beyond Baby-Proofing


El Naturalista by Organico are green shoes that actually come in lots of colors including red.

What makes them greener than the average shoes?

  • They have a recycled foot bed and stream leather tanned using vegetable extracts and ground tree bark.

Ebony by Patagonia, which gives a portion of all of your Patagonia purchases to 1% for the Planet.

What makes them greener than the average shoes?

  • Ebony shoes have 100% recycled soles and the midsoles are from 20% recycled materials too.

Grass are by Terra Plana, a shoemaker that sources locally and uses recycled materials.

What makes them greener than the average shoes?

  • In addition to using recycled materials, Terra Plana focuses on lightweight designs to reduce shipping load.

Toematoe by Simple Shoes is one of the greenest and most popular eco-friendly shoe brands.

What makes them greener than the average shoes?

  • Toematoe shoes are made from organic cotton and wool with a bamboo lining, cork bed and water based cements. Simple Shoes also makes Eco-boots made from natural materials including buttons made from coconut shells.

What’s in your shoes?


Keeping Your Child Safe Goes Beyond Baby-Proofing

As a new parent, you probably know that you should babyproof your home. If you have an older child, you probably teach them to pick up their small toys. You probably put a gate in front of the stairs and made sure that you put plugs on all of your electrical outlets.

Keeping a Toddler Safe

You might think that you have finished making your home safe for your child, but once your baby becomes a toddler, there is a new set of safety hazards to worry about.

Toddlers are capable of reaching objects that they never could reach before, moving furniture and objects that allow them to flip light switches and climb onto window ledges, and will be capable of getting into more trouble than they ever had before.

There are several things that you can check to make sure that your toddler stays safe.


Your toddler will be able to open doors before you know it. If you don’t want them wandering into the bathroom to play in the toilet, or opening the outside door and wandering around the neighborhood, you should purchase safety covers for your doorknobs.

If you have a glass door, put decals at your child’s eye level to prevent them from running into the glass.

You may also like: Tips for Taking Your Child’s Temperature


The cords from blinds and drapes have been known to strangle children. Shorten them so that your child will not be a victim. Keep in mind that your toddler could stand on a chair by the window and grab the cords.

If any of your windows are not on the first floor, be sure to lock them to prevent your child from falling out.


Toddlers can reach (or climb) onto tables. If you use glass cups, plates, or bowls, make sure that you put them away after you are done with them. Install child-proof locks on cupboards where you store your dishes.


Keep knives out of your toddler’s reach. Keep cleaning supplies, dishwasher detergent, and other poisonous items in a latched drawer or cupboard. Turn pot handles towards the back; using back burners is preferable.

Install an oven lock and knob covers to keep your child from opening the oven door and turning on the stove. If you can, gate off the kitchen to keep your child out of the kitchen completely.


Toddlers love water play, and the toilet can be a lot of fun when you are one or two years old. Install toilet locks. Be sure to keep medicines, other poisonous items, and items that could be dangerous in locked cabinets.

Your child might want to unroll the toilet paper too, so try to keep the bathroom door shut. Never leave a toddler unattended in the bathtub.

Climbing Tools

Toddlers enjoy climbing on chairs, ladders, stools, toys, and anything else that will help them reach up high. Try to keep these away from your toddler as much as possible.

Falling Hazards

Bookshelves and dressers look fun for a toddler to try to climb. Unfortunately, bookshelves can tip over and fall on an unsuspecting child. Secure these items to the wall. Toddlers could also knock down large floor lamps, so remove them if at all possible.

Your child might also figure out how to pull down tablecloths, so keep heavy or breakable objects off the dining room table to keep your child from injury.

Toddlers learn a wide variety of skills that help them gain independence, but they lack the wisdom to keep safe in a typical American home.

Taking extra safety precautions, beyond the measures you took when your child was an infant, will help keep them safe while they figure things out.


Tips for Taking Your Child’s Temperature

Every parent has experienced their little one feeling feverish and sick. Fevers can often be the body’s way of fighting off infections, so it can be a good thing. However, it is natural for a parent to worry about their child when they feel warm.

Tips for Taking Your Child's Temperature

It is important to take a child’s temperature to get a more accurate idea of how serious the illness may be.

The following are a few tips on how to take your child’s temperature:

  • Always use a digital thermometer. Mercury thermometers have been known to be dangerous due to the mercury.
  • Rectal thermometers are more accurate in taking temperatures. You can use an oral thermometer in a child older than 3 months unless otherwise directed by the doctor.
  • Make sure you keep the rectal and oral thermometers labeled to be sure you do not accidentally mix them up.
  • Always wash the thermometer before use. Clean it in lukewarm water with soap. Rinse well with cool water. After use, clean it with rubbing alcohol and wash with cool, soapy water.
  • Be sure not to take your child’s temperature after a bath, for that will influence the reading. Also, do not bundle up your child too tightly while taking their temperature.
  • If the temperature is taken orally, be sure to wait at least 20 minutes after your child has eaten or drank anything. This can also influence the reading.
  • When taking the temperature rectally, lay your child on their on belly across your lap. Make sure you cover the tip of the thermometer with Vaseline. Do not force the thermometer if you feel any resistance. Also, be sure to not let go of the thermometer.
  • When taking the temperature orally, place the thermometer under the tongue. Try to make sure your child keeps his or her mouth closed around the thermometer.
  • Never leave a child unattended while using a thermometer.
  • If your child’s temperature is higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, it is time to call the doctor to see if your child requires medication.
  • Make sure you follow directions on using the chosen thermometer. Be sure to wait the right amount of beeps before taking out the thermometer and recording the temperature.
  • In addition to taking your child’s temperature, note any other symptoms the child may be having. This will help the doctor make a more accurate diagnosis.



No Carbohydrate Diets Best at Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

No Carbohydrate Diets Best at Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

A study by Duke University Medical Center researchers has recently compared low carbohydrate diets and their effect on blood sugar control and found that the lowest carbohydrate diets are better at controlling type 2 diabetes, which is a condition that affects the way the body metabolizes sugar.

No Carbohydrate Diets Best at Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

The study compared low carbohydrate diets, one with the lowest possible rating of the glycemic index. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates based upon their effect on blood glucose levels.

Patients who followed the no glycemic diet were able to reduce, and in some cases eliminate, their medication to control type 2 diabetes. The findings of the study lead by Eric Westman, MD, director of Duke’s Lifestyle Medicine Program, are published online in Nutrition and Metabolism.

Westman stated that a no-glycemic diet is better at improving blood sugar. Stated simply, people who cut out carbohydrates lower their blood sugar. Losing weight helps the blood sugar go down even further.

Type 2 Diabetes

According to the Mayo Clinic website, type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s metabolism for sugar, Type 2 diabetes is often preventable but is on the rise, largely due to the current epidemic of obesity.

While there is no cure for type 2 diabetes, the condition can often be managed by eating healthy foods, exercising daily and maintaining a healthy eight. If the condition cannot be controlled by diet and exercise, you may need to take diabetes medication.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes are increased thirst, frequent urination, extreme hunger, weight loss, and fatigue, and blurred vision, slow healing sore and frequent infections.

The condition can progress into more serious long term complications, such as heart disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, eye damage, foot damage, skin conditions, osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have symptoms of Type 2 diabetes, see your doctor for a proper diagnoses.

Low Carbohydrate Diet

A low carbohydrate is generally a nutrition plan that restricts food high in carbohydrates, such as breads and pasta.

Low Carbohydrate Diet

Foods that are low in carbohydrates include meats and some vegetables. Examples of low carbohydrate diets are the Atkins Plan and South Beach Diet. Low carbohydrate or no carbohydrate diets are not for everybody, as some people find them difficult to follow.

Talk to you physician about whether a low carb diet is appropriate for you.

Information is this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have a medical condition, discuss questions with your physician.


Are Alternative Medical Therapies Worth the Money?

The use of alternative medicine is either scoffed at or wholeheartedly endorsed by people who have used it. But are these alternative medical practices really worth it? Read ahead to compare which therapies are right for you-and your wallet.


Acupuncture is a ancient Chinese medical practice that using needles inserted in various places of the body to balance a person’s yin and yang. It is mainly used to ward of disease or to ease a person’s physical pain. Treatment ranges between $50-100 per treatment. Some health insurance do cover acupuncture, so check your policy.

Research has found acupuncation to be safe and effective for both the treatment of pain and nausea.


St. John's Wort

Various herbs (like oolong tea and St. John’s Wort) have been found to have healing properties. The cost can range from $10-20 per 100 capsules. Insurance companies typically do not cover the costs of buying herbs. The jury is out on whether herbs are really a healthy supplement.

They are usually part of fads and can be dangerous if you do not do proper research on the herb. Check with your doctor first before taking.


Homeopathy is a type of vibrational medicine and Naturopathy is a new age approach to nutrition and a type of vibrational medicine. For an initial consultation, you pay between $50 to 300. Some insurances do cover this type of therapy. There is no concrete evidence on the health benefits of Homeopathy, however, it does seem to have credence.

Naturopathy teaches healthy advice on eating right and living a healthy life.


Supplements are very popular with anyone looking to include a vitamin or mineral that may be lacking in their diet. Supplements include vitamins, minerals, amino acids and oils. Supplements can range from very inexpensive or very expensive, depending on where you purchase them from and the brand. Supplements are not covered by insurance.

Doctors recommend supplements, but check with yours first to make sure it doesn’t interfere with any medication you may be taking.

Massage and Reiki

Massage and Reiki

Massage and Reiki are both practices done to promote blood flow throughout the body to promote blood flow. A half-hour long massage will cost you at least $60, while a 30- to 60-minute Reiki session will cost upwards of $100. Insurances do not typically covered massage or Reiki sessions, however both do very well to relax you.


Meditation is a popular technique that works to clear the mind and help you focus on one goal. It can cost up to $100 per session, however, meditation can be practiced for free in your own home. Meditation isn’t covered by insurance. Many people who have participated in meditation rave about its benefits.


Chiropractic is a manipulation of the spine and is done in a chiroprator’s office. It costs between $130-$150 for an initial visit and between $50 to 70 for any follow-up visits. It is often covered by insurance companies. People visit chiropractor’s offices for alleviation for sore backs.