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Getting Your City to Recycle

Want to start a recycling program in your city? These tips will help you get started and encourage your city to recycle.

How to start a recycling program, getting your city to recycle

While many cities in Oklahoma have recycling programs, there are still many that don’t. So what can you do if your city doesn’t have a recycling program? It’s not something that will happen overnight but there are things you can do to encourage your city to recycle.

Getting Your City to Recycle

  • Talk to city officials and ask questions like, have you looked into having a recycling program? What would be your concerns about offering a recycling program?
  • Talk to people in your city to find out if others are interested in recycling. You can even set up a free survey on Google Docs or many other sites and share it on sites like Facebook, to find out what the interest levels are.
  • Consider starting a recycling coalition. Recycling coalitions like Ada Recycling Coalition have played big roles in getting recycling programs started. A few years ago the coalition in Ada helped convince the city to start a curbside recycling program which is still going strong.
  • Talk to nearby towns, that are about the same size, that currently have recycling programs. You can try and find out how their program got started and if they have any tips.
  • If your city contracts out your trash, see if you can talk to the trash company to find out if they offer a recycling program.
  • Ask to speak at a city council meeting about recycling and your desire to have a recycling program in your town.
  • Check out the Oklahoma Recycling Association, they have a lot of great information on recycling.
  • Most importantly, don’t give up and get others involved.

If you choose to take on this project it can be a lot of work but if you are able to make it happen you will have a lasting impact on your city and even the world.

Have a tip for how to start a recycling program? Post in the comments below.

We would also love to hear from you if you helped get your city to start a recycling program or are working on doing so, send us an email at gogreenokla@gmail.com

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9 Foods to Avoid During Ragweed Season

Ragweed season is here. If you find yourself dealing with some new food allergies it may be oral allergy syndrome. Learn how to stop the symptoms.

9 Foods to Avoid During Ragweed Season, Oral Allergy Syndrome, Natural Health

If you are experiencing allergies right now you are likely one of the 10-30% of Americans that suffer from hay fever, or allergic rhinitis. And of the most common causes of hay fever during fall is ragweed.


Ragweed is very common in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Allergy and Asthma Clinic has been showing a rise in the pollen counts lately.

Symptoms of hay fever include-

  • Runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Cough
  • Sinus and facial pain and pressure
  • Decreased sense of taste or smell
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat

Treatments include antihistamines, corticosteroids, allergy shots, decongestants, and other over-the-counter and prescription medications.

Another way you can help reduce your systems is by eliminating some foods that may be causing you to have Oral allergy syndrome.

Oral allergy syndrome is caused by cross-reacting allergens found in pollen and in raw vegetables, fruits, seeds, and tree nuts. The immune system recognizes similar proteins found in these foods and causes an allergic reaction to it. Cooked forms of the foods don’t often cause the same issue. Ragweed is an allergen that suffers from oral allergy syndrome often have.

It’s estimated that up to a third of pollen allergy patients suffer from oral allergy syndrome. Most cases are mild but it can cause serious, even life-threatening reactions.

Common oral allergy syndrome triggers for ragweed suffers include-

  • Banana
  • Cucumber
  • Cantaloupe
  • Melons
  • Zucchini
  • Echinacea
  • Chamomile
  • Artichoke
  • Hibiscus

If you eat these foods take note of any symptoms after.

The most common symptoms of OAS include-

  • Watery or itchy eyes
  • Tingling at the back of your throat
  • Itchy or swollen lips
  • Scratchiness on the roof of your mouth

If you notice any of these reactions be sure to let your doctor know and avoid the food. You can also avoid these foods as a precaution, as you may not be able to notice they are making your allergies worse.

Interested in more information like this? Sign up for our mailing list below. 

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35+ Delicious Apple Recipes

It’s apple season and a great time to try some new apple recipes. Try one of these delicious recipes today with some local apples. 

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

It’s time for apples here in Oklahoma and much of the US. Trying some new apple recipes is a great way to support local apple farmers and to get in the mood for fall.


With so many types of apples, the number of things you can make with them is endless. Everything from sweet treats to savory dishes are perfect with apples.

Be sure to look for apples at your local farmers’ market. It’s a great time to support local farmers.

Delicious Apple Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Additional Resource: How to Can Apples for Baking

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Addition Resource: Apple Picking Tips

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Additional Resource: Get an Instant Pot

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

Apple Recipes, Natural Apple Recipes, Fall Recipes, Autumn Recipes

More Apple Recipes


What is an Ozone Alert?

What is an ozone alert or air quality alert? What should you do when one is issued? Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions.

What is an ozone alert, air quality alert, smog, air pollution

For the last couple of days Oklahoma City and Tulsa have been under ozone alerts, but what does that mean? Well, you may have heard it also called an air pollution alert. It means, there is an unhealthy concentration of ozone pollution.


Ozone is a colorless gas that naturally exists in the earth’s upper atmosphere and protects us from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. However, when ozone is found near the earth’s surface it’s called ground-level ozone and it’s a harmful air pollutant. You may also know ozone as “smog”. While the term “smog” originally describe the combination of fog and smoke, today what we call “smog” is largely ground-level ozone.

Ground-level ozone is a human health threat. Everyone is vulnerable to ozone but children, the elderly, people who work outside, and people with respiratory conditions are at a particularly high risk. Ozone can cause lung problems and eye irritation. During an alert it is best to avoid outside activity, especially if you are in the high risk group.

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality forecasts ozone alert days using a number of factors that includes temperature, cloud cover, build-up of emissions in the air, wind speed and direction, temperature, and other factors. Around Oklahoma, we tend to see ozone alerts May through September. Ozone alerts are more common on hot days.

How You Can Help on Ozone Alert Days

Ground-level ozone is hard to control because a lot of the problem is caused by weather. However, ground-level ozone forms when the weather is right and there are other pollutants. Many of these pollutants we can help control, here is how you can help.

  • Combine trips when driving, avoid driving when you can, use public transportation, or carpool.
  • Refuel vehicles, lawn equipment, and gas cans carefully and avoid spilling. It’s also best to refuel in the evening when the air is cooler and ozone is less likely to form.
  • Avoid idling our vehicle. Idling emits more pollutants than restarting a warm motor.
  • Avoid mowing your lawn during ozone alerts and try to mow in the evening. Lawn mowers create more pollution than cars! You can also help by using greener lawn equipment, like battery powered mowers.

These small things can make a big difference! You can find out if you are under an ozone alert by checking AirNow and often local news. Stay safe and aware this summer!

What do you do to help on ozone alert days? Share your tips in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.

What is an ozone alert, air quality alert, smog, air pollution

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Meatless Instant Pot Recipes

The Instant Pot isn’t just for cooking meat. It’s great for meatless meals as well. Whether you are a vegetarian or reducing your meat intake by taking part in Meatless Monday, the Instant Pot can help.

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Reducing your meat intake can help reduce your impact on the planet and can also be better for your health. One popular way to do this is with Meatless Monday.It’s a great way to make sure you are reducing your meat intake without too much effort.


If you are new to Meatless Monday or a vegetarian lifestyle you are likely on the hunt for some delicious recipes that will make sure you don’t miss the meat.

Don’t worry you don’t have to eat salads everyday and you can make these delicious meals quickly and easily with the Instant Pot. A lot of people like to use their Instant Pot because it cooks meat quickly but it’s not just for meat. It’s great for cooking grains faster, veggies, and more.

What is the Instant Pot?

The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker as well as a slow cooker, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, and you can even saute in it. It can take the place of a lot of appliances making it a great space saver. People even make cheesecakes in it! They are for sale on Amazon and if you watch they go on sale pretty often.

There is somewhat of a learning curve but there is a lot of great info out there, one place you can ask questions and find great info is the Instant Pot Fan Club group on Facebook.

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes

Now for some great recipes you will want to try in your Instant Pot. Even your meat loving friends are sure to love these recipes. Many of these recipes are also vegan friendly.

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

Meatless Instant Pot Recipes, Vegetarian Instant Pot Recipes, Vegan Instant Pot Recipes, Meatless Monday

More Instant Pot Recipes


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How to Reduce Food Waste

Food waste is a big problem that is costing us a lot of money and is bad for our planet. There are some easy ways to reduce this waste and save money.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

In the US, 30-40% of the food supply is wasted! That’s more than 20 pounds of food per person, per month. Not only does that waste contribute to pollution, it also is wasting us a lot of money.


Things like meal planning, labeling and dating leftovers, planning your shopping trips, and even once a month grocery shopping can help prevent food waste.

There are so many other great tips to help you reduce food waste. Below are some bloggers’ top tips. They are sure to help you stop the food waste and save money.

Top Tips for Reducing Food Waste

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

We’ve all had lettuce go bad. Sometimes it seems like the day after you bring it home it’s already going bad. Victoria at A Modern Homestead used to deal with this issue but not anymore. She learned a tip that can help keep lettuce fresh for up to 5 weeks.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Merissa at Little House Living shares a lot of great tips for helping make your produce last. Produce is something that gets wasted a lot because of improper storage so be sure you are storing your’s correctly

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

It’s never fun to be craving guacamole and go to the fridge and find it brown and gross. Paula at Dinner with the Rollos find the secret to keeping guacamole green longer and it’s simple!

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

No one likes a soft apple but don’t throw them out just yet. Habiba from Craftify My Life has an apple sauce recipe for using up old apples.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

All food waste is bad but there is something extra sad about throwing away desserts that have gone bad. Thankfully Jennifer at The Jenny Evolution has tips on freezing cookies and desserts.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

You don’t even have to waste your citrus peels. They are great for cleaning your garbage disposal. Over on Retro Housewife Goes Green you can learn how to deep clean your garbage disposal with citrus peels.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

You can also use lemons that are past their prime for cleaning. Bren at Bren Did has 15 all-natural homemade lemon cleaning products that are perfect for those lemons you need to use up.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Another way to prevent wasting lemons and limes is by juicing them and freezing the juice. Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen shares how to properly freeze fresh lemon and lime juice. She also has great tips for freezing fresh basil.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Did you know you can also freeze kiwi? Stock up when they are in season and freeze them for smoothies later. Pam at Sidewalk Shoes shares an easy way to freeze kiwi.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Garlic scapes are a food that is often wasted before we can ever end up with it. They are often cut off to allow the garlic bulb to grow larger. If you garden or can find some at a farmers’ market Ellen at Confessions of an Overworked Mom has some tips for preserving garlic scapes.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

What about once you have cut fresh fruit, can you still keep it fresh? Yes, there are ways to prolong the life of cut fresh fruit as well. Kim at Two Kids and a Coupon has great tips for keeping cut fruit fresh.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

Did you know you can also freeze milk? Spoiled milk isn’t something any of us want to deal with so Victoria at A Modern Homestead shares how you can freeze milk and thaw it perfectly.

Reduce food waste, save money, go green

If you have chickens or just don’t always get around to eating all of your eggs, you may be wondering what you can do to avoid wasting them. Karrie at Happy Money Saver shares how you can freeze eggs.

When Food Does Go Bad

Even following the above tips you will likely end up with some food that is forgotten. For non-animal products the best way to deal with this is by composting. It helps keep more food waste out of the landfill and creates useful compost that can be used in food or flower gardens.

Helpful Composting Supplies


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What is Blue Green Algae?

Blue green algae is often found in lakes around Oklahoma during the summer. What is blue green algae and what do you need to do when it’s found?

Blue green algae, what it is and why you need to avoid it

The Grand River Dam Authority has reported that the Fly Creek area of Grand Lake has high levels of blue-green algae.


When the GRDA first reported the high levels on Friday, June 16, BGA densities were at more than  100,000 cells per milliliter with more than 20 micrograms per liter of microcystins is considered toxic.

There is currently a public advisory to avoid bodily contact with the water in the Fly Creek area of Grand Lake. Testing will continue daily as long as conditions warrant.

You can find the condition of other lakes around Oklahoma by visiting the Travel OK lake condition page. And if you see algae play it safe and avoid the area.

What is Blue Green Algae?

Blue Green Algae in Oklahoma

Photo property of the Tulsa District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Blue-green algae consists of tiny bacterial organisms. It can be found in all types of water including lakes, streams and pounds. Usually it’s found in low numbers but things like warm, stagnant water, heavy sunlight, and phosphorous or nitrogen can cause it to become abundant. Phosphorous and nitrogen can end up in the water from fertilizer and some household products.

Why is it Dangerous?

Some blue-green algae produces neurotoxins or hepatotoxins (live toxins), as well as toxins that can be harmful to the skins and gastrointestinal tract.

Exposure to these toxins can cause upper respiratory problems, vomiting and diarrhea, eye irritation, and a number of other health concerns. These toxins also can impact animals.

What to do if Blue Green Algae is Found?

  • Don’t drink untreated water.
  • Don’t swim, water ski, wade, or boat in areas where the water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water.
  • If you swim or wade in water that may have blue green algae present, rinse off with fresh water and soap. This is also an effective method of reducing exposure for pets.
  • Don’t let pets or livestock swim or drink where water is discolored or where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water.
  • Respect all water and beach closures.

You are also asked to please report any potential algae blooms to the local project office or the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality at 1-800-522-0206.

If you or a pet experiences nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, eye irritation, skin rays, respiratory symptoms or other unexplained illness, call your doctor or veterinarian.

For more information on blue green algae, visit Travel OK Lake Conditions

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Natural Red, White, and Blue Recipes

It’s almost 4th of July. It’s a great time to spend with friends and family, and of course eat some delicious food. These red, white, and blue recipes are not only delicious but are natural and dye-free. You don’t have to feel as guilty with these treats!

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

It’s fun to make red,white, and blue themed food for patriotic holidays and parties but that often means a lot of artificial dyes. Artificial dyes have been linked to behavioral issues in children and a host of other health concerns.


You can still have fun themed treats without all of the dyes. These treats use natural dyes and ingredients that are naturally red, white, and blue. They are perfect for any patriotic parties like 4th of July, Memorial Day, etc…

Natural Red, White, and Blue Recipes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Natural 4th of July Recipes, red,white, and blue recipes, no dyes

Fun Red, White, and Blue Supplies


Encourage healthy eating habits for your kids by teaching them how to cook. The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse can help your kids learn the skills they need to eat and cook healthy food.

Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are a quick and easy breakfast, snack, or even a light lunch. It’s a great way to eat more fruit and veggies. 

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies, Vegan, Organic, Low Carb, Dairy Free

Fruits and veggies can help fuel your body and give you natural energy. Many of us also struggle to eat enough produce. Smoothies are a great way to get some extra fruits and veggies. Also great for picky kids.


Another great thing about smoothies is you can use up produce that is about to go bad. Overripe bananas, slightly wilted greens, and any produce that you don’t really want to eat raw but is still good can be used up in smoothies.

Smoothies don’t have to be fancy, even if Pinterest makes us think they should be. The Produce Mom has a great infographic with easy smoothie ideas for when you don’t have all the fancy ingredients laying around. Basically you need some fruit and liquid. You can also add veggies, healthy protein powder, yogurt, and even some nut butter. The options are endless and it’s fun to experiment.

If you are getting bored with the smoothies you’ve been making or want some inspiration here are some delicious smoothie recipes. Remember you can easily replace ingredients in these recipes, it’s not baking so nothing needs to be very exact.

Delicious Smoothie Recipes

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Smoothie Recipes, Delicious Smoothies, Green Smoothies, Healthy Smoothies

Find More Smoothie Recipes

Looking for even more smoothie recipes? Check out these great cookbooks.

 


Encourage healthy eating habits for your kids by teaching them how to cook. The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse can help your kids learn the skills they need to eat and cook healthy food.

Mason Jar Upcycled Crafts

Mason jars come with endless possibilities. Reuse them for food storage or turn them into a beautiful new item that would make a great gift.

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

We are learning more and more why we should avoid plastic. With this knowledge comes more glass in our homes. One kind of glass you likely end up with a lot of is mason jars.


While glass recycling is great not all towns offer it and it’s even better to reuse things. Glass is great for reusing because it doesn’t hold on to odors, stain, or break down over time.

Mason jar crafts are becoming very trendy and while you can buy new mason jars it’s even better to use ones you already have on hand. You can make some really cute crafts for yourself or gifts.

Benefits of Upcycling

Recycling is the process which breaks down products so they can be remade into newer consumer products. Many of these products, especially plastics, are lesser quality than the original item.

Upcycling on the other hand is taking a material and turning into something of more value than the original product. This is a great way to extend the life of products and keep them out of our landfills.

Upcycling also requires a lot less energy and resources, in general, than recycling. It really is the best option when it comes to keeping products out of the trash.

Mason Jar Crafts

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

mason jar crafts, glass jar crafts, diy mason jars, upcycled

More Homemade Gift Ideas

These all would make wonderful gifts. If you are looking for even more gifts to make? Check out these posts.

homemade gifts

DIY Gifts, Eco-Friendly

Free Handmade Upcycled Gifts

 

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