Favorite Products

Below are my favorite health and sustainability products for well-being, pets, homes, gardens, and the great outdoors.

I share about adventure and entrepreneurship as these can also impact our well-being. I hope you'll feel inspired by the strategies I'll share about here and in my blog!

Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through these links I earn a commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Click buttons below to jump to a section:


Therapeutic Tools

Energy Efficiency: Energy Use Reduction Strategies

Indoor Air Quality & Comfort Control

Water Quality

Home Diagnostic Tools: Thermal, Moisture, Air & Water

Energy Efficiency: Air Sealing Products

Self-Sufficiency & Property Resiliency

Workspace at Home

New Construction

Non-Residential Retrofits

Ecosystem and Wildlife Support

Garden Design

Growing Food

Health Support

Sustainable Products

Outdoor Gear

Travel Favorites


“It is health which is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Having experienced a state of poor health several years ago it led me on a health journey to seek wellness. Having lost my health I can appreciate that when I feel my best I can do my best, as the saying goes. I have learned to give attention to my physical, mental, and spiritual health regularly. I have learned to remain very aware of triggers as they arise. Be it from the environment I'm in, the air I'm breathing, the food or drink I've consumed, or stress. Triggers can come from physical strain from a past injury, sitting at my desk for too long, or a hands-on project I was working on. Most products below are the exact products that I use personally. I have noted the products that are not an exact match as some have been phased out or I have found a better option. Below you will find a variety of products and tools that have worked well for me, from my favorite electrolyte powder to migraine trigger point tools, to exercise equipment. Consult with your medical professional to determine if these products are appropriate for you.


Electrolyte Powder:

Dr. Berg's Electrolyte Powder, Lemonade (other flavors available). I have had past experiences where in the middle of a strenuous bike ride or kayaking adventure all of a sudden I tank. It's like my muscles just called it quits. That's when I learned about the "potassium-magnesium pump" from chiropractor Dr. Eric Berg. As described on the product page for his electrolyte powder: "Each serving is loaded with 1,000 mg of potassium as opposed to only 250 mg other brands offer. Additionally, this electrolytes powder offers a very unique blend of Calcium, Magnesium, Chloride (from Pink Himalayan Salt - NOT table salt other brands offer) and an amazing Trace Mineral Complex." I have tried multiple electrolyte powders and what makes this one stand out is that it has an excellent source of potassium, which is hard to get enough of in our daily diets! Electrolytes are much needed for my adventures, whether I am exploring on foot, on bike, or on the water! Multiple flavors available from Amazon at this link. Or, when I'm not in the mood for a flavored drink I love using the capsule version here.

Collagen Powder:

Great Lakes Collagen Peptides Powder, Unflavored. As noted on Amazon, "Types I and III hydrolyzed collagen provide the amino acids necessary to support hair, skin, nail, and joint health." I love to add this to my coffee since it mixes best in warm liquids. Available from Amazon at this link.

Vitamin Powder:

Athletic Greens - the best way to start my day! I have a noticeable boost in energy when I have Athletic Greens early in my day. I reviewed the ingredients with my naturopathic doctor and she was impressed!

Magnesium Glycinate:

Nature Made Magnesium Glycinate, 200 mg. Available from Amazon at this link. As noted on the bottle, this supplement "supports muscle relaxation, heart, nerve, and bone health" and is "gentle on the stomach." I find that it also helps my sleep. To learn more about magnesium intake and supplementation check out my friend Brenda's blog post, linked here. Brenda is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Nutritionist.

Therapeutic Tools

Essential Oils:

Aura Acacia's 100% Pure Lavender Essential Oil | Lavandula angustifolia. I have several of Aura Acacia's essential oils on hand, which I first discovered at Whole Foods. I use lavender oil for relaxation, rosemary oil on the soles of my feet for an energy boost, lemon oil for cleaning and air freshening, and a variety of other oils. Do some research before applying any essential oil on the skin, as it is typically recommended to use with a carrier oil such as coconut oil, olive oil, or castor oil. Available from Amazon at this link.

Essential Oil Diffuser:

Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Diffuser with Handmade Glass. This is a different model than mine but looks most similar to the one I have. What I love about it is the various color features! Using warm color light set lower to the floor is great for supporting circadian rhythm at bedtime. This diffuser has an auto-off feature, multiple timer settings, and 7 colors for operation. Available from Amazon at this link.

Trigger Point Tools:

The TAG Store's Trigger Point Massager Tool. As noted on the product page: "Myofascial release relieves muscle tension and rolls out back knots. Trigger point therapy releases deep tissue muscle tightness and rehabs sore joints. The pointed tip allows for deep massages that increase flexibility and generate blood flow." I bought my tool several years ago when a massage therapist recommended it to me. This product looks most similar to the one I have. When working on aggravated areas I love that the silicone material can provide firm pressure while being gentler than plastic cane tools. It conveniently sticks to a wall for easier treatment in an upright position, allowing easy control of the applied pressure. Available from Amazon at this link.

Still Point Inducer by Upledger. This tool is excellent for headache release / craniosacral care. The two raised points alleviate pressure and tension from the base of skull area (follow instructions with tool to ensure the correct location is treated). I bought one several years ago when a massage therapist recommended it to me. You can purchase the tool at this link, which is what I purchased locally.

Sports Stable High Density Foam Manual Massage Ball Set. This set includes two tools, a round ball, and a peanut-shaped tool. I find that this high-density foam works well for isolated problem spots for me. My personal trainer recommended it to me and it has been a great addition to my treatment tools. Available from Amazon at this link.

Foam Roller:

Gaiam Essentials Foam Roller. Available from Amazon at this link. I have had multiple foam rollers over the years with varying densities. I own other Gaiam products that have held up really well, including the Gaiam Restore Compact Foam Roller at this link. When the time comes for me to replace my larger foam roller the Essentials Foam Roller would be my choice.

Resistance Bands:

Gaiam Light Resistance Bands. Available from Amazon at this link. I have needed physical therapy over the years for various injuries. The exercises have often required resistance bands. I love that a wide style band like this stays in place around the ankles or legs. This set includes three levels of resistance and I personally use these in my home gym.

Connective Tissue Treatment & Lymphatic System Care:

MELT Hand & Foot Therapy Ball Kit. Sue Hitzmann is the creator and bestselling author of the MELT Method. Her treatment methods gave me much-needed relief when I was suffering from chronic pain about ten years ago. I gained a deeper understanding of our connective tissue and lymphatic system from her videos, and how to take better care of them. I recommend checking out her interviews on YouTube. Available from Amazon at this link.

For the Home

“A house is made of walls and beams; a home is built of love and dreams.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

I believe that our actions to save energy right at home or at work can make a big difference on a larger scale when we combine our individual efforts. A healthy indoor environment can also better support our health, which is why I am passionate about healthy, efficient homes and buildings. I have used several tools to help diagnose functional issues at my own home, such as lacking insulation, insufficient attic venting, and high moisture areas of the structure. Although we did an energy audit and took recommended actions from it, unfortunately, some functional problems were overlooked since they cannot see inaccessible areas. So I decided to purchase a thermal camera and I diagnosed additional areas that had no insulation. When our pipes froze on two occasions the tool helped me to locate the affected areas. We were able to defrost the pipes before we had a bigger problem on our hands.

Our health can be impacted by poor indoor air quality. We knew there were mold issues in the basement when we bought our current home. We immediately scheduled professional testing and professional remediation in our first week there. I also knew a section of the attic was insulated incorrectly, where kraft-faced fiberglass batts were installed directly against the underside of the roof with the majority of soffit vents blocked off. This allowed moisture to enter and build up in the attic space. Mold can be harmful to our health and to our structures. If you want to confirm if mold is present on a surface, or in the air, reach out to a local professional for testing.

When it comes to energy reduction, simple strategies such as insulated window shades can make an incredible difference in heat gain, heat loss, and indoor comfort for occupants. The efforts for proper air sealing should not be overlooked. In my career, I have done whole building energy model studies, and improving the air infiltration rate had a major impact on energy use. Think of it this way: you don't want to be losing so much air that it is like having a 12" hole in the wall year-round. You can reach out to your utility company to inquire about scheduling an energy audit. At that time the auditor will typically perform a blower door test to measure the air leakage rate. For more of my favorite strategies and tools check out the categories below.

Energy Efficiency: Energy Use Reduction Strategies

Custom Insulated Cellular Shades:

This approach is highly effective to reduce heat gain in summer, reduce heat loss in winter, and improve indoor comfort levels. I will open the shades when it is beneficial, such as for natural daylight where needed, or in winter to allow passive solar heating from direct sunlight on an opening. I often use these in conjunction with other shading strategies. The only rooms that I have not installed them in are the kitchen and a bathroom that has a shower (due to the moisture and cooking grease). Having a custom fit makes all the difference with this strategy. Brands such as Levolor can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, or Blinds.com. Check your dimensions for each window and go with the custom fit option to best reduce drafts in winter or to delay heat gain in summer.

Solar Roller Shades:

My favorite way to use these is in conjunction with insulated shades. These are most effective for openings with direct sunlight. For my location the most effective placement is on the south and west exposures, to reduce heat gain from afternoon sun in the hot summer months. These are great where you want to block heat gain while maintaining a view outdoors. It also reduces glare from direct sunlight. Note that these shades do not provide privacy. Brands such as Levolor can be found at Home Depot, Lowes, or Blinds.com.

Room Darkening Shades:

Support your circadian rhythm by blocking disruptive light that can enter from street lights or headlights. We have installed Roman style shades that overlay the window trim and sit tight against it to prevent light entry. I like to use these with a cellular shade behind the room darkening shade for keeping room temperature more consistent, to prevent cold drafts or hot spots in a room. Shades are available at stores such as Home Depot, Lowes, or Blinds.com.

Home Diagnostic Tools: Thermal, Moisture, Air & Water Quality

Thermal Camera:

FLIR ONE Gen 3 Thermal Camera (iOS). Note that this tool connects to a smart phone. Be sure to choose the appropriate phone connection type. I personally own the Gen 2 model. It has been an invaluable tool for our energy reduction goals for our 1940s home. It also helped me to diagnose areas of frozen pipes on more than one occasion when we had -20s to -30s wind chills. Available from Amazon at this link.

Moisture Meter:

General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter. I have used this tool at my home to inspect areas and ensure that they are within a safe moisture range. Available from Amazon at this link.

Inspection Camera:

Milwaukee M12 12-Volt Lithium-Ion Cordless M-Spector 360-Degree Digital Inspection Camera Kit, with One 1.5 Ah Battery and Tool Bag. I did hours of research to find an inspection camera to diagnose some plumbing problems at our home. Instead of opening a large area of the wall an inspection camera is far less invasive. I ended up not needing to purchase this one since our plumber had his own inspection camera, but this tool would be my choice if I need it in the future. Available on Home Depot at this link. Or, click the image for the Amazon link, which is for the tool only (no battery or bag).


Radon Test Kit*:

First Alert Radon Gas Test Kit, RD1. Available from Amazon at this link.

Radon Monitor*:

Airthings Corentium Home Radon Detector. Radon levels can fluctuate. This portable, battery-operated unit allows short-term readings to be checked over time. Available from Amazon at this link.

*Reach out to a local professional for their insights about your location and professional testing recommendations.

Lead Paint Test Kit*:

3M Lead Check Swabs (Pack of 2), Instant Lead Test (LC-2S24C). Available from Amazon at this link.

*When in doubt, consult a local professional lead paint testing company. Practice appropriate safety measures if lead paint may be present.

Water Quality Testing:

Tests are available at varying price ranges and scope of testing. Consider testing with a local professional. We decided to test for the maximum amount of contaminants that standard water tests may not include, such as radon in the water.

Mold Testing*:

*If mold is suspected it is best to consult with a professional test company. Companies can collect air samples including from an inner wall or at air duct outlets, whereas plate collection test kits have limited use and may not capture all mold strains that are potentially present.


*Consult your local professional asbestos testing company.

Energy Efficiency: Air Sealing Products

Spray Foam:

Do not underestimate the value of air sealing! In my energy study work air infiltration reduction makes an incredible difference. Air sealing is typically part of an energy audit service which can usually be scheduled through a utility provider. Even after our energy audit was done we continued to seal up any areas that may have been too difficult to reach during the visit.

For gaps up to 1": Great Stuff 99108824 Smart Dispenser Gaps & Cracks, available on Amazon here.

For exterior pestblock air sealing: Great Stuff 99112809 Smart Dispenser Pestblock, available on Amazon


For windows & doors (low expansion): Great Stuff Window and Door Insulating Foam Sealant, available on Amazon


Closed Cell Backer Rod for Sealant:

M-D Building Products Backer Rod for Gaps and Joints, 3/8-by-20 Feet. I have used similar products for sealing larger gaps indoors for aesthetic purposes, such as at baseboard trim or cabinet ends. This type of product has been helpful in our 1940s home when the sealant needed a backing surface, when there were large gaps at the trim, and reduced the amount of sealant we needed to apply. Available on Amazon here.

Electrical Plate Insulators:

Wall Insulation Gasket Sealers for Electrical Outlet Plates Switch Covers. I have used similar products on all of our exterior walls to reduce air leakage and drafts. Available on Amazon here.

Sealant Application:

Bates Caulking Gun. We have used similar products and personally, I prefer to use a metal applicator for added durability. Available from Amazon here.

Workspace at Home

Sit/Stand Desks:

Jarvis Standing Desk. Multiple sizes are available such as 48", 60", or 72" wide. It has a gorgeous bamboo contour top that has a great vibe for the home office. The contoured top is worth investing in for improved ergonomics. A friend advised me that the contour was so much more comfortable for desk work, and I am so glad that I went with this option. The motorized control with customizable preset heights is also worth it, to promote frequent change of position throughout the work day. Before I bought my desk, I read in a review article that users tend to not switch positions as much with manual adjustment desks. I am glad I went with this feature because the controller allows for the slightest increment of adjustment to be saved. No need to fiddle with the height, just hit the button and switch to your customized position. I found when I used a tall stool I sit too much, so I now use a saddle chair and then stand. I purchased the Jarvis Limited Edition Standing Desk from fully.com which had multiple base colors, and I love the Grove green color! It is also available from Fully in two post-height ranges. Multiple sizes are available from Amazon at this link.

UpLift Standing Desks: Various options available from upliftdesk.com. A friend of mine has the L-shaped with a contoured top and is very happy with it.

Desk Lighting:

TROND Clamp Desk Lamp. This lamp is highly recommended to support our natural circadian rhythm. I've had this lamp since 2016 and I LOVE IT! At only 11 Watts, it also has five color modes from very warm to bright daylight, and five brightness levels offering so much flexibility in lighting. Available from Amazon at this link.

Surge Protector:

Rocketfish 6-Outlet/2-USB Swivel Wall Tap Surge Protector. We have multiple Rocketfish surge protectors around the house so that our electronics are always protected. Available from Amazon at this link.

Indoor Air Quality & Comfort Control

HEPA Air Purifier:

Honeywell HPA300 HEPA Air Purifier for extra large rooms for wildfire/smoke, pollen, pet dander, and dust. The Honeywell Energy Star Certified HPA304 Air Purifier filters and circulates air in extra-large 465 square feet rooms up to 4.8 times an hour." Available from Amazon at this link. I keep multiple air purifiers at the ready, one on each level of my home, including the basement. In case you are wondering what a HEPA Filter is, it is a High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter. A pre-filter will capture larger particles, while a HEPA filter captures much smaller particles. According to epa.gov, "This type of air filter can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns (µm)."

Air Filters:

Air filters can greatly improve indoor air quality. It is important to keep up with the maintenance and replacement of HVAC air filters. A clogged filter increases the pressure that a fan needs to overcome, increasing the equipment's energy use. Likewise, even with a vehicle, a clogged engine air filter can result in decreased horsepower or lower gas mileage. Take a look at your HVAC equipment and central air manuals to ensure the correct replacement filter type and size. If you are using a window air conditioner for cooling did you know that there are better air filters available? There are cut-to-size filters that can be added to your window AC that we have used many times before. These filters help remove dust and pollen from the air, improving indoor air quality in your home.


Midea Energy Star Certified Dehumidifier. This model has some great features such as auto restart after power outages, turbo mode, auto defrost, and an option to connect a drain line for ease of continuous dehumidification. Available from Amazon at this link. It has the capacity to remove 50 pints of moisture a day. Great for controlling indoor space humidity, especially for below-grade spaces and during times of high outdoor humidity. We keep a dehumidifier running year-round in our basement to prevent mold growth. The typical setpoint for an indoor space is 30-60% humidity following standards such as those by ASHRAE. To conserve energy we set our dehumidifier to run between 50-60% to prevent mold and mildew growth. We also run a fan in the basement to help encourage good air flow through the space, and prevent localized areas of high moisture.


Honeywell HUL520W MistMate Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier. Available at Amazon at this link. At times of the year such as heating season, a humidifier can help a space feel more comfortable when indoor humidity is low. Be aware to not over-humidify the space, to conserve energy and prevent mold and mildew growth. It is best practice to keep space humidity from 30-60% according to HVAC guidelines by ASHRAE. Maintaining humidity levels above 30% helps prevent irritation, such as dry eyes, nose, and throat.

Water Quality

Water Filtration:

Brita Water Filter Pitcher, 6-Cup Capacity, BPA Free. Clean water is so important! When I was living in a home with city water I used a Brita pitcher similar to this one. Available from Amazon at this link.

For filter choice and maintenance, consider the Brita Elite Water Filter Replacements. As noted on the product page: "Reduces 99% of Lead, filters Chlorine (taste and odor), Cadmium, Mercury, Benzene, Asbestos, and more." Depending on usage it is estimated to last 6 months. This was our filter of choice since it is advertised to perform better than standard Brita filters. Available from Amazon at this link.

Self-Sufficiency & Property Resiliency

Back-up Power:

GoalZero Solar Generator. This is on my wish list so that we never have to worry about running out of fuel. This setup allows for quiet backup power as soon as the sun is shining, or some models allow for the battery to be charged via an outlet if power is available. Quite a range of capacity sizes are available, such as this model from Amazon.

Honda Generator. After doing a lot of research and having owned a few generators in the past we moved ahead with a Honda generator for reliability and lifespan of the machine. Available from Amazon at this link.

Solar Lantern:

Goal Zero Crush Light Chroma Solar Powered Lantern. I have loved this lamp! I use it more regularly than just camping. It has three settings for brightness and six different color modes. I love using this as a reading lamp. Its gentle glow and color settings give me options to best support my circadian rhythm. It can be recharged by a cord if there is not enough sunlight, but I love to use solar-powered lighting in the early morning hours or in the evening to reduce my energy consumption. It is a durable product made for backpackers and makes for a great backup light in case of a power outage. I keep mine charged in the window ready for use, and if the battery is drained in an outage I would just need to wait for the sun to shine again or recharge it somewhere that power is available. Available from Amazon at this link.

Solar Shower:

Advanced Elements Summer Shower. I have occasionally opted to use this portable camp shower on a hot summer day to reduce household hot water consumption. My end goal would be a solar hot water system connected to an outdoor shower for the milder months. I love that this serves as a backup shower option if we experienced a power outage. Available from Amazon at this link.

New Construction

I am an enthusiast of both Tiny Homes, Modular Homes, and making existing homes and buildings highly efficient. Tiny Homes have always drawn me in for the low carbon footprint that they offer - not only by limiting the amount of materials to construct the dwelling itself, but by also limiting the amount of space that requires lighting, heating, and cooling. What I love about modular homes is that they are constructed indoors, which limits moisture exposure to the building materials. Recognizing that these types of homes may require less conventional ways of financing I am always looking to team up with companies that can help my connections finance the home that they desire to build.

Non-Residential Retrofits

For existing buildings, I am a big believer in energy-efficiency renovation work as I've done in my own homes. There are many inefficient properties out there that would benefit financially from investing in such efficiency projects. It is good for the long-term operational budget, and anything we can do to ease the burden on limited natural resources is a step in the right direction. If you are interested in learning more about a Whole Building Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program for commercial, retail, education facilities, and others please email me for more information.

Gardening & Sustainable Sites

“It has been said that the best time to plant a tree was 30 years ago, the second best time is today. The same is true for conservation. The best time to conserve the habitat necessary for our wildlife would have been 50 or 100 years ago. The second best time is now.”

– Jean Chretien

I believe that our efforts to grow our own nutritious food at home, and to support a healthy habitat in our backyards, school, public spaces, and workplaces are ways we can make a positive impact on this world from our own little corners. I love the sound of birdsong in the morning, of peepers at dusk in the spring, and the chorus of evening insects on a summer night. Planting native trees, shrubs, and perennials provides vital habitat to support biodiversity throughout the seasons.

Ecological Support

Native Plants:

Native plants provide important habitat, food, and life-cycle support to life. They are also more resilient, having adapted to the local climate. To find out about native plants for your area, visit nwf.org/nativeplantfinder, and click Find Native Plants. Using the website tool you can "search by zip code to find plants that host the highest numbers of butterflies and moths to feed birds and other wildlife where you live." Incorporate native groundcovers, perennials, shrubs, and trees to create habitat layers at varying heights to support a diverse ecosystem. When choosing native seeds, consider eco-regional seeds, sourced locally.

Birdhouses offer habitat for local bird species, such as this one for bluebirds. Check out various guidelines online for each species' preferred type of house, mounting height, and orientation of the opening. Consider methods to protect their eggs and young nestlings.

Hummingbird Feeders can provide supplemental nectar at a time when there may be a gap in blooming flowers. I am a big fan of planting native perennials where hummingbirds can feed from a natural source. They love to visit the beautiful red Monarda Didyma by our front porch, and I love the look of this native perennial so that's a win-win! I learned about this feeder from another bird-loving friend, and it's been working great at our home. It has a moat that can be filled with water to prevent ants and other insects from accessing the nectar. As for a nectar source, audubon.org advises that "the best (and least expensive) solution for your feeder is a 1:4 solution of refined white sugar to tap water. That’s 1/4 cup of sugar in 1 cup of water. Bring the solution to a boil, then let it cool before filling the feeder."

Bird baths:

Water is essential, and more than just birds visit our bird baths. I find that the birds tend to use the concrete bird baths we have rather than glass, and that placing stones in the dish helps them easily enter and exit. This can help them keep their footing and allow them to be in the water at different heights for drinking or bathing. Keeping the water source in sight can help in monitoring that water is always available.

Bird baths can also be mounted on deck railings, such as this one on Amazon. In cold climates heated water dishes help make water available to birds in the winter, such as this one.

Solar water fountain:

Did you know that migrating birds are attracted to the sound of running water? One way that may help them navigate to the source is a birdbath water fountain such as this one from Amazon, linked here. It will also help support hummingbirds, since they like to seek out misting or dripping water for drinking and bathing. If the fountain overshoots the birdbath you can try using it without the nozzle attachments.

Bat houses:

Did you know that bat populations have steeply declined in the last 10 years? Unfortunately a fungal infection called White Nose Syndrome has led to major concern for several bat species, which I share about in this blog post. To help their populations recover you can install a bat house like this one to offer bats a place to call home. Avoid bat boxes that are too small as they might sit unoccupied. Placing them on a pole or on a building is a preferred location. To learn more about bat house placement and color, which are important features in helping bats survive extreme heat or cold, visit batcon.org. One article recommended placing multiple houses, at different orientation and color to provide bats with different temperature options depending on the time of year.

Garden Design & Supplies

Garden Design:

The Gardener's Color Wheel: A Guide to Using Color in the Garden. This tool was a great help in designing my native garden plantings. I made mistakes in my first season of planting, realizing that the colors of some adjacent plants did not flow well. Learn how to apply color theory with this color wheel and guide. Available on Amazon at this link.

Growing Food

Greenhouses & Growing Supplies:

Bootstrap Farmer offers USA-made greenhouses. They also offer DIY kits and a variety of greenhouse supplies such as ventilation kits, shade cloth, frost & insect protection, and more. For growing supplies, they offer seed trays, lighting, heat mats, and more. To check out their products visit my affiliate link.

Vegetables & Herbs:

Source organic, non-GMO seeds for your home-grown food. Did you know studies show that vegetables have their highest level of nutrients immediately following harvest? Have you ever considered perennial food you could grow, such as asparagus?

Edible Shrubs & Trees:

Landscaping can be more than aesthetics, it can also be multi-functional. Beyond providing food for humans and wildlife, it can also offer habitat.

For Pets

Photos by Therese Iacono Photography

“Sometimes the best medicine is unconditional love from your pet.”

– Anonymous

In 2013 we adopted two dogs who were a bonded pair, Jada and Danica. They have brought us so much joy and laughter. As they've reached their senior years I have learned ways to support their overall health holistically, and to reduce waste that impacts the environment. Jada is going on 14 years old and started to have more accidents. We were able to help reduce the incidents by tracking her triggers and shifting her diet and supplements. To avoid throw-away pads we purchased reusable waterproof pads that have worked great for when the unexpected accident does happen. We've tried a few different types and our favorite is linked below.

For Dogs


Zesty Paws Senior Advanced Multifunctional Supplement for Dogs. This multivitamin crumbles easily into their food. Note that there is turmeric in this supplement, so be cautious to avoid stains on clothing and textiles, maybe even on some counter materials. If considering supplementation review with your veterinarian. Available from Amazon at this link, with supplement options for younger dogs as well.

Slow Feeder Dog Bowl:

Outward Hound Fun Feeder Slow Feeder Dog Bowl. Does your dog eat too fast? I've known a pup or two who would have an upset stomach after eating too rapidly. My parents discovered this bowl when pet sitting for a dog who would otherwise scarf down food if it weren't for a bowl like this. Available from Amazon at this link in multiple styles and colors.

Canned Food Lid Saver:

IVIA PET Food Can Lids, BPA Free Silicone Can Lids (set of 4). Lid savers for canned food help to keep food fresh and avoid one-time-use covers. We had bought a similar product that had two lids but I might buy more. Canned raw pumpkin has been a great addition to our pets' meals to provide fiber as recommended by our veterinarian. Lid savers are available from Amazon at this link.

Compostable Pet Waste Bags:

The Original Poop Bags, Certified Compostable, Unscented Roll of 60. During a LEED training I watched, compostable dogs bags were recommended as a way to live more sustainably with our pets. Available from Amazon at this link.

Reusable Waterproof Pads:

JOEJOY Washable Pee Pads for Dogs, Reusable and Non Slip. Avoid one time use products with reusable goods. These work great whether it is for puppies or senior dogs who have accidents. Available in multiple sizes from Amazon at this link.

Injury Prevention:

PetSafe Happy Ride Telescoping Dog Car Ramp, X-Large. This is a necessary ramp for our senior dog to travel by vehicle. Not just for her own safety, but for our own as well, to help prevent injuries for all of us. Available in various sizes from Amazon at this link. Also available from chewy.com. As a Chewy affiliate I earn commissions for qualifying purchases.

Eye Protection:

Rex Specs Dog Goggles. These goggles help protect a dog's eyes from debris during adventure, sporting, or riding activities. The goggles were originally designed for the owner's dog that had an auto-immune condition called Pannus, which affects the eyes. Sometimes Pannus can be mistaken for cataracts, so it's good to ask your veterinarian or canine eye specialist if you notice any changes to your dogs' eyes. A great article explaining the condition is linked here. Our dog Jada also has Pannus and can be seen below sporting her Rex Specs. We found that sunlight, wind, and higher elevations can aggravate the condition and cause her eyelids to become very inflamed. She remains on prescription eye drops, but these goggles have helped reduce flare-ups, allowing her to comfortably enjoy outdoor adventures or relax in the backyard when conditions would otherwise trigger an inflammatory response. Even if you don't need a pair you will enjoy checking out the photos of dogs sporting their Rex Specs goggles! Available in multiple sizes from Amazon at this link.

For Cats

Bird Protection:

Birdsbesafe Cat Collar. Outdoor cats can be devastating to a bird population. The vibrant colors and patterns of these collars are designed to alert birds and catch their attention before they become prey. I thought this product would be great for my parents' cat because even if they tried to keep him inside during the spring fledgling season he was very stealthy and quite the escape artist! With his collar on Mr. Boots was coming home empty-handed after his adventures. Not only that, but being a rather social cat he certainly brought a lot of cheer to the neighborhood walkers! These collars are available here on Amazon.

Adventure & Travel

"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life."

– John Muir

I believe that getting outside through travel and adventure are ways to revitalize our human spirit. It sure has that impact on me! Visiting places of awe can be spiritually uplifting. When we are immersed in nature it encourages us to be environmental stewards. Plus, getting out on the trail is my favorite kind of exercise!

Camping Gear

Sleeping Cot:

Byer of Maine TriLite Cot, Camping cots for Adults, Portable cot, Single. Available from Amazon at this link.

Camping Chairs:

Kelty Lowdown Camping Chair. This chair is so well designed! The carry bag can serve as a firewood carrier, padded dog mat, a mat outside of the tent door, or an outdoor rug at your feet if your shoes are off by the fire. We bought the lowdown chair that sits lower to the ground from Amazon at this link, and a taller version is available here.

Solar Lamp:

Goal Zero Crush Light Chroma Solar Powered Lantern. As previously noted on this page, I love this lamp! I use it more regularly than just camping. It has three settings for brightness and six different color modes. I love using this as a reading lamp. Its gentle glow and color settings give me options to best support my circadian rhythm. It can be recharged by a cord if there is not enough sunlight, but I love to use solar-powered lighting in the early morning hours or in the evening to reduce my energy consumption. Available from Amazon at this link.

Camp Stoves:

Coleman Gas Camping Stove. A good meal is critical after a long day of adventures. When tent camping in one place we love the Coleman gas stove we bought several years ago, similar to this one available on Amazon.

Jetboil Zip Camping Stove. For day hikes and overnight stays we love our compact Jetboil stove, similar to this one available on Amazon.

Camp Showers:

Advanced Elements Summer Shower. I have used this as a portable shower, and it also serves as a great way to clean off dirt or sand after an outdoor adventure like kayaking. Available from Amazon at this link.

The Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Camp Shower includes a foot pump mechanism to provide pressurized water. This is more effective than the gravity-based solar shower above. Pressurized water is more convenient for taking showers and cleaning dishes. Available here on Amazon.

Backup Camera:

K7 Pro Wireless Backup Camera with 5″ TFT-LCD HD Monitor. This is installed on our Tundra and we love it! This really takes the stress away when I'm in the drivers seat and need to be in reverse. Available from Amazon at this link.

Where to Stay

AirBnb: This is our favorite way to travel for short or long-term stays. We were able to do a longer stay in North Carolina that included a one-month rental and various two to three-night stays. Because of AirBnb we even got to camp out with Spencer 2 Dogs Bolejack of the TV show Hillbilly Blood! One of my favorite lifetime experiences was going on a guided night hike in the Blue Ridge Mountains with Spencer, his son, and my husband...using no flashlights or headlamps, we used only our natural night vision on a New Moon dark night!

House Sitters America and Trusted House Sitters: For a little effort of caretaking for animals we've had a wonderful experience staying for free in beautiful homes with very kind hosts. The only cost is a small membership charge to belong to these two websites. I've even had hosts contact me to ask if I could stay for multiple months while they are out of the country.

Outdoorsy: Rent an RV, motorhome, trailer, or campervan from hosts through Outdoorsy. I was able to rent a Dodge Promaster campervan from craigslist for my birthday once, and it was great to have the experience of driving a vehicle that size. My dream is to do a long-term cross-country adventure out of a campervan, and this was a perfect way to test out what vehicle size might work best for that.

Eco-Tours and Wellness Retreats: Hit the pause button, ignite your spirit, and connect with nature! Find ways to rest, recover, and unplug. A dose of nature and disconnecting from our fast-paced world might be just the type of vacation that you need.


For a list of my favorite books visit the Resources Page.

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