Thursday, September 3, 2009
I must admit that when I get on the internet to do any "real work," I spend a good chunk of time absorbing celebrity gossip. Its a little embarrassing to admit that I have People and TMZ both bookmarked on my computer. SO, you can imagine my excitement when I learned about this website: www.ecorazzi.com. It is titled The Latest In Green Gossip! Could it get any better than this??? This is the place to go if you want to know about recycled materials couture, who is driving the Prius, and what kind of building materials Brad is using in New Orleans. If you need one more thing to do on the internet to put off doing your on-line bill paying, check it out! They also seem to do a lot of give-aways...
Saturday, May 30, 2009
If you're anything like me, you put off turning on the A/C as long as possible. I claim its an Earth-saving practice, but in truth I just don't like to see my electric bill climb after I've just gotten the gas bill under control from months of running the heater! So we run a few fans at our house, open all the windows, make a lot of ice cubes and maybe slap on an extra layer of deodorant. Right now, I'm loving Jason for sensitive skin with Aloe. The Van Boening's made the switch to natural deodorant about a year ago after hearing of the potential drawbacks to its more commercial counterpart.
The troublemakers in deodorant are zinc and aluminum. They are the ingredients that reduce sweat and odor producing bacteria but they have also been tied to cancers and are not so great for the environment. Others to look out for when shopping for a deodorant are any of the ingredients from the "Dirty Dozen" list that I pulled from the Green Guide back in August of last year. Some that are most common in deodorant are antibacterials, DEA, formaldehyde, petroleum distillates, fragrance, and parabens.
The ingredients in cosmetic products are not subject to FDA approval, and the vast majority of the 10,000+ ingredients in personal care products have not been evaluated for safety by any governing body. While there are no definitive studies that link aluminum to breast cancer, there have been studies that have shown that aluminum salts mimic estrogen in lab conditions. Elevated estrogen levels have been shown to be prevalent in breast cancer patients. At this point, the American Cancer Society deems commercial deodorants to be safe but I personally believe that if there is a comparable and more natural option available, why take that risk? And if you don't switch to lessen your chances of cancer, do it for less skin irritation, eczema, or use of petroleum!
If you've decided to give a more natural deodorant a try, here are some helpful shopping hints.
-Stay away from aerosols. They are made with petroleum based ingredients and can be irritating to the respiratory system.
-Don't assume that if the label reads "natural" or "hypoallergenic" that you are purchasing a safe product. These terms are NOT regulated by the FDA and provide no safety guarantees.
-If you are in search of a product that has not been tested on animals, look for the Leaping Bunny certification. It certifies that neither product NOR ingredients were tested on non-human subjects. The same goes for any self-care product you may be shopping for.
-Always check for recycled or recyclable packaging.
Some brands that I have seen in the area and that seem to be comparable in price to the aluminum-filled varieties include Jason, Alba, Kiss My Face, Burt's Bees, and Tom's of Maine. Several of these brands can even be purchased at Target and HyVee. For a bit more variety, try Open Harvest or Whole Foods. Once you've made your selection, showered, and applied, you are ready to brave this Nebraska heat and humidity sans air conditioner:)
Keep your browser pointed here for tidbits on natural deoderants, sunscreens, griling/BBQs, and greener vacationing. And as always, a few tips on green cleaning. The girls at Purely Maid have a very full schedule for the summer, but do remember that you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for all of your cleaning needs!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Sunday, November 16, 2008
It seems these days that every time I go to the grocery store, I see more and more items with the claim of "organic" on the label. These items are almost always more expensive (sometimes MUCH more expensive) but I often feel compelled to shell out the extra dough to make myself healthier.
The fact of the matter is, there are some foods that are much safer for both you and the environment, if they are purchased organically. Then there are some with fewer health risks that can still be purchased in the traditional manor.
If you find yourself in the grocery store isle, debating over the organic version of your favorite food and its cheaper, non-organic counterpart, there are a few questions you could ask yourself to help make the decision.
-If a fruit or vegetable, how thick is its skin or covering? Would it be easy to puncture?
-What part of the world did this food travel from and what might be their standards for using chemicals/pesticides?
-Is this fruit or vegetable in season in this part of the world?
The following is a list compiled from several websites, including www.thedailygreen.com and it contains the foods that would be best purchased in their organic forms.
- Meat Animals that are raised for meat production are typically fed grains treated with pesticides, also are given antibiotics, and growth hormones. Some cows also are fed parts of other cows, which is a common cause of Mad Cow disease. If a meat product is certified organic, the USDA states that it will be free of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics.
- Milk Organic dairies feed cows only grains that are free from pesticides, and these cows are not given antibiotics or growth hormones such as rGBH or rbST.
- Coffee Look for Fair Trade Certified Organic labels to ensure that no pesticides were used on plants and that fair wages were paid to farm workers producing the coffee.
- Fruits such as peaches, apples, strawberries, grapes, cherries, raspberries, and pears These fruits all have delicate skins and are most highly treated with pesticides.
- Juices that contain above fruits
- Vegetables such as bell peppers, lettuce, spinach, potatoes, and tomatoes Again, big recipients of pesticides/fungicides.
On the other hand, the following foods are considered to be safe when consumed in their non-organic form, as they don't heavily retain pesticides: asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, kiwi, mangoes, onions, papayas, pineapples, and sweet peas.