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Make Up Danger for Pregnant Women December 19, 2008
Tags: Beauty, Cosmetics, Health, moms, pregnant mom, Skin Care
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Slip into Something More Organic December 27, 2006
Tags: Beauty, Eco, Eco Businesses, Environment, Fashion, Green, Green Businesses, Health, Health related, organic, Organic Clothing, Organic Fashion, Organic listings
By Gillian Flower
Tip! Baby Foods: A 1995 report found 16 pesticides in approximately half the non-organic baby food samples.
Many of us have made the shift towards an ecologically-aware lifestyle. Perhaps you have chosen to eat organic foods, to buy more locally made products, or to switch to public transport. While you may be living sustainably in many parts of your life, is this choice reflected in the clothing you wear every day?
Why Change your Clothes?
The clothing industry is rife with issues that deserve our attention. Child labour and poor working conditions are often part of clothing manufacturing in distant factories.
Our environment is threatened by the heavy metals in most dyes and by pollution from synthetic fabric production. Even “natural” alternatives like cotton aren’t as pure as they seem. So what choices are out there for the fashion-savvy shopper with a conscience?
Despite perceptions of cotton as a “natural” alternative, the production of this fibre is chemically intensive. Twenty-five percent of the world’s insecticides are used on cotton crops alone. To put this staggering number into perspective, the cotton T-shirt that you may be wearing right now required a third of a pound of chemicals for its production.While you may not be aware of the pesticide residue in your wardrobe, our air, water, and soil all feel the effects. We know that cancer rates increase with the use of some pesticides, and choosing to wear organic clothing has an impact on everyone’s health.Happily, thanks to rising consumer awareness, organic cotton clothing is increasingly available.
Major manufacturers are making the switch to organic threads, leading the charge for real changes in the clothing industry. Active wear companies like Mountain Equipment Co-Op (mec.ca) and Patagonia (patagonia.com) have developed impressive product lines made from organic cotton. Anti-sweatshop advocate American Apparel (americanapparel.net) now offers 10 styles for men, women, and children in their Sustainable Edition line.
Tip! Mulching – This is a great way to prevent soil erosion, add organic matter to the soil and reduce evaporation. However, you need to leave space around the base of each plant.
Hemp Hemp Hooray!
Although some still confuse hemp with its well-known cousin, marijuana, this ancient plant is enjoying popularity as an eco-alternative to conventional fabrics. Growing hemp is kinder to the planet than growing cotton, as this resilient, adaptable plant requires little water or chemical additives.
Hemp fibre has some unique and interesting characteristics, which makes it a suitable replacement for conventional fabrics. Historically, hemp was used to make rope and sails, items that made use of the plant’s impressive tensile strength. Today, clothing companies like Of The Earth (oftheearth.com) and Hemptown (hemptown.com) promote hemp’s wicking properties and its resistance to bacteria and mould. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts appreciate hemp’s insulating properties. Like wool, this fibre breathes well in hot weather, insulates in cool weather, and retains heat when wet. The wicking properties of hemp make it a great first layer for any outdoor enthusiast.
Tip! Do not always assume organic is more expensive. Look at the prices of conventional and organic products and compare.
The Future of Fibre
As hemp and organic cotton become more available, manufacturers are experimenting with creative blends using these fibres. In their 2004 collection, Of the Earth introduced an ingenious T-shirt fabric that blended soy with organic cotton and Lycra, resulting in a hard-wearing but delicate fabric that is silky-soft against the skin.
Clean Clothes, manufacturers of Maggie’s Organics (organicclothes.com), has been making simple, basic, wearable pieces since 1992. Recently, the company moved organics into the future by launching their first natural performance sock. Blending Coolmax, a patented wicking fabric with organic cotton, Maggie’s sport socks ensure that both your feet and conscience are kept happy.
So take the next step towards an organic lifestyle by simply changing your clothes. You can make a great difference with simple, conscious choices.
Tip! You will have no additives in your vegetables. Research by organic food associations has shown that additives in our food can cause heart diseases, osteoporosis, migraines and hyperactivity.
Gillian Flower is an environmental products specialist with Grassroots Environmental Products in Toronto. As a student at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, she plans to bring an awareness of environmental issues to her future practice as a naturopathic doctor. She is a regular contributor to alive magazine. Visit http://www.alive.com for related articles.
size=”1″>Tip! Sustainability. In his book, Gardening Organically, John Fedor defines sustainability as “the ability of a society or an ecosystem to function indefinitely without squandering the resources on which it relies.
Grow your own
The cheapest method has got to be to grow your own. The great thing is that it doesn’t require you to have much garden space, or even a garden at all!
We grow tomatoes, and strawberries in containers and the extra benefit is that you get total control over the growing conditions.
The best combination is to have organic soil together with organically produced seeds or plants, that way you ensure you get the full flavour and benefit.
Containers can be placed anywhere that receives a reasonable amount of daylight, which means that you can use them on balconies or other hard surfaces.
Tip! Strawberries: 500 pounds of pesticide an acre is sprayed on non-organic strawberries.
Look for your local suppliers
One of the most satisfying things to do is to buy organic food locally. That way you get the freshest ingredients for your kitchen and also get to support local businesses. With no transportation costs for the supplier too you should get very competitive prices.
Don’t forget that these same businesses will be employing local staff so you are also helping the local economy, everybody wins in this scenario.
We visit a big monthly market held on a disused airstrip. Organic food is just one of the variety of items sold there but the prices are very, very good indeed. Of course they are all local suppliers and with several of them in one place we benefit from healthy competition and get to sample a lot of fruit!
Tip! Failing to plan – Planning is crucial to a successful organic veggie garden. You need to consider the aspect of your plot/s.
Local box schemes
If you are unable to get out of your house or are too busy working to select your groceries by hand then why not subscribe to an organic box scheme?
You will receive, delivered to your door, a weekly selection of fruit and vegetables in season.
Finally, investigate whether any farms near you are operating an organic farm shop. Our local one is operated on an open farm so that you can go and see where the animals are being kept and take a look at the crops being grown.
Tip! Bananas: Non-organic bananas from Central and South America are produced using benomyl (linked to birth defects) and chloropyrifos (neurotoxin).
They actually have a well-designed walking route around the farm which makes a nice day out for the kids too.
If you investigate the options above you should be able to make considerable savings whilst you and your family sample the delights and advantages of organic food.
Virginia Louise is a keen convert to the organic way of life, having two children has especially highlighted the benefits to be gained by them from eating organically.
Virginia runs an information site on the advantages of organic food where you can obtain lots of free information about what makes organic food so beneficial, where to get it and suggested recipes.
Why are there toxic chemicals in your skin care, personal care products and cosmetics? November 19, 2006
Tags: Beauty, Breast Cancer, Cancer, Cosmetics, Eco, Environment, Environmental Protection Agency, Health, Health related, Healthy Ingredients, Home, house, household, Household News, organic, organic food, Organic listings, Skin Care, toxic chemicals
I was inspired to write this entry by http://beaut.ie/blog/?p=577.
Cosmetic companies are minimally regulated which means they can put almost anything they want into your cosmetics, skin care and personal care products. All of your conventional personal care and beauty care products are filled with toxic chemicals.
Just think in the morning you shower and apply chemical shampoos, conditioners, shower gel. You get out of the shower dry off and put lotion all over your body then your face. You put on chemical filled make-up and even worse perfume. Layer after layer of chemicals are slathered onto your body. And if your products have fragrance the danger is increased.
Everyday you leave your home as a toxic chemical time bomb. On the outside you look hot in your Lucky Jeans, your high heal pumps, cool Ralph Lauren blouse and blazer. While underneath all day long your body is absorbing and storing the toxic chemicals that you applied as part of your daily regimen. Metabolizing them through your body, organs and blood. It isn’t your fault though. How could you know that you were applying a toxic cocktail of chemicals to your body daily when there aren’t warnings, or labels to tell you the truth about your products. You have been in the dark.
Why do cosmetic companies and personal body care companies use these chemicals? They say because it is cheaper and easier. How much cheaper is it when you need radiation to kill the cancer in your body. Furthermore, there are many companies that have great pure, natural products that are affordable like Dr. Haushka, and Aubrey Organics. If you use Mac, Bobby Brown, Lancome, Prescriptives and Clairins, to name a few, like I did then you know that they are not cheap! Where is the savings?!
Go to your bathroom cabinet right now, where you keep your skin care and personal care products and pull out products you use everyday, input the name of the product into the Environmental Working Groups Skin Deep data base at http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php to rate the toxicity of your products.
You can go to the same website and input the chemicals that are on the labels of your products into the data base to learn if they have health affects. After you have rated your products and learned about the health affects, notice how many layers of chemicals that you are slathering onto your body daily and what health affects have been linked to these products. Count the layers of chemicals how many do you wear underneath your Lucky Jeans everyday?
What you will find is that many ingredients in your products are cancerous. These ingredients are listed among the first 5 ingredients on the ingredient label which means they have the largest quantity in the product.
And what the cosmetic industry doesn’t tell you is that mixing one chemical with another can be carcinogenic. The chemical alone may be safe but when it is mixed with another chemical from another product the combination becomes lethal. You have to be a scientist to get ready in the morning
Furthermore, the EPA says that some chemicals like phthalates are safe in cosmetics because they are at safe levels for humans. However, what the EPA doesn’t consider or evaluate is that chemicals like phthalates are used in many cosmetics and personal care products like, fragrance-containing soaps, shampoos and perfumes. They are also used in plastics like your shower curtain, flooring, baby bottles and nipples, toys to name a few. Thus you are exposed daily to many layers of phthalates found in many products not just one product. This increases the level of exposure pushing it over the safe level and making the levels unsafe for humans.
Furthermore, not only are you absorbing these chemicals into your largest organ, your skin, but you breath them in, they may get into your mouth and nose which means you ingest them. Everyday you layer then onto your body. That means that the layers of chemicals you are exposed to on a daily basis increase with every layer. Thus the levels that you are exposed are at unsafe levels. Phthalates have been linked to reduced sperm count in men, genital abnormalities in boys, premature birth, sperm damage to name a few.
To illistrate my point, in September 2000, the US Centers for Disease Control released it’s assessment of the levels of phthalates in the bodies of the American public. After studying urine samples they found the levels of phthalates to be high. One demographic of concern was women of child-bearing age where they found the levels to be especially high in a disproportionately large number of women. This is of concern because the fetus is extremely vulnerable to the adverse affects of phthalates. Furthermore, this demographic is the one that should avoid exposer to phthalates. Phthalates are banned in the EU.
Another common dangerous chemical found in skin care, personal care products and cosmetics is parabens. It is used as a preservative and is found in breast cancer patients. You will find parabens in your shampoo, conditioner, lotions, body washes and make-ups to list a few. That means that they are also layered onto your body. Go to Skin Deep for more information, http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php.
To add insult to injury, there is controversy surrounding nano chemicals in our beauty products, ingredients engineered at the molecular scale. They aren’t listed on the ingredient lists and they aren’t regulated. They are harmful to your health and environment. For more information check out this link, http://action.foe.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=5475&msource=foe11006&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;tr=y&auid=2072979
I am very passionate about this and bewildered that our country and government would allow chemicals to be in our everyday personal care products. The increase in disease in our country is continuously on the rise. At this time in history 1 out of 2 women will have cancer. Think about it, that means that your friend, sister or mother or you will contract this terrible disease. The EU is banning one chemical after another to protect their citizens why isn’t the US? Why is the EPA constantly avoiding chemical matters when it comes to our skin care, cosmetics and personal care products? Isn’t it their job to protect us?
I strongly recommend that you visit http://ewg.org/reports/skindeep2/index.php, to learn more about the toxic chemicals that are in your everyday skin care and personal care products and evaluate the products that you use.
There are safe solutions to skin care, cosmetics and personal cae products many are listed at Skin Deep. A couple of my favorite products are Dr. Hauschka and Aubrey Organics. A great way to try Aubrey Organics or Dr. Hauschka is their kits: Dr.Hauschka Daily Face Care Kit and Aubrey Organics – Silken Earth Makeup Kit, 1 kit
However don’t take my word for it or Skin Deeps anyones for that matter. Take your health care into your own hands and do your research, read the labels of all products before you buy and know what you are putting onto your skin, hair, body…
Look for my upcoming post on how to choose safe skin care products and personal care products and more product suggestions so that you can take matters into your own hands and protect your health. I will give tips on how to read through the hype and how to read between the lines on labels.
Thanks again for reading. Another toxic problem revealed.
The Complete Organic Baby on the Today Show November 3, 2006
Tags: Allergies, Baby, Beauty, Children, Cleaning Products, Cooking, Cosmetics, Eco, Environment, Food, Health, Health related, Healthy Ingredients, Home, house, household, Household News, laundry, organic, organic food, Organic listings, Pregnant, toxic chemicals
Check it out. On the Today Show 2 women, Deirdre Dolan, Alexandra Zissu, talk about their new book, “The Complete Organic Pregnancy.” The book talks about organic non-toxic living and your baby, here is the link to NBC Today Show, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032633/. Find the book at Amazon.com.
The book discusses remodeling, beauty products, organic food, toxic cleaning products in your home, furniture, carpet and more. Sounds like it is comprehensive and it offers simple solutions that you can implement in your home. Here is a link to a chapter in their book. http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/msnbc/sections/TVNews/Today%20show/PDF/OrganicPregnancy.pdf
When you read it let me know what you think. I will also put my review here. I watched their interview on the Today Show and it seems like they really know what they are talking about. They offer simple inexpensive solutions to common toxic problems like new furniture. They also agree that when having a new baby it is wise not to remodel unless you absolutely have to. Check it out I can’t wait to read it and hear what you have to say.
Certified Organic Skin Care vs. Natural Skin Care November 2, 2006
Tags: Beauty, Cosmetics, Eco, Fashion, Health, Health related, Healthy Ingredients, organic, Organic listings, toxic chemicals
As you walk through today’s health and natural food grocery stores you will find an extensive selection of “natural” skin and body care products. These products will range from toothpaste and deodorant to cosmetics, lotion, and hair care. It seems that many of the companies providing these products are striving to promote their products as “natural” since today’s consumers seem to have a preference towards any product labeled “natural”. This definitely makes sense because really who would walk up and purchase a bottle that says “loaded with silicone derivatives” or “extra carcinogens”.
Now you’re thinking no one in there right mind would do this right. I mean who goes to the store and actually tries to buy a skin care product that will cause their body damage. Actually most people these days do exactly that, unknowingly of course as they aren’t aware of the toxic ingredients in the product of their choice. What people need to start realizing is that not every company that throws the word natural on their product really cares about the ingredients being truly natural. If you do a little research on the ingredients in skin care the information is alarming as you find that many skin care products contain carcinogens and other toxic ingredients. Check out a website called skin deep for more information on what is in your skin care.
Tip! Apple juice: Non-organic apple juice ranks second highest for organophosphate residues.
Aren’t skin care products supposed to be helping your body not hurting it? Yes, they are but unfortunately that isn’t the case with all of the products available. This is where certified organic skin and body care products come in. When they are certified organic they have to meet strict requirements by the certifying body and are very safe for the consumer. Certified organic skin care products are made up of ingredients you can actually read and understand such as avocado oil and safflower oil not six syllable words that don’t mean a thing to you. This way you actually know what you are feeding your skin rather than just hoping it works because the company that made it claims it will.
Tip! Join a food cooperative. A food co-op is kind of a buyers club for affordable, fresh, local organic and natural products.
When you go to purchase a “natural” product be sure to research the company producing it. Find out what their stand is on ingredients such as silicone derivatives and the like are. See if there focus is on a toxin free line of skin care or just one that smells good etc. There are wonderful certified organic skin care products available so don’t settle for some supposedly natural junk when you can have the best available for your skin.
Erika Juhas is the owner of Kalista Organics. She offers extensive information regarding the organic lifestyle on her website. Primarily she represents an organic line of skin and body care products that will contribute to eliminating toxic chemicals from your body.
Tip! Cost savings, because you do not need to buy costly chemical fertilizers and pesticides with organic gardening. Many organic recipes for the control of pest and disease come straight from the kitchen cupboard, and sometimes other plants can even be grown as companions to the main crop.