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Wellness Living That’s Good for the Planet

Child Tending Broken Baby Seedling free creative commons

We all know the health of our planet takes a daily beating from us. A few of today’s major environmental problems include water contamination, air pollution, soil depletion, overflowing landfills, and global warming – all influenced by conventional industrialized production and our daily routines. While none of us want to give up our modern conveniences, there are ways that you (yes, I’m talking to you!) can decrease the toxins that enter your body, support the wellness of the planet, and entice businesses to do the same – all without quitting your day job.

  • Check Wellness & Beauty Product Labels: Today, chemicals and additives are in practically everything, including common products you put on your body, face, and hair. Unfortunately, many of these products contain petroleum-based ingredients, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and pesticides – all ingredients linked to a host of health problems including skin issues, hormone problems, endocrine disturbances, allergies, liver/kidney damage, and cancer. These nasty chemicals and side effects not only affect you, but they contaminate the fresh water supply and contribute to environmental issues. One easy solution is to start incorporating natural health and beauty products such as shea butter, essential oils, herbs, and beauty supporting foods for your skin and hair into your routine. Also, the next time you plan to buy commercial beauty and wellness products (sunscreens, face creams, lotions, etc), be sure to check the ingredients for harmful chemicals and additives before you buy. If you don’t like what you find, consider switching to products with less or no chemicals or additives.
  • Opt for Organic: I know it’s practically impossible to choose organic food, beauty, and wellness products all the time (hopefully one day it won’t be!). For now, make an effort to buy the organic option as much as possible. You don’t want to expose yourself to the harmful effects of pesticides that include birth defects, nerve damage, hormone changes, headaches, and cancer. Luckily, one of our modern conveniences is the Internet, which is a great place to find organic products (often less expensive than brick and mortar stores) and get them delivered directly to your door. Not only is organic the way to go for your body’s health, it’s better for the environment too. Those same ingredients you and your family should be avoiding, the Earth’s soil and water don’t want either.
  • Choose BPA Free Water Bottles (and other products): Part of wellness living involves drinking plenty of quality water. However, if you’re still using plastic bottles, you could be exposed to a harmful chemical called bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is in most plastic bottles (including baby bottles) and the harmful toxin leaches into the water when the bottles are exposed to heat from the sun (a common occurrence). Exposure to BPA is linked to endocrine system disruptions, reproductive problems, heart disease, and diabetes. Additionally, plastic bottles are terrible for the environment as they take an average of 450 years to decompose (and some never do). The best way to limit your risk to BPA and decrease waste in our landfills is to use a reusable, BPA free water bottle. Many companies are also eliminating BPA from their packaging and products – choosing these companies’ products is a great way to avoid BPA’s harmful effects.
  • Support Conscious Companies that Focus on Sustainability: It’s vital that you support companies that consider the health of the planet in their business decisions. For example, in addition to understanding the health risks to consumers, a conscious company might choose to produce organic products out of concern for water contamination, destruction of wildlife, and the worldwide increase in soil erosion. We need more companies like these, and not only do you support them when you purchase their products, but you support them by sharing your experiences with others. It’s easy to do – if you love a product or company tell your family, friends, co-workers, and mention it on your social media sites. Word of mouth and personal experience is huge to creating conscious consumers who make purchasing decisions that are not only good for them, but also good for the environment. This leads to more companies creating organic, chemical free products that align with your personal health and environmental values.

These four wellness living tips give you tremendous power to enhance your health, share health with others, and help combat global environmental issues that we all contribute to. You may be one person, but your daily actions and choices do matter and make a difference in the world.

What ways do you practice wellness living that’s good for the planet? Share in the comments below. 

Tips to Avoid Harmful Chemicals and Make Your Home a Healing Space

Δ†In the naturopathic profession, often one of the first challenges a doctor will tackle in working with a new patient is to determine and remove the “barriers to cure” – things that are interfering with the body’s ability to heal. In the past, I’ve written about treatments for common barriers to cure such as insufficient sleep, food sensitivities and seasonal allergies. I’ve learned through many patient experiences that no matter how amazing a medical treatment or how hard I work, a patient will be hard-pressed to truly heal as long as barriers stand in the way.

Often, some of the toughest barriers to remove are allergens and irritants in the home.  Chemical usage in home products has skyrocketed in the past few decades. Everything from laundry detergent to stain-resistant carpets, air-freshener sprays and synthetic-fiber bedding is a source of chemicals that put stress on our livers and immune systems. If you’re not aware of what I’m talking about, here’s a touching video from Healthy Child Healthy World that puts this issue into focus, especially as it impacts children (who are even more susceptible to the negative impacts of these chemicals than most adults).

My mother happens to be a Seattle-based interior designer with a fluency in eco-design and hypo-allergenic products for the home. While visiting her recently, I took some time to ask her for resources and tips she could share for those of us who are looking for ways to create a healthier home environment. The following are highlights from our conversation:

Q: What kinds of materials and treated fabrics are best to avoid in order to minimize chemical exposure?

A: Ideally, avoid anything synthetic. Synthetic materials, such as polyesters and acrylics, contain chemicals that can be harmful.  In addition to the material itself, these types of products are often treated with other chemicals to make them stain-resistant or otherwise “low-maintenance”. Unfortunately, buying convenience can also mean having to live with toxins that can be harmful to health. Terms like “easy care”, “water-repellant”, “no iron”, “anti-cling”, “static-free” and “flame retardant” are all signs that the product may be treated with harmful chemicals.

Q: What are some of the healthiest and least allergenic fibers to look for when choosing fabrics and floor coverings for a home?

A: The easiest rule of thumb is to stick with natural fibers. Linen, hemp, ramie, and abaca are all natural fibers that are hypo-allergenic and tend to be free from additional chemical treatments. When possible, look for organic textiles, not just organically grown materials, but products that are processed using organic-compliant compounds. Sometime a material will be organic, but then it’s processed with a harsh, non-organic dye and that can defeat the health benefits of sourcing the original organic material.

Q: In general terms, how to you suggest approaching the design of an eco-friendly and hypo-allergenic space?

A: Keep the space free of clutter where dust and allergens can accumulate. Opt for wood or tile floors and avoid carpet. Use natural fibers for window coverings, like wood-based plantation shutters instead of heavy fabric curtains. Optimize air circulation by strategically placing doors and windows to optimize air flow and utilize the air-filtering mechanisms of plants to improve air quality.

Q: Are there certain products, brands and resources you can suggest for people who are looking for products or just want more information on how to make smart choices when it comes to creating a health-promoting space?

A: The following are all great resources to check out:

  • O Ecotextiles is a Seattle-based textile company that creates luxurious fabrics that are non-toxic, ethical and sustainable. Not only do I love their products, but they are leading experts on this topic and their website has an incredible amount of information for how to make smart choices for the home.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are harmful chemicals often found in paint and other home-based textiles. This site does a great job of explaining the dangers of VOCs, what products typically contain them and how they can be avoided.
  • Unique Carpets, Ltd. sells eco-friendly floor coverings made from natural fibers that are treated in an environmentally-safe way. If you are looking for floor coverings to soften a space, this brand is a great option to check out.

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3 Easy Ways to Green Your Health for Summer

Screen Shot 2013-06-28 at 12.39.58 PMIf you’re like most people, a little voice inside your head has probably been telling you for a while that it’s time to get back to a more natural way of living and take a more serious look at the toxins in your everyday life. Even so, you may feel confused about the simple, practical things you can do to minimize your exposure and maximize not only your health, but your contribution to a cleaner planet.

What if I told you that making small, simple changes in your everyday routine could make a huge impact on your health and well-being, as well as the health of our planet?

Studies are coming out frequently about how everyday chemicals in our bodies are resulting in health problems like learning disabilities, autism, cancer and infertility. Often, the impact chemicals have doesn’t show up for decades, like with tobacco, for example. What is also unclear is what happens inside our bodies when we come into contact with different chemicals from lots of different sources. What are the risks for us and our children? Don’t wait to find out! You can do something today, right in your own home. Become aware of what goes IN you, what goes ON you, and what SURROUNDS you.

IN You: Your drinking water

If you think the water coming out of your tap is clean and health-giving … you’d be mistaken. In 2008, an investigation by the Associated Press showed that America’s tap water is contaminated with prescription and over-the-counter drugs, including antibiotics, pain medications, antidepressants and sex hormones “in significant quantities.” Scientists are concerned that, even in small concentrations, these drugs could harm us over time because water is consumed in such large amounts every day. Our bodies may be able to deal with a big one-time dose of a chemical, but if a small amount is consumed continuously over years … no one really knows what can happen to our health.

Green Tip #1:
Play it safe: Buy a water filter and fill up your own reusable metal or glass water bottles at home. Get off plastic bottles. 8 out of 10 plastic water bottles used in the U.S. become garbage or end up in a landfill, contributing to global warming.

(To check your local water quality, go to the Natural Resources Defense Council’s site at www.nrdc.org and then go to “What’s on Tap”? You should be able to access your community’s Annual Quality Report, or you can ask your water utility company for a copy of its annual water quality report.)

ON You: Your personal care products

Most of us use at least 10 cosmetic and personal care products a day and according to the Environmental Working Group, people apply an average of 126 unique ingredients to their skin daily. No one really knows what happens in our bodies when we repeatedly expose ourselves to minute amounts of synthetic chemicals from a variety sources. Another way to absorb chemicals in our personal care products is through the mouth. When a drug like nitroglycerine is administered for a heart condition, it is given under the tongue for fast absorption. So are natural homeopathic remedies. So what happens with your toothpaste?

Green Tip #2:
Switch one thing you use most often in your bathroom. Your toothpaste, for example.
Chemicals like fluoride, saccharin, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), triclosan and acetylpyridium chloride are in there. Switch to a natural brand that doesn’t contain these chemicals.

SURROUNDS You: Your household cleaners

If you’ve ever walked down the household-cleanser aisle at the market and your eyes began to burn or your nose became irritated, it’s because common cleaning products contain chemicals that can be more dangerous than the germs themselves. Every time your children roll around on the carpet or your pets lick crumbs off the floor, they are being exposed to noxious chemicals. Don’t make the assumption that if it’s on the grocery shelf it’s been tested and is safe. Most of us, unwittingly, buy products for our home with ingredients that are either poorly studied, not studied at all, or are known to pose potentially serious health risks. Of the roughly 17,000 chemicals found in common household products, only 3 in 10 have been tested for their effects on human health. Why? Because the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission does not require manufacturers to test household cleaning products before they appear on store shelves.

Green Tip #3:
Use hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and baking soda to clean your home. Fill one spray bottle with a 3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide and a second one with vinegar. Spray one right after the other. Use it to wipe kill salmonella and bacteria on counter tops, appliances, and cutting boards. Do the same for the shower to kill bacteria and viruses. Use baking soda instead of commercial abrasive cleaners. Put it in a grated cheese container made of glass with a stainless steel top that has holes in it, and just sprinkle it on the surfaces and scrub.

***

Beth Greer, Super Natural Mom®, is a syndicated radio talk show host, former president and co-owner of The Learning Annex, Certified Build It Green® healthy home makeover specialist, and holistic health educator, who eliminated a sizable tumor in her chest without drugs or surgery. She’s author of the bestseller, “Super Natural Home,” endorsed by Deepak Chopra, Ralph Nader, Peter Coyote, and Dr. Joe Mercola. Visit her at www.supernaturalmom.com 

Originally published December 2011

The Best Way to Detox – 4 Delicious Recipes

Liver-detox-juice-1024x768I have always stressed the importance of detoxifying your body. This post is to help you to really understand what it is. Detox 101 so to speak.

What are Toxins?

Toxins are chemicals or poisons that are known to have harmful effects on the body. The presence of these toxins in the system are the root of most disease. Cancer, skin rashes, depression, inflammation, weight gain, joint pain, neurological dysfunction, and so many more, can all be caused by toxic build-up.

Toxins are all around us – in the food, air and water. They cannot be avoided. Our bodies, however, are built to handle them. Like a well-run factory, the kidneys, lymphatic system, and liver all work together to bind and sweep these toxins out of our systems.

Lucy_chocolate
So, if our bodies deal with the toxins why do we need to worry about them? The problem is that, in the modern world, we are exposed to more toxins than our bodies can process. It reminds me of one of my favorite “I Love Lucy” episodes, where Lucy and Ethel are working at a chocolate factory. The conveyer belt starts moving too quickly. Lucy and Ethel get overwhelmed and panic. They end up shoving chocolates in their mouths, shirts, and hats.

This is much like what happens in our livers when it gets bombarded with more toxins than it can handle. It becomes overwhelmed and can’t do its job properly. The liver becomes congested and we feel sick.

Detoxifying foods assist the body to sweep the toxins out of our systems. For example, orange vegetables contain beta carotene which the liver converts into Vitamin A. The liver uses it to help move toxins out of the body. Think of it like adding more workers to the assembly line.

Just as some foods help speed up toxin removal, others – such as processed foods, fried foods, red meat and dairy – are obstacles to this process. They clog up the detox pathways and make the body’s job harder because they give it more and more work to do. Instead of adding more workers to our assembly line, they distract the ones we’ve got with other jobs.

Detox: Critical to Healthy Living

We choose detoxifying foods because we need to. Just like anything that is overworked, the body can get burned out. We lose focus and energy, and we gain weight. That is when disease starts to creep in.

We all love to eat the foods that are bad for us. And once in a while, especially over the holiday season, we do. Cookies anyone? We detox to give the body some extra assistance so that it can do its job, which is to keep us healthy. Take care of your body so that it can take care of you.

Here are my top detoxifying recipes:

Keep A Clean House Without Chemicals

What if I told you that every time you wipe down your counters, scrub your tub, or wash your windows you might actually be making your home less healthy? Seems counterintuitive, but the unfortunate truth is that most typical home cleaning products are chock full of harsh, hazardous chemicals. What, then, to do? We talked to Annie Bond, author of Clean and Green, editor of the Green Chi Cafe blog and expert on chemical-free home care about how to keep your home comfortably clean, without subjecting yourself to a dangerous toxic stew.

1) Stock up. In the cupboard under Bond’s sink, there are but six items: baking soda, vinegar, washing soda, a good soap, detergent and tea tree oil. If it suits your taste, you can add the occasional spritz of lemon juice or other essential oils like oregano, cinnamon, and clove to these six basics. Of the detergent, Bond says that they “aren’t found in nature, and aren’t totally non-toxic,” but for homes with hard water, soap alone will leave behind scum. “Check the signal word on the bottle,” Bond recommends. Any sterner warning than “caution,” and she says to stay away. She recommends Seventh Generation,Natural Choices Refillables or Ecover for the safest detergents.
 
2) Follow a recipe. You’ll need to blend the basic ingredients above for the particular task at hand- washing windows, disinfecting countertops, cleaning the oven, scrubbing floors and so on. Vinegar is a great acidic cleanser that dissolves icky buildups and serves as a great disinfectant- the standard 5% solution you find at the supermarket has been shown to kill 99% of bacteria, 82% of mold, and 80% of germs. Baking soda and washing soda are alkaline minerals that cut through grease and neutralize acidic odors. Essential oils can also disinfect, while providing a nice fresh scent (see below).
 
But, really, you should just follow Bond’s tried and true recipes (here). “My recipes haven’t changed in 20 years,” she says.”It’s actually a challenge for my career!”
 
3) Use common scents. “Fragrance,” when listed on a product label, should be a big red flag, as manufacturers commonly use this term on an ingredient list to disguise their use of phthalates, which are some scary hormone disruptors that GOOD editor Siobhan O’Connor describes as “a category of chemical plasticizers that has been linked to gender-bendy birth defects in baby boys.” Rather than buy some manufactured “scent,” consider citrus and herbs or an essential oil like lavender. Also pay attention to the nature of the stink, and get to eliminating the source. “For alkaline odors, use an acid like vinegar,” Bond advises. “For acidic odors, use baking soda.”
 
4) Harness the sun. On a bright spring or summer day, hang as much of your sheets, upholstery and other fabrics outside on a clothesline. The sun naturally kills dustmites and can be the most natural antibacterial agent.
 
5) Elbow grease. Put some muscle into it. 75 years ago your great-grandparents kept their home perfectly clean without any of these crazy chemicals that clutter the cupboards of Americans today. How? By using the basic, simple ingredient above, and scrubbing like heck.
 
Photo (cc) by Flickr user Uncleweed
 
This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or to submit your own idea  today.

Legislation for a Greener and Safer Home

Do you know how many substances in your household products are potentially dangerous? Well, neither does the U.S. government. As I’ve mentioned before, a piece of legislation called the "Safe Chemicals Act of 2010" introduced in April aims to change this and bring regulations governing chemicals into the 21st century.

Currently, chemical safety is regulated by the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act. Designed to grant the EPA the power to control toxic substances, this 34-year-old law has not produced the information needed to identify hazardous chemicals and asks regulators to meet an absurdly high burden of proof before taking positive action against a given substance. In this scenario, new chemicals on the market are considered safe unless regulators can prove otherwise. As a society, we are paying an incredible cost for not vetting new chemicals before including them in all manner of products from cosmetics to household cleaners, to plastic containers and baby toys.

Take for example, the results of a recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG). They tested the umbilical cords of ten babies — and found almost 300 chemicals in the blood of these pure, innocent newborns. Do these chemicals cause any harm? The fact is: no one knows for sure. But the current legislative scheme requires EPA to prove that there is harm before these chemicals can be regulated. Protection of the public devolves into an argument about the sufficiency of scientific evidence.

Currently there are only guidelines for how industry must use the signal words "Caution," "Poison," or "Danger" on consumer product labels. Companies are left to interpret the guidelines, and it is not in the interest of the companies to put such scary words on labels. So the communication of potential risks suffers under the conflict of interests.

The Safe Chemicals Act, on the other hand, takes the position of "The Precautionary Principle," which says that industry must have sufficient evidence to prove a chemical is safe for the intended uses. The new legislation would empower the EPA to demand complete safety data, set safer exposure thresholds, place the burden of proof of chemical safety on manufacturers prior to introduction, take immediate action to reduce risks created by those substances already proven harmful, and encourage the development of green chemistry alternatives.

At Seventh Generation, we don’t buy the "regulation stifles innovation" argument put forth by so many manufacturers, unless of course they mean stifling the development of more toxic chemicals.

Current chemical control laws typically create incentives for innovation by substituting "safer" alternatives for chemicals known to be hazardous. The law of unintended consequences ensures that many of these attempts result in the substitution of "unknown" chemicals for chemicals with known hazards. Often, the substitutes are chemical cousins of the bad actors, likely to have similar hazards — but not yet enough science to "prove" the danger.

Seventh Generation is behind The Safe Chemicals act 100%, believing it to be a huge positive step forward for industry and consumers alike. I believe that elevating the safety of our customers and planet to the highest level has only made our company more competitive, not less.

I also believe that this legislation is what’s best for our economy. Most of the industries fighting this bill have not been job creators. However, when you look at the statistical growth of the sustainable segment, you see a sector that has grown very significantly and which has proven itself resilient in a downturn. If our system continues to count illnesses like cancer or disasters like the Gulf oil spill as creating positive growth of the GNP, it will leave the United States increasingly uncompetitive.

I encourage everyone to take action on this legislation and let their voices be heard. For the good of families, the economy, and the planet, please write your representative; contact NGOs and let them know this an important issue for you; and finally vote with your dollars. Write CEOs of companies fighting the reform and let them know that you’ll be boycotting their products because of their stance on the issue.

You can find out more about toxic chemical legislation at Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families.

Jeffrey Hollender is the co-author of the recently published book, The Responsibility Revolution. The Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Seventh Generation, and a Co-Founder of the American Sustainable Business Council and the Sustainability Institute. Hollender also shares his insights at The Inspired Protagonist, a leading blog on corporate responsibility.

Photo: CC Flickr//Warmest Regards

Why We Need to Cleanse

Our bodies evolved in an atmosphere which had fresh water and clean air, where we ate food which contained no toxins, antibiotics, hormones, or chemicals.  Today, we are all surrounded by unclean air, polluted water, processed food made with thousands of chemicals, pesticides  sprayed on our homes and offices, xenoestrogens leaching from plastic, tobacco smoke drifting over to you–if you eat, drink or breathe on Planet Earth, you’re toxic. 

The typical American has 80-90 serious chemicals in their fat cells.  We eat and drink huge amounts of refined sugar, which slows down the liver’s capacity to detoxify environmental chemicals; we drink coffee and alcohol which aggravate the liver, too; we down over the counter and prescribed medicines;  we have low fiber diets so toxins reaching the gut are not  taken out in the stool, but instead are reabsorbed; we eat little fruits and vegetables so have little vitamins and minerals to strengthen tissue and prevent oxidative damage from toxins.  We overeat, which causes stagnation in our intestines, and low beneficial bacteria, and those lead to toxemia and ill health. 

Is any of this looking like YOU?

All in all, Americans are exposed to chemicals unwillingly, ingest chemicals regularly, and have bodies which have lost the capacity to efficiently and effectively eliminate toxins.  We then see patients walking around fatigued and depressed, with sore bodies and headaches, stiff joints and gut problems, food allergies and skin rashes, developing hormonal and autoimmune conditions, getting no help from standard medicine, and becoming hopeless.

Historically, in Europe, when patients felt very poorly, they went away to the "spa".  There, they ate a simple diet, did gentle exercise such as walking their bare feet in dewy grass, got away from the stresses in their lives, did some hydrotherapy, breathed fresh air and were able to detoxify and heal.   Today, the spa treatment is very hard for working parents with children to do!  And, it’s very expensive. 

Another logical route to take is to do the most natural detoxification in the world–fasting.  Stopping eating is the best way to cleanse the body, have it rid itself of toxins, and begin the journey to successful healing.  The purest fast is a pure water fast, done while one puts one’s life on complete hold, but that can be as difficult to do as going to a spa. 

An alternate is to do a modified fast, using fruit juice.  The Master Cleanse has been around for decades and consists of drinking only a mixture of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and grade B maple syrup for 7-10 days.  How can this drink benefit you?  Lemon juice is one of the most effective bile stimulants, and since toxins are excreted through the bile, you would be promoting detoxification by increasing bile production in the liver.  Cayenne pepper is a marvelous herb for the intestinal tract, and the heart and circulatory system.  Cayenne pepper helps heal the gut, and promotes better digestion.  Cayenne also promotes blood movement, lowers the blood pressure and aids the heat actions.  Maple syrup is added just to give a person some energy to continue their daily activities. 

If you’re too busy to make up your own Master Cleanse concoction and don’t want to fast for 10 days, you may want to try something I found.  It’s called Simply Slender (http://www.simplyslenderdiet.com/) and it is essentially a pre-mixed version of the Master Cleanse with added Acai, Noni, Mangosteen and Goji juice to supply additional antioxidants.  Simply Slender is a 2-4 day cleansing diet and you can eat fruits and vegetables while on it.  Something like Simply Slender gets the job done, and fits better into most people’s busy schedules.

Who would benefit from cleansing?  Any adult who feels run down, stressed out, fatigued, who has any chronic disease, who has never given their body a rest from eating, who feels "toxic".  However, you should check with your physician if you are going to dedicate yourself to a cleanse, as you may have to decrease or stop certain medications as a result of the program you choose.   

After you finish your cleanse, work with a naturopathic physician (www.naturopathic.org) to improve your diet, and work with you toward regaining and maintaining your health.  You can cleanse 1-2 times each year for health purposes, but you need to learn how to live healthily each and every day of your life.  Cleansing can be a VITAL part of health, but works best when it is combined with a whole look at all of you.

Why Petrochemicals are so Dangerous








The biggest source of pollution comes from the use of petrochemicals, which causes both environmental damage and damage to the earth’s inhabitants. A non-renewable resource, the use of petrochemicals is so pervasive in our lives that the removal of them overnight would result in an unrecognizable world. Petrochemicals heat our homes and transport people and products. Plastic products are derived from petrochemicals. Many cleaning supplies, paint, clothing, furniture, building materials, packaging materials, toys, carpeting, appliances, automobiles, planes, trucks, makeup, grooming products, soap, detergent and pesticides contain petrochemicals and require the use of them during the manufacturing process.

 

Almost all chemicals in use today are derived from petrochemicals. During the manufacturing process, most petrochemicals are combined with chlorine—an extremely dangerous chemical. Chlorine produces toxic emissions and contaminating wastes. Chlorine continues to pollute when disposed of, as the wastes emit further atmospheric, liquid and solid toxic waste.

 

Saudi Arabia claims that they can keep up with the increasing demand for the next fifty years, but many experts think this is impossible. These experts, although still a minority in the oil world, argue that the geological challenges inherent in extracting oil and the limits of modern technology will soon make it impossible to extract enough oil for the world’s needs. So while there may be oil available, it can become impossible, or at the very least extremely expensive to extract from the earth.

 

Chevron, the second-largest American oil company, is actually talking to the public about the problem. A series of ads running in 2005 read: “One thing is clear; the era of easy oil is over.”

  

Once consumption exceeds production, the price of a barrel of oil could soar into the triple digits. A result of exorbitant prices for transport fuels and for products made out of or by petrochemicals would probably lead to a global recession.

  

Nobody knows how long oil will last and the Saudis refuse to substantiate how much oil reserves they really have. Few politicians talk about the fact that eventually oil will run out—and that there will be catastrophic consequences unless we come up with viable alternatives to the use of petrochemicals. It is estimated that world’s oil will last until 2050, natural gas to 2030 and coal until 2200.

 

Excerpt from



Harmonious Environment, copyright 2007

 

Why Green Living is so Important





Green Living is part philosophy, part action.

From a philosophical point of view, it means living in harmony with nature and loving and honoring Mother Earth. Green Living means walking in the woods and marveling at the beauty of ones surroundings.

When one feels this way, purchasing habits naturally honor Mother Earth.  Buying eco-friendly, natural products are beneficial for the self and protects the environment, including plants, animals, waterways, land and air.

Unless you are already purchasing natural and eco-friendly products, your home probably contains hundreds of dangerous chemicals that are unsafe for you and the planet. These include garden pesticides, food, construction and building materials, household cleaners and chemicals, and body products. I will advise you on what these toxic products are and offer natural and safe alternatives.

For example, common ingredients in air fresheners and disinfectants include formaldehyde, which is a highly toxic, suspected carcinogen; phenol:, which causes skin to swell, burn, peel and break out in hives; and paradichlorobenzene, which is dangerous to internal organs if inhaled and to skin with prolonged exposure.

Many synthetic ingredients are environmental pollutants. Damaging waste is produced during the manufacturing process and millions of gallons of chemicals continually pour into sewers and septic systems from our homes.

Additionally, new synthetic chemicals are tested on animals. Approximately twelve million animals–including rats, mice, dogs, cats and primates–are tortured and killed every year in American laboratories in a so called attempt to test their safety. Testing is frequently performed without anesthetics or analgesics, as they might interfere with test results.

There are now 70,000 chemicals in use with 1,000 new ones being introduced yearly. The American consumer is taught always to want more and better and newer. Meanwhile, vinegar, baking soda, and salt can clean almost anything. Moreover, try natural cosmetics, shampoos and conditioners and see what you have been missing! Naturally scented, loaded with real (even pronounceable) ingredients, there are some great natural products in the marketplace that outperform the polluting, toxic, animal-torturing synthetic chemical brands.

 

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