Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

Month: July 2010 (Page 1 of 2)

Eco-friendly shoes

Hemp shoe

One of my readers asked me how to avoid leather in shoes.  This is a great question! Avoiding leather in shoes can be challenging, especially for those who live in cold climates or have sensitive feet that are irritated by petroleum-based synthetic shoe materials.

Simple Shoes is one company that makes “shoes for a happy planet.”  The average shoe takes 1,000 years to biodegrade, whereas many of the Simple Shoes will biodegrade in 20 years.  The company aims for 100% sustainability and offers shoes made from a combination of cotton, hemp, cork, silk, natural rubber, wool, coconut, bamboo, recycled plastic, recycled rubber, or eco-certified leather and suede.  They also produce a vegan line of shoes and bags.

By the way, this is not an advertisement for Simple Shoes.  I’ve never tried their products and can’t vouch for their comfort or durability. I just want you to know that there are alternatives. Safer products are almost always available for whatever you need! Just keep looking and asking questions till you find healthier items.  BTW, you can read customer reviews for Simple Shoes at zappos.com.

If you can’t avoid leather and can afford the prices, you can buy eco-certified leather and suede, which is available from Simple Shoes, or Silver Tannery Rated leather products from the Earthkeepers™ line from Timberland.  Eco-certified and Silver Tannery Rated means that the leather is produced in a more sustainable way.  These are just two examples; there are other companies making earth friendly shoes as well.

It’s not a question of one ‘right’ solution for everyone. Each individual will need to consider items they purchase in light of their particular situation and genuine needs as well as the overall earth friendly, sustainability factor.  Someone who lives in Finland will require different footwear than someone who lives in Hawai’i, for example.

A new way of shopping

Clearly, it’s no longer viable to buy products based on our old habits and preferences. A new way of shopping is in order, which requires taking some time for research and a willingness to try new products.  When you find a sustainable product that works well for you, spread the word.  Doing so will save time for others.  Your generosity of spirit will be rewarded when others respond in a like manner.  We need to create new chains of word-of-mouth and blog-to-blog eco-marketing that circumvent the standard, wasteful techniques.

On the short run, it may be more expensive to buy sustainable products, but let’s keep an eye on the bigger picture.  What can be more costly than developing one of the many conditions—like cancer and allergies—that are on the rise due, in part, to environmental pollution?  What could be more costly and devastating than having increasing numbers of children with early-onset chronic illness?  In part, you can offset the extra cost by buying fewer items.  Not to be a killjoy, but no one actually needs a whole closet full of shoes.

In a new eco-friendly, green world, there will be earth friendly products available for everyone at reasonable prices, but it will take time to get there. Imagine a PayLess Shoe store that doesn’t stink of plastic and chemical toxins!  Some of us will have to pay more now until larger markets are created for sustainable products.

No one would intentionally poison themselves.  As more environmental information becomes available and greater dialog ensues, people will gradually learn to make better choices for themselves and the planet.

“Rubber” flip-flops

It’s the height of summer in my part of the world and local stores are advertising zori flip-flops as “rubber” slippers for as low as $2.59. What does “rubber” mean in this context?

According to Wikipedia, “most flip-flops are made with polyurethane, which comes from crude oil. This material is a number seven resin and cannot usually be recycled in small amounts.” Real “natural” rubber flip-flops usually cost around $15-20, but some companies now offer flip-flops made from recycled tires at a more reasonable price.

While it may not sound fashionable, if you can, it’s better to buy sturdier shoes that will last longer rather than disposable ones like cheap flip-flops.  As unchíc as it may seem, try to wear your shoes until they are well worn.

Have you found eco-friendlier shoes?  Do you have any suggestions for avoiding leather shoes?

If you liked this article, please share it with others.  Thanks very much, Sandra

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An eco-friendly, green world

What will our new eco-friendly, green world look like?

Activate your imagination and let your wildest dreams surge forth.  Paint a clear picture—it can and will become real.

The oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico catapulted many into deep despair and anger.  Yet, in the end, the accident could very well serve as the impetus for massive change aimed at saving this endangered planet.  The catastrophic oil accident mixed with the accelerating impacts of climate change has become a potent call to action.

People in the “developed” world are waking up in droves to the horrible impact of our over-the-top oil addiction. This addictive behavior harms not just us, but also the people and environments in the countries producing our toxic products en masse.  More and more individuals are taking personal responsibility and finding ways to reduce their oil consumption.

Environmental change or clever spin?

Likewise, more companies are embracing eco-friendlier approaches to production and product marketing.  As an example, I recently found this message at the bottom of a Timberland shoe box printed on top of a stencil of a shoe sole:

“What kind of footprint will you leave?”

Great question! On the inside of the box top, Timberland assures us:

“And yes, of course, this box is made from 100% post consumer recycled materials and printed with soy and water based inks.  Reuse it.  Then recycle it.”

Timberland continues the inner box top script asking the question, “How will we change today?”   The company answers itself with these words, “The opportunity to make it better is everywhere if we choose to act.” It kindly provides a small list of inspiring opportunities for action.

Good work, Timberland. I applaud your enlightened efforts.  Every step in a green direction is positive and should not be denigrated.  At the same time, we need to ask, “Is this enough?”  First steps are critical, but let them not be the only steps.  As consumers, we need to have a discerning eye to distinguish between truly effective, visionary action and marketing chíc.

I don’t want to pick on Timberland unfairly because it engages in multiple endeavors to sustain the environment.  The company has a long-term strategy to become carbon neutral by 2010, it uses a portion of recycled materials in its products, and offers a collection called ‘Earthkeepers™’ especially intended to have a smaller environmental footprint.

I can’t help but ask, shouldn’t all our products be Earthkeepers™? I hope that’s the ultimate intention.

A good fraction of Timberland’s footwear continues to be constructed from leather. As most of you know, factory farming utilizes a high proportion of environmental resources in addition to its other detrimental effects. Timberland is without question moving in the right direction, but is it enoughWhat else can be done?

It’s up to us as consumers to educate ourselves and ask penetrating questions again and again.  At the same time, we need to curb our own appetite for the frivolous and reduce the market for high-resource products like leather by making alternative choices.  Companies respond to markets and consumers shape markets.  The power is in our hands if we unite in the same direction.

Full-out greenwashing

On the other end of the spectrum is full out ‘greenwashing‘—claiming a product to be organic and natural when it’s not. One example of a confusing marketing message is offered by Herbal Essences, the #2 selling shampoo in America produced by Proctor and Gamble.

Petrol Essences

In the brief, informative, and dynamic video, The Story of Cosmetics, Annie Leonard asks, “Since when do herbs come from petroleum?”  Do not be fooled, Herbal Essences has very little in the way of herbal essences.  Its ingredients include one petroleum derived product after another.

Who can we really trust? Apparently, not Proctor and Gamble.  The same type of greenwahsing goes on with products commonly found at your health food store too.

Here are some “organic” brands that may not be living up to their promise:  Amazon Organics, Avalon Organics, Desert Essence Organics, Earth’s Best Organic, Giovanni Organic Cosmetics, Head Organics, JASON Pure Natural and Organic, Nature’s Gate Organics, Organics by Noah’s Naturals.

Staying educated and abreast of green affairs is critical.  Otherwise, you are at risk for being hoodwinked by empty eco-friendly marketing claims.

Climate-neutral production?

Reducing a company’s “carbon footprint” is now common lingo, but is it real and will it make enough of a difference?  I recently received a Super Saver booklet in the mail from KTA market.  On the back, I found this carbon neutral statement:

KTA Super Stores is a sustainable contributor to voluntary climate protection by producing each Super Saver in a climate-neutral manner and offsetting Co2 emissions through the following approved climate protection project… KTA Super Stores is the first supermarket in the nation to participate in the natureOffice carbon neutral program.  This Super Saver is also recyclable and made with 20% recycled fiber.”

Is it just me?  I found it humorous to be told that this Super Saver is “recyclable” as if this were a unique innovation developed by KTA. Maybe I’m missing something here, but hasn’t paper always been recyclable?  Before getting too excited about its recyclable potential, read on to see that the booklet is only made of 20% recycled fiber.  What about the other 80%?

Why am I even receiving this 78-page booklet addressed to “resident” in the mail? I don’t shop at KTA, I haven’t requested the booklet, and I don’t need it.  In my case, it goes directly in the recycle bin.  Others may trash it. What a waste!  Does functioning in such a wasteful way nullify efforts to become carbon-neutral to any degree, I wonder?

When it comes right down to it, the vast majority of products in any super market are not essential to humankind’s survival nor are they particularly green.  They are swathed in plastic packaging, which is derived from petroleum, and typically transported for thousands of miles.  Again, I bow to KTA’s commitment to produce its booklet in a carbon neutral fashion.  It’s a good start, but don’t we need to do a little bit more than this to actually turn around climate change and liberate ourselves from oil dependence?  Re-thinking what we eat as well as what and how much we really need given the epidemic of obesity might be a great place to start.

Once again, as consumers, it’s up to ask to keep asking the piercing questions.  Let’s not be fooled by fallacious marketing claims or modest but limited attempts toward safer and saner production methods. Too much is at stake to believe that corporations suddenly have our green interest at heart.  Let’s celebrate every positive step, but be sure to voice the highest expectations.

You have the power to effect change every time you purchase a product. In Small Ways to Make a Big Difference, Karen Ruby from the blog A Meaningful Existence suggests,

“Every dollar in your pocket is a vote. Don’t forget it. Every single one is counted. It’s a failsafe system. It’s perfect democracy.”

What will our new green, eco-friendly world look like?

Personal development experts speak about ‘life-design.’  Even more critical is the remarkable opportunity before us to express our collective creative and imaginative forces for the purpose of a wide-sweeping ‘planet-redesign.’  Instead of becoming discouraged or depressed about the oil spill, become creative, proactive, and visionary.  A green, life-affirming trend is already gaining tremendous momentum.

The blog Treehugger says the transition away from oil based products will be a decades long process.  A full 71%  of oil goes to transportation—transporting ourselves and the goods and foods we purchase. Treehugger advises,

“…if we want to really use less oil, we have to construct our communities, our product manufacture and distribution chains so that less daily travel is needed. So the average person doesn’t need to own a car at all. We have to create more walkable and bikeable communities. Beyond that we need to re-localize and regionalize economic activity for all those goods which can be produced in this way–recognizing that not everything can or should.”

Reducing the number of oil-based products you use is important for a whole range of reasons like waste, pollution, and health, but the biggest gains will come from driving and flying less and walking and biking more.

According to the Nature Conservancy, if everyone cut their daily driving by 5.4 miles, the U.S. could halt drilling in the Gulf of Mexico altogether. Treehugger recommends moving closer to where you work and living in smaller-scale communities.  Buying local products is another huge part of the equation, since a good proportion of the 75% of oil use goes to transporting food and products.

At Upcycled Love, Lynn Fang speaks passionately about  a ‘Sustainable Economy,‘ in which businesses evolve to “revere the triple bottom line: people, planet, profit.”  Lynn says:

“The possibility of a sustainable economy means there is a way we can run our society without completely depleting our resources. There is a way we can live happily, with profit, and with care to our environment. The issue is not whether it is a possibility, the issue is how we’re going to get there.”

It is possible. I find the prospect of reconstructing our communities in more ideal ways a fascinating challenge.  This is the creative task before us in this time of unfathomable potential for building a bright new future.  It all begins with living simply and consciously so others may simply live.

What’s your vision for our new eco-friendly, green world?

If you liked this post, please share it with others.  Thanks very much!  Sandra

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101 rays of gratitude

The decision to practice joy, positivity, and gratitude is by far one of the greatest decisions you can make in your lifetime.

I understand if positivity doesn’t come easily for you because it doesn’t come naturally to my inborn Virgo character.  There’s a tendency to be critical of self and others.  To see the glass as half empty instead of half full. To strive for perfection and thus notice errors—even the tiny ones.  There’s the urge to correct everything and everyone in sight.

Fortunately, we are not bound by our astrology or anything else for that matter. In my own life, I’ve found that it simply comes down to making a decision, once and for all and in every moment, to choose joy, happiness, and positivity.  Happiness doesn’t depend upon external circumstances.  It depends on how you choose to perceive whatever arises in your day-to-day life. Life is not always rosy, but whatever happens, you can strive to always be well within.

Practicing joy and gratitude

Such an attitude shift is not necessarily a cakewalk.  It requires practice, patience, and repetition.  Some people are born warm, fuzzy, and bright.  The rest of us have to make a determined effort to get there, but the rewards are great and the path can be one of joyful diligence rather than struggle. Just like darkness cannot exist where there is light, when you think positively, negativity automatically dissolves.  Thus, by practicing positivity habitually, joy will spontaneously grow your life.

Gratitude is one aspect of positivity that can be practiced any time, any place.  To make it a habit, just spend 5 minutes each morning or evening reflecting upon and appreciating all the gifts in your life.  Deeply feel a sense of gratitude, let it permeate your being and shine out.  Then whenever a negative thought arises during the day replace it with a ray of gratitude.  Make a commitment to practice this daily for a month and you will be well on your way to mastering this self-transforming art.

Remember, it’s a ‘practice,’ which means none of us are perfect quite yet.  Give yourself space for joy and gratitude to slowly buildup and negativity to gradually decline.  Negativity will indeed pop up from time to time.  When it does, just gently move your mind to gratitude without indulging in self-recrimination.  If this crusty Virgo can find more joy in life, there’s no question that you can too!

My 100 rays of gratitude

Making a list of gratitudes—as many as you can think of—is a wonderful way to jump start the process of establishing this new habit.  Take some time and have fun creating your own list.   I spent a few weeks gradually accumulating my list, which meant my mind was gravitating back to gratitude often during each day.

Here are my 100 rays of gratitude.

I’m deeply grateful for:

1. this precious lifetime.
2. my extraordinary spiritual teachers—their kindness, compassion, wisdom, tireless activity, and supreme vision.
3. receiving an abundance of authentic spiritual teachings.
4. my parents.  It is only due to their kindness that I have the opportunity of this precious lifetime.
5. my amazing husband, who continues to shine and grow by leaps and bounds.  He is a tremendous inspiration to me and a fabulous partner.
6. my siblings for all their loving care, kindness, and support.
7. all my friends from childhood until now.
8. free access to information via books, libraries, the internet, and other mediums.  Not everyone has free access to information!
9. being television free for four years+.
10. friendly neighbors.
11. the chance to own my home for the first time in my life, a rare privilege indeed.
12. living in a non-toxic home.
13. being able to eat.  So many are subject to famine, poverty, or illness, unable to nourish themselves adequately.
14. being able to use my hands.
15. clean water, the essence of life.
16. having found my true vocation as a writer.
17. learning to love and accept myself.
18. letting go of fear.
19. letting go of anger.
20. blogging friends.
21. being able to help and touch others through my blog.
22. the readers of my blog, thoughtful commentors, and those who share links to my articles via their social networks.
23. people who are dedicated to creating a better world like Beth Terry, Raam Dev, and Wandering Gaia.
24. the internet – creating a closer-knit global community and opportunities for transforming this world.
25. the natural beauty and aloha spirit of Hawai’i.
26. the ocean, the mountains, the sky.

27. alternative medicine—Naturopathy, Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, Tibetan Medicine, Integrative Medicine, Chiropractic, Homeopathy and others.
28. the full spectrum of colors.
29. natural healing—massage, all forms of bodywork, Qigong, Yoga, and countless others.
30. owning a computer.
31. all those who produce green options to plastic, petroleum, and other toxic products.
32. all those who have helped me on my path of healing.
33. all those who have been a thorn in my side, teaching me the most valuable of lessons.
34. the dynamic forces of nature: the elements of wind, fire, earth, water, and metal (or space).
35. the world of the senses—sights, sounds, sensations, smells, tastes.
36. the great writers, dreamers, activists, thinkers, spiritual leaders, and peacemakers of our time who inspire, challenge, and urge us to live meaningfully.
37. indoor plumbing
38. having a washing machine and the ability to wash my clothes in non-toxic laundry detergent without fabric softeners and bleach.
39. bathtubs.
40. epsom salts baths.
41. the healing pond.
42. our deck.
43. lava rock.
44. medicinal plants.
45. our garden and greenhouse.
46. www.treehugger (dot) com
47. our galaxy, the planets and the stars.
48. astrology.
49. the playfulness of whales and dolphins.
50. miracles – they happen all the time.
51. positive people.
52. this ever so patient body, incredibly strong and resilient, the vehicle for this lifetime of discovery.
53. homeopathic medicine.
54. environmental awareness, growing exponentially.
55. living in a warm climate.
56. all the health bloggers who share their stories and information far ahead of the constraints of Western medicine.
57. organic seeds.
58. rainbows.

59. mindfulness meditation for chronic pain.
60. Amygdala Retraining.
61. Dynamic Neural Retraining.
62. the sounds of nature.
63. health food stores.
64. farmers’ markets.
65. the U. S. Postal Service.
66. being highly sensitive for all that it’s taught me.
67. people who do not wear perfume, fragrance, and essential oils and those who do not use fragranced laundry products due to the health dangers of fragrance.
68. sunlight
69. healthy, happy kittens, my favorite personal development coaches.
70. stress reduction strategies.
71. recycling centers.
72. online meditation courses.
73. time for personal retreat.
74. polar bears and sea turtles.
75. the seasons.
76. the Environmental Working Group.
77. everyone who is taking personal responsibility and reducing their oil use.
78. the low-oxalate diet.
79. organic farmers.
80. baking soda, the ultimate non-toxic all-around helper.
81. public libraries.
82. Emergency Medical Technicians.
83. recycling centers.
84. volunteers.
85. nightlights.
86. flashlights.
87. composting.
88. the beauty and symbolism of lotus flowers.

89. quiet and solitude.
90. the feminist movement.
91. bamboo and other sustainable resources.
92.WordPress.com
93. pioneers, innovators, researchers who have the courage of their convictions in the face of resistance.
94. synchronicity.
95. the forest.
96. the Buddha and his teachings.
97. Tibet.
98. the Dalai Lama.
99. the practices for cultivating love, joy, compassion, and equanimity.
100. meditation and teachings on the nature of mind.
101. knowing it all to be like a dream.

“Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion.  Practice good-heartedness toward all beings.  Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you.  What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream.  The trick is to have positive intention during the dream.  This is the essential point.  This is true spirituality.” – Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche in the book Life in Relation to Death

Please share your tips for practicing joy and gratitude.

Thank you for reading and sharing!  If you enjoyed this article please subscribe for free updates by email.  With love, Sandra

A Waterfall of Stimulation – the Effect of Chronic Stress

Is your life a waterfall of endless activity and constant stimulation?

Maybe you work over lunch, in the evenings, and on weekends.  Or you’re glued to the internet every evening until bedtime.  Perhaps you never part from your Iphone, Blackberry or other electronic devices.  Some people even conduct wild sleep experiments in an attempt to capture more time. Then there’s the proud multitasker.  Is that you?

A small brood may be keeping you on your toes 24/7. Maybe you squeeze in work during their naps, school hours, or after their bedtime, stealing from your own precious Z’s.

This may seem all well and good in the moment, but chronic over-stimulation leads to physiological over-arousal—stress!—and the release of adrenaline and cortisol in the body.  In our times, it’s not uncommon for people to have a continuous elevation of cortisol in their bloodstream due to a busy, pressured, high performance, noisy, information-flooded lifestyle.

According to Wikipedia, just “commuting increases cortisol levels, related to the length of the trip, the amount of effort involved and the predictability of the trip.” Over-stimulation is endemic in our culture. The energized state that initially occurs when aroused can even become addictive.

The inevitable results

When you are healthy and strong, it’s easy to shrug off the extra work, stress, and commitments in the hopes of getting ahead, building a business, saving the world, or socking money away for retirement. However, it’s dangerously naive to dwell in this bravado.  I am telling you this heart-to-heart as someone who innocently worked like a dog and then was taken aback when the highly predictable results occurred.

Constant stress and stimulation, physical and psychological, more often than not leads to serious health problems. Excess cortisol coursing through your system can interfere with digestion, suppress the immune system, tighten muscles, and increase blood pressure.  It can make it difficult to fall asleep, wake you up the night or too early in the morning.  Chronic over-arousal can make you more prone to anxiety and depression because it can actually rewire your brain.  Many health problems are caused or exacerbated by stress including chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, skin disorders, heart disease, digestive distress, chronic fatigue, and others.

In short, continuous stress can cause widespread damage to your body, have a deleterious affect on your mood and mental health, reduce your productivity, impact your relationships adversely, and diminish your joy de vivre.

Isn’t it ironic that when illness does finally emerge, we are taken by surprise as if it came of the blue?  Usually, it’s simply the accumulation of years of crazed living.

For the sake of your future health, please let all this sink in—unrelenting stress is harmful to you. While some people can handle it on the short run better than others, adverse long term effects are predictable.  People who are already ill or the 1 in 5 who are highly sensitive, need to take even more precautions.

There are many people in the world who work too hard because they don’t have a choice and suffer consequent illness because of it.  Sadly, many of those who do have a choice, don’t always realize the potential ill-effects of their stress-driven lifestyle.

Take a look at your life

I am not going to launch into 100-point list of stress reduction tips to further add to your plate.  My approach is usually to focus on the power of one, anyway.  Today, I just want to beseech you to please take a moment to look at your life and honestly see if stress, pressure, and chronic over-stimulation are overarching issues for you.

If so, please don’t be innocent like me. My advice is to be a brazen non-careerist!

Take a moment to look.  Then start with just one simple, achievable change to release a bit of air from the tight balloon before it suddenly pops.  When you have that one well under your belt, move on to another.  Take it easy, don’t stress, but please do take it seriously.

Have you managed to jump off the roller coaster of stress?

If you liked this article, please share the link with others.  Thanks so much!  Sandra

Oil spill: fresh perspectives

I am heartened by bloggers who continue the conversation about the oil spill and its aftermath. Each are sharing a unique perspective on how to look at and approach this tragedy and urgent call to action.

With any problem—personal or communal—it’s always useful to look at the issue from many different angles and to turn it around in your mind and heart several times.  This allows a spectrum of creative solutions to emerge, and makes it possible to see more clearly the most efficacious and coherent strategies for all concerned.

These are some thoughtful articles that touched me in particular and invited me to consider the oil spill in new ways.

At this time ~ this space, timethief touches upon several different but interconnected points in her article “Rethinking oil use and dependency.”  She emphasizes the importance of holding our lawmakers accountable, while also highlighting the need to kick our own addiction to fossil fuels.  She  shares links to media rich resources including a powerful video and telling images from NASA as well as individual photographers.  timethief says:

“I believe it’s reasonable to expect our governments to ensure that industry complies with the laws of our land and to strengthen them.  I believe we must insist regulatory oversight be put into place to protect the environment and must be stringently enforced.  I believe maintaining oil as a energy resource and relying on oil based economies only serves to keep some people rich at the cost of the environment and the future ability of our beautiful planet to meet the needs of its inhabitants.”

Tess from The Bold Life offers yet another angle.  In her article “Oil spill:  taking personal responsibility,” Tess looks at the oil spill through the lens of love.  She believes that love is the answer to all our problems and that letting go of blame, anger, fear, and judgement are critical.  Tess says:

“The oil spill in the Golf Coast reveals we are at a critical moment in time, a crossroads. We can continue to pray, hope and wish our world would go back to being the way it was or we can decide to change and make cocreate a new world. In order to do so I believe we have to transcend the physical world.”

At The Canary Report, Susie Collins posted a video on how BP blowout cleanup workers are getting sick.  In the video, an Exxon Valdez survivor warns of long term health effects, and an activist chemist currently on site in the Gulf reports on current illnesses in BP cleanup crew.  In my opinion, the current wave of toxin-induced illness is a terrible way to confirm that chemical sensitivity is not psychogenic.

I agree with timethief:  we need to kick our addiction to oil for the sake of future generations.  I also agree with Tess: we are indeed at a critical crossroads and love is a powerful antidote.  And, I appreciate Susie sounding the alarm about the potential for multiple chemical sensitivity among clean-up workers.

The oil spill presents us with a magnificent opportunity, but change can only happen if each and everyone of us decides to act.  I am eminently optimistic and hopeful.  I know we can turn this around and create a safer and environmentally friendly world.  What can you do? One possibility: refuse or reuse plastic!

Plastic Facts

There are many ways to reduce your oil consumption.  One of them is refusing to use disposable plastic because plastic is a petroleum based product and it has a number of additional harmful effects, like being toxic to human health and fatal for sea life.

The use of plastic in the Western world is ubiquitous.  Consider these plastic facts from the Plastiki, a boat made of 12,000 plastic bottles that is sailing the Pacific to explore the extent and impact of plastic trash on our oceans and sea life.

  • 13 billion plastic bags are issued worldwide each year.
  • Americans trash 2.5 million plastic bottles every HOUR.
  • It takes 450 years for one plastic bottle to degrade into the ground!
  • 14 billion pounds of trash, much of it plastic, are dumped into the oceans every year.
  • North America and Western Europe account for 80% of plastic use.
  • Plastic bags and other plastic trash thrown into the ocean kill as many as 1 million sea creatures each year.

Astonishing, isn’t it?  Radically reducing the use of plastic bags and refusing to buy food and drinks in plastic containers are two giant steps you can take for a better and brighter future.  Bye, bye Evian.  Just think of all the money you will save too!

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Kid-safe chemicals

The Environmental Working Group “tested the umbilical cord blood of 10 newborn babies and found nearly 300 chemicals, including BPA, fire retardants, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides that were banned more than 30 years ago.”

They say: “Bills to overhaul federal toxic chemicals policies are now moving through Congress. They would require that all chemicals be proven safe for children before they can be sold. Lawmakers in Washington need to know that you want strong reforms for our broken toxics law.”

You can make a difference!  Join 93,500 people who care.

It will take just a moment. Make a difference by signing the Kid Safe Chemicals Petition.  Just follow the link.

Babies don’t have a choice, but you do!

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