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FDA Rules: Triclosan Unhealthy

POSTED BY on Dec 28 under Eco-friendly

Screen Shot 2013-12-28 at 3.39.42 PMFor over 35 years, proponents against use of triclosan have been saying that this anti-microbial agent is harmful to health. In fact, many have prodded the Food and Drug Administration to ban this product as early as the 70′s. But triclosan remains very popular and it’s found in many consumer products until today.

That may change, though, with a new ruling that the FDA has issued in accordance with a new court order with the Natural Resources Defense Council. The new ruling will reportedly take effect in the year 2016, but the NRDC is very optimistic and thankful that this has already happened.

Says the NRDC’s attorney, “It’s outrageous that FDA has waited 35 years to protect the public from this harmful chemical. This final rule should prohibit triclosan from use in soaps. “Washing your hands with soap containing triclosan doesn’t make them cleaner than using regular soap and water. In fact, not only do soaps containing triclosan fail to provide benefits consumers might expect, they carry potential health risks.”

Triclosan’s risks can affect endocrine production in the body, causing a hormonal imbalance that makes the cells susceptible to carcinogen. The NRDC says that for safer alternatives, look into alcohol-based products for cleaning and sanitizing. Or go the old school way and use hot water and regular soap for cleaning. Hot water is just as as effective for killing germs as triclosan, the proponents said.

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The Consumerist Christmas Tree

POSTED BY on Dec 26 under Eco-friendly

2013-12-23-IMG_0121_1Here’s something different but still obvious this holiday season…

We know that amidst all the frenzy, consumerism remains an issue during Christmas. And perhaps it is an annoyance for some because holidays, despite being a time for festivities and joy, are largely very wasteful, too. We have people complaining about the bad that goes with it, and yet these are the very people who are also part of the growing problem, especially when they do patronize and celebrate Christmas traditions.

So a group of artists decided to come up with something as a reminder.

This tree is a project of Luzinterruptus, which hopes to make a statement by coming up with this Consumerist Christmas Tree. It features peculiar items you don’t usually expect from a holiday symbol — materials scavenged from all over including plastic bags and shopping bags.

The group’s Christmas tree is set at the Lumiere Durham in England where artist erected a 9 meter plastic bag decorated tree with neon Christmas lights.

According to the group, “We wanted to give a double edge to our complaint. On the one hand, the massive use of plastic bags and the consequences this has on the environment, and on the other hand, the excessive and unnecessary consumption that occurs during the Christmas holidays.”

There’s such a strong message in this movement, isn’t it? Do you support their cause? Check out their main site for more photos.

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New York’s Christmas Gift For Earth: No More Styrofoam

POSTED BY on Dec 24 under Eco-friendly News

Screen Shot 2013-12-24 at 12.12.20 PMThe city council in New York has finally voted, unanimously at that, to ban styrofoam use. The bill is going to be signed into an actual law by Mayor Bloomberg just before the close of 2013. This makes New York the largest progressive city in America to adopt such a measure, when statistically, the city has been recorded to use 23,000 tons of this non-biodegradable item year after year.

Styrofoam usually end up in landfills and stay there for more than 500 years. It also is a main pollutant of the city’s water sources, thus urging the banning of styrofoam.

Eco groups all over have applauded this move by New York’s council, with one group saying, “This is a tremendous decision, and grand victory for us all. Future generations will see this as the obvious choice. But this vote today makes a strong stand and proves that New York is truly ready to make a difference.”

Once the law is signed, banning will commence after a year, giving styrofoam makers a chance to find other alternatives. They should be working on recycling styrofoam, which may be hard to accomplish. According to one council person, “They’ll have another year to show that, in my view, what is up is really down, but I don’t believe they’re going to be able to do that.”

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Making Christmas All Green And Bright

POSTED BY on Dec 21 under Eco-friendly

images The most wonderful time of the year is also the busiest, and the true meaning of Christmas can get lost in all the parties, eating, drinking and gift-shopping one has to do. It is so easy to get caught up with all the commercialism happening around. But it need not be this way, because Christmas can be celebrated in the simplest and greenest ways.

A. Plan ahead and make a list. Some people do this as early as August. While this advise may come too late now, you can avoid the same mistakes for next year.

B. Take a conscious effort in choosing home decorations and wrapping of presents. You have to allot some time into thinking and creating what items you can recycle or repurpose, if you’re planning to make your own gifts and decorations. You also have to take decisive moments when buying stuff for Christmas, by reading labels, doing your legwork about the store or seller, and researching what you’re going to buy first.

C. Having a party at home? Observing a greener Christmas also means including plans for cleaning up after-party. What will you do with the left-overs? What do you plan to do with all the wrappers after the presents are opened? What’s your system for cleaning up the mess? What will you do with unwanted presents?

D. Amidst all the chaos, don’t forget to pause and relax. This is a time of celebration, and a reflection for what Christmas really means. Slow down and giver yourself a chance to relish in all the festivities, too! It’ll be good for your sanity!

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Recycle Christmas Wrappers For Paper Art

POSTED BY on Dec 18 under Eco-friendly, Eco-friendly DIY

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 12.12.24 PMWhile Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also one of the messiest and most wasteful, as families unwrap presents and leave a trail of trash all over the place. For many years, some people choose to unwrap gifts in a careful manner to preserve the wrapper so that they can use this to rewrap other items. But there are still plenty of other uses for used gift wrappers and you can definitely add these papers to your art stock at home.

Below are some suggestions:

1) You can use wrapping paper to unleash your creativity with homemade items like Christmas cards or unique gift boxes. You can even use this even when it’s not Christmas. It’s a matter of learning how to fold and cut. For instance, you can create letters out of old wrappers to adorn a birthday box.

2) Use the wrappers to cover desks or spruce up wooden furniture. You can probably learn decoupage during the short holiday break. It’s fairly easy to follow, especially if you find the right tutorial on Youtube. Because Christmas wrappers come in vibrant colors, imagine just how pretty this will turn out.

3) You can use the wrappers to decorate. Slip some in the cabinets and drawers to line clothes, instead of buying an actual liner. Use old wrappers to turn old wine bottles into artistic creation. Again, these craft ideas have tons of tutorials on Youtube.

Good luck with your art projects!

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Keeping Your Pets Safe This Holiday

POSTED BY on Dec 16 under Eco-friendly

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 1.23.33 PMThese days, even dogs are part of the celebration and the revelry during the holidays that it is important for families to make sure that these furry pets are also kept safe and secure, especially with a number of parties happening all around. Here are some suggested holiday tips:

1) Putting up a Christmas tree is a household tradition for many. And if you do plan on having one with dogs in the house, it can get tricky as they may come near the tree and ruin it. Make sure that the pets are told the tree is off-limits as they may grab on to decorations and gifts. If possible, leash them or simply disallow them to enter the room where with the tree in it. Or put a gate around the tree, as dogs will be able to recognize the boundaries.

2) Leftover holiday food isn’t for the dogs, so as much as possible, have the discipline to keep them set in their diet. While it’s tempting to let the dogs celebrate with you this season, holiday food has so much fat in it, that it may make your dogs feel sick to the stomach. Some may even be poison to your pets. If it can’t be help, make sure to curb the indulgence to a minimum.

3) Be careful with the Christmas lights, as dogs may snag them and chew on them, exposing the wires and causing an electrical malfunction. Keep these away from their reach or discipline the dogs into understanding that these are not toys.

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Removing Odor and Humidity Naturally

POSTED BY on Dec 14 under Eco-friendly

Screen Shot 2013-12-14 at 7.40.16 AMWinter weather has its days of drafty these days because it can be unpredictably cold one day, and slightly warm the next. This fluctuation can be attributed to extreme weather changes we are experiencing, that it affects the way the rooms smell. Do you notice this? It seems to take away the coolness and the freshness that’s supposed to come with the winter months, so to manage this the most natural ways, you can take these tips:

1) Use charcoal to absorb the odors all around the house. Keep a batch stashed under the bed, so that it helps with the humidity in the bedroom, allowing you to sleep better. Also do the same in the living room. Charcoal helps keep the room smelling natural, and it doesn’t come with any scent. However, it is better than masking odor away unlike perfumed or scented products. Every 3 weeks or so, the charcoal can be set in sunlight for a few hours to rejuvenate it, and then you can use it all over again.

2) Wipe surfaces like floor and cabinets with white vinegar. There is a smell that comes with vinegar, however, when you use it, it really doesn’t come off smelling bad. In fact, this item is a mild disinfectant that washes odor away, and it also keeps the floor and fixtures clean and shiny looking.

3) You can also use baking powder to remove odor and stench. Dab some on seat covers in the living room and leave it on for 30 minutes before vacuuming and you’re good to go.

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Know Your Eco-Friendly Fashion Labels

POSTED BY on Dec 11 under Eco-Fashion, Eco-friendly

Screen Shot 2013-12-11 at 2.21.42 PMYou see plenty of fashion brands label their products with eco-friendly terms, but do you actually know what this means and what its benefits are to the environment? Here’s a brief schooling on some of the most common eco-friendly fashion terms:

1) ORGANIC. When a product is labeled as organic, it means that the materials for this, such as the fibers on the clothes, are not treated with pesticides and chemicals. Some don’t go for 100%, which is still fine. Products have to pass the requirements sent in the country or the industry before they can actually advertise this.

2) VEGAN. Vegan clothing means that the materials used for the garment doesn’t come from animals. So, if you see leather bags or wool knitted tops that are labeled “vegan” this means that there aren’t really used with animal ingredients, but it’s substitute. Stella McCartney is one famous label that prides on its vegan products.

3) RECLAIMED. It’s another word for recycle, meaning materials used to create handbags, belts, accessories and clothes are sourced from recycled wastes. This may also refer to the packaging of the item. Using reclaimed materials, however, doesn’t diminish the quality of the new product, as these items have undergone a stringent process for it to be reusable again.

Have you made any purchase with these common organic labels? How did you find use of the products afterwards?

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Smartphone Apps for Safe Makeup Shopping

POSTED BY on Dec 9 under Green Gadgets, Health and Fitness

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 4.38.48 PMThe cosmetic industry is keeping with the times and at least two industry leaders have come up with a smartphone applications that would help women shop for better, eco-friendier cosmetics products, just by simply using their invention.

The Environmental Working Group has an app available to download for free at both the iTunes and Android stores that contains over thousands of personal care product details. These products are grouped and labeled according to their hazard rating and it comes with a recommendation from the group.

Meanwhile, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics also has a iTunes app that allows users to find products with the “dirty meter” rating. The contents come with information about ingredients on any personal care item, as well as its health impact on the user. The app also provides a tracking system for what items the user has in her home. It also allows for the creation of a list for shopping, and a product rating guide.

The aim for these apps is to provide consumers with loads of information on what type of chemicals are in this product, particularly when some are not regulated.

You can actually scan any products you intend on buying using these apps, so that you can make a sound decision before paying for your purchase.

This is a must-have if you’re a smartphone user and greatly concerned with what you use for you and your family.

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Food You Eat May Be Genetically Modified

POSTED BY on Dec 5 under Eco-friendly

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 3.14.42 PMGenetically modified food may seem like something you read in science fiction books. But unfortunately, many of the food we eat have undergone modification. Some people say that this is one of the main reasons why diseases are escalating. But others will argue that it’s safe and it provides for millions of people, so it’s still something that happens even today.

One thing about genetically modified food is that, there are no actual labels on it. It’s not required by agencies like the FDA to actually provide for labels. For this reason, people are now more conscious about patronizing organic food, in order to ensure that they are eating healthy.

So, what are the most common food that manufacturers actually modify? It would be good to know these so that you could find options for it.

1) Corn, particularly in the United States, are genetically modified. The corn crops are modified to do away with herbicides and weeds. This includes corn flakes that’s being used for cereals. If you’re children are fond of eating these, it may be high time to reconsider where you get your conflakes from, or at least know the manufacturing process of it.

2) Most canola crops found in America are genetically modified, which is why, health proponents are against use of canola oil for cooking.

3) Milk products are also highly modified to increase its production. The cows are given growth hormones that may affect human hormones in the long run.

Many modified food are already banned in  Australia, Canada, Japan and some European countries, while are many groups pushing for the banning of this in the United States.

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