September 24th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
For me, autumn-proofing my skin focuses on the driest parts of my body: feet, elbows and knees.
There’s no need to buy fancy and expensive products to treat these areas, according to Sarah Callard, author of The Little Green Book of Beauty: 250 Tips for an Eco Lifestyle.
“For dry skin, use olive oil, organic if possible,” she writes. “It has excellent moisturizing properties and has been traditionally used as an intensive conditioning and moisturizing treatment for areas prone to dry skin.”
Callard recommends applying it at bedtime so you can wake up with smoother skin.
Also by Sarah Callard
Read More:Fight Dry Skin with Organic Olive Oil
September 22nd, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
My dog-niece Charlie, now 4 months old, enjoyed several baths over the summer.
There have been only a few days of that familiar “stinky dog smell.” Luckily, Charlie enjoys a good shampoo and fluff, so there’s no battle in getting her into the sink or tub.
Many dog shampoos contain toxic chemicals, so it’s important to purchase green products.
Kimberly Delaney, author of Knack Clean Home, Green Home: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Eco-Friendly Homekeeping, offers these recommendations:
- Shampoo products should be made from plant-derived ingredients, with nontoxic preservatives.
- If the product is scented, make sure natural oils are used.
- Product labels should list all ingredients.
- Shampoos should be 100% biodegradable.
- Whenever possible, select a product with recyclable packaging.
If your dog has any acute or chronic skin conditions, consult with your veterinarian before selecting bath products.
5 Natural and Organic Dog Shampoos
- Aubrey Organimals
- Spot Organics No More Itch Shampoo
- Richard’s Organics Deodorizing Dog & Cat Shampoo
- Earthbath All Natural Mango Tango Shampoo and Conditioner in One
- TrueBlue Pure and Sure Puppy Shampoo
Read More:You Can Lead a Dog to Water…
September 19th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
We’ve talked about different ways to soften fabrics when you wash and dry your clothes (plant-derived dryer sheets), as well as products to avoid (toxic, beef fat-infused dryer sheets and laundry balls).
I’ve also reported on ways to green your washing machine, the importance of ENERGY STAR-rated washers and eco-friendly dryers.
Today, I’ll conclude this series with a look at two of the most low-tech, yet effective, ways to soften fabrics:
- Organic distilled white vinegar
- Baking soda
According to Deirdre Imus (yes, she’s Don’s wife), author of Green This! Volume One: Greening Your Cleaning:
Distilled white vinegar, preferably organic, is the best and healthiest softener. Just put a tablespoon in the rinse cycle, as you would any of the toxic fabric softeners. (Don’t overdo it—you don’t want your clothes to smell like vinegar!) Your clothes will come out soft every time.
In lieu of vinegar, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to the wash cycle, she says.
If you want your clothes to smell nice, add a few drops of your favorite organic essential oil to your washer’s rinse cycle, notes Imus, founder and president of the Deirdre Imus Environmental Center for Pediatric Oncology at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. As an alternative, place a few drops on a washcloth, and toss it into the dryer with your clothes.
Also by Deirdre Imus
Read More:Drying with Deirdre
September 17th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
While researching Monday’s piece on laundry balls, I came across another interesting bit of information on dryer sheets.
According to Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry, authors of Squeaky Green: The Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home:
Beef fat (aka tallow) is the secret ingredient that makes your clothes so soft. The very stuff you cut off your steak so you won’t gain weight or clog your arteries is coating your sheets, towels, shirts, jeans, even your underwear.
Ryan and Lowry, who founded the Method brand of nontoxic cleaners, recommend eco-friendly vegan dryer sheets that are made from plant-derived substances like canola oil. You can even reuse the sheets as dust cloths after you’ve finished your laundry, they say.
Method makes Squeaky Green Dryer Cloths. Another option is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Dryer Sheets. Both products are available at natural and organic food stores.
Read More:Beef Fat in Your Laundry?
September 15th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
We want our laundry to feel soft and smell fresh, but traditional dryer sheets are not the answer. As noted in A Partner in Grime:
Dryer sheets contain artificial fragrances and carcinogenic chemicals ranging from ethanol to formaldehyde, so avoid using them. In addition to posing health hazards, they can leave a film on your dryer’s filter that reduces air flow. Over time, this can impair the motor’s performance.
You may have seen laundry balls and discs at your local natural and organic food store, which are promoted as long-lasting, eco-friendly solutions. But there’s a catch, according to Jill Potvin Schoff, author of Green Up Your Cleanup.
“Dryer balls used as fabric softeners do work,” she writes, “but they are made out of PVC, a plastic you want to avoid.”
Click here for more information on the perils of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
Read More:Laundry Balls
September 14th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Kudos to The Home Depot Foundation for investing an additional $30 million in its Partners in Sustainable Building program, which helps Habitat for Humanity build homes for struggling families.
The foundation will provide the funds and resources over 5 years. Habitat affiliates will build 5,000 homes that meet Energy Star guidelines and green building standards, 1,500 of which will be built this and next year.
Partners in Sustainable Building was established last year, with a pilot program that built 260 sustainable homes. The program adheres to Environmental Protection Agency standards, which require:
- Up to 50 percent less energy usage
- Up to a 33% decrease in indoor water consumption, with installation of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures and appliances
- Durable materials that lower maintenance costs over the life of the home, which increases affordability
- A reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
“From a new energy-efficient water heater and weather stripping to programmable thermostats and a low-flow toilet and bathroom fixtures, our family is already seeing savings in our monthly utility bills,” says Brian, a Habitat homeowner from the pilot program. “We’re so excited about our new home. To know it’s one that we can afford to maintain and live in for years to come means so much for our family.”
“By embracing the practical principles of green building, our partnership with Habitat for Humanity International is demonstrating that these techniques can actually make homes more affordable to own, maintain and live in from day one and for the long term,” says Kelly Caffarelli, president of The Home Depot Foundation. “With health and economic concerns at an all-time high, this issue is more important than ever for the families who will purchase these homes.”
Click here to volunteer with your local Habitat for Humanity.
Read More:Building Green Homes for Needy Families
June 29th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
I’m naked right now! Just kidding, that’d be creepy. But for a lot of people walking around naked is a lifestyle. I call them crazy people.
However, nudism or “naturalism” is catching on. More and more people are shedding their clothes and bearing their giblets. Many of them claim it’s green.
Being naked from time to time means you’re not wearing as much clothes, so you’re not doing a lot of laundry, using up water or releasing detergents into the sewers.
But some people take it a giant step further. Instead of just staying inside, they take naked vacations with other naked people. On these nude getaways vacationers do activities and eat diets with very low ecological impact.
And the idea is spreading! In France, nearly a third of vacationers at the Aquitaine region on the French Atlantic coast are foreign nudists.
I wouldn’t have a problem with nudism, if it weren’t for every other nudist looking like Archie Bunker or Mimi from The Drew Carey Show.
Via Green Inc.
Read More:Being Naked is Good for the Planet…
May 29th, 2009 - Leslie Billera
Relax! Lipstick makes you feel great – not sick.
Beware! Traces of lead, a neurotoxin found in some lipstick, accumulates over long periods of time in your body and can create adverse health effects.
What to believe?
Thanks to A Simple Smooch or a Toxic Smack, a recent New York Times article on the subject…that’s still unclear (with all due respect to the old gray lady and crack reporter Abby Ellin).
The piece quotes doctors like Dr. David Bellinger, who say simply “no level of lead exposure appears to be ‘safe;’” and still other doctors like Dr. Therese Bevers, who says “lead hasn’t been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer or other cancers.”
Need to know highlights from the piece include…
- One-third of 33 lipsticks had lead in excess of 0.1 parts per million, the federal limit for candy (according to research done by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics)
- Worst offender #1: L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red” lipstick (with a lead content of 0.65 parts per million)
- Worst offender #2: Cover Girl’s Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” (0.56 parts per million)
- Lead is typically found in the pigment of the reddest lipsticks
Price is not the Point
Wet and Wild Mega Colors “Cherry Blossom” contained no lead, whereas a $24 tube of Dior Addict “Postive Red” contained 0.21 parts per million.
How do you know?
The Times writes:
There are no F.D.A. standards limiting lead and other toxins in lipstick. The agency leaves it up to manufacturers to decide which safety and efficacy tests to perform on products. Cosmetics companies are required to list their “intended” ingredients on labels. But lead would be considered an “unintended” byproduct of the manufacturing process.
That sounds like a very convenient excuse for makeup manufacturers to me.
Be your own advocate – read up on the top personal care ingredients to avoid, and tap into www.cosmeticdatabase.com where ingredients of over 42,000 products are clearly listed. Only then can you pucker up with peace of mind.
Via: A Simple Smooch or a Toxic Smack
Read More:Lead in Lipstick?
April 8th, 2009 - Laura Klein
I’m so excited – the Laura Klein Green Club is now up and running!
As a green living consultant, my amazing clients in the Los Angeles area have kindly paid me to help them green every aspect of their lives. From assessing their kitchen, to investigating their home cleaning products and techniques, to taking a deep look at their personal care products, I regularly put my clients on track to a greener, healthier lifestyle. And they graciously pay me for the privilege!
But something just didn’t feel right…
I desperately wanted to get the word out that ‘living green’ is a powerful form of preventative medicine to more people. How could I reach beyond the physical realm of my one-on-one consultation to share the important message about health and green? How could I make my custom green lifestyle program to the masses?
That’s where the concept of the Laura Klein Green Club began to take shape. By creating an online subscription-based community, I could easily spread the message behind my consultation services far and wide. Now, more people than ever can learn take the step-by-step, day-by-day steps necessary to create a toxin-free life and reap the rich health benefits for themselves and their loved ones. Of course, living green helps the Earth too – an amazing benefit for the big blue marble on which we all dwell! Extra bonus? They can do it more affordably than my one-on-one consultations.
Join my great green movement! For a limited time, I’m offering OrganicAuthority.com readers membership to the Laura Klein Green Club for just $1. Watch my video to find out more and sign up today! I look forward to seeing you inside the Green Club!
Read More:Blast Off to Better Health!
December 10th, 2006 - Laura Klein
Here it is, The 57th Carnival of the Green. OrganicAuthority is proud to be host once again to this fabulous green collaboration. What the heck is it? Check out Treehugger for details.
You can find last and next week’s Carnivals at our friends at:
December 4th – Urban Eco
December 18th – Cocolico
Who said innovative companies are the most environmentally sound? Apple has been ranked stone motherless last by Greenpeace. The activist group reckons that Apple uses toxic chemicals, does a bad job on recycling and fails to provide much information about its environmental policies. Leon Gettler presents Rotten Apple: Greenpeace posted on Sox First.
Ben Nickell posted High profile experts debate climate change Ben Nickell comments on the recent climate change debate held at the Royal Geographical Society and including experts Professor David Bellamy OBE, Greg Barker MP (Shadow Environment Minister), Peter Mather (UK CEO of BP), Professor Mark Maslin and BBC Newsnight’s ‘ethical man’ Justin Rowlatt.
Since so many environmental issues are global, part of the problem in addressing them is the lack of a planet-wide perspective among many people. Here Graham Caswell presents a relatively simple and cost-effective proposal to greatly increase awareness of the earth as a small and shared oasis of life amidst the empty and inhospitable vastness of space. Graham Caswell presents A Proposal for Our Planet posted at Graham Caswell .com.
Mike McDerment presents Understanding Office Paper Usage posted at FreshBooks Blog.
Vihar Sheth presents Super Sponge! posted at green|rising.
Victoria E presents Green-colored magazine covers are “death on the newsstand”.
A somewhat controversial post about effective communication with mainstream America and giant corporations.
Tim Abbott presents Politics and the Planet Heating Up posted at Walking the Berkshires.
Making Mozzarella by Miranda Edel
Melissa Mansfield of LAGreenLiving.com writes “Sustainable Shindigs”: Whether you’re celebrating solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or just the fact that you survived holiday shopping at the mall – you can still party in a green way. Follow our simple steps for throwing a green get-together, from the planning process to the invites, from decorations to food, from transportation to clean-up.
Harlan Weikle presents Rwanda to Darfur, an unbroken discord On April 6, 1994, the killing began… Rwanda, was it just a precursor to the human and environmental disaster, which continues to plague Africa more than a decade later.
Sally Kneidel writes Check out Veggie Revolution this week. Harlan Weikle of Greener Magazine has posted an article (Dec 5) about Asian rice harvests threatened by pollution, and a Nov 26 article and NPR link honoring three women who are environmental activists.
Crafty Green Poet (Juliet Wilson) presents Crafty Green Christmas 1 – Wrapping Gifts The first in a series of three or four Crafty Green Christmas posts. This one focuses on wrapping gifts in reused wrapping paper.
Don Bosch over at The Evangelical Ecologist has a lengthy post on the impending Supreme Court decision on whether EPA has to regulate greenhouse gasses from cars and other mobile sources. Tons of links, including a transcription of EPA’s submission to the Supreme Court docket.
When people get a new computer, often their old computer ends up going to the landfill. That’s a shame because there are a lot of options out there which will keep the computer out of the landfill and bring it new life. Jeffrey Strain presents 15 Places To Give Old Computers New Life posted at Personal Finance Advice
And finally discover how much water goes into all sorts of everyday beverages through growing and processint in, “How Much Water Do You Drink” at www.water.groxie.com
Well that’s it for the 57th Carnival of Green!
Remember sign up for www.OrganicAuthority.com’s newsletter to receive tasty organic recipes and simple tips and tricks on how to live organic and green.
Get healthy, and go organic!
Laura Lynn Klein
Read More:Carnival of the Green # 57