July 31, 2009

Steripen Water Purifier Uses UV Light to Make Drinking Water Safe

steripen.jpg On a recent backpacking trip, my friend had a SteriPEN Classic Handheld Water Purifier. This cool little device uses a UV light to kill pathogens.
The SteriPEN Classic eliminates viruses, bacteria and protozoa as its Ultraviolet Light (UV) destroys the DNA of microbes. It is effective against Outdoor Microbes like Giardia and Cryptosporidium; Travel Pathogens that cause Diarrhea, Dysentry, Hepatitis, and Legionnaire's Disease; Household Germs such as Bird Flu and Influenzas, E. Coli & Salmonella; and Staph & Strep; Natural Disaster Risks like Botulism, Cholera, Smallpox and Typhoid. SteriPEN Classic makes a great addition to Emergency Preparedness Kits.
It takes about 90 seconds to purify a Klean Kanteen, and the Steripen is really small. My friend uses her Steripen not only in the backcountry, but when she travels abroad to avoid "Dehli belly". Steripens do take batteries, so it is important to carry an extra set with you when you use it in the field. A SteriPen Solar Charger is available, but it takes a very long time to work.
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July 30, 2009

Stem Cell Damage Causes Gray Hair

gray-hair.jpg The emergence of gray hair signifies the start of the aging process for most people, even though the age at which this occurs varies greatly amongst individuals. Many people go to great extent to cover up their gray hair.  According to National Geographic:
Work or personal stress may make you want to pull your hair out, but it's cellular stress that actually turns it gray, a new study has found.

That's because DNA is "under constant attack" by damaging agents, such as chemicals, ultraviolet light, and ionizing radiation, according to study lead author Emi Nishimura of Tokyo Medical and Dental University...In younger people, the hair's stem cells maintain a balance between those that reproduce and those that turn into pigment cells, so that pigment is constantly being added to growing hair.

Scientists suspect turning hair gray is the body's way of "purging damaged stem cells without killing them off". It would seem that the constant exposure to chemicals in our environment may be speeding up the process of graying.

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July 29, 2009

Eco-Friendly, Recycled Toys by Sprig Toys

sprig toys.jpg My son received a Sprig Toys Eco-Truck Loader. This toy is made from recycled plastic in Europe (Czech Republic) and contains no paints. It's durable, perfect for sand play, and comes with minimal packaging.
Sprig Toys, Inc., is an eco-friendly company dedicated to making the best toys the right way.

Inspired by our collective desire to keep kids active and the planet healthy, Team Sprig is dedicated to infusing creativity, smart design, quality manufacturing, earth-friendly materials, product satisfaction and responsible business practices into a superior line of fun, kid-powered toys.

We help make the world a better place and we get kids off the couch. Pretty cool, huh?

My son loves his Sprig Toy, and Sprig is one plastic toy company I feel good about supporting.
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July 28, 2009

Class Action Lawsuit Against Denny's Restaurant Claims Dangerous Levels of Salt

Denny's.jpg A New Jersey man and the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a non-profit, have filed a class action lawsuit against Denny's Restaurant for serving meals that are "dangerously high in salt, putting the chain's customers at greater risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke". The lawsuit asks Denny's to disclose sodium amounts on the menu and place warnings next to food items containing high levels of salt. According to the Environment News Service:
A full meal at Denny's consisting of a bowl of clam chowder, a Spicy Buffalo Chicken Melt, and a side of seasoned fries contains 6,700 mg of sodium - more sodium than what 70 percent of Americans should consume in four and a half days.

From company headquarters in Spartanburg, South Carolina Denny's issued a statement Thursday calling the lawsuit filed by CSPI "frivolous and without merit," and saying the company "will fight it aggressively in court."

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July 27, 2009

Phthalate and Paraben-Free Fragrance Fleur D'Amour

fleur d'amour.jpg
Did you know that some perfume contain phthlates and parabens? Sylvie Beljanksi has just released fleur d'amour, a fragrance that "allows women to indulge in a safe, phthalate-free way with a combination of French sophistication and technological innovation." Creator Belijanski explains:

I believe that a woman's beauty routine should be toxin-free, because putting toxins in your body will make you neither healthy nor beautiful. A natural beauty routine will make you feel good inside and out. Fleur d'Amour was created for the woman wants to do everything she can to maintain a healthy routine - and include a final indulgence.

I looked up several other fleur d'amour ingredients on Skin Deep to see how safe the fragrance sample would be for my daughter's play. Hazard scores go from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most hazardous:
I am not a perfume fan and personally prefer essential oils that I know are all natural; however, fleur d'amour offers women a safer alternative to many commercial fragrances. 

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July 24, 2009

Naturally Eliminate Bathroom Odors Before They Occur with Poo-Pourri's Organic Nature's Call

image001.jpg Poo-Pourri Preventive Bathroom Odor Spray has just released an organic version of its all natural odor eliminating product. Nature's Call combines organic essential oils to trap "odors at its source". Before going, simply spray into the toilet bowel and let the "citrus fresh blend" do its magic.
Poo-Pourri Nature's Call is a natural blend of Organic essential oils that create a film on the surface of toilet water, trapping odor at its source and eliminating it, instead of masking it. A few sprays in the water before you go, and the essential oils in Nature's Call will create a physical barrier around odor to neutralize it before it reaches the air. This means no odor while using the bathroom or after. Nature's Call also does more than just improve air quality - it is environmentally friendly, safe for your septic tank and the planet. "The Poo-Pourri line has always been natural and environmentally friendly," said Suzy Batiz, Poo-Pourri's founder and creator. "However, we found that as consumers become greener, there is a greater demand for Organic products. This is what inspired me to create Nature's Call."
Now, if only I can get everyone in my family to remember to use the Poo-Pourri before they go!
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 23, 2009

Green Blog Recommendations: Ecofriend.org

ecofriend.png We've discovered a new green blog we'd like to recommend to you! Ecofriend.org features many great posts on environmental trends. From Eco Homes to Eco Cars, Ecofriend has you covered. Recent posts include:
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 22, 2009

Sustainable Living: The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream

cul-de-sac-syndrome-turning-around-the-unsustainable-american-dream.jpg The Cul-de-Sac Syndrome: Turning Around the Unsustainable American Dream by John Wasik explores how suburban home ownership is costly and damaging to our health and environment. Often families chose homes away from urban workplaces under the guise of getting more for their dollar (i.e. a yard, bigger home, etc.); however, when you factor in gas, water, and taxes, suburban life is quite costly. Based on research, Wasik explores the "destructive connections between home ownership, economics, and the environment".
In an age of burgeoning info-technology, why are we still building homes with the latest nineteenth-century techniques?...How did we come up with the idea that we should buy as much house as we can afford, with no regard for the cost of heating and cooling it and the time and expense of getting to it? We've gotten stuck in a vicious cycle, a cul-de-sac of unsustainable costs and serious long-term consequences for our health and our environment.
Not only does Wasik discuss the problem, but he offers solutions. "New Urbanism embodies the ideas that are needed for a transition to energy-independent communities."
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 21, 2009

Coke Zero Banned to "Preserve the Health Venezuelans"

coke-zero.jpg Coke Zero is Coca-Cola's zero calorie soda, but Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is not convinced it is safe to drink. Venezuela has banned Coke Zero. Health minister Jesus Mantilla stated, "The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans." Reuters further explains:
Despite Chavez's anti-capitalist policies and rhetoric against consumerism, oil-exporting Venezuela remains one of Latin America's most Americanized cultures, with U.S. fast-food chains, shopping malls and baseball all highly popular. Mantilla did not say what health risks Coke Zero, which contains artificial sweeteners, posed to the population.
It is suspected the ban may really be related to labor issues and nationalization, rather than health concerns.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 20, 2009

Natural Botanical Cotton Wipes for Feet, Hands, and Face

jamar labs.png Sometimes, you just need a hand wipes, but do you really want one filled with chemicals? I remember watching my daughter's teacher use a chemical wipe on a child's face after she had sneezed, and the child cried in pain from the chemicals. A safer, more eco-friendly option exists. Jamar Labs makes all natural wipes for your hands, feet, and face.
Cherish the souls of your feet, the touch of your hands, and the smile on your face by treating them with the utmost respect with a Jamar Labs creation - 'Wipe your hands', 'Wipe your Feet', 'Wipe your Face' - the only 100% natural cotton foot wipes and one of the only 100% natural cotton hand and face wipes that are powered with natural cleansing and moisturizing ingredients.

Symbiotically wipe away bacteria, dirt and germs while treading gently on
your body as well as the earth. Jamar wipes don't contain potentially
harmful agents such as Paraben and phthalate -- two chemicals used in many
commercial wipes. And, Jamar labs products are all biodegradable, allowing
less of a carbon footprint.

These handy wipes are made in Israel and are great for situations where you don't have access to a sink, soap, and wash cloth.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 17, 2009

Natural Beauty: Natural, Herbal Eyelash and Eyebrow Conditioner Lashfood

lashfood.jpg Do you wish you had fuller eyelashes or eyebrows? LashFood LashFood Eyelash Conditioning Stimulant has a natural, herbal solution.
Nourish your lashes with this natural conditioning stimulant. LashFood uses natural ingredients that provide you with stunning results: thicker, darker, stronger, longer, more beautiful lashes. Apply LashFood in the same manner as if applying eyeliner twice a day (morning and evening) and see results within 2-3 weeks! Uniquely formulated by cosmetic scientists, this breakthrough natural, liquid formula of biotin and arginie (natural amino acids) and iris extract (natural oriental medicine complex extract) promotes the natural growth of healthy lashes. LashFood can be used: -On lashes to transform frail and brittle lashes to become healthy and strong. -On eyebrows for a smooth and even brow line and stimulant. -On eyebrows for thicker, fuller and darker brows for those with sparse or balding areas.
I was given a bottle of Lashfood to try. I am not one for cosmetics, but Lashfood doesn't feel like a cosmetic to me. It is just a conditioner, and I noticed a difference in my eyelashes with the first application. I also did not notice Lashfood on my eyelashes, like how mascara makes them feel heavy. It is light and effective.
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July 16, 2009

OSU Study: 2 Natural Oils Promote Healthy Weight Loss

safflower oil.jpg Researchers at the Ohio State University have found that two natural oils "can spark healthy weight loss and lower body fat -- and the oils even worked in obese postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes." Natural News reports that Safflower Oil and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) decrease body fat and reduce blood sugar levels.
Despite the fact there was no dieting or exercising, the study found that CLA supplementation significantly decreased the women's BMI and total body fat. Usually these effects became evident in the last eight weeks of each 16 week period. On average their total body fat decreased by 3.2 percent, reducing the weight of excess fat tissue between 2.3 pounds and 3.5 pounds.

While the safflower oil didn't change total body fat readings, in some ways this all vegetable "good fat" was the biggest star of the research. It reduced the weight of trunk fat tissue by between 2.6 pounds and 4.2 pounds -- an average of more than six percent. What's more, safflower oil increased lean tissue, or muscle, by about two to three pounds.

To add to the good news, safflower oil was found to reduce fasting blood sugar levels in these diabetic women between 11 and 19 points.

Modest amounts of "high-quality dietary fats" appear to be important for postmenopausal women's diets, according to this new study.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 15, 2009

Green Home Remodeling: Zero VOC Natura Paint by Benjamin Moore

natura.gif Recently, my daughter decided she was finished with her Pepto-Bismol pink bedroom walls. It was a happy day in my life, as I have detested the color since she picked it out at three-years-old. As an eight-year-old, she has chose Benjamin Moore Natura Paint in blue orchid. Natura is a zero VOC, virtually odorless, acrylic paint.
Virtually odorless Natura paint is the greenest and safest paint available in the market. In independent third party testing, Natura paint has the lowest total VOC emissions of any national paint brand tested. Available in any color, Natura also outperforms the competition by being the safest paint for your family without compromising performance or color selection.

The paint smell was very mild as we applied it, and I felt comfortable letting my daughter help. I had chosen the semi-gloss, thinking this would be easier to clean in her room; however, it was more difficult to apply than the flat would have been. In places, drips occurred even when applying with a roller. Next time, we will use the flat or eggshell finish.

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July 14, 2009

Senator Boxer: We Need Climate Bill Now to Avoid Dire Results

bb_index2.jpg Senator Barbara Boxer has long been the "Senate's top ranked environmentalist", and is now facing an issue that could seal her legacy. She is currently working on a bill to curb greenhouse gases emissions aiming to have it passed by September 2009. According to McClatchy:
If the Senate doesn't pass a bill to cut global warming, Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer says, there will be dire results: droughts, floods, fires, loss of species, damage to agriculture, worsening air pollution and more.

She says there's a huge upside, however, if the Senate does act: millions of clean-energy jobs, reduced reliance on foreign oil and less pollution for the nation's children.

The House has already passed Waxman-Markey, and Boxer is optimistic her plan can build upon this and gain support, which she already has from the Obama administration.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 13, 2009

Fight Coffee and Tea Stains with Eco-Friendly Wave Dishwasher Gel

wavegel.jpg Nothing annoys me more than removing dishes from the dishwasher that are still dirty. Sometimes coffee and tea stains are the hardest to remove. Earth Friendly Products has a solution: Wave Auto Dish Gel High Performance
Earth Friendly Products' Wave Auto Dishwashing Gel, available in Lavender or Free & Clear, is 100% natural, phosphate-free, petroleum-free, 1,4-dioxane-free and is the purest, greenest, most effective dish detergent on the market. This all-natural automatic dishwashing detergent won't pollute the waterways, won't etch glasses or dishes, will clean just as well as leading brands and now removes permeating coffee and tea stains. And at $3.99 for 40 ounces, Wave Auto Dishwashing Gel, with a built-in rinse aid, is priced to compete against the standard dish detergents so consumers can afford to incorporate green into their lifestyle.
I am a newbie to having a dishwasher, as I live off-the-grid. I've always used powdered dish detergents, but after trying Wave's gel, I am ready to make the switch. I especially like the way it does not leave a powdery residue on my wine glasses.
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July 10, 2009

Kick the Bottled Water Habit With a Wellness H2.0 Filtration Reusable Water Bottle

H2.0 bottle.png One of the biggest scams sold to the American public is believing that bottled water is better for your health than the tap water in your home. Even though tap water is safe to drink, many people still prefer a little extra filtration, especially if you live in an area practicing toilet to tap water recycling. Enter the Wellness® H2.O Bottle:
The Wellness H2.O Bottle is a reusable water bottle that provides better-than-bottled water on the go, preventing up to 1,100 plastic bottles of plastic waste with each cartridge. Made of non-BPA leaching #4 low density polyethylene (LDPE), the bottle contains a 2 micron carbon block filter which removes a wide spectrum of contaminants including Chlorine, toxic byproducts, volatile organics, and heavy metals such as Lead. Wellness Enterprises' patented enhancement technology is also included, adding rare Japanese minerals to the water which increase its hydrating ability, add antioxidants, and naturally increase alkalinity. The ultimate environment product. Eliminates 1100+ plastic bottles, reduces carbon emissions and conserves natural resources Saves you up to $1000 in bottled water purchases per year Only bottle to produce nourishing, better-than-bottled-quality, "enhanced" water without the cost or waste associated with bottled water.
Although I am not a fan of plastic water bottles, reusable or not, the filtration system is replaceable, and who couldn't use a little extra Japanese minerals?
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 9, 2009

Vegetarian Cooking Goes Mainstream!

vegetarian.jpg Vegetarian cooking is becoming more and more popular as people seek healthier eating options. According to the Associated Press:
Vegetarian cooking outgrew its Birkenstocks long ago, but as Americans combat obesity and even financial strain, meatless meals are becoming mainstream.
From Paul McCartney's Meatless Mondays to scientific evidence humans evolved to be vegetarians, there are more and more reasons to ditch the meat in favor of the veggies.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 8, 2009

From Carbon Footprints to Green Careers, More Green Titles From the Complete Idiot's Guides

carbonfootprint.png In the past, we've reviewed several green titles from the Complete Idiot's Guide. Here are a few more:

The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Your Carbon Footprint

Awareness of global climate change has reached critical mass around the world, and people are looking to see how the choices they make affect the environment. This highly practical and easy-to-use reference helps readers understand how to do their part to combat global warming in simple but effective ways.

• Clear explanations of the relationship between energy use and carbon emissions, and an individual's carbon "footprint"
• The topic is gaining momentum on a worldwide basis
• Easy-to-use, with accessible information

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Living
The environmental movement and rising awareness of global warming have sparked an interest in green living. People want to know what they can do to live sustainable lives. In this book, you will find an overview of global warming and environmental degradation of air, water, and soil; what sustainable living is and how to do it; how to cut down on carbon output (the cause of global warming) with alternative cars and fuels; and environmentally friendly home and lawn care products.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Green Careers

Green careers include jobs in which environmentally conscious design, policy, and technology are implemented to improve the environment and provide sustainable living. A growing number of people, whether right out of college or already well established in the workforce, are looking to market themselves and their environmental convictions. It is a promising path to a larger paycheck and healthier environment.

·Green-collar jobs are on the rise according to Businessweek magazine

·The Green Jobs Act of 2007 anticipates a growing labor need for thousands of green-collar workers with $125 million in annual funding for training and research

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Greening Your Business

Businesses are always looking to increase their profitability and market share. With rising costs of fuel and consumers targeting environmentally-responsible companies to patronize, businesses have jumped on the green initiative and reaped the financial benefits. The Complete Idiot's Guide® to Greening Your Business provides the most up-to-date, concrete, and practical steps for readers to follow to get rich by going green.

·Solid authors with "green" background
·White-hot green market
·Comprehensive, practical business approach

At about $10 a title, all of these green guides are well worth their price. The Complete Idiot's Guides are user-friendly and have something for everyone. From the individual just exploring more eco-friendly options to the hard core greenie, the Complete Idiot's Guides have you covered.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 7, 2009

Greenpeace Calls Trader Joe's Traitor Joes for Selling Red List Seafood


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Greenpeace is calling out Trader Joe's for selling red listed seafood. With over 300 stores, Trader Joe's is the "the largest US grocer operating on a nation-wide scale that refuses to substantively respond to Greenpeace inquiries regarding its seafood sustainability policies and practices."

Trader Joe's does label private label products as low sodium, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and kosher to help customers make informed choices - but this trend stops short of reaching the seafood section. Trader Joe's customers are given no information regarding environmentally responsible seafood, and the Trader Joe's seafood section is stocked with a plethora of red list items, including orange roughy, Chilean sea bass, Atlantic salmon, and monkfish. To make matters worse, Trader Joe's actively disseminates misleading information about its seafood selection. In some stores, signs claiming that Trader Joe's seafood comes from sustainable and environmentally benign sources hang above the seafood freezer, lulling customers into a false sense of security and willfully duping patrons into supporting parts of the seafood industry that cause tremendous harm to the planet.

Trader Joe's sells 15 of the 22 red listed seafood items. If you don't feel like you can fully boycott Trader Joe's, at least stop buying fish there and voice your concern to the store managers. Greenpeace is also updating an activist toolkit for Trader Joe's consumers.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 6, 2009

Recycled Billboard Bag by Terracycle and Yak Pak

yakpak.jpg The ultimate upcycling company Terracycle has partnered with Yak Pak to create a unique, durable line of recycled billboard bags.
The product line is hip, stylish and because each is made from a different cut of a billboard, every single bag is a one-of-a-kind piece of art. They are manufactured at a hydroelectric powered facility in El Salvador, which is wholly owned by Yak Pak who pays fair wages and assures proper working conditions. The product line includes a variety of functional shapes including messenger bags, backpacks, laptop sleeves and totes and are very affordable, with most retailing for less than $35.
According to Terracycle, over 3,000,000 vinyl billboards end up in US landfills each year. Upcycling billboards into useful products helps close the loop and in my opinion, should be a requirement for any company that uses this form of advertising. Thankfully, Terracycle and Yak Pak are here to help!
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 3, 2009

Purify and Moisturize Hands Naturally with Clean George

cleangeorge.png It's Fourth of July weekend, and you are sure to be out and about with your family. Often when attending events, such as parades or fireworks, it is impossible to wash your hands before every snack, especially when your little Curious Georges are off exploring. Clean George all natural hand purifiers offer a great solution to alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Today, amid concerns that anti-bacterial soaps cause 'super germs' and alcohol-based hand sanitizers contain harsh chemicals that strip the skin of natural oils and are unsafe for children, Clean George announces an organically pure solution for disinfecting hands when soap and water aren't readily available. The company has just released the first organic hand purifier that is also a moisturizer-- one with no alcohol-based ingredients, phthalates or parabens which are ingredients commonly found in other hand-sanitizing products on the market today.

Clean George is made with ECOCERT, certified organic and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified ingredients, making it 100% eco-responsible. Clean George replaces chemical antibacterials with sustainably farmed tea tree and manuka oils, which are recognized natural antibacterials.

I love Clean George products, especially the "Lovin' Lavender" scent. Each bottle costs about $10 and has 400 squirts equating to less than 3 cents a squirt. The bottles are also made of 100% post consumer recycled plastic.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 2, 2009

Humans Naturally Evolved as Vegetarians

15_woman-eating-apple.jpg The debate is old: whether or not humans are evolutionary omnivores or herbivores. Those in favor of meat consumption point to our incisors as evidence we are meant to be omnivores. Those who think we are naturally vegetarians consider our long winding intestines as evidence we are not designed to eat meat; however, some doctors believe we should not be carnivores at all. According to Kathy Freston writing for the Huffington Post:
The point is this: Thousands of years ago when we were hunter-gatherers, we may have needed a bit of meat in our diets in times of scarcity, but we don't need it now. Says Dr. William C. Roberts, editor of the American Journal of Cardiology, "Although we think we are, and we act as if we are, human beings are not natural carnivores. When we kill animals to eat them, they end up killing us, because their flesh, which contains cholesterol and saturated fat, was never intended for human beings, who are natural herbivores."

Sure, most of us are "behavioral omnivores"--that is, we eat meat, so that defines us as omnivorous. But our evolution and physiology are herbivorous, and ample science proves that when we choose to eat meat, that causes problems, from decreased energy and a need for more sleep up to increased risk for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

July 1, 2009

Really Natural June 2009 Monthly Round-Up



Energy Savers

Fair Trade








Product review


Really Natural Books

Really Natural Products



Yard and Garden



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