August 31, 2010

Canada Lists BPA as Toxin and Bans the Plastic Chemical

canada flag.jpg
Canada has done what many Americans have been waiting for since BPA concerns became mainstream four years ago. Companies know that BPA free is selling point, but the US government has not followed suit with actually banning the chemical because of the power of industry lobbying. Not so for our neighbors to the north, the Grist reports:

Environment Canada -- our northern neighbor's version of the EPA -- has officially declared bisphenol A (BPA) toxic. The ubiquitous chemical, found in the lining of nearly all cans used by the food and beverage industry, will have to be phased out in Canada...

The North American chemical industry is furious with Environment Canada's decision. The American Chemistry Council has vigorously defended BPA during Environment Canada's toxic review, declaring that the agency had "pandered to emotional zealots" by even considering the toxic designation, the Toronto Star reports. The industry group demanded that Environment Canada halt the review process; Environment Canada held firm.

In our political system, the chemical industry has had better luck pushing its agenda.


Image:  AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by abdallahh

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 30, 2010

Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Vanilla Cake Mix is Delicious!

51jPu0Q8VvL.jpg
Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Vanilla Cake Mix is easy to make, and it actually tastes delicious. It's important to follow the directions carefully, e.g. room temperature eggs, greasing the pan, etc.

Ingredients
Sugar, potato starch, tapioca flour, whole grain sorghum flour, baking powder (monocalcium phosphate, bicarbonate of soda, cornstarch), sea salt, xanthan gum, natural vanilla powder (sugar, cornstarch, vanilla extract).

I was concerned when the cake mix had a rubbery consistency that it would not rise upon baking. Even though it did not rise as much as a standard cake, the gluten-free cake did turn out light and fluffy. I made a beet juice colored butter frosting topped with blackberries. It was delicious!
47694_416383816383_534576383_4841598_1009398_n.jpgDisclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 27, 2010

Really Natural Books: No More Dirty Looks - The Truth About Your Beauty Products

NO More Dirty looks.jpg
Beauty products are notorious for making false organic marketing claims and containing harmful ingredients. From lead in lipstick to phthalates in lotions, consumers are challenged to find truly natural products. A new book has the answers you need. 

 
No More Dirty Looks: The Truth about Your Beauty Products--and the Ultimate Guide to Safe and Clean Cosmetics defines and explains the risks of many common cosmetic ingredients.

It started with a harmless quest for perfect wash-and-go hair. Every girl wants it, and Siobhan O'Connor and Alexandra Spunt finally found it in a fancy salon treatment. They were thrilled--until they discovered that the magic ingredient was formaldehyde.
Shocked, O'Connor and Spunt left no bottle unturned. If it went on their body (and thus, was absorbed into their skin and bloodstream), they researched it. As it turns out, many of those unpronounceable ingredients in your self-tanner and leave-in conditioner are not regulated and the "natural" on your face wash doesn't mean what you think it does.

Now, with the help of top scientists, dermatologists, and makeup artists, the authors share their compelling findings and the easy way to detoxify your beauty regimen. No More Dirty Looks also reveals the safest, most effective products on the market and time-tested home recipes. Finally, you don't need to sacrifice health for beauty--because coming clean is the best look yet.


Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 26, 2010

Whiskey By-Products Could Power Cars in Scotland

Biofuels have been criticized for taking away agricultural food production land, but Scottish researchers have found one solution using the by-products of whiskey. Care2 reports:
Scotland produces large quantities of whisky, enough that there are 1,600 million liters of pot ale and 187,000 tons of draff left over. These waste products can now be used to create biobutanol, which is said to produce 30 percent more power than ethanol. The university has filed a patent for the new biofuel and envisions a commercial operation to produce and sell it. Biobutanol can be used in ordinary cars, and requires no adaptions. The plan is to have the new biofuel available at petrol pumps already in use. Presumably it would be blended with conventional petroleum fuel to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. It could also be offered in a pure form.


Image:  Attribution Some rights reserved by duluoz cats

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 25, 2010

Reusable Moshi Neato Computer and Flat Screen TV Cleaning Kit Features Green Packaging

41AziIw1ZpL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Two weeks ago, we reviewed a Non-Toxic, Biodegradable, NOT Natural CyberClean for Electronics. I was disappointed with this product for many reasons, but I mostly wanted something to clean my computer screen. I usually just use a microfiber cloth, but this often just moves the dust around. I discovered in Macworld the moshi neato Screen Cleaning Kit and had to try it.

neato provides a simple yet effective solution for display cleaning. neato does not require the use of any solvents that could potentially damage the screen's anti-reflective coating. Its effectiveness lies in the fact that Neato is comprised of Terahedron, known for its superior cleaning capabilities and microfiber filaments that will not scratch your display. The other component of neato is GeckoPad, a patented elastomer that can adhere to a wide variety of surfaces. Since GeckoPad is not a glue, neato can be attached and removed repeatedly without leaving any residue. This comes in handy for sticking neato to the sides or back of the display for convenient access. Both components of neato are hand-washable and renewable. With proper care, neato can be reused countless number of times, making it the most effective and eco-friendly screen cleaner on the market today.

The grey pad is used for wiping dust particles off your screen, then the black one removes smudges. The grey pad worked well, but the black one did not get all of the marks off of the screen, although it got the majority of them.

Moshi uses soy inks on its packaging and all of the materials are recyclable. It would be better if the packaging was made from recycled materials.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 24, 2010

First Time in 10 Years: US Restaurants Decline as People Eat at Home

restaurant.jpg

For the first time in a decade, the number of restaurants in the US has declined. A sure sign of the recessive economy, people are saving their money and dining more at home. UPI explains:

California accounted for nearly a third of the overall decrease, with the number of restaurants down 1,500 from a year earlier, NPD found. Full-service restaurants with staff waiting tables suffered the biggest hit.

"Most restaurateurs are just living on the edge," said Jot Condie, the California Restaurant Association president.

Continued unemployment and increasing food prices threaten an industry recovery, Condie said.

This bad news for restaurant owners certainly has positive effects for our health, and hopefully Americans are cooking more with whole foods, as this is a cheaper alternative to frozen family dinners. Even healthy restaurant food usually contains more calories and fat than home-cooked meals.

Image: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by pixeljones

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 23, 2010

On Sale: Smith Proof Evolve Sunglasses Made from Renewable Materials

smith proof.jpg
Recently, I broke my favorite pair of Serengeti sunglasses and had to buy a new pair. I purchased Smith Proof Sunglasses, which I love, but I was shocked to learn I paid twice as much as they are on sale right now! For only $64.95, these stylish glasses have a lifetime warranty and are made from renewable materials.

These sunglasses are part of the Evolve line:

For forty years smith optics has been a steward of outdoors, evolve is our commitment to the health of our environment.

Other than paying too much for my sunglasses, I love my Smiths. If you are in the market for a new pair, check out the sale and get a killer pair for half price.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 20, 2010

Improve Your Fuel Efficiency with the Lemur Vehicle Monitor Keychain

41qnIJw5HCL._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Ever wonder what your car's real gas mileage is or how much fuel you waste by idling? Lemur Vehicle Monitors LMED-001 EconoDriver Wireless Vehicle Monitor can give you those answers and more from your keychain.

Lemur Vehicle Monitors EconoDriver is a wireless vehicle monitor that provides real-time driving feedback to help drivers save money spent on fuel. Reports cost per trip in dollars and cents. Reports distance traveled. Reports wasted fuel in dollars and cents. Provides a green rating based on your style of driving, the more leaves you get the better driver you are. Also displays your fuel economy in miles per dollar so you know how far you can drive on one dollar. Plus more cool features. Simple self install. Plug and play on any vehicle made since 1996.

I have not personally tried this gadget, but it sounds really cool. You could learn a lot from your keychain that could change your driving habits to be more fuel efficient...just don't get into an accident because you are staring at it!

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 19, 2010

Lake Mead Drops 40% of Capacity Approaching First-Ever Official Water Shortage

Lake Mead.jpg

Lake Mead provides water for 30 million residents of the arid desert regions of the west. The reservoir is only 12 feet below the level in which "allocations on the river would be cut by more than 100 billion gallons under the terms of a 2007 agreement struck by seven Western states and Mexico". The New York Times explains how Las Vegas is preparing:
Las Vegas, which draws about 90 percent of its water from Lake Mead, is particularly vulnerable to dropping lake levels. Were levels to fall to 1,050 feet, or 26 percent capacity, one of the city's two water intake pipes on the lake would cease functioning. In anticipation of such an event, water managers have developed a highly controversial plan to tap groundwater in northeast Nevada and transport it to the city via a multibillion-dollar pipeline.


Image:   Some rights reserved by kyle simourd

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 18, 2010

Synergy Organic Clothing: Fashionable, Sustainable, and Affordable

synergy.jpg
It is hard to find organic fashions that are actually affordable, but Synergy Organic Clothing has done just that! I recently purchased an Organic Cotton Bird A-Line Skirt ($46), and I keep going back for more Synergy items! Not only is this skirt made from organic cotton, but is colored with low impact dyes and made in Nepal.

Synergy makes clothing that combines sustainability, with modern yet timeless design. We strive to make clothing that looks good, while being gentle on the Earth. We predominantly work with G.O.T.S certified organic cotton from India, that is dyed with low impact dyes. Our clothing is hand made in Nepal according to fair trade practices, verified by our long-term relationships with our manufacturers and our frequent trips to Nepal. Each season we look for ways to minimize our footprint as a business, in both the ways our clothing is made and in our daily operations.
Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 17, 2010

Schoolhouse Rock Parody: The Energy Bill and the Oil Spill

Remember this classic from Schoolhouse Rock! about how a bill becomes a law?


Check out this parody off the BP oil spill and the energy bill:

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 16, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes

organic chocolate recipe book.jpg
From the makers of my favorite chocolate, comes an incredible cookbook! Green & Black's Chocolate Recipes, Revised Edition is the kind of cookbook that makes you drool. Not only is it filled with incredible organic chocolate recipes, it also gives you an education into cocoa (e.g. growers' associations, education, cultural information).

This is the ultimate chocolate cookbook. It contains 100 recipes to tempt, tease & torment lovers of this food of the gods. Chocolate is one of the most luxurious and satisfying foods, full of texture and flavor, and it is also a versatile cooking ingredient, not only for rich, dark desserts but also a perfect partner for savory and spicy dishes.

Above all, chocolate can be molded to suit every occasion and so the chapters within the book include Abracadabra (quick & easy recipes) and Wicked (irresistible concoctions). Woven into the book are stories about the Maya in Belize who cultivate organic cocoa for use in our chocolate bars as well as tips on cooking techniques and handling chocolate.


Of course, all great chocolate recipes start with fair trade, organic chocolate

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 13, 2010

Really Natural Cookbooks: The Homesteader's Kitchen Recipes From Farm to Table

The Homesteader's kitchen.jpg
Every once in awhile I come across a cookbook that I get really excited about. Homesteader's Kitchen, The: Recipes from Farm to Table is full of delicious, whole food recipes, as well as incredible photographs. It is motivating to me as a gardener to inspire new creations in the kitchen from what I have grown. From Miso Vegetable Soup to Brown Rice Cream with Dates, Cinnamon, and Vanilla, your palate will not be disappointed.

In The Homesteader's Kitchen, author Robin Burnside presents wholesome recipes and motherly advice for preparing nourishing meals, tasty embellishments, and luscious desserts. Her focus is on using fruits and vegetables from the family garden or the nearby farmers market. She teaches how to turn these local, organic foods into snacks, meals, and treats that nourish the soul as well as the body. From Multigrain Blueberry Pancakes in the morning, a Creamy Mango-Coconut Smoothie for a snack, a crisp Asian Cabbage Salad for lunch, an evening meal of Grilled Wild Salmon Fillet with Thai Cilantro Pesto, to a dessert of Spicy Pear Pie, Burnside offers mouthwatering recipes that are fun to prepare and a joy to eat.

My only criticism is with the title. The recipes do include some exotic items, like pineapple, so if the audience is intended to be North America, which is my assumption, than the ingredients truly aren't from your own homestead garden or local farmer's market. These ingredients are an exception in the cookbook that mostly favors items you can find seasonally grown in your local community.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 12, 2010

People Who Read Food Labels Eat Healthier

Screen shot 2010-08-07 at 8.43.41 AM.png
Much as you would suspect, a new study has found that people who read food labels consume a healthier diet. Published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, two studies found label reading creates "nutritional awareness". Natural News reports:

Based on a sampling of American adults in the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), researchers observed a significant difference in mean intake of calories, fat, cholesterol, sodium, fiber and sugars, between those who pay attention to nutrition labels and those who do not.

"If the food label is to have a greater public health impact, rates of use will likely need to be increased among U.S. adults," explained Professor Ollberding, one of the study authors. "Low rates of label use also suggest that national campaigns or modification of the food label may be needed to reduce the proportion of the population not using this information."

I imagine cookbook readers also have healthier diets too!

Image: The Holistic Kitchen on Flickr

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

Non-Toxic, Biodegradable, NOT Natural CyberClean for Electronics

51scd0XR40L._SL500_AA300_.jpg
Cleaning your computer keyboard can be challenging, and Cyber Clean thinks they have the solution. Made from Swiss materials in China, this gooey compound forms around the keys and other crevices in electronics (and cars) to pick up loose dirt.

This amazing Swiss formula is a cleaning compound designed to get deep into all the cracks and crevices on any item or device. Cyber Clean is effective at removing 99.99% of harmful particles that live on everyday surfaces and it is fun and easy to use. Cyber Clean is a viscous, elastic compound designed to mold itself to fit the nooks and crevices that harbor harmful dirt. Cyber Clean will not migrate to other surfaces.

It is biodegradable and non-toxic, which is why I think the PR company sent me a sample to review; however, nothing resembles anything natural about this product. I did not find this product amazing, and I really thought I should be wearing gloves when using it. I did not pick up some spots on my keyboard, but then again, it only promises to pick up the loose dirt. It does not remove "oils and smudges off of screens", which is where my electronics always seem to be the dirtiest.

The Cyber Clean Automotive version is handy for cleaning out vents, but then again, so is a toothbrush or cotton swab.

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 10, 2010

Threatened Elkhorn Coral Colony Discovered for 1st Time in 100 Years

ElkhornLG.jpg
Scientists have not discovered a new colony of the endangered Pacific elkhorn coral in over 100 years! Considered one of the "world's rarest coral", the threatened species resembles antlers. The new colony was found near the Marshall Islands in the Arno Atoll. Live Science reports:

The Pacific elkhorn coral colony was a rare find, but it may not be an entirely new species. Corals fitting the description of the Pacific elkhorn were first described in 1898 near Fiji in the South Pacific, but scientists don't have enough genetic information from this earlier find to say if the corals are a match, Richards said.

The Atlantic relative, A. palmata is regarded by most marine researchers as the outstanding symbol of the plight of Caribbean corals. It is rated as critically endangered after vanishing from most of its Caribbean reef habitat in recent decades.

"When Zoe showed me pictures of the Pacific elkhorn, I was shocked," said coral geneticist David Miller of CoECRS and James Cook University, also in Queensland. "The colonies look just like the critically endangered Caribbean species A. palmata, one of the most distinctive of all corals. The fact that these colonies might represent a species that has not been seen for over a hundred years (A. rotumana) says something about how much we know about the remote reefs of the North Pacific," Miller said.

There has been debate as to whether the Pacific elkhorn should be listed as threatened or endangered.  In 2006, it was listed as threatened. 

Image: USGS

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 9, 2010

Natural Silk Travel Sheet/ Sleeping Bag Liner Adds 10 Degrees of Warmth

silk sheet.jpg After many years of wanting one, I finally bought a 100% Premium Silk Sleeping Bag Liner. This sleeping bag liner can also be used as a travel sheet too. Made from luxurious silk, this liner is a comforting bonus when camping!

The Sea To Summit 100% Premium Silk Sleeping Bag Liner not only feels luxurious, it provides a layer of protection between you and sketchy hostel or budget hotel mattresses. Thanks to its high quality, machine-washable, ripstop silk, this sleeping bag liner packs down into its own tiny stuff sack and weighs less than a can of soda, so you can easily take it traveling or backpacking. On cold, clear nights under the stars, layer it in your sleeping bag to add up to 10 degrees of warmth to your bag's temperature rating
.
This silk liner comes with a lifetime warranty!  It also eliminates the need to own a warmer zero degree sleeping bag.  

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 6, 2010

Pros and Cons of San Pellegrino All Natural Sparkling Lemon Beverage

san pellegrino limonata.jpg
I've gotten into the habit of drinking San Pellegrino Limonata Sparking Beverage. I first tried this refreshing beverage at an upscale restaurant, and then discovered our local CostCo carried cases of it. I feel good about drinking this all natural beverage, but I do have some reservations.
Pros:

  • All natural

  • No high fructose corn syrup

  • Great in cocktails


Cons:

  • Product of Italy (heavy carbon footprint shipping to USA)

  • Owned by Nestle (responsible for much bottled water degradation)

  • Not organic


I'll probably continue to enjoy San Pellegrino Limonata Sparking Beverage on occasion, but it is best to drink organic sodas.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 5, 2010

Study: Tongue Piercings Major Cause of Unnecessary Orthodontic Issues

tongue piercing.jpg


According to a new British study, tongue piercings lead to a gap between the front teeth when people play with them. Medical News Today reports:
The report claimed that those with tongue piercings were likely to push the metal stud up against their teeth and consequently cause gaps and other problems to arise.

Dr Carter said: "It's certainly something to think about before going out to get a tongue piercing. The temptation of playing with the stud in the mouth would be very high and in time this could lead to hundreds of pounds worth of corrective treatment.


Of course, braces can correct the problem, but the gap will return if the patient continues to play with their tongue stud.

Image:

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 4, 2010

All Natural Chocolate Peanut Butter Handmade Treats by Jer's

jer.jpg
Jer's All Natural Handmade Chocolates makes delicious combination peanut butter and chocolate treats.

Jer's products, which have won six International Taste Awards to date, combine crunchy rice crisps, salty pretzels, buttery toffee, or gooey homemade caramel with all-natural, premium, dark, milk and white chocolates and all-natural peanut butter (made from locally-grown Valencia peanuts, the most nutritious, peanut-sweet and protein-rich available).

We tried out several varieties of Jer's handmade chocolates:

If you like peanut butter with chocolate, then you will like Jer's products. Personally, I prefer organic to simply all-natural, so I will stick to Newman's Own Organic Peanut Butter Cups with Milk Chocolate for my fix!

Disclosure: I was sent free samples of these products to review. No prior assurances were given as to whether the review be positive or negative.

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 3, 2010

CA May Become First State to Ban Plastic Bags


California may become the first state to ban plastic bags. Earlier this summer, the state assembly passed a bill banning single-use plastic bags. Now it is up to the senate and the governor to make it law. Treehugger reports:

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who in May eliminated offshore drilling in California, supports the bag ban, meaning that if the Senate passes the bill, it would almost definitely be signed into law. That would put California, which currently uses 19 billion plastic bags per year, well ahead of the rest of the country in the effort to go green.

You don't have to wait for your state to pass a law to quit the plastic bag habit. Stock up on Organic Cotton Reusable Shopping Bag (3 Pack) - 100% grown, woven and sewn in the U.S.A.!

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking

August 2, 2010

Really Natural July 2010 Monthly Round Up

Alternative Energy

Baby

Beauty

Business

Food

Gardening

Health

Monthly Round-Up

Organic Food News

Product review

Really Natural Books

Recipe

community

environment

technology

Jennifer Lance Permalink social bookmarking
Mailing List
Enter your Email


Powered by FeedBlitz
Subscribe - RSS

facebook_badge.jpg twitter_badge.jpg

Site Navigation

Visit our other properties at Blogpire.com!

Recent Reviews
welcomeArchives

EcoPire

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 6.3.6
All items Copyright © 1999-2017 Blogpire Productions. Please read our Disclaimer and Privacy Policy