Saturday, May 26, 2007

Unilever, the World's Largest Tea Company, Commits to Rainforest Alliance Certification


YES!!!
It just makes me so happy to see our world changing! The demand for environmental responsibility WILL prevail and Earth shall be saved! Not to mention mankind!

Unilever, the world's largest tea company, has announced plans to source its entire tea supply sustainably, starting with the certification of its tea producers in East Africa, to Rainforest Alliance standards.
The news also signals the Rainforest Alliance's move into certifying tea farms in addition to its long-established
programs in coffee, cocoa, bananas and other crops; sustainable forestry, and tourism.

Read the rest at my totally DUGG site http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/news.cfm?id=unilever

Then come back and tell me what YOU think!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Mom On A Mission!


Has anyone been following this story?
What an amazing person! You can follow her on her journey and see what she encounters.


Miami 2 Maine


This summer, Margo Pellegrino is paddling an outrigger canoe nearly 2,000 miles — from Miami, FL to Camden, ME — in the hopes that she can show her children how to make a difference in the world and inspire others to take an active role in the stewardship of our oceans. This coastal paddle started as the simple desire of an ordinary woman to undertake an extraordinary event to bring attention to the current state of our ocean. Follow her journey here where her location is tracked daily, along with her weblog journal featuring anecdotes from her journey along with pictures and video clips that will be uploaded remotely. Learn more about Margo and read her mission statement.



Cancer-causing Chemical Found in Children's Bath Products


So who do we trust? Just who do the FDA EPA and DEA work for??? Not us, that's for certain! This info isn't new to me, but I thought I'd post it anyway as I'm really reading deeping into labelling and came to find through this article that chemicals "created" in the manufacturing process aren't mandatory to list on the label! UGH!

Women’s Shampoos and Body Wash also Contaminated

WASHINGTON — A hidden cancer-causing petrochemical has been found in dozens of children’s bath products and adults’ personal care products, in some cases at levels that are more than twice the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s lenient recommended maximum.
Laboratory tests released today revealed the presence of 1,4-Dioxane in products such as Hello Kitty Bubble Bath, Huggies Baby Wash, Johnson’s Baby Wash, Scooby-Doo Bubble Bath and Sesame Street Bubble Bath. The tests also found the carcinogen in Clairol Herbal Essences shampoo, Olay Complete Body Wash and many other personal care products.

......“Consumers who have young children, as I do, have the right to expect the highest purity in children’s products,” Steinman said. “I call on American consumers to say no to dangerous petrochemicals in their children’s cosmetic and personal care products.”

Contrary to what many consumers may believe, the FDA does not review or regulate cosmetics products or ingredients for safety before they are sold to the public and has no legal authority to require safety assessments of cosmetics.

Click here to see more products that are on this danger list....
http://www.breastcancerfund.org/site/pp.asp?c=kwKXLdPaE&b=2483603

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Summer Safety-Skin Care


HI Everyone!
I thought this article was important with Summer coming. The rest of the article can be found at the link below.
I like the new spray on sunscreens from Banana Boat which apparently aren't the best and they also do animal testing. It looks like Burts Bees is a good one. It's rating is 2 and Banana Boat is 5. I'll try it.



*******************************************************************


Dear Friends,
Today we are releasing a dramatically expanded and improved version of our popular cosmetics and personal care products database, Skin Deep. The site has been redesigned top to bottom, and we've added ratings for nearly 10,000 more products.


Now in its fourth year and third major update, our
Skin Deep product safety database provides safety ratings for nearly 25,000 personal care products - almost a quarter of all products on the market - and the 7,000 ingredients they contain. Due to gaping loopholes in federal law, companies can put virtually any ingredient into personal care products. Even worse, the government does not require pre-market safety tests for any of them. Our aim is to fill in where companies and the government left off.

Skin Deep is the only tool available to consumers to assess and compare the safety of personal care products.


Looking for safer sunscreen to protect the kids this summer? Or shampoos without dangerous preservatives? Skin Deep helps you learn what not to buy, and helps you find safer options for you and your family.

Go To EWG.org to find out more!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Honeybee Die-Off Threatens Food Supply



After a recent "run-in" with a swarm of bees on our boating trip, I've had an interesting new point of view of their work!!

May 03, 2007 — By Seth Borenstein, Associated PressBELTSVILLE, Md. -- Unless someone or something stops it soon, the mysterious killer that is wiping out many of the nation's honeybees could have a devastating effect on America's dinner plate, perhaps even reducing us to a glorified bread-and-water diet.

Honeybees don't just make honey; they pollinate more than 90 of the tastiest flowering crops we have. Among them: apples, nuts, avocados, soybeans, asparagus, broccoli, celery, squash and cucumbers. And lots of the really sweet and tart stuff, too, including citrus fruit, peaches, kiwi, cherries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries, cantaloupe and other melons.
In fact, about one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants, and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Even cattle, which feed on alfalfa, depend on bees. So if the collapse worsens, we could end up being "stuck with grains and water," said Kevin Hackett, the national program leader for USDA's bee and pollination program.
"This is the biggest general threat to our food supply," Hackett said.
While not all scientists foresee a food crisis, noting that large-scale bee die-offs have happened before, this one seems particularly baffling and alarming.


You can find the rest of the article here, but isn't it interesting how much our lives depend on bees!? And you thought they only made honey!!!
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Monday, May 7, 2007

Is Mineral Makeup Safer?



I've been using mineral based makeup for years because I thought it was safer than the other liquid based ones. I was suprised when I read the article from the enviroblog.com


Here's part of the article:


Ask EWG: Is mineral-based make-up safer?
Question: Is mineral-based make-up safer for you than make-up bought at drug stores or department stores? Most of the mineral-based make-up contains titanium dioxide and/or silica, and some contain iron of some type. Is this okay for your skin? I am wondering how such make-up is absorbed into the body, too!
Answer: Like all cosmetics, mineral-based products raise more questions about their safety than answers. Many mineral-based make-ups contain (or potentially contain) nano-size ingredients, which are 10 to 1,000 times smaller than their normally-sized counterparts and are more likely to be absorbed into the body through the skin because they're so small. (
See EWG's research on nano-materials.)
Continue reading "Ask EWG: Is mineral-based make-up safer?" »
So what's your opinon? What makeup do you use?

Famous Caymans Coral Reefs Dying, Scientists Say


I'm very fond of snorkeling and protecting our marine environments too. Just yesterday we took the boat out to the waters just off Sanibel, by the lighthouse. I hope to be able to take my own picture of the reef someday soon!
Schools of stingrays were swimming by, dolphins were curiously swimming by. A tourist jumped into the water to swim with them.

I've snorkeled in the great barrier reef off the coast of Australia just the memory is still breathtaking!
I'm just reading this article today about the reefs in the Caymans and it's worrying me quite a bit. I've seen a few documentaries about our reef's health and the white ashy look is starting to take over. It's sad. I hope we can do something about it fast!

Exerpts from the article:

Ranked among the top 10 scuba diving destinations in the world, the reef system of the western Caribbean territory has lost 50 percent of its hard corals in the last 10 years in spite of strong environmental laws, scientists say.

.......Global warming is heating sea water, which leads to coral bleaching, an ailment that causes normally colorful corals to turn white, and white plague, a disease sweeping and killing coral around the world.

......"If the coral reef dies, the algae will go, and the tropical fish will go. Then there will be nothing left to see," says Nancy Easterbrook, operator of Divetech.
Manfrino said hope is not lost.
"We can't give up," she said. "Science is always coming up with major discoveries, so we may find a way to save our reefs."






Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A cleaner environment... through beer


They've finally found out how to harness the power of beer!


CANBERRA, Australia - Scientists and Australian beer maker Foster's are teaming up to generate clean energy from brewery waste water — by using sugar-consuming bacteria.

The experimental technology was unveiled Wednesday by scientists at Australia's University of Queensland, which was given a $115,000 state government grant to install a microbial fuel cell at a Foster's Group brewery near Brisbane, the capital of Queensland state.

The fuel cell is essentially a battery in which bacteria consume water-soluble brewing waste such as sugar, starch and alcohol.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Pesticides and Pledging To STAY GREEN!

Today, as I sit at my computer looking out into the canal, palm trees swaying, the neighbor's NEUROTOXIN AGENT COMES A'SPRAYIN'!

Well! As I had to close up the windows and doors, bring in the dog and wait for the *&^$ to dry before inhaling again, I wondered what is there for us to do.

I know a few floridians who have issues with pests and there's just no other way, or is there?

I started searching...

I went to a cute website of child activists! http://www.kidsforsavingearth.org/index_high.html


From there I found:

Here's a little of it:

For ants, you can sprinkle red chili powder, paprika or dried peppermint where the ants are entering. You can also apply peppermint essential oil. For pet food that is stored outside, place the bowl of food inside a bowl of soapy water so that your pet can still reach the food. Ants aren’t very good swimmers, and won’t cross the bowl of soapy water!

For fleas, feed your pet brewer’s yeast. Simply mix powder into food. Or you can feed your pet brewer’s yeast tablets.

Borax can be used to control or eliminate ants, termites, lice, fleas, spiders and roaches. Mop or spray floors wherever you see pests. However, Borax is poisonous when ingested, so store and use properly.

Natural soaps can be used to control ants and fleas. Mix 4 ounces of a natural soap in 1 gallon of water and spray as needed. You can sprinkle powdered soap around the foundation of a home to keep ants out.

If you want to sign one of these pledges, go to: http://www.kidsforsavingearth.org/askadults.htm
I just love it! Kids are getting the boost they needs to take responsibility for their own generation already! I'm so proud!



GreenScaping



I've been looking for some Green advice on lawn care and I found something good.

This brochure from the epa called Green Scaping (pdf) has some short and simple hints for us.

I like the idea of using the grass clippings for nitrogen! (That way I don't have to use a bag on the mower!) Here in Florida, the grass IS crabgrass, so some of the pesticide options will kill it.

I just go and pull them, but some of these weeds have what seem to be tree stumps underground!

I think I might need some dynamite!!!

Is that eco-friendly??? Probably better than herbicide, huh?

More on that later, I'm sure!

Jo-Ann
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