Sunday, March 30, 2008

Solids or liquids?

If I have to choose solid or liquid, I naturally pick the liquid.
Something about liquid is soothing and I tend to go with the flow.

But I am finding it's better to go solid. Solid shampoo that is. A solid shampoo is easier to travel with. Traveling by air you have the airport restrictions of claiming your little liquids in the little plastic baggies as you go through security, so I put the normal size bottle in in my luggage. My shampoo will inevitably burst open in my bag so I have to keep in in a plastic ziplock of it's own.
A solid shampoo is also smaller and easier to pack! Taking up less room in the luggage is always a plus.

But now I have a new quest...along with going green by ridding my closet of products, is to cut out the unnecessary plastic in my life.

Who knew the first step would be my Shampoo?

I read about this shampoo the other day and looked it up on the web. JR Liggett's is one of several non-liquid shampoos. One small bar lasts as long as 24 oz of bottled shampoo. Burt's Bees has one and so does Lush. JR Liggett's comes in a paper wrapper.

I figure with my long hair and because I exercise and wash my hair every day...I go through about 8 bottles of shampoo and 10 bottles of conditioner a year. 18 bottles a year and over 10 years, that adds up to a pile of 180 bottles from just shampoo and conditioner alone...and that's just me!

So instead of collecting a garage full of plastic bottles, I'll recycle the paper wrapper that the bar of biodegradable soap comes in.

What was old is new again.
My mom remembers when she was little and she had her cake of hair soap. How sweet :)
Now I have mine.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Waste=Food Imagine feeding your pet plastic...

Plastic Vortex

... that is what we are doing to the Albatross in the Pacific and to other animals.

An increase of plastic waste in the Pacific is putting birds and animals on the Midway Islands at risk.

Animals are mistaking our trash for food and it's killing their young. This report by the BBC shows how it effects the Albatross.
What can we do?

Be accountable! The trash stops here!
- Reduce your stuff - limit your purchases and recycle! Remember, everything you throw away doesn't just go to the becomes something or someone's food either by consumption or by breaking down and coming a part of our soil and water
- Help clean it up - Volunteer at your local beach, river and land clean up programs. Make it a goal to volunteer twice a year.
- Call your local government, businesses and groups - Get others involved! Local government can create laws that encourage companies to create biodegradable or recyclable products. Businesses and groups can help organize clean ups. Businesses can create non-toxic and biodegradable products or use them if they provide a service.
- Educate others - Pass the word on to others to be responsible for their waste.

Great website to check out:

Monday, March 24, 2008

Air Pollution - the bad and good news

Pollution Visible From East Asia To North America In New Satellite Image
Click here to view the article.
It's amazing that we now have the ability to see an attribute pollution around the globe.

Atmospheric Scientists Map Pollution Decrease
The clear air act of 1999 makes a difference today!
40% reduction in pollution over the Ohio River Valley

Keep up the good work Ohio! Now lets get Virginia to switch from coal to a non-polluting source of energy!

USPS makes recycling easier - Recycle your handheld electronics today!

United States Postal Service
Click on the link for the full article
Free Recycling Through the Mail
U.S. Postal Service Starts Service in 1,500 Post Offices

WASHINGTON, DC —Free and green. Those are the goals of a pilot program launched today by the U.S. Postal Service that allows customers to recycle small electronics and inkjet cartridges by mailing them free of charge.

The “Mail Back” program helps consumers make more environmentally friendly choices, making it easier for customers to discard used or obsolete small electronics in an environmentally responsible way. Customers use free envelopes found in 1,500 Post Offices to mail back inkjet cartridges, PDAs, Blackberries, digital cameras, iPods and MP3 players – without having to pay for postage.


The pilot is set for 10 areas across the country, including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego, but could become a national program this fall if the pilot program proves successful.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kick the Bottled Water Habit

The living machine at Oberlin College with a settlement tank in the foreground and filtering tanks in the background

Here is a great article with alternatives to bottled water.
Kick the Bottled Water Habit - New American Dream

If you live in an area where you do not have clean drinking water, there are ways you can get involved and clean up the water in your area. Start with your local city council and paper and then work your way up. You can even build a living machine in your own backyard and then spread the news!

You bring up a great point! Many of us take for granted that we have many sources of clean water in US, but that is not 100% true.

There are many places here and around that world that do not have clean drinking water.

There are still other options to bottled water such as these:

Bottled water needs to return to being a good way to occasionally get water to places that need it on a temporary basis, and not a water source unto itself.

Monday, March 10, 2008

What is in your water? - A solution to dispose of unwanted drugs.

While in Colorado, I heard on the news today that traces of antibiotics were found in the tap water. How did they get there? The most likely way is by flushing medicine down the toilet or sending it down the drain. This is a good way to keep people from poisoning themselves, or from selling it to other people, but sending it down the drain doesn't get rid of it, it just sends the problem elsewhere.

Denver water: trace amounts of antibiotics and pharmaceuticals

Looking for a solution, I found this problem was also announced in Virgina!
Scientists found " -- an anti-seizure medication, two anti-inflammatory drugs, two kinds of antibiotics and a common disinfectant "
Area Tap Water Has Traces of Medicines

This study shows that this problem is not just seen in waste water, but is also traced back to runoff.
March 2008 | Study links agriculture to increase of intersex fish
in Potomac basin

With a little further digging, I see the Environmental Working Group did their own test of tap water in Dec 2007 and found similar results.

More than 140 contaminants with no enforceable safety limits found in the nation's drinking water

So what can we do when you no longer need your medication, or it expires?

Since there are no laws stating how to dispose of pharmaceuticals, I am finding that people, hospitals, clinics are all asking how can you dispose of these drugs?
Do you incinerate them? Do you send them back to the company?

- The state of Maine entertained a mail-back and pharmacy collection program.

- Law enforcement incinerates confiscated drugs.

- Here is the best solution I have found on the web. Pharmaceutical disposal companies turn unwanted, outdated drugs into power. EMILY FREDRIX. AP
Call your local hazardous waste locations and encourage them to start Pharmaceutical Disposal to Power programs in your neighborhood!

Making a change one lipstick at a time


Here is an update!
I did hear back from Mary Kay and they received my package.
I returned all of my products that contained ingredients with a score of moderate to high hazard found on the Skin Deep cosmetics database.

They are going to send me information on their new minerals line of foundations and powders. This new line replaces the current one and is also supposed to have eco-friendly packaging. Old cosmetic cases that hold the current snap in colors can be returned to Consultants who can turn them back in to Mary Kay at convention (so as not to create more carbon waste from millions of women mailing in a package).

The company is moving in the right direction and I'm eager to see the ingredients for their new line of minerals and skin care products.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

This weekend I started researching non-toxic/organic skincare and cosmetics. Why? Because I use them everyday and since I'm not ready to eliminate them from my routine, I figure there is a better way to it.

I love Mary Kay cosmetics and skincare. So much that I'm signed up as a consultant. But I've learned that Mary Kay has not signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics.
Also the products listed on Skin Deep, a cosmetic safety database, are ranked from moderate to high hazard.

I wrote Mary Kay asking them to create a line of non-toxic skincare and cosmetics. The products are great, but I think they can be made better.

So while I'm doing that, I looked for some non-toxic/organic lines to try. I tried Aubrey but it didn't work for me, buy MyChelle works really well, I think it's just a bit pricey for me.
I also found Alima Cosmetics. I bought some to try out.

However, my goal is to get Mary Kay to start a new line of non-toxic/organic skin care and cosmetics. They company is fantastic and I want it to continue on and thrive as a business. It's focused on helping women, and I think this change is right in line with their focus.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Green webs

I've been looking on line to find more ideas for my blog and I found some MEGA green sites!

Here are a couple of sites that I found:

Green Mommy's Blogroll
Best Green Blogs
Care2 Network
There is a huge diverse world out there of eco-bloggers. Intriguing.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Mow your way to lower emissions?

Micro-managing? Good intentions? Unintended consequences? Is corn a bad thing?

A good vision, goal or law sets a goal and provides motivation; it should not tell you how to it. This rule of thumb was proven again when a law was passed in the US to produce ethanol from corn.

Pols Drunk On Corn-Based Ethanol Have Left Millions With Hangover

Unintended consequences abound when corn prices went up and food prices went up. A good economic analysis or even a quick sketch of a food chain could have foreseen this dilemma.

Please continue to push for the use of renewable energy sources, but don't tie it to one way of doing it because YOU know it works. Set the goal, and let the industry bring forward the right mix of alternatives. But, stay actively involved by setting achievable goals and keep pushing for them until they are achieved. Then be ready for the next round!

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