On Earth Day, I attended a viewing of the documentary, Trashed produced and narrated by Academy Award winning actor, Jeremy Irons. Just a few minutes into the film, I was struck by how much its message instantly resonated with me. I guess you could say the story of trash, is my story… itʼs your story… Trash is evidence of who we are, where we have been, what we ate, drank, clothed ourselves in, read… It’s our legacy, these computers we used, cars we drove, toys no longer wanted. Todayʼs trash is tomorrowʼs waste pollution, and that waste pollution is killing us.
Trash is growing at an infinite rate, yet our resources are extremely finite. Increasingly, we’ve become a largely “throw away” society, not giving much thought (or care) to how our Earth home is affected by we things we casually toss out daily. But what happens to all of that trash stuffed into plastic bags and left at the curb, thrown on the ground, dropped in the lake, or dumped at the end of a road somewhere? Does it go away just because we can’t see it anymore? Of course its doesnʼt… we know that, but what we might not realize is the life-altering impact it’s making.
Today, there is more plastic in our Earthʼs oceans than life. In the North Pacific Gyre, (one of the five gyres, or ocean convergence cycles, found on Earth) plastic outnumbers one of the most basic sea life forms, zooplankton, 6 to 1 and covers an area twice the size of Texas. Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled. While, industrial chemicals, oil, fertilizer, and pesticides pollute streams, rivers, oceans, and ground water, they are also polluted by trash.
From trash that began as a super market bag that blew in the wind to reach a body of water, litter that surged with afternoon rain showers down a street to wash down a storm drain, or waste once sitting at waters edge in a landfill or dump site now floating on a wave nearby, an astonishing amount of the stuff makes its way into our waterways. Fish and sea animals mistake plastic for food, get tangled in its path, and take on its toxic chemical properties now broken down into the water, sand, and air around it. In many towns all over the world, people dump trash in the same water where they bath, wash their clothes, and hydrate.
Plastic waste is indigestible (not by us or by the earth) and it’s making people and our planet sick. The beginning point of plastic is crude oil, with 5% of total crude oil or petroleum production used to make plastic. The crude oil is broken down and/or combined with other chemicals such as toluene, ethylene, and benzene — a known carcinogen used to make styrene, polyester, and plastic.
Plasticizers such as phthalates are added to make the plastic flexible. These phthalates are suspected carcinogens, containing endocrine disrupting chemicals that have devastating effects on amphibians, fish, mammals, and humans.
There is no safe plastic. The EPA reports that, “every bit of plastic ever made still exists.”
Sadly, the same is true of the toxic effects it has on life. When humans and other living species are exposed to these chemicals, they bio-accumulate in fat cells. Just as the toxic effects of trash and waste pollution ripple down and are seen for decades in every living thing on Earth, our bodies pass these toxic chemicals on to our children as well. In fact, studies have shown up to nine generations of offspring can be effected by the DNA-altering, endocrine-disrupting, cancer-causing, neurological-damaging chemicals in plastics.
This madness must stop.
But how do we reduce plastic use in our daily lives when it is so prevalent? Here are eight easy and effective ways to start:
1. Ditch Plastic Water Bottles. Instead of Plastic Water Bottles, invest in an under the sink Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter and use as your primary water source. To keep drinking water handy, switch plastic water bottles for glass or stainless steel and store them for easy grab-n-go in the fridge. Many glass and stainless steel bottles have plastic lids and covers, so be sure to hand wash in warm soapy water. Never put any form of plastic in the dishwasher or microwave, no matter the labeling, as it can increase the plastic’s ability to leach into your body.
2. Go For Glass. Serve kiddos real glass, ceramic, or stainless steel drink ware, cutlery and dishes. Life Without Plastic has great options and ideas. And while you’re at it, ditch the paper napkins and grab some fun 100% cotton drink napkins. They are perfect for lunch boxes!
3. Buy Safe Baby Bottles. Use glass baby bottles, and make sure the nipples are phthalate, BPA, and PVC free. The same rule applies for Sippy Cups, teethers, and pacifiers.
4. Ditch Plastic Toys. Make your home “rubber” ducky and small junkie toy free. A majority of these “cheapie toys” contain BPA and are made of PVC and heavy phthalates…(The whole yellow ducky in the bathtub framed with the PVC-laden shower curtain has always freaked me out.)
5. Buy in Bulk. This one takes a little extra work, but it makes a huge impact. When grocery shopping, buy bulk items when possible, and bring your own glass containers or fabric bags to the store for filling. The cashier only needs to pre weigh your container to deduct weight difference. Instead of plastic produce bags (most programs will not recycle them) opt for mesh produce bags, natural cloth bread sacks, and shopping bags.
6. Revamp Your Pantry. Use glass containers to store pasta, rice, nuts, cookies, and pretty much anything else you can think of in your pantry. Anything you can put in a “Ziploc” plastic bag (leftovers, fruits, veggies) and freeze, you can put in a glass Pyrex container instead. Just top with parchment paper, close with plastic lid, and freeze.
7. Shop Green. If purchasing packaged goods, glass or paper cartons always win over plastic, as you can repurpose them for future storage. In addition, choose produce free of bagging and containers such as fresh heads of lettuce, and tomatoes on the vine, and bulk potatoes, onions, and citrus (not the jumbo plastic bags of them). If produce is only offered in that form, I take it to the check out counter, have them ring it up, put it in one of my own mesh produce bags and tell the store to take care of the “trash” the produce has caused. It’s important to send the message loud and clear to stores, especially “health food” stores that should be leading the way in environmental responsibility, that you do not want trash with your groceries.
8. Get Smart About Tetra Packaging. The jury is still out on Tetra packaging, with conflicting stories of whether or not they can be recycled. Many are made of an aluminum, paperboard, or plastic mesh. Buy glass when there is a choice.
Ok, now let’s talk Pre-Cycling & Recycling. (You knew it was coming!) It’s good to avoid all plastic as a rule, but geez, letʼs face it, for now, plastic is everywhere. When it cannot be avoided, choose product containers that CAN be recycled (pre-cycling). But just because you see the “chasing arrows” sign on the packaging doesnʼt mean it is recyclable (confusing, yes?), so let’s make sense of it. Knowing the differences between different types of plastics and packaging can help our health and mother Earth.
You will find arecycle numberon the bottom of most plastics to help recycling center employees sort the goods. This number also tells us something. Here’s the breakdown:
#1: PETE – This plastic is typically used for water bottles, soft drinks, and packaging. It may leach carcinogens, so be very careful with heating it or exposing to UV rays, as both degrades the chemical bonds in the plastic. It is easily recycled, but should not be reused. Commonly recycled into polyester fiber, fleece and carpeting.
#2: HDPE – This isconsidered the best option for plastic with its ability to be easily recycled and to withstand UV light and chemicals without breaking down. It’s commonly used for household cleaning products, detergents, park benches, and picnic tables.
#3: PVC – Poly Vinyl Chloride is a bad boy. Commonly dubbed, “the poison plastic,” it is used in household items, industrial pipes, housing materials, garden hoses, medical blood bags and tubing, wire and cable insulation packaging, floor mats, and kid and pet toys. This plastic contains numerous toxins and should never be used or touched by children or expecting mothers. Warning should also be given for all clothing containing PVC such as “jelly” sandals. Less than 1% of PVC is recycled, making it disastrous for the environment as it sits in landfills. The use and manufacturing of PVC plastic should be outlawed.
#4: LDPE – This is low-density plastic, and it is just as it sounds (think film plastic, shrink wrap, dry cleaner bags, some household product containers). Although it is considered generally safe, it is almost never recyclable, meaning it’s destined to sit in a landfill (aka: our soil) for eternity. We can all easily refuse use of this plastic.
#5: PP – Polypropylene is a strong plastic with a high melting point, making it a favorite for yogurt (yogurt goes in hot- then refrigerated), take out food packaging, straws, medicine bottles, and syrup bottles. Check with your local waste collection agency to see if they accept this type of material. (Ed. Dallas County’s recycling program accepts plastics with the recycling symbol for numbers 1-7.)
#6 PS – Polystyrene is horrible. Full stop. Not only is it linked to endocrine system disruption and reproductive dysfunction but also lung cancer in factory workers using it in manufacturing. Polystyrene is highly toxic to our Earth and is found in alarmingly high amounts on our beaches, poisoning all marine life surrounding it. This is your typical take out material, Styrofoam cup/clam shell food containers, foam shipping packaging, and plastic picnic or sack lunch cutlery. It’s also used in homes for laminate flooring and insulation. Styrene should NEVER be heated, as it has a low melting point and can leach into food products. Hot food alone is enough to cause harmful chemicals to be ingested. Never allow a child to drink from a Styrofoam cup commonly used by fast food restaurants. Think of hot coffee served in a Styrofoam cup! Eeks! Please never consume or purchase products that use PS containers. Most home recycle programs do NOT accept this type of material, making it even more detrimental to the health of our society. (Ed. Dallas County’s recycling program does not accept Styrofoam products.)
#7 Polycarbonate (PC) & Other – The catchall number 7 truly “catches all,” including BPA, Bisphenol A, and other toxic chemicals. Plastics with this number can contain a combination of the above plastics and are generally NOT accepted by recyclers. Sippy Cups and Nalgene containers are commonly labeled #7 and should not be considered safe.
Plastics that are not recycled, usually end up in landfills alongside all sorts of waste, where spontaneous, deep fires burn several times a day releasing deadly dioxins, methane gas, hydrochloric acid, and carbon dioxide into the air.
The most difficult scene in Trashed was shot in Vietnam, where we saw the absolutely horrific effects of Agent Orange in deformed fetuses jarred in glass containers of formaldehyde. I canʼt even type the words without tears. Agent Orange, created by bio-chemical giants, Monsanto and Dow Corning (creator of genetically modified seeds and organisms now over taking our food supply as well as deadly DDT) was a defoliant dropped by air over the jungles of Vietnam, effecting the land, water, and all living things in its path. Agent Orange contained dioxins which caused these atrocities. The chemicals contained in Agent Orange were held as a “secret” by its makers for many years. The same game is played today sacrificing the health human beings and animals alike. Chemical manufacturers, oil and gas companies, and makers of plastic do not tell us what is in the chemical cocktail that they end up burying and burning, often sending the same dioxin into the air and settling onto the water, grass, and soil. As a result the chemical enters our food chain becoming more concentrated as it goes. (Think air, grass, cow, human) These are the very same dioxins found in pesticides and herbicides. How could we possibly think that todayʼs overwhelming increase in allergies, asthma, leukemia, cognitive learning problems, ADD, and autism is not associated with these products and chemicals?
Our planet is now the “proud” owner of landfills the size of mountains, many overtaking the original land designated for it, farms, homes, and rivers just a stone’s throw away. The birds, flies, and stench from these landfills waft into adjacent neighborhoods like an unwelcome visitor. In the documentary, Jeremy Irons takes us to a farm adjacent to a landfill in York, England. The townspeople petitioned and picketed for relief from the toxic waste dump to no avail, as local government officials stated that the air, soil, and ground water were safe contrary to evidence otherwise (including cancer clusters and development problems in children). In fact, one study showed that living within 3 kilometers of the landfill resulted in a high incidence of birth defects. Jeremy took his own soil sample with results showing levels of toxins way over “acceptable” levels and all with links to the diseases afflicting the local people. I have always wondered about said “acceptable” levels of poisons, toxins, and cancer causing chemicals. On who’s child is that “level” acceptable?
I can remember, as a little girl, my grand father would burn trash in his trash barrel at the end of the road beside the edge of the pasture. I was mesmerized by the different colors it would emit into the air, not understanding that it was releasing PCBs, dioxins, and nano-particles to float over the land, perhaps settling on the nearby garden we ate from every day.
Many can see that we cannot sustain the current practice of burying our waste and therefore surmise that incineration is a logical answer. Millions of dollars have been spent in the race to build the perfect waste incinerator. But, as we saw in the film, the problem can be the same as my grand daddy’s trash barrel — PCBs, dioxins, fly ash, mercury, cadmium, lead and nano particles released into the air. A farm in a village in Greenland was completely devastated by the chemicals emitted into the air from a nearby waste incinerator. It seems, it worked for a couple of months, then broke down when the filter wore out. That filter was the only barrier between the deadly chemicals burned and the clean air outside. The gentlemen interviewed had lost his dairy output through contamination and was fearful for the health of his unborn child and expecting wife. The local authorities simply said that the contamination and poisoning could not be proven scientifically even though dioxin levels were shown to be 13,000 times over the acceptable amount. The government offered him no help or restitution. I assure you this story is not uncommon across our globe, perhaps in our own backyards.
Many manufacturers and authorities “hang their hats” on the statement that “it can not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, scientifically, that these or any chemicals cause disease in humans.” When dealing with human beings, saying something is absolute is almost impossible. We must change our criteria and shift the burden of proof of safety to the manufacturer, demanding full disclosure of all ingredients.
To our government officials everywhere considering incineration: It is not the answer. It is too costly, both in dollars and in health. Just ask Detroit.
So, the answer must lie in reducing our waste and responsibly getting rid of it. With about 30% of our landfill trash comprised of paper, 18% of food scraps, and 16% of plastics… we can turn this around. Just ask San Francisco. The city has implemented a highly effective zero waste policy with the following mandates:
Recycle all paper, newspaper, magazines, junk mail, shoeboxes, chip and cereal boxes, paper grocery bags, and unwaxed paper products. Personal documents can be shredded and recycled.
Do not litter or dump anything. (There is zero tolerance for littering or dumping of any kind.)
Compost food scraps and yard clippings. (Sierra Club and Earth Easy provide good information and tips on composting.)
Pre-cycle & Re-cycle and plastics (including toothbrushes), aluminum cans, jars, glass, steel, and other waste products.
When faced with items that cannot be recycled, be sure you consider alternatives and/or understand how to properly dispose of them. Following are recommendations for the most common items:
Baby Diapers – And estimated 27.4 billion disposable diapers end up in landfills each year (and will stay there for over 500 years). Instead use cloth diapers to avoid toxic chemicals. It seems like more work, but the cloth diaper systems and services available today are incredibly easy to use.
Batteries — Use re- chargeable batteries whenever possible, and never put used batteries in recycling or landfill trash. Batteries become toxic to soil, leach into groundwater. Many municipalities or hardware stores, such as Elliot’s, take them directly. I store my discards in a gallon container until filled, then turn into the city waste management department. CDs / DVDs – Re-sell or donate
Facial or Toilet Tissue — Use sparingly
Light Bulbs and Mirrors – Properly dispose of by dropping off at authorized businesses (Home Depot and Loweʼs will take CFLs.)
Paper Towels- Use re-usable cloth towels.
Hazardous Materials — Plastic containers used for motor oil, antifreeze, or other hazardous materials. Limit use. Contact your municipal services for help disposing of properly
Plastic Shopping or Trash Bags – Use re-usable cloth bags for shopping and paper bags for trash.
Plastic Wrap or Plastic Toys – Do not use or purchase.
Styrofoam Peanuts – When ordering products request low impact packaging.
Wire Hangers — Most Dry Cleaners will accept them back. Use wooden hangers. They last forever.
Old Medications — Contact your local municipality for information or drop off days for old medications (OTC and prescription). Remove label and recycle bottle. Never dump into landfill trash or flush down the toilet to enter the municipal water source returning to you in drinking water. (Locally, in Dallas, Doughtery’s and Preston Road Pharmacy (map to locate in your city) both accept old medications.)
Cosmetic Chemicals — Nail Polish, remover, and other cosmetic chemicals containing the "bad 5" should be avoided for the sake of your health, but if you have them, you should take them to the hazardous drop off location for paints, solvents, or industrial chemicals as they contain highly toxic formaldehyde, DEP, toluene, camphor, and acetone.
Yard Clippings — Never bag yard clippings, limbs, grass, or trimmings in plastic bags. This causes methane and green house gases to form. Most cities will compost them if you do not. Put in paper bags, and allow grass clippings to remain on the lawn to nourish the soil.
Pet Feces – Either flush down the toilet (depending on size of the pet), use in composting, or use biodegradable bags.Never put pet feces in the landfill or wash down a storm drain or gutter. (Did you know its against the law?)
Additionally, you can re-use or donate the following items:
Old Electronics, phones and Computers — Donate to a shelter, a charity, or use electronic recycle programs such as Best Buy’s.
I realize it seems overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little effort, we can make a difference. The first step is to evaluate your family’s current waste output and create a plan to reduce your daily impact on our planet. Educate your children on the importance of being a responsible steward of our Earth home. Once you have your own household plan in place you can go a step further and petition for stronger laws and legislation to protect our environment and our health. I know at the end of the day, Mother Earth will go on despite her aches and pains… it’s us and our children that will not fair so well. We need to heed her multitude of warnings, follow her signs, and turn the tide for a healthy world.
Love, Respect, Responsibility for our home, Planet Earth
by Holly Pellham Davis
Many of us are reeling from the tragic events this week in Boston and West, Texas. We are reminded that life is fragile, precious and that we are all connected in this beautiful tapestry called life. As I look at this weekends focus on Earth Day, I can’t help but feel a need to send out to the world, a distress call of sorts. A call for all people, of every land, to come together and care for our home with love, respect and responsibility. Just as events far, far away effect us where ever we are, so too are we all affected by even one persons actions for, or against the Earth.
We see evidence of Global Warming and our Earth in distress all across the globe with headlines of drought, violent weather storm patterns, science fiction-like algae taking over lakes and all that is in them, sea levels rising,species of plants and animals becoming extinct or deformed, acidic oceans killing thousands of fish and other aquatic life, a slew of plastic in the Pacific Ocean the size of the state of Texas.
As our precious Earth suffocates under a blanket of Co2, we too are dying a slow death. You simply can not separate the relationship between us. What we do to the Earth, we do to our bodies and worse, to our children. We must reverse the pattern that has been set in motion and each person has to do their part. Through educating ourselves and teaching our children that we are responsible for the health of our world through the daily decisions we make, we can make a difference.
Top offenders against the health of our Earth are: vehicle emissions, trash, plastics, fertilizer, deforestation, coal fired plants and industrial emissions.
Key ways to begin making a difference:
Conserve, reduce energy use in your home. Energy star appliances, Radiant Barrier Insulation such as reflectix, put a plan in action to reduce energy use, such as thermostat settings, lights off, unplugging unused devices, etc. have each family member sign the commitment agreement. Use alternative energy sources such as solar energy or wind energy.
Transportation choices: Vehicle emissions leave one of the largest carbon footprints on Earth. Not only is it the greatest polluter of the air we breathe leading to cancers, asthma and brain disease, but burning these fossil fuels is also causing the Earth to be diseased and sickened due to the blanket of carbon covering us. Reduce heavy duty trucks, petition to stop producing and slowly cut out diesel engines. Plan to carpool / ride share, use community transit, purchase and drive only high fuel economy vehicles, reduce your driving time by planning out any daily trips and cutting idle driving time. Turn off your car during carpool.
Stop the use of Fertilizer at your home, office, city parks and schools. Excess nitrogen (fertilizer) in water and soil kills the life giving oxygen in our air and water. When applied to the yard and or soil, the nitrogen is heated from the sun and evaporates into a gas into the air, rising up to form a blanket which warms the Earth. The same fertilizer is responsible for the horrific algae blooms, as it runs off the land into gutters, alleys, waterways, ponds, rivers, lakes and oceans strangling the oxygen, killing almost all life except for algae, noxious fish and jelly fish. Contact your local officials and inquire about what chemicals are applied to parks, fields and community land. Educate others on the dangers and petition them to stop. Build awareness. Cease all use of all “lawn greening” products every where you have influence. Have a no bag policy in place for your lawn clippings. Mow over them and nourish the soil naturally. Your yard and the air (no trapped gas), will love you!
Reduce,Reuse,Recycle, Respect, Responsibility... & Ban Plastic:
We have all heard of the “3 R’s” and most can probably sing the Jack Johnson song, but when the rubber meets the road, do we actually practice it? As usual, having a plan in order is supreme. Reduce your water use. Turn off the faucet, don;t keep it running. Install water & energy saving shower heads like this one:
Plant native landscape. Use Reduce the amount of trash you create by evaluating the current trash you have. Devise a plan to at least cut it in half. Buy in bulk. Reuse glass containers to store foods in. Reuse bags, clothes, electronics, etc. Simply don’t just throw anything away.. PURPOSE a PLACE for it... give it another life plan through reuse or recycling. Beware of toxic recyclables and reusables such as tires, synthetic rubber, PVC, most plastics and all styrene, styrofoam.
Purchase only items that will last and not negatively impact the environment. We have a symbiotic relationship with the Earth. For example, if we purchase cheap plastic toys for our children, they are toxic to their little bodies, possibly causing cognitive problems, disease etc... those same throw away, cheap toys are floating in the ocean, sitting in a land fill poisoning our planet.
We will talk more about TRASH next week, but for Earth Day, involve your children and educate them on the importance of NOT LITTERING our world. Beginning with not throwing chewed gum on the ground, to candy wrappers or fast food bags & containers it all harms our Earth. Take them for a visit to a nearby land fill so they can see and smell first hand that the trash we create does not just “go away.”
Family Earth Day activities:
Plant a tree in an effort to clean the air and increase life giving oxygen.
Visit local Earth Day celebrations and events such as this one in Dallas.
Make your plan to reduce trash, reuse or repurpose most things, recycle electronics, batteries, trash, cut plastic use dramatically, turn off, unplug & live more energy efficiently.
As a neighborhood, church group, friends or family, come together and clean up a heavily polluted or littered area. Begin your own crusade to clean up our world.
Research with your children images of trash, the oceans, the Pacific trash vortex and other impact studies to broaden their perspective, gain knowledge and increase personal responsibility.
We are only as healthy as the home we live in. As stewards, we are called to be care takers of the Planet Earth. This weekend and on Earth Day, April 22, 2013, let’s commit to the call to care for our home, everyday. Our future and our children’s children’s future depend on it... Let’s not let them down.
The past couple of days, there has been something in the air… a fun energy, warmer temperatures, and sunshine. I’m beginning to feel tinges of spring fever and impulses to refresh the kids wardrobe, buy something new for the house, and bug my hair stylist for a “new look”; but my strongest urge is to clean. And, by clean, I mean c-l-e-a-n as it relates to the things you don’t really see… Like clean air.
Take a deep breath through your nose, slowly filling up your lungs. Then slowly push the air out through your mouth. Think about your nose, which acts as a filter and humidifier of the air you breathe into the lungs, processing that healing, life-giving oxygen. Then focus on expelling the by-product, carbon dioxide, out of your mouth, into the air around you.
Besides water, air is the only way to feed the human body oxygen. That makes it absolutely essential, fundamental, and critical for good health. Major air pollutants: carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and particle pollution are proven to increase the risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack) , even after short-term exposures. Other health risks linked to air pollution include: asthma, stroke, decline in cognitive function, dementia, autism, inflammation, high blood pressure, acceleration of atherosclerosis, and overall cardiovascular health and brain health. Researchers estimate about an 18% increase in the life span for people living in rural or metropolitan counties and attributed it to lower air pollution. Kind of makes you want to stay indoors, right? Sadly, the air inside your home, office, school (even our car!) is about seven times more polluted than the outdoor air.
Major contributors are the things you can’t see, including:
Air fragrances: Candles (heavily fragranced, petroleum-based are the worst culprits), incense, “air re-fresheners” (huge oxymoron), and air deodorizers and disinfectants (i.e. Lysol and Fabreeze). The air in your lungs does not need to smell good. It needs to be clear of chemicals, phthalates, and harmful additives.
Volatile Organic Compound’s (VOC’s): Gas-off from dry cleaning, paint, carpet, deadly formaldehyde, particle and pressed boards, furniture, PVC Shower Curtains, household mattresses and other furniture containing flame resistant chemicals PBDEs & PBBs –
Pesticides, tobacco smoke, gas and other fuels, paint strippers, cosmetics (hairsprays and perfume), cleaning products containing ammonia, chlorine, benzene, floor wax, wood or other cleaners with petroleum (mineral) ingredients, wood burning stoves or fireplaces, and gas appliances.
So how do we “Spring Clean” our air?
1. Increase Flow. The most important thing is to increase the air flow in the building. That means, open the windows and doors and get good air movement going. This step is absolutely essential. You must move the air to clean it. Install small fans in hard to ventilate places such as the laundry room and bathroom. Air flow also decreases mold as it reduces moisture, which is important as mold can have a profound effect on health.
2. Implement A No Idle Policy. Never “idle” your car inside the garage. Do not even start the engine without making sure you can pull out quickly and safely. A swift exit is key. In carpool, turn off the engine. This policy should be in force at every school across the country. Not only does this deadly pollution make its way into the buildings, but into the lungs of our precious children. Same with buses- make sure the school has a no idle policy in place. If your child takes the bus, educate them on the dangers of vehicle emissions. Vehicle exhaust is deadly.
3. Identify And Eliminate Air Violators. Use the above list as a guide to “air violators” and discontinue their use immediately. Clean air violators out of your home and office. Be sure and properly dispose of all chemicals, cleaners, fuels, etc or the problem will only mutate to the local water source.
4. Test Your Air. Have your air tested if high allergies, migraines, or unexplained health problems plague anyone in your family. Make sure your house meets airPlus standards.
5. Filter, Filter, Filter. Use a HEPA filter on vacuum cleaners and HVAC air filters. Research the EPA’s Guide for Residential Air Filters and make sure you are taking necessary steps to ensure air health in your home.
6. Let In The Light. Get as much natural sunlight into your home as possible. The sun is a natural disinfectant and also kills most mold spores.
7. Dust. Use Microfiber cleaning towels to frequently remove dust, allergens and pet dander from furniture, floors, counter tops, and blinds.
8. Go Green. Channel your green thumb and grow lots of indoor plants to naturally filter the air. NASA research confirms the use of household plants improves air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and eliminating benzene and formaldehyde. Here is a full list of air-purifying plants.
Taking these small steps will ensure you and your family can breathe deeply and be closer to complete health. Wherever you can, through daily choices, writing elected officials, contacting school officials to initiate a no-idle policy, be an advocate for clean air, as it will give us a healthier earth for generations to come. Then enjoy a nice, long, deep breath of clean fresh… air!
So, I hear there is something really big happening on November 6th in California that could deeply effect the lives of everyone living, eating and breathing in the USA... No, I am not talking about the Presidential Election, not to downplay its importance, I am talking Proposition 37. It’s serious stuff and this mama thinks you should take notice!
What is Prop 37? It is a right to know labeling law for all produce, meats and foods that contain GMO’s, Genetically Modified Organism’s. Simply put, if it contains GMO’s at all, it has to be disclosed on the label. Disclosure is good!
GMO’s in our food supply hit deeper than the surface grocery store shelves, it is in the feed that feeds the chicken and the cow. It is in the corn kernel in the pop corn bucket, in the canola oil we commonly cook with, in the refined sugar sourced from sugar beets, in the flour used to make processed foods. GMO’s are plant or meat products that have had their genetic makeup altered by genes from organisms.
What % of Crops are GMO?
Sugar Beets 95%
Cotton 88% (Cotton seed Oil)
Processed Foods (Cokes to Crackers) 70%
Over 30,000 different GMO’s are on Grocery Store Shelves.
What makes GMO’s unsafe? Brought to us by Monsanto and DuPont, the same Corporate terrorists (my opinion) that brought us deadly Agent Orange, Round-Up and DDT. The same companies that have purchased and patented the majority of the world’s seeds and have created seeds that are insect resistant by injecting pesticide inside the actual seed of the future food. These guys are not in the business of feeding the people (organic farmers ARE), they are in the bio-tech and pesticide business.
Example from http://www.carighttoknow.org/facts: “Genetically Modified corn has been engineered in a laboratory to produce pesticides in its own tissue. GMO corn is regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an Insecticide, but is sold unlabeled. [EPA Pesticides]. Walmart is now sellingMonsanto's sweet cornthat has been genetically engineered to contain an insecticide, but consumers don't know because it's not labeled.”
This is could easily be mistaken for a modern day science fiction horror story, but the studies on the effects of GMO’s are all to true and real.
Animals fed GMO suffered from tumors, had high inflammatory responses, retarded growth, Over Three Generations were effected with Pancreas, Kidney, Liver damage as well as alterations in blood bio chemistry. Even animals given small amounts of GMO’s showed they were extremely sensitive to them and were shown to be harmful to their health.
This tells another story...
“A Grass Roots Movement vs Big Corporate Money”
For Prop37/GMO Labeling reads like this:
Small donations from Moms, concerned citizens, farmers, Whole Foods, Environmental Working Group, American Public Health Organization, Dr. Mercola, Annie’s Foods, Organic Consumers Association.
Against Prop 37:
$40.7 Million Dollars in Donations from these companies:
For inquiries about guest speaking, seminars or personal organic lifestyle consulting
for your home or business, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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