Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beware of Parabens

Do you know that there is NO agency in the United Stated that oversees the ingredients in personal care products? None. We take it for granted that the items we put on our bodies are safe. But we should not make that assumption. The FDA does not test what companies put in their make up, shampoo, deodorant or toothpaste. It is up to the consumer to look at the ingredients list and become educated about the myriad of names printed on the packaging. Unfortunately, there are several chemicals that are commonplace but have negative side effects. The most prevalent and potentially dangerous are PARABENS.  It is a chemical used as a preservative in a whole slew of products. The problem is that it has been shown to mimic estrogen in the body and has actually been found in cancerous breast tissue samples. It may also be a factor in reproductive issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention screened the urine of a sampling of Americans and found traces of parabens in MOST people tested. Our skin is highly absorbent. So whatever goes on it - on our lips, eyelids, feet, etc. - goes into us. Our bloodstream. Our tissues. Our organs. This is scary stuff and not something we should stick our heads in the sand about. We need to be proactive and make informed decisions about what we purchase and how we use it. The European Union will ban five specific parabens this month. We need to urge the ban of these cheap hormone disruptors in the U.S. as well.

So how do you identify the presence of these nasty chemicals? Well, be prepared to put on your reading glasses because you are going to have to carefully peruse the ingredients list of just about every personal care product you own. Look for anything ending in "paraben" such as methylparaben, butylparaben, or
propylparaben. You'll be dismayed at how commonplace they are.

Check the following items for parabens:

  • Hair products such as shampoos, gels, etc.
  • Shaving Cream
  • Deodorant
  • Lotions
  • Toothpaste
  • Make Up

Thankfully, there are companies that do not use parabens. Some to look for are St. Ives, Burts Bees and Origins.They make great products and you can feel safe as you are using them.

It's not always easy to face the truth or to make changes. But isn't better to err on the side of caution and eliminate potentially dangerous chemicals from our lives? We have nothing to lose and our health to gain.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why You Should Recycle

One of the easiest things you can do to help the Earth is to start recycling. Our grandparents learned to save and reuse everything during the Great Depression. Now we’ve become a society in which it is acceptable to dispose of things arbitrarily because it's convenient to do so. Here are a few photos of items that could have easily been recycled, but the residents instead chose to put it out to the curb.

We need to change that mindset in order to help our planet and ourselves. Too much waste is piling up in our landfills. Then when one area is filled, another site must be chosen. Some of these are actually in our oceans! Here are a few reasons to start recycling:

·         Plastic takes at least 450 years to degrade

·         Waste contributes to greenhouse gasses and climate change

·         Plastic is a petroleum based product. If we use less oil, we’ll be less dependent on other nations

·         Recycling saves trees which provide us with oxygen and protection from the elements

·         There is an island of floating trash in the Pacific Ocean

·         When you recycle you are protecting animals and their habitats

·         Recycling creates more jobs

·         You are saving precious natural resources

·         You can save money by reducing the garbage you put out to the curb

·         You can actually earn money for recycling certain items

So how do you get started recycling?

Check out your city’s website for information on locations and what you can recycle.
In Lynchburg, VA we have many convenient locations including
·         Fairview Square Shopping Center on Campbell Avenue
·         Grace Street Behind Fire Station
·         Kroger, Linkhorne Drive, Behind the Adelphia Cable Office
·         Kroger, Old Graves Mill Road & Timberlake
·         River Ridge Mall
·         Corner of Alleghany & Lakeside Dr.
·         Village Court Shopping Center, Boonsboro Road
How to Store Your Recycling

You can use items you already have in your home:

·         Plastic tubs

·         Tote bags

·         Cardboard Boxes

Lynchburg Offers free Recycling Boxes at City Hall on Church St. and at the Public Works Building on Memorial Avenue


Or you can purchase readymade recycling containers from stores such as IKEA or Home Depot.  


Buying Recycled Products
Two of the easiest things to buy that are made from recycled materials are paper towels and toilet paper. In my area, Food Lion sells Marcal Small Steps. It’s made in the United States and no new trees are used in its production. Walmart sells White Cloud Green Earth and Kroger carries the Seventh Generation brand. All are top notch products and you can feel good about using them.



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Starting to be Green

There are vast problems facing humanity and the Earth today from overpopulation, climate change, unpredictable weather phenomenon to new super bugs and the possible extinction of more species of animals. If you look at it as a whole, it seems insurmountable.

Yet, if more of us can make simple, everyday green choices,
the actions of individuals CAN make a difference.

                                                                                           photo via

You don't have to do it at all at once. Choose what fits into your lifestyle. Commit to an action and stick with it. See how good it makes you feel when you realize that you are taking a step towards bettering the lives of generations to come.