Posts Tagged with 'organic'

Can one person make a difference?

on May 27th, 2008 by

For the past week, I have had a one line phrase repeating in my head whenever I get into my routine duties like washing dishes, laundry, and cleaning the cat box:

“Can one person make a difference?”

It all started with a conversation I had with my dad. My dad, my husband, and I were out in front of our house having our spring yard sale. The Orkin man visited our neighbor’s house and he told us to give him a call if we ever need his services. We said thanks and I turned to my dad and husband and asked, “I wonder if they have a non-toxic chemical option”. My dad asked why and I talked about the pesticides going into the ground and then into the ground water. We are on city water, but it still just doesn’t seem right since the water eventually makes it to the streams and bay. And then my dad said something like “but you are just one person”. I can’t remember now if I said something or I just didn’t know what to say. I know that he meant nothing mean to me by it, it is just how so many people feel when we live in a system where is seems as if one person has no impact on anything.

As this phrase has been repeated over and over in my head, I have thought about it a whole lot. I first started to think about the positive ways someone can make a difference, but my mind soon turned to how one person can make a difference in a negative way – a horrible co-worker who can turn the whole office into a “toxic soup” with their negativity and pessimism, a driver who decides to drive drunk and hits someone who was innocently driving their vehicle and not harming anyone, an assassin who kills a leader of a country. These negative people show that one person can really make a difference. Negative impacts are always easier to find since they tend to be dramatic and immediate. But this is not the direction of a difference that I ever want to consider. I want to know how one person can make a difference positively.

I learned in high school to Think Globally, Act Locally. This means that what you want to happen on a global level, you need to do in your own life – locally – in your home, community, and and other places that you have impact. When more people catch on and start to participate, the group will get larger, and an impact will be seen. It really does start with one person – one person joining another person which forms a group.

I finally started thinking about how much in the last 3 years my husband and I have acted locally in a way we would like to see a global change and it has already changed our lives for the better…

  • Choosing healthier personal care and cleaning products so our bodies aren’t absorbing stuff that can make us sick now or years later… I don’t get sick anymore after I clean.
  • Choosing to replace a gas lawnmower with a rotary mower (soon to get an electric lawnmower) to reduce our carbon footprint and our pollution level… My husband no longer coughs all day and sometimes longer after he cuts the grass.
  • Choosing organic food and textiles when possible so that we are not ingesting or absorbing pesticides that can make us sick… I used to be stuffed up all of the time and I feel this is one of the changes that has made the most difference in my better breathing.
  • Choosing to shop at stores that treat their employees ethically and give back to their community… I feel better knowing that the employees I interact with are happier at the places I shop.

In addition to making our lives better, we are making others’ lives better too. By purchasing organic food and textiles, we are putting our money toward businesses where their employees aren’t exposed to pesticides that can make them sick.

Choices done by individuals everyday, for example through purchases, show companies what you want – that we want healthier choices – so each individual “one person” really is making a difference.

The environmentally friendly and organic movements didn’t happen overnight, they have been years in the making. Each aspect started with one person with a want for something different and the ideas grew.

Earth-friendly Products

on April 10th, 2008 by

Over the past couple of months, I have been asked a couple of times which earth-friendly products I use, so I thought I would share my knowledge and experience.

Most of the earth-friendly products we buy for household and personal care are made by 3 companies: Seventh Generation, method, and JASON. The products are petroleum-free, chlorine-free, toxin-free, cruelty-free, and organic (where the option exists). The reasons we buy these products are many and here are some of them:

  • reduce oil consumption by using smaller plastic bottles though concentrated products, using products that do not contain petroleum, and using items that are made with recycled plastic
  • reduce pollution of our water by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like
  • reduce air pollution in our home by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like
  • reduce toxins in our bodies by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like

Seventh Generation: Laundry, Dishwashing, Household cleaners, Household paper and supplies, For Baby, Feminine Care.
Places that I have found the brand: Drugstore, Amazon, Seventh Generation, Gaiam, Babies R Us, and many more

  • Dishwasher Detergent: Free & Clear Automatic Dishwasher Powder
    Our use: We use city water and the detergent cleans the dishes quite well. We only do minimal pre-washing when it is absolutely necessary. There have been a couple of times that there was still food on a dish or two, but it they were cases where the dishes sat in the dishwasher for a week (we only run the dishwasher once a week) and it was a food that likes to harden like concrete when dry.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
    Our use: Cleans well. Major stains are a little rougher to remove, but I think it would be difficult with other cleaners too.
  • Glass and Surface Cleaner
    Our use: Doesn’t evaporate too quickly. I have not experienced any streaking as long as I wipe the cleaner on the windows until dry.
  • 100% Recycled Paper Towels
    Our use: It took a little for my dad to get used to them, but we love them.
  • Recycled Trash Bags
    Our use: Even though I bought the bags a couple months ago, we used our first one last week. It went well. No breaking or leaking and worked just like other kitchen drawstring bags but they are partially made of recycled plastic, so they are better for the environment.

method: Laundry, Dishwashing, Household cleaners, Aircare, Personal care, Cleaning cloths.
Places that I have found the brand: Target (in store), Drugstore, Amazon, and many more. Here is method’s store locator.

  • All-Purpose Cleaner: Spray & All Purpose Cleaner: Wipes
    Our use: It cleans the bathroom and kitchen beautifully. I have a bottle of spray and a container of wipes in each bathroom so a quick clean up can be done at anytime without running around the house trying to find a cleaner. Best part is that my eyes don’t burn when I clean which means that I enjoy it so much more.
  • Daily Shower Spray & Tub + Tile Spray
    Our use: The shower has never been cleaner. Both bottles hang inside the shower. The daily spray minimizes the hard cleaning and the tub and tile spray gets the job done for the good scrubbing. Again, no eye burning and breathing isn’t stifled from chemical – great stuff!
  • Laundry Dryer Cloths, Laundry Fabric Softener & Laundry Detergent
    Our use: I do all of the laundry in one day a week and I use one dryer sheet for all 3 loads. I know that Method says to use one for every 2 loads, however, that 3 load (and sometimes a 4th) doesn’t seem to get short changed with the extended use of one dryer sheet. The detergent gets our clothes cleaned the fabric softener gives the clothes that extra softness and in its concentrated format, uses less water and less plastic. Lots of pluses.
  • Aroma Soy Candle & Aroma Spray
    Our use: Certain scents are better than others and for different times of the season. There haven’t been any scents we don’t like, just ones that are stronger than others. I love the aroma spray for the bathrooms and the candles get used in every room of the house. I have been so happy converting to soy based candles since they are cleaner and healthier. I think there are only a couple of petroleum based candles left in our house and they are usually just tealights since I have not found a soy candle alternative for tealights yet.
  • Microfiber Cloth: Window + Glass
    Our use: I bought this cloth before there were others like it on the market (or at least before they were easy to find). I find that the texture of the cloth works perfectly on windows.
  • Hand wash & Foaming Hand Wash
    Our use: We use these two soap interchangeably. Most of the time though the foaming hand wash is found in the bathroom most used and the thicker hand wash in the other bathrooms. Once we bought a few of the foaming hand wash bottles, we just refill them by adding a certain amount of the thick hand wash with water and lightly shaking to mix. The mixture works perfectly and we are saving money and using healthier cleaning products… woohoo!

JASON: Personal care.
Places that I have found the brand: Vitamin Shoppe (online and in store), Drugstore, Amazon, GNC (online and in store), and many more.

  • Satin Shower Body Wash
    Our use: We have tried many scents and some are stronger than others, but most don’t noticeably hang with you for long. I love the pump feature. Personally, we usually fill a dispenser on the wall, but the pump is still really nice. It cleans. It smells nice. It’s great.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner: Lavender 70% Organic
    Our use: Just bought the Lavender, so I will have to update later on the use. We were using the Tea Tree Scalp Normalizing Shampoo & Conditioner and realized that it was just not necessary and the conditioner was thick. If we had scalp problems, then it might work really well, but I can’t comment on its effectiveness.
  • Toothpaste with Fluoride and CoQ10
    Our use: Cleans teeth well. There are options for no fluoride and no CoQ10 if that is your thing. I however like the fluoride and it works well for me. I have tried most flavors and some flavors are more powerful than others, however, unlike with other toothpastes, I can eat after brushing my teeth and not have my food taste differently because I just brushed my teeth.
  • Red Elements Skin Care: Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 & Hydrating Night Crème
    Our use: Everyday use. I have had no breakouts from the product. The night creme is heavier than the daily lotion, but neither feel like you are wearing anything once it dries. I only thing I notice when I don’t wear the products is that my face feels drier which makes sense.

Health Store in Salisbury!

on March 18th, 2008 by

For the last 11 years there has been a health store in Salisbury, MD and until last week I never knew about it. I have even been to the shopping center where it is located and never noticed – and I think of myself as a pretty observant person. I think they need some marketing since I think it is the only health food store in Salisbury. Granted I could be wrong about it being the only one since I didn’t know this one existed, but it never hurts to have a little marketing here and there. Since the people there were so kind and they had quite an assortment of organic and natural foods, I wanted to give them a little free marketing by plugging them on my blog. Not that a lot of people read this so far, but more and more are starting to read my posts, so it can’t hurt a small businesses to get their name out there – it only needs to reach a few people – those people can tell their people and so on. Well, here is the name, address, and phone number of the health store in Salisbury…

Health Store and More
Healthful Habits
720 College Ave
Salisbury, MD 21804
(P) 410.749.1997

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