Monday, February 22, 2010

Certified Organic Perfume - Why Buy All Natural Perfume?


Ah, the sweet smell of your favorite perfume. Who can resist the aroma, the memories, and... the antifreeze? Traditional perfumes often contain synthetic compounds from petroleum (yup, as in gasoline - the type you fill your car with!), and Propylene glycol, which is found in antifreeze. Luckily, there are high quality types of certified organic perfume available.

But first, let's talk about perfume for a moment. The fragrance industry does not have any regulation - they are self regulated. It isn't like food, which has to meet certain requirements, or governed by the USDA like our produce in the USA. Instead, ingredients that perfume manufacturers use are considered "trade secrets," and do not have to be disclosed. In other words, it's anything goes in the perfume world. Whatever smells good, put it in there. Are you wondering what else is found in your perfume?

Your perfume can also contain phthalates. Phthalates are plastic by-products used as a sort of filler to make things more pliable, and in perfume's case, it is used as a fixative (to make it stick in place and not run). The dangers of phthalates have been widely documented, so much so that the European Union has banned phthalate use in cosmetics in Europe. We're still waiting in Canada and the United States for a phthalates ban.

How the Perfume World Has Changed

Way back in the day, perfume was natural. There were no such thing as phthalates, glycol, and other synthetic substances. The only ingredients being used in perfumes in the days of Mesopotamia and Egypt were natural ones, the highest quality available. They were never overpowering, they were always pleasant, and they had no petroleum. Ingredients used consisted of bergamot, flowers, almonds, herbs, spices, and conifer. Today, far less money is used on the actual ingredients as is spent on the packaging, marketing and advertising of the perfume. Cheaper ingredients, namely synthetics, were introduced in the 20th century. These "breakthroughs" allowed scents to be created for a cheaper price that would otherwise be harder to get naturally. An all natural perfume is something you would have a hard time finding at any perfume store or at your local Macy's.

Certified Organic Perfumes Available

This all natural perfume is going to have a lot of benefits over the typical commercial variety of perfume. Here are some of those benefits:
  • Natural perfume is subtle, not overpowering. Your friends, family, and coworkers will appreciate this!
  • Each bottle is unique. You'll experience different looks to the actual liquid in each bottle, a natural occurrence.
  • This particular certified organic perfume (click shop for products when you arrive at the previous link) is free of animal products, and hasn't been tested on animals.
  • It's vegan friendly (a small amount of beeswax is used).
  • Natural perfumes can be layered for a unique natural scent.
  • Best of all, you'll be synthetic free! No more phthalates, chemicals, petroleums, or alcohol. To top it off, it's certified organic.

Made with a base of 100% natural coconut oil infused with fruits, rare grasses, rare woods, and exotic spices, and is made with the most natural and organic ingredients as possible. The end result is a wonderful, intoxicating aroma that will leave your other synthetic perfumes in the dust. The alluring organic perfumes come in four amazing natural scents. The 4-Scent Oil Set includes: Fleur Savage, Kesu, Llang Llang and Kizes. 4 ml each.

You can order the organic perfume here (click shop for products).

If you're also looking to give your home a wonderful scent without potential toxins found in common household sprays, first try opening the windows, ventilating, and vaccuming, and topping it off with a spray of natural aromatherapy room spray.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

How to Avoid Toxic Toys

What's in your children's toys? If you think that the days of lead paints and toxic substances being used in toys is over, think again. There's a plethora of toy recalls happening on a regular basis from many "made in China" toys. The Daily Green has a complete list of recalled toys for their excessive lead paint and hazardous materials. Some of the latest culprits aren't obscure toys, either, they're big name toys from Disney, toy horses, princess toys from Wal-Mart, and cloth books from Big Rex and Friends (I bet that last one fooled a lot of people into thinking they were buying a more eco friendly choice because it was cloth!).

So what should we do to avoid toxic toys?

First, we'll need to monitor the toxic toys list to see what news toys arrive. Second, buying non toxic toys that clearly state they are made with non toxic materials can help you avoid those chemicals. Besides buying non toxic, you may also want to opt for organic, especially when you have an infant. Infants have less room in their bodies for the chemicals to distribute, so it is imperative to buy organic for them (especially items that are close to them all the time, like their crib mattress. Here is a list of some recommended organic baby toys to choose from. For more green choices for your having a green baby, try the Raising Baby Green Guide, or these tips for greening your baby nursery.

What to look for in non toxic toys

If a toys says that it is non toxic, it probably is, but you can never be too sure. To be completely sure, see that the toy is painted with all natural paint, and if the item is cotton, try searching for certified organic cotton. Yes, these toys will cost more, but it's better to sacrifice some quantity for high quality. When buying toys, it can be hard to convince yourself to buy organic when the non organic versions are often half the price. If this is an issue for you, buy the toys you know your child or baby will be around the most in organic or all natural forms. Also, any toy that they are going to wear should be BPA free and non toxic. This includes toy jewelry, plastic crowns, all that stuff that they might be wearing for hours on end. If your kids are begging you for some knick knack princess toys, encourage them to make their own toys using construction paper and stuff around the house. Not only is it cheaper, but it's a more eco friendly option, and you can monitor what materials they're using (as opposed to the questionable ingredients in some store bought toys).

The author of this blog also sells organic cleaning products, natural skin care, and reusables available at thegreenerearth.com.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Raising Baby Green - A Guide to Green Pregnancy

So you have received the exciting news that you are expecting! Now its time to start researching on how to green your home. The thoughts can be overwhelming and I was there myself last year! You want to have all the knowledge to prepare for your new arrival all while keeping your house as natural as possible. With all of the books that were out there the one I found with the highest reviews, and can personally recommend is Raising Baby Green: The Earth Friendly Guide to Pregnancy, Childbirth and Baby Care.

The content is clearly organized which made it for a very easy read. The topics addressed in this book range from the womb, and move on to labor & delivery room, the nursery, the kitchen, the bathroom, your garden and a summary of the entire house. Depending on which area you would like to focus on "greening" first you can skip ahead to that section. As a first time parent this book was very helpful in describing how everything that surrounds your baby can in someway impact him or her. For example, you can bring in your own organic sheets and sleepwear for the baby to wear in the hospital after it is born, an option I never knew was available to me! Though as the book says, be sure that you sheets have some sort of pattern so that they stand out from the typical hospital sheets.



Five Tips I Learned From This Book
  • Pumping Gas - Though this is probably an obvious one for some greenies, this was one thing I hadn't thought about. The toxins from pumping gasoline into your car easily are absorbed into your skin and through this can be carried to your unborn baby.
  • Babies have more taste buds in the womb than any other point in life - Studies have proven that your unborn child can actually taste the food that you are eating through drinking the amniotic fluid. Therefore it is critical to maintain a healthy mix of foods, including a fair share of fruits and veggies to help you down the road have a healthy child with a love for a well balanced meal!
  • Produce Report Card - This may be one of the most helpful charts in the book. This illustrates a variety of fruits and veggies and ranks them so that you can see which ones have the highest and lowest levels of pesticides.
  • Painting the Nursery - Zero VOC paints are no readily available in most areas!! This is the best kind of paint to use as it does not contain the harsh chemicals that most traditional paints do, but it gives the same color and quality expected from traditional paints.
  • Everything has an Impact - Be sure to keep in mind that everything has an impact on your child. From the food you eat, to the environment you are in (even if you are not a smoker, just standing next to one you will still inhale some of the smoke), to all of the toys you child will come in contact with. Ensuring that the toys are organic, and if they are plastic ensuring that they are PVC and BPA free will help your child live a healthier life.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Impact of Cigarette Butts on the Environment

The impact of cigarette butts on our environment
Cigarette butts are one of the smallest environmental offenders. With the flick of a butt, far reaching, devestating consequences can occur, or absolutely nothing can happen. We all know that cigarette butts that haven't been fully extinguished can cause forest fires, but how else do they affect the environment?

The Effects on Wildlife

Cigarette butts stand out amongst the crowds. Just like some people smoke them because they think they look cool, animals find cigarette butts interesting. Animals have no idea what a cigarette butt is, but it has some sort of fragrant stuff in the middle and seems edible. While larger mammals might survive eating a butt, small animals and especially marine life will die.

The Cost of Cigarette Butt Cleanup

Cigarette butts might be small, but the cost to clean them up isn't. Small cigarette butts take many man hours to rake and pick up. This is annoying for home owners, part of the job for landscapers, an annoyance to the town workers, an eye sore for everyone, and a big cost for everyone. Who pays for the cleanup of cigarette butts in your town? You do, with your taxes!

What Smokers Can Do to Help

Smokers can do one small thing. We don't have to go into the dangers of smoking and the consequences on the human body (but if you'd like to find out, read this). And what is it that you can do? Don't litter. Cigarette butts should be contained into a space that will (hopefully) allow most of the cigarette to biodegrade, that being a landfill. No Butts About It offers free downloads of posters encouraging cigarette butt cleanup.