Here’s a repurpose opportunity that you’ll want to know about. Mother Nature Network shared an article a few days ago about the amazing results being achieved by Wands for Wildlife. Since first putting out the ask in 2017, thousands of folks around the globe have donated used mascara wands so they can be repurposed and used at the Appalachian Wildlife Refuge. How cool is that?! In addition to receiving used wands from individuals, the program has also gotten donations from TV show make-up departments and new, discontinued wands from cosmetic companies. That’s clear, community spirit at work!
Photo Credit: Baby Opossum gets a cleaning. Appalachian Wildlife Refuge.
You may know of the hazards of BPA coated receipts but I’m guessing most of you DON’T know that they cannot be recycled. That’s right. NO tossing them in your recycle bin. If that’s not motivation to nix receipts altogether I don’t know what is. Especially when you get those two foot long ones popular at pharmacies and big box stores. That thermal coating that harms your skin also means it has to go in the garbage. Talk about waste. What can we do? There are some calls to action. Green America has a petition going to get the CVC giant to expand its digital receipt options and start using plain paper for printed ones – more on that below. And this month, CA became the first state to propose a bill that requires all businesses to provide receipts electronically as the default starting in 2022. They got rid of plastic straws so I’m optimistic. On the home front: skip the slip whenever you are given the option. The IRS accepts digital receipts so don’t fear the audits. If a paper receipt is the only option, don’t stockpile them! That tends to be one of the biggest causes of paper clutter. ONLY keep receipts for big ticket items like furniture and appliances and keep those in a labeled manila envelope. If there is a user’s manual for your purchase, tape the receipt to the inside of the front cover. In addition, take a photo of the receipt and keep in a digital folder. This is especially a good idea for jewelry, laptops and artwork.
TAKE ACTION: Producing CVS’ notoriously long receipts takes over 35,000 trees and enough energy to power 84,800 refrigerators every year. The pharmacy’s receipt production emits 44 million pounds of CO2 and produces the same amount of solid waste generated by half a million people every day. The phenol coating makes them unfit for recycling, adding even more waste. CVS receipts have been tested and found to have BPS in their coating, which poses health risks for workers and customers. CLICK here to sign the petition to Skip The Slip.
Sounds like a joke set-up but it’s not. Last month, I witnessed a guy get into a dumpster and close the lid. He didn’t come out. After 30 minutes, I called the police thinking what if he was sick, wounded, dying? Two squad cars responded within 5 minutes and he turned out to be none of those. But he was clearly disheveled, disturbed and in trouble. This incident weighed on my heart. How does one get to such a low point in life as to seek refuge in a dumpster? More importantly, what could I or anyone do to help? The mental health system continues to be overwhelmed. Police are getting special training in counseling and intervention. Street drugs have become the norm. Homelessness has arrived at our doorstep. So again, what can be done to help? I called back the police to thank them for their quick response and to ask what they suggest if a citizen wants to help in prevention or solution? The answer? 211. Ever hear of it? Me neither. Apparently, a lot of folks don’t know about it including my neighbors, my dentist, his assistant and pretty much anyone I’ve talked with in the last few weeks. 211 is the 911 for resources. Everything from suicide to abuse to hunger to shelter to senior needs and paying bills. It’s a clearinghouse for 50k programs and over 3k agencies across the nation and Canada. Anyone can call the 211 hotline and talk to an operator who is trained to listen and provide appropriate connections. Part of the 211 manifesto reads: WE BELIEVE in the transformative power of collective action. So do I. Please share this number. Visit 211.org to learn more about services and volunteering opportunities in your local community. Shine the light!
One of the oldest known distilled oils, cedarwood has a surprising myriad of benefits to bring into your home. If you’ve stood in the presence of these magnificent trees, you already have a sense of how fresh and reviving it feels to breathe in that air. One of the sacred trees used in clearing ceremonies, cedar has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. Our brain loves it. It’s restorative and calming at the same time. Grounding and uplifting. It can relieve arthritic pain, clean your counters and renew the scalp. HOW TO USE: A little bit goes a long way. Whether you distill or add to shampoo or lotion, a drop or two will do it. Always use authentic essential oil from a trusted source. Tip: When diffusing, I like to blend Cedarwood with Bergamot and Lavender. Like a walk in the forest, it provides the perfect ambiance for putting up the Christmas tree and enjoying the holiday spirit year-round. See my Resources Page for essential oil and diffuser source suggestions.
What do Air Wick, d-CON and Sani-Flush have in common? They are just a few of the 30+ power brands produced by the humongous conglomerate known as Reckitt Benckiser (RB for short). I’m focusing on Air Wick today as, once again, I am incensed by their continued false ad campaigns. Inspired by the latest blast by Truth in Advertising, I did some more digging. I wanted to know how a product that contains Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether, Hexyl salicylate and a chemically derived camphor was getting away with it. Easy. They don’t list the ingredients on the label. None of their products do. Instead, they refer you to their website where you’ll find all the ingredients conveniently entitled “fragrance components” – wow. What’s more, RB has the nerve to claim that their Air Wick products “help people lead healthier lives” – really? I guess they’re counting on consumers ignoring the product ratings from EWG (Environmental Working Group) which has given every one of Air Wick’s 104 products a D or an F (scale of A to F) with warnings like: “Potential for skin irritation/allergies/damage; acute aquatic toxicity; nervous system effects.” So here’s my annual Buyer Beware reminder: There is no regulation for the terms fragrance, natural or pure. Branding pros can slap that on a label with no accountability. When in doubt, avoid anything with the word fragrance. Ditto the word scented. Never buy anything that doesn’t list the ingredients on the label. I use authentic essential oils daily and have for years but whether it’s oils, herbs or supplements – know your source and use wisely.
Join me Friday the 12th for a FREE and fun event. This 8th Annual Sustainability & Repair Fair brings a great group of folks together at the Garden Home Library in SW Portland. Lots of earth friendly products and information. You can even get your toaster fixed while you visit with vendors. Note: You can bring up to 2 items for repairs but they ask for a heads up. Click here for the Repair Fair registry. This event is so popular they now have to hold it in the adjacent gymnasium to accommodate everyone. And that’s a good thing! 5 to 7:30 pm. Corner of Oleson & Garden Home Rd. See you then!
A 5-star rating just in from a new customer in Maryland. “I love the cards! Each photograph is beautiful and fresh and the words apply to various things in your life. Simple ideas for changing your living space. Very nice quality and such a unique deck idea!” Thank you, Anjali. Happy to know the cards are now shining in MD! View more comments and photos from the ACP Wisdom Card deck.
Fall is officially here and most of us couldn’t be happier. Autumn is, in fact, THE most popular season of our nation. A Gallup poll done a few years ago ranked it number one with Summer coming in 2nd, Spring 3rd and Winter 4th. This is the time of year when I remind everyone (myself included) about the power of letting go. Whether it’s stuff in your space, weight on your heart or things in your head – letting go brings clearer energy and renewed strength. Like leaves that release from their branches, Nature shows us that it is the letting go that allows for new growth to happen. So, use this natural energy to help you remove and restore on all levels. It’s SO worth it!
Watch here for favorite tips on getting clear this season.
Temps are climbing to 100 degrees today, pollution levels are high and our long hot summer continues to test people’s patience and wellness. Here’s one way to help keep both you and your space calm and cool. Use a blend of lavender, lemon and peppermint essential oils in your diffuser. This combination aids in purifying the air, lifting your spirits and balancing energies. You can add more or less of any one of the oils depending on your preference (easy on the lemon as it’s more astringent). For even better results, place the diffuser next to your fan for greater dispersement! No diffuser yet? Add the oils to sea salt and place a handful in the corner of your shower to dissolve while you shower. Or toss the salt blend in tepid water for a foot soak. TIP: Make your oils go further. Fill the empty bottle with spring water…
Here’s my favorite drink for staying hydrated and pH balanced. Simple (just 3 ingredients) and satisfying, I drink this water year round but it’s especially refreshing during the summer heat. In a glass carafe or pitcher, add 1/2 sliced cucumber, juice of 1 lemon (or lime) and 1 bunch of mint leaves (about 15). Fill carafe with water. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours. Sip on the water throughout the day for a tasty, alkaline treat. Brew will last up to 2 days. Even cooler tip: Before making a new batch, use the cut up cucumber and mint in your favorite smoothie recipe.