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.
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 and replace the cap. Shake. There’s enough residual oil left so you can refill up to three times before recycling the bottle. See my resource section on Essential Oils for more tips.
The waste industry has made major strides in coming up with ways to recycle our refuse. Everything that is except those ginormous blocks of Styrofoam. You know the ones – hermetically sealing everything from flat screen TV’s to furniture and glassware. Even if you break them down into tiny pieces, the choice for disposal is still an ugly one: landfill. UPS takes peanuts but not blocks. The only recycling center in Portland that took Styrofoam stopped accepting it in March. Now what? Enter Agilyx – an energy alternative company located in Tigard, OR. Implementing new technology in renewable energy and chemical recycling with a focus on environmental impact; the company broke ground this year on a facility that will convert polystyrene foam (foam cups, packaging materials) into styrene monomer. Reducing to the monomer form allows for global reuse in tons of ways. Fuel, helmets, housing … sky’s the limit. Best part for Portlanders? Consumers can drop off their Styrofoam for free. YAY! I spoke with the folks at Agilyx to confirm the free part and they shared that there are bins available 24/7 at their facility. Make sure your foam has the “6” on it and that it is clean and dry. If you are a business or have more than a truck load, contact Agilyx at 503-217-3160 to schedule a drop off time. Click here for map and more info. Not in the PDX area? Visit Home for Foam to find recycling near you. Until manufacturers are mandated to use earth friendly packaging, let’s do our best to dispose of stuff mindfully. Here’s to creative solutions and making Earth a clearer home for everyone.
Photo courtesy of NRWS, Paradise, CA.
You’re looking at what I found behind the dryer in my new apartment. Yep. A collection from the former tenant of stuff that went astray. At least nothing had legs. (I’ve heard some pretty scary stories involving bones and antennas.) Keeping it clear around appliances is an often overlooked task. Do your space – and your energy bill – a favor. Put time on your calendar to check and clean these hidden areas at least twice a year. Use a vacuum nozzle or microfiber brush to remove dust and lint build-up behind and under your washer/dryer. And, of course, empty the lint tray after every use. Clean ducts annually. In the kitchen, pull that fridge out and vacuum the coils. Wash the floor and wall before sliding back in place. If you can’t move the stove, at least pull out the bottom storage drawer (if your model has one) and clean the newly exposed area that way. It’s a hassle well worth the effort. And who knows? You might unearth a long lost treasure. Ready to clean some more? Here are some easy tips on cleaning the inside of appliances (including the garbage disposal) worth a look: Washington Post. Okay – one last favorite item on laundry that’s good to know anytime of the year. Read my tip on this easy energy saver!
Staying in balance is something we all strive for but it can seem a difficult and elusive task. It’s especially tough when weighed down by physical, emotional and mental STUFF! The latest ACP Enews shares some favorite ideas on how to get back to center. You’ll get a great breathing tool for releasing stress, read about a win/win “letting go of stuff” story and learn my top item to eliminate in your home in order to maintain balance. PLUS enter to win a deck of ACP Wisdom Cards for you or a friend. Just taking a few moments to view the stunning sunset image will help create a positive shift. Make 2017 the year to share the cheer and spread the clear! Read January ACP Enews here.
Appraising fine art is not for amateurs. Whether you are considering donating, consigning or bequeathing that Koenig, knowing its value is the first step to take. Unless you live in Europe or on the East Coast, qualified art appraisers are a rare breed these days. That’s why I am especially delighted to introduce Chelsea Dacres-Andrews, Certified Fine Arts Appraiser and owner of Signature Appraisal Services. Not only does Chelsea have a list of credentials a mile long but she is super nice and approachable. A breath of fresh air in what can be a stuffy arena. Depending on the need, clients can request either the full 25-page appraisal or the 5-page POV (Professional Opinion of Value). 90% of appraisals can be handled remotely so distance is not an obstacle. Other services offered include expert witness for litigations, public lectures and auction advisory. Learn more and contact Chelsea at her website.
Celebrating my first issue from my new apartment above (as in 19 steps up) and right in the heart of La Conner, WA. Get some fun tips on dealing with small space challenges (including a lead pipe in the floor) and be inspired to find thrifty ways to arrive at your own clear place. Enjoy latest issue now.