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Sunday, April 22, 2012

5 Ways to Make a Big Earth Day Shift

The web is full of SIMPLE ideas that most of us are already doing (like recycling and using less gas).  In honor of Earth Day,  here is a list of 5 BIGGER things we can all do to make a significant difference. The following commitments are less talked about but extremely important and not that difficult to implement:

1) STOP USING FABRIC SOFTENER - I am once again breathing in my neighbor's noxious laundry fumes as a write this post. Commercial fabric softeners contain highly toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer and serious respitory illnesses. These chemicals include including Phthalates, Chloroform, Pentane, Linalool, Limonene, Benzyl Acetate and more. Stop poisoning your family and your neighbors. Ditch the Downey and toss a quarter cup of distilled white vinegar in your wash instead - works just as well and won't kill the air quality in your home.

2) INVEST IN A FRONT LOAD WASHING MACHINE - You will gasp when you see how little water it uses and how much money these things save you in both water AND electric bills.

3) BUY A STACK OF REUSABLE PRODUCE BAGS - Most of us remember to bring our reusable grocery bags to the market these days, but few of us blink when it comes to grabbing a plastic bag for produce. Well, start blinking and stop grabbing. Buy 4 to 12 cotton produce bags like those found here on Amazon.com and stop relying on plastic bags once and for all.

4) EAT LESS MEAT -  I personally (and anthropologically) believe humans are designed to be hunters and gatherers. Our teeth are meant to eat some meat - just not 3 times a day. Not even EVERY day. Commit to at least two meatless days per week and reduce your daily consumption to no more than one serving when per day when you do eat it. BONUS: Research says eating less meat will make you live longer too!
5) SUPPLY YOUR OWN TAKE-OUT CONTAINERS- Many of us bring our own mugs now when we get coffee to-go, but how many of us bring our own to-go containers to the salad bar or Chinese take out joint? Well - it's time to start. No one is going to say no to you when you show up with your own containers. After all, you're saving their company money.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Treeless BPA-Free Toilet Paper Made from Bamboo

BPA-Free Toilet Paper by Bum Boosa

I started using recycled toilet paper well over a decade ago - content to live with a little scratchiness if that meant saving a tree's life. Once I discovered that saving a tree's life, however, meant exposing my family and our groundwater to high levels of BPA (the controversial hormone disrupting chemical widely associated with cancer and birth defects), I immediately went back to regular toilet paper. I was careful this time - choosing a fragrance-free, chlorine-free, no-frills supermarket brand that I verified was not made from the virgin forest fibers of live trees (as is common with the soft, cushy ultra brands). The toilet paper I chose, however, was still costing a tree its life and that just wasn't sitting well with me. Now, nearly two years later, I finally found a solution to my guilt: a ground-breaking product that just may  change the face of toilet paper: an ultra soft, treeless, bleach-free, bpa-free toilet paper made from renewable bamboo: Bum Boosa.

You may be wondering how BPA(bisphenol-a) gets into recycled toilet paper in the first place - and why anyone should care. Well, we are living in a thermal paper world these days - where we are constantly handed carbonless receipts that we need to toss. The problem is those carbonless copies contain extreme amounts of BPA, which then get into our recycling programs and are then move into such  "eco-products" as recycled printer paper, pizza boxes and (yes) toilet paper.  The issue with BPA and recycled toilet paper use is two-fold (1) BPA is in contact with our genitals several times a day (and presumably NOT always washed away afterward) and (2) BPA is being flushed directly into our waterwaste systems, which feed our groundwater, which in turn feeds our crops, livestock, oceans and sometimes our drinking water.

Certainly not all bamboo is eco-friendly. Many bamboo materials contain formaldehyde, bleach and other toxic chemicals. But Bum Boosa has done their homework, verifying their manufacturer's fair-trade policys and confirming their toilet paper to be biodegradable, BPA-free, chlorine-free, formaldehyde-free, fragrance-free and dye-free. Next to the reusing of cloth (which many families do), Bum Boosa bamboo toilet paper is currently the most eco-friendly option available...and it feels good too.

Bum Boosa toilet paper may be purchased at bumboosa.com, amazon.com, and other online retailers for about $1.30 per roll.