Monday, December 31, 2012



I hope everyone had a great Christmas. I'm not religious but I still celebrate, for me its about love, family, and giving. I spent this Christmas with my in laws and extended in laws and it was great. They do go all out though, so I'm going to have to start saving for next year early =)

I live in Arkansas and surprisingly we got a white Christmas! It was like a blizzard yesterday, leaving a foot of snow and many people without electricity! Luckily we didn't run out of electricity although we ran out of food and my car quit working so we were without for a while!

Out of all my christmas gifts I will admit that the coat I asked for and got for my puppy was one of my favorites! Isn't she adorable?

The day after Christmas I thought about giving back/paying it forward! So I did my spring cleaning early and gave away 2 bags of clothes, I was surprised by how many people reached out to me in need and only wish I had more to give away! I think its important every year when asking for presents or after receiving them to consider how to pay it forward! The holidays aren't the only times to be charitable but with so much extra why not give to those in need?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bag It Documentary Overview


Bag It, a documentary I have now watched twice all about the plastic bag.The maker of the documentary is from a town in Colorado who was debating a ban on plastic bags, getting the guy thinking about the almighty plastic bag.

Many places in the world have banned plastic bags or charged a fee for them. In a town in Ireland a plastic bag costs $0.22 per bag, according to people there many people quit using them immediately after this fee was introduced! San Francisco was the first city in the USA to ban plastic bags, they first tried to institute a fee for them but the American Chemical Counsel sued and so they were left with banning the plastic bag. Seattle also proposed a bag tax which the ACC spent 1.4 mil fighting, the city spent 64k and the final vote was 53% to 47%, despite spending over a million more the ACC won by only 6%! We know that plastic bags are bad for our environment. It's not just cities banning or charging fees for Plastic Bags though, Whole Foods pledged to stop using plastic bags Earth day 2008.

Many wonder why plastic bags are such a problem. The ACC argues that paper bags are just as bad as plastic, stating they are heavier and use more fossil fuels to transport. According to Bag It, paper bags are recycled 10x more than plastic bags. Fact is plastic is the most pervasive ocean litter! Plastic photodegrades, or breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces but biodegrade. In some areas in the ocean there is more plastic than plankton at a 40:1 ratio, meaning marine life is consuming more plastic than food.

We consume over 500 billion plastic bags a year. These bags are defined as a single use disposable; did you hear that. Bags that are made with materials that photodegrade rather than biodegrade, are made using our non renewable fossil fuels, that will still be in our environment a hundred years from now, and they are made to be used only once! Dr. Erikson set sail in a boat made of recycled plastics to raise awareness of the problems created by our throw away society.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is the most studied "garbage patch". It is here that plastic outweighs food 40:1. An Albatross sanctuary on Midway Atoll has always been a sign of problems in the ocean since the Albatross birds fly so far out for their prey. Every single dead bird on Midway Atoll has plastic in its system, even the babies are being fed plastics from their mothers. 5 tons of plastic has been brought to Midway Atoll by adult Albatross', this is but a fraction of what is in the ocean, where that 5 tons came from! All sea turtles in the United States are now listed as endangered, their stomachs are lined with plastics! Despite yearly trips to clean up the ocean by the US Coast Guard many believe we will never be able to repair the damage ALREADY done, 260 species have been proven to be affected due to mankinds irresponsible use of our resources and creation and widespread use of single use plastics.

Although the Bag It documentary was originally intended to just address plastic bags it evolved, as things do. The documentary maker went on to address many other things, a big one: Our Throughaway Culture. The Average American produces 1 ton of trash per year, yes this is PER PERSON! One man however managed to produce only 32 pounds in a year for him and his family! 300 mil disposable coffee cups are used daily! Styrofaom will be around longer than the Statue of David, so rethink using it! In the United States we are each responsible for 800 pounds of packaging used for our things. 2 million Plastic bottles are consumed in the US every 5 min! Disposable diapers account for up to 1 ton of waste per child.

During the documentary the maker found out his wife Anna was expecting their first child. This inspired him to look into health risks of chemicals and plastics. He found that in the USA the regulations of chemicals are weak. The European Reach program makes plastic companies test plastics and prove that they are safe prior to be sold for consumers use, in the US we must prove a chemical is dangerous to have it removed. Consider all the recalls of medicine that lawyers advertise along with their number so you can sue, obviously we don't have very high chemical regulations if all these chemicals were sold to us with numerous health effects, many later shown to cause deformities, death, or retardation.

The documentary maker did a body burden test. He went to a doctor to check levels in his body of certain foreign chemicals such as BPA and Phthlates. He had two body burden tests done. After doing the first for a base line the documentary maker went to a friends house and used a mix of common adult/baby/household products for a few days, then retested. The results of his 2nd test weren't good. His of BPA and Phthalates increased by 110x and 11x. BPA is frequently used in baby toys which they stick in their mouths! If you don't know the risks of these then please refer to my Chemerical post!

Before wrapping up the documentary he provided a list of things you can do to make a difference.
Use less disposable Items
Don't drink bottled water
Buy items with less packaging
Buy Used
Bring your own container
Reduce what you use/buy
Litter patrol

In addition to his list I am working on one of my own which will come out in another post, that will combine his advice and other peoples with plenty of my own! Thanks for reading!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Difficulties with changing!


I have been trying, and failing for the most part, to be more eco friendly. It's not easy to change your lifestyle and even harder when your husband isn't really on board. Him saying he completely supports me in whatever I want to do is different than completely supporting me.

I stay home all day and probably use more electricity than I should. I watch a lot of television to pass the time since school is out for a month and I don't want to spend money going out given that I'm not working. We started recycling over a month ago but all of our recyclables never made their way to the recycle dumpster, because I asked my husband to take them and they sit in his truck......  It's been very frustrating to me also that I bought a post consumer content travel cup for my husband to use at work rather than disposable plastic cups or styrafoam yet he refuses to use it and instead always uses the disposable cups! I don't understand why!

I have instigated Meatless Mondays since learning more about the inhumane treatment of animals bred for consumption. I would rather eat an animal that had a good life, even if it was cut short, than an animal that had lived out its natural lifespan in horrid conditions. Animals shouldn't live in cages! They should see the sun, the grass, their babies! After seeing footage of undercover investigations of different factory farms I was deeply upset, but I still eat meat. That makes me a very weak person and gives me so much respect for vegans and vegetarians. I don't ever plan on being one, but I do want to cut back on my meat consumption and find a local source where I can visit and insure the animals are treated humanely and enjoy a good life!

My first meatless monday was a disaster. I tried a BBQ tofu recipe on that had great reviews. Chris, my husband, and I had a few bites and wanted to get sick. The texture of tofu is atrocious! The second meatless monday was easy enough, we didn't plan anything special just avoided dishes with meat. I'm planning on trying a new recipe every monday to get meatless monday to be a healthy dinner night with vegetable dishes or some good soups! I've saved a few recipes on allrecipes but if you have one leave it as a comment and I will try it.

My husband has cheated on meatless mondays as while. Even when I remind him in the morning he just eats meat while he is at work and has a meatless dinner! I get frustrated by his cheating because I have a weak constitute. When he cheats than I'm more likely to, and then give up. I'm not good with change, and neither is he, but this change is important so "try, try again".

My friend recommended a book to help stay motivated and focused. I have alot of books that I have heard about in documentaries or were referenced in books I have read. I'm going to request them all at my library and get back to reading more often. I love learning new things, plus it will help me conserve electricity! I'm not very good at watching tv and reading! ;)

I would love to hear back from anyone following this blog. Leave me a comment or better yet a vegetarian recipe or a bunch of recipes!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chemerical Documentary review


While watching a bunch of enlightening documentaries on a range of subjects I found Chemerical. This documentary was made by a man who had a young child whose health he was worried about with all the chemicals in everyday household products. The documentary maker got a family to volunteer to switch their products away from chemicals for a time period, I believe it was three months. He had someone explain to them what was in the products they were using, and walk them through the process.

The family said they were willing to do the documentary but had many reservations about it. I am switching over and part of me is dreading it because I'm worried it might be more expensive, less effective, or time consuming if I make my own products.

The Goode family made their own products for the most part however. After buying the supplies to make the products they waited a week and by that time they decided they couldn't wait longer and "jumped on the wagon." The Goode family made a range of products from laundry soap, to toothpaste, to hair gel. I was very impressed with the hair gel, it seemed just as good as the store bought the boy had been using but had no adverse health effects, no environmental effects, and was much more cost efficient.

During the documentary there were two things that caught my eye that I would like to quote. First and foremost this statistic was given early in the documentary "Woman who stay home have a cancer rate 54% higher than woman who work outside the home." This is a huge problem to me given that children stay at home until they are school age and their bodies are more susceptible. There are ways to test your air quality, is one site that offers a product/service to check the air quality in your house. According to this site "82% of the homes tested don’t meet safe indoor air quality standards."

 The 2nd quote I want to share from the documentary was from the owner of Green Breaver, a family run green business. "If you can't eat it you shouldn't put it on your skin".Green Beaver sells organic edible hygiene products such as lotion, shampoo, etc. I'm not suggesting his products taste good, I wouldn't know, however they have no adverse effects if consumed, and since your skin is an organ that absorbs whatever you put on it than even without eating the product you are in a way consuming it.

Since this documentary focused on the health issue rather than environmental I have during this blog post as well. I have included sources for additional health information I posted about the chemicals that were mentioned in the documentary. If you want information about the environmental risks of these chemicals than follow the source link and on most of them I believe some information about environmental impact will be listed. Although I didn't post the harmful effects on the environment of these chemicals seeing how harmful they can be to our health I think most readers will be able to draw parallels to what they can do when they make their way from our drains into oceans, rivers, and streams.

The chemicals that were discussed during the doumentary are:


Inhalation: Ammonia is irritating and corrosive. Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia in air causes immediate burning of the nose, throat and respiratory tract. This can cause bronchiolar and alveolar edema, and airway destruction resulting in respiratory distress or failure. Inhalation of lower concentrations can cause coughing, and nose and throat irritation. Ammonia's odor provides adequate early warning of its presence, but ammonia also causes olfactory fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one's prolonged exposure at low concentrations.
Children exposed to the same concentrations of ammonia vapor as adults may receive a larger dose because they have greater lung surface area-to-body weight ratios and increased minute volumes-to-weight ratios. In addition, they may be exposed to higher concentrations than adults in the same location because of their shorter height and the higher concentrations of ammonia vapor initially found near the ground.
Skin or eye contact: Exposure to low concentrations of ammonia in air or solution may produce rapid skin or eye irritation. Higher concentrations of ammonia may cause severe injury and burns. Contact with concentrated ammonia solutions such as industrial cleaners may cause corrosive injury including skin burns, permanent eye damage or blindness. The full extent of eye injury may not be apparent for up to a week after the exposure. Contact with liquefied ammonia can also cause frostbite injury.
Ingestion: Exposure to high concentrations of ammonia from swallowing ammonia solution results in corrosive damage to the mouth, throat and stomach. Ingestion of ammonia does not normally result in systemic poisoning.
chlorine bleach-
The health effects resulting from most chlorine exposures begin within seconds to minutes. The severity of the signs and symptoms caused by chlorine will vary according to amount, route and duration of exposure.
Inhalation: Most chlorine exposures occur via inhalation. Low level exposures to chlorine in air will cause eye/skin/airway irritation, sore throat and cough. Chlorine's odor provides adequate early warning of its presence, but also causes olfactory fatigue or adaptation, reducing awareness of one's prolonged exposure at low concentrations. At higher levels of exposure, signs and symptoms may progress to chest tightness, wheezing, dyspnea, and bronchospasm. Severe exposures may result in noncardiogenic pulmonary edema, which may be delayed for several hours.
Ingestion: Since chlorine is a gas at room temperature, it is unlikely that a severe exposure will result from ingestion. However, ingestion of chlorine dissolved in water (e.g., sodium hypochlorite or household bleach) will cause corrosive tissue damage of the gastrointestinal tract.
Eye/Dermal Contact: Low level exposures to chlorine gas will cause eye and skin irritation. Higher exposures may result in severe chemical burns or ulcerations. Exposure to compressed liquid chlorine may cause frostbite of the skin and eyes.
Children may receive a larger dose than adults exposed to environments with the same levels of chlorine gas because they have greater lung surface area-to-body weight ratios and increased minute volumes-to-weight ratios. In addition, they may be exposed to higher levels than adults in the same location because of their shorter height and the higher levels of chlorine gas that may be found nearer the ground.

Health Hazard Information

Acute Effects:
  • Acute exposure of humans to naphthalene by inhalation, ingestion, and dermal contact is associated with hemolytic anemia, damage to the liver, and, in infants, neurological damage.  Symptoms of acute exposure include headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise, confusion, anemia, jaundice, convulsions, and coma. (1,2,6,7)
  • Cataracts have been reported in humans acutely exposed to naphthalene by inhalation and ingestion.  Cataracts have also been reported in animals following acute oral exposure. (6,7,9)
  • Tests involving acute exposure of rats, mice, rabbits, and guinea pigs have demonstrated naphthalene to have moderate to high acute toxicity from ingestion and low to moderate acute toxicity from dermal exposure. (3)
Chronic Effects (Noncancer):
  • Chronic exposure of workers to naphthalene has been reported to cause cataracts and retinal hemorrhage. (2,4,5,6,7)
  • Chronic inflammation of the lung, chronic nasal inflammation, hyperplasia of the respiratory epithelium in the nose, and metaplasia of the olfactory epithelium were reported in mice chronically exposed to naphthalene via inhalation. (1,6,7)
  • Rats, rabbits, and mice chronically exposed to naphthalene via ingestion have developed cataracts and degeneration of the retina. (2,5,6,7)
  • Diarrhea, lethargy, hunched posture, rough coats, decreased body weight, and lesions in the kidneys and thymus were observed in rats and mice chronically exposed via gavage (experimentally placing the chemical in the stomach). (2,6,7)
  • EPA has calculated a Reference Concentration (RfC) of 0.003 milligrams per cubic meter (mg/m3) for naphthalene based on nasal effects in mice. The RfC is an estimate (with uncertainty spanning perhaps an order of magnitude) of a continuous inhalation exposure to the human population (including sensitive subgroups) that is likely to be without appreciable risk of deleterious noncancer effects during a lifetime.  It is not a direct estimator of risk but rather a reference point to gauge the potential effects.  At exposures increasingly greater than the RfC, the potential for adverse health effects increases.  Lifetime exposure above the RfC does not imply that an adverse health effect would necessarily occur. (6,7)
  • EPA has medium confidence in the RfC based on: 1) medium confidence in the principal study because adequate numbers of animals were used, severity of nasal effects increased at higher exposure concentrations, high mortality, and hematological evaluation not conducted beyond 14 days; and 2) low to medium confidence in the database because there are no chronic or subchronic inhalation studies in other animal species and there are no reproductive or developmental inhalation studies. (6,7)
  • The Reference Dose (RfD) for naphthalene is 0.02 milligrams per kilogram body weight per day (mg/kg/d) based on decreased body weight in male rats. (6,7)
  • EPA has low confidence in the RfD based on: 1) high confidence in the principal study because adequate numbers of animals were included and experimental protocols were adequately designed, conducted, and reported; and 2) low confidence in the database because of the lack of adequate chronic oral data, dose-response data for hemolytic anemia, and two-generation reproductive toxicological studies. (6,7)
Reproductive/Developmental Effects:
  • Hemolytic anemia has been reported in infants born to mothers who "sniffed" and ingested naphthalene (as mothballs) during pregnancy.  The mothers themselves were anemic, but to a lesser extent than the infants. (5,6,7)
  • Signs of maternal toxicity (e.g., decreased body weight and lethargy) but no fetal effects were reported in rats and rabbits exposed to naphthalene via gavage. (6,7)
  • Maternal toxicity (increased mortality and reduced weight gain) and fetotoxicity (reduced number of live pups per litter) were observed in mice exposed via gavage. (2,6,7)
Cancer Risk:
  • Workers occupationally exposed to vapors of naphthalene and coal tar developed laryngeal carcinomas or neoplasms of the pylorus and cecum.  However, this study is inadequate because there were no controls, exposure levels were not determined, and subjects were exposed to complex mixtures containing other demonstrated carcinogens. (2,5,6,7)
  • Di-, tri-, and tetramethyl naphthalene contaminants of coal tar were found to be carcinogenic when applied to the skin of mice, but naphthalene alone was not. (2,5)
  • An increased number of alveolar/bronchiolar adenomas and carcinomas were reported in female mice exposed by inhalation. (1,6,7)
  • No carcinogenic responses were reported in rats exposed to naphthalene in their diet and by injection. (2,5,6)
  • EPA has classified naphthalene as a Group C, possible human carcinogen. (6,7)

Since the 2008 assessment, additional data on effects of triclosan on thyroid hormones and estrogen-related effects have also been made available from EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD). ORD studies on the thyroid and estrogen effects led EPA to determine that more research on the potential health consequences of endocrine effects of triclosan is warranted. This research is underway and will help characterize the human relevance and potential risk of these effects observed in initial laboratory animal studies.
The Agency has previously indicated that because of the amount of research being planned and currently in progress, it will undertake another comprehensive review of triclosan beginning in 2013. The Agency will pay close attention to the ongoing endocrine research and will amend the regulatory decision if the science supports such a change.
Health Concerns 

EWG's Skin Deep database, which compares cosmetic ingredients to over 50 international toxicity databases, indicates that parabens are linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, neurotoxicity and skin irritation (v). Since parabens are used to kill bacteria in water-based solutions, they inherently have some toxicity to cells (vi).

A 2004 UK study detected traces of five parabens in the breast cancer tumors of 19 out of 20 women studied (vii). This small study does not prove a causal relationship between parabens and breast cancer, but it is important because it detected the presence of intact parabens – unaltered by the body’s metabolism – which is an indication of the chemicals' ability to penetrate skin and remain in breast tissue. 

Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells. They also increase the expression of genes usually regulated by estradiol (a form of estrogen); these genes cause human breast tumor cells to grow and multiply in cellular studies (viii). 

Cosmetic manufacturers, particularly those in the natural/organic sector, are seeking effective alternatives to prevent microbial growth in personal care products. Another solution is to sell products with a shorter shelf life. Companies are testing new product formulations and have created preservative-free products with a shelf life of six months to one full year. For the products most people use daily – their favorite lotion, face wash or shampoo – products are likely to be used up before they would expire. 
Sodium lauryl sulfate <sls>-
Both Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) arecommonly used in many soaps, shampoos, detergents, toothpastes and other products that we expect to "foam up". Both chemicals are very effective foaming agents, chemically known as surfactants.
SLS and SLES are esters of Sulphuric acid - SLS is also known as "Sulfuric acid monododecyl ester sodium salt", however there are over 150 different names by which it is known - see them here. In fact, SLES is commonly contaminated with dioxane, a known carcinogen.
Although SLES is somewhat less irritating than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, it cannot be metabolised by the liver and its effects are therefore much longer-lasting.
report published in the Journal of The American College of Toxicology in 1983 showed that concentrations as low as 0.5% could cause irritation and concentrations of 10-30% caused skin corrosion and severe irritation. National Institutes of Health "Household Products Directory" of chemical ingredients lists over 80 products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Some soaps have concentrations of up to 30%, which the ACT report called "highly irritating and dangerous".
Shampoos are among the most frequently reported products to the FDA. Reports include eye irritation, scalp irritation, tangled hair, swelling of the hands, face and arms and split and fuzzy hair. The main cause of these problems is sodium lauryl sulfate.


Phthalates aka fragrance-

Health Effects related to Phthalates: Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Endocrine system, Reproduction and fertility, Birth or developmental effects, Persistent and bioaccumulative, Brain and nervous system, Immune system (including sensitization and allergies)


Health Effects

Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.

If you have made it to the end of this blog post than kudos. I will be posting about harmful chemicals found in my home as I run out of products and switch over to healthier eco friendly alternatives. Cleaning supplies will probably be first and foremost on my switch over since I'm transferring apartments and they are expecting it clean enough that they don't even have to do anything to prepare it for the next tenant!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

No Impact Man Documentary Review


I have now seen the documentary No Impact Man three times. In the documentary Colin Beavan and his family all attempt to leave no negative environmental impact for a year. Colin, his wife, young daughter and their dog all go through life style changes during this year.

Beavan had some flawed logic with his project, mainly that his goal is to have zero impact for a whole year yet he did different phases so during the early parts of the project his family had a much greater impact than the later parts.

His project from what I remember from both watching the documentary three times, taking notes on it, and reading his book had three phases. The first phase of his no impact project was creating no waste. The second phase was eating locally. The third was no electricity. The last phase to his project was one of my favorites, giving back. No matter how much we try we leave an impact from having been here, he realized this. His goal was to create a positive impact to counter the negative impacts he couldn't avoid.

During the first phase of his project he was attempting to create no trash, to do this he quit getting take out food, no grocery bags, reused jars, egg cartons, berry containers, milk containers, he even changed his razor. One of the products they were using making alot of trash was his baby girls diapers. They switched to cloth, which I'm a huge fan of!!! According to the documentary 49 million disposable diapers are sent to landfills EVERY DAY! I would guess during that year they only sent one or two trash bags to the landfill all year!

Phase two local eating: defined by Colin as within 250 miles. Beavan frequented the local farmers market. They lost weight with their new diet, got healthier, supported their local economy, made new friends, and knew where their food came from. In addition to all those benefits the food was significantly fresher and used much less fossil fuels since it was transported a maximum of 250 miles, whereas our food is transported on average 1,500 miles on average according to numerous sources.

Phase three of his plan involved no electricity. He did get a solar panel for his laptop to continue his work, and blog for this project. His family had no air conditioning, no real fridge, and no lights other than candles. They bought natural candles beeswax I believe, spent more time outside, and tried two different strategies for a fridge a "pot in the pot" then switched to a cooler with ice mooched from their neighbor. While I found this a bit drastic they did it for 6 months which shows their dedication!

The last phase in Colin's plan was the positive impact phase. This phase was more philosophical than anything else but Colin and his family live in New York and he went to the Bronx to clean and weed the tree areas to keep the trees alive and thriving, he also helped with a clean the bay project introducing oysters to clean the water. Colin has also helped other participate in shorter no impact projects and talked about his project publicly to encourage others to be considerate of the planet and our children.

Not part of the phases was cutting out transportation of any kind, which they did for the most part with a few exceptions. Colin also got into worm composting, although he didn't do his research about it first and encountered a few problems. Colin and his family started a war on our "disposable culture" and even quit using toilet paper, people made mockery of this of course claiming it was unhygienic and a newpaper article about his project was dubbed "The Year without toilet paper". I can't speak as to the hygienic issue, however a fried told me about one of her friends who happens to be a nurse who is also an environmentalist and she nor her family use toilet paper and according to her the way she does it is perfectly hygienic, personally I will stick to my Ology but I have respect for people to do something that drastic because they care about something bigger than them!

During the project Colin and his family also learned to make thier own products. One of the main products in these products they used however was Borax, while it is naturally occuring it is also a poison and can be toxic to marine life. While they are are still debating it as a eco friendly product or not I would go with better safe than sorry and avoid it when its possible to find green recipes that are Borax free. Borax is also mined which should be considered when viewing its eco friendly factor!

Overall I was a fan of this documentary. Colin Beavan's daughter is completely adorable (right), although others questioned his motives alot I was just happy to see someone actually reducing their environmental impact, and the fact that he was so drastic motivated me! My husband watched this with me and even he was impressed, he isn't a eco guy either! Ultimately although it is a little slow and some what annoying at parts I would reccomend it!

Saturday, December 15, 2012



My finals are completely over and now I'm just waiting for my grades to get posted. I did quit my job to focus on school during my first semester but I am really excited to get back to work next semester, I feel confident that I can juggle both! I would love to get the job at Bank of America, but if that doesn't work out then I have other interests and am sure that I will find something that I want to do!

During my break I don't have much to do, so I'm re watching alot of documentaries to put the highlights of them in my blog. I personally believe that many of these documentaries are better off watched than read about, however I know that some people don't have access, time, or the desire to watch a bunch of documentaries so I'm writing the essence of whats in the documentaries in different blog posts. It is beneficial to me to re-watch the documentaries as well. There is only so much you will remember from seeing something once, but with some of our favorite movies we have seen them enough to quote, if we had seen documentaries that many times than we would actually possess some of the knowledge stored within them.

It was a documentary that really got me passionate about change. I've always wanted to have a positive impact, to help save our environment, our animals, and improve our world but I haven't been living in a way that positively affects it. We never know when we are going to die and what if tomorrow never comes?  Then we will never have made that difference. At some point it might be to late so I'm trying to take baby steps now. It's hard to change though, things are habits and as humans I believe we generally resist change. Every one knows recycling is best, its not that hard, yet many people don't do it! It's change and requires conscious thought.

My husband and I talk about something we need to do at least once a week. We need to eat healthier, we need to cut back on soda, we need to take the dogs for two walks a day, etc. etc. Most of the changes we talk about don't get done. When we moved in together and got married we became more dependent on one another. I don't like to get up and get my day started while he is still in bed, so unless I have to for school or whatever else I stay in bed until he gets up. I don't like drinking water while he has a soda, etc. It's always easier to do things with a partner thats on board that will motivate you, but if you don't have that than knowledge and documentaries can help.

There are many sources that can be motivation. Right now I have been slacking severely. My husband and I have been recycling and we are switching over to green products as we run out of the ones we currently have. We did give my mom her Christmas gifts in a reused gift bag that was given to us, and we used newspaper to wrap.

I have been sick for a while now, and today I did miss an oppurtunity to give back to the community by volunteering to wrap the gifts for poor children like I had planned. I did participate in donating to the Womans shelter in my area, I gave them several stockpile items I had, although these aren't eco friendly items it is better to share and use them and then not buy anymore when they are gone than to dump them out. By throwing something out rather than using it or donating it you are causing waste, wasting our resources and the product still gets introduced to our environment. From my statement you might think that you can't make a difference then, but your purchases matter alot, its the law of supply and demand. When demand for a product goes down than so does supply. Companies lose money when they make excess products, so when you stop buying the products that are harmful to our environment and possibly even ourselves you decrease the demand for it!

The first step to making a change for me is always research. I have always been inquisitive and to me the internet is a great tool, yes check your sources because anyone can post on here, but you can find scientific fact on here and the truth.

 If enough people say a lie is truth does it than become truth or is it still a lie? Food for thought while you discover and learn more about our world, yourself, and our life in this day and this age of the world.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Ology Toilet Paper review


As excited as I was to try the only eco friendly toilet paper option in my area I decided to wait until we made it to the second roll to review it to give it some time. I also had to ask my husband his opinion with the toilet being his throne thing he has going on.... me I'm not very picky on toilet paper, my husband however loves the Charmin tp.

I love the Ology  It's not as soft as Charmin, but it is durable, and green. When I first started looking for an environmentally friendly toilet paper I was looking for recycled content, what I found was sustainable content. The materials used in Ology are virgin, but they are supposed to be harvest responsibly and they are very renewable!

Since Ology was the only eco friendly option for tp in my area that I found I was worried my husband wouldn't like it and I'd be buying various brands online in bulk or doing Walmart site to store even though I detest Walmart! Lucky for me my husband is satisfied with it too, which is saying something. We paid $4.99 for a 12 pack of tp, we got it on sale for $1.50 off the normal price, it's NOT by a long shot one of the most expensive choices! My mother had to mention however, it's not the cheapest either. It's important to think that everything has a cost, whether you pay it in the store or your kids pay it down the line! I choose to pay a little more in the store for the tp rather than pay the hidden costs down the line, or make someone else pay the hidden costs like my child (when I have one).

I give Ology a thumbs up and encourage you and everyone else to try it! Ology is probably a toilet paper that will be seen in my house for a very long time and in fact I'm about to wrap up this blog and text my husband to tell him to pick up another pack while its still on sale!

I would also like to add that my dog gives it a thumbs up! He never ate toilet paper before but seems to love the Ology, and while its a little aggravating since its eco friendly I'm not worried about it harming him! So although a dog treat isn't its intended use Shadow seems to think it makes a great one!

Ology is a Walgreens Brand and to my knowledge is only sold there or at

Monday, November 26, 2012

Petition for a Change


Unfortunately change in my house is moving slower than I had expected. I already have a trash can full of trash and a bag full of recyclables! I'm learning more and more about what actually gets recycled and what is most damaging to the environment.

I have always cared about the environment and a few years ago I was very active on a site called this is a petition site. I have always focused on the animal/environmental petition but they have petitions in a range of subjects.

I have rejoined and am signing petitions. I want to create a ban or tax on plastic bags in my city and hopefully nearby cities when I think the time is appropriate where it will get enough attention. I can't believe the U.S. is trailing other countries in so many areas and hugely in our environmental impact!

So from this point on I will be signing at least one petition a week, and if I can't sign that week I will make up for it the next! My voice will be heard in politics, I live in a democracy! From now on I will also be featuring a worthy petition every month on my blog, if you have a feature worthy one let me know. It starts in December!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

What you didn't know:RECYCLING (plastics)


 The arrows chasing each other means something is recyclable, right? If I put an item with this symbol into my recycling bin its going to get turned into another product and not end up in the landfill or in the stomach of some poor wildlife! It's not so simple!

While these Plastic Resin Numbers look like they are in the recycling symbol some of them actually DO NOT get recycled. The only highly recyclable numbers are 1 and 2. 

According to the EPA,   "The recycling rate for different types of plastic varies greatly, resulting in an overall plastics recycling rate of only 8 percent, or 2.4 million tons in 2010.

They also stated that "Given the high cost of recycling, type 3 to 7 plastics are rarely recycled"!

I don't know about you but this was surprising to me as I thought any plastic with the recycling symbol on it meant it was recyclable and would be recycled if I put it in the right bin!

This blog is to follow my progress in my quest for change, but also to inspire others to change and educate you on WHY you should change. Why its important to me and in general! This information will make my life a little harder, I'll spend alot longer at the grocery store! I will have to sacrifice somethings that I want or I am used to for the greater good! Ultimately I think I will be happier in the end though!

and the reason is you


I watched yet another documentary today, surprising right? But the things I learn and question well watching these documentaries is astronomical. Every one I watch changes me, my way of thinking, and a kind of enlightenment happens. I know that just because someone says something in a documentary doesn't make it fact, but it does cause me to pause, think about it, and research it later.

I've always wanted to change the world, to leave it better than I found it. I'm finally taking steps to do that, but its no longer for me. I was pregnant a while back and miscarried. I've always had a strong maternal instinct and now I know of hidden dangers lurking around even the seemingly most innocent corners. Now that I know more about the world we live in to me its frustrating that others don't want to learn and resist even the slightest change.
           In the documentary No Impact Man, the family was verbally assaulted both in person and online and people acted so hateful to them... now that I'm going eco friendly I can tell it makes people uncomfortable, even my family at Thanksgiving made a joke about using plastic and Styrofoam  its not eco friendly but hey I don't have to wash it. People are uncomfortable with change, so they generally don't want to learn why they should change, its easier to sweep it under the rug.

I care about nature, the creatures we share this world with, but mostly I care about my baby, even though they aren't a part of this world yet. The choices I am making right now are effecting them none the less! Every piece of trash I send to a landfill will sit there for years, pilling up and eventually leaching into our oceans! Every thing I buy sends a message. The more people buy a product the more of that products gets made, its the laws of supply and demand. I don't know about you, but I'd rather have the fresh local humane food, not the food from factories that abuse the animals and use a bunch of hormones and pesticides on our food!

It's not easy to change but I'm committed to changing, taking small baby steps for a better world. I'm committed to changing for my baby, for every baby out there, and all the innocents that get affected daily by our choices, the creatures, the plant life, things that humans have oft drove to extinction. We need to take responsibility, if not for ourselves than for our children!

newbornDeer Deer Deer


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Stockpile (in the beginning)


After moving out on our own Chris and I realized how expensive things could be. He detests using coupons and won't even correct the cashier if a product rings up wrong. As a child coupons embarrassed me and I detested them to, as an adult who is majoring in finance in college, coupons are the smart choice.

I have saved countless dollars since I began grocery shopping. With my Kroger card alone this year I have saved almost $500, not bad. In my zealousness for saving money and shopping smarter I amassed a small stockpile. 

In total my stockpile consists of about:
3 packs of pad refills for our swiffer wetjet
1 cleaner refill for our swiffer wetjet
2 packs of dryer sheets
3 laundry detergents
3 packs of clorox wipes
3  packs of dish detergents (20 count)
2 secret deodorants (for me)
6 Old Spice Deodorants (my hubby's)
4 hand soaps
4 air fresheners
8 bottles of woman's body wash
2 bottles of old spice men's body wash
4 bottles of conditioner
1 bottle of shampoo
1 bottle of men's shampoo & conditioner
3 opened face masks
6 various hair-care products
2 unopened biore face cleansers
8 bottles of women's shaving cream
2 edge men's shaving cream
17 unopened packages of women's razors
9 boxes of 40 count tampons
6+ boxes of 18-20 count tampons
6 packages of 20 count carefree liners

Since I have amassed a stockpile of products we will use these items and switch to greener choices as we run out. I am both looking forward to running out (so I can switch over) and dreading having to actually purchase these items again! My next stockpile will be full of green items and choices so look for that in the future... possibly the far future since these items should last me a while!

So far I have bought reusable shopping bags, Ology toilet paper, and reusable/recyclable water bottles (stainless steel), and a reusable recyclable travel mug made from recycled materials. I'm anticipating needing to purchase shampoo for both me and my husband, cleaning materials, razors for my hubby. If anyone has good recommendations let me know!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Baby Steps


In my opinion, which is backed by several articles I have read, the best way to make a lasting change is gradually. I want to leave a positive imprint on the world, and maybe I'm passionate enough that I could make drastic changes to my lifestyle and stick with them... but my husband is not! A new study suggests that it takes on median 66 days to form a habit, perhaps the old quote "slow and steady wins the race" applies to more than just well races!

I have always cared about the environment and now that I'm an adult, I'm married, and I make the financial decisions and do the grocery shopping, I feel like I'm just as culpable for the state of our earth as anyone else! I'm not a child anymore and I don't have to live in the shadow of anyone else, my family wasn't eco friendly or very healthy growing up but that doesn't mean my family can't be! I'm changing things, and so should you!

Rather than waiting for the new year to set my goals into resolutions I decided to start now. Every day is a new day and with the rising of the sun, hope is renewed. Each month my husband and I are setting goals for our family. Since my husband, Chris, is serving our country and should have basic any time now we aren't planning to far ahead.

Decembers phase is the trash/recycling phase of our plan. Although our city offers its residents curbside recycling we live in an apartment that doesn't offer recycling, fortunately however I found out today that an apartment across the street has facilities that I can use to recycle. Plan B to recycle would have been my mothers because earlier this week I called her city to ask them if they offered curbside recycling, why she hadn't been notified, and got it set up for them to deliver a recycling container to her! Unfortunately some cities make recycling difficult, like where my aunt lives to where its not a easy switch... Apartments like mine that don't offer recycling can also make it difficult if you don't know of a place nearby that you can take it!
Decembers phase involves more than just recycling however, we also plan on:

1. Using reusable containers/cups rather than disposable.

2. Using reusable cloth store bags and totally eliminating the need for the plastic bags (which aren't good for the environment even if you do recycle or reuse them... more on that later*)

3. Getting take out food less (due to all the packaging, stereo foam containers and cups, pizza boxes, etc.)

4. Buying the bigger container when shopping, unless it will cause me to waste ( this is usually the more cost efficient option also!)

5. Eliminating Gift Bags and Wrapping Paper completely (instead we will be using newspaper to wrap gifts, and be giving cloth bags in place of gift bags to encourage others to use them in place of plastic... more on this later*)

Reusable options, in general, are more eco & wallet friendly. Since I have built myself a stockpile of certain items (more on this later*), I will be using them before switching over. Waste is rarely ever green in either sense! However to eliminate even more waste consider finding reusable options such as razors, toothbrushes, etc, and consider bringing your own bags for food out of bulk bins that you can store in reuasable containers and avoid any packaging on!

Have any tips or input? Leave me a comment!

Ology: Walgreens New Eco Friendly Line


Ology, the study of. In my case Ology is one of my first baby steps into becoming more eco friendly.This line from Walgreens boasts both sustainability and affordability. I paid only $4.99 for the 12 pack of toilet paper on sale, and as crazy as it seems am excited, about toilet paper! This toilet paper is made from bamboo and sugarcane husk, and was the only eco friendly option in my area that I found during my shopping trip and I went to four different stores.
The ology line currently has 27 different products including: shampoos, conditioners, Laundry soap and softener, Household Cleaners, Baby wash and lotion, Paper, Bath/Facial tissue, Paper Towels, and Lightbulbs.

The ology brand by Walgreens offers less chemicals than regular products and have taken out chemicals that are believed to cause harm that are found in other lines. Ology boasts the "No Harmful Chemicals" slogan on every product, which begs the question what is the best option for you and your family. While comprehensive research into the effects of certain chemicals still need to be performed, if by switching to this line we keep even one harmful chemical out of the environment and away from our families it will have been  beneficial!

Sunday, November 18, 2012



It's my hope that someday many will read this blog. My goal in writing it is to educate, and persuade. I'm not a hippie but I do care about our environment. I care about the animals, the earth, and the people. Everyone, especially parents should! This world, the one that we are wrecking havoc on, its the one that our children and our grandchildren have to live on long after we leave it!

A few days ago I set out to educate myself on how to be more eco friendly... what I found out was disturbing to say the least. In the last week watching several documentaries and reading books I have found out just how much harm we are doing, and how much harm is being done to us!

Did you know that there are chemicals in everyday hygiene products, cosmetics, and personal care products that have been linked to causing cancer and diabetes? I, like most of you, assumed that if its sold in the store its safe to use.... not to mention I've used it all my life so it can't be that bad can it? What if you could prevent cancer by switching products, would you? I would! Females are born with the eggs that will become the next generation already in them, who knows what kind of damage we can do to those eggs before they become fertilized. Our skin in our biggest organ so anything we put on it gets absorbed! I will do a follow up blog in a few days to further explain the chemicals in everyday products and I will provide better options you can buy and I will try to even include diy options to make things at home to save $! Chemerical is one of the documentaries I watched about this, after reading about it from a few separate sources. It's a great documentary!

Do you know how your food is treated before making its way to the market? I'm not just referring to the cruel inhuman way that factory farms treat animals. Have you considered all the hormones poured into the animals which are then butchered and wind up on your dinner plate? Notice how your children are hitting puberty long before you did, those extra hormones just might be the reason! Now lets think about produce, how many pounds of pesticides do you think are poured on that?

Now to the part of the blog everyone loves to hate, the environment. We have all heard talk of global warming, we see the litter on the side of the road, we hear about polar ice caps melting and polar bears drowning, and we hear about deforestation. Many of us do absolutely NOTHING to give back to this world which gives us so much, it provides for us and our children!

For 19 years I have been like so many others. I heard talk about the problems but did nothing proactive, did nothing to give back... sure occasionally I would make a half-assed effort for a few days but then I'd go right back to my usual ways. I'm an adult now, I'm married and hopefully someday I will have a child, I might even adopt a second. As adults its our duty to our children to leave them this world better than we got it! We need to clean up our parents mess and ours up to this point so that they aren't left cleaning it up or left with a world beyond repair.

This blog isn't about ranting and complaining about whats wrong with the world, its about changing it. A wise man once said "be the change you want to see in the world", I'm taking his advice. I'm changing my life. My husband knows how passionate about this cause I am, he has seen my frustration, my tears, and my anger at the current situation and the fact there isn't more education and the press isn't really covering it as much! My husband is changing with me. While we aren't doing the No Impact Man Project (another great documentary btw), we are doing our own project.... which mixes different aspects: eco friendly, healthy, lifestyle, financial, etc. We aren't who we want to be but by the end of our journey hopefully we will be.

The No Impact Man Colin said something along the lines of being a snotty liberal where you judge others so you feel better, but in reality your not doing any good and just giving yourself a free pass... I don't want to be one of those people. I want to make a difference and I want to encourage other people to do the same. One person can make a difference, but together we can change the world!