Best Baby-Safe Cleaning Products (plus what to avoid!)

Baby-Safe Cleaning | The Organic Beauty Blog

With all the research that’s come out in the last several years into environmental toxins and endocrine disruptors, a whole slew of common baby and household products have been labeled with major red flags.  We know so much more now that we did 20 or 30 years ago — I shudder to think about the products that were used on and around us when we were babies!

Most of us know the big bad ingredients to avoid by now: parabens, phthalates, bleach, sodium lauryl sulfate (if you don’t know about these, read this) — but so much more awful stuff in lurking in the products some of us use every day, from soaps and detergents, to air fresheners, cleaning supplies, and even candles.  And of course, don’t even get me started on edibles — especially so much of the foods marketed to babies and kids… I’ll save that for it’s own post ; )

Guys, this is something I am really passionate about, and I’ll admit, I get really upset when I see a mom slathering her baby in Johnson & Johnson’s or buying Tide detergent.  There are so many inexpensive, safer brands out there that make it so easy for most families to make these changes.  With all the dangerous stuff out there that our babies will at some point be exposed to, this is something that is totally, 100% in our control as mindful parents and caregivers.  We love our babies so much… why would we ever consciously expose them to chemicals that can cause hormonal imbalances, inflammation, growth problems, allergies and asthma, and even cancer down the line??

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5 Ways to Use Lavender Essential Oil for a Happy Baby

Bali Lavender Essential Oil of BabyI have long since been a huge fan of using lavender essential oil to ease stress and anxiety, but honestly had no idea how versatile a tool it was in the home until little Margaux was born. Since becoming a mama, I have gotten rid of so many household items that could be harmful to my precious little bundle — toxic cleaning supplies (even ones masquerading as natural), dryer sheets, perfumes, air fresheners.. the list goes on and on.  I started researching natural replacements for all these things I wasn’t sure I could live without, and was really surprised to see lavender pop up everywhere.  Lavender essential oil was about so much more than better sleep and stress release!

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5 Tips for a Healthy Inspiring Workspace

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

Healthy Inspiring Workspace

Since I launched my own business several years ago, I went through several iterations of what it looked like to work from home.  In our little Brooklyn apartment, we didn’t have space for a proper desk, so I typically worked on the couch (not recommended), or at the dining room table (only slightly better). When we moved to our lovely new home in Santa Monica, I finally had a little corner dedicated entirely to my work, and I set about creating the workspace I had been wishing for.  What I found astounded me — a dedicated, healthy, and mindfully created workspace made me more productive, happier, and less stressed out during my work day! I actually looked forward to my work and settling down at my little desk.  The difference was mind-boggling.

So whether you work from home like me, have a traditional out-of-home office, or hunker down at a shared co-working space, there are definitely some important steps to take to make your work, in whatever form it takes, a more enjoyable experience.  After much trial and error and, of course, those failed attempts in Brooklyn, I’ve narrowed down these 5 key elements to creating a healthy, inspiring workspace aligned with how you want to feel throughout your day.

 

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Blissed Out Beauty Products from Purity Apothecary!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

In my daily quest of being more mindful, more at ease, and more happy, I get super pumped when the products I use are aligned with my mission.  I want every single thing that I put on my skin or body, into my mouth, and around me in my space to feel luxurious, smell amazing, and be sourced in a way I can feel good about.

So you can imagine how pumped I was to discover Purity Apothecary, a beautiful line of organic skincare products that are infused with therapeutic essential oils, powerful herbal ingredients, and delicious botanicals.  This stuff is good enough to eat!

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Make Your Own Almond Milk in 2 Minutes Flat!

By: Natasha Uspensky, CHHC

In my perpetual quest to for the cleanest, most natural eating and lifestyle, I’m always looking for the next step to take to go even further, even healthier, even deeper.  I went dairy-free several years ago, and haven’t really missed it.  Organic almond milk and coconut milk are daily staples in our house, and I can’t even imagine ever drinking real milk again!

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Best Organic Beauty Products of 2012

It’s that time of year again!  We are so lucky to have been able to try some of the best in organic and natural beauty and self-care products, and we’re thrilled to present the Organic Beauty Talk Best in Green 2012 Award Winners, featuring so many of our favorite brands.  A lot of these products and brands are featured in our ebook, Four Steps to Naturalizing Your Life, which you can download for free by signing up for our newsletter!

Using healthy, natural products for your skin, hair, body, and home is just as important as what you eat and how often you work out.  And by using the products below, you don’t have to sacrifice effectiveness or ease of use!

Have a favorite from the list below?  Leave a comment and let us know!

Face

  • Best Natural Facial Line for Problem Skin – S.W. Basics (formerly Sprout Skincare, $24-$32)
  • Best Natural Facial Line for Normal & Dry Skin – Grateful Body ($22-$36)
  • Best Natural Facial Line for Sensitive Skin (can also be used on all skin types including blemish-prone) – Pai ($35-$55)
  • Best Holistic Facial Line for Normal & Dry Skin – Dr. Hauschka ($26.95-$89.95)
  • Best Organic Anti-Aging Facial Line – Intelligent Nutrients ($24-$55)
  • Best Organic Facial Line (including sensitive and blemish-prone skin) – Spiezia ($37.50-$85)
  • Best Natural Value Facial Line – Zum Face ($9.50-$24)
  • Best Up & Coming Natural Facial Lines – Sequoia Beauty ($24-$50) & Stark Skincare ($22-$48)
  • Best Natural Face Moisturizer – Tata Harper Repairative Moisturizer ($100) & Izlla Fresh Sweet Carrot Facial Day Creme ($29.95)
  • Best Organic Facial Scrub – HollyBeth Organics Grits & Honey Scrub ($25)
  • Best Natural Facial Mask – La Bella Figura ($60)
  • Best Natural Face Serum – Lina Hanson Global Face Serum ($85)
  • Best Natural Eye Cream – 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream ($19) & Tata Harper Restorative Eye Treatment ($90)
  • Best Natural Facial Sunscreen – Erbaviva Sunscreen SPF 30 ($22)

 

Makeup

  • Best Natural Mineral Makeup Line – Alima Pure ($11-$22)
  • Best Natural Liquid Foundation – Vapour Organic Beauty Atmosphere Soft Focus Foundation ($48)
  • Best Natural Luxury Makeup Line – Kjaer Weis ($44-$54)
  • Best Natural Tinted Moisturizer – 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Tinted Moisturizer ($32)
  • Best Natural Bronzer – 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Bronzer ($25)
  • Best Natural Creme Blush – Youngblood Luminous Creme Blush ($27)
  • Best Natural Eyeliner – Lavera Soft Eyeliner ($14.50)
  • Best Natural Mascara – Josie Maran GoGo Instant Volume Argan Mascara ($22)
  • Best Natural Lip Color – 100% Pure Fruit Pigmented Lip Glaze ($15) & Ilia Beauty ($24)
  • Best Organic Lip Gloss – Intelligent Nutrients Certified Organic Lip Delivery Antioxidant Gloss ($24)
  • Best Natural Lip Exfoliator – Ilia Beauty Balmy Nights ($24)
  • Best Natural Multi-Stick – Ilia Beauty ($34)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Makeup Brushes – EcoTools (6.99-$15.99)
  • Best Natural Makeup Remover – Desert Essence Jojoba Oil ($5.89)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Nail Polish – butter LONDON ($14) & Priti NYC ($13.50)

 

Body

  • Best Organic Body Bar Soap – Dr. Bronner’s Soap ($3.99)
  • Best Organic Luxury Body Bar Soap – Osmia Organics Handmade Bar Soap ($12)
  • Best Natural Body Wash – Patyka Absolis Body Wash ($45)
  • Best Natural Body Oil – Indie Lee Moisturizing Oil ($34)
  • Best Natural Body Lotion – HollyBeth Organics Geranium Jasmine Lavender Body Lotion ($37)
  • Best Natural Value Hand & Body Lotion – Jason Vanilla Hand & Body Lotion ($5.79)
  • Best Natural Body Butter – Moksa Organics Body Butter ($16)
  • Best Natural Body Scrub – Indie Lee Coconut Citrus Body Scrub ($42)
  • Best Natural Hand Soap – Avalon Organics Glycerin Liquid Hand Soap ($4.89)
  • Best Natural Hand Cream – Weleda Pomegranate Hand Cream ($12.50)
  • Best Natural Value Body Care Line – Deep Steep ($6.95-$10.95)
  • Best Spa Private Label Line – St. Julien Spa
  • Best Natural Perfume – Tsi-La Organics ($38-$95)
  • Best Natural Solid Perfume – Ituri ($30)
  • Best Natural Deodorant Cream – Soapwalla Natural Deodorant Cream ($12)
  • Best Natural Deodorant Spray – Blissoma Natural Deodorant Spray ($10.99)
  • Best Natural Sunscreen – Soleil Organique ($18-$55)
  • Best Natural Cure-All – Pratima Healing Neem Oil ($29)
  • Best Natural Essential Oils – Mountain Rose Herbs Essential Oils ($1.75-$45)

 

Hair

  • Best Natural Shampoo & Conditioner – Acure Organics ($10)
  • Best Natural Hair Styling Products – Intelligent Nutrients ($12-29)
  • Best Natural Styling Products for Kinky, Curly & Wavy Hair (including color treated hair) – Shea Radiance ($16-$18)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Must-Have Product for Curly Hair – CURL-ease ($19.99)

 

Men

  • Best Natural Facial & Shave Line for Men – John Masters Organics Men ($22-$28) & Ursa Major ($24-$36)
  • Best Holistic Organic Line for Men – Dr. Alkaitis ($40-$80)
  • Best Ingrown Hair & Bump Preventer – SheaMoisture Tea Tree Herbal Bump Preventer ($9.99)
  • Best Natural Fragrance for Men – Tallulah Jane Yiska Natural Eau De Parfum Pour Homme ($48)

 

Children

  • Best Natural Lines for Children/Baby – Erbaviva ($10-$22) & Weleda ($7-$17)
  • Best Natural Line for Ethnically Diverse Children – Cara B Naturally ($8-$10)
  • Best Natural Sunscreen for Children/Baby – Erbaviva Sunscreen SPF 15 ($22) & Alba Botanica Kids SPF 45 Sunblock ($5.16)

 

Fashion

  • Best Eco-Friendly Clothing Line for Men – Threads For Thought ($14-$268)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Basics for Women – Threads For Thought ($10-$48)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Fast Fashion Clothing Line – H&M Conscious Collection (prices vary)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Jeans – AG Denim ($148-$215)
  • Best Organic Work Dress – Elsa & Me ($240)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Casual Shoes – Toms ($44-$69)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Women’s Boots – Naya Shoes ($200-$265)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Underwear, Tees & Socks – PACT ($10-$30)
  • Best Eco-Friendly Jewelry – Kyler ($48-$138)

 

Home

  • Best Natural All-Purpose Cleaner (even cleans tough grime in bathtubs & can be used as a laundry detergent) – Savon Noir 100% Natural All-Purpose Olive Oil Soap ($20)
  • Best Natural Homecare Line – Seventh Generation ($3.99-$22)
  • Best Natural Aromatherapeutic Household Cleaning Line – Mrs. Meyers ($3.99-$15.99)
  • Best Natural Candles – Red Flower Petal Topped Candles ($34)
  • Best Natural Air Freshener – Intelligent Nutrients ($40-$68) & Neom Luxury Organic Room Mist ($26)
  • Best Natural Value Air Freshener – Pure Citrus Air Freshener ($4.97)
  • Best Natural Reed Diffuser – Neom Luxury Organic Reed Diffuser ($56)
  • Best Eco Savvy Paper Products – Ecojot ($4.75-$17)

Pet

  • Best Natural Pet Shampoo & Conditioner – John Masters Organics Lemongrass & Flaxseed Pet Shampoo and Conditioner ($20)
  • Best Natural Dog Spritzer & Deodorizer – Cloud Star Buddy Splash ($5.95)
  • Best Natural Dog Treats – Cloud Star Soft & Chewy Buddy Biscuits ($3.99)

How To Rid Your Home of Toxic Chemicals, For Good!

Guest post by Dustin Laurence.  Dustin enjoys maintaining a healthy and environmentally low-impact lifestyle; he is a contributing author at www.flowerdelivery.net

Your home is a safe haven that provides you and your family with a comfortable place to live. While you may think you are doing all you can to keep your home safe and clean, sometimes there are toxic chemicals in your house that you may not even know about. Toxic chemicals are nasty and can cause health conditions such as asthma and a variety of other illnesses, so you want to make sure your home doesn’t contain many of these harmful substances. If you are looking for ways to get rid of toxic chemicals in your home for good so to ensure the good health of your family, here are some ways you can do this.

1. Eliminate Toxic Cleaners. Although they may get rid of the grime around your house, many household cleaners contain harmful chemicals. If you want to eliminate toxic chemicals around your home, start by getting rid of these harsh cleaners. Instead, opt for all natural type household cleaners, or do a little research and make them yourself.

2. Stop Drinking Bottled Water. While you may think drinking bottled water is better for your health, the truth is it’s not. Plastic or aluminum bottles contain harmful substances that are bad for your health. If you want a safe alternative, try drinking out of a reusable, stainless steel water bottle.

3. Buy Organic. Non-organic fruits and vegetables may contain harmful pesticides. If you want to be certain that the fruits and vegetables you feed your family are truly  healthy, try buying organic.

4. Get The Lead Out. If your home was built before 1978, chances are, it was painted with lead paint. If you want to eliminate this harmful chemical from your home, repaint your house. When you repaint, be sure to do it in a safe way that will not stir up harmful lead dust particles.

5. Change Your Bulbs. If you are currently using compact fluorescent light bulbs in your home, change them to a safer type of light bulb. Compact fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury and they can be very dangerous to the health of your family.

6. Eliminate Excess Products. Do you use hairspray, body spray and a variety of other personal care items? Well, if you do, you could be creating a hazard in your home. Try to cut down on the excessive use of personal care items and stick to only the ones you need. Many of these products contain harsh chemicals that can be dangerous when combined.

7. Change Your Shower Curtain. If you use a vinyl shower curtain in your bathroom, get rid of it! Vinyl shower curtains contain harmful toxins that can be bad for the health of your family. Replace vinyl shower curtains with a shower curtain made of a less toxic material.

While we all like to think that our homes are safe places that are free from toxic chemicals, this is not always the case. From household cleaners to vinyl shower curtains, there are a variety of common household items that can contain potentially dangerous toxic chemicals. If you want your home to be free from toxic chemicals, try following the above listed ways to help rid your home of these harmful substances.

How Can We Avoid the Effects of Toxic Chemicals?

This past Tuesday, I attended a conference put on by the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), entitled “Birth Defects, Learning Disabilities, Obesity and Breast Cancer:  How Can We Avoid the Effects of Toxic Chemicals?”  Although many of the chemicals discussed were those that we at the Organic Beauty have been writing about for some time (see 4 Steps to Naturalize Your Life), hearing first hand about the research and catastrophic effects these chemicals have on our bodies, and particularly children, was very jarring.

A panel of brilliant doctors, many of them young fellows in the Children’s Environmental Health department at Mount Sinai, spoke about the effects of endocrine disruptors (like parabens, DDT, phthalates, PBDEs, BPA and DBP found in common plastics, electronics, furniture and beauty products) on reproductive and neurological development, as well as cancer, diabetes, and obesity.  These toxins are ubiquitous, but it is with persistent, on-going contact that the long-term effects begin to manifest.  What struck me most was how preventable  these environmental causes of disease are.  By taking action in our communities and taking manageable steps within our own homes, we can significantly lessen our exposure to toxins that can not us sick, but make our unborn children sick as well.

So… what can you do?  Become an educated consumer!

  • Use glass or stainless steel instead of plastics, especially when storing or cooking foods.  If you must use them, avoid #3 and #7 plastics, which are chock full of pretty much every toxic chemical we should be avoiding. This handy saying helps you remember: “Four, five, one and two, all the rest are bad for you!”
  • Avoid using vinyl shower curtains.  Like many other products mentioned here, these contain phthalates, the fumes from which are then inhaled every time you enter your bathroom.  Phthalates disrupt development of male reproductive organs, lower sperm count, and damage the endocrine and immune systems.
  • Use natural beauty products.  I mean honestly, at this point there is no excuse not to!  There are countless affordable, natural products out there with ingredients that are recognizable.  If you don’t know what it is, don’t put it on your skin.  At the very least, make sure anything you put on your body and hair is paraben-free, phthalate-free, and SLS-free.
  • Clean your home with a wet mop and/or a vinegar solution, and when you must use cleaning solutions, make sure they are natural and non-toxic as well.  Everything you use to clean your house with is inhaled by you, your family, and your pets.  If it’s full of disease-causing toxins, that’s what you’re going to get…disease and toxicity.  Cleaning with homemade solutions is infinitely cheaper than store-bought as well!
  • Buy fragrance-free products, or those scented with essential oils only.  Nearly every common product with a fragrance, from lotions and shampoo to detergent and countertop spray, contain toxic VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that increase risk of all manner of cancer as well as neurodevelopmental disorders like ADD, ADHD, autism, behavioral problems and lower IQ.
  • Only use DBP, formaldehyde and toluene-free nail polish.  There are loads of brands that are now free of these chemicals, so again, there really is no excuse to expose your body to these deadly, carcinogenic chemicals, especially if you are, or are around, a pregnant woman!  (Priti and O.P.I. are just a few of the safer brands)
  • Choose PBDE-free electronics and furniture (especially mattresses).  PBDEs are flame retardants that are found in most older, stuffed furniture items and rugs, and many electronics like phones, TVs and computers.  When buying any of these items, verify that they are free of PBDEs, which decrease thyroid hormone levels, damage reproductive systems, and cause neurological symptoms as well.  The EWG has a handy PBDE Guide everyone should check out! 
  • Avoid canned foods and beverages, unless they are BPA-free.  Almost all canned foods and beverages contain BPA, which can have devastating effects on the neurological and reproductive systems, and has also been linked to heart disease, intestinal damage, diabetes, and obesity.  So far, Eden Organics is the only brand that has made the switch to all BPA-free cans.  But Trader Joe’s and Wild Planet offers some, but far from all, products in BPA-free cans.
  • Wash your hands after handling thermal receipts.  Those smooth, warm, thermal receipts used by so many retailers are made up of nearly 3% pure BPA, which then gets onto your skin and even straight into your mouth.  Always wash your hands after touching the receipts, or forgo them altogether!
Dr. Philip Landrigan, who moderated the panel, added the following universal recommendations for avoiding exposure to these dangerous toxins:
  • AVOID SMOKING
  • REDUCE YOUR CLIMATE FOOTPRINT (which lessens universal risk of exposure)
  • USE INTEGRATED PEST MANAGEMENT (instead of toxic pesticides, sprays and fumes)
  • EAT LOW ON THE FOOD CHAIN — A MOSTLY PLANT-BASED DIET
  • EAT ORGANIC WHENEVER POSSIBLE (which lowers exposure to pesticides by a whopping 90%)
  • JOIN A FOOD CO-OP  (or start one if there isn’t one in your area)
  • BE A CITIZEN!  (nothing will change if we don’t make our voices heard.  All of these environmental causes of disease are preventable, and with enough public pressure, we can get these toxins banned!)
 

10 Most Dangerous Household Toxins for Pets

Detoxifying our homes, beauty routines, and eating habits obviously has a huge impact on our health and well-being, but what we often don’t take into account is the effect it has on the health and longevity of our pets as well.  Our pets inhale our cleaning supplies, lick the floors, kiss our skin, and eat food of often questionable content.  Focusing on quality, non-toxic products and natural foods and treats will help your pet live longer and be much healthier!

10 Most Common Household Toxins for Dogs
  • Chocolate.  We all know chocolate can be deadly for dogs, and it is super important to consider places chocolate can be hiding (like candy bars, cake, and ice cream) so as to keep pets away from it at all costs.  Chocolate contains theobromine, which causes severe stomach upset, vomiting, seizures, blood pressure elevation in dogs and cats.  So no tasting (no matter how much they beg!), and keep those chocolatey treats covered and in a cabinet where pets can’t get to it. 
  • Insect Bait Stations.  All those little ant and roach houses are full of super toxic poisons.  Even though a dog can’t crawl inside, it can chew through the trap and get to the poison nonetheless.  Choose a non-toxic, pet-safe alternative if you have a bug problem to control.  EcoSmart has some really good products made with plant oils that are safe for pets AND humans!
  • Rodenticide.  Although there is definitely a valid ethical argument against using rodenticides, some people still choose to use them, which is fine, provided they don’t accidentally poison an unintended animal!  There are some organic rodenticides on the market that only target rodents, and are generally harmless to other animals and humans.  Kiwicare makes one that is supposed to work really well.  But try to research some other options before resorting to poison.  Sometimes, fixing some holes or crack in walls and floors, or keeping food covered and tightly sealed and be enough of a remedy!
  • Chemical Fertilizers.  Ever see those signs on fertilized lawns warning you to keep pets and children away?  That’s there for a reason.  Fertilizers can cause seizures, liver and kidney damage, and potentially fatal levels of toxicity in pets.  Use caution when letting your dog play on any manicured lawn, because you never know what it’s been treated with!
  • Xylitol.  This sugar substitute is found in many sugar-free gums, diet products, and processed foods, and can cause severe hypoglycemia, acute toxicity, and even death in dogs.  If you occasionally feed your dog human food, make sure it is a whole food like a good quality meat, fruit, or vegetable (but not onions!)… Never feed your dog processed junk food that isn’t even health-supportive for you!
  • NSAIDs like Advil and Tylenol.  Unless recommended by your vet in specific doses, these over-the-counter medicines can cause a potentially lethal build-up of toxicity in your pet, and can cause severe stomach ulcers and kidney damage.  NEVER give your dog human medication unless your vet prescribed it!
  • Silica gel.  Those little packets that come in your vitamins and other products are sometimes irresistible to pets, both as little toys to bat around, and as a snack.  Although a tiny amount won’t do much harm if eaten, a larger packet ingested by a small dog could wreak all kinds of havoc.  Dispose of these packets immediately in a place your pup can’t reach.
  • Toxic household cleaners.  Pets come into much more direct contact with the cleaning solvents we use than even we do… They eat things off the floor, walk on and touch various surfaces and lick their paws, and lick everything.  Just as non-toxic household cleaners are important for your health, they can be even more important for the health of your pets.  Make sure to only use non-toxic cleaning supplies that are natural when possible.  Click here for an extensive list of recommendations!
  • Poisonous houseplants.  Some houseplants are poisonous and potentially deadly for both dogs and cats, so before bringing home a new plant-buddy, make sure to check the plant against the ASPCA list of toxins!
  • Onions, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and caffeine.  All these foods can cause irreversible damage to your dog’s internal organs, and in some cases could even be fatal.  Feeding your dog human food can be a great choice, but make sure you’re making educated decisions for your pet.  Not everything that is good for us is good for them!


10 Most Common Household Toxins for Cats

  • Lillies.  These beautiful flowers are highly poisonous to cats.  Eating just a few leaves can cause organ failure and even death!  Best to keep lillies out of a kitty household altogether.
  • Canine Flea and Tick Medicine.  Households with both types of animals need to be very careful.  Medicine that is recommended for dogs can be lethal for cats, like the common topical flea and tick treatments used.  Opt for a natural alternative to flea and tick treatments, like those found on Only Natural Pet.
  • Toxic household cleaners.  Same as for their canine buddies, these toxic chemicals are bad for all beings!  See above.
  • Rodenticide.  See above.
  • Paints and varnishes.  Just like many commercial paints and varnishes are super toxic to humans, our furry friends are especially vulnerable to the carcinogenic toxins in many of these products.  VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) used to be a necessary component of indoor paints, but no longer.  There are many safer low-VOC and no-VOC paints and varnishes on the market these days that are just as effective!  Check out Earth Easy for all kinds of awesome, safe, non-toxic solutions for all of your painting needs.
  • Glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark jewelry.   These relics of your 90’s party days are full of chemicals that can be especially toxic to kitties.  If your nostalgic streak keep you from throwing them out, keep them out of your cat’s reach!
  • Amphetamines.  ADD/ADHD drugs and other amphetamines may be what keeps you functional, but to a cat, it could spell heart attacks, tremors, and even death.  And the worst part is, cats are especially attracted to these drugs, so it’s especially important to keep them hidden away.
  • NSAIDs like Advil and Tylenol.  See above.
  • Onions, garlic, and root vegetables.  These contain a substance that destroys red blood cells in cats, and can cause serious anemia.
  • Chocolate.  We all know that chocolate can be lethal to dogs, but it also has some terrible effect for cats!  A good blanket rule is to keep chocolate away from all domestic animals.
    If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, or has ingested any of the above, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA National Animal Poison Control Center at 1-888-426-4435.

    Everyday Products That Can Cause Cancer

    Not to be alarmist, but I really do believe that making informed decisions about what we put in and on our bodies is the first step to preventing disease and extending our life spans significantly. A leading cancer institute recently released a list of common foods and products that have been linked to cancer.  Though it is really important to be aware of this these risks, it is also valuable to point out that genetics, environmental factors, and exposure to other toxins and carcinogens greatly effect the degree to which certain foods/products will effect you.  For example, someone who eats a clean, organic diet, and uses organic cleaning and grooming products (like all of us Organic Beauties!) may be less effected by the regular consumption of coffee than someone who is on the Standard American Diet and uses conventional, toxic products on their body and in their home.  If any of the following products figure prominently in your diet and lifestyle, it might be time to rethink your habits!

    • ALCOHOL:  Regular consumption of alcohol has been linked 3.5% of cancer deaths worldwide.  Alcohol increases risk of breast and ovarian cancer, colon cancer, mouth, esophagus, pharynx and larynx cancers, as well as liver and stomach cancers.  Women especially should limit their alcohol consumption to 1 drink per day (men up to two).
    • COFFEE:  Coffee has recently been labeled a class 2B carcinogen (along with chloroform, DDT, and gasoline exhaust), but the research around coffee consumption (who should and should not drink it, and how much is safe) is still relatively inconclusive. A recent study found that coffee decreased risk of prostate cancer in men who consume 6 cups or more per day.  At the same time, other studies have found that drinking 2 or more cups a day increases risk of bladder and lung cancers.  Coffee has also been linked to a host of other health problems.  Unless directed otherwise, try to limit coffee consumption to a cup a day..  Green tea and yerba mate are great alternatives to get that caffeine fix, and have a lot of beneficial properties as well!
    • ANTIPERSPIRANT:  Aluminum, a known carcinogen, is the main ingredient in antiperspirants, which block your pores and inhibits the release of toxins from your body.  Both the aluminum and this blockage causes an increase in toxicity of the lymphatic system, which can cause a whole host of problems, including breast cancer, lymphoma, prostate cancer, as well as other diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  For non-toxic alternatives to antiperspirant, see my article “Smell Like a Rose, With No Lasting Side Effects!”
    • BODY WASH AND BUBBLE BATH:  Almost ALL conventional beauty products contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which has been linked to many different forms of cancer and a whole mess of other complications.  Parabens feature pretty prominently in these products as well. Children and babies are especially susceptible to this chemical, which is very common in most bubble baths and children’s soaps.  For yourself, and definitely for your children, start reading your ingredients and consider switching to a natural or organic product.  (Click here to read more about revolutionizing your beauty routine).
    • TALCUM POWDER:  You can find talc in makeup, powders, and baby powder (where it’s especially dangerous for the same reasons you read above).  Exposure to talc (which has similar properties to asbestos) significantly increases risk of ovarian and lung cancers.  Try using corn starch-based baby powders and organic mineral makeup instead!
    • CELLULAR PHONES:  We’ve been hearing debate on this topic pretty much since the introduction of cell phones into our culture.  Earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a statement stating that radio frequency electromagnetic fields, including cell phones, are “possibly carcinogenic” to people (a class 2B carcinogenic classification), and could increase risk of developing brain tumors and acoustic neuromas.   CDMA phones (by Verizon and Sprint) are generally a bit safer than GSM phones (by AT&T and T-Mobile), due to the fact that they emit a steady stream of medium range radiation, as opposed to the pulsating radiation of the latter class of phone.  The safest route is to use headphones…NOT Bluetooth devices!  And never keep your phone in your pocket, close to your chest or reproductive organs.

    {adapted from my post on One Minute News]