Ban Plastic Bags and Encourage Gross National Happiness

Sure, why not they’re doing it in New Delhi! In the mid 1980s I was in Switzerland when I went to make a shopping trip to a local grocery store the friends who I was staying with told me to bring a shopping bag, otherwise I’d have to buy one to tote home the groceries. I can’t recall how much they were though I do recall thinking the price of the bags were expensive and thus a deterrent. I never once recalled seeing a plastic bag blowing around in the swirling breezes of the Alps, nor hung-up in a tree limb. As a matter of fact, upon arriving at JFK Airport and driving into NYC I found our country, the USA, quite filthy in comparison to Switzerland. Our streets, yards and air more resembling trash receptacles of our lazy and careless ways.

Perhaps, the economic crisis we’re in the midst of might turn out to be a good thing. We are consuming less, something we clearly NEED to do more of – shift our old ways of thinking and doing. But what would it be like if the US adopted a much different measure of our country’s worth? What if we used a country like Bhutan whose Gross National Happiness is deemed more important than the Gross National Product??? Instead of focusing on gross domestic product (GDP), we modeled Bhutan and gross national happiness (GNH). Continue reading Gross National Happiness and Lessons… Continue reading

Bailing Ship as Obama Takes Office

If this wasn’t so pathetic it ‘might’ be humorous… news of persons in government and big industries ‘bailing ship’ or being asked to resign as the day draws nearer to Obama entering the White House. I know that many of you have known for years that not only has our current administration been incredibly corrupt and that almost EVERY big company/industry has been too. Over the next week, and I’m sure over the next few months, finally… we’ll be seeing many more people being asked to resign or leaving higher positions – THANK GOD!!! Here are just a couple stories of people we will be glad to see go overboard… let’s start doing our Happy Dance!

CDC director resigns effective January 20 (CNN) — Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will leave her post by noon on January 20, the day President-elect Barack Obama is to be sworn in to office.

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has resigned effective January 20.

In an e-mail to the staff at the Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the CDC, outgoing HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt asked Gerberding and several other senior officials from his team to submit their letters of resignation. “She did so, and it was accepted, and it is effective January 20,” CDC spokeswoman Karen Hunter said.

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Harmful Chemicals in Hair Care and Skin Care Products

It makes my head spin just thinking about this topic, the number of synthetic and chemical ingredients that go into hair and skin care products is enormous. The scary part is… many of the chemicals have never been tested for human safety… hmmmm, and we’re slathering this stuff all over our bodies!? Yikes!

I stopped buying commercial skin and hair products twenty years ago. I had to stop… I couldn’t stand the poor results, the high cost, the amount of product needed (making even the cheaper brands FAR more expensive because I needed to use so much of the junk), the smells (YUCK!), and the fact that the ingredients are toxic chemicals. At the same time, I was beginning to get into higher quality essential oils – and am I glad that I did. Bringing them into my life and learning how to use them has been one of the smarter things I’ve done for myself. I cannot tell you how free-ing it is to not be in that consumer rat-trap and a part of the crowd that is locked into that whole system of really awful products, yes that includes the much more expensive brands too (which I once bought also).

I don’t really understand why the majority of the population is still locked into that trap, perhaps it’s due to human habit. I do know this, I am sooo glad that I found my way out of it… with the economy tanking, health care costs rising, the last thing I want in my life are products that WILL make me ill and/or diseased.

For the past 8 years, I’ve been using Young Living Essential Oils shampoo/conditioner. They have three really super quality shampoo’s & conditioners: Lavender, Lemon-Sage, and Rosewood. Yes, the price is high but I use so little – the conditioner, I probably only need to buy 4 bottles a year – that’s a whole lot cheaper than Suave and Pantene (which I refuse to put on my hair due to the nasty chemicals). I believe one 8 oz. bottle of the Young Living shampoo lasts me a little over two months, I think that’s amazing. My hair is soft, shiny and in really nice shape (I never blow dry my hair, that’s way too damaging, instead I wash my hair at night and let it air dry). The YL hair care smell fabulous – they contain the YL therapeutic-grade essential oils and the best part, they don’t have any chemicals that are going to create health problems! Continue reading

Are These Toxic Chemical Ingredients in Your Brand Name Products?

These days more than ever it’s a good idea to become a “Label Reader” – in that teeny-tiny fine print on the label manufacturers do list ‘some’ ingredients (I say ‘some’ because it’s ‘not’ mandatory, by the US government, for companies to list all of the ingredients – and some products don’t list any ingredients, which you can be 100% certain contain some of the worst toxic chemicals).

Between advertising, less than honest companies looking to capitalize on a study done by someone who has a “special interest,” and the fact that new chemicals and slight variatons of old ones comprise a larger than ever percentage of ingredients we can very safely assume that these products are nothing more than a ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing.” So, these companies lead us around like bull’s with rings in our noses and we are expected to follow like ‘good little sheep’ and never question them or resist.  

Here’s a list of ‘some’ of what is commonly found in the products you use daily (I say ‘you’ because I don’t spend my money on products that contain these and other toxins) – look at the labels on the personal care products in your home right now and see what’s in them. It’s better to be a label reader now, than to pay for it dearly later! So get out those reading glasses and have a look-see…
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Buying Things – what happens and where are we headed

Professor of Consumerism

Professor of Consumerism

Our country is facing serious times. On the heels of sky-high fuel prices this summer, a massive financial crisis has sent the economy into a tailspin. As the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear, do consumers ever wonder what goes into producing all of those items that we go into hock for and what happens to their stuff from holidays past?

Consumer mania may have been born from the post World War II era, but economic manipulation has driven consumerism to where it is today and the condition of the environment. From the limited life cycle of personal computers to changes in footwear fashion, products are either designed to be regularly replaced or to convince consumers that their stuff needs to be upgraded. This notion of planned and perceived obsolescence drives the machine of American consumerism year round. 

Watch this inspiring 20 minute video about the things we take for granted and solutions that can make a difference…

How we can invent and invest our way out of the pollution-based grey economy and into the healthy new green economy?

If you liked The Story of Stuff and the messages it conveys, download it for free or purchase the DVD and share it with your community by showing the film at a house party, or classroom, or church group, or neighborhood association or any other location. Here is everything you need to organize a successful event

In the book, The Green Collar Economy, acclaimed activist and political advisor Van Jones delivers a real solution that both rescues our economy and saves the environment. A New York Times best-seller The Green Collar Economy is not a dire warning but rather a substantive and viable plan for solving the biggest issues facing the country–the failing economy and our devastated environment. From a distance, it appears that these two problems are separate, but when we look closer, the connection becomes unmistakable.

Stacy Malkan’s groundbreaking expose’ about toxic chemicals in personal care products has won a top award from the independent publishing industry. Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry (New Society Publishers 2007) received a 2008 Silver IPPY from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the category of Health/Medicine/Nutrition. The contest honors the best independently published books of the year in 64 categories.

It is for all the reasons above why I’ve taken the time to learn about Young Living therapeutic-grade essential oils and create this blog… so that I might help others make a difference in their lives and in the world. If you’re interested in some of the ways I use essential oils in place of common over-the-counter medicines and toxic household cleaners visit my page on Making the Switch.

Flame Retardants are Poisoning Us and Our Kids

Article submitted by Evelyn Vincent, Young Living Essential Oil Distributor

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found a fire retardant chemical used in electronics, toys, and furniture in children’s blood at triple the levels found in their mothers. The EWG is a Washington, D.C. based nonprofit group that studies environmental toxins.

It conducted a pilot study of 20 families, taking blood samples from mothers and young children up to the age of four. They were looking for PBDEs or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, a hormone-disrupting pollutant that builds up in the body. Because children are generally more at risk from exposure to harmful chemicals, their organs are still developing and lower concentrations of toxic chemicals can have a disproportionate effect on them, the findings are cause for some concern.

PBDE stands for polybrominated diphenyl ethers, a class of related chemicals each with slightly different uses and potential health risks. Europe and some U.S. states have banned the use of some PBDEs, which are in such wide use in part because other flame retardants have been banned because of their toxicity. Promoters of PBDEs point out that reducing fire risk from consumer products, like furniture and electronics, has saved many lives, and the risks of toxic exposure or hormonal disruption is small or unproven. Continue reading

What do Grain Milling, Cotton Shirts and Burning Coal have in Common? Arsenic!

by Curt Siters, Young Living Distributor

In August of 2008 the American Medical Association, in its flagship publication The Journal of American Medicine, published a preliminary research on a possible connection between Arsenic and not “old Lace” but Diabetes. Specifically Type 2 Diabetes. I read about this in print media just today and did some research. The results were mostly (at least the first few pages of search results) blogs regurgitating and commenting on it or news stories citing either the AP or Reuters. Kind of disheartening. So I tightened my search criteria and found good results after eliminating the chaff.

I got the source - JAMA. Which is what I wanted. Then I decided to go even further and eliminate AP, Reuters, CNN, anything related to the U.S., and came up with some interesting research into Arsenic and how it impacts health. Worldwide research has linked Arsenic to hypo/hyperpigmentation, hyperkeratosis, and skin cancers, bladder cancer, ischemic heart disease, hypertension and diabetes mellitus (a Taiwanese study) and much more. In France, the research is well underway to determine how Arsenic causes diabetes as shown in this research from 2004. Continue reading

Back-to-School Cooties and Hand Santiziers

Back-to-school season is upon us, that means kids are going to be exposed to more cooties than usual. I was just doing a little reading about some of these hand sanitizers that are all over the place these days and one ingredient in them stood out - Isopropyl alcohol. Do you know what Isopropyl alcohol is? I didn’t until I checked Wikipedia. I also found an article on WebMed on how some people think that because hand sanitizers can have as much alcohol as Vodka that some people drink the hand sanitizer… what these people don’t realize is that Isopropyl alcohol is not the same kind of alcohol!

I wouldn’t want my kid using any products that are that toxic, maybe you feel the same way???

So… before you stock up on Purell you might want to read this first…

Purell and other hand sanitizers contain Isopropyl alcohol, here’s what you need to know: Continue reading

Chemicals in our Daily Foods

This is pretty cool… there’s an interactive refrigerator … scroll over the foods and get an idea how many poisonous chemicals are either in or on common everyday foods! I really think we need to get serious and demand that these very toxic chemicals be banned – having them in our lives is no way to live.

The US Food and Drug Administrations – Total Diet Study 1991-1993 through 2003-2004:  a summary of pesticide results found in foods. It’s a very large PDF (121 pages) so be patient while it downloads. 

Chemicals in your Body – your Body Burden

Whites absorb more nonstick and stain- and water-resistant products contaminates…

A suspected carcinogen used to make nonstick and stain- and water-resistant products contaminates white Americans at three times the rate of Mexican Americans and nearly twice that of blacks, according to new data from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.Men in all three groups are slightly higher than women, according to the research, slated for publication in the April 1 edition of Environmental Science and Technology.

CDC researchers cannot explain the differences, though genetic and lifestyle factors are primary culprits.

“It is difficult to know,” said Antonia Calafat, senior research chemist at the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health and the paper’s lead author. “Everything would be a speculation.”
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Aloe Vera – what’s it good for and info for consumers

Aloe vera is an amazing plant. Its skin-healing properties are well-known. We use aloe vera gel in some of our moisturizers. The problem is that it can be used to perform a very clever trick at the expense of the organic consumer. Do you know what sleight-of-hand is? It’s when a stage magician makes you focus on something flashy in his right hand while he’s doing something tricky with his left hand that he doesn’t want you to notice. Some “organic” body care companies use aloe to do something similar.

Aloe vera gel is available in a very, very concentrated forma dry powder, in fact. (Nothing wrong with that so far.) It’s so concentrated that a very, very small amount dissolved in ordinary tap water makes reconstituted aloe vera gel. How small? One two-hundredth of the amount of water by weight or one-half of one percent.

Now, something like a body lotion or a shampoo is normally somewhere in the neighborhood of 70% water and 30% core, or functional, ingredients: emollients or detergents with chemical preservatives added in. They’re nearly always a mixture of synthetic oleochemicals and/or petrochemicals. Yes, even at your “natural” products store.
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Skin Worthy of Celebration – Essential Beauty Serums

Vibrant, beautiful skin has always been considered an important part of health. But in today’s modern environment, soft, smooth, flawless skin can be difficult to achieve and even more challenging to maintain. As the body’s largest organ, your skin is constantly exposed to contaminated water, air pollution, and the sun, which can sabotage healthy skin and leave lasting effects on skin strength, resiliency, and appearance.

With the emerging trend in skin care products and services, anti-aging, acne-fighting, and other products targeting specific skin care needs are in the news often and on retail shelves everywhere. Most of these products boast of clinical research and proven results but, despite all the hype, can fall short on their promises.

Some consumers have sought alternative means of achieving younger, healthier-looking skin, opting for face-lifts, eye-lifts, microderm abrasion, and specialty skin peels for fast, noticeable results. But even though surgical procedures are becoming more mainstream than ever, are you really willing to take the risk for youthful-looking skin? And when it comes to high-end or specialty skin care products, do you really get what you pay for?

No matter how popular these products and procedures are, they can quickly shrink the size of your wallet and present real risks to your health and beauty. As a result, consumers are asking for more medicinal-type truly natural products that are safe, efficacious, and affordable, with noticeable and lasting results.

The use of pure therapeutic-grade essential oils for skin care needs no introduction. Therapeutic-grade essential oils offer pure, potent plant remedies for the skin and have been used since ancient times for a number of skin care needs. It’s no secret that pure therapeutic-grade lavender essential oil nourishes stressed or sunburned skin, that sandalwood can hydrate and repair dry or damaged skin, that Melaleuca can prevent the recurrence of breakouts and blemishes.

The extensive history of essential oil use has prompted beauty, cosmetic, and skin care brands to use essential oils to improve the potency of their products. As the leader in the essential oil industry, Young Living recognizes the many benefits of essential oils and has always promoted the use of pure therapeutic-grade essential oils as an important part of any skin care regimen. Having set the standard in quality, therapeutic-grade essential oils, Young Living knows which oils deliver the best results and has carefully selected pure, unadulterated essential oils for premium skin care and beauty products.

I invite you to celebrate living with Young Living’s latest essential-oil-based products for the skin. Carefully formulated to treat specific skin care needs, Young Living is pleased to announce three essential-oil-based serums that can enhance your skin care routine and deliver enviable results.

Young Living Essential Beauty Serums

Specially formulated to treat dry, oily, or acne-prone skin, Young Living’s new line of Essential Beauty Serums is designed to protect, stregthen, and improve the appearance of skin. These new serums use pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils such as sandlewood, orange, lavender, and other rare, exotic essential oils like pink pepper, blue cypress, and davana, all known for their remarkable skin care benefits.

Utilizing a proprietary blend of skin-nourishing carrier oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, jojoba oil, rosehip seed oil, and wolfberry seed oil, the Essential Beauty Serums can be easily applied ad more readily absorbed in the skin to ensure you’re getting the maximum benefits.

Each of the Essential Beauty Serums can be used as a spot treatment before your moisturizer, sun block, or makeup is applied. If preferred, add three to five drops of the serum to Young Living’s ART Day Activator (item # 5170) and ART Night Reconstructor (item # 5171) creams, mix well in the palm of your hand, and spread evenly over the face and/or neck. Spot treatment can also be incorporated into this regime as needed.

Dry Skin ESSENTIAL OIL BEAUTY BLEND
sandlewood, blue cypress, cedarwood, myrrh, clove, and lavender
Essential beauty benefits: Moisturizes and nourishes dehydrated skin. item # 3782

Oily Skin ESSENTIAL OIL BEAUTY BLEND
spearmint, nutmeg, pink pepper, orange, and davana
Essential beauty benefits: Controls surface oils and minimizes shine. item # 3781

Acne-Prone Skin ESSENTIAL OIL BEAUTY BLEND
Melalueuca alternifolia, cedarwood, Eucalyptus staigeriana, manuka, and red thyme
Essential beauty benefits: Soothes blemished skin and discourages future breakouts. item # 3783

Get Young Living Beauty Serums here!

Learn more about making the switch to safe solutions.

Hidden Sources of MSG: in regular & organic foods!

For those of you who haven’t had time to do a little research on MSG, I’ve put together some very interesting excerpts from, Truth in Labeling.org. I’ve been buying organic foods for probably 30 years now. A few years back I remember the organic people getting all upset about the USDA take-over of the organic regulations. We knew that they would ‘not’ live up to our high expectations, we just weren’t sure how they would completely destroy a very important and necessary industry. Well, I’ve found some answers….

Excerpts on MSG from Truth in Labeling

Beware – “Organic” Doesn’t Mean “No MSG”

“Autolyzed Yeast” and “Natural Flavoring” in organic products contain just as much processed free glutamic acid (MSG) as in conventional products.

In the late 1990s, when the Truth in Labeling Campaign became aware that there was to be a National Organic Program run by the USDA, we were fearful that placing a national organic program with the USDA would almost certainly undermine the integrity of the organic industry. Our deep seated concern stemmed from our growing understanding of the tremendous pro-big business, consumer-be-dammed influences exerted over Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and USDA staffs by the food and drug industries; and our growing understanding of  FDA and USDA infrastructures that enabled revolving door policies whereby industry personnel rotated in and out of the FDA and USDA, and/or FDA and USDA employees took lucrative jobs in the food and/or drug industries after retiring from the FDA or USDA. (We would later learn that those same influences affected decisions made my the US. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)).
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Do You Know What’s in the Food You’re Eating?

Here’s a link to another post that you may find interesting too:
The Little Surprises in our Foods – Excitotoxins that are killing us and our kids daily

I recently came across this interview, with Mike Adams and Dr. Russell Blaylock, and found it EXTREMELY interesting. I wanted to help make it more available because I strongly believe that all of us ‘need’ to know things like this so that we can make educated and smart choices for ourselves and families. I realize the interview is long but it is so worthy of the time, there are pieces of important information scattered throughout. ” Nutrition & Behavior” and “The Truth About Aspartame” are terrific lecture DVD’s. Some truth’s about fluoride may be of interest to you as well.
Originally published September 27 2006

Interview with Dr. Russell Blaylock on devastating health effects of MSG, aspartame and excitotoxins

Mike: I’m here with Dr. Russell Blaylock, and I’d like to explore some of the more advanced aspects of some of the things you are working on. Dr. Blaylock, I think readers know the basics of both MSG and aspartame, but can you review what you’ve already written about excitotoxins?

Dr. Russell Blaylock: I have three books. The first one is the excitotoxin book, “Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills,” and the latest one is “Health and Nutrition Secrets That Can Save Your Life.” The third one is “Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients,” which is directed at nutritional treatments for cancer. It contains some material about aspartame and MSG.

Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer growth and metastasis. In fact, one aspartame researcher noticed that, when cancer cells were exposed to aspartame, they became more mobile, and you see the same effect with MSG. It also causes a cancer cell to become more mobile, and that enhances metastasis, or spread. These MSG-exposed cancer cells developed all of these pseudopodians and started moving through tissues, which is one of the earlier observations from cancer.

When you increase the glutamate level, cancer just grows like wildfire, and then when you block glutamate, it dramatically slows the growth of the cancer. Researchers have done some experiments in which they looked at using glutamate blockers in combination with conventional drugs, like chemotherapy, and it worked very well. It significantly enhanced the effectiveness of these cancer drugs.

Mike: Wasn’t there some research that came out recently that supports all this by establishing a correlation between leukemia and aspartame?

Dr. Blaylock: Yes. This Italian study was very well done. It was a lifetime study, which is very important with these toxins. They fed animals aspartame throughout their lives and let them die a natural death. They found a dramatic and statistically significant increase in the related cancers of lymphoma and leukemia, along with several histological types of lymphomas, which is of interest because H.J. Roberts had written an article saying that there was a significant increase in the primary lymphoma of the brain.
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Fluoride and Other Toxic Chemicals vs. Nontoxic Essential Oil Dental Care

Question:
What major industrial pollutant and industrial waste product, lies between lead and arsenic on the toxicity scale, and yet is continually promoted as being good for us?

Answer: Fluoride, and it’s not being promoted as safe anymore, at least not by consumer groups who collect data on its toxicity.

One group – Health Action Network Society (HANS) – is urging its members to stop using fluoride in any form.

The organization, based in British Columbia, researches self-care and preventive health issues. In a recent press release, it made the case for avoiding the substance that the dental industry has long touted as a healthful substance which strengthens tooth enamel.

On the contrary, says HANS, fluoride is not a nutrient; it is a toxic industrial waste – obtained from scrubbing the air emissions from smelters and phosphate fertilizer plants. It is causing severe environmental degradation in Canada and may, notes the group, be contributing to the rapid depletion of salmon stocks.
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