It’s back-to-school season, and while most of us rush to find the best sales on the teacher recommended school supplies, it’s also important to keep an eye out for eco-friendly items. Not only do they help the environment, but they’re also better for our children’s health.
In many areas of life, I believe we will all look and feel better if we eat more veggies…especially for our kids. While growing tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and carrots truly drives home the message to eat more vegetables…we always start out small and take baby steps. So, to celebrate spring and Earth Day we set out to create our own easy indoor herb garden. I’m lucky to have a creative friend that loves to rally around wellness activities. Together with her kids and my son, we made shopping and planting our own herb garden a fun, family activity.
If I could have one wish, outside of winning the lottery and maintaining good health for my family, I would ask a genie in a bottle to grant me a cleaning lady daily. I feel calmer when my house is organized, free of dust bunnies and relatively clean. Since I haven’t seen the big check yet, I’m still looking for ways to keep my house presentable. Now that I embrace a clean lifestyle, it’s not just about eating wholesome foods, keeping active and wearing mineral makeup, it’s also about using non-toxic cleaning products within the home. Many conventional cleaning products have chemicals and other ingredients that are potentially harmful for our health.
The bright lights, celebratory feasts and gifts galore enhance the holiday season. However, all the wrapped presents and Christmas lights shining all night long, form a ton of excess garbage and energy. The Center for Disease Control reports that Americans throw away about 25% more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. If every American family wrapped just three presents in reused materials, it would save enough paper to cover 45,000 football fields. That got me thinking. Since I research and report on taking small steps toward better health, why don’t I investigate easy, eco-friendly tips to go green this holiday season.
As a recovering work-obsessed multi-tasker, I spent most days analyzing work and life situations while also writing emails, listening to conference calls in the car driving, or reading industry information during exercise sessions. The idea of “doing it all” energized me. But truthfully, I was always exhausted and stressed. I took yoga a few times to “de-stress,” but found limiting my thoughts to be impossible. In addition, I felt foolish because I thought everyone around me was “better at stretching.” So I gave up before I really even began. Despite my lackluster first experiences with it, I ran to yoga after my second breast cancer diagnosis and haven’t turned back since.
“The current system is failing consumers,” a quote today during the U.S. Senate committee meeting on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions about the cosmetics industry. Personal care products are being regulated under laws that haven’t been updated since 1938, so a number of advocacy groups and political leaders are working to change this through the Personal Care Products Safety Act. It doesn’t matter your socio-economic status, personal background or where you live in this country…you should care. Why? Because what you put on your body, goes into your bloodstream. Many toothpastes, shaving creams, lotions, shampoos, lipsticks, gel nail polish, hair straighteners and the list goes on…are filled with toxins. Our skin is our largest organ and we absorb all the chemicals into our bodies. Studies have shown that these toxins may include hormone disrupters that fuel cancers, agitate allergies and influence fertility. So, what can you do?