Tag Archives: Health

Why use Organic Baby Shampoo and Wash

Your baby’s skin is the largest and most delicate organ. Yet we regularly massage the skin with products loaded with petrochemical ingredients. If you would read the label on the back of your child’s shampoo or wash bottle, you would see dyes, preservatives, synthetic foams, parabens and petrochemicals. Remember, the skin is a porous membrane, so up to 60% of products that are applied to skin will make its way into the body. This results in over 90 industrial chemicals that the body can’t breakdown and eliminate. This material will accumulate over time and can lead to serious diseases like cancer.

The average consumer can’t fully determine the long term dangers of applying various chemicals and corrosives to their children’s skin and scalp. As more parents are becoming aware, they are reconsidering using conventional bath products. Here is a further listing of some of the harmful ingredients in many conventional bath products:

  • Diethanolamine or DEA – This is a carcinogen that if used repeatedly could lead to cancer.
  • Propylene Glycol – Ingredient in industrial antifreeze. Gives shampoo slippery characteristic.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate – Inexpensive detergent chemical that creates foam. Found in most dish detergents.
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate – Found in industrial engine degreasers.
  • Ammonium Lauryl Sulfate- Inexpensive detergent and makes mixtures foam well.
  • Olefin Sulfonate – Deodorized kerosene

True organic shampoo and wash products offer a wealth of benefits for hair and skin that will be immediately noticeable. Organic products gently infuse your hair follicles and skin cells with natural minerals, herbal extracts, and oils. Keep in mind that not every natural ingredient is safe for a baby’s delicate skin. Some essential oils may be irritating so when choosing a shampoo or body wash for your baby, read the label carefully and be sure it has been proven safe for infants. There are lots of shampoos to choose from, so check out a few to see which one best meets your needs.

Vermont Soap Organic Baby Wash is great because it is two products in one. It can be used to wash both baby’s hair and body.  Bath time will only take about two squirts–one for the body and one to shampoo hair.  Typically, one bottle will last much longer than most store bought brands. So even though it’s a little more per bottle, you will save in the long run. Plus you’re getting the benefit of knowing you’re using the most natural ingredients for your baby’s sensitive skin.

When you use organic bath products, you’re also helping your environment by letting bio-degradable substances go down the drain and not harsh chemicals.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Product Review, Sustainable Goods, Uncategorized

Benefits of Indoor Air Purifiers

Why Use an Air Purifier?

Indoor air pollution is widely recognized as one of the top environmental health risks.

Health effects
Symptoms can be mild and non-specific such as headaches, tiredness or lethargy; similar to colds and flu such as irritated eyes, nose or throat; or more severe such as aggravation of asthma or allergic responses. People who are more susceptible to air pollutants including newborns, young children, elderly people, heart patients, people with bronchitis, asthma, hay fever or emphysema, and smokers.

Pets and Pollen
Many animal allergens (from cats, dogs, birds or even cockroaches) can also spell problems for some people. The allergens are usually contained in the animal’s droppings, saliva or dander (tiny skin scales) and can become airborne when small particles dry and fall off. In people sensitive to them, inhaling these allergens can trigger a reaction in the lungs or nose, through asthma or hay fever.

Moulds and Mildew
These are fine, often invisible spores become airborne and can be inhaled. Damp areas in the house are a perfect place for mold and fungal growth, as are water-damaged carpets and building materials.
In people sensitive to mould spores, inhaling them can cause various allergic reactions. Mould can also produce poisons known as mycotoxins which, when absorbed, can sometimes affect the nervous system. Some fungi can also infect various parts of the body, particularly the lungs and skin.

Air Purifiers can eliminate these pollutants leaving the air clean and fresh.

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Are There Harmful Ingredients in Your Shaving Cream?

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There are many options when it comes to the ingredients in shaving cream. The most popular shaving creams tend to be less expensive and filled with ingredients you probably can’t pronounce. In anumber of cases, higher quality shaving soaps and creams and lotions tend to contain more pure ingredients that are better for you and your skin. Are these unpronounceable ingredients harmful chemicals? It’s worth a look — after all, what you put on your body is just as important as what you put into it. There are several ingredients that can be found and avoided.

The most common chemicals to look for in aftershave / shaving creams are:

  • Benzyl acetate: linked to pancreatic cancer
  • Ethyle Acetate: May cause damage to the liver and kidneys, headaches and dehydration of the skin.
  • Terpineol: Linked to pneumonitis, central nervous system and respiratory damage, and headaches.
  • Propolene glycol is a humectant like glycerin, frequently found in antifreeze and brake fluid.
  • Triethanolamine (TEA) is anemulsifying agent, meaning it helps keep the oil and water from separating. Many formulas containing TEA are found to be contaminated with nitrosamines, which are linked to cancer.
  • Sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulphate (SLES): Lauryl mimics estrogen, which is especially problematic for women, and laureth often hosts a known carcinogen called dioxane.
  • Mineral Oil: Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum.

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Homemade Oatmeal Soap Recipe

Homemade soap is easy to make, relatively inexpensive, and a great alternative to chemical laden soaps. Homemade oatmeal soap has a beautiful rustic look and is a great exfoliant. Here is one of our favorite recipes:

Ingredients:natural soap

6 Tbsp Oatmeal
1 Bar of Castile Soap
Directions:
Blend the oatmeal in blender until nearly fine in texture.
Grate 1 bar of Castile soap into a microwaveable bowl.
Add 1 Tbsp of water to the Castile soap and microwave until melted.
Add the Oatmeal and mix until well blended.
Pour into a container and let harden.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Natural Remedies

Breathe Easy with Natural Air Fresheners

Everyone wants a nice smelling home, which is why air fresheners are so popular.  Many spray and plug-in fragrance products smell nice, but breathing in that fresh scent also causes you to inhale harmful chemicals such as phosphates, chlorine bleach, or ammonia.

These unnatural substances can cause allergic reactions, trigger asthma attacks, and irritate the lungs.

Spray fresheners dont just disappear into thin airthe chemicals linger on, staying in the home as they land on surfaces and floors and sink into carpets.

The Health Hazards of Home Air

Air fresheners that use chemicals to deodorize the air or cover odors with fragrances contain ingredients like camphor andparadichlorobenzene, which both have the capability to cause damage to the nervous system and increase cancer risk.

Unnatural fragrances added to products may contain formaldehyde, a carcinogen, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), known to cause cancer.

Fortunately, alternatives to chemical-based air fresheners naturally refresh and scent the air, are biodegradable, and are not harmful to your health.

Natural Air Fresheners

Here are some simple, homemade air fresheners to try:

  • Fresh Air; simply open a window. Windows should be opened for a few minutes each day. Indoor air can be more polluted then outside air due to outgassing of plastics, paints and surfaces
  • White vinegar removes odors naturally on surfaces and in the air
  • Candles from Beeswax or soy wax can wipe away odor particles and improve air quality
  • Potpourri made from leftover herbs can make a quick and easy air freshener
  • Baking soda absorbs odors, so place a few open boxes throughout the home
  • Boiling spices like cinnamon in a little bit of water releases its fragrance
  • Essential oils diluted in water can be used as a spray freshenrty a combination of your favorite essential oils like lemon and cedar

Eco Product Picks

Perfect Scents Air Freshener – The “Perfect Scents Green” air freshener is enviro-friendly and totally “green ” inside and out. It is made with natural essential oils and contains no propellants.  The continuous spray packaging is 100% recyclable aluminum.

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Filed under Healthy Living, Natural Remedies

Reasons Not to Drink Bottled Water

The bottle water industry exceeds $100 billion in revenue worldwide per year. The industry promotes bottle water as being a safe water option, but in reality bottled water is expensive, resource intensive and poses possible general health concerns.

Here are several reasons to reconsider the use of bottled water:

  1. Not Healthier –  Bottled water often contains more bacteria and impurities than tap water, because the EPA regulates municipal water systems more stringently than the FDA regulates bottled water. Since most water does not cross state lines, in many cases it is exempt from FDA oversight, while the water in your local municipal water system is regulated by the EPA. Municipal water systems are regularly tested bacteria and toxic chemicals.
  2. Resource Intensive – In the US, it takes the equivalent of more than 18 million barrels of oil to manufacture the bottles needed for the US bottled water industry. The energy and fuel costs needed to ship the the bottled water is also extremely expensive for a product that is readily available  from your own tap.
  3. Purchase Price – The purchase price for bottled water can range as high as the equivalent of $10 gallon when purchased from retail and vending machines. Compare this to gasoline that is less than $4 per gallon.
  4. Clean up Costs – It is estimated that is costs more than $80 million to clean up the more than 4 billion bottles that pass through the US wast stream.
  5. Waste - in the United States, less than 20% of PET bottles are recycled, resulting in over 1.2 million tons of plastic waste in US landfills.

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Filed under Energy Conservation, Healthy Living, Recycling, Water Conservation

Product Review: Vermont Soap Certified Organic Baby Wash Shampoo

In carrying for babies, one of the most important items is the shampoo and wash used in baby care. Parents should avoid exposing babies to many of the conventional shampoos. Many common shampoos are made with chemicals and corrosives that should concern many parents.

Thankfully there are organic shampoos available that do not contain harsh chemicals and irritants. Vermont Soap Certified Organic Baby Wash is one such product.  This product is is great because it’s two products in one. It serves as a body wash as well as shampoo. The easy to use bottle pump generates great bubbles and the wash is easily worked into lather.  Parents get the peace of mind of using a 2-in-1 product that is made of natural ingredients and is USDA certified, which is important when considering products that will be used on sensitive skin.

Vermont Soap Baby Wash

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Green Product Review: Perfect Scents Eco-Friendly Air Freshener

perfect scentsWe were introduced to the Perfect Scents Air Freshener by one of our customers. This natural air freshener is non-aerosol made solely from all-natural essential oils. It comes in a 100% recyclable container. Another nice feature is the continuous spray of the canister. Which allows for spraying the natural air freshener at any angle.

We tested the Exotic Tropical Rainforest for our test, but it also comes in Bountiful Bamboo Breeze. The scent is light and refreshing, but able to power through odors. The 7 oz. air freshener seemed to provide more total sprays compared to other similar size air fresheners.

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