Archive for July, 2010

Staying Young with Yoga

This morning I went to a yoga class that was held outside by a huge tree and a small lake.  It was amazing!!  Although, I realized I am not very flexible in certain areas.  Yoga is way of staying young, reducing stress and improving the body image.   The yoga instructor today said something very powerful,  “it’s cheaper to put time and energy into your body now versus waiting until later and the problems are more expensive.” True!  If your not familiar with Yoga here are a couple of moves to show you.

Oppose HR 5786: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010

H.R. 5786, the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010, was introduced into Congress on July 21, 2010, by Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc. As of the publication of this petition, the bill is new co-sponsored by Reps. John Conyers, D-Mi, Diane DeGette, D-Co, Alcee Hastings, D-Fl, Barbara Lee, D-Ca and James Moran, D-Va.

The bill was written with robust consultation with a private coalition of people claiming to represent the interests of consumers.

The sponsors of this petition are the men and women who manufacture cosmetics on a small scale in the country, and their customers and other people who support America’s small business owners.

Safe Cosmetics
While we are unquestionably in favor of safe cosmetics, this bill contains a number of unnecessary provisions that would decimate our nation’s small scale cosmetics manufacturers without any benefit at all to consumers.
This bill treats a company making 100 bottles of lotion each year the same way it treats a multi-billion dollar, multi-national company making 100 bottles of lotion each second. It is grossly unfair, unduly burdensome, intrusive and unnecessary in a number of aways, among them the following:

Point 1 – HR 5786 is unnecessary. Small cosmetics companies have a history of producing safe cosmetics pursuant to current laws that require companies to clearly identify the products they sell, provide all manufacturer contact information and truthfully label products with ingredients.
Point 2 – HR 5786 contains onerous registration requirements. HR 5786 contains intrusive and unnecessary requirements that would force small companies to disclose to the federal government information that the government does not need, which is unduly burdensome for small companies to provide and which does nothing to protect consumers from unsafe cosmetics. Specifically, in addition to having to register their company name and location, small companies would also have to file with the federal government product descriptions, product ingredients, trace ingredient in products, gross sales numbers, the name and contact information of the suppliers of the ingredients used in their cosmetics and their number of employees.
Point 3 –  HR 5786 contains unnecessary labeling requirements. Current cosmetics laws already require small companies to list ingredients on labels. HR 5786 expands labeling requirements to include trace elements found inside those ingredients. For example, a product containing water (or any other natural ingredient), would have to contain a label listing the water and also every other trace element inside that water. (Water contains a number of chemicals, including nickel, lead, copper, silver and dozens more — depending on the water source.) Requiring small companies to include such a list on each label is onerous and unnecessary.
Point 4 –  HR 5786 requires small companies to conduct unnecessary scientific testing. Under the bill as drafted, small companies would be required to test all of the products they make, and be in a position to produce data to the federal government about the ingredients, components of ingredients, and also, components that may be produced when known ingredients are combined. Those are impossible (and unnecessary) standards.
Point 5 –  HR 5786 is anti-American. At a time when our Congressional representatives should be seeking to revitalize the American economy, especially where manufacturing is concerned, HR 5786 would eliminate it in cites and towns in every state across this nation.
Point 6 – HR 5786 specifically allows all 50 states to pass stricter requirements. Even with the sweeping nature of HR 5786, it specifically states that each state can pass additional laws as it sees fit. This provision is Congressional permission for each state to pass whatever laws it wants, creating a patchwork quilt of laws that no small company can comply with. If Texas adds labeling or manufacturing requirements that are different from HR 5786, and also different from other states, then no company will be able to sell so much as a quarter-ounce tube of lip balm without first checking to make sure they are not in violation of 51 separate cosmetics laws. No small company can do that (and most large ones can’t either).
Point 7 – HR 5786 does not contain an exemption for small business owners. Many laws in this country exempt small companies because compliance would put them out of business without any real benefit to society. The same is true in this case. HR 5786 treats the smallest company making 50 products a day the same way it treats our nation’s multi-million dollar companies. While there is an exemption from the annual payment of fees, the testing and paperwork requirements in this bill place burdens on very small businesses that are unfair, overreaching, unnecessary, offensive and intrusive.

America’s Small Businesses
Our nation’s small cosmetics companies are in large part launched by men and women who want to create alternatives to products that can be purchased at “Big Box” stores. They use a high proportion of naturally occurring ingredients when compared to larger companies, and they are not producing cosmetics on a large scale at all. And that’s why their customers love their products, and that’s why Congress must make sure that it passes no law that puts them out of business without any benefit to consumers. This is one such law.

Summary: Small companies are the backbone of our nation’s economy. In fact, today, they are sustaining it almost single-handedly. As unemployment figures continue to rise, small companies are hiring employees, contractors, vendors and other small scale service providers to help their businesses grow.
Consumer Choice
At farmer’s markets, locally owned spas and boutiques and in the retail stores that small cosmetics manufacturers are opening everywhere, consumers are able to choose to buy a wide and appealing variety of cosmetics to suit their personal needs. They can choose from products made by big companies and they can choose from products made by smaller companies. That choice will be removed if HR 5786 becomes law. if that happens, consumers will be left with a small selection of products sold only by our nation’s largest retail chains.  America is filled with talented innovators and entrepreneurs who don’t need a big bank loan or a huge line of credit to manage a profitable business.

Small cosmetics companies can continue to do their share to carry this nation, but not if HR 5786 passes.
It is the duty of our Congressional representatives to pass laws that are carefully tailored to deal with specific problems that need to be addressed on a national scale. HR 5786 is not carefully tailored to help anyone.
If HR 5786 as drafted becomes law, it will close multiple thousands of small companies immediately and in one fell swoop.

Oppose HR 5786

We, the nation’s small cosmetics manufacturers, their customers, vendors, suppliers and other supporters, urge you to vote against HR 5786.

Onion can help with High Blood Pressure

In the last two weeks, I have been eating an onion everyday.  We grill it with some balsamic vinegar and serve it on rice , salads, basically anything.  It usually only takes 20 minutes to soften up.  I think the balsamic makes the flavor desirable.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out so many health benefits of an onion.  I found some good information on onions and lowering your blood pressure from Foods That Heal‘s site.  If a simple vegetable can produce so much goodness inside of you; it’s probably time to add it to your daily meal.

Is the Oil Spill Our Fault?

As consumers we need to be more aware of the products we buy.  Our dependence on oil might have contributed to the oil spill.  Here is a list of everyday products that we use that are made from petroleum.  Check out the list from Everyday Simplicity’s site.
Gulf focus shifts, but where is all the oil?
AFP/File – People on Panama City beach search for tar balls that might be caused by the oil leak in the Gulf of …

Wed Jul 28, 4:41 pm ET

By JOHN CAREY, environmental writer

Where is all the oil? Nearly two weeks after BP finally capped the biggest oil spill in U.S. history, the oil slicks that once spread across thousands of miles of the Gulf of Mexico have largely disappeared. Nor has much oil washed up on the sandy beaches and marshes along the Louisiana coast. And the small cleanup army in the Gulf has only managed to skim up a tiny fraction of the millions of gallons of oil spilled in the 100 days since the Deepwater Horizon rig went up in flames.

So where did the oil go? “Some of the oil evaporates,” explains Edward Bouwer, professor of environmental engineering at Johns Hopkins University. That’s especially true for the more toxic components of oil, which tend to be very volatile, he says. Jeffrey W. Short, a scientist with the environmental group Oceana, told the New York Times that as much as 40 percent of the oil might have evaporated when it reached the surface. High winds from two recent storms may have speeded the evaporation process.

Although there were more than 4,000 boats involved in the skimming operations, those cleanup crews may have only picked up a small percentage of the oil so far. That’s not unusual; in previous oil spills, crews could only scoop up a small amount of oil. “It’s very unusual to get more than 1 or 2 percent,” says Cornell University ecologist Richard Howarth, who worked on the Exxon Valdez spill. Skimming operations will continue in the Gulf for several weeks.

Some of the oil has sunk into the sediments on the ocean floor. Researchers say that’s where the spill could do the most damage. But according to a report in Wednesday’s New York Times, “federal scientists [have determined] the oil [is] primarily sitting in the water column and not on the sea floor.”

Perhaps the most important cause of the oil’s disappearance, some researchers suspect, is that the oil has been devoured by microbes. The lesson from past spills is that the lion’s share of the cleanup work is done by nature in the form of oil-eating bacteria and fungi. The microbes break down the hydrocarbons in oil to use as fuel to grow and reproduce. A bit of oil in the water is like a feeding frenzy, causing microbial populations to grow exponentially.

Typically, there are enough microbes in the ocean to consume half of any oil spilled in a month or two, says Howarth. Such microbes have been found in every ocean of the world sampled, from the Arctic to Antarctica. But there are reasons to think that the process may occur more quickly in the Gulf than in other oceans.

Microbes grow faster in the warmer water of the Gulf than they do in, say, the cool waters off Alaska, where the Exxon Valdez spill occurred. Moreover, the Gulf is hardly pristine. Even before humans started drilling for oil in the Gulf — and spilling lots of it — oil naturally seeped into the water. As a result, the Gulf evolved a rich collection of petroleum-loving microbes, ready to pounce on any new spill. The microbes are clever and tough, observes Samantha Joye, microbial geochemist at the University of Georgia. Joye has shown that oxygen levels in parts of the Gulf contaminated with oil have dropped. Since microbes need oxygen to eat the petroleum, that’s evidence that the microbes are hard at work.

The controversial dispersant used to break up the oil as it gushed from the deep-sea well may have helped the microbes do their work. Microbes can more easily consume small drops of oil than big ones. And there is evidence the microbes like to munch on the dispersant as well.

It is still far too early to know how much damage the spill has done — and may still be doing — to the environment. Tar balls continue to wash up on beaches. And the risk of a leak remains, until the well is permanently capped sometime in the next few weeks.

Mighty oil-eating microbes help clean up the Gulf – Yahoo! News.

Toothpaste Recipe Inside the Kitchen

Dental hygiene is a must especially if your single and looking. I was reading Journey to “Green” site tonight  and there was a review of Tom’s of Maine toothpaste newest flavor Wicked Fresh. If your not familiar with the company, check out the site they really do some amazing things all around. I thought about a recipe someone passed along to me a while back and I used it once. It’s time to get  the old recipe out of the bin.  Smile people, smile!!

Recipe : EASY!!!

  • Baking Soda – 6 teaspoons
  • Hydrogen peroxide – a few drops
  • Optional- Add Stevia or cinnamon

It should make a paste. I made it once with no Stevia or cinnamon and it was fine. Enjoy and pass it along to someone else that could save a penny on their next shopping list. Start going natural by the simplest changes.

When Did Grandmother’s Chickens Get a Makeover

Why are chicken breast so plump and big? Why is it that all  fast food and other restaurants have endless supply of meat? Why is there always perfect looking vegetables in the supermarket? I am really passionate about eating healthy. I wasn’t always like this. Maybe that’s why ten years ago, I was about thirty five pounds heavier. I felt ugly and was always really tired. I remember my Sunday ritual. I would wake up and make a big breakfast (lots of syrup on the waffles) and then take a nap two hours later. Crazy…right!! I didn’t realized what I was eating was making me tired plus heavy. Knowledge is power!!  Thank you to Robert Kenner who wrote and directed the movie Food Inc.  The movie is packed with tons of knowledge and will answer all of the question above. Don’t you think it might be time to make a step in the right direction?

Salute to Valhalla Soap Co.

Since corporations rule the planet. I think it’s only natural to start focusing on the smaller businesses. For instance, Donna Dimick who owns and operates Valhalla Soap Company has been in the soap making business for more than ten years. Her company has been highlighted in various publications as well as being approached by the Academy Awards for the swag bags for actors.  So why is this product so great? In some of her specialty products she infuses teas and herbs grown organically in her garden. All of her products are PARABEN and FORMALDEHYDE free. But, I am most excited about her newest soap Salute to the Sun. Inspired by the yoga position. It’s super refreshing!! Check out her products www.valhallasoap.com.