Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why antibacterial products are bad for you and the environment

Does your toothpaste pass the “GreenScreen Assessment”?
 
If you use Colgate Total the answer is no. Total brand toothpaste contains the antibacterial triclosan, a chemical currently under review in the U.S. because it is suspected of contributing to all sorts of health and environmental problems.

The GreenScreenAssessment is a tool recently used by the Canadian Environmental Law Association to assess the impact of antibacterial products on human health and the environment. Based on the resulting report the Association called on the Canadian government to ban antibacterials (triclosan and triclocarban). The report says that the risks posed by these chemicals to human health and the environment far outweigh the benefits.

Six things to do this fall to make your home healthier

September is the only time of the year that I feel inspired to get organized. Something about that back-to-school vibe gets me motivated to put my house in order and slip some new habits into our household routine.

If September is a time of new routines for you too here’s a checklist of six suggestions to help you get off to a healthy start.  

Here's your fall checklist for a healthier home:

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tips to reduce your cell phone radiation exposure


At the end of the summer we will cross the bridge into a new parenting world -- after a painfully long wait (in his opinion) my son will get his very first cellular device. 
While it’s easy to get consumed by data caps and text message packages, I have been in search of the most kid-friendly cell phone. And by kid-friendly I mean I’m looking for the model with the lowest possible radiation score.

All cell phones emit radiation

Cordless phones do as well, but cell phones have become more of an issue because they’re practically an appendage in today’s society. The World Health Organization considers the radiation emitted by cell phones to be a possible carcinogen and there are ongoing studies to figure out the potential health issues associated with ongoing exposure to cell phone radiation.

How you can help save the bees

Where are all the bees?

Declining bee populations have been making headlines for many years and all sorts of theories about what’s causing colony collapse disorder have been put forth.
Late last month a four-year global study into declining bee populations was released and it points to pesticide use as the main culprit. And not just any pesticides. The study concluded that a specific family of insecticides called neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics for short, cause neurological damage to bees, causing bees to lose their way, fewer queens to be born and weakening bees’ ability to fight off disease.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Chefs for Oceans want to teach us a thing or two about sustainable seafood. Here's why we should listen


Ned Bell of Chefs for Oceans thinks sustainable seafood is worth the efforts, and you should too.
Ned Bell is peddling sustainable seafood, literally. A sustainable seafood activist and founder of Chefs for Oceans, Chef Bell is biking across Canada to get Canadians more interested and engaged in sustainable seafood.  

Chosen as one of Canadian Living’s Top 10 Canadian Chefs You Need to Know About, Chef Bell is the executive chef at the Four Seasons Vancouver, the first upscale restaurant in Canada to go 100% sustainable for its seafood, meaning that the fish served at the restaurant is caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long-term health and stability of the fish stocks and the greater marine ecosystem. 

Nine Tips for Healthy Green Grilling


nine tips for healthy green grilling
Learning how to grill safely (and I’m not talking salmonella) will keep you healthier in the long term.
 
Do you ever have things that you’d like to be good at but can’t be bothered to try?

That’s my relationship with the barbecue. I would like to be good at grilling because I love the taste and the very idea of food cooked outside over a flame. Even better, a propane barbecue is more eco-friendly than the oven and there’s a lot to be said for getting out of the kitchen on a hot summer day.

Friday, June 13, 2014

10 ways to Conserve water at home




After our freezing winter it was a relief to see that we’re expecting a good warm summer. In fact Environment Canada is forecasting above normal temperatures in much of southern New Brunswick. But it seems that our precipitation will be a bit below normal, or “near normal” as Environment Canada puts it.

The forecast got me thinking about water conservation and what a warm sunny summer might mean to our water supply.
 
Whether you’re on municipal water or on a well, water conservation through the summer should be top of mind for everyone, especially since we all use more water during the summer months. And on average we use a lot of water.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Five tips for choosing safe sunscreen

five tips for choosing safe sunscreen
EWG offers tips for choosing safe sunscreen and a database that rates the safety and effectiveness of sunscreen products on the market.
We deserve some hot sunny days. After a long winter and damp, cool spring a little bit of sun and warmth is just what the doctor ordered, but as much as we enjoy the sun we still need to protect ourselves from its warming rays. 

Since sunscreen is the most common form of sun protection it’s important to understand that sometimes we need to protect ourselves from sunscreen as well. 

For years now the experts in how to choose sunscreen that’s safe and effective is Environmental Working Group (EWG), a science-based research organization in the United States. EWG analyzes sunscreen ingredients and scientific data associated with skin cancers in the U.S. and each year develops a list of tips for choosing the best sunscreen. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The environmental impact of single serve coffee



the environmental impact of single serve coffee pods and k-cups
Single-serve coffee (pods & k-cups) has a hefty environmental impact.
K-cups, -- the ultimate in convenience. A single serving of tea or coffee in under a minute with no waiting for the kettle to boil or the coffee to drip through -- how perfect is that? When I was first introduced to this single-serving coffee system I was totally seduced by the variety and convenience but I could never brew my k-cup of English Breakfast Tea without thinking about the waste.

The environmental impact of the pods stares you in the face each time you toss a spent k-cup in the garbage. Even before I dug up the data on this coffee craze I knew the picture wouldn’t be pretty.