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Unacceptable Levels

Unacceptable Levels examines the results of the chemical revolution of the 1940s through the eyes of affable filmmaker Ed Brown, a father seeking to understand the world in which he and his wife are raising their children. To create this debut documentary, one man and his camera traveled extensively to find and interview top minds in the fields of science, advocacy, and law. Weaving their testimonies into a compelling narrative, Brown presents us with the story of how the chemical revolution brought us to where we are, and of where, if we’re not vigilant, it may take us.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Congratulations to Moon Area HS -- Leading the way through aluminum can recycling

Since we're talking about ways to help the earth this week, I wanted to take the time to applaud some local students who are making a difference. Throughout the 2013-1014 school year, students from Moon Area High School (Moon Twp., PA), accepted the Alcoa Aluminum Can Recycling Challenge and came out on top as winners. This is the first year for the recycling competition, which is facilitated by the Pennsylvania Resources Council. 

A total of 30,657 beverage cans were collected during the five-month challenge, with Moon Area HS leading the way, despite the tough competition from the participating schools. In addition to Moon Area HS, there were four other schools that took up the challenge: Donegal Elementary School, Jeffery Primary School, Keystone Oaks Middle School, and Level Green Elementary School. 

"This competition was a great way for our science/environmental club to engage a large group of students and expand our recycling program here at Moon High School," said Andrea Schriver, a teacher at Moon. "In the last month of the competition, we challenged the entire school to contribute through their science classrooms, and everyone came through in a big way!"

Each of the schools involved in the challenge received recycling containers and signage. There were also classroom education and assembly programs. Through these programs, PRC was able to teach thousands of students in first through twelfth grades about resource conservation. "The goal is to encourage these schools to continue to recycle the aluminum cans long after the competition ends and to sustain their positive impact on the environment," explained PRC Regional Director, Justin Stockdale.

As excited as I am for the schools who participated and the lessons learned by the students, I must say I am surprised and disappointed that only five schools accepted this challenge. Here's hoping that next year will see a significant increase in numbers for a program that not only helps the environment, but helps develop a greener mentality in all who participate.

If you're in the Western PA area and want your school to get involved, contact Sarah Shea at the Pennsylvania Resources Council by phone: 412-488-7490 ext. 236 or by email:

Caring for the earth right alongside the rest of you,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Fifteen simple changes we all can make starting today!

This is a sponsored post. I received compensation and/or product in exchange for this post. However, all opinions are my own and were not influenced by what I received.

Happy Earth Day 2014!

I started my day by heading to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh where my granddaughter was being seen in the Emergency Room. She had a 105.6 fever and it was a bit scary. Fortunately, she was released a few hours later, with a much lower temperature and a diagnosis of an unknown virus.

Needless to say, this threw off my plans for the day, which included writing this post before noon. Ahh well. The best laid plans of mice and men...

This year, I've teamed up with the good folks at Conserving Now to offer you some good information about greener living and to give away an Omnisax bag (winner's choice) to one lucky reader.

In a previous blog post, I already told you about the fantastic classroom kits Conserving Now had available to help teachers guide their students to greener living. Today's post honors Earth Day by giving you fifteen great tips from Conserving Now that can help you live greener lives, too.

Fifteen Simple Changes We Can All Make -- Starting Now!

  1. Start carrying a reusable bag whenever you are shopping.
  2. Bring a travel mug to your favorite coffee shop.
  3. Walk to the park.
  4. Start using rechargeable batteries.
  5. As old light bulbs burn out, start buying and using LED light bulbs.
  6. Switch to homemade or store-bought natural cleaners. (Check out my book Vinegar Fridays for tips and recipes for cleaning with vinegar.)
  7. Stop using paper plates.
  8. Buy a bunch of tea towels and ban paper towels from your home.
  9. Build a backyard compost bin.
  10. Install a water-saving shower head.
  11. Invest in cloth napkins and stop buying paper ones!
  12. Turn your thermostat down at night or when you're at work (during the cold weather).
  13. If you're not doing it already, start recycling!
  14. Carpool with coworkers or friends who work close to your office.
  15. Donate your old cell phone to a charity.
Simple, right? There's no reason why you can't do every one of these, or nearly one of them. Will it make a difference? Absolutely.

So why not start off with reusable bags? I personally love my Omnisax bags (formerly Envirosax bags). I have a whole bunch of them and I've given many away as gifts. They are durable and slip easily into your purse so you can always have one or two available. They hold a ton. Well, not really a ton, but they can hold up to 44 pounds, which seems like a ton when you're lugging the goods very far! And, since the Omnisax bags are machine washable, they are perfect for taking to the grocery store for meat or produce. No cross-contamination going on here. Just toss the bag into the wash when you get home.

Entering is easy and is for residents of the U.S. who are 18 and older. The contest runs through April 30 12:00 a.m. ET. Entries will be verified. Winner has 48 hours to respond to email. If there is no response, an alternate winner will be chosen. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 21, 2014

Conquer Spring Allergies with Hyland's

Disclaimer: I am a Hyland's Homeopathy Ambassador and receive various products and gift cards from Hyland's and promotional partners at no cost to me. All views and opinions expressed on this blog post and corresponding social network mentions are my own and are not to be interpreted as medical advice.

Allergies. Yuck. It just gets old after awhile, doesn't it? You're going along with your day and suddenly, BAM! it hits you. Watery eyes, runny nose, scratchy throat. Sometimes it's manageable and other times it really knocks you for a loop and it's off to bed you go. Ever have that happen? 

Fortunately for me, I just open my cupboard and pull out my Hyland's basket of goodies quickly.Then I determine what I need and I take it at the first sign of a sniffle. This time of year, I'll be reaching for the Hyland's Seasonal Allergy Relief, knowing it will give me just that -- 
R E L I E F! If I feel a headache coming on with some sinus pressure, I opt for the Hyland's DEFEND Sinus. Either way, I know I'll be covered and can get on with the more important things in my life.
I always have some of the kids' formula on hand as well, in case one of the grandkids starts sneezing. I really don't understand why anyone would opt for the conventional OTC meds when there is a natural homeopathic formula available.

This week, Hyland's is giving away some free allergy products on their Facebook page. They want you to know that you, too can conquer spring allergies with Hyland's. Just take the quiz to enter to win!

Here are the questions:

1. True or False. You will outgrow your allergies.

2. Which symptoms develop faster, allergy or cold symptoms?

3. How can you tell the difference between allergy or cold symptoms?


Not sure of the answers? Head over to the Hyland's FB page by clicking here and discover what you need to know about allergies. Keep in mind, Hyland's will not be offering medical advice. They won't try to diagnose exact symptoms. All they're doing is offering some practical and helpful information that just might take you down a flower-strewn path without so much as a gentle achoo!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rewriting Eulogies

Image by Junior Libby

Death. Funerals. Reflection.
The Cross.
Anger. Sadness. Confusion.

At some point in our lives, we all have to deal with the death of someone we love. Often, it seems unfair. At times, grace prevails and our loved one slips away quietly. We can accept their death. But there is a sense of loss, a feeling that things will never be the same. We reach out for a touch that’s no longer there.

While it is the life of a person that touches our hearts, it is the death of Jesus that transforms us. If we meditate on where we’d be without the cross, we can’t help but realize how hopeless our lives would be. Because of His death, our hopelessness turns to hopefulness, our sorrow becomes joy, our darkness light. Death has lost its victory because power lies in Resurrection.

Eulogies expound on our virtues. They recall good times, strength of character, gentleness of heart. We laugh, we cry, we remember. The Gospels are a powerful eulogy of Christ’s life. 

What will be said at the end of your life? Will your children remember your steady faith? Your kind words? Your servant heart? Will your time have been more valuable than your “toys”? Will your compassion be remembered long after you’re gone, your gentle spirit transcending memories of harsh words spoken? Christ’s gift came at a cost. A cost of nails and a crown of thorns. Embrace Him. Let Him rewrite your eulogy.

Life. Celebration. Reflection.
The Empty Tomb.
Peace. Contentment. Certainty.

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