Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.
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, June 30, 2010
I have to admit I'm pretty boring when it comes to travel. I don't like the idea of busy vacations and endless travel. While there are places I'd like to see, the travel part just doesn't appeal to me. For me, a vacation in Orlando would be a nightmare, although we did do it once. To spend long days and nights at amusement parks is not my idea of a vacation. And, of course, flying has become such a hassle, I want no part of it. Between figuring out what you can pack, how much you can pack and paying extra if you pack too much only to arrive at your destination without your luggage anyway...not my idea of fun. Certainly not my idea of relaxation.
Then there's the driving option. I used to enjoy that, but let's face it: there seems to be a whole lot more idiots on the road these days. It's hard to enjoy a drive across the state, much less across the country! And that's not to mention the cost at the gas pump and the ongoing oil crisis we're facing!
If I had my way, I'd travel by train as much as possible. I love riding the rails. Traveling by train is a greener option as well because trains generate less pollution than cars and, according to Joseph R. Provey and Owen Lockwood in The Little Green Book, they "produce about two to three times less CO2 per person per mile than planes generate." They also point out that "according to some estimates, emitting CO2 into the upper stmosphere -- which planes do -- does more than twice the damage of the same amount of CO2 emitted at ground level." I'm sold. Put me on a train.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
"My three-month-old hasn't moved her bowels in five or six days."
Maybe I'm not remembering the details as well as I should, but I do believe he hung up with that. No goodbye. No question about other symptoms. Just a statement of fact. "Perfectly normal."
My breastfed baby just didn't poop much. I always felt a bit of pride when I hung her diapers on the line because they were the whitest diapers around! No nasty poop stains marring their pristine appearance as they blew lazily in the breeze.
Do you ever struggle with whether or not to call the pediatrician?
Monday, June 28, 2010
But what about when you're just scooting about town? Fast starts and gunning your engine can eat up your gas rather quickly. While we're all about saving ourselves money, think about saving someone else some money (and gas) by letting your left-turning fellow drivers go in front of you at a light. That way they don't have to gun their engines in order to escape being hit by oncoming traffic. I never thought about this one before, so thanks to Verdure Magazine, Pittsburgh's green publication, for the tip.
Another way to reduce your gasoline consumption is by keeping your tires pumped up -- improper inflation ultimately costs you at the gas pump.
Finally, my last tip for today involves your car's air filter. A clean one helps your car run more efficiently....which reminds me to remind my hubby to check it for me when he gets home from work.
Have an awesome week, my friends.
Keeping it green,
Photo courtesy of Peter Griffin
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Two weeks ago, I promised more summertime vinegar tips on the next Vinegar Friday. Unfortunately, an emergency prevented me from posting. So, with the old adage "better late than never,' here they are:
Being seen in public in your swimsuit is not the only issue facing swimmers, although I'm sure for some of you, that isn't a problem. For me, personally, chances are pretty good you're not going to see me in a swimsuit any time soon. But that's not the only problem I have when it comes to swimming. I also deal with swimmer's ear any time my ears get wet...even in the shower.
Once again, vinegar comes to the rescue. This time it's distilled white vinegar mixed with rubbing alcohol (1:1 ratio). Put some drops in your ears before you swim and you'll have a good shot at preventing the pain of swimmer's ear entirely. If you don't have a dropper, just saturate a cotton swab with the mixture and gently dab it in your ear. You can also dab some undiluted apple cider vinegar in the outer ear canals for relief.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
If you're up to speed at all regarding green living, then you've probably heard about how much water is wasted whenever you're brushing your teeth. The estimated amount of water used when doing this daily task is about five gallons per person. According to The Green Book, if everyone across the U.S. would simply turn off the water while brushing, up to 1.5 billion gallons of water could be saved each day. Whoa. So, wet your toothbrush and then turn off the tap until you're done brushing. Easy enough.
Now let's go back to products used in the bathroom, starting with cotton balls. I know, you're thinking, What now? What could be wrong with cotton balls? Nothing, necessarily, unless they're not made from cotton. Many cotton balls actually contain polyester and it requires over 65% more energy to produce this synthetic material than it does to produce cotton. However, if you remember my posting about the chemicals used to treat cotton, your best option here is organic cotton balls or at least buy the ones not treated with chlorine bleach.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Did you ever think about all you could save by using a two-in-one shampoo and conditioner rather than buying/using them separately? Well, consider this:
- You'd save money
- You'd save on plastic bottles
- You'd save water (it wouldn't take as long to wash and condition your hair...oh look, that translates to saving money as well!)
- You'd save time -- something we all seem to need more of
For those of you who are heavy sweaters out there -- you might not like this one. When buying deodorant, skip the antiperspirants. Why? Well, antiperspirants contain aluminum salts which seal up your pores -- this is potentially toxic to you. Besides the health risk, there is also the fact that mining aluminum requires an enormous amount of energy. For each stick of deodorant you buy sans aluminum, you save enough energy to power up a laptop for a half hour. Doesn't seem like much of a savings, does it? But, if only five percent of adults crossed antiperspirants off their shopping lists for life, the yearly energy savings could buy 250 new computers for classrooms in the United States every year.
More tips tomorrow.
Keeping it green,
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Based on her question, I thought that perhaps this would be a good time to reiterate to you, my readers, what the purpose of the blog is.
Let's look at the name of the blog: Green Grandma. Green because I really do want to educate and spur on the GG community to living greener lives. "Promote a clean environment?" Perhaps, but my main goal is to encourage each of you to make more environmentally-friendly choices in your everyday lives. It's not to raise up tree-hugging activists. There are enough other sites to do that. For those of you who have been reading long enough, you know I often focus on trash and recycling issues. And, of course, I give cloth diapers a plug from time to time.
The second half of the name is Grandma. That's where the heart of the blog lies. I'm the grandma of one amazing 20-month-old granddaughter, with a grandson on the way. I care about the world that awaits them. I care about the chemicals and toxins in the products they will use. I care about the chemicals and toxins in the landfills...and in the water...and in the diapers. I care about the emotional environment they'll be raised in. I care about the schools and the television shows and the music they'll be exposed to. I care about the food they eat, the medicines they take, the health conditions they may have. I want my grandchildren to grow up in a healthy environment.
Since this is my blog, I feel I have the right to share whatever I want to on it. Sometimes that means I share my heart with you. I share my pain and my hopes. Why? Because you've become a family to me and I want you to get to know me. Why I'm being questioned on what I choose to post baffles me.
But I hope I've cleared some things up for you. You, who I offer vinegar tips to on Fridays. You, who I warn about toxins and unsafe products. You, who I trust with sensitive issues....like crib death.
Thank you for receiving Patty Gunnett's story yesterday with such warmth. She wrote it in hopes of touching someone's life out there who may be struggling with the aftermath of their own child's death. Her email address follows her story. If you feel a need or desire to correspond with Patty, she would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, please know that every post I write or share, is done with you in mind.
Keeping it real,
Monday, June 21, 2010
It was 1958 and my husband and I were enjoying the Christmas season. Married for not quite two years, Bob and I lived in a second floor apartment in the small town of Ellwood City, Pennsylvania with our 6 month old daughter, Beth Ann.
Trimmed with brightly colored ornaments, the Christmas tree looked festive as we stacked our presents under it.
Our small family had plans to visit my husband’s parents in Norristown, Pennsylvania on Christmas day, along with a quick visit with his brother and family, who lived nearby. Our own family celebration with my parents would take place a few days later back in Ellwood City. We couldn’t wait to see Beth Ann’s reaction to what Santa Claus left for her there.
The trip to Norristown was cheerful, yet uneventful. Beth Ann’s car seat was fastened between us on the front seat. Every several miles, I reached over and beeped the horn on the little plastic steering wheel attached to the seat. She laughed with delight.
Grandma and Grandpa were anxious to spend Beth Ann’s first Christmas with us. We enjoyed a delicious chicken dinner at Bob’s brother’s house the day after we arrived, ending the evening with a family slide show which resulted in much laughter. It was December 22, 1958 and my whole world was about to come crashing down around me.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
Unfortunately, an emergency situation kept me from writing my Vinegar Fridays post. I'll try to work it into the schedule as the day goes on. If I don't get anything posted, please forgive me and check back next week for some more awesome vinegar tips.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Sometimes taking care of ourselves is the best thing we can do for our families and friends.
Trying to keep it healthy,
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
A few years ago, while researching for a series of articles on pregnancy and infant care I was hired to write for a client, I discovered the disturbing facts about disposable diapers. When it was time for one of my children to have a baby of her own, I couldn't help sharing what I'd learned. Sure, I could've kept quiet. After all, her life would have been a bit easier had she used disposable diapers. But knowing the facts about the dangers lurking in the chemicals in disposables, Jessica made the inconvenient choice to go with cloth, despite the fact that she was working fulltime! I can't tell you how proud I am of her for making that decision.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
On June 10, 2010, the Environmental Law Foundation (ELF) issued a press release informing the public of the violation of California Proposition 65 Toxics Right to Know law, by a long list of well-known and trusted companies, including: Beech-Nut, Del Monte and Earth's Best. The charges indicate that the toxic chemical lead was found in the following foods and beverages: apple juice, grape juice, packaged pears and peaches (including baby food) and fruit cocktail. You can find the complete list here.
Monday, June 14, 2010
I was at the mall on Wednesday...which is not a common occurence for me, and I stopped by Aveda for some of their wonderful tea, a relaxing neck massage with their amazing blue oil and a bottle of shampoo. While there, I engaged in a rather lengthy conversation with the manager and learned even more reasons why I, and you, should shop at Aveda whenever possible. This is a company that truly cares, not only about the environment, but about so much more.
Which brings us to the plastic bottle cap issue. Aveda has a cap recycling initiative that puts these caps to good use.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Friday, June 11, 2010
Once again, I can't believe it's time for Vinegar Fridays already. These late spring weeks are flying by. I wish they'd slow down a bit so I could enjoy more of this beautiful time of year.
One thing I don't like about this time of year is the clothing. For me, the more clothing covers up, the better! I love, love, love fall and winter clothes! Once I hit 50, I started noticing weird things happening to my skin. Veins that used to be invisible no longer are. And what are these age spots all about?! I'm not liking this part of aging.
So what does all this have to do with vinegar? Well, it just so happens, there are some vinegar remedies for these little skin problems we all might face sometime or another.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
According to ModernMom.com, there are some sunscreens you need to keep away from your little ones. From claims of staying power that give false security to potential hormone disruptors to poisoning dangers, the following sunscreens should be avoided:
- Banana Boat Baby 100 SPF
- Panama Jack Baby Sunblock
- Aveeno Baby
- Hawaiian Tropic Baby Cream Lotion
The Environmental Working Group named these sunscreens among the best:
Amazon.com and sites like Drugstore.com. Some stores, such as Whole Foods carry some of these lines as well.
While it's essential you keep your children safe from too much sun exposure, it's also important to protect them from harmful chemicals. It all goes with this parenting package you accepted the day they were born.
Keeping it healthy,
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
"Don't get burnt again," I warned her on the phone today.
"I won't," she assured me. We even rented an umbrella to keep me in the shade."
Relieved, I didn't give it any more thought, other than a quick reminiscence back to 2001 when she asked me to go to Savannah with her on vacation in lieu of her going on a senior trip with friends. I was honored and thrilled to go.
So just the two of us headed out by car for the 700+ mile drive. We grabbed a copy of the audiobook, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, from the library to accompany us on the way down.
On one of our first days there, we hit the beach on Tybee Island where she got severely burnt. She spent the next day or two moaning and groaning on the bed in the hotel. Not fun.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
My husband and I have really become conscious of this over the last 10 months or so, since I created my alter-ego, The Green Grandma, and I'm happy to say, we didn't even bother putting out our garbage this week. There wasn't enough to bother with. Our recycling bin was full, of course, and we took some bags of paper over to our church's paper recycling bin. But our garbage can had one small bag in it. And that makes me happy!
Monday, June 7, 2010
As a matter of fact, research shows that home-dye solutions can contain quite a few known carcinogens, including Acid Orange 24, 2,3-Naphthalenediol and F,D,&C, D&C, and P-phenylenediamine. So what do I do?
Saturday, June 5, 2010
of that creation.
Friday, June 4, 2010
While I may say Thank God it's Vinegar Friday, I'm not quite sure I mean it. This week flew by and I'm not at all ready for it to be over. It was a busy week and I didn't accomplish nearly what I set out to do. Which means Saturday will be spent in my office working. So you all can celebrate Friday, while I pretend it's Thursday. Fair enough?
The last couple of weeks I wrote about the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. There are lots more, and I'll be sharing them in the next month or so, but for today I want to go back to our old friend, distilled white vinegar.
My daughter, Jess, and her friend, Erin, have launched a green cleaning business and are introducing DWV to homes in the Pittsburgh area, as they demonstrate the extraordinary cleaning and disinfecting properties of vinegar, baking soda, lemons and more. See where a simple thing like Vinegar Fridays can lead?!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Milk paints go back to Colonial times and actually do contain milk, along with lime and natural pigments. These are good when you'll aiming for a textured look, as the brush marks will remain.
You can get similar results without the milk by using a whitewash. The lime and water combo gets its tint from natural pigments. Click here for a recipe for homemade eco-friendly whitewash.
Both milk paints and whitewash can be used outdoors as well.
Another natural texturing idea is tinted plaster made from natural clays. Make sure you use a primer if you decide to use plaster on new drywall or any surfaces that are already painted.
Natural clay paints are another good alternative and work well on most surfaces.
For a list of non-toxic earth-friendly paints, check out eartheasy.com.
There are so many choices out there, and granted, some are more expensive than traditional paints you can pick up at your local hardware store. But in the long run, isn't your family's health worth it? You never know how many doctors' visits you may avoid by limiting the amount of toxins you invite into your home. Just saying....
Keeping it green,
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
There are many reasons to choose a college from majors to location to, God forbid, partying status (as in Penn State, voted the #1 party school in the country...wonderful). But if your teen has a heart for the environment as well as a head for learning, he or she may want to consider a green college or university.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
So, enjoy your shorter work week and I'll be back with a new post tomorrow.