Simple Ways to Reduce Stress on Yourself and the Planet - Page 2
While gardening, especially during the peak UV radiation hours, choose long sleeves, a hat and a natural sunscreen with a reflective barrier like zinc instead of chemical sunscreens. In an April 2008 CDC study, 97 percent of Americans were shown to be contaminated with oxybenzone, a widely-used sunscreen ingredient linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage that may actually accelerate the signs of aging.
As an aside, there are even more reasons to go green at the beach as researchers from the University of Pisa found that even trace levels of sunscreen chemicals caused degradation to coral reefs. Scientists now feel that coral reefs may harbor bio-chemicals helpful in combating arthritis, cancer and other insidious diseases. So, for many reasons, a mineral-based sunscreen in a non-petroleum base is the least stressful choice for yourself and the environment.
Need to clean up now that your farm labors are done, the horse is in the barn, and you have the trough all to yourself?
Opt for Natural, Fragrance-Free Personal Care Products
What you put on your body is as important as what you put in it. It has been said that 95 percent of the chemicals used to make your products “fragrant” are derived from petroleum and are neurotoxins and endocrine disrupters. Our skin is permeable and absorbs these chemicals – many of which may cause serious health problems. The thin skin of your scalp, for example, will absorb the petrochemical fragrances, sodium laurel sulfate and formaldehyde (often listed as quarternium-15) preservative used in many shampoos and hair dyes. The FDA requires some products containing this preservative to carry a warning label, but shampoo is exempt.
So, if you do not want your hair to go the way of Aunt Gladys, wash it with no-fragrance, no color or fragrance-added shampoos such as those offered by Unicure, Magic Botanicals or Dr. Bronner.
You step out of the bath, and notice that the bathroom is due its own scrubbing.
Avoid Indoor Air Pollution at Home
If it is cleaning day, try using the non-toxic cleaning standbys of your grandmother – vinegar, baking soda, Borax and Bon Ami, or experiment with the latest and greatest “green” alternatives, like Enviro-One Botanical Soap, that can be used for everything from brushing your teeth to washing your clothes.
Commercial cleaners often contain concoctions of chemicals, many of which are toxic both to our bodies and to the environment once they have gone down the drain. Almost all of them have added synthetic fragrances or chlorine (which forms dangerous compounds that store in fat cells and breast tissue). Dryer sheets contain nasty sounding and acting chloroform, camphor and ethylacetate. Air “fresheners” actually add to indoor air pollution, coating nasal passages with nerve-deadening agents and impairing our sense of smell. Opt to freshen by opening a window or putting on the fan, plunking organic flowers into a pretty vase or setting out a kid-proof/pet proof countertop bowl of baking soda or vinegar to absorb any nasty smells.Continued on the next page