Congress Unanimously Approves The Microbead-Free Waters Act

MicrobeadsLast week, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015, banning the use of synthetic microplastics in personal care products. If made into law, the federal ban will supersede the state bans, and lead to a phase-out by January, 2018. Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Issues | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Non Toxic Methods to Clean Your Oven

Non Toxic Methods to Clean Your Oven

Ovens get dirty. Sauces bubble, drip and spill over. Crumbs accumulate. Grease spatters everywhere. A well loved, well used oven is also a dirty oven.

The easiest thing could be to lock the oven door, turn on the self-cleaning cycle and let the magic happen.

Self cleaning cycles conjure up images of little elves scrubbing down your oven, doesn’t it? But the reality is, self cleaning ovens use really high heat to burn off the mess inside. These cycles take many hours, and by the time the cycle is complete and the door unlocks .. all you have left is ash to wipe up.

What so bad about self-cleaning?

Self cleaning ovens are commonly lined with Teflon, a non-stick material made with chemicals known collectively as PFCs (perfluorinated chemicals). Temperatures reach 900 degrees or more during a cleaning cycle, releasing toxic gases from the chemicals in both the non-stick lining and insulation layers of the oven.

Just how toxic are the gasses that are released?

Toxic enough to kill birds within a few minutes. Or induce polymer fume fever in humans. Informally known as Teflon flu …

“Polymer fume fever or fluoropolymer fever, also informally called Teflon flu, is an inhalation fever caused by the fumes released when polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE, known under the trade name Teflon) is heated to between 300 °F (149 °C) and 450 °F (232 °C). When PTFE is heated above 450 °F (232 °C) the pyrolysis products are different and inhalation may cause acute lung injury. Symptoms are flu-like (chills, headaches and fevers) with chest tightness and mild cough. Onset occurs about 4 to 8 hours after exposure to the pyrolysis products of PTFE. A high white blood cell count may be seen and chest x-ray findings are usually minimal.”  – Wikipedia

Off the shelf oven cleaners aren’t great either. Loaded with chemicals that are harmful to your health, The Washington Coalition recently said

“The most acutely dangerous cleaning products are corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners, and acidic toilet bowl cleaners.” Read more here>

Most oven cleaners contain sodium hydroxide (lye) or sulphuric acid to react with the grease in your oven. The chemical fumes not only get into your lungs and linger in your home as you spray and scrub the inside of your oven, residue gets left behind exposing you again the next time you turn on the oven. Then there’s the environmental hazards that are introduced as you wash the cleaner down the drain.

Some examples of common oven cleaner ingredients include:

Diethylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether: Suspected of causing reproductive toxicity, cardiovascular or blood toxicity, kidney toxicity, and neurotoxicity according to sources compiled by Scorecard (

Triethanolamine: Suspected of causing immunotoxicity, respiratory toxicity, skin or sense organ toxicity, and asthma according to sources compiled by Scorecard (

2-(2-Butoxyethoxy)Ethanol: Suspected of causing skin or sense organ toxicity, according to sources compiled by Scorecard (

There are of course alternative methods to clean your oven with ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already:

Baking soda and vinegar method:
You’ll need: ½ cup of baking soda, water, white vinegar, gloves, sponge, spray bottle (but not required)

  1. Take out the racks, pizza stone, thermometer and anything else you may have hiding in your oven.
  2. Make a paste with a ½ cup of baking soda and a few tablespoons of water.
  3. Coat the inside of the oven with the baking soda paste, using your gloved hand.
  4. Let it sit over night
  5. Using a spray bottle or sponge, add vinegar to all surfaces. Let the mixture bubble and fizz with the baking soda paste for 2-5 minutes.
  6. With a damp sponge, wipe out the oven using the scrubby side as needed.
  7. Do a final rinse and wipe-down.

Dish soap, baking soda & vinegar method:
You’ll need ¼ cup of dish soap, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup coarse sea salt, warm water and white vinegar. 

  1. Make a past with the soap, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cover the oven using your gloved hand
  3. Let sit overnight
  4. Using a spray bottle or sponge, add a small amount of vinegar to all surfaces. Let the mixture bubble and fizz with the soap & baking soda paste for 2-5 minutes.
  5. With a damp sponge, wipe out the oven using the scrubby side as needed.
  6. Final rinse with warm water

Replace the racks, pizza stone, etc… and post a selfie with your sparkly oven. Seriously, you’ll want to share this!



Posted in Environmental Issues, Health Issues | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Is a Sustainable Halloween Possible?

Ideas for a Sustainable HalloweenAmericans love Halloween. We love decorations, pumpkin patches, candy, pumpkin flavored everything, costumes, creepy food, crafts, music, scary movies… the list can go on forever.

Total spending on Halloween is expected to reach an all time high of $6.9 billion in 2015, with more than 157 million Americans planning to celebrate Halloween, according to the National Retail Federation’s Halloween Consumer Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Buying Tips: Less Toxic Nail Polish

less toxic nail polish


With names that echo tropical islands, fond memories and sassy puns — who’d ever suspect those cute bottles of nail polish are filled with many concerning chemicals?

Unfortunately there isn’t an all-natural option for nail polish. But there are products that have fewer ingredients with serious health concerns. If you are one to use a polish on your fingers or toes, here are few important things to look for:

  • “3-free”: Brands that don’t use toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or formaldehyde
  • “5-free”: Brands that are 3-free + formaldehyde resin or camphor.
  • Never list: Barium Sulfate, Triphenyl Phosphate, Benzophenone, Triphenyl Phosphate, Trimellitic Anhydride.




Ingredient List of  a Nail Polish with a High Health Rating  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Behind the Ratings: Pet Food

pet parents 1

Between 1988 and 2015, overall pet ownership in the United States has increased from 56% to 65%. Today, more than 79 million households own at least one pet. Pet owners are prioritizing and investing in the care and health of their pets, encouraging the pet care industry to quickly replace the term “pet owners” with “pet parents”.


People want their pets to lead healthy lives—They plan activities for them, comfort them, search for the best gear and bathing supplies, learn about their nutrition needs for every life-stage, and invest in pet beds for a comfortable night sleep. For many families, pets are members of the family.

A study by Pew Research showed that 85% of dog owners considered their pet to be part of their family

pet parents 2With the same expectation of feeding our human family nutritious food, choosing the best food for your pet can be tricky. Pet food nutrition labels are often formatted similarly to human food, but the nutritional values of pet food is hard to understand. Transparency about ingredient amounts, sources, and processing methods is often difficult to obtain. Plus, many brands use the same ingredient providers and manufacture products at the same processing facilities.

So, how do you choose the best pet food, with the highest nutritional value for the best price? Continue reading

Posted in Behind the Ratings | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Choose Safe, Healthy Lip Products

best lip products feature







Some of the most vulnerable skin on our body is found on our face. Typically left exposed to the elements, the skin our face and lips is an important place to take special care of.

Lip products have long evolved from the days of the original tubs of Vaseline and Carmex. Now packed with products from tints and sunscreens to gloss and moisturizers, the lip care product aisle can get confusing quick.

Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Clean Up Your Laundry Routine

laundry day

How “clean” can your clothes get when the soap you are using may contain potentially hazardous chemicals, or fragrances that you may be allergic too?

Cleaning products are among the most significant sources of exposure to toxic chemicals in the home. Many of the products we use to scrub, whiten and soften our loads of laundry are made with ingredients that raise concerns for human health and our environment. Continue reading

Posted in Environmental Issues, Home | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment