Glade brings back memories. Hasn’t it been around forever? I remember a spray can of Glade sitting on the back of most toilets when I was growing up. I can’t shake the heavy, flowery scent coming from a room after someone sprayed.
I stopped using Glade, and all spray room fresheners well before the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC)—an international environmental organization—conducted a study called, “Clearing the Air: Hidden Hazards of Air Fresheners” in which they found 86% of air fresheners tested contained dangerous phthalates. Phthalates have been shown to disrupt hormone activity, reduce sperm counts and some preliminary studies show that they may be causing a slow and steady demasculinizing of men. Other studies have linked phthalates to liver cancer and breast cancer.
Now there’s more
SC Johnson, makers of Glade air fresheners, say they’re committed to transparency: “We know you value transparency, and we’re committed to sharing what’s inside our products.”
Except when it comes to fragrance ingredients.
Our amazing friends over at Women’s Voices for the Earth did product testing which shows allergens and hormone disruptors like synthetic musks hiding out in Glade air fresheners. But you won’t find these chemicals on the label, because the makers of Glade keep fragrance ingredients a secret from consumers.
What else is Glade hiding?
We have a right to know what’s in the products we bring into our homes. And we have the power to convince Glade to put an end to this secrecy. They’ve said it themselves: “As a family company, listening and responding to consumers is [our] top priority.”
How you can help
Women’s Voices for the Earth has launched a viral image campaign to convince SC Johnson to disclose fragrance ingredients in Glade air fresheners.
SIGN THE PETITION. Please take a minute to sign the petition telling Glade to stop keeping toxic secrets! Remember the Tide petition victory? That’s proof that our collective voices do make a difference.
LIKE AND SHARE. Head over to my Facebook page and LIKE/SHARE the image to help us make it go viral on social media to spread the word to as many people as possible.
TAKE ACTION. Post the image to Glade’s Facebook page and tell them you have a right to know what you’re spraying in your home.
You’ve probably seen the blue ENERGY STAR logo on appliances and other energy efficient products. Here’s the scoop:
Team ENERGY STAR is a exciting initiative from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, developed to engage and educate all of us about saving energy in our home. What I love most about the program is that Team ENERGY STAR empowers kids to help protect the climate through simple, doable actions. And we all know that kids are where it’s at if any change is going to happen.
I’m teaming up with my friend Diane over at Big Green Purse along with a long list of fantastic bloggers to help spread the ENERGY STAR message and work together to engage and educate American youth and their families about saving energy in the home.
Why is saving energy important?
About 70 percent of the electricity we use comes from power plants burning fossil fuels. Burning fossil fuels causes greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change – a real and urgent challenge affecting people and the environment worldwide. Using energy-efficient products and practices reduces the amount of carbon pollution added to the atmosphere and can lessen the effects of climate change.
Why is protecting the climate important?
Climate change is a real and urgent challenge affecting people and the environment worldwide.
Human activities such as electricity production and transportation add significant amounts of carbon pollution to the atmosphere. This carbon pollution, along with other greenhouse gases, is the primary cause of most of the global temperature rise observed over the past 50 years.
The good news
In 2012 alone, Americans, with the help of ENERGY STAR, saved enough energy to avoid greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 50 million cars — all while saving $24 billion on their utility bills. Those are some pretty impressive stats.
Now for some fun
I don’t know about you, but I’m just about ready for summer. One of my favorite summertime activities is going to see all of the blockbuster movies that make their way onto the big screen.
This year ENERGY STAR partners PTO Today and LG Electronics have brought in the heroic characters from the new movie EPIC, to help kids learn about the importance of saving energy while having fun at the same time.
Being part of the team involves the following simple steps:
Take action to reduce your energy use at home
Help your family and friends save energy
Encourage your family and friends to take the ENERGY STAR Pledge
Inspire others by sharing your story
Check out the movie EPIC
The movie looks great. Big names lend their voices to make this film happen including Steven Tyler, Colin Ferrell, Beyonce Knowles and Amanda Seyfried. Here’s a short description and a trailer:
EPIC is a 3D CG adventure comedy that reveals a fantastical world unlike any other. From the creators of ICE AGE and RIO, EPIC tells the story of an ongoing battle between the forces of good, who keep the natural world alive, and the forces of evil, who wish to destroy it. When a teenage girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she teams up with an elite band of warriors and a crew of comical, larger-than-life figures, to save their world…and ours.
How you can join in the fun
By joining Team ENERGY STAR kids will get the chance to earn cool prizes courtesy of PTO Today, LG Electronics USA and 20th Century Fox. The first 200 families to submit an energy-saving story will receive 2 tickets each to see EPIC, courtesy of Fox. Kids will also get the chance to earn some great prizes from LG Electronics USA and maybe even see their name in lights in Times Square. All the kids have to do sign up HERE and click on “Submit your energy-saving success story.”
Disclosure: I am writing about Team ENERGY STAR because I support the program and because I believe it is important to educate the public about energy efficiency and climate change. I have received a modest “thank you” reward from LG, an ENERGY STAR partner, in appreciation for my post. That gift in no way influenced my belief that saving energy is important and necessary.
Bullying wasn’t called bullying when I was a kid. It was the same thing only called teasing and it was just as hurtful with long-lasting effects.
I was a summer camp kid. For 4 weeks every summer I would pack my bags and head off to my home away from home, a sleep-away camp in northern Wisconsin.
When I think of bullying one particular summer at camp stands out. One of my favorite campers had Tourette’s syndrome. Tourette’s syndrome is a nervous system disorder that starts in childhood. It involves unusual repetitive movements or unwanted sounds that can’t be controlled (tics). For instance, you may repeatedly blink your eyes, shrug your shoulders or jerk your head. In some cases, you might unintentionally blurt out offensive words.
This sweet camper did all of the above. He would yell out offensive and non-offensive words at random times. It could have been a breeding ground for some awful bullying. But thankfully it didn’t go that far. We didn’t let it.
Join Me: Take the Pledge to Stop Bullying
The camp did something extraordinary. At the very beginning of the camp session all the campers, counselors and staff gathered together. In a very loving and non-humiliating way we had a group discussion about Tourette’s syndrome. We talked about what could happen and why it was happening. We then emphasized that there was no place for teasing. Ever. That was it. We nipped the high potential for bullying in the bud.
It’s not always so simple. As parents, many of us worry that our children will be bullied—or we have dealt with real-life situations of it happening. The scenarios are fraught with emotion, since everyone wants to protect their children from harm.
Here in New England the school vacations keep coming. I’m not complaining, just sayin’. We kicked off the first vacation in December and practically every month since there’s another week of vacation tucked in. Life is good in New England. And here comes another vacation!
Next week is our April vacation and I don’t mind telling you that I’m in need of a few days off. I won’t be writing much (probably not at all), and I will be focusing on some fun with my family.
Before I sign off for a few days I wanted to share some noteworthy happenings.
I was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune
I was interviewed by reporter Julie Deardorff and quoted her interesting Chicago Tribune article, Re-balancing your workout to lessen likelihood of injury. For those of you who have been hanging around Groovy Green Livin for a bit you know that exercise plays a large role in my life. I’ve bounced all around from triathlons to yoga and think I’ve found a pretty good balance at the moment.My interview with Julie was a lot of fun. Wehad a great time talking about how our workouts have changed over the years as we’ve ‘matured’.
Wondering which fruits and vegetables to buy organic?
It can be cost prohibitive to buy all organic fruits and vegetables each time you’re at the market. So how do you decide which fruits and vegetables to buy organic? Head on over to Manilla to read my new post filled with tips on how to decide which fruits and vegetables to buy organic.
The Safe Chemicals Act was reintroduced
This week Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) reintroduced the Safe Chemicals Act in the Senate, which will overhaul the archaic Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976.
This bill gives the EPA the necessary tools to oversee safety testing of toxic chemicals, and would put the burden on industry to prove that chemicals are safe before being put in products we use in our homes and schools.
Join us in asking the top ten retailers to Mind the Store
As you may have read, I’m working with several other bloggers and Safer Chemicals Healthy Families on their new campaign called Mind the Store. Together we’re asking the nation’s top 10 retailers to avoid carrying what are being calling the Hazardous 100+ toxic chemicals.
Our concern is that certain chemicals could be present in some of the consumer products on the shelves in the store. Those same toxic chemicals may be found in the bodies of newborn babies, children, adults and in household dust and indoor air, in our food and really everywhere.
Most of the 10 retailers have taken some steps to move away from toxics (which is fantastic!), but don’t have an internal chemical policy. Safer Chemicals Healthy Families goal is to work with them to develop these policies.
My job was to visit Walgreens and explain the Mind the Store campaign. I was happy to have Walgreens as my assigned store since they have already taken steps to reduce their environmental impact and improve sustainability by launching their own line of products free of parabens, pthalates, formaldehyde and other toxins. Here’s another chance for them to be an industry leader.
Here I am just before heading into Walgreens.
My visit to Walgreens
Right outside Walgreens I ran into a woman I knew from our preschool. Perfect timing. She was enlisted to take a few photos of me with the letter I was about to deliver to Walgreens. I went inside and asked to speak with the store manager. He was extremely nice and listed we had a great conversation about the Mind the Store Campaign. He explained to me that there’s not much he can do at the store level-any change really has to come from the corporate office. I asked him to send the letter on to the CEO of Walgreen and he agreed. I tried to grab a photo with him, but that’s where he drew the line.
What we’re asking
We will continue to ask Congress to pass the Safe Chemicals Act, but in the meantime we want retailers to determine if they have any of the Hazardous 100+ in the products they sell. If they do we want them to create a timeline to address these chemicals including reducing, eliminating or safely substituting the chemicals.
How you can help
Join us in telling the top 10 retailers in the US that it’s time to get tough on toxic chemicals and move away from the Hazardous 100+. Together we can really start to move the marketplace towards safer chemicals. Click HERE to add your personal message to all ten stores.
Check out some of the other amazing bloggers participating in this campaign.
Today is World Water Day. The United Nations created World Water Day (3/22) to shed a light upon the water issues around the world. As part of the Global Team of 200 and Mom Bloggers for Social Good, we are supporting and using our collective voices to raise awareness on this important Day.
As you reach for your next glass of water think about these staggering water facts:
More than 1 in 10 people (783 million) still do not have access to safe drinking water.
Coverage in sub-Saharan Africa stands at only 61% – with further disparities in access between urban and rural populations in that region.
Almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.
1.8 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases. Ninety percent of these deaths occur in children under five years old.
WHO estimates that 50% of malnutrition is associated with repeated diarrhea or intestinal worm infections as a result of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation or insufficient hygiene.
In developing countries, drought is ranked as the most common cause of severe food shortages, causing more deaths than any other natural disaster over the last century.
How you can help
Follow WaterAid on Twitter and Facebook and share their posts on the #20ways that water is just the beginning of the road out of poverty.
Make a donation if you can. Every little bit helps.
This Saturday, March 23, take the time to turn off your lights at 8:30 pm (in your local time zone) for Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a worldwide collective display of commitment to protect something that unites us all - the planet. I participated last year with my family and I have to admit that it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. But we did it and so can you!
I’m also challenging you to go beyond the hour and continue on a daily basis to take action to make our world a better place.
Where will you be this Saturday night at 8:30 pm? Can you commit to turning off your lights?
Scented products are everywhere. Walk down the shampoo aisle in your local supermarket and the flowery fragrance is hard to miss. Shampoo, lotion, cosmetics, air fresheners, and even cleaners all can contain added ‘fragrance’. Did you know that fragrances can be made up of more than 100 chemicals, all of which are kept secret by manufacturers? Some of these hidden ingredients are known to trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people.
The solution is simple
If fragrance ingredients were simply listed on the product label, a consumer could avoid many of these adverse reactions.
Right now, consumers have no way of avoiding allergens or other chemicals in fragranced products because most companies keep fragrance ingredients a secret — labels will simply say “fragrance” instead of listing out the ingredients.
Our friends at Women’s Voices for the Earth are once again releasing an important report today, Secret Scents: How Hidden Fragrance Allergens Harm Public Health. In the report and as shown in the infographic below they discuss the widespread impact of fragrance allergies—what they look like, why women and children are more impacted, and why companies should be disclosing fragrance ingredients in their products.
Please note this graphic focuses on allergy, but allergy is not the only health problem linked to fragrance. Neurotoxic effects, respiratory effects, immune system impacts and others are also associated with fragrance and deserve greater investigation and attention than they have received.
Here’s what you can do right now to avoid allergens in scented products
Buy from companies that disclose all ingredients
Ask companies that don’t disclose their ingredients to change their policy
Lori Popkewitz Alper, Founder and Editor of Groovy Green Livin, provides eco-wellness consulting for businesses, schools, homes and individuals; and inspiration for a greener lifestyle through her Groovy Green Livin blog and website. Read more….