Earth Day

Today, Sunday April 22nd 2018 is the 48th annual celebration of earth day! What do you know about Earth Day?

Earth Day is a day to gather as one and raise environmental awareness regarding pollution, global warming, climate change etc. but shouldn’t we be doing that everyday? We are given this planet with amazing landscapes, ecosystems, and resources, we should do our part to take better care of it.

A little background on Earth Day; Earth day was founded by US senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970. Nelson was motivated to educate the public about the environment following the Santa Barbra oil spill in 1969. On the first ever Earth Day celebration held in 1970 over 20 million Americans took to streets and public spaces to demonstrate and raise awareness of environmental sustainability. Within the next year, the US EPA had been created. The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts were also passed.

Years later Earth Day went global celebrating the 20th anniversary. This celebration in 1990 reached 200 million people in 141 different countries.

As the 2000s approached the internet was used to organize activists. Thousands of environmental groups in 184 countries reached out to hundreds of millions of people. This mass interest demonstrated to world leaders people of planet earth were ready for action on global warming and clean energy.

Over the years it has continued to thrive in communities across the world who recognize Earth Day on the 22nd of April each year. Communities schedule conferences, rallies, outdoor activities and other unique events annually for people to partake and help raise awareness. Checkout the Earth Day activities in your community today to help to do your part today.

Want to make a difference not only today but everyday? Below are some simple ways to make a difference. Share with your friends and family to help spread the word!

  • Use Reusable Grocery Bags
  • Use Reusable Water Bottles
  • Reduce, Reuse & Recycle
  • Carpool to save on gas and reduce carbon emissions
  • Buy local & in season produce
  • Buy natural/organic clothing
  • Buy natural beauty and body products
  • Invest in a compost bin to reduce the amount of trash & create your own nutrient rich soil
  • Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth
  • Look for products with little to no packaging
  • Avoid single use products
  • Turn off lights and electronics when not in use
  • Close window shades in summer to keep indoor temperatures cool and reduce the need for AC Units or fans
  • Wash clothes in cold water and air dry when possible

Earth Day is now considered the largest secular holiday with the participation of billions each year. We all need to do our part to help make a difference, after all we only have one Earth.

Know Your Soap

Soap; we lather up with it each time we shower and we (hopefully) use it whenever we leave the washroom or prepare food, but have you ever stopped to reflect on what it is you are actually cleansing your body with? Your skin is your largest organ and is porous, meaning it absorbs everything it comes in contact with – are you treating it well?

If you are using commercial soaps you may be surprised as to what it is you are actually introducing your body to. These products may smell good and leave you thinking you’re clean but hard truth is that the bulk of them are full of toxins. If you ever read the ingredients list when purchasing new health and beauty products you’ll notice that common soaps often contain harmful synthetic compounds such as parabens, phthalates, perfumes, and artificial colours. Studies have shown that these ingredients can lead to a wide variety of health problems including dry skin, irritation, and allergies. Some of them have even been shown to cause cancer (Edward, 2016).

Aside from having a negative impact on your body these commercial goods also wreak havoc on the environment. They are usually mass produced leading to immense amounts of waste as a result of the production and packaging process (Vemb, 2015).

So what should we be using instead? Natural handmade soaps are a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative. They are created from all natural oils and ingredients such as arrowroot, beeswax, clays, flowers, aloe, and cocoa butter. This makes them very gentle and moisturizing, all while fully cleansing the skin. Natural soaps also tend to be cruelty free and are produced in small batches leading to less waste and environmental harm.

My online shop sources a great variety of handmade natural soap bars. Check them out and give your skin a treat!

References

Is Synthetic Clothing Really Harmful?

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TLDR: Yes!

Synthetic clothing materials such as rayon, nylon, acrylic, and polyester are made from coal and petroleum derivatives. They do not exist naturally in the environment. They are not biodegradable. They wreak havoc on the Earth, as well as your body.

These fabrics are most commonly used in fashion products because they are cheap and are easier to produce. They also appeal to potential buyers because they can give clothing some additional features such as being “wrinkle-free” or “breathable.”

The costs outweigh these benefits however because synthetic materials are very bad for our health. Phthalates, for example, are synthetic ingredients which are commonly used in clothing today and are known to disrupt hormones making them a valid cause of chronic illness. Formaldehyde is another typical ingredient used in synthetic clothing which is also a known carcinogen. This article on Pri.org talks more in depth about the health issues associated with these chemicals.

Not only are these materials detrimental to our health but they also pose significant harm to the environment. Many people don’t realize that textile dying is actually the second largest source of water pollution after agriculture. The fashion industry is largely responsible for this massive impact as it promotes the idea that clothes constantly need to be updated, leading to clothing waste.

Jewelry is not exempt from creating a negative impact either. As discussed in a recent article on Jezebel.com, fashion jewelry is predominantly made of alloy blends that contain heavy metals like nickel, lead, and cadmium – all known to cause severe neurological problems such as Alzheimer’s disease. The article refrences a study that found high levels of these hazardous chemicals in products from common clothing stores such as H&M and Walmart.

So what can we do to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our planet?

Well, every piece of clothing that exists does undergo some form of processing and will come into contact with chemicals at some point – cotton, for example, is often grown with pesticides by necessity. So while it is nearly impossible to find clothing that is completely free of these nasty chemicals, it is possible to find clothing which is minimally processed. There are a few different ways of going about that:

1) Read the labels of every single garment you find, like, and want to try on. This way, you can make sure that all or most of the materials are natural. Shopping for clothes and jewelry could be like a fun part-time job, except instead of making money you spend it. You have nothing better to do anyway, right?

2) Shop at expensive new age clothing and accessory shops and get a bunch of nice handmade, organic stuff. You won’t be able to afford rent but at least you’ll have your pride.

3) Run away from society, live off the land, and spend your days making clothes out of straw, coconuts, and animal skins that you harvest yourself.

Or, you know… not.

In my online shop, I source clothing and related products that are minimally processed and make them available to you at a fraction of the cost you would pay at a local natural clothing distributor. Check it out.