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I am tired of struggling to take off eye make up- I hardly wear it, anyway, because I end of crying or rubbing my eyes- but still the removal is troubling- most make up removers have chemicals, and soap dries the fragile eye tissues. What to do?

Gotta love this simple use for coconut oil. Pour a small amount on a cotton pad and gently wipe eye make up away. If congealed, just scoop out a small amount and warm in your hand and apply to pad, then eye. Voila!

You don’t even have to watch the video, but here it is anyway-Coconut Oil Make Up Remover

 

Hat Tip: sixtyandme.com

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Mama’s Calendula Skin Food

February 14, 2012

Here is the recipe I created for “Mama’s Calendula Skin Food 2011”:

Wonderful for cuts, scrapes, chapped skin, lip balm, burns, cuticles, rough skin on heels and more.

¼ c Calendula infused grapeseed oil

.5 oz beeswax

1/8 t unfiltered honey

½ t cocoa butter

½ t sea buckthorn oil

20 drops peppermint, lavender or Thieves essential oil

Slowly melt beeswax in double boiler. (I used a pyrex measuring cup in a pan of water)

stir in honey, cocoa butter, and oils. Do not boil, just warm until melted.

When all liquid, turn off heat, add drops of essential oil and stir, pour into little containers and allow to cool.

What toxic chemicals are lurking under the kitchen sink or at the back of the shelf in the basement or even in plain view on your bathroom countertop? This is a photo of what I found in my house.

Since it is Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day in I have been scouring the house and garage for corrosives, flammables and poisons in my home. I consider my family to be conscientious about NOT bringing hazardous materials into the house but I surprised myself with the items I collected in 10 minutes of searching.

Many items we use and discard with our trash are actually similar to EPA regulated hazardous wastes that are generated by industries that make the products we buy and use. Maybe we shouldn’t be throwing so much toxic waste away, since there is no such thing as away.

In the kitchen: oven cleaners, drain cleaner, floor-care, soaps and cleansers

In the bathroom: toilet cleaner, cosmetics, hair color, aerosol deodorant, nail polish remover

In the laundry: spot removers, chlorine bleach, spray starch, softeners, brighteners

General: pool chemicals, paint strippers, glue, furniture polish, air fresheners, metal cleaners, paint/stain/varnish, turpentine, paint thinner, wood preservatives, ammonia cleaners, moth balls and flakes

Cars: gasoline, antifreeze, brake/transmission fluid, solvents and degreaser

Lawn and Garden: insecticides, pesticides, fertilizers, weed killers, flea and tick powder

Why is household hazardous waste a problem? At home accidental burns, poisoning, or even death if not used, stored and disposed of properly. Septic systems and sewage plants are not designed to filter toxic materials. If you pour these things down the drain or in the sewer this can affect everyone’s water supply ultimately contaminating our rivers, lakes and Long Island Sound. Often solid waste is burned and if the waste has hazardous materials then the residue ends up in the air we breathe and the ash contaminates the ground water. Last but of course not least toxins in our water can affect fish and other wildlife.

I think I have reasons why I have some of the items I have, you might, too – for example, a few years back there was a huge hornets nest in the garbage shed, then it was useful again a few years later when there was another yellow jacket nest in the ground under the lilac tree outside the front door – so I thought we needed a spray to knock them out. But I still have half a canister. I also have paint thinner, pet odor attack and indoor house plant food, a few half empty spray paint cans left over from Josh’s graffiti days, charcoal starter fluid (don’t even have a charcoal grill…) and liquid ski wax (no one skis anymore).

What to do? Best solution? Don’t buy or use these things. Oh, no! No more nail polish and remover? Hmmm.

Well, anyway, we can begin to think about the products we bring into our homes. Can we do without something, or substitute a natural option? It is much easier to find non-toxic cleaners at your local grocery stores these days. Check out this list from ecomall.com and seventhgeneration.com and . Under my sink today I have products from Seventh Generation, Mrs. Meyers, Bon Ami, CitriSolv and plain old vinegar.  Or make your own and make some more. Buy only what we need, use what we buy. Pass on partially used products to neighbors or friends who can use them.

Maybe we shouldn’t be throwing so much toxic waste away, since there is no such thing as away. I mean, where does our hazardous waste get stored or disposed of –  is there any place safe?

What we can do is keep all our hazardous products in one place and dispose of properly by taking to a Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day.

How to find one near you: Best to search on the internet under “Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day” and add your state and county. Here is a great informational site for the Twin Cities. There will be something near you, too.

I Scan My Food

July 6, 2010

Interesting new iPhone app from Iscanmyfood.com. According to developer Marietta Darrah,  “after 5 months of work and development, our iPhone app “I Scan My Food” is finally in the iTunes Store. We’re hoping to be able to develop it for other smart phones in the future and help raise awareness how toxic food additives, GMOs, and modified ingredients affect our health in the long run.”

The app contains a large database of photos and descriptions of many toxic substances found in everyday foods we purchase at the store. You can research foods and can send the results through your phone. Why would we want to do that, not sure. But watch the 8 minute intro video and you, too, will be able to scan the ingredients on packaging and track food additives in the food and beverages purchased every day at the supermarket. You can scan foods, cosmetics with the lite or Pro version. Ingredients are listed from green (safe) to red and orange (varying degrees of toxicity). The pro version is available on iTunes for $9.99.

I have downloaded it and have used for a day- I am finding it hard to do a correct scan. It is best to have the label on table or countertop. You do have to hold your camera steady.

via: Luisa

I am up to my ears with information about chemicals in shampoos. You need a degree in chemistry to even read the ingredients let alone understand the list. Not only the ingredients, there is the plastic bottle quandary, too.

BUT, wait a minute, shampoo is soap. There are natural soap companies all over. Soap making is an leasy local business.

It is easier than you think to buy shampoo without:

  • detergents
  • sulfates
  • petroleum products
  • parabens
  • pthalates
  • synthetic preservatives
  • artificial colors
  • artificial fragrances
  • foam boosters
  • propylene glycol

You can use a shampoo bar and that is just what I’ve been doing. So, unbeknownst to my bestest friend, T, I have quietly become a fan of shampoo bars- I like the Liggett’s brand, there are countless others and now I have decided that I am going to make some.

Chagrin Valley Soap and Craft is an all natural soap company. Their site explains much about the soap making process.

The great thing about soap is that there are many small companies spread out through our communities. Here in Litchfield County we have GoatBoy Soaps. You can buy their hand made soaps at many retail stores as well as at the Litchfield Farmer’s Market on Saturdays.

I think this is a great idea for a business. T was thinking of starting a gluten-free cupcake company called “Cuppies”. But after eating beaucoup de cupcakes all last winter she seems to have changed her mind. At least she isn’t talking about it much. Well, you can’t eat soap. Whaddaya think, T? we could call it “Shampoo on a Rope”, or “Bar of ‘poo”. Only kidding.

Lead in Lipstick

June 13, 2010

HealthFreedom.org has just commented on the FDA’s test, conducted last year, of 22 red lipstick brands. All contained lead.

Irritability, unexplained changes in mood or personality, changes in sleeping patterns, inability to concentrate, memory loss are some of the adult symptoms of lead poisoning. HMMM….sounds like menopausal symptoms to me. Lead poisoning is insidious as it accumulates in our body slowly being stored and symptoms occur later. Children are greatly at risk because the burden on their little bodies is much greater.

It is estimated that women might ingest an average of 4 pounds of lipstick in our lifetime because we lick our lips, eat and drink.  So it would be a very good idea to know what we are smearing on our mouths every day, eh?

“The lead found in Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor Maximum Red was 34 times higher than the lead found in the lowest scoring lipstick, Avon’s Ultra Color Rich Cherry Jubilee. Clearly, the manufacturers are capable of doing better, said the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics‘ Stacy Malkan. Cover Girl’s media center at Procter & Gamble did not respond to repeated requests for comment.”

“I think some companies are not doing a good job sourcing their ingredients,” Malkan said.

It is known that lead builds up in the body over time and is stored in bones and organs. When a woman is pregnant, nursing and in menopause the demands on her body cause bones and organs to release stored calcium, other minerals as well as lead. Even if there has been no recent exposure, there is lead stored.

Awareness is key. There needs to be more accountability with the manufacturing side, and, as consumers we must demand safe cosmetics. You can sign petitions and be better educated at the Safe Cosmetics site.

Safest lipstick? Not red. Gloss is safer.

I am the traveler who sometimes cleans out my small, used containers and refills them to use for trips so I have a mini version of what I use at home. But lately I have just packed the large containers and that does take up precious cargo space. If you travel as much as Josh, this is a useful find! It’s effortless, expensive, but makes packing so easy. It is also a great way to try out new brands.  And some great brands have put together useful travel kits at 3Floz.com. Check out Pangea, Hauschka and other organic brands.