Archives for July 2015

Why California Drought Matters to Everyone, Especially #Fracking

“I don’t even live in California. Why should I worry about the drought?” Here’s one reason why we should all be worried about California drought: Farmers in the state grow most of the food that Americans eat, such as 90% of the grapes, and 95% of the broccoli. And that’s just the biggest crops. Here’s another: The problem isn’t just limited to California drought, it’s also affecting the states of Oregon and Washington–Portland and Seattle both announced drought status in July. And finally–not to freak you out or anything–according to EcoWatch, the California drought has lead to an increase in mosquito borne illnesses like West Nile Virus, and a decrease in populations of river fish like salmon. Scared? Me, too. But along with new gadgets and gizmos designed to save water, there is some good news on the horizon. [Read more…]

I asked @KarenBassTweets to Vote No on DARK Act, Will You Take Action, Too? #StopTheDARKAct

Last week, the House Agricultural Committee passed HR 1599, the bill better known as the DARK Act, which would obliterate state GMO labeling laws, prohibit national GMO labeling, and ban any GMO crop growing limitations on municipal, state or federal levels. At some point this week–it could be today–the DARK Act is up for a vote. Want to help stop it? Me, too. [Read more…]

Mommy Greenest Approved: Barlean’s Organic Culinary Coconut Oil + Healthy Popsicle Recipe!

organic culinary coconut oilFrom the time I learned to cook—in Italy, the year I turned thirteen—I kept a giant bottle of olive oil next to the stove. I mixed it into salad dressing, tossed vegetables in it before roasting, and used it as a base—adding garlic first, of course—to pretty much everything I sautéed. But that might all be about to change: I recently learned that coconut oil may be a healthier choice for some methods of cooking. [Read more…]

Jennifer Beals Stands Up 2 #DollarStores

Jennifer Beals for Dollar Store CampaignYou know her from “Proof” and remember her from “The L Word” and “Flashdance,” but today actress Jennifer Beals is an activist, working with the Campaign for Healthier Solutions to get toxic chemicals like PVC and other phthalates out of dollar stores. According to her video, discount retailers–better known as “dollar stores”–are operated by four major chains: Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar and 99 Cents Only. Together, they operate over 21,500 U.S. stores, making the dollar store network larger than Walmart. And their total annual sales are more than $36 billion!

Yet unlike Walmart, Costco and Target, which are working towards disclosing and eliminating toxic chemicals, a new testing of dollar stores found serious problems. Here’s Beals’ extremely personal take on the problem:

[Read more…]

.@EWG Finds Asbestos in @Disney @Nickelodeon Crayons?!? #BacktoSchool Essential Reading

When I learned that the Environmental Working Group had found asbestos in crayons and toys, I was terrified. Like most parents, I raised my kids on coloring books and crayons. Like most people, I thought asbestos was a thing of the past. But as I learned, asbestos is still legal–the carcinogen actually kills 15,000 Americans every year.

Sadly, the story on asbestos and kids is even scarier: Studies show that a child exposed to asbestos is 3.5 times more likely than an adult to develop mesothelioma, a lung disease caused only by asbestos. And with the new findings of asbestos in crayons and toys, this is a problem that affects all of us. Here are three things you can do about it: [Read more…]

Hey, Kool Aid!

kool aid packet against a wood backgroundSo an interesting thing happened the other day. My eight-year-old daughter, who’s pretty much been raised without artificial food dyes–except for the occasional birthday cupcake or Halloween candy–was given a party bag that contained a single-serve packet of Kool Aid. Now, I grew up on Kool Aid, having spent summers with my grandparents in Nebraska, where fruit punch was considered juice. Remember that commercial where the kids yell, “Hey Kool Aid!” and a giant walking pitcher crashes through the wall? I lived for it. There was nothing better than gulping down a big glass of Kool Aid after riding my bike for hours in ninety-percent humidity. But after learning about the links between artificial food dyes and health problems like cancer, I couldn’t bring myself to give it to her. So what did I do? [Read more…]

France Bans Glyphosate aka RoundUp

It’s great to see a country take action on toxic chemicals–even if it’s not our own. After the United Nations called it a “probable human carcinogen,” France banned the sale of glyphosate–aka Roundup–at garden centers nationwide. The most widely sprayed herbicide on the planet, glyphosate is used in tandem with genetically modified “Roundup Ready” crops like corn and soybeans. According to Newsweek, as of 2012 Roundup was also the herbicide of choice for New York City parks.

But the tide may be turning in America, too. [Read more…]

Help me #RaiseAHand with @ThredUP for Teachers We Love!

teacher rewards contest from thredup recycled upcycled preloved fashionI have a little bit of a thredUP habit. Ever since I discovered the site last year, I’ve been just a wee bit obsessed. In fact, so many polka-dotted bags move back and forth across my doorstep that my neighbors probably think I’m working for the company. No, I just love the idea of saving 90% and recycling clothing! So when I heard about thredUP’s new Raise a Hand for Teachers program, I knew I had to get involved. Helping teachers with the click of a button? Sign me up! [Read more…]