California Drafts its Own Cap-and-Trade Plan

I wanted to share this news with you and I think it’s fantastic that Californians are voicing their concerns with action. I would like the time frame to be moved up a year so that the program begins in 2011 and not 2012. I would also like to see the standards raised to more than 15%. I do have confidence that companies will go above and beyond the requirements and work toward zero emissions. Let’s see what happens in Copenhagen as well. The world is watching and we can truly make a difference.

California Drafts its Own Cap-and-Trade Plan.




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Ayurvedic Tips in Time for Seasonal Changes

My wonderful friend Jutta Hecht has offered these wonderful Ayurvedic inspired tips just in time for the Netti potchange of season. Ayurveda, which translates into “life science” is an ancient form of traditional Indian medicine which focuses on prevention as medicine. However foreign this may sound, some of these practices are being adopted into our western world more frequently. For instance, the number 2 suggestion is something that I do daily. I use a netti pot or nasal pot which looks like a genie lantern. Simply fill it with warm water and a pinch of sea salt and let it run through each nostril. It’s simple and effective in preventing viruses from proliferating.

“At any change of season, when the weather quality and temperatures are fluctuating, the body is more prone to imbalanced fire. It is very important to strengthen the digestive fire (Agni) and doing some detoxification to remove accumulated toxins (Ama) to stay healthy.

From September – October we experience an Accumulation and Aggravation of Vata. We are at the end of a dry summer (Vata aggravating) and beginning of Fall, when the Air element is predominant. (Vata aggravating).

You might experience more dryness in your skin, sleep problems, nervousness, changing appetite, being more emotional, cracking bones, arthritis and catching colds more easily.
Tips for the Change of Season

After awakening drink a cup of warm water.
After brushing your teeth, apply Nasya (Oiliation of your nose). This helps to prevent colds, allergies and sinus infections.
Prepare Coriander/Fennel/Cumin tea and drink it warm throughout the day. These herbs cleanse the channels, kidney and liver and increase alertness and wakefulness.
Don’t skip meals, and focus on warm and nourishing foods.
Strenghten your digestive fire by taking Hingvastak (An Ayurvedic Preparation) before meals.
Boost your immune system with Amalaki (An Ayurvedic Herb, very high in natural Vitamin C) and Ashwagandha (Strengthens the nervous system and stamina).ayurveda_1
Apply Vata Oil or Sesame Oil, especially on your neck, shoulders, arms and chest before going to bed.
Take Triphala before you go to bed. This famous Ayurvedic remedy very gently detoxifies the body and rejuvenates the digestive system.
When you feel a cold coming on, immediately take Colloidal Silver or Sitopaladi.
Have regular Oil Abhyangas (Individualized Hot Oil Treatments) to keep Vata pacified.
Be happy and grateful for all your blessings!”

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Blue-Green Algae – What’s Lurking in Your Swamp Might Save the World

The headlines are wreaking of investments in algae – yes that yukky stuff that can actually be very toxic to sea life. Wouldn’t you know, the Swamp Thing is poised to have big value. 49302168

According to an article by ScienceDaily “Algae are tiny biological factories that use photosynthesis to transform carbon dioxide and sunlight into energy so efficiently that they can double their weight several times a day.

As part of the photosynthesis process algae produce oil and can generate 15 times more oil per acre than other plants used for biofuels, such as corn and switchgrass. Algae can grow in salt water, freshwater or even contaminated water, at sea or in ponds, and on land not suitable for food production.”49302194

This oil can be used for gas, diesel, and jet fuels. Algae biofuel is also compatible with existing engines, existing storage, distribution, and delivery infrastructure. However the most important aspect is that algae-based biofuels have a low carbon footprint as they do not require the use of forests or large areas of land for production.

Some other wonderful aspects of algae-based biofuels:
– Algae biofuel is carbon neutral; only emits C02 that it absorbs.
– Algae reproduces very quickly, maximizing biofuel yields.
– Algae biofuel can scale to even possibly replace oil.

The world’s first algae fuel-powered vehicle, dubbed the Algaeus. The plug-in hybrid car, which is a Prius tricked out with a nickel metal hydride battery and a plug, runs on green crude from Sapphire Energy — no modifications to the gasoline engine necessary.

The world’s first algae fuel-powered vehicle, dubbed the Algaeus. The plug-in hybrid car, which is a Prius tricked out with a nickel metal hydride battery and a plug, runs on green crude from Sapphire Energy — no modifications to the gasoline engine necessary.

– Algae biofuel is commercially viable on an industrial scale.
– Algae biofuel can become price competitive with oil.
– There are no soil requirements for algae biofuel.
– Algae can be produced locally for food and fuel.
– Algae biofuel does not damage food prices.
– The algae biofuel industry is growing quickly with a bright future.
– Algae yields much more biofuel per acre than other fuels.
– Algae photo-bioreactors require very little land.
– Algal fuels do not impact fresh water resources.
– Algae biofuel can grow in salt water, freshwater or contaminated water.
– Human waste and sewage can be used to grow algae biofuel.
– Algae can be used to filter C02 from coal plants and create biofuel.
– Algae biofuel is more practical than solar power.
– Algae does not compete with food resources like other biofuels.

Pulled from the headlines – look whose investing in algae biofuels:
“One of the nation’s wealthiest American Indian communities is a major investor in a start-up with the twin goals of making fuel from algae and reducing emissions.”

“Exxon to Invest Millions to Make Fuel From Algae”

“Dow Chemical’s long-term interest in the ethanol produced by the algae is as a replacement for natural gas to make plastic.”


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Organic Pesticides for Home and School that Double as Aromatherapy

Organic Pesticides for Home and School that Double as Aromatherapy

If you haven’t heard by now or are not aware of the fact that pesticides are toxic, you are either living under a rock or in outer space. Although hibernating at times is essential wherever that place may be, when you do surface you probably aren’t spending too much time thinking about pesticides as you travel throughout your day. After all, we do live in a country (United States) that is suppose to protect us from any harmful effects that we might experience due to pesticide exposure. 2009-07-12-kids-playing-in-overgrown-grass-17Well, unfortunately the EPA is doing a lousy job at setting and enforcing regulation that serves our society’s best interest. What is most disturbing is that there are no mandates only recommendations, that protect school children, a segment of our population that is most vulnerable to environmental toxins.

Based on research information provided by the non-profits: Beyond Pesticides and Healthy Child Healthy World, EcoSMART – a leader in organic pest control products concluded that “Pesticide exposure can adversely affect a child’s neurological, respiratory, immune, and endocrine systems, and have been shown to cause or exacerbate asthma symptoms. Studies show that children living in households where pesticides are used suffer elevated rates of asthma, leukemia, brain cancer, and soft tissue sarcoma. Because most of the symptoms of pesticide exposure, from respiratory distress to difficulty in concentration, are common in school children and may also have other causes, pesticide-related illnesses often go unrecognized and unreported.”images

This link will direct you to a chart breaking down each chemical found in pesticides and what part of the body it affects the most: health-enviro-print

Beyond Pesicides also reported that: “A 2005 study published in the Journal of American Medical Association finds that students and school employees are being poisoned by pesticide use at schools and from drift off of neighboring farmlands; the study authors noted the lack of protection for school children and employees under federal law, pointing out that state laws provide some protection but are varied, thus leaving large gaps.” Another disturbing point is that The Poison Control Center has documented 2,300 school pesticide exposures from 1993-96. That was over ten years ago.

The good thing is is that you do have choices and you can make a difference. safe_home_bundleEcoSmart maker of a line of organic pest control products both for home and commercial use is an excellent option when choosing an alternative. These products are not only safe to use but also smell incredibly delightful so much so that they block out any foul odor lingering about. They wreak of winter-mint and other natural scents that have pleasing effects. Can you recall any bug spray that you could actually hang out in a room with immediately after using?

The most important thing is that they work incredibly well. My ants are gone and have stayed away for weeks. My flies have flown away and haven’t come back and my family including my pets aren’t pissed off at me. My potted outdoor plants are also thanking me as the fungus has gone and they are thriving.

The other thing that I am doing is addressing this issue with my school board in hopes that they will make the switch to only using organic pesticides. My advice is to take action. Go to your school district and express your voice or if you don’t have kids, buy products for your home and garden that are natural and organic. Chances are there are children living near by.

Stay Healthy, Live Green
Julie Gengo


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Top 10 Organic Food Buying Tips

I snatched this from OrganicJar, a fabulous website on organic food.

A report hit the news about a month ago stating that based on a research study conducted by the British Food Standards Agency entitled Comparison of composition (nutrients and other substances) of organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs: a systematic review of the available literature (pdf)., organic food was found to be no more nutritious than conventionally grown food. One thing you might want to consider when making your decision is that the study failed to take into account the insurmountable amount of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides that are used to grow food. There were other flaws (see the article – In Defense of Organic Food). While the nutrients may be the same, with organic food you do not damage your cells by ingesting these highly toxic chemicals. Conventional farming also “gives animals antibiotics, growth hormones and medications to prevent disease and spur growth. according to the Mayo Clinic.” I’ve written about this in previous blogs but please do your own research.

Again here are some benefits to consider when deciding on whether or not to eat organic food.
Organic Farmers:
– Apply natural fertilizers, such as manure or compost, to feed soil and plants.
– Use beneficial insects and birds, mating disruption or traps to reduce pests and disease.
– Rotate crops, till, hand weed or mulch to manage weeds.
– Give animals organic feed and allow them access to the outdoors.
– Use preventive measures — such as rotational grazing, a balanced diet and clean housing — to help minimize disease.

Top 10 Organic Food Buying Tips

Whether you’re already a fan of organic foods or you just want to shop wisely and handle your food safely, consider these tips:
Buy fruits and vegetables in season to ensure the highest quality.
Also, try to buy your produce the day it’s delivered to market to ensure that you’re buying the freshest food possible. Ask your grocer what day new produce arrives.
Read food labels carefully.
Just because a product says it’s organic or contains organic ingredients doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a healthier alternative. Some organic products may still be high in sugar, salt, fat or calories.
Don’t confuse natural foods with organic foods.
Only those products with the “USDA Organic” label have met USDA standards.
Wash all fresh fruits and vegetables thoroughly with running water to reduce the amount of dirt and bacteria.
If appropriate, use a small scrub brush — for example, before eating apples, potatoes, cucumbers or other produce in which you eat the outer skin.
If you’re concerned about pesticides, peel your fruits and vegetables and trim outer leaves of leafy vegetables in addition to washing them thoroughly.
Keep in mind that peeling your fruits and vegetables may also reduce the amount of nutrients and fiber. Some pesticide residue also collects in fat, so remove fat from meat and the skin from poultry and fish.
Buy organic food at farmer’s markets when you can.
Not only is this a great way to buy organic food that’s in season but you get to talk to the farmers directly about how the food is grown. Plus you support the farmers who have invested in organic growing processes.
Buy in bulk.
Whether you’re shopping at a natural foods store, supermarket or co-op, buying in bulk is a great way to stretch your food dollar. For beans, grains, lentils and nuts, head straight for the bulk containers. Just make sure you have a cool, dry place in your kitchen to store your dry goods for a few months. Not every item you can buy in bulk is worth the bother. Do the math.
Be flexible.
To nab the best deals on organic foods you need to be a focused, yet flexible, shopper. Always shop with a list but never be afraid to snap up a good bargain when you see one. Write “three vegetables” on your shopping list and then look around at store specials. Do the same for proteins and grains. Never ever buy an item that you don’t need just because it’s on sale or you have a coupon.
Shop online.
Can’t find a local source for the organic food you want? Don’t give up. Hop online. You may be able to order the organic foods that you want online.The GreenPeople directory from the Organic Consumer Association is a good place to begin your online search for affordable organic foods. A roundup of additional organic directories is also available on the site. And be sure to check out this list of cyber-markets offering organic products from Organic Kitchen. Shop wisely.
Grow your own.
If you’re really serious about garden-fresh organic produce, why not plant your own? Seeds are available from companies such as Seeds of Change. And Organic Kitchen has a big roundup of organic gardening tips. Start small. Carrots, radishes and beets are easy to grow.


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Natural Solutions to Toxic Build Up – Cleaning Supplies You Can Live With

Natural Solutions to Toxic Build Up – Cleaning Supplies You Can Live With
By Julie Gengo

Natural Cleaning Supplies That You Can Make

Natural Cleaning Supplies That You Can Make

Toxins, toxins, toxins. We often hear about the abundance of toxins in our environment, chemical cleaners and solutions, food supply and beauty products. These superfluous and perhaps unwarranted chemicals may be the reason why so many of us are experiencing wellness issues. Avoiding these toxins can be complicated and confusing since many are hidden, not well tested or not tested at all. As a result they are allowed into our lives with inaccurate or no information on their safety.

When toxins enter your body they find their way into your blood stream and end up in your liver. Your liver is designed to cleanse the body of unnecessary elements including toxins. However, with an overload of toxins, the liver can get clogged affecting bodily functions, including cholesterol levels, in a negative way. Other symptoms can be in the form of physical and mental fatigue, rashes and other allergy symptoms, loss of concentration, premature aging, insomnia and lowered immune system to name a few.

Unfortunately the cells absorb some toxins bypassing the liver all together. This process can damage and change your DNA leading to serious diseases including cancer.

One thing you can do to eliminate toxins in your body is to detoxify. However you are still going to want to incorporate preventative measures into your life to eliminate the toxins that you at least have control over. A simple way to avoid toxins in the home and office is to use environmentally friendly (free of harsh chemicals) cleaning products. One way to reduce costs and use these products is to make your own.

Below are recipes that you can make using simple ingredients.

2 cups hot water
1 tsp. biodegradable liquid soap or borax
1 tsp. white vinegar or lemon juice (to cut grease)

Fill spray bottle with hot water. Add soap and vinegar or lemon juice. Shake bottle gently to dissolve ingredients.

2 cups hot water
1 tsp. borax
3 tbsp. White vinegar

Fill spray bottle with all three ingredients and shake for 30 seconds. Keep bottle in shower and mist shower wall and door/curtain after each use. Helps prevent mold and mildew from developing.

1 cup water
1/8 cup white vinegar

Fill bottle with both ingredients and shake for 30 seconds. Use on all types of glass surfaces including mirrors.

½ cup baking soda
Enough biodegradable liquid soap to make a frosting-like consistency
5-10 drops fragrant essential oil

Place baking soda in a bowl and slowly pour in liquid soap, stirring constantly, until the mixture reaches the consistency of frosting. Add drops of essential oil (optional). Scoop the mixture onto a sponge, wash surface and rinse.

¼ cup baking soda
1 cup vinegar

Sprinkle baking soda into toilet basin followed by the vinegar. Allow mixture to sit for several minutes. Scrub with brush and rinse with water. A mixture of borax (2 parts) and lemon juice (1 part) will also work.

One tip: Try to use empty and clean spray bottles (previously filled with other ingredients) that you may have around the house to encourage the reuse of these items.

These recipes are courtesy of the Solana Center for Environmental Innovation. You may want to make a small donation and request that the Center send you the set of the colorful sticky labels, complete with recipes, so that you can easily identify your spray bottles and have the recipes at hand for refilling.


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Forget Gas, Batteries —- Pee Is New Power Source

Found this cool article on Organic Consumers Association website today and wanted to share…

Forget Gas, Batteries — Pee Is New Power Source

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