Archive for the ‘Ecology’ Category

Kitchen Hint: Homemade laundry soap for HE (high-efficiency) washers

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Kirk’s Castile bar soap

By Catherine Haug, February 12, 2017 (image, right from Amazon (1))

Back in 2013 we had a gathering with Sheree Tompkins on Homemade Laundry Soap. Her recipe can be used in standard or HE (high-efficiency) washers because it is a low-suds recipe. This posting offers another HE option, from Wellness Mamma (2).

Like Sheree’s recipe, this one also requires grating a bar of real soap, such as Kirk’s Castile pictured above, Dr Bronner’s Pure Castile bar soap, homemade soap (see also Gathering Summary: Making Soap at Home, by Kathy Mansfield, January 26, 2011). Fels Naphtha is an old-fashioned option but has some questionable ingredients if you care about the environment.

Also included is Wellness Mamma’s borax-free laundry cleaner (two ingredients added separately to the washer). (more…)

Roundup, Paraquat herbicides lead to liver disease and Parkinson’s

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, February 7, 2017

If you regularly eat processed foods (boxed, bagged, dried, fried, canned or frozen), or meats, dairy and eggs from livestock not raised Organically, you may have a risk for these diseases: (1)

  •  NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), which can lead to cirrhosis and increases likelihood of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes (from exposure to Roundup, (13))
  • Parkinson’s disease (from exposure to Paraquat, (2)).

This is another reason to avoid GMO foods. Read on for more. (more…)

A healthy – and healthful – garden/landscape

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Veggie Landscape Garden

By Catherine Haug, Jan 21, 2017 (photo, right, from Mercola (2))

I am viewing the online docu-series: The Truth About Cancer, by Ty Bollinger, and I’m picking up on a few of garden/landscape tips that yield healthy plants and a healthier you when you eat them.

One of the things I’ve learned from this series is that cancer cells have more insulin receptors (that initiate take-up of sugar from the blood) than normal cells, and that cancer cells get their energy (life) from only two sources: sugar and glutamine (amino acid). So if you want to protect yourself from cancer or slow tumor growth, avoid sugar.

However, that doesn’t mean to avoid whole-food sources of sugar such as fruits and vegetables, because in whole-food form, the sugar is part of a larger matrix of fiber, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals that protect you. (Caveat #1: fruit juices don’t provide this protection because the matrix is broken, so eat your fruits whole; caveat #2: those fruits and veggies should be organically grown for maximum benefit).

But I digress. The purpose of this posting is to collect gardening and landscaping tips. I will update this posting as I learn more. (more…)

International Monsanto Tribunal

Saturday, December 10th, 2016

Frankenfood

By Catherine Haug, December 10, 2016 (Image, right, from Organic Consumers Association (6) used with permission)

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and Genetically Engineered (GE) foods are very common in today’s processed food supply and have even invaded the produce section. States have tried to halt it by passing laws requiring labelling of such foods, but last July, those efforts were invalidated by a sham GMO-labelling law passed by Congress and signed by our President. This law did not specifically require text stating the product contains GMO/GE ingredients, but rather allows printing of an 800-number or QR codes for more information. (See my article Pres. Obama signed the Dark Act (faulty GMO-labeling law) for more).

In October 2016, countries around the world participated in the International Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands. This “Tribunal was a show of international solidarity for a regenerative food and agriculture system — the antithesis of Monsanto’s toxic, degenerative model.” (1) The tribunal cannot impose penalties, nor is it a mock-trial, but rather a citizens tribunal, which “have a long history of bringing justice to issues where governments etagere act corruptly or fail to act.” (1) This tribunal was based on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted by the United Nations in 2011. It was “an international court of lawyers and judges  who assessed the potential criminal liability of Monsanto for damages inflicted on human health and the environment. [The tribunal’s] final verdicts can serve as foundation for future legal cases against not only Monsanto, but also Bayer, Syngenta, Dow and others.” (1)

Ronnie Cummins, International Director of the OCA and a member of the Regeneration International (5) steering committee. wrote: “Ultimately the People’s Assembly agreed that we need to not only get rid of Monsanto, but the entire degenerative system of food, farming and land use that is driving global warming, catastrophic droughts and floods, soil erosion, desertification, water shortages, mass biodiversity loss, rural poverty and war, and deteriorating public health. (4)

For more about the tribunal see references 2 – 5.
(more…)

LED lighting: why you need orange sunglasses

Monday, November 14th, 2016
Incandescent, CFL and LED hanging bulbs

Incandescent, CFL and LED hanging bulbs

By Catherine Haug, Nov. 14, 2016; updated 1/4/17 regarding f.lux app  (photo, right from Recycle Nation (1))

About a year ago, a health newsletter newsletter had an article on problems with LED lighting. They explained the issue of LED blue light at night and how it can impact our internal clocks, sleep patterns, and immune systems. Not long after that, Edd mentioned that when he drives the school bus in the dark early morning hours, oncomming cars with LED headlamps blind his vision until the car is well behind him. I seldom drive at night so had not noticed that problem, but I believe he is right.

Nowadays, most of us have smartphone, tablet and computer screens lit by LEDs, and many of us have LED TV screens. We’ve also begun to replace our homes’ incandescent and CFL lighting with LED lights. Do we face risks from these?

The answer is YES. But there are things you can do to minimize that risk.

For printable pdf version, see LED lighting: Why you Need OrangeGlasses; it includes the 1/4/17 update. (link essentialstuff.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/LED-lighting-OrangeGlasses.pdf ) (more…)

Carcinogenic chemical found in Flathead and Missoula Counties’ drinking water

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

By Catherine Haug, Sept 24, 2016

This is a critical issue, and I just learned about it from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) (1). See also their interactive map (2):

  • Counties in various shades of yellow, green, blue and black were found to be positive for the toxic chemical Chromium-6.* These include Flathead and Missoula counties.** A total of 1,370 U.S. counties had an average level of chromium-6 exceeding California’s non-binding public health goal of 1 ppb. (see below).
  • Counties in gray have not been tested.

If you saw the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich” (played by Julia Roberts), then you know about chromium-6, because that is the deadly chemical she fought to expose. And Erin has not given up the fight; see EWG article (1). This carcinogen has been found in tap water of more than 200 million Americans.

If you wish to take action on this, sign the online petition to the EPA (5)

*NOTE: Chromium-6 is not the same as Chromium-3, which is considered by some to be an essential nutrient for humans.

** Flathead Co. testing was only Kalispell Municipal drinking water; Missoula Co. testing was only Mountain Water Company.  (However, our levels are below California’s limit goal of 1 ppb). (more…)