Not that you need another reason. We all know that cola is bad for us. But it’s just so good. It gives us mojo, moxi, and more. And yet. It’s loaded with artificial sweetners and chemicals that are hard to pronounce (let alone for your body to process.) And, it’s a lot more expensive than plain old tap water.
I’ve been looking for a simple homemade surface cleaning solution that would smell good AND work. Here’s the latest one I’m trying from skinny scoop. The one tweak I’d make is using organic fruit if possible so that there’s no risk of chemical residue in your cleaning fluid.
Once you’ve made a batch and tried it, you might want to make an extra batch so that you always have one “brewing” and one that’s ready to use.
Get Informed On GMOs. Tomorrow Our Campaign Begins In Earnest
If you don’t know what GMO stands for, allow me to enlighten you. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms and it’s referring to genetically engineered food. Food that we are probably eating, without knowledge or consent, in some form or another through corn and soy byproducts as a minimum. Eighty percent of foods in US grocery stores contain GMO ingredients. And it could get a whole lot worse. If we let it.
Genetically mastered foods are known to have less nutrients and breed “super bugs” though they can grow more efficiently. We should not ingest them, as they’ve been linked to increased disease. And, quite frankly, just haven’t been studied enough.
Other nations in Europe and Asia have strict laws about the labeling of genetically engineered foods. But not the US. How is it that the land of the free, home of the brave, the seat of freedom of speech is also the land of irresponsible farming techniques which aren’t being labeled?
Starting tomorrow Californian’s can make their voice heard to make sure proper labeling goes into effect. We have a right to know what goes into our foods. We have to wage war — our food supply and our health is at risk.
Founder & Chief Capidealist* Amy Ziff is a trained journalist and start-up junkie who never wanted to work at a women’s magazine writing about make-up. She always was looking for ways to make a difference, and to find better ways to live a healthy life. When she became a mom, everything came together. Ziff felt frustrated by how hard it felt to make what should be simple decisions – healthy decisions - for herself and her family. For years as a hobby, Ziff has been seeking out the truth about products and their real ingredients. (What companies put in their products can be shocking, including known carcinogens and potentially toxic chemicals, which are often not disclosed.)
Finally, she’s taking her pastime to primetime by bringing her findings public in the form of a community site called Veritey. Veritey comes from the latin root word Veritas meaning truth, combined with the sound of tailored in Veritey…Meaning a site filled with truths tailored to your life.
As a mom, Ziff feels more of an urgency to create a healthy home in order to give her children the best possible start in life. She can no longer be casual about decisions, like the soap that goes on her children, the clothes they wear on their skin, the foods she gives them. “It’s my job as a Mom,” says Amy, “to help my kids be the best they can be. In order to foster them to be their best selves a healthy start paired with unconditional love is crucial.”
Our world assaults us silently with un-natural products, even products that claim to be helpful. Children are more susceptible to the adverse effects from these chemicals. Seemingly innocuous ingredients that claim to be “anti bacterial” or “natural” or “sun blocking” are very often more harmful than helpful! Ziff believes you shouldn’t need a PhD to decipher what products to use and which to avoid. Yet the reality is that getting to the truth can take hours of research and legwork, and most busy moms and parents just don’t have that kind of time. Ziff is determined to make it easy for everyone to make healthy choices for themselves, their loved ones and the planet. “As busy, loving, concerned Mom I just wanted someone to tell me what to do. And so, I’ve created Veritey to do just that.”
Veritey makes it simple for people who are time pressed to make healthier decisions. Veritey is about truth and healthy living.
*A capidealist is one who believes that world change can come about through our collective purchasing power on the free market.
Become a capidealist today by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with “add me to the list” in the subject line and we’ll make sure you’re up-to-date on all our happenings and updates.
Make Veritey's Goodies, Baddies & Middle-of-the-Roadies List Your Own
Welcome to Veritey! We’re glad you’ve found us. We’re a blog and (soon-to-be-launched) website for finding trustworthy advice on products you can use in your home and on your body that are safe and harm-free. As a Mom, I know far too well, how hard it is to do the right thing when you’re in a rush. Even if you look for products that say they’re natural, even if you’re shopping at a healthfood store or even Whole Foods. It’s just not guaranteed that what you’re buying is truly healthy for you and your loved ones.
But don’t fret. It doesn’t have to be hard. We’re here to make being healthy simple, fast, and “think-proof”.
So, you ready to get started healthing up your home? We’ve got a list of products that we put into one of three columns. Our Red column, what we call the BADDIES, are products to ban from your home at all costs. Our Green column is for the GOODIES, products you can take comfort in using as they’ll never do any harm to you or your loved ones. And then there’s the middle-of-the-road column which lives somewhere between the two as the Yellow column. It’s filled with products that are either unavoidable in certain substances but that we don’t like and want you to watch your usage of it.
Now that you know how to use our lists, what are you waiting for? Go grab a piece of paper and a pen and start your own list. We’ll help you by ridding our homes of various offenders and replacing them with our products of choice instead. Search for products or by list however you find it most useful.
And write to us at VeriteyInfo@aol.com and let us know what products are on your lists that we should know about too.
Rid your home of toxins: Say so long to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Each month I’m going to rid my home of one toxin. Or at least I’m going to try. This week it’s Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or SDS — which is a known skin and eye irritant and potential carcinogen. It can be found in your bathroom and probably your cleaning supplies. In toothpaste it has been found to promote canker sores. Lets start with the bathroom stuff because we’re using that ON our bodies. But the cleaning products are equally if not more toxic in our homes polluting the air so don’t forget to take this list over to your cleaning supplies and get rid of them.
Now, tne thing you don’t want to do is confuse SDS with the less harmful version Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS). Though in the future I’d love to see us eradicate them all from our shelves it’s hard to find products free of Sodium Laureth Sulfate as it’s a common sudsing agent.
So what to do when you find this stuff? Write the name sodium lauryl sulfate on your own home BADDIES list (the red column). Put Sodium Laureth Sulfate in the acceptable but keep to a minimum, what we call the middle-of-the-roadies or the yellow, column.
And here are a few soaps for your GOODIES on the green list that are Veritey approved as they are SDS and SLS free:
Basic Body Soap: Whole Foods Triple Milled Soap (for the body) is a very simple soap good for men, women and kids. We like the “milk” scent but there is verbena, lavender and more.
Baby & Kids Wash: For kids another option is Shea Moisture’s organic raw shea chamomile & argon oil BABY wash & shampoo for the kids.
Toothpaste for kids & adults: Tom’s of Maine brand toothpaste, which do contain (SLS) but they work.
Happy healthing up your home. Let me know how it goes. I’d love to know what you successfully replace your SDS products with. Leave me a note here or write to me at email@example.com
And in the meantime, congratulate yourself and know you can breathe a little easier. You’re on the way to making your home a healthier place. Hurrah!
I find it incredibly sad that so many Americans truly believe that climate change is a hoax. Not caring about it is your prerogative, even if it disgusts me, but actually thinking it’s a hoax is beyond words…I worry the big hoax is truly the that we’re allowing this issue to become politicized and that the real hoax will be revealed when the proverbial wool is pulled from our eyes and we all see that we’re living on a barren planet earth.
When public opinion on the big social and political issues changes, the trends tend to be relatively gradual. Abrupt shifts, when they come, are usually precipitated by dramatic events. Which is why pollsters are so surprised by what has happened to perceptions about climate change over a span of just four years. A 2007 Harris poll found that 71 percent of Americans believed that the continued burning of fossil fuels would cause the climate to change. By 2009 the figure had dropped to 51 percent. In June 2011 the number of Americans who agreed was down to 44 percent—well under half the population. According to Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center for People and the Press, this is “among the largest shifts over a short period of time seen in recent public opinion history.”
Even more striking, this shift has occurred almost entirely at one end of the political spectrum. As recently as 2008 (the year Newt Gingrich did a climate change TV spot with Nancy Pelosi) the issue still had a veneer of bipartisan support in the United States. Those days are decidedly over. Today, 70–75 percent of self-identified Democrats and liberals believe humans are changing the climate—a level that has remained stable or risen slightly over the past decade. In sharp contrast, Republicans, particularly Tea Party members, have overwhelmingly chosen to reject the scientific consensus. In some regions, only about 20 percent of self-identified Republicans accept the science.
Equally significant has been a shift in emotional intensity. Climate change used to be something most everyone said they cared about—just not all that much. When Americans were asked to rank their political concerns in order of priority, climate change would reliably come in last.
But now there is a significant cohort of Republicans who care passionately, even obsessively, about climate change—though what they care about is exposing it as a “hoax” being perpetrated by liberals to force them to change their light bulbs, live in Soviet-style tenements and surrender their SUVs. For these right-wingers, opposition to climate change has become as central to their worldview as low taxes, gun ownership and opposition to abortion. Many climate scientists report receiving death threats, as do authors of articles on subjects as seemingly innocuous as energy conservation. (As one letter writer put it to Stan Cox, author of a book critical of air-conditioning, “You can pry my thermostat out of my cold dead hands.”)
This culture-war intensity is the worst news of all, because when you challenge a person’s position on an issue core to his or her identity, facts and arguments are seen as little more than further attacks, easily deflected. (The deniers have even found a way to dismiss a new study confirming the reality of global warming that was partially funded by the Koch brothers, and led by a scientist sympathetic to the “skeptic” position.)
The effects of this emotional intensity have been on full display in the race to lead the Republican Party. Days into his presidential campaign, with his home state literally burning up with wildfires, Texas Governor Rick Perry delighted the base by declaring that climate scientists were manipulating data “so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.” Meanwhile, the only candidate to consistently defend climate science, Jon Huntsman, was dead on arrival. And part of what has rescued Mitt Romney’s campaign has been his flight from earlier statements supporting the scientific consensus on climate change.
Here’s the problem, I’ve started this blog to talk about the things that are most on my mind when it comes to my thoughts around trying to live a better, more sustainable life.
Why? Because I feel like it’s my responsibility. It’s not just about my life but about the one that lives beyond… So yeah, it’s for my kids and their kids. I think it’s our responsibility to leave the world a better place than how it has been left to us. But so far, i’m worried that it’s coming out preachy.
Believe me, trying to live this kind of life is a struggle (even if I wish it wasn’t) and it’s hard to know where to begin sometimes. I mean, can’t we just buy mass produced goods? Why should I care about ingesting genetically engineered foods? Do I have to be a meat reducer forever and what does that do to my low-carb diet? And about all those kids toys — they really like the plastic ones made in China!
Some days are harder than others. Know what I mean?
If I had the answer it would be on Veritey. I’d love to hear where you’ve begun to green aspects of your life and also to hear where you’re struggling. I’m determined to bring help. For me. For you. For all of us.
Stay with me because I think we can make the hard days a little easier.
At Veritey we believe that living the good life has more to do with living as low an impact life as you can. It requires choice, commitment, determination and thought. It requires practice. And it requires work. Well most of the time it requires a little bit of work anyway. But we’re hoping to take some of that work off of your hands. Over time, our plan is to do all the heavy-lifting for you so that we can be your source (THE source) for making better choices as well as getting ideas on what it truly takes to live a good life.
This holiday there are going to be a lot of ways to spend your holiday dollars. Why not start with putting your money to work by giving gifts that do good.
Here are are a few simple ways to gift the good life:
1. Donate to a charity in their honor. Instead of buying people on your list more unnecessary items, give them something to be proud of. Sponsor a child for a year through Save the Children.
2. Help them reduce their carbon footprint with the gift of an offset. You can zero-out their impact with an offset through the responsibly managed GoZero program by the Conservation Fund.
3. If you’re going to buy things (and lets face it we’re all going to buy some things…) put your money to stores that will support causes you care about. Causecast wrote a good post about iGive and GoodShop as ways to do this.
4. An elaborate give for someone over 13 on your list might be an unforgettable getaway. A getaway that truly gives is a volunteer vacation through Earthwatch where you become a citizen scientist helping do work with serious scientists studying all aspects of climate change change from around the globe. (From the Cheetahs in Namibia to Turtles in the Galapogos; Dolphins in the Red Sea to Loons in the Gulf of Mexico — there are trips around the world.) This is a truly unforgettable experience.
5. Last, but not least, some of the most personal gifts is to either make something for someone or give them a favorite possession. Only you can be the judge of what is going to be just the right thing for someone on your list. But if you can save from buying something new, that’s a great way to keep the impact of your gift low.
This year, lets start to hold ourselves to a higher standard when we give. Part of doing that is to ask yourself before buying — what do I/they truly need? If the answer is nothing reconsider the list above. I know it can sound grinch-y and I don’t want to take the fun out of gift-giving. On the contrary, if we give more responsibly then getting and giving can be seriously fun, rewarding, and pride-inducing.
All it takes is a different state of mind. We call this Veritey. We’d love to hear how you’re approaching good gift giving this year.
When I say something is good, I don’t mean yummy. Although there are plenty of things that I like which are yummy and that you’ll come to associate with the veritey list of good products and services. Rather when I say good, I mean products that do no harm to people or the environment in their production and existence. Remarkably, it’s a pretty tall order.
But I’ve been collecting products like this for years and now I want to vet and share them with you. That’s what Veritey is about. The root Ver comes from the French word Verte for green. Verit is borrowed from the root word Veritas meaning truth. The tey comes from the sound in the word tailored. So it’s a little bit of green + a whole lot of truth (like it or not) and it’s tailored for you. Veritey is yours to make of it what you want. It can change the way you live, if you use it.
I invite you now, to share what you know that’s good and not so good so we can all join the veritey movement.
I look forward to the day when all the world is veritey and we no longer need this blog and website. Until then, we’ve got to pioneer and push ahead. In time, we’ll change not just ourselves but the world around us. And it will be a better, healthier, more humane place. And dare I ask, who wouldn’t want to live there?