Please pass on the plastic

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Guess What Old Navy does with its Hangers? September 30, 2009

Filed under: no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 9:19 pm

Throws them away.

that’s right, hundreds of thousands of PLASTIC hangars thrown away, to the dump, crowding our landfills, poisoning our soil, waters, and bodies.

I’ve boycotted but since I think they are a family friendly place to shop I’m going to give them a chance to change their ways….I’ll let you know how my, “plastic is horrible” letter campaign goes….

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Whatever you do, don’t….

Filed under: healthy baby,healthy home,healthy pets,no more plastic — michelleodonoghue @ 9:12 pm

hang that plastic shower curtain….I’ ve written about this before, but it keeps coming back to me because using one of those vinyl (PVC) shower curtains is one of the most toxic things you can do in your household. The Center for Health, Environment, and Justice has issued warnings about the long term effects of exposure to the “poison plastic,” and has strongly urged all retailers to remove vinyl shower curtains from their shelves.  According to CHEJ, a vinyl shower curtain releases 108 dfferent volatile organic compounds (VOC’s = very bad) into the air over 28 days.

It almost goes without saying, but  I will anyway :)….if you are pregnant or have young children the exposure to these toxins are even more harmful. One friend mentioned to  me that she got really lightheaded when she hung her new plastic curtain recently….hmmmm….there’s no mystery here, the chemicals in the vinyl go right to your lungs and bloodstream. STAY AWAY.

 

some alternatives:

HEMP –antimicrobial, resistant to fading and super durable. can be found at Rawganique.com

LINEN– very natural looking, I didn’t use a liner with mine and it held up fine, can be found at Gaiam.com

COTTON– organic is best, but any cotton is better than PVC….satara-inc.com

happy showering!

 

Top 5 Ways for Pregnant Moms To Be Chemical / Toxin Free September 23, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 5:29 pm

This one’s for you Ann!

Pregnancy is a critical time to watch out for the chemicals in our homes and environment. Do as much as you  possibly can do to eliminate toxins so that the baby does not have to cope with unnecessary stresses. Anything that you breath, baby breathes and the effects, say,  of a great smelling body lotion can be quite deleterious to a baby. There are 80,000 synthetic chemicals on the U.S. market and we lack basic hazard information on almost all of them b/c the chemical industry blocks public protection laws by citing that “proof of harm” evidence is needed.

Recently, a study done by the Environmental Working Group found 287 industrial chemicals in the umbilical cord of 10 newborn babies—many of these chemicals have been linked to cancer, brain damage, and birth defects.

 

Here’s the top 5 ways to reduce your exposure:

1.) Only use all natural cleaning sprays, candles, and anything else that gives off scents (i.e room deodorizes). 

2.) Only use all natural body care products (soaps, lotion, detergents, make-up, perfume, shampoo / conditioner). 70% of anything that touches our skin is absorbed into our bloodstream. 70%. 

3.) Only use no- VOC paint.  Chemical free, no odor, easy on you and baby, almost any good paint store (including home depot, Lowe’s, etc) has this alternative now.

4.) PLANTS–surround yourself and your home with as many plants as possible. Plants don’t need direct sunlight to grow. I have a few growing in bedrooms and bathrooms that only get a little light and they do great.

5.) Organic fruits, veggies, dairy and meats. it makes a difference.

6.) Throwing in one more really, really, really important way to be chemical free: FILTER your tap water (brita or tap filtration system–america has good drinking water but high in chlorine ), and don’t drink from plastic bottles (they break down into your water)

If there was ever a time to be chemical conscience, it is now. By following those 6 suggestions, you are able to eliminate soIt makes a really big difference.

 

Pumping It Up / Fired Up September 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — michelleodonoghue @ 4:57 pm

It doesn’t take much to get me fired up these days BUT I think many of you will feel the disappointment that I did when I read about the following story in the Wall St Journal a couple of weeks ago.  As a nursing mom (of a 6 week old) the following story is particularly painful to me but I think it is one that needs to be known by all.

 The company Totes / Isotoner recently fired one of their female factory workers, Ms. Allen, for taking unscheduled breaks to go pump. She is the mother of a 5 month old baby.  She reported to work at 6 am, and since her scheduled break was not until 11 she repeatedly asked her boss if she could take an earlier break to pump (she would then skip her 11am break) so that she did not have to go through the leakage and discomfort that goes along with waiting too long to pump. She was repeatedly denied.  Therefore, she began taking an unscheduled break at 10 am to go pump. She was fired soon after.

Ms. Allen sued Totes / Isotoner and the Ohio Supreme Court judge who heard the case favored with the company. The judge upheld the decision and Ms. Allen is out a job!!!!!

It is so unsettling that a woman who is trying to do it all, to do what is best for her family, and still hold down a job, could be fired for this unselfish act.  Ms. Allen is a factory worker. The wages she makes probably don’t come close to covering the cost of what it takes to raise a family, let alone purchase formula.  And even if she had all the money in the world, she should still have the indisputable right to nurse her child with the best source of nutrition there is, possibly preventing her child from various health issues, both immediate and long-term. There are many reasons that Ms. Allen may have chosen to continue breastfeeding. For anyone who has ever used a breast pump,you will agree with me, it is not to get a “free” unsceduled break at work. The 10 minutes of “milking” is not exactly fun or relaxing. Not to mention she probably had to set up in a bathroom stall. 

 

It is disgraceful, embarrassing, and unacceptable that a nursing mother would be put through this situation.  

There are so many ways that Totes / Isotoner could have made this work. Until there is public acknowledgement that this was a huge mistake on their part, I know I’ll be spreading this story and purchasing all my holiday gifts elsewhere this year.