Saturday, August 28, 2010

Breaking the Paper Towel Habit!!

I have a paper towel addiction habit! I go through so many paper towels throughout the day. I use them to completely wipe down my countertops multiple times a day, to wipe my kids’ hands and faces after meals, to clean up spills on the floor, etc…

A few years ago, I started buying the “select-a-size” rolls so at least I was using a half sheet instead of a whole sheet each time. I really felt like this was the biggest change that I could make since I felt so dependent on paper towels.

Did you know?

  • 51,000 trees per day are needed to replace the paper towels that are disposed of each day. --U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Once used, paper towels cannot be recycled and must go to landfill. --U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • If each household in the U.S. reduced its paper towel use by just 3 rolls per year, it would save 120,000 tons of waste and $4.1 million in landfill dumping fees. --Arizona State University study (Go Sun Devils!!) {…insert “pitchfork” hand gesture here}

Enter my new paper towels:

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Target bar mop towels….I think they were about $3.99 for a 6 pack. I bought 2 packs, but I think I am going to pick up another pack the next time I am at Target. (which will probably be very soon since I also have a Target addiction habit….I’ll save that for another post though!) I found a basket that we weren’t using and put it under the sink to store the towels in.

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By the way, since I was able to get rid of so many of my cleaning products that were taking up so much space in the cabinet above the refrigerator, I was able to totally rearrange that cabinet as well as the cabinet under the sink. That left me with more than enough room to keep my “new paper towels”!

I also keep a regular cleaning rag under the sink next to the towel basket and I use it for cleaning up spills on the floor like this one…okay, maybe this one needed more than just a cleaning rag! Ha!

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I have only been using these for less than a month, but it has been working so far. I usually go through about 2 (sometimes 3) towels per day. Yes, we still have the paper towels out on the counter. No, my husband is not involved in this “experiment” at all which means he still uses the same amount of paper towels he did before. Yes, I still occasionally use paper towels for: wiping down the counter after working with raw meat, sopping up bacon grease, and other cleaning events that I don’t feel like my “new towels” could possibly recover from!

Not only will this new “experiment” save some trees, but it will also help save some money on my paper towel expense throughout the year. Next up….I have all the materials ready to start making some everyday cloth napkins. I have seen lots of these popping up at some of the craft fairs that I have participated in. If it goes well, I might start bringing them to some of the craft fairs myself. Stay tuned….

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is your home toxic??

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Our homes are supposed to be a safe place that we can feel comfortable in with our families. What most people don’t realize is that, according to the EPA, the air inside our homes is usually more polluted than the outside air of highly industrialized cities such as Los Angeles! Much of that “pollution”, that the EPA is referring to in that statement, is from chemicals in products that we *think* are making our homes cleaner and safer. I sure was surprised to find that many of the products I have been using for years contained chemicals that were known to cause cancer (carcinogens) or affect the nervous system (neurotoxins)  in many negative ways (I will focus on this more specifically in a future post).
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In the past, when I purchased cleaning products, I was more interested in how well they worked than what warnings were on the label. Do you know that the label on the toilet cleaner that I was using instructed me to use safety glasses, goggles, a face shield, and personal protective equipment such as a *respirator* while cleaning the toilet!! What?!?!
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During my frugal shopping trips, I have learned to not be so “brand loyal” in order to get a better bargain. Because of that I have used a large variety of cleaning products from all different brands. A couple of times, I have purchased “green” cleaners because I was able to get them at such a great price. If you have ever shopped for anything “green” or organic, you know that they are typically priced higher than similar “non-green” products. I have only been disappointed with the “green” cleaning products that I have used though. One time, I only made it halfway through the bottle of a “green” multi-purpose cleaner before I decided that I just couldn’t take it anymore and I threw the rest of it out. Another time, I suffered through the 3 bottles of “green” cleaner that I had paid very little for and was so relieved when I was finally finished with them and could go back to my usual brand.
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Shaklee products are different. They are natural, but…..THEY ACTUALLY WORK!! I will even put it out there that they clean better than any other cleaner (“green” or “non-green”) product that I have ever used (examples to come in a future posts). They don’t leave a residue behind or become too “sudsy” which was my main complaint with the other “green” cleaners that I have used.

I think that most of us are aware of the recent controversy regarding BPA (Bisphenol A) and the fact that it is present in so many plastic items we use every day….canned soups, baby bottles, reusable food containers, water bottles, and more. Many of us have probably also heard of the dangers of Phthalates that are commonly found in many personal care items, shower curtains, and more. These are just 2 of the hazards that are present all around us on a daily basis. CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta hosted a two-night special on CNN called “Toxic America”. David S. Martin, Senior Medical Producer at CNN, has a very informative article on the Toxic America website that would be worth your time to read:

“5 toxics that are everywhere: Protect yourself 

 

All Shaklee packaging is free of BPA, phthalates, and toxic inks.
I will be sharing my experience with the Shaklee Get Clean line including before and after pictures as well as what makes Shaklee products stand out from the household cleaners that we are most familiar with.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

“Clean”: Re-evaluated

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I originally came across the Shaklee brand of cleaning products on a couple of blogs that I have been following. The before and after pictures of countertops, appliances, floors, windows, and more that were cleaned with these products amazed me. I tend to be pretty skeptical when it comes to new products that claim to do amazing things, so I decided to do a little research. I couldn’t find one complaint regarding these products! In fact, Oprah even featured the Get Clean line on her show in 2007 (see video in sidebar) and chose the Get Clean Starter Kit as one of her “favorite things”!

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Not only did I discover that these products clean exceptionally well (even better than some well known cleaning products that I had in my own home) and actually cost less than the cleaners I have been using, but I also became very educated on the fact that they are natural and non-toxic and *why* that is important! I read article after article, found during my own independent research rather than by just reading the information on the Shaklee website, that warned of the dangers that lie within our homes. I don’t know how you will feel, but once I found out that I was basically spreading potentially toxic chemicals all over my floors, windows, bathrooms, my daughter’s highchair tray (yikes!), etc…, I realized that I had to make a change.

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Shaklee’s Get Clean line provides:

* SAFE Clean

* POWERFUL Clean

* GREEN Clean

* SMART Clean

I will be posting a series of blog topics on some of the dangers in your home that you probably aren’t aware of, a breakdown of the cost-effectiveness of these products, and many more facts and photos. Here are a few facts that I am going to leave you with:

*In the past 30 years, over 81,000 new chemicals have been registered with the EPA, but….fewer than 20% of them have been tested for toxicity!!

* “Fragrance” is considered proprietary information which means the company does not have to disclose what is contained in it. This term is usually used very generally which could possibly make the “fragrance” (a.k.a. hidden ingredients) one of the more dangerous ingredients in the product!

*Air pollution inside our homes is 2-5 times higher than the air outside our homes!

*I was able to replace all of these household cleaners with just 3 products from Shaklee!

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Why Shaklee?

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When I first decided to try the Shaklee products, I did not intend to become a distributor. I had researched and had found nothing but great things that were being said about the Shaklee products, specifically the Get Clean line (since that is what I was most interested in at first). I decided to just take a chance and order 3 of the cleaning products to try out for my own use. When I received Basic H2, Scour Off, and Basic G, I was so excited to try them out. When I realized how long the bottles of Basic H2 and Basic G could potentially last (since they are so concentrated), how great each product worked, and how easy it would be to protect my family from toxic chemicals in our home, I wanted to tell everyone I knew about them!
At that point, I realized that if I loved the products so much, I should try out becoming a distributor. I would never even consider promoting products that I couldn’t stand behind and that I wouldn’t love using myself. Shaklee offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee because they are so sure that their members will love the products that they receive!
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I can’t wait to help other families like yours protect their health and save money on effective cleaners at the same time.

 As a registered nurse, I understand how important it is to follow and promote a healthy lifestyle. While genetics can and will play a role in our health, 80% of our health is dependent on lifestyle choices. I also understand that it is impossible to protect ourselves from everything considered harmful in our environment. It seems like every day on the news there are recalls and warnings of new dangers found in everyday products and food that we considered safe. We wear seatbelts to protect us from the chance of a car accident. We take cover in a safe place during thunderstorms. Why should we not do what we can to protect our families from toxic chemicals….especially since it is so cost effective? Don’t “put up with” the ineffectiveness of most “green” cleaners when you can have safe, effective, earth-friendly, AND affordable products from Shaklee.

I decided to start this blog in order to share my “discovery of Shaklee!” I am going to be honest with you on this blog and you will come to find that “being green” was never really a big priority in my life. If I ever chose to take a “green” approach to something, I usually had ulterior motives (usually to save money). I started using reusable grocery bags because they were easier to carry than the paper bags used at the commissary. I started using cloth diapers on my new baby a couple of years ago in order to save money on diapers.

Shaklee offers products that you can feel good about using while saving money at the same time! Shaklee is the #1 natural nutrition company in the United States. It has been in existence for over 50 years and has definitely stood the test of time.

Look for a post in the future explaining how Shaklee is working to protect and improve the environment.

Please follow my blog (on the sidebar) as well as my Facebook page in order to stay updated on the Safe and Healthy Solutions that I will be sharing!

Feel free to contact me at healthy-solutions(at)hotmail(dot)com with any questions that you may have!