This blog is for those people who have regular jobs and who don’t have a whole a lot of time to live naturally, yet want to do something. In the past, I have found myself trying to do just that.
Here are some of the things I would recommend.
We like to deodorize our living room, kitchen, and bathroom because of stale and stagnant orders. So we resort to products that neutralize existing smells. Do we consider the health and environmental consequences?
The containers alone are an ecological hazard; they are either aluminium or plastic both which are unhealthy and bad for the environment. And then there is the issue of the air fresheners’ itself. They release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These chemicals turn into a vapour at room temperature. They add to air pollution and can affect the respiratory system of individuals when individuals are exposed to them over a long period.
Is there an alternative?
Yes, Use charcoal in bags in the home or a car. They sell it online and in stores. Charcoal, when used up after two or three years, can then be placed into the garden as manure. It is truly a sustainable product. No electricity and no landfill. I personally always ask people to get rid of their deodorizer in the car if I am in it; because I don’t want any more harmful chemicals around me then necessary.
Then there is a straightforward one to practice in your life. Carry your cotton shopping bags in a few different sizes. Insist that the stores not put your items in their bags but your bags. The amount of paper or disposable bags we use when we go shopping is tremendous. You will be helping Mother Nature as well. I have some cloth bags that go back 15 years. Imagine how much plastic and trees I have saved over the years. Just think of what I have left out of the landfills and kept out of the streets.
Use Glass And Steel Instead Of Plastic
Buy a glass or stainless steel containers and store things in them instead of plastic. Why may you ask? The manufacture of plastic pollutes the environment and all plastic releases chemicals into our food, and the FDA admits this. So save your body from eating plastic and save the earth by you not supporting plastic production. And think of how much plastic is present in the ocean and what it is doing to marine life.
Even cows and other animals have been known to have plastic in their stomachs due to them eating plastic when they graze. It is man’s fault for allowing plastic everywhere you look. We are responsible and will have to pay one day for our misdeeds.
Carrying your mug in your bag is an excellent idea if you drink coffee or tea from outside stalls. Think of how many disposable cups you have saved. Then we come to the question of cooking utensils. Stick to stainless steel, stone wear, cast iron, or glass or what they now have called Ceramic nonstick (this can be scratch so be careful if you use it).
What about Teflon?
Teflon is not used anymore, but many people still have them. PFOA and other chemicals in Teflon coatings have been labelled as ‘likely to be carcinogenic to humans by a panel reporting to the Environmental Protection Agency. Others side effects are stroke, heart disease, and thyroid disease. And these types of pans can lead to a condition known as ‘Teflon flu.’ You get this from inhaling the gases released over your hot plate.
The symptoms of Teflon flu are said to be quite similar to suddenly developing influenza, with headaches, chills and fever, along with coughing and chest tightness most commonly reported. Let us stop and think if Teflon can cause us health problems, what environmental issues they can cause when produced.
PFOA has been removed from nonstick, but if we still have these at home, we are polluting our home and ourselves each time we use them. Aluminium cooking equipment is another problem. First, its production itself is terrible for the environment. One example is: “aluminium acts as a toxic agent on gill-breathing animals such as fish and invertebrates, by causing loss of plasma- and hemolymph ions leading to osmoregulatory failure.” It affects birds too and can enter the terrestrial food chain. And how is it wrong for humankind’s body.
During the cooking process, aluminium dissolves into the food and water. What does aluminium do in the human body: it accumulates in the bloodstream and for starters can lead to hyper-acidity, peptic ulcers, indigestion, flatulence, skin problems like pigmentation, eczema, dandruff and chronic inflammation of the intestine, reduces the growth of bone and predisposes one to osteoporosis.
The Clothing Problem
Do we ever think of what our clothes are made up of? Do we ever think about what goes into the manufacturing of them? How do the chemicals they are made up affect the environment and our health? A long time ago, I realized that rayon, polyester, and nylon made me uncomfortable. After getting into Mother Nature, I automatically bought cotton. But why was I unhappy with human-made products. ?
For this blog, I decided to investigate why I didn’t like the above products. From: greenchoices.org I learned the following:
- Nylon and polyester are made from petrochemicals, these synthetics are non-biodegradable as well, so they are inherently unsustainable on two counts.
- Nylon manufacture creates nitrous oxide, which is an air pollutant. Making polyester uses large amounts of water for cooling, along with lubricants, which can become a source of contamination.
Both processes are also very energy-hungry. Then there is rayon: Here is what I learned:
It is an artificial fiber, made from wood pulp. Old-growth forest is often cleared and/or subsistence farmers are displaced to make way for pulpwood plantations. Often the tree planted is eucalyptus, which draws up phenomenal amounts of water, causing problems in sensitive regions.
To make rayon, the wood pulp is treated with hazardous chemicals such as caustic soda and sulphuric acid. Then even cotton becomes a problem because we are allowing GMO cotton to be grown and cotton receives the most intensive pesticide applications in the world, and many of them remain in the cloth even after washing.
Then there is all polycotton (especially bed linen), plus all ‘easy care,’ ‘crease-resistant,’ ‘permanent press’ cotton. These are treated with toxic formaldehyde and embalming fluid. No, thank you! Then there are the chemicals dyes. What are some alternatives: organic cotton, hemp, linen, and bamboo. I must be honest; I do not buy organic cotton very often; it is hard to find.
So cotton has become my choice.
Finally, I would like to mention. Eliminate junk food. The amount of packaging that it entails and the number of chemicals that are used in its making and their side effects on the human body make junk food environmentally unsound and physically destructive to your body’s health.
Instead eat fresh food such as apples, pineapple, and salads you prepare. The less prepared food you eat, the less of plastic wrap you use. Enjoy your sustainable healthy living.