Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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Respect and Preserve the Ocean this Summer July 25, 2009

Filed under: Eco-Friendly Living — Rachel @ 9:10 am
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It seems I have never posted about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  Do you know about this?  It’s an area in the Pacific ocean of dense, floating plastic garbage that amounts to an area… oh,twice the size of Texas!!!  I didn’t need another reason to hate plastic, but here it is.  You can easily get a feel for the problem and how it effects our world through this brief YouTube video The Garbage Patch

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch gives me the willies.  But there are other concerns.  Chemical sunscreens (which are also unhealthy for humans) kill coral reefs, runoff from our gutters pollutes the waters, and people tramping through sand dunes lead to erosion and loss of habitat.  

A trip to the ocean is a wonderful summer excursion, one that only gets better with kids.  Let’s enjoy the sea – responsibly.  Here’s a great article Save Our Shores! Go Green to Keep the Ocean Blue, by Elizabeth Barker, that has some helpful tips, including reminders to:

  • Respect the Reefs
  • Find a Safe Beach
  • Choose a Safe Sunscreen
  • Reduce Run-off

I especially appreciated the suggestion to make gathering trash at the shore a regular part of my family’s trip to the ocean.  What a simple way to teach our children about the importance of caring for the earth, even doing more than “our part” to be part of the solution!

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Safe Sunscreen – It’s that Time Again! April 28, 2009

Filed under: Healthy Living — Rachel @ 3:10 pm
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Click to buy Badger spf 30 at Drugstore.com

Here in the south spring is well on its way to becoming summer.  As day after day of warm, sunny weather hits, we’ve been reviving our safe sun-protection habits. 

Last week I dug out our sunscreen – one lone, half-filled bottle of Badger spf 30 from last year.  Definitely going to need to restock!  Off I went to scour the internet for the cheapest source of Badger.  Last spring, Badger was soooo hard to find.  Fortunately, this year it’s available at Amazon and Drugstore.com!  I found the best price at just $12 a bottle at Drugstore.com.  Be sure you buy enough as supplies can get low!  Since we need 3 bottles (one for grandma’s house, one for our swimming bag and one by the door), it wasn’t too hard to reach that $50 threshold for free shipping.

For more details on why I buy Badger and a comparison to California Baby spf 30 Bug Blend, see Non-toxic, Safe Sunscreens that I love.

Or, see this link for a complete list of safe sunscreens.

Whatever you do, don’t just use any old sunscreen.  Research has shown that MOST sunscreens on the market are either ineffective at providing sun protection and/or outright dangerous, since their cancer-causing ingredients soak right into your child’s thirsty skin.  You can evaluate any given sunscreen easily at www.CosmeticDatabase.com.

And, mamas, don’t forget the sunhats!

 

Beauty Treatment No-no’s during Pregnancy January 10, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — Rachel @ 8:26 pm
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Pregnancy & Newborn magazine just ran a helpful article on what’s safe and what’s not during pregnancy when it comes to beauty treatments.  Here’s a quick rundown:

Definitely NOT Safe:

  • Laser Hair Removal
  • Salicylic Acid (skin treatments)
  • Retinoids (Vitamin A skin treatments)
  • Dentist office teeth whitening
  • Tanning Beds

Probably NOT Safe:

  • Depilatories
  • Electrolysis
  • Hair Coloring
  • Hair perming/straightening
  • At-home teeth whitening
  • Self-tanners & spray tan

This information is based on commonly accepted medical studies and recommendations from OB’s.  In my opinion, these beauty practices are also suspect for safety during pregnancy and otherwise:

  • Polishing nails with conventional nail polishes.  Instead, use something odorless and non-toxic, like Polished Mama products found at EuphoriaMaternity.com.
  • Using perfumes (and air fresheners or candles) which utilize synthetic fragrances.  Instead, choose products made only with pure essential oils.
  • Using soaps, lotions, facial care products, shampoos, make-up, etc made with conventional harsh chemicals.  If you haven’t already done so, check the products in your cabinets at www.CosmeticDatabase.com to see how they are graded on a scale of 1 to 10 for toxicity.  For more info, click the “cosmetics” tag to the right.
  • Frequenting smelly salons!  If you smell fumes, you’re very likely to be inhaling potent toxins.  Think twice about being present in a nail salon or hair salon that has a strong odor.  If you get a headache from being there, take that as clear message that your body is under stress.  Instead, search out eco-friendly salons or those that cater to pregnant women.  Or, treat yourself at home with safe products.
  • Applying chemical-based sunscreens.  You don’t want to go there, mama!  Choose one with active ingredients of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide ONLY.  For more info, click the “sunscreen” tag to the right .
 

Non-toxic, Safe Sunscreens that I love July 22, 2008

Filed under: Healthy Living — Rachel @ 5:22 pm
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After trying a bunch of safe, chemical-free sunscreens this summer, I have landed on two that are my absolute favorites: Badger SPF 30 and California Baby SPF 30 Bug Blend. 

Badger sunscreens are hard-to-find.  I ordered mine here http://skinelements.com/baspf30forfa.html where you get free shipping on 2+ bottles.  Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen is effective with 20.5% Zinc Oxide.  Of all the natural sunscreens I tried, this one seems to go farthest and absorb fastest.  Since safe sunscreens aren’t cheap, this is a big bonus in my book.  My husband commented that it applies a lot like conventional sunscreens like Banana Boat or Coppertone.  I love that Badger has a sweet, herbal scent from the lavender, lime and orange oils in the blend.  Very nice!

California Baby is more readily available from online drugstores galore.  I like the Bug Blend because it has natural citronella to combat the mosquitos that are rampant here in the South.  California Baby SPF 30 Bug Blend uses micronized titanium dioxide for sun protection.  As per Healthy Child Healthy World, larger sized micronized particles appear to be both safe and effective, unlike nanoparticles.  Nanoparticles are 1000 times smaller than micronized particles and many questions still linger about their safety.  In my experience, California Baby’s sunscreen absorbs relatively quickly as compared to other natural sunscreens. But, in comparison to dangerous chemical sunscreens (aka Banana Boat), it does take quite a bit more rubbing and doesn’t go as far.

If you’re only going to use one sunscreen, I recommend Badger.  Still, California Baby Bug Blend is a close second runner up and does help with summer pests.  Also, California Baby has safe sunscreen sticks and natural, DEET-free bug sprays which are worth considering.

 

Safe Sunscreens for the Family April 24, 2008

We know that too much sun exposure is not wise, but are sunscreens themselves really safe?  Of all the body care and cosmetics you use, sunscreens are likely to be filled with the most dangerous chemicals.  When sunscreen soaks into the skin, we absorb known carcinogens and estrogen-imitating chemicals, which can cause a whole host of serious problems.  In fact, some research has shown that countries in which chemical-laden sunscreens are most commonly used actually report the greatest increase in cancer melanoma (skin cancer). 

What’s safe?  Look for sunscreens that contain only zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.  These non-chemical sunscreens are often marketed for babies or those with sensitive skin, but they’re the best choice for all of us.  Instead of soaking into the skin, these sunscreens sit on top of the skin and deflect rays.  Here’s a list of safe sunscreens from Nature Mom’s Blog post “Safe Sunscreens for the Family” :

California Baby SPF 30 + Sunblock Stick – No Fragrance– My top pick for kids! This is a non chemical sunscreen. It uses non-penetrating titanium dioxide (no nano particles) to protect against the sun. It is also made with organic & sustainably grown ingredients.

California Baby SPF 30 – This is specially for children to be safe and it a favorite among many natural parents. I have used this on my own kids and I really like it. I usually opt for the fragrance free versions.

California Baby SPF 30 + Bug Repellent– This is a good sunblock/bug repellent combo that is DEET free.

Badger Face & Body Sunblock SPF 30 – There was huge run on this sunscreen not long ago and you could hardly get it. It is known to be one of the safest sunscreens out there.

Lavera Baby and Children Sun Screen Lotion, SPF 30– Contains organic peach seed, apricot seed oil and calendula and protects against UV A, B and C rays with waterproof protection.

Jason Natural – Sunbrellas Chemical Free Sun Block SPF30+– Chemical, Fragrance and Paraben Free Complete UVA & UVB Protection Ideal for Sensitive Skin.

Dermalogica Ultra Sensitive Faceblock SPF 25 – Another chemical free sunblock using non-penetrating titanium dioxide. This has a hint of color…most likely to hide the streaky whiteness of the natural titanium dioxide.

For more info and details about sunscreen safety, read Tiffani’s whole article, “Safe Sunscreens for the Family