Environmental Working Group: Keeping you safe from hidden health dangers

Day 174 – Since 1993, the Environmental Working Group has shined a spotlight on outdated legislation, harmful agricultural practices and industry loopholes that pose a risk to our health and the health of our environment. EWG’s team of scientists, policy experts, lawyers and communications and data experts work tirelessly to reform our nation’s broken chemical safety and agricultural laws. So, our health and environment are protected.

The areas of EWG’s focus consists of the following:

  1. Food and Water – Whether you’re trying to decode labels at the grocery store or understand the health effects of toxic chemicals in your drinking water – EWG is here to help. 
  2. Farming and Agriculture – EWG pushes for common-sense farming practices that protect our drinking water and produce healthier food.  
  3. Personal Care Products – While other countries have taken action to protect their citizens from chemicals linked to cancer and reproductive harm, the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t even require the basic safety testing of ingredients in personal care products before they’re used. EWG is making sure you know what you’re putting on your skin.
  4. Household and Consumer Products – EWG helps find answers so you know what’s in the products you love.  
  5. Energy – EWG is working to advance the clean energy economy. They harness expert analysis and data-driven resources to show how clean energy protects our health and the world we’re leaving our children, while putting millions of Americans to work in good-paying jobs. 
  6. Family Health – With breakthrough research and expert insights you can count on, EWG takes the stress out of finding safe, healthy and toxic-free choices for your family.  
  7. Toxic Chemicals – EWG has spent decades working to get toxic chemicals out of the food we eat, the water we drink, the clothing we wear and the goods we purchase.
  8. Regional Issues – They spotlight how local government and industry activities in California and the Midwest may affect your health and your environment.  

The existence of the Environmental Working Group should give everyone a peace of mind. They are doing all the hard work for us. Be sure to check out their online database that scores tens of thousands of personal care products for human health and safety. Their consumer guides score cleaning products, food and drinking water and give advice on home products, all with the goal of empowering you to live a healthier life in a healthier environment.

Tomorrow, going over packaging myths.

National Cut Your Energy Costs Day

Day 10 – Yep, it’s a thing and today is the day we celebrate! It’s the day to think about ways to reduce our use of energy and in turn cut costs. Hopefully, if you take a little time today to make some changes, those changes will become habits that you continue to do on a daily basis.

Here are some ways you can commemorate the day:

One parent’s way to cut costs.
  1. Turn down your thermostat (even a couple degrees can make a huge difference)
  2. Use more blankets
  3. Turn off unused lights (this one is a big one in our house)
  4. Only run dishwasher and washing machine when full
  5. Reduce the heat on the dishwasher (120 degrees is plenty hot)
  6. Use cold water for laundry
  7. Empty the dryer lint trap
  8. Use dryer balls (I’ll talk more about these in a future post)
  9. Lower water heater temperature (most are set at 140 degrees, 120 degrees is suggested, so maybe something in between)
  10. Take shorter showers (this is a challenging one for me and most in the house)
  11. Unplug unused appliances (even phone chargers can be energy vampires)
  12. Use power strips to turn off electronics when not in use
  13. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth (I’m doing better with this one)
  14. Fix leaky faucets
  15. Keep refrigerator coils clean (not sure the last time this was done, if at all)
  16. Keeping the sun out during the summer cuts cooling costs
  17. Only put cool food in the refrigerator, it takes more energy to cool warm food
  18. Regulate refrigerator temperature (ideal temperature is between 37 and 40 degrees)
  19. Stop preheating your oven (food with lengthy cook times do not need a preheated oven)
  20. Try to use less energy during peak hours (ComEdOff-peak (10 p.m. – 6 a.m.) Peak (6 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.) Super Peak (2 p.m. – 7 p.m.)

ComEd offers tips, discounts and rebates. Click HERE, to check them out. If you’re not a ComEd customer look for ways your energy supplier can help you.

Happy National Cut Your Energy Costs Day!

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about how three simple words made me rethink how I go about purchasing items for my home.