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INSIDE LOOK March/April Green Issue 2009 VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2


Contents Read more green articles at

4 D. A. Rupprecht

Overfishing: Can the World Continue Its Dependence on the Oceans for Food?

6 Eileen Weber

Going Green? It’s in the Bag!

8 Conscious Corner Product Reviews

9Kathryn Messer

Soy Candles: A Better Choice for Your Health, Home, and Our Environment

10 Alexis Henry

Creating an Ocean Friendly Garden

11 Rhonda Halfon

Greening Your Aging Home

12 Martha Carter

Toxic Cosmetics and Consumer Confusion

14 Judy Hevenly Horoscope

Inside Look Magazine March/April Green Issue

Publishers’ Note Thank you for reading our first annual Green Issue of Inside Look Magazine. It is time to face the truth. Toxic cosmetics, the dangers of overfishing, and contaminated oceans are a thing of the present, and if we stand idly by, certainly a thing of the future. It is time to become aware of the world around us and be willing to make at least a few sacrifices to help the growing problems that loom over us today. Our Green Issue faces these difficulties and offers you solutions to live a greener lifestyle. We urge you to visit our new website, www.InsideLookNetwork. com to read more and comment about green, conscious lifestyles. Publishers Michael Williams Jennifer Smith Editor in Chief, Jennifer Smith Editor at Large, Paula Williams Editor at Large, Cheryl Snyder Contributing Writers D.A. Rupprecht, Eileen Weber, Kathryn Messer, Alexis Henry, Rhonda Halfon, Martha Carter, Judy Hevenly Photography & Design: Roy Atkins Advertising: 310-909-6773 Inside Look magazine, Volume 1, Issue 2, is published six times a year - January/February, March/April, May/June, July/August, September/October, November/December - by Creative Media Arts, PO BOX 1306, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Inside Look magazine is a free publication. © 2009 Creative Media Arts (CMA) . All rights reserved. No part of Inside Look Magazine may be reproduced without specific written permission. Inside Look magazine, as a publication of CMA, assumes no responsibility for opinions of contributors and is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photos, which must be accompanied by return postage. Publication of the name or photo of any person or organization in Inside Look Magazine should not be construed as an indication of that person’s expressed opinion. Advertisers and their agencies assume responsibility and liability for the content of their advertisement in Inside Look Magazine. Photographers whose work is published in any advertising or editorial content within Inside Look Magazine agrees to indemnify and save harmless the publishers from all liability, loss and expense due to a photographer’s failure to gain a model release. Title pending at U.S. Patent Office, Washington D.C. 3

The Dangers of Overfishing: Can the World Continue Its Dependence on the Oceans for Food? By D. A. Rupprecht

Fish and other sea creatures are the last major wild animal food source eaten widely by humanity. About sixteen percent of humanity's protein intake comes from the ocean's fisheries, and roughly one in five people on the planet depend on fish as their primary source of protein. As such, overfishing endangers the primary food supply of over a billion people.


verfishing is not a new thing. When the Spanish first reached the New World, sea turtles were abundant in the Caribbean, but the colonizers drastically reduced their numbers. Along the coast of California, the loss of sea otters, which were hunted to near extinction for their furs, created an overpopulation of sea urchins that decimated kelp forests abundant with fish and turned the coast into a desert of rock and sand. In the Chesapeake Bay, huge populations of mollusks used to keep the waters clear, but due to excessive harvesting the waters today are a murky green, making the bay uninhabitable to giant sturgeon, manatees, whales, and even alligators that once thrived there. Today, however, the proliferation of large factory ships that combine fishing with processing and packing make our ancestors' environmental improprieties seem minor. These fish factories are efficient and mobile slaughterhouses. Moreover, these fleets are going further from shore, their nets spreading out into deep-sea fisheries. In the deep ocean, these trawlers are catch4

ing slow growing fish that live for as long as 200 years, such as the Sebastes rockfish and orange roughy. As deep-sea fish take longer to reach maturity, their numbers recover more slowly than stocks along coastal areas. As an example, orange roughy catches off the coasts of New Zealand and southern Australia have fallen to 20% of what they were in the mid-1970s. Because of our increasing harvests from the oceans, it is estimated that 70% of the fish species are being fished close to, at, or beyond their capacity, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Fish stocks thankfully do not go extinct in the same manner as land animals. Once populations drop to about 10% of their original numbers, they become uneconomical for these high tech fish factories to catch. While this is good news for the continuation of fish species, it also means that there will soon be fewer and fewer varieties of fish on the market, with increasing pressure on the populations that are not overfished. Along with the inevitable rise in seafood prices comes a new threat: organized crime.

International criminal elements from Japan, China, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and New Zealand have all been connected to illegal fishing, taking advantage of the high prices of delicacies from the ocean. It is estimated that Japanese and Russian gangsters smuggle at least $1 billion worth of seafood from Russian waters to feed Japan's demand for seafood. The black market trade in seafood extends to the Third World. Here in South Africa, the Chinese Triads control the trade in illegal perlemoen, a type of sea snail also known as an abalone, smuggling thousands of pounds of it back to China, where the perlemoen is consumed as an aphrodisiac. In Ecuador, the Taiwanese mafia encourages subsistence fishermen who depend on sharks for sustenance to sell them the fins, which retail in the U.S. for about $300 per pound. The long-term answer to the overfishing of the world's oceans may be similar to what humanity did on land. While humans hunted many land animals to near extinction, they often replaced the species they hunted with domesticated animals. That is perhaps where

Ensure that the seafood you eat is not being overfished.

the future of seafood lies: aquaculture. Today, a third to half of fishery production comes from aquaculture. As with large-scale domestication of animals on land, there are similar problems with aquaculture. The two main problems are the waste generated, which can contaminate the sea floor, and escapees, which can interbreed and compete with already dwindling wild stock. The best answer to the problem of overfishing is to make areas of the ocean off limits to large-scale fishing. There has been a trend towards creating Marine Protected Areas, where governments curtail fishing in order to allow fish stocks to recover. Unfortunately, the area of the ocean protected in this manner is about one percent. Not enough to make a significant impact. How can you help? Learn more and act on what you learn. Whether it is writing to politicians who can help make a difference in industry fishing laws, pushing for the expansion of Marine Protected Areas, or simply researching the subject and applying it to your diet, you can make a difference. Above all, when you eat fish or other animals taken from the sea, do research! Ensure that the seafood you eat is not being overfished.

Learn what species of fish are in danger in your area, and don't eat them. The Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Environmental Defense Fund both have online guides (see below for links) that enable the connoisseur to eat seafood in an ecologically responsible manner. c r / c r _ s e a f o o d w a t c h / d o w n l o a d . a s p x

D. A. Rupprecht is an American writer currently living and writing from Cape Town, South Africa, and is the author of Cat's World, a soon to be published young adult novel.

Universal Church of the Master It is our belief that each person finds and travels their own spiritual path, and that no single set of fixed rules is applicable to everyone. Let us facilitate your spiritual journey. We offer several paths for your journey, including an accredited

Undergraduate and Graduate Theology Degree Program. Founded 1908

World Headquarters 100 W. Rincon Ave. #101 Campbell, CA 95008 Email: Phone: (408) 370-6519

Inside Look Magazine March/April Green Issue


Going Green? It’s in the Bag! What’s new in fashion? Eco-chic. Anything environmentally friendly that looks even marginally cute is flying off the racks. From clothes made from organic cotton to vegan shoes, green really is the new black.

Jumbo Shoulder Bag Confetti by Ecoist

by Eileen Weber


hat’s in the spotlight these days? The handbag, made with recycled materials or faux leather. The bags at Love Mert, (www., an Oregon-based company founded in 2002, use “a collage” of recycled, reclaimed, vintage, and natural materials for all their products. “Being eco-friendly was always in me,” said Melissa Michelsen, owner and designer of Love Mert handbags. “Now, it’s hot and it sells.” Michelsen started out making the handbags just for fun as gifts for her friends. Requests for her little creations became more and more frequent and a business was born. She comes across her materials wherever she can. Even her mom, who lives in Vermont, gets into the act finding bolts of cloth here and there.

every day. Kokorowski’s company, Crystalyn Kae, (, makes handbags with faux leather, silk, washable tweed, and vintage fabrics purchased online at eBay or Etsy. “I draft my own handbag patterns to eliminate waste, source the best available materials with the least impact, and try to incorporate recycled or vintage fabrics whenever I can,” said Kokorowski. “Most of my customers appreciate that with so many fabrics and colors to choose from, their Crystalyn Kae bag is unlike any other designer handbag.” She added that her company also tries to

be eco-friendly in other ways. For one, they have no company car. They use a car-share program to transport supplies and hand-deliver to local stores. But when it comes to her bags, she wants her creations to have staying power. “A major factor of sustainability is the lifespan of a product and its ease of care. My customers often comment on how well the bags hold up over time,” she said. But there’s more at stake to being eco-friendly. It’s not just about reusing the fabrics or recycling plastic. As in Ms. Kokorowski’s case, it’s about how sustainable your business is as well. Many consumers have a hard time with eco-fashion when a garment is made from organic cotton but the fabric was shipped hundreds of miles to the manufacturer. Is that really green?

“I find the fabrics all over. But, the upholsteries from the 70s are my favorite,” said Michelsen. “I’m a one-woman show and I’ve created my own signature style by reusing what’s out there.”

According to a New York Times article dated December 13, 2007, the eco-trend of fashion has grown so rapidly that “it becomes difficult to evaluate the claims of products that say they are biodegradable, carbon neutral or made from sustainable materials.”

In nearby Seattle, reusing vintage fabrics or materials with a very low impact on the environment is what Crystalyn Kokorowski does

For example, organic materials like hemp are sustainably grown without the use of pesti-


Crystalyn Kae Handbags Black Metier Tote

cides. However, in order to work with the material, a chemical must be used to soften it. That process poses its own environmental factor.

relatively local facilities in Virginia as well as Ohio and Georgia. Their bags have been seen on NBC’s Today Show and in magazines like Entrepreneur and Rolling Stone.

But that’s what makes these handbags so nifty. Manufacturing with recycled fabrics keeps environmental impact to a minimum. It’s the ultimate in green.

A little further up the East Coast, New Jersey-based Vulcana®, (, handbags have the same idea. They base their business on one simple question: Why buy new material when you can reuse one that’s eating up acres of landfills? According to their web site, the tires are taken from these landfills and transformed into rubber sheeting. Vulcana purchases the sheeting, called “rubbRE™,” from recycling centers. “People want the runway look with the earth-friendly aspect,” said Aline Denommee, a Vulcana representative. “The key is trying to combine them.”, (, a Canadian online company, calls itself the “one-of-akind” retail store selling handbags and other products that are completely eco-friendly. Materials range from recycled zippers, CDs, juice boxes, soda cans, and even chopsticks. “It’s not frumpy stuff,” said Marisa Ramondo, President and Founder of Eco-Handbags. com. “This stuff is cool!” She said that both the clients and the designers like the concept of the web site. “I love that you have taken recycled materials and made them into things we all can use,” said one shopper in a recent e-mail to Ramondo, “rather than having them sit there in a landfill!” Some of its biggest sellers are handbags made from art banners and movie billboards, as well as the very popular Ecoist candy wrapper handbags. “People are looking for something snazzy that makes a statement,” said Ramondo. “They want to attract attention.” Kokorowski agrees. “I think that the trend of the ‘it’ bag is beginning to fade away,” she said in a recent e-mail. “Customers are paying more attention to the value of investing in a bag that will be truly useful for their everyday lives.” Ramondo noted that future trends in handbags might see some creativity from designers. Increasingly, more recycled materials and vintage fabrics will be used in manufacturing. In other words, one person’s trash is another one’s handbag. Recycled plastic bottles have been the preferred material for many reusable bags, particularly grocery bags. “Aside from our handbags, the grocery bags are our biggest sellers,” said Ramondo. She said the Envirosax® is the top brand her customers are going for. For Passchal (, based in Virginia, trash is a treasure. Launched in 2004, they use recycled truck and tractor inner tubes. They collect the tubes from

The company also has a line of rubber handbags with a layer of hemp on the outside. Looking at the natural fiber solely for its durability, “Hemp has a different aesthetic,” she said. “There’s a little more strength to it.” Denommee also said the company is planning a new line using recycled plastic bottles, recycled fabrics, and water-based dyes.

This rings true for designers like the très chic Matt & Nat ( Toted by the Hollywood elite, these bags contain no animal products and use recycled plastic bottles in many of the bags in their 2009 line. The Montreal-based company uses the plastic bottle material for the outer and inner linings. The bottle fiber is made into felt and faux-suede. Regardless of the materials used, recycling the old and making it new is the biggest trend. But while these companies are very busy saving the planet by reusing materials, some of these handbags might be a little tight on your purse. The more luxurious fashion lines like Matt & Nat sell bags costing $200 or more. In this economy, bags for those prices may have to wait for a rainy day. Some of the bags, however, are a little more affordable ranging as low as $30 to just a little under $100. However, for many consumers, spending a little more cash for something that’s also ecofriendly gives them more bang for their buck. “I certainly have a solid following from the Vegan community,” said Kokorowski, “but I would like to think that my designs attract customers who want an attractive, well-made purse that isn't trendy. I think eco-friendly is the icing on the cake.” Eileen Weber is a freelance writer living in Fairfield, Connecticut, with her husband, three daughters, two dogs, and whole lot of chaos. She currently writes for an environmental web site, blogs about food and wine, and occasionally does voiceovers for commercials.

Vulcana ® Hemp Shopping Tote

Since single-use plastic bottles are derived from crude oil, they pose an environmental problem. Many towns and cities across the U.S. have recycling programs in place. But unfortunately, some don’t. According to the Container Recycling Institute, there were 39 states in 2007 with no bottle bills for recycling, so the bottles end up in landfills. Some studies show that it will take approximately 500 years for one plastic bottle to break down. Multiply that by all the discarded bottles and it’s no wonder designers are getting creative with its use.

Inside Look Magazine March/April Green Issue

Crystalyn Kae Handbags Burgundy Liberty Clutch

CK Handbag photos by Christina Domingues


Conscious Corner This month we are launching our first directory featuring products, events, and people with the environment and consciousness in mind. Add your product or service online in our ever-growing directory at

Be Love Eco Fashion in Action Give the gorgeous gift of an organic Be Love t-shirt to yourself or your loved ones. Be Love is an eco-conscious clothing brand with a vital mission & a beautiful vision. Our designs are original, beautiful & timeless, and the fabrics are deliciously soft. Your purchase is a gift that keeps on giving. Be Love’s commitment to nonviolence is both the inspiration and foundation of our enterprise. We donate 10% of all our proceeds to our non-profit partner, Common Peace, & their brilliant nonviolence skills teaching guide for middle & high schools. $30-$45,

Beverly Hills based Planet FLOPS is dedicated to making the most environmentally-friendly and comfortable flip-flops. Instead of being made from synthetic rubber (which comes from petroleum and chemicals), our FLOPS are made with natural Brazilian rubber from a rubber tree in the Brazilian rainforest. The trees are not harmed and are not chopped down (it is like extracting maple syrup from a tree).

GVGP is an organization dedicated to solving the growing shortage of clean, potable drinking water around the world through the distribution of atmospheric water generators. The WaterMill is an innovative and unique atmospheric water generator employing simple design, user-friendly functionality, easy maintenance, and low operating cost. The WaterMill extracts water from humid ambient air by way of vapor compression and filters it through a sediment filter and UV light. For more information, contact GVGP @ 1.888.31.WATER or visit

Gemstone Alcohol Detoxifying Bracelets from Vaishali Use your beautiful gemstone jewelry to detoxify your alcoholic beverage. Simply take it off your wrist and drape or place in your drink. These gorgeous bracelets are made from semiprecious beads that can be worn for the fine jewelry they are, placed in your drink, then worn again when done detoxifying your beverage. The bracelets measure a standard 7" ladies bracelet length. Custom sizing is available for an additional charge. No woman will want to go out without one. $50

SOI Candles are hand-poured using 100%, FDA approved, kosher soy oil and burn cleaner than paraffin-based candles. Available in a variety of sizes, our candles burn about 140 hours (about 40% longer than wax candles), are soot-free, and do not emit any harmful toxins (like Benzene) into your home. Unlike wax, soy oil burns coolly at 106º into a reflective pool of soy that always remains warm to the touch and will not burn little hands. Website Design for Enlightened Spirits Tired of the NON-reWeb Applications, sponse you get from Enhanced Design, & your current website? Database Development Let’s make a difference for your company NOW with an attractive website which PULLS customers to you. Don’t settle for a cheap, poorlydesigned site. We’ve been designing fast, beautiful, high-quality business sites since 1995. Isn’t it time you Larry Jaques dropped the old $200 888.541.8868 website and started doing business? FUEL is an insightful portrait of America’s addiction to oil and an uplifting testament to the immediacy of new energy solutions. Director, Josh Tickell, a young activist, shuttles us on a whirlwind journey to track the rising domination of the petrochemical industry and offers aviable solutions to "repower America." Visit to read an exclusive interview with Fuel’s Deborah Dupre’.


Soy Candles

A Better Choice for Your Health, Home, and Our Environment By Kathryn Messer


h, the scent of a candle. Today’s scented candles can make a house feel homey, relax you, or create a desired mood. Did you know that these candles may produce carcinogens and harmful soot when burned? That’s right. The relaxing aromatherapy candle that you purchased to waft those delicious scents into your home could actually be doing you more harm than good. Okay, while I’m not trying to intentionally snuff out your love for scented candles, I do think it’s important to be informed enough to make smart choices when it comes to our flickering little friends. With all of us looking into ways to stay healthier and live greener, it makes sense to look for safer alternatives when it comes to burning household candles. Our air quality is greatly compromised when we burn paraffin wax candles, releasing measurable amounts of toxins into our homes that can even be harmful to our pets. How? Most candles are made from paraffin wax, which is a petroleum by-product. According to the American Lung Association, the paraffin candles that are filling our homes with pretty scents are also releasing petro-carbon soot that not only stains your walls and furniture over time, but circulates through heating ducts. This soot contains 11 toxins, two of which are known carcinogens. So why does the candle industry use paraffin wax? The main reason is because it’s readily available and much cheaper to manufacture than soy or beeswax candles. Another paraffin candle alert would be the industry’s use of lead core wicks which when lit, emit lead particulates into the air that are then breathed into our lungs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has completed studies which show that burning candles with lead core wicks actually ex-

ceed EPA recommended thresholds. While the use of lead wicks has been discouraged by the National Candle Association, many candle manufacturers in the U.S. continue to use wicks with metal cores. On a recent shopping trip to a popular discount chain store, I had the opportunity to peruse the candle shelves and take a closer look at some candle wicks. A metal wick isn’t difficult to spot if you look closely enough. Many metal cores are cleverly wrapped up in a cotton braid but are easy to see if you tap the wick with the end of your finger. The manufacturers’ reasoning behind the use of metal is to stabilize the wick while it is burned. Oh, and don’t think that a zinc core is going to be any less toxic than lead. It’s this simple: avoid burning any candles with metal wicks.

Let’s Talk About Soy What are soy candles? Soy candles are made from hydrogenated soybean oil. The soybean oil is separated from the solids and then refined. It’s a natural process which keeps the product pure. In addition, the remaining solids after the extraction process are utilized in cattle feed.

Advantages of Soy Candles • Soy candles are natural and do not emit carcinogens into the atmosphere • The soot produced when burned is about 90% less than paraffin candles • 100% Biodegradable • Produced from renewable resources • Burn cooler than paraffin • Economical- Last up to 50% longer • 100% Vegan – No animal products used and no animal testing • Water soluble – Clean up easily with hot, soapy water • Support the local American agricultural economy • Use 100% cotton wicks

Inside Look Magazine March/April Green Issue

Whew! With all of these great reasons to make the switch to soy candles, do you really need to know any more? Sure you do! A large reason we enjoy burning candles in our homes is because of the wonderful fragrances that they emit. Soy candles actually burn cooler and disperse this aroma longer than paraffin candles. This cooler, lower melting point allows the wax to pool around the wick. It is this liquid wax pool that evaporates, dispersing scents slowly into the air.

Buyer Beware Just a couple of soy candle buying tips you should know. Not all soy candles are 100% soy wax. Some soy candles can be a blend of beeswax and soy wax. While this isn’t a bad thing, it’s important to get in the habit of reading the ingredients that are in the candle you are burning. If a 100% natural candle is important to you, then pay attention to the fragrance oils that are used. The majority of fragrance oils are synthetic. If all natural is what you are going for, be sure that your soy or beeswax candle is made with essential oils. Again, just know what’s in the candle your burning. Now that you know the facts about the dark side of paraffin candle use you can make healthier choices for your home, your health, and your environment.

Ahh…feel good about the air you’re breathing! Kathryn Messer holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is a freelance writer and poet for EcoWriter, Inc. She lives in beautiful, green Oregon and can be contacted at



People do many different things to help keep our oceans clean and healthy. They properly dispose of used motor oil, clean up their pet’s waste, and pick up trash at the beach. Even after all of this, our oceans are still polluted.

Note: Water can be screened using a variety of devices: roof water can be run through a dry-creek, a mini gabion, and a mechanical or biological catch basin. Retention areas are also excellent at screening water.

By Alexis Henry, Surfrider Foundation


RETENTION Retaining water in your garden or landscape is critical to an ocean friendly garden. Retention gives water in the garden the opportunity to infiltrate the water table below, directly contributing to the community’s water supply by re-charging groundwater. All of this while reducing polluted runoff. If your landscape or garden can’t afford to retain water because of shallow clay soils, screen the exiting water. This slows the water to allow partial percolation and makes use of soil or vegetation to absorb or filter out pollutants.

CONSERVATION Lawns are notoriously bad for the ocean. They require a lot of water, and the runoff produced is loaded with fertilizers and other chemicals. Reduce the size of your lawn to only areas that you use, and replace the remaining landscape with large trees, shrubs, or drought-resistant ground cover. Not only will your landscape hold less rainwater, but will require less fertilizing, improving the quality of the water that does run off your property and into the ocean.

FERTILIZE WISELY Cut back or even eliminate your use of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. The nutrientrich water running off fertilized residential properties poses a significant threat to our oceans because the composition (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and iron) can cause the rapid growth of algae. Instead of spraying your plants with harmful chemicals, ask your local nursery to identify plants that attract beneficial insects to rid your garden of existing problems.

PERMEABILITY Increasing permeability means reducing the amount of impervious surfaces such as pavement and concrete, and replacing them with materials that allow water to be absorbed by the ground. By increasing permeability in The good news is that you can help bring your garden, you will effectively slow “water back healthy coasts and oceans by following sheeting,” make better use of the infiltration a few simple tips. Get started in your garden capacity of soil, and reduce the amount of runoff. and begin reducing polluted runoff today.

GET INVOLVED Surfrider Foundation has launched a pilot Ocean Friendly Gardens program in Southern California. However, you don’t need to live in Southern California to apply ocean friendly principles to your landscape design.

hat many people don’t realize is that runoff from residential landscapes affects the quality of our oceans and the quality of our lives. Whenever water leaves a property it has the ability to take pollutants with it. Fertilizers, pesticides, and oil are easily picked up by the power of water. While this runoff is greatest during rainstorms, urban runoff occurs year round as a result of improper irrigation, washing cars, and hosing down driveways. The sediment in water reduces clarity; nutrients increase algae populations and red tides; bacteria close beaches; debris can choke and suffocate aquatic species; and pesticides picked up off a landscape can poison fish consumed by humans – all of which degrade the natural beauty, and our enjoyment, of the ocean.

For tips on CPR© and other helpful Ocean Friendly Garden hints, go to

GO NATIVE Using native or climate-adapted plants that don’t require supplemental water or fertilizers will save water, lessen the use of chemicals, and save you money – a win-win-win! PRACTICE CPR© CPR© stands for Conservation, Permeability, and Retention. By increasing the amount of permeable surfaces in your yard, creating water retention areas, and dramatically reducing the use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other pollutants, you can either eliminate and/or clean up runoff, greatly improving our ocean’s health. 10

Illustration by Douglas Kent

Greening Your




By Rhonda Halfon

eeling a draft on your home energy bills? Does the air quality in your home often feel stagnant? Snuggle up to cost-cutting green solutions. And in the process, transform your home to a healthier, more comfortable environment. While most homeowners associate green building and remodeling with new homes built from scratch, today’s homeowner of the not-so-new home can undergo countless

eco-conscious enhancements despite its age. Today’s green movement has introduced a cornucopia of products and solutions that are readily available, affordable, and highly effective for homeowners of all levels. From energy-saving appliances to water-reducing systems to environmentally friendly flooring and window treatments, choices abound. The average home spends about $1900 per year on energy costs. Not only is much of that energy wasted, electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home emits more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. Applying simple energy-efficient improvements could increase your air quality and cut energy costs considerably. And when you sell your home, this value-added “green” feature is likely to yield a higher price among savvy green-conscious buyers. So if you’re looking to breathe cleaner air and keep more of your energy bill in your pocket, it’s a good time to get started.

Whole House Approach To begin, consider a whole house energy efficient approach to determine which parts of your house use the most energy.

Inside Look Magazine March/April Green Issue

You can conduct a simple home energy audit yourself, contact your local utility company, or call an independent energy auditor or professional contactor for a more comprehensive examination. An energy audit involves checking your home’s insulation levels, identifying holes and cracks around your walls, ceilings, windows, and doors, and light and plumbing fixtures that can leak air in or out of your home. Only 20% of homes built before 1980 are well insulated. In addition, about 1/3 of air infiltrates through openings in your ceilings, walls, and floors. Installing insulation and sealing air leaks are among the most common cost-effective ways to make your home more comfortable year-round. An audit will also ensure your appliances and heating and cooling systems are properly maintained. Once you have identified where your home is losing energy relative to your energy bill, you can prioritize where you should be focusing your improvements. Read Rhonda’s complete approach to a whole house at Rhonda Halfon is a professional Realtor affiliated with Keller Williams Realty/Westside Los Angeles.



Cosmetics and

Consumer Confusion


limbing into a refreshing shower in the morning, would you lather your body with motor oil? How about shampooing your child’s hair with Pine-Sol? Of course these seem ridiculous notions, but the latest research continues to show that our personal care products contain a variety of chemicals, some of which are considered toxic. Many of these care products contain more than 10,000 chemicals which are used to manufacture everything from shampoo to lipstick, are also used in household cleaners, pesticides, and emulsifiers. Groups like the Breast Cancer Fund, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and the National Environmental Trust are accusing the industry, as well as the Food and Drug Administration, of lax regulatory standards and a general sense of apathy.

A recent study conducted by the EWG, a founding member of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, found 16 toxic chemicals in blood and urine samples of teenage girls. The subjects used an average of 17 personal care products a day. “Most parents don’t know that the eyeliner, lipstick, or shampoo they allow their daughters to use probably contains at least one chemical linked to a number of serious health concerns,” said Rebecca Sutton, PhD, author of the report and Staff Scientist at EWG. The study also showed data revealing the presence of common fragrance ingredients that mimic estrogen in the body, which can lead to early puberty and increased breast cancer risk. On their website, The Breast Cancer Fund

EWG Vice-President for Research, Jane Houlihan, testified before the Health Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in May. “Cosmetics are essentially unregulated under federal law,” said Houlihan. “The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act provides the Food and Drug Administration with virtually no power to perform even the most rudimentary functions needed to ensure the safety of an estimated $35 billion of personal care products purchased by consumers annually.” 12

By Martha Carter

points out several known carcinogens commonly used in personal care products, including acrylamide, a mutagen and reproductive toxin, regularly used to manufacture hair products and lotions. In March 2008, the Organic Consumers Association found chemicals “known to the state of California to cause cancer” in forty-six out of one hundred products tested, which were labeled “organic” and “natural.” The effect of these chemicals in our products is not limited to use. In 2007, the UK Royal Society of Chemistry reported that the chemicals found in personal care products are polluting the water systems. According to the report, many of the 100,000 manmade chemicals are disposed into the sewage system, which is not designed to treat them. These chemicals include endocrine disruptors, which may affect the function of the body’s hormones and nanomaterials, of which we have little to no understanding. “It is likely, even probably definite, that very many chemicals and their intermediary degradation products are entering most rivers continuously,” write the authors. The Food and Drug Administration has passed the buck, claiming on their website that “Cosmetic firms are responsible for substantiating the safety of their products and ingredients before marketing.” Their own statistics show that, due to their lack

of regulatory authority, only 11% of personal care products are tested for safety and may contain toxic chemicals. Upon the EWG’S safety assessment of 7,500 personal care product labels, it was discovered that 1 of every 120 products on the market contains ingredients certified by government authorities as known or probable human carcinogens, including shampoos, lotions, make-up foundations, and lip balms. In addition, just 28 of the 7,500 products analyzed were fully assessed for safety. Here is where the real conundrum begins, for although consumers are striving to be more savvy and educated in their purchases, it is difficult to make healthy choices with a lack of harmonization in the industry. Various trade groups, private agencies, and even retailers are introducing their own certification standards. International business research and consulting company, Organic Monitor, specializes in the global organic industry. They stated in a recent report that, “The proliferation of standards could lead to further confusion as consumers will be unable to distinguish between the various logos and symbols on natural and organic cosmetic products.” The United States seems to be dragging its feet in comparison to its European counterparts. In October of 2008, leading certification bodies at the Natural Beauty Summit

claimed that the publication of harmonized European organic and natural standards should come into force this spring. In fact, until this year, American companies were using European standards, like Ecocert. Why are we so far behind in the United States? As a consumer, how does one make healthy choices in regards to personal care products? The first step is to find a retailer you can trust. Paradoxical as the concept may seem, many retailers are implementing regulatory standards based on their own knowledge. Kristin Binder, founder of, chooses her products with the careful guidance of her education in Phytotherapy- the scientific study of herbal medi-

Inside Look Magazine March/April Green Issue

cine. “The program gave me a hard scientific understanding of anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, phytochemistry, and material media,” writes Binder on her website. Saffron Rouge offers to educate its consumers, defining the exact difference between “organic” and “natural”, as well as her own personal standards in selecting her inventory. “I support companies that promote fair-trade practices, certified organic farming, and biodynamic agriculture. Most importantly, I do not compromise on quality - ever. I only recommend products that I personally consider to be the best of the best.” Other resources are becoming available to research the products you are currently using and look for alternatives. The world’s largest cosmetic safety database, Skin Deep, compares ingredients in more than 40,000 products against 50 definitive toxicity and regulatory databases. Their website is a cutting edge resource for the modern consumer. If all else fails, we can always turn away from the shelves and back to nature, the original cosmetologist. My favorite regime is a cleanser made from yogurt and oatmeal, an almond-honey exfoliator, and a moisturizing mask of avocado and olive oil. Just make sure your components are certified organic.



June 21 - July 22


There is a higher power at work in your life. As you think, so it will be. An incredible golden opportunity comes your way. Your prayers are answered. In April, spring arrives and with it a desire to connect with the world at large.



March is all about change, both in your professional and in your personal life. Listen to your intuition as April 17th Venus turns direct, so life will get back on track and you will be up and running.

Open your mind to brand new possibilities in all areas of your life. New people and open dialogue bring good fortune. Stress is less in April, and you’re the shining star as you suddenly attract a long-held heart’s desire.

February 19 - March 20

July 23 - August 22


March 21 - April 19 Take time to think about what you want to accomplish in the next year. Put your ideas in writing to set your plans in motion. April sees you full of energy, but think before you leap.

Last month’s challenges will resurface to be resolved, at least so that you can move forward. Be patient in waiting for important news and circle April 24th as a red letter day to push you to explore new horizons through study or travel.


May 21 - June 20 March is full of twists and turns, but it is also a time to put you a step closer to resolution. Be willing to accept some changes in your personal or career life. In April, keep an eye on your financial goals and how best to manage your money.

October 23 - November 21 You find that there is slow progress and mix ups at work, and coworkers are not helpful. This will continue until midApril. Spend more time socializing with friends as there is a chance you will meet someone new who will play an important part in your life. April sees home as the best getaway to relax and unwind.


November 22 - December 21 Repair or replace any appliance at home that is not working. At work you will be stretched thin so much so that you might think of setting up a home based business. This is not a good idea at this time. Instead, be flexible, adapt, and ask others to help you. April sees you spring cleaning both inside and out.


December 22 - January 19


April 20 - May 20



August 23 - September 22 Finances are mixed throughout March as luck alternates with extra expenses. Plan carefully so by April you are in a better place. Relationships are in the spotlight and you will want to be extrasensitive to the needs and feelings of others.


September 23 - October 22 Personal plans are on hold from March 6th to mid-April, so if your feelings are wavering, it would be wise to put any decision on hold until May. Exercise regularly and keep any medical or dental appointment in March because April will be consumed in getting your taxes done on time.

Patience is the name of the game with loved ones in March, and will serve you well, as they are apt to be indecisive at times. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with family and friends. Take care when travelling by car in April. Do not make any major purchases until after tax time.


January 20 - February 18 For Aqua signs it’s all about being on the go in March. Be careful to say less this month, clarify your thoughts, and ask questions rather than assume. April is much easier on you and domestic life is at its best, and a good time to get together with friends. Recent financial issues begin to ease. Judy Hevenly, Psychic Astrologer E-mail Web site: Tel: 310 820 7280 Photo: NASA M82_Chandra_HST_Spitzer


Reconnective Healing in Palm

Springs, CA taught by Doug De Vito

These seminars & events will teach you about healing beyond anything you’ve read about, thought about, dreamed about! AprJMr1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Reconnective Yoga Workshop

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AprJMr6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Reconnective Kids! Workshop taught by Holly Hawkins

*DOUG DE VITO (BS ChE, MBA, Proctor & Gamble, AT&T, Disney, Deloitte) received his training directly from Eric Pearl and has since taught hundreds of Reconnective Healing seminars alongside Eric.

Find out what’s baffling the medical community. Discover why hospitals and universities around the world are investing time and money to understand these unprecedented healings and how you, too, can master this extraordinary work! Reconnective Healing has been presented at the United Nations, Madison Square Garden and been featured in The New York Times.

AprJMrPalm Springs, California

Level I/II Reconnective Healing Seminar taught by Doug De Vito

AprJMrPalm Springs, California Semi-Private Level III Seminar: The Reconnection

taught by The Reconnection Teaching Faculty

As a doctor, Eric Pearl ran a highly successful chiropractic practice for 12 years until one day when patients began reporting that they felt his hands on them – although he hadn't physically touched them. For the first couple of months, his palms blistered and bled. Patients soon reported miraculous healings from cancers, AIDS-related diseases, cerebral palsy, severe arthritis, epilepsy and other serious afflictions. All this occurred when Eric simply held his hands near them – and to this day, it continues. Reconnective Healing elicit interest from top doctors and medical researchers at hospitals and universities worldwide with new research programs presently underway. Documented in six books including his international bestseller, The Reconnection: Heal Others, Heal Yourself (soon in its 30th language), this new level of healing has now been taught to over 45,000 practitioners in more than 60 countries! Learn how to completely transcend “energy healing� and “technique� and access a level of healing beyond anything anyone has been able to access prior to now!

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Hilton Palm Springs Resort Eric Pearl and The Reconnection, LLC, in connection with The ReconnectionŽ and Reconnective HealingŽ, including but not limited to seminars, teachings, any information or people, including but not limited to practitioners, instructors, assistants, representatives, associates, employees, agents and assignees related thereto, make no promises, guarantees, representations and or warranties regarding medical diagnosis and or medical treatment, and are neither diagnosing nor treating specific health challenges. You are solely responsible for your own medical care. Š 2009 The Reconnection, LLC