The Official Magazine of Focused Radio
We at The Focus Magazine strive to keep our readers informed, entertained and in the know. But we would like to know what is important to you and your views on what you read in our magazine. So as a challenge to our readers we would love to know which issue has been your favorite so far and how you enjoy our magazine. Our goal is to get 200 posts on our Facebook page @The Focus Magazine. So please show us your love and support , canâ€™t wait to hear from you all. And if you havenâ€™t make sure to give us a like.
Editor in Chief: TommyP Editor at Large: Naadir Love Art Director: KHAR
Words from the Editor Well we have made it past the snow and cold (at least so we thought) for this year and now we are seeing the trees blossom and the landscape looking plentiful. Yes we appreciate the Earth we live on (one of the reasons most of what we do is digital). Just looking at another year of preparation for harvest gets me excited. With that thought in mind, we are gearing up to let the seeds of ours and your labor begin to manifest. Along with more spotlights on entrepreneurs, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and entertainers in the upcoming magazines, we are setting up to have many events that will introduce the world to their works. We are thrilled to continue being an avenue for great information on â€œthe happeningsâ€? of VA and abroad as well as playing the hottest music out from major artists and some independent ones you may have not heard about on Focused Radio. Celebrate the Earth with us this month and continue to #StayFocusedMyFriends TommyP
Earth Day 2016 – Friday, April 22nd The first in five-year countdown to Earth Day’s 50th: Earth Day 2020! Theme: Earth Day 2016: Trees for the Earth!
HISTORY OF EARTH DAY – HOW IT ALL BEGAN National Earth Day is celebrated each year on April 22. This annual day is held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. The concept of Earth Day was established in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco. On March 21, 1970, a sanctioned Proclamation was signed by Secretary General U Thant at the United Nations. On April 22, 1970, U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day.
The idea for a na-
tional day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Inspired by the student anti-war movement, he realized that if he could infuse that energy with an emerging public consciousness about air and water pollution, it would force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. Senator Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on
the environment” to the national media; persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his cochair; and recruited Denis Hayes from Harvard as national coordinator. Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the land. April 22, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected as the date. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustain
able environment in massive coast-tocoast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values. Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans
and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. “It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.” http://www.earthday.org/about/the-history-of-earth-day/
Why Earth Day?
According to Nelson, the moniker “Earth Day” was “an obvious and logical name” suggested by “a number of people” in the fall of 1969, including, he writes, both “a friend of mine who had been in the field of public relations” and “a New York advertising executive,” Julian Koenig. Koenig, who had been on Nelson’s organizing committee in 1969, has said that the idea came to him by the coincidence of his birthday with the day selected, April 22; “Earth Day” rhyming with “birthday,” the connection seemed natural. Other names circulated during preparations—Nelson himself continued to call it the National Environment Teach-In, but national coordinator Denis Hayes used the term Earth Day in his communications and press coverage of the event was “practically unanimous” in its use of “Earth Day,” so the name stuck. There are actually two Earth Day anthems: 1. UNESCO has termed Indian poet-diplomat Abhay Kumar’s idea of an official Earth Anthem as a creative and inspiring thought that would contribute to bringing the world together. Kumar’s “Earth Anthem” has been translated into eight languages including all official languages of the United Nations viz. Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish. The other two languages are Hindi and Nepali. It was launched in June 2013 on the occasion of the World Environment Day by Kapil Sibal and Shashi Tharoor It is also supported by the global organization Habitat For Humanity.
“Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl the most beautiful planet in the universe all the continents and the oceans of the world united we stand as flora and fauna united we stand as species of one earth black, brown, white, different colours we are humans, the earth is our home. Our cosmic oasis, cosmic blue pearl the most beautiful planet in the universe all the people and the nations of the world all for one and one for all united we unfurl the blue marble flag black, brown, white, different colours we are humans, the earth is our home. Earth Anthem by Adhay Kumar 2. Earth Day Anthem (William Wallace)
The “Ode to Joy” melody by Beethoven, the official anthem of the European Union, also is performed on the Earth Day. Lyrics for the Earth Day Anthem set to “Ode to Joy” are as follows:
Joyful joyful we adore our Earth in all its wonderment Simple gifts of nature that all join into a paradise Now we must resolve to protect her Show her our love throughout all time With our gentle hand and touch We make our home a newborn world Now we must resolve to protect her Show her our love throughout all time With our gentle hand and touch We make our home a newborn world
Let’s talk about the theme, Trees for the Earth!
Please note that our planet is currently losing over 15 billion trees each year due to deforestation, land development, and bad forest management (that is roughly 48 football fields every minute). EDN (Earth Day Network) is announcing Trees for the Earth (#Trees4Earth), a plan to plant 7.8 billion trees by Earth Day’s 50th in 2020. That is one tree for every person on the planet! The goal for planting these trees are as simple as they are important: Fight climate change and pollution; Support communities, their local economies, and their way of life; Protect biodiversity; and Inspire millions of people to join us in environmental citizenship and stewardship. One of the most important things to remember is that you, me, all of us have an impact on this beautiful planet that we call home. We need to assume responsibility for it the same way we take responsibility for keeping our homes, offices and cars clean.
How can we make a difference? Below you will see a few suggestions from The Daily Green that can help all of us make some very simple changes. The Daily Green is Good Housekeeping’s guide to green. 1. Avoid Waste: For every trash can of waste you put outside for the trash collector, about 70 trash cans of waste are used in order to create that trash. To reduce the amount of waste you produce, buy products in returnable and recyclable containers and recycle as much as you can. 2. Give Up Paper and Plastic Bags Twelve million barrels of oil were used to make the billions of paper and plastic bags consumed in the United States last year according to The Daily Green. The best option is reusable shopping bags made of cotton, nylon or durable, mesh-like plastic. Keep the reusable shopping bags handy so you have them on your next shopping trip.
3. Stop Buying Bottled Water Using reusable water bottles instead made from materials like stainless steel or aluminum that are not likely to degrade over time. If you choose a plastic water bottle, check the number on the bottom first: Plastics numbered 3, 6 and 7 could pose a health threat to you, so look for plastics numbered 1, 2, 4 or 5. 4. Stop Receiving Unwanted Catalogs Every year billions of catalogs are mailed to consumers. Save the millions of trees and billions of gallons of water by putting a stop to unwanted mail. Go online to CatalogChoice.org for help. 5. Give Up Conventional Detergents Many natural detergents today are made to clean clothes just as effectively in cooler water temperatures. Choose detergents and other laundry products that are plant-based, concentrated and biodegradable. 6. Give Up Hot Water in the Washer Almost 90 percent of the energy is used to heat the water, and most clothes will come clean in cold water. So switch your washing machine’s temperature setting. 7. Give Up the Clothes Dryer The second biggest household energy user, after the refrigerator, is the clothes dryer. Over drying your clothes can end up costing you money as well. The Daily Green says when using the dryer, clear the lint filter after each load and dry only full loads of clothes. Dry heavy fabrics separately from lighter ones, and don’t add wet clothing in the middle of the drying cycle. Remember that hanging clothing outside in the sun and air to dry is the most energy-efficient method -- or use a folding indoor rack all year long. 8. Check for Leaks in Your Toilet According to The Daily Green a leaking toilet can waste anywhere between 30 and 500 gallons of water every day, so any leak should be repaired. To see if your toilet is leaking, put a few drops of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the dye shows up in the toilet bowl after 15 minutes or so, the toilet has a leak. Leaking is usually caused by an old or poorly fitting flapper valve, which can be replaced by any amateur DIY-er!
10. Give Up Paper Towels
Paper towels create a lot of unnecessary waste. Instead of loading up on them The Daily Green suggests buying some reusable microfiber towels, which grip dirt and dust like a magnet, even when they get wet. When you are finished with them, toss the towels in the wash and reuse them again. You can also use old t-shirts, look around, you will be surprised at what can be used before you just throw items away.
11. Run a Fully Loaded Dishwasher
The Daily Green says running a fully loaded dishwasher -- without prerinsing the dishes -- can use a third less water than washing the dishes by hand, saving up to 10 to 20 gallons of water a day. Simply scrape large pieces of food off your dishes and let the dishwasher handle the rest. And by using the air-dry setting (instead of heatdry), you will consume half the amount of electricity without spending a dime. For those of us that still wash by hand, just wash all of the dishes first using the old fashion dishpan, then rinse. Stay conscious of water usage. We have to start somewhere.
12. Lower the Temp in Your Fridge
Get your fridge running in tip-top shape. First, set the refrigerator thermostat to maintain a temperature between 38 and 42 degrees (F). This temperature will protect your food from spoiling while saving electricity. Twice a year, clean the condenser coil at the back of your fridge. Condenser coils tend to get dusty, making them less efficient.
13. Give Up 2 Degrees
Electric power plants are the country’s largest industrial source of the pollutants that cause global warming. By snuggling under a blanket on the couch on a snowy winter night instead of turning up the heat, or enjoying the breeze from a fan in the height of summer instead of turning up the air conditioning, you can save pounds of pollution. Set your thermostat in winter to 68 degrees F (20° C) or less during the daytime and 55 degrees F (13° C) before going to sleep or when you are away for the day. And during the summer, set thermostats to 78 degrees F (26° C) or more.
14. Give Up Dry Cleaning
Until recently, The Daily Green says almost all dry cleaners used a cancer-causing chemical called perchloroethylene, also known as Perc or TCE. Traces of this toxic chemical remain on your clothes after dry cleaning and will evaporate into the air in your car or home. If you have to use a traditional dry cleaner, take your dry cleaning out of the plastic and air it outside or near a window before hanging it in your closet. To avoid the need for dry cleaning, choose fabrics that don’t require dry cleaning at all.
15. Stop Wasting Gas
You can increase your gas mileage by checking your tire pressure. More than a quarter of all cars and nearly one-third of all SUVs, vans and pickups have underinflated tires, according to a survey by the Department of Transportation. If every American kept his or her tires properly inflated, we could save 2.8 billion gallons (10.6 billion liters) of gasoline a year -- and help curb global warming pollution -- so inflate the tires on your car or truck and continue to do so once a month or as necessary.
FUN FOR THE FAMILY
Here are just a few sites that you can go to that can help you come up with some activities to do with your family: science.howstuffworks.com/.../10-earth-day-activities-for-family.htm Tinkerlab.com/fifty-earth-day-activities fun.familyeducation.com › Entertainment and Activities › Holidays www.sheknows.com › PARENTING › Family Fun Check the newspapers in your area to find out what is going on that will be fun and educational for your family. Here are a few events in the Virginia area: ARBOR DAY TREE AND NATIVE PLANT SALE AT THE EJC ARBORETUM
780 University Boulevard, MSC 3705 Harrisonburg, VA 22807 Dates: 04/22/2016, 04/23/2016
EARTH DAY ROANOKE
at The Big Lick Kid Fest 10 AM – 3 PM River’s Edge North sports field Reserve Ave., Roanoke This year’s Earth Day Roanoke festival joins with The Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Carilion at The Big Lick Kid Fest. $5. Entrance Fee Roanoke, VA 24014 Dates: 04/23/2016
EARTH DAY FESTIVAL Church Street Extension Martinsville, VA 24112 Dates: 04/23/2016
Have fun, stay positive and remember we are learning to change how we think about the things we do, use and it is a day to day experience. It is very important that we share this knowledge with the generation coming behind us. We can no longer assume that others will teach OUR CHILDREN the things WE should have been taught them from the cradle. We are the successors of this planet and it is our responsibility to ensure that our Mother Earth is healthy and well taken care of.
MAKE EVERY DAY EARTH DAY!
POETRY in the heart of
THE STAR CITY
“My ultimate goal is just to leave this world a better place then where I left it, and that’s just me being real..” Meet Bryan Hancock (a.k.a Harvest Blaque), a poet, artist, and very active member in the Roanoke community for the past 15 years, doing things from producing his own televison show, Tuned Out Television, to working with Roanoke County Parks and Recreation on Project Awesome in order to give the city of Roanoke positive options for thing to go and do when you’re out on the town. One of these options is “Soul Sessions” which is held every other Wednesday night at the 16 West Marketplace, which is located on 16 Church Ave SW in downtown Roanoke.
Soul Sessions flyer artwork.
Soul Sessions strives to enlighten and influence creative and provoke active minds rather than the stagnant version of let’s get “Turnt Up” and not doing anything but get mixed up in things that are unconducive to the growth of the community. Bryan states how important thriving and growing as a community is to his way of life by saying, “Thriving and growing is very important, as a person in this community growing up as a child I’ve had all kinds of different experiences. I’ve seen a lot of good, I’ve seen a lot of bad, and I had parents who raised me to let me know that it’s very important to become a person that’s gonna either help or hurt myself. And I don’t wanna hurt myself, I wanna help people.” Heavily motivated by the loss of his brother a few years ago to suicide, after being a victim of the criminal justice system, wishing his brother had gotten the help he had desperately needed. Keeping his brother in his thoughts he works to give those in the community in similar circumstances a better alternative then jail or jail. Bryan along with his partner in crime ‘Juice’, since working together at 202 Market , now Stefano’s On The Market, have used their combined efforts to secure a positive and safe environment. “We’ve gone for the past few years just talking to people, ya know. Talking to people, people can tell when you’re faking then can tell you when you’re legitimate in what you’re trying to do. I love just people, I love talking to people. I love hearing their stories everybody has a story to tell, a lot of courageous things I’ve seen..here, because the people that just kinda dropped in and that’s how we got a lot of poets that have come and they have been our featured artists as well. They’ve been very loyal to us in this project and I’m thankful for all of them.”
So next time you are out and about on a Wednesday night stop by the 16 West Marketplace and enjoy the sights and sounds of Soul Sessions. To learn more information on Soul Session, email Bryan Hancock at firstname.lastname@example.org And to watch the rest of this interview hit us up on The Focus Magazine on Facebook and drop us a like.
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CHOOSE HEALTHY CLEANING PRODUCTS
Why go Green? Chemicals May be Unregulated Every time you use a cleaning product, you could be ingesting fumes from the chemicals. Did you know that since World War II, 85,000 new chemicals have entered the mainstream through various products and oftentimes those chemicals aren’t approved by the EPA? That’s a scary amount of chemicals, but what’s even more scary is upwards of 70 percent of typical cleaning products often found in your home contain these harmful agents.
Phthalates, Sodium Hydroxide & Ammonia!
Many have grown up recognizing products our mothers used, so when it came time for us to clean our own homes, we remained brand loyal. But we failed to read the labels. Why read? Label will warn that a product can be harmful to people or pets so that should be your clue to dump it. Many experts say that the average home has 62 toxic chemicals lurking about you may not even be aware of. Some potentially harmful chemicals you want to watch out for include phtalates (in fragranced products), triclosan (in liquid dishwashing detergent), 2-Butoxyethanol (in multi-purpose cleaners) and even chlorine (in laundry whiteners and toilet bowl cleaners).
Help Keep Our Children Safe
We can’t always protect our children from all the evil in the world, but we can reduce or eliminate harmful chemicals from their home environment. Using natural cleaning products will reduce the chance of an accidental poisoning. Did you known that household cleaning products is among the top 5 causes of childhood poisoning cases? So in addition to switching over to green cleaning products, be sure to keep the products stored in child-safe cabinets. You may not control much but you do have the ability to keep your children safe in your home, make the effect, it will be worthit. Stop Poisoning the Water Supply Many household cleaning agents can contain toxic chemicals like ammonia, phosphorus, alkyphenol ethoxylates and petroleum. When you wash your clothes, do the dishes and even flush toilet bowl cleaner you may be sending these chemicals back into the water system and nearby rivers, lakes and streams. Not only can it make its way back into our water, but it definitely has had a negative impact on wildlife and the environment. Breathe Deep. Breathe Clean. While they help make your clothes and rooms smell better, some fabric softeners and antibacterial spray cleaners contain quaternary ammonium compounds (a.k.a. quats), like benzalkonium chloride. These agents have been known to contribute
to otherwise healthy people getting asthma. According to the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning about 53 percent of cleaning products they tested contain ingredients that can harm the lungs while 22 percent can cause asthma. Keep the Air Clean Many household products, especially sprays and aerosols, can contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can have short- and long-term health effects associated with your central nervous system, liver and kidneys. When you use a spray, the chemicals can linger in the air long after the initial mist dissipates. You may choose to throw them away. Most of the items we need to keep our homes clean are right in our kitchen, sitting there underused. THESE ARE YOUR TEAM PLAYERS
White vinegar is effective at dissolving grease and makes a great surface cleaner in the kitchen and bathroom. Vinegar works well because of its acidic nature and antibacterial effect. Japanese research found that the bactericidal activity of vinegar increased as the temperature of its solution increased, underscoring the need for double benefit of warm cleaning solutions. Mix 1 cup of vinegar with water in a bucket or spray bottle and use it to clean windows and mirrors to toilets and floors.
Baking soda deodorizes and has an abrasive quality that out shines toxic, powdered cleansers. Use on surfaces in the bathroom and kitchen to remove stains or even clean the inside of a messy oven. Adding salt can provide a boost in scrubbing power.
The inclusion of lemon in many commercially available cleaning products is one rare area where they got it right! Lemon juice kills mold, cuts through grease, and leaves a streak-free shine. The applied food science laboratory in Lincoln Nebraska examined the ability for lemon oil to inhibit mold growth by applying a coating of lemon juice and vinegar to roast beef. This was found to support prevention of spore germination and outgrowth. Combine lemon juice with vinegar or olive oil to make compound cleaning products that work harder and provide a natural scent.
Hydrogen peroxide has a bubbling action that is amazing with hard-to-clean situations. Fill a spray bottle with a HP and water mixture, keep it near the laundry area as it can be a great spot cleaner.
Polishing wood with with olive oil and lemon juice moisturizes it and provides amazing shine with a fresh scent. Blend 1 cup of olive oil and 1/2 cup of lemon juice in a spray bottle, mist onto a soft cloth and polish wood furniture the natural way. Easy Recipes for Powerful Cleaners Cousin Jason’s Great Glass Cleaner Add 1/2 cup distilled vinegar to a new spray bottle. Fill with distilled water, gently shake. Spray on mirrors and windows, polish with a crumpled newspaper (you’ll be surprised how well the newspaper works). All-Purpose Cleaner Add 2 tablespoons of distilled vinegar and 1 teaspoon liquid castile soap (vegetable based and natural) to a new spray bottle. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. When it stops foaming, add 2 cups warm water, shake gently. Use on counters and kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Use an organic cleaning cloth.
Mix 1 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup liquid castile soap. Add 5 teaspoons of vegetable glycerin and 5-10 drops tea tree oil, depending on preference. Glycerin is a natural preservative and tea tree oil has antibacterial properties. Scrub with a cleaning cloth to use on sinks and other bathroom surfaces. Rinse with hot water and polish with a dry cloth. Just a few more tips: Clearly label your homemade cleaning supplies. Mix enough for one month at a time. Do not reuse containers from commercial cleaning supplies as they may contain chemical residues. Add cleansing essential oils such as lavender, tea tree oil, or rosemary for essence, scent, and benefit. Our homes are our sanctuaries, our safe haven, we must be forever diligent that we are only bringing the safest products into our homes. Do your research!!!!
Strong spirit transcends rules
April 1 â€“ 30, 2016 All donors who participate at a mobile blood drive or community blood center will receive a limited edition awareness t-shirt, while supplies last.
April is….. National Humor Month International Guitar Month Keep America Beautiful Month Lawn and Garden Month National Poetry Month National Pecan Month National Welding Month Records and Information Management Month Stress Awareness Month Sexual Assault Awareness Month 1 April Fool’s Day 1 National Walk to Work Day - first Friday of month 2 Children’s Book Day 4 School Librarian Day 7 World Health Day 10 National Siblings Day 16 National Librarian Day 16 National Stress Awareness Day 18 Patriot’s Day - third Monday of the month 20 Volunteer Recognition Day 22 Girl Scout Leader Day 27 Administrative Professionals Day (Executive Admin’s Day, Secretary’s Day) - Date varies 27 Babe Ruth Day 28 International Astronomy Day 28 Great Poetry Reading Day 28 Take Your Daughter to Work 4th Thursday 29 Arbor Day -last Friday of month
Going Green with Your Beauty Products How to green your beauty routine Simplify Don’t be fooled by cosmetic advertising: Myriad creams, lotions, and potions at the drugstore and cosmetics counter make promises they could never deliver on. (Trust us, all the fancy products in the world will never turn the tide of aging.) Eye creams, for instance, rarely vary in formulation from your basic facial moisturizer. Our recommendation is to keep it simple: All you need is a basic cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and broad-spectrum sunscreen to keep your skin in tip-top shape. Everything else is just dressing. Make Sure “Natural” Is Really Natural Toxic synthetic chemicals are the biggest issue in the beauty industry today, so it pays to hone a keen eye when it comes to examining product labels. For example, it’s counterintuitive, but unfortunately, the words “natural” and “all-natural” are not regulated labeling terms. A great resource is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database site, which rates popular cosmetics and personal-care products with hazard scores on a scale of 0 to 10, depending on their toxicity. The Numbers say it all! Natural Skin Care: By the Numbers 4 pounds: Average amount of lipstick a woman will ingest over her lifetime. 11: Percentage of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal-care products that the U.S. government has documented and publicly assessed for safety. 1,110+: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the European Union. 10: The number of ingredients banned in cosmetics in the United States. 600: The number of companies that have signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics. 20: Percentage of personal-care products that contain at least one chemical linked to cancer. 22: Percentage of cosmetics contaminated with possible cancer-causing impurity 1,4-dioxane. $160 billion: Amount spent annually on skin- and hair-care, makeup, cosmetic surgery, fragrances, health clubs, and diet products. http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-natural-skin-care.html Say No to Fragrance A loophole in federal law doesn’t require companies to declare any of the dozens of toxic chemicals that a single product’s fragrance mixture could contain. Artificial fragrances, which frequently contain phthalates, can also trigger allergic reactions and other health problems. Be mindful of the hidden dangers that “fragrance” or “parfum” listed on ingredients labels can
pose, and always choose fragrance-free products. Choose Nontoxic, Recyclable Packaging You can never go wrong with glass because it’s recyclable and has no danger of leaching toxins into the product contained within. As far as plastics go, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), also known by the recycling code #1, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), #2, are most frequently accepted by municipal curbside recycling programs and are considered safe; polycarbonate (#7), may leach the endocrine disruptor bisphenol-A, or BPA. Polypropylene (#5), another food-safe plastic, is also a good alternative, though less easily recycled. (To find a polypropylene recycler in your neighborhood, visit Earth911. org.) Avoid containers that bear recycling code #3 and the letter “V”, which refers to polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. Dubbed “the poison plastic,” PVC poses great environmental and health hazards from manufacture to disposal. In addition to releasing hydrochloric acid, cancer-causing dioxins, and other persistent pollutants into the air, water, and land during its production, PVC also contains additives and chemical stabilizers--such as lead, cadmium, and di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (a suspected carcinogen that is known to cause a host of reproductive and developmental defects)--that can leach, flake, or off-gas from the plastic throughout its life. Ask How Company Values Stack Up A skincare company is more than the sum of its products. What about its philosophy and values? Visiting a website can be a real eye opener. See if the company tests on animals. See if it signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, a pledge to remove harmful chemicals from ingredients lists and replace them with safer alternatives. How committed is it to reducing its impact on the environment? Choose Organic Beauty and Grooming Products Organic ingredients are those grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, which is healthier for the planet and healthier for our bodies. Better yet are botanicals grown using biodynamic farming methods, which go beyond organic by emphasizing an even more holistic relationship between the soil, plants, and animals. The USDA National Organic Program has been certifying personal-care products since 2003, and an increasing number of organic skincare products now bear the USDA organic seal. To tell if a product is biodynamic-certified, look for Demeter U.S.A.’s stamp of approval on the label. Sidestep the Petrochemicals Used to make emollients for face cream or found in the form of coal tar for scalp-treatment shampoos, petroleum byproducts can be contaminated by cancer-containing impurities. A nonrenewable and environmentally unfriendly resource, petroleum barely belong in your car, let alone on your
skin. Identify it on labels as petrolatum, mineral oil, and paraffin. Make Your Own Green Skin Care Treatments What is the best way to know exactly what goes into your skincare products? Make your own. Not only will you save money and packaging, but you’ll also get the satisfaction that no preservatives or toxic chemicals were used in the process. You can whip up a simple, effective face mask using little more than honey and coconut oil, make a vegetable toner, or create an acne-fighting toner with green tea.
Short List of Ingredients for Your Natural Beauty Recipes If you’re just starting to make your own beauty products, these are great to have on hand and you can make a lot recipes with just these ingredients!
1. Coconut Oil
You can use it as a skin lotion by itself and you can cook with it, so please get the best quality you can afford.
2. Shea Butter
The most used natural beauty ingredient after coconut oil. Organic unrefined shea butter has a naturally nutty, earthy smell (very mild) and is incredibly nourishing for the skin! There are many cases of children seeing improvement from eczema from using shea butter or a mix of it and coconut oil. It has natural antibacterial properties and is great for preventing stretch marks, for wound healing, and as an anti-aging treatment for skin. It naturally has an SPF of about 5 and can be used as a daily sunscreen. Use shea butter in lotion, lotion bars, deodorant, face cream, baby lotion, diaper cream and many other recipes!
3. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is another “butter” and a great addition to natural beauty recipes. It is also an ingredient in organic homemade chocolate. It imparts a delicate chocolate scent, and I love it mixed with mint or citrus in lotion bars, lotion or face cream. It can be used interchangeably with Shea Butter
Beeswax is a great natural thickening agent, and high quality versions have a gently honey sent. Use beeswax in lotions, lotion bars, baby care recipes, lip balm, foot cream, etc. Only a little is usually needed to thicken recipes.
5. Liquid Carrier Oil
Recipes like smoother lotions, baby oil, salves, and after-shave balms often need to be thinner than coconut oil and the butters will allow. In these cases, I use a liquid carrier oil. You can use olive oil, almond oil, or apricot kernel oil, etc. Apricot Kernel has the most gentle scent and almond oil is also relatively unscented. Olive oil is typically the least expensive if you don’t mind the olive scent in your recipes or if you plan to cover it up with essential oils.
6. Arrowroot Powder
I keep Arrowroot on hand for thickening sauces when cooking and it also gets added to a lot of natural recipes like deodorant, baby powder, diaper cream, dry shampoo, etc. It works much like cornstarch but isn’t GMO like many corn products. You can also use it in homemade makeup recipes. 7. Essential Oils Not really needed, but essential oils provide natural scents to homemade beauty recipes and can be mood lifting. Some favorites are mint, lavender, lemon, orange, and sandalwood. So that was just a few ideas to help you get started. Be adventurous and do research and replace all those toxic products for your healthier ones. You will notice the difference. Being Healthy is Staying Beautiful Inside and Out One shouldn’t need a whole lot of lotions, chemical peels, or surgical facelifts to get fresh, glowing skin. Diet and exercise play an important role in your skincare regimen, as well. Besides working up a good sweat to keep nutrient-carrying blood circulating throughout your body, be sure to feed yourself plenty of protein, healthy fats (such as omega-3 fish oils or flaxseed oils), complex carbohydrates, and fruit. Drinking six to eight glasses of water helps flush out toxins that might otherwise show up on your skin. Invest in quality water, get a water purifier. Again, do your research. Watch out for trends, pay attention. Every now and then, new trends promise to be the savior for all your skin care problems but when you look closely ends up being downright cruel. The use of human and cow placenta extracts is probably at the top of the list, especially since they contain a raft of hormones. Another weird practice du jour is the fish pedicure, which involves having dozens of tiny nibbling carp exfoliate your feet in 94-degree Fahrenheit water, can’t see how that would be PETA-approved. Admit it! That does not sound too cool. You now are armed with more info to make a smooth transition into a greener, healthier lifestyle. We wish you much success and remember it is a day to day journey.
WE ARE EVERYWHERE WE ARE EVERYWHERE WE ARE EVERYWHERE
Our Planet Our Responsibility. We celebrate Earth Day and do our part to introduce you to the happenings of VA.