"There is more to life than increasing its speed." -- Mohandas Gandhi
"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need forComplicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the Philosophy is kindness." --- Dalai Lama
"This is love: to fly toward a secret sky, to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment. First to let go of life. Finally, to take a step without feet." ---Rumi
"All that we are is a result of all that we have thought" ---Bhudda
"If every household in the US replaced one bottle of shower cleaner containing chlorine bleach with a hydrogen-peroxide-based shower cleaner we could prevent 1 million pounds of chlorine from entering our environment."
"If every household in the US replaced just one box of 48 oz petroleum-based powder laundry detergent with a vegetable-based product we could save 96,000 barrels of oil."
"Not by harming life does one become noble.One is termed noble for being gentle to all living things." ---Dhammapada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.
"If every household in the US replaced just one box of 85-sheet virgin-fiber facial tissue with recycled ones, we could save 280,000 trees."
"He who knows that all things are his mind, That all with which he meets are friendly, Is ever joyful." ---Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
"If every household in the US replaced just one 25 oz bottle of petroleum-based dishwashing liquid with a plant-based product, we could save 81,000 barrels of oil."
"In whom there dwells no self-deception and no pride, Who is desireless, whose wrath is put away, whose self hath cool become --He is Brahmin." ---Udana
"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." ---- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of the decisions on the next seven generations." ---Great Law of the Iroquois
"Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." ---- Dalai Lama
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world" ---Mahatma Gandhi

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Archive for November 2010

Cleaning Clothes Without Toxins

‘Tis the season to simplify: get rid of things you aren’t using, and make room for new things (in the form of Christmas or Hanukkah gifts, hopefully!).

This time of year, plenty of local and national organizations are taking donations of winter clothes, canned food, children’s toys, and more. But before you un-hoard your house and toss your leftover belongings in the charity bins, consider washing them—especially clothes.

When you buy laundry-cleaning products, be an eco-savvy consumer. Here’s what you want to look out for:

Laundry Detergent:

Look for the keyword “biodegradable,” and make sure it doesn’t contain phosphates (nasty inorganic chemicals that contribute to water pollution and inhibit the growth of organisms when their balance is out of whack).

Bleach Alternatives:

Toxic, pungent bleach irritates the lungs and the environment. Instead, add a cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to your wash. For whites, you could instead add ½ cup borax. And for darks, a cup of white vinegar (which locks in dye—think Easter eggs).

Fabric Softener:

A cup of baking soda works in a pinch!

Dryer Sheets:

Most of the fabric dryer sheets you can buy contain synthetic chemicals and contribute to landfill waste. Instead, consider investing in a lavender sachet that you can toss in with your laundry as it dries. It’s re-usable and smells naturally great!

And here’s another tip: stay away from dry cleaning if you can.

Dry cleaning methods use chemicals instead of water to clean your things. Those chemicals are not only environmental contaminants, but they have been known to infiltrate the body’s systems and even seep into breast milk. Nasty! The easiest way to avoid dry cleaning chemicals? Buy clothes that don’t need to be dry cleaned.