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Is Your Makeup Putting Your Health At Risk?

Do you know what’s in your makeup? Do you even know if your makeup is safe to be using? You may be surprised what’s hiding in some makeup.

safer makeup, natural makeup, organic makeup, safer cosmetics

When we buy something we assume it’s safe. We have regulations and laws to help protect us, right? Sadly, in the case of cosmetics we may not be as protected as we think.


EWG’s site Skin Deep shares some myths about cosmetic safety, including this kind of frightening one-

Myth – If it’s for sale at a supermarket, drugstore or department store cosmetics counter, it must be safe.

Fact –  The Food and Drug Administration has no authority to require companies to test cosmetics products for safety. The agency does not review or approve the vast majority of products or ingredients before they go on the market. FDA conducts pre-market reviews only of certain cosmetics color additives and active ingredients that are classified as over-the-counter drugs (FDA 2005, 2010). – Myths on Cosmetic Safety

If they aren’t required to be tested for safety, how do we know if they are safe? Well the honest answer is, we don’t know they are. There are many possibly harmful ingredients in the products we use everyday and they could be putting our health at risk. Here are just some of the chemicals commonly found in cosmetics.

Parabens

Parabens are used widely as a preservative. They are used because they have bactericidal and fungicidal properties. You can find parabens in everything from shampoo to toothpaste. Parabens mimic estrogen and have been identified in biopsy samples from breast tumors. Some commonly used parabens are methylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.

Phthalates

Phthalates are commonly used to soften vinyl plastics. You know that smell your new vinyl shower curtain gives off? That’s phthalates. They are a common ingredient in fragrances used in cosmetics and household products. Like parabens, phthalates are thought to disrupt the hormonal system. Unlike parabens, you aren’t likely to see phthalates listed in the ingredients. To help avoid phthalates, skip products that list fragrance in the ingredients.

1,4-dioxane

1,4-dioxane is a known animal carcinogen and probable human carcinogen. It’s found in shampoos, soaps, bubble bath, and more. You won’t find 1,4-dioxane on any label. Avoid products that contain ingredients like sodium myreth sulfate, PEG chemicals that include the clauses “xynol,” “ceteareth” and “oleth.”

Ethylene Oxide

Ethylene oxide is commonly found in fragrances and is in many popular shampoos. It is a known human carcinogen. As with phthalates, avoid products that list fragrance in the ingredients.

Lead

You most likely remember the news stories about lead in our lipsticks. Well it can also be found in sunscreen, foundation, nail polish, and even whitening toothpaste! Lead is a neurotoxin which can cause developmental problems as well as miscarriages and reduced fertility. Since lead and other heavy metals are in many products and aren’t listed in the ingredients, it’s hard to know what’s safe.

Safer Cosmetic Brands

EWG’s Skin Deep database is a great place to check to see if products you are using are safe. There are also some more natural brands out there committed to using better ingredients.

Making the switch to safer cosmetics is a great way to reduce your exposure to harmful chemicals. There are many great safe brands out there making wonderful products you can feel good using.

Organic Food on a Budget

Eating organic food doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. These are great tips for eating healthy food on a budget. 

Eating organic food doesn't have to cost a lot of money. These are great tips for eating healthy food on a budget.

Eating organic food is better for us and the planet. Organic food is grown without harmful pesticides and usually is better for the environment. Some studies have shown some organic food to have higher nutritional value as well.

Cost is often what stands in people’s way when they want to eat more organic food. While organic food doesn’t always cost more it often does. While the increased cost may be worth it not everyone is in a place where they can add the added cost to their budget.

As organic food has become more popular the cost is down and there are more ways to save. Now more people can afford to add organic food into their budget.

How to Eat Organic Food on a Budget

  • Eat at home more often. This will help you save overall as eating out can be very expensive. This is also better for your health.
  • Buy grains in bulk. Stores like Native Roots Market, Whole Foods, and Sprouts have a great selection of bulk foods.
  • Eat less meat. Meat can be very expensive and most of us eat too much of it. You don’t have to go vegetarian just try adding more meatless meals to your diet. One great way to do this is, Meatless Monday.
  • Check out the Dirty Dozen to find what produce is most important to buy organically.
  • Eat seasonally. Produce is cheaper when it’s in season so learn to eat in season produce. Frozen fruits and veggies are a good choice when the food is out of season in your area.
  • Be careful not to waste food. American’s waste around 27 percent of the food available for consumption. Making sure you aren’t throwing away food will help you save. Meal planning is one way you can reduce waste.
  • Grow your own food. You don’t have to have farm land to grow your own food. Even a few pots with some favorite produce can help you save.
  • Check out local CSA’s, farmer’s markets and co-ops. You can often get better prices by going straight to the source.
  • Buy less packaged food. Packaged food almost always costs more than making it yourself. This also helps cut down on waste.
  • Use coupons. There are a fair number of coupons out there for organic food. Check out Saving with Organic Coupons for more.
  • Use apps to save money. There are some great apps that you can submit your receipt to and earn cash back. It’s a great way to save a little extra money.
  • Use online services like Thrive Market and Amazon Prime Pantry to find good deals on organic food.

Following these tips can help you buy more organic food without breaking your budget. Do you have any tips to share on saving on organic food? If so please share them in the comments below.

EPA Nominee Scott Pruitt Takes a Hands-Off Approach to Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Scott Pruitt's Role in Oklahoma EarthquakesOklahoma attorney general and President Trump’s nominee to run the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt’s environmental record is currently under a microscope, including his role in Oklahoma’s earthquake increase.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) questioned him about his role in the earthquakes, which scientist have linked to disposal wells used in the oil and gas industry.

Sanders asked what action Pruitt had taken to which he said he was very concerned, Sanders then said, “and therefore you must have taken action. I guess, can you tell me who you fined for doing this?” To which Pruitt replied, “the corporation commission in Oklahoma is vested with the jurisdiction and they have actually acted on that.”


 

Oklahomans have dealt with a record number of earthquakes that have caused damage and injuries around the state while waiting on the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to act.

In states like California and New York, attorney generals have been quick to step in on issues like this, while Pruitt took a hands off approach.

The Sierra Club issued a statement about the Pruitt nomination calling out his inaction on the earthquakes in Oklahoma.

“When a 2015 report from the Oklahoma Geological Survey found a direct link between oil and gas mining and increased destruction and property damage from earthquakes, Pruitt did nothing even though as Attorney General he is responsible for protecting Oklahomans. As the costs of earthquake damage pile up, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey have urged action, Pruitt has done nothing as families have been forced from their homes. Scott Pruitt is also leading the legal challenge against the Mercury and Air Toxics Standard, passed by President Obama in 2011 to protect families from dangerous levels of mercury and arsenic, pushing to have it thrown out by the courts and allow coal-fired power plants to again dump tons of mercury into our environment.”

With his hands-off approach on this issue and many others impacting Oklahoma, it’s hard to know what action, if any, Pruitt will take on environmental issues plaguing the country.

If you are concerned about Scott Pruitt’s nomination for the head of the EPA tell your Senator

Natural Cleaners You Can Make Yourself

Making your own DIY homemade natural cleaners isn’t hard and can save you a lot of money!

DIY Homemade Natural CleanersConventional cleaners often contain ingredients that can be harmful. Many of the ingredients are endocrine disrupters, which can cause adverse reproductive, neurological developmental and immune effects. These risks are especially high during prenatal and early postnatal development.

Making your own cleaners allows you to have control over the ingredients. It can also save you money. Buying the ingredients may cost a bit in the beginning but once you have the supplies on hand you can make these cleaners for less than you are spending now, in most cases. If you plan to make them often check out bulk ingredients on Amazon to save a little money.


There are many great homemade cleaners out there to try. Pinterest has endless options. These are just a few that use really good ingredients and are great products.

Homemade Natural Cleaners

DIY Homemade Natural Cleaners

Daily Shower Spray from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Dish Detergent for Hand Washing from Bren Did

Dusting Spray from Frugally Blonde

Stainless Steel Cleaner from The Crunchy Chronicles

Grapefruit Soft Scrub from Mommypotamus

DIY Homemade Natural Cleaners

Liquid Laundry Detergent from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Dishwasher Detergent from Bren Did

Bleach Alternative from One Good Thing by Jillee

Granite Cleaner from Root and Revel

Toilet Bowl Cleaner from Mom 4 Real

DIY Homemade Natural Cleaners

Citrus Refrigerator Deodorizer from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Lemon Infused Disinfectant Spray Cleaner from Bren Did

Dryer Sheets from View From The Fridge

Floor Cleaner from Hello Glow

Laundry Stain Remover from Bren Did

DIY Homemade Natural Cleaners

Sleep Linen Spray from Retro Housewife Goes Green

Scented Cleaning Vinegar from Bren Did

Bathroom Cleaner from Remodelaholic

Glass Cleaner from Pins and Procrastination

Lemon and Lavender All-Purpose Cleaner from Mommypotamus
If you are just getting started or like a more simple approach you can clean most things with castile soap, baking soda, or vinegar. Keeping these ingredients on hand is a great start. They are also featured in many of the recipes above.

Looking for more green living inspiration? Be sure to join the Green Oklahoma mailing list and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Getting to Know Your Meat

Get to Know Your Meat

Have you ever stopped to think about where your meat comes from? The USDA says that roughly 8-20 percent of U.S. meat supplies come from foreign sources, but also said that only the portions that are imported directly as meat are obvious.

“While it is relatively easy to track the amount of meat imported by the U.S. (2.1 billion pounds of beef and 0.8 billion pounds of pork in 2011) and the number of livestock that enter the U.S. (2.1 million cattle and 5.8 million hogs in 2011), it is more difficult to estimate the amount of meat produced in the United States from animals that originated abroad. ERS estimates derived using data on imported livestock by weight category and assumptions about animal growth patterns and the timing of production from imported animals show the share of domestic production attributed to foreign-born animals is significant and trending upward.” – How Much U.S. Meat Comes From Foreign Sources?


We have become very disconnected from our meat. Food blogger and author, Jamie Schler wrote on the Huffington Post about going shopping with her French husband in the U.S., this was his first trip the States.

“He glanced over the display: perfectly aligned Styrofoam platters each holding a perfectly cut, sliced and trimmed steak, chop or burger, each as gorgeously and evenly red as a fine bottle of Bordeaux. Clear plastic stretched across the surface of each piece of meat, displaying to, yes, perfection the item now shiny and smooth, as shiny and smooth as the waxed apples and eggplants over in the produce section. My husband turned to me, shaking his head in disappointment, and said, “You Americans really do not want to know that you are eating an animal, do you?”- This Little Piggy Went to Market: Where Does Your Meat Come From?

And he is right. Ask most Americans where the meat they are eating came from and they will tell you a name of a grocery store, and that’s all the information they can give you because that’s all they know. And chances are, we don’t really want to know where the meat came from or how it got to our grocery stores.

“It’s one thing to pick your own strawberries or buy green beans and fresh corn at the local Farmers’ Market, but it’s very different when you talk about where that New York Strip Steak or pork loin came from.  Do you want to have the conversation about the way chickens are raised before they are braised in your Le Creuset Dutch oven?  Probably not.  As Allison Bryant told me, “If you knew how those chickens were raised, you would probably eat more red meat.”- Honor the Animal

Is it possible to break away from this American habit of not knowing what we are eating? Yes it is, and it’s not as hard as you may think.  Buying local meat not only helps you have connection with your meat, it also helps our local economy. A much larger amount of the money you spend on local food will stay in the community and help strengthen it. It’s also likely safer because a lot of meat bought in grocery stores can contain meat from multiple animals making it hard to track if there is a problem. Local meat means you can also make sure that the meat is raised in a way that meets your standards.

You can find local meat in many places around the state. Locally owned natural food stores, like Native Roots Market in Oklahoma City, often stock local meat and can let you know where it came from if you want to know more about it. Even some chains around the state have local meat at times. Farmer’s markets and straight from the farms is another great way to get local meat. And one of the best ways to buy local meat is the Oklahoma Food Cooperative. All of the food they sell is local and they always disclose where the food came from and give you information about the farms. When you order from the Oklahoma Food Cooperative you know you are helping support Oklahoma’s farmers and ranches

As food recalls become more and more common, maybe it’s time to take cue from the French and get to know our food a little better.

 

New Facebook Group for Local Green Events

Green Oklahoma has added another great way for Oklahomans to live a greener life. A new group is now available on Facebook for Oklahomans to find and share local green events.

There is always something green going on around the state but it can be hard to find the information. With the new Green Events in Oklahoma group all of the information can be found in one place.

The events will also be added to our calendar to provide another place for you to find out about what’s going on in the state. Our calendar is mobile friendly so you can check event details on-the-go!


This group is for local green events, announcements, meetings, etc… Selling items and multi-level marketing will not be allowed. It is also a moderated group to make sure everyone follows the rules.

We encourage you to join and share any local green events you know about! It will be a fun place to learn and share.

Diesel Leak at Water Well in Ada

Diesel Leak at Water Well in AdaThe City of Ada discovered a diesel leak at a holding tank at one of its three water wells this week, the exact date of the leak is unknown. It’s estimated that 2,000 gallons leaked.

Ada contacted the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) immediately and is working to remediate the well site area.

Citizens in Ada are told to not be concerned as the leak does not affect the quality of Ada’s drinking water. The current concern is that it come affect quantity as demand increases this summer. The majority of Ada’s water comes from Byrd’s Mill Spring with the affected well supplementing during high demand.


The well is not currently in use and will remain out of service until the issue can be resolved.

Rationing could be required when demand rises but current rainfall will likely help the reduce the reliance on the affected well.

For more information visit the City of Ada website at www.adaok.com

Recommended reading- Ways to Conserve Water


Ada map credit- Adapted from Wikipedia’s OK county maps by Seth Ilys.

Oklahoma Impacted by Tornadoes, Flooding, an Earthquake and Exotic Animals

Oklahoma Impacted by Tornadoes, Flooding, an Earthquake and Exotic Animals

May is prime tornado season for Oklahoma but last night’s storms were one for the record books. Storms started firing in western Oklahoma early afternoon with a brief tornado touchdown in Caddo County at around 2:50 p.m.

Several tornadoes ended up touching down throughout the day. At least 52 people were injured and this morning it was reported that one woman was found dead in a storm shelter, it’s believed that she drowned.


In addition to the damaging tornadoes, the Oklahoma City metro area experienced historic flooding. Will Rogers World Airport received 7.10 inches of rainfall yesterday. The National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency Wednesday night, the first in Oklahoma City’s history.  There was also a magnitude 2.9 earthquake reported in Luther.

The strangest story to come out of the storm happened when a tornado hit Tiger Safari in Tuttle. Exotic animals were briefly thought to be on the loose and people were told to stay indoors. Thankfully, all of the animals were okay and had not escaped.

The flooding has made clean up more difficult and there is a risk of more severe weather today. And a moderate risk weather alert has been issued for Saturday. It’s rare to see these alerts so far in advance. Oklahomans are urged to have an emergency plan ready and to be prepared for the next several days of severe weather.

If you would like to help the recovery efforts in Oklahoma, please donate to the American Red Cross.

Earth Day 2015 in Oklahoma

Earth Day in Oklahoma

Earth Day is April 22nd and all month there are great eco-friendly events going on around the state to celebrate. Here are some of the fun events going on around Oklahoma.

Green Week at OU
OU has green events all this week, April 13th-17th. Click here for more information.


Household Hazardous Waste Collection
Dispose of your hazardous waste reasonability on April 18th at the Choctaw Nation Event Center in Durant. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Click here for more information.

Tulsa Zoo’s Party for the Planet
Join Tulsa Zoo for family fun to celebrate Earth Day. There will be a self-guided nature tour, a rainwater workshop and more! The event will take place on April 18th. Click here for more information.

Free Shred Day
Bring financial and personal documents for free shredding and recycling on April 18th from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. The event will take place at 5519 NW 4th in Oklahoma City.

Martin Park Natural Center Earth Fest
Enjoy seminars on earth-friendly topics and family friendly games, crafts, and more. The event takes place at Martin Park Natural Center in OKC on April 18th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Norman Earth Day Festival
This free event will have something for the whole family. It will include music, hands-on art projects, pet adoptions, and much more. It will take place at Reaves Park in Norman on April 19th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Click here for more information.

OSU-OKC Earth Day Fair
Celebrate Earth Day with music, food, prizes and more. The event will take place on April 21st at the OSU-OKC campus from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Click here for more information.

Earth Matters- People Matter Film Series
On April 21st at 7:30 p.m. in Norman at Westwind Unitarian, there will be a screening of Fight For Wild America. Click here for more information.

OKC Earth Day Earth Walk
On April 22nd, at 6 p.m. there will be an Earth Walk on the OCU campus. Everyone is invited to gather at the United Methodist Headquarters parking lot at 1501 N.W. 24th at McKinley. Click here for more information.

Earth Day Events at Science Museum Oklahoma
On April 22nd at 10 a.m. visitors will have the opportunity to make seed bombs at the Science Museum Oklahoma Gardens. The fun will continue on April 23rd and 24th with more fun Earth Day events. All events are included with general admission.

Party for the Planet at ECU
ECU will have live music, booths, food, and fun at the Party for the Planet. Events start at 10 a.m. on April 22nd at the Tiger Fountain at ECU. Click here for more information.

Free Shredding Event
Bring your documents to be shredded at the Chickasaw Reuse Center on 2205 North Broadway in Ada. The event will take place on April 24th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s open to the public. You can also bring useable items to donate to the Reuse Center.

Green Connections at Turtle Rock Farm
Go on a tour, meet animals, enjoy a drum circle, see demonstrations of fiber spinning, toothpaste-making, solar energy, and more! There will also be free food! The event takes place on April 25th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Click here to RSVP and find more information.

OKC Zoo’s Party for the Planet
Enjoy fun activities for Earth Day at the zoo. The party takes place on April 26th from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here for more information.

Ada Recycling Coalition Annual Earth Day Meeting
Join ARC for lunch, a special speaker, and more on April 29th at ECU in Ada. Click here for more information.

Did we miss an event? Please comment below or email us. And have a wonderful Earth Day!

Photo Credit- Okiefromokla

Bloomberg, Sierra Club Partnership Aims to Close Half of U.S. Coal Plants by 2017

Photo Credit- Matthew D. Wilson (LtPowers)

Photo Credit- Matthew D. Wilson (LtPowers)

The Sierra Club announced this week that Bloomberg Philanthropies will be investing $30 million over three years to the Beyond Coal Campaign. This new round of funding builds on the foundation’s previous commitment of $50 million.

Bloomberg will also lead a coalition of funders, which aims to match up to $30 million in grants. With this new support, the Sierra Club hopes to see the replacement of half of the nation’s coal power plants with clean energy by 2017.

“The coalition of more than a dozen funders includes individual donors, family foundations and major philanthropic organizations recognizing the urgency to fight climate change. Select funders include the Hewlett Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Yellow Chair Foundation, the Grantham Foundation and the Sandler Family Foundation.  Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune and Michael R. Bloomberg announced the investments at the Sierra Club in Washington DC.” –source


The Bloomberg Philanthropies-Sierra Club partnership has led to 187 coal plants being retired or announcing their retirement. Coal has also dropped from 52% of US electricity generation to under 40%.

“The single biggest reduction in carbon pollution in the U.S. has come by retiring and repurposing coal-fired power plants – and that’s the direct result of our Beyond Coal campaign,” said Michael R. Bloomberg. “Thanks to the community leaders who have spearheaded this work, the U.S. led every industrialized nation in reducing carbon emissions last year. But much more work remains, and today we are doubling down on what has proven to be an incredibly successful strategy for improving public health and fighting climate change.” –source

One of the goals of the campaign is to improve the health of Americans.

The health benefits of our work to date include preventing 5,000 premature deaths,  avoiding 82,600 asthma attacks, and saving $2.3 billion in health care costs – every year. Retiring even one coal plant can  prevent 29 premature deaths, 47 heart attacks and 146 asthma attacks annually. Peer-reviewed research has also shown families living next to mountaintop-removal coal mines have higher risks of cancer, birth defects, and premature death. Replacing half the nation’s coal plants with clean energy will bring real improvements to people’s lives.” –source

The campaign also aims to position the U.S. as a climate leader. Current reductions in coal and increase use of renewable energy has helped the U.S. reach a climate agreement with China. However, the Sierra Club is hoping for even more.

“…the science is clear that we must do more, and the goals announced today by the Sierra Club will put the nation on a path to exceed the U.S. climate targets announced in late March by the Obama Administration.” –source

The coal industry is clearly not a big fan of this effort by the Sierra Club and Bloomberg.

“Instead of trying to make headlines, environmentalists could be partnering with industry to make headway in providing cleaner, reliable energy to Americans across the country and around the world,” said Laura Sheehan, senior vice president for communications at the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which represents coal interests, in a statement.”- source

However, the Sierra Club and Bloomberg say the partnership is helping transition the economy from coal to clean energy. Bloomberg has pointed out the increase in number of jobs in solar and other renewable energy.

“Saying we’re destroying the coal industry isn’t as true as people would want you to believe, said Bloomberg. We should be making investments in helping find jobs and careers in industries that will continue growing,” – source

You can find out more at the Bloomberg Beyond Coal and Beyond Coal websites.