July 22, 2010

the story of cosmetics

I'm very excited that the team at The Story of Stuff has created a short film with The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. The film takes a big, depressing problem and presents it in a concise and approachable way. In the film Annie Leonard describes "how major loopholes in U.S. federal law allow the $50 billion beauty industry to put unlimited amounts of chemicals into personal care products with no required testing, no monitoring of health effects and inadequate labeling requirements—making cosmetics among the least-regulated consumer products on the market."

On a related note, this summer I finally read Not just a Pretty Face by Stacy Malkan. It is a great book which contains much of the same information but in greater detail. Both the book and The Story of Cosmetics film are in association with The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of non-profit groups working to eliminate harmful chemicals from personal care products.

I love the medium of the film, and how it is sure to be shared virally across social media and email to reach so many people. Check it out and pass it on. If you're interested in learning more, pick up a copy of Not Just a Pretty Face and also check out the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

May 6, 2010

children's medication recall

As you've hopefully heard by now, last week there was a sweeping recall of popular children's medications including Tylenol, Motrin, Zyrtec, and Benadryl. McNeil Consumer Healthcare, in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is voluntarily recalling all lots that have not yet expired of certain over-the-counter (OTC) Children’s and Infants’ liquid products manufactured in the United States.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare is initiating this voluntary recall because some of these products may not meet required quality standards. This recall is not being undertaken on the basis of adverse medical events. However, as a precautionary measure, parents and caregivers should not administer these products to their children. Some of the products included in the recall may contain a higher concentration of active ingredient than is specified; others may contain inactive ingredients that may not meet internal testing requirements; and others may contain tiny particles. While the potential for serious medical events is remote, the company advises consumers who have purchased these recalled products to discontinue use. Consumers can contact the company at 1-888-222-6036 and also at www.mcneilproductrecall.com.

I wasn't able to post about the recall right away, but was reminded of it today while speaking with my sister. My nieces have been using lots of these products this winter while battling various ailments and illnesses. My sister was wondering if the company was offering refunds on all the bottles she had already purchased. It seems that indeed you can request a refund on your products on the company's website.

Remember, if you have medicine to dispose of it is best to check and see where it can be disposed of safely. Don't pour it down the toilet or into the sink. Check earth911.com for a list of places that will accept medicines for disposal. Many municipalities and stores (such as Walgreens and Costco) will accept the medications and dispose of them safely.

100 awesome blogs

Mom Go Green was recently included in a list of 100 Awesome Blogs for All-Natural Moms, compiled by Nursingschools.net. So nice to be included! The list has many excellent blogs which are good resources on a variety of topics.

April 30, 2010

oil spill

image from NOAA

In brief:

The US administration has banned oil drilling in new areas of the US coast while the cause of the oil spill off Louisiana is investigated.

From the AP:
"The oil slick could become the nation's worst environmental disaster in decades, threatening to eclipse even the worst oil spill in U.S. history, the Exxon Valdez, the grounded tanker that leaked 11 million gallons in Alaska's Prince William Sound in 1989. The sheen measured about 70 miles by 130 miles as of Thursday, and officials expected to update that figure Friday.

It imperils hundreds of species of fish, birds and other wildlife along the Gulf Coast, one of the world's richest seafood grounds, teeming with shrimp, oysters and other marine life.

"This is a very, very big thing," David Kennedy, of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Associated Press about the spill. "And the efforts that are going to be required to do anything about it, especially if it continues on, are just mind-boggling."

Read more here.

"The harm right now to the fishing industry and to the economic sector is just almost incalculable." - Richard Arsenault, a lawyer for a group of Louisiana shrimpers

"Every a**hole who ever chanted 'Drill Baby Drill' should have to report to the Gulf Coast today for cleanup duty." - Bill Maher via Twitter

For more information about the spill and the aftermath, visit NOAA.

April 26, 2010

earth day posters

In my Earth Day post I mentioned a poster contest held by Martha Stewart Whole Living in collaboration with Pencil. New York City public school children participated in the contest. I was always entering poster contests when I was in school. I am happy to share some of the entries. You can visit the Whole Living website to see all the finalist posters.

April 22, 2010

earth day 2010

Happy 40th Earth Day! I often don't even have a post on Earth Day, which might be surprising given the theme of my blog. While the intentions might be good, I find that there is so much hype and green messaging happening around this date that it gets kind of overwhelming. Do all the stories and events inspire you to change some habits? Or does it perpetuate a crunchy, eccentric ethic?

On the local radio morning show this morning they had a guest (a business reporter from the newspaper, I think) who said he believed true environmental change will happen through financial incentives—that at the end of the day, it is all about money. For industry, government, and maybe many folks this is probably true. Switching to solar looks a lot more appealing when there is a huge rebate check from the government to do it!

In thinking about Earth Day, I've put together a few of the most inspirational events and announcements that I've received:

Moms Rising is asking folks to join in signing an Earth Day letter to Congress urging support for safer chemicals in products used by babies and children, and in all consumer products. It is a quick and easy (and important!) thing to do.

Environment California is calling for donations to help ban plastic shopping bags in all of California. A great step considering all that plastic floating in the Pacific.

Who doesn't love a good poster contest, especially by students? Martha Stewart’s Body+Soul: Whole Living magazine partnered with PENCIL (a New York City public school education organization) to celebrate Earth Day this year by sponsoring an Earth Day Poster Contest at ten New York City public schools. They are having an exhibit of the posters tonight, but I won't have images to share of them until after the party. What a fantastic and engaging idea!

Al Gore, the founder of Repower America, sent a message asking people to call their senators. There will be legislation introduced in the next few days looking to improve the US climate policy (which is far less progressive than many other countries).

"Today, on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the world is looking to the U.S. for leadership on climate. Call your Senator to tell him or her to fight for the strongest possible clean energy and climate legislation. Call now: 1-877-55-REPOWER (1-877-557-3769) And then report your call here. "

Repower America has done a great job at refreshing the Earth Day message with Biz Markie. They say, "it's easy to succumb to doom and gloom. But each of us came to this movement because of the joy we find in working together to build a sustainable future for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. Today, on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we have come together in this video to share that inspiration -- all while joining in the call for the strong clean energy and climate legislation our nation needs."

You know that I'm a big believer in protest and reform through song and smiles!
Happy Earth Day.

April 14, 2010

catherine mohr builds green

I just watched this video from TED and wanted to share it. Catherine Mohr humorously shares her experience of building a green house. The surprising lesson is that "sometimes what you are not expecting to be the biggest changes are [the biggest]".

It is a short video which inspires one to really question green propaganda vs. actual fact.