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Friday, February 26, 2010

Contrary to Popular Belief...

I don’t think I have been in a home where I haven’t seen household cleaners such as Lysol, Clorox, Pledge and Windex. Chemical cleaning supplies are an $18 billion industry (Bach, 80). Wish I had a piece out of that pie (not really and you will soon know why). The average US household shells out roughly $600 a year on 40 lbs of chemical cleaning supplies (Bach, 80).

I will take you on a short journey through the life of me during my first semester of college. I was taking a biology course which was required for my intended major in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Those of you who know me well are probably thinking, WHAT?!? Yes, there was a time in my life when I wanted to deliver babies (I still do) and I thought being an OBGYN was the only way to do it. Any who, my Biology instructor began to teach the class about endangered species. I was intrigued. I began doing a lot of research of my own and eventually I was learning about tap water, chemicals and this led me into “The Green Life”.

Most Americans go to their local grocery store and buy brand name cleaners. The popular cleaners I am sure you have seen thousands of advertisements for, whether on television, magazines, etc. Society doesn’t have a clue what is in these bottles that magically make any mess disappear. They think because it is on the shelf, they must be okay to use. Right? WRONG! Household cleaners are not as safe as we think.



The first reason why household cleaners are not as safe as we think is that companies are not required to disclose ingredients. Have you ever looked at the back of a bottle of cleaner that you use? They do not disclose the ingredients. Why would they? They don’t want you to know what you are buying. If you did, they wouldn’t be making billions off of you. Here are some pictures of labels from the back of commonly used cleaners. You don’t see any ingredients listed any where.







Ben Dunham, an associate legislative counsel at Earthjustice states, “The federal system to regulate toxic chemicals is just in shambles (Bielo).” People assume that because these products are on the shelf that they are safe, but they are not.

The second reason why household cleaners are not as safe as we think is that they are made with harmful chemicals. It’s no wonder why they don’t want you to know the ingredients. If you knew you were buying a bottle full of health problems, would you buy it? I think it is safe to say that everyone would say no. They are full of dangerous chemicals that we can’t even pronounce.


• denatured ethanol
• alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride
• dimethyl benzyl ammonia chloride
• alkylphenol ethoxylates
• ethylene glycol ethers
• ethanolamines
• chloramines
• ethylene dibromide
• cyclophosphamide

Even if you did know ingredients, you wouldn’t know if they are harmful. Where do you go to look up chemicals and their harmful effects? "One of the problems that none of this is addressing is that there are more than 100,000 chemicals in commerce and maybe 900 evaluations of chemicals for cancer-risk," says chemist Monona Rossol, industrial hygienist for Arts, Crafts and Theater Safety, a nonprofit that advises on chemical safety for theaters and artists. "For the majority of chemicals, there just isn't any data (Bielo)." What’s even more disturbing is “if you’re cleaning with disinfectant, you’re spraying pesticides all over your home (Ryan & Lowry, 47).” Many cleaners release VOC’s (volatile organic compounds
), which can cause many health effects.

The third reason why household cleaners are not as safe as we think is that they can cause many health problems. Many VOC’s are carcinogens
and contribute to other serious health problems. VOC’s are released into the air of your home and remain there for you to breathe in. They settle on surfaces in your home for you to touch. “Studies show links between chemicals in common household cleaners and respiratory irritation, asthma, and allergies, red blood cell damage, reproductive system damage, and birth defects. Some solvents in cleaning products are also toxic to the nervous system (Household).” Many cleaners have ingredients called endocrine or hormone disrupters. Also, “Studies have shown that women who work inside the home have significantly higher cancer rates than those who don’t and repeated exposure to cleaning products is a contributing factor (Matheson, 47).” Did you know that “About ten percent of toxic exposures reported to the U.S. Poison Control Centers are related to cleaning products directly touching the skin or being ingested (Matheson, 32)?”

Everyone should request toxic chemical policy reform by joining the Million Baby Crawl
. You can also buy safe cleaning products from many companies such as Seventh Generation
, Method
, and Mrs. Meyers
. They are available almost everywhere and they disclose ALL of their ingredients. Check your local grocery store. You can also find amazing recipes online
to make your own cleaners here and type “household cleaner recipes” into the search box. Check out this website
and click “household cleaners” to ensure you are not buying harmful chemicals.

If you have any questions or comments, please ask! I have many resources and books on this. Trying to incorporate everything is extremely hard. Thanks and until next time… peace and love!

"Popular to contrary belief, what you don't know can hurt you (Ryan and Lowry, 10)."

Bach, David. Go Green, Live Rich. New York: Broadway Books, 2008.
Biello , David . "Earthjustice Wants Companies to List Chemicals in Household Cleaners". Scientific American. 02/25/2010 .
Matheson, Christie. Green Chic Saving The Earth in Style. Naperville: Sourcebooks, Inc., 2008.
Ryan, Eric and , Lowry, Adam. Squeaky Green . San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008.
"Household Cleaner Product Giant SC Johnson Will Disclose Chemical Ingredients". Earthjustice. 02/25/2010 .
Friday, February 19, 2010

Money Drives and It Drives Me Nuts!


It is way beyond late, but I promised myself one blog a day. I may make this a short blog. I though of so many things I wanted to write about today. To be honest, my brain is so fried right now I cannot think of one of them. I know once I lay my head on that fluffy pillow I will remember them all and some. That time between laying my head on that oasis to the time I actually drift off into sleep seems to take an eternity. I find my brain racing like it is running for its life. It is almost overwhelming. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to let my brain rest. There are so many things I want to change in the world. Me against the world… in my dreams! I can try though right? So everyday I set out to do one thing and one thing only. Liberate the world through education. My plan of attack you ask? That’s what I think about non-stop when I should be falling asleep. I cannot help it, but everyday there are things that come to my attention that disturb me like no other. Maybe I should start writing all these things down as they come along. My “to-do” list if you will. It may take me a lifetime to hash out, but someday. I am scared to death about my daughter growing up in such a ruined society, a society where the true essence of life has been lost. Enjoying life now means to have the most money, to have the biggest house, to have the most toys, to have the coolest toys, to have the hippest clothes, to have the biggest breasts, to… the list goes on forever! You simply cannot enjoy life if you don’t have the best “stuff”. What in the hell happened? Now in order to learn you get sent to a school with a curriculum that was decided by certain people of what is important and what is not. Later in life you are supposed to go on by educating yourself in whatever you decide you want to “be” when you grow up. Typically, this is no longer something you like, but the best paying job. It has completely lost its passion. The majority of the working people that make big bucks will say they are unhappy with what they do. Money drives and it drives me nuts! Okay, so this supposed short blog is turning into a rant that will never end because I am beginning to pour out my thoughts in the order they run through my head, which is extremely unorganized. Off to the list and off to bed for me. I will go from this day forward with a small notebook and pen at all times so I can record and not forget everything that I want to educate about. Then I can organize them to make for a better read. Until tomorrow… peace & love!
Thursday, February 18, 2010

Facebook Discriminates!

I recently joined a group on Facebook called “If breastfeeding offends you, put a blanket over YOUR head!” It currently has just over 129,000 fans. Facebook has been deleting photos of breastfeeding mums and even deleting their accounts with no warning. Their reasoning is the photos are obscene and violate their terms of use. Now, I understand that Facebook is a privately owned company and that when you sign up, you agree to the terms of use. However, what I cannot understand is how Facebook allows this:....
http://www.facebook.com/verysexywomen#!/verysexywomen and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sexy-women/214121300275#!/pages/Sexy-women/214121300275?v=photos
with photos ranging from this:
,


and



Yet, breastfeeding mums are having their photos of a natural process deleted. Facebook has even been going as far as to completely delete their pages with no warning. Photos like this:


and


are said to be obscene?!? The definition of obscene is as follows according to Dictionary.com:
ob⋅scene



1.....


offensive to morality or decency; indecent; depraved: obscene language. ....

2.....


causing uncontrolled sexual desire.....

3.....


abominable; disgusting; repulsive.....

The last time I checked, breastfeeding is not offensive to morality or decency. It does not cause uncontrolled sexual desire other than in people with severe psychological problems that shouldn’t be allowed on Facebook for “our” safety. And lastly, breastfeeding is anything but abominable, disgusting or repulsive. How is feeding your children the way nature intended any of the above? It’s not! Natural is defined many different ways, but the best definition I found for this use on Dictionary.com is: in conformity with the ordinary course of nature; not unusual or exceptional.....
Therefore, Facebook is discriminating against breastfeeding mothers and it MUST stop! I urge you to support “If breastfeeding offends you, put a blanket over YOUR head!” by joining their group and encouraging others to as well by clicking http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?topic=12067&uid=444758635156#!/pages/If-breastfeeding-offends-you-put-a-blanket-over-YOUR-head/444758635156?v=wall. You can also submit this pre-made letter to news stations across ....America...., to Oprah, to everyone who should listen! This letter was provided by http://www.facebook.com/pages/If-breastfeeding-offends-you-put-a-blanket-over-YOUR-head/444758635156

To whom it may concern,
I would like to let you know about discrimination that is taking place on the massive social networking site Facebook. There has been a lot of bad publicity in the past over Facebook deleting even the most modest pictures of babies breastfeeding, yet they still continue this practice. Despite breastfeeding being perfectly natural and despite the fact that it is illegal in most places to ask a nursing mother to stop or cover up, Facebook sends warnings and even closes accounts of mothers who post nursing pictures. Recently a Facebook group called "If breastfeeding offends you, put a blanket over YOUR head!" (link: http://www.facebook.com/pages/If-breastfeeding-offends-you-put-a-blanket-over-YOUR-head/444758635156?v=feed&story_fbid=312428379428#!/pages/If-breastfeeding-offends-you-put-a-blanket-over-YOUR-head/444758635156?ref=mf ) which boasts over 129,000 members and is rapidly increasing in popularity has had countless hundreds of pictures removed from members and from the group's own founder. Thousands of mothers are outraged, this needs to be stopped! We hope to continue to give Facebook bad publicity until they realize that breastfeeding is NOT obscene! Any help from your news network would be greatly appreciated.
Until tomorrow… peace & love!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010

“Ya gotta light a fire and just smoke it out.”

I recently have started watching the television series “Friends”. I used to always watch it. It was and still is one of my all time favs. What is even more awesome is when I stumbled upon the episodes with childbirth and breastfeeding in them. Oh did this bring a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. We went from displaying childbirth “naturally with little to no scare” to “childbirth is the most horrific thing that will ever happen to you” in less than ten years! The episode when Rachel gave birth was originally aired in 2002. This episode shows Rachel completely calm through childbirth and working through the contractions. It may not be very realistic, but at least it isn’t scaring the wits out of women and men. Not only that, but they show drug free vaginal deliveries. They also show Rachel and Ross’s ex-wife breastfeeding their children in a few other episodes. Here is an awesome documentary that I found. It looks amazing and I am going to purchase it. It is only $19.95 if you purchase 5 or more. If you would like one, please let me know. We can order together. If not, the movie is $39.95. EEK! I would prefer to save some cash as I am sure many of us would.


If you decide you would like to purchase a video, you can message me on my Facebook fan page or email me. Thanks

Until tomorrow… peace & love!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

10 Childbirth Facts That Are Not So Scary!

Finally, my comment has been posted and I am able to share with you what I wrote to this woman in response to her ridiculousness. It’s not as complete as I would like it to be. I basically took every point she tried to make and explained why it’s not scary. It was super late at night, so again I apologize for any errors. Here is the link to the original post: http://www.thefrisky.com/post/246-10-scary-childbirth-facts-thatll-alarm-you-more-than-your-biological-cl/

.. ..

What really drives me nuts is that both men and women have this idea that pregnancy and childbirth are this horrible and painful experience that just sucks. I don’t quite know where it lost its specialness. First of all - to all men and women who have not had children yet… (And to the ones who have, but thought it scary) The Top TEN Reasons Why Childbirth is NOT Scary:
1. It is true, you may poop, puke and shake when in labor. This is an absolute normal part of the process and honestly the last thing on your mind when in labor. You are concentrating on contractions, breathing and relaxing. If you actually researched and learned about the process, you would understand why it is happening and that it is normal - therefore NOT scary (but most women are not fully educated about childbirth - classes just are not what they should be)
2. Your vag will go back to its regular size on its own… no need to purchase anything to “exercise” your hoo-ha. Not only that, but if you truly wanted to do kegels, there is no reason to purchase anything - there is no equipment required. Also in an unrelated topic - doing kegels throughout pregnancy can help with childbirth
3. Episiotomies are typically NOT standard procedure anymore. Some docs recommend it still BUT, YOU have the right to choose what YOU want to do, remember? It is YOUR body… I would never let a doc cut me for three reasons - a) recovery from episiotomy stitches takes longer and is more painful b) less likely to get an infection c) Most women actually never tear…
4. Yes it is true, stretch marks do stay forever… but you really don’t care about them. Creating a human being is way too amazing and more important than worrying about some stretched skin. Having children is so awesome that you really just do not worry about the small stuff.
5. Mmmmm, yes the hospital bills. Well for starters, if women (and men) would do their research, they would know that OB/GYNs are expensive, longer hospital stays because you had an emergency c-section due to the fact that your OB/GYN talked you into inducing early (or you talked your OB into inducing because “you can’t take it anymore”) and the pain was so unbearable because you didn’t research how to work with your body during labor, so instead you used interventions such as an epidural which slows or even stops progression all to wind up having a “stressed” baby with all this crap you are putting into your body and completely doubting your natural ability to just push that darn baby out of your vag. Sure, the hospital bills will indeed add up. Know, have a home birth with an awesome midwife and doula with no interventions and awesome experience - much cheaper and priceless memories! not to mention you said formula - well if you fed your child the way nature intended and didn’t support all of these money making scammers (breast-feeding of course), then you wouldn’t spend any extra money. Diapers - yes they do cost a pretty penny, but there are always cloth diapers - you know, how they used to do way back in the day?? Before corporate companies tried to make a pretty penny on our tooshes. Not to mention, cloth diapers are nothing like they used to be. They are super easy to work with.
6. The after birth… first of all, it is nothing like the birth. You do not feel a thing really. I had my daughter all natural drug-free vaginal delivery and I assure you that it is nothing… and you don’t even think about it. You are too busy meeting your new little creation that you have known for the past nine and a half months, but was never properly introduced until now. The anticipation for those moments when you first hold him/her are priceless.
7. Yes, you do make lots of sacrifices while pregnant, but then again you will for the rest of your life. What’s a little nine months? And honestly, time flies so fast that next thing you know, your little one is walking and talking and who would have known… you don’t even care to drink or do anything that you used to. Who would have thought children be so important in your life that you don’t want to abuse drugs or alcohol?!?
8. Ah yes, the maternity clothes. For the next nine months you are going to look like grandma… the hottest grandma around. Maternity clothes are not what they used to be. Just like everything else has evolved - YES maternity clothes have evolved to over time. Shocking - I know!
9. Post partum depression is a major bummer - I agree, but there are many natural alternatives to which women can cure this “major bummer”. Ah, knowledge - amazing what it can do for your life…

10. Yes, people will ask when you are due, you get all giddy over it and share. You talk to the person, they share their story, their advice, their opinions and you feel like you have learned, observed and took it all in. You take what you care to remember and forget the stuff you don't. Hmmm, I am not sure what kind of mommy to be wouldn't want to familiarize themselves with an uncertain experience they will soon encounter.....

So in conclusion, the answer is No: pregnancy and childbirth are NOT scary, only when you don't educate yourself. So if and when you do decide to have children, educate yourself, get opinions, listen to stories. The best way to be successful is to consume all the wisdom you can! :) Prepare yourself in the most important way possible. Prepare for childbirth! Until tonight... peace & love!

Inspiration & Purpose

Previously, I have pondered how childbirth got such a bad reputation. Especially, the recent post I read about ten reasons why childbirth is scary. I posted a comment about the ten reasons why it is not scary and forgot to copy it to my word document before posting it and I am patiently awaiting for the comment “approval” by a moderator. It has been about an hour and still nothing. I hope they allow it. I don’t see why they wouldn’t approve it. I didn’t use any foul language (surprisingly), nor was I rude to anyone. I was going to make that my blog, but I don’t feel like writing it all again (it is late).

Well, it still isn’t up so forget it. Instead, I would like to talk about the fact that I have inspired someone. ::heart melts and tears up:: I hope that I inspire many, but a friend of mine confronted me today. She said she had read my blog and it had really upset her. At that point I felt horrible. I don’t ever mean to hurt anyone’s feelings. She went on to tell me that it was an upset in a good way and I have inspired her. She now has taken up blogging (again) and thanked me. She said, “You will never know how much you helped me feel better as a parent.” It brought tears to my eyes and butterflies to my tummy as I read her blog post. I know for sure that I have at least inspired one, but I hope that I inspire many. I feel like I am accomplishing what I set out to do in the first place: One blog and one day at a time.

I feel so overwhelmed because I have so many ideas and things racing through my head. If I just sat and let my whole thought process out (in a word document), it would probably take me weeks to write everything down. I sometimes wish I were Samantha on Bewitched. I wish I were able to twinkle my nose and make the world a better place. There would be so many things that I would change. Soon I will twinkle my way through this world, one issue at a time.

On another happy note, I recently found out a girlfriend (more of an acquaintance) of mine is pregnant. I am going to meet up with her and let her dig into my library of information I have stored in my head. I offered to be her doula free of charge because I will need three births in order to receive my certification. I hope she takes me up on the offer. I also hope that after reviewing all of the information, that she will make good decisions and go the natural childbirth route. I am praying even!

Well, as soon as that damn comment is posted I will post it on here – along with link to the original post. I found what I typed up pretty damn good if I do say so myself. I will be so heartbroken if they do not post it. Until tomorrow… peace & love!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

“Yeah, we don’t do that cry-it-out method…”

“You know, we don’t let her cry herself to sleep. We always put her to sleep when she is tired.” The hubs said this to a friend today. The friend replied, “Oh, really?”

I was so proud of the hubs. It took me a long time to get him on board with my style of parenting. At first, he had always thought that babies are to put themselves to sleep. I remember when she was only a few weeks old he asked, “Can’t you just let her cry and put herself to sleep?” At first I said no for a couple reasons. I knew it was way too young to do CIO, but also it just felt so wrong. I said I would wait until she was a little older. A little older came and went. It just never felt right to let her cry. To me, crying is her only form of communication. I couldn’t dismiss her needs. I also couldn’t force her to do something she was not ready to do on her own. You don’t stand up a newborn and let them go, only to let them fall because they “need to learn to stand”. No, you don’t. You wait until they are able to do it on their own. You wait until they are mentally, emotionally and physically able to do it on their own. Pushing her to “learn” to sleep on her own just felt wrong on so many different levels.

I had many battles with the hubs on this one. He said I was ruining her. He said that she would always need us to go to sleep. He damn near despised me because of the fact that I refused to let her CIO. I put my foot down. I know relationships are about compromises, but there was no way I would budge on this one. There are actually a number of things I will not budge on (full term breastfeeding, child led weaning, no CIO, no circumcision, home schooling, etc) and he gets angry about it. I explain to him the reasons I refuse (yes, NO compromises) and the research behind it all. I explain to him how it will negatively affect her future and how it will positively affect her future. I think at that point he is more accepting of my parenting style. Slowly, but surely he is hopping on board. Might I add that he is a baby-wearing daddy! He has loved to wear our daughter since she was a newborn… awe – I am almost crying because he makes me so proud.

Until today, I have never heard the hubs proudly share that we do not CIO. It was a heart-melting moment and made me smile inside and out. Not only did he share this with a friend, but it was a male friend! When the friend was in shock that we do not CIO, the hubs repeated it with a smile on his face. He was proud to not CIO. I almost couldn’t believe my ears. Finally success and the success felt so good.

I know he disagrees with a lot of things that I am adamant about, but I feel that twenty years down the road he will appreciate the fact that I was so stern about my decisions. I am almost certain that he will thank me. If you truly feel adamant about something that will affect your child, stand strong! Don’t be a pushover. I may be a little on the extreme side, but my child’s future is more important than a little hump in my relationship with dear dad.

Good instincts tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out” -Michael Burke

Until tomorrow… peace & love!