Health By Nature…Where Clean Meets Green!

Eco-Eggs to Dye For
April 2, 2009, 6:46 am
Filed under: environment, green, kids, natural | Tags:

When it comes time to dye Easter eggs, go green.  Create brightly colored eggs by using natural ingredients from your fridge and pantry.  Stay away from those egg-dyeing kits sold in craft stores and supermarkets—they contain coal tar and other petroleum-based products.  Plus, studies have linked certain food dyes to health problems like allergies, chromosome damage, and cancer.


YELLOW DYE: Mix 2 tsp. of ground turmeric powder with 2/3 cup of boiling water and 1 tsp. white vinegar.  Let the mixture cool before coloring your Easter eggs.


PURPLE DYE: A cup of frozen grape juice from concentrate and a tsp. of vinegar creates a beautiful purple hue.  Let the mixture sit overnight before dyeing.


RED DYE: Use 4 Tbsp. of freshly grated beets, 2/3 cup boiling water and 1 tsp. white vinegar for a vibrant red color.  Mix the ingredients together and begin dunking eggs immediately.


Quick tip: Make your egg-decorating party even more eco-friendly by using organic, free-range eggs and composting leftover materials when you’re done.


Adapted from The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do To Make a Big Difference by Jodi Helmer (Alpha Books, 2008)


What’s NOT in Organic?

Certified organic production prohibits:

• persistent, toxic herbicides and pesticides, increasingly linked to birth defects, cncer and other health problems

• genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which have not yet been tested for their impact on the environment or human health

• ionizing radiation

• sewage sludge- a source of asbestos, bacteria, fungi, heavy metals and industrial solvents

• antibiotics, which contribute to drug-resistant bacteria, and growth hormones

SOURCE: The National Organic Program,, 1/07

A Safe and Powerful Clean!

It’s about that time–Spring cleaning! After the holidays, my oven has seen its share of spills and splatters. Does this look familiar?

scour-off-001.jpg <~ My very dirty oven window on the inside

My natural scouring paste does the trick! It has numerous uses: bathroom tile, outdoor grills, stains in the sink, countertops, caked-on food…Someone even found success getting permanent marker off of a wooden coffee table with the scouring paste! It was powerful enough and environmentally-safe enough to be used to scrub the boat decks for Wild Dolphin Project. Jacques Cousteau has also used these environmentally cleaning products onboard the Cousteau Society’s research vessels, the Calypso and Alcyone.

scour-off-003.jpg<~With a green miracle scrubber pad, I used the paste and some water (and with my bare hands! Would you dare use a conventional oven cleaner without gloves???) You can see the left side getting considerably clean. And no fumes to choke on!

scour-off-004.jpg<~Look at the difference on the left!

Without using any toxic, corrosive chemicals, I’ve ended up with a sparkling clean oven!

scour-off2.jpg For more information on this and other non-toxic, eco-friendly cleaning products, visit my website at

Is Your Home Making You Sick?


You’ve probably heard of *sick building syndrome*–people develop health symptoms, often at a workplace, and no identifiable disease or cause is known.  If you use conventional household cleaners at home, chances are you are adding toxins to your home and in turn making it *less clean*. As Dr. Herbert Needleman, pediatrician and professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center puts it, “We are conducting a vast toxicologic experiment in our society, in which our children and our children’s children are the experimental subject.”

We generally spend 90% of our time indoors.  Newer homes and buildings are sealed up tightly, which is good economically in terms of heating and cooling costs.  However, inadequate ventilation increases the concentration of *indoor air pollution*–which the E.P.A. reports is up to five times higher than outdoors.

In addition to elevated concentration of household chemicals in our air, women are particularly at risk, because we often spend long periods of time working with potentially  toxic chemicals, and research suggests that women’s physiology is more conducive to absorbing such chemicals.  We have seen dramatic increases in the rates of asthma in women over the past decade, and longer exposure to a myriad of household chemicals is believed to be responsible.  Asthma rates in children under age 5 have more than doubled since 1980, and in that time, some 20,000 new chemicals have been introduced.On average, one in every 13 school-aged children has asthma.

Toxic chemicals in the home also pose a poison risk.  Chlorine is the number one cause of child poisonings in the U.S., and is an ingredient in several common household cleaners.Aside from poisonings, 150 chemicals found in many homes  can be linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer and psychological disorders.

These household items also have a negative impact on our environment. Common cleaners like chlorine bleach, oven cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners and more are classified by the E.P.A. as household hazardous waste, and when disposed of improperly, can pollute the environment and pose a threat to our health.  The average U.S. household generates over 20 pounds of hazardous waste every year!

The National Institutes of Health Household Products Database is a useful resource to determine exactly what harmful chemicals are contained in the products you are currently using, as well as those chemicals’ toxicity and health information. You can locate this information at

So what can you, as consumers, do?  First, be sure and properly dispose of harmful products.  Dumping harmful chemicals down drains or in toilets has a negative impact on the environment.  Second, find better, safer choices.   To learn which products can replace your existing, harmful, chemical-laden ones, use this checklist and see what safer, powerful, alternative products you can replace your toxic ones with.

Greenwashing: The Latest Deceptive Practice in Advertising


Green.  Eco-friendly.  Fair trade. Natural.  Organic.  Do these terms look familiar?  Lately, they seem to be all around us on a variety of products, services, and companies.  The *green* movement is hotter than ever, and companies want to jump on the bandwagon.  But, do you know if the claims they make are accurate?

*Greenwashing* is the term given to the practice where a company makes claims about its products or services to make them seem more environmentally friendly or harmless to human health.  These claims can end up being false and misleading, and fool consumers into thinking they are buying something they are, in fact, not.

The term *natural* has a rather ambiguous meaning, and there is no regulation for its use.  Products that identify themselves as being *natural* have been proven to in fact have ingredients that have been genetically engineered.  Something created in a lab is not *natural* in the sense something directly derived from nature would be.  Also, some chicken companies claim they are 100% *natural*, despite feeding their birds antibiotics. Arsenic and formaldehyde are *naturally* occurring substances, but they aren’t something I’d want in, say, toothpaste.
One rather amusing case of greenwashing had the claim that its packaging consisted of *100% recycled paper*.  The container was plastic.

The term *organic* is another that is often misused in labeling.  Loosely, the term can mean part of it is derived from plant material.  Some companies that use the term *organic* may have a very small percentage of the total ingredients that fit the term.  Other companies go as far as claim that their product is *certified* organic, yet some consumer sleuthing does not result in any proof of such certification.

Third-party certifiers can give more assurance in proof of labeling, although there are of course exceptions to this as well.  A company that makes these claims should have proof of its accuracy, and it should be readily available for consumers to make informed decisions about what they are indeed purchasing.

Sometimes a company’s claims are accurate, but there are hidden trade-offs that are not mentioned; this kind of deception is more difficult to spot.  A company might produce a product that is packaged in recyclable material, but a trade-off may be their production methods are harmful to the environment.

For consumers, the best line of defense is a degree of skepticism.  Do your homework to find out if a company’s *green claims* are indeed worthy of your purchase.  There are several watchgroups that expose these fraudulent claims.  Check out and

February Specials at Health By Nature

health-apple.jpgJanuary was a great month for folks looking to *go green* in their homes, getting rid of household products containing harmful toxins, and switching our non-toxic, eco-friendly line of cleaners.  February has some great opportunities to focus on *you*.

The weight management starter kit is in itself a great value–from now until March 31st, when you order a kit, you can also get a box of shake packets for 50% off.

Customers can also receive a box of shake mix packets for 50% off when they order 2 boxes of the all-new meal replacement bars.  They are nutritionally complete and packed with protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

There’s also a new shake mix flavor available: strawberry joins chocolate, vanilla and café latté. This shake tastes just like fresh strawberries, and like all the other nutritional products, no artificial sweeteners, flavors or ingredients.

Also on special these next 2 months is some skincare products.  Order the night repair formula which features pure vitamins C & E, and get the skin calming treatment for 50% off.

In addition, I am personally offering 2 specials of my own.

Place an order through the Health By Nature store of 75 PV or more, and you will receive a certificate worth free shipping off your next 50 PV order.

For those considering the business opportunity:

Join my team as a Global Ambassador and earn $50 cash back.

Alternative Energy
January 10, 2008, 6:49 am
Filed under: environment, geothermal, green | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We recently purchased a lot on which we plan to build a house in the next couple of years.  Although my husband & I had commented repeatedly in the pst that it would be nice to utilize some form of alternative energy source,  it never went beyond *talk*.  Now with this project ahead that we can plan any way we want, we’ve begun to research and seriously consider a couple of energy options in our future home.

We’re almost certainly going to implement geothermal heating.  This method has been along since Roman times; it conducts the heat from deep down in the earth.  It doesn’t produce heat, but rather transfers it.

Another method we’re seriously considering is solar power.  There are several homes in our neighborhood with solar panels on the roof–it’s nice to see that some people are taking the initiative to find different ways to power their home.  Solar power is expensive on the front end (at the time components are purchased and installed), but the savings over time pay for it many times over.  Since this is going to be our last and final home (I call it our final resting place!), it is an investment that we’ll recover in cost savings.

Here in Chicago, the Museum of Science & Industry is building a *smart home* on its campus.  It will be a fully functioning exhibit that people will be able to tour.  The 2,500 sq. foot home will have water conservation features like a gray water system that will filter sink water and direct it to the toilets, and the toilets will have the 2-button flush system.  One for #1, and a more powerful flush for *the other* one ;^)

Its energy sources will be solar and wind energy, and it will also feature cost-saving materials that are recycled and energy efficient: triple-pane windows, LED light fixtures, cement siding, and *smart* technologies compliments of Wired magazine.

It’s heartening to think that our attitudes concerning alternative energy is changing in this country, to one of acceptance and consideration.  There is no doubt that we need to look to more creative ways to harness energy, in a way that will respect the planet and her resources.