Change the World Wednesday and a Book Review

Tuesday I received a sneak peek at this week’s challenge at Reduce Footprints,  I figured I had this challenge met, but Small Footprints had me, she added a twist to the challenge to make sure those of us who had already met the challenge would still have something to think about.

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This week we are joining my friends at Fanimation in celebrating the the first ever National Ceiling Fan Day (NCFD). Did you know that the average central cooling unit draws anywhere from 3,500 to 5,000 watts of energy? Compare that to the 6-30 watts used by a ceiling fan and we quickly see why ceiling fans are energy efficient. So, for at least one full day this week, power off your air conditioners and rely on ceiling fans and/or portable fans to keep cool.

 

OR …If you don’t use/have an air conditioning unit, please offer tips for staying cool in Eco-friendly ways.

 

OR …If it’s cold in your area, please turn off your heating system and find alternate ways to keep warm (put on more clothing, use blankets, reverse the direction of your fan, adjust curtains, etc.).
My first thought when reading the sneak peek to this week’s challenge was that this was a strange time of year for this National awareness to be brought to our attention.  For those of us in the northern hemisphere summer is all but over.  We are having cooler days and some pretty chilly nights.  For the southern hemisphere, winter is coming to a close.  Spring brings some warmer days, but not warm enough to generally need air conditioning.  
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I don’t have air conditioning in my home, I don’t care for it for starters so even if I did I wouldn’t turn it on.  I have one fan which does a pretty good job of keeping me cool, on those rare days when the fan doesn’t seem to do the job I turn to diet to stay as cool as possible.  Drinking plenty of water, and eating hydrating fruits is helpful.  Bananas will help to eliminate possible cramping, fruits with high water content such as watermelon, use very little of your body’s energy to digest leaving your body time to handle temperature regulation instead.  
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I also keep the curtains closed until the sun passes as well as the front door pushed over to prevent added heat from entering the apartment. 
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While  we had some really cold nights here lately, one way I have avoided having to turn on the heat has been to close the door and curtains a bit earlier than normal to prevent the cold air from entering the home.  Of course adding an extra blanket to the bed has helped as well as being a  night owl.
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How can being a night owl help?  It’s simple, by staying up late I sleep in more than the early bird does which gives the sun time to warm up the apartment before I wake.  Not suggesting everyone become night owls, just one way i take advantage of my body’s clock.

The Healthy Home by Dr. Myron Wente and Dave Wente.

I spotted this book at the local library and thought it might have something to teach me on how to green up my home.  I already use natural products to clean with (baking soda and vinegar being my go to products), but I do live in an apartment which was built in the 1940s and comes with laminate cabinets, fiberglass vanity, carpeting, etc.  I would love to rip out the carpeting for a natural flooring such as cork which also insulates the cold I would experience from tile, but that’s out of the question for now.

I didn’t find much I could use from this book.  I already knew to look for natural and organic fabrics, the damage wireless objects can play on my health,   I also  found the book to lose focus.  For example in a chapter on the bathroom, a discussion on the chemicals in toothpaste and how they can be absorbed through the skin in the mouth (regardless of whether you accidentally swallow it) morphed into the subjects of vaccines and how to control cholesterol.  In the kitchen chapter the focus was mainly on diet.

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That said I did learn a few new things.

  1. Detergents or fabric softeners labeled fragrance free or unscented are not actually fragrance free.  They will contain fragrance-inducing chemicals which are intended to mask and neutralize odors.  If you are sensitive to fragrances and have made a switch to unscented while still having symptoms this may be why.
  2. The chemicals used in dry cleaning can never be removed from fabrics.  Also if you are exposed to fabrics which have been dry cleaned, the chemical known as perc used in the process is stored in your fat cells and is so dangerous it can be measured by a breathalyzer test, same one used for testing for alcohol consumption.
  3. Exposure to VOC (volatile organic compounds) found in paint, mattresses, and more can mimic a cold or hay fever.  I wonder how many people believing they are experiencing allergic reactions end up taking constant medications when in fact all they need to do is clean up their home.
  4. On the subject of personal care products and the preservatives in them one paragraph stood out.  “Preservatives are designed to kill cells. Yet …are added to all our products….By using these we are killing our skin cells….They will present a risk to the integrity of the skin cells.  When absorbed into the blood stream preservatives will become a hazard to the rest of the body.”  This led me to think of all the foods we are sold which contain preservatives and a comment I heard from undertakers who insist they no longer need to preserve a body as the organs are already preserved by the time we die. Now wonder our bodies are failing us.
  5. Anti-aging products contain chemicals that actually age us due to the skin cell damage.
  6. Mouthwash contains the same chemicals found in bathroom disinfectants including ethanol, yuck!
  7. Mercury in vaccines has been replaced with aluminum.  Aluminum has been cited as a cause of neurological disorders such as dementia, Parkinson’s’, MS, and Alzheimer’s.
  8. The Safe Water Act of 1974 covers only 91 contaminants, yet an estimated 60,000 chemicals are used within the US.  Now that’s scary.  What chemicals, not covered aren’t being removed from my water by my filter?  And what aren’t being looked for when having your water tested?
  9. Only Reverse Osmosis will remove fluoride from your water.

 

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A final list of how to live healthy was presented as you can see it has less to do with a healthy home than a healthy lifestyle.

  1. Don’t mess with your skin.
  2. Lose the weight
  3. Open  a window and breathe
  4. Fluoride kills, floss instead
  5. Replace your mercury fillings
  6. Remove shoes at the door
  7. Build up your immune system and avoid medications
  8. Simplify
  9. Get to know the way of life your parents had when they were kids
  10. Research
  11. Your car and home are polluted, you can change that
  12. Don’t use products that require labels.

Yet with all the bad news found in the book, here’s what I found to have the most meaning for all of us.

Don’t feel guilty for damages already done.  Do one extra thing that brings health to your home and family.

So start small and work towards a goal of better health, it’s that easy.

Will you be partipating in the Ceiling fan challenge tomorrow?

23 thoughts on “Change the World Wednesday and a Book Review

  1. No ceiling Fans in my home :-) but those extra layers of clothing will be a Must I think this coming winter as the fuel bills here in the UK have rocketed.. Bill and Ben my two door draft excluder’s come in very handy as they guard the draft from coming under the doors.. We have thick lined curtains and Yes we draw them earlier to keep out the cold when temperature drops..
    Thank you for those tips too, some I knew others were New to me, So I will be keeping an extra eye out… I read another blog the other day how using Sunscreen had made her come out in a severe rash .. By coincidence that same evening was a programme I watched on TV saying how allergic reactions had been on the increase to products these past few years.. Rashes especially to products put on the skin, such as make up, Sun screen, Face cream, soaps, shampoo, shower gels, and these were all due to a product called MI Chemical methylisothiazolinone,.. I watched it on a TV programme called Watch Dog- and you can read the article here
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2424095/Cosmetics-causing-epidemic-allergies-Doctors-urge-firms-remove-preservatives-products.html

    It makes one wonder what we do to our skin, and our organs as we eat preservatives…

    Wonderful informative Post I enjoyed reading
    Sue

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    • Sue, I still need to make a draft dodger for my door. The list of things I need to get to seems to grow by the day. I still have the caulking for my window sitting here. The days the weather cooperates I don’t have the help around to reach areas I can’t and when I do it’s raining. I don’t like ceiling fans, they bother my eyes, but in really hot weather I would be willing to have one over an air conditioner. I too believe this is going to be a very cold winter here, it’s been something I just felt as summer progressed, but now I’m hearing news that my feelings were spot on.

      I just read the article on the preservative. I am glad companies are going to remove it, but even 1% reaction should have been cause for alarm. Why are companies willing to risk harming even one person for a profit? I’m sure their decisions to remove the preservative have more to do with their bottom line unfortunately.

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      • Yes the Bottom line is profit and that is all most think of these days..
        The weather is giving us Signs and nature, the berries are numerous this year and the birds started to fly south that bit earlier.
        I am sure you will find time to get those draft dodgers done, love that term :-) when the days get wetter and cooler. But you are like me, if its nice out I like to be out too….

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        • Yes, nature has surely been leaving signs on the coming winter if you know what to look for. The walnut trees are loaded with nuts this year, and the fallen ones are quickly collected by the squirrels as they put up for winter their stash. When the trees are so full and what falls is collected so quickly we know we are in trouble here.

          Our birds are confused. I noticed one week that it took 3 days for the feeder to be emptied and rarely saw a bird near it, then all of a sudden they were back in droves and clearing out the feeder daily.

          I will most-likely take a Sunday to make my draft dodgers. I needed a day to myself each week and claimed Sundays. Now it’s my day, unless I decide I want to include others in my plans. Yes, like you, I am outside as much as I possibly can. All too soon I’ll be indoors for the most part.. :-(

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          • Yes, Sundays I like to keep for me if I am not working. im back at work tomorrow having had today Fri off… Iast week I worked Sat too, then Sunday I did one of my spiritual services at a centre, .. Its been a challenging week workwise in support.. thats all I can say.. I so need that distraction and Peace time to collect myself .. I still have the Cat waiting to be finished, But sometimes absorbing myself here in WP takes my mind elsewhere and stops me thinking too much! :-)

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          • Glad to see I’m not the only one who needs a day to myself. When I announced this to family and friends some gave me quite the strange look.

            I have what I call an open-door policy in that the rest of the week no one needs to call first to stop by. So my days are often interrupted.

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  2. I’m with you … I don’t like how air conditioned air feels. We use ceiling fans and portable fans. We also adjust our curtains and we utilize vertical gardening on our patio which blocks the afternoon sun from warming us up … the plants benefit from the sun and protect us from it’s heat. :-) Here’s another trick which I’ve found works well … in the morning, when it’s still cool, we put our portable fan in the window, blowing towards the room (it carries in all that lovely cool air). If the inside of our home gets too hot, we turn the fan around, facing out, and it pulls the hot air out. It works!

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    • I’ve turned the fans around in the window in the past. For years living in a mobile home it was the best way to cool down the home. When I first bought the home it had a black tar roof. I was amazed by how warm the place stayed in the winter, but come summer we were cooking. I had to then have the roof coated with a reflective coating to save us. :-)

      I like the idea of adding a vertical garden area in front of your windows to block the sun. I may have to see if I can get away with that next summer here.

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    • My son’s new home came with an attic fan that uses a lot less energy than an a/c unit. We were having the hottest weather of the summer the week he moved in, but running the attic fan his wife laughed about how cold she was on the main floor and that even the tile in the bathroom was shockingly freezing. They had to start turning the fan off during the night. Maybe something like this would help you. The lower level (family and laundry room) weren’t cooled off by the attic fan so it would only work for the floor directly below the attic.

      Looks like you have a lot of plans for upgrading your home, Dar, hope it doesn’t break the bank.

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  3. Ah I started that book too! And the doom and gloom got to me – I got to Mattresses etc, and then I thought, I can’t continue! I have a 20 year old mattress, which is OLD! and it’s been through some family members. And whilst some people think it’s icky, it stops headaches that the newer mattress I bought a few years back cause, and the headaches I also get from the BF’s mattress. But I agree with a lot of what they are saying – toothpaste again!

    Oh, do you mean to keep putting a picture of a stop sign with ‘no hot linking’ in it – am I missing something, or is something amiss at my end?

    And to air conditioners. The loft had one, and we used it a little for cooling or heating. Now we don’t have AC and the BF is a little disappointed, but I honestly couldn’t care! Yes, I bought a place with it, and give it’s profile (one big door only) it probably needed it, but in a bigger apartment with many windows, there’s less of a need. Anyhow, we have the two fans and windows, and hopefully that’ll cover us this summer. We also have shutters to close in the balcony from the afternoon sun.

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    • Sarah, I will have to sign out of WordPress and take a look as I haven’t put a stop sign in my posts. Thanks for letting me know.

      As for the book, I too had moments of that doom and gloom feeling. Especially with the talk of EMFs. I recently gave up and upgraded to a wireless modem. Being in such a small apartment there is no way to shield myself or guests from it, but it was something I needed. On the subject of mattresses, I know they say the older ones have dust mites etc in them, but I have no problem with my mattress and keep a mattress cover on it. I can’t afford to shell out nearly $4,000 to get the preferred mattress so this I will continue to live with.

      Having shutters is a nice thing to have, I’ve often considered them on the front window but the price of trying to find wood ones large enough for this window has been hard to say the least.

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  4. Really interesting Lois. It’s funny how everyone has a different take on things. For example I have to disagree with the vaccines argument and slightly disagree with the fluoride. In relation to vaccines, I’m a believer of not wanting to take the chance when it comes to certain things. I’ve received the MMR vaccines, the cervical cancer vaccine and numerous other ones, all without side effects thankfully, though I understand it’s different for everyone. Having said that, I don’t get a vaccine unless I believe wholeheartedly that I need it. I wouldn’t get the swine flu vaccine no matter how much the doctors tried to persuade me, even though I was in the at risk category. I just didn’t think it necessary for me and I’m mostly healthy so I figured I’d have a good chance of fighting the flu if I ever got it. I didn’t, but I’m still glad I didn’t get the vaccine especially when one hears how bad the side effects seem to be.

    On the topic of fluoride, while I’d say it can mess with our heads a little, I reckon fluoride is the reason I have such strong teeth. At 21, I don’t have a single filling or issue, barring slight stains. When I was a child I drank very acidic juices and fizzy drinks. Thankfully I’ve wised up over the years and take better care of my teeth, but I think the fluoride in our water really helped to keep my teeth healthy up until now, especially considering there is weak teeth on both sides of my family. Maybe I’ve gotten it completely wrong, but I don’t think I’d like to find out otherwise!

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    • Eimear, I have to say I no longer view vaccines as safe. I watched my first baby react to his first vaccine. At the next doctors visit I was yelled at by the doctor who informed me half the cost of the vaccines goes into a fund to pay for the lawsuits to pay for the damages or death of the children who couldn’t tolerate them. It was the whooping cough portion he reacted to and couldn’t have another booster of that vaccine, yet he was face to face with children on several occasions who had whooping cough yet never got it. My youngest was never permitted to have that portion of the vaccine as I was told the reaction could run in families, but he too never caught whooping cough when his best friend got it several years in a row.

      As for myself, having a rough start in life I was on antibiotics for the first 14 years of my life. I had no immune system when I decided I didn’t want to take any more. I built it up over the years and now refuse any antibiotics or vaccines out of concern of compromising my body and having to start all over.

      As for fluoride, it is a by product of radioactive waste. You may want to look into it further and see what you think. My boys drank fluoridated water all their lives but it wasn’t until they were in elementary school that fed up with their soft teeth and frequent cavities I changed their diet and their teeth improved. Of course all our water has fluoride in it so I can’t say for sure if that plays a part in their dental health today.

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