A Life In Progress

Consume, Or Not to Consume December 2, 2008

Filed under: Around the House,Going Green — jdalsin @ 8:37 pm

I’ve written before about simple living, about how we are all after the bigger, the better, leaving the good, and the big enough in a heaping pile behind us.  Driving cars that consume twice as much gas as a standard vehicles, building bigger homes (which, even if they are all energy star approved and what not, is still worse for the environment than not building), never bothering to fix what we have.  We are raised in a society where “throw it out and buy a new one” is the mentality.


And Christmas. Oh, Christmas. While I love the season, the twinkly lights, the family gathering, the gaining of five pounds from binge eating, it has become a consumer driven holiday.  Our houses get overflowed with new heaps of plastic toys for the kids, we get a new blender, a new drill.  What happens to the old toys, the old blender, the old drill? A landfill somewhere, is my guess.


So, just as a friendly little pre-holiday reminder, take 20 minutes out of your life some time this week and learn a little about where you stuff comes from and where it ends up, who it effects and if it can really go on like this forever.


Watch the video here: http://www.storyofstuff.com/


Happy Holidays!


The Cup: Diva Style September 7, 2008

Filed under: Going Green,Me,Natural Health — jdalsin @ 3:01 pm

Just a fair warning, my male readers reader (Hi Mike C!) may want to tune out for this entry.  It may be too much information so read on with caution. 😉

Many of us know the dangers of using tampons.  They contain rayon to help with absorption and dioxins (a chemical used when bleaching) which are a known carcinogen. (If you want more info on this, google it.) There are also rumors that tampons cause you to bleed more and for longer and that they may even lead to cramping.  I’ve been thinking of giving tampons the boot for quite some time.

So, this past week I finally got up the courage to try out my Diva Cup. For those who don’t know, it’s a little silicone cup that you insert instead of a tampon.  Once it’s inside, it opens up, creating a tight seal and simply catches your flow.  Depending on your flow, you have to empty the cup a few times a day.  For me, 2-3 times. 

Anyway, after just one cycle, I am SOLD.  I will never go back to using tampons again.  This may be coincidence, I’m not sure, but I had no cramps this entire period. Not one.  That doesn’t happen. I always have atleast one or two days of moderate cramping and achiness.  And my period that usually lasts 7-8 days is almost gone after day 4.   Maybe those aren’t just rumors after all!

There are other benefits to the Diva Cup as well.  First of all, you can buy them locally usually for around $40 or here online for about $17.  Compare that to the cost of pads and tampons.  Say $10 a month x 12 months x 35+ years of menstrating = $4200+. 

And for those who care about the environmental aspect, think about how much trash your cycle creates using tampons and pads compared to having no garabge from the Diva Cup.  Or consider the chemicals and processes used to make a tampon that are harmful to the earth compared to the resources needed to manufacture one cup. See?  You’ll be saving the earth too.

Best part of all, I keep forgetting that I even have my period.  For real.  I’ve had a few “oh yeah!” moments which, of course, is most excellent. Even Jordan, my husband, keeps saying he’s forgotten since garbage isn’t overflowing with wrappers and I’m not complaining about cramps and backaches. 

It’s only fair that I give the downsides too. Although there are few I’ll include them so this will be a fair review.  It’s a bit tricky to get in properly at first, making sure the cup has popped open and that it’s properly positioned.  I’d recommend wearing a pad for the first cycle just until you know you’ve got it right.  Some people get it right away while others take a few cycles to really master it.  Also, this may be too much info, but it is obviously a little messier than just putting in a tampon but really isn’t that big of a bother.

I believe that Diva Cup even has a money back guarantee if you don’t love it. So try it.  I’m so glad that I did! 🙂


The Scientists are Catching Up to the Hippies April 21, 2008

Filed under: Around the House,Going Green — jdalsin @ 9:25 am

With all this talk of BPAs in baby bottles, a friend of mine said something along the lines of “finally, the scientists are catching up to the hippies.” I thought it was hilarious and so true! I’ve been telling people, literally for YEARS, about the dangers of plastics and no one did a thing.  But now someone on t.v. says it and everyone is all gung-ho.  I find this both hilarious and well, honeslty, annoying.  Did they think I was lying?  😉

Anyway- for all those who are suddenly interested in the BPA stuff, know that it’s not only in baby bottles but everywhere.  It lines tin cans, water bottles, dental sealants, compact discs.  No, I’m not lying. Yes, soon it will be on t.v. and you’ll all be up in arms trying to rid your house of the stuff and wondering why no one told you before.  haha.  Anyway …

Here’s an article I thought some of you may enjoy and might as well take action on while you are ridding your house of plastic bottles. Might as well take a closer look at your kids’ toys, what’s around your house, etc.:




Solutions April 14, 2008

Filed under: Around the House,Going Green — jdalsin @ 9:51 am

Just quickly popping in to tell you about two new products that we have fallen in love with.

#1- ECOS Laundry Detergent.  It’s one of my favorite finds yet.  (thanks Mom!)  It’s environmentally friendly, it works well, it’s super affordable AND, and here’s the best part that you usually don’t find with natural cleaners – it smells AMAZING.  Magnolia and Lily.  But, it’s perfume free.  All the perfumes in laundry detergents and especially!! dryer sheets are full of chemicals and are irritants to the skin. I have to be especially careful about that since Abby, Josie and I all have sensitive, excema prone skin.   ECOS is scented with essential oils.  It’s available at Costco where we bought it for about $15 for 105 loads.  Compare that to the $7 you spend on Tide for 35 loads or whatever.   So ECOS is actually cheaper.  No excuses now.  😉

#2 – Pink Solution.  This stuff is amazing and you can use it in about 1,001 different ways.  It cleans glass, windows, bathrooms, kitchens, cars, laundry stains, I could go on and on.  If you apply it full strength to your eye glasses or bathroom mirrors, they won’t fog.  I just don’t know what else to say because it literally does EVERYTHING.  It’s fantastic.  It takes crayons off of walls, ink off of clothes, it’s just magical.  Also, environmentally friendly and safe to be using around the house.  We bought a whole load of it at the Spring Home & Garden show a few weeks back.  It’s also occasionally available at Costco or you can order it online here: http://www.pinksolution.ca/  We bought every product they had available. 

Here’s a blurb from the Pink Solution website:

“Pink Solution is a natural enzyme cleaner, which when mixed with water, emulsifies dirt, grease and grime, and restores finishes to their natural state. This means that it will not only clean, but will actually brighten surfaces that most cleaners dull, such as stainless steel appliances and fiberglass bath and shower stalls. The enzymes will emulsify even the oldest stains, which means that so long as there are not permanent dyes involved, even the oldest of laundry and carpet stains will be removed. Also, it contains no chemicals, and can be inhaled, eaten and used without any gloves, with no ill effects.

Contents of Most Other Cleaners
Most other All Purpose Cleaners contain harmful and dangerous Ingredients. The most common ingredient in household cleaners is ammonia. It is a carcinogenic and stays in the air for up to 4 hours when sprayed in the house. Look on the ingredients of most household cleaners and you will see Ammonia. All chemical cleaners are caustic, and so they actually corrode the lungs when inhaled. Products which claim to be “magic” contain formaldehyde, which is one of the most carcinogenic chemicals known to man.

Pink Solution contains none of these chemicals, and is non-caustic.

Pink Solution also replaces all household cleaners, even laundry detergent, so when used as directed, it can last an average family up to 2 years, replacing every different cleaner they would normally purchase.”

Buy it.

Be back this week with a post about children and parenting. 


This is the road that never ends March 3, 2008

Filed under: Going Green,Healthy Eating,Me,Natural Health — jdalsin @ 2:36 pm

sigh …

 I write today feeling a little bit defeated.

If you’ve been following this blog at all you know that I’ve been trying to make some changes around our house, with our health, our diets, becoming more environmentally conscious, etc.

I picked up a book from the library called Ecoholic.  It is so full of information.  After I read it my head is full of information.  Too much information.  So much information that I know that I’ll never be able to do it all.  Make the house as healthy as I would like.  Buy clothes that are made from organic materials and made by people getting paid decent wages.  Eat food that has been grown locally and without pesticides.  Ensure that my kids’ toys don’t contain PVC or lead paint.  That the wood we use to build a new deck isn’t destroying some ecosystem. That the soap I wash my body with isn’t full of chemicals that have proven links to cancer. 

So much to know. So much to do.  Where does one draw the line? Am I doing enough? Not enough? 

I wish there was a big store you could go to where in everything was safe and healthy to purchase.  Wouldn’t that be nice?

Really though- this book is FANTASTIC. It’s also Canadian so it will speak of brands and stores you’ve heard of, list internet sites where you can order great products that will actually ship to Canada and so on.  I want to own it!


But be warned. You will be overwhelmed.


Article on Chemicals in Baby Shampoos, Lotions, Powders February 4, 2008

Filed under: Around the House,Going Green — jdalsin @ 12:45 pm

Thought this article may interest some of you:



A Little Victory February 2, 2008

Filed under: Around the House,Going Green — jdalsin @ 10:01 pm

This may seem like a small deal to some, but since Jordan and I work pretty hard at waste reduction this was a little victory for us.

Tuesday was garbage day and we didn’t have a single bag of garbage.  Not one! Our garbages in the house were all about half full but I think that is pretty fantastic! Cloth diapering was a big factor in that one.  We usually have one large garbage bag or two kitchen sized bags a week of total trash from the house.

Anyway- it’s always nice to have some physical evidence that your attention and work is paying off!