A Greener Tomorrow

 
Entrepreneurship 06/06/2010
 
Ok - this one's a little off the topic of living greener. This is my experiement at entrepreneurship, and I'm definitely still just learning. So I was really interested to learn more about the pilot for a new series on entrepreneurship called "Unstrapp'd". You can watch the trailer here and if you comment on it, you could win an Apple iPod (and yes, so could I by suggesting the link to you). Certainly an interesting way to draw people to your TV idea.

Personally, I think this is a perfect idea for Current TV, but I'm guessing they're going for a larger network.

Treehugger has an article on how driving 5.4 miles less per day could reduce our dependence on oil and negate the need to drill in the Gulf. Most of this driving is done for social interactions or shopping. While I don't think we need to become hermits, I think we do need to rethink how we socialize and how our cities are laid out to keep it all closer to home. And I also support the idea of buying online and through our networks, instead of driving across town to purchase from the big boxes. What are your thoughts?
 
 
Purchasing from local store, co-ops and independent distributor allows you to follow the delivery route your products take to you. Did you realize that purchasing from the #1 health and wellness company, Shaklee, is a great way to do this and support your local economy?

Shaklee is Climate Neutral(c)-certified, meaning that every step of the way, from harvest to manufacturing to package delivery is certified to not give off excess carbon into the atmosphere. Products are sustainably sourced, tested at two points in manufacturing for 386 chemicals, and minimally packaged to further reduce waste and pollution.

"Investing" your purchases with a local Shaklee distributor who you shares your concern for the environment allows you to control the carbon chain of your purchases. It also invests your money in the local economy, as it supports a local entrepreneur. That entrepreneur is active in connecting with and supporting other local enterprises in the area, as well as supporting their family while working from home.
 
 
I had the pleasure this morning of speaking with a group on new mothers about the toxins in our cleaning products. It's tough, because as moms, especially new moms, we're already worried about everything and don't need one more layer of fear added to our lives, so I printed up a list taken straight from Sloan Barnett's Everything Goes With Green .

Seeing these adorable children crawling around (and yet somehow able to resist the call of another baby so far!) reminded me why it's so important that we prepare the world for them. They don't know what they're eating, and we can't always tell what they're eating, either.  Clorox goes so far as to tell us we can soak the toys that babies mouthe in water and bleach!

I have attached the file here so you can read it at your leisure. Again, it is taken completely from the book - I admit that I copies all of it, but I'm sure Mrs. Barnett would understand the importance of getting the word out there.
dangers_of_household_products.pdf
File Size: 59 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

 
 
None of us fell off the turnip truck yesterday, and we all like to think we're smart enough to know when we're being conned.

But when do we know that what we've got is the "real thing"? When do we let our defenses down to experience and accept the truth? When do we accept that our health is more than just blood pressure and weight and not getting the flu this year?

If someone offered you the Fountain of Youth, could you believe them? (Yes, I made a huge leap right there - the track took a large turn, but I didn't get off it. And I'm going to do it again right now.)

We've been sold a bill of goods so often, it's very difficult to believe anything anyone's telling us anymore. The news tells us that scientists have discovered that vitamin supplements don't work*.

Did you see that asterisk? That asterisk is there because the scientists didn't prove that ALL supplements are worthless, just most. Just most that you buy off a shelf at the store. The ones that may sit there for 6 month before anyone takes them home, so they have to be loaded with preservatives, and probably aren't effective anymore. They're probably a synthetic vitamin, because that's cheaper, and everyone wants cheaper. The only way to stand out on a shelf is to be cheaper than someone else.

So if there were proof that vitamin and mineral supplements worked, would you believe it? Who would you believe? The journalist who has 30 seconds of newscast to fill? Or maybe it's 10" of news column, which gives you more detail, but not really enough. And forget citations – maybe they'll throw in the edition of the journal the study is published in, but not a lot of detail. They didn't even read the journal – they read the AP story written by someone else, and rephrased the conclusion someone else drew.
Do you believe your doctor, who read the same information first or second hand, but doesn't know every product or company out there? A doctor who needs to focus on getting your health back to neutral, because he or she doesn't have time to ensure that you're in optimal condition? And who doesn't really get PAID to get you back to optimal health.

Or would you trust the pharmaceutical companies, who drum up business for themselves by appealing directly to the consumer about their symptoms, not their diseases, telling them "Ask your doctor." The doctor who doesn't have time to stay abreast of vitamins, minerals and natural compounds because he or she is so busy keeping track of all of the new medicines on the market that treat dry eye or overactive bladder.

Or would you believe someone who has experienced better health from supplements themselves? Better yet, a network of people who have experienced better health, and who have shared it with countless others? Many of these people even come from a medical background and understand the importance of good nutrition in protecting us against disease, and feel so strongly about the subject that they want to share it with everyone else.

"Bully" you cry! "They're just here to sell me something! It's a cult, and they want me to fall into it and buy their over-priced crap, or worse yet, sell it. I won't get anything out of it. It'll taste like crap, I'll waste my money, and I'll get nothing for it but a thinner wallet."

And I can't say I blame you. The average age of a multi-level marketing company is 18 months. So many are founded on one (pretty) good idea, some research, and a lot of marketing savvy. Especially that part where they whisper "Act fast - you can make a lot of money, but only if you get in now."
But if a company has been around 53 years, do you think it's all hooey? Do they just sell whatever, or do they have a history of well-researched products? What takes precedence - the marketing or the science?

And who's doing their research? Is it in-house, or do they have third-party testing, and publish in peer-reviewed medical journals?

What raw materials do they use? Are the materials organic? And what does organic mean? Free of pesticides and fertilizer, but does that mean that there's no chemicals from the cars on the highway close to the farm where the raw materials are grown? How do you know that all you're getting is the vitamins and minerals you want to put in your body and nothing else? Are the ingredients tested for foreign chemicals both at the beginning and at the end, to ensure nothing popped up during the manufacturing process?

Does everything have to come from a shelf to be legitimate? Or could it be that there is a company out there dedicated not only to the best supplements on earth, but also to helping people take charge of their own lives, their own careers and sharing better health with people one person at a time?

Can a 30 second commercial or a ½ page ad – how most companies talk to us about their products - really share the passion for excellence and better health that you want? Or do you need the time to talk to someone to hear that, one on one?

Getting back to that Fountain of Youth, would we really listen when someone is offering it to us, or are we too jaded to believe that there is a product out there that can repair our cells on the cellular level and extend our lives? Someone who wants to share their successes with you and wants you to live longer and healthier, and someone who will back up every purchase with a 100% money-back guarantee.

If I could prove to you that the company tests for 386 chemical compounds both before and after a product is manufactured, and that they paid a respected medical research lab to ensure that the use of their nutritional products did lead to better health and longer life, and that they are so committed to purity that they've taken steps to reduce their own impact on the Earth, would you like to know more?

Let's talk.
 
 

With all of the hysteria about the Swine Flu, from constant news coverage to tremors on Wall Street, we’re moving into Red Alert mode. Get past the hysteria, and there are several ways you can protect yourself without staying inside all day and dressing up like Michael Jackson in a hospital mask and gloves. It all has to do with increasing your immune system.

Supplement

1)      Probiotics

So much of our health comes from our digestive system. Get that part working right – flushing out the toxins – and you’re on your way to better health. Because the intestines are where we absorb nutrients, when they aren’t functioning at their best, we’re missing out on key vitamins and minerals.

This is how probiotics support immune function:
a)      increase nutrient absorption
b)      helps to displace potentially pathogenic bacteria and yeast in the GI tract
c)      play crucial role in detoxifying metabolic and digestive waste products
d)      support crucial immune system components, called Peyer’s Patches, found in the intestinal tract, that are responsible for about 70% of immune function
e)      boost capability of white blood cells
f)        assist in the manufacture of natural antibiotics
g)      prevent formation of cancer-causing substances
h)      actively fight certain types of tumors
i)        hinder pathogenic bacteria and virus growth
j)        produce antibodies and anti-carcinogens
k)      break down toxins

There are a lot of other great things probiotics do, from maintaining regularity and controlling excess LDL cholesterol levels, to balancing sex hormones and enhancing fertility. Here’s a great combination of prebiotics and probiotics, which are specially formulated to deliver 90% of active organisms to the gut, far out-performing most OTC products. Additionally, only a human strain of bacteria are used, where most other brands use a strain derived from cows.

2)      NutriFeron

Created by the same immunologist that discovered interferon, Dr. Y Kajima, this nutritional product increases your body’s ability to produce its own interferon and calls the body’s own “killer cells” to action. Interferon is a protein produced by cells when viruses invade them. It is released into the bloodstream or intercellular fluid to induce healthy cells to manufacture an enzyme that counters the infection. The ingredients are pumpkin seed extract, plantago seeds, safflower flowers and Japanese honeysuckle flower buds.

This product actually also helps during allergy season, too, because allergies are really the body producing histamines to fight off what it thinks are invaders, but which turn out to be nothing.

3)      Defend & Resist Complex

Made with Echinacea, Black Elderberry, Larch tree and Zinc Gluconate, this should be used at the on-set of symptoms to promote the body’s natural resistance, soothes sore throats, helps resist infections. And promotes white blood cell production. This is great for children and can be chewed or made into a tea with hot water, as well as swallowed.

4)      Immunity Formula I

This provides the essential nutrients to keep your immune system strong and functioning well. Supports healthy skin (your body’s first line against invading organisms) as well as internal organs. Rich in antioxidant protection, with Beta-Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, B12, Zinc, Selenium, and Copper.

Reduce your stress

Ok, maybe a little tough during these economic times, but reducing your stress with help your body function better, as it won’t be constantly flooded with cortisol, suppressing your immune system.

1)      Meditation

Quiet time to reflect and organize your thoughts, as well as calm your breathing, can significantly reduce cortisol levels in your body. You might even slow down enough to prioritize your lengthy To Do List and become more productive. Or forget about the To Do List long enough to be open to new ideas that just might solve a few problems for you – you never know!

2)      Exercise

Moderate, consistent exercise can result in the temporary production of macrophages, the cells that attack bacteria. Additionally, during moderate exercise, immune cells circulate through the body more quickly and are better able to kill bacteria and viruses. And exercise

Remove saturated fats from your diet and get more colorful veggies

Ok, maybe you’re like me and can’t think of doing this for your entire life, but right now would be a great time to swear off bad fats for 2 weeks and add more purple cabbage, kale or tomatoes. Try a nice cut of salmon with a light sauce over wilted spinach tonight, and maybe chicken in a pasta salad tomorrow. Start small, try it for 2 weeks, and see how you feel about the changes you’ve made.

Get enough rest
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When we’re fatigued, it’s not just our mind that’s not working at peak performance – our body hasn’t gotten the rest it needs to function properly. Get the rest you need and your immune system will be operating at full power.

Drink more water

Fluids transport nutrients around the body and take toxins away for disposal. There’s nothing wrong with getting some of the fluid you need from juices and teas fortified with some of the extra nutrients you need, but watch out for those calories – sweet drinks tend to pack on the calories without our body noticing.

Protect yourself from picking up germs

Mom was right – wash your hands often, watch where you put your hands (and with whom you shake hands), and cover your mouth when you sneeze. These admonitions aren’t just good manners, they protect everyone from transferring the nasty germs that spread flu and colds. Using anti-microbial gels and soap is fine in a pinch, but good old hot water and regular soap, sudsing for 20 seconds (long enough to sing the alphabet in your head), is really the best choice. The overuse of anti-microbial soaps may lead to “super bugs” that become resistant to these soaps and gels. But the physical act of scrubbing will do just fine to remove the germs from your hands at all.

It is important for governments to stay on top of the Swine Flu to protect their citizens, but it isn’t necessary for us as individuals to panic. Take precautions, take supplements, and reduce stresses that reduce your body’s ability to handle stress, and you’ll be just fine.

 
 

If you are contemplating updating your home or office and are interested in “going green” to do it, here are the important points to know about what to do.

To begin with, the are three facets of “green”: energy and water efficiency, air quality and environmental stewardship. Knowing the importance of each will allow you to invest your money in these updates most effectively.

Energy and water efficiency are probably the most important and easiest to understand. Especially with the current energy crunch and recent water crisis in Florida, most people are beginning to care about going green. The “low-hanging fruits” of going green include replacing incandescent and some halogen light bulbs with fluorescent bulbs, using Energy Star computers and appliances, putting non-vital electronics on strips that can be unplugged or turned off in one place to eliminate “ghost” energy usage, and insulating walls, ceilings and around doors and windows.

Taking it a step further, if you are upgrading your light fixtures, invest in fixtures that use fluorescent bulbs. But be aware that the fluorescent bulbs require correct disposal due to mercury.

Concerning water efficiency, invest in landscaping that requires little or no water, use zoned irrigation specific to the type of landscaping, and use cisterns for irrigation, rather than from a well or city water. If you are upgrading your bathrooms, look into dual-flush toilets and waterless urinals.

Every dollar invested in efficiency should save $1 or more over time – these create greater value over the lifetime of the building.

Air quality has become very important as mold and “sick building syndrome” have been highly publicized. Investing in fixing water infiltration into buildings, and correctly sizing air conditioners to manage moisture are very important to stamp out mold. Another factor in mitigating “sick building syndrome” include using materials that don’t off-gas toxic volatile organics such as formaldehyde, which can be in paint, cabinets and carpet.

Right now, you need to ask for low-VOC paints, and you will spend more for these. Higher-quality cabinets often will use low-VOC plywood, but you should ask for any cabinetry and countertops, whether created with MDF or plywood, without formaldehyde. Even your new desks and chairs may harbor VOCs like fire-retardants, so ask about the material content before purchasing - sometimes using gently used desks and chairs (recycling) has air-quality benefits, too.

Also, you should use mold-resisting ducts and good filtration in air conditioning systems if you are modifying these systems. Additionally, ensure that the cleaning products that you or you staff are using don’t contain harsh chemicals. Clean shouldn’t smell – Shaklee has produced a basic cleaning product for decades that doesn’t have a smell. They wouldn’t still be in business if it didn’t work.

When looking at In-door Air Quality, think of these costs as offset by reductions in medical expenses – these improve the quality of life. (and potentially protect you from litigation from no-longer sick employees.)

Environmental stewardship mostly refers to choosing finishes with low environmental impact. This includes using recycled plastic or wool for carpets, renewable woods like bamboo for flooring, wall coverings or furniture, or even ditch the new floor coverings and stain your concrete floors with soy-based stains for a crisp, modern look. You can even explore the many beautiful recycled glass or concrete tile options, or even reclaimed or managed-growth wood (look for the “FSC-certified” logo).

These choices can cost more without direct return on investment, but in terms of long-range health of the environment, they do make an impact. They also impart emotional or intellectual benefits. Someone may comment on the beauty of your new bamboo floors, and be just as impressed that it is a sustainable product manufactured with low impact to the environment. Additionally, durable finishes that will stand up to repeated abuse for many years and won’t need to be replaced often are both financially and environmentally friendly.

To reiterate, there are three facets to going “green”: energy and water efficiency, air quality, and sustainability. Start with the easiest first, but look into the other choices and determine what your comfort level is – you might be surprised to find that there are a lot of great choices out there that you want to make.