environmentally friendly … is your member of Congress participating? 2014


PlasticbagsrecycleHave you started reclaiming, reusing, recycling, repurposing and or reducing items from your life that will cut the amount of material going into landfills or buying locally to hopefully reduce your eco-footprint as well? I’m in; even PBO alluded to a big change being needed for the next generation.

It’s a rant

Unfortunately, the House of Representatives, led by Republicans are the minority party but they control the purse strings and if you listen closely, they sound like they had different school books, syllabus and teachers, so, the path

aquabountysalmonto sustainable 21st Century living was is going to be a struggle.

Though after NAFTA the struggle for American workers was bad it also made most us all rely on goods made in foreign lands with questionable ingredients and on the cheap; I for one have looked at my clothes and sighed after finding brands that once sold mostly “made in the USA”   went to the dark side. I guess cheap really is too addictive. cheap labor cheap material is addictiveUCScleanairactpix

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Addictive, but the question is –  will authorities at the top recognize that NAFTA needs reforming due to an increase of carbon foot-print,  allowed foreign companies to possibly use toxic chemicals, use less than 100% organic and in some cases, let our children play with toys made with excessive amounts of lead.  We need a quick acceptance an apology and a big change implemented in every state regulating not just what comes into the US of A, but how, what is dumped, recycled and where; it makes sense on so many levels given what we now know about pollution, climate change, landfills and the effects on Americans …and our at risk population, whether folks want to admit it or not a reality check is needed.  Washington State, along with a few others decided they are all in on banning plastic bags though the effort needs to be much more vigorous as cooperation from big corporations who do not always implement the process fast enough, but we have to start somewhere right.

Ecuadoreans

However, it is obvious that as those at the top debate and delay changes in our man-made and natural global warming experiences, they are leaving minorities and the poor out of the conversation of sustainable living, let alone offer up alternatives or commit to viable restorations of communities most impacted by bad urban planning. frackingWe have all heard or know that certain populations are definitely unable to control the negative impact that some big corporations are having on their communities or environments as more and more cases are revealed, aired and reported. It is disturbing to know that some cases are over twenty – thirty years old or older, the sad truth that there were are too many middle class, minority and poor communities built on or near freeways,  landfills, gas lines, ex-chemical plants, manufacturer plants or smokestacks with dirty air while providing jobs at those same facilities though the people had no idea that they and the lives of their families could be negatively affected and life in some cases probably cut short. The abuse of land in rural and or urban settings is not just offensive it is still unchecked and just one more thing the EPA needs to revisit.Deforestation-Amazon-1024x667_1_460x230

oilpipeline

The idea of sustainable living is not new, yet, it means something different depending on what State you live in and how your officials deal with the agencies we are supposed to trust whether the issue is about fracking, mad cow, GMO ,salmonella etc. or bird flu.  Most people I know love all kinds of food and are careful about at home preparation, but I do believe that the way food is inspected, accepted and processed is still suspect and an update in federal laws regarding food inspection are overdue.  I hope we all agree that our food should not be considered a state’s rights issue; it is a keep the American population safe& healthy issue. I come from a fishing based family that believed in staying away from so-called store freshly caught and to always smell the fish, ask if wild or hatchery and if it’s wrapped in plastic question it all because it may look like the real deal but … I will admit I remember when most if not all seafood caught,  was “bought and sold fresh” and or” wild” but not farmed because my family preferred to buy at the market or buy at the pier, but mostly from my family fishing for it. When farm fisheries started popping up my family felt it might be a good way to keep wild off the endangered list, but unfortunately some collateral damage was created when some reports of  nasty toxic developments at some not all farmed hatcheries were found .

Cantwell-bristolbay-callout Unfortunately,

folks did not know in the early stages the influx of farmed fish to grocery stores and restaurants meant insufficient labeling or the profound lack of available information for consumers to make independent and or intelligent decisions by leaving out info whether it’s about fish, beef, chicken, clothes or toys they are selling comes from the most “environmentally friendly” way possible instead of taking risks that could hurt liveschickenofthesea

written 2/1/2013

Mayors for #theAmericanJOBsACT ~~ PASS IT NOW


Phil Gordon, the mayor of Phoenix, Arizona believes the American Jobs Act should be passed,

“We can’t afford to keep waiting. And the politics that are being played
not only in Washington, DC, but across the country are just devastating our
nation, our cities. And it’s important not only to put people back to work but
to train them for the 21st century.”

He is pleading with Congress – Republicans and Democrats – to pass the
American Jobs Act “right away.”

“Arizona has been hit—one of the two or three hardest states—in Phoenix in
particular—with housing, lack of conventions, tourism, lack of jobs,” Gordon
explains.  “It’s time to stop talking about it, it’s time to move forward.
There’s plenty of time for everybody to do politics afterwards. But right now,
in Phoenix, we have a lot of people out of work. We have a lot of children that
are now homeless with their moms and dads that shouldn’t be.”

Kansas City Mayor Sly James Supports the American Jobs Act

The American Job Act will help James answer the one question he says the residents of his Missouri city
ask any time he leaves the office, “’Mayor, where can I get a job? Mayor can you
help me get a job? Mayor can you help my brother or my mother get a job?”’Jobs
are at the forefront of people’s minds.”

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer Supports the American Jobs Act 

There’s a real sense of urgency right now. A lot of people have been out of
work for a long period of time. Their savings are gone or practically gone. So
they see where they thought they were going to be fitting in the American dream,
and saying, “that may not happen to me anymore right now.” And so there’s this
feeling of hopelessness that we’ve got to address, we can’t wait until the next
election cycle. This is something the American people need today.

America’s Mayors Are in Sync: Congress Must Work on a Bipartisan Basis to put
America Back on Track

Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, California says that the residents
of his city are united in their message to him, and to elected officials in
Washington: “Job #1 is to create the jobs they need going into the future.”

Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory Supports the American Jobs Act 

Mayor Mark Mallory said that he — and the citizens of his city — are “very
excited” about the possibility of the Jobs Act because the President’s plan will
enable Cincinnati to keep firefighters and police officers on the
job.Mallory specifically refers to the provisions in the Act that provide funds for
infrastructure, and says Cincinnati’s “very large, very old” Brent
Spence Bridge needs to be replaced.

Mayor of Denver: American Jobs Act an “Opportunity for all Elected Officials to
Put Aside Differences”

Mayor Michael Hancock of Denver, Colorado says there is no more important
initiative that any elected official can be focused on than “trying to get
America back to work, right now.” Hancock believes that “this Job Act is an opportunity for all elected
officials at every level but particularly here in Washington, in Congress and
the White House, to finally put aside our differences and stand again for the
people of America and begin to put them to work.”

Mayor Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore Supports the American Jobs Act 

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake says the country needs the American Jobs Act in order to “grow
out of this great recession.”  As an older city, Baltimore has tremendous
infrastructure needs and its mayor believes the $50
billion investment in rebuilding
 that is a core component of the Jobs Act
will make the streets and schools of her city “safer for generations to come.”
Rawlings-Blake also applauds the Jobs Act’s focus on offering relief to small
business owners, who she says are the “backbone” of Baltimore’s economy

Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon says that in his state,

“the American Jobs Act
will translate into almost
9,000 jobs
for vital transportation, school infrastructure projects for idol
construction workers, funding for our schools and incentives for small
businesses to put people back to work.”

Most importantly. says Kitzhaber, the jobs that are
created will be “good middle income family wage jobs,” which will create a
significant economic ripple across the state. “In an economic crisis we need to
be investing in the economy–we need to be investing in job creation and I think
the American Jobs Act is exactly
what we need at the right time and certainly for Oregon and I think for
America.”

Deodorant Ingredients to Avoid


by Megan Winkler

With ingredients that have been linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s, hormonal imbalance and neurological issues, I think it’s time we start looking a little more closely at what’s going into our deodorant. I’m pretty horrified at the information I dredged up on the topic. I know this isn’t a glamorous topic, but it’s an important one. So important, in fact, that I’m going to try a natural deodorant recipe out this week. But before I get to the recipe, let’s talk about what we’re applying to our armpits on a daily basis.

 

THE ALUMINUM-ALZHEIMER’S CONNECTION

Yeah, we’ll start off with a big one. Aluminum—as in the metal—is used to block pores from releasing sweat. The problem is, aluminum has been linked to breast cancer in women, prostate cancer in men and an increased chance of Alzheimer’s. Now to be fair, the Food and Drug Administration has never said it’s a carcinogen, but there is definitely a case for drawing a correlation between the two. It might be something to look out for.

POTENT PARABENS

Parabens are synthetic preservatives that are sometimes present in health and beauty products. There are two interesting bits of information that I’d like for us to consider with regards to this ingredient. The first is that the Centers for Disease Control conducted a study to see how many of us have parabens in our system. Of 100 subjects tested, 100 percent—each and every one of them—showed paraben presence in their urine. This research told scientists a lot about how easily chemicals enter our body via the skin. The other bit of information is that parabens have been linked to hormonal imbalance in early puberty. Food for thought.

OH GEEZ, PROPYLENE GLYCOL

The petroleum-based ingredient propylene glycol is present in many antiperspirants and deodorants. It’s the ingredient that gives deodorant a slick consistency so we can slather it on our skin. Bad news is that in large quantities it can do damage to the central nervous system, the heart and the liver. To be fair, this is like saying that broccoli in large doses is lethal, but no one would ever eat that much anyway, so it’s a moot point. The amount of propylene glycol used in the average stick of deodorant is probably completely safe, but it’s worth mentioning.

FUNKY PHTHALATES

Phthalates help ingredients to dissolve, and because of this they are sometimes found in deodorant. Unfortunately, phthalates are also linked to birth defects and the disruption of hormone receptors in the body. Yuck!

TRICKY TRICLOSAN

After finding out that triclosan was classified as a pesticide by the FDA and as a probable carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency, most companies that produce deodorants and antiperspirants have removed this ingredient from their formulas. It’s still a good idea to read the product label just to make sure triclosan isn’t hiding inside.

A DIY NATURAL ALTERNATIVE

I did some research to see if I could talk about some great mainstream companies that have eliminated these ingredients from their products, but with the exception of Old Spice, none of the companies I investigated even go so far as to display the ingredients for their deodorants online.

There are a few all-natural deodorants on the market, but I found a couple of homemade recipes via Wellness Mama that are supposed to be amazing, assuming the above information doesn’t sit well with you either. Using coconut oil, baking soda, shea butter, and some optional arrowroot and essential oils, you can make your own quite easily. Simply melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler and add the other ingredients to create an all-natural alternative that really works. Another option is to combine coconut oil, baking soda and cornstarch in a small glass jar. Neither recipe requires refrigeration, which is nice.

New Commitment​s in Support of My Brother’s Keeper


Earlier this week, President Obama visited the Walker Jones Education Campus in Washington, D.C. to participate in a town hall with youth, and to announce new commitments in support of the My Brother’s Keeper initiative.

Find out more about the new commitments here.

As the President said during the town hall, “We want fewer young men in jail; we want more of them in college. We want fewer young men on the streets; we want more in the boardrooms. We want everybody to have a chance to succeed in America. And it’s possible if we’ve got the kind of team that we set up today.”

 

In February, as part of his plan to make 2014 a year of action focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans, the President unveiled the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color and ensure that all young people can reach their full potential.

The Administration is doing its part by identifying programs and policies that work, and recommending action that will help all our young people succeed. Since the launch of My Brother’s Keeper, the President’s Task Force has met with and heard from thousands of Americans, through online and in-person listening sessions, who are already taking action.

Learn more at WhiteHouse.gov/My-Brothers-Keeper.

And if you haven’t already, commit to making a difference by pledging to mentor a young person in your community.

Stay Connected

Watch President Obama answer questions during this week’s town hall:

 

 

 

 Watch the President in this week's town hall.

 

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