How to clean your home naturally

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Cleaning your house with natural products doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Most ingredients to make powerful, safe, effective cleaners can be found in the cabinets of most peoples homes. Here is a list of common household products and their uses.

Baking Soda – This can be sprinkled directly onto sinks and tubs before giving them a good scrub. Baking soda can also be used to deodorize sinks and garbage disposals. Pour ½ cup down the drain, trickle a bit of hot water to moisten, and let sit 2 hours, then flush with hot water. I like to put a lemon rind into the garbage disposal after this treatment. Turn on the disposal and it will smell lemony fresh!

Baking soda can also be added to laundry to deodorize and soften clothes. Add ¼ cup to wash cycle.

White Vinegar – Mix 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. in a spray bottle. Add 5 – 10 drops of your favorite essential oils and give it a shake – I personally like clove and lavender as these have powerful disinfecting properties. This concoction can be used to wipe down tables and counter tops, desks and doorknobs. Not to worry about the smell, it will evaporate and dissipate in a few minutes.

White Vinegar is a powerful disinfectant. It can also be poured directly onto mold or mildew in the shower. This will kill the spores.

Rubbing Alcohol –Mix 1 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 cup water, and tablespoon vinegar in a spray bottle to make an excellent glass cleaner. Also cleans chrome fixtures.

Vegetable oil and lemon juice – Mix 1 part lemon juice to 2 parts water into a bowl or spray bottle. Apply to wood furniture and polish off.

If none of these do the trick for you, don’t forget that we carry a full line of Naturally Safer cleaning products.  Go check them out!

The Green House

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After planting the first organic garden on While House property, the Obamas are making history again with the possibility of making the White House green. No, they are not painting it, but instead are looking toward earning LEED certification for the building through the U.S. Green Building Council. The end result would be a more energy efficient White House with efficient water usage and cleaner indoor air quality that is virtually free of VOCs.

For more information, click on :

http://www.sierraclubgreenhome.com/green-news/the-greenest-white-house/

-Rowena, Product Specialist

Fear Not!

I am committed to experiencing pregnancy and delivery in the most natural way possible. In this day and age of modern conveniences and pain-relieving pharmaceuticals, it is easy to give in to the fear of pain and ask for them. I ask myself, “Will I be able to handle it?”  Modern medicine has become such big business; I personally cringe at the thought of delivering a baby at a hospital.

I was reading about the body’s natural way of releasing chemicals and endorphins to help labor progress and diminish pain, which pharmaceuticals completely negate, making the whole experience numb and dulled. Though birth, with or without pharmaceuticals, is still a miraculous, joyous experience for any mother, the physical body may not have the additional bonus of the natural “high” from the strenuous experience. Plus, pharmaceuticals, no matter how minute, do get into the baby’s system too.

Research shows that pain in labor is a result of fear and tension. As I prepare for the big “D-day,” I remember to let go of any expectations and surrender to the pain, as it is a natural process. As I have learned from yoga, breathing can really help one gain control of any situation, no matter how intense it is.  Luckily, the rushes of contractions are rhythmic and only happen one at a time with breaks in between!

-Rowena, Product Specialist

A New Life

I just found out in June that I am pregnant. It is my first, and I am overjoyed! Dredging through the trenches of 24/7 queasiness, heartburn, and frequent headaches, knowing that there is a big prize at the end makes it all worthwhile!

I am thankful to have gained the knowledge of the importance of living an all organic lifestyle 11 years ago, as I feel it has really helped me coast through the past two months with more ease than those who eat poor diets. (Honesty, I can’t imagine living any other way!) My occasional slip-ups on my diet due to comfort food cravings are a reassurance to me that I should not eat processed foods filled with flavor enhancers, dyes, sugars, and preservatives. When I do, nausea usually gets worse than before and I just feel outright crummy as a result!

With another human being growing inside of my body, I become more sensitive to the outside world. As we all know, the media does a great job at pumping fear into most Americans. As with any mother, I feel extra responsible and concerned with this new life I will soon be watching over. Constant bombardment of news regarding wars, disease, pollution, and GM (genetically modified) farming can really wear on an individual’s psyche. But there still remains the glimmer of hope thanks to supportive community grassroots movements toward real democracy to protect our remaining freedoms, and education about the truth that much of the media tries to hide.

-Rowena, Product Specialist

Sustainability

Sustainability — it goes beyond the buzz of being “green.” It’s more than buying recycled paper plates. That’s a great starting point, but to truly be sustainable, we have to think outside the box.

Living in the 21st century has been such a radical change from the way our ancestors have survived. Civilizations that thrived for thousands of years used to garden and rotate crops to keep the soil fertile. Food was local, not neatly packaged in plastic and paper from thousands of miles away. We have been so conditioned to rely on our modern conveniences for survival. Without them, most humans would be clueless about how to survive.

Sustainability is a way of life. Looking at everyday lifestyle choices to see how they impact our world can really be eye opening. Simple steps to lessen your footprint on the earth – riding your bike, preparing food at home, or planting a food garden – are just the beginning.

Here at Lifekind®, we strive to be a model of sustainability. We support our local organic bakeries and organic fruit stands on a daily basis. We recycle and minimize the use of office supplies, paper, and energy. Our raw materials for the products we carry are sourced from US organic farmers. The fact that our manufacturing facility is certified to be in compliance with the Global Organic Textile Standard is like icing on the cake.

Rowena, Product Specialist

What happens when babies are exposed to mainstream mattresses?

There is nothing more precious than an infant. So innocent and delicate, these tiny blessings should have the purest food, bedding, and care, and most parents are more than happy to spend a bit more for the best. Yet it is concerning that most baby products found in department stores contain chemicals, hormone disruptors, and flame retardants that are toxic to adults, let alone children. In fact, children are susceptible to absorbing toxins at a faster rate than adults because 1) children breathe faster, and 2) the skin of a child is thinner, so they can absorb chemicals more quickly.

Most people think that there are regulations in place to protect the safety of what we buy. We learned during Christmas ’08, however, that there were no regulations for toys that contained dangerous amounts of lead. The sad truth is that there are approximately 75,000 chemicals used in commercial products and applications in the US. Of those, approximately 3% have been evaluated for human toxicology!

Flame retardants in mattresses are among the most dangerous culprits, considering the fact that babies can sleep up to 16 hours a day. Studies have shown that antimony, a common flame retardant used in crib mattresses, may contribute to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) risk. Other flame retardants such as PBDEs can affect the physical and intellectual development of a baby.

Most conventional crib mattresses are made with synthetic foams and fibers. These materials contain toluene and other petrochemicals that offgas VOCs (volatile organic compounds). To top it off, they are often coated with PVC vinyl to make them waterproof. Not just chemical hazards to a baby, these types of mattresses do not “breathe,” causing children to overheat and sleep overly warm and “clammy.”

Why expose your child to these dangers when a pure alternative is available through Lifekind®?

Rowena, Product Specialist

Investing in your health!

Organic mattresses aren’t just a fad. Why? Most people are concerned about their health, and it makes sense to avoid unnecessary chemical exposure. After all, we spend about a third of our lives in the bedroom. Why would you want to poison your body with chemicals, flame retardants, other toxic ingredients if you didn’t have to?

Our opinion is that if you’re going to invest in a nontoxic mattress, you should invest in the best. Here at Lifekind®, we’re setting the purity standard for our industry.

No regulations monitor the manufacturing, marketing, and advertising of organic mattresses. This means that an “organic” mattress found on a website may contain a percentage of organic ingredients, but also a plethora of undisclosed synthetic ingredients — Tyvek®, recycled newspaper, polyester, boric acid, and formaldehyde. This tactic is known as “greenwashing.” Even if a mattress does contain mostly organic ingredients, the components can be very low grade. (We’ve dissected quite a few “organic” mattresses to find cotton fibers that look similar to what you’d find in the lint screen of your clothes dryer.)

Lifekind is different. You’ll never find undisclosed ingredients in our mattresses, and our Purity Promise guarantees that if you can find a purer mattress, we’ll give you ours for free.

We hope you’ll take us up on it. Your body will thank you.

Rowena, Product Specialist

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Lifekind®: Organics You Can Trust – Organic Certifying Organizations

Just 20 years ago, anyone who was into an organic lifestyle was likely to be considered a little odd. Organic choices were limited back then; nowadays they’re everywhere. Now that being “green” is a trend, even major chain stores like Wal-Mart and Target are carrying organic food and bedding.

But what does it mean to truly be organic? The roots of the organic movement stemmed from the early 1900s, when synthetic fertilizers were introduced in the early days of industrial farming. Even after WWI, with more pressure being applied to farmers to use chemical fertilizers and pesticides for a larger yield, ecological farmers, though a minority, stood firm in their beliefs. Pioneers like Rachel Carson helped shed light on the dangers of these newly introduced chemicals. By the 70s and 80s, certification standards for organic food came into effect, thanks to various farming and consumer groups demanding more government regulation.

With organic certification, consumers should feel confident that the goods they desire are truly organic. However, there is an absence of government regulation in the production of non-food items. With the sprawling popularity of organic finished goods, many large corporations are cashing into the “green” market by using some organic materials, yet compromising purity to achieve a lower price.

In a competitive marketplace where businesses want your money, it can be tough to read between the lines. If you look in the right direction, however, the writing is on the wall: Without government regulation, consumers must rely on third-party scrutiny to assure that finished goods, not just raw materials, are truly organic. Certifying organizations such as Oregon Tilth (OTCO) guarantee that products meet the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and other regulations to ensure that you are getting a truly organic product.

It’s the only type of assurance that actually means anything. And at Lifekind®, it’s all we do.

Rowena, Product Specialist

How do you vote?

Growing up in the city, life was always fast paced. Consumption is a way of life. Life is not all that sustainable.

After my first camping experience in high school, life took on a different meaning. Nature has a perfect balance that cannot be recreated. It renews the mind and invigorates the spirit.

Over the years, I have realized that while voting in our democratic system is one way to make your voice heard, it is undeniable that we also vote with our dollars. Every purchase we make, in a way, defines who we are and what we stand for.

Regardless of where you live, life can be sustainable. Supporting organic agriculture and buying domestically-made goods made from renewable resources supports “the little guy” instead of the multimillion-dollar corporation that in exchange fuels the fire of non-sustainable living.

The earth is one big eco-system and our everyday choices WILL impact the planet one way or another.

How do you vote?

Rowena, Product Specialist