Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ecoholic Notes

Ecoholic (When you're addicted to the planet) by Andria Vasil
Your guide to the most environmentally friendly information, products, and services. 
A few more notes and things I wanted to share from the Ecoholic book: 

Clothing: This topic was probably the scariest to me, being this is kind of what I do. But honestly, I wasn't that surprised. This is why I run my business the way I do- "Hard to believe, but the fabric industry is one of the most polluting on the planet. Cotton soaks up 10% of the world's pesticides and 25% of its insecticides, many of which are carcinogenic and extremely toxic..." "Conventional cotton-farming methods require a third of a pound of CHEMICALS to make ONE REGULAR OLD T-SHIRT." 
Did you know that synthetic fabrics are made of petroleum.... that's oil. 
Another thing the book talks about is that manufacturing of cheap clothing= sweat shops. This is why I try to avoid stores like Forever 21. 
Some solutions to avoiding these problems, using products made of organic cotton, bamboo (super sustainable), organic wool, hemp, linen. 
Oh and it also says this about vintage/reconstructed clothing.  "Vintage clothing is the cheapest way to wear planet-friendly threads..." Woop woop! I think shopping used clothes is probably the best thing you can do. This way you're not creating a demand for new clothing and you can help keep those clothes out of landfills and put them to good use!
"Americans spend over $286 billion on prescription drugs a year..." Holy shizah!

"Anywhere from 50% to 90% of the active ingredients found in our medications aren't broken down by our bodies." Which means we excrete them and they end up in our water system. Mmmmm.

Menstrual products: 
I'm sorry if you don't want to read this, just skip it. But it's kind of shocking. 
"A woman uses about 16,800 sanitary pads/tampons in her lifetime....Multiply that by 150 million women and we're talking billions of pads and tampons a year in the US alone."
There's also a huge section on birth control and the pill which is interesting, definitely worth a read if you're on the pill.
Organic Food: 
Now this was probably the biggest thing to me. Here's a passage that was just everything I could ever hope to say: 
"...What does 'organic' mean exactly? It goes way beyond simply being pesticide-free. Sure, an organic tomato will have been grown in soil in which no chemical fertilizers or pesticides have been used for at least 3 years, but there's more to the story. Special attention is paid to fostering the soil's nutrients. No sewage sludge can be spread on crops (unlike regular crops-yep, human feces is a popular fertilizer in many American municipalities), nor can that tomato be irradiated or fumigated with synthetic preserving agents. It's free of anything genetically modified, free of hormones, and free of fake processing aids and ingredients-basically, it's a tomato born free..."
Here are some things that are in food today: 
Pesticides- "less than 5% of pesticides are said to reach their intended target" They kill animals in and around any farm using them and can be carried "...halfway across the world, to accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals far from farmers' fields, like polar bears and whales..." This is only describing the damages to other beings. Can you even think about the effect they have on humans? 
Fertilizers- "31% of all the fossil fuels used by North American farms go into fertilizers..." 
Irradiation: Meaning they zap our meats/vegetables with gamma rays, x-rays, and electron beams to get rid of germs.
Genetic Engineering- It's as bad as it sounds. 
Artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, msg. 
And a few things that can be found in your kitchen:
BPA can be found in steel and aluminum cans. 
PFOA can be found in nonstick pans, popcorn bags, and candy wrappers. 
Both BPA and PFOA are possible carcinogens.
"A good deal of our processed foods come encased in polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is considered by environmentalists to be the most toxic plastic on the planet. 
"...livestock account for 18% off the world's greenhouse gases-more than cars, trains, and planes together!"
"90% of our exposure to the dangerous pollutant dioxin comes from our food, especially animal fats such as meat, fish, dairy, and eggs..." 
Animals are loaded with antibiotics and hormones which we eventually eat. 
"Over three quarters of the world's fish stocks are on the verge of collapse..." 
But farmed shellfish such as oyster, clams, and mussels are the most sustainable/eco-friendly option. They filter plankton and even pollutants out of the surrounding water! 

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