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Despite Recent Concerns, LEDs Still Offer Efficient & Clean Light

by Benjamin Roman •

LEDs offer the best energy efficiency of any widely available lighting technology.  And LED lights contain no mercury, as opposed to the compact fluorescent bulbs that have become so common.  But recent reports suggest that LEDs may have their own issues with hazardous substances, so should you steer clear of them?  Not so fast – LEDs are still a great …

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Mercury Fillings: Not Efficient

by Kristy Harvey •

Update: Recently, the FDA concluded that mercury filling have safety issues, see this news story. Sweden, Denmark and Norway have banned them. Germany and Austria have discouraged use. Yet, in the United States, dental amalgams, the “silver” fillings that have been commonly used in dental practices for decades, are still used frequently as an inexpensive and popular treatment for cavities. …

Chemical-Free Dental Health

by Kristy Harvey •

We brush, floss and rinse with mouthwash to keep our teeth healthy, strong and fresh. Unfortunately, some of the very things we are doing to protect ourselves from disease could be making us sick. The ingredients listed on the back of our toothpaste tubes and mouthwash bottles might be things we’ve never given too much consideration, but, as it turns …

Inexpensive, Non-Toxic Solvent: Washing Soda

by Justin Thomas •

Washing soda is an efficient substitute for conventional toxic solvents. It cuts grease, cleans petroleum oil, removes wax, and neutralizes odors in the same way that baking soda does. Washing soda is sodium carbonate — it is in the same family as baking soda, but it has been processed differently. It is much more caustic/alkaline, with a pH of 11, …

A Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides

by Justin Thomas •

Consumer Reports recently published a guide (subscription required) detailing which fruit and vegetables contain the most pesticides. They recommend always buying organic when purchasing the following fruits and vegetables: Bell Peppers, Celery, Cherries, Grapes (imported), Nectarines, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Red Raspberries, Spinach and Strawberries. Their report was based on the free Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides created by the EWG (Environmental …

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How To Grow Fresh Air

by Justin Thomas •

Author B.C. Wolverton originally began his research to investigate creating a breathable environment for a NASA lunar habitat. What came of that research was the discovery that houseplants are the most efficient filters of common pollutants such as ammonia, formaldehyde and benzene. (See our list of the top plants for cleaning the air).

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Anti-Metaefficient: PBDE: A Poison That Is Now Everywhere

by Justin Thomas •

PBDE (polybrominated diphenyl) is a toxic flame retardant used in many products, including computer cases, carpet pads and foam cushions in chairs and couches. This recent article in the The Oregonian sums up the problems for humans: Research has shown that the levels of PBDEs in American women are doubling every two to five years. Even low-level exposure, particularly for …

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Not Very Meta-Efficient: Plastics

by Justin Thomas •

Plastics are not very meta-efficient. They are toxic to all forms of life, they don’t biodegrade. Practically all the plastic that’s even been made still exists – either in landfills or in places like the ocean. There are other materials that can often substitute for plastic such as ceramics or rubber. Bioplastic is also become a viable option. In terms …

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Best and Worst: Personal Care Products

by Justin Thomas •

The Environmental Working Group has produced a list of the Best and Worst Personal Care Products. They have a huge Searchable Product Guide of harmful chemicals found in personal care products. The report is extensive and very well organized. You can search by ingredient, product name or product category.