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ReTAP Reusable Glass Bottles

ReTAP Reusable Bottles by BuyGreen.Com

DID YOU KNOW . . . Americans lead the world in consumption of single-use plastic water bottles, purchasing an astounding 29 BILLION per year? This requires 17 MILLION barrels of crude oil annually for manufacturing, which equates to the fuel needed to keep 1 MILLION vehicles on the go for 12 MONTHS! In fact, if you filled up 1/4 of your plastic water bottle with oil, you'd be looking at the amount of oil used to produce that bottle. With these incredible statistics in mind, ReTAP set their minds on designing a reusable bottle specifically to be used for drinking tap water.

ReTAP reusable glass bottles are designed with safety, convenience, and sustainability in mind. The sleek design is smooth, allowing for ease of cleaning without any nooks or crannies where germs can hide to multiply. Dishwasher safe. Featuring a snug-fitting silicone cap, available in a rainbow of colors, the bottle won't leak, even upside-down. Spill-proof. ReTAP bottles are made from borosilicate glass, which is best known for being lightweight yet shatter-resistant. In other words, this is a reusable glass bottle that won't break easily. Durable. 

Now let's think everyday use and how could using a glass bottle impact you and your health. Health impact. Let's say you want to drink more than just water. How about some tomato juice or lemonade? The bad news is that both are acidic and eat away at plastic (think of the spaghetti sauce leftovers that "stained" the plastic they were stored in). What actually happened is that little bits of the plastic leached into your food because of the acidity of the tomato sauce. Essentially, you had a side of plastic with your leftover spaghetti. The same concept applies to beverages in plastic bottles AND metal reusable bottles that are lined with plastic. Keep in mind, most companies who produce reusable metal bottles don't advertise the plastic lining their metal bottles and simply label it BPA-FREE. Or maybe you'd like to transport your hot tea or coffee? Heat causes many chemicals to leach from other bottles, but this isn't the case with glass. Microwave-safe.

The advantages of using glass versus metal or plastic reusable water bottles are numerous. Glass is an inert material, meaning it doesn't react chemically with other substances. This is why scientists use glass beakers and test tubes in their experiments. The benefit to using glass over other materials is that you will be drinking exactly what you expect - there won't be any foreign chemicals or substances leaching into your beverage from the bottle. NON-LEACHING. Another benefit is the ease and availability of glass recycling facilities. Glass is the easiest material to recycle, followed by aluminum. Stainless steel and plastic require more intensive recycling processes which lead to increased pollution and increased use of resources. EASY TO RECYCLE. Nearly all municipalities are capable of recycling glass whereas availability for recycling of metals and plastics vary greatly from city to city. 

ReTAP bottles are available in 3 sizes. And for those of you who are all about making a statement with your style, there are 10 colors of silicone caps you can mix and match to suit your mood! If you're more of a sipper than gulper, team up your ReTAP reusable glass bottle with a glass drinking straw from GlassDharma. One last tip for those giving glass a shot for the first time, mineral deposits from tap water can appear over time when using glass reusable bottles. To prevent this, fill your dishwasher rinse aid compartment with white vinegar or soak the bottle in white vinegar every couple of weeks to remove the deposits. Happy hydrating!

Body & Hair Care: Wise Earth

Organic. Wild-Crafted. Paraben-free. Sulfate-free. Made in Canada.

TRUTH Shampoo and Conditioner (available in Unscented or Citrus)

A little bit goes a long way with this sustainably awesome line of hair care from Canada. The thick shampoo requires only a dab mixed with warm water to leave your locks feeling luxuriously soft! For those of you looking to moisturize color-treated hair or tame frizzy fly-aways, this is a product you'll want to consider looking at. If you have oily hair, you may be better off with a different product since this line tends to add even more shine.

Check out the ingredients (citrus):

Shampoo: Purified Water, Organic Blend of Arctium Lappa (Burdock Root)*, Urtica Diotica (Nettle Leaf)*, Rosemary Officialis (Rosemary)*, Calendula Officialis (Marigold Calendula)*, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail) Decyl Glucoside, Coco Betaine, Vegetable Glycerin, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp Seed Oil)Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Guar Gum, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (grapefruit), Citrus Reticulate (tangerine), Cananga Odorata (ylang ylang), Polyaminopropyl Biguanide (*Certified Organic)

Conditioner: Purified Water, Organic Blend of Arctium Lappa (Burdock Root)*, Urtica Diotica (Nettle Leaf)*, Rosemary Officialis (Rosemary)*, Calendula Officialis, (Marigold Calendula)*, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Simmondisa Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) Oil, Oatmeal Protein, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Cetyl Alcohol (Plant Base), Polyglyceryl 2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Citrus Grandis (grapefruit), Citrus Reticulate (tangerine), Cananga Odorata (ylang ylang), Polyaminopropyl Biguanide (*Certified Organic)

TRUTH Body Wash (available in Unscented or Citrus)

This is a great body wash to use as a shaving gel or with a loofah. The blend works well to lather with water and doesn't leave the skin feeling stripped of natural oils like many other body washes may do. Our suggestion is to buy a lot of this body wash, however, because we found ourselves using copious amounts of it in both the shower and as a bubble bath!

Check out the ingredients (citrus):

Body Wash: Purified Water, Organic Blend of Arctium Lappa (Burdock Root)*, Urtica Diotica (Nettle Leaf), Rosemary Officialis (Rosemary)*, Calendula Officialis (Marigold Calendula)*, Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Decyl Glucoside, Coco Glucoside, Coco Betaine, Vegetable Glycerin, Cannabis Sativa (Hemp) Seed Oil, Panthenol (Vitamin B5), Guar Gum, Citric Acid, Citrus Grandis (grapefruit), Citrus Reticulate (tangerine), Cananga Odorata (ylang ylang), Polyaminopropyl Biguanide (*Certified Organic)

NEWS: Developments in Recycling

Recycling is a well-known and frequently used word and topic of conversation amongst most modern families. The reality is that most of us have grown too comfortable with the topic, settling into our own comfortable recycling habits despite new information continually surfacing on the horizon. Reignite your passion and renew your commitment to conserve resources through exploring the following fun facts from recent developments in recycling!

Recycling on the corporate level provides companies with a more positive public image which helps them sell products while simultaneously supporting the environment and local communities. Nike has taken this fact to heart by establishing the Reuse-A-Shoe program which turns scraps of old rubber into safety equipment for children's playgrounds and coatings for athletic courts or tracks. Your old favorite sneakers can now be given a second chance to make a difference in the world!

Love donating to charity? Your recycling routine can also contribute to charities. Old keys often end up in junk drawers or cluttering key chains. De-clutter your life by donating unused keys to Keys for Kindness. The proceeds from this recycling program are donated to the Multiple Sclerosis Society in New York.

Did you know that cosmetics are a significant source of pollution in our landfills and water supply? If you are cleaning out your makeup bag and find half-empty compacts or ruined lipsticks, consider recycling those containers. Origins retail stores accepts all empty makeup containers, regardless of the brand. They also offer free samples of their organic skin care products in return for the empty cosmetic containers!
A few more fun facts...recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run your television for two hours or a computer for three hours. Americans throw away 25 MILLION plastic bottles every HOUR.

There are always new ways to improve our recycling habits and encourage conservation of resources! These are just a few examples of how businesses and individuals can work to tackle the giant issue of waste by focusing on small steps. Every decision to recycle is a step in the right direction, and even small gestures can have a huge impact. Just remember, every little bit counts!

By Sophia Evans, Guest Contributor

Portable Fluoride Filtration: Clearly Filtered Water Products

Have you noticed that nearly every house you go into has some type of filter in their kitchen for drinking water? Whether it is the refillable pitcher, built-in refrigerator filter, or externally attached to the sink faucet, it seems that clean water is weighing heavily on our minds and wallets. Since the human body consists of up to 60% water, it stands to good reason that we want to ensure our families have access to the purest H2O available.

Many people erroneously assume all filters are created equal in regards to what is removed from the water. The sad fact is that price point doesn't necessarily determine quality and what you don't know can hurt you! Unfortunately, most companies spend more on marketing than quality materials - in other words, they are buying your trust with flashy promises and not providing you with the healthiest product. It is especially revealing when you follow the money and find that the companies producing many filters are also the same companies who are dumping pollutants into the waterways they are now offering to filter. 

One of the most toxic substances to the human body found in drinking water is fluoride. While this element is found naturally in some regions in the form of calcium fluoride, an industrial by-product additive (sodium fluoride) is added to water throughout most of the United States. Sodium fluoride has been shown to be up to 85x more toxic than the naturally occurring calcium fluoride. 

Do you know what your fluoridated toothpaste and rat poison have in common? Check the active ingredient. It is important to end the myth that has led to higher profit margins with severe health consequences: fluoride is NOT beneficial to your body. In fact, in 1960 under oath, the original researcher who claimed fluoride's health benefits admitted that his original data was invalid. However, as with many truths that have the ability to destroy profits, it was swept under the rug as the myth lived on through national association endorsements and the continued pollution of our water supplies and bodies. Sadly, many well-meaning professionals have been perpetuating the fluoride myth and it has left most consumers confused as to who and what to believe. As always, we encourage you to study the science behind it; in other words, go straight to chemistry on this one and check out international independent studies that have nothing to gain from telling you the truth. 

Let's get some science out of the way first. Fluoride functions in the body by attaching to calcium within the body. It is not picky as to which calcium it attaches to, this means it affects all bodily systems. If it attaches to blood calcium, the heart suffers and heart attacks have been reported. If it attaches within the bones, they become brittle and increase chances of fractures and breaks. If it attaches to the teeth, they will be superficially rigid on the outer layer whilst the internal structure suffers. There is a great deal of evidence supporting the gastrointestinal irritations caused by fluoridated water, including the chemistry fact that fluoride transforms into highly toxic hydrofluoric acid (the most corrosive known substance) within the stomach. It has also been shown to cause cancer in lab animals with low exposure over time (i.e. at the levels currently used for fluoridation of water supplies).

Now that you know that your body doesn't benefit from fluoride, how do you remove it from your drinking water? There are four known options for fluoride removal: activated alumina, bone char, distillation, or reverse osmosis. Alumina causes concern because it leaves aluminum in treated water, which has shown it's own negative health effects. Reverse osmosis removes up to 90% of fluoride, but causes concern over acidifying the water and removing beneficial minerals. Distillation (not to be confused with boiling water which increases fluoride concentration), also leaves the water without minerals. Bone char offers removal of up to 90% of fluoride and is an organic medium, however there are vegan concerns for some and it takes the longest period of time for filtration. Many of these filtration methods require a large investment or whole house water filtration system.

We were thrilled to find a new alternative in affordable fluoride filtration for your home and on the go at the Natural Products Expo West this year! Clearly Filtered, based in southern CA, is a company specializing in high quality filtration for those who cannot install a whole house filtration system (i.e. renters) or do not have thousands of dollars to dish out for distillation or reverse osmosis systems. Clean water is ready for you to drink or cook with in less than 5 minutes! As a bonus, their products are portable so you can pack them up and take wherever you go. Did we mention they also remove more toxins and in higher quantities than other brands as well?

For our review, we extensively tested the Clearly Filtered Water Pitcher for 90 days. This pitcher sells for $69.95 and lasts for up to 200 gallons of water. With the average person drinking 4 gallons of water per week, this filter will last up to 50 weeks (approx. 1 year) for a single user. This is a great value for 1 year of clean water for less than what most people spend on television for a month! Let's take a look at how it compares to other brands you may be familiar with: 

In our 3 months of usage experience, we found the pitcher to be easy to clean, easy to use, and consistently effective in removal of both chlorine and fluoride. We used independent water testing for both chlorine and fluoride to monitor levels and effectiveness of the filter. While we were impressed with the scientific results (and great tasting water), we did note some suggested improvements to design and we're happy to hear the company is already in the process of updating the pitcher design.

If you are looking to better your health and offer your family truly CLEAN water at a great value, this is definitely a product and company you want to check out to see if it meets your needs!

Experiment: The "eco-friendly" Scentsy Warmer

We've been working on a synthetic-free, non-toxic alternative to scenting your are the initial results of our Way Out Wax and Scentsy experiment! You (and your wallet) will be pleasantly surprised!

Meet the Companies:
Scentsy offers a wide variety of wax tart warmers for any occasion and style, they are extremely popular options for flameless home fragrance. Many of our readers love their decorative warmers, but have concerns about their synthetically fragranced, petroleum wax tarts/bars. The glazed pottery warmers are electric, warming through the use of a single light bulb which also doubles as a nightlight.

Way Out Wax is an eco-friendly, non-toxic company that specializes in 100% non-GMO* soy wax candles that utilize only essential oil blends to create their fragrances. Essential oils do not only scent your home, they actively affect your mood through pure aromatherapy. The candles are created from renewable resources (soy versus petroleum) and all packaging is recyclable, reusable, or compostable! They do not use synthetic colors, dyes, or fragrances in their products.

To perform this experiment, we used a full-size Scentsy brand warmer ($30), with original 25 watt bulb, and tealight candles from Way Out Wax ($0.85-$1 each). The tealight was removed from it's container (easily pops out). Time was recorded during each stage of melting and fragrance dispersement. Photos were also taken to document the experiment.

5:45 - Placed tealight in warmer and turned on
5:50 - Tealight started to melt (elapsed time: 5 min) 

 6:15 - Tealight 75% melted and wick was pulled out (elapsed time: 30 min from start)

  6:20 - Completely melted (elapsed time: 35 min from start)

  8:45 - Turned off (elapsed time: 3 hours from start)
  8:50 - Wax cooling after 5 minutes off

  Next day 9:45 - Turned on warmer

10:00 - Melting again

The first day, the warmer was on for 3 hours total. For the second day, the warmer was left on for a total of 14 hours, with full strength scent throughout the home. On the third day, full strength scent lasted for an additional 6 hours. After this point, the scent load was noticeably lower (more subtle though still fragrancing), this phase lasted an additional 3 hours. This experiment was repeated to average results from multiple melts with different scents. A single tealight candle provided scented up to 1000 square feet indoors.

Average total scent time: 25-30 hours  [including 3-5 hours of subtle scenting]

Scent Effectiveness Comparison:
2 Scentsy cubes = 8-13 hours approx.
1 Way Out Wax tealight = 25-30 hours approx.

By using Way Out Wax tealights, your total cost will be only $2-3 for up to 90 hours of pure aromatherapy scenting your home, relaxing your mind, and soothing your soul!

[Assumption: 2 Scentsy cubes are equivalent to 1 Way Out Wax tealight for the purpose of the amount of melted wax required fill the bottom of the Scentsy warmer adequately]

Melted wax may be returned to the soil from which it came by digging a hole outdoors or poured back into the tealight container with the wick to be burned as an unscented candle. Easily wipes clean from the warmer.

Further Research:
Soy wax may be assumed safer than paraffin/petroleum based candles if it comes into contact with the skin. Since soy wax requires lower temperatures to melt, further experiment updates will determine whether scents will adequately disperse with lower wattage bulbs to reduce energy consumption. Stay tuned for ongoing updates!

*Non-GMO means that the plant's DNA has not been genetically altered in a laboratory - it is pure and natural, just as mother nature created it!