September 25, 2011

Don't Hate Me......

Please consider how much joy you will bring to your home by adopting a less adoptable dog! Visit your local shelter or contact a rescue in your area and ask about animals with little to no interest. Saving a life is the best thing you will ever do!

Or try, just browse and see who is in need of a loving home right now. 

According to the American Humane Association, nearly 10 million animals are euthanized annually in the United States. That's 833,333 every month - 208,333 every week - 27,778 each day - 1,157 every hour!
Or, think of it this way - 19 companion animals are put to sleep every minute of every hour of every day each year!! 

Spay and Neuter your Pets! Don't Shop, Adopt!

September 19, 2011

Sunny Sky's Rescue Bus - saving lives!!

 "Sunny Sky's is an animal rescue organization formed in 2010 by Dr. Illina Berton. Thanks to the help of many volunteers we are now a full fledged non profit organization. Acquiring our 501(c)3 status in 2011. We rely solely on volunteers to continue on our path to saving as many four legged friends as possible. Sunny Sky's Animal Rescue believes every animal deserves to be loved and we are devoted to finding families that deserve our animals love.

Sunny Sky's Animal Rescue in conjunction with East Valley Animal Shelter, Van Nuys, CA and a team of volunteers have acquired a RESCUE BUS to rescue and transport anywhere between 60-80 shelter dogs (and sometimes cats and rabbits) per trip from Los Angeles, CA to Puyallup, WA, where the animals will be treated and offered for adoption, giving the animals another chance of life."

 These rescue operations rely entirely on donations.

Take a closer look at Sunny Sky's on their website:

August 1, 2011

Plastic Bag Ban in Long Beach ... it's great start!

Plastic bags will be a thing of the past in Long Beach beginning today, and suddenly all of those who have been using plastic will need to tote reusable and paper bags.
Under a measure passed by the Long Beach City Council, the city’s larger stores will not be allowed to pack items in plastic bags. Customers will be able to buy paper bags for 10 cents each but will be encouraged to bring in their own reusable bags when shopping.
The smaller stores will phase out the use of plastic bags and will be plastic-free by January, according to the new law.
Environmentalists have long argued that plastic bags, not being organic and biodegradeable, clog drains, clutter up the environment and even endanger fish.
Los Angeles County’s new ban took effect July 8, and the cities of Pasadena and Los Angeles are considering such bans.
Copied from:  Article written by Mirna Alfonso August 01, 2011

July 29, 2010

No More Free Plastic Bags in California

No More Plastic Bag Pollution

Target: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California State Senate
Sponsored by:
The Pacific Garbage Patch can be found floating about 1,000 miles off the Californian coast -- this swirling mass of plastic bags and garbage has grown to be twice the size of Texas.

When it comes to the environment, California is a trendsetter. The Pacific Garbage Patch is all of our responsibilities, but we need California to put the country on the right track towards eliminating plastic waste.

Although California prides itself on its environmental initiatives, there's no way The Golden State can deserve its title as the greenest state until it addresses its plastic bag problem. At 19 billion plastic bags a year, California is currently the biggest consumer of single-use plastic bags.

Despite this, California is poised to become the first state to ban plastic bags. The California State Assembly passed a bill (AB 1998) to ban single-use plastic shopping bags on June 2, and the bill will go to the Senate mid August. Urge California legislators to support a ban on single-use grocery bags.

Please sign the PETITION here!

April 14, 2010

No More Landfills - Let's Use Trash for Energy! - The Petition Site

No More Landfills - Let's Use Trash for Energy! - The Petition Site

Target: U.S. EPA
Sponsored by:

Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands are all ramping up their waste-to-energy plants. These plants use a very new and clean technology to convert non-recyclable waste into heat and energy. Some communities get as much as 80 percent of their heat from these clean incinerators.

And even more amazing, these waste-to-energy plants produce less pollutants than our current landfills due to their ability to capture pollutants.

The plants create 9 times the energy, are cleaner, and isolate toxins that are in the current system being leached into our groundwater. So why hasn't the U.S. adopted this system?

It's time the U.S. stopped lagging behind Europe in clean energy technology. Tell the EPA to start taking waste-to-energy plants seriously!

April 13, 2009

Plants Poisonous to Pets

My best friend Brenda recently lost two of her pet Parakeets and just found out that their deaths were due to a houseplant (!!), please read:

Monday, April 13, 2009
Important info for animal/birds lovers!!~ Please READ!!
Current mood: sad
Category: Pets and Animals

As some of you know my 2 sweet Parakeets: Faith and Hope died suddenly March 29, 2009. I am still so very sad about their sudden death. I had 5 Parakeets,, I didn't understand why 2 died and the other 3 are ok. A few friends ask me if their food may have been poisonous. I feed them all the same food and they shared the same cage. If the food was poisonous then all 5 would had died. I had no clue why they died. I have been so worried that my other 3 will die. I am an animal lover and I pride myself on taking excellent care of all my beloved Pets. My animals are a part of our family. I get them treats for their Birthdays and Holidays. They all bring us so much joy. I change their cage everyday, if they had dropping on toys or perches thru out the day I clean them. I don't like small closed in areas.. so we bought them a huge flight cage so they had plenty of room to fly around. They have fresh food and water everyday. I talk to them, hold them, play music, let them out for exercise. I thought I took every precaution there was. I never let them out of their cage if the ceiling fans were on, I made sure the toilet seat was closed, I put the drain cover on the garbage disposal, I made sure no one would open the doors so they could not escape outside, I put my kitten Faylinn in a separate room, I never had the stove or oven on, Never had lit candles, I use only nature cleaning products, I kepted them away from drafts, I had heard that Non-Stick pans are dangerous if you use them on high heat, so we never did that. I felt I covered every area.Today I went on the Internet and began reading some information about Pet birds. I found a list of Poisonous Plants that are toxic to Pet Birds. I only have one house plant. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that the one plant I have is poisonous to my birds. The plant I have is : Philodendron. Faith and Hope loved to be out of the cage the most.. they would often times land in the plant and I always thought .. “ Oh look how cute they are perched in the plant”. Little did I know that this plant would kill my sweet birds. I am so upset at myself for not researching more information about parakeets. I would never do anything to cause harm to my animals and to think that they clearly suffered to death from my poisonous house plant just makes me feel horrible. Why didn't I look on the Internet before? WHY??? I had a complete melt down after reading this information. I don't want their death to be in vain. I then realized that I had to get this information out to other Pet Bird Owners. Some of you on My Space have pet birds.. Please look over this list to keep your birds safe. I loved you Faith and Hope: I am sorry! Protect Your Bird from Poisons and Toxic Chemicals :Print this Chart as a Reminder of What Poisonous Plants and Chemicals Can Harm Your Pet Bird:Poisonous Plants that are Harmful to Birds:Amaryllis, Avocado, Azalea, Balsam ,Pear, Baneberry Beans, Castor, Horse, Peas, Navy, Glory Bird Of Paradise, Black Locust, Blue-Green Algae, Boxwood, Calla Lily, Cherry Tree, Christmas Candle, Coral Plant, Daffodil ,Dieffenbachia, Eggplant, Elephant's Ear, Foxglove, Hemlock, Holly, Hyacinth, Hydrangea, Indian Turnip, Iris Ivy ** All Types Java Bean, Jerusulem Cherry, Jimsonweed, Juniper, Larkspur, Lily of the Valley, Lobelia ,Locoweed, Marijuana, Mayapple, Mistletoe, Mock Orange, Morning Glory, Narcissus, Oak, Oleander, Philodendron, Poison Ivy & Oak, Poinsettia, Pikeweed, Potato, Privet, Rhododendron, Rhubarb, Rosary, Peas, Sandbox Tree, Skunk Cabbage, Snowdrop, Sweet Pea, Tobacco, Virginia Creeper, Wisteria, Yam Bean, Yew. Sources of Fumes that are Toxic to Birds:Asbestos Bleach, Chlorine, Carbon Monoxide, Cigarette Smoke, Diazanon, Flea Bombs and Collars, Floor Polishes, Formaldehyde, Hair Dye and Spray House, Paint, Kerosene, Matches, Moth Balls, Nail Polish & Remover Oil Paint, Oven Cleaner, Overheated Nonstick Cookware **Teflons** Paint Remover, Perfume, Permanent Wave Solution, Pesticides, Shoe Polish and Cleaners, Spot Removers, Spray Starch, Suntan Lotions, Surgical Acrylics ,Toilet Cleaners, Wax. ***This is by no means a complete list. If you are unsure, read the label, seek more information from maker. When in doubt, don't use!!*** Rest in Peace Faith and Hope.
I will get this information out.

Hope & Faith

July 19, 2008

Did You Know??

Always interested in chemical-free remedies, I tend to come across all kinds of great ideas and little wisdoms, I would like to share.
These are really useful.

Peel a banana from the bottom and you won't have to pick the little "stringy things" off of it. That's how the primates do it.

Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.
If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.
Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if your want a stronger taste of garlic.

Reheating Refrigerated Bread
To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

Reheat Pizza
Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove, set heat to med-low and heat till warm.
This keeps the crust crispy. No soggy micro pizza. As seen on the cooking channel, it really works.

Expanding Frosting
When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. You can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

Newspaper Weeds Away
Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil.
Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic they will not get through wet newspapers.

Broken Glass
Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't see easily.

No More Mosquitoes
Place a dryer sheet in your pocket. It will keep the mosquitoes away.
or *Mix 1 cup hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 cup distilled water. Now add 7 drops each of: cinnamon oil and mint extract. Mix well and add to a sprayer bottle.
or*Mix thoroughly in a sprayer bottle:
1 tablespoon cedarwood fragrance oil or essential oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/4 cup white vinegar
3 drops citronella oil
2 cups water.
It's ready for use after 24 hours settling on your counter-top.

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Reducing Static Cling
Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and ... ta da! ... static is gone.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes right out.

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the window s fog, rub with the eraser! Works better than a cloth!

Reopening envelope
If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place your sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. Viola! It unseals easily.

Hair Conditioner
Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs really smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

Goodbye Fruit Flies
To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2" with Apple Cider Vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

*Greatest Crab Grass and Weed killer

...and it's probably in your kitchen now! Fill a large watering can with pickling white can also use the less-acidic regular white vinegar but it might take 2 applications.
Pour the vinegar directly on the crabgrass and weeds you want to get rid of. In a day or two the unwanted vegetation will turn straw yellow and will be easy to remove with a rake, etc.

*Eco-friendly Shower/Bath Cleaner
Mix in a large sprayer bottle: 2 cups plain white vinegar, 3 tablespoons of your fave Method (or other earth-friendly dish soap), and a few drops of your fave essential oil. Mix thoroughly and allow to stand for an hour or so.
After you shower, spray your shower walls and glass liberally with this wonderful spray. Your walls will stay shiny and clean and the limescale will be a thing of the past! This costs about 50 cents to make and will last weeks. The one you can buy at the store costs $4.00 and is not earth-friendly!

* Special thanks to "Auntie Barbara", my most innovative Yahoo!360 friend!

July 1, 2008

Do Not Kill Wild Horses!!

Wild Horses and Burros are being round-up by the Bureau of Land Management in several western states and considered to be euthanized if not adopted by the public. This is grotesque mis-management and should not be allowed.
The BLM decided that Wild Horses and Burros were multiplying too fast for their taste, so they came up with the idea of reducing numbers by capturing thousands of the beautiful wild animals, corralling them in crowded holding places and put them up for adoption.
Being as "smart" as they are, they went and captured about 30,000!!!
Now suddenly they realize it costs a lot of money to feed all these imprisoned animals, and guess what? they put them up for adoption, and if there aren't enough takers, well, the will just kill the rest!?!

Please save them, click here & here to protest BLM's idiotic practices.
Thank you!
For more information please go to :
PBS Cloud's Legacy: The Wild Stallion Returns
Wild Horse Roundups: Why are they conducted?

June 30, 2008

why cruelty-free?

(Warning! Contains graphic descriptions)
Because of animal testing. You may or may not be aware that the majority of everyday-use consumer products in your supermarket, chain-store, convenience store, drugstore are produced by big companies like Proctor and Gamble (P&G), Colgate-Palmolive, SC Johnson, Johnson and Johnson, Unilever. Check the labels, you may be surprised how many brands are owned by these companies.
That is the first surprise, now on to the second.
All these everyday items like shampoo, soap, toothpaste, dish-soap, laundry detergent, etc. that you use on a daily basis, are very likely to be produced by these companies, and before they are stocked on shelves, were Tested On Animals.
The same is true for cosmetics. Popular drugstore brands like CoverGirl (P&G), Maybelline, Neutrogena, Max Factor (P&G) and L'Oreal DO TEST their products on Animals.

How do they test, you wonder. Do they wash a dog with human shampoo? Do they put lipstick on a monkey?
No. In their test labs they keep rodents, rabbits, cats, dogs and primates in small cages, ready to be exposed to all types of chemicals and products to see if these items will cause irritations or worse reactions.
All these animals have furs, so to get to their skin, some are shaved, often ruthlessly, exposing not only skin, but raw flesh. The animals do not like these tortures, so they are tied or screwed down to keep them still.
So you don't like your shampoo or lotion stinging your eyes, you look for gentle products. How do they know these products are gentle? They do because they already tested it on bunnies or monkeys by sewing their eyelids open and dripping or spraying liquid into their eyes, possibly blinding the animals, and certainly exposing them to pain.
Now, these are just examples of common procedures, there are many more methods the so-called researchers or scientists come up with, you may want to do some reading to find out more specifically.

Where do these animals come from?
Most are bred just for this purpose (think puppy-mills for different animals species), for experiments, for torture, and ultimately euthanasia if the animals do not die of exposure and injury.
Some are obtained from animals shelters.

So, this is why I refuse to buy anything manufactured by a company that does or approves of Animal Testing.
Companies that apply humane methods will proudly state so on their products, look for the Leaping Bunny logo, and beware of products stating "End-Product Not Tested on Animals" or "We Do Not Test on Animals", it just means that they test the ingredients seperately, or have other companies do their dirty work.

Please think about this, do your own research, just enter "animal testing" into any search engine, you will find an amazing amount of information.
You don't have to be an animal lover, pet-owner, tree-hugger or hippie to find Animal Testing disgusting.

Because of Factory Farming. Again, many people may be unaware of the cruelty and suffering of animals involved in food production. I was not for most of my life.
I thought (or did not give too much thought to it, actually), that cows give milk and chickens lay eggs for us to eat, just like it was quite normal to have beef, pork, chicken and seafood in my diet, just trying not to think of how these animals' lives ended.
But I could not have imagined the uninterrupted suffering which is the norm for these creatures' entire lives, they are bred for the only purpose of filling our grocery stores.

By now I have seen extremely graphic pictures and video clips depicting common practices in the modern farming industry. Cattle that has never seen grass or breathed fresh air, let alone grazed in a meadow. Chickens who's beaks are chopped off without anesthesia, living out their whole lives in shoebox sized cages, not able to stand or move. Calves taken from their mothers a day after birth to be put into wooden crates so small, they cannot turn; being fed steroid-enriched feed to make them grow fast for veal.
Ducks and geese being force-fed through tubes several times a day to make their liver swell, and produce Foei Gras, the so-called delicacy.
All this made me very sad and sick with disgust, and it also made me a vegetarian.
But I had no illusions as to my vegetarian diet saving any animals from suffering, it will take much more than me and a few hippies , so I decided to start writing to tell of my own experiences, voice my opinion and attempt to spread awareness.
(you can find my maybe somewhat bumpy start on Yahoo!360° - see link on sidebar)
In the process I have found many people who have been vegetarians or vegans for many years or even all their lives, and it seems that there is hope, modern society, celebrities included, is starting to realize the need to put an end to cruelty to animals in the name of greed and ignorance.

June 27, 2008

Dairy and Factory Farming

This one is for the cows and calves, yes they are big, loud and poop a lot, but they are still cute, aren't they?
Not all, not in factory farms; some are gross, dirty, sick, deformed, over-fed, over-medicated and have to stand, or lie in their own excrement their entire lives.
No such thing as California Happy Cows in Factory Farming!
Sure, there are clean farms, of course! No grass or soil, all tile, scrubbed daily, and the cows are clean too, they just don't have a life. Milk, milk, milk... and then the slaughterhouse.
And I am not talking about traditional farmers, however few may be left, they are a dying breed, and those who are trying to survive by treating their life-stock in a humane way, are to be respected.
But many of us do not have access to cruelty-free dairy products, and many have never seen a cow up close and personal. What we are familiar with is the dairy aisle at the grocery store, and the foods we were raised on.
Medical research and expert opinions on nutrition have come a long way, more and more studies have shown that dairy is not a healthy part of the human diet, and certainly not healthy to the producer - the cow.
Then there are the many people who are lactose-intolerant - for good reason! We were meant to drink our mother's milk to feed us as babies; not Mama cow's, or Mama horse's, or Mama doggie's, or any other animal's mother-milk, which in turn is meant for their babies.
My reason to avoid dairy products is inhumane treatment of animals, but there are other arguments against dairy consumption, and you might agree with one as well:

(Excerpts from on-line information on Modern Dairy Production and your Health)

Milk Myths
The Dark Side Of Dairy
"Despite the myth of contentment, a dairy cow is the hardest worked of all farmed animals. She nurtures a growing baby inside her while simultaneously producing milk - up to 120 pints a day. To keep the flow going, she is forcibly impregnated every year and her babies are taken away a day or two after birth – year, after year."

Dawn Watch
Cows for Dairy
"In the United States, a huge proportion of hamburger meat, estimated between 20 and 40 percent and as high as 75% in New York state, comes from dairy cows."

Calves for Veal
"When veal calves are slaughtered at 16 weeks they are often too sick to walk. One out of every ten veal calves dies in confinement."

Robert M. Kradjian, MDBreast Surgery Chief Division of General Surgery, Seton Medical Centre #302 - 1800 Sullivan Ave. Daly City, CA 94015 USA

"Fifty years ago an average cow produced 2,000 pounds of milk per year. Today the top producers give 50,000 pounds! How was this accomplished? Drugs, antibiotics, hormones, forced feeding plans and specialized breeding; that's how."

Try Veg - Compassion over Killing - Cows
"As with all mammals, cows produce milk for their babies. To ensure the highest milk yield possible, U.S. factory farmers artificially inseminate dairy cows every year and keep them pumped full of steroids and other hormones."
"One byproduct of the dairy industry is a calf per year per cow. A calf’s fate depends on his or her gender: If female, she will likely join her mother on the dairy line. If male, he will be sold to beef or veal farmers, often before he is a week old."

Farm Sanctuary
Factory Dairy Production
"Traditional small dairies, located primarily in the Northeast and Midwest, are going out of business. They are being replaced by intensive 'dry lot' dairies, which are typically located in the Southwest U.S."
"Although the dairy industry is familiar with the cows' health problems and suffering associated with intensive milk production, it continues to subject cows to even worse abuses in the name of increased profit. Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH), a synthetic hormone, is now being injected into cows to get them to produce even more milk. Besides adversely affecting the cows' health, BGH also increases birth defects in their calves."

Information Directory on Dairy and Health:

Alternatives / Substitutes:
Tofutti - Ice Cream, Cookies, Cheese and much more!
Silk - Soymilk, Creamer and Yogurt!
Follow Your Heart Natural Foods - Cheese Alternatives, Veganaise, Salad Dressing

Vegan Wolf - make your own substitutions!
Vegan substitutions and converting any recipe to a vegan one.

Goat Milk - National Geographic Green Guide
A more humane alternative since goats are generally treated much better than cows.

Modern Factory Farms:

Seared tenderloin filets of Veal

Is it worth it???

June 24, 2008

Be Green - it's easy!

Easy everyday things you can do to save the Earth

#Plastic Bags:
Try to reduce your use of plastic bags by using reusable cloth bags for your groceries. Put your beach tote to use, keep it in the car and take it to the grocery store with you. Recycled material bags are becoming more and more popular, most chain stores offer them for as little as $1,-.
If you can't get around using plastic, fold and collect all those store bags and take them back to your grocery store, these days most chain stores have a plastic bag recycling bin by the entrance.

Let your hair air-dry on warm days.
Turn off the lights when you leave the room and when you don't really need them. Unplug your electronics when you leave the house, even in standby mode a plugged in appliance still sucks in electricity.
Don't stare into your refrigerator trying to think of what you want, every time you open your fridge or freezer, cold air escapes and it has to work harder to cool off again.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs, buy Energy Star approved appliances. Install outdoor lighting with motion detection. Use solar powered outdoor lights, they are widely available.

Turn off the water while you brush your teeth, try to take shorter, cooler showers. Run the dishwasher only when it's full.

Reduce harsh chemicals in your cleaning supplies. Use microfiber cloth for dusting, wiping and on metals. Baking Soda and Vinegar are cheap and effective alternatives to your everyday disinfectants, cleaning solutions and odor eaters. (see my post Household Re-Purpose for more)
Look for natural ingredients in your toiletries and make-up, pay special attention to products Not Tested on Animals. Cruelty-free products are mostly also organic. The longer the list of ingredients and the harder to pronounce, the more junk you get, not good for you and not good for the Earth.

Grow your own veggies if you can, buy from a Farmers Market or opt for organic at the grocery store.
Eat less meat, it takes a lot of food to produce meat, livestock consumes 70 percent of America’s grain.
Don't waste, eat what's on your plate, use your leftovers.

#Recycle, Reuse:
Try to find new uses for old things.
There is no shame in buying second hand, check out Thrift Stores and Flea Markets for your decorating needs, you might even find some handy things for your kitchen and dining room.

Find tons of handy information for Green living here:

Real Simple Magazine

Better Homes & Gardens

Google "green living" and you will get over 10 million results ;-)

June 20, 2008

My Favorite Cruelty-Free Products

My (short) Story

Sometime last year (2007) I started to realize that most of the consumer products I use, such as toiletries, cosmetics, household cleaners and many other items, are still to this day being tested on animals in the most cruel and careless ways.
Horrified by my own ignorance, I read more and more information on Animal Testing and how NOT to contribute to this cruel and unnecessary practice. I found many lists of brands and companies that are CRUELTY FREE, and of course of the companies that DO and/or approve of Animal Testing.
I compiled my personalized Good- and Bad-Products Lists and will not ever again knowingly buy anything produced by uncaring companies.
Animal Testing is NOT necessary, there are other methods.
Some of the Big Bullies in my household were P&G, SC Johnson or JOHNSON&JOHNSON, UNILEVER, 3M (!), which include familiar household names like Colgate, Palmolive, Tide, Clorox, Draino, Post-it and many more!
A couple of days later I had read more about Animal Issues and watched several video clips documenting cruel and inhumane treatment of animals, including "Meet your Meat"
(WARNING! may not be suitable for children!).
I have decided to NOT EAT MEAT anymore (yes, that includes seafood), and also avoid Eggs and Dairy and other animal products.
The last time I ate an animal was Christmas Eve 2007, we had fish.
Now I am learning to cook vegetarian meals, good thing I have always liked veggies and soy-products, after six months I feel leaner and healthier, and best of all guilt-free.
I consider myself blessed, somehow stumbling onto this information, making the change in order to live a cruelty-free life, and having a very supportive husband.
I hope many more people will be made aware and do something about cruelty to animals.

My Favorite Products

Since December 2007 I have been able to replace most of my household-, Personal Care- and Cosmetics- Products with cruelty-free items, buying only brands that are listed by trusted organizations as cruelty-free and/or not tested on animals (see links on my side-bar), as soon as each "conventional" product ran out. I do not believe throwing out products already owned is helpful, since they are paid for and would only end up polluting landfills.
A nice bonus buying cruelty-free is that most of the animal-friendly companies use natural ingredients and are therefore also eco-friendly and better for us.
So here are some of my personal favorites:

Whole Foods' 365 Everyday Value
Citrus Grapefruit Shampoo for normal and oily hair.
"Free of parabens, animal ingredients, artificial fragrance, and unnecessary chemicals. Made with biodegradable ingredients. Not tested on animals."
At $3.79 for 32fl oz it's even cheaper than "regular" drugstore brand shampoo, so this is one product I can actually save on. I love this shampoo, it keeps my hair clean and fresh longer than any shampoo I used before, and the fresh grapefruit scent is very pleasant.

Nature's Gate
Organics Fruit Blend Rejuvenating Conditioner in Asian Pear & Red Tea
12 fl.oz/354ml $7.99
made w/ certified organic botanicals
delivers nutrients for soft, silky, healthy-looking hair
helps protect against color-fade
helps smooth split ends & protect against breakage
I have been using it for about two months now, it feels like Nexxus, and it does smooth my hair, so much so that I no longer need a detangler, I use a wideteethed comb to detangle before rinsing. It also seems to help prevent or at the least reduce split ends.
The soft fruity smell is not intrusive, and it is quite easy to rinse out.

CRYSTAL Body Deodorant

All Natural Protection
4.25 oz/120g $6.99 at Drugstores & Grocery Chains
Made of 100% natural mineral salts, Contains No Aluminum Chlorohydrate,
Hypoallergenic, Fragrance & Paraben Free.
It works!! No smell, no body-odor, no white stains, even my husband likes it.
It's basically a big crystal rock mounted in plastic for easy handling, you wet it or apply to moist armpits, and it does not stain your skin nor your clothing, not even black tops.
People say it lasts about 1 year, so great value too.
I have been sniffing my armpits - nothing, even after sweating. This one is a keeper!

Avalon Organics

Aloe-Unscented Hand & Body Lotion
12 fl.oz/350ml $10.95
Sweet almond oil, protective plant lipids & rich oat nutrition of Beta Glucon deliver sumptuous skin hydration. No parabens, harsh preservatives or grapefruit seed extract.
100% vegetarian ingredients. No animal testing.
Being hyper-sensitive to most scents, I love having this nice lotion without the aggravated sinus, and it works great, absorbs quickly, no greasy film whatsoever. It is relatively expensive, so I use it on my arms and upper body and have a cheaper St.Ives brand lotion for everything else (away from the nose).

Nature's Gate
Creme de Anise Natural Toothpaste w/ baking soda & anise oil
6 oz/170g $4.99
fluoride-free,preservative-free,no artificial colors,no artificial sweeteners

The Anise flavor is a pleasant surprise and doesn not leave you with the minty-aftertaste that makes anything you eat after brushing taste odd or yucky. Personally I prefer paste, but the brand offers Gel in different flavors.
Ingredient Alert: Baking Soda - just found out that most products containing baking soda may get their ingredients from Arm & Hammer, the leading producer in the US, which Approves of and Does Animal Testing!! Still waiting on news whether or not Nature's Gate gets its baking soda from A&H or otherwise, please read

Clinique's 3-step skin care system

Website prices: $14.50 for 6.5fl oz Liquid Soap, $11.00 for 6.7fl oz Clarifying Lotion, $23.00 for 4.2oz Moisture Gel, available for different skin types.
Initially I asked for a sample at the Clinique counter at Macy's, they gave me 3 little 0.5oz samples, a 7 day supply, which lasted twice as long, you really only need a drop of each, and I really liked it.
The cleanser is mild enough to use on the eye area, the toner feels refreshing and not too harsh, and the moisture gel is really light, absorbes quickly, no greasy film and yet very moisturizing.
Tip : Sephora now sells a 3-step set for $23.00
, Set includes 1oz Liquid Facial Soap Mild, 2oz Clarifying Lotion, 4.2oz Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion.

Method, people against dirty

hand wash in sweet water, about $3.99 for 12 fl oz at Target.
It comes in a nice tear-drop shaped plastic bottle in a bunch of other colors/scents. Also available as creamy- or foaming hand wash. It is gentle and contains vitamin E and aloe. Biodegradable and Never Tested on Animals.
dish soap in pink grapefruit, about $3.99 for 25fl.oz/739ml at Target.
Gentle on hands and tough on grease with nice suds, but without harsh chemicals. Also packaged in a stylish clear bottle, so it even looks good on my counter.
I love this product, and I will keep using it. Look for different scents and colors.

Seventh Generation
Laundry Free & Clear High Efficiency Liquid Concentrates 50 fl.oz. $9.99
Non-toxic and hypo-allergenic
Free of chlorine, phosphates, optical brighteners, petroleum-based ingredients, and dyes
Biodegradable and safe for septic and greywater systems
Not tested on animals
This is a great non-toxic, hypo-allegenic, earth- and animal-friendly, high-efficiency laundry detergent.Just makes me want to do laundry ;-)

Other than laundry and dishwashing, I clean using natural everyday kitchen items like vinegar and baking soda with water and microfiber cloths, it works and my household is less toxic for it.

Note: prices may vary by location
Tip : if you have access to a military base, you will save considerably.

June 19, 2008

Household Item Re-Purpose

I hate using anything that is tested on animals, so I keep looking for cruelty-free and eco-friendly alternatives. I have made changes in personal care and cosmetic products, now totally cruelty-free, and I am switching my household cleaning too.
So, I found these handy tips & ideas using natural items to replace nasty chemicals in my favorite magazine Real Simple.
So, Good Bye evil Clorox, Draino(!), Tide, Palmolive, Colgate, P&G, Unilever and the rest of the ignorant, greedy, torture-happy *&%$#@* industrial Brands!

Ok, even if you're not into saving animals or the environment, these common household items might come in handy and have the same effect without bothering anybody.

10 New Uses for Lemon
“Lemon juice is the strongest food acid in our kitchens, strong enough to make life unbearable for most bacteria,” says Robert Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and the author of What Einstein Told His Cook 2: The Sequel, Further Adventures in Kitchen Science (W. W. Norton, $26).
Use Lemon to:

1. Sanitize a chopping block. Run a slice of lemon over the surface to disinfect. 2. Eliminate the browning that occurs when food sits out too long. Sprinkle apple or pear slices with lemon juice before serving, or squeeze a bit into guacamole and give it a stir.

3. Remove tough food stains from plastic and light-colored wooden cutting boards. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze the juice onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with water.

4. Fade tea stains on cloth. Dilute lemon juice with an equal amount of water. Use an eyedropper or a Q-tip to make sure the juice targets the stain. Thoroughly flush with cool water.

5. Decorate on the cheap. Fill a glass bowl with lemons for a sunny centerpiece. Or display a row of them along a windowsill.

6. Relieve a sore throat. Cut a lemon in half. Skewer one half over a medium flame on a gas stove or an electric burner set on high and roast until the peel turns golden brown. Let cool slightly, then mix the juice with 1 teaspoon of honey. Swallow the mixture.

7. Whiten fingernails. Rub a wedge on the surface of your nails.

8. Shine the interior of copper cookware. Sprinkle a lemon wedge with salt, then scrub.

9. Brighten laundry whites. Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to the wash cycle of a normal-size load.

10. Remove soft cheese or other sticky foods from a grater. Rub both sides of the grater with the pulp

10 New Uses for Olive Oil
“Olive oil is a good lubricant because its molecules easily slide past one another, thereby helping solid objects to overcome friction,” says Wolke. “Its film also fills up microscopic rough spots in surfaces, making them look polished and shiny.”
Use Olive Oil to:

1. Shave. Olive oil can provide a closer shave when used in place of shaving cream.

2. Shine stainless steel. Many cleaning standbys, such as ammonia, can dull and even corrode chrome and stainless steel. Olive oil, however, is a safe and effective shining agent.

3. Remove eye makeup. Dab a little under the eyes and rinse off with a washcloth.

4. Prevent wax from sticking to a candle holder. Rub a thin coat on the base of the holder before inserting a candle. Dripped wax should peel away easily.

5. Care for your pet. Add 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon to your cat’s food to help prevent hair balls.

6. Moisturize cuticles. Apply a small amount of olive oil to the nail beds.

7. Treat dry skin. Rub a thin layer over the skin after a shower or a waxing.

8. Unstick a zipper. Using a Q-tip, apply a drop to lubricate the teeth. (Avoid touching the fabric.) The zipper should move up and down freely.

9. Dust wooden furniture. Apply a bit of oil to a cloth and wipe.

10. Silence squeaky doors. Lubricate hinges by applying a small dab to a cloth, then wiping the top of the hinges so that the oil runs down the sides.

10 New Uses for Vinegar
“Vinegar is a strong preservative because its acetic acid kills the microbes and bacteria that could cause food to spoil,” says Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia, in Griffin. “It’s also a good deodorizer — the acid neutralizes basic compounds, such as those found in degrading meat, that can be volatile and unpleasant.”
Use White Vinegar to:

1. Pinch-hit for lemon in a savory recipe. Use 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar in place of 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

2. Remove coffee or tea stains from the bottom of a cup. Swish 2 tablespoons of vinegar around in the cup, then wash as usual.

3. Treat oily hair. Vinegar is a good degreaser for oily hair because it helps adjust pH levels. Shampoo your hair as usual, rinse, then pour 1/4 cup over it and rinse again.

4. Wipe salt stains off boots. Dip a cloth or an old T-shirt into vinegar, then wipe away the white residue.

5. Make wool sweaters fluffier. Drop in a couple of capfuls of vinegar during the rinse cycle for an extra-soft feel.

6. Deodorize a garbage disposal. Make vinegar ice cubes and feed them down the disposal. After grinding, run cold water through the drain.

7. Clean a teakettle or a coffeemaker. Boil a mixture of water and vinegar in a teakettle, then wipe away the grime. Fill the reservoir of a coffeemaker with a mixture of vinegar and water and run it through a brewing cycle. Follow this with several cycles of water to rinse thoroughly.

8. Clean a dishwasher. Once a month, with the machine empty, run a cup of vinegar through an entire cycle to reduce soap buildup on the inner mechanisms and glassware.

9. Remove stubborn price tags or stickers. Paint them with several coats of vinegar, let the liquid soak in for five minutes, then wipe away the residue.

10. Kill weeds between cracks in paving stones and sidewalks. Fill a spray bottle with straight vinegar and spray multiple times. (Be careful not to get any on the surrounding grass, as it will kill that too.)

11 New Uses for Salt
Think twice before you toss that spilled salt over your shoulder — the flavor enhancer is incredibly useful. “Salt has an affinity to water and can draw moisture out of many foods,” says Wolke. “Grains of table salt are also very hard, which is why they act as a handy abrasive.”
Use Salt to:
1. Make eggs or cream whip up faster and higher. Add a pinch of salt before beating.

2. De-ice sidewalks. In a pinch, it can be used as a substitute for rock salt.

3. Keep chicken or turkey moist. Rub salt in the cavity of the bird before cooking.

4. Prevent saut├ęs made with eggplant or zucchini from getting watery. Sprinkle salt on these vegetables before cooking.
5. Eliminate sticky residue from an iron. Run the hot iron (no steam) over plain paper sprinkled with salt.

6. Clean drains. Pour a hot, strong solution (1/2 cup salt for every quart of water) down the drain.

7. Remove dirt from leafy vegetables, such as spinach. Wash the vegetables in a bath of salt water.

8. Prevent frost from accumulating inside car windows. Rub the glass with a solution of 2 teaspoons of salt in 1 gallon of hot water. Wipe dry.

9. Remove sangria and red-wine stains from your washables. Stretch the fabric over a bowl, cover the stain with salt, and carefully pour boiling water over it. 10. Keep shells from cracking when boiling eggs. Add a few pinches of salt to the water. + one more

11. Chill a bottle of bubbly — fast. Place ice around its base in an ice bucket; sprinkle with a few tablespoons of salt. Layer salt and ice until they reach the neck. Fill with water. Wait 10 minutes; serve.

10 New Uses for Newspaper
“Newspaper, by design, is a very absorbent product, because it has to absorb ink. But that also means it is equipped to absorb all sorts of moisture, including moisture and the resulting odors found in shoes, in vegetable drawers, and elsewhere,” says Chris Morrissey, vice president of marketing for Sun Chemical, in Northlake, Illinois, the world’s largest printing-ink manufacturer.
Use Newspaper to:

1. Deodorize food containers. Stuff a balled-up piece of newspaper into a lunch box or thermos, seal it, and let sit overnight.

2. Ripen tomatoes. Wrap them individually and leave them out at room temperature.

3. Pack delicate items.Wrap frames and figurines with several pieces of newspaper, then crumple the remaining sections to fill extra space in the box. 4. Wipe away tough streaks on glass. Use newspaper with cleaning fluid to clean mirrors and windows.

5. Preserve antique glass. Some older frames have finishes on the glass that can be damaged by cleaning solutions. Remove smudges by rubbing with newspaper dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and one part warm water. Let air-dry.

6. Dry shoes. Place crumpled paper in them overnight.

7. Wrap gifts. Use the comics to wrap a child’s birthday gift, or try the wedding announcements for an engagement gift.

8. Create a home for slushy snow boots. During the winter, keep a pile of newspaper near the entryway. When your little snowmen and -women come home, they can toss their winter wear onto the newspaper instead of creating puddles on the floor.

9. Prepare a garden. In the fall, mow a patch of lawn to make room for a dedicated bed. Cover it with four layers of newspaper, then a four-inch layer of shredded leaves or bark mulch. Hose it down. Come spring, the compost blanket will have smothered the grass roots, and the bed will be primed for planting.

10. Keep the refrigerator vegetable drawer dry and free of smells. Line the bottom with newspaper.