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10 Smart Life Hacks To Cut Plastic Packaging Out Of Your Life

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Plastic can be found almost anywhere, even in the most unlikely of places. We have become completely dependent on using plastic for almost all of our packaging needs and the majority of objects we purchase are themselves made out of some form of plastic.

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By now, many of us are well aware of the devastating toll plastic consumption is taking on our environment and especially our oceans. While efforts are being made to minimize this waste — the majority of us recycle plastic bottles and packaging automatically — the fact of the matter remains, only nine percent of plastic waste in the U.S. ends up being recycled at all.

We are working to eliminate or at least drastically reduce our use of plastic bags for groceries, but still up to 12 million barrels of oil are used each year to produce enough plastic bags for the U.S. alone. Fortunately, awareness is spreading, and more and more people are putting these best practices into action, incorporating things like reusable water bottles, coffee cups, and grocery bags into their daily lives.

The question then becomes, how can we take this initiative even further and really make a difference on the planet? Below are 10 simple life hacks to significantly cut down your plastic consumption.

1. Replace All Cleaning Supplies With One Natural All-Purpose Alternative

Do you have a different cleaner for every surface in your house? Glass, counters, floors, toilets, etc? Many of us do but it is often fairly unnecessary, and the majority of these cleaners could actually be replaced with one all-natural alternative, which can not only save you money and cut down on plastic consumption, but also reduce the amount of chemicals going down the drain and into the air in your home. You can simply buy one bottle of concentrated all-purpose cleaner and mix it with water in an empty spray bottle, or you can check out this link for a great homemade alternative.

2. Make Your Own Deodorant

When you add up how many containers of deodorant you go through in a lifetime, it becomes clear why it may be a huge bonus to yourself and to the environment to ditch those containers and start making your own. Fortunately, it’s extremely simple! In fact there are a number of personal care products that you can easily make yourself and store in reusable glass containers or mason jars.

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3. Purchase Products That Already Come In Glass Containers

If there is more than one option of a product you plan to purchase, go for the one that is contained in glass or cardboard. When you do this, not only are you boycotting companies that choose to use plastic over more sustainable options, you could also end up with a cool glass jar that can be repurposed into many different things.

4. Use Essential Oils & Diffusers Instead Of Plastic Air Fresheners

With increasing evidence to show that store-bought plug-in air fresheners are very toxic to inhale, you may want to switch these out for that reason alone. Add in their inherent wastefulness and the decision becomes easier still. Essential oil diffusers will provide you with subtle smelling aromas that, depending on which oil you choose, can also offer some aroma therapeutic benefits and put you into a state of relaxation, calm, and peace.

5. Use Reusable Containers Instead Of Plastic Wrap & Ziploc Bags

Use reusable glass containers instead of Ziploc bags for leftovers and lunches. If need be, paper bags are also a much better alternative, as they can easily biodegrade. A reusable alternative to plastic wrap, made of beeswax and cotton, is another great option.

6. Switch To Reusable Bags For Your Produce

While nowadays we often remember our reusable grocery bags when heading to the store, we may not often think of the plastic bags our produce goes into. Luckily, there are many reusable alternatives available, or you could even just avoid the bag altogether — it isn’t entirely necessary, after all.

7. Use Soap Nuts & Baking Soda Instead Of Laundry Detergent

Most store-bought laundry detergent that I see comes in big hard plastic jugs or plastic bags. To eliminate this plastic fiasco altogether, consider using soap nuts for your laundry instead. Soap nuts are an all-natural alternative that can keep your clothes clean, and for an added boost of whitening power and freshening, toss in a half a cup of baking soda.

8. Buy What You Can In Bulk By Bringing Your Own Reusable Bags Or Jars

Reusable bags exist for bulk items as well as for produce, and buying in bulk is both cost effective and economical. You can buy almost all of your dry food items in bulk if you go to a specialty bulk store, which is an even bigger way to cut down your plastic use. You can even bring reusable jars and containers into these stores and have a clerk weigh them beforehand, ensuring you’ll always have just the right amount for that cute jar in your pantry. Look at you — saving the environment while staying organized!

9. Make Your Own Juice & Other Beverages

Not only are most store-bought juices just as harmful to your health as sodas, they also contribute significantly to the plastic waste problem we currently face. Why not make your own fresh juices and maximize the nutritional qualities your delicious fresh fruits and vegetables have to offer?

10. To Avoid BPA-Lined Cans, Prepare & Freeze Legumes & Other Veggies

Bisephenol-A, more commonly known as BPA, is a known endocrine and hormone disruptor. It has also been linked to many other adverse health effects. The majority of canned foods sold at the supermarket are lined with this chemical, which is a type of plastic used to prevent certain foods from eroding the can. Unfortunately, traces of this plastic end up in the food that we then consume. To avoid this chemical, you can look for specifically marked cans which clearly state “BPA Free” or you save yourself the stress (and added cost of organic canned goods) altogether by making your own legumes and other veggies you generally might purchase in a can. You can soak, boil, and then freeze chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans – you name it — for a fraction of the cost. Veggies can also be prepared this way, but why not just eat them fresh?

Conclusion

Not only will drastically cutting back your plastic consumption be tremendous for the environment and our planet Earth, but as you can tell from the steps listed above, it can greatly improve your quality of life as well, because in doing so you are indirectly reducing your own personal exposure to many other chemicals. Win win.

Do you have any easy tips for cutting back your plastic consumption? Share in the comments section below!

Much Love

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Second FBI Informant Tried To Entrap Trump Campaign With $2 Million Offer For Hillary Dirt: Roger Stone

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Trump aide alleges that an FBI informant tried to spy on and infiltrate the campaign, and entrap them in a deal to exchange cash for Hillary intel.

  • Reflect On:

    If Trump was not an outsider, why was the Deep State so interested in spying and trying to infiltrate his campaign? What do we make of our election process when this is the type of behaviour taking place? Time to evolve?

We had been reporting a great deal during the 2016 campaign that if Hillary made her way into office it would have been the Deep State plan going to perfect tune once again. We talked about a great deal of corruption associated with her as a person, her foundation and her administration.

When Trump ended up in office we talked about this as a divide or fork in the Deep State that Trump was essentially disrupting the longtime running plan that had been going on for decades, as well as playing a key role in pushing for deeper reflections for humanity. This is why we see, for example, a full-on mainstream media barrage against Trump. The cabal is using their voices to attack and confuse the public about the ‘outsider’ that got his way in.

Now, as time goes on, more is being revealed about the shady nature of the 2016 election, as with any, and more is coming forward about not only the previous administration but Hillary’s campaign. We all know what they did to push Bernie Sanders out, the same was being done to Trump.

More Scandals

(Zerohedge) Now, Trump campaign aides Roger Stone and Michael Caputo say that a meeting Stone took in late May, 2016 with a Russian appears to have been an “FBI sting operation” in hindsight, following bombshell reports in May that the DOJ/FBI used a longtime FBI/CIA asset, Cambridge professor Stefan Halper, to perform espionage on the Trump campaign.

“When Stone arrived at the restaurant in Sunny Isles, he said, Greenberg was wearing a Make America Great Again T-shirt and hat. On his phone, Greenberg pulled up a photo of himself with Trump at a rally, Stone said. –WaPo”

The meeting went nowhere – ending after Stone told Greenberg “You don’t understand Donald Trump… He doesn’t pay for anything.” The Post independently confirmed this account with Greenberg.

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After the meeting, Stone received a text message from Caputo – a Trump campaign communications official who arranged the meeting after Greenberg approached Caputo’s Russian-immigrant business partner.

“How crazy is the Russian?” Caputo wrote according to a text message reviewed by The Post. Noting that Greenberg wanted “big” money, Stone replied: “waste of time.” -WaPo

Stone and Caputo now think the meeting was an FBI attempt to entrap the Trump administration – showing the Post evidence that Greenberg, who sometimes used the name Henry Oknyansky, “had provided information to the FBI for 17 years,” based on a 2015 court filing related to his immigration status.

He attached records showing that the government had granted him special permission to enter the United States because his presence represented a “significant public benefit.”

Between 2008 and 2012, the records show, he repeatedly was extended permission to enter the United States under a so-called “significant public benefit parole.” The documents list an FBI agent as a contact person. The agent declined to comment.

Greenberg did not respond to questions about his use of multiple names but said in a text that he had worked for the “federal government” for 17 years.

“I risked my life and put myself in danger to do so, as you can imagine,” he said. -WaPo

“Wherever I was, from Iran to North Korea, I always send information to” the FBI, Greenberg told The Post. “I cooperated with the FBI for 17 years, often put my life in danger. Based on my information, there are so many arrests criminal from drugs and human trafficking, money laundering and insurance frauds.”

Stone and Caputo say it was a “sting operation” by the FBI:

“I didn’t realize it was an FBI sting operation at the time, but it sure looks like one now,” said Stone.

“If you believe that [Greenberg] took time off from his long career as an FBI informant to reach out to us in his spare time, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I want to sell you,” Caputo said in an interview.

Greenberg told WaPo he stopped working with the FBI “sometime after 2013.”

In terms of the timeline, here’s where the Greenberg meeting fits in:

April 26, 2016 – Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud allegedly tells Trump campaign aide George Paoadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton

Papadopoulos’ statement of offense also detailed his April 26, 2016, meeting with Mifsud at a London hotel. Over breakfast Mifsud told Papadopoulos “he had just returned from a trip to Moscow where he had met with high-level Russian governmental officials.” Mifsud explained, “that on that trip he (the Professor) learned that the Russians had obtained ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Clinton.” Mifsud told Papadopoulos “the Russians had emails of Clinton.” -The Federalist

May 10, 2016 – Papadopoulos tells former Australian Diplomat Alexander Downer during an alleged “drunken barroom admission” that the Russians had information which “could be damaging” to Hillary Clinton.

Late May, 2016 – Stone is approached by Greenberg with the $2 million offer for dirt on Clinton

Related CE Podcast: Trump, Alt News, & Disclosure W/ Jordan Sather

July 2016 – FBI informant (spy) Stefan Halper meets with Trump campaign aide Carter Page for the first time, which would be one of many encounters.

July 31, 2016 – the FBI officially launches operation Crossfire Hurricane, the code name given to the counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign.

September 2016 – Halper invites Papadopoulos to London, paying him $3,000 to work on an energy policy paper while wining and dining him at a 200-year-old private London club on September 15.

Foggy memory

Stone and Caputo say they didn’t mention the meeting during Congressional testimony because they forgot, chalking it up to unimportant “due diligence.” Apparently, random offers for political dirt in exchange for millions are so common in D.C. that one tends to forget.

Stone and Caputo said in separate interviews that they also did not disclose the Greenberg meeting during testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence because they had forgotten about an incident that Stone calls unimportant “due diligence” that would have been “political malpractice” not to explore. -WaPo

While Greenberg and Stone’s account of the meeting mostly checked out (after Greenberg initially denied Stone’s account), Greenberg said that a Ukrainian friend named “Alexi” who was fired by the Clinton Foundation attended as well, and was the one asking for the money – while Stone said Greenberg came alone to the meeting.

“We really want to help Trump,” Stone recalled Greenberg saying during the brief encounter.

Greenberg says he sat at a nearby table while Alexei conducted the meeting. “Alexei talks to Mr. Stone, not me,” he wrote.

The Clinton Founation has denied ever employing anyone with the first name of Alexi.

Caputo’s attorney on Friday sent a letter amending his House testimony, and he plans to present Caputo’s account of the Greenberg incident to the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice, which has announced it is examining the FBI’s use of informants during the Russia probe. Stone said his attorney has done the same. -WaPo

Second FBI informant

Caputo hinted at the interaction in late May when he said that there were multiple government informants who approached the Trump campaign:

“Let me tell you something that I know for a fact,” Caputo said during a May 21 interview on Fox News. “This informant, this person [who] they tried to plant into the campaign … he’s not the only person who came into the campaign. And the FBI is not the only Obama agency who came into the campaign.”

“I know because they came at me,” Caputo added. “And I’m looking for clearance from my attorney to reveal this to the public. This is just the beginning.”

Stone told the Post that he may be indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and charged “with a crime unrelated to the election in order to silence him,” and that he anticipates the meeting with Greenberg may be used to try and pressure him to testify against President Trump (leaving no stone unturned), which he told the Post he would never do.

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Chilling “Before And After” Photos Of Libya Go Viral

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A man takes pictures of Libya before and after post Hillary Clinton-NATO “liberation” of Libya. The reality is chilling.

  • Reflect On:

    What was the real reason Gadaffi was removed from power? Why was Hillary Clinton so proud of killing this man only to leave the country in devastation? Are we doing the right thing by supporting these politicians?

In the year 2000, a Libyan man took several photos of himself situated at various spots across the city of Benghazi, Libya. 18 years later, he recently revisited the exact same locations to take photos of the spectacular, beautiful human trafficking laden, NATO liberated mess of modern day Libya under the rule of the United Nation’s backed regime.

When we think about how western nations have gone into countries and destructed what they had, took over and ‘rebuilt’ as it’s often called, we have this image of something being done that is ‘right.’ What we don’t consider is all of the innocent people who are killed, the REAL reasons why western countries are looking to take over others, why they create, fund and aggressively push the idea of terrorism and so forth.

“Utter devastation” is how Libya is described today, after a coalition of over 19 countries and NATO took out the regime, in an incredible show of force that seems to resemble what they want to do to Syria or Iran today if you observe the pattern.

The man’s before and after photos have gone viral, with 50,000 retweets at least after being posted to an account that tends to feature other historical images of Libya while it was under the rule of the enemy of both Al Qaeda and the West, Gaddafi, between 1969 and 2011.

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Via Zerohedge…

It appears people do still care about Libya even if the political elites in Paris, London, and Washington who destroyed the country have moved on. Though we should recall that British foreign secretary Boris Johnson was caught on tape in a private meeting last year saying Libya was ripe for UK investment, but only after Libyans “clear the dead bodies away.”

We previously detailed in Libya’s Slave Auctions And African Genocide: What Hillary Knew how Libya went from being a stable, modernizing secular state to a hellhole of roving jihadist militias, warring rival governments, and open-air slave auctions of captured migrants.

Yet what the viral photos confirm is that Libya was once a place of sprawling hotels, wide and clean city streets, functioning infrastructure, and lively neighborhoods. But these very places are now bullet-ridden ruins rotting amidst the political backdrop of the ‘Mad Max’ style chaos unleashed immediately after US-NATO’s bombing the country into regime change.

Hillary still says that she has no regrets even after Obama timidly voiced a half-hearted and too-little-too-late Libya mea culpa of sorts in 2016.

Though Hillary’s beloved Libyan Al Qaeda …”rebels” — legitimized and empowered through broad support from the West — are now among the very militias hosting slave auctions and fueling the European refugee crisis, she’s never so much as hinted that regime change in Libya left the country and much of the region in shambles. Instead, she simply chose to conclude her role in the tragic story of Libya with her crazed and gleeful declaration of “we came, we saw, he died.”

Regime change enthusiasts everywhere please take note of what your blind jingoism has wrought.

A year before the NATO bombing of Libya the UN Development Programme (UNDP) assigned a Human Development Index (HDI) ranking of 53 to Libya (out of 169 countries ranked, Libya ranked highest on the African continent).

Right up until the eve of NATO’s air campaign against the Libyan state, international media outlets understood and acknowledged the country’s high human development rankings, though it later became inconvenient to present the empirical data. A February 2011 BBC report is a case in point.

The 2011 war and aftermath created a failed state with a once economically independent population now turned largely dependent on foreign aid and relief.

Currently considered to be at “emergency levels” of need, prior to NATO intervention Libya was not even on the World Food Program’s radar, yet is now considered a dire humanitarian disaster zone.

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Should Government Be ‘Protecting’ Gender Identity/Expression?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Ontario's Bill 89 expanded the province's child welfare laws to include protection of a child's "gender identity and gender expression."

  • Reflect On:

    Is the ability of individuals in a society to respect and manage differences amongst one another something that is best fostered by mandated government oversight?

With any new legislation that increases the power of government over people–and what new legislation can you think of in recent history that does otherwise?—there is reason for concern and vigilance.

For example, a year ago the Ontario government passed Bill 89 into law. It was called the ‘Supporting Children, Youth and Families Act’ and was an update to the province’s child welfare laws, including child protective services, foster care, and adoption.

New ‘Protections’ For Gender Identity And Gender Expression

Of note was an update to the criteria for analyzing the wellbeing of a child to match the human rights code. These include “a child’s or young person’s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, family diversity, disability, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.”

Yes, that’s right. The ‘protection’ of a child’s gender identity and gender expression is now in the hands of our ‘benevolent expert’ on everything under the sun—our government.

Foreboding Statement

The man who introduced the bill last year was Michael Coteau, Minister of Child and Family Services. His statements about the new protections for gender identity and expression certainly seems to challenge parents’ autonomy in making choices on behalf of their children:

“I would consider that a form of abuse, when a child identifies one way and a caregiver is saying no, you need to do this differently. If it’s abuse, and if it’s within the definition, a child can be removed from that environment and placed into protection where the abuse stops.”—MP Michael Coteau

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Bill 89 retains the provision in current law that a child who is suffering or “at risk of suffering” mental or emotional harm and whose parents do not provide “treatment or access to treatment” is in need of protection under the law.

Disturbing Hypotheticals

This information can lead to the contemplation of some disturbing possibilities. Let us say that your doctor, or teacher, believes that your 10-year old child is experiencing what the American Psychiatric Association has coined ‘Gender Dysphoria’, which they define as follows:

Gender dysphoria involves a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify. People with gender dysphoria may be very uncomfortable with the gender they were assigned, sometimes described as being uncomfortable with their body (particularly developments during puberty) or being uncomfortable with the expected roles of their assigned gender.

People with gender dysphoria may often experience significant distress and/or problems functioning associated with this conflict between the way they feel and think of themselves (referred to as experienced or expressed gender) and their physical or assigned gender.

If the Ministry of Child and Family Services is made aware of signs of  ‘gender dysphoria’ on the part of your child, they have the right to ensure that a parent is taking what the ministry would consider ‘treatment or access to treatment’  that would mitigate the risk of suffering mental or emotional harm.

So then if individual human beings in the ministry, in their ever-expanding role of all-seeing and all-knowing authority on all things ‘children’, have decided to side with the notion held by some in the medical establishment that ‘puberty blockers’—pharmaceutical drugs designed to temporarily delay the onset of puberty—is appropriate ‘treatment’ for reducing the risk of the child suffering mental or emotional harm as a result of their ‘gender dysphoria,’ then, hypothetically, the ministry would have the power to take your 10-year old away from you unless you submit them to this drug ‘treatment’ program.

Big Leap

Certainly, this is a big hypothetical leap. There have been no cases resembling this in Ontario since the law was passed. Comments made by Akihito Tse from the Ontario Child’s Advocate Office made in this article appear to bring us back from the edge of the cliff:

Mere disagreement with a child about their gender identity or gender expression is not enough to bring the child into care. Instead, it has to be part of “a pattern of abuse, neglect or serious emotional harm” before removing the child can be considered, according to Akihito Tse, a spokesperson for the advocate’s office.

The reasons a child may require protection are laid out in section 74(2) of Bill 89. There is no specific reference to gender identity or gender expression, but if a child is suffering sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, including “serious” psychological effects, child welfare agencies may intervene.

As Tse noted, there is a high threshold for ever removing a child from their family, and the decision to take a young person into care cannot be made by government bureaucrats and child aid workers alone. “There is a clear process through which the final decision is made by a judge,” Tse said.

Stuck In The Left/Right Dichotomy

Perhaps, from a moderate and balanced perspective, there is no need for urgent and immediate concern. I say perhaps. In trying to examine the information on this subject on the internet, the moderate seeker is struck by an inescapable phenomena: the whole discussion (read: contentious battle) about the implications of government becoming the protector of a child’s gender rights is cast as the struggle between Far-Right Religious Conservatives fighting for their rights to raise their children in accordance with their dogmatic religious beliefs on gender, and Far-Left Liberals fighting for the radical breakdown of traditional societal order through the government-sponsored promotion of gender confusion and ambiguity–depending, of course, on which side you’re on.

In this landscape, it appears that there is no room for moderates—you know, those of us who don’t really care to identify with one of the polarities—to be part of the discussion. And that’s exactly the way our authority wants it. And by authority I don’t mean the government, I mean those who control the government.

To say that government overreach is at play here is not making a statement in favor of extreme right-wing agendas over extreme left-wing agendas. It is an observation that those powerful forces that control the government constantly fuel the fires of this polarity to exert more and more control over citizens. If we look back in history, it matters not which side of the spectrum is used to advance their agenda of control, as long as the battle between the polarities rages on to hide the influence of their hidden hand. And I do indeed believe that our authority has to some extent promoted and sponsored gender confusion in our society, doing so with absolute and complete disregard for the health and well-being of people who are transgender as well as an underlying disrespect for all individuals that make up our society.

A Moderate Perspective

I believe a moderate perspective on the matter of gender identity and expression focuses on the following points:

  • Physiologically there are 2 human genders: male and female
  • There are people who exist in our society that are not comfortable with their gender as denoted by their physiology
  • Some of these people identify with the gender opposite to the gender denoted by their physiology
  • Individuals have the right to choose to submit to treatments that modify or change aspects of their physiology when they reach a sufficient level of maturity to make informed decisions

As individuals, as a society, how should we deal with these facts? Through open dialogue and communication in search of truth; through a desire to share and to learn from each other as kindred souls; and with respect for differences between us and compassion about the impact of these differences in how we live together.

It is in bringing consciousness to bear in our personal lives and in the way we deal with others in our society that these matters are best handled. One important step is to join the growing number of people who have decided to dis-identify with either side of this fabricated extreme left/right polarity and promote open-minded and open-hearted discourse.

Related CE Podcast: Why We Get So Offended

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