Giving up these 40 things won’t just help you simplify your stuff and organize your life – it will make you a better person!
Bangladesh, India, and China are among the top sweatshop offenders. Do a little research on your favorite name brands. Know how your clothes are manufactured and support companies that support fair trade, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Patagonia and The Good Trade are two phenomenal resources to help bring a little consciousness to your consumerism.
Plastic Food Storage Containers
How about toys that promote gender equality, positive body-image, and collaborative, creative problem-solving? It’s not 1959, for Pete’s sake!
Anything with GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms)
GMO safety is far from proven. In fact, evidence indicates GMO products are wreaking havoc on human digestion and require exponential amounts of known carcinogenic herbicides and pesticides as crops grow increasingly resistant. Organic food production is just better for us and more sustainable for the planet.
Desktop Printers at Home
Go paperless at home. Reduce your impact on forests and landfills by printing infrequently at business centers and local printing stores. If you absolutely must use a printer at home, make sure to recycle your ink cartridges.
Anything Sold on QVC after Bedtime
It’s bedtime. Go to sleep. Whatever it is – you don’t need it.
Toxic & Animal-Tested Beauty Products
Gift Shop Tchotchkes
When you’re traveling, it’s great to support artists and local shop-keepers. But if there’s nothing of substantive cultural quality and value, consider donating to a local charity, school, or buying lunch for hard-working local artisans. You don’t need to bring stupid stuff home every time you travel.
The truth about bottled water may surprise you. Filter your water at home and take it with you in a re-usable container. You’ll be doing your part to end one of the biggest ecological disasters in human history.
If you don’t know about Monsanto’s little secret, glyphosate, it’s time to get with the program. Seriously.
If you’re still trying to figure out what to do with your cassette tapes, you can add CDs to the list of things to purge and never buy again. Downloading and streaming music (and movies) has never been easier.
Turns out, about 2 billion disposable razors end up in the landfill every year. That’s not good for anyone.
Learn to shave your mug (and more) the old fashioned way.
Back in 1950, plastic silverware was invented. That was almost seventy years ago and the sustainable alternatives are many. In general, stop buying (and using) plastic. The stuff is toxic to the planet, carcinogenic for people, and cost-ineffective to recycle. The less of it – in every form – the better!
Try these instead.
Hankies are back! Repurpose the softest fabrics you can find into unbelievably eco-friendly snot rags.
Everything I write down either goes in my day planner or on a pad of recycled paper awaiting entry into Trello. Manage the details of your life in just one place with online project management or one of a jillion phone-friendly sticky-alternative apps.
Giving a gift? Less is more. Despite the cheerful intention, excess packaging and traditional gift wrapping is not friendly stuff. It’s made from known carcinogens and is responsible for horrific landfill waste. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
Those harmful chemicals don’t get your windows any cleaner. A little lemon, vinegar and newspaper works the best. Instead of the costly name brands, make your own house cleaners for better results.
Brace yourself. This one is going to sting a little. Turns out, balloons are bad. Who knew.
Plastic Shopping Bags
It’s time to re-think using plastic shopping bags. Among other things, sea turtles think they look like jelly fish.
Plastic-Ringed Six Pack Containers
I’m not a beer-drinker, but if I were a sea turtle, these would look delicious.
Here’s the recipe. You’ll never touch the stuff again.
The last time I cared about TV, President Bartlet was in the White House. Yes, we own a television, but we hardly ever watch it. From time to time, we put in a DVD from the library. Quite frankly, I don’t know how people have time for television. But if it’s your thing, think about one of these alternatives.
Paper Napkins and Paper Towels
If you’re like most people, you probably have enough hiding under your kitchen counters to last three decades. Stop buying the stuff. You’re good.
We now have the technology to reduce the amount of stuff we need to power the crap we buy. It’s better this way. You’re just going to have to trust me. These are the best of the best.
There really is a dot org for everything. You’ll like this one.
Artificial Colors, Sweeteners, Flavors
Food should be two things: delicious and nutritious. Brand name manufacturers are dropping artificial additives and you should, too.
Here it is, the official list of what to eat, what to throw back and why.
Anything with Plastic Microbeads
Alright, it’s complicated. But here’s a few healthy alternatives, including a few that might surprise you.
Cellulose in Food
Got wood? Cellulose is usually derived from wood pulp or sawdust. It’s an ingredient filler – and it’s not healthy.
My wife is a massage therapist, so we use our microwave oven for heating rice and lavender hot packs, but other than that, it never sees our food. Here’s why.
Three bites and a half-pound of excess packaging. No thanks. Eat an orange; it comes with its own wrapper.
Single-Use Anything (A case study in coffee)
Added sugar: One of the worst health epidemics of our time. Private profits blatantly put ahead of public health.
Evan Michael Zislis is a professional organizer, social entrepreneur, and author of the bestseller ClutterFree Revolution: Simplify Your Stuff, Organize Your Life & Save the World. For more information, visit ClutterFree Revolution.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
If Your DNA Information Is Being Sold, Shouldn’t You Make The Profit?
- The Facts:
Companies like 23andMe, Ancestry.com and others are collecting your DNA data and can sell the data to third party companies. Timicoin is a blockchain based ecosystem that allows you to monetize your health data.
- Reflect On:
Shouldn't you have the option to sell your own data? Is your DNA data safe with some of these companies? The blockchain is helping to create further security and consumer-based monetization of personal data.
Amidst the rise in popularity of companies who take samples of our DNA in order to provide us with information about our ancestry and health risks, there are growing concerns that are not immediately apparent to the average consumer. While most are just happy to be getting exotic information about where they came from and what they should be watching out for health-wise, all for little more than a few hundred dollars, not many consumers are seeing this as a threat to their privacy, and more specifically, as a threat to their control over the most essential information about their unique personal identity–their DNA sequences.
“The key thing about your genetic data … it is uniquely yours. It identifies you, so if you are going to entrust it to a company, you should try to understand what the consequences are,” said Jennifer King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society, whose research on the issue and interviews with individuals shows a lack of consumer knowledge.
Of course, companies who deal in such services will do all they can to convince consumers that their data is safe and secure. But as this CNBC article notes,
Companies in this space, including 23andMe, Veritas Genetics and Ancestry, have a good reason to protect your DNA — their business future depends on maintaining the trust of consumers. But there are thorny issues related to genetic privacy that still today don’t have easy answers or iron-clad legislative protections. And regulators aren’t convinced they are doing right by consumers. A recent Fast Company report indicates that 23andMe and Ancestry are being investigated by the Federal Trade Commission over their policies for handling personal info and genetic data and how they share that info with third parties.
All of these companies say they have clear policies that they will not share your DNA with any third-party unless you explicitly consent to it:
23andMe provides consumers the choice of opting into research conducted on behalf of academic, nonprofit and industry organizations. They also offer an option to consent separately to specific disease studies in which their DNA is used in conjunction with for-profit drug companies, such as the Parkinson’s disease research conducted with Genentech and the lupus and IBD research conducted with Pfizer.
Abuse Of Private Data
Hearing about research conducted on behalf of ‘academic, nonprofit and industry organizations’ reminds me of the article I wrote on Cambridge Analytica’s fraudulent effort to characterize themselves as an academic organization while mining people’s private Facebook information to target them with ads for the 2016 U. S. Presidential Election. Facebook knowingly sold the information to Cambridge Analytica demonstrating that, when it comes to big companies and corporations, the only thing we know for sure is that money and profit will eventually trump respect for the privacy of people’s information.
If there is money to be made by selling our personal information, corporations will do whatever they can to skirt around privacy agreements. They may even flat-out change their policy and inform us in a pages-long letter that they know no one reads and will simply click the ‘accept’ button. In the current environment, it is wise to be extremely cautious when deciding to consent to having one company share our information, especially our genetic information, with third parties.
Think about it. As technology evolves, surely there will be ways our DNA codes could be used in the future that we would not agree with. But once we have given our consent to the use of this most private information, we can no longer guarantee what happens with it. Wouldn’t it be great if WE had control over our genetic information, encrypted and only accessible by us, to use and share in a manner of OUR choosing?
If we so choose, we may even be able to profit from it. Did you know that health information is a commodity that is already collected and sold via third-party companies? Selling health data around the world is already a multi-billion dollar industry, much like how your data collected from Facebook is. But how do we get back control of our DNA information, which could be our most valuable resource about who we are?
Think outside the box. Think blockchain. Think Timicoin.
Timicoin is a platform bringing together a crypto token and the blockchain and is pioneering the tokenization of health information, including your DNA sequencing and other genetic information, through a decentralized blockchain ecosystem. They promise to allow users to monetize their own data, have access to their health information whenever they need it and verify that it is accurate.
The Timicoin platform is built on their own custom blockchain and it’s already fully functioning. This means that in a short time, you will be able to begin using Timicoin’s blockchain to monetize your health data. For more information, please refer to this earlier CE article. You can also read Timicoin’s White Paper here.
Shift In Business Paradigm
Analysts believe that Healthcare information on the blockchain will grow aggressively in the coming years given the global need for ease of sharing healthcare information. Secure storage of our DNA information is only one part of Timicoin’s larger endeavor to make your healthcare information available globally and instantaneously as needed, but only with your personal consent.
It represents a new business paradigm, whereby information is centralized in terms of permitted access but decentralized in terms of who has the power over the information. No longer will masses of valuable personal information be owned and controlled by large corporations, but rather will be owned and controlled by each individual, not only giving the individual the ability to monetize their personal information themselves, but also securing the validity of that information through personal verification and safeguarding against fraud. Supporting blockchain technologies is supporting individual empowerment in our society, a move that undoubtedly scares the power structure at top levels of our current corporatocracy.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
The Damaging Effects Of 5G Wireless On Your Health
Wireless radiation is a huge health problem that continues to be ignored and another opportunity for us to gaze into the past of similar occurrences and learn from our mistakes. Take tobacco for example, at one time in history you were considered a fool and ‘crazy’ for speaking up against the big tobacco companies and letting people know that cigarettes compromise our health. Today, science has spoken, and it has spoken for a long time, despite what the corporations put out into the public and the “science” they used to approve these things in the first place.
There doesn’t seem to be much more of a difference between communication companies that sell and manufacture wireless products and services, which, according to hundreds of scientists and countless amounts of publications, are urging authorities to pay closer attention to what wireless radiation is doing to human health.
This is one of the multiple examples where corporate control rules and dictates government policy, policies that favour big corporations at the behest of planet Earth and the rest of the human population. But it’s more so apparent in North America.
In Europe, multiple countries have restrictions on WiFi and have pointed out some disturbing things. France passed a law in 2015 banning WiFi from all nursery schools, the law states that WiFi must be turned off in all elementary schools when it’s not in use. W wired connection if possible, is preferred. Advertisements directing cell phone use towards young children are banned.
An example from Namibia states quite clearly that current so-called “safety” standards don’t protect citizens from long-term health effects, and that the guidelines governing their use do not guarantee adequate protection against the effects of long-term exposure.
Other countries include Belgium, Spain, Israel, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, India, Finland, Cyprus and more.
Why are they saying no to WiFi? See for yourself:
You can access hundreds of these scientific papers and read more here, just click on the science section and under each heading, there are links directly to the research. If you click on the drop-down tab, a list of scientific references as documentation appears.
Related CE Article with more information:
Yes, we are making progress, and awareness is being created and steps are being taken, but the corporate take over of North America and almost the entire planet is simply brushing our health under the table, because, unfortunately, they have the power to do so.
At the same time, we are the ones using this technology. It’s becoming so useful, and so easy to just rely on the corporation like we do with everything else. How ironic is it that we raise money and advocate for cancer, yet support the very things that are contributing to it, on grande scales?
Millions of children and adults in schools around the world spend significant amounts of time around wireless devices and Wi-Fi. Many schools are introducing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies and installing industrial wireless routers for tablets. However, wireless devices expose students and staff to microwave radiation that can impede learning and overall health. Studies have shown that microwave radiation can damage reproductive systems, impact the immune system, alter brain functioning, and may increase cancer risk. Tablets have up to 5 antennae that are constantly emitting short intense bursts of radiation even when not connected to the Internet. Wireless devices in classrooms thus result in multiple sources of wireless radiation exposure. – Environmental Health Trust
The 5G Health Concerns
So, what about 5G? Science already indicates that the current wireless technologies of 2G, 3G and 4G – in use today with our cell phones, computers, and wearable tech. – creates radio frequency exposure which poses a serious health risk to humans, animals and the environment. 5G is the term used to describe the next-generation of mobile networks beyond the 4G LTE mobile networks used today. 5G is intended to be the technology that allows the “Internet of Things” (IOT) to exist and connects all internet connected devices together.
Scientists have been studying the health effects of 5G and wireless radiation and are deeply concerned with their findings and are calling for a stop to the rollout of 5G, as well as a halt to the proposed increase in radio frequency radiation exposure to the public.
Thanks to all of the efforts by various researchers, scientists and more, the world is waking up to this information and it’s actually starting to become talked about within the mainstream. It always seems like such a long process from the point where something is known, to actually mass consensus and action steps being created.
A CBS news report recently emphasized:
The wireless industry is in a race to roll out. The network is supposed to be up to 100 times faster than current data speeds, but it requires cellphone tower equipment to be closer to users than before. Wireless companies in the U.S. say they’ll have to install about 300,000 new antennas – roughly equal to the total number of cell towers built over the past three decades. That’s causing outrage and alarm in some neighbourhoods, as antennas go up around homes.
5G requires the installation of new equipment across the U.S. Every wireless company is working to build its own 5G network. This is worse than cell phone use, and yet, according to government health authorities, “a limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cell phone use and brain tumour risks… but most studies have found no association.”
Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.
“Putting it bluntly they are damaging the living cells in our bodies and killing many of us prematurely” (source)
Melissa Arnoldi, who leads AT&T’s efforts, said “if it’s not already in your neighbourhood, it’s coming.” This is quite concerning, she told CBS news that “5G uses high-frequency waves that support faster speeds but don’t travel as far as current wireless frequencies. So instead of relying on large cellphone towers spread far apart, they need “small cell” sites that are much closer together.”
Sometimes I wonder, how is this even allowed to happen? Who are the people which control what type of information with regards to our health gets emphasized, and what doesn’t?
This new 5G equipment is currently being installed in a neighbourhood near you.
I’ll leave you with this TED talk by a Silicon-valley engineer turned technology health advocate, Jeromy Johnson.
Related CE Article:
You can use a wired connection, which is very fast and in most cases faster than a wireless connection. Minimize your cell phone use, and perhaps look into some devices that may be used to block the biological effects this stuff is, does, and can have on us.
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
This Super Simple Breathing Technique Can Help Alleviate Anxiety & Depression
- The Facts:
Small study finds breathing technique can help treat major depressive disorder and anxiety.
- Reflect On:
The answers to our challenges are much simpler than we thought, we have everything we need inside of us. Great alternative to prescription anti-depressant medication, or other substances.
The breath is one of the most underrated and under-utilized methods of healing. Breathing comes naturally to us, we do it without thinking, which is why it is not something we generally think of as a way to connect deeply with ourselves, calm our anxieties or even reach higher levels of consciousness. Something as simple as breathing can help those who suffer from severe mental conditions and those who have survived global disasters.
There are many forms of breathwork, there is the well-known Holotropic Breathing, made popular by the Iceman himself, Wim Hof. There is another technique known as transformational breathwork and the featured practice of breathing that will be featured in this article, resonant breathing or Coherent Breathing, which is a trademarked term.
This specific style of breathwork came from years of studying the ancient breathing practices of indigenous people all over the world including those from African, Hawaiian, and Native American traditions.
Assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at New York Medical College, Patricia Gerbarg, studies the technique with her husband, Richard Brown, associate professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. “We wanted to identify a short program that could be given quickly to people, that they would have immediate relief within five or ten minutes, and that over time would produce long-term changes,” Gerbarg told Vice.
A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary medicine in 2017 led by researchers from Boston University asked 30 people with major depression to practice the breathing technique regularly as well as Iyengar yoga. After 3 months, results from a standard depression inventory test showed how the depressive symptoms had significantly declined.
Even though the study size was very small, it is comforting to know that something as simple as breath alone could help to alleviate symptoms of severe depression. No pills needed. This technique is especially powerful because it can be practiced anytime, anywhere. The process involved taking regular breaths in and out of the nose, at a pace of 5 breaths per minute, each breath in and out taking around 6 seconds. When starting out, it is recommended that this be practiced with the eyes closed, but once you get it under control you can easily do it with your eyes open, meaning while you’re driving, while in a meeting, anytime during the day that you may find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or down. Gerbarg says, “It’s totally private. Nobody knows you’re doing it.”
The breath should be calm and gentle because the goal is to balance the sympathetic — fight or flight with the parasympathetic — rest and digest areas of the nervous system. Interestingly, when the couple first began looking into the power of the breath, the first thought was that this must send extra oxygen to the brain that we may have otherwise been lacking. However, they knew that there must be more to this to explain the profound effects they had been seeing in those who practiced the breathing technique. Not to mention, some types of breathwork actually decreases the amount of oxygen going to the brain.
Why Does This Work?
Gerbarg and Brown believe that the reason this technique works is thanks to the vagal nerves, those connecting the brain to the body and what tell the organs when to beat, digest, breathe and all other functions, have been found in recent years to send even more messages in the opposite direction from the body to the brain. “These ascending messages strongly influence stress response, emotion and neurohormonal regulatory networks,” stated in a book written by the couple, Yoga Therapy: Theory and Practice.
According to Gerbarg, “Respiration is the only autonomic function we can voluntarily control,” it’s easy to see how changing the breathing pattern can shift the messages received by the brain.
The calm and even breaths send messages of safety, according to Gerbarg, this can reduce anxious or depressive thoughts and makes way for more loving and connected emotions to be felt. Adverse reactions are generally rare, but those with asthma or other breathing conditions should only try this practice under the guidance of a trained professional.
We really do have everything we need inside of us. Our human bodies are magnificent, and if something as simple as breathing can help alleviate symptoms of depression, then we should certainly be studying this more. If you are skeptical about this information and feel it’s too good to be true, give it a shot next time you find yourself feeling down or anxious and see if it helps!
Your life path number can tell you A LOT about you.
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