Can You Really Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Your Way to a Bigger Bank Account?

Earth RecycleThe Bottom Line Thinking Approach to Conservation

Conservation is the act of preserving, guarding, and protecting.  This can refer to many things – the planet, our possessions, and our financial resources.

I can remember the phrase reduce, reuse, recycle from my grade school years and I still sing the jingle with enthusiasm when I think about conservation.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Association holds a patent on the phrase and the organization is a great reference for all the ins and outs of what the phrase represents and how to put it into practice.

The whole idea behind conservation is that we (humankind) have one earth to live on and we must share it and consider the footprint we leave by our daily actions and the choices we make in all aspects of life.  One of my favorite quotes is in a national park in Alaska  – “Leave only footprints”.

Reduce

Reducing our waste can save the earth and its natural resources and also save us money!!  In my opinion, reducing is a state of mind.  Reducing can mean a number of things.  Check out the EPA website[1] for more information on how to Reduce!  You can start by doing simple things like: (a) caulking or sealing any leaks around your windows and doors to reduce heating and cooling costs, (b) turning off the water when you are brushing your teeth or scrubbing a pot, (c) taking shorter showers, (d) hand-watering your garden or lawn instead of leaving sprinklers running, (e) using towels or wearing certain clothing more than once.

Reuse

This brings me to the next piece of the phrase, “Reuse.”  Pinterest has become a recent phenomenon that gives us endless ideas on how to reuse materials and turn trash into treasure.  (Click to Tweet) We must think about how to reuse the tangible items around the house to avoid throwing them in a landfill to never be seen again and we must also think about how to reuse our natural resources.   One great example of reusing a natural resource is black and grey water recycling in areas that do not hold enough fresh water resources to supply the overall demand.  Click here to read about the Mexico City Project.   Grey water is water from your shower, laundry or sink that is re-purposed for garden use.[2]  Black water (untreated sewage water) is a little bit more challenging.  But, with the proper filtration and treatment, it, too, is reused for garden purposes.  This is a great way of thinking outside the box and turning waste into something useful.  As global weather patterns change, regions that once used to flourish with water resources may dry up and these conservation methods may need to be used.  You know what they say, “Good to the last drop!”

“Buy used; you can find everything from clothing to building materials at specialized reuse centers and consignments shops.”[3]   It is popular to shop for vintage clothing at the Goodwill, Salvation Army or antique and consignment shops at a greatly reduced price.   People use reconstituted items like old slats from a fallen down barns to make a decorative accent wall in an up-and-coming restaurant in addition to the many vintage clothing options in many hipster ads.  And you can give your used items for a tax benefit.

Recycle

Recycling is the last part to the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” phrase but maybe one of the most important.  The Environmental Protection Agency reports that over 12% of the waste generated in 2007, came from plastic products.[4] (Click to Tweet). This is astronomical!!  The good news is that, “for every 1 ton of plastic that’s recycled, reports estimate that 7 yards of landfill space is saved. By recycling, you can also help conserve the additional 80% of energy that’s typically used when making new plastic bottles, containers and other items instead of recycling. It’s easy to see why recycling plastic is so important.”[5]  When I drive through my neighborhood, I observe who has the little green bin sitting next to their trashcan.  This can give you an idea who else embraces the three R’s of conservation.  So, if your neighbor is not using her recycling bin, don’t be afraid to say something.  Go ahead and ask them if they know anything about the reduce, reuse, recycle mentality.

As for the economic benefit of recycling – did you know that California’s recycling efforts employ 84,000 people generating an annual payroll of $2.25 billion and grosses $14.2 billion in annual revenue?[6]  There are some who question the overall cost-effectiveness of recycling and/or question whether the materials collected are truly being recycled.  For a great article debunking most of the recycling myths, click here.

Does your city offer a recycling program?  Do you take part?  If not, why not?

Dr. Andrew Kender
Chiropractic Physician
April 26, 2015

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
www.balancingyourchemistry.com

[1] www.epa.gov
[2] science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/green-science/gray-water-reclamation.htm
[3] www2.epa.gov
[4] www.completerecycling.com/resources/plastic-recycling
[5] Id.
[6] bgm.stanford.edu/pssi_faq_benefits

4 Reasons to Never Eat a Genetically Modified Food

Rat GMO’s Do This to Rats, What Could They Do to You?

We have all seen the pictures of what genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) do to rats.[1]  Yet, there remains real resistance to even the suggestion that GMO foods be labeled as such.  The reason for this is beyond the scope of this article but the question remains – why would you want to consume food that has the potential to cause similar harm in humans?

I admit that I am a bit of a food snob, not as in fine-dining, but as in good quality food.  Besides the obvious health reasons, I am surrounded everyday by our clients who are the most dedicated people I have ever seen in their efforts to get their health back.  I am surrounded every day by doctors who are not satisfied to settle for genetics as the sole cause of health problems.  I am surrounded every day by my staff who are constantly coming up with new ways to eat right for themselves and our clients.  It is no wonder that quality food is something I am passionate about. It is no wonder why I am so confused about why anyone would want to consume food that has the potential for such harm when there is so much good food out there.

If we change the genetic code of food, the food becomes genetically modified.  In most cases GM foods are “developed – and marketed – because there is some perceived advantage either to the producer or consumer of these foods. This is meant to translate into a product with a lower price, greater benefit (in terms of durability or nutritional value) or both.”[2]  Good intentions might have been the reason GM foods developed.  But, as the old saying goes, the road is paved …..[3]  The most common genetically modified foods are corn, soy, yellow crookneck squash and zucchini, alfalfa, canola, milk, and sugar beets.[4] (Click to Tweet)

You should not eat genetically modified foods because:
  1. Uncertainty

Would you take a medication, vitamin or seek a medical treatment without knowing the side effects?  There is a reason that certain manufacturers and health care providers must, by law, disclose the potential side effects or complications to their customers before asking them to consume such product or service.  What is that reason?  Because people should know of potential risks associated with anything they put in their body so that they can make an educated choice.  Each time you consume a genetically modified food, you may be playing roulette with your health.

From a scientific standpoint, when we introduce a foreign genetic material into another organism, it causes the organism to “behave erratically.”[5] “Genes can be suppressed or overexpressed causing a wide variety of results.”[6] While some mainstream media downplays the potential problems from GMOs, scientists have been outspoken that such foods have been “linked to health problems such as reproductive damage, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.”[7]

What you need to consider is whether you want to develop a health issue resulting from an unintended effect of the genetic modification of food?  Who knows what that effect might be?

2.  Pesticide Exposure

We modify foods to make them more resistant to pesticides, making them “Round-Up Ready.”  That way, when farmers spray the field to kill weeds, the crop is not damaged.[8]  But are human beings “Round-Up Ready? (Click to Tweet)  “One common condition that has been clearly linked to pesticide exposure is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).”[9]  Long-term studies correlating other conditions with pesticide exposure have not been done, but do we really want to expose ourselves to more chemicals?

3.  Possible Food Allergy

As before mentioned, we create GM foods when we insert a protein into the food to change it for some specific purpose. The problem is that often the protein is known to cause allergies in humans and/or is a protein that has never been consumed by humans.   Thus, there is a concern that this new protein “could elicit an immune response in humans.”[10]  It is very difficult to find the allergic potential of a particular protein.  “The only certain answer is when an allergic reaction in a human actually occurs.”[11]  Do you have any allergies that appeared out of nowhere? (Click to Tweet)

4.  Antibiotic Resistance

When engineers develop genetically modified foods, they experiment to see if the host cell will accept a foreign gene.   They do this by attaching a trait for antibiotic resistance to the gene before they introduce into the cell.  They then douse the new organism with antibiotics.  The surviving cells are antibiotic resistant proving to the engineers that the cells have accepted the foreign gene.[12]   This means that when you eat a GM food, you are potentially introducing an antibiotic-resistant agent into your body.[13]  “Overuse of antibiotics can potentially cause the development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens.”[14]  In fact, the World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have both stated that, “the use of these antibiotics [should] be phased out of the process of making GM foods.”[15]  Have you ever read Sam Spitz’s story about how antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” affected his health?   Read it here.

I know that you might be envisioning corn-on-the-cob as we head into the summer, but have no fear.  There are corn products certified as non-GMO, including fresh corn.  This is because the corn is grown from non-GMO seed.   Just keep your eyes open and read labels.  The Non-GMO Project has a website on which you can search many foods to find whether they are GM foods or contain a GM ingredient.  It is a great resource. You can find it here.  Check out the Non-GMO shopping guide website too by clicking here.

In the meantime, until the labeling of genetically modified food  occurs, doesn’t it just make sense to reduce your exposure by reducing or eliminating your intake of the seven foods listed above?

What should school systems do to address the issue of GM foods?

Caroline Boardman
April 21, 2015

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey, Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
www.balancingyourchemistry.com

[1] http://www.naturalnews.com/037249_gmo_study_cancer_tumors_organ_damage.html
[2] http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en
[3] http://bibleornot.org/the-road-to-hell-is-paved-with-good-intentions
[4] http://www.builtlean.com/2013/11/25/gmo-foods
[5] http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-998680
[6] Id, noting that in “one example, cows that ate Roundup Ready soybeans produced milk with more fat in it. In another example, milk from cows injected with a genetically engineered growth hormone was found by a number of researchers, including those published in the journal Lancet, to have substantially higher levels of a compound known as insulin-like growth factor-1, which is linked to human breast, colon and prostate cancers. The milk also has higher levels of bovine growth hormones in it, along with pus and sometimes antibiotics.”
[7] Id.
[8] http://www.bewellbuzz.com/general/truth-pesticides-gmo
[9] http://www.allnaturalhealthylife.com/gmo/pesticides-in-our-food
[10] http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html
[11] http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/safety/human_health/192.gmos_mean_more_allergies.html
[12] http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-998680
[13] http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/gm/harmful.html
[14] http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-998680
[15] Id.

5 Clean Anti-Aging Beauty Products Good Enough For Even the Pickiest Skin Care Enthusiast

Clean Beauty ProductsCan a Non-Toxic Anti-Aging Beauty Product Really Satisfy a Beauty Product Addict?

We live in a toxic world.  Virtually everything we eat, drink, breath or touch is toxic and, although awareness of various forms of toxicity is at an all-time high, the world is not really cleaning up its act.  We still need to eat, drink, breath and live.  We can do what we can to fight the effect of these toxins on our body though by using products that reduce toxin exposure and, sometimes, actually battle toxicity (in the form of free-radicals) head-on.

I am a beauty-product addict.  I am such a lover of beauty products that I have developed a system for analyzing, buying and using them.  I eagerly wait for and then devour Allure magazine’s Best of Beauty edition or other magazine editions with a similar focus.  I enter each product that sounds promising into a “maybe” shopping list in Evernote.  I then research each product reading all the reviews and the ingredient list and if the product meets my discriminating standards (and my budget), I move the item to my real shopping list.  I even have a line item in my monthly budget for “new beauty products.”  My criteria for a good beauty product are: (1) results (2) price and (3) as toxin-free as possible.  Here are my five favorites – at least until the next best thing comes along.

“According to Environmental Working Group, the average woman uses 12 ‘beauty’ products per day, containing 168 ingredients.”[1]  According to Sayer Ji, founder of GreenMedInfo.com, “consumers need to be at least five times more aware of a skin care products toxicity than that of food.”[2] (Click to Tweet) The “dirty dozen” toxins that are in many beauty products are: artificial dyes and coal-tar, Benzoates, BHA and BHT, DEA, MEA and TEA, Dibutyl Phthalate, Fragrance, Lead, Parabens, Petrolatum, Sodium lauryl sulphate, Stearalkonium chloride, Toluene, Triclosan.[3]   It is a challenge to find products that are completely free of any trace of any of these products but they do exist.  To help you in your research, visit the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetic data base that rates products on a scale of 0-9 (with 0 being the least toxic).  www.ewg.org/skindeep.

Here is my list:

1. Organic Non-GMO Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is the best natural health and beauty product on the planet! (Click to Tweet) That’s a big claim I know.  I started cooking with coconut oil when I made the move to a paleo diet. I love the flavor and the health benefits it provides such as relief from stress, cholesterol maintenance, weight control, boosted immune system, digestion and regulated metabolism.[4]   What I found out though is that coconut oil is also great for the skin because of its moisturizing, anti-aging and anti-viral properties.  It also fights wrinkles because it has an antioxidant Vitamin E.

“Commercial moisturizers contain lots of water, which makes you feel like your skin is being moisturized. But as soon as the water dries, your skin becomes dry again.”[5]  To use, simply put on as you would your normal moisturizer.  It is greasy at first (so I use it at night) but it will quickly absorb into your skin and then you will glow!  You can store it at room temperature. I keep a bottle in my kitchen cabinet and another on my vanity.  FYI:  it’s also great for adding shine or taming fly-away’s in the hair.

2.  Burt’s Bees Naturally Ageless Intensive Repairing Serum. This product, from the maker of the popular lip balm, is fantastic.  While it does contain trace amounts of 3 of the “dirty dozen,” its overall ranking is a 1 by the Environmental Working Group.  The product has pomegranate oil (an antioxidant) and evening primrose and borage seed oils for moisture.  Put just a little bit of this serum on your bothersome wrinkles.  Making this product even better is its price – less than $15.00!

3.  The Honest Company’s Sunscreen Stick (SPF 30). Trying to find a clean sunscreen that actually works and that you don’t have to re-apply every 30 minutes has, until now, been a challenge.  The Honest Company (founded by the actor Jessica Alba) has finally given us exactly this.  EWG give the product an overall 0 rating.  It is a broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB), mineral-based product.  It is water-resistant, does not go on white or greasy and is fragrance-free.  Most importantly, it works!  Recently, my daughter and I rented a convertible and went on an all-day driving road trip in sunny southern California.  I fell into bed that night without even the slightest pink on my face.

4.  The Honest Company’s Honest Face and Body Lotion. No, Jessica Alba is not my best friend.  I just love this product and The Honest Company.  With an overall EWG rating of 1, this moisturizer really is gentle enough for the face and body.  I use coconut oil at night and this product during the day.  It has organic olive, shea, jojoba and safflower oils (for hydration) and chamomile, calendula and aloe (for protection and to soothe).  It is also pH balanced and only $10.00!

5.  Cellex-C Eye Contour Gel. This “gel” is more like a liquid.  It feels great going on the results are incredible.  With an overall EWG rating of 1, the product which claims to have a patented vitamin C formulation really does help diminish the appearance of fine lines and crow’s-feet around the eye area although it takes at least a few months to see results.  Even more exciting is that Vitamin C is known to help reduce the visible signs of aging caused by the destructive forces of oxyradicals.[6]

There you have it – my top-secret list.  It is possible to look great, fight the signs of aging and still reduce your exposure to unnecessary toxins.  I would love to hear what you think of these products.

Do you have any clean products you love?  I would love to hear about those so I can put them on my list.

Caroline Boardman
April 19, 2015

Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians
www.balancingyourchemistry.com
[1] http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/know-thyself-skin-care-products-can-be-more-toxic-food
[2] Id.
[3] http://www.care2.com/greenliving/the-dirty-dozen-toxins-in-your-skincare-products.html
[4] https://www.organicfacts.net/health-enefits/oils/health-benefits-of-coconut-oil.html
[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/27/coconut-oil-benefits_n_1625631, citing nutritionist Kimberly Snyder at http://kimberlysnyder.com.
[6] http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional