We all know the importance of aloe vera in helping sooth and heal burns, but did you ever think the age of the aloe plant mattered? New research suggests that there is a peak age for these plants in terms of antioxidant health benefits.
Aloe vera contains many antioxidants which help your body fight free-radicals. Free radicals are unstable cells in your body that can lead to cancer and other harmful diseases. However, the level of antioxidants found in aloe vera can varry according to the age of the plant. One very interesting study out of China found that the older the aloe vera plant (Aloe Barbadensis), the stronger the antioxidant/free-radical scavenging activity was! Specifically, the study found that three year-old aloe vera extract exhibited the strongest radical scavenging activity of 72.19%, compared to two year old and four year old counterparts that were also tested (1).
Overall, aloe vera contains different active components and antioxidant active components to different degrees at various stages of development. So make sure to keep you aloe plant for a few years for optimal health benefits.
(1) Yun, H., Juan, X., and Qiuhui, H., 2003. Evaluation of Antioxidant Potential of Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller) Extract. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 51 (26), 7788-7791.
Triclosan In Toothpaste- NO MORE!
Earlier this month Eco-Savy published an article about “triclosan in toothpaste”. However, triclosan is used in a wide variety of personal care products including shaving creams, hair conditioners, deodorants, liquid soaps, hand soaps, facial cleansers and disinfectants
Consumers have raised a lot of concern surrounding “triclosan” and earlier this month industry giant Proctor & Gamble promised to phase out triclosan and DEP (a pthalate) from products worldwide. This is SOOOO GREAT!
What is Triclosan and Pthalates?
Triclosan is a hormone disrupting chemical that is found in over 1,600 products in Canada. It is linked to superbugs and harms aquatic organisms. Phthalates are found in fragrances and PVC, and are linked to a whole host of human health problems, including birth defects in the male reproductive system, asthma, obesity, and cancer.
Walmart Phasing Out Key Toxic Chemicals In Products!
Following Proctor & Gamble’s announcement, just last week Walmart U.S., the largest retailer in the United States, launched a “Policy on Sustainable Chemistry in Consumables” , laying out their plans to phase out key toxics and to improve ingredient disclosure.
Most businesses incorporate certain energy conscious materials and practices just so that they can get LEED certified. However, it’s not all about getting certified. There are plenty of other things that we as a society need to do for our planet. One of the most inspiring industries and markets is green travel and green business. Indeed, many commercial contractors spend a lot of time working with different building materials and practices trying to make facilities run more efficiently. Part of my focus has always been using green materials and looking for eco-friendly solutions to energy issues.
GREEN Initiatives Around The World
There are also plenty of green initiatives and organizations around the world that are also working to help the world through green policies and practices. Eco-Innovative Europe focuses on the latest technology and incorporates that into boosting economic growth. Most of the technology works specifically with lessening the harm of products and businesses upon our Earth while inspiring individuals to also make changes in how they go about their daily lives (i.e. refer to figure below). The group focuses mainly on five subject areas within eco-conscious philosophies including materials recycling and processes; water efficiency, distribution and treatment; green business; sustainable building; and food and drink policies.
Using Bamboo To Clean WasteWater Source: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eco-innovation/#story0901262489b3bd7e
Hotel’s Taking Initiative To Go Green
The hotel industry was one of the first to make great changes to the way that they operate and what products they use in their hotel rooms. Many hotels feature organic materials and food while also using recyclable linens and bath products. However, the Ritz-Carlton does a little something more. In addition to low flow toilets and water saving showerheads, you can also find the Ritz-Carlton to be one of the only hotels with a rooftop garden that has over 60,000 bees to help pollinate the local community and also provide fresh honey to the hotel chefs.
In Vegas, there are plenty of bright lights, entertainment and luxury. However, some hotels also focus on being the most eco-friendly that they can be. In fact, the Las Vegas Palazzo Hotel and Resort uses a water recycling facility, solar energy for heating and waste reuse program to decrease its carbon footprint and really make changes to their environmental policies. That must be why it was named the “Most Eco-Friendly Hotel in America.”
Many businesses are developing new and innovative green practices that are catching on throughout the world. This is especially evident with the new green Las Vegas hotels that are continuing to be built. This trend must continue so future generations can enjoy the planet.
About the Author:
Sam Marquit is an entrepreneurial independent contractor and home renovation/remodeling expert in New York. Sam has made a point to share with his readers a day in the life of sustainable building. Forecasting the possible application and implementation of new green building materials and technologies is just one small part of his efforts to reduce everyone’s carbon footprint.
Ever wonder how many microorganisms are on your scotch brite dish sponge or tea towels? Or how about that cutting board you used to cut the chicken for dinner? Whether wood or plastic, they can be washed in the dishawasher or cleaned with a dilute bleach solution. However, dish clothes and tea towels are another problem.
Bacteria in Wash Cloths and Tea Towels
The Sun recently wrote about a report by the Hygiene Council – a panel of the world’s leading microbiologists and virologists; revealing kitchen cloths and tea towels are the main culprits for harbouring and spreading bacteria. Shockingly, nine out of ten dish clothes are contaminated with bugs such as E.coli, salmonella and campylobacter – the bacteria that causes food poisoning.
How to Kill Bacteria on a Washcloth in Seconds?
Many people think they have to always just throw out their tea towels or dish cloth once they have been used to clean up a yucky spill or are smelling funky. Often when they start to smell you know there is a build up of bacteria.
The solution is really quite simple. According Dr. Joe Schwarcz, author of “Let them Eat Flax” (can find this book in Eco-Savy Store), wash clothes can be rid of microorganisms by putting a dry one in the microwave for thirty seconds or wet one for three minutes. The microwaves will kill all bacteria. HOW SIMPLE AND CONVENIENT IS THAT. What I like most about this is you don’t have to use any harmful chemicals and you will use less sponges in the long run, which is more sustainable.
It would be great to get feedback from our readers. What are your thoughts on bacteria and dishcloths? Have you ever heard of this technique to kill bacteria? What are you doing?
When you think about the fact that: (1) toxic chemicals in household cleaners are three times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air, and that (2) the Asthma Society of Canada identified common household cleaners and cosmetics as triggers to asthma, you start to wonder what alternative options you have.
Companies constantly trying to brain-wash us into thinking we need to use 10 different products to make our house clean…but really, they just make more and more money with every new product. Despite the continuing media hype, cleaning a home doesn’t require specialized and expensive ingredients. The best thing to do is to clear everything out of your cupboards, and try to find healthier alternatives.
The best alternative option is something you probably already have in your home…VINEGAR!!! All you really need is this:1) White Vinegar2) Lemon Juice 3) Baking Soda and/or 4) Borax diluted with water (to make a liquid or paste) (5) water (6) squirt bottle (7) liquid soap
Here is a way to incorporate all of the Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups baking soda (or borax)
1/2 cup liquid soap
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 clean 16-ounce squirt bottle with closing cap
1. Mix baking soda and liquid soap in a bowl. Dilute with water and add the vinegar. Stir the mixture with a fork until any lumps have been dissolved. Pour the liquid into the bottle. Shake well before using.
2. Squirt on area to be cleaned. Scrub with a nylon-backed sponge. Rinse off with water. Keep cap on between uses.
Need ideas of what to clean vinegar with? Click here (1001 uses).