Saturday, July 19, 2008

Environmental Working Group & Skin Deep

Don't go shopping for personal care products without first checking the EWG site and especially Skin Deep I had a spa party on Tuesday night and afterwards I checked Arbonne products. They tend to be in the moderate range with a rating of 3-6. Which isn't bad considering 7-10 is high and many of the common products found in most pharmacies fall into the hazardous zone. A lot of the US cosmetics companies and personal care products are in the database, which was a huge undertaking to develop. Thankfully it is the EWG that is pushing for all ingredients to be listed and for safer cosmetics to be on the shelves.

In Canada the push for the same standards isn't really underway. Still the Skin Deep site can be used to find products available in Canada. Suki's lemongrass facial wash/scrub is listed with a rating of 2. I purchased a sample box of all the Suki products. Most are in the low to moderate range, Transformative Facial Clay has a rating of 4 and Velvet Facial Cream has a rating of 3, the two highest ratings this line obtains. Available at Planet Organic, or online at

Nadarra (see previous post) is another Canadian line in the database. Highest rating is a 3, which is in the low end of the moderate rating zone. I recommend this line and hope one day Nadarra will be available in a shop in Victoria. Available online at

Juliet's Room Organics, a BC company in Vancouver, is currently entering their products into the database. If you search their name they do come up which means they are registered, and I emailed them to which they responded putting all the ingredients into the database takes time. Available at or Safura 635 Fort Street Victoria BC. I haven't tried this line yet.

I will admit, once you start using this site you might just throw out everything in your medicine cabinet. Not a bad idea really, with all the other toxins in our food, water, etc, maybe making changes in your personal care is reducing the exposure. It certainly is another step towards going green. the campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Green your Campbell Dollars

I thought this was the best contest I've seen yet!! I've spent my $100 already, I purchased a stainless steel water bottle from MEC and the rest went to food.

Check this out

I voted for the Madrona Farm, a productive, biologically diverse urban farm on Blenkinsop Road in Victoria, under strong development pressure.

We truly need to save our urban farms, we need to support local producers of food, we need to have 95% of our food grown on the island rather than 5% and the rest shipped in. There is a looming food storage coming and I don't see municipalities or the provincial government doing too much about planning for it.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

A new location

June 30, Moving Day:

The move was rescheduled for an hour earlier. Which was great. A two man crew showed up instead of the three man crew booked. Still I think Steve and Doug did a great job going from the main floor of a house to the third floor of a walk up, on a day of extreme heat. Everything has arrived, a few nicks and scratches, but that is the norm for moving. Which I haven't done in 10 years. Hard to believe really. I know some people think I should have done this a long time ago, but moving is not cheap. What cost me $300 approximately 10 years ago cost me over $500 this time. My deepest thanks and love to John who cared for my cat during moving day, helped provide boxes, packed items for me and gave me moral support to keep going when I felt that burning everything and starting over would be a simple solution, minus items with sentimental value of course. He also, got popsicles, bottles of water, dinner from Subway and did a multitude of other little errands that added up.

Thank you to Leslie for grabbing boxes and packing material.

A deep thank you to Paula J. for being there on moving day, baking cookies, having bread and apple for a snack, suggesting making the bed first and just being a great friend.

Gratitude to my parents, for moving us around a lot. During this move I kept thinking of the 68 times my mother has moved house and survived. I knew I would get through this too.

July 1, Canada Day:

John treated me to breakfast.

I started unpacking and piling up boxes to take to recycle. Neatly folded newpaper from each box and took to recycle. Noted we have 3 bins for paper which is a good thing.

My friend, Leah dropped by to view new place. Stamp of approval received.

Went to bed. Did not sleep well. Cat still prowling around. Another hot day and apartment is very warm. Noise from Cadboro Bay disturbs my sleep.

July 2:

Shaw Cable showed up between 8-10 am as booked, eventhough Shaw Cable don't book 2 hour windows but rather 4 hour windows so customer is not disappointed. TV and internet hooked up, phone is hooked up but phone number has not been released from Telus yet. Due to have same number by July 9. Cat was terrified by front door buzzer and hid for the duration of Shaw connection.

Had coffee with Paula and we did some shopping for local raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb and local vegetables at Ambrosio.

Went home, more unpacking. Box collection is flattened, but now need to take them away.

Went to bed. Did not sleep well. Noise from Cadboro Bay still not use to yet. Finally fell asleep only to wake up to flashes of light. Seems we had a storm. Cat prowled again and meowed several times.

July 3:

Apartment is much cooler today.

Changed address on car insurance. Got car insurance reduced too and have $5 refund coming. Not bad.

Had coffee and my free snack from Serious coffee. Won the free snack on a scratch card on first neighbourhood coffee!!

Went to Surroundings in Cook Street Village. Did not purchase over $500 teak table and chairs that slide apart from small to large. However, did see new desk, walked away, came back, looked again, measured, perfect apartment desk. Teak sliding desk with a lot of options. Made the plunge and bought it. Now to sell my old desk and Ikea table I have.

Did first load of laundry. Couldn't dry any of it in machine. Realized I had one loonie and all quarters. Machines take $1.25. Definately needed the drying rack today. Next item to purchase for household.

Hopefully will sleep better tonight and will get used to noise of traffic. Although I'm not directly on Cadboro Bay, the noise travels to my windows. Hope cat is settling down and she will not prowl tonight but will sleep too.

Still more boxes to tackle, unpack and break down.

Looking forward to kayaking this weekend, picking up desk and going to Organic Food Festival. Need some time to feel this week has been vacation.

Will be heading back to work on July 7th.

Ottawa does it again

Although I left Ottawa 13 years ago, I am still impressed when it comes to recycling. This city operates in the right direction regarding garbage. When I lived there I was able to put out my recycling bin along with my garbage same as here. However, when I wanted to recycle clothing, I could put this out too as long as I tied a shirt, scarf or other visable indicator onto the bag. Appliances could be put out on the street too, just remove the door on the fridge or stove.

Now Ottawa is going even further and I'm impressed again....wish muncipalities in Victoria would get on the bandwagon to reduce what we are sending to Hartland Landfill.

Here is what is happening in Ottawa:

City Council today approved the next step towards implementing aresidential curbside organics collection program to begin by fall 2008. Under thisnew program residents will be able to annually compost over 100,000 tonnes of kitchen scraps and other organic materials that otherwise would go to local landfills. "City-wide composting means that the residential sector will be able to meet the provincial target of keeping 60% of our garbage out of landfills. It is a huge step forward compared to the current 33% diversion level," stated Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of the City's Planning and Environment Committee. "Investing in this program now will benefit future generations and will add years of life to our local landfills." This program lets residents put fruit and vegetable peelings, food scraps, meat,bones, egg shells, vegetable oil, paper towels and napkins, waxed and/or soiled corrugated containers, wood shavings, and yard waste into a different container than the normal garbage can or recycling boxes. "City staff look forward to being able to offer residents a new organics collection and composting program," said Richard Hewitt, Deputy City Manager of Public Worksand Services. "We will review proposals from potential private-sector partners to provide organics processing services and bring forward a report for Council's consideration on the preferred partner with complete costs and details about the new program by fall 2007." The City's Compost Plus+ pilot project, which is in its sixth year of operation,offers a voluntary program of collection of household organics to nine communities comprising 5,300 households. On a yearly basis, the program has successfully captured and diverted approximately 2,000 tonnes of residential organic waste that would have gone to the landfill. Experience gained with this pilot project will be used to design the city-wide program.The City is also exploring new technologies as an alternative to landfills and is pursuing increasing recycling rates in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors, which currently generate approximately 70% of the city's solid waste. Formore information on all the City's recycling programs visit