Monthly Archives: December 2007

Save Holiday Driving

Many of us are hitting the roads during the Holiday Season. You can be extra safe driving and are rewarded by saving some green. Hybrid owners are not the only people who can tread lightly on the environment. Driving smoothly at the same speed by avoiding stop and go increases your fuel mileage. Avoid frequently speeding up and slowing down and go easy on the breaks. Use the cruise control on the highways if you have it. The closer you maintain a speed between 55 and 60 is best. Every 5 miles that will cost you an extra 10 cents per gallon. And all of these tips reduce the amount of carbon emissions released by your car. Safe travels and Happy Holidays!

Evading the Parabens

One of the chemical groups I am eliminating from my life is the parabens.  Parabens are used in almost all moisturizers and skin creams, shampoos, conditioners, makeup, deodorants, and even in most baby moisturizers and other baby lotions.

Why the worry?  Parabens can cause skin irritations, contact dermatitis and allergies.  Worse though, in a study of breast tumors, scientists found parabens in every sample.  Parabens have also been linked to ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and testicular cancer.  They are also suspected to effect fetal development.

They act as estrogen mimics, which is a bad thing because increased amounts of estrogen over a lifetime is linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. Most people expose themselves to parabens daily, and most people are exposing themselves to parabens more than a few times a day.

The parabens can be found in your ingredients are listed in order of strength:  butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, ethylparaben, methylparaben.  My advice: carefully read your ingredient listings and steer clear of any of these.  Most organic products do not contain parabens, by the way.

Congress Passes Energy Bill

Today, the US Congress has passed an energy bill that some are calling “historic.”  Here are key pieces:

  • 35 mpg fuel efficiency by 2020 (which still puts us behind many other nations)
  • push toward more biofuels beyond petroleum-based fuel (which makes up 97% of our fuel needs)
  • stronger standards for buildings and infrastructure.

One thing that makes this significant is that environmentalists,  business, & security interests came together to make this possible.  For more info, take a look at the BBC article, “US Congress approves energy bill.”

Bali Climate Conference

In case you missed it, the Bali Climate Conference has come to an end.  I’ve felt that the coverage of this important conference has not been spectacular.  For a recap, you can visit the PBS News Hour piece, Bali Climate Conference Ends with Compromise (you can watch, listen, or read the transcript).  The bottom line is that a new “road map” (is everything a road map these days?) for climate change was negotiated, but the US, which is the only leading industrial nation to not agree to the old “road map” from Kyoto Japan in 1997.  Let’s hope that our country catches up to the late 1990s at some point.