Ozville in Action

What can you do? Come here and find out! Learn ways you can help others, save the planet, and have a healthier existence.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

I’d like to start my series of entries by sharing these two articles from the November 2007 issue of Whole Life Times.
Healthy Living
And if you’re too lazy to read… in a nutshell:

“For the past several years, government and independent researchers have studied the blood, urine and breast milk of people in all regions of the world. The studies reveal that every single one of us is contaminated with scores of synthetic chemicals that are known to be toxic.
The studies show that:

* Chemical exposure can impact the hormonal system and disrupt normal development at doses far lower than previously expected;
* Genes and chemicals can work together to cause disease;
* Mixtures of chemicals can have enhanced and unexpected effects;
* Early life exposures can lead to health problems that don’t show up until much later in life.”

I share this because many of the products I have been inspired to feature here were in response to these articles. After realizing how many chemicals we surround ourselves with, and unknowingly ingest or absorb, I made it a mission to start surrounding myself with less chemicals, and more organic products.
So for the first of the series of “it won’t kill you” products, I’m going to introduce Earth Science natural deodorant (www.earthessentials.com).

It’s been shown that aluminium and triclosan (also known as irgasan and microban), both in many antiperspirants and deodorants, have negative health effects. There has been evidence that aluminium (which is a powerful neurotoxicant – i.e., toxic to the nervous system) is linked to Alzheimer’s, and triclosan exposure may be linked to cancer. A good article on this can be found at Grinning Planet. According to Wikipedia, Triclosan is found in soaps (0.15-0.30%), deodorants, toothpastes, mouth washes, and cleaning supplies. Apparently (and I’ll be looking into toothpaste sometime down the line as well) researchers that have found that triclosan can react with the chlorine in tap water to form chloroform. This is a toxic chemical that can cause cancer. Yikes.

Ok, so back to the deodorant. I’ve been using the Tea Tree & Lavender ‘flavour’, as I like to call it, and have been very happy with it. This week, I purchased the Mint Rosemary and am going to give that a whirl. Earth Science also has Liken Deodorant (herbal or unscented). The ingredient list for Mint Rosemary (which I have right in front of me) contains: An herbal infusion of Calendula, Sage, Goldenseal, Ginger, Amica and Coriander Extracts in Propylene Glycol, Water, Sodium Stearate, Rosemary Oil, Mint Oil, Lichen Plant Extract, Chamomile Extract, Silica.
You can find Earth Science’s products at Whole Foods and other natural food stores or pharmacies, for about $5.99. You can also order online at places like Amazon.com.
There are obviously more brands that offer aluminium and triclosan-free antiperspirants and deodorants, so shop around for one that works for you. I just enjoy Earth Science. So that’s what I’m recommending! If you have a favourite, please feel free to share!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Let the Blogging Begin!

Welcome to Ozville! My name is Kendal, and through this blog I aim to introduce you to many exciting new things. Well, OK, maybe exciting isn’t the word to use, but many of them are indeed life-changing. Ozville is dedicated to making a positive difference in lives around the world. In this blog, you will find easy ways to improve the quality of your life, the health of the planet, and the lives of others.

To kick it off, I am going to recommend a website I’ve recently discovered.

Kiva.org is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to an entrepreneur in the developing world.

Step by step, it works like this:

1. Kiva.org partners with microfinance institutions that vet and approve loan applications from low-income entrepreneurs.

2. Approved loans are posted to the Kiva.org website for funding. Internet users choose an entrepreneur they would like to lend to, and select the amount they would like to contribute to the loan (starting at $25).

3. As repayments are made each lender receives an email notifying them of the progress of the loan, and journal updates are posted "blog-style" to the business profile by the Field Partner.

4. When the loan has been repaid, the lenders receive their loan amount credited to their Kiva.org account, which they can then withdraw or reloan to another entrepreneur.

It’s a great way to make a difference in someone’s life, without actually spending any money! I know a lot of us want to do good things for others, but can’t afford to do much. Kiva.org allows you to make a microloan, and get repaid in only a few months. You can also purchase gift certificates, and encourage your friends and family to make a microloan. Gift certificates make great presents for children or teens, especially – allowing them to find an entrepreneur they want to assist, and either continuing to re-loan the money or simply reclaim it to buy that new iPod once the loan is repaid!

Before making your microloan, however, be sure to read the Risk and Due Diligence page. I’d suggest making your first loan to someone who has taken out a loan before, and repaid it in a timely fashion, and who has a Field Partner with a rating of 4 or (even better) 5 stars.

Talk to you again soon!