Category Archives: Testimonials

Families Undertaking Ecological Living is the new activism! Join the Movement!


A new form of activism is taking place. Inside of many homes, offices and even playground we are witnessing the emergence of a savvy and conscious effort by families everywhere to positively impact the world. How are they doing it? They are doing it through informed choices in the grocery stores, in the movie theater, in the garage, the office and the playground.
Informed choices matter!
Let us look at how a simple informed choice such as local buying is positively impacting families and also our planet.

Local buying promotes community
Our community is closer than you think  especially when we buy from local producers. We get the added value of knowing where our food is coming from and we also know the “face” behind the brand. It is a beautiful thing to know those who are supplying us with the food that sustains our life.  Our sense of community is enhanced with the knowledge that our supplier is also our advocate. The openness, transparency, and sense of community is invaluable. Knowing that your food is organic, local and that your dollar is being used to support your local economy heightens our feelings of community.

It is great for the bottom line
When we buy local, the money stays close to home and is reinvested within the community and local economy. Our money actually circulates in a loop that sustains the very community you live in. Buying locally creates jobs in our communities and builds strong community-business relationships. Local businesses are far more likely than big-box companies to use community service providers and donate to local non-profit organizations. There are many benefits to buying locally, and it’s not all about the bottom line.

Local is helping to reduce our carbon footprint 

Buying local is also a great way to reduce carbon footprint. Jet lagged food carbon heavy because transporting food requires petroleum based fuels as well as many of the fertilizers on the market. Food that is grown closer to home requires less refrigeration, less processing and as a result less transportation related emissions.

Another choice that is positively impacting our planet is reducing food wastage.
Besides being a waste of money, time and energy, unused food that ends up in landfills is one of the main sources of greenhouse gases. The city of Toronto is a great example of the impact of food waste on a city. In Toronto, single-family households discard about 275 kilos of food waste each year (although that city’s expanding composting program captures about 75 per cent of that). That means one in four food purchases still ends up in the garbage. (Toronto taxpayers spend nearly $10 million a year getting rid of food waste that’s not composted.) Just by reducing food waste we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and we also save money by not throwing away food. By simply learning to plan better and sharpen  our food storage ability we are helping to reduce the release of methane gas in the atmosphere and of course we are saving  a considerable amount of water that is used to grow our food.

The F.U.E.L. movement is a form of activism that is gaining traction around the globe. What is most encouraging of all is that this movement is grassroots, it is free of corporate manipulation and totally dependent on the will, the need and the desire of families who are making informed choices and positively impacting our planet.

Are you part of the FUEL movement?










Drink Water Stored in a Copper Vessel to Reap Numerous Health Benefits

In this modern world where we have UV filters and RO purifiers to purify water, the concept of drinking water stored in a copper vessel might sound old-fashioned. However, this age-old practice referenced in ancient texts of Ayurveda is now supported by several scientific studies.

Storing water in a copper vessel creates a natural purification process. It can kill all the microorganisms (molds, fungi, algae and bacteria) present in the water that could be harmful to the body and make the water perfectly fit for drinking.

In addition, water stored in a copper vessel, preferably overnight or at least for four hours, acquires a certain quality from the copper.

In this modern world where we have UV filters and RO purifiers to purify water, the concept of drinking water stored in a copper vessel might sound old-fashioned. However, this age-old practice referenced in ancient texts of Ayurveda is now supported by several scientific studies.

Storing water in a copper vessel creates a natural purification process. It can kill all the microorganisms (molds, fungi, algae and bacteria) present in the water that could be harmful to the body and make the water perfectly fit for drinking.
In addition, water stored in a copper vessel, preferably overnight or at least for four hours, acquires a certain quality from the copper.

Copper is an essential trace mineral that is vital to human health. It has antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-carcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps neutralize toxins.

Unlike some nutritional elements, the body cannot synthesize copper, so you need to get it from dietary sources.

The best dietary sources include seafood, organ meats, whole grains, lentils, nuts, seeds, chocolate, cereals, potatoes, peas and some dark green leafy vegetables.

Drinking 2 to 3 glasses of water that has been stored in a copper vessel is another easy way to supply your body with enough copper.

According to Ayurveda, drinking copper-enriched water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach helps balance all three doshas (Kapha, Vata and Pitta). This also ensures proper functioning of different organs and several metabolic processes.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of drinking water stored in a copper vessel.
1. Prevents Water-Borne Diseases

Copper very effectively destroys many bacteria that cause water-borne diseases. It is especially effective against E.coli and S.aureus, known to cause diseases like diarrhea, dysentery and jaundice.

In fact, a 2011 study by University of Southampton researchers found that copper proved effective against new E. coli strains. It can also help reduce the risk of cross-contamination and prevent the spread of infection.

So, if you suspect that water is contaminated, store it in a copper vessel to be certain you are drinking healthy and clean water.
2. Keeps the Digestive System Healthy

Be it acidity, gas, constipation or indigestion, copper water can come to your rescue. Copper helps cleanse and detox your stomach to ensure proper elimination of waste and harmful products. It also regulates liver and kidney functioning, and ensures the absorption of nutrients from food.

Copper-infused water also makes a great remedy for any kind of stomach infection.

Each morning on an empty stomach, drink a glass of water that has been stored in a copper vessel to keep your digestive system working properly.
3. Aids Weight Loss

Along with helping your digestive system perform better, copper promotes the breakdown and elimination of fat cells. This in turn helps you lose extra body fat and maintain body weight.

In fact, copper-infused water is a great replacement for high-calorie drinks like alcohol, sugary drinks, caffeinated beverages and sodas that often contribute to weight gain.

However, to lose weight you need to pay attention to your overall diet as well as follow a healthy exercise regimen.
4. Boosts Heart Health

This trace mineral also helps maintain cardiovascular health and plays a key role in preventing heart disease. Copper helps regulate blood pressure and heart rate as well as lowers bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

According to a 2005 study published in the European Heart Journal, copper is good for the overall health of your heart.

In addition, copper prevents the accumulation of plaque in the arteries to promote better blood flow to the heart. On the other hand, its deficiency can elevate cholesterol, blood pressure, homocysteine and uric acid.

If you are at a higher risk of heart disease, try drinking copper-infused water to improve your heart health.
5. Promotes Healthy Skin

Copper is the main component in the production of melanin that defines the color of your eyes, hair and skin. Melanin also helps keep the skin safe from sun damage, speeds up wound healing and covers up scars.

In addition, it aids the production of new cells that help replenish the top layer of your skin. The production of new cells helps you enjoy smooth, blemish-free and clear skin.

In fact, copper-infused water can even help treat vitiligo or white patches on the skin.
6. Beats Anemia

Copper aids the body’s absorption of iron, which plays a key role in fighting anemia. A person suffers from anemia when his red blood cell count is too low and the hemoglobin level in the blood falls below normal.

It can cause symptoms such as general weakness, fatigue, unusually rapid heart beat, shortness of breath, and pale skin.

If you are anemic, eat iron-rich foods or take iron supplements as directed by your doctor. Also, increasing your copper intake by drinking copper-infused water will help your body’s entire process of absorbing and using the iron.

Drink Water Stored in a Copper Vessel to Reap Numerous Health Benefits

7. Slows Down Aging

Copper is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent premature aging signs. It protects cells against free-radical damage, which in turn reduces the appearance of wrinkles, age spots, fine lines and sagging skin. It also helps in the production of new, healthy skin cells.

If you are worried about the appearance of aging signs on your skin, copper-infused water is your natural remedy

8. Stimulates Your Brain

Inside a human brain, continuous transmission of impulses from one neuron to another takes place in an area known as the synapses. A covering called the myelin sheath protects the axons of the neurons to ensure their ability to transmit communication.

Copper helps in the synthesis of phospholipids that help form the myelin sheaths. This is why copper is essential for the smooth functioning of your brain.

In addition, copper has anti-convulsive properties that help prevent seizures. Also, lack of copper during pregnancy may result in incomplete brain and nerve development in the unborn baby.

9. Fights Inflammation

Copper has very potent anti-inflammatory properties. This helps relieve body aches and pains caused by inflammation. It can even be effective in the treatment of arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

This anti-inflammatory property can even help in treating a wide range of problems, such as acne, asthma, sinusitis, periodontitis, hay fever, inflammatory bowel disease, and even cancer.

Drinking a few glasses of water infused with copper daily can provide huge relief from arthritis and other inflammatory pains.

10. Regulates Thyroid Gland

Copper is one of the most important trace minerals that your thyroid gland needs to function properly. A lack of copper can interfere with the smooth functioning of the thyroid, which plays a key role in the functioning of many important organs, including the heart, brain, liver, kidneys and skin.

In addition, people suffering from thyroid disorders may have low levels of copper in their body.

So, try drinking water stored in a copper vessel to improve the functioning of your thyroid gland.

Additional Tips

Pour 2 to 3 glasses of water into the copper vessel, cover and leave it overnight or for at least 6 to 7 hours at room temperature. Then, drink this water throughout the day.

Do not refrigerate the water and avoid drinking it in excess . Just 3 glasses of this water is enough to reap the health benefits. Though rare, excess copper may lead to copper toxicity.

Over time, the copper vessel oxidizes, so you need to clean it from time to time. To clean the vessel, use lime or lemon juice or a small piece of tamarind as a cleanser. The acidic property of lemon and tamarind will make the vessel completely clean.

Do not use a coarse scrub to wash the inside of the vessel. It might scrape away copper from the vessel.



10 Things to Give Up in Exchange for Happiness


I’m told happiness is a choice.

Unfortunately we complicate our lives to the point of being unable to recognize happiness when it appears before our eyes.

So how to clear the slate? Here are 10 things you’ll need to give up in exchange for your happiness.

1. Give up caring what other people think of you. I know it seems counter intuitive as we humans are primal pack animals that don’t want to be cast from the village, but spending time worrying what others think, is a waste of energy. You’ll never please everyone and it’s none of your business what others think of you.

2. Give up trying to please everyone.  Unless you’re living life to the beat of your own drum, your tribe won’t be able to find you. Be the best version of you you can be, and you’ll naturally attract in the people that are supposed to surround you.

3. Give up participating in gossip. 100 percent of the time, those sharing gossip with you will gossip about you. Believing gossip is like gambling everything on a horse sight unseen. It’s naive.

4. Quit worrying. Where thoughts go, energy flows. Worry is investing time and energy in something you don’t want to have happen. Learn to let go and trust.

5. Let go of insecurity. When we take ourselves too seriously, we think everyone else does too. There is one version of you on the planet. Be it, own it and quit worrying about it. No one really cares or watches you that closely.

6. Stop taking everything personally. Truth is, most people are too consumed with their own life to really consider what you’re doing. As my first boss said so well: “The world doesn’t revolve around you. Most people’s reactions have nothing to do with you, so let it go.”

7. Give up the past. We’ve all been hurt, we all had parents that made mistakes and we’ve all been through hell. You didn’t listen to your parents when you were younger, so why are you still listening to their voices in your head now? Every experience in life has taught you something or made you stronger.

8. Give up spending money on what you don’t need in effort to buy happiness. Living simply allows the space for life to flow. We complicate our lives by spending too much money and filling our home with “things.” Less is truly more.

9. Give up anger. Anger burns a hole in the hand of the person still holding on to it. Move it out once and for all.

10. Give up control. Control is an illusion.  We live in an out of control world.  Learn to embrace the new and welcome change; otherwise you’ll grow old through your own rigidity. Learn to let go.

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Here’s Why Steve Jobs Didn’t Let His Kids Use iPads and Why You Shouldn’t Either



The post was originally published on

If you fall within the Gen-Y era like us, chances are you’ve given a bunch of thought as to how you would raise your own children in this day and age (assuming you don’t have children already). Especially with technology, so much has changed since our childhoods in the 90s. Here’s one question: Would you introduce the technological wonder/heroin that is the iPod and iPad to your kids?

Steve Jobs wouldn’t, and for good reason too.

In a Sunday article, New York Times reporter Nick Bilton said he once assumingly asked Jobs, “So your kids must love the iPad?”

Jobs responded:

“They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”

Especially in Silicon Valley, there is actually a trend of tech execs and engineers who shield their kids from technology. They even send their kids to non-tech schools like the Waldorf School in Los Altos, where computers aren’t found anywhere because they only focus on hands-on learning.

There is a quote that was highlighted in The Times by Chris Anderson, CEO of 3D Robotics and a father of five. He explains what drives those who work in tech to keep it from their kids.

“My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules…  That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

If our current addictions to our iPhones and other tech is any indication, we may be setting up our children for incomplete, handicapped lives devoid of imagination, creativity and wonder when we hook them onto technology at an early age. We were the last generation to play outside precisely because we didn’t have smartphones and laptops. We learned from movement, hands-on interaction, and we absorbed information through books and socialization with other humans as opposed to a Google search.

Learning in different ways has helped us become more well-rounded individuals — so, should we be more worried that we are robbing our children of the ability to Snapchat and play “Candy Crush” all day if we don’t hand them a smartphone, or should we more worried that we would be robbing them of a healthier, less dependent development if we do hand them a smartphone? I think Steve Jobs had it right in regard to his kids.

So the next time you think about how you will raise your kids, you may want to (highly) consider not giving them whatever fancy tech we’ll have while they are growing up. Play outside with them and surround them with nature; they might hate you, but they will absolutely thank you for it later, because I’m willing to bet that’s exactly how many of us feel about it now that we are older.

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Scientists Blow The Lid on Cancer & Sunscreen Myth


According to a June 2014 article featured in The Independent (UK), a major study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.

The epidemiological study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.”

Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.

That’s because overall sun avoidance combined with wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3 from the sun’s UVB rays, which is by far the best form of vitamin D.

In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer.

Additionally, vitamin D protects the body from diseases like multiple sclerosis, rickets (in the young), tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome.

According to the Vitamin D Council, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently reported that “lack of sun exposure may lead to cognitive decline over time.”
A dissident dermatologist

Bernard Ackerman, MD, (deceased 2008) was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of skin cancer and the sun, sunscreens and melanoma skin cancer risks.

Below are Ackerman’s views excerpted from an article in The New York Times (July 20, 2004), titled “I BEG TO DIFFER; A Dermatologist Who’s Not Afraid to Sit on the Beach”:

The link between melanoma and sun exposure (dermatology’s dogma) is unproven.There’s no conclusive evidence that sunburns lead to cancer.There is no real proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma.There’s no proof that increased exposure to the sun increases the risk of melanoma.

A 2000 Swedish study concluded that higher rates of melanoma occurred in those who used sunscreen versus those who did not.

Sunscreens: Cancer-Causing Biohazards

Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, is a California-based scientist who authored the book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste, which extensively documents the serious life-threatening dangers of sunscreens not only to people but to the environment as well.

Dr. Plourde provides proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with ubiquitous sunscreen use over a 30-year period. She emphasizes that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).

Environmentally, she notes: “In areas where there has been much exposure to ED [endocrine disrupting] chemicals, coral and other sea populations have died off and the prevalence of dual-sexed fish has risen.”

Dr. Plourde’s research on mice and sunscreen exposure also showed increases in both pup and maternal mortality as well as reproductive issues in subsequent generations.

Additionally, the book documents how sunscreen chemicals have polluted our water sources including oceans, rivers and municipal drinking water. Worse yet, testing revealed that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood!

Dr. Plourde’s book also has a chapter on the importance of vitamin D3 to health, and she posits that the widespread vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to overuse of sunscreen combined with sun avoidance in general.


Credit: “Compelling evidence: Slathering on toxic sunscreen and avoiding the sun could jeopardize your health and shorten your life,” from, by Paul Fassa

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What is away?

Something to think about! What is away?

Away is a place that we never took the time to visit
Away is a place that is covered with dreams of tomorrow
It is a place where builders never build
It is a place where we hide away from the news of the day
It is a place where tomorrow is some distant planet
It is you covered in debris, it is you immersed in sludge
It is filled with the excess from our “unavoidable convenience” culture

Away is somewhere, somewhere where you have never been
Away is neither here nor there some say it is somewhere outside of reality
It is the only place where we send our history and our future to disappear…forever
It is a place where forever stumbles upon a mountain called a nightmare
It is a plastic oceans reflecting sunlight and choking marine life
It is a wasteland hidden from view yet growing bigger everyday
It is all of us detached, yet together in a future that stumbles for meaning

Where is a away? Away is the question and the answer.

It is paradise of toxic
It is a treasure trove of broken promises
It is homes united in convenience
It is businesses at war with each other…the victor lives to pollute another day
It is somewhere…where exactly? Only you could say.
Could you tell me? Could you tell us? Could you tell yourself…where is away?

Dana Oliver

Would you be able to rattle off a list if someone were to quiz you on the toxic ingredients found in shampoo or nail polish? Even with beauty product labeling apps like Think Dirty, there are still many harmful chemicals lurking in personal care products that are overlooked.

This is where Harvard Business School MBA student Jessica Assaf and Sleigh Bells frontwoman Alexis Krauss come in. To help consumers to pay closer attention to what goes on their bodies, the duo co-founded #Truthbeauty, a game-changing project that aims to offer women and men the “safest, highest-performing and most affordable products on the market.”

The team partnered with 10 companies to launch two bags: one with five skincare products, and the other with five makeup essentials. They recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to pre-sell their The Huffington Post interviewed Assaf and Krauss about how their cool collection of non-toxic cosmetics empowers consumers to use safe beauty products. Check out the exchange below.

The Huffington Post: How did you curate which brands to include in #TruthBeauty?

Jessica Assaf: All 10 companies are mission-driven, and they are owned and operated by women. These companies do not have advertising budgets compared to the commercial brands, and as a result, the majority of consumers have never heard of them. They are also significantly more expensive than the drugstore brands, which makes them unaffordable for most people.

HuffPost: Have you always been an avid user of natural skincare and beauty products?

Assaf: When I was 15 years old, I found out that an ingredient in my favorite mascara was used to wax airplane wheels. I was heartbroken. It felt like my first real breakup. But that realization sparked a longtime passion to transform the beauty industry. Ten years later, I am still trying to improve cosmetic safety, and I am still learning. Because there is no pre-market safety testing or labeling requirements, there is so much we don’t know. But it is up to us to figure out the truth about the products we are putting on our skin every single day.

HuffPost: When and how did you make the switch to non-toxic beauty products?

Alexis Krauss: For me, it all started a little over a year ago when I learned aboutmicroplastics in face wash. I was horrified that those little scrubbers were causing so much damage to the environment. That was the catalyst that caused me to start looking into other synthetic ingredients on product labels. I learned about each harmful ingredient and started eliminating it from my routine. First I banned parabens, then petrochemicals, then ynthetic fragrances. But it wasn’t just about banning, it was also about embracing numerous natural ingredients and discovering simple, effective and sustainable alternatives. I also started experimenting with DIY recipes.

HuffPost: How has your experience as a music artist open your eyes to misconceptions about what’s in our beauty products?

Krauss: The beauty industry often relies on artists to sell its products. The irony is that the very musicians that are championing the environment and human health are also endorsing major cosmetic companies. They are unknowingly supporting everything from the oil and gas industry to the manufacturing of known carcinogens. I don’t blame the artists for this. I once modeled for Sephora because I was completely clueless about these connections. I blame the beauty industry for continuing to be motivated by profit and never educating their consumers on what’s really in their products. Artists with influence need to change their own routines and support companies that are acting ethically and sustainably.

HuffPost: What products do you use on the road?

Krauss: I mostly do my shopping before I leave for tour. I make sure my makeup bag is stocked with my favorite healthy beauty essentials. I wear lots of eye makeup on stage so I can never have too much olive oil. It’s the best natural eye makeup remover!

HuffPost: What advice do you have for women and men who may be on the fence about trying natural skincare and beauty products?

Krauss: Take it slow! Start by educating yourself on the ingredients inside one product you use every single day. Does it contain endocrine disrupting chemicals, allergens or carcinogens? If it does, ask yourself if it’s worth it. Do you really want to be exposing your body to hazardous chemicals when there are so many incredible, safe alternatives out there? Also have fun! Start with making a DIY face mask or body scrub out of ingredients in your kitchen and see where the journey takes you. Assaf: Don’t forget our power as consumers to really influence change. If we collectively boycott a certain product and use targeted marketing to let the company know, they will likely agree to reformulate. I saw that happen with Johnson & Johnson after the public learned their U.S. baby shampoo contained two formaldehyde-releasing preservatives. We really can see change happen if we act strategically.

HuffPost: How do you see the #TruthBeauty bag evolving five or 10 years from now?

Assaf: We eventually want to expand #Truthbeauty into a full e-commerce platform to support all of our favorite products and make these products accessible and affordable for everyone. We also hope to work on legislation that improves the beauty industry as a whole, and to continue to develop unique and interesting content on the Beauty, Lies, Truth blog. It is our dream to help make safe, effective and affordable products the expected norm.
Click here to visit the #TruthBeauty