Category Archives: Blog

Kids Cannot Handle Chemicals

The clothing we wear can affect our well-being.  Plastic and synthetic clothes can make our skin sick. It is not just the fiber of the cloth that matters; industry has generated various ways to top the fiber with dangerous, toxic and unhealthy chemicals. They come hidden in synthetic dyes and chemicals finishes. Common allergic skin reactions are caused by the formaldehyde, finishing resins, dyes, glues, chemical additives, tanning agents and fire retardants that are used in today’s modern clothing production.

Imagine if it can affect adults health, how much damage it can cause kids with tender skin.

In a policy statement entitled Food Additives and Child Health, the American Academy of Pediatrics warns about these harms — and points out that they often are worse for children. Children are smaller, so their “dose” of any given chemical ends up being higher. They put their hands in their mouths more than adults do, so they are likely to ingest more. Their bodies are still developing, so they can be more at risk of harm — and they are young, so the chemicals have more time to do more damage.

Do we really know what clothing our kids are in? Most of us don’t.  Lets know what kind of chemicals are lurking in our kids clothes and let us kick them out.

Below is a list of chemicals found in kids clothes:

  1. Phthalates:

In the textile industry they are used in artificial leather, rubber and PVC and in some dyes. These can also act like hormones, interfering with male genital development, and can increase the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease. They are ubiquitous, found not just in plastic packaging, garden hoses, and inflatable toys, but also in things like nail polish, hairsprays, lotions, and fragrances. .

2. Perfluoroalkyl chemicals (PFCs).

In Textile industry they are used to make textile and leather products both water and stain- proof. They can lead to low-birth weight babies, as well as problems with the immune system, the thyroid, and fertility. They are commonly found in grease-proof paper, cardboard packaging, and commercial household products such as water-repellent fabric and nonstick pans, among other places.

3. Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs)

Nonylphenol ethoxylates (NPEs) are man-made chemicals that are widely used as surfactants by textiles manufacturers. Once released to the environment, NPEs degrade to nonylphenols (NP), which are known to be toxic and act as hormone disrupters. NP is known to accumulate in many living organisms. The presence of NPEs in finished products shows that they have been used during their manufacture, which is likely to result in the release of NPEs and NP in wastewater from manufacturing facilities. In addition, NPE residues in these products will be washed out during laundering and released into the public wastewater systems of the countries where the products are sold.

4. Organotin compounds

Organotin compounds are used in biocides and as antifungal agents in a range of consumer products. Within the textile industry they have been used in products such as socks, shoes and sport clothes to prevent odour caused by the breakdown of sweat.  One of the best-known organotin compounds is tributyltin (TBT). One of its main uses was in antifouling paints for ships, until evidence emerged that it persists in the environment, builds up in the body and can affect immune and reproductive systems. Its use as an antifouling paint is now largely banned. TBT has also been used in textiles

5. Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury

Heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury, have been used in certain dyes and pigments used for textiles. These metals can accumulate in the body over time and are highly toxic, with irreversible effects including damage to the nervous system (lead and mercury) or the kidneys (cadmium). Cadmium is also known to cause cancer.

Uses of chromium (VI) include certain textile processes and leather tanning: it is highly toxic even at low concentrations, including to many aquatic organisms.

Some other commonly found chemicals to be alert of:

6. Perchlorate. This chemical also interferes with thyroid function, and can disrupt early brain development. It’s found in some dry food packaging — it’s used to decrease static electricity — and sometimes in drinking water.

7. . Artificial food colors. These have been found to increase symptoms in children who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. They are found in all sorts of food products, but especially those marketed for children.

8. Nitrates and nitrites. These can interfere with the thyroid, as well as with the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to the body. They can also increase the risk of certain cancers. They are used to preserve food and enhance its color. They are commonly found in processed foods, especially meats.

HERE’S WHAT PARENTS CAN DO:

  1. Just say no to sandals, shoes, boots or raingear made entirely or predominantly from rubber- or plastic-like materials. Keep an eye out when shopping for shoes treated with anti-microbial chemicals.
  2. Rid wardrobes of garments screen printed with plastisol, the thick, rubbery material used to create slightly raised designs and logos.
  3. Don’t purchase clothing promising stain-resistant, waterproof, or odor-fighting performance, technologies which utilize toxic chemicals.
  4. Steer clear of polyester, which frequently contains traces of antimony.
  5. Stick to natural fiber clothing, preferably organic.
  6. Select clothing manufactured in the U.S. and Europe where regulations are generally stricter.
  7. Don’t add insult to injury. Wash clothing in plant-based detergent without synthetic fragrance, which can contain hormone disrupting chemicals. And skip the fragrant dryer sheets.

The Organic Trade Association estimates that one non-organic cotton T-shirt uses one-third pound of pesticides and fertilizers. Cotton production uses one-fourth of all the world’s fertilizers. It’s another good reason to choose organic cotton to add to the ones above.

25 Tips for healthy wear– click here

Here is what the AAP suggests (American Academy of Pediatrics ):

  • Buy and serve more fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed meats, especially during pregnancy.
  • Since heat can cause plastics to leak BPA and phthalates into food, avoid microwaving food or beverages in plastic containers. Also: wash plastics by hand rather than putting them in the dishwasher.
  • Use more glass and stainless steel instead of plastic.
  • Avoid plastics with the numbers 3, 6, and 7 on them.
  • Wash hands thoroughly before and after touching food, and clean all fruits and vegetables well.

And here are a few more ideas:

  • Cut back on canned foods and beverages in general.
  • Cut back on fast food and processed foods.
  • Read labels. Get to know what is in the products you use.
  • Look for lotions, soaps, and other products that are made naturally — and are fragrance-free.
  • Consider making your own home cleaning products. You’d be amazed what a little baking soda or vinegar can do.

Common food additives and chemicals harmful to children

https://supernaturalcollections.com/blogs/blog/15710024-6-hazardous-chemicals-found-in-branded-childrens-clothes

http://ingienous.com/sectors/the-environment/pollution-solutions/steps-we-can-take-to-protect-ourselves-from-chemical-toxicity/

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/big-fashion-stitch-up/  http://fashionrevolution.org   http://ethicalfashionforum.com

NPEs (nonylphenol ethoxylates)

http://www.silverneedleandthread.com/Chemicals-in-Clothes.html

Main picture courtesy: Pixabay

Health Tips!


To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art. – La Rochefoucauld


This article is published on Lorain County website and is produced in its original form

Healthy Eating

  1. Select meat and poultry cuts that are leaner or trim the fat off before eating.
  2. Restaurants often serve extra large portions. Consider sharing a meal with someone.
  3. Eat more fruit and vegetables.
  4. Eat off smaller plates or take smaller portions.
  5. When eating out, an appetizer or side dishes make good alternatives to large portions.
  6. Choose vegetables as a side dish instead of fried potatoes.
  7. Choose whole grains for breads or cereal for a healthy diet.
  8.  Keep a bowl of fruit on your desk at work.
  9. Eat yogurt instead of ice cream.
  10. Eat sweet potatoes as an alternative to regular baked potatoes or fries.
  11. Use salsa on your baked potato instead of sour cream.
  12. Eat the skin on your baked potato. Don’t eat the skin on your chicken.
  13. Have an apple or glass of water before dinner.
  14. A serving of vegetables = 1 cup raw, leafy or 1/2 cup of raw chopped vegetables.
  15. A serving size of fruit = 1 medium piece, 1/2 cup mixed of fruit, or 3/4 cup fruit juice.
  16.  A serving size: 2-3 ounces cooked lean meat, poultry or fish (size of a deck of cards).
  17. Serving size = 1 slice bread, 1/2 bagel or English muffin, or 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal.
  18. Cut down on saturated fat in creamy dressings by mixing in nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt.
  19.  Wait 20 minutes before getting another plate of food from a buffet. You may not be hungry.
  20. Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food and after handling raw meats.
  21. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables in running tap water to remove visible dirt and grime.
  22. Washing your hands regularly is a great way to prevent cold, flu and other diseases.
  23. Kick your slim-down efforts into high gear… start each meal with a glass of water.
  24.  One pound of body fat equals 3500 calories. Increase activity & decrease calories to lose!
  25. More fiber can starve off cravings, keep your belly fuller and your waistline smaller!
  26. An 8-ounce container of yogurt has about 11 grams of protein.
  27. Sometimes when you feel hungry, your body is just thirsty! Try a glass of water first!
  28. Eating together as a family 5 times a week can decrease your child’s chance of obesity.
  29. When out to eat, ask for a box with your food so you can put half in before you eat.
  30. Eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day, the more color the better!
  31.  As a source of vitamin B-6, bananas aid your immune system and help form red blood cells.
  32. American Heart Association recommends that everyone eat fish twice weekly.
  33.  Eating 25 grams or about 1 ounce of soy protein a day can help decrease cholesterol.
  34.  Berries contain over 4,000 different compounds that have antioxidant properties.
  35. One red bell pepper has 300% of the recommended daily value for Vitamin C.
  36.  Dark green leafy vegetables, lima beans and black beans are a good source of Folic acid.
  37.  A heart-healthy diet includes plenty of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans and olive oil.
  38. Pregnant women should eat at least four servings of dairy products and calcium-rich foods.
  39. Use smaller plates to control portions and eat less.
  40. Support your community and buy local fruit and vegetables from a farm market.
  41. Turn off the TV during meals and tune into hunger cues to prevent overeating.
  42. To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art. – La Rochefoucauld
  43. He that takes medicine and neglects diet wastes the skill of the physician-Chinese Proverb
  44. The tools that allow for optimum health are diet and exercise. -Bill Toomey
  45. “Your stomach shouldn’t be a waste basket.” -Anonymous

Resource:

https://www.livehealthyloraincounty.com/healthtips

15 WAYS TO STOP MICROFIBER POLLUTION

Know your Clothes. It matters.


Think about all your clothing made of acrylic, nylon, and polyester. Yes, that means fleece, trousers, blouses, socks, and even your beloved yoga pants. Did you know? Every time you wash these synthetic fabrics, millions of microfibers are released into the water. Microfibers are too small to be filtered out by waste treatment plants, so they end up in our waterways and oceans, where they wreak havoc on marine animals and the environment.

Plastic fibers are now showing up in fish and shellfish sold in in California and Indonesia for human consumption. And one paper showed that microfibers are responsible for 85 percent of shoreline pollution across the globe. How can we stop this pollution?

15. Watch The Story of Stuff’s microfiber movie to learn about the issue.

14. Wash synthetic clothes less frequently and for a shorter duration.

13. Fill up your washing machine. Washing a full load results in less friction between the clothes and fewer fibers released.

12. Consider switching to a liquid laundry soap. Laundry powder “scrubs” and loosens more microfibers.

11. Use a colder wash setting. Higher temperature can damage clothes and release more fibers.

10. Dry spin clothes at low revs. Higher revolutions increase the friction between the clothes.

9. When you clean out your dryer, place lint in the trash instead of washing it down the drain.

8. Consider purchasing a Guppy Friend wash bag. In tests, the bag captured 99 percent of fibers released in the washing process. The bags will soon be available for purchase at Patagonia for $20-30.

7. Purchase a washing machine lint filter. These filters require more of an investment, but they will benefit your septic system and the environment. Check out this one or this one.

6. Speak up and tell clothing designers to choose natural fabrics that aren’t prone to shedding. Sign the petition here!

5. Join Plastic Pollution Coalition to read the latest news and help us get the word out.

4. Tell your friends and family about microfiber pollution.

3. Avoid purchasing cheaply-made, “fast fashion” clothes, whenever possible. 

2. Buy clothes made from natural fibers such as cotton, linen, and wool. Natural fibers will eventually break down in the environment. Plastic fibers will never go away. 

1. Share this article to spread the #StopTheMicrofiber message. We all can do something to help.

PS: Read our article on microfiber pollution here- Invisible Plastic

References: 

Above article originally published on plasticpollutioncoalition website on March 02, 2017. We are sharing with our readers for awareness.

https://www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org/blog/2017/3/2/15-ways-to-stop-microfiber-pollution-now

Picture courtesy: https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/stop-microfiber-pollution

PLASTIC IS PILING UP

50% of plastic is used once then thrown away


This article was originally published by Yale Environment 360 (Katz, Cheryl, “Piling Up: How China’s Ban in Importing Waste has Stalled Global Recycling”, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, March 7, 2019).  We are reprinting here for our readers

it has been more than a year since China jammed the works of recycling programs around the world by essentially shutting down what had been the industry’s biggest market. China’s “National Sword” policy, enacted in January 2018, banned the import of most plastics and other materials headed for that nation’s recycling processors, which had handled nearly half of the world’s recyclable waste for the past quarter century. The move was an effort to halt a deluge of soiled and contaminated materials that was overwhelming Chinese processing facilities and leaving the country with yet another environmental problem — and this one not of its own making.

In the year since, China’s plastics imports have plummeted by 99 percent, leading to a major global shift in where and how materials tossed in the recycling bin are being processed. While the glut of plastics is the main concern, China’s imports of mixed paper have also dropped by a third. Recycled aluminum and glass are less affected by the ban.

Globally more plastics are now ending up in landfills, incinerators, or likely littering the environment as rising costs to haul away recyclable materials increasingly render the practice unprofitable. In England, more than half-a-million more tons of plastics and other household garbage were burned last year. Australia’s recycling industry is facing a crisis as the country struggles to handle the 1.3 million-ton stockpile of recyclable waste it had previously shipped to China.

Across the United States, local governments and recycling processors are scrambling to find new markets. Communities from Douglas County, Oregon to Hancock, Maine, have curtailed collections or halted their recycling programs entirely, which means that many residents are simply tossing plastic and paper into the trash.

Some communities, like Minneapolis, stopped accepting black plastics and rigid #6 plastics like disposable cups. Others, like Philadelphia, are now burning the bulk of their recyclables at a waste-to-energy plant, raising concerns about air pollution. Even before China’s ban, only 9 percent of discarded plastics were being recycled, while 12 percent were burned. The rest were buried in landfills or simply dumped and left to wash into rivers and oceans.

Without China to process plastic bottles, packaging, and food containers — not to mention industrial and other plastic waste — experts warn it will exacerbate the already massive waste problem posed by our throwaway culture.

The planet’s load of nearly indestructible plastics — more than 8 billion tons have been produced worldwide over the past six decades — continues to grow. “Already, we’ve been seeing evidence in the past year of the accumulation of plastic waste in countries that are dependent on exporting,” says the University of Georgia’s Amy Brooks, a Ph.D. student in engineering and lead author of a recent study on the impacts of China’s import ban. “We’ve seen increased cost to consumers, closure of recycling facilities, and ultimately decreased plastic waste diversion.”

The recycling crisis triggered by China’s ban could have an upside, experts say, if it leads to better solutions for managing the world’s waste, such as expanding processing capacities in North America and Europe, and spurring manufacturers to make their products more easily recyclable. Above all, experts say it should be a wake-up call to the world on the need to sharply cut down on single-use plastics.

Over the coming decade, as many as 111 million tons of plastics will have to find a new place to be processed or otherwise disposed of as a result of China’s ban, according to Brooks and University of Georgia engineering professor Jenna Jambeck. However, the places trying to take up some of the slack in 2018 tended to be lower-income countries, primarily in Southeast Asia, many of which lack the infrastructure to properly handle recyclables. Many of those countries were quickly overwhelmed by the volume and have also now cut back on imports.

Prior to China’s ban, 95 percent of the plastics collected for recycling in the European Union and 70 percent in the U.S. were sold and shipped to Chinese processors. There, they were turned into forms to be repurposed by plastic manufacturers. Favorable rates for shipping in cargo vessels that carried Chinese consumer goods abroad and would otherwise return to China empty, coupled with the country’s low labor costs and high demand for recycled materials, made the practice profitable.

“Everyone was sending their materials to China because their contamination standard was low and their pricing was very competitive,” says Johnny Duong, acting chief operating officer of California Waste Solutions, which handles recycling for Oakland and San Jose. Like most municipal recycling programs, those cities contract with Duong’s company to collect and sort recyclable waste at its materials recovery facility, where they are baled and sent to end-market processors. Before the ban, Duong says, his company sold around 70 percent of its recyclables to China. Now, that has fallen to near zero.

China’s action came after many recycling programs had transitioned from requiring consumers to separate paper, plastics, cans, and bottles to today’s more common “single stream,” where it all goes into the same blue bin. As a result, contamination from food and waste has risen, leaving significant amounts unusable. In addition, plastic packaging has become increasingly complex, with colors, additives, and multilayer, mixed compositions making it ever more difficult to recycle. China has now cut off imports of all but the cleanest and highest-grade materials — imposing a 99.5 percent purity standard that most exporters found all-but impossible to meet.

“All recyclable plastics from municipal recycling programs have been pretty much banned,” says Anne Germain, vice president of technical and regulatory affairs for the U.S. trade group National Waste and Recycling Association. “It’s had a tremendous impact. Costs associated with recycling are up, revenue associated with recycling is down. And that’s not turning around in the next few weeks.”

The U.S. and Europe, where many cities have longstanding recycling collection programs, have been especially hard-hit. Decades of reliance on China had stifled development of domestic markets and infrastructure. “There are just not very easy or cost-effective options for dealing with it now,” says Brooks. “So if nothing is done to ensure efficient management of plastic waste, the cost-effective option is to send it to landfills or incineration.”

In the U.S., small town and rural recycling operations have been hit the hardest. While most continue to operate, rising costs and falling incomes are forcing some, like Kingsport, Tennessee to shut down. Others, like Phenix City, Alabama, have stopped accepting all plastics. Places like Deltona, Florida suspended curbside pickup. Residents in municipalities like these now must travel to collection points in sometimes distant locations if they want to recycle. Some are inevitably tossing their recyclables in the trash instead.

Most larger cities — such as New York, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon — have been able to either find alternative markets or improve and expand their municipal operations to process higher-quality and more marketable materials. But many have had to make changes, including dropping some harder-to-recycle materials from their programs. Sacramento, California, for instance, halted collections of plastics labeled #4 through #7 for several months last year at the city waste operator’s request. Residents were told to discard those items in their household garbage.

“That was a real eye opener for a lot of folks who love to feel good about putting their recycling in their blue bin and then it magically turns into something else,” says Erin Treadwell, community outreach manager for Sacramento Public Works. “We wish it was that easy.” Collection there resumed in November after a public education campaign on how households should clean and sort their recyclables.

In Philadelphia last year, when the city’s waste contractor demanded higher fees for collecting and processing recycled materials, the city sent half its recyclables to a waste-to-energy plant, where they were burned to generate electricity; the rest went to an interim contractor.

Incineration is on the rise in parts of Europe, as well. In England, nearly 11 million tons of waste were burned at waste-to-energy plants last year, up 665,000 tons from the previous fiscal year. The facilities are designed to contain emissions, and the practice has strong proponents for and against among environmentalists and scientists. However, a recent study by the non-profit Zero Waste Europe found that even the most state-of-the-art incinerators can emit dioxins and other harmful pollutants.

European nations that had exported most of their recyclables to China have faced growing piles of low-quality plastic scrap, causing “a congestion of the whole system,” says Chaim Waibel, advisor for the industry association Plastics Recyclers Europe. The displaced European plastic was mostly diverted to Indonesia, Turkey, India, Malaysia, and Vietnam, Waibel says.

A variety of new policies aimed at reducing plastic waste are also in the works. The European Parliament recently approved a ban on single-use plastics, including plastic cutlery, straws, and drink-stirrers. Several North American cities, including Seattle and Vancouver, and companies like Starbucks and American Airlines have taken similar actions. And many places around the world now restrict plastic shopping bags.

“Reducing the amount of waste we generate in the first place is the most important thing we can do,” says Lance Klug, information officer for California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. The agency has been working with manufacturers for the past decade to reduce the discarded packaging that makes up about a quarter of what’s in the state’s landfills, he says, adding, “We’re trying to get industry more involved in the end-of-life disposition of their products.”

Britain is planning to tax manufacturers of plastic packaging with less than 30 percent recycled materials. And Norway recently adopted a system in which single-use plastic bottle-makers pay an “environmental levy” that declines as the return rate for their products rises. The bottles must be designed for easy recycling, with no toxic additives, only clear or blue color, and water-soluble labels.

One year on, China’s National Sword policy is proving to be double-edged — both sparking chaos and drawing overdue attention to the way the world deals with its waste.

“The collect-sort-export model, with some domestic manufacturing, worked for us for a long time when markets for recycled materials were good, particularly in China,” says Klug. “But that’s no longer the case and it’s probably never going to be the case again.”

FASHION FOR PEACE

There is no beauty in finest cloth if it makes hunger and unhappiness -Mahatma Gandhi


 

Question to ask is; Can a piece of cloth be violent and bring unhappiness and hunger? The answer is yes. 

Lets look further why:

  • Every piece of new clothing, if not made sustainably, can be the product of countless chemicals and dyes, all of which can be harmful to the earth, air, groundwater as well as the people making the clothing and even the people who try it on and then wear it. This kind of piece of cloth is violent towards planet earth.
  • Every piece of new clothing, if made as a part of fast fashion, so that consumer can buy cheaper and as a result buy more will lead to a tremendous pressure on manufacturer to cut cost by paying low wages. This in result brings unhappiness. Better margin for factory can lead to better pay for the workers.
  • Every piece of new clothing, if made in a sweatshop, where hours are long and wages are pitiful, working conditions are bad , will lead to poverty and unhappiness.                  

How does this affect us and our buying choices as a consumer? If we knew, the shirt we are going to buy is made in a sweatshop, it is quite likely we might decline it. After all, we don’t want to wear something which has hurt someone while its manufacturing process. I think, however beautiful a garment might look, it is not worth if it is made in a sweat shop.

As Mahatma Gandhi rightly said “There is no beauty in finest cloth of it makes hunger and unhappiness”. I think, anyone would gladly offer 50cents or a dollar more on a piece of garment if they are assured that the money would go to improve the living wage of the workers who made those clothes for us, instead of adding it to the profits of retailers or manufacturers.

Is there anything we can do to help the workers who made our clothes on other side of the world? Yes, we can. Ask the retailer to publish minimum wage paid on every style they sell, on their website. Even better: ask the retailers and importers to print he minimum wage paid for a garment on the label or tag, of every garment sold. If you are thinking this is not possible then read this. You might have underestimated YOUR (consumer’s) power.

In February 2019 ISHA hosted Fashion For Peace at New York Fashion Week, an event inspired by Sadhguru’s vision to lead a global shift back to natural and organic fibers and handmade textiles.

The Isha Foundation, a non-profit organisation founded by Vasudev, has worked on curating over a hundred Indian textiles that have been a part of India’s design vocabulary for nearly 5,000 years. Each of the participating designers worked on creating exclusive looks that will champion the weaves. The presentation was produced by People’s Revolution along with the students of the High School of Art and Design, a New York City public school that aims towards educating and inspiring gifted students to become artists.

Four leading-edge fashion designers collaborated in the event: Norma Kamali, Maya Hoffman, Sabyasachi Mukherjee and Mimi Prober. Using a selection of rare Indian weaves and fabrics curated by Sadhguru, each designer created exclusive looks to illustrate the exceptional beauty of natural and handmade fabrics.

This first-of-its-kind event drew a large attendance to view the work of the designers and to hear Sadhguru explain how as human beings we must transform the way we clothe ourselves – with natural fiber and handmade craft used in our clothing, it impacts and improves the lives of millions while also addressing the toxic pollution caused by the production of and growing dependence on synthetic textiles.

Sadhguru spoke about the big picture of our environment, health and overall wellbeing of the planet, pointing out how food, agriculture, housing, economics and now even clothing have become violent. The pollution caused by the textile industry, and how the microfibers of synthetic fabrics have made their way into the oceans and waterways, working their way up the food chain and into our bodies. 

So what are natural fibers and what happens if we start wearing natural fibre made clothes?

Natural fibers can be defined as bio-based fibers or fibers from vegetable and animal origin. This includes all natural cellulosic fibers like cotton, jute, sisal, coir, flax, hemp, abaca, ramie, etc. and protein based fibers such as wool and silk.

Natural fibers are a healthy choice

Most people know natural fibers provide natural ventilation. That is why a cotton T-shirt feels so comfortable on a hot day – and why sweat-suits used for weight reduction are 100% synthetic. Wool garments act as insulators against both cold and heat – Bedouins wear thin wool to keep themselves cool. Coconut fibers used in mattresses have natural resistance to fungus and mites. Hemp fiber has antibacterial properties, and studies show that linen is the most hygienic textile for hospital bed sheets.

Natural fibers are a responsible choice

Natural fibers are of major economic importance to many developing countries and vital to the livelihoods and food security of millions of small-scale farmers and processors. They include 10 million people in the cotton sector in West and Central Africa, 4 million small-scale jute farmers in Bangladesh and India, one million silk industry workers in China, and 120 000 alpaca herding families in the Andes. By choosing natural fibers we boost the sector’s contribution to economic growth and help fight hunger and rural poverty. 

Natural fires are a sustainable choice

The emerging “green” economy is based on energy efficiency, renewable feed stocks in polymer products, industrial processes that reduce carbon emissions and recyclable materials. Natural fibers are a renewable resource. Growing one ton of jute fiber requires less than 10% of the energy used for the production of polypropylene. Natural fibers are carbon neutral. Processing produces residues that can be used in bio composites for building houses or to generate electricity. At the end of their life cycle, natural fibers are 100% biodegradable. 

Natural fibers are a high-tech choice

Natural fibers have good mechanical strength, low weight and low cost. That has made them particularly attractive to the automobile industry. In Europe, car makers are using an estimated 80 000 tons of natural fibers a year to reinforce thermoplastic panels. India has developed composite boards made from coconut fiber that are more resistant to rotting than teak. Brazil is making roofing material reinforced with sisal. In Europe, hemp wastes are used in cement, and China used hemp-based construction materials in the past.

There is a pressing need to transform the way clothes are made. Eliminating wasteful practices, reducing electricity, water and chemicals consumption can have a positive impact on our and planet earth’s health and wellbeing. Choice of our clothes has impact on environment therefore making intelligent and thoughtful buying decisions can help to create clothing with minimal negative impacts upon the environment, animals and human welfare

References:

https://isha.sadhguru.org/us/en/blog/article/fashion-for-peace-newyork-fashion-week-event-highlights

http://www.wildfibres.co.uk/

http://www.naturalfibres2009.org/

http://www.globalexchange.org/fairtrade/sweatfree/faq

 

A serious look in your closet

Go Green – There is not Planet B

This might dissappoint you but its true. Most of the clothes in your closet might have one of the 8,000 synthetic chemicals used in fashion manufacturing, most of which contain known carcinogens and hormone disruptors and are kept undisclosed and hiding within the fibers of the industry’s most sought out styles.

$7 trillion/year clothing industry is manufactured using an astounding 8,000 synthetic chemicals. Nowadays clothes also contain toxins like formaldehyde, brominated flame retardants, and perfluorinated chemicals (Teflon) to provide “non-iron” and “non-wrinkle” qualities. Insecticides are even applied in the name of good health. 

For half a century, skin and chemicals have been interacting and creating problems like infertility, respiratory diseases, contact dermatitis, and cancer.

The more synthetic clothing you wear, the greater your risk of absorbing toxic chemicals that harm your health. Skin is the largest body organ and when toxins are absorbed through your skin, they bypass your liver, the organ responsible for removing toxins. You also may not realize that your skin keeps you healthy by venting up to a pound of toxins per day.

Knowledge is power, lets have a closer look:

Synthetic and Performance :

1. Polyester is the worst fabric you can buy. It is made from synthetic polymers that are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid.

2. Acrylic fabrics are polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the EPA.

3. Rayon is recycled wood pulp that must be treated with chemicals like caustic soda, ammonia, acetone and sulphuric acid to survive regular washing and wearing.

4. Acetate and Triacetate are made from wood fibers called cellulose and undergo extensive chemical processing to produce the finished product.

5. Nylon is made from petroleum and is often given a permanent chemical finish that can be harmful.

6. Anything static resistant, stain resistant, permanent press, wrinkle-free, stain proof or moth repellant. Many of the stain resistant and wrinkle-free fabrics are treated with perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs), like Teflon.

 For half a century, skin and chemicals have been interacting and creating problems like infertility, respiratory diseases, contact dermatitis, and cancer.

The more synthetic clothing you wear, the greater your risk of absorbing toxic chemicals that harm your health. Skin is the largest body organ and when toxins are absorbed through your skin, they bypass your liver, the organ responsible for removing toxins. You also may not realize that your skin keeps you healthy by venting up to a pound of toxins per day.

Petrochemical fibers restrict and suffocate your skin shutting down toxic release. Meanwhile, they contribute to your total toxic burden and may become the “tipping point” for triggering the onset of disease. Two contributing factors •Toxic buildup in your body •Multiple chemicals that interact together to create even worse problems than the individual chemicals by themselves.

Skin rashes, nausea, fatigue, burning, itching, headaches, and difficulty breathing are all associated with chemical sensitivity. If you have mysterious health symptoms that you can’t seem to get control over, it’s worth checking out whether your clothes could be the problem.

No parent would want toxic materials in their children’s clothing. Yet according to a new Greenpeace study, a range of hazardous chemicals is being used in the production of kids’ wear from top fashion brands.

A frequent question about producing toxin-free clothing is whether it is economically feasible for textile companies to replace hazardous chemicals with safer alternatives. The answer is resoundingly yes; doing so is essential if companies want to keep their business sustainable Entire groups of toxic chemicals, previously ubiquitous in the supply chain, have been phased out by such companies within a short period of time – for example, biodegradable biopolymer and fluorocarbon-free water repellent materials are used as safer alternatives. More importantly, these companies have created incentives for “upstream” players in the textile supply chain, those who provide dyes and detergents, to weigh-in and start vying for a share in the market for safer alternatives.

 What does this mean? It means that the United States has basically no protection for consumers in terms of textiles.

HERE’S WHAT PARENTS CAN DO:

1.Just say no to sandals, shoes, boots or raingear made entirely or predominantly from rubber- or plastic-like materials. Keep an eye out when shopping for shoes treated with anti-microbial chemicals.

2.Rid wardrobes of garments screen printed with plastisol, the thick, rubbery material used to create slightly raised designs and logos.

3.Don’t purchase clothing promising stain-resistant, waterproof, or odor-fighting performance, technologies which utilize toxic chemicals.

4.Steer clear of polyester, which frequently contains traces of antimony.

5.Stick to natural fiber clothing, preferably organic.

6.Select clothing manufactured in the U.S. and Europe where regulations are generally stricter.

7.Don’t add insult to injury. Wash clothing in plant-based detergent without synthetic fragrance, which can contain hormone disrupting chemicals. And skip the fragrant dryer sheets.

 References:

http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2007/06/ask-ewg-why-there-teflon-clothes-it-safe

https://oecotextiles.wordpress.com/ “Killer Clothes” written by Anna Maria Clement, PhD, NMD, LN and Brian R. Clement, PhD, NMD, LN

https://www.cancerdefeated.com

Image Courtesy : https://www.greenamerica.org/blognews/how-toxic-your-closet

5 BENEFITS OF ORGANIC COTTON CLOTHES

We need to take responsibility for our personal health and safety, as well as for the health of the people in our lives that depend on us for guidance the exercise of good judgment.

That starts with taking care of our body. As Jim Rohn once said “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” The best way to take care of our body is eating right food, having enough sleep and exercising.

This is a well-known fact and taking these three basic steps can keep us healthy. But there are other factors that can cause harm to our health, if ignored. Like working in a toxic environment or wearing harmful chemical coated clothes.

How we eat is how we live and how we wear is how we look. But there is more to it. Empowering ourselves with information about how to make right buying decision is the first step forward to a healthy lifestyle. This is true for food as well as clothes, home furnishing, upholstery and cosmetics. After all, these things surround us all day. Why not make them worth for us?

Lets talk about cotton. At a production rate of 25 million tons a year, cotton is one of the top four GMO crops in the world—and nearly 95 percent of that global cotton production is GMO and/or conventionally grown. Cotton earned the title “dirtiest crop” because it’s sprayed with some of the worst pesticides, including: Bayer’s aldicarb, which was banned in the U.S. in 2010, but reapproved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 2016; Syngenta’s paraquat, a highly toxic pesticide banned in the European Union but not in the U.S.; and Monsanto’s glyphosate, classified by the World Health Organization as a “probable” human carcinogen.

Those and other toxic chemicals associated with cotton production pollute waterways and damage the health of farmworkers. They also contaminate consumer products. GMO cotton isn’t just used to make clothes, bedding, towels and other textile products. Cottonseed oil and other cotton crop waste products also end up in hundreds of processed foods.

The best way to avoid GMO cotton textiles? Buy certified organic. Here are nine reasons to choose organic clothing, bedding and other products:

1. Protect the oceans from microfiber pollution Conventional cotton used for clothing and textiles is usually combined with synthetic fabrics such as acrylic, fleece and polyester. Research shows that during washing, these synthetic fibers are released into our waterways, in the form of microfibers. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources estimates that around 1.7 million tons of microfibers enter the ocean each year, threatening marine species and sensitive coral reef ecosystems. Don’t want to contribute to the problem? Avoid synthetic fabrics altogether, including conventional cotton blends. Instead, choose clothing and textiles made from 100 percent pure and organic cotto

2. Reduce your exposure to hazardous insecticides and pesticides Conventionally grown GMO cotton is one of the most toxic crops in the world. It makes up only 2.5 percent of global cropland, and yet it accounts for up to 25 percent of the world’s use of insecticides. In addition to being responsible for the use of toxic chemicals such as aldicarb and paraquat, GMO cotton is sprayed with large amounts of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was classified as “probably carcinogenic to human,” by the World Health Organization. Glyphosate has been linked to metabolic syndrome, obesity, Type 2 Diabetes, cancer and depression. Organic cotton farmers use only organic-approved fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides from plants, animals and minerals to prevent pests and diseases. This slashes your risk of health issues, while also protecting farmworkers and reducing environmental pollution.

3. Conserve global water and energy resources It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce enough cotton for a pair of jeans. In fact, the water needs of cotton are so high that cotton production has contributed to the draining of the Aral Sea in Central Asia. Organic cotton has a much lower environmental footprint. Production of organic cotton takes 71 percent less water and 62 percent less energy than production of conventional GMO cotton.

4. Reduce your exposure to harsh chemicals used in the cotton manufacturing process A variety of toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of conventional cotton clothing, depending on where the garments are made and what characteristics the manufacturer wants to achieve. For example, “easy care” garments that are marketed as antimicrobial, anti-odor and anti-wrinkle may be saturated in formaldehyde. Other chemicals used in the production of conventional cotton garments include chlorine bleach, ammonia, heavy metals and phthalates, a known endocrine disruptor. Azo-aniline dyes are also commonly used. These dyes can cause mild to severe skin irritations, especially where there is friction between your skin and the fabric. Organic cotton products don’t use any of these chemicals, and use only low-impact and fiber-reactive dyes to get a lasting color

5. Help provide better working conditions for cotton farmers The conventional cotton industry has been linked to numerous human rights violations. In Uzbekistan, Environmental Justice Foundation found widespread environmental and human right abuses in the cotton industry, including state-sponsored forced child labor. One-third of the Uzbekistan population works for the government-owned cotton industry. Workers have no access to protective gear or even a clean source of drinking water. Buying products made of organic cotton promotes a safer work conditions for cotton farmers, by eliminating workers’ exposure to dangerous chemicals.

Resources: https://www.organicconsumers.org/blog/why-buy-organic-cotton

Call to Action


“Because normal human activity is worse for nature than the greatest nuclear accident in history.” ― Martin Cruz Smith  


The clothing and textile industry offers style and functionality. It sells dreams and provides a stage for self-expression. But the industry produces an environmental impact which is far from sustainable. Looking at the environmental challenges in this sector, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) is asking: How will fashion brands fulfil customers’ dreams in the future while contributing to the well-being of society and the environment at large?

[About WWF – For nearly 60 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature. The world’s leading conservation organization, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by more than one million members in the United States and close to five million globally. WWF’s unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature]

Doing ‘business as usual’ will not be an option for the industry nor for the planet in the long run. To stay financially successful, companies will find it necessary to reduce their environmental impact and to respect the ecological boundaries of our planet. WWF’s vision is that the clothing and textile industry contributes to a world in which humans live in harmony with nature. There is a long way to go to make this vision come true, but WWF believes it to be possible, if the industry takes bold action and leadership for transformation.

The clothing and textile industry has an ecological footprint which is far from sustainable. The industry emits 1.7 billion tons of CO2 annually, is responsible for extensive water use and pollution, and produces 2.1 billion tons of waste annually, to name just a few aspects.

Global consumption of clothes doubled between 2000 and 2014. Today, on a global average, every person buys 5kg of clothes per year, but in Europe and the USA the figure is as high as 16kg. Overall apparel consumption is projected to rise even further, from 62 million tons in 2015 to 102 million tons in 2030. This projected increase in global fashion consumption will create further environmental stress and risks.4

Environmental impacts should furthermore be of financial concern to brands. A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group indicates that brands’ profit margins could fall by at least 3 percentage points by 2030 due to rising costs for labor, raw materials and energy, if companies continue with business as usual. This would add up to approximately €45 billion per year of lost profits for the

The clothing and textile sector faces many sustainability issues along the supply chain. The four most pressing environmental impacts energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, water use, pollution through chemicals and micro plastics, and waste are described in more detail below.

Energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. According to estimates, the clothing and textile industry emits 1.7 billion tons of CO2 annually and is therefore a significant contributor to global warming. This contribution to global GHG emissions is alarming, particularly when taking into account that the level of atmospheric CO2 already today exceeds the safe human operating space by 20 per cent.

Water use, water quality and water basin risks. The clothing and textile industry uses high volumes of water, particularly in raw material production like cotton growing, in dyeing and wet processing stages, and during the use phase by consumers. It is estimated that growing one kilogram of cotton needs up to 20,000 liters of water, depending where and how it is grown. The World Bank estimates that 20 per cent of industrial water pollution comes from textile dying and treatment. Water use and pollution lead to increased environmental stress at the water basin level, particularly in apparel producer countries.

Use of chemicals and micro plastics. The production of fabrics requires different kinds of harmful chemicals, which can be toxic and cause damage to the environment as well as the workforce. Chemicals are used throughout the apparel supply chain both in natural fiber production (pesticides) and in the production of final garments (e.g. dyes and colorants, detergents, water or stain repellents, performance enhancing coatings, fire retardants). Conventional cotton accounts for 24 per cent of global sales of insecticides and 11 per cent of all pesticides. Clothing made from polyester poses an as yet unknown threat to the oceans and eventually to the planet. When washing these clothes, micro plastic fibers are released, which find their way to the oceans.

Waste. Currently 80 per cent of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfill, and only 20 per cent is recycled. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates that textile waste occupies nearly 5 per cent of all landfill space. However, one challenge is that, globally, collection rates for clothes are very low. Germany outperforms most countries in recycling by collecting almost 75 per cent of all used clothing. But elsewhere the collection rates are far lower: 15 per cent in the United States, 12 per cent in Japan and 10 per cent in China.

What can consumer do? Call to Action:-

Buy organic and green. There are several standards and labels in the clothing and textile industry. WWF particularly recommends buying sustainable cotton, including organic cotton, Fairtrade cotton, Cotton made in Africa and Better Cotton. You can check WWF’s sustainable cotton ranking or siegelklarheit.de for more information on sustainable labels and standards. Swiss and international brands and retailers such as Coop, Migros and H&M, but also smaller companies, offer their own branded ecological collections, and there are other companies that make being green a central part of their business. The website Getchanged.net reveals a large collection of fashion brands that produce according to high ecological standards.

Buy wisely. If you buy new clothes, prefer high-quality basics made by responsible brands. You can mix these basics with your swapped, rented or second-hand accessories and fashion items. Consider that trends usually do not last that long, and question whether you must follow all trends.

Address the topic with your friends and colleagues. Inform your colleagues about the negative impact of clothing and textile companies on the environment and discuss potential solutions and actions you can take.

Contact your preferred fashion brand. Send companies your positive or negative feedback on their sustainability performance. If your preferred label does not provide green collections, or does not transparently communicate their environmental and social performance, voice your concern to the company.

Vote for a sustainable transformation of the economy. Particularly in a direct democracy such as Switzerland your vote for a sustainable transformation of the economy counts. WWF Switzerland regularly publishes recommendations on how to vote on certain topics, including issues such as green economy.

Support non-governmental organizations. Consider supporting the work of WWF or other NGOs engaged in the fashion industry. WWF strategically approaches the textile and other industries with the aim to move companies’ performances towards sustainability. You can support the work of WWF as a volunteer, with a donation and much more.

Read full report here

Be Kind to Planet!


“The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan, Author


“Millennials more likely than older adults to donate clothing rather than trash it”

In 2012, Americans sent more than 14 million tons of textile waste to trash dumps around the country, despite many options for consumers to repurpose or recycle textile waste, including donating old clothes to charities and recycling the materials to be remade into other products.

There are about 1,200 municipal solid waste landfills in the United States, Jon Powell, a doctoral student in chemical and environmental engineering at Yale University and an expert on landfills informs. About 900 of these have vacuum systems that collect landfill gas for burning or to produce electricity.

But a lot of landfill gas is simply vented into the atmosphere. In fact, landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Methane is known to be 28 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat, Powell said. That means it poses a huge global warming problem.

Pamela Norum, professor and interim department chair of textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri, found that younger adults from ages 18-34 are much less likely to throw old clothes and other textile waste into the garbage than older adults. She also found that millennials were more likely to donate clothing to secondhand stores such as Goodwill and the Salvation Army

“It was surprising to see that older adults were less likely to donate to secondhand stores and more likely to use the trash than younger adults,” Norum said. “Baby Boomers grew up when the recycling culture was coming of age, so we thought they would be more willing to recycle their used clothes rather than throwing them in the trash. However, it was gratifying to see that younger Americans are more likely to recycle textiles; hopefully they will carry on that behavior into the future.”

For her study, Norum examined data from a 2012 survey of more than 500 U.S. consumers. Overall, she found:

  • 65 percent donated at least some clothing to charity
  • 50 percent donated to non-profit secondhand stores
  • 40 percent of Americans threw away at least some clothing
  • Consumers 55 years and older were more likely to donate to charities than millennials

Norum also found consumers dispose of their clothes for various reasons including clothing that was out of style or the wrong size; they were running out of storage space; and clothes were old or damaged. Norum says it is important for consumers to be educated about all the possibilities for recycling and re-using old clothes, so waste can be reduced.

“Nearly all textiles can be recycled or re-used in some way, even underwear,” Norum said. “Lightly worn clothing can always be donated to charities and secondhand stores; more degraded fabrics can be cut up and made into rags or given to textile recyclers who can break down the materials and use them to manufacture new fabrics or other textile products. With all of these easy and free options for recycling, little excuse exists for throwing away clothing, especially if it is simply out of style or the wrong size. Educating Americans about these options is important to reduce waste and to prevent the needless manufacturing of additional textiles to replace materials thrown away needlessly.”

This study was published in the Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal. The MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management is housed in the College of Human and Environmental Sciences.

References:

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/03/160308134923.htm

Did you do your mandatory investment? (part 2)


Take care of your body. This is the only place you have to live – Jim Rohn


7. Preventive Care: Prevention is better than cure. Prevention in this case comes with  a health routine like exercise, nutritious diet, good sleep, lower stress levels, and regular health check-ups. Leading a healthy lifestyle has many potential long term benefits like higher motivation levels, positivity, quick thinking, endurance as well as improved performance at  work.

8. Invest in mental and spiritual health: Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.

Spiritual health and wellness involves values and beliefs that provide a purpose in our lives. Leading one to strive for a state of harmony with oneself and others while working to balance inner needs with the rest of the world.

The National Wellness Institute says spiritual wellness follows the following tenets: (a) It is better to ponder the meaning of life for ourselves and to be tolerant of the beliefs of others than to close our minds and become intolerant. (b) It is better to live each day in a way that is consistent with our values and beliefs than to do otherwise and feel untrue to ourselves.

Positive mental health allows people to: Realize their full potential, cope with the stresses of life, work productively, make meaningful contributions to their communities. Ways to maintain positive mental health include: Connecting with others, staying positive, getting physically active, helping others, getting enough sleep, developing coping skills

Read here how a mental health diagnosis can be empowering 

9. Good friends are good for your health: Invest time with good friends. Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship, too. Friends can also:

  • Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  • Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
  • Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise

Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.

10. Manage Your Stress: Invest in stress management. Stress is become a part of life today. Excess stress is harmful. Stress occurs when you perceive that demands placed on you — such as work, school or relationships — exceed your ability to cope. Some stress can be beneficial at times, producing a boost that provides the drive and energy to help people get through situations like exams or work deadlines. However, an extreme amount of stress can have health consequences, affecting the immune, cardiovascular and neuroendocrine and central nervous systems, and take a severe emotional toll.

Here are five healthy techniques that psychological research has shown to help reduce stress in the short- and long-term.

Take a break from the stressor.  When you give yourself permission to step away from stress, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice techniques to feel less overwhelmed.

Exercise. The research keeps growing — exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. But even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.

Smile and laugh. Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress in their face. So laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation.

Get social support. Call a friend, send an email. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and whom you feel can understand and validate you. If your family is a stressor, for example, it may not alleviate your stress if you share your works woes with one of them.

Meditate. Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body to relax and focus. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self-compassion and forgiveness. When practicing a form of mindfulness, people can release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress. Much like exercise, research has shown that even meditating briefly can reap immediate benefits.

11. Be kind and do random acts of kindness: Kindness increase love hormone, energy, happiness, life span, pleasure and serotonin. Kindness decreases pain, stress, anxiety, depression and  blood pressure. Read Further here

It pays to be kind: Those who are compassionate and better in-tune with other people’s emotions may be more successful at work. “People trust you more, they have better interactions with you, you even get paid better,” said Dacher Keltner, a professor at the University of California-Berkeley and co-director of the Greater Good Science Center.

“We often are pursuing our own interests most effectively by laying them aside and serving others,” says Stefan Klein in Survival of the Nicest.

Read here How to make yourself nicer

Kindness strengthens our immune system, reduces aches and pains, improves our cardiovascular profile, and boosts energy and strength in elderly people. In a 2006 study, the most loving and kind couples were shown to have the lowest levels of atherosclerosis (clogging of the arteries).

Various studies in the past 15 years have shown that regular volunteers have better health and (among the elderly and those with HIV/AIDS) a lower mortality rate.

So how often should we be out volunteering? A study by Allan Luks, famous for researching the “helpers’ high,” found that weekly volunteering makes you 10x more likely to experience health benefits than annual volunteering. Among older people ages 64-68, an Australian National University study found that we get the greatest health benefits from volunteering about 2-4 hours a week and little benefit from any time beyond that.

Even witnessing kindness might be good for us: a 1988 Harvard study found that participants who watched a 50-minute video about Mother Teresa had elevated levels of salivary immunoglobulin-A, which protects us from pathogens in food.

Invest in your health and watch it grow:

Ageing Well Chart

 

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/friendships/art-200

https://www.mentalhealth.gov/basics/what-is-mental-health/

https://www.jenreviews.com/mental-health-diagnosis/

Invest in your Health

 

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/manage-stress.aspx

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/10/facts-about-being-nice_n_5791778.html

Main Image: http://www.scottwagnerchiropractic.com/invest-in-your-health-with-scott-wagner/

The benefits of kindness