Let’s talk about water! Part 2.

In our last blog we talked about plastic and other contaminants in our water. We also gave you a few pointers on what you can do to help keep the water clean.
Let’s continue our talk about water, but this time let’s talk about the chemicals that you use everyday and how they affect the water.
We are talking cleaning products. For years we used harsh chemicals to clean our houses not even thinking about the affect that they have on our health or what the do to the water supply as they swirl down the drain. We have since realized that using these products is not safe for us, our families or our pets.
Not all cleaning products are created equal! At Pacific Sands we pride ourselves on making greener cleaning products that work great but have less of an impact on the environment and our health. Our Natural Choices products are plant-based, biodegradable and fragrance free.
One environmental concern with cleaning products is that many use chemicals that are petroleum-based, contributing to the depletion of this non-renewable resource and increasing our nation’s dependence on imported oil. Not to mention that oil and water don’t mix! Oil being put into our water is hazardous to plants, wildlife and humans!

I think I’ll pass on this beverage! YUCK!

oil and water

Another famous water pollutant is phosphates, water-softening mineral additives that were once widely used in laundry detergents and other cleaners. When phosphates enter waterways, they act as a fertilizer, spawning an overgrowth of algae. This overabundance of aquatic plant life eventually depletes the water’s oxygen supply, killing off fish and other organisms. Although many states have banned phosphates from laundry detergents and some other cleaners, they are still used in many automatic dishwasher detergents. (All of our products are free of phosphates)!
What you can do:
1. When buying cleaning products look for specifics. Buy products that are biodegradable, contain no solvents, phosphates, dyes or fragrances and are plant-based and NOT petroleum based. (Plants are a renewable resource).
2. Avoid cleaners marked “Danger” or “Poison” on the label, and look out for other tell-tale hazard warnings, such as “corrosive” or “may cause burns.” The skull and crossbones are NEVER a good sign. We don’t have any products at Pacific Sands with this ugly mug on it! (He’s scary)!

skull-and-crossbones
3. Avoid products that list active ingredients of chlorine or ammonia, which can cause respiratory and skin irritation and will create toxic fumes if accidentally mixed together.
4. And never mix cleaning products. Not even ours! We’ve done the science and mixing for you! Our employees do all the testing and we test a lot. We take the products home and use them in our homes, on everyday dirt and in all normal situations that you might come across.
5. Look for products that contain enzymes. Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins produced by all living organisms to speed up chemical reactions. Enzyme cleaners make use of these naturally occurring enzymes to break down the proteins in specific targets: Protease enzymes work on protein stains,  lipid stains, and amylases starch- or other carbohydrate-based stains. Our products contain these enzymes. They do the work for you!
Most mainstream liquid dishwashing and laundry detergents are petroleum-based, contributing to the polluting of our lakes and rivers. Look for plant-based detergents instead. Choose colorless and fragrance-free detergents. Dyes and fragrances can be contaminated with heavy metals such as arsenic and lead and may penetrate the skin on contact. Plus, you don’t want that kind of residue on your clothes. Your clothes are touching your skin the entire time you are wearing them.
Powdered detergents can contain phosphates, which causes the over nitrification of our rivers and streams, causing excessive algae growth that deprives fish of oxygen. Think Algae Bloom.

Algae-Bloom
Bleach is another known contributor to water pollution. When bleach makes its way into our water system, it reacts with other minerals and elements to create a host of dangerous toxins that can take many years to dissipate. Dioxin is just one of the most dangerous by-products of bleach and chlorine-based cleaning supplies—and it is the most frightening of all since dioxins do not break down and remain in our environment for many years. Researchers believe that dioxin can contribute to cancer, endocrine disorders, and other serious disorders. Just think of the hazards these chemicals can pose to air and water quality and wildlife.

no bleach
We suggest you use Natural Choices OXY-Boost instead of chlorine bleach. OXY-Boost is made from nature. Only 2 ingredients (with no fillers) and contains NO chlorine!

5 lb boost

Our eco-friendly products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources. We also use bio-based solvents from citrus, seed, vegetable, and other natural oils. These are biodegradable and decompose easily so you don’t have to worry about these substances ending up in the water you drink.
We all need to take the step up to greener products. Together we can greatly reduce the amount of chemicals and toxins that we are dumping into our rivers and oceans. We should make the change to be more environmentally-conscious and protect the earth.
We’ve only got one chance at this. Let’s not blow it!

Advertisements

Let’s talk about water!

 

Here at Pacific Sands we know the importance of clean, clear water. It’s ingrained in our business and we wouldn’t have a business without it. We use it in our liquid products, you use it with our products and our ecoone products are formulated with water to keep water clean and clear. Water is our life blood and we take our responsibility very seriously.
All the raw materials we use in our products are biodegradable and water friendly.

Why-Clean-Water-Matters-

According to Ocean Crusaders.org, it is now believed that there are 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. Of that mass, 269,000 tons float on the surface, while some four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer litter the deep sea. That is an incredible amount of plastic!
Ocean debris is continuously mixed by wind and wave action and widely dispersed both over huge surface areas and throughout the top portion of the water column. It is possible to sail through “garbage patch” areas in the Pacific and see very little or no debris on the water’s surface. It is also difficult to estimate the size of these “patches,” because the borders and content constantly change with ocean currents and winds. Regardless of the exact size, mass, and location of the “garbage patch,” manmade debris does not belong in our oceans and waterways and must be addressed.
According to HelpSaveNature.com, The Great Pacific Garbage Patch contains almost 3.5 million tons of trash in the form of light bulbs, bottle caps, Popsicle sticks, bottles, cans, fishing gear, polystyrene cups, shoes, toys, and even toothbrushes. Plastic constitutes around 85% of the garbage floating in this great garbage patch.
Plastics also leach and absorb harmful pollutants. Marine mammals are not only getting tangled up in plastic, but they are consuming it, as well.

garbagepatch1

 

An increase in pollution is harming our food supplies, drinking water and environment. It is also creating issues in the oceans ecosystem and hurting the animals and plant life that rely on the ocean and rivers for their survival. Once water becomes polluted it becomes unsafe for consumption due to the dangerous or toxic materials that are in the water. Contaminated water that is consumed could lead to sickness, infections, diseases and even death.
It is estimated that more than a billion people around the world do not have access to safe drinking water. Could you imagine a life without clean water? Or even a day in your life? We all have a responsibility to ourselves and our planet to do what we can to not make this problem worse!

 

Here are a few things you can start with on your journey to help keep our water supply cleaner:

1. Carefully choose the products that you buy.

Eco-friendly, biodegradable chemicals should be used to replace toxic cleaning chemicals, sprays and other supplies. These chemicals are extremely helpful as they do not contaminate the water that they come in contact with, so if they go down a drain pipe or sewage drain, there is at least a less negative consequence.

2. Take a hard look at your outdoor surfaces.

Storm water flows across hard materials, like concrete or asphalt, and into storm drains—bringing all the dirty stuff it picked up along the way. Stop these pollution streams on your own property by using gravel, paver stones, wood, or other porous materials whenever possible. If, a hard surface is unavoidable (say, in the case of a driveway), dig a shallow trench along the border and add plants or gravel to catch the runoff before it travels too far. Plants and other landscaping options are great for runoff and they supply food and shelter for insects and wildlife.

3. Remember, your toilet is not a trash can.

Never flush nondegradable products, like baby wipes or plastic tampon applicators. They can wind up littering beaches and water. (No one wants to walk along a beach and step in their own garbage!) And never dump old pills in the toilet, either. Instead, bring them to a local pharmacy that has a take-back program.

4. Neither is your sink.

Don’t let paint, used oil, chemical cleaners, or other questionable household products go down the drain. These items contain toxic ingredients that we don’t want or need going into our water supply. Contact your local sanitation, public works, or environmental health department to find out when, how and where to dispose of these harmful chemicals.

5. Pick up after your dog

Properly disposing of pet waste keeps that bacteria-laden crap (literally) from running into storm drains and water supplies. Check your local ordinances to find the best way to dispose of pet waste.

6. Be a more careful car owner.

Regular maintenance can reduce the leaking of oil, coolant, antifreeze, and other nasty liquids that are carried by rainwater down driveways or through parking lots and then seep into groundwater supplies. Always choose a car wash over washing your own car. It saves water and car washes are required to drain their wastewater into sewer systems, where the water is treated for all the chemicals before being discharged. Many even recycle that water!

Those are just a few things to get you started on this journey to protect and even improve our water systems. There is so much more each of us can do.
To be continued……

Bees Buzz and Other Pollinators

Many people think that bees are just scary and mean. (Not all buzzers are created equal).

bee-wasp-vs-cute-fluffy-evil-angry-just-wanna-spread-15073926

To most, they are harmless, to others they can be deadly. According to Honey Bee World, approximately 5 percent of our population is allergic to honey bee venom. That’s a small percentage and the severity of reactions varies, but it sure would suck to find out you are allergic by getting stung and not knowing what to do.
But, we need our bees and other pollinators!
Bees are some of the hardest workers on the planet and yet they have such a bad rap. People think that bees are out to hurt them and in fact just the opposite is true!
Bees (and other pollinators) transfer pollen and seeds from one flower to another, fertilizing the plant so it can grow and produce food. Cross-pollination helps the world’s crops and wild plants thrive. Without bees to spread seeds, many plants—including food crops—would die off, which in turn, will kill us! What would we eat? What would the animals the we eat, eat?
But we have a problem with our bees dying off! There is some debate as to the reason, but the facts are the facts. Our bees are dying. According to the NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) in the United States alone, more than 25 percent of the managed honey bee population has disappeared since 1990! This is scary! We need bees and other pollinators to survive.
U.S. crops are pollinated by bees, including apples, berries, cantaloupes, cucumbers, alfalfa, and almonds. U.S. honey bees also produce about $150 million in honey annually.

(That’s a whole lot of sweet goodness)! dd77c587179bf2e340346d779589927b

But, fewer bees means the economy takes a hit: The global economic cost of bee decline, including lower crop yields and increased production costs, has been estimated at as high as $5.7 billion per year.
Keeping bees safe is critical for keeping our bellies full, with high-quality produce and it keeps people working.
The good news is that you don’t have to become a beekeeper to help! (Unless you are looking for a new hobby). There are simple things that we all can do to help keep our buzzing pollinators alive:
-Leave those dandelions alone! In colder climates, dandelions are usually the first food for the bees.
-Plant flowers! All our pollinators love them, and they are so pretty for us to enjoy.
-Have a source of fresh water in your yard. I use a glass bowl with colorful marbles in it. It looks pretty, and the pollinators can stand on the marbles to get a drink.

image4-e1438761924994
-Bee and butterfly houses are simple to make or can be purchased in most stores. Try a bat house if you live in a tropical or desert climate. Bats are great pollinators in these climates.

8589068_3191_woven-bamboo-butterfly-house
-Leave a patch of bare ground and/or a dead limb from a tree (not like an arm or leg) in your yard. They like a place of their own. It also looks natural and makes them feel welcome.
-Most importantly, avoid using pesticides! Not only are pesticides killing our pollinators, they are also finding their way into our drinking water! Yuck! We are basically killing ourselves! That’s just crazy!

We can all do our part to ensure that the bees keep buzzing, the butterflies keep fluttering and our food source doesn’t run out.

Fast Fashion and the Environment

Let’s talk about our addiction to fashion. Particularly, fast fashion.
We seem to be addicted to wearing the latest and most trendy styles. Remember these? You really didn’t think they would stay in style forever did you? (I might be showing my age now). And did you really want them to?

disco-hairstyles-s-disco-fashion

 

The problem with fast fashion is that it’s hurting the environment. From the ground to the water to the air!
Every season we are bombarded with ads that encourage us to run out and buy new clothes. These ads make you feel like if you wear a shirt that you wore last year, you will be laughed at and no one wants that.
So, let’s look at some facts about what our need for fashion does to the environment.
When natural fibers, like cotton, linen and silk, or semi-synthetic fibers created from plant-based cellulose, like rayon, are buried in a landfill, in one sense they act like food waste, producing the potent greenhouse gas methane as they degrade. But you can’t compost old clothes, even if they’re made of natural materials. “Natural fibers go through a lot of unnatural processes on their way to becoming clothing,” says Jason Kibbey, CEO of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. “They’ve been bleached, dyed, printed on, scoured in chemical baths.” Those chemicals can leach from the textiles and—in improperly sealed landfills—into groundwater. Burning the items in incinerators can release those toxins into the air.
Synthetic fibers, like polyester, nylon and acrylic, have the same effect on the environment, and because they are essentially made from petroleum, they will take hundreds of years or more to biodegrade.
According to the EPA, Americans alone produced 15.1 million tons of textile waste in 2013, and around 85 percent of that ended up in landfills! On average each American throws away roughly 70-80 pounds of clothing and other textiles per year! WOW! That’s a lot of clothing!

landfill-1
According to Greenpeace, global clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014. The average person buys 60 percent more items of clothing every year and keeps them for about half as long as 15 years ago, generating a huge amount of waste!
So, what can we do? First, buy fewer, high quality pieces that will last. Make sure they are comfortable and that you feel good while wearing them! Looking good and feeling good go hand in hand.
So, what can we do to ease the burden we are placing on the environment?
You can shop at thrift or consignment stores, swap clothes with your friends or co-workers, or maybe renting clothes for a special occasion. Who wants to spend a ton of money on a pretty dress that you will only wear once?
Facebook groups are popping up all over where people in your area are selling clothes that they’ve on worn once or have outgrown. There are on-line stores like thredup.com where you can buy and sell quality, slightly used clothing.

Fashion experts say that there are 5 key pieces that should be in every woman’s closet.
Your version of the “Little Black Dress”, a crisp white shirt, a pair of wide-legged trousers, a pencil skit and a “Boyfriend” sweater.
These pieces can be mixed and matched, accessorized differently for completely different looks and will end up being timeless and always in style.
Of course, caring for your clothing is important for it to last. Be sure to read and follow the care tag.
We also recommend that you separate by colors. You wouldn’t want all your whites to end up pink! You would look like you escaped from Maricopa County Jail!

joe-arpaio_pink
Cold water is the best for colors and for most loads of clothes that are not excessively dirty.
When washing whites, hot water and bleach was how we were taught but that isn’t good for helping your clothes last or good for the environment!
We recommend warm water and OXY-Boost. OXY-Boost is a non-chlorine de-stainer and brightener. It’s made from natural, plant-based ingredients that harness the power of oxygen to clean and brighten. OXY-Boost is so great that we gave it its own page on our website. Find out All about OXY-Boost at:  All about OXY-Boost

Our laundry products are all made from natural ingredients. They contain NO optical brighteners and are great in hot or cold water and can be used in standard or front-loading washing machines. We offer powdered detergent, liquid and convenient pods!

5 lb primeLLprime pods
You can find them at: Natural Choices Products

Let’s Make Earth Day Everyday!

Earth Day!
Earth Day is like an official Pacific Sands holiday. Since we make eco-friendly products, practice a green manufacturing style and care about our planet, it just seems natural to us.
Here are some fun facts about Earth Day:
Earth Day was created to promote awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s environment and occurs each year on April 22nd. The first Earth Day was in 1970 and was founded by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) as an environmental teach-in for school children.
Gaylord Nelson was inspired to bring attention to the environment after seeing the damage done by a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.
Earth Day created public support for the creation of the EPA which in turn created The Clean Air Act, The Water Quality Improvement Act, The Endangered Species Act and other environmental laws.
Every year on April 22, men, women, and children collect garbage, plant trees, clean up coral reefs, show movies, sign petitions, and plan for a better future for our planet.
Earth Day was renamed officially by the UN in 2009 as International Mother Earth Day.
One of the most fascinating (and little known) facts about Earth Day are the Moon Trees!
During the Apollo 14 moon mission in 1971, astronaut Stuart Roosa brought with him hundreds of tree seeds including Loblolly Pine, Sycamore, Sweetgum, Redwood, and Douglas Fir. Roosa and his seeds orbited the Moon 34 times in the command module Kitty Hawk.
The experiment seemed like a lost cause when, during the post-mission decontamination process, the seed canisters broke open and the seeds were thought to be useless. However, most of the tree seeds were still fit for germination and were successfully planted and cultivated. These trees were planted around National Monuments, as well as in sites all over the world. After decades of growing side-by-side with their Earth cousins, the Moon Trees showed no differences at all. On Earth Day 2009, NASA, in partnership with the United States National Arboretum and American Forests, planted a second generation Moon Sycamore on the arboretum’s grounds in Washington, D.C.
To learn more about the Moon Trees and where you can see them, check out this site:
https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/moon_tree.html
We are honoring Earth Day with a sale on all of our products (Since they are eco-friendly). Use the code earthday25 to save 25% off your ENTIRE order! This coupon code is only good on Sunday at: www.pacificsandsinc.com
How are you honoring Earth Day? Let us know!

Those darn party balloons!

Let’s stay on the party theme for this blog too and let’s talk about balloons. Beautiful, colorful, shiny balloons.
Balloons kill wildlife and pollute the Earth. It’s just a sad fact of life. While some balloons burst, others just gradually deflate. But they all fall back down to Earth where they can wreak havoc on wildlife on land, sea, and air.
I’m sure we have all seen the graphic pictures of dead animals and what they have found in their stomachs. Marine animals like turtles, fish, dolphins and whales, as well as animals such as cows, dogs, sheep, tortoises, birds and more have all been hurt or killed by balloons. The animal is usually killed from the balloon blocking its digestive tract, leaving them unable to take in any more nutrients. It will slowly starve to death. Animals can also become entangled in the balloon and its ribbon making the animal unable to move or eat.
Do not fear! There are alternatives to balloons that will still make your celebration look beautiful or be meaningful. Let’s just list a few to get you thinking.
For birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations why not use colorful flowers, signs and banners make out of recycled paper or cardboard instead of balloons? These can be used over again or when they get looking a bit ragged, they can be recycled.
Besides, as you get up in age do you really want that many balloons at your party, so everyone has a visual of your age? At this point (at least in my life) the person holding the helium balloons might actually float away!

Globophobia-Fear-of-Balloons
Bubbles! Who doesn’t love watching bubbles floating in the breeze on a warm summer’s day? There are plenty of homemade recipes on the internet and non-toxic bubbles that you can buy. Try making a bubble frame from out of something you have lying around that will blow giant bubbles! Those are the most fun to watch!

big bubbles
When having a remembrance or memorial, do a tree, bench or flower garden planting instead of a balloon release! Who wouldn’t want a mighty tree planted in their memory? The tree will provide shade, beauty, oxygen and a home for birds and animals for decades after your loved one is gone.

tree and benchmemorial garden
There are so many alternatives to the dreaded balloon! It’s worth looking into to save an animal’s life and the life of our planet.

We all need to do our part to leave our planet in better shape.

It’s easy being greener!

It’s the Little Things that Count!

We decided it was time to start a blog. There is so much to talk about when it comes to our Planet Earth, recycling, upcycling, nature, art, gardening and any of the other “green” subjects that we post about on our social media pages.
So many times, while reading other people’s blogs, we get overloaded with too much information, too many links and sometimes just a massive amount of dry, boring facts that we lose interest and move on missing out on information that is useful.
We’re going to try to be different. Shorter blogs with a bit of humor thrown in. Life is too short to take even important subjects and ideas too seriously!