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Raspberry Moon Skin Therapy

April Newsletter (Part One)
In This Issue:
:: If it can happen to an alligator, can it happen to your son?
:: The Big Green Purse Shopping Principles
:: Is Bottled Water Better?
:: Coffee, Tea and Chocolate
:: Household Cleaners
:: Gift Certificates Available 24/7 on our Website
:: Here, There, and Back Again
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The Big Green PurseYahoo - the sun is out; spring is here and summer is just around the corner. This is one of my favorite months to write a newsletter because Earth Day is this month - April 22nd, 2010. So this month's book is called The Big Green Purse. I read this last year and then pulled it out again this year to start making my own cleaners and just reminding myself of things to look for when I shop. Want to know how the companies you purchase from on a regular basis are doing with their "green" policies? Check out http://www.climatecounts.org/.

This newsletter was super long and I had to really work hard to cut it down so I didn't drive y'all crazy! So have a look at www.biggreenpurse.com for other great tips. Although I try to keep to just one newsletter a month, this month there will be two. The 2nd newsletter will be about organic gardening, helpful tips and website links, book suggestions, plant sales, and anything else I think will help. I am attempting my first real garden this year. Keep your fingers crossed!

EarthI am going to be talking in the 2nd part of this newsletter this month on Organic Gardening and talking about The World's Healthiest Foods in May so stayed tuned for some great tips about what to look for when you are shopping for groceries.

Hopefully this will give you some places to start to work at being more Earth Friendly. Every little bit you do helps your children and your children's children. I know it is a lot to take in, but it really is well worth your time.

The Big Green Purse was very helpful and there are recycling drop offs within Greenville for paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum - check out http://www.greenvillesc.gov/publicworks/AboutRecycling.aspx
Also the city of Greer has a new recycling center - get more info at http://www.cityofgreer.org/recycling.aspx
If you want your business to be involved in a recycling program call Elizabeth with EverGreen Recycling http://www.ever-greenrecycling.com/

Hands On GreenvilleOn a business note, last year we raised $150 for HOG Day (Hands on Greenville Day) to "Plant Green in Greenville." I donated $5 of every facial through the month of April and this year I hope to donate at least $200. View a picture of how the money we raised last year was used! United Ministries was so excited. So come in and give some green!

If you don't want to have a facial (I am sure you must be delirious if that's the case! But if for some reason you don't), then feel free to make a donation in any amount. For more information on HOG Day on May 1, 2010, check out http://www.unitedwaygc.org/hands-on-greenville-day.php.

"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations." - From The Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

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If it can happen to an alligator, can it happen to your son?

This is the title of the first chapter in Big Green Purse. Did you know that alligators have been around for over 80 million years??? They have survived predators and environmental extremes. It would seem that they were almost invincible - until now!

Basically a pesticide used to kill mosquitoes, DDT, is causing the baby male alligators to be 25% smaller in their "manhood". They can still do everything else like normal but are having a challenge in the "physical" department. "Mating was proving to be somewhat beyond their reach." (pg 1)

So what does this have to do with humans, you ask? Well - women are exposed every day to environmental toxins that build up in the body and we pass those toxins on to our children! According to scientist at the Environmental Working Group, American women contain the highest level of flame retardants in their breast milk compared to any other country! They also tested the umbilical cord blood in newborns and found that on average there were 200 industrial chemicals and pollutants present. Pretty scary, huh!

If you are thinking of having a child or are having problems conceiving you might want to talk with a nutritionist, your doctor, or your acupuncturist to see if your toxic levels are high and get that taken care of first. The healthier you are, the healthier your baby will be. For those of you that already have children, here is what the CDC has to say about 48 of the commonly used pesticides in school: Toxin

  • 22 are probable or possible carcinogens
  • 26 have been shown to affect human reproduction
  • 31 damage the nervous system
  • 31 injure the kidney or liver
  • 41 are sensitizers or irritants
  • 16 cause birth defects

Of the 36 commonly used lawn pesticides:

  • 13 cause cancer
  • 14 cause birth defects
  • 11 cause reproductive problems
  • 21 are neurotoxin
  • 15 are kidney and liver toxicants
  • 30 are sensitizers or irritants

I know that realistically we can't live in a bubble and take all the toxins out of our lives, but we can help to decrease them. That is going to be the focus for this month's educational newsletter.

Did you know that half of all plants and animals in the world live in the rainforest! Just think of that movie with Sean Connery - Medicine Man. I have not been to the rainforest yet but I think of all the potential that could be there that we haven't even begun to understand. It is a rape of the earth to have the amount of destruction that goes on everyday in the rainforest. Six soccer fields a minute turn into nothing everyday as the trees are cut down to grow more coffee, hardwood floors, paper, and furniture.

Beef farms are another huge reason for the destruction of the rainforest. 90% of the beef raised in South America is actually exported to the US for the fast food industry or pet food!

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The Big Green Purse Shopping Principles

So how can we stop or at least slow down this destruction? Glad you asked.:) Here are The Big Green Purse Shopping Principles:

1. Buy Less - According to the EPA we each throw away about 3/4 ton of garbage every year - that is about the size of the LA Superdome filled twice a day every day! If we could use just 5% less we would save 20 billion pounds of trash a year.

Other ideas to buy less:

  • Thrift Store/Yard Sales
  • Share, Borrow, Rent
  • Get a Library Card
  • Save Paper - reuse paper when you are working and only print the final draft on clean paper (printed on recycled paper of course!:) Also, to stop getting junk mail go to http://www.dmachoice.org. I did this and hardly get any junk now. Another great site is https://www.optoutprescreen.com.

2. Read the label - This is hard because marketing is a big business and so you really have to know your stuff. Here are just a few things to watch out for:

  • "Natural" is not a regulated term.
  • "Hypoallergenic" has no medical meaning.
  • "Biodegradable" no government rating to say if it's true or not. This should mean that if the product is exposed to air, water, bacteria and other organisms it will break down and return to its natural state.
  • "Free Range" implies that meat or poultry products (including eggs) comes from an animal that has been raised in an open air area and is free to roam. Rainforest Alliance SealA vender can give his livestock 5 minutes a day and that is considered "free range".
  • "Unscented" implies a product has no smell; however synthetic ingredients may have been used to mask the smell!

3. Support sustainable standards and
4. Look for 3rd party verification - Many third party certifications are also sustainable standards, so I group these two together. These include Energy Star, Fair Trade, USDA Organic, etc. See a list of certifications and their symbols here: http://www.biggreenpurse.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=111

5. Choose fewer ingredients - The fewer ingredients a product has, generally the better it is for you. If they're also ingredients you recognize and can pronounce, even better! Fewer, simpler ingredients means fewer chemicals you're putting into your body.

6. Pick less packaging - lots of manufacturers now are changing their product packaging so they're using less energy and less material. Costco and Amazon are great about pushing manufacturers to use less packaging. Buy in bulk when you can (but only if you're going to use it all - wasted product isn't less bad than wasted packaging!), choose recyclable packaging when possible (glass and metal are best), and choose concentrated formulas. Don't forget to bring your own bags!

7. Buy Local - I'm going to talk about this a little more in the second part of the newsletter this month, but it bears repeating: buying local means lower energy and fuel costs, fresher food, and more money going back into your local community.

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WaterIs Bottled Water Better?

Short answer? NO! Here's why:

  • Bottled water guzzles oil - About 1.5 million barrels of oil - enough to run 100,000 cars all year! And that doesn't include transportation cost!
  • It's rarely healthier than tap water - If I remember correctly there is no testing required for bottled water. I think that filtered water does taste better. I need to get a filter on my sink again and then the water tastes better.
  • It WASTES Water - In addition to the millions of gallons of water used to make the plastic-making and water-bottling process, 2 gallons of water are wasted in the purification process for every gallon that goes into bottles. And sadly only about 10% of plastic bottles that could get recycled do.

So it is better to carry your own bottle and get a filter on your sink at home, and if you do buy water, choose cans or glass over plastic (this is super hard though - rarely do I see water in anything but plastic here).

How do you keep your kids from losing their reusable bottles? Give them a nickel or dime every day when they bring the bottle home. Sort of like a deposit fee - at the end of the school year use the money to buy something of value, donate to their favorite charity or save for the future.

For a company doing some interesting work with recycled bottles and all sorts of other interesting items visit http://www.terracycle.net/. Your school, charity, or church can help in the recycling process and earn money. Check out their brigade systems to learn more.

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CoffeeCoffee, Tea and Chocolate


Next to oil, coffee is the 2nd largest import to the US! How coffee is grown can make a big difference on our environment. Coffee that is grown in the rain forest and in the shade doesn't need to use chemical fertilizers or pesticides because the rainforest provides that naturally! How cool is that?

Sun-grown coffee is a whole other ball game! The rainforest is razed, destroying the ecology of the area and then pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used to get what the rainforest would have provided all on her own! A sun grower can yield up to 30% more than shade BUT they actually make less than their shade-growing counterparts. Coffee farmers can earn as little as .50 (yes 50 cents) a pound! This all depends on the how much coffee is in demand. And coffee farms have been compared to "sweatshops in the field".

I met an organic coffee grower in Colombia, South America. He explained how coffee is grown in the sun and how he grows his and shows you all the steps in how the coffee goes from the seed to the roaster. When I go back it will be a video blog for sure! And now that I enjoy coffee a little more, I can better appreciate it!

Here is what to look for when you are buying coffee: Fair Trade Certified Seal

  • Fair Trade Certified - indicates that the coffee is grown by adults, not children, who were paid a premium for their beans, and that the farmers used the extra money to invest in health care, education, and other benefits for the workers and their families and communities.
  • Certified Organic - grown free of pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides.
  • Shade grown - coffee was grown under the shade of the rain forest canopy. One that says Bird Friendly® is grown in the shade and ecologically sound for migratory birds.
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified - shade grown using low or no pesticides, farmers are required to maintain a variety of animals and trees on the land that characterizes biodiversity. Workers must be paid fairly and must be provided good living conditions.

I know you can get these kinds of coffees at Whole Foods and Earthfare. Here who is not selling fair trade coffee: Folgers, Maxwell House, Nestle, and Hills Bros. Coffee.

Here is a local roaster! They have a shade grown coffee plantation in Zimbabwe Africa and roast right here in Travelers Rest! http://www.leopardforestcoffee.com/

What about Decaf- No! You can't grow less caffeinated beans - this is a chemical process. The coffee guy in Colombia said to make coffee with a French Press and let the coffee sit for about 20 minutes and then the coffee will be lighter at the top and darker at the bottom. This will have less caffeine. Of course at the time, since I didn't drink coffee and I don't speak Spanish (Paola was translating for me!), I didn't think to ask if the coffee would already be cold!

Also if you can, use reusable coffee filters. If you don't want that at least use unbleached filters and I just saw that Publix has a filter now made from Bamboo which is a renewable resource.

If you can remember to, bring your own mug to your favorite coffee shop and save a cup! Sometimes you even get a discount.

Now onto one of my favorite things - Chocolate and Cocoa! YUMMY!

(On a side note, make a yummy coffee with half hot chocolate and half coffee and sprinkle in some cinnamon - a Mexican Mocha in some places - delicious! If you can get Mexican Cinnamon it really does taste better - you can even pick it up at Wal-Mart for .88 and it fills almost 2 small McCormick size spice jars. I paid over $2 I think just for 1 jar of McCormick's, I want to say it was almost $3.Anyhow back to chocolate...)

Again we are looking for fair trade chocolate - the main point I Endangered Species Chocolate is Fair Trade Certifiedwant to hit in this section is where most of the chocolate you consume is coming from - The Ivory Coast. The majority is imported to the US and Europe like Nestle, Archer Daniels Midland, and Cargill and are manufactured by the likes of M&M/Mars and Hershey's.

Cocoa represents about $1.4 billion, or 35%, of what the Ivory Coast exports. You say that is great - poor country and this is a boost to the economy right? Well not really - hundreds of thousands of children are enslaved on the cocoa farms and since the military coup in 1999, there is tremendous upheaval and war - the production of cocoa is funding the war on both sides.

Hershey's and M&M/Mars control 2/3 of the $13 billion chocolate industry in the US. But since they don't "own" the farms their response is that it is not their problem. Now I am from PA and I have done the "Hershey" stuff but if the large companies took a stand then perhaps they could make a difference. Since that is not happening we as individuals have to take a stand, so do what you must but if you can, try to purchase chocolate from fair trade sources. In 2006, due to lack of consumer awareness, less than 13 million pounds of fair trade cocoa was sold and 187 million pounds were unloaded at a severe financial loss.

Cup of TeaIt's Tea Time!

After water, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world. The challenges with tea do not seem to be a severe as with coffee and cocoa. Of course buying tea that was grown in an earth friendly environment is always the best and kudos to Lipton and PG Tips for working towards certification by Rainforest Alliance that helps set worker and environmental standards. Celestial Seasonings is another company working at reducing its waste and using environmentally friendly packaging.

Remember you can always make your own teas - so when you are planting your garden this year, be sure to plant mint, chamomile, lemongrass, rose hips - just to name a few. Just add 1Tbsp of fresh leaves or 1tsp of dried leaves to hot water (not boiling). Steep and then add sugar, agave nectar or whatever else you like. Alejandro (my boyfriend) also suggested boiling water and add those Mexican cinnamon sticks we were talking about, let them steep for a while in the water and then drink as a tea on those cold winter days (thankfully we are done with those - but FYI for the fall!) My Arab friends also make tea with Lipton and then add sage to it. Of course, they use a lot of sugar but it is yummy.

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LemonHousehold Cleaners

Although there are several more chapters, the last section we are going to talk about is Household Cleaners. I have just started doing this myself, as I am running out of things I already buy. And I have been using enviro-friendly cleaners for years.

There is really no need to have a ton of different products - you can clean almost everything with water, lemon juice, baking soda and vinegar. And that is all super cheap to make. The link below will help you clean just about any surface. Baking soda is my new best friend. It does a great job even on the stove when I make a burnt-on mess! http://www.biggreenpurse.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=35&Itemid=64

Stop using antibacterial products! This is not necessary - the FDA even said in 2005 that there is no added benefit to using antibacterial products over plain soap and water.

FYI - The shop laundry is done with enviro-friendly laundry detergent and non-chlorine bleach. Bleach is mandated by our Board. My washer has a sanitation setting so I wash everything in super hot water as well.

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Instant Gift Certificates Available 24/7 on Our Website

Remember, you can now purchase gift certificates on line at http://www.RaspberryMoonST.com. Go to the store and then click on gift certificates.

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Here, There, and Back Again

If for any reason you are unable to make your appointment please call me 24 hours in advance so I may offer another client your time. Take a minute to add me to your phone - 864-271-2710, then I will always be at your fingertips!

I will be out of the office:

Looks like I'm here for all of April!


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