Archive for the ‘Opinions and Rants’ Category

Attitude checks

I started writing up a post about how I lost weight a little while ago, figuring that health issues kind of fall under the banner of this blog (I mean, all that dancing in fields and skinny dipping has to be great for your core), but that post will stay in draft-limbo for now. Reviewing it, I realized that a prevailing theme in all my tips was about changing your attitude, and I think this is a big enough deal for it’s own blog.

They all have great abs.

The thing is, we seem to have an attitude problem as a society. I don’t know where it all came from, but it’s pretty common to think along the lines of “Well, I can’t save the world by myself…so why bother at all?” How often do we think like this? About all sorts of things? We believe that if we can’t exercise two hours a day, five days a week, it’s not worth it.  And this applies to our thinking about the environment too.

Why do we do this? Well, honestly I think it’s just old fashioned laziness. It’s easier to not do something, and a ready excuse is that it wouldn’t make a difference anyways in the grand scheme of things. The “All or Nothing” attitude offers a black and white view, and it’s so easy to just do nothing when we think the only alternative is EVERYTHING.

So I propose that instead we take the “Better than Nothing” attitude.   Riding your bike won’t fix the atmosphere in one fell swoop, but it’s one less car on the road.

And ultimately, we’re not responsible for what everyone else chooses to do. We’re responsible for ourselves and our decisions, and deciding to do a little is better than deciding to do nothing.

I’ll add this too: small, practical changes are easier to turn into habits. It’s kind of like training for a marathon when you’ve never run before in your life. You don’t start out running the entire thing, you start running short distances, gradually building up your muscles and endurance. Trying to start running top speed the entire way is likely to get you injured.

So if you’re still looking for a New Years Resolution, try this out! Pick an area where you find yourself taking this attitude, and resolve to change it!

What are little changes we can make that will be better than nothing?  I would love to hear your ideas!

Tin Foil Hats and Other Joys

Talking about green alternatives always brings out some craziness. My favourite are the people who immediately start ranting about chemicals being evil.

Let’s try something. Read the following:

_______ is composed mainly of the mixed triglyceride esters of oleic acid and palmitic acid and of other fatty acids, along with traces of squalene (up to 0.7%) and sterols (about 0.2% phytosterol and tocosterols). _________ contains a group of related products with potent properties that give __________ its bitter and pungent taste and are esters of tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol, including oleocanthal and oleuropein.

What goes in the blanks? Some evil chemical compound right?

Actually it’s Olive Oil.

Here’s a good one: SODIUM CHLORIDE. Sounds evil right? Easy jump to Chlorine, which is poison right? Well Sodium Chloride is common table salt. I bet you’ve had a ton of it today. And while we’re on Sodium, how about SODIUM HYDROXIDE? Gross! Well no, it’s lye, and yes it’s terribly caustic, but you can’t saponify oils without it, and thus, there’s no soap without lye. None remains in the finished product, due to something called science.

So stop saying things are chemical-free. That’s impossible. What you mean is that you’re concerned about synthetic compounds, as they may not have been thoroughly tested. You’re welcome to be concerned about these guys, but stop calling them just “chemicals.” You sound ridiculous.

Let’s put it as simple as possible: Water is a chemical. Chemical is not a codeword for “nasty harmful thing.”

And try something called research. I remember the first time I heard about Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. It was a proven carcinogen, according to my roommate, and her dad sold healing rocks online, so obviously she knew her stuff.

Let’s ask Snopes about it

If you didn’t want to read all that let me sum it up: You’re confusing it with Ethanolamine Lauryl Sulfate. Similar name, different composition.

So check your facts. Just because it sounds similar it’s not evil. Dihydrogen oxide (water) is very different from Hydrogen peroxide (bleach.) And let’s face it: just because someone told you something or you read it somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. Heck, don’t even take my word for it! Check your sources, read multiple articles. Research is a wonderful thing!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for natural products, and there are many good reasons for going this route! Go natural because you can know what’s in your products without anything unknown hiding behind generic words. Do it for the environment! Do it for your health! But don’t do it because of unfounded paranoia. If you’re going that direction you might as well start folding tin hats.

And that’s always a party and a half!