Monday, December 1, 2008

Nail polish confession

I might be one of the "Pure Know How Women", but I can't always live 100% "pure". I do try but really it's impossible to always do so.

Well this weekend was one of those times. My husband and I went to his work holiday party and I bought this sexy little purple dress and silver healed sandals (will I ever wear them again?). So of course I had to paint my toe nails. I did have my non-toxic polish in my hands but I just could not use it. The colour just didn't have enough punch and to get half the effect I wanted I would have had to put on 5 coats. So I went with the mainstream brand and damn did my toes look nice!

I just re-read our e-bulletin on nail polish and I think I'll just let this stuff wear off and not use nail polish remover-

Pure Know How

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New Advertising Guidelines on Greenwashing

The Competition Bureau and the Canadian Standards Association have introduced Environmental Claims: A guide for Industry and Advertisers. Basically the thought is that all environmental claims must be verified and substantiated with supporting data. This data must be accurate and readily available to law enforcement agencies, such as the Bureau, on request.

The purpose of the guide is to "provides businesses making environmental claims with guidance on how to comply with the laws under the Bureau’s jurisdiction by outlining best practices and guiding principles based on international standards. It will serve as the reference used by the Bureau when evaluating whether a claim is false or misleading under the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, or the Textile Labelling Act."

Certainly a step in the right direction, take a look at Pure Know How's e-bulletin on Greenwashing. But our best defence is still to get educated on ingredients to avoid and always read labels.

Pure Know How

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One Million Acts of Green community

The One Million Acts of Green was created by, along with with George Stroumboulopoulos as a place where you can record your Acts of Green by selecting an act of green from a category.

This is what the organizers have to say, "This season, CBC and The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos want to mobilize Canadians to do One Million Acts of Green. In partnership with Cisco, the idea behind the campaign is that one small act can make a big difference."

The site is sponsored by several well know environmental groups including the David Suzuki Foundation and Environmental Defense. So why not take a look and sign-up and add your act of green to make a difference!

Pure Know How

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bisphenol A Regulations

According to a news release from Health Canada the regulations surrounding Bisphenol A will centre around infants (those under 18 months).

'The Government of Canada today announced it will immediately proceed with drafting regulations to prohibit the importation, sale and advertising of polycarbonate baby bottles that contain bisphenol A (BPA). The Government will also take action to limit the amount of bisphenol A that is being released into the environment."

I think this is wonderful news but it's really too bad that the rest of us weren't taken into consideration. I for one am very carefully about keeping BPA away from all in my family.

The government also announced that it will spend 1.7 million on research projects. Hopefully after that amount of money a clear and decisive answer will be had. I wonder if other governments around the world are also working on similar studies and if we could not all work together. The we could use some of that money to clean up the environment. Just a thought!

"The Government has allocated an additional $1.7 million over the next three years to fund research projects on bisphenol A. This research, in addition to major studies currently underway at Health Canada and Environment Canada, will help to address key knowledge gaps in both the Canadian and international scientific community, and inform Government decision-making should further actions be required."

Pure Know How

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bisphenol A (BPA) a toxic substance

Yesterday the federal government put forth a proposal to declare BPA a toxic substance. At this point it doesn't seem clear what the outcome of this proposal will be but officials did say,

"It is concluded that bisphenol A be considered as a substance that may be entering the environment in a quantity or concentration or under conditions that constitute or may constitute a danger in Canada to human life or health..."

So let's all keep our fingers crossed and see what the outcome is, we should here more later today and we'll blog again.

If you are interested in this subject take a look at our ebulletins on Plastic Water Bottles and Plastics - BPA


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cold weather and our skin

Fall is here and with the colder weather comes for many of us dryer skin. For me the second the humidity ends (even before the furnace is on) my skin becomes dry - that lovely stretched itchy feeling - love it!

If you also have dry skin and need to purchase new lotion and want to try something more natural take a look at our skin care product reviews.

You may also want to read over our ebulletin on face lotions (same really goes for any lotion).

Pure Know How

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Baby carrots and chlorine

The below comes from one of our readers - Thanks Jennifer.

Subject: Here is a link to information about baby carrots and chlorine.

The following is information from a farmer who grows and packages carrots for IGA, METRO, LOBLAWS, etc.
The small cocktail (baby) carrots you buy in small plastic bags are made using the larger crooked or deformed carrots which are put through a machine which cuts and shapes them into cocktail carrots . most people probably know this already.

What you may not know and should know is the following: once the carrots are cut and shaped into cocktail carrots they are dipped in a solution of water and chlorine in order to preserve them (this is the same chlorine used your pool) since they do not have their skin or
natural protective covering, they give them a higher dose of chlorine.
You will notice that once you keep these carrots in your refrigerator for a few days, a white covering will form on the carrots, this is the chlorine which resurfaces. At what cost do we put our health at risk to have esthetically pleasing vegetables which are practically plastic?

We do hope that this information can be passed on to as many people as possible in the hopes of informing them where these carrots come from and how they are processed.

Chlorine is a very well known carcinogen.

Please let us make this information available to as many people as possible.

If you care about your family and friends, pass it on.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hair Styling Products and your Hair

I came across this great article written by someone who has been in the hair care business for thirty-seven years. The article in large part discusses the damage these products have on your hair, the hair you are trying to make look nicer. Here is a small excerpt from the article:

"I have been in the hair care business for over thirty-seven years and have seen everything that could possibly go wrong with a head of hair. Without question, the most damaging commercial hair styling preparations on the market today are gels, mousses and sprays. "

If that didn't get you thinking this one may:

"It is almost guaranteed that with continued use, these products will result in hair loss."

The name of the article is Mousse Abuse: Getting Educated to the Dangers of Styling Aids take a read.

Also please let us know what styling products work for you.

Pure Know How

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Other Blogs

A Pure Know How subscriber shared her blog on natural and environmentally friendly options called Our Health. If you have your own blog or know of a "go to" resources, please share it.
Pure Know How

Monday, June 30, 2008

Natural Bug Repellants

I just sent my son off to summer camp - with both a natural bug spray and a DEET-based bug spray. The idea is to use the natural spray for time-limited activities such as evening campfire and dusk time activites and the more chemial based products for the overnights - when he is outdoors 24/7. See our e-bulletin Bug Off and a full list of several natural bug sprays as rated by The Daily Green.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Formaldehyde Found in Baby Furniture

For those of you that receive the dailygreen you may have read the article that references a report produced by Environment California - Toxic Baby Furniture: The Latest Case for Making Products Safe from the Start . If you haven't read it and have a baby or young child at home read on.

"Furnishings containing formaldehyde – a toxic chemical linked with allergies, asthma, and cancer – can contaminate indoor air within California homes. Babies and young children are particularly vulnerable to harm.

To evaluate the potential dangers children face, EnvironmentCalifornia Research & Policy Center purchased 21 products intended for use in a baby’s nursery and hired a professional laboratory to test them. We found that six of the products produced high levels of formaldehyde vapor. In particular, several brands of cribs and changing tables emit formaldehyde at levels linked with increased risk of developing allergies or asthma."

For those that are pregnant and have young children take a look at the brand of furniture you have.

Pure Know How

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tamey's rant - cleaning products

Just after I finished writing this months e-bulletin on bathroom cleaning I sat down to watch a bit of TV. The first commercial was about a very toxic cleaning product that has teamed up with another company who that is in the scent business - a toxic soup.

This commercial was all bright and sunny with the whole family cleaning with this product. What makes me crazy is that this company is so big and so wealthy that they can spend tones of money on an advertisement that aired at 9:00 pm. They are bamboozling people - What they failed to show is one of the kids having an asthma attach from the artificial scents.

Imagine if they invested the same amount of money in creating products that were not harmful to us and the environment. You never know. Right?

Pure Know How

Friday, April 18, 2008


We just wanted to say a quick welcome to our new subscribers. We were on the A-Channel Morning show and have had great response from its viewers.

Thanks Kurt and A Channel.

Tamey and Patti
Pure Know How

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dangerous "organic" products

As reported in the last issue of Organic Bytes, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) found carcinogens in various products misleadingly labeled as "organic" and "natural". Several brand name "natural manufacturers" like Jason’s, Nature's Gate, and Kiss My Face, among others, labelled their products as “organic,” despite the fact that a number of their products tested positive for the cancer-causing synthetic ingredient 1,4-Dioxane, including . The OCA is demanding that these companies reformulate their products to remove petrochemicals and 1,4 -Dioxane or else remove "organic" label claims from their packaging. Offending

To avoid tainted products, OCA recommends that consumers look for the “USDA Organic” seal on body care products and cosmetics. If you don't see the seal, it may not be truly organic.

To see a list of body care and home cleaning products tainted with 1,4-Dioxane, as well as a consumer guide for finding safe personal care products, go here:

Pure Know How


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Painkillers, other drugs found in drinking water

Drink up! Six to eight glasses of pure water daily - don't wait until you are thirsty as you are already dehydrated by then.

The above is one of the points mentioned in our "Drink Up" e-bulletin back in November. In that e-bulletin we discussed tap water vs bottled vs filtering. We received many emails from subscribers who were confused and wondering what direction to take.

It's really a personal choice, and I'm sure you'll still be as confused as before once you read the CBC article.

Pure Know How

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Subscriber Review

The following is a review from one of Pure Know How's subscribers.

brand: Green Beaver

product: Lavender Volumizing Conditioner

cost: $8.95

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The conditioner has a lovely thick texture, but still rinses out
easily. I have straight, fine to medium thick hair, and it leaves my
hair feeling very soft - not weighed down and greasy, or dried out.
This is as good as expensive salon products I've used in the past, but
doesn't have all harsh chemicals/perfumes/dyes, and it's locally made.
I love it!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Warning: Toddler pear juices may contain arsenic

Just read a CBC story that is warning parents that there child’s pear juice my contain arsenic.

"The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Loblaws Inc. are warning the public not to consume certain pear juices for toddlers as they may be contaminated with arsenic."

So please check you pear juice at home.

For story can be found on CBC

Pure Know How

Friday, February 29, 2008

Wow - Mineral Make-up

We wrote an article on mineral make-up several months ago and at the time I had not tried mineral make-up as I was a long user of liquid foundation.

Well I finally decided to give it a try and the verdict is in...I love it!!
I now use mineral foundation (powder) and apply it with a Kabuki brush (big fat brush). With a few strokes my skin is transformed. It becomes virtually flawless!

Take a look at Powder Your Nose.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Your reviews bath and dish soaps

Please let us know about the bath and dish soap products that you like.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beauty Eco-preneur on Bath products

This month's Pure Know How Beauty Expert is Melissa Shabinsky, a self-proclaimed beauty junkie who, 2 years ago, ditched most of her family's commercial bath products in favour of organic alternatives. She has become a beauty eco-preneur on a personal quest - launching Revolution Organics this spring. She shares her go-to bath products and her learning’s about what is put into a product is as important as what you leave out.

Monday, February 4, 2008

In the news - Lotions, powders may pose risks to infants

The Globe and Mail reported on February 4 that new research funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, found phthalates, a hormone-disrupting chemical used in many plastics and personal care products, in every one of a group of 163 babies they tested.

This ingredient is used in fragrance compounds in everyday products like lotions, shampoos, powders. It is also a plastic softener and found in many toys.
One of the researchers who conducted the new study recommended that parents, as a precaution, try to reduce exposures by cutting down on the use of lotions and shampoos on babies.

Research results will be published today in the journal Pediatrics.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Boiling water spikes bisphenol A levels

The Globe and Mail reports on a new study on the effects boiling water have on the leaching of BPA. They specifically mention baby bottles.

"The finding suggests that parents sterilizing polycarbonate baby bottles by heating them in water or in a microwave may be inadvertently increasing the amount of the estrogen-mimicking chemical leaching from the containers. It also indicates hikers who use the bottles as a thermos to store hot tea or liquids may be doing the same."

- And weren’t we all told to make sure you boil those bottles to ensure there are no germs. I’m glad they are discovering these things now, but boy to I feel terrible – after expressing milk I then added it to sterilized baby bottles.

Follow this link to read the full article.

Pure Know How

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lotions and Creams

Tips from Pure Know How'ers

- Make your own - Planet Botanix, an local Ottawa shop,has evening workshops on how to make salve, balm and lotion, personalized with essential oils, and recipes, to take home. Call 613)230-0222 to register.

- Recommended: Avene Cold Cream Hand Cream. The best hand cream out there and this Know How subscriber has tried many. It is the only cream that keeps her hands hydrated all day. It has a very light fragrance and is based with healing AveneThermal Spring Water. Cost: $17.00.
p.s. from Patti - check the label for any ingredients to avoid!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Your Product Reviews

Share your product reviews with the rest of the Pure Know How subscribers. Let us know what works and what doesn't.

Patti and Tamey