Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu Panic

Here we go, again. Remember the widely-reported chaos over the bird flu? The recent "outbreak" of approximately 20 cases of swine flu is whipping the country into a nationwide panic. European officials have advised citizens not to travel to the US unless necessary and children are staying home from school. Should we all move to code red? Respected author and vaccination researcher, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny says not so fast!

In her article posted yesterday about the swine flu "epidemic", Dr. Tenpenny takes us on a walk through recent history and illuminates the concerns vaccination critics have about the outbreak and hard-hitting questions about who may benefit from the frenzy. And she's not alone. Recent editorials from around the world (such as this one from New Zealand or commentary on PajamasMedia) try to put a little perspective on the issue. Yes, influenza can and does kill people every year. To date, none of the 20 victims diagnosed with the swine flu in the United States have died, although reports indicate that 81 people in Mexico died as a result of infection. Cause for concern? Perhaps. But why isn't the media in a frezny because 44,000 to 98,000 Americans die each year from preventable medical errors? Or because 1 in 38 American boys has autism?

Health-conscious parents can take a proactive approach and seek out natural ways to increase resistance to flu bugs and other viruses. This week, Dr. Mayer Eisenstein will even host a webinar to help calm fears and give practical advice for maintaining health. It's time for some rational thought and calm. Fear-mongering is not the answer.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Celebrate Earth Day!

This week marks Earth Day on April 22nd and it is time for each and every one of us to step up to make a difference. We all know that the Earth is sick - plagued by pollution, deforestation, and disregard by its human inhabitants. Certainly it can be overwhelming to view the big picture and to wonder what we, as individuals, can do. But it is small changes that add up to big results and if we each take one step toward healing the planet, we can create a sustainable future for ourselves and for our children.

What can you do? Start with something simple. Banish plastic bags from your life and take up reusable bags for shopping (check out our totes for a wonderful alternative!). If you already have your shopping bags, do away with your plastic food storage bags, sandwich wraps, plastic water bottles or food containers. Too easy? Head out to your local farmers market and become a regular customer. Seek out organic options and commit to local foods. How about trading in some of your personal care products for more natural, organic versions - good for you and for the environment. Start with one product and make the switch! Reduce landfills by changing to cloth diapers, composting, or recycling. Ready for bigger changes? Find out about solar or wind power for your home, grow your own food by converting your lawn into an organic garden, walk more/drive less or trade your vehicle in for a hybrid. Organize members of your community to clean up local parks, to educate your neighbors about green living, or volunteer to be part of your town's environmental or conservation commission.

Looking for even more ideas? Download our Earth Day handout and be part of the solution! We can make a difference - start this week and honor the planet and the future!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Green Living in NJ

The Holistic Moms Network was excited to be part of GreenFest 2009 here in New Jersey, a state full of irony being both the Garden State and infamous for being, well, less than "green". But thousands of interested attendees joined us at GreenFest to learn about alternative energy, non-toxic products, eco-conscious living, and to share the wisdom of green celebrities including Bill Nye and Ed Begley, Jr.

It was easy to feel a bit intimidated, though, as the event was packed with vendors ready to show you how to install solar panels or geo-thermal heating or to swap out all of your windows for energy-efficient models. But for those of us who are not ready for big steps or who cannot afford them just yet, Ed Begley, Jr. suggested we "pick the fruit within reach" and start with simple things such as changing our lightbulbs to CFLs, installing weather stripping, or replacing old thermostats with energy efficient versions. He urged us to be fiscally responsible and take on what we can afford, knowing that these changes not only help protect the planet but will also save us all some money.

We thank everyone who helped out at the Holistic Moms Network booth as well as those who stopped by to say "hello" and to learn more about us. It was wonderful to meet so many green-thinking parents, kids, and others and to envision how we can work together to make NJ more green!