Tag Archives: Health

Chocolate Bar Fundraising; Been There, Done That, Had to Buy A Bigger Shirt….

I love chocolate, good chocolate, real chocolate….. SOMETIMES, ok, well maybe more than sometimes, but that’s another blog.

chocolateAt home, we don’t generally purchase chocolate by the case, and we definitely don’t love middle-of-the-road chocolate enough to pawn it off to friend or acquaintance just to save a few bucks on a school field trip.

Here at home, like all homes; all we want is what is best for our family. We work hard to ensure our daughter eats well, and that we remain authentic to our core values.

Sure we use chocolate to make Smores when camping, and we indulge occasionally  in an occasional chocolatey fix, but we endeavor to remain true to what is important and that is our health and our future.

I am truly against chocolate bar sales as a standard in fundraising. I have been averse to it ever since I needed to peddle my first box of chocolate bridge mix door to door in 1975. Yuck!

I wasn’t intending for this to be a preachy blog; but as I re-read it, it seems to have taken on that slant. My apologies. When first conceptualized, it was meant to be funny and an exploration in the value of chocolate bar fundraising. I am not really sure there is a value in it. Seriously; besides the easy money, not really any value. I know I am not alone in my aversion to this funding strategy. I myself have become the proud owner and consumer of several cardboard box fulls of mediocre chocolate covered something. Yes I had to purchase them and inevitably consume them. Hence the title needing to buy a bigger shirt 😉

This is what we accomplish with this fundraising practice:

  • Pay inflated prices for some pretty poor quality chocolate
  • We enable colleagues and friends to indulge in the same chocolate, even though most of them are trying to avoid it
  • Sometimes we succeed in guilting people into supporting the cause for which we are raising funds, that by the way makes us really popular
  • We contradict the teachings of healthful eating that we teach our kids which is also part of our school curriculum
  • We indirectly support child labour and exploitation, (and possibly even slavery and smuggling)
  • We show our kids that quick and easy is the way to go, when really we want to tech them that things that are worth having are really worth working for
  • We negatively impact our health, since we all know that too much sugar and a dependency on junk food can lead health issues, cavities and obesity.

Seriously when was the last time your heard someone at the office say, “OH YEAH…. here comes Sally with the overpriced crappy chocolate, boy I can’t wait to pay $5  for some empty calories!” 

Not A Bigger T ShirtIsn’t it time that our fundraising practices actually mesh with our core values? Doesn’t it make sense that our children and youth reinforce what they learn through their activities?

At eCause Canada, we really believe that fundraising should not only be a way to support a cause, but to support the families health and the health of our planet as well as  reinforce the things that we are already teaching our children.

Fundraising needs to be win/win/win. In fact, if everything we did was to benefit health,of people and planet, we’d live in a much better world! And for that, I would most definitely buy the shirt!

To learn more about how your next fundraising program can be profitable, green and healthy, please email info@eCause.ca for information or complete the contact form right here in the blog.

Wishing you and yours good health and happiness along with an abundance of time to enjoy them!

Why Is There Microban on Our Kids School Supplies Repost from 2010

School ScissorsI am new to this blogging thing even though I have loved writing for more than 35 years so forgive me in advance for this moderate rant. I was school supply shopping today and I had a VERY difficult time getting scissors that weren’t treated with the anti-bacterial Microban. What? Are the kids in elementary school doing; surgeries instead of arts and crafts? When did the curriculum change. Aren`t the scissors going to be covered with glue and markers like the ones from the past three years? Why would the scissors need to be protected from algae or the “bacteria causing stains, odors and product deterioration”,(quoting from the Microban website.) What is in Microban? Apparently it is proprietary technologies, so we don’t know, the Environmental Protection Agency has classed Triclosan as a probable carcinogen. Isn’t Microban from the same family? Why would I want it on my kids hands?, the answer, I wouldn’t, germs and bacteria are necessary in our lives, they are what make us stronger and healthier, please share this information with friends and those you love, try not to buy into the “FEAR” that is being dished out. Teach your children the importance of good hygiene, and the need for us to live in harmony with all of the earth’s made micro organisms.

Keeping You and Me on Our Toes

     A colleague in the industry said to me recently, where are the brakes on this thing??? Life is busy, and fast, and stressful, and all too often we don’t take the time to take care of ourselves. Wherever you are going in your life, your feet are likely taking you there. They connect and ground you to the earth. With feet firmly planted, and your weight evenly distributed you are balanced, yet you can sense something as miniscule as a grain of sand and be thrown off kilter.
Most of us spend our time in our heads; thinking, planning, and analyzing, and as a result we often miss the messages that are either right before us or coming from within. We answer questions with “I think that….” rather than “I feel that… ” We are not always in touch with our true selves. In some cases even our feelings are skewed because of various influences in our lives.
Foot Reflexology is an incredible way to tune back in. Thousands of nerves pass through our feet; they are messengers that transmit information to and from our brains.
Through use, abuse and inadequate treatment of our systems, as well as the sheer force gravity these messengers can get congested or blocked. Reflexology pioneer Eunice Ingham concluded in the 1930s that these reflexes were an exact mirror image of the organs of the body, and as such blockages interfere with regular function. The massage and pressure point techniques used during a reflexology treatment can help to clear these reflexes of their congestion and stagnation and encourage Homeostasis.

Profound relaxation, detoxification, improved circulation, and healing can be among the included benefits. Bringing both attention and intention to areas in need is powerful. One of the best ways to get centered and balanced is to focus on our feet; we can only truly be balanced when we are able to connect without interference to the earth.

The roots of my wellness knowledge grew initially with my training while studying to become a Reflexologist. From there the profound love I feel for people and planet grew the company called eCause. In my clinic I have the great pleasure to work with people one on one to get to the soul of the matter, with eCause I have the chance to support families, schools and entire communities with information, superior products and financial support through fundraising.

My job  is complementing your health, Why? eCause I care!

Happy World Reflexology Week! We are celebrating with our most requested promotion at an even greater discount than before; Buy 4 treatments and receive a 5th for FREE. Visa & M/C accepted. Actual treatment cost $48.00 each. 514-998-3863 to book today.

Safe in the Summer

Here we are. Summer is around the corner. Winter sweaters have made their way into the back of the closet storage and the shorts, tank tops, and bathing suits are re-inhabiting the dresser drawers as you are starting to think about protection from our glorious sun.

Without a doubt the love for your children and your desire to keep them from harm’s way has you insisting on a few seasonal things; proper sunscreen coverage, proper hydration, a hat for their heads, and sunglasses to protect their eyes from harmful UV rays.

Perfect, all the essential bases are covered! Or are they? In theory this plan of action is ideal, keep the kids protected from the harsh components of the elements and you are good to go. Unfortunately it is not that simple.

Google it, and you’ll find hundreds of articles on the dangers of most conventional sunscreens. Add that to the fact that there are not yet government regulations on most body care products and you have a recipe for false claims and questionable and unsafe ingredients in a HUGE majority of the sunscreens on the market. Many traditional sun blocks actually contain known cancer causing ingredients. This is a big concern when your intention is to PROTECT your children.

What is a loving parent to do? You’ll be glad to know that safe sunscreens do exist! Even some made right here in Canada, some are government certified and some are even eco certified. This is incredible news for those wanting to do the best for the health of their family. There is a great website with a database with invaluable information on thousands of body care products; it is called Skindeep and I highly recommend looking into the safety information on your sunscreens and any of the body care products you might use before slathering them on.

Proper hydration – this one is pretty much a no brainer, we play, we sweat, we need to hydrate. But HOW we hydrate, for reasons of our well being, is just as important as actually hydrating itself.  For health reasons as well as HUGE environmental reasons, make a personal promise to yourself right now – never use a plastic water bottle again! It doesn’t matter whether you recycle or not, they are toxic, toxic to you, toxic to our planet. For starters they are made from petroleum, and the multitude of chemicals in their composition makes its way into the water you drink and once there they are they known to negatively affect and wreak havoc on our endocrine systems. INVEST in the best, invest in yourself,  get a top quality water bottle preferably in an 18/8 stainless steel, (it should cost in the neighborhood of between about $18 and $25 dollars) and it should last you FOREVER. I have been using mine for 6 years! I have saved Thousands of dollars as a result, not to mention I personally have kept more than 12000 plastic bottles out of landfills, (I used to go through about 6 bottles a day).

Protective eye wear that filters out Ultra Violet Rays, (including the more dangerous UVB rays) are essential.  Even in overcast skies they can protect you and your kids from cataracts, as well as short-term eye damage including snow-blindness in the winter months.

Topping it off, a proper sunhat serves two major purposes; 1 – it is meant to shade you or prevent you from being in direct sunlight, and 2 – and this is actually even more important, it is mean to allow you to expel heat, so the traditional baseball cap is not the greatest of ideas, they tend to hold the heat in, which can lead to overheating, so a straw hat (while not the most fashionable choice) is really a better idea.

You love your kids and every year you tackle the same summer safety concerns. This year take a few extra minutes to look at the bigger and more long term picture. The small changes you make today to support the health of your kids and our planet may cost you a few dollars more initially but the payoff or ROI (return on investment is HUGE) in peace of mind and a healthful future for your family.

I’m Thinking Win/Win is a Better Way to Go!

HERE’S something funny to think about;

ParticipACTION

Coca Cola (yes the makers of the beverage that can not only dissolve your car engine, but that can possibly be attributed to the increase of obesity, diabetes, and the overall un wellness of the human race) sponsors PARTICPACTION in Canada. (That’s the organization that encourages physical fitness through activity in Canada)

Ummmmm here’s a question; do they hand out coke bottles or plastic water bottles after the end of the physical activities? Coca Cola is also well known to own many of the bottled water brands, (which most likely are filled with tap water.)

And does it really matter since contributing to the demise of the planet and the environment will inevitably lead to the demise of the human race anyway.

I’m thinking we CAN be active and support the health of people and planet at the same time!

Win/Win/Win – tap water, no sugar, physical activity! Using a TOP quality stainless steel bottles like a Klean Kanteens , now that’s a winning combination. eCause Canada is thrilled to support schools, teams, corporations and  charities with winning healthy fundraising opportunities!

Call from anywhere in Canada 1-877-638-1678

Earth Day is Four Letter Word

Originally posted in  GirlGuidesCanBlog on April 20, 2012

It always seems so complicated –  you know, solving the big stuff like climate change, environmental issues, poverty, disease, war, the rapid decline of our resources. YIKES!

Usually, when there is a big problem, the following things happen; people talk, then debate, there are studies, governments get involved, money and resources get wasted, there is red tape, complacency, inaction, apathy, anger, alienation, all these things happen every day and always. And the solutions usually involve, some kind of political and/or financial agenda WOW that’s complicated!

This Sunday, April 22, people the world over will be hanging up posters, arming themselves with garbage bags and little trees, and taking positive action on Earth Day to make a difference. Children have been working on their projects for days or weeks for this important event.  It’s a beautiful thing but this tree hugger thinks it’s not the answer.

The answer is not in these actions. The solution to all the world’s woes is in our hearts, the answer is a four letter word.

LOVE

LOVE needs to come first and last and everywhere in the middle. Love fixes everything from scraped knees to broken hearts, to poverty and oppression. It is ONLY about love, about loving ourselves and every other living being on this planet in the realization that we are all one. Our actions in North America in the way we live, eat, shop and exist directly impacts others around the world.

People can debate all they want, but there is no question that the health and well being of the human race is directly interconnected to the health of this planet. While our planet would survive without us, the opposite could never occur.

So here is what I propose in honour of this Earth Day, and every day thereafter – whenever presented with some kind of decision, stop, breathe, connect to yourself (and the rest of the universe) and ask yourself what would love do? Whether you are grocery shopping or driving your car, or interacting with your family, colleagues or peers, ask that question, what would love do?

And now, right now, I ask you to take one moment to share with everyone reading this blog, one short sentence with an example of how putting love first can help to change the world.

I’ll start:

Example 1 – It’s morning household chaos, finishing homework, eating breakfast, packing lunches, preparing for after school programs, and it’s now 8:30am and the bell rings at 8:47 am, school is about a kilometre away. Daughter still has teeth and hair to brush but she’s almost ready to go, what would love do? I know: hey Ayla (that’s my daughter), “finish up teeth and hair and let’s walk this morning!” Hmm, no car, no emissions, appreciating the birds chirping, quality time with daughter, and hey healthy for people and planet, I am pretty sure that’s what love would do!

See simple, love is simple, love for our health and our well being almost always benefits our planet, but wait I have a second example that works the opposite way.

Example 2 – I’m at the store getting groceries and supplies for the week (this is where we can have the HUGEST impact on our health and environment). I need dishwashing soap for the counter and the dishwasher – do I grab the least expensive one on the shelf or the bottle with the fluorescent orange liquid that says made with natural fragrance? Nah! I stop and ask myself, what would love do? And you know what, love would read the labels to make sure that the products were 100% phosphate- and other-nasty-chemical-free and locally made (there are amazing brands made in Canada). Love wouldn’t mind paying a little more because keeping our local economy healthy and our water systems free of phosphates is healthy for us and our families and of course our environment.

Really this love thing is pretty amazing! Really amazing, it helps us now, and it helps us in the future, and it helps us the world over, OK, now it’s your turn: what do you do, or what can you do to change the world by choosing love? We’d LOVE to know!

Happy Earth Day!

The World is Thirsty Because We Are Hungry!

Girl Guides of Canada are taking action for a better world! So glad to have been their guest blogger on World Water Day! Girl Greatness starts here!

GirlGuidesCANBlog

“The World is Thirsty Because We Are Hungry!”

That’s a mouthful! Or maybe it isn’t. What does it mean? What does it have to do with today? Well, March 22 is World Water Day. Water is the most precious resource we have on Earth, it is essential to our survival, and we are essential to its well-being and its very existence.

I’ll save you hours of Google research and break down this year’s World Water Day campaign issues and goals into a few simple and bite-sized pieces. (Yes I am using food related puns here to keep you on your toes.) I’ll then empower you with knowledge and tips which you can easily feed into your life moving forward.  You can even help to change the world. You know like icing on a cake! How’s that for a four-course meal?

First take a moment to read the menu below that…

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We Can Save Our Planet!

Girl Guides and Breast Cancer (Cross Post)

Originally written for Girl Guides of Canada and published on January 25th, 2012

Girl Guides and Breast Cancer on National Wear It Pink Day

National Wear it pink day banner 2012National Wear it pink day banner 2012

For several years I walked in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer in Montreal. As a result, I was au courant with the research and of course the desperate need to find a cure. I saw stories of hope but also, on the flip side, I noticed that the incidence of breast cancer was on the rise.

I walked beside survivors, I held the hands of those undergoing treatment, and I also watched Evy, my dad’s partner, fight valiantly and lose her battle with the disease. The harsh reality is that 1 in 8 women will develop some form or breast cancer.

My daughter’s last Girl Guide Unit had 43 girls and four Guiders. According to statistics, six or more of them will get breast cancer. That is not okay with me – how about you? Are you a Guider, a Girl Guide or a parent? Are you okay with that number?

What can we do about it?

Well for starters today, as a sign of our awareness and our commitment we can Wear It Pink today, for starters, and only as a symbol, and then the actual work begins…..

Is there really a CURE for cancer? I personally don’t think so, and although much-needed research dollars make it to projects and programs developing better medications and supporting those undergoing treatment through pink ribbon campaigns, I don’t think the solution lies in buying more bread, batteries or gasoline with a pink ribbon on it. In fact, sad but true some products being sold with pretty pink ribbons on them are known to contain carcinogens.

NO. The real answer, the ONLY answer that empowers us is in prevention!

As Girl Guides “we take action for a better world!” PREVENTION, through education and action is our essential next step!

HELLO LADIES: Newsflash! Our breasts are next to our armpits, well for some of us maybe a little lower but that is not the point here.  This is not rocket science, nor am I a doctor, but why in the world should we, would we, put toxic, or known cancer causing chemicals next to our breasts?

You know in our arm pits?
Where we sweat (or rather, glow) to release toxins,
You know through our pores,
Those holes in our skin where stuff can go in and also come out,
Why would we put poison there?

But how do you know what’s safe?  That is a little tricky. Unfortunately, there are no standard regulations in place yet to protect us in this area. What we really need is legislation for safer cosmetics, better environmental regulations and we need to know the truth about what’s really inside our products.

There are amazing organizations advocating for our well-being. I am happy to share some of their great work with you here.

  • The Story of Cosmetics can save lives, watch this video as an investment in your health and share it with those you love. Guiders, depending on the age of your girls some info can be shared in your units, if not with your girls, their parents. This has a lot of great information.
  • Another phenomenal organization and one of the most successful in environmental advocacy in Canada is Environmental Defence. They work diligently to make a positive impact here in both environment issues and health issues in our country. Their new campaign, Just Beautiful, is all about how safe, or rather how unsafe, our cosmetics are. Their mission is “to challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.”  That sounds an awful lot like the Girl Guides’ mission.
  • A Quebec organization on a similar mission is Breast Cancer Action Montreal, and one of their projects to share important information is through Femme Toxic here is a link to the top 20 toxic ingredients we need to avoid. Breast Cancer Action Montreal can even do presentations and informative workshops on making healthier choices that can assist in cancer prevention.
  • Skin Deep through the Environmental Working Group does tons of research and provides you with data and safety information on hundreds of the most popular brands of skin care products. Look up your brand to get an idea of its safety.

National Wear It Pink Day is a day to raise your awareness, and START informing yourself on what is next. Cancer doesn’t look at the calendar to decide when is the best time to move in, EVERYDAY is a day for us to learn and act in our own best interests, commit yourself to learning something about cancer prevention today, and take action on prevention!

This post was written as the Guest blogger for Girl Guides of Canada

Other posts written for Girl Guides of Canada were: Green Camping and Green of Red, Orange, Yellow and Gold Leaves posts on GirlGuidesCANblog.

What is the big deal with Plastic Water Bottles?

So the other night I was at a meeting getting grilled. What in the world is the big deal with water bottles, I was asked?

Today I watched a woman empty the trash from her car into the trash can at the gas station. Among her disposables were 7, yes that’s right 7, plastic water bottles all with varying amounts of water still in them went INTO the trash can.

I am going to tell you what the big deal is and why I am saddened by what I saw:

1- There is no doubt that her health is or could be impacted by the water she drinks from these bottles. Endocrine disruption is a serious issue which can lead to infertility, and contribute to other illnesses that plague our society including learning disabilities, birth defects and cancers.

– Plastic bottles leach chemicals into the water. According to a study (CBC News), the longer water is stored in plastic bottles, the higher the concentration of a potentially harmful chemical.

2- If she has children, chances are they too are plastic bottle babies, and could suffer from fertility issues as a result of the endocrine disruption. It is difficult to find data on “infertility” but the trends are definitely in MORE people seeking help with fertility issues than ever before.

– Endocrine disruptors can leach out of plastics causing an increasing amount of infertility rates among other troubling gland and hormonal problems. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

3- The bottles that were trashed are one of the leading causes of our environment’s health issues. Those bottles don’t even have a chance to make a valuable contribution back to our society. And now the chemicals that leach into the water in the bottles are going to be leach into the ground or our oceans, impacting the health of wildlife too.

– It is interesting to note that National Geographic says for every six bottles we use; only one makes it to the recycling bin.

4- The bottles themselves were made because of our dependence on petroleum based fuels. Why in the world do we need to exploit a non-renewable natural resource like oil to put our tap water in so we can put it in our cars and bags?

– Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil—enough to run 100,000 cars for a whole year—are used to make plastic water bottles, while transporting these bottles burns even more oil. (Tree Hugger.com)

5- Her pocketbook is being exploited too, seriously water is free and yet people are happy to pay more for tap water than they do to put gas in their cars.

– Tap water is often subject to more stringent regulation and testing than bottled water. It costs a fraction of the cost from the tap. It is cleaner, cheaper, and thus healthier. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

The solution to all this; to save you money, positively impact your health, and support the wellness of the environment is to take the plunge invest in a TOP quality bottle and help to encourage the cultural shift away from a use-and-toss mentality. Opt for a TOP quality stainless steel bottle such as a Klean Kanteen which is the safest alternative to plastic and should last you a lifetime! Receive a free neoprene bottle sleeve with a Klean Kanteen bottle purchase at eCause. We were thrilled to read a story that was recently released; Colleges moving away from Plastic Water Bottles. Also do enjoy this great video on the Water Bottle industry too! this was done by the Story of Stuff people with Annie Leonard.