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Choose your home-ware wisely

CHOOSE YOUR HOME-WARE WISELY

I was astound once again while reading the News here in Finland

There are reports all over the World about Teflon (PTFE) found in the oceans. The monstrosity is more precisely poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene, the trade name is Teflon.

We (me and my wife Nina), stopped the use of Teflon-fryingpans years ago, when the teflon surface of those pans seemed to wear out pan after pan. 

We then started to use pans that are made from stainless steel and cast iron, without any surface coating. We hoped to save money by selecting a longer lasting frying pan. It seems that we also saved some of our health and environment too.

Teflon is seeping in to the oceans despite wastewater treatment

So, back to the article. It seems that the teflon from these pans and baking moulds seems to peel of when these kind of pans are washed. Of Course the waters from our Western homes goes to the water-treatment plant before they are released to the sea. The problem is that there is no method that could filter these microscopic particles from the waters that go through the plant

This leads to the pollution of the oceans and pollution of ourselves.

Old Fashioned pans are better for you and your wallet

So maybe we should switch to the old fashioned cast-iron pans. At least if the iron from the cast-iron pan is worn and transmitted to our food, it just improves the iron concentration in our blood. Which in turn is especially welcome to people with low hemoglobin or people during / after their periods.

If the cast-iron pan seems too heavy-duty then there are still couple other options: stainless steel and iron pans. Iron pans are made from the same iron that casted ones are, these are just made by pressin a thick iron sheet in to a shape.

Cast-Iron pans are as tough as it gets, and for lifetime!

Cast-iron can be broken, some sewage-pipes are made from cast-iron, and I have broken these with a big sledge hammer. So they aren't un-destructible. But inside your home you can't break these, anything else will break but not cast-iron pans.

Some thought should be made when purchasing these, since the handle can get very how, depending on the material and attachment method. 

Weight of these pans are also something unbelievable if you compare to those aluminum teflon pans. But before you judge these to be bad, in my childhood we had only these kind of pans and I made my omelettes in these almost every day since I was 7.

Pressed iron pans are lighter, but still for lifetime!

One thing that is different is the way you could break these, which is that the sledge hammer makes only a dent, but if you create a very small pointed flame to this pan it might warp and distort. But to this to happen you should heat this with a welding torch.

Same thing as with cast-iron some handle material get very hot in use, but also only full steel handles could be placed inside an oven.

You might still be very surprised how heavy these pans are, they look significantly slimmer than cast-iron pans but are only slightly lighter.

Stainless steel pans are lightest of these lifetime pans!

There is surefire way to destroy any pan, whether it is made of anything. This pan is made from separate parts: stainles steel inside, the bottom has two outer layers (copper and steel). If you heat up these pans and pour in frozen material or very cold water, those three parts will break apart with a loud bang!

From all of the pans these are usually with stainless steel handles that accumulate heat depending on the technique that they are connected to the pan itself. 

These are the lightest of the pans there are that can still be said to have lifetime durability.

See our comparison chart below and decide what is good for you:

Weight, durability, non-stick, heat accumulation, frying result, best for, best known manufacturer, link to brand on amazon (needs plugin)

woman doing laundry with baby

The Bad That’s Inside our Washing Detergent

The Bad That’s Inside our Washing Detergent

The Dangers of Commercial Detergents

According to environmental experts, the average American household contains 62 toxic chemicals. Ironically, most of them are in our everyday cleaning products. Study shows that harsh chemical ingredients found in commercial detergents can cause illnesses. Some of these illnesses are neurotoxicity, asthma, hormonal imbalance, cancer, and more.

According to the US Poison Control, the use of cleaning products account for 10 percent of all toxic exposures. While most of these chemicals are identifiable, we can’t know for sure if our products are safe or not. That’s because manufacturers are NOT required to list all their ingredients on the label.

So, what dangerous chemicals are inside our everyday laundry detergents?


Formaldehyde

While mostly known as an embalming agent, Formaldehyde is also used in cleaning products.

Cancer.gov found that formaldehyde can cause nasal cancer in rats. Additionally, the same source also states that overexposure to the chemical makes it a probable carcinogen to humans. 

Moreover, formaldehyde exposure is also linked to acute myeloid leukemia — a type of blood cancer.

Quick facts about acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, taken from Cancer.net:

  1. AML kills roughly 20,000 people every year in the US.
  2. The death rate five years after the cancer is found is 74%.

The best way to know if your detergents contain formaldehyde is to check the label. Manufacturers will try to cloak this chemical by using its other names so as not to discourage buyers. Listed below are the other names of formaldehyde and chemicals with similar attributes:

  • Formalin
  • Methanal
  • Oxymethyline
  • Methylaldehyde

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has now classified Formaldehyde as carcinogenic.


Phosphates

Phosphates are a common ingredient in many detergents. In large quantities, they cause an imbalance in the natural aging process of bodies of water, a process called Eutrophication.

The most common type of phosphate found in detergent powders is sodium tripolyphosphate. In excessive amounts, phosphates in waterways will encourage a wild growth of aquatic plants. This chokes up the water, causing the death of aquatic life due to the decreased levels of oxygen.

Normal levels of phosphates are not harmful to people and animals. However, they do have consequential effects on man and the environment in large quantities.


Zeolite

Most commercial detergents also contain Zeolite, a natural mineral similar to asbestos. They are commonly found in their less harmful, solid form. However, cellular zeolite dust and its constituents can be carcinogenic. The inhalation of fibrous zeolite is linked to mesothelioma – a cancer of the mesothelial tissue, the protective layer of our lungs.

One way to know if your laundry detergent contains zeolite is if you’re experiencing itchiness. Many people don’t know that this irritation is a reaction from unhealthy zeolite exposure. Read the ingredients on the package before buying.

Mineral buildup is also known to happen from constant use of zeolite-containing detergents. Moreover, some people claim that they notice a slight ‘greying’ in clothes washed in zeolite.


Optical Whiteners

Another toxic ingredient often used in detergents are Optical Whiteners. They can go by other names: optical brightening agents (OBAs), fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs), organic fluorescent dyes, and more.

Although they make your clothes appear whiter, they don’t necessarily clean better. They’re also slightly toxic to humans and aren’t readily biodegradable. As a result, they damage our environment and cause harm to marine species.

To find out for sure if you’re laundry detergent has optical brighteners, use a small amount to wash any piece of clothing. Next, place the washed cloth under a UV light. If the material glows, it means optical whiteners is one of the ingredients in your detergent.


Artificial Fragrances

Many man-made fragrances found in washing detergents have been linked to birth defects, cancer, damage to the nervous system, and allergies. This is because most fragrances arepetrochemicals: compounds derived from petroleum. We don’t know they’re bad for us because manufacturers simply place “fragrance” as an ingredient.

Some harmful ingredients being used as fragrances are benzene, toluene, xylenes, and methanol. Phthalates are also commonly used in commercial fragrances. An experimental research on lab rats show significant proof that phthalates are carcinogenic.

The European Union has banned the use of phthalates in children’s toys due to possible health risks.


Fabric Softeners

Aside from containing artificial fragrances, fabric softeners also include an array of other harmful chemicals.  The exact ingredients used in fabric softeners aren’t made public by manufacturers. This is because much of what is inside these products are toxic to mankind and the planet.

Chloroform is one of the ingredients in most commercial softeners, which is a known carcinogen. Other manufacturers may also use ethanol and ethyl acetate, both labeled a “hazardous waste” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The use of fabric softeners pollutes our oceans, harming marine ecology, and poisoning the fish we eat. Another disadvantage is that these chemicals find their way into our water supply. This further exposes us to toxins through our drinking waters.


Stop Using Commercial Detergents!

Our skin is exceptionally permeable. Therefore, anything that comes in contact with our skin seeps into our bloodstream!

If we want to provide a safer environment for our family, we should look for ‘greener’, more natural alternatives for cleaning our clothes and homes. It’s our job to make wise buying decisions and protect ourselves, others, and the earth we live in.

Let’s do our part and keep our homes free of toxic chemicals. Switch from commercial detergents to natural cleaning products today.

Do you really need Germ-killing detergents?

DO YOU REALLY NEED GERM KILLING DETERGENTS


Do we Really Need Antibacterial Soap?

Today morning I browsed Amazon like I often do on weekends. What I found was a real shock.
I found countless antibacterial sanitizers and wipes.

I was asking myself: Are we really this stupid? As you may have known, we live in the northern Europe, and the antibacterial stuff hasn’t really been popular here. So I was quite surprised to find so many germ-killing detergents sold on Amazon.

After a while, I became sickened when I watched a video on one of the product pages. There were this child and his mother washing the laundry, and the mother said that it is nice to use an antibacterial laundry cleanser that kills 99.98% of all bacteria. You can see the video embedded above to this text.

What about those chemical residues that can be transferred to your, or your children from the textiles, after being washed? That would be my primary concern, not some natural germs.

Some people are really reckless (and companies), to use these kinds of products… Have you ever thought that what happens to the 0.02% of those bacteria? Well, they multiply easily when there is no competition from other germs. How can you know if that 0.02% of bacteria that survived aren’t dangerous? You can’t! And now by using these germ-killing bacteria, you have given them a place and space to thrive. Other germs would have stood their ground and helped to keep the balance.


Creation of Super-bacteria by US

Do you know where the super-bacteria (or super-germs) have come to this world? You might have guessed by now. By using these anti-bacterial products, you involuntarily speed up and change the course of evolution. Because nature finds a way. Every germ, good or bad, want’s to live, and so there will be that one or two germs that won’t die no matter what.That’s the course of evolution, the fittest will survive.

But the life-cycle of bacteria is really short, so their evolutionary cycles are short in time also. That means, when we use antibacterial products, we actually help and support those bacteria that can stand against the chemicals. This is where those super-germs are created. Right inside your washing machine.

How hard it is to wash towels and linen in 60°C? Yes, the washing time increases and electricity consumption does too. But you don’t even have to wash those textiles in 60°C every time, every third time should be enough.

Wash your hands with a poison before you eat?

Then there are those hand soaps that kill everything else but you. Sounds intriguing, doesn’t it. To use something that poisonous to germs on your skin… Well instead of writing a boring essay, I’ll paste another video about the soaps that kill germs. And are they any good? Watch the video!

If you don’t have time, I can tell you that there are no evidence that germ-killing soap does any better job than the old-fashioned soap that you could make on your own.

In the end that chemical that you use to wash yourself and your laundry, will end up in the water system, from there to the fishes and on to your food plate. So if you like to eat those toxins, continue to use antibacterial-chemicals.

How to kill bacteria naturally?

What if you really want to kill every germ? How can you do that? The answer is in the old-fashioned tech: boil your stuff in water for five minutes or use a natural trick in the next video.

So what I’m trying to say, is that YOU DON’T NEED ANTIBACTERIAL-STUFF!!!

Later on, we will bring an environmentally safe, laundry powder, hand soap, washing machine cleaner, bleach and a special product for dirty cloth diapers and sanitary cloth pads.

Yours,
Andy

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Caring Panda is Here to Stay

Introduction

Hello You! I want to introduce the people and the philosophy behind the Caring Panda:

I’m Andy, a father for my daughter and a husband for my wife.
I hope to change the world for a better place and I dream that one day we could live just like the Kilchers do at the Discovery Channel. I’d like to see people using products that are sustainable and healthy, and usually even outperforming those “throw it away”, single use -products!

With me here is my Wife, and she is the brain behind our endeavor to change Your life to more environmentally sound and sustainable. My Wife always reminds me that we will save money when using durable and washable products and that the environment thanks us in the end.

How did we begin our journey as a reusable -users?

It started in the year 2008 when my Wife was pregnant. At first, my wife began to buy gauze to the kitchen, to use instead of those paper towels.
The Brother sewing machineI was a bit worried when I arrived home from work and found my wife behind a pile of textiles in the kitchen and saw a sewing machine at the end of the kitchen table.
My wife started to explain enthusiastically about reusable nappies that could be washed over and over again. At the time, I was quite worried that would whose textiles be of any use.
Too little I knew, soon my wife had sewn over ten reusable nappies with waterproof PUL-layer and all. She even managed to sew those elastic bands into them, so that the nappies wrinkled nicely when not stretched. After a month, she decided to sew removable suction pads Singer sergerto the diapers, so that they would dry faster after being washed. Soon I found myself at the shop for old sewing machines, and we bought an overlock sewing machine.
Then the miracle of birth happened, and we found ourselves blessed with a daughter! Soon I realized that the sewing frenzy had begun.

My wife sew so many nappies and suction pads that there were enough to sell them. We made around 10 of them to the local flea market, and they sold within a day. After that, we took to the flea market those nappies that our daughter started to grow out from, and they sold almost immediately.Cloth Nappies

We didn’t think about that as anything strange since we had our day full of household chores. We continued to use nature-friendly products and everything that is reusable and washable.

Then the Kilchers arrived at the Discovery Channel. We started to think the way our priorities are twisted and the way our surroundings is filled with items that are designed to be thrown away.
We watched several documents about the true state of our economics and the inequality of the world in Netflix, we wanted to try and make the world a better place. If it didn’t affect our daughter, maybe it would help her children’s lives.

Inside of me started a spark that wanted to get away from this circle-of-labour, I wanted to work for me and my family, and if possible change the world around us little by little. I wanted to make the sustainable living in reach for everybody. I wanted to bring a different version of the economy to the awareness of the people that already liked to use sustainable and money-saving products. And in time, the life of my dreams is sustainable living, by using solar energy, wind energy, and growing our food, and to forget the stressful life we live in the city while working for someone else.

This is when I started to listen to the Pat Flynn’s podcast for bloggers. I created a blog savenearn.net, but I didn’t have enough energy&motivation to keep writing, again and again, trying to find free GPL pictures to add to my blog and creating content day after day. Then one day while commuting I heard Pat Flynn to interview some lady that sold products at the Amazon. She and her husband scoured the local stores and bought items that were heavily discounted, and they were making a lot of money that way. I thought that maybe this is my chance to work for myself.

So I started to scout the local malls to find stuff I could sell, but it wasn’t that easy. I found some but only some of those products sold fast, some slow and others didn’t even have any listing in Amazon. And at the same time, I was rectifying the phenomenon that I so much hated. I was throwing stuff that “buy it all” consumers would buy and throw away. I didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

My wife and I created a strategy that we should create a brand that would entail only products that last long, and while using those products, they would replace multiple one-time products. And this way we could help the environment, change our lives and spread the word about the nonsense we live in.

This was a rather long story, but to summarize it: My wife and I want to make this the portal/blog/resource for those people that liked to change the world into a better place, for those people that care the future of their grandchildren. Products that are sold here are of high quality and using them will save the environment compared to the “throw-it-away” -option.

I hope that we could find a way to form a community, maybe a forum, a place to talk the ways to save ourselves from the stressful life and to save the environment thru our choices.

By the way, those photos above are hot linked from Wikipedia, by creative commons licence. I will add my own photos when I have the time to take them.

Yours,

Andy

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