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A Simple Recipe For A Homemade Non-Toxic Fabric Softener

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A Simple Recipe For A Homemade Non-Toxic Fabric Softener
Photo Credit: Collective Evolution

Fabric softeners are one of the most unnecessary dangerous chemicals that you may be using in your home, and it’s important that you stop right away. There are much better, safer, all natural alternatives that will keep you, your family, and the environment safe. The natural alternatives can also prolong the life of your clothes. Really, we have no reason to have ever invented such a toxic product in the first place.

Fabric softener is one thing, among many household items, that absolutely must go, and hopefully from the awareness that is raised from this article and many others that are exposing these harmful chemicals for what they are, we will continue to see the decline in their use as people continue to opt for safer, cleaner alternatives.

So, What Is So Bad About Conventional Fabric Softeners?

First of all, the majority of conventional cleaning and personal care products can essentially be thrown in the garbage as they are absolutely loaded with chemicals, many of which are completely banned in other countries. We have many safer, all-natural alternatives to these types of things and we simply do not need to be using these to clean ourselves, our home, or our clothes. People sometimes assume that our governments have our best interests in mind and wouldn’t allow ingredients that are toxic to our health into the products that we use on a regular basis, and while that’s a nice thought, it is a naive one.

Fabric Softeners are among the worst offenders in terms of toxicity and it really makes one wonder how these chemical pollutants were approved by the U.S. Environmental Agency in the first place. The purpose of Fabric Softeners is to free your clothes from wrinkles and static cling and of course leave them smelling mountain fresh or like a field of lavender, but at what cost is this “fresh” smell?

According to the Environmental Working Group, fabric softeners contain chemicals and fragrances that can cause skin irritation and respiratory irritation. The fragrance element alone can come from hundreds of different chemical compounds, and yes many of them are toxic.

Interestingly, according to what Anne Steinmann, Ph.D., professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia and a world expert on environmental pollutants and their health effects, said in an interview with New Scientist, “Most exposure to hazardous pollutants occurs indoors, and a primary source for these pollutants is our everyday consumer products.”

New Scientist also has stated that there are no legal requirements that all the ingredients, including potential toxins be listed for most of the products we use every day. While the compounds they contain have been tested individually for toxicity, scientists admit it’s hard to say how dangerous they might become when some are mixed.

Conventional fabric softeners are either a liquid that you pour into the rinse cycle of your washing machine, or a sheet that is thrown into the dryer with your clothes. Both contain compounds that are especially harmful to children. Toxic chemicals can easily enter your body through the skin. One of the worst is phthalates, which are added to emit a fake fresh fragrance, the University of Illinois Cancer center had the following to say about phthalates;

“Phthalates (are a) synthetic preservative that’s carcinogenic and linked to adverse reproductive effects (decreased sperm counts, early breast development and birth defects) and live and kidney damage.”

Steinmann also noted,

“Using a liquid fabric softener? You are pouring these toxic chemicals into the ocean every time you use it. Even worse than liquid fabric softeners are dryer sheets, whose chemicals are heated and then shot into the air for you to breathe into your lungs.

That ‘fresh-from-the-dryer’ smell that fabric softeners impart to your clean load of laundry? Don’t breathe it in, if you like your lungs to function. That super floral smell is masking a seriously unhealthy chemical stench.

So, What Are The Alternatives?

Luckily, there are lots, which begs the question, why did we ever start using these horrible toxic products in the first place? Every chemical product that is in use today for personal care or home cleaning could essentially vanish from the Earth and you know what? We would make do.

A simple recipe for a homemade fabric softener is as follows:

Ingredients

2 Cups Epsom Salts or 2 Cups Coarse Sea Salt
20-30 Drops Essential Oil
1/2 Cup Baking Soda

Simply mix all ingredients together and store in a container with tight-fitting lid, add ½ cup directly to your load of laundry.

Some even more simple ideas are as follows,

One half cup pure baking soda added to your laundry.

One cup of distilled white vinegar and about 15 drops of your favourite essential oil shaken in a spray bottle, give your wet clothes a spritz after they are washed, before you put into the dryer.

Don’t worry the vinegar smell will go away.

A crumpled up ball of aluminium foil tossed in the dryer with your clothes can help to get rid of the static cling.

Another great alternative, that is simple, cost-effective, economical and environmentally friendly is the use of dryer balls. You can get the plastic kind that can cut your drying time in half and reduce the static cling in your clothes, but to be more environmentally conscious there are also wool dryer balls that you can purchase or easily make your own.

Final Thoughts

Here’s what it comes down to, as consumers we have been gravely misinformed and maybe we have believed that there are some kind of standards set in place by our governments, unfortunately, it seems that these protection agencies, for the most part, don’t have our best interest in mind. So, with that in mind, it is up to us to be aware of what we are purchasing, if we stop purchasing these conventional products which contain harmful ingredients such as phthalates and fragrances, then the big corporations will either change their recipes, stop using these chemicals or simply go out of business. As the consumer, we have a direct vote for the types of products that are being produced by how we are choosing to spend our money. If WE don’t want chemicals in our products, we must simply stop buying them and start making our own. We must take responsibility for our own lives and create the type of world we want to live in. It is up to each and every one if us.

This article (A Simple Recipe For A Homemade Non-Toxic Fabric Softener) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.

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Animal World

Photographer Captures One In A Million Photo, But Doesn’t Realize It Until He Gets Home

Daniel Biber, a wildlife photographer from Germany, happened to be in the right place at the right time.

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Photographer Captures One In A Million Photo, But Doesn’t Realize It Until He Gets Home
Photo Credit: Daniel Biber

Jade Small, The Mind Unleashed

Just taking a walk in nature can be enough to wash away stress. Nature is never stagnant and those with a keen eye may discover something delightful or observe something awesome that will bring back the sparkle in their eyes.

While we often marvel at the amazing photographs and videos taken by professional wildlife photographers in particular, in addition to having cool equipment and a good eye, they are usually extremely patient and prepared to travel to remote locations and wait, and wait some more for what could truly be that “once in a lifetime” shot.

Daniel Biber, a professional wildlife photographer from Hilzingen in Germany, happened to be in the right place at the right time all thanks to his patience and commitment to returning day after day to the scene where he had witnessed a natural phenomenon but had failed to capture that special shot he was aiming for every time.

The place was Spain’s Costa Brava in the north-eastern part of the country and the phenomenon was the gathering of an unbelievably large flock of starlings. Just before sunset they would start shape-shifting as they flew. Murmuration, as it is called, is in itself not an unusual occurrence but the exceptionally large number of birds over the Costa Brava at that time, moving and twisting in what seemed like a coordinated, single organism, morphing from one shape into another in a matter of seconds, was indeed extraordinary.

…if you look closely at this photo… underneath the bird’s head there is a woman’s head !! What an amazing photo!…

Clare Ennew paylaştı: 21 Mart 2020 Cumartesi

The startling’s shape-shifting swirling and twisting are most likely a natural tactic to confuse predators such as falcons and hawks looking for an easy meal before nightfall. Biber described the event as almost supernatural as the birds turned themselves into shapes resembling a giant bird—apparently thumbing their beaks at the predator as if indicating ‘’we are bigger than you.’’

Biber’s patience had indeed paid off on this day. He had tried for several days and failed to capture the starlings in full flow.

“I’ve tried to photograph the starlings but it never worked out as well as I hoped for,” he said. “I eventually drove to the spot every day for four days in a row in order to capture them. I picked a spot where I thought they would turn up and picked a matching foreground and backdrop in order to put them in a scene.”

Photo Credit: Daniel Biber

Mind Bending Nature paylaştı: 21 Şubat 2020 Cuma

The unique photo earned Biber a prize in an international photography competition. Although at the time, he had no idea that just how unique the shots he captured were. “Only when I checked the pictures on the computer later, I realized what formation the starlings had created,” he told the Daily Mail“I was so concentrated on taking pictures at the time that I hadn’t realized that the starling murmuration had created a giant bird in the sky.”

It is definitely worth the wait to experience the surprising and amazing sights nature reveals, often when we least expect them. Whether your adventures into nature are short of more leisurely, enjoy every minute and remember, keep an eye open for those delightful surprises.

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Animal World

With India On Lockdown, Endangered Sea Turtles On Course To Lay SIXTY MILLION Eggs This Year

The global pandemic has had some positive effects on the environment.

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Mummified Woman Found Buried In Siberia Wearing Foal-Skin Stockings And Copper Cross
Photo Credit: Mint Press News

Elias Marat, The Mind Unleashed

While the coronavirus may have sparked one of the biggest crises seen by the planet in modern times, the global pandemic has had some positive effects on the environment.

In India, along the coast of the eastern state Odisha, over 475,000 endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have come ashore to a roughly 3.75-mile (6-km.) Rushikulya beach to dig their nests and lay eggs.

However, restrictions in place due to the CoViD-19 threat has allowed for hundreds of thousands of endangered turtles to be protected from any human presence—especially the presence of tourists—resulting in what may be their most successful mass nesting in years.

According to the forest service, well over 250,000 mother turtles have taken part in the daytime nesting activity within the past week alone, reports Down to Earth.

Typically, the event would attract hordes of tourists eager to see the miraculous event, straining members of the Forest Department who struggled to keep the crowds at bay. Crows and jackals would also attack the turtles, while local poachers would come afterward to rob turtle eggs and sell them at local village markets.

However, the coronavirus lockdown has prevented any such disturbance of this year’s mass nesting, reports the Hindu, allowing the 25 forest guards and researchers to focus on guarding the turtles.

With another successful mass nesting having taken place at Gahirmatha Beach, which also lies along the Bay of Bengal in Odisha, authorities estimate that roughly 60,000,000 eggs will be laid this year in total.

While thousands of the eggs were destroyed by the mass of mother turtles laying eggs atop nests, such is the norm in the mass nesting’s where each mother lays an average of 80 to 100 eggs each. The eggs should take 45 days to hatch, after which the little hatchlings emerge to make their way out to sea.

It’s a stunning reversal of fortune for the Olive Ridleys who had skipped the beach last year, baffling researchers.

The Forest Department claimed that this year saw the highest number of turtles taking part in the event. They explained:

“Every alternate year is either a bad year or a good year. However, in the last two years we have seen a phenomenal increase in nesting numbers. This year we have estimated that at least 4.75 lakh [475,000] turtles came on to nest on Rushikulya beach.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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Environment

Court Ruling In Favour Of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Could Stop Dakota Access Pipeline

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Court Ruling In Favour Of Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Could Stop Dakota Access Pipeline
Photo Credit: Truth Theory

John Vibes, Truth Theory

After a lengthy legal battle that stretched on for years, a federal court has finally sided with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and ordered a full environmental review for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline. The court ruled that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it granted the permits in 2016. The ruling also stated that there were concerns about oil spills and the potential damage that could be caused to the environment, which were overlooked in the initial assessment.

This current ruling is not the end of the tribe’s struggle against this pipeline. In fact, oil is still flowing through the pipeline. This merely requires the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a full environmental review, something that should have happened before construction began anyway. For some reason, the agency rushed to approve permits for Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of DAPL, without a proper review of the land.

In the meantime, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg will hold a hearing next month, where each side will argue their case on whether or not oil should be able to flow through the pipeline while the review is being conducted.

In his ruling, Judge Boasberg stated that, “The many commenters in this case pointed to serious gaps in crucial parts of the Corps’ analysis – to name a few, that the pipeline’s leak-detection system was unlikely to work, that it was not designed to catch slow spills, that the operator’s serious history of incidents had not been taken into account, that the worst-case scenario used by the Corps was potentially only a fraction of what a realistic figure would be – and the Corps was not able to fill any of [the gaps in the analysis].” 

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Chairman Mike Faith called the verdict a “significant legal win” for the tribe.

“After years of commitment to defending our water and earth, we welcome this news of a significant legal win. It’s humbling to see how actions we took four years ago to defend our ancestral homeland continue to inspire national conversations about how our choices ultimately affect this planet. Perhaps in the wake of this court ruling the federal government will begin to catch on, too, starting by actually listening to us when we voice our concerns,” Faith said.

According to a previous report from Greenpeace, ETP was involved with numerous oil spills that went unnoticed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The report indicated that the company and its subsidiaries were responsible for 527 spills from 2002-2017, at least 67 of which contaminated water resources. Testimony from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe described how workers with ETP destroyed at least 380 sacred and cultural sites along the DAPL route. The company also hired private security firms like TigerSwan, who used excessive force and military tactics against protestors, all while operating without a license to operate in the state of North Dakota.

Read the court’s decision.

About the Author

John Vibes is an author and journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture, and focuses solutions-oriented approaches to social problems. He is also a host of The Free Your Mind Conference and The Free Thought Project Podcast.

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Environment

There’s A Mystical Forest In Belgium Carpeted With Bluebell Flowers

The ancient forest is open to visitors year-round.

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Photo Credit: Pexels

Jade Small, The Mind Unleashed

Every year around April to May and depending on Spring temperatures, bluebells come into bloom in ancient forests, forming a magical carpet of purple beneath the trees.

The Hallerbos forest in Belgium, also known as The Blue Forest, is one of those magical and ancient forests famous for her yearly purple carpet of bluebells.

Hallerbos is open to visitors year-round, but if you want to experience the bluebells you will need to plan your visit according to Mother Nature’s clock. Although the bluebells always bloom in Spring, usually around mid-April at Hellerbos, the timing depends on how cold or warm it is at the end of Winter and the start of Spring.

It is best to check the Hallerbos website for updates on the status of the bluebell bloom to avoid being disappointed as the flowers will be sparse if you get there too early and once the beech trees are covered in leaves and blocking the light to the forest floor, they’ll be fading fast.

Hallerbos is large, covering 2.25 square miles (5.82 square km). The bluebells in spring are just a fraction of the forest’s magic to discover through each season’s beautiful offerings.

Over and above the Bluebell Walk, there are three other marked walking trails.

The Achtdreven Walk is the shortest at 1.12 miles (1,8km) and is suitable for visitors with limited mobility and wheelchairs and has benches and picnic tables at regular intervals along the walk. The Sequoia Walk 2.48 miles (4km) through the giant Sequoia trees. And the Roebuck Walk, the most adventurous of the three, will take you along three of Hallerbos’ four valleys for a 4.35 mile (7km) long adventure.

The soil and vegetation at Hellerbos are fragile and sensitive to tramping, and visitors must stay on the paths provided. Permission is required for commercial or professional photo shoots and film recordings and must be requested via the box office. Drones are not allowed.

There are also special events and activities for children during the week, a forest museum, and guided walks available. Check the website for details and bookings.

Belgium borders France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany. To get to the Hallerbos you can travel by car or to the town of Halle by train, if you travel by train, you can rent a bike at the station and cycle to the forest.

A train journey from Brussels takes about 10 minutes to the Halle station and by car, 35 minutes from Brussels, 55 minutes from Antwerp or Ghent, and about 2.5 hours from Amsterdam. There are no shops at the forest itself so be sure to go prepared with food and drink because you will surely want to linger and without doubt will find an ideal spot to enjoy your meal.

The good news is that bluebells are found not only Hallerbos but across Western Europe and in the UK, where about half of the world’s population of bluebells thrive. You’ll find them in the north, southwest, southeast, east, the Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland, and in Scotland.

Check locations on the National Trust website.

Hallerbos Forest, Belgium

Hallerbos Forest is a fantastic looking forest residing under the municipal of Halle.☘☘❤

Happy world paylaştı: 13 Haziran 2019 Perşembe

By Jade Small | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

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