Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day, A little help for Spring-cleaning and getting rid of electronic clutter

Electronic recycling from EFORCE,

Ask those who love me how I do with cleaning, and they may reply, “Marcie has some trouble there,” or “Marcie’s place is a friggin mess.” Sadly a major paradox of my life is that I love neat, tidy, and warm spaces and yet I am thrown into a panic at the thought of cleaning. I avoid, I fret, I poor a class of wine, maybe write a blog post… and I find better things to do than keep my home clean and decluttered. Now there are several things that do end up helping me, one of which is having the knowledge that things I get rid of will go to a new home or be properly broken down and recycled.

       Electronic items often pose difficulty here, as most thrift shops won’t take them and I am loathed to add them to waste in landfills. Happily, for those of us in Philly and the surrounding areas there is EFORCE recycling. They accept and will recycle any items that can be battery operated or plugged in. They sponsor events in both the public and private sectors, and there are a slew of free collections happening over the next several months! Notably, Whole Foods in Devon (April 28th) and Jenkintown  (April 129th) will be holding collections this upcoming weekend, and WXPN will be hosting one May 4th. Go ahead, declutter your life and rest assured your electronic items are being responsibly recycled and broken down! Celebrate Earth Day and your new freedom from electronic clutter!

Items EFORCE accepts:

Electronics, batteries, lamps, mercury devices, furniture and equipments, paper, bottles, cardboard, and glass 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Darkening up Without the Nasty Chemicals & a Brief History of "The Tan"

Current price of natural sunless tanners at Whole Food, spring 2012

I am one of those gals who never tans; I’m a quintessential light(ish) haired freckly gal who burns after approximately ten minutes in the sun. Well actually if I allow myself to get repeated sun burns I may darken a tick or two before the end of summer, but why risk the damage? We all know skin cancer is real, and it’s not just the pale guy and gals who are susceptible. People of all shades and color skin can develop skin cancer. So why bother getting darker? Well truth be told, even when we know skin without a tan is perfectly healthy, darkened skin now speaks to being active and fun outdoors.
There is an interesting cultural shift among western white folk that has occurred the last hundred years, and I’m not going to give you historical footnotes here, but this is what I remember from past research. At least as far back as the Renaissance pale skin, especially for women, was seen as highly desirable. Reasons were both classist and racist. Having light skin allowed a women to distinguish herself as wealthy, as evidenced by any lack of a tan she would surely have were she poor and forced to work in fields. Additionally, it announced her “purely” European ancestry by denying and mix of subjugated people’s in her background. This was the status quo for centuries until the advent of the Industrial Revolution. With the proliferation of factories and women’s subsequent employment in them, the average white working-woman was now, as a rule, pale. Couple the desire of the wealthy to maintain class distinction with the rise of “leisure time” (sports, bathing, and tourism) and suddenly being tanned became a status symbol of vitality, youth, health, and wealth.
And now that we’re all feeling ambivalent and uncomfortable because of the unpleasant history of skin tone preference…Let’s just admit most pale light-skinned folk, myself included, would like to be tan. But, we’d like to do so without increasing our risk of cancer or our exposure to nasty chemicals contained in conventional sunless tanners. Nature’s Gate and Alba each make a naturally derived sunless tanner. I have tried both, and was actually happiest with the less expensive Natures Gate. The lotion has a dark tint, making it easy to see where you have already applied, and it gives a nice warm natural looking glow. The Alba is slightly orangey looking and because of the clear nature of the lotion, I had increased streaks and missed spots. Now, Alba says it has improved the formula, so it may be better than last year. Both last about a week and can be purchased at Whole Foods, Amazon, and hopefull Essene Market and Cafe on S.4th Street will have some coming in soon.  So, if you are looking to darken up without loading up on cancer causing ultra violet rays or crazy chemicals (the affects of which we do not know) try Nature’s Gate! And whatever your skin shade, go ahead, love yourself and slather on that sunscreen!