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ORGANIC COTTON AND CONSUMER AWARENESS
When looking at the labels in a department or home furnishings store, the terminology can be difficult to decipher. It is important to know the difference between green, natural, conventional and organic cotton so that one can be aware of the choices you are making with your dollar.
Conventional cotton makes up only 3 percent of the world's crops, but uses 25% of the world's pesticides annually. Every pound of cotton grown (equal to one t-shirt) has been treated with 1/3 pound of pesticide. Pesticide residues often can remain in the fabric through the processing and finishing stages of the garment, bringing traces of these toxic chemicals into your home.
Conventional cotton is exposed to potentially harmful chemicals during the processing stage, as well. Wrinkle-resistant processing has been available since the 1970's. The main ingredient in the wrinkle-resistant treatment of conventional cotton is formaldehyde. Cotton Inc., a leading corporation in conventional cotton manufacturing has claimed that formaldehyde has no significant signs of health-risk. The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) classifies formaldehyde as a human carcinogen and says formaldehyde has been linked to lung cancer, and possibly leukemia and brain cancer.
In addition to the wrinkle-free process, conventional cotton processing leaves more toxic residues to be possibly absorbed by the skin of the purchaser. In addition, this harmful process contributes to toxic groundwater pollution in many countries.
"Natural cotton" has no legal description and usually means conventional cotton.
Anna Sova certified organic cotton uses no toxic fertilizers, no petrochemical pesticides, no dioxin bleaches, no heavy metal or AZO?dyes and no formaldehyde or silicon sizing.
Certification: In 1990, the USDA defined organic production as "a production system that ... integrat[es] cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity." In accordance with this definition, the first National Standard Certified System was passed in the United States that year.
This act was a response to growing consumer concern for health and the environment, as well as research done by scientists proving the harm done to water and soil supplies by unnecessary pesticides.
A more globally accepted organization for certifying organic cotton is Skal. Based in the Netherlands, Skal was formed in 1992 for the purpose of inspecting and certifying cotton in Europe and all over the world.
Thanks to an educated public, more and more people casting more responsible votes with their dollar. Not coincidentally, organic options are becoming more and more available, and farmers and communities are starting to see the benefits of organic production. Buying products such as organic cotton sheets and towels from Anna Sova Luxury Organics shows an eco-responsible choice that doesn't require the loss of high-quality European finishing.
According to the National Wildlife Federation, after World War II, use of the pesticide DDT became common
on American farms. The pesticide washed into rivers, streams and lakes contaminating fish. Many eagles feeding
on contaminated fish became sterile or their eggs so weakened the young did not survive. In 1967, bald eagles
were officially declared an endangered species (under a law that preceded the Endangered Species Act of 1973).
DDT was banned for use in the US June 14, 1972. The American Bald Eagle is now repopulating.
SOIL SALINATION AND GLOBAL WARMING
The most effective way to fight global warming is by controlling the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Many environmental groups want to plant trees, but this is only a short term solution. It is true that plants and trees emit oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide during their lives. However, in death, they emit about the same amount of carbon dioxide as they decay, thus neutralizing the process.
For a long-term solution, reversing soil salination is the only answer. Decades of chemical pesticides has made a large portion of the planet's farmland virtually devoid of healthy soil. When the soil has been treated with pesticide, other organic matter which once kept the soil fertile year after year is suddenly killed. The bee population is reduced by an estimated 2% every year. According to the USDA, the decline of the United States bird population can be partly attributed to pesticides.
Petrochemical fertilizers and toxic pesticides cause the soil to become salinated and dry, retaining more heat. More water is then needed to keep crops growing, depleting groundwater and lakes. The soil is no longer fertile, and more water is needed to keep the crops growing, since the absence of underground life has thrown the soil off of a healthy mineral count. Poor soil means crops are substandard to those grown in the same fields 30 years earlier, thus taking a toll on the income of the farmer.
Healthy soil is an ecosystem. The top layer of fertile soil requires more carbon dioxide to be pulled from the air than unhealthy soil, but it's the much bigger amount of carbon dioxide that would go under the top layer that makes the biggest difference. When the use of unhealthy pesticides is stopped, organisms healthy to the soil appear. Numerous microorganisms and earthworms commune underground, using energy to eat old plant matter and leaving natural fertilizers in the dirt for next year's crop. All of these microorganisms require carbon dioxide to survive. If soil was naturally healthy, more carbon dioxide in the air now could be pulled under the soil of the world's farmland. This would help fight global warming.
ANNA SOVA PAINT -
Isn't breathing it the same as eating it? Anna Sova Luxury Organics introduces wall finish much healthier than commonly used toxic house paint, with up to 99% food grade ingredients. Ingredients such as milk casein (as in yogurt), titanium dioxide (as in powdered donuts), food emulsifiers, and preservatives (as in milkshakes and chocolates). While other milk paints contain caustic chemicals such as lime, Healthy Wall Finish is the perfect paint for environmentally responsible painters and those sensitive to chemicals.
ALMOST GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT!
Standard latex house paint is a PVA?(Poly Vinyl Acrylic) plastic stretched across your walls. It contains crystalline silica and petroleum-based ethylene glycol, both of which are environmental health hazards, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additionally, this poly-vinyl acrylic plastic contains mutagens, which can damage DNA and cause cancer.
Anna Sova's wall finish line does not contain any hazardous ingredients listed in Proposition 65 for the state of California. Instead, it is revolutionary interior finish (patent pending) made from food grade ingredients. In fact, this new wall finish is so environmentally safe that leftovers can be dumped into the garden compost heap without damaging the soil.
Our paint department will use the most modern technology available to expertly mix your paint on-site. There is a palette book available with over 500 colors, and we can match any color from any other brand of paint or textile sample.
The texture and the stucco are both made from food-grade bamboo fiber, which is one of the worlds fastest growing renewable resources. Both the texture and stucco are made to whatever color you want your surface to be. With the stucco and texture made in all colors, the whole job is done in one coat, without the need to texture then paint with color. This will save both time and money!
Our paint finishes smell vaguely of vanilla milk shakes (instead of plastic VOCs). For extra fun, add one container of aromatherapy per gallon of paint and shake well. We offer tantalizing scents of aromatherapy oils that are to be stirred into the paint just before use. Because there are no strong, toxic smells with our paints, the aromatherapy is all you smell, and the scent lasts an average of six months. You can freshen up the scent with the aromatherapy spray. For a fainter scent, use less oil, or for a custom scent, mix and match the fragrances.
We offers three finishes: Healthy Wall Paint, Healthy Wall Texture and Healthy Wall Stucco.
BABY ALPACA - NATURALLY THE BEST
Of all the natural specialty fibers, alpaca is considered one of the best. It offers a texture as soft as cashmere, warmth that surpasses wool, more durability than cotton and is naturally hypo-allergenic. The purchase of an alpaca product is a lifetime investment in versatility and timeless style. In parts of the world, alpaca textiles have been in style for nearly 3,000 years!
There are several benefits to alpaca fleece over other textiles. The absence of lanolin in the fiber takes away that bristly feeling that comes with other fibers. In fact, alpaca is very soft and luxurious on your skin, much like cashmere, but with a longer lasting luster. The absence of lanolin also makes it naturally hypoallergenic, and it does not attract dust as easily as other fibers. Because they are hypoallergenic, alpaca products are great for people with allergies to wool.
The fiber of alpaca is flat and hollow, so it's warmer for its weight than wool. In fact, alpaca is seven times warmer per pound than wool and even retains heat when wet. The fibers don't mat or pill and the material is naturally stain resistant and wrinkle resistant. Additionally, alpaca material lasts much longer than nearly any other clothing or bedding fiber. Alpaca blankets dating back nearly 3,000 years have been discovered in ancient Peruvian ruins and they've been in remarkably good condition.
Alpaca products from Anna Sova Luxury Organics are all humanely sheared from baby alpacas in Peru. This is because Peruvian baby alpacas have proven to have some of the most luxurious fur on the market. Peruvian alpacas are herded nomadically in highlands of 11,000 to 14,000 feet that are not treated with fertilizers or pesticides. Anna Sova's alpaca products are available in three colors. The charcoal and the café are the natural color of the alpaca and are not dyed. The honey alpaca uses eco-safe bleaches, azo free dyes and no formaldehyde or silicone finishing.
ECO SILK BEDDING - A NATURAL, LAVISH REST
Anna Sova Luxury Organics introduces ecologically responsible 100% dupioni ecosilk separates for the home without asking selective consumers to compromise luxury. This fabric is a beautiful, light reflective silk that is luxurious, lightweight fabric with a crisp feel, a smooth texture and a wonderful luster.
Anna Sova ecosilk is 100% natural silk, it does not contain any rayon or polyester fillers. Our silks are processed using only SKAL approved eco safe products and processing. No toxic pesticides during storage, No toxic or dioxin bleaches, No azo or heavy metal dyes, No formaldehyde or silicon finishing.
The cloth is sized so it will remain uniform and will not shrink or bunch after it is purchased by the consumer. Many companies use a formaldehyde sizing which is stressful to the fibers and potentially unhealthy to the consumer.
Importantly, formaldehyde and silicone sizing are huge health hazards to the employees using these chemicals to size the silk.
Anna Sova silks are finished with a 2,000 year old process using the natural Indian soap nut. This treatment is ideal for those allergic to formaldehyde, or for the consumer who is interested in making responsible choices for human health and the environment.
The many chemical processes used during the production of conventional silk products cause ground water pollution causing illness to the people who work with these chemicals. to produce conventional silk.
SOY VEGETABLE CANDLES VS PETROLEUM PARAFFIN CANDLES
Anna Sova Luxury Organics introduces soy candles that are good for both your health and the environment. The new candles are a likely alternative for those wanting to keep their indoor environment healthier than their paraffin predecessors.
Derived from petroleum by-products, traditional paraffin candles contain benzene and toluene, which are known carcinogens, as documented by the American Lung Association. Once burned, these chemicals pollute the indoor air, which is already three times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the EPA.
Anna Sova's soy vegetable candles is a healthy mixture of soy and vegetable wax, and is vegan friendly. The scents are created using essential oils for a long-lasting, all natural effect. Soy vegetable wax is easy to clean compared to paraffin, which is well known to stain textiles and carpets.
Soy candles are great as diffusers, as the wax burns far cleaner, cooler and slower than their paraffin counterparts. When the wax burns cooler and slower, the oil is less likely to be damaged by heat, and the scent is more evenly distributed around the room.
TRUE AROMATHERAPY -
Aromatherapy is an ancient art which uses the fluid from the leaf, bark, root or petal, or other part of a plant to aid in healing. The essential oils, which are extracted from the pressed cells of the fruit or plant using a diffusion process, contain the true essence of the plant from which it was derived. Essential oils are not synthetic or petrochemical fragrances. When inhaled or absorbed in the skin, essential oils are most beneficial for minor skin ailments, digestive problems, stress related illnesses, and skin problems. Aromatherapy has also been shown to alleviate psychological stress brought on by more serious illnesses.
AN ORGANICALLY UPLIFTING EXPERIENCE
The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care sites an experiment conducted by two doctors at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2002. The respiratory rates of 24 post-cardiac-surgery patients were measured 20 minutes before and 20 minutes after their therapeutic massage treatments. 20% of the patients who used lavender oil during their massage experienced slower, deeper respirations than patients massaged without the essential oil. This led the researchers to conclude that "the oil therefore produces a unique therapeutic effect, separate from the positive benefits received through massage or therapeutic touch."
Why is essential oil better than synthetic?
The healthiest food we put into our bodies is natural because our cellular structure can only be supported by food that is derived from a life force. Synthetic foods are not easily absorbed because when the molecular structure is too different from our own, there is little our bodies can do to break down those molecules and convert them into energy for our own cells. Aromatherapy, since it is based on absorbing scent molecules, works on exactly the same principle. Research supported by Bastyr University near Seattle concludes that the quality of aromatherapy is only as good as the quality of the essential oil used. Any scent molecule that doesn't come from a life force isn't going to have the molecular structure necessary to properly absorb into the epithelium. Synthetic carrier oils or pesticides could trigger allergies and reduce positive effects of aromatherapy. Therefore, the best oils to use are only pure essential oils. Anna Sova true aromatherapy products are both beautiful and effective.
TRUE ESSENTIAL OILS ARE DISTILLED FROM THE LEAF, BARK, ROOT OR PETAL OF A PLANT
Essential oils are not synthetic or petroleum-based fragrances.
- Any scent molecule that is not from plant material will not have the molecular structure necessary to properly absorb into the epithelium.
When essential oils are inhaled, the molecules are brought through the nasal cavity into a patch of cells called the epithelium.
- The epithelium is located between the nasal cavity and the brain. It acts as a conductor to the limbic system.
The limbic system then sends the appropriate signal to three general areas of the brain:
- The hippocampus is responsible for memory formation, particularly long-term memories.
- The amygdala controls expression of moods, friendship, love, fear, anger, and aggression.
- The hypothalamus controls all physical symptoms of emotion. It is a thermostat that controls pulse, blood pressure, thirst, response to pain and more.
The medicinal affects of aromatherapy are only possible with true essential oils from the natural distillation of live plant material. Anna Sova's True Aromatherapy pure essential oils ensure the optimal physical response for healing aromatherapy.
LESSONS FROM THE PAST
My great-grandfather taught engineering in Edinburgh, Scotland. As a child I read his
books from the 1890’s about London’s environmental and engineering problems.
One problem was air pollution so severe the air was black at times and hard to
breathe. Most people remember coal heating and energy as a major problem for newly
Another environmental problem most people do not remember was actually more
horrifying. There were graphs showing the first story and a half of all London could
be buried under this pollution by the 1940’s. Do you know what it was?
The pollution problem was horse manure. London today does not use coal heat or
horse drawn carriages, and the companion pollution problems are gone.
WE CAN CHANGE !
I know that if Americans become part of a global movement to improve the
environment, we could save our planet. As consumers of 60% of the world’s goods, we
can change the world with our purchases!
I believe it is possible for our great-grandchildren to not remember some of the "horse
manure" environmental problems of this generation.
FUN FACT :
In recent years, London officials have discovered what were thought to be ancient dirt
streets were actually made of cobblestone. They had just been buried by horse
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