Eco Family News
A News Resource of Whole Children, Whole Planet
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Welcome to Eco-Family News (EFN), a free resource e-newsletter (and website) based on the principles of Whole Children, Whole Planet (WCWP).

Summer has arrived, graduations are over and vacations are already in motion. What a great time of year for fun and adventure! Inevitably I yearn for the warm summer months to play in the water, bask in the sun, and wear shorts and flip-flops. But when you leave on vacation or go to the beach, remember to always think natural, safe and chemical-free before heading out the door: sunscreen, bug repellent and even the clothes you are wearing. Hopefully, this early summer issue of EFN will help support your family in staying safe and doing your part in preserving the planet.

Locally, I am honored to share that I have taken on a new position in the community as an Environmental Special Projects Coordinator for Northridge East Neighborhood Council. The position affords me the opportunity to work with students and neighborhood schools on environmental projects, and help develop other programs in all areas of sustainable action.

Some of the things that have been accomplished in the past few months include student participation in the collection of over 20,000 pounds of fresh fruit to be delivered to local food banks through the Valley Interfaith Council, and the recycling of 160 lbs of cooking oil to biofuel, as well as over 6,000 plastic water bottles, plus all of the wine and beer bottles from the Valley Greek Festival! This first time action was big for this 37-year-old event. The AP Environmental Science students at Northridge Academy High School produced a short documentary about the importance of recycling clothes and school supplies and presented it with an eco-fashion show on June 5th for other students, faculty and alumni. The class is also preparing for a projected fall revision of their student store with the introduction of all eco-friendly products.

Presently, I am working closely with the California State University Northridge's (CSUN) Institute for Sustainability on their garden planning committee to help support crossover educational relationships between schools, as well as additional enrichment learning opportunities for the students.

VIC-AQMDEFN and WCWP are also co-sponsoring a first-time event on July 12th with the Southern California Air Quality Management Department (AQMD) and Valley Interfaith Council (VIC), "Healthy Air - Healthy Communities Family Fair" at Los Angeles Valley College from 12:00-5:00pm. For those of you located in the Los Angeles area, please come out and join us!

Kathy Arnos
Take Action Alert
Biofuel Stations Close in Los Angeles - Learn More And Take Action!
Actionable Reading
and Viewing
The Green Teen

Mamas Munchies

The Green Teen by Jenn Savedge is a fantastic book that is sure to inspire your teen to go green!  The Green Teen offers plenty of ideas on how teens can get involved with the eco-movement, and lists many wonderful resources, as well as different ways to find a career opportunity within the booming environmental industry.

Written in easily accessible language, The Green Teen combines simple and quick eco-friendly tips, interviews with "green teens," ideas for organizing and communicating environmental change and a host of resources in a handy "grab-and-go" format. Teens will learn how the choices
they make each day impact the environment, how to fit
eco-friendly decisions into their tight schedules and budgets, and how to effectively get today's decision makers involved in environmental stewardship.

For more information please visit:
Bach Flowers for Children by Kathy Arnos

Mamas MunchiesThis 50-page booklet introduces parents to the 38 Bach flower gentle healing remedies, for balancing an emotional state of mind, which Dr. Edward Bach discovered and formulated in the 1930's.

Children encounter many different forms of stress on a daily basis. Their emotions and minds work constantly and are very sensitive and susceptible to their surroundings. For the observant parent, finding the proper Bach flower remedy can be easy and rewarding.

Bach Flowers for Children offers the reader an easy to use format. The book describes each of the 38 flower essences, their healing properties in relation to a specific emotion and/or physical behavior, and a repertory quick reference guide.

For more info visit:

Food Fight and
Food Inc. 
Two Powerful
Documentary Films

There are currently two great documentaries on the film circuit today about our food systems - Food Fight and Food Inc.  Both amazing must see films to educate and engage people about their food habits. Both films, in very different ways, give us a realistic glimpse of what truly goes on behind the scenes within the food industry. There is plenty of 'food for thought' in these films with regard to where our food comes from, how it is grown (veggies and animals) and the journey to our table.

Mamas Munchies

Food Fight - This Chris Taylor Film (in association with November Films) has a strong but much gentler message than Food Inc. The first section of Food Fight gives us a clear history around the birth of the Mamas MunchiesIndustrial Food Revolution brought on by World War II - TV dinners, convenience foods, and the introduction of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides as standard inputs in the agriculture business.

However, Food Fight's focus is more around the wonderful revolution to bring sustainable nourishing local foods back to center stage.
Read more ...

Mamas Munchies

Food Inc. - This film puts it all out there - no holds bard - about the reality of industrialized processed foods in America. Be prepared to look away. The atrocity and abuse of our food systems is shocking and disturbing to say the least. Food Inc. provides an in-depth education about the inhumane treatment of animals and shows the results of the mass production of food as an industrial commodity in the name of producing more, bigger, faster.

It's no wonder that an estimated one in three people will get some form of cancer with what is being presented as healthy nutritious food - genetically modified, irradiated and full of toxic chemicals and bacterias.

The modern supermarket has on average over 47,000 food options on their shelves.

Helping One
Of Our Own
A Child Heal

 family frank
Frank Scura is the  Co-Founder and Executive Director of Action Sports Environmental Coalition (ASEC). ASEC was formed by a group of leaders within the sports and health industries who wanted to utilize their power to empower future generations to make healthy conscious decisions. Scura works tirelessly to make a difference through his work with teens and kids. He is also an Advisory Board member for WCWP.

I recently received an email from a group of industry icons, the Scura's friends, with a special request to help one of our own.

Frank and his wife Tirza have two kids, a daughter Elkannah, and son Lakesh. Lakesh has autism and ataxic cerebreal palsy. Like most parents, the Scura's want to provide every opportunity for their children, especially Lakesh.


Unfortunately, autism is not covered by their insurance plan and if you are a parent with a special-needs child you know the type of financial hardship this can present. The Scura's were so inspired by the healing of Jenny McCarthy's son through bio medical treatments they wanted to explore the possibilities for Lakesh. The cost of the treatment is very expensive and they need help. So we thought we would pass along their friend's request. If you have a little extra and would like to contribute to the Lakesh miracle healing fund, please send donations of any size payable to:
Lakesh Scura
10297 Barnett Valley Rd. Sebastopol, Ca 95472

Your support would be greatly appreciated!

For more information visit:
Summertime Fun and Safety


Mamas MunchiesPlanet FLOPS is a Beverly Hills based company dedicated to making the most environmentally friendly and comfortable flip-flops on the planet.

Dr. Sylvie, a well-respected Beverly Hills podiatrist, created Planet FLOPS™ when she realized that there was a more responsible way of producing the popular shoe, while meeting the demand for an eco-chic and comfortable product. Instead of being made from synthetic rubber (which comes from petroleum and chemicals), FLOPS are made with natural Brazilian rubber harvested from rubber trees (Hevea Brasiliensis) in the Brazilian rainforest. 

The harvesting of natural rubber occurs by harmlessly "tapping" into the tree to remove a milky sap from the bark, similar to extracting syrup from a maple tree. So instead of cutting down the trees for timber or ranching, the tree continues to grow and thrive, fostering a renewable, sustainable source of income for the millions of people living in the rain forests.

Editor note: I am very snooty about my flops so I was really pleased when I put them on and realized that the natural rubber is more comfortable, and provides greater cushion and flexibility ... yea!  When I first started wearing them, I noticed a strange odor that I later found out was the smell of natural rubber, which goes away within a few days. I have been wearing my FLOPS for months now and love them.

For more information please visit:
Soleo Organics - Natural Sunscreen

Mamas MunchiesEvery summer (and during other seasons), thousands of people around the world slather on high SPF sunscreen believing that it will help reduce the possibility of sun related cancers.

Unfortunately for Australians, the highest rate of skin cancer is found in their geographical location. Like many, Dr. Tony Kovacs, a native of Australia and avid surfer, found himself reluctant to wear sunscreen because of all the chemicals they contain - but knew he needed protection. So he went in search of a chemical-free sunscreen that worked.

Kovacs accomplished his mission, and in 2003 sold his holistic medical practice and pioneered high SPF chemical-free sunscreen in the United States. Over the years, Kovacs' passion for natural products prompted him to take his business to the next level by including organic sources, and today he is the US distributor of Soleo - an all-natural organic sunscreen company that he feels is unmatched in performance and quality.

SoleoLast year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) issued a report on an investigation of nearly 1,000 brand-name sunscreen products. They found that 4 out of 5 suncreens contained chemicals that may pose health hazards, or that didn't adequately protect skin from the sun's damaging rays. The Group named some of the worst offenders as Coppertone, Banana Boat, and Neutrogena.

For more information visit:
'Buzz Away' - Natural Insect Repellent
Buzz Away
The summer months and tropical vacations usually invite unwanted guests - those pestky mosquitos, and other insects and bugs - but wait, hold the toxic chemicals found in most over the counter bug sprays!

Classified as a pesticide by the EPA, DEET, or diethyl-meta-toluamide, can be found in most over-the-counter insect repellents.
DEET has been proven to enter the bloodstream through application to the skin, and while many people use DEET-based products without incident, others have suffered side-effects ranging from rashes and hives to uncontrollable twitching and muscle spasms to death. Children seem especially susceptible to DEET problems. In 1995 alone, the National Poison Control Center in Washington, DC received over 6,700 reports of repellent exposure, including one death. Of the 6,700 reports, two thirds occurred in children age six and under.*

Good news: Don't cancel that summer camping trip just yet!  There are safe, non-toxic and effective products available today.  While there are many options on the market today, independent testing and years of customer satisfaction have made Buzz Away one of America's leading natural mosquito repellents. Their line of Buzz Away mosquito repellent and outdoor protection products provide an effective chemical-free way to repel mosquitoes, ticks, flies, and gnats. The company offers the product in convenient travel options and has an awesome poison oak/ivy remedy - Itch Nix gel, as well as a liquid bite soother.

For more information visit:

For a more in-depth list of safer options please visit our blog at for additional natural choices.
Food for Thought
Organic Bistro
Organic Bistro Whole Life Meals were developed Layrnby Dr. Laryn Callaway who, in addition to being a practicing naturopathic physician, is also an accomplished organic chef.

In her medical practice, Dr. Callaway uses the best nutrition science to guide her patients toward optimal health. Making great food choices is her first line of treatment for patients seeking a healthier lifestyle and those with heart disease, adult-onset diabetes and obesity.

organic bistroShe always recommends eating natural, unprocessed whole foods. However, it became clear that some patients simply didn't have the time, or in some cases opportunity, to regularly prepare healthy and delicious meals for themselves. What was needed was that important extra step - adding convenience. To fill that need, Dr. Callaway developed a line of flash frozen meals, prepared with organic ingredients, that delivers great taste and health in a way that's simple and quick to prepare. She called them Organic Bistro Whole Life Meals.

For more information please visit:
Homemade Baby®
matt and thersea
Meet Theresa and Matt Kiene, co-founders of  Homemade Baby®. Theresa was both a mom who worked outside the home and a child nutrition advocate.
Finding time to prepare fresh, nutritious and organic meals for her growing babies was sometimes challenging. When her children were young, the only baby food she could find was jarred - often with a shelf life older than the kids themselves. So one day she decided to give her favorite childhood recipes a "nutritional makeover" - and created yummy, 100 % organic foods that her kids loved. Soon, friends and family began requesting batches of her food for their own children.

Matt Kiene, who shares his wife's passion, oversees all Homemade Baby® operations and sales and was instrumental in helping Theresa translate her vision into a thriving business.Theresa felt so fulfilled creating nutritious, organic baby foods that she left a successful career as a television executive to start Homemade

Homemade babyHomemade Baby®, is organic, kosher and comes in convenient, recyclable "grab and go" containers. The company donates over 10% of all the food they make to charities that serve undernourished children.

For more information please visit:
All Natural Healing Products

Nelson Bach Remedies

Mamas MunchiesThe Bach® Original Flower Remedies were developed in England by Dr Edward Bach, a doctor and well known Physician, Bacteriologist, Homeopath and Researcher.

Despite the success of his work with orthodox medicine, Bach felt dissatisfied with the way doctors were expected to concentrate on diseases and ignore the people who were suffering from them. So in 1930, he gave up his lucrative practice and left London, determined to devote the rest of his life to a new system of medicine that he was sure could be found in nature.

Dr Bach believed that attitude of mind plays a vital role in maintaining health and recovering from illness and wanted to find something that treated the cause rather than the symptom. After identifying 38 basic negative states of mind, and spending several years exploring the countryside, he managed to create a plant- or flower-based remedy for each emotion.

Mamas MunchiesWhile Rescue Remedy is the most famous of the Bach Flower essenses, today the company offers a full line of adult products (i.e. liquids, spray and creams), pet options and a new line just for kids - Bach Kids Rescue Remedy and the full line of Bach Kids Flower Remedies that are all-natural, alcohol free, and non-narcotic. All of their products have been quite successful in helping to relieve stress, worries, and anxiety.  Today these gifts of nature are sold in over 65 counties worldwide, and available at most natural foods markets.

To learn more visit:

Editor's Note: Also see Bach Flowers For Children in this issue.

Organic Essence

Mamas MunchiesOrganic Essence is based in the rainforest near Crescent City, California. Founded by Gail and Ellery West in 2006, Organic Essence was built on their decades-long experience in the natural body care products industry.

The company's mission is to provide body care products that are the cleanest and safest possible - guaranteed by strict USDA National Organic Program procedures. All Organic Essence products must be 100% biodegradable and perform as well as or better than conventional chemical-based products.
Mamas Munchies
Shea butter is known for its properties to increase the skin's capillary blood flow. Thier shea cream is a wonderful skin softener, body moisturizer, massage cream and make-up remover. We just love the compostable paper jar.

Mamas MunchiesOrganic Essence prides themselves on being one of the first companies to produce a lip balm in a 100% biodegradable package, making all their products sustainable and organic throughout - good for the body and the environment. Ellery states, "You could actually plant our entire product in your garden."

For more information please visit:
Jadience Herbal Formulas
Jaience LogoJadience Herbal Formulas™ are exclusive East Asian health and beauty products based on generational ancient wisdom. The formulas contain the highest possible levels of all natural organically grown and ethically wild harvested herbs synergistically combined with the incredible power of Jade.

According to ancient East Asian medical wisdom, jade heals stressed organs and discharges toxins. It also contains vital elements for the human body, s
Jade Ladiesuch as minerals, calcium, magnesium and water and is known as a natural transmitter of far infrared rays in the same wavelength as the human body, producing negative ions, which encourage cell metabolism.

The combination of jade
powder with these East Asian herbal formulas creates powerful detoxifying, regenerating, and revitalizing effects to the skin and body. The Jadience line includes internal herbal formulas, herbal soaks, herbal patches and herbal skincare products.

For more information please visit:

Editors Note: I have been using Jadience skincare formulas for a few years now and can testify to their beneficial properties - I am hooked.

Chemical Free Fem-Care

Mamas MunchiesJeffery Hollender is the Chief Inspired Protagonist, co-founder, and has served as the Executive Chairperson of Seventh Generation (SG) until recently when he decided he wanted to pursue other projects and handed over the reign to Chuck Maniscalcoso. Hollender led the company from its humble beginnings to its current position as the leading and fastest-growing brand of natural products for the home.

Over 10 years ago, Hollender's wife Shelia encouraged the company to expand their product line to include fem-care products to meet the growing demand of safe options for their largest demographic, 99% women between the ages of 24-44.

Conventional tampons are commonly made from rayon that is treated with hazardous chlorine bleaches, which result in dangerous chlorinated toxins being released into the environment, and a woman's body.

TamponsSG is the only American company that offers 100% certified organic tampons made from cotton grown without pesticides, or that has not been bleached with chlorine. (Also, chlorine-free maxi pads and pantiliners.) This reduces a woman's risk of exposure to toxic chemicals.

The average woman will buy more than 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. When you consider the environmental and health impacts of using healthy non-toxic products you can make a big difference.  If every woman of menstruating age replaced one package of 16 Regular Applicator tampons with SG organic tampons, we could prevent 62,000 lbs of pesticides from polluting our rivers, lakes, and streams!

Seventh Generation dedicates 10% of their profits to non-profit organizations working for positive change.

For more information visit:

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