Conscious Clothing

The recent Bangladesh garment factory tragedy reminded me once again how much our lives impact the lives of others thousands of miles away.  In our daily lives, we simply walk in a store and purchase items at low cost without any thought to the cost imposed on others. 



While the owner’s of this facility were aware that cracks were forming, they used fear tactics, threatening job loss, if employees didn’t come to work that fateful day.  Greed caused, as of a report today (NPR, 05/13/13), more than 1,127 people to lose their lives.  At least charges were brought against the owner but that isn’t any condolence to the families who lost love one’s.



We, as in the collective Western World ‘WE’ can’t continue to distance ourselves and plead ignorance.  The companies that manufacture products under poor conditions can’t say “we didn’t know what was taking place in these factories”.  I’m sorry, but if your products are manufactured somewhere you need to know the circumstances under which it is produced, you are ultimately responsible. Corporations need to stop treating people as expendable.



However, as consumers we are ultimately responsible. We can refuse to spend our money on items that cause undue suffering anywhere along the supply chain. We can demand that others are treated fairly and provided fair wages and standards of working conditions.  We need to be willing to pay a little more for items that are produced under more just conditions. We can seek out locally produced and sourced items to our best ability and we can voice our desire for information about the conditions that our fellow humans exist.  Some of these work circumstances are essentially slavery.  In fact, we all have any number of slaves working for us depending on how extravagantly we live.  You can calculate your own number of slaves at  I have 29.



Admittedly, even when you try, it is difficult.  I have tried not to buy anything new, choosing to purchase from used clothing stores.  Around the Tri-valley I frequent any number of thrift stores for various causes as well as Picket Fences in Livermore and Savvy Seconds in Pleasanton.  Sometimes though I would like to purchase new items made in a responsible and sustainable manner.  From what I’m finding though, well, it’s hard to find! 



I’ve started trying to search out shops with clothing made local or made by collectives internationally who benefit directly from the clothing, and if at all possible also sustainably produced.  One I like for children’s clothes is Tomat.  They are made in the US with organic cotton and it’s a business operated by a mom.  Certainly this route is a fair bit more costly than buying from your local big box retailer, but you can purchase them in good conscience and that to me is priceless. 



Have been trying to find other potential places to purchase items for myself.  Searching Etsy I found a few clothes designers who sew special order sizes.  I’ve also found a few potential on-line companies with some interesting finds:



If you have any retailers to add, please don’t hesitate to let me know about them, I am always on the lookout.


Thanks Alameda County!

…for joining others in banning plastic bags!

Happy New Year!

On January 1, 2013, the county that I live in, Alameda County, will ban plastic bags and will require a minimum 10-cent charge on paper and reusable bags.  The cost could go up to a minimum of 25-cents in 2015 if it’s felt that the 10-cent charge isn’t deterring consumers.

The ban excludes restaurants, take-out food, retail stores not selling packaged food, or charitable thrift stores.  Maybe future regulations will include these or maybe you and I can just start to incorporate reusable bags into all our daily purchases.  This is a small way to live consciously, that if everyone did could make a big difference.

Admittedly, sometimes I forget my reusable bags even though we have a stack at our door.  If in a pinch you forgot your bag and you happen to have a t-shirt and scissors available, I came across an easy make grocery store bag project that you can do with your kids.  When our current supply of re-usable bags wears out, we’ll be making these!

Re-usable t-shirt grocery bag

From Craft’s Ideas for Kids

Here’s to a more conscious 2013 and may other counties follow in the growing list of counties prohibiting plastic bags!

Environmental Laws – California 2012


Food & Water – For your protection!

I’m continuing the saga of learning about all the new environmentally oriented laws that were enacted for 2012, just about in time for those that will be enacted in 2013! Because I am obsessive I had to complete the project…and now I am finally DONE!  In the 745 new California laws taking effect or continuing this year, 9 are aimed at protecting your food and water supply.

Admittedly, it continues to take time to read through each of the actual bills and decipher what is being said, it really is taking me until the beginning of October to get through all of this!

If you want to refer to any of these bills in their entirety, anyone can access the PDF with links to the bills as they passed through Congress, including the amendments and the final enacted bill:



Drinking Water: Insuring Safe Drinking Water

This bill is a long one with multiple components.  The current California Safe Drinking Water Act requires the State Department of Public Health to administer provisions relating to the regulation of drinking water to protect public health and laws already exist to provide funds.  Here comes the legalese of this bill.  It does a few different things.  First, it allows a public water system that is a lead applicant for a project to be funded by the Safe Drinking Water Revolving Fund and would make expenditures related to the project potentially reimbursable.  Second, it authorizes the commission to review and decide on consolidation of territory in the jurisdiction of a mutual water company.  Finally,  it authorizes the commission to include in the service review, whether the drinking water sources comply with safe drinking water standards.


Food and Agriculture: Biotechnology

There is already a bill in place that regulates the Food and Agriculture fund programs.  All this amendment does is eliminates the requirement of the Department of Food and Agriculture from being required to report issues to the Governor and the Legislature.  Not sure the new oversight committee of these funds and programs is any longer, self-regulation?


Ocean Protection: Sustainable Seafood

Enacts a voluntary seafood promotion program to promote sustainable fishing industry practices, provide grants/loans for limited activities, and develop labeling standards for these sustainable fishing companies.


Safe Drinking Water: State Revolving Fund

Makes minor amendments to the already enacted California Safe Drinking Water Act, basically just addressing actions pertaining to the fund.


Groundwater: Groundwater Elevations

Establishes rules for the Department of Water Resources in terms of monitoring groundwater elevations within each basin or sub-basin and the well water management.  Prevents counties from being eligible for water grant/loans administered by the state if they decline to accept responsibility for monitoring groundwater elevations (from unmonitored private wells included).


Drinking Water: Safety

The Calderon-Sher Safe Drinking Water Act of 1996 requires the State Department of Public health to adopt regulations regarding contaminants in water potentially ingested by people.  The new addition is that this law permits the department to issue citations if a public water system is in violation and defines the specifics.


Safe Drinking Water Funds: Revenue Bonds

Already in place is a bill where money is appropriated into the State Department of Health budget to design and construct projects for public water systems to assist in providing safe drinking water.  This bill authorizes the bank to issue taxable or tax-exempt revenue bonds to provide funding.


Water Safety: Pollutant Discharge

Under current law, the State Water Resources Control Board and California Regional Water Quality Control board define waste discharge requirements in accordance with the Clean Water Act and Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act.  The Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act is a state act requiring any proposal to discharge pollutants or fill material to file a report at least 180 days in advance of the date on which it is desiring to discharge the materials.  This bill only changes the date requirement by 5 days, to 185 days before.


Food Labeling: Olive Oil

Since I am particularly fond of olives, I found this one interesting.  Currently, the State Department of Public Health enforces laws regarding manufacture, blending, production and sale of olive oil and any violation is a crime.  This law pertains solely to the edible oil obtained solely from the fruit of the olive tree.  The hierarchy from highest to lowest: extra-virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil, and virgin oil not fit for human consumption (lampante virgin olive oil), olive oil, and refined olive oil.  These are all described in detail in the bill.

In 2013, I think I will pick and choose.

Solar Is ON!

Solar panels being installed on our roof, March 2012


Trying to make the commitment to greening our life, meant thinking of ways we could reduce our carbon footprint.  One of those ways we thought to reduce our use and may be a worthwhile investment was to add solar panels to our house and our back rental unit.  We hope it will ultimately pay for itself or at least cover our power bill.  It has been quite a journey!

Here’s our solar installation diary.

February 2012

We decided to make the commitment and got quotes on cost.  Before the installation even began we had to decide on the panels and their locations, requiring an architect to design the plans.

March 23, 2012

Project started with installation of the braces where our solar panels would be mounted.  They worked on the installation during the day while I was away at work so I hardly noticed the interruption.

April 3-4, 2012

The braces were on but we had to wait for our ConEnergy solar panels to arrive from Germany.  After finally arriving they were installed on our back house and the majority of the front house.

April 6-7, 2012

A few more days of waiting for a flat mount rack and the front house solar panels were finally completely installed. The installation was only the beginning. Once installed, the paperwork was submitted to the city for approval.  To actually get them turned on required the city to approve the installation and PG&E to come and connect it to the grid.  This was no small task.

April 12, 2012

Walking into our kitchen that morning, the floor was covered with water.  Unfortunately, or maybe it was fortunate it happened when it did.  The following week after our panels were installed, it rained.  One of the braces had been drilled through the roof into our back bathroom and flooded the kitchen.  Since it rained the entire week our repair had to be put on hold and the bathroom was covered with a tarp.  As soon as the rain stopped, the company that put on our solar came and patched our roof.

April 20, 2012

Took a bit for things to dry out after the massive amount of rain we had but finally bathroom drywall was replaced.  The solar company got another company out to do the work.  Although, that company took a couple of attempts to get it done.  It was waylaid the first attempt due to an “emergency” by one of the roofers on the first day they were supposed to come.   Apparently, such an emergency they forgot to tell their employer.  They finally came on April 20th to do the drywall.  Don’t know the exact date but it took awhile longer for my husband to finally repaint the bathroom where the drywall was patched.

April 23, 2012

Once our solar was actually installed, we still had to wait for the city to approve it.  While the company that installed our solar followed up with the city on at least an every couple day basis, it took a couple weeks before the approval was granted.  It finally was approved on April 23, 2012.  Now, the city was done but it was PG&E’s turn.

June 13, 2012

Letter received from PG&E stating that our system was now in the interconnect system and being reviewed.

June 29, 2012

PG&E engineering passed our system. We just had to wait for PG&E to come out and connect our system to the power grid.  Again, this required follow-up calls from my husband and the company who did our installation for it finally to happen.

July 11, 2012

PG&E came and left a note that they couldn’t get in our gate.  What?!  We have a gate but it had been left unlatched for them to come in.  There’s a string that hangs down outside to lift the latch, a common way that fences open so it shouldn’t have been hard to operate.  The note they left on the gate said they couldn’t obtain access.  My husband called and they said they’d put us back on the list to come by at a future date.

July 17, 2012 @933am

Took close to 4 months from installation to working, but…

Finally, Solar is on!!!!


As of 08/17/12 – One month after it was turned on

Power to Date:  1.14 MWh – could power around 38 houses for a day

Carbon Offset:   1,740 lbs    – offset of approximately 20 trees


You can see how much our solar is producing at:

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and need a solar installation I can highly recommend Nor Cal Solar Services. From quote to finish their service, professionalism and honesty was unmatched.

2012 California Environmental Laws

Protecting the Environment ~ and you

Of the 745 new California laws that begun at the start of the year, 16 are directed at environmental protection laws. If you are looking for a list of all California laws with all the legal-ese you can stand, there is a pdf available with links to the bills as they passed through congress, there amendments and the final enacted bill:

Admittedly, it’s taking me some time to read through each bill and decipher what is being said so it actually took me until July to complete!  As for the environmental laws, they range from ways for us to rid our waste to protecting sharks from being hunted only for their fins.

Here goes:


State Park Preservation: Funds

States that California state parks are a resource that must be protected fiscally.  This law is an intent of the legislature to enact legislation to address the need to fund parks.  Huh?  “An intent.”  Maybe the actual funding will be stated in a future law.


Hazardous Waste: Latex Paint

This law specifically states plans for disposing of latex paint at designated hazardous waste collection facilities.


Solid Waste: Diversion Plan

At present 50% of solid waste in California is required to be diverted through recycling or composting.  This new law states that by January 1, 2020, agencies designated to dispose of waste will be required to divert 75% of solid waste.  There are statements in this bill that also passes some of the responsibility on to business owners and requires them to also separate waste for recycling and composting.  Looking toward individuals being held responsible for also promoting diversion of their garbage.


Hazardous Substances: Underground Storage Tanks

Existing law requires the State Water Resources Control, in consultation with the State Department of Health Services, to develop guidelines for reviewing the cause and cleaning up methyl-tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE) and other ether-based waste products in groundwater.  This law basically just changes the wording to “requiring” consultation with the State Department of Public Health (note the name change).


Shark fins: Possession

This law makes it illegal for any person to own, sell, trade, or distribute shark fins.  The reason for this is essentially two-fold.  The first reason is that sharks are important to the ocean eco-system and decline in numbers is being noted.  A second reason is that mercury is much higher in the shark population and can be dangerous to a consumer’s health.  There are an allotted number of licenses that permit fishing of shark, but limited and only individuals who have these permits may have possession of a shark or any part of one.


Environment:  Hazardous waste transportation

Specifies hazardous waste protocols specific to transportation of wastes and maintenance of records.


Air Pollution: Vehicle Pollution

Authorization is given to establish a fee up to $6 on registration of motor vehicles with the first $4 being used for specific purposes to meet requirements of the California Clean Air Act of 1988 and then the remaining $2 used for programs that remediate air pollution.  This bill determined that the last $2 be used for natural gas tanks on school buses that are over 15 years old; low emission vehicles or equipment aimed at decreasing emission reductions may also obtain funding by the program.


Air Pollution Districts: Members

This bill simply defines who belongs on the air pollution control governing board – essentially, mayors or city council members as well as county supervisors depending on the make up of the constituents.


Solid Waste: Tire Recycling

Revenue is generated from a fee (?amount) on every tire purchased in the state to provide funds for tire disposal.  Grants also are provided to fund public work projects using waste tires (ie. rubberized asphalt concrete and tire-derived aggregate).


Public Health: Medical Waste

Addresses disposal of a deceased animal if disease posing a threat to humans is thought to be the cause of the death.


Product Safety: Bisphenol A

After January 1, 2013, the manufacture, sale, or distribution of any child’s product at a level about 0.1 parts per billion of phthalates (Bisphenol A) will be prohibited and in its place is required the least toxic alternative.  How about a “non-toxic” alternative?


Forestry: Timber Harvesting

Amends forestry acts previously written and requires a timber harvesting plan be written in regards to logging plans and adequately restock the land.  The law also amends some of the definitions from prior acts.


Environmental Quality: Community Impact Report

Any project of statewide, regional, or area-wide significance requires an environmental impact report to define what effect it will have on a community.  The bill authorizes requirement of a proposed action plan.


Hazardous Waste: Household Collection and Transportation

Authorizes a door-to-door hazardous waste collection program from residences to collection facilities.  Establishes limits on household hazardous waste collection and transport amounts.


Contamination: Public Beach Standards

Health officers must submit to the State Water Resources Control Board information regarding public beach closures and post signage at the beach itself and to the web-site beaches not meeting standards for sanitation.  By June of this year, a plan is to be proposed to Legislature regarding options for sustainable funding to cover costs associated with monitoring wastewater.


Toxics: Lead and Cadmium Jewelry

A law in 2008 made the manufacture, shipping, selling, or offering jewelry for sale illegal unless from specified materials – specifically prohibiting lead and cadmium.  All this law does is amend the prior to specify the protocol for state inspectors evaluating potential jewelry concerns.



Green Living

Can you have it all?

Sometimes it seems like the answer to that question is “no”.  Rather every choice seems more to be, pardon the cliché, but a ‘choice between the lesser of two evils’.

Paying careful attention to every choice I’ve been making has definitely been work and I’m finding others are asking me what I think about which is a better option.

The question of being the perfect ‘green’ consumer resurfaced for me this past week as we went out to our local toyshop to buy a gift for a friend’s daughter.  We try to shop local but a majority of the toys in our local toy store were not from the United States nor made of sustainable or compostable materials.  Ultimately, choosing what seemed the lesser of two evils, we went with a wooden jewelry box with a set of wooden beads to make your own jewelry…from China.

My brother-in-law when he was buying a toy kitchen for his daughter wondered, “is it better to purchase a plastic kitchen made in the United States or a wooden one from China?”

Another friend was shopping in the grocery store the other day and noted the organic fruit had traveled from Mexico and sent my husband a text begging the question, “is it better to purchase organic fruit from another country or local grown produce made via standard farming methods?”

Organic Strawberries---from Mexico

What about organic hummus, but in single serving containers?  Although most of the packaging was recyclable, it just seemed wrong.  I must confess we bought it so our son and I could take it in our lunches.

Single Serve ---Organic Hummus

At times we are weak, like with the single serving hummus.  I also commute, which painfully has been costing me nearly $500/month on gas and does weigh on my conscience.

Other times, we try to be as stringent as possible, such as walking around at the Livermore Farmer’s Market this past Sunday; we only bought from those booths where the produce was grown locally and that had certification of their organic produce status and we walked there from our home with our son and wagon in tow.

It seems more and more of us are trying to make choices with less environmental impact but it’s becoming less and less obvious what the “green” choice is without complex calculations?  Simply realizing that each of our choices has some impact is a first step.  There are times when you can have it all but there are more of the other times, where you have to weigh the options as best you can and decide from there.

There is someone who will help you with some of the calculations.  From the University of Wisconsin Energy Institute the “Environmental Impact Calculator”.




If you care what’s in your food California – Please sign!

Sign the petition

(that’s genetically modified organisms)

Please log on and sign before April 22, 2012!

This is for all those in California who care what is in their food.   If enough signatures can be collected, there will be a measure on the ballot in November 2012 that will require genetically engineered foods to add a label.  That’s it!  All this law is asking is that consumers are informed about the foods they are eating.

Approximately 800,000 signatures are needed by April 22, 2012.  So, if you haven’t already signed the petition go to to learn about the campaign or volunteer.




Are “smart” meters dangerous…

for your health?


The Culprit or Innocent pawn?

When we bought our new house in Livermore and the technician came out to set up our power he remarked he was changing our meter to a “smart” meter.   I was just glad to have power at that time so didn’t really think anything of it.

We’ve been here a year now and my husband recently decided to ask me what I thought about the health concerns surrounding these meters.  If he was asking, I figured it was just a matter of time before my patients asked me about it.

With a quick web search, there are many claims about these types of meters.  Claims about inaccurate utility bills, increasing energy consumption, violations of civil liberties, including spying or monitoring an individuals activities, and their contribution to the unemployment rate.

However, most important to me, and what seems most debated, is the harm to one’s health by violating safe levels of electromagnetic field exposure.

What type of energy do smart meters exert? 

Smart meters exert radiofrequency signals that with direct exposure elicit changes at the cellular level.  SAGE Associates, an independent environmental consulting company that provides land use services and planning, aimed to determine levels of radiofrequency radiation associated with wireless smart meters depending on frequency of the radiofrequency signal, amount of time the meter is submitting information, and reflective properties of where the meter is placed.

How do smart meters work? 

Briefly, the smart meter in your home measures your utility use and sends it back via a wireless radiofrequency signal.  Power transmitters can then send messages about your general energy use or potentially be installed inside the home on appliances that send information via radiofrequency back to the smart meter.  New appliances have these installed in them.

Homes relay messages to collector meters that transmit between 500-5000 homes/buildings signals and relay the radiofrequency message to the utility company.  With these types of transmitters there are higher levels of radiofrequency microwave emissions and they send wireless signals more frequently.  These collector meters can be placed anywhere.

What is the actual exposure amount from these “smart meters”?

SAGE Associates used computer modeling to determine power density levels in multiple scenarios and tried to define under what conditions violations of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) safe levels may occur.  The FCC established a maximum time weighted average limit of 655 micro-Watts/cm squared. Peak power exposure limits (4milliwatts/cm2) have been designated for all parts of the body, except this limit is lower for the eyes and testes.

For most homes, the single meter radiofrequency evaluation will matter most, but they also reviewed collector meters.  Radiofrequency energy absorption is most influenced by frequency, with lower frequency standards being more restrictive. These meters aren’t running at all times, they instead send information intermittently, making exact exposure evaluation more complicated.  Finally, there is also the unknown amount of radiation from reflection on surfaces in or around the home.

This report studied distances starting at 3 inches out to 96 feet from the antenna center to estimate radiofrequency exposure levels.  The main examples they used are if a meter is placed on an exterior wall outside a bedroom or outside a kitchen.  Outside the bedroom, it’s estimated that an individual’s body could be as close at 11 inches from the meter antenna and for the kitchen as close as 28 inches.

There aren’t any baseline radiofrequency violations for a single meter at any distance, between 60-100% reflection factor, at any duty cycle, but would be expected to occur if the actual reflection factor were as high as 1000-2000 times greater than computer modeling, as suggested by an article by Hondou (2006).   This suggests that reflection could be a significant component with a single smart meter.

Another issue has to do with how often the meters emit radiofrequency signals from each of the antennas.  This is uncertain and subject to variation.  The SAGE report calculates estimates from infrequent (1%) to continuous radiofrequency emissions (100%).  Where the public has unlimited access to these meters, the FCC requires exposure to be calculated at 100% exposure.  This report suggests that if multiple meters or collector meters exist near a home, the risk for violations does occur.

The issue with the SAGE report is that it is based on computer models and not actual practice.  I could find only one actual study that reviewed a smart meter in practice.  One specific smart meter type, the Itron, evaluated in a study by Tell et al (2012) suggests that the exposure in practice may actually be well below dangerous levels.

Where multiple meters are installed near living spaces or near collector meters and if, for instance, viewed at a range 6 inches and/or near highly reflective surfaces may be situations where peak power limits could be violated.

What does the literature say about radiofrequency fields and health?

Since no studies exist evaluating direct health outcomes of smart meters, one has to extrapolate from prior studies on radiofrequency exposure.  Evaluations of communication methods already present (radio, television, wireless, cell towers) have been primarily reviewed in epidemiologic studies.

Even if you move to a deserted island or up to the mountains to live off the grid, there is a certain level of electromagnetic exposure from the earth.  However, if you live like most people, think about all the possible radiofrequency components in your home – mobile phones, wireless computer systems, and as my family’s personal case now, a home monitoring system.  How much is too much?’’

All studies of human health effects from radiofrequency are epidemiologic studies, which inherently have issues with bias and influenced by multiple variables, some which may not be appropriately considered.  A weakness of all the studies is that exact biologic mechanisms of relevance remain unclear.  This makes determining the sources of exposure, levels of exposure, and location of individuals to those sources in question.

There is concern that the eyes and testes are more vulnerable to damage but no scientific data exist to establish a safe limit for these organs. There is also concern that children’s’ tissues may absorb more radiofrequency than adults and respond differently (Christ et al, 2010; Wiart et al, 2008).  It has also been suggested in some reports that individuals like those on some medications, the elderly, or ill also may have different reactions to pulsed radiofrequency, but I could find no real evidence.

In fact, in a review of the literature where a report can be identified that suggests radiofrequency can cause neurological, cardiovascular disease, or increased levels of cancer, there are corresponding reports that refute those findings.  Nothing that I could find convinced me that radiofrequency in doses we are exposed to, particularly if not a direct exposure, cause illnesses alone.

What does the literature say about radiofrequency and reproduction?

Because of my particular interest in obstetrics-gynecology, I can’t help but focus a bit on articles reviewing the reproductive consequences of radiofrequency exposure.

It seems that spontaneous abortion and time to conception have the strongest association with radiofrequency effects in women, as studied in physiotherapists exposed to microwave diathermy (Taskinen et al 1990; Larsen et al, 1991; Ouellet-Hellstrom & Stewart, 1993).  This would require regular exposure in close contact to have an impact.

For men, those who have been in the military and exposed to microwaves and radar, studies appear to support a reduction in sperm density (Hjollund et al 1997; Lancranjan et al 1975; Weyandt et al, 1996), with variable findings in the other semen analysis parameters – movement, amount, and form.

So, does it matter?

Maybe if you were a physiotherapist and a military officer trying to have a baby, or have direct, extensive contact with radiofrequency sources would radiofrequency matter.  It may become the case, as we become a more wireless society, where the radiofrequency amounts do exceed safe amounts, but at this point I am not convinced it would be from smart meters alone.

That being said, I don’t plan to place my bed against a wall where a number of smart meters are positioned.



Christ A Gosselin MC Christopoulou M Kühn S Kuster N. Age dependent tissue-specific exposure of cell phone users. Physics in Medicine and Biology, Volume 55, Issue 7, pp. 1767–1783, 7 April 2010, online March 5

Hjollund NH, Bonde JP, Skotte J. (1997).  Semen analysis of personnel operating military radar equipment [letter].  Reproduc Toxicol 11:897.

Lancranjan I, Maicanescu M, Rafaila E, Klepsch I, Popescu HI, 1975.  Gonadic function in workmen with long-term exposure to microwaes.  Health Phys 29: 381-383.

Larsen, Al, Olsen J., Svane O 1991.  Gender-specific reproductive outcome and exposure to high-frequency electromagnetic radiation among physiotherapists.  Scand J Work Environ Health 17: 324-329.

Ouellet-Hellstrom R, Stewart WF.  1993.  Miscarriages among female physical therapists who report using radio- and microwave-frequency electromagnetic radiation.  Am J Epidemiol 138: 775-786.

SAGE Associates Report, January 2011.  Assessment of Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation Emissions from Smart Meters. March 10, 2012.

Taskinen H, Kyyronen P, Hemminki K. (1990).  Effects of ultrasound, shortwaves, and physical exertion on pregnancy outcome in physiotherapists.  J Epidemiol Community Health 44; 196-201.

Tell RA, Sias GG, Vazquez A, Sahl J, Turman JP, Kavet RI, & Mezei G (2012).  Radiofrequency fields associated with the Irton smart meter.  Radiat Prot Dosimetry 10; Abstract.

Weyandt TB, Schrader SM, Turner TW, Simon SD.  1996.  Semen analysis of military personnel associated with military duty assignments.  Reprod Toxicol 10: 521-528.


or at least label in California

(that’s genetically modified organisms)


With two blogs currently in the works that are taking me some time to research, I have a ton of new ideas after returning from the Natural Products Expo West 2012 this past weekend.  This was my first time there and it is amazing what’s available!

Thought I’d write a quick post because it is truly time sensitive.

This is for all those in California who care what is in their food.  At the Expo I signed the petition to get on the ballot labeling of foods.  This measure that will be voted on in November 2012 will require genetically engineered foods to specifically label this fact.  That’s it; just add a label so the consumers know what is in the food they consume!

Approximately 800,000 signatures are needed by April 22, 2012.  So, if you haven’t already signed the petition go to to learn about the campaign or volunteer.

Be sure to add your signature to the petition and get the word out to others!

Happy New Year! New 2012 California Energy Laws

We’re installing solar this year!


Happy New Year again!  As 2012 begins, my family has decided to look into utilizing the power of the sun to reduce some of our electrical costs and decided to install solar.  It’s not in yet but the plan is in the works.

For those of you considering this option, California laws provide some funding to complete your goal.

In the 745 new California laws taking effect or continuing this year, there are 5 set to assist with renewable energy efforts.


Energy – land exchange for renewable energy related projects

Solar Energy Parks Act

Promoting state lands for the advancement, development, assessment and installation of commercial concentrating solar power energy systems.  The State Lands Commission is responsible in determining suitability of the land for this use and appropriate commercial projects to lease the land for this specific use.


Renewable energy: expedited permitting

This bill sets to establish a program to ease and expedite the state permitting process for renewable energy and transmission projects.  Rather vague on the specifics of “expedited permitting” other than designating a timetable once all necessary documents have been provided as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.


Energy efficiency standards

Specified energy efficiency standards are required under California law, contractors, whether licensed or unlicensed in violation of these laws will be penalized.  Encompassed in this law is the aspect of unfair competition and building without proper licenses and permits.


Energy: solar systems funding

California Solar Initiative

A commission established to authorize award of monetary incentives for power generated by solar energy systems that meet the requirement of the State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission.  The purpose is to provide incentives for customers for install and provide energy from solar systems as well as provide funding for research and development to explore solar technologies.


Energy: energy conservation projects

The Energy Conservation Assistance Act of 1979

Requires until January 1, 2013 that low-interest revolving loans be provided to eligible institutions to finance projects related to energy conservation, generation of renewable energy sources, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, energy or water efficiency improvements.

When we get our solar in will update on costs, rebates, and savings in our monthly bills.


If you want to read all the bills in their entirety you can use the following with links to each of the bills amendments and final revision: