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Jun 262008
 

Many of us are reeling when we envision the negative impact the FDA Globalization Act of 2008 could have on small beauty businesses, and the resultant curtailing of consumer choices when it comes to handmade natural products.   The restrictive annual and product registration fees that could be charged under this act could become so burdensome that many of these small businesses would have to close their doors.  Some of our small business customers could be facing a $12,000 product registration fee for each formula for a bar of  soap.

Donna Maria Coles Johnson, CEO of the Indie Business Network has worked diligently to support and provide a wide umbrella of education and services to support independent beauty products manufacturers, most of whom began in their own kitchens.  Many of these companies, after years of diligence and hard work have now emerged as successful, thriving alternatives to mass produced big box cosmetic products. Donna Maria is a big reason for this success.  She now has rallied her legal skills and the energies of the IBN membership to stop this potentially stifling legislation.

Watch the video, then go to her blog  and sign on as a signatory to the petition.  

Indie_Business_Blog 

Then, contact your own representatives in Congress to voice your objection to this pending legislation.  Your choices will be dependent upon the ultimate status of this bill.

 Posted by at 4:09 pm
Jun 062008
 

Yes, it is getting to be that time of year again.  Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve had an extremely rainy Spring season – so much so, we are calling this month, "Juneuary"!  This unusual dampness will produce optimum conditions for mosquitoes to breed and multiply as the temperatures warm.  Here is additional mosquito information on the website to learn more.

As you can see, we offer a fabulous ready-to-use mosquito repellent in a variety of product applications.  However,  many of you readers grow your own gardens and can easily make your own effective natural spray or oil to take care of those pesky mosquitoes or no-see-ums. 

As you probably already know, DEET is currently the most common active ingredient in commercial bug repellents.  DEET is a dangerous chemical, as discovered by Duke University researchers and can cause brain-cell destruction and has caused neurological damage in studies using rats.  Additionally, the Iowa State University Research Foundation has proven Catnip, Nepeta Cataria, known as a cat-pleasing herb or medicinal tea, to be safe and effective to keep bugs at bay.

Catnip is a perennial herb, preferring well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight.  It is easy to grow but can become invasive.  Best planted in the fall, it will get a boost for summer by forming a strong root system, increasing its natural drought resistance.  If you choose to plant now, purchase a hardy plant from a nursery, making sure of the correct Latin binomial.  Catnip doesn’t need much help once it is established and only needs compost, not fertilizer.

Here are the recipes for making your own bug repellents:

Catnip Mosquito Mist (makes approximately 3 cups)

  • 2 cups catnip, stemmed
  • 3-4 cups mild rice or white vinegar

Rise and pat dry herb, roll lightly with a rolling pin to bruise and open plant cells, place in a clean quart jar and cover with vinegar.  Seal jar and store in a dark cupboard for two weeks, shaking lightly every day.  Strain into clean jar, seal and refrigerate for up to 6 months unused.  To use, spritz on exposed skin and around outdoor recreation or dining areas.

Catnip and Rosemary Mosquito Oil

  • 2 cups catnip, stemmed
  • 1 cup fresh rosemary, stemmed
  • 2 cups light vegetable oil (such as fractionated coconut)

Bruise catnip leaves; finely chop rosemary.  Pack in a clean jar, cover with oil and place in a dark cupboard for 2 weeks, shaking lightly every day. Strain into clean jar, seal and refrigerate unused for up to 8 months.  To use, decant into smaller bottle for carrying and rub on exposed skin when outside.

Let us know if you try these ideas; we love to get feedback.

Aromatically,
Marcia

 Posted by at 5:09 pm
Jun 052008
 

I’ve recently read that our food system is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse emissions.  When you think about bananas being shipped to a U.S. port, then transported by container truck to a distribution point, then trucked across your state to your local grocer, this begins to make sense. 

Here’s a great little calculator to help you compare the relative carbon impacts of your food choices.  The nifty thing is – if you reduce emissions by your eating habits, you will also be eating healthier and maybe learning to grow your own garden and shop at your local farmer’s market (supporting your regional food supply).

You handmade products manufacturers might want to look into being a vendor at your local farmer’s market.  You’ll make good contacts for fresh herbs and flowers to use in your products.  It’s a great way to expand your networking . . . all the time helping the environment.  Excellllent!  (Stroking imaginary beard.)  

 Posted by at 6:04 pm