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iPhone Apps
May12

iPhone Apps

Technology is on our side when it comes to going cruelty-free!  If you own an iPhone, there are a few apps you should know about that will make a cruelty-free lifestyle even easier.  If you don’t have one yourself, make sure your roommate, significant other, or someone you might call a frequent “shopping buddy” uploads these onto his/her iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. Be Nice To Bunnies I first wrote about this iPhone app last July in my Pocket Guides blog post.  This searchable database lets you make on-the-spot decisions about potential purchases.  You can look up everything from cosmetics to cleaning products.  Search by brand name, manufacturer, or product category.  It also has up-to-date “Do Test” and “Don’t Test” lists from PETA regarding company animal-testing policies.  FREE! Pet Safe I LOVE this app, released just last month by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).   If you’re thinking about getting some new plants for your home or garden (or are moving into a new space that comes with a yard of plants already there) and you have companion animals, you’ll want to know what’s safe and what’s not safe to have around.  Descriptions with photos will help you identify all those flowers and shrubs. The information also includes the specific animals the plants are toxic to — dogs, cats, horses — and symptoms associated with ingestion.  In addition, the app gives information to help you if your animal has ingested something toxic, and it  features one-touch dialing to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center.   At $2.99, this is an inexpensive purchase that you can feel especially good about making: 35% of sales goes to the ASPCA. Pet Finder Don’t Shop — ADOPT!  Petfinder.com has an iPhone app that lets you search more than 290,000 adoptable animals (dogs, cats, and others)  from over 13,000 shelters and rescue groups.  You can bookmark your favorites, share on Facebook and Twitter, and read some great adoption stories they call “happy tails.”  There are so many animals out there who need loving homes.  Using Pet Finder is a way to help them… and at the same time bring the puppy-mill market to a screeching halt 🙂  FREE! Just For Fun: iBird Yard is an interactive guide about birds most commonly found in the backyards of North America. Here in Tucson, this city girl still marvels at the hummingbirds who show up sometimes when I’m practicing yoga in my yard.  If bird-watching interests you, or you have kids and want to do something fun together that also will cultivate in them a respect for animal life, this just might be...

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Here Comes the Sun
Apr21

Here Comes the Sun

Here in Tucson, it’s been feeling like summer for a while already. Now, with the end of the school year around the corner for everyone across the nation, it’s time for us all to start making summer plans and stocking up on some summer essentials. I can tell you that this city girl has developed a whole new appreciation for sunscreen since moving out here to the desert. I still like to be active outdoors in the summertime — whether it’s rollerblading, biking, or just walking the pups; and I’m all about pool-time with family and friends. Without sunscreen, I’d be crispy in about a half-hour! So sunscreen keeps me healthy, active, and social throughout the season. Here are some sunscreen products by companies that do not test on animals: Alba Botanica Sun: Mineral Sunscreen (Fragrance Free) Badger Sunscreen for Face and Body, Unscented Desert Essence Age Reversal Mineral Sunscreen All Terrain (comes in Terrasport and Aquasport ) Nature’s Gate Sportblock Kiss My Face Sunscreen with Oat Protein Mychelle Sunshield Best value! Trader Joe’s Sunscreen Lotion for kids: Alba Botanica Sun: Mineral Sunscreen for Kids All Terrain Kids All-Weather Skin Protectant (SPF 30) Avalon Organics Baby Natural Mineral Sunscreen (SPF 18) California Baby Moisturizing Sunscreen, No Fragrance (SPF 18) How does your favorite brand measure up? I recommend you have a look at the Sun Protection section on The Environmental Working Group’s site, Skin Deep.  Their cosmetics database is extensive — you can look up any one of your favorite products to get the scoop on that company’s animal testing policy.  While you’re at it, check out cruelty-free alternatives for sun protection lip balm and make-up,...

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Bringing Sexy Back

Vegan condoms? Every once in a while, there’s a cruelty-free topic that surprises. The initial response to the subject of condoms usually is… aren’t all condoms vegan?  Well, here’s the scoop: Nope. Although the latex in condoms comes from rubber trees, most condoms are made using a cheaply manufactured animal by-product called casein, derived from milk. Here in America, the vegan condom of choice is Glyde, which uses a thistle extract instead. Available in regular and flavored. The fruity flavors come from sugar-free organic extracts. If you’re in the UK or visiting, Condomi and Fusion condoms are other vegan brands. How about alternatives for some fun sexessories? There are plenty of cruelty-free options for keeping it sexy and safe in the bedroom (or wherever). Here’s a couple of places to browse, though I recommend you wait until after-work hours 😉 The Sensual Vegan This comprehensive site is proof that it’s possible to choose a cruelty-free lifestyle without hindering your adventurous spirit. Babeland If you’re in NYC, take a little trip to one of the Babeland store locations. Guaranteed to spark your imagination, and they have plenty of cruelty-free items. For those outside The Big Apple, there’s the online store (search under...

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Hotel Kudos
Apr13

Hotel Kudos

This past weekend I was staying at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  In town for an Animal Law conference, I was already feeling inspired when I arrived at Harvard Square.  Adding to my delight, I found my hotel room stocked with bath & body products by EO, one of my favorite cruelty-free product lines.  It was like walking into my own private little spa!  I’ve already extolled EO’s Hinoki & Ginger Bubble Bath; today, I sing the praises of The Charles and other hotels making similar choices that reflect a more eco-conscious and animal-friendly philosophy.  When you consider just how many people come and go in a single hotel room, and then multiply that by the number of rooms in a single hotel — what an impact the hospitality industry can have in creating a greater demand for cruelty-free alternatives on the market! In addition to the bath & body provisions, hotels also are making great strides when they offer down-alternative pillows and comforters.  Although this is likely in large part a response to all of us with allergies, the availability of alternatives to down deserves some attention and praise as well.  I recently booked a room for an upcoming conference at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington DC.  As part of the online reservation process, I was able to select a feather-free room.  Magna Cum Laude, Marriott! Once upon a time, non-smoking rooms at hotels were available upon request.  Now they’re the norm.  I’m optimistic that “cruelty-free” rooms can be the next new norm.  How to keep us moving in that direction: If you stay at a hotel that provides cruelty-free products and feather-free rooms, express your appreciation!  Tell the front desk, tell the concierge… and include some kudos of your own in any written comments.  Let as many people at the hotel know you noticed, you care, and you’re happy about what they have to offer. If you stay at a hotel that doesn’t offer such amenities, offer some polite feedback.  Again, let the hotel know you notice the details, you care, and you’d appreciate any efforts they make in the future.  Also, you might mention another hotel that does include cruelty-free options — nothing like a little bench-marking to provide some extra...

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Hair Color

Whether you’re thinking about adding some highlights, or thinking about a color change that is more dramatic, there are cruelty-free options to the $8.99 bottle of hair color in the local pharmacy aisle. These days, my naturally blonde hair is naturally blonde with a little help. When it comes to haircare, my preference for years has been Aveda products — and that includes hair color. If you have an Aveda concept salon in your neighborhood, I highly recommend your giving it a try. Aveda uses natural ingredients and they do not test on animals.  However, if the budget is a little tight or if finding time to get to the salon for monthly touch-ups is a little challenging, there are some store-brand options. My local Whole Foods has two brands, each under $20 a bottle: Tints of Nature: I’ve used this for touch-ups when my schedule has no room for a salon appointment. Natural ingredients are easy on the hair and the results are great.  Naturtint:  I found a lot of positive feedback about this product on the web, and it’s supposedly great for covering up stubborn grey hairs.  Available at Drugstore.com  In addition to these two brands, also available online — Herbatint  Naturstyle    If you’re looking to have a little extra fun with your hair, Stargazer offers semi-permanent dyes in funky colors… and glitter spray!  For my NYC friends, Bumble & Bumble does not do animal testing on its products, so heading to one of B & B’s salons in the city is a great way to treat yourself!  ...

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Pumpkin Time!
Oct22

Pumpkin Time!

Before the trick-or-treaters show up, why not treat yourself?  Here are a few pumpkin-season favorites for you and yours: Desert Essense Organics Pumpkin Hand Repair Cream Pumpkin seed extract, jojoba oil, and licorice leaf combine into a sweet-smelling and super-moisturizing cream. MyChelle Incredible Pumpkin Peel That’s right… a pumpkin facial!  It looks and smells just like pumpkin pie (sans crust).  Pumpkin, pineapple, and ginger add up to a product that will exfoliate and nourish your skin. for the pups: Max and Ruffy’s Mother Quinoa’s Pumpkin Patch Treats I haven’t found any cat treats with pumpkin, but Mother Quinoa is a HUGE hit with our canine kids. The bite-sized treats are made with human-grade and organic ingredients. Also, the treats come in eco-friendly packaging — 100% biodegradable and printed with soy ink.  Cruelty-free for the animals and the planet 🙂...

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