Our Amazing Earth – Minnesota Valley

The Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge is home to bald eagles and other waterfowl, migrating birds, fish and wildlife like river otters and coyotes . Along 70 miles of riverfront are 14,000 acres of habitat, a large part right alongside 3 million neighbors of the Twin Cities and suburbs.

MNValleySelfieIt is HappinessG Approved! Check out our visit here.

Be well 🙂 Annette & HappinessG

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Take Care Of Yourself. Now.

Last month residents of Hastings, Minnesota could not drink their tap water because it was not safe to drink.  Residents were told to boil water for drinking, making ice, cooking and brushing teeth. E. coli was detected in a section of the public water system.

“Bring all water to a full, rolling boil, let it boil for one minute

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or longer, and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, and food preparation until further notice. Boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in water.”  City of Hastings Water Advisory, 22 September, 2018

So in the best case scenario, a contaminant in your water supply is discovered right away, and you are notified. But what if a contaminant is not discovered right away?  And, what if when a contamination happens, those with that knowledge don’t act in your best interest? We all know examples of these situations. They have happened and could happen again.

So what can you do? The answer is obvious, simple and easy to accomplish. Take care of yourself. You hold the power in your own hands. Taking good care of yourself is possible even when public water supplies are poorly managed or when corporations do business with unsafe practices. Your well being is not dependent on others making choices from a short term perspective that serves just a few. Your well being is not dependent on others, period. I encourage you to take your power back.

Give yourself the best chance to be well so that when more people are ready to act, you will be in vibrant health and can be one of the leaders of an environmental wave. The answers and solutions we have now probably will not be the answers and solutions we have in the future. And, that is just fine.

If we do take the best care of ourselves now, we will be healthy and able to be a part of 20180107_101845-2the next movement of growth.  There are people “banking” plastic.  There are people cleaning up our oceans and rivers.  There are people developing methods to absorb carbon from our atmosphere.  There is incredible medical and nutritional research being done. The more we focus on these people and their missions, the more we are a part of their ongoing success. I encourage you to move out of being frozen in fear or focusing on the problems versus the solutions, what you do not want versus what you do.

So do it.  Do it now.  Do it for your family. Do it for your kids. Do it for your fur kids.

Do it for yourself.

Learn more here about the water I drink. My water is clean, alkaline and full of hydrogen — good for me and my family, and it tastes so good!

Be well 🙂

Sources: City of Hastings, Minnesota, PlasticBank.org, TheOceanCleanUp, The Nature Conservancy, Fast Company – Climeworks, Molecular Hydrogen Institute, FutureTechPodcast – Dominic D’Agostino, PhD

Is Your Drinking Water Safe To Drink?

“For years, people said that America has the cleanest drinking water in the world,” said William K. Reilly, the E.P.A. administrator under President George H. W. Bush. “That was true 20 years ago. But people don’t realize how many new chemicals have emerged and how much more pollution has occurred. If they did, we would see very different attitudes.”  When we turn on the faucet in the kitchen, water flows into the sink.  We use this water to wash dishes, mop the floor, clean the windows, but without knowing really just what is in the water, is it wise to take a drink?

Glass Mirroring Blue Water High Jumping Drops

It is a short list of contaminants that are regulated by the Safe Drinking Water Act. First passed in 1974, after tests discovered carcinogens, lead and dangerous bacteria in water from New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Boston and other cities, the Safe Drinking Water Act regulates just 91 contaminants in a world where more than 60,000 chemicals are used.  The Environmental Protection Agency has not added a single item to the list of regulated chemicals since 2000.  So those who are tasked with providing us with safe drinking water can and do, literally, follow the law and deliver water that can be harmful to our health.

Government and independent scientists continue to study chemicals in our water and have concluded there are many – hundreds – which can cause cancer and other diseases.  Even at small concentrations these contaminants are concerning.

It is a tricky thing to talk about how cities can be following federal law and still be providing water that may make people sick.  Improvements in water treatment are very much needed, but who pays for these improvements? Wouldn’t it be wiser for us to not pollute the air, the ground, or the water in the first place?

In a system where polluting is legal and thus profitable, where is the motivation to do things differently? It is a short-sighted model that allows companies, military contractors and manufacturers to reap profit and pass off the environmental clean up and future health consequences.  Don’t we all pay for such irresponsibility, whether it be the loss of our natural world or our quality of life?  Why do we still allow ourselves to be fooled by the lure of today’s gain compared to the future cost of cleaning up our mess?

So, how do we get our water clean?

Sources – New York TimesCenter For Disease Control

What Is The Problem With Chlorine?

CUGlassH20Chlorine has been hailed as the savior against cholera & various other water-borne diseases, and rightfully so.  The disinfectant qualities of chlorine have allowed whole cities to grow & prosper by providing disease-free tap water to homes and industry. So, what’s the problem with chlorine? The first continuous use of chlorine in the United States for disinfection took place in 1908 at Boonton Reservoir which served as the supply for Jersey City, New Jersey.  Early attempts at implementing water chlorination at a water treatment plant were made in 1893 in Hamburg, Germany, and in 1897 the town of Maidstone, England was the first to have its entire water supply treated with chlorine. Adding chlorine to our water kills or inactivates the microorganisms that cause diseases like typhoid, cholera, dysentery and giardiasis. A century ago this was progress.

In 2017 what new information do we have about using chlorine to disinfect our water?  Chlorine does keep municipal water clean of typhoid & cholera.  But now that we are not dying of those diseases, we do see other health effects from the use of chlorine as a disinfectant.

Chlorine destroys acidophilus, a probiotic which helps to maintain a balanced colon. A healthy immune system is dependent upon a healthy colon. People have allergic reactions to the chlorine in their drinking water.  Symptoms include skin rashes, headaches, gastrointestinal difficulties and even arthritis.

Chlorine reacts with organic materials in our sewer systems to create by-products.  As chlorine is a persistent chemical, so are the by-products.  The main disinfection by-products produced are trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs).  DBPs (disinfection by-products) are linked to reproductive issues & birth defects, heart disease and cancers.

Scientists have linked the pollution worldwide of rivers and oceans and the chlorination of swimming pools to increased incidents of melanoma. And, drinking chlorinated water is associated with increased risk of bladder and rectal cancers, due to our bodies storing waste products containing chlorine and its by-products. The US Council of Environmental Quality reports that the cancer risk to people who drink chlorinated water is 93% higher than those who drink water without chlorine.

It will take time to modernize our municipal systems.  There are better options such as ozonation to sterilize water.  But, to guarantee that the water is technically still safe to drink when it comes out of your tap, cities like Las Vegas who use ozonation still add chlorine to “protect” it on the journey to your house.

To protect yourself and your family, consider filtration for your drinking water at a minimum.  There are affordable and effective filters to tide us over until our city systems are redesigned and rebuilt.

Sources:  WikipediaChlorine Special ReportLas Vegas Valley Water DistrictThoughtco

Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com & MaxPixel.net