About Us

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy is meant to help explain the data we collect about you when you visit our website or use our services and how we use this data.

This Privacy Policy is related to our website Terms of Use. If you do not agree with our Terms of Use or anything contained in this Privacy Policy, please do not use our website.

Information We Collect

We not collect, store, use or disclose personally identifying information about users browsing our Website.

When you use or access our website we do collect the following information:

  • (a)Website Data. We may collect common usage data about the ways our users view our website and the information available on or by accessing our website. Such usage is not personally identifiable and is not supplemented or combined with personally identifying or identifiable information.
  • (b)Cookies and Similar Data. We assign cookies to you when you use the website. These enable you to more efficiently use our website. This information may also be used to enhance your use of our website if you visit the website more than once and to assist us in the administration and use of the website.
  • (c)Information You Provide. On the website, we may request that you provide your name and email address. Providing this information is voluntary and this information will only be used by us in connection with your use of the website and our services. This information may also be shared with our partners or affiliates.
  • (d)Donation Information. Should you wish to make a donation to Because Health through our website, we will collect the information needed to process your donation. Donations are handled through a third party credit card company that process the donations on our behalf. Our third party processor will collect the information needed to process your donation and they will share such information as necessary to allow us to verify the donation and the name and identity of the person making the donation.

Ways We Use the Information We Collect

  • (a)Website Usage Data. We may share the information we collect with certain selected third parties, but only in aggregated, anonymous form. The data is generally used for completion and support of the current activity, for research and development, and to determine what future information and data to include on our website in the future.
  • (b)Cookies and Similar Data. This information is used to enhance your use of our website and services. This information may also be used to facilitate the use of the website and services and to assist us with the technology used in the website and providing the services.
  • (c)Information You Provide. We may use your name and email address to contact you regarding the services offered through our website or with the other services we provide. This information may also be used by our partners and affiliates.
  • (d)Donation Information. We will use any information you provided regarding a donation as needed to allow for the accurate processing of any donation and to verify the donation. We will also use any donor or donation information we receive in order to comply with any applicable laws, including applicable tax laws, rules, and regulations. We maintain an internal listing of our donors and your information will be included in our donor information. With your permission, we may publicly list you as a donor and may contact you for further information regarding donations and future donations. Of course, at any time you can request to opt out of receiving any further communications from us.

Updating Your Personal Information

At any time you may update your name and email address and any other information you have shared with us by contacting us and providing updated information. In addition, at any time you may request that we delete your information from our records and we will stop using that information and remove it from our records.

Additional Disclosures of Information – Legal Requirements, etc.

We will disclose any information available to us, including your personal information, to the extent we have a good faith belief such action is necessary or appropriate in the following circumstances:

  • i.Where disclosure is legally required;
  • ii.To cooperate with a proper request from any law enforcement agency;
  • iii.To comply with any applicable law, rule or regulation;
  • iv.To address any violation of our policies, including any violation of our Terms of Use or these policies;
  • v.To detect, prevent or otherwise address any security or technical issue, or any fraudulent use of our services;
  • vi.To defend ourselves against any claim or lawsuit; or
  • vii.To protect ourselves, our users or the public against any harm or damage to their persons or property, or as required or permitted by law.

Data Security

We have appropriate security measures in place in our facilities to protect against the loss, misuse or alteration of information that has been collected from you through the Website. In addition, we use industry standard methods to prevent your information from being accessed without authorization.

Although we take reasonable steps to safeguard and to prevent unauthorized access to your private information, we cannot be responsible for the acts of those who gain unauthorized access, and we make no warranty we will prevent unauthorized access to your private information.

IN NO EVENT WILL WE OR OUR AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES (WHETHER CONSEQUENTIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL OR OTHERWISE) ARISING OUT OF, OR IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH A THIRD PARTY'S UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER SUCH DAMAGES ARE BASED ON CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, TORT, OR OTHER THEORIES OF LIABILITY, AND ALSO REGARDLESS OF WHETHER WE WERE GIVEN ACTUAL OR CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE THAT DAMAGES WERE POSSIBLE.

We reserve the right to change these policies at any time. Any such changes will be posted on our website and will be effective upon such posting (unless the posting specifies a different effective date).

COLLABORATIVE ON HEALTH AND THE ENVIRONMENT/ BECAUSE HEALTH

PO Box 316

Bolinas CA 94924

Telephone: (415) 868-0970

Info@becausehealth.org

Because Health is a project of The Collaborative on Health and the Environment, which is fiscally sponsored by Commonweal, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.


BECAUSE HEALTH

COPYRIGHT POLICY

We respect the intellectual property rights of others. If you believe your work has been copied in a way that constitutes copyright infringement or are aware of any infringing material on the Website, please contact us at:

Info@becausehealth.org

and provide us with the following information: an electronic or physical signature of the person authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright interest; a description of the copyrighted work that you claim has been infringed; a description of where the material that you claim is infringing is located on the Website; your address, telephone number, and email address; a written statement by you that you have a good faith belief that the disputed use is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law; a statement by you, made under penalty of perjury, that the above information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf.

Or contact us at:

BECAUSE HEALTH

PO Box 316

Bolinas CA 94924

Telephone: (415) 868-0970

Info@becausehealth.org

Because Health is a project of Commonweal, a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Bolinas, CA, and dedicated to spreading awareness of environmental health issues.

Roundups

Non-Toxic Yoga Mat Roundup

So many om-azing choices!

If you're sheltering in place and want to take up a new hobby, why not try yoga? It's challenging, requires little space or equipment, and helps you relax! What more do you need!? Plus. there are a lot of free online yoga classes available right now for both kids and adults! We love that the whole family can practice together under one roof.

But what you may not know is that most yoga mats are made from harmful, synthetic material. Our other article goes into more detail about this topic, but to sum it up: yoga mats are made from PVC and PU. And yoga mats break down over time and little bits of harmful material can end up all around your house. Some companies claim to be eco-friendly but still use harmful chemicals like PER, which contains PVC. Nama-stay away from that!

Our yoga mat roundup only features mats made from natural materials (with the exception of recycled water bottles) like jute, cotton, cork, and natural rubber. None of these mats contain harmful chemicals derived from fossil fuels.



a) Jade Yoga Harmony Mat
b) Maduka Eko Yoga Mat
c) Merrithew Natural Rubber and Cork Yoga Mat
d) Repose Yoga Mat Yoga
e) Design Lab Yoga Mat


*Because Health is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program so that when you click through our Amazon links, a percentage of the proceeds from your purchases will go to Because Health. We encourage you to shop locally, but if you do buy online buying through our links will help us continue the critical environmental health education work we do. Our participation does not influence our product recommendations. To read more about how we recommend products, go to our methodology page.




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popular

A Complete Guide to Non-Toxic Cleaning and Disinfecting During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Protect yourself from the novel coronavirus in the most non-toxic way possible

We don't know about you, but the outbreak of COVID-19 has us doing a lot of cleaning. And it seems like we're going to be doing this for quite a while. Having cleaning on the brain makes us wonder: What's the best "natural" or "green" way to clean that still gets rid of COVID-19? What's the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? What products are safe to use but also effective at preventing a COVID-19 infection? We answer all of your novel coronavirus cleaning related questions below.

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Roundups

Air Purifier Roundup

Keep your air quality healthy while staying indoors!

Being inside our house for days on end has us thinking a lot about indoor air quality. How do I keep myself healthy while sheltering in place? If you're also worried about indoor air pollutants, it might be a good time to consider buying an air purifier! But there are so many choices out there, how do you know which is best for your house? We did some research and picked our top 6 air purifier choices.

Air purifiers are an easy way to help maintain a healthy indoor air quality. If you experience seasonal allergies or asthma, live in the middle of a big city, are exposed to wildfire smoke, or cook at home a lot, an air purifier might be right for you! Air purifiers are a great tool at protecting your indoor air quality against small particles you can't remove with vacuuming and dusting alone like smoke particles, pet dander, dust, and pollen. Purifiers with a HEPA filter provide even more protection- they're "99.97% efficient for removing particles less than 0.3 microns" (1). Some air purifiers even have a substrate that absorbs VOCs (volatile organic compounds) too! VOCs are released when your gas range is turned on and can also be released from consumer products and furniture. Some VOCs are harmful to your health causing irritation, headaches, damage to organs, and some are carcinogenic.

There are a few things to consider before choosing an air filter, including:

- Make sure the air purifier doesn't generate ozone. While these machines were thought to be effective, they actually cause more indoor air pollution.

- Determine the number of air purifiers and size you need. The product description of an air purifier should say the square footage one purifier can cover. Some larger rooms may need more than one purifier or a purifier with a larger capacity. Many of our picks are offered in models that cover a larger or smaller square footage.

- Check how long one filter lasts. Every air purifier is different, and some filters may last longer than others! It's also a good idea to check filter prices before committing to a specific model.

- Follow manufacturer instructions to clean or buy new air filters when necessary to ensure that your air purifier continues to work properly.

Below are our top air purifier picks:



a) Austin Air Healthmate

b) Coway AP 1512 Mighty

c) Blueair Blue Pure 411

d) Alen Breathesmart Classic

e) Honeywell HPA300

f) AirDoctor

*Because Health is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program so that when you click through our Amazon links, a percentage of the proceeds from your purchases will go to Because Health. We encourage you to shop locally, but if you do buy online buying through our links will help us continue the critical environmental health education work we do. Our participation does not influence our product recommendations. To read more about how we recommend products, go to our methodology page.

References:

1. https://ww3.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/acdsumm.pdf

Home

Thinking of Buying an Air Purifier?

Take a deep breath because we've got everything you need to know!

If you live in a big city, close to a major highway or just have some unbearable allergies, chances are, you've probably considered buying an indoor air filter at some point. Maybe you were overwhelmed at the amount of choices that the internet offered, or just weren't sure which brands were safe and actually worked. Take a deep breath, we're here to help you pick out an air purifier that works for you and lessens the amount of air pollution in your house!

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Food

Making Your Fruits and Veggies Last

In times of pantry cooking and beyond

In this unprecedented time of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, we're all eating a little bit differently. It can be tough to get to the grocery store and favorite items might be sold out. Our usual restaurant stops, home deliveries, and takeout options may not be available. While we're cooking more with less, it's more important than ever to make your fresh fruits and vegetables last. Luckily, the kitchen ideas I've learned over the past few years for fighting food waste are easily transferable to cooking in a time of quarantine. When you're aiming to make your food go far, during a pandemic or just real life, it's good to know how to make your fresh produce last as long as possible.

A good principle is to store your produce in the same areas as they do in the supermarket. It's their literal business to keep food fresh as long as possible! While you obviously won't be using the exact same methods - they're aiming for display as well as storage - you can think of your produce in the same fundamental categories:

  1. Room Temperature Storage: these are the items you'd find displayed out of refrigeration in the produce section and can be divided into:
    1. Pantry storage (cooler and away from the light) for sturdy and long-lasting vegetables
    2. Counter storage for fruits that need to ripen
  2. Refrigeration: These are the fresh fruits and vegetables in the refrigerated cases of the produce department and typically fall into three categories:
    1. Loose: most fruit, like citrus and melons can just be placed into your fridge drawers
    2. Airtight storage: most delicate greens
    3. Breathable storage: berries and most other vegetables, from roots to stalks to hearty greens
  3. Special storage: a few items, like asparagus, mushrooms, corn and fresh herbs require a bit more attention.


Let's dive a bit more deeply into each one:

Room Temperature Storage:

Pantry Storage: some vegetables need a cool, dark place for optimum storage. In the old days that would have been a root cellar, but let's be honest - who has a root cellar these days? For most people this means a cupboard or a drawer away from the light where you'll store the following items:

  • Tubers such as potatoes and sweet potatoes, winter squash, and even eggplant, which browns in the fridge.
  • Onions, shallots, and similar alliums should also be stored somewhere cool and dark, but not with potatoes. If stored together, they'll cause the potatoes to sprout. While we're on the topic - green and sprouted potatoes can be eaten if peeled deeply to remove all green and sprouty bits, but if you're immunocompromised in any way, just compost them.

Counter Storage: your counter is the best place for most fruits (except apples, citrus and berries) to sit until ripe - that's why fruit bowls exist! Once ripe, these fruits should be moved to the refrigerator to preserve them as long as possible. Melons, stone fruit (i.e. peaches, nectarines, cherries, etc), and bananas fit into this category, as do avocados. Tomatoes should ideally always be kept at room temperature, but can be moved to the fridge once cut, or if in desperation to keep them a bit longer. If your tomatoes get wrinkly, roast them up!

Refrigerator Storage:

Produce in the fridge fits into three categories: loose, airtight or breathable. You'll see a lot of storage guides recommend plastic bags for airtight or breathable storage, but there are other options if you're trying to minimize your use of plastic. You can invest in reusable storage bags or save the plastic ones that come into your house as bread storage or cereal bags. Try repurposing old storage boxes or tupperware for fridge storage. A lot of items will do well in their original plastic container, such as berries and grapes, which can then be recycled.

Fruits in the fridge:

  • Apples, citrus and berries don't need time to ripen, and so should be refrigerated right away if you're aiming for lengthy storage. Take them out or let them sit at room temperature if you know you're going to eat them soon.
  • Berries do well staying in their original box or another breathable container. Once you get them home, remove any moldy ones, then don't wash them until you're ready to eat.
  • Citrus can last a long time in the fridge, loose in your crisper drawer.
  • Any other fruit that has been stored on the counter to ripen can be moved to the fridge to hold, or should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container once cut

Vegetables in the fridge: Most vegetables do best in the fridge when uncut, unwashed, and wrapped in a breathable container. This could be a plastic bag with holes in it or a reusable bag left open. The goal is to limit oxygen exposure, but allow a bit of airflow to minimize the moisture and condensation that causes rotting. This method works well for roots such as carrots and parsnips, cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and Brussels sprouts, fruits that are actually vegetables such as summer squash and cucumbers, as well as fresh beans, green onions and more. If your roots have greens on them like beets or turnips, cut the greens off and store them separately as they'll draw moisture from the root. Don't throw them out though - they're delicious cooked like chard or another sturdy leafy green.

Greens, especially delicate salad leaves, are more susceptible to moisture and wilting. You'll want to limit their supply of oxygen by storing in the airtight original container or rolled up in a plastic or reusable bag. Either way, it helps to stick a paper towel or dish towel in with the greens to soak up any moisture that would cause sliminess.

Special Storage:

There are a few fruits and vegetables out there that need some additional TLC to last as long as possible. Asparagus and most leafy fresh herbs are best stored like cut flowers. Place them in a tall upright container in an inch or two of fresh water and refrigerate. The one exception is basil, which should be kept at room temperature or it'll brown. Corn should be kept in the husk if possible; if not, wrap in damp towels to keep them moist, then wrap in a bag.

While we're on special storage - the most highly controversial of vegetable storage topics is... mushrooms! Some people swear by paper bags or damp cloths to retain some moisture; others claim that any moisture will speed up the rotting process and breathable plastic bags should be used instead. Just for you guys, I did an at-home experiment comparing a breathable cloth bag to an open silicone bag to a paper bag. After 5 days, the mushrooms were all still good, if the tiniest bit slimy, but the least slimy ones were the ones stored in the paper bag. However, the original packaging often works well too.

Freezing Fruits and Veggies:

If you're really aiming for long-term storage, most fruits and vegetables can be frozen. Fruits will lose texture (i.e. you wouldn't want to eat them raw once defrosted) so they're perfect for cooked desserts or smoothies. Vegetables can be frozen raw or cooked, depending on the vegetable, but you'll also want to use them in cooked dishes.

Fruits: cut your fruit into pieces, lay on a tray, then transfer to a resealable bag. Defrost, then use for pie or tarts, or leave frozen for smoothies. Frozen peeled bananas make a delicious ice cream substitute when blended!

Vegetables: hearty greens and other tender vegetables like asparagus and broccoli are best blanched before freezing - chop, boil in salted water for a few minutes, then drain and let cool and freeze in bags. Tomatoes and onions can be frozen when raw or cooked (chop them first), then used in cooked dishes once defrosted. Sturdier vegetables like winter squash and sweet potatoes do best when cooked and pureed, then frozen. Herbs freeze best with a bit of oil in an ice cube tray, then you can toss the cubes into stews, soups, and more. The main vegetables that don't freeze well are potatoes and lettuce. If you must freeze potatoes, make them into mashed potatoes first. And if your lettuce is getting old you can cook it (stir-fry or soup!) or perk it up in an ice water bath.

Home

Grow Fresh Produce in Your Kitchen Using Food Scraps!

All you need is some water and a sunny window…

Fresh fruits and veggies are tasty, add flavor to any meal, and are an important part of a balanced diet. They can also help boost your immune system, which we're all about right now. But these days we're trying to limit trips to the grocery store as much as possible. So how do you keep a stash of produce available without having to leave your house? By planting food scraps! Yes, you read that correctly.



Growing produce from food scraps has a lot of benefits. It diverts food waste from your trash or compost, it can teach young children about gardening, and it provides a relaxing project during these uncertain times. Plus, as long as you don't use any pesticides, everything you grow in your kitchen will be organic! Below are some types of food scraps that will grow into new produce with minimal effort on your part.

Lemongrass- this citrusy herb is easy to grow and will up the flavor profile of any dish! Put the bottom 2-3 inches of lemongrass in a half inch of water and keep in a sunny window. Change the water every few days. New growth will sprout from the center.

Celery- Put the bottom 2 inches of a celery stalk in a shallow bowl of water and place in a sunny window. Replace the water daily. New growth will appear within a few days. It might take a while for a full stalk to grow, but you can use the small growth to flavor dishes or to make your own celery powder!

Green onion- This is one of the easiest things to grow in your kitchen! Keep the white part of the onion in a small glass of water. Green onions will grow really fast in a sunny spot- you could have fresh onions in about one week!

Lettuce- place the bottom portion of a head of lettuce in a shallow bowl of water in a sunny window (you know the drill by now). New lettuce will start sprouting in a few days and you'll have about ½ of a head of lettuce in two weeks. That's the perfect amount for a sandwich or a burger!

Home

9 Veggies You Can Grow Indoors

Gourmet dinners with fresh veggies and no more plastic herb packets are in your future

What's better than having an indoor plant baby? How about one that gives you food? Since we are all spending more time at home these days and making less trips to the grocery store, it's a perfect time to try your hand at some indoor veggies that you can grow in your windowsill. Plus this is a great project to do with kids if you are homeschooling them due to COVID-19 school closures. Some ideas include helping plant and water the seeds, writing down weekly observations, measuring and drawing the vegetables as they grow, and finally learning to cook with them. Here are our suggestions for 9 veggies and herbs that are easy to grow inside and are useful to have on hand.

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