Monthly Archives: June 2011

Winston the Water Fountain

Today I thought we could have a little fun with water. The man in the video, Winston, appears to be putting on a show for tourists. He makes a point of showing he has nothing up his sleeve (well to be exact, his shirt) and proceeds to display a pretty amazing capacity to dispense water like a fountain. I have not been able to figure out what trick he could be using and think his performance is 100% authentic. So, real or fake, what do you think? I realize that the quality isn’t the best and that makes this challenge a little harder, but I would love to know what you think?

Becky Powell on Lightsaber Duels and Raising Healthy Kids

Obiwan-darthmaul

She may never get to be Darth Vader when dueling lightsabers with her son, but a quick check of her twitter profile reveals that @OpheliaRising is still “pretty badass with a lightsaber”. When asked why she has to act out the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi she tells me it is because her daughter insists on always playing Padme while her son plays Anakin. Wait, she has lightsaber duels with her kids on the living room furniture? I wish my mom played Star Wars with me when I was growing up!

Becky Powell (the real world face behind @OpheliaRising on twitter and author of the blog “Alice in Motherland”) plays quite a few roles at home including: wife, mother, writer, star wars re-enacter, and (my personal favorite) fellow Tarheel. I had been following her on Twitter for a few months when I was asked to interview her for the fridgefilters blog. Since her Twitter account is one of my favorite follows I was really excited to have the opportunity to learn more about the real Becky Powell.

One of the things you need to know about Becky is that she is incredibly smart (I did mention she graduated from UNC right?) and puts a lot of effort into taking care of her children. Naturally we spent a lot of time talking about her family and how to raise happy, healthy kids. When she and her husband found out they were going to have their first child they agreed to try and make the healthiest choices possible. Becky set out to learn as much as she could about how to take care of her child, “I read books, ate all the right stuff” she explains and even switched to drinking only bottled water. At the time there were a lot of people saying that tap water wasn’t safe and her doctors were telling her to drink a lot of water.

According to Becky that is when she first started to think about the quality of the water she was drinking. Her family has always been very health conscious and so when her second child was born it was back to bottled water, because “it seemed like a healthy choice”. She had read up on Bisphenol A and knew to only buy plastics that were BPA free, but then she started following @fridgefilters on twitter. “I read on your blog that BPA Free is not the only toxin in plastics and the thing that really worried me is that they can leach estrogen disruptors”. Now she tries to use less plastic, but if you have ever had a baby you know that avoiding plastics is not an easy job.

“Have you ever been to a Babies ‘R Us? It’s like the evil baby stuff Wal Mart,” she tells me “they have everything for babies and so much of it is plastic.” To make matters worse for a young health conscious mother she explains they also have a “huge display of Nursery Water, which is steamed, distilled, boiled water with fluoride added.” Why put fluoride in water for babies for their formula when the babies teeth haven’t even emerged yet? Oh, and Nursery Water also comes in large plastic containers. Which reminds me, never mess with a mom, especially not an informed one.

So Becky and her husband stopped buying plastic water bottles and switched to tap water. Their refrigerator had a water dispenser with a filter so they started using only water from their fridge. What she did not do was remember to change the water filter in her refrigerator. Ironically, Becky explains to me that her husband works in heating and air and often has to remind homeowners to change their air filters. It is really easy to forget to change your fridge’s water filter, but you really can taste the difference. Becky found that out recently when she got a new water filter and “within a day I felt that our water tastes better. Now our kids are drinking a lot more water. Our kids don’t drink a lot of soda, they drink juices and things like that, but I used to have to flavor their water to get them to drink it…now they are okay with drinking it straight from the fridge”. The best part is that her whole family is no longer drinking from PET plastic bottles.

There are so many resources available now trying to tell you how to raise your kids and there is no way you can do them all. I asked Becky what her advice would be for other moms. Focus on the things you can control, “for me it is all about making incremental changes for me and my families health.” A very special thanks to Becky for taking the time to share her story with me today. You can follow her on Twitter @OpheliaRising and on her blog at “Alice in Motherland”.

A (Perfect?) Gift for Dad

Number-1-dad

This weekend I will take a day off from everything else to spend some time with my dad. We will sit down and have a meal together, talk about sports, the weather and how his business is doing. I will remember being a little kid and how my dad always looked so tall (I still think of him as tall, even though I have known grown up to be taller than my dad). This Sunday I will enjoy time well spent with my father, but…before I can even think that far ahead I have to figure out what in the world to get for him!

Shopping for my dad is never easy and my whole family has to struggle to find something that he wants that he didn’t already buy for himself. This year I got lucky. Earlier this year the neighborhood well at my parent’s house turned the water brown. To be fair, their water is not all that great to begin with, but brown is never a color you want to see coming out of your tap. The two filters that my dad has set up for the refrigerator and kitchen sink kept their drinking water clean, but the increased sediments in the water eventually clogged the filters. So I got my dad some replacement filters for Father’s Day!

Before you judge my dad’s gift think of it this way, for the same cost as dinner and a movie I gave him 6 months of clean drinking water. I know it may not be the most exciting gift, but I know it is one he will use and appreciate every time he gets a glass of water. Just in case you think your dad could use a filter or two this Father’s Day (or if you are a Dad and are shopping for filters) be sure to check out our special Facebook offer for 15% off your order this Father’s Day Weekend.

Green friendly water bottles

Klean kanteen bottles original and in color Want to save money? Want to help the planet out? Try one of these green-friendly bottles recommended by Time.com. Single use PET plastic bottles are not the best way to get your water. For one thing, you would not want to refill a PET plastic bottle to reuse it as a drinking bottle because over time the stress placed on the bottle makes it more likely to leach harmful chemicals (like endocrine disruptors) into your water. So not only are these chemicals endocrine disruptors (that means bad for your body’s natural hormone production), but they also add a bad taste to the water.

If that did not convince you to put down that Aquafina, Dasani, or Fiji water check this out. At around $1.50 or more per bottle and drinking at least 1 bottle a day you will spend around $500 – $600 on bottle water in a year. Of course you could just get a handy re-usable bottle like one of the ones from the Time.com article and save yourself a lot of cash. You will also be helping to cut down on energy use, plastic pollution, and keeping our planet green.

Of course, we have a favorite green-friendly bottle at FridgeFilters and while all the ones on the Time list sound great, I would personally go with a stainless steel Klean Kanteen bottle. There are a lot of stainless steel bottles on the market now, but the Klean Kanteen is still the best because they are responsibly manufactured by an American company using 100% BPA free materials and food grade stainless steel. If you are looking for more options they also have a line of stylish stainless steel bottles that come in cool colors like Eclipse Black, Indicator Red, or Be Green. These great bottles also come in different sizes, styles and have a variety of cap options. Because they are made of stainless steel the Klean Kanteens are extremely durable and easy to clean too!