Six ways to make your romance green

A Healthy Approach to Intimacy

The scene is set for romance -- perfume, candles, flowers, chocolate, and champagne. But wait, some of these products might contain toxic chemicals!

A new report from the Center for Disease Control says that almost half of all Americans are now living with physical conditions and diseases that could be caused by exposure to toxic chemicals.

  • Perfume: Know this -- What you put on your body gets in to your body. Take perfume, for example. Most perfumes you buy in department stores can contain over 100 different synthetic chemicals to make the scent, plus things like phthalates, and parabens.

    These are endocrine disrupters - gender-bender chemicals that make girls develop earlier and reduce testosterone levels in boys. When shopping for perfume, look for those made from pure organic essential oils.

    They're safe, non-toxic and more subtle than a synthetic perfume.your perfume won't precede you when you enter a room and it won't linger after you've gone! The perfume featured on the show is by Aftelier Perfumes, a Berkeley-based company sold in some retail stores. They use certified organic and wild-crafted essences whenever possible.

  • Candles and scents: What surrounds you can also get in your body and your bloodstream. Artificially scented candles for example, contain chemicals that can trigger asthma and allergies. Also, toxic chemicals have been found in the by-products in the combustion of artificial scents. Instead, choose candles scented with essential oils.

    Plus, most candles, unless otherwise labeled, are made from paraffin, a petroleum product, and fumes from paraffin wax have caused kidney and bladder tumors in lab animals.

    Choose beeswax candles with cotton wicks (make sure it doesn't contain a lead core which will release into the air). There are two types of beeswax: solid, which are dipped or molded and burn well; or rolled, made from sheets of beeswax and tend to burn more quickly. Another good choice is soy candles.

  • Roses and Flowers: Roses seem romantic, right? Well, not if they're sprayed with pesticides! These are toxic to our planet and to the growers. Look for organically grown flowers that use only natural repellants.

    When you choose something like that, you're not only removing harmful chemicals from our environment, you're also helping to improve the lives of flower growers, who are mostly women in developing nations. A great company is Organic Bouquet -- all of its products have been certified by third-party agencies, such as USDA, Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance.

  • Chocolate: Dark chocolate triggers feel-good chemical endorphins in our brain, which is so important for getting in the mood. The Aztecs believed that chocolate had aphrodisiac qualities, acting almost like a love potion.

    But most commercially made chocolate contains pesticides. So look for organic chocolates - they're non toxic and delicious. The chocolates featured on the show are from Endangered Species -- 10 percent of their net profits are donated to help support species, habitat and humanity.

  • Wine and champagne: Did you know that conventionally grown grapes are one of the most heavily sprayed crops on the planet? So, again, look for organic wine and champagnes. You can find some amazing organic varieties that taste wonderful, are very high quality and are competitively priced to those made conventionally. The organic wine and champagne featured on the show are found at K&L Wine Merchants in San Francisco: .
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