Birds, some of the most sensitive creatures react to toxic chemicals in their environment. They are particularly sensitive to airborne gas emissions—even in small dosages. Some of the toxins that affect them are things we expose ourselves to daily.

Birds are not supposed to be kept in or near kitchens because they can die when you cook with Teflon. When the nonstick cookware is overheated the excessive heat creates a gas emission and vapors that are released. When these vapors and gases are inhaled it can kill a bird (Commonly referred to as Teflon poisoning, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) intoxication). If a bird can’t be in your kitchen when cooking on higher heats with Teflon, should you? I know I have been on the soap box about everything from plastic to Teflon, so if you are not already convinced to ditch the non-stick pans in your kitchen… forget what I say, just ask the birds!

There is a safe a natural alternative- cast iron. Cast iron pans when used and cured properly are the original anti-stick cookware. Sometimes we have to look back to move forward.


Sumbody is always touting how amazing honey is for your skin. But beyond the skin loving benefits, bees are imperative to our survival. Our food depends upon them! Sadly we are slowly killing these little miracle workers. Pesticides, fungicides, parasites, viruses and malnutrition are all common causes for the rampant destruction of the bee population. Not only do we need them to survive, but bees are also one of the creatures that are a good indicator of the health of our environment.

Take a look at this amazing before and after. They say a picture is worth 1000 words, so I will reserve using any others and leave you to look!

Photos from Whole Foods Market/PRNewsFoto Produced by Jake Bialer
Your product choices with bees
Photos from Whole Foods Market/PRNewsFoto Produced by Jake Bialer
Your product choices without bees

What can you do? Reduce the chemicals you use, buy organic, support happy bees (we LOVE Gibson’s honey… check them out. If you use Sumbody products you have felt them on your skin, but you don’t have to stop there, they are sublime for all your honey needs), if you have the room- get hives, support farmers markets and local agriculture keeping it diverse.


Frogs are natural bioindicators (an organism whose status in an ecosystem is analyzed as an indication of the ecosystem’s heath), so paying attention to their health and population is key.

Frogs have permeable skin that can easily absorb toxic chemicals. These traits make frogs especially susceptible to environmental toxins. Because of this frogs are considered accurate indicators of environmental stress and their health is considered indicative of the health of the ecosystem.

Common pesticides that were once thought to be safe are now a cause for the destruction of frog species. As well as, contaminated water sources from cosmetic chemicals such as phthalates (they are even being found in tap water!), triclosan (used in anti-bacterial soaps), nonylphenol and methylparabens that have all been found in our waters ways.

If you are not hearing the “croaking” of frogs, take note. They truly are our “prince charming” here to “rescue” us. If we listen, all the signs we need are present in nature. At our house we always laugh because the frogs love our hot tub. We do keep it clean with natural ozone and other means, but we always feel we are doing something right when the frogs are in our hot tub or pool… Alive.


Just as the bees population is a concern, so is the monarch butterfly. Their population as been in rapid decline over the last decade as well. New research by the University of Minnesota and Iowa State University on the decline of the monarch butterfly, point to the increasing presence of Monsanto’s GMO corn and soybean crops as the culprit.

If butterflies are going extinct, “it’s a strong indicator that we’re messing up the environment around us,” Robert K. Robbins (a research entomologist at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History).
“It’s a report card on the health of the environment around us,” Robbins said.

Look at your labels! Avoid food with these ingredient, support foods and skin care products that use non-GMO soy and corn ingredients. You would be surprised how common these ingredients are in skin care. They are used in everything from cornstarch baby powder to soy infused skin creams.

So what does all this have to do with your skin care? It is the reminder we need that we are all connected. We all share this planet and our survival is all dependent on each other. We cannot be healthy and thriving if our ecosystem is not. We cannot turn a blind eye to our piece of the whole-we truly are all one. There is a cause and effect.

What you can do

  • Make easy switches. Eliminate as much plastic as you can (switch out your water bottles, food storage, use waxed paper bags instead of zip locks, use reusable produce bags, switch plastic cutting boards for wood…. And the list goes on for easy swaps. The more you think about it, the easier it truly is!)
  • Reduce the amount of cosmetics you use (try double uses like using your shampoo for body wash or soap for shampoo. Use skin loving kitchen oils like coconut butter, olive oil, sesame oil or avocado oil on your skin.
  • Simply use less products, do we really need 7 hair care products, 6 face creams and 4 serums?)
  • Limit the packaging in your food and cosmetics. Buy bulk, support cosmetic companies who do not use excess packaging (admittedly much sharper and sassier, but also wasteful) such as tubes, bottles and anything that is already in a container in an additional box, single uses and fancy plastic bubble wraps.
  • Use proper disposal methods for items such as prescription drugs, batters, paints and other toxic substances.
  • Be conscious of your personal waste and what you are putting into the environment. If we can all just reduce our environmental impact, that will be enough.

The next time you are thinking about the birds and the bee’s, think about how valuable they are and how we can protect them, which in turn protects us. A green body begets a green planet.


April 26, 2022 — Deborah Burnes