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8 June 2016

The Changing Roles of Modern Dads















Gender Doesn't Define Domestic Destiny

The idea that the average father spends only 20 minutes a day with his children has been exposed as a myth; in the past 25 years modern family structures have shifted, blurring the line between the roles of mothers and fathers. With more mothers working outside the home, fathers are now included in most aspects of child care including changing diapers, taking the kids to school and even household cleaning. The rising average age of parents, same-sex couples and adoption of children has also contributed to changes in traditional family roles. 

“What we’re actually seeing now is a different kind of equality that comes out of complementarity and a more complex set of negotiations based on people’s different circumstances.” Kerry Daly, professor and chair of the University of Guelph’s Family Relations department



Off-shifting & the Efficient Division of Labour


Off-shifting is a popular new trend in Canadian families where mothers and fathers stagger their work time. This allows at least one parent to be at home with the kids, while both can contribute to the household income. This is one of many factors contributing to the increasing number of men taking on the role of the stay-at-home dad or managing tasks traditionally reserved for mothers, such as doing the grocery shopping each week. 

“If you don’t get more efficient in the division of labour, you’re not going to make it as a couple. You’re going to spend all your time fighting over who’s doing what.” Ann Douglas, writer and a mother of four from Peterborough, Ontario 



The Benefits of an Involved Father


Studies which have looked at long-term development in children have found that those with involved fathers tend to do better in school, are more empathetic and are less likely to engage in violence.  In addition, having an involved father (the primary caregiver or not) results in effective teamwork and mutual respect between mothers and fathers, according to Michael Lamb of the National Institute for Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Maryland. Men & women who are able to share their parenting experiences with each other find support, and are able to make important decisions together based on their own perspectives and values.

“If we try to judge the care that fathers give by the standards used to study mothers and women, we miss some of the creative ways that fathers are caring for children.” - Andrea Doucet, author of 'Do Men Mother?'



Modern Father Facts


  • The average age of fathers is rising: The average age of fathers now exceeds 40
  • Work-family balance is a challenge for many fathers: Whether they are on their own or in a two-parent family, the vast majority of fathers in Canada are employed. 
  • Men don't have to be husbands to be fathers: Today, many children either are born outside of marriage or experience the divorce of their parents while they are still young. Consequently, there are a growing number of men entering unions that include children from a partner's previous relationship.


Sources: 
www.connectwithus.ca/PDFs/The_Changing_Role_of_Fathers.pdf
www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/11-008-x/2010002/article/11165-eng.htm
www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/story.html?id=81b006b1-d31a-4760-9a0a-5133d8e34987

17 May 2016

Greening Your Pet Care




Pets are a part of our families and we work hard to take good care of them. But did you know the cleaning products we use in our homes may be severely damaging their health? In 2009, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) handled more than 140,000 cases of pets exposed to toxic substances, many of which included everyday household products.


Household Dangers: Why is it important for pet owners to use pet-friendly cleaners in your home?

Pets groom themselves with their mouths, so residues from cleaning products and other environmental toxins end up in their skin, coat, eyes, nose and throat. Furthermore, their feet pads are sensitive and will absorb the chemicals on the floors and surfaces they walk on. Avoiding harsh chemical cleaners is one of the best ways to protect your pet's health; discussed below are common chemicals to avoid. 

Glycol Ethers
Glycol ethers are found in many cleaning products that are not pet safe including glass cleaners, carpet cleaners and spot removers. It has been linked to anemia, lung damage and kidney damage in people and pets.

Phthalates
Used for fragrance in household cleaners and deodorizers, cosmetics, packaging, toys, food and many other products, phthalates are known hormone-disruptors. Since hormones control so much more than just reproduction in your pet’s system (and yours), phthalates have been linked to indirect symptoms such as weight gain, cancers and developmental delays.

Ammonia
Used in many de-greasers for ovens, glass and stainless steel, ammonia has a very high VOC, burns mucous membranes and contributes to asthma. If it is mixed with bleach, it creates a poisonous gas which can be deadly to small pets.

Chlorine 
Chlorine is a toxic respiratory irritant that can damage pets’ skin, eyes or other membranes. It can be found in all-purpose cleaners, automatic dishwashing detergents, tile scrubs, disinfecting wipes, toilet-bowl cleaners, laundry detergents and mildew removers. Chlorine is heavier than air and lands in low-lying areas where pets live. 


Greening Your Pet Care by Darcy Matheson



Greening Your Pet Care is the first book by Darcy Matheson - pet care expert, television journalist and dog blogger from Vancouver, Canada. The book is a comprehensive guide for safe, green and sustainable pet care; household safety, vet care, nutrition and outdoor activities are just some of the topics discussed. It's the new must-have for environmentally conscious pet owners.

AspenClean is proud to be featured in the book's Greening Your Home section, discussing the benefits of eco-friendly and pet safe cleaning products. 





"With our pets spending much of their time on our floors and furniture, it's extra important to avoid using chemicals that could potentially hurt them...animals have a much higher likelihood of ingesting products that can make them sick, and because of their small size and faster metabolism they can be poisoned by a very small amount of toxins." 
- Darcy Matheson 

Sources:
http://greencleaningproductsllc.com/why-choosing-pet-friendly-and-eco-friendly-household-cleaning-products-is-so-important/
http://scrubbi.com/5-common-household-cleaners-that-are-dangerous-to-pets/
http://www.petmd.com/blogs/thedailyvet/pmahaney/2012/mar/make_spring_cleaning_pet_safe_not_pet_toxic-13631
http://www.dogster.com/dogs-101/cleaning-products-that-are-not-dog-safe
http://www.catster.com/cat-food/household-hazards-for-cats
http://learn.eartheasy.com/2012/03/8-common-household-chemicals-harming-your-pets-their-non-toxic-alternatives/

2 May 2016

This Mother's Day, Give Mom the Gift of Time!













The average Canadian spends 17 hours per week cleaning....Moms, much more! 
Mothers are the heart of the household, constantly working to maintain a great home environment for their families. Did you know a mother’s average morning involves remembering 26 tasks, while completing at least 12 major jobs through the day? These major jobs include doing the school run, organizing meals and managing the domestic chores, such as home cleaning. In general, working women spend almost twice as much time as men on household chores and caring for children (Bureau of Labor Statistics). 
In good news, the past few decades have shown major changes! There has been a sharp rise in father's staying at home with the children, or sharing the chores commonly left for their wives. In Canada in 2011, 12% of fathers stayed home with the children while mothers earned an income, up from just 1% in 1976 (Statistics Canada). This shift shows how traditional family structures are being reshaped, as well as gender norms. 

The Gift of Time: The best gift is a day off! 
Although household work is starting to be divided among family members, we believe mothers still deserve a day off from worrying about cleaning. If you know a mother who would appreciate a sparkly-clean home, give her the gift of time this Mother's Day and let us do the work!
AspenClean's premium home cleaning gift certificates make a fantastic gift! These can be ordered over the phone or through our website, and are delivered by email within 24 hours. Please note, we currently provide cleaning services in Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto. 
AspenClean uses only natural, non-toxic cleaning products and is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau. Our services are recommended for individuals with sensitivities or families with children, as we are 100% chemical free. Together, our Cleaners and Microfiber Cloths will keep your home fresh and clean, without leaving behind any chemical toxins or residues. The only scents left behind are from the organic essential oils used in our products such as lavender, lime, bergamot, and grapefruit! To learn more about what makes us different, click here.

Call us at 1.855.925.9900 or click below to order a gift certificate! 
Buy a Certificate!






“AspenClean has always done a professional, impeccable job of cleaning our home! Their attention to detail is unsurpassed! We are most impressed and wouldn't hesitate to recommend them to anyone.”- Jason S, West Vancouver, BC


Household facts sources:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10151000/Mothers-have-26-morning-tasks-study-shows.html

http://www.babycenter.com/0_ending-the-chore-wars-how-to-get-your-mate-to-help-on-the-ho_1425647.bc
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/stay-at-home-dads-on-the-rise-increasingly-because-they-want-to-be/article19014624/

27 April 2016

Join Us at CHFA West! - Booth #1745



Visit AspenClean (Booth #1745) at CHFA West: Western Canada’s largest natural health and organics trade event! Register for FREE by April 29th!

About CHFA West 
CHFA West 2016 takes place Sat May 14th & Sun May 15th at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Visiting retailers will meet hundreds of natural health manufacturers, distributors, and brokers. With 65,000 square feet of innovative products, 650-plus industry-leading exhibitors, and a wide range of educational seminars, CHFA West is your chance to network, learn and grow your business! 

Register for FREE by April 29th!
Use the discount code below to register for the show online by Friday April 29th & receive FREE entry! If you miss the online deadline, you can still use the code when registering in-person to receive a discounted rate. This offer is valid only for retailers and natural health practitioners.
DISCOUNT CODE: W16F9






About the CHFA 
The Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is Canada’s largest trade association dedicated to natural health and organic products. Their mission is to lead, empower, and support members to promote the growth and advancement of the organic and natural health products industry. The natural health product industry contributes $3 billion, and the organic product industry contributes another $4 billion to the Canadian economy. CHFA is committed to promoting and protecting both. Formed in 1964 from a grassroots community of health food pioneers, CHFA now represents over 1,000 member businesses across Canada. Learn more at chfa.ca



18 April 2016

How to Avoid Toxins & Protect Your Health















More than 80,000 chemicals have never been fully assessed for toxic impacts on human health and the environment. Here are some common toxic compounds to avoid: 

Phthalates: Perfumes that are causing males in many species to become feminized. They also promote early onsets of puberty, fertility issues & even possible birth defects.

Parabens: Preservatives that can increase the risk of cancer – particularly breast cancer. This chemical also has a negative impact on reproductive functions.

SLS/SLES: They are known as being an irritant to the eyes & skin. They may also form into a carcinogen when combined with other toxic chemicals.

Dyes: The chemical ingredients used to produce artificial colours are considered toxic, carcinogenic & they may even contribute to ADHD.

Triclosan: It is classified as a pesticide, which can contribute to heart disease & failure. It can also negatively affect hormones & may disrupt normal breast development.

Fact source: healingthebody.ca/five-common-household-chemicals-to-avoid
Fact source: blog.naturalhealthyconcepts.com/2012/07/16/what-toxic-chemicals-is-your-body-absorbing-infographic


5 ways to avoid toxic compounds & protect your health: 

EWG Rating: Visit ewg.org/guides/cleaners for their guide to healthy cleaning.

Ingredient Disclosure: Look for products that disclose ALL ingredients.

Avoid Fragrances & Dyes:
 Choose products without dyes & that contain natural scents/essential oils.

3rd-Party Certification:
 Look for products that are 3rd-party certified, such as EcoCert® certification (ecocert.com/en).

Natural Recipes:
 Choose products with natural formulas, or make your own simple cleaning recipes.






























AspenClean has developed brochures and posters discussing the toxins found in common household cleaners and the steps individuals can take to ensure harmful products aren't used in their home. These resources are available for distribution. Please contact news@aspenclean.com if you would like to order brochures and posters for your office, school or organization. 


11 April 2016

Whole Foods Vancouver: Spring Free From Cleaning!















Spring Free From Cleaning! April 13th-26th



Enter the Draw

To celebrate Earth Month, AspenClean is giving away a Spring of free cleans - 3 months worth of cleaning services, valued at $1000! Enter the draw for this amazing prize at any Greater Vancouver Whole Foods - West Vancouver, Cambie, Robson, Kits or Burnaby locations.

Share Your Earth Day Resolutions 

Earth Day is on Friday April 22nd. Share your Earth Day resolution on Facebook or Twitter for an extra contest entry! Tag @AspenClean & @WFMVancouver, and use #EarthDay in your post.

Pick Up Product On Sale!  

While you're entering the draw, pick up some AspenClean products on sale! Our All-Purpose, Bathroom, Kitchen and Glass Cleaners will be on sale for $4.99 at all locations! (Regular price $8.95)



To find the closest Whole Foods to you, click below
Locations 




7 April 2016

AspenClean Among Top-Rated EWG Products



About EWG


The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Their research shows that the cleaning industry still has a long way to go to ensure that the cleaning products we use are safe. Many brands make it difficult, if not impossible, for consumers to learn whether a product contains chemicals that can cause reproductive problems, exacerbate asthma, burn or irritate your skin or harm the environment. 

Their analysis revealed that:

  • Almost three-fourths of common cleaners contain ingredients that may have worrisome effects on respiratory health.
  • More than one-fourth received scores indicating moderate to high health concerns because they contain ingredients or possible impurities that have been linked to increased cancer risk.
  • One-fifth of products got scores indicating moderate to high health concern because they have ingredients associated with developmental, endocrine or reproductive harm.
  • Almost half of the products were rated “poor” on disclosure because their ingredients are not adequately listed on product labels and company websites.

The AspenClean Difference


The EWG studied 237 bathroom cleaners to assess their safety. Only 4% received an “A”, more than 50% of the cleaners received an “F” rating. Many of these products contained chemical ingredients with proven side effects, including everything from skin irritation to cancer. We are proud to say that every single AspenClean product was deemed “A-level”. 


Top-Rated: AspenClean's Bathroom Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, Dish Soap & All-in-One Concentrate 


In addition to presenting AspenClean with their best rating, the EWG has added our Bathroom Cleaner, Glass Cleaner, Dish Soap and All-in-One Concentrate to their select list of "top-rated" products. We value and appreciate the EWG's continued support of AspenClean products in their mission to promote human health and the environment! Learn more about our "top-rated" products below: 

Bathroom CleanerOur Bathroom Cleaner contains organic lime & lavender essential oils.  This foaming bathroom cleaner is formulated to work best on soap scum and hard water marks. It is safe and effective on multiple bathroom surfaces.

Glass CleanerOur Glass Cleaner contains organic lime essential oil  and cleans glass, windows and mirrors without leaving streaks. It is safe and effective on kitchen and bathroom fixtures, tiles, chrome and enamel.  

Dish Soap - Our Dish Soap contains organic geranium & orange essential oils. Our ecological liquid dish soap leaves dishes sparkling while being gentle on your hands.

All-in-One ConcentrateOur All-in-One Concentrate contains organic grapefruit & lavender essential oils. It is a powerful and economical one stop solution, effective for most cleaning needs. It can be diluted up to 40 times, or can be  used as is for all those super challenging jobs. 

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