Thursday, October 21, 2010

O Canada I'm With You on This One

Cheers go out to the Canadian Government for making it the first country to officially declare BPA (bisephenol-A) toxic to human health and the environment.  I've been on a mission to limit my family's exposure to it since I first learned of the possible dangers (specifically the disruption to endocrine system, diabetes, heightened risk of breast & prostate cancer, heart disease & reproduction abnormalities) of BPA.  That meant getting rid of the many sippy cups we had, a few baby bottles, and reusable containers that might not be BPA-free.  Now if I have to buy something made of plastic, I look for the BPA-free label or go with glass or stainless steel.  (When we ditched the sippy cups for Sigg bottles, my kids never missed them!)

(This is my arsenal of BPA-free stuff, minus the rest of the Laptop Lunches bento box and water bottles which the little guy has with him at school right now!  Cute stuff, right?  Besides the Siggs, we have Resnackit, Lunchskins, and Laptop Lunches.)

Another source of BPA is in food packaging.  Not only are some infant formulas in containers lined with BPA-containing materials, but everyday food that might be in your pantry has it as well.  ConsumerReports.org has a short video and names some of the offenders they tested (Campbells, Libby's, Hormel, etc... pretty common pantry items like soups, juices, veggies.)  Even some of the organic canned goods they tested came up positive for BPA.  This presents another good case for eating fresh, don't you think?  At the very least it means even more research before heading to the grocery store.

In other updates....

Look who is up on my roof!



Sunlight Solar arrived on Tuesday morning and Kevin & Will have been hard at work.  Day 1 they spent working in my basement installing the meter, the inverter, and working in the electrical box.  Kevin said he was glad to see there was extra room in there for them.  Good to know.  They also praised my electrician (my very own electrician-brother Steve!) for doing such a neat job with our electrical.  Thank you Steve for being very professional even when wiring for your sister!


(That's Will, the Kurt Cobain-esque gentleman working on our inverter!)  

Day 2 they moved on to the roof because the October weather is cooperating and they've been installing what look like cleats which will hold the rails where the panels will sit.  We have a VERY steep roof, so I'm thankful they brought along harnesses.

Today looks like they're doing some work in the attic running conduit, and are putting up the disconnect outside as required by the power company.   They were planning on being back on the roof if the weather held - but the rain came early.  By this time next week I should be posting pics of the finished system!  I have a ton of questions for them, but with all this real estate work staring at me on my desk, I don't have the time to bother them.  I'll bet they're grateful for that!  I will get more info from them before the week is done though :)

By the way, we've had an interesting (in the annoying sense) issue with our tax assessment changing because of the solar panels.  Our tax assessor said she would tax us the cost of a new furnace, but our solar company told us they shouldn't up our taxes, and that they hadn't done so to the other applicants, so hubby went to talk to the assessor.  Thanks to the state/federal incentive program the assessment cannot go up, so we won't have to pay extra taxes.  Keep that in mind if you're going through the process as we are and don't let the tax assessor tell you otherwise!