If you see the 'Safer Choice' label at your local market, now you can know what it means.
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Seventh Generation

Bad news, folks. Your house? It's kinda dirty.

But you're not alone. The world is a dirty place, and every time we step into it, we bring home morsels of its muck.


GIF from "Chappelle Show."

As do our housemates.

Image by Nikolas J. Britton/Wikimedia Commons.

And all that dust? That's the dirt we track in, our hair, fibers from carpet, bedding, clothing, and upholstery, food crumbs, dander, bug poo, and who knows what else.

GIF from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

And sometimes we're just clumsy, messy, germ-y people.

Maybe just ... get used to hard-boiled.

That's why we clean. But we don't just do it to keep our homes sightly. It's also good for our health.

There are billions of bacteria living in our homes — some potentially harmful. And they love gettin' cozy on the surfaces we come into contact with the most.

Photo by Rachel Zack/Flickr.

Cleaning doesn't just protect us from disease-causing germs — it can even boost our health.

An Indiana University study revealed links between home cleanliness and physical fitness. Researchers found that the tidier the participant's home, the more likely they were to lead healthy and active lifestyles.

Ironically, a lot of the products we use to clean are potential health hazards.

It can be hard to determine at times because under current law, companies that make cleaning products don't have to print full ingredient lists on their packaging.

Photo by Maz Ali/Upworthy.

You can squint your way through tinily printed precautions, but vague references to "other ingredients" aren't very helpful with choices about our health or the environmental impacts of our cleaning products.

The EPA thought we needed a better way to find safer cleaning products. So they started their own label.

Yes, like the Berry Gordy of the cleaning aisle, they scouted top talent from both environmental groups and conscious companies in the industry to launch Safer Choice.

Image via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/YouTube.

The Safer Choice label means every single ingredient in the product was reviewed by EPA scientists and cleared as being safer for public health and the environment.

They don't only evaluate products for chemical toxicity. The agency's criteria also covers labeling transparency, energy- and water-saving potential, packaging sustainability, and even products' ability to make a long-term positive difference.

Image via the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/YouTube.

Oh, and seeing as how they're cleaning agents, they also test them for performance so consumers can get exactly what they expect.

Sure, cleaning's a chore. But if we can do it without potential risks to our health or the planet, well, that's worth a little jig.

So fresh. So clean.

Watch a quick primer on the EPA's Safer Choice label:

via KrustyKhajiit / YouTube

Thomas F. Wilson played one of the most recognizable villains in film history, Biff Tannen, in the "Back to the Future" series. So, understandably, he gets recognized wherever he goes for the iconic role.

The attention must be nice, but it has to get exhausting answering the same questions day in and day out about the films. So Wilson created a card that he carries with him to hand out to people that answers all the questions he gets asked on a daily basis.

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Courtesy of FIELDTRIP
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The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected diverse communities due largely in part to social factors such as inadequate access to housing, income, dietary options, education and employment — all of which have been shown to affect people's physical health.

Recognizing that inequity, Harlem-based chef JJ Johnson sought out to help his community maximize its health during the pandemic — one grain at a time.

Johnson manages FIELDTRIP, a health-focused restaurant that strives to bring people together through the celebration of rice, a grain found in cuisines of countless cultures.

"It was very important for me to show the world that places like Harlem want access to more health-conscious foods," Johnson said. "The people who live in Harlem should have the option to eat fresh, locally farmed and delicious food that other communities have access to."

Lack of education and access to those healthy food options is a primary driver of why 31% of adults in Harlem are struggling with obesity — the highest rate of any neighborhood in New York City and 7% higher than the average adult obesity rate across the five boroughs.

Obesity increases risk for heart disease or diabetes, which in turn leaves Harlem's residents — who are 76% Black or LatinX — at heightened risk for complications with COVID-19.

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Sometimes a politician says or does something so brazenly gross that you have to do a double take to make sure it really happened. Take, for instance, this tweet from Lauren Witzke, a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate from Delaware. Witzke defeated the party's endorsed candidate to win the primary, has been photographed in a QAnon t-shirt, supports the conspiracy theory that 9/11 was a U.S. government inside operation, and has called herself a flat earther.

So that's neat.

Witzke has also proposed a 10-year total halt on immigration to the U.S., which is absurd on its face, but makes sense when you see what she believes about immigrants. In a tweet this week, Witzke wrote, "Most third-world migrants can not assimilate into civil societies. Prove me wrong."

First, let's talk about how "civil societies" and developing nations are not different things, and to imply that they are is racist, xenophobic, and wrong. Not to mention, it has never been a thing to refer people using terms like "third-world." That's a somewhat outdated term for developing nations, and it was never an adjective to describe people from those nations even when it was in use.

Next, let's see how Twitter thwapped Lauren Witzke straight into the 21st century by proving her wrong in the most delicious way. Not only did people share how they or their relatives and friends have successfully "assimilated," but many showed that they went way, way beyond that.

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via WatchMojo / YouTube

There are two conflicting viewpoints when it comes to addressing culture from that past that contains offensive elements that would never be acceptable today.

Some believe that old films, TV shows, music or books with out-of-date, offensive elements should be hidden from public view. While others think they should be used as valuable tools that help us learn from the past.

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