Please Hold the Chemicals
Today, I’m pleased once again to have Alexandra Grabbe as a guest poster. She runs the Chezsven Bed and Breakfast in Wellfleet, Mass., a green B&B and I’m proud to say is also a regular community member here at Living Large in Our Little House:
I run a green B&B and am very fortunate to have lots of guests who care about the environment. Why fortunate? We often pool our knowledge. I tell all my guests about Slow Death by Rubber Duck, whose authors set out to prove body burden exists. The book made me understand what consumer products to avoid, and why. Today Kerri asked me to share a few tips on how to eliminate toxic chemicals from our lives, a timely topic what with oil gushing from the broken well in the Gulf of Mexico, and so very important as the Safe Chemicals Act comes before Congress. Toxic chemicals are everywhere: in the air, in water, in the consumer products we use and the food we eat. Installing a filter will bring immediate improvement in the quality of your water. If you cannot afford the expensive type of filter, go with a simple PUR or Brita. Unfortunately the installation of a filter will not be enough to protect you from all the synthetic chemicals that are now floating around in our environment.
Here’s how to fight back:
1) Become better informed. Remember information is power. Read Slow Death by Rubber Duck. Share what you know with others. Today, over breakfast, I was talking to a forty-something mother of two from Montreal, Canada. She told me how her countrymen had been encouraged to stop eating wild fish, due to the plastic they now consume and the high levels of mercury. Farm-raised fish were proposed as an alternative, one Canadians embraced. Now, ten years later, the children of Canada are fatter than in previous generations. Their mothers have realized farmed fish are chicken-fed. The chickens consume growth hormones.
2) Learn to speak out and encourage green initiatives locally. Suggest a shift to herbicide-free lawns. If your town does not recycle, point to cities like Seattle, and ask why. (This year recycling bins were placed on the pier here in Wellfleet. This was a great start. But, today a guest asked why there were no recycling bins in the village center. I intend to find out and make sure next summer the recycling bin initiative is extended to all areas tourists frequent.)
3) Teach children to see beyond commercials. In the 1970s, my kids listened to the record Free to Be You and Me. One of the songs explained how housewives on TV look happy because they are actresses, paid to say how much they love the detergent or cleaner or yucky cereal that turns out to contain toxic substances.
4) Read labels of cleaning products, food, and cosmetics. Know which ingredients are bad for you. Eat as organic as possible. Be conscious of what you are putting in your body and on your skin. The Environmental Working Group has a great database to help figure out cosmetics.
Finally, do your darnedest to get the Safe Chemicals Act passed. Let your legislators know you really care about the environment, that you want it to be more than a talking point in their platform. Support groups like EWG and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. Toxic chemicals are unregulated and corporations are getting away with murder. Let’s make them stop!
What have you done to eliminate chemicals from your life?
Living Large Readers: Next week, I will be running some fresh from the garden recipes. If you have any special recipes to share, please send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org by this Thursday, 7/29!