14 Sep Heal Both Yourself and the Earth
Our own health and our earth’s health are connected. By limiting your exposure to toxins, you’ll also be helping to save the environment. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that we’re all contaminated by a stew of pesticides, solvents, plastics and metals. There are many ways a person can limit their exposure to toxins and protect the earth at the same time….
Eating organic, locally-grown food will reduce your exposure to pesticides and provide you with more nutrients in your fruits and vegetables (50 to 60% more antioxidants according to several research studies). While you’re saving your body from having to detox from toxic pesticides and unhealthy additives in your food, you’ll also be eliminating the fuel spent on transporting fruits and vegetables and the waste of extra packaging. You’ll be supporting sustainable agriculture on your area and closing your wallet to corporate growers who poison the groundwater, wildlife and everyone downwind of pesticide spraying.
What you put on your body is as important as what you put in it, so opt for natural, fragrance-free personal care products. 95% of the chemicals used to make products “fragrant” are derived from scarce petroleum and are neurotoxins and endocrine disrupters. Fewer synthetic chemicals in your products equals fewer synthetic chemicals that can end up in our ecosystems.
The use of chemicals to clean your home or workplace can be a source of indoor air pollution that is worse than any we experience outside. The commercial cleaners under the sink often contain concoctions of chemicals, many of which are toxic to our bodies and then to the environment once they’ve gone down the drain. Almost all of them have added synthetic fragrances or chlorine (which forms dangerous compounds that store in fat cells and breast tissue).
For instance, your dish and laundry cleaners are often detergents, not soaps, and are derived from petroleum, are non-biodegradable, and contain phosphates that pollute our groundwater and ocean. A safer choice are those non-toxic cleaning standbys of your grandmother such as vinegar, baking soda, Borax and Bon Ami, or the latest chemical-free alternatives, like the Seventh Generation brand.
When doing your laundry, be aware that dryer sheets contain chloroform, camphor, ethylacetate and other hazardous ingredients. Instead, add a little baking soda to your wash water to soften and deodorize your clothes. Want a fresher-smelling bathroom, kitchen or car? Commercial air “fresheners” actually add to indoor air pollution, coating nasal passages with nerve-deadening agents and impairing our sense of smell. It makes more sense to open a window or turn on the fan, put out tropical flowers with a natural scent or a bowl of baking soda or vinegar to absorb nasty smells.
If you’re remodeling at home or work, avoid the fumes of volatile organic chemicals (VOC’s) as they are toxic and flammable. Luckily, many stores now carry low-VOC paint and other remodeling materials that will cause fewer headaches, dizzy spells and respiratory problems for your family or business associates and fewer chemicals damaging the environment.
Here’s to a healthier New Year for our bodies and our planet.