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Personal Development for Smart People
PenPoints April 2008
As people face financial stresses more and more, every day, the message is becoming increasingly clear—simplify and become more sustainable. These directives will have different meanings for each individual and family and yet at the same time as we each simplify, in our own way, we will all benefit.
One benefit of simplicity is that it is easier to know what the ramifications of our actions are. For instance, if we buy food from our local CSA, not only are we saving money and needless transportation costs (and resources), we know how the food is grown, we know what the state of the workers is, we know how the environment is affected. This may not seem that important but unfortunately in our fast paced, global world, it is very much the norm to buy a product from half way around the world that we know nothing about. More recently, even so-called organic products made in the USA have been found to contain carcinogens. This finding has again hit home the mantra—simplify.
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I have come to accept that as a parent I will make choices that I will later change my opinion on and even regret. I am disturbed that the shampoo which I thought was one of the very best has a carcinogenic by-product in it. We are all learning. Personally, I will make it even more a point to not buy products that include ingredients which I can not pronounce—even if they also contain many "organic" ingredients. At the same time I hope to raise my son from a place of joy, not a place of fear. I do not want him to grow up scared of the world around him.
It seems like one of the easiest ways to do this is to keep it simple—buy whole foods instead of foods that contain ingredients that I can not pronounce; buy pure castile soap instead of some exotic "natural" body wash (with lots of chemical sounding names); get rid of the television and spend the days playing outside instead of worrying about what commercials he is going to see.
Ironically, it may at first seem hard to simplify but the great news is that simplifying is contagious. So, as we welcome the spring let us do some housecleaning. Cut out the clutter, cut out the extras, cut out the big words on labels, and get back to the simple wholesome basics. This type of living is truly extravagant.
1. A new study organized by the Organic Consumer Association with the help of David Steinman, author of The Safe Shopper's Bible: A Consumer's Guide to Nontoxic Household Products, Cosmetics, and Food, discovered the presence of 1, 4 Dioxane (carcinogen), in a number of popular natural body care and household products. For more information visit PANNA and Organic Consumers.
2. Join PETA and leading retailers to stop Australian lamb mutilations. For more information and to sign a petition please visit: http://getactive.peta.org/campaign/australia_lamb
3. March 27th is the deadline to voice opinions on "cause" marketing labels. This type of advertisement uses a philanthropic or very wholesome image or group to falsely advertise the safety of a product. Please share your opinions with the EPA and keep advertising clean. For more details please visit Beyond Pesticides
And the good news!
Santa Cruz and Berkeley, California are showing that conscious communities and politicians can make a difference. Opposed to the aerial spraying of a pheromone mixture over their counties, community leaders and dwellers are taking a stand against this mandate. This is an important example of how many, united together, can make a difference in how their community is affected. http://www.beyondpesticides.org
Complete with zip code finder to locate where you can recycle, where your local harvest is and ways to green your home Green Home has a multitude of eco-friendly products including organic play dough and recycled construction paper for children. To find out ways you can green your home, visit GreenHome.com
For 100% organic and natural body care products visit Terressentials. Their products are of the highest integrity and uses only the purest ingredients for you and your loved ones. They're vegan too!
The Safe Shopper's Bible: A Consumer's Guide to Nontoxic Household Products, Cosmetics, and Food by David Steinman and Samuel Epstein.
Learn what is in the products that you may use on a daily basis! Think Simple Green is green? You may be surprised. Samuel Epstein M.D. is one of the foremost authorities on environmental cancer prevention and David Steinman is a leading consumer health advocate. A great book to have on hand.