Posted by: Chloe Schwabe | June 13, 2008

Personal actions can make a difference

Actions big and small can make the difference in the aggregate to make our world a healthy place for humankind and the other species that call the Earth home. Since Earth Day, my church has spent the last few months signing people up to make a green resolution. The resolution challenges us to make changes in our homes, in our communities and challenges us spiritually to be tenders of the garden.

I committed to shop at my local farmer’s market, lead a children’s health project in the neighborhood around my church, and spread the word to others. But it also got me thinking about what else I could do. I live in a city where I don’t have a car and get around by public transportation or on my bicycle. Most of my carbon footprint comes from the transportation of my food to the city and the few trips a year I take to visit family. Those things would be hard to sacrifice, but at least for the summer months my friends and I share a few garden plots and what I can’t get from the garden I supplement with purchases from the farmer’s markets. Riding a bike, eating locally, and growing your own food are just the tip of the iceberg on what people can do to reduce their carbon footprint, but these are the things I know I can do with a busy lifestyle and a tight pocket book.

I have also been thinking more about ways I can live toxic free. I know that the choices I make about my personal care products can also have an impact on humankind and the rest of creation. Last weekend I went and bought some unscented, non toxic sunscreen. To read some of the concerns about sunscreen, read my last blog post. I also purchased some makeup that was phthalates and parabens free. Both chemicals are suspected endocrine disruptors and parabens may contribute to cancers later on in life.

Safer personal care products are becoming more available, especially as more companies are signing on to the Compact for Safe Cosmetics to commit to incorporating safer ingredients into their products over time. One recent victory was a new statement by CVS pharmacy to remove harmful chemicals from their own line of cosmetics products (Caremark) and to start carrying more products from the companies that have signed the compact. Whole Foods also is going to start putting a “premium body care seal” on products that are toxic free. For more information on toxics and toxic free living, click here.

I know that when I make these choices that I feel better and that in some way I am also showing reverence to God. So consider doing something today- big or small. Consider even starting a green resolution in your church.

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Responses

  1. I found a brand called exederm they make ultra hypoallergenic skin care products for adults and kids with eczema or dermatitis

    The products are color-free, fragrance-free, parabens-free, sls-free, lanolin-free and formaldehyde-free

    There’s lots of useful tips and advice on dealing with eczema – http://www.exederm.com

    The national eczema association also have a list of ingredients that should be avoided

    hope this helps a bit

  2. “I have also been thinking more about ways I can live toxic free. I know that the choices I make about my personal care products can also have an impact on humankind and the rest of creation. Last weekend I went and bought some unscented, non toxic sunscreen. To read some of the concerns about sunscreen, read my last blog post. I also purchased some makeup that was phthalates and parabens free. Both chemicals are suspected endocrine disruptors and parabens may contribute to cancers later on in life.”


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