Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day 2012

Yesterday was Earth Day and I spent it coming back from a road trip to Leavenworth (carpooling, of course) with two of my lovely pageant sisters. It was a gorgeous day as we drove home to the Puget Sound region through the mountains and along the river appreciating how utterly beautiful our Washington state is. Being blessed as we are to live in a state so rich with the beauty of nature makes it easy to understand why its so important to protect it, all you have to do to feel connected to nature here is look outside. In Leavenworth, we were hosted by a fellow contestant in her home which overlooked get this – a vineyard and the white capped mountains surrounding the little Bavarian themed town, it was unbelievable idyllic and a wonderful view to wake up to on Earth Day.

I had wanted to do something to celebrate and participate in Earth Day this year, but I had the prior commitment in Leavenworth. However, the trip itself did inspire me to share a few things with my friends and readers about ways everyone can make a difference for Earth Day this year. You know how you sometimes click on a link on the internet that says “10 simple ways to organize your life” or 5 easy things you can do to lose weight” and then none of the things on the list are really all that simple or easy . . . well, I'll be honest, these tips may take a little effort, but have payoffs for the community and the planet and your family's health that are worth it, and they may open your eyes up to a beautiful new world and inspire more changes. Fair warning, clean living can be highly addictive.

Tip 1. Buy organic and buy local – and both when possible. The simplest way to start making healthier cleaner choices in your life is to start with food. Buying from local and organic sources supports those farmers who don't get huge subsidies from the government to produce mass quantities of vitamin depleted genetically modified food cheaply. When we make the choice to pay a few cents more, we say with one voice, in the universal language of money – that we want healthier food. If you drink wine, this is one of my favorite ways to always ensure you are supporting local farmers. Ask the expert in the wine section to show you to something that is organic and from Columbia Valley. Admittedly, there aren't that many choices that fit this category, but if we all buy the few that are there and those small wineries grow, they will be able to produce more and their competition will catch on and start going organic, and there will be more choices. When that happens, you can look back and say, “I made that happen.”

Tip 2. Visit a fantastic favorite website of mine: This website put together by Environmental Working Group and the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, contains a searchable database of pretty much every chemical imaginable that would be in a household or beauty product. It makes it easy to learn about what is in the products you use and what effects those substances have on the body. Pick up your shampoo bottle, flip it over and choose a chemical listed in the ingredients. Enter that chemical into the search field on Skin Deep and see what comes up. I guarantee you'll be surprised and horrified. Now try it with your fabric softener, your toothpaste, your deodorant, etc. After seeing what's in the products you currently buy, consider looking for ones that don't contain those same chemicals you just read about. Check out your local Super Supplements store for cleaner choices on most personal care, beauty, and household cleaning products.
Lastly, join me in celebrating MCS Awareness month this May. Betcha didn't know May was MCS awareness month . . . or for that matter, show of hands, how many are actually aware of what MCS is? Hence the need for an awareness month, and for making the changes listed above to send the message to manufactures of our household products that we want to live better, we want to live cleaner, we want to make life safe for those already afflicted by conditions such as MCS and Gulf War Syndrome, and we are going to let our dollars do our talking to prove our point. I am currently on the look out for local events and will share as I find out where they are happening, and I may be planning something myself to promote awareness for MCS in May.

(Climbing down off my soapbox in a ladylike manner)

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