Going green this Earth Day can reap benefits for both you and the environment. Breathe in the beautiful green of the Spring and balance your heart chakra. Once you are in touch with the love and compassion that is inside us all, be kind to yourself and the earth in these simple ways…
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 be eliminating the fuel spent on transporting fruits and vegetables and the waste of extra packaging. You’ll also be supporting sustainable agriculture in your area.
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 disruptors. Fewer synthetic chemicals in your products equals fewer synthetic chemicals that can end up in our ecosystems.
A natural mineral sunscreen with a reflective barrier like zinc, in a non-petroleum base, is better for your skin and our ocean’s coral reefs. The CDC reported that 97% of Americans are contaminated with oxybenzone, a widely-used sunscreen chemical linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage that may actually increase the signs of aging. Even trace levels of sunscreen chemicals have been found to cause coral reef damage.
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.
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. Safer choices are vinegar, baking soda, Borax and Bon Ami, or the latest chemical-free alternatives, like the Seventh Generation brand available at most natural food stores and supermarkets.
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 or putout tropical flowers with a natural scent.
If you’re remodeling at home or work, avoid the fumes of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) 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 happy and healthy Earth Day!