I went to an amazing summit this weekend called Teens Turning Green. These teenages started a cause and are educating other teenagers as well as parents, communities, stores, and activists about the hazards in everyday products that effect them (and everyone). They’re getting notice and are even changing public policy. They’re investigating everything from the lipstick they wear, to the snacks they eat, to the janitorial supplies used in their schools. They’re questioning it all, demanding change, and coming up with greener alternatives. If they can’t find these alternatives in the marketplace – they’ve actually created them under they’re own label. They have a list of Dirty 30 (harmful chemicals in everyday products: some already banned in Europe) and Green Alternatives (list of companies with products not using these chemicals).
It was so inspiring. The event had panels of experts in the area of making your life more green – both for the good of your health and the good of the environment. Of course of particular note to me was the panel regarding food and especially locally grown organics. The panel included the producer of Food Inc. as well as representatives from Epicurian Foods (fresh, organic foods for schools), Marin Organic (association of organic producers) and Marin Agricultural Institute (promotes a viable food system, manages farmer’s markets in Bay Area). They spoke about the injustices of factory farming, labor violations in food manufacturing (organic and commercial) and the rise in health issues related to the industrialization of our food. More than ever your local farmers need your support, and we need their local, sustainable, organic foods.
And while organic fresh food is a passion of mine, I realize through the other discussions and panels that I need to focus more on the other areas of my family’s lifestyle and that is what we put on our bodies. I came home to find many of our household body products (lotion, “natural” body washes and make-up) have some potentially hazardous chemicals in them. I’m on a mission to make that change, as I research sites like EcoStilletto, a blog about being fashionable in a healthy and environmentally responsible way. In case you’re interested here’s the link to The Big List of Things That Suck, which includes animal testing, bisphenol A, Diethanolamine (DEA) and high fructose corn syrup, among other things.