Thursday, October 21, 2010

living without powdered donuts

I am always amazed when I read about studies that link the chemicals and toxins in our environment to the recent increases in disease and cancer populations. I recently stumbled upon this entry on one of my favorite blogs, Eco Child's Play.

I first learned about the effects of chemicals and toxins in our environment through one of my nannying employers, Nickie. We happened to begin talking about politics (luckily, we both shared some common viewpoints). After we shared some commonalities, she asked me about the environmental movement.

"Huh? You mean the stupid 'global warming,' recycling, caring about the earth, trees and water supply? Heck no, I don't believe in that crap," was my response.

Awful, right?? But it was the truth - I have never been particularly interested in the environment, and was very open with her and have always been open of my apathy towards the environment and my affect on it personally. My honesty doesn't make my apathy better or more appropriate, especially when, looking to our Catholic papacy and what Pope Benedict XVI said in a message on World Day of Peace, "...No less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect - if not downright misuse - of the earth and the natural goods that God has given us. For this reason, it is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen 'that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying.'" He's downright calling me out - and those like me who hold apathetic views towards the environment. And that's saying something.

Anyway, Nickie answers, "Yes, those things are really important, and should be to you - but what about the other side of the spectrum - have you ever thought about the environment in terms of your personal surroundings - the foods you eat, the cosmetics you wear, the body products you use, the mattress you sleep on - and what is in all of those products? Have you ever thought about the 'green' impact on the products that you daily use?"

Whoa. I had never thought about this before in my entire life. Wait, you're asking me if I know what my lotion consists of? What is in the foods that I eat, especially those yummy and delicious powdered donuts that I so crave? What chemicals are leeching out of my mattress? 

I was dumfounded. 

I went on to explain to her my honest truth - I had never once thought of this before. I am an adult, I should have researched, I should have known what is going into my body through the foods I choose to eat, through the clothes I put on my skin... because I should care.

I am particularly sensitive about my body because of our practice of NFP - I need to really understand how my body ticks, how it functions, and how hormones affect my daily life. I have chosen, with Michael, to not put artificial hormones into my body via birth control, but to know how my natural body works, with God's hand, and our choices within our marriage. So with the outlook being that I would like my body to function as it naturally should, I should have thought about these other factors, and I never once did. 

I was ashamed at myself, but I got right up and started to learn. Of course, her house was a crash course in The Natural, Green Way to Live which was extremely helpful and beneficial to my life and education process. She even began her own website focused on the natural, green and environmental ways we should be living our lives. Her site is called Hip Mom's Go Green.

I am forever indebted to Nickie for asking me those questions that day, because if it weren't for her - I'd still be eating those chemically-filled (yummiest ever) powdered donuts.

So, back to this study done by the Breast Cancer Fund and written about at Eco Child's Play. I was really impressed by the video done by the Breast Cancer Fund, and thought it would be an interesting and hopefully thought-provoking watch to entice you and me to further educate ourselves and acknowledge this fact that chemicals, toxins, artificial hormones in our environment are playing a key role in our bodies. We must do something to stop it - read labels, try to avoid the chemicals, try to avoid the toxins, try to avoid the hormones that are invading our natural life process. Go look at what is in your cosmetics, lotions, deodorants, toothpastes and baby items on the Environmental Working Group's site Skin Deep.

Watch this video - educate yourself. Live your life naturally without the added mess and be an inspiration to those around you, just as Nickie has inspired me. You don't have to do it just to lower your 'carbon footprint,' but do it because your body needs you to care. Drop the apathy, and learn.

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