I am an environmentalist in a couple of different respects. First, I have always believed that our Earth and her resources are to be revered, respected, preserved, conserved and restored. In the second respect, I believe that our immediate environment, our home, or workplace, and the things we expose ourselves to should be a focus and a concern.
Many of us are beginning to grasp the fact that we are what we eat. We are striving to make better choices in what we put into our bodies. I have finally justified spending extra money, now, on wholesome, sustainable and wherever possible, organic food. I believe by investing now in pure food to fuel my body, I will prevent costly medical bills in the future by minimizing the likelihood of diabetes, celiac disease, cancer and heart disease. I am well aware that food, alone, is not going to be my savior. I know, too, that consistent exercise, including cardio, strength, and flexibility are going to be contributors to my long term health and longevity.
There are other factors that many of us dismiss that are going to become more talked about, I think, in the future. Our environment. Some are talking about it, a few of us have acknowledged the concerns, and fewer yet are taking action. Yes, our overall environment, polluted air, tainted water supplies, exposure to contaminants in our world, are all going to be issues we need to be concerned with. Sadly, these are far greater than what the efforts of a few can quickly correct, or even mitigate.
There is another environment, that, when you think about, can have a far more significant impact on us, and, fortunately, we are nearly in complete control of. Our home. And, for some of us, our workplace.
Take a look around your home. What do you clean surfaces with? What do you clean dishes with? What do you wash your clothes with? What types of products to you put directly on your skin, your hair, your nails? For a real, tangible, impact, take all those products and place them on a table. Now, read their labels. We see, repeatedly, words like “hazardous”, “caution”, “warning”, “harmful”. Read a little further. How many of these labels specifically say “harmful or fatal if swallowed”, “do not ingest”, “use in ventilated ares”? Hello? You’re putting these on your skin. Many of us even have professionals come and spray our homes, inside and out, with deadly chemicals to control insects. Do you know what the infertility rate is for exterminators? How about the cancer rate? You’re polluting the air inside your home with ALL these chemicals and toxins, from Windex to commercial grade pesticides. Often, a whole bunch of these chemicals are used in any one day and their chemical fallout swirls around us as we sleep, as we eat, as we live in our homes. This is our environment, the place we take refuge in when the pollution index factor outside is elevated! Ironic, isn’t it?
Think for a moment; you spray down your shower with a chemical, every now and then. One I’m certain says “hazardous”, “caution”, “warning”, “harmful”. After cleaning your shower with these hazardous, harmful chemicals, you turn the hot water on and the lingering chemical properties are mixed with steam you inhale. Do you think, for a moment, this is good?
How about “air fresheners”? You do realize they are made by the same folks that bring you the shower cleaner, right? The label may say “fresh magical mountain air”, but the contents are actually chemicals that you spray about your house and then inhale, deeply, with satisfaction.
Window cleaner, surface cleaner, cleansers, detergents, air fresheners, soaps, shampoos, make up, lotions, and the list goes on, are all, well, pretty bad for us. I know it is nearly impossible to find safe, effective alternatives to all of these common, everyday products. But I suggest trying. Again, the minimal expense you incur now for natural substitutes will be worth the effort in the long run. There are many very effective, natural home remedies for most of the cleansers any home would need. Personal care products, like make up, lotions, shampoos, etc., may be a bit more of a challenge. But, like the food we eat and the water we drink, the more we can do, the better off we’ll be. This is not an all or nothing proposition, any change will be better than no change.
I read a book a few years ago that completely changed my life. I’ve mentioned it before. I’m mentioning it again. I highly recommend this book, as it covers the relationship food, exercise and environment all have on our long term health, longevity and quality of life. Contaminants and impurities in our food, our water and in our environment all contribute to alterations in our hormones that, in the long term, cause life threatening conditions and disease like diabetes and cancer. The book? Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body! by Jillian Michaels. This book scared the hell out of me. As a result, I have followed as much of the advice as possible, implementing portions of it over the past three years as my circumstances would allow. The impact has been significant. I’ve lost fifty pounds, I look and feel healthier, more energetic, more at peace and generally, happier. Yes, no longer using common window cleaners has helped, in part, to change my life! I swear it!
By paying attention to your daily, immediate environment, by educating yourself on the hazards therein and on alternatives for those products, you can improve your overall well-being, possibly your longevity and your quality of life. Become an environmentalist. And while I probably won’t see you at the next tree-hugging, whale saving occupation, I will be there in spirit, while making my own household disinfectant out of isopropyl alcohol and lavender oil.