Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Family Field Trip to the Whole Children Whole Planet Expo - Part 2

So here we are again - reflecting back on a beautiful April sunny day at the Whole Children Whole Planet Expo.  It was the perfect day spent with a community of like-minded human beings, making a difference in our lives, for our children’s lives and for Mother Earth.   

Not only were the grassy knolls and the gymnasium of Highland Hall Waldorf School packed with wonderful booths but the classrooms were filled with amazing topics and workshops.  The workshops ranged from Kids vs. Global Warming to Plastic Marine Pollution (Problem, Research, Solutions) to Creating Healthy Eating Habits (Preventing Childhood Obesity) to Voices for Conscious Parenting and Birthing to an interview with Rachelle Carson Begley from the show "Living With Ed" on the Planet Green channel and the list goes on and on.  

Of course I wanted to do practically every workshop that was on that list - thinking that we could make it to at least five of them.  But that would be in a perfect world where we arrive on time, skip lunch and involves a catheter attached to my body!  So I settled with my top two choices and I have to say that they were the most beneficial two that Dalmacio and I chose to take - and one that me and my son's bladders were definitely thankful for!

The first workshop we attended was "Creating a Safe Environment - Live, Learn, Work and Play in a Toxic-Free Environment".  The panel of speakers included, Robina Suwol, Mary Cordaro, Jennifer Taggert, and a representative from Safe Cosmetics (unfortunately I didn't get a chance to write her name down in my notes and she wasn't listed in the list of workshops).

To tell you the truth, I thought I knew alot about creating an eco-friendly and toxic-free environment for my family.  We had been using biodegradable products that are planet and animal friendly for a very long time. All labels for cleaning products, bathroom toiletries, cosmetics, no VOC paint, supporting an organic lifestyle, even down to our pet food are all closely inspected through a magnifying glass.  So I thought I was doing a pretty darn good job of keeping my home and my family toxic-free.  But ya know, there's always room to learn more. 

Did You Know:

1). That the state of California allowed workers to spray pesticides on school grounds DURING school hours, just FEET away from children!  Picture this scenario: you're dropping your child off at school and waving goodbye to your son.  Then your son has a disgruntled face and says "Mommy it tastes funny!"  Then you notice a man in a hazmat uniform spraying the shrubbery.  Later that evening your son starts experiencing a chronic allergy attack from the chemicals.  You begin to wonder what was in the stuff which begins the journey and research to find out through the LA school district just what was in that container the employee was spraying.  Well this is exactly what happened to Robina Suwol's son.  To learn more about Robina and her quest to stop the dangerous pesticides in the schools, go to her Bio Page.  Another website to check out is The World According To Monsanto.

2). 90% of chemicals in cosmetics have not been tested on products sold throughout the US.  And that only 2.9% of products are regulated by the FDA!  And that the documents that the FDA use for regulating were enacted about 70 years ago and haven't even been updated??!!  

3). That any products that say "fragrance" or "inerts" are "trade secrets" (a.k.a. chemicals).  Unfortunately, this is their loophole where they don't have to list their "other" ingredients.  Fortunately for us who care about what are in the products our families use, there is the Campaign for Safe Products that provides a list of companies that make unsafe products for our awareness.  They have also created the Compact for Safe Products for companies not only to pledge to make safer products but also to provide greater transparency to consumers about their products. 

4). Another great website that gives information about unsuspecting household products that are hazardous and effecting our health is The Smart Mama.

5). That your sleep can be effected by the electromagnetic fields in your home.  This means that whatever electronics may be powered on in your room (i.e. cell phones being charged, alarm clocks, computers, power strips, etc) could potentially be creating your insomnia or restless sleep throughout the night.  It is suggested to power everything off in your room before going to sleep and charge your phones in another room.  Of course it's unrealistic to not have at least an alarm clock in the bedroom - unless you're so trained that you wake up the same time every morning no matter what or own a rooster in your backyard.  Unfortunately most people don't have a natural alarm clock that cock-a-doodle doos when the sun comes up.  In my household, we don't even own an alarm clock, we use our cell phones instead.  So perhaps it's time to get an alarm clock or look into buying a rooster as a pet.  I think the first choice will work better for our lifestyle, at least for now.  Either way, I do want to test it out and see if less EMF's help my husband sleep better at night.

6). That there is a 20 foot range of EMF's in electronic products.  Just a thought for us parents to perhaps be mindful when we're on our cell phones near our children.  This has definitely made me more aware of my choice to not be on the phone when I'm with my son. Unless it's an emergency, I can always talk to family and friends when my son is taking a nap.  Ok let's face it, sometimes that just isn't realistic but I do my best to not be on the phone when I'm with my son.  Plus, the less I'm on the phone and the more I'm present for my son not only ensures his safety against EMF's but creates more bonding time and that is more important than talking on the phone that's for sure!

7). For more information on EMF's, go to Less EMF for products that help to detect EMF's.  You can also do a search the Mercola website to find information on products that decrease EMF radiation from cell phones.

So there you have it.  Just a few tidbits that I learned from this workshop that I didn't know previously.  Yes I have to say I love to learn.  In fact, I'm a down right nerd when it comes to researching and learning, especially when it comes to things I'm passionate about - for instance, holistic and green living.  It's amazing what you discover when you make the shift to live a conscious healthy lifestyle.  It's not just about changing your diet, it's about a way of being.  And it doesn't have to happen overnight for those nervous to take the plunge.  It can be done in baby steps.  Perhaps choosing not to buy products that test on animals or choosing to only eat organic, free-range meat...this is exactly how I got started on my path over 10 years ago.  Nowadays my household is alot more toxic-free, organic, eco-friendly, vegetarian-friendly and holistic but it took me wanting to know more about what was going into my body or around it, whether it was food, skincare or cleaning products.  And of course now having a child, the yearn to learn more is a high priority in our household and yep, I am proud to be a nerd! Especially if it means a healthier, happier and safer home!

Okay so it looks like I will have a Part 3 to this field trip on the 2nd workshop we took called Media's Influence on Children: Tools for Navigating a Commercial Culture".  Hey, what can I say - there was alot of information to download at this event and alot of information I want to share.  So look out for Part 3 coming to a screen near you! ;o)

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