Strangely, it feels more like New Year’s Day than the day after a typical election. After months of momentum and drama — of proving how much can be accomplished when people work together and believe — it seems strangely slow and quiet, almost like a hangover after the big party. We’ve achieved something of a new start. How shall we honor it and continue the work? Obama called out, “Yes we can!” in his acceptance speech — and we did, but what do we do now? Here’s what I think: If we can clean the White House of its toxic leadership, don’t you think we can clean our own houses of their toxins once and for all? I don’t mean, go polish the silver or scrub the toilet bowl. I mean put your scrub brush where your politics are and get rid of the toxic cleaners that are still lingering in your home. Yes! In honor of this historic victory, go buy a gallon of white distilled vinegar and a box of baking soda! Don’t Be a Swing State We know that we most likely will not die from breathing fumes from one toxic glass cleaner or spraying a little weed killer. So it may be tempting to practice mostly green cleaning instead of truly green cleaning. You may think, “Vinegar’s fine for the floors, but give me the neon blue stuff for my windows.” But it’s important to think in terms of “exposure.” We’re not just spraying one chemical cleaner or one pesticide on any given day. In fact the average person is exposed to 100 different chemicals a day in personal care products alone! Add cleaning to that, and you get the picture. Unseat the Incumbents Just because a product has been around for a while doesn’t mean it’s safe. Only a small number of the 85,000 chemicals found in products today have ever been tested for safety. And many of those that have been tested for safety and failed are still found in products we buy. Yet, some scientists believe that toxins in household cleaning and other products are one of the big reasons why asthma and allergies are on the rise. Vote With Your Pocketbook While there is clearly a lot we don’t know, there is also enough that we do know about these toxins to limit our exposure. We already live in a world where babies are born with over 200 industrial chemicals already in their bodies and some of that comes from our cleaning products. To create some more change we can all believe in and benefit from, all it takes is a little education and making good choices. Don’t wait for some day. Take advantage of this time of historic change and make some changes yourself!
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