Project SafeYard...What Can You Learn Today that Will Make a Difference in Your Tomorrow?

I ran across a great organization today called Project SafeYard and it brought back all kinds of funny memories. Well not really funny actually just more memories of people thinking I am some sort of odd ball because of my beliefs. This whole chemical free, living green thing is not really all that new for me.

It really started over 30 years ago with my Grandma Roode sitting on her big back porch telling me all of her beauty secrets. I was a little girl of the 70's livin in my Gloria Vanderbuilt jeans, lovin The Partridge Family and rockin my Dorothy Hamill Hair cut. I thought beauty looked like the girl in the Camel Cigarette commercial. When my Grandma started talking about her jars of "vitamin" creams that she bought at the natural food store, I thought she must be living on pennies if she had to buy that crap.

I knew that the "good stuff" was at the mall. It was definitely not at Kmart or the natural food store, God forbid, whatever that was. Still, she was my grandma and I kept listening. Later when I received a package of tons of my own jars of "vitamins", I could barely hold myself back. I used all of the creams and cleansers and made my mom bring me to GNC to buy more. I was hooked on natural because it felt different than the animal by product laden, phthalate infested, paraben laced goo I had been using.

But something happened when I got to college. Status mattered and I wanted some. I forgot about natural and went for Chanel, Clinique and Paul Mitchel. I am not saying that these products are bad, I am just saying that there were less expensive products which were formulated using fewer chemicals that I should have chosen. I also should have chosen not to date the losers I hung onto in college... we all live and learn.

I pretty much stayed on the path of materialism, over common sense, until I got sick last summer. Whatever the root cause of my aspartame poisoning, three days after I stopped ingesting aspartame, I began to get better. I say whatever the root cause as I do not believe it was only the aspartame which made me sick; I think it may have been a Folic acid deficiency that may have left me open to the affects of the methanol in the aspartame. If it was only the aspartame, wouldn't everyone become ill if they ingested it? I know I was ingesting a lot but still...I know some people who drink tons of diet Coke every day and never feel even a tingle of numbness or suffer memory, verbal and motor problems as I did.

It still flips me out when I think of how sick I was. It was literally as if I was way drunk without any nausea. I definitely couldn't have touched my nose with my finger; It would have taken me minutes to even figure out the question if it had been asked.

After I got well, I felt like I was on a mission. A mission to make people stop and just think for a minute about what they are choosing to purchase and how that purchase will impact their health and the health of our environment.

When I ran across the site today called Project SafeLawn it made me think of how I used to make everyone take off their shoes when they came into my home. I had just had my first baby and didn't want every one's pesticides and shoe crap all over the carpet where my little munchkin would soon be crawling. You would have thought I had asked people to walk around naked or something as everyone who came to meet my little girl looked less than enthused by my request. It was just the start of people looking at me funny (okay so maybe people have always looked at me funny for other reasons) for my beliefs.

Anyway, I wonder now how many VOC's my little ones were forced to inhale as before every new baby, I insisted on new carpet. Hmmm. It seems there is just so much to look out for when you are trying to walk the path to green.

I just know that I will continue to try to feed my kids healthy food...even though their dad shoves soda at them when I am away like he is delivering to them some needed medication I withhold. I will continue to try to live chemical free as much as I can and find ways to live that are back to the basics. A great way to walk the path to green is to stop putting chemicals on your lawn. Even my husband is on board with this (although I think I saw him with some sort of white powder crap for our sago palms) and it is saving us $50 a month.

If you must use something on your lawn, please find services that are trying to go green. I saw an old guy in Tampa who is making a killing marketing himself as a green lawn service. He was laughing at the attention and business boom as he said his arsenal is all things you find in your kitchen...good enough to eat.

Please visit Project SafeYard and check out their Pesticide fact Sheet. Their mission is a major one but with easy actions for all of us to take to live a more chemical free life.

"Project SafeYardTM wants to educate parents about the use of pesticides, so they can make good decisions regarding chemical use on their lawns and in their homes. One of the first steps of reforming pesticide use is education."-Project SafeYard

My Grandma knew too that education is power. Let's all take a page from her book and never stop educating others, as well as ourselves, on the benefits of trying to live chemical free.

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"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead