Friday, May 23, 2008

Household Toxics, Part II

In my last blog, I took on the thrilling topic of household hazardous waste – what it is, and most importantly, where to take it when you need to dispose of it.

But wouldn’t be great if we didn’t have toxics in our house in the first place? Exposure to toxic chemicals is one of the greatest threats to human health and the entirety of God’s creation. Children, the elderly, and women are particularly at risk. People of color and low-income communities are disproportionately exposed to environmental pollution. As people of faith, we are called to do our part to reduce our contribution to the excess of toxic chemicals in the world today.

The good news is that there are alternatives. Here in Seattle, King County has a comprehensive website with links to healthier household goods and services, alternatives to toxic chemicals, recipes for safer cleaning products, and natural yard techniques.

Washington Toxics Coalition’s website is a great resource for families seeking to find safer children’s products.

Our partners at the National Council of Churches have put out a great resource on environmental health called “Mindful Living: Human Health, Pollution, and Toxics”. This publication gives congregations the tools to maintain the sanctity of our bodily temples and to ensure that the environment remains healthy for generations to come.

And of course, there is always Earth Ministry’s own “Caring for All Creation: In the Home” curriculum that guides congregations in developing healthy home habits that respect God’s beloved creation.

We have an opportunity to choose mercy and justice for all of God’s children by eliminating toxic health threats to those least able to protect themselves and to help restore creation.

In the Northwest, Earth Ministry Outreach Coordinator Beth Anderson is available to lead congregational workshops on toxics, environmental health, and faithful alternatives. Contact her at for more information.

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