Bad stuff

Bleach ©Janet Allen
Just one of the common products that cause problems

We've become increasingly alarmed about the unhealthy environment we're creating for people and for all living things. It seems that anything that promises a profit for a few people is fair game. And, of course, we've gotten used to wanting a lot of cheap stuff and services (or have been trained by advertising). Often, quantity, not quality, is the goal.

Rather than assuming every product is innocent until proven guilty—usually impossible to prove—we favor the Precautionary Principle that if there is indication of harm, the burden of proof of safety is on its producer. In other words, "first, do no harm." or to put it more simply, "better safe than sorry."

(For those old enough to remember, it's what kept the thalidomide disaster that devastated babies in Europe out of this country. We and Europe have since switched philosophies.)

Shoes ©Janet Allen
Shoes - just one example of products created under unjust conditions in faraway lands

On a personal level, two categories of things that we're increasingly concerned about are household products and personal care products, but it's a long process.

We're also becoming increasingly aware of the unjust—sometimes horrific—conditions under which people produce stuff for us, and frequently these practices are devastating for the environment, too.

We're working on specific items one by one, trying to find healthy alternatives.

Especially bad for kids

6-mo-old hands ©Janet Allen
Like our 6-month-old grandson, babies are often on the floor, picking up stuff

Kids are not small adults. When it comes to chemicals, these chemicals cause much more damage than an equivalent dose would cause the adults that buy the products. Their bodies and brains and still growing, and pound for pound, these chemicals represents a bigger percentage than for adults.

Many products are also bad for pets and wildlife for many of the same reasons they're bad for children.

I can't remember how many of these products we used when the kids were little and we had a dog. More than I care to remember, though probably fewer than most people, since we've never TV ads prompting us to buy all that stuff.