Video: A Family Learns About The Products They Buy

Seriously "Sensitive" to Pollution

Chemerical is a film about a regular family as they learn about what’s lurking in their products, struggle to come to terms with the new info, and then learn how to make safer changes in their lives.

“Chemerical” explores the life cycle of everyday household cleaners and hygiene products to prove that, thanks to our clean obsession, we are drowning in sea of toxicity.

The film is at once humorous, as we watch the Goode family try to turn a new leaf by creating and living in a toxic free home, and informative, as director Andrew Nisker works with many experts to give audiences the tools and inspiration to live toxic free.

Chemerical

Andrew Nisker weaves visits to the Environmental Health Clinic in Toronto,

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What Would Thoreau Think?

I wonder if Thoreau understood how incredibly privileged he was in his Walden shack?  I think maybe he did.  Even in his much quieter time, he must have known there weren’t many who enjoyed that kind of liberty and peace.  He would likely have been horrified had he been suddenly dropped into our time and into our culture.  If he resented the railroads of his time, what would he have thought of the roaring rivers of asphalt called freeways, never quiet day or night?  If he thought the newspapers of his time full of frivolous gossip and inconsequential happenings, what would he think of CNN, Google, Facebook, and Twitter?  I think he would have taken a stance that might have earned him the luddite label.  And maybe he would have become a little depressed like a lot of us.

Psychic pain is nothing new, but has it ever before in history been the epidemic that it is now?  I think not.  And it’s no wonder.  We are profoundly disconnected from each other and from the sources of our life and health.  We replace genuine connection with the sedating effects of chemicals, those we can get from a bottle and those that are released in our own brains when we pacify ourselves in front of our myriad of screens.  Even our beloved home, our little jewel in space, reflects our dysfunction and adds to our stress with it’s strange and frightening symptoms of planetary fever.

My mind is my escape.  I often dream of a little cabin by an isolated and beautiful lake.  All that would be audible there would be the rush of wind through the trees, birdsong, the buzz of insects, the lap of water at the shore.  Every day I would paddle out over the mirror-like water in a little wooden canoe.  I would stare down into the clear, clear water all the way to it’s brightly green, moss covered bottom.  I would watch schools of fish swim underneath me.  The cool air would be spiked with the spicy scent of birch, aspen, and evergreens.  Sometimes the warm sun would make the water seem very inviting and I would, like an otter, slip into the cool wet and swim awhile with the fish.  The cold shock would soon become a cool caress, and I would emerge dripping, enlivened, and vibrantly alert.

Air to Wash Our Minds

 

“There used to be a scent that the wind pushed in front of it in those days, which must have come from all the wild flowers and the sweet grasses that grew up there then.  This scent was strong that afternoon, and my father often stopped to breathe in, for he had told me time and time again that trouble will not stop in a man whose lungs are filled with fresh air.  He always said that God sent the water to wash our bodies and air to wash our minds.”  – How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

Aldous Huxley on Mental Illness

The real hopeless victims of mental illness are to be found among those who appear to be most normal. Many of them are normal because they are so well adjusted to our mode of existence, because their human voice has been silenced so early in their lives, that they do not even struggle or suffer or develop symptoms as the neurotic does. They are normal not in what may be called the absolute sense of the word; they are normal only in relation to a profoundly abnormal society. Their perfect adjustment to that abnormal society is a measure of their mental sickness. These millions of abnormally normal people, living without fuss in a society to which, if they were fully human beings, they ought not to be adjusted. ~ Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Homeschooling is One Thing I Can Do

My kids have not attended public school this year, and I like them a lot better now. I have always and will always love them more deeply than I can express, but liking is different. Liking is when you enjoy someone’s company, and I enjoy them more now. They are kinder, less vulgar, and more willing to listen respectfully and to respond thoughtfully.

Many proponents of public education assume that a child cannot be properly socialized outside of a school full of age segregated children and specially credentialed “educators”. My children are proving every day that this is patently untrue. I believe the reason for this is because none of them attend the public school any longer. The longer they are home, the nicer they become. In my mind, the only positive outcome of something called socialization would be for a child to become adept at engaging in positive interactions and solving interpersonal problems, and that is precisely what homeschooling has taught them.

Homeschooling socializes kids in the most positive way imaginable. They spend time learning from the people who love them most, and who are able to impart truly meaningful spiritual values. They have the time and freedom to engage with the real world every day. They have the freedom to choose who they spend their time with. All of this seems to have a very positive impact.

I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity I have to be with my kids every day. It wasn’t long ago that I was much too ill to even entertain the possibility of teaching my own kids. I’ve proven this year that, although I still have health challenges, I am capable of accomplishing this thing for my boys.  And it’s really making a difference.

Traitor to the Cause Part I : Why I Chose to Raise My Own Children.