Last night while walking my dogs on the Kansas levee, I turned back early because a farmer was spraying his fields. Even though there was very little breeze, the chemicals wafted over a large area. I’ve been taking daily walks on the levee for 20 years, and I feel a personal kind of ownership over it. Even though the area looks clean and green, is remote and quiet, I was reminded that it is an agricultural zone and chemicals are unfortunately part of the unseen picture.
What is the answer to so much chemical use? Living in an agricultural state, I understand the challenges of the farmer. It’s a darned hard business.
Still, I’m concerned about the amount of chemicals pollutants in our environment. Even if you think you’re drinking clean water, breathing clean air, and walking on a natural path, there are unseen chemical pollutants every step along the way.
I don’t know what the ultimate solutions are, but I do know that we as individuals can make a difference in our own backyards and communities.
What YOU (and I) can do to reduce chemical pollution:
Buy organic produce and free-range, grass fed animal products – we need to create a strong market for clean foods so that farmers have sustainable income for their hard work. Support farmers at farmers’ markets.
Be an informed consumer and support positive efforts – ask farmers at the market how they grow their food. Let them know you’re willing to pay more for cleaner food.
Speak up – let the farmers and grocers know you want to purchase non-GMO, non-irradiated, organic, free-range, grass fed food. And you want to buy products with minimal packaging. We want to be able to see and feel the products we are buying and we want to minimize the tremendous waste that over packaging creates.
Make your own natural household cleaners – we can make 99% of what we need with natural ingredients. See my recent post on how to make these cleaners . If we leave the chemical cleaners on the market shelves, the supply and demand equation will be changed in favor of reduced chemical production.
Eat real food – limit or eliminate consumption of fake chemicalized foods offered at the grocery store and fast food restaurants. We need to upset the conventional supply/demand equation that supports increasing production of toxic products. Remember, we drive demand. Let’s demand clean, real, safe, wholesome.
Reduce, Reuse, Refuse, Recycle – again, your buying choices drive the supply/demand train. Let’s put that train on different tracks—the sustainable track.
Let your state representatives know that you want your state to be clean and green – as much as possible. Chemicals are here to stay, but they needn’t play such a pervasive role and be so ubiquitous. We need to wake up and speak up.
We must change the supply/demand curve and not be hypnotized by lower prices for unhealthy, chemicalized products. We need to be willing to do a little more work and pay a little more for healthier, cleaner options. What ideas do you have to add to the list?