Environmental Health

chemicalsEvery day we make choices about our daily living – from which transportation we use to what household cleaning products we choose, to our selection of lawn care products. We tend to think of these as individual decisions concerning only us, but we are called to consider how we are affecting all of creation.

What impact will our actions today have on those who come after us? What bearing will they have on our own lives? Are they helping to purify the body and spirit of creation? If we are able to discipline ourselves to regularly ask these questions and respond to them with the intention that comes from loving God first, then our work as stewards will ensure that all of creation can experience the Spirit of God flowing with each breath.

nurseryOne of the easiest and most important places to take action is in your own home. Some household items – such as furniture, cleaners, body care products, and toys – contain ingredients that are hazardous to people (especially small children) as well as pets and wildlife. The good news is that there are safe and cost-effective alternatives readily available!  Help care for all God’s creatures by creating a healthy space for your family and friends.

Simple Things You Can Do

  • Look through your cleaning products and remove cleaners made from harmful chemicals
  • Properly and safely dispose of hazardous cleaners and other chemicals
  • Assemble a safe cleaning kit using the least toxic products available and making your own cleaning solutions from common household items like vinegar and baking soda

Further Resources

Caring for All Creation: In the Home

Green Cleaning: Seattle Public Utilities Everybody wants a clean and healthy home. Take the green approach—avoid the use of hazardous products, which protects your health and the environment!

Healthy Toys: The Consumer Action Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys HealthyStuff.org – Toys – was developed by the Ecology Center in collaboration with the Washington Toxics Coalition. Search by name, brand, or type of toy, or see lists of the “best” and “worst” toys according to scientists’ findings.

Institute for Children’s Environmental Health “ICEH’s primary mission is to foster collaborative initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate environmental exposures that can undermine the health of current and future generations.”

Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County Information on disposal of hazardous products and alternatives to hazardous household chemicals, as well as a link to information about free home health assessments.

Mindful Living: Human Health, Pollution, and Toxics An education and worship resource that gives congregations the hope and the tools to maintain the sanctity of our bodily temples and ensure that God’s creation remains healthy for generations to come.

National Council of Churches Environmental Health Initiative Earth Ministry is working in partnership with the environmental health arm of the NCC’s eco-justice program to raise awareness, educate, and take action around the issue of toxic chemicals and their effect on human health.

Pesticide Action Network North America PANNA (Pesticide Action Network North America) works to replace pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five autonomous PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens’ action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to ensure the transition to a just and viable society.

Skin Deep Report cosmetics database Skin Deep is a safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products developed by researchers at the Environmental Working Group. Search for details on your favorite products, or browse the database to find the safest products in each category.

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics “The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of women’s, public health, labor, environmental health and consumer-rights groups. Our goal is to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out the use of chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and other health problems, and replace them with safer alternatives.”

Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition Earth Ministry is a member of the Toxic-Free Legacy Coalition: a broad-based alliance of organizations across Washington state that rejects the trespass of persistent toxic chemicals in the environment and our bodies.

Washington Toxics Coalition “Washington Toxics provides resources to help people find safer alternatives to products that contain harmful chemicals and advocates for comprehensive chemical policy reform.”

Women’s Voices for the Earth “WVE seeks to reduce and ultimately eliminate environmental pollutants that cause health problems for women, their families and communities. To this end, WVE creates opportunities for women to influence environmental decision-making.”