Being an advocate for change can be frustrating. It’s easy to feel like you talk and talk and no one is really listening – people still throw cigarette butts on the ground, buy whatever detergent is on sale, and look at you like you are some kind of misguided eco-maniac.
And then there are days like today.
I was incredibly honored to be the guest speaker for a group of women involved with Penn Future, Pennsylvania’s leading environmental advocacy organization. The audience ranged from grandmothers to women without children, but all were equally concerned and impassioned about creating a better world. These are women who have fought hard battles against the government and lobbyists and have seen firsthand the change that citizens can enforce!
Some of the women were not Penn Future advocates, just friends who were interested in how they could make easier green changes in their lives. They wanted convenience and affordability, but most of all, they just wanted honest answers:
Does my Brita pitcher contain BPA?
No, the company states their products are BPA Free
Tom’s of Maine was bought by Colgate and Burt’s Bees was bought by Clorox. Are they still OK?
That’s for the consumer to decide. Personally, I am allergic to the Sodium Laurel Sulfates in Tom’s toothpaste. I still use Burt’s Bees products in the hope that their consumer culture will influence Clorox and not vice versa. Most household name green brands have been bought by large corporate entities – Kashi, Stonyfield Farm, etc. I still buy all of them and hope for the best…
The conversation was fun and spirited. We didn’t judge the woman who still used bottled water – we just offered her some simple advice on making the transition to filtered tap. And the cloth-diapering mama didn’t judge me. We all were there to help and support each other, and to rally for change at a higher level so we wouldn’t have to worry about and chlorine in our taps mercury in our bodies.
I left feeling better about my work than I have in a while. I know that I am not alone in my quest for change. With committed people like this right in my neighborhood, we can kick some butt, take some names, and change the world!