Killing What We Love: The Need to Bring a New Consciousness to How We Live on the Earth
A recent article in the New York Times by Michael Wines reported on the collapse of honey bee colonies around the world. So called colony collapse disorder, which began to be reported in 2005, has pushed annual die-off rates from a norm of 5 to 10 percent of bees in a colony to 40 to 80 percent in some cases.
As someone who sees the earth and everything on it and in it as sacred, a part of the divine consciousness manifested, I was greatly concerned when I first read about this phenomenon in Wines’ article. I was even more dismayed to read further that beekeepers and environmental and consumer groups were convinced that these collapses could be traced to the growing number of pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides used to control insect infestation, in particular to a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids, so named because they are derived from nicotine. Neonicotinoids, or neonics, began to be used widely in 2005, thus the suspicion that the colony collapse disorder is linked to their use.
To help readers understand the importance of bees to agriculture, Wines draws attention to the impact of pollination on annual harvests of fruits, vegetables, and nuts: “Fewer bees means smaller harvests and higher food prices.” For more information, you can check out “Mystery Malady Kills More Bees, Heightening Worry on Farm,” Michael Wines, New York Times, March 28, 2013.
What moves colony collapse disorder from a concern of limited stakeholders to that of our society at large, however, is the fact that neonicotinoids are only one of many pesticides judged acceptable for use on our food supply and in our homes, all of which do have toxic effects on people and pets, separately or in combination with the other “safe” toxins to which we are exposed in our foods, homes, gardens, water, personal care products, and even in the air we breathe.
In his April 13 article in the New York Times, Think Those Chemicals Have Been Tested?, Ian Urbina brought attention to the use of unregulated chemicals in personal care products and paints, as well as on clothing (stain-resistant treatments) and furniture, mattresses, in particular (fire-retardants).Urbana explained that the burden to prove or disprove safety is on the EPA, which doesn’t have the resources to monitor the 85,000 industrial chemicals now in use. He cites the fact that of all the chemicals in use, the EPA has succeeded in banning only five: chloroflurocarbons, dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls, hexavalent chromium, and asbestos. Yet scientists report that babies are being born with a myriad of synthetic chemicals in their blood.
If you haven’t yet gotten the point that we are unprotected from unregulated chemicals, then watch this video of interviews with Linda Chae, researcher and consumer advocate, and then go to her website for more information on what is poisoning us every day. Note: If you are concerned about the use of triclosan in everything from household detergents to shampoos, Chae’s video will provide the information you seek.
What can we, as consumers and parents concerned about the health and safety of our children and ourselves, do to shine the light on the unregulated and inadequately tested chemicals in our environment? Plenty. And in a positive way that will enhance our energies and set a good example for future generations.
- First, buy products that are safer for the environment. Many supermarkets now sell more eco-friendly products, such as Seventh Generation. Here is a link for Seventh Generation coupons. If you don’t live near, or can’t drive to, a supermarket that sells organic or non-toxic/less toxic cleaning and gardening products, you can buy them online. Just enter key words such as “environmentally friendly,” “ecofriendly,” “organic,” “non-toxic,” or “less toxic” products. Buy from manufacturers that recognize environmental concerns and produce products that are safer for us, our children, and the earth.
- Second, check out the shopping lists online at the Environmental Working Group’s website for advice on what organic fruits and vegetables are must buys and learn which conventional ones can be safely eaten. Buy as much organic produce as you can afford.
- Third, support grassroots efforts to clean up neighborhood parks and schools. Lobby for nutritional lunches and work actively to keep cell phone towers away from schools to shield children as they grow to maturity. Call for environmentally friendly cleaning products, paints, grouts, and sealers to be used in schools and community centers.
- Fourth, contact your state senators and encourage them to vote for legislation that would mandate that manufacturers demonstrate the safety of chemicals before they can be sold.
Last, take all of these steps with a positive attitude and love in your heart. Join your energies to the energies of those who seek change through positive means. When you keep positive thoughts around you, you attract the positive. Take a deep breath, send negative thoughts into the earth surrounded by light, and keep your heart open.
Instead of allowing what we love to be harmed by unregulated chemicals, let us join with the new consciousness of living on the earth with respect for everything on it and in it. All life is sacred. We are all connected. If we allow chemicals to harm the insect life on our planet, we allow ourselves to be harmed as well. If we continue to buy and use products that harm the environment, we harm ourselves and our children and grandchildren. Change the way you live on the earth, and preserve earth for future generations.
Make every day Earth Day!