The Savvy Path

    Meet Janet: A Flight Attendant With A Big Heart

    Imagine navigating your way through a busy airport with a broken wrist and ankle, towing baggage and dodging nearly late passengers. Then imagine flying across the country to volunteer with an organization, not knowing anyone, and just jumping in with both feet, limping slightly, where needed.

    Last February, Janet Conroy, Savvy Women’s Alliance Volunteer of the Year did just that. Janet is an airline attendant and is no stranger to airports and airplanes, so she may have a bit of an advantage -  getting there was the easy part. Walking into a room of strangers and asking, “how can I help,” takes courage, enthusiasm and commitment to a cause.

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    Have You Tried Bee's Wrap? A Plastic Wrap Alternative

    To be honest, when I heard about Bee’s Wrap, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. A food storage product made of sweet-smelling, honey and cotton?  How does this alternative to plastic wrap work? Did it work? 

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    Print 'n Save: Tip Sheet for Cleaning with a Jug of  Vinegar

    We don't pretend to love cleaning, but we get pretty excited when cleaning becomes easier and safer! We partnered with Women's Voices for the Earth to create this lovely printable so you can keep a lovely tip sheet with your supplies.  

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    BPA: The Basics

    The journey toward nontoxic living is akin to standing in the hub of a 10 speed bicycle wheel.  Each degree we turn we see yet another path, another topic, and another area to learn about, sometimes leaving our minds spinning just as fast as that wheel.  No more. We are taking this on together, at a nice pace. 

    The purpose of the Savvy Path is to take a step down one path, one topic a month. We’ll learn what we can, figure out what we need to know, and who we need to support our growth.   (It’s our own getting Savvy version of 99 Bottles of Toxins on the list…“Take one down, pass it around, 98 toxins left on the list…”) 

    For our inaugural, themed month (sound the trumpets) we introduce you to the ubiquitous, Bisphenol A, a.k.a. BPA.

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    Cutting Back on BPA | A Journey Worth Taking

    When I first heard about BPA and its potential to disrupt hormones, I was in disbelief.  After all, I had been drinking from plastic water bottles for years. Surely I would know if plastic- specifically bisphenol A- was harmful!

    However, after our health crisis in 2008, I learned to ask questions about the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. I learned not to assume anything when it comes to toxicity in our environment. 

    Because we were radically altering everything about our lifestyle, the thought of eliminating plastic was overwhelming. But I knew from experience that every change matters, no matter how small.

    Small Changes

    My first step was to eliminate plastic water bottles. After reading that it takes anywhere from 400-1,000 years for one plastic water bottle to decompose, I felt compelled to make the change. I learned that BPA-free didn’t necessarily mean toxin-free. Studies now tell us that the common substitute BPS (bisphenol S) may be just as hazardous. I transitioned to glass (with silicone sleeves) and stainless steel water bottles. They come in handy during the summertime in Arizona!

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    Game On! A New App for Your Small Changes

    What do you get when you combine 20 years of research, an innovative postdoctoral researcher and mobile technology? A handy new tool to empower change.

    What we recognize,we can change.

    The handy tool is Detox Me, a new smartphone app aimed to help the average consumer recognize potentially toxic chemicals found in many household and personal care products. Once hazards have been identified, users are encouraged to make simple changes that will decrease exposure and possibly prevent long term, harmful effects. The innovative scientist  behind this project is Jessica Helm, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at Silent Spring Institute. She’s determined to bring the Institute’s research findings to a broader audience.

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    When A Pop-Tart Fanatic Grows Up

    Founder's Note: How often will we wonder "When will I see results? Is change happening?" or "How hard should I try?"  Do you hear a tiny voice chiding, "Are we creating mini-monsters who will rebel against our high standards?  Or are we raising responsible healthy citizens?" Trusting our heart is all we have - until you meet someone like Julia.  It is an honor to feature Julia's confession as one of Savvy's first blog posts, offering a delightful glimpse of what 'can-be' when we embrace this journey.   

    When I was a little younger than I am now, my favorite breakfast food was a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart.

     I would pop it in the toaster and eagerly watching the wires glowing red inside, evidence of the mini oven at work. I can remember that first glorious, sugar-filled bite; the perfect balance of sweet, gooey filling and crispy cracker crust. The toaster oven always melted the insides just right. Most of my mornings began with a trip to the toaster oven. Eggo waffles, french toast sticks, those cinnamon roll things with icing in the middle… I was the freezer aisle’s biggest fan. I was young, I didn’t really care where my food came from, and I just cared that it tasted good. If I ever felt the inkling to eat healthy I would reach for Special K or Cheerios. Because those were good for you, right?

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    I Despised Being "Sergeant No."

    Was I even a good mom today? Did my kids feel any love from me? Did we laugh or talk? 

     I despised being Sergeant No.

    After everything I unearthed during my research, I understood the world did not have my family’s health in its best interest. Constantly trying to shield them was exhausting. Modern parenting felt like pushing a double stroller through the Boston Marathon in a hailstorm while trying to protect the kiddos amidst a constant barrage of pelting, frozen peas.

    I first sensed this dark cloud when Tanner entered preschool. I was delighted for his first taste of independence and ninety minutes in a loving, nurturing environment. However, I silently observed the parent-supplied, non-birthday cupcakes twice the size of his pudgy fist, handed out for 10:00 a.m. snack. As a relatively new mom, I hadn’t found my voice. I kept my opinions to myself and rarely stood up for what I thought. Unspoken mom-pressure kept it that way. Instead, I watched the children’s eager eyes and giddy smiles as the “favorite moms” brought in frosted delights and the disappointment on their faces when I provided sliced apples and pretzel sticks.

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    Not Ready to Embrace Nontoxic Living? That's Cool.

    Are you a little skeptical about 'nontoxic living?'  

    We get it. We used to be, too. We had thoughts like “If the products are on the shelf, they must be safe” and “if this nontoxic living thing is legit, why didn’t I know about it before now?” We used to go into the grocery store and think the organic strawberries were nothing more than a scam for more money. We filled our carts with personal care products and assumed they were safe because, well, why wouldn’t they be!?

     And most of all we would read stuff about nontoxic living and think “this is bizarre, crunchy, woo woo stuff.” And seriously, who has the time for this? Or the money?

    So you know what? It’s not wrong to think like this.

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