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    Protective Legislation: How To Find & Support Efforts In Your State 

     

    Me: If I was to invest my limited time and actively support protective legislation that enforced transparency and restricted the worst-of-the-worst chemicals, wouldn't I want to focus on federal legislation? An across-the-country approach that applies to all? 

    Learning Moment: State legislation can be a powerful tool to directly protect local residents and to create momentum for other states, and ultimately federal change. Right now, federal progress is highly unlikely.  Instead, our big sister nonprofits are working to defend current long standing protection such as the Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Clean Air Act, and many others.

    In fact, it's highly likely that you have policy unfolding right now your state. Here is what we need to know and what we can do:

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    Rising from Lyme Disease to Health Coach: Pallas Dame 

    Pallas Dame answered the phone on a November morning, the muffled sound of wind and traffic playing into the receiver. As we introduced ourselves she apologized for the noise; she was out walking, she said. She maintained her brisk pace during our hour-long conversation. I learned that this was a new-found joy for her; she had spent many years trying to find her way back to health and vitality.

    A combination of genetics and Lyme disease conspired to send her into a physical, mental, and emotional tailspin after the birth of her first child about ten years ago that left her confused by doctors diagnoses and treatment regimens, and struggling against her body while trying to find answers.

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    Seven GMOS + Glyphosate Fundamentals We All Should Know  (video)

    This is the fourth video from our annual Talk Savvy To Me event where we celebrated our volunteers and shared hot topics from powerful speakers.  We hope you can attend our next Talk Savvy To Me in late 2018.  

    Let's Break It Down: GMO's + Glyphosate: What We Need To Know

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    When the Little Ones Move On | Finding Your Place

    My journey towards a healthier lifestyle began when I became pregnant with my first child, just over 13 years ago. The idea of bringing a new life into this world made me think more about what I put in my body, on my body, and what products I use throughout my home.  I was overwhelmed, and I mostly bought what I deemed “safer” than the alternative. I didn't have a group of like-minded people to toss ideas around with. Most people I knew figured if a product was on the store shelf, it was tested for safety and fine to use. I didn't fully agree, but I also didn't have enough data to confidently dispute that.

    Time passed. I became a stay-at-home mom and I had a toddler and a baby at home. By the time my oldest daughter was about to start elementary school, and my son would soon begin preschool, I had a third child and things shook up again. My youngest daughter was born with a kidney disease and I was reminded that keeping my family as healthy and safe as possible was my top priority. 

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    An Intimate Peek at a Superstar Chapter

    Support is a powerful thing and “strength in numbers” is far more than a simple cliché.

    These are two things Savvy women know to be true and the precise reason why chapters are so important to the existence and vitality of Savvy Women’s Alliance. Chapters include five or more women who meet at least eight times a year to discuss their personal journeys in nontoxic living and provide support for one another. Every chapter is unique and comes with its own challenges and triumphs. This month, I interviewed Beth Newberry and Trina Lavoie – two superstar women and co-founders of the Providence Chapter of the Savvy Women's Alliance – to ask them about their evolution and success as a chapter.

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    America's A-ha Moment: Not Just A Pretty Face | 10 Year Anniversary


    Baby shampoos linked to cancer? Hormone disruptors in our skincare? Lead in our lipstick?

    These questions and many more were brought into the public spotlight over the last ten years, turning educated consumers into protectors and activists.  An avalanche of progress rumbled - including a reduction of parabens and triclosan in mainstream products. While we aren't at the finish line yet, it is hard to push a cart through any big box store without seeing some of the impacts on product labels.  One of the avalanche triggers?  Stacy Malkan's  “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of Beauty.” 

    Not Just a Pretty Face is the true story of how Stacy Malkan, who along with several other at the Breast Cancer Fund (Breast Cancer Prevention Partners), Women's Voices for the Earth, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth and others formed the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics creating the foundation for a national movement. The goal? To shift the $50 billion beauty industry away from harmful chemicals and toward safer products.  

    In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Not Just A Pretty Face we are proud to place this classic investigative deep dive on our Savvy Bookshelf.  How long has it been since you flipped through it? 

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    Gotta Love These Girls: Young Activists At Heart

       Photo: Clean Water Action

    If marching into a retail store to educate management on environmental health concerns is not on your to-do list, we dare you to press play on this video. 

    Yes, we are certain that Tess, Sophia, Erin, Kayla and Sidney will make you smile. But after listening to their brave hearts,you just might rethink about what happens when you walk into a store.   

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    How To Engage Your Inner Activist: It's Time

    What the heck is an activist anyway?

    "If I say the word activist you might have the image of people hanging banners, or chaining themselves to trees or screaming at authority figures or living in tents. Those are all activism. Or they can be.  But a lot of activists have never done any of these things. 

    So, what is the definition of activism? I think that really it is noticing something that you think needs to be changed and using your influence to change it."

    Elizabeth Saunders brings delightful humor to understanding today's activism (a word often followed by "oh, I am not that!) in out Talk Savvy to Me video. 

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    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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    Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: This One Is A Keeper

    In celebration of the tenth anniversary of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the Savvy Women's Alliance recommends this book for it's summer chapter Gatherings.

    Envision: you are entering your local chain grocery store. The glass doors slide open and the produce aisle greets you. On your right are avocados from Mexico, bananas from Colombia, and peppers from Israel. You walk further through the market, snatching some rice from Vietnam and beans from India that you plan to throw together into a meal that you will later wash down with Vermont milk.

    Now imagine the items sourced from over 100 miles away vanishing.  Bye-bye Mexican romaine lettuce and beef sourced from Brazilian cows. What would be left in your shopping cart?  Would you panic?   

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    Made Safe Products

    Do you feel overwhelmed when trying to read labels while shopping for personal care or cleaning products--or any products, for that matter? Maybe you spend inordinate amounts of time parked in the aisle turning over bottles, puzzling over words like "green," "eco," or "natural," thinking what do those words even mean, anyway?! You pull out your smartphone to check through your apps, and discover that some products aren't even on apps. You go back home and do research on your laptop. Maybe you give up - you would be far from the first.

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    Stacy Malkan: Fearless & Determined

    The Red Flag That Shifted Our Future

    Stacy Malkan was looking for a story. She was the co-publisher of a monthly newspaper in Colorado, and was looking for something to feature on her next cover. She thought the controversy over the county’s plan to spray pesticides along a popular bike path might fit the bill and decided to attend an informational meeting intended to put the publics’ fears over the spraying to rest.  Stacy and the residents at the meeting were treated to a video portraying pesticides as a safe solution to the terrible scourge of weeds. When the film was over and the credits rolled it was evident that the video was produced by chemical companies, including Dow and DuPont.

    “That’s when the yelling started,” says Malkan.

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    Mesmerizing Plastic-Free Inspiration : Beth Terry

    Through her Ted Talk and blog at My Plastic-Free Life, Beth Terry, author of Plastic-Free: How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can, Too has reached tens of thousands of people who are now striving to live as plastic-free as they can. Beth could have taken her deep desire to help the planet in many directions. Instead, she chose to focus on the one thing she felt most passionate about and where she believed she could truly make a difference.

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