By Alexandra Scranton, Director of Science and Research at Women’s Voices for the Earth (WVE). She has a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a BA from Amherst College.
My mom’s got a way with words…a real unique way. She’ll be the first to attest that in her 80’s she’s still “healthy as a clam” and “bright as a tack”. But despite her uncanny knack for mixed metaphors, she exemplifies some of the best advice: to keep it simple.
Mom has never been one for lots of makeup or jewelry. She washes her face with plain soap and water (and her skin is beautiful). She is stylish but never falls for the latest fads.
She’s a great cook, but her meals tend to have fewer ingredients, always fresh, and always tasty, including just those things she finds delicious. As she puts it, “You don’t want too many soups in the broth.”
In our complicated and contaminated world, her example has served me well. Doing things in moderation, keeping it simple, and understanding that less is more, are some of the best ways to reduce exposure to the toxic chemicals in our environment that are largely out of our individual control. So I try to keep it simple in my own life, and hope I am passing that lesson on to my own two daughters. But I know it’s not enough.
I am frustrated that moms today need to do so much research, and take such extraordinary steps to reduce toxic exposure from the simple household goods like cleaners, cosmetics and toys.
I know we can change the system so that these efforts become unnecessary, because household products and the chemicals used in them, will actually be deemed safe before they can be put on the market.
Through my work at Women’s Voices for the Earth, I am inspired everyday by the collective power and desire of women to make the world a healthier place. And this is why I, like so many moms, support the federal Safe Chemicals Act S.847. I strongly urge my Montana State senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester to co-sponsor this bill. I hope they do soon. That, as Mom would say, “would be the cheese on top of the cake!”