Pushing Pink Elephants

Healthy Child Healthy World - Creating a cleaner, greener, safer home

By: Christopher Gavigan


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Every concerned parent knows to keep the household cleaning products locked away under the sink, out of the children's reach. But when we spray and wipe and spill these products all over the house, we don't always realize the extent to which we are contaminating the sacred areas where our children eat, sleep, and play. Tens of millions of American children now face chronic diseases and illnesses including cancer, autism, asthma, birth defect, ADD/ADHD, allergies, learning and developmental disabilities, as well as a host of lesser but disruptive ailments. The number gets higher each year and more parents ask why. A growing body of research points to unseen threats wrought by exposure to chemicals in everyday products like cleaning supplies, beauty car and cosmetics, home furnishing, plastics, and some foods and toys as contributing to these ailments. With that in mind, the nonprofit organization Healthy Child Healthy World offers parents a definitive guide to creating a healthy, non-toxic, and environmentally sound home.


Filled with easy steps and simple solutions to improve family living without wreaking havoc on schedules or budgets, this book includes inspiring ideas for safe, eco-friendly cleaning methods, choosing healthier food and toys, pet and garden care, nursery and home furnishing, plus extensive tips for energy saving and family fun.


Little Changes - Tales of a reluctant home eco-momics pioneer

By: Kristi Marsh w/ Rachel Vidoni


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After a startling discovery threatened to extinguish her right to be a mother to her three children, Kristi Marsh was thrown into an unexpected mommy-timeout. Over the next few years, she resurrected her inner warrior, vowed to abandon mainstream domesticity, and challenged the parenting status quo in the name of health. A gut-wrenching roller coaster of emotions, her adventure involves a Western Grebe, farm stand spinach, a meaty love story, a rock in Wyoming, and some pioneers --- which eventually captured national attention.


With a cup of humor, a smidgeon of sarcasm, and a wallop of mainstream motherhood, Little Changes enlightens readers about the simmering, swelling, epic transformation of our generation.


Our review:

This book is a wonderful read for anyone who wants a safer environment for their family. In this down to earth read, Kristi talks woman to woman, mother to mother, sister to sister and concerned citizen to concerned citizen. We can promise you, this book is worth the read. It is eye opening, and contains great tips and information for how to make "little changes" that have the potential to have huge benefits in your life and those around you. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did - Erin & Carey

Pink Ribbon Blues - How breast cancer culture undermines women's health

By: Gayle Sulik


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Medical sociologist Gayle A. Sulik reveals the hidden costs of the pink ribbon as an industry, one in which breast cancer functions as a brand name with a pink ribbon logo. Based on historical and ethnographic research, analysis of awareness campaigns and advertisements, and hundreds of interviews, Pink Ribbon Blues shows that while millions walk, run, and purchase products for a cure, cancer rates continue to rise, industry thrives, and breast cancer is stigmatized anew for those who reject the pink ribbon model. Even as Sulik points out the flaws of "pink ribbon culture", she outlines the positives and offers alternatives.


Our Review:

This book opened my eyes to many aspects of the pink ribbon culture that I had never thought about before. It literally made me stop and think about Breast Cancer awareness and what the pink ribbon really represents. This book made me question what I had been doing in the support of Breast Cancer ever since I learned what the color pink represented. We need to change the culture because as she points out, women are still being diagnosis with Breast Cancer and we still do not have a cure. What is the hold up and why can't we find a cure in an age when research is at the for front, spending billions of dollars? We are in the age of technology, why are we still looking for a cure to Breast cancer, and cures to other cancers and diseases for that matter? Read this book, think about how you support the pink cause and understand where your money/donation are really going.


A warning to the wise, if you are not ready to learn what Gayle is teaching through this book or ready to question the current culture of the pink ribbon, you may find this book offensive and abrasive. I encourage you to take a step back and listen to what she is trying to tell us. Even if you don't agree with everything she says, there are some great points and references that make a lot of sense and really put things under the microscope. I still support the pink ribbon and any pink representation of Breast Cancer, but we do need to find a way to go beyond the awareness and beyond the pink to find a way to make changes happen. In order to do this, we need people like Gayle who are not afraid to talk about the issues. We need people to stop and question the status quo. - Erin


The Honest Life - Living naturally and true to you

By: Jessica Alba


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When she was pregnant with her daughter Honor, Jessica Alba started asking questions. Why are there so many toxic chemicals in the food we eat, the products we put on our skin, and in our home environments, from crib mattresses to cleaning products? How is it that more then 80,000 chemicals on the market have never been tested for human safety? And when it comes to nontoxic, eco-friendly product options, why should anyone have to choose between performance and purity - or affordability and style?


Alba's quest for answers ultimately led to the launch of The Honest Company (Honest.com) in 2012. Having spend so much time learning from experts and tastemakers - pediatricians, environmental scientist, chefs, stylists, and even her mom friends - while personally testing products and strategies to determine what's practical and what works. Alba decided to download it all into a guidebook for parents and nonparents alike.


In The Honest Life, Alba reveals her tips and tricks for making natural living simple, fun, affordable, and stylish. She offers shortcuts for maintaining a clean, healthy diet (including several favorite family recipes) and steps to create a natural and nontoxic beauty routine. She shares ways to make better choices when putting together a stylish home using safe, nontoxic materials - from flooring and paint to furniture, including how to transform vintage flea market finds into one of a kind pieces. Alba also offers her inspiration for honing personal style, so you can save money and feel you best.


Alba's solutions are easy, chic, affordable, and down-to-earth: They're honest.


Plastic - A toxic Love Story

By: Susan Freinkel


Online Description:

Plastic built the modern world. Where would we be without bike helmets, baggies, toothbrushes, and pacemakers? But a century into our love affair with plastic, we’re starting to realize it’s not such a healthy relationship. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes, and destroy marine life. As journalist Susan Freinkel points out in this engaging and eye-opening book, we’re nearing a crisis point. We’ve produced as much plastic in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century. We’re drowning in the stuff, and we need to start making some hard choices. 


Freinkel gives us the tools we need with a blend of lively anecdotes and analysis. She combs through scientific studies and economic data, reporting from China and across the United States to assess the real impact of plastic on our lives. She tells her story through eight familiar plastic objects: comb, chair, Frisbee, IV bag, disposable lighter, grocery bag, soda bottle, and credit card. Her conclusion: we cannot stay on our plastic-paved path. And we don’t have to. Plastic points the way toward a new creative partnership with the material we love to hate but can’t seem to live without.


Our focus:

Baltimore, MD and the Surrounding Communities  

Pushing Pink Elephants is a

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