Breast Cancer, Pinkwashing, and Strength

Chances are, if you are reading this you are aware of breast cancer. You may not know all the details, but you know it can be an incredibly scary diagnosis. By now, you are aware that women should regularly do breast self-exams. You should are regular mammograms are important, especially after a certain age or based on family history (please communicate with your doctor when it is right for you to begin these). You should also be aware that men can get breast cancer.

We are a society full of awareness. Thank goodness for that. In fact, when you see that color pink on products and people, especially in October, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

If you are buying something because you need it and it also happens to have a pink ribbon (plus it doesn’t contain carcinogenic ingredients or hazards; more on that in a minute), then go for it. If you’re buying something simply because it has the pink ribbon? Rethink that pink!

Rethink The Pink - Almost All The Truth

We pledged at ShiftCon to rethink the pink.

Did you know that the largest corporations with their huge pink marketing campaigns spend more money on their pink products, many of which directly and indirectly lead to this very cancer, than on breast cancer research? Even the Susan G. Komen has simply become a marketing monolith of pinkwashing.

Pinkwashing - Almost All the Truth 

There is little in the pink that leads to prevention or cure for breast cancer. What you will find instead are, in partnership with the Susan G. Komen Foundation, fracking drill bits which will help inject possible and known carcinogens into the ground. These then leak into the surrounding environment and water supply. That was this year’s palm-to-forehead product.

I am sure you’ve seen more, from plastic water bottles to endocrine disruptors in fragrances and cosmetics, the list goes on and on what people will slap a pink ribbon on to show their “support.” Often this support costs them little, goes to organizations with little aspirations of prevention and cure, yet reaps huge profits. 

Ugh. Can I shake off my disgust for a minute?

It is time to move our focus from awareness and move toward new research on breast cancer cause, prevention, and cure. Luckily there are some great organizations helping us do just that and they need our help to get their names in front of the people.

 

Last, but not least, YOU are invited to Strong, not Scared #CleanCouponing Twitter party on breast cancer prevention! RSVP here and enter for prizes! I will be one of the panelists, along with two of the above mentioned non-profit organizations and other activists. Will I see you there?

Have you heard of pinkwashing before? What do you do to make sure you are not supporting it? I especially welcome comments from breast cancer survivors on how they feel about the pinking of October… Please join the conversation!

 

 

Community Changes the World

Community Changes the World

 

What do you think of when you hear the phrases green living, environmentalist, green blogger? I am sure there are a few ideas that immediately spring to mind if one self-proclaims to belong in one, or all, of these groups. Would it surprise you then to learn just how many different principles, beliefs, and life experiences are brought to the environmental and green living movement?

If you really stopped to think about it, it shouldn’t, but somehow we all tend to get lumped together with our most vocal “spokespeople” whether we chose them or not.

There are nuances and extremes in how we vaccinate our children, whether we allow plastic into our homes, whether we will chain ourselves to pipelines or March Against Monsanto. We do not all agree and it can hurt us until we pause and realize where our common ground lies.

 

This video may be old, but with the global fights we still have, it is a reminder we need now more than others. Are there nutters out there that self-subscribe to be change makers, planet defenders, truth-tellers? Absolutely. Let them be and focus on those making a positive impact in their families, communities, and beyond.

It is past time to stand together and say enough is enough. United is how we will effect change. Community changes the world.

The generations to come deserve better. Wildlife deserves better now. Our natural places deserve better. Let’s roll up our sleeves and clean up the mess we’ve made. There’s our common ground.

 

Environmental Legacy of Christopher Columbus

Almost All The Truth - Christopher Columbus

Today marks the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Americas and a legacy that I could argue began the environmental devastation of the Americas, the trade imbalance between developed and developing nations, and the continued justification of natural resource exploitation and commercialization by governments and private companies alike.

In all, I hate that we have a day dedicated to an egotistical mass murderer.

Read this: The Oatmeal

Encourage your city to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day or support yours if they are already progressive enough to do so!

What do you think? Is it time to shift our perspective and do away with Christopher Columbus Day?

ShiftCon: Inspiring Change

October is a busy month. The month is dedicated to Breast Cancer Awareness, Vegetarian Awareness, and even more health related awareness campaigns. There are important days set aside to speak out for important causes: World Animal Day, International Day of the Girl, and even today is Octopus Awareness Day.

Re-Think The Pink

#ReThinkThePink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. No more pinkwashing! photo via @floursackmama

But this year October is also a power month, ready to take on the awareness and effect real inspiring change. It was also the inaugural ShiftCon Conference in Los Angeles. What does this mean?

1. I was able to spend time in person with influential bloggers, non-profits, and brands that are educating and effecting change for eco-wellness. It isn’t every day you are in the same room as Leah Segedie, Dr. Greene, Healthy Child Healthy World, Women’s Voices For The Earth, Breast Cancer Fund, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Traditional Medicinals, Stonyfield, and the other amazing keynote speakers, panelists, and change makers.

2.  I was able to remind myself that collective wisdom is powerful. I don’t need to know everything so long as I align myself with voices that complement mine. Together we are a deep well of knowledge.

3. We don’t have to always agree to effect change. I may not alway agree with another blogger’s tactics, or a non-profits specific campaign, but when we stand together more often than not we make things happen.

4. Just because it is a conference with hundreds of people does not mean we have to sacrifice quality of food or resort to lots of waste. Sponsors provided amazing food, drinks, cocktails, and more – plus composting! It was incredible.

5. It is important to bring people together in this way to spark that inspiration that may be hiding under endless soccer schedules, laundry, other work, and sometimes the depressing nature of what we do. I don’t think anyone came away without optimism and a goal for the future. That is something to celebrate!

 Are you ready to make the SHIFT? Let me know what you are most passionate about in the comments!