Lori Alper, the drive behind Groovy Green Living, is one of those normal people making great things happen!
When her petition asking a leading brand in school supplies to get toxics out of our princesses' and super heroes' lunch boxes caught social media wildfire (and the attention of the Wall Street Journal), I knew we needed her in our Better Back to School Brigade.
We all needed a piece of Lori's unrelenting drive. So I asked...
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Can we all live like you, Lori?
Yes! I haven't always been so green. My passion for natural, non-toxic living began 13 years ago when I witnessed how an organic, non- toxic lifestyle can positively affect our health and well-being. But my commitment reached new heights when two of my children were diagnosed with life-threatening food allergies. I began to educate myself and others in earnest about how to live toxic-free.
Were you surprised to find that so many school supplies are toxic?
Most of us believe products on store shelves are safe. They should. But it's just not the case. All vinyl children's lunch boxes tested in the Hidden Hazards study by the Centre for Health, Environment and Justice contained toxics. Some of the worst offenders — including popular brands — contained up to 30 times the amount of toxic dust deemed safe by the federal government. So I called on industry leaders to take a leadership role in our children's health.
Where does your passion come from?
My children are my inspiration and provide endless motivation! I want the world to be a safe, healthy place for them — and all children.
Have you always been a leader?
I created the toxic lunch boxes and Tide Free & Gentle petitions, but it's our collective voice that causes change. After almost 80,000 of us came together demanding that Procter & Gamble remove a cancer-causing chemical from their Tide Free & Gentle® laundry detergent they realized they could no longer ignore our concerns. The same holds true with the the lunch boxes petition — over 61,000 people have already joined forces and together we will create change.
What can we do to help?
Avoid vinyl school supplies and let retailers know we won't tolerate unsafe products by signing Lori's petition! But that's just a start. Stay informed. Talk to your friends and neighbours. Believe in yourself and commit to making the world the place you want it to be.
Tovah Paglaro, a fellow queen of green
P.S. A non-toxic back to school extends beyond the confines of the classroom. This week's Better Back To School Brigade giveaway, courtesy of Sappho Organic Cosmetics, helps you make safe choices about what your and your kids put on your skin this year.