|photo from healingtimes.wordpress.com|
It all began in the winter when little V was taking some awesome art classes at our local 4Cats studio. For those of you who don't know what 4cats is, it is an awesome art studio for kids and they do everything from Artist of the Month classes, to birthday parties, to stop motion animation. For a little town like mine, this is a pretty amazing thing to have here. Anyways, one morning I was dropping little V off for her class and as soon as I opened the door to the studio I was hit with an overwhelming smell of Lysol. For someone who uses baking soda and a few eco cleaners, this was pretty intense. Then just after I came in, another mum noticed how strong it was also, always good to know I'm not just being over sensitive.
So I talked with Buddy and Katie who own the studio and asked if it would be possible to use a different cleaner. Not only was I concerned with the product for the children, but also for the staff that breathe that stuff in all day long (they clean the tables multiple times a day). They called head office (since they are a franchise) and their response was that no one had ever complained and that they didn't think the cleaner was an issue. However, if Buddy and Katie wanted to use something else, they were welcome to do so. Meanwhile I came home and researched the product with my risk assessor husband. It is really disturbing to find out how little information there is on the ingredients of these cleaners. We had to dig really deep to find anything out and what we could come up with was inconclusive, only because the company won't disclose everything that goes into their product. This was not very comforting.
The next week I went back for little V's art class and Katie told me that even though 4Cats head office didn't see any reason to change the cleaners, that they had decided to do it on their own. And while I was the only one who said anything, they were sure others may feel the same and just didn't speak up. So they started using an eco-friendly cleaner that was not only gentle on the earth, but also on those who breathe it in. Amazing. These are two amazing business owners that deserve a shout out for really caring about their clients and for offering the most amazing environment and classes for kids!
But wait, it gets even better. So yesterday I was at the 4cats studio working on some banners for our school Fun Fair, when Katie tells me something truly amazing. Soon after 4Cats Duncan changed their cleaner, 4Cats head office sent out a memo to all 50 4Cats (US and Canada) that from now on, they no longer recommend Lysol as their cleaner of choice. They are asking everyone to switch to baking soda, vinegar and water! I could hardly believe my ears. Not only did one small voice change the way the local studio did things, it changed the way 50 studios will do things. I am not telling this story to toot my own horn about how amazing I am, I am telling this story because I was so inspired by what one idea of change could do starting on a small scale. Can you imagine what else we could change in the world if we really cared? It's not like I took on big oil or anything, although indirectly it will be a hit to them too as Lysol contains petrochemicals, but it inspires me to keep speaking up for small changes in my community, the ripple effect is pretty amazing.
I know we can get a bit overwhelmed by all the rotten things that are going on in the world and feel helpless to do anything about it, I know I do. But if you could effect change in one small way and everyone did the same, we really could make a difference in how things are done, who knows how far it could spread!