1. Why did you call the company ‘Chemical Free Community’?
We know, literally, we can never be chemical free – unless we live off the grid. We are surrounded by chemicals in everything we do, touch and ingest. Your dry cleaning, your pool, your shower, your processed muesli, your lip stick, your bug spray.., it’s endless.
So it’s about living in a Chemical Free ‘State of Mind’. It’s the accumulative effect of 100,000’s of chemicals we come in contact with that negatively impacts our health. So we have to ask ourselves – What are my alternatives? How can I reduce my toxic exposure?
2. What makes ChemFreeCom different from other directories?
We cover Services as well as Food & Products– we want all those chemical free hairdressers, nail salons, cleaners, pest control, pet care, dentists, pre-schools, dry cleaners and funeral service to let us know they exist – so we can let our community know. There are so many ways that we can decrease our toxic exposure across other aspects of life – we need to think wider then what we eat.
We support all businesses who are trying to be more chemically free or in transition. It is not about being 100%. A Supplier can nominate the percentage (%) they are chemically free, organic, certified and/or a number of other chemical status categories. As they grow and transition to more toxic or chemical free they can update their percentages (%) on their profile.
ChemFreeCom’s goal is to grow the overall Chemical Free Community so we provide the opportunity for Suppliers to highlight any business or employment opportunities they wish to offer or are seeking.
The ChemFreeCom Library is a collection of inspirational videos, great books, and information on chemicals/toxins. We want the directory to be more than just that, a directory. We want it to be a source of information for all who are looking to support their chemical free existence, or aid their transition.
3. What has been the driver for you starting CFC?
There are really 2 reasons or events s that have created this opportunity.
I’ve had a number of experiences and like a lot of people one of them was cancer. My adventure with cancer provided me with many lessons. In choosing not to devalue my experience these learning’s have prompted me to contribute to the education of prevention. Many people post cancer become active in fund raising for a cure, I seem to be more comfortable focusing my energies on prevention rather then cure.
The second is that while on the cancer adventure you tend to re-evaluate life and your purpose. I would like to leave a legacy that contributes to the health and wellness of our community, our global community.
ChemFreeCom.com and the overall Chemical Free Community is just one aspect of that legacy.
4. What industry would you like to see more chemical free offerings than currently exist?
A tough question, there seems to be an amazing amount of movement in the food and cosmetics industry. In saying that, we still cringe every time we walk past a nail salon. While in California this year we saw a number of chemical free nail salons that seem to be well frequented.
Another example would be dry cleaning. That industry throughout parts of Canada and west coast USA are phasing out Perc and nasty chemicals from their processes.
It would be great to see more of those types of business in all countries. Generally however – we would be delighted if we help promote a greater focus on services. This has an impact on both what we put ON our bodies and what is AROUND us.
5. You have been traveling a lot in the last 12 months: Dubai UAE, South America, USA , Canada, and of course all over Australia. What have been your 3 biggest learning across those countries?
1. The degree of activity from the community that are speaking out about the chemical saturation state of their community. Organisation such as Mum Across America and Teen Turning Green and Keep Abreast Foundation/Non-Toxic Revolution that are shaking and moving the decisions makers at all levels to educate, inform and change government policy.
2. The Support from all countries for ChemFreeCom. It has been an eye opener…we truly expected people we have shared our vision with to say ‘don’t worry it’s being done” but this never happened. What we got was “Love what you are doing, we need it NOW and how can we help you get there?” So it has become obvious that we have to make this happen at a global level. We have even recently established a new Facebook page just for the UAE – because that is what our community there wanted.
3. The opportunity to collaborate… to build a community in collaboration without the essence of competition. There is so much to do that not one organisation can achieve the change being pursued by themselves. As we travel we realise we are in a position to connect/link other people and groups together to leverage each other strengths to expedite this chemical free movement faster, deeper and wider….collectively. This is what it means to be a community.
6. Is there a message that you would like to leave us with – as you launch the ChemFreeCom Blog?
There are so many but perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate why we are doing what we are doing is by watching this video. It is from the Environmental Working Group – but really it is about the message the video conveys…beautifully put and really just one aspect of the “why” – but what a compelling “why”. Please have a look at “10 Americans” from the Environmental Working Group. AND – Please come join us at ChemFreeCom.