You sit awkwardly through a school PTO meeting, finally getting the courage to speak up about the popsicles and candy containing synthetic food dyes that have been fed to students as rewards. After the PTO agrees to one healthy snack change for a sponsored activity, another parent quietly thanks you because she’d been too afraid to speak up.
A grownup bully harasses you for leading a shared art project with other parents who want to advocate for clean air. You ignore the bully and keep your promise to those parents, many of whom share similar experiences of a loved one with breathing issues, and you carry their concerns to Washington.
You’ve been reading there are safer alternatives to a lot of household products. When you discover something that works for you, like hand soap without harmful triclosan or a cleaning product without fumes, you donate that safer alternative to your child’s school or daycare center. You do so despite being told, “this is the way we’ve always done it.”
I am just like you when you were afraid to speak up, afraid to be perceived as different for caring about what your children are eating or breathing or washing their hands with. I am still afraid sometimes, because I was raised in a culture where women and children never questioned anything. I’m a product of that culture, where caring mothers didn’t always have access to information or feel they had the power to speak up for rights like wellness.
I’ve noticed that if I speak up, even once, it makes a positive difference. Maybe you’ve noticed that about yourself, too. There is a subtle shift happening all across the United States, and you and I are a part of it. We’ve all been learning that when the air isn’t as clean as it should be or our household products are made with toxic chemicals or our food isn’t really food, it’s the women and children who suffer the most health consequences. Scientists who study this say that before our babies are even born, they’re exposed to whatever we are and it affects them profoundly. It’s about time we speak up for ourselves and our babies, isn’t it?
Conscientious bloggers are helping get the word out about all sorts of eco wellness topics these days. So, it’s fitting that top bloggers are gathering this fall for the first ever ShiftCon Eco Wellness Social Media Conference. Speakers and workshop leaders are many of the women you already look up to for wellness and fitness information. Keynotes are real food champions Vani Hari and Robyn O’Brien.
Powerhouse Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families deputy director Lindsay Dahl is leading a workshop on using social media for change. Dahl also blogs about feminism and food in her spare time. Here’s what she says about the shift that’s happening:
“Over the last ten years, I’ve seen a tremendous shift in the public’s consciousness around issues related to healthy food, safe non-toxic products and clean air and water. That shift has been in response to a combination of public education from non-profits and smart women influencers online. In a world where we’re faced with lax regulations, the burden to make safe choices for one’s family has fallen primarily on women’s shoulders. Women have taken these issues head on and have used the internet and independent journalism as a way to: educate each other, move the market away from toxic foods and products and create growing pressure on our government for action. I am honored to be able to work with key influencers like Flour Sack Mama and the entire Safer Chemicals blogging network as we do what others said was impossible – move the masses.”
Long before there was a conference for eco conscious bloggers, many were quietly leading the way toward today’s level of influence that respected niche bloggers carry as new media leaders.
Registered nurse Alicia Voorhees has been setting the standard for reviewing green products at The Soft Landing. Now a sought-after eco-conscious living consultant in the Kansas City area, Voorhees balances a mix of public and behind-the-scenes media responsibilities.
Former BBC film director Penelope Jagessar Chaffer has been researching at length about toxic chemicals and how they affect our babies. Her creative efforts in new media with Toxic Baby and more exemplify the level of production quality and accuracy that you can expect in this niche.
You’ll find Voorhees, Chaffer and several other influential new media women on the speaker’s agenda at ShiftCon.
Some of the most exciting details about the conference are built-in fitness programs, solid content and sponsors that have values in sync with the bloggers they’re courting. It will be fun to finally meet super influencer and conference founder Leah Segedie and her fitness trainer husband who will have everyone working out before a non-GMO breakfast! I’m grateful to SCHF for making my attendance possible.
I’m interested to hear what you’d like for me to share with you after the conference. Which topics are you most interested in? What do you want me to tell potential sponsors about the products you want? Do you have any suggestions for me on conference fitness attire? I look forward to sharing this ShiftCon experience with you!