April 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Creating a Cleaner, GREENER World

Earlier this year, Westside resident and first-time author Christopher Gavigan released the best-selling book, Healthy Child Healthy World, a guide to creating a healthy and non-toxic lifestyle for your family. Westside Today’s KATIE GRIM sat down with Gavigan, CEO of Los Angeles-based non-profit Healthy Child Healthy World, to discuss the small steps that can bring about big change.

Healthy Child Healthy World

Westside Today: Healthy Child Healthy World features contributions from a number of celebrity parents, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, Tom Hanks, Tobey Maguire and Michelle Obama. What spurred their involvement with the project?

Christopher Gavigan: All of the essay contributors, from top health scientists, pediatricians, sustainability experts and average moms and dads to numerous celebrities, rallied around the concept of conveying a story for a healthier child living in a healthy world. These folks are all parents, and it only took 10 seconds of describing the book for them to excitedly take part.

WT: In a recent article you stated, “Today’s babies are being born with over 200 synthetic chemicals in their blood.†How is this possible?

CG: I know – it’s a shocking thought and reality. In a groundbreaking report by the Environmental Working Group, researchers discovered more than 200 types of toxins in the umbilical cord blood of United States infants, and of the 287 chemicals detected, we know that 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. Therefore, it is imperative that we all act to clean up our homes and bodies – and it’s easier than imagined – and that is what I discuss in the new book.

WT: It is often daunting to take in the laundry list of toxins that we are exposed to in our daily lives. What are some simple changes parents can incorporate into their lives that will have the most positive impact on their children’s health?

CG: Adopt a no-shoe policy for your home. By simply taking off your shoes at your doorstep, you will prevent 80 percent of the dirt, grime, bacteria and pesticides that enter into your home. You can also significantly clean up and reduce toxins in the air by opening up windows and doors or having indoor plants.

WT: Last year, you and your wife celebrated the birth of your first child, so this is a topic that must really hit home with you. What are some of the green choices that you have worked into your daily lives?

CG: Of course Luke has really impacted our lives – it’s that great moment of awakening, the birth of a child. On top of what we do, we consciously try to consume less and think about our acquisition of “stuff.†We primarily shop at farmer’s markets, we make homemade organic baby food, and above all we realize the more we simplify, the happier we are and the more secure and happy Luke is.

WT: Healthy Child Healthy World contains a wealth of information for parents, from safe cleaning products to home improvement tips. What do you most hope readers will take away with them?

CG: The book is an amazing resource guide for everyone, not only parents, in seeking a healthier, cleaner and greener lifestyle. I hope people realize they can’t do everything, but they CAN do something – and if they do one or all of the tips, they’ve succeeded.

For more information on Healthy Child Healthy World, please visit www.healthychild.org

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