I encourage you to see the movie (check out my giveaway of the movie below!), so I won't ruin the plot, but here are some of my notes:
- One of the main messages of the movie is that people, particularly Americans, don't really think for ourselves. We often do things without thought, especially if most people around us are doing it, or we grew up watching our families do it. This is very in-line with how I feel about eating habits, but this also applies to the products we use outside of our homes. A Chemical Reaction is about pesticides, which is not something I've really given much thought to, despite the fact that I am so careful about what I put in, on, or around my body at home.
- Pesticides contain the same chemicals used to make bombs, and yet we spray them on the same grass that we/our children/our pets run on barefoot. They describe it best in the film, "we're living in a soup of chemicals". These chemicals are also linked to disorders like ADHD, Parkinsons, and Autism.
- Many people are very attached to their lawns and making them look perfect, but who for -us or our neighbors? Lawns not only require pesticides to be weed free, but lots of water to keep them green - neither are eco-friendly. What we need to do is redefine the American Dream, and in this case that means letting go of the attachment we have to perfect lawns. Instead, why don't we try growing lawns organically, or not having a lawn at all? In California for example, residents are encouraged to give up their lawns and instead grow plants that don't require a lot of water or maintenance.
- Another big question raised in the movie is about the source of information and who we trust. This really made me think, especially since I live such an unconventional lifestyle - so where do I get my facts from? Personally, I get information from people I trust, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's true. A Chemical Reaction implies that a lot of information is biased and/or corrupt, especially when money is involved. Ultimately, what we decide comes down to how it makes us feel, both emotionally and physically. But we also need to stop lying to ourselves about supporting things that we sense are bad, simply because we're afraid to go against the grain or make a change. As June Irwin says in the movie, "if you let it happen you're part of the problem."
- The movie mentions a term I haven't heard of, called The Precautionary Principle. Check out Wikipedia for a longer definition, but in summary: if an action or policy has suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action...The principle implies that there is a responsibility to intervene and protect the public from exposure to harm. This is a great point, because it seems that a major reason people don't take action for the environment or health is because we don't have enough "proof" that we need to - this is basically just an excuse to take a back seat.
- Towards the end of the movie, someone (Paul Tukey?) says, "chemicals should not be innocent until proven guilty."
What can you do?
- There are some great resources on the affiliated SafeLawns website on how to have a natural lawn.
- It was mentioned post-screening that the E.P.A. is accepting comments on spray drift and ingredient disclosure - please check out the Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances to let your voice be heard.
- Check out Pesticide Watch, a program that helps citizen groups across California develop sustainable solutions for dealing with pests, instead of using toxic pesticides
- This movie was sponsored by Seventh Generation and Firebelly Lawncare (organic)
- Check out my giveaway of the movie below for your chance to win it!
After the screening they did a raffle and I won a copy of the movie, and since I've already seen it I'd like to offer it to one of my lucky readers. : )
- You must live in the United States
- You must follow each of the rules and keep your answers in one comment.
- You must provide your email address. If you don't want to post it publicly, please send me an email.
- **If you want to use this copy to show at a public screening, you must contact the filmmakers first, due to liability reasons**
- Comment below and explain why this post inspired you to see the movie. Please let me know if you read about it anywhere else.
- In the same comment, answer: do you have a lawn? If so, do you use chemicals? Why would this movie help you change your ways, or the ways of your loved ones? Why does it matter?
- Follow ChemReact on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook - note that you did in your comment
- Follow EcoVegan Gal on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook, and subscribe to the FeedBurner email (top right column) - note that you did in your comment