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National Campaigns of the Green Team

by UMW Green Team

 

Sustaining Creation
Chlorine-Free Campaign: Converting use of Paper & Household Products to dioxin-free, chlorine-free products


Why We Should Convert to Processed Chlorine-Free Paper and Promote This Paper to Retailers, Institutions and Organizations?

Chlorine bleaching produces a toxin, called dioxin, into the air, waterways and soil, which then enters our bodies.  It is harmful to the environment and to human health, causing:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Miscarriages & birth defects
  • Impaired child development
  • Respiratory diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Reduction in sperm count

How is Water Related to the Need to Go Chlorine-Free?

Bleaching paper with chlorine wastes water.  It takes 20 times more water to bleach paper with chlorine than a chlorine-free alternative.  10 gallons of water is used to produce a chlorine bleached 6 oz. booklet.  Using a chlorine-free alternative uses less than half a gallon per booklet.

How Do We Convert to Chlorine-Free Household Products?

Health hazards are lurking in our homes – in the kitchen, laundry room, garage, yard, and beyond the home to the stores in the neighborhood.  The cleaning products contain chlorine that pose serious health risks for women, children and men.  Chlorine-free laundry detergents and bleaches and household paper products, like tissue, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, cooking parchment can be found in health food stores and can be ordered from several catalogs.  Look for brand names including Citra-Solv and Seventh Generation.  Natracare makes chlorine-free feminine hygiene products.  

Advocacy/Action for a Chlorine-Free Environment

  • Be informed of the facts of chlorine and chlorine-bleaching
  • Buy chlorine-free paper and household products
  • Write letters to the CEOs of corporations that produce and market chlorinated products
  • Hold institutions accountable through shareholder resolutions
  • Speak to legislators on supporting policy for environmental stewardship

Advocacy for WATER Security:  U.N.’s VISION 21

The WASH Campaign :     (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for All) 

GOAL:           By the year 2015, halve the proportion of people without access to safe water and basic sanitation

Launched at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa in September, 2002.   This Campaign is a vehicle by which WSSCC (Water Supply & Sanitation Collaborative Council) can promote priority themes and activities – to achieve Agenda 21, as the 2004 Book of Resolutions calls on the United Methodist Church to do (2004 BOR, p. 87-88).

Water security in the 21st century can be achieved if the institutions that determine the management and use of water resources are effective.

The Crisis in Water & Sanitation:

  • Health:  2.2 million people in developing countries, most of them children, die each year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking. water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene.
  • Education:  poor sanitation in schools affects attendance rates, particularly of girls.
  • Economics:  national economics are weakened by the need to spend significant funds on healthcare and medicines, while many working days are lost to ill-health resulting from poor water and inadequate sanitation.

To realize the Vision 21, we must recognize that water and sanitation is a basic human right. 

Key Themes of the WASH Campaign:

  • Hygiene promotion
  • Environmental sanitation
  • Institutional and management reform
  • Community-based approaches

Activities for the Campaign:

  • Social Education -  Effect behavioral change through education (through mass media, teaching hygiene in schools, etc.)
  • Community Organizing – Provide training and build local capacity in communication and improve networking
  • Advocacy for Policy Change – Raise commitment of political and social leaders to achieve the goals of making water, sanitation and hygiene a reality for all

Date posted: Apr 15, 2005