Gwen Leron: 50 Shades of Green


Shane Koyczan's Poem for a Toxin-Free Generation

New Campaign Aims to Create a Greener Future For Everyone

Shane Koyczan, the inspiring Canadian spoken word poet (the same person responsible for this recent viral poem about bullying) has teamed up with the green lifestyle brand, Seventh Generation, to get us all thinking about how we can work together to create a toxin-free generation.

Together, they would like for us to implement these super-easy green acts into our lives so we can all live a more toxin-free life:

1. Once a week, open all the windows in your house for five minutes. Like you, your house needs to breathe. No matter the season, open all the windows in your house for at least five minutes once a week to release vapours and bring in fresh air.
2. Avoid recycling cash register receipts. They may look like paper and feel like paper, but they shouldn't be recycled like paper. They could contain Bisphenol-A (BPA) that will contaminate the other recyclables in the mix. Either throw receipts into the trash or say no to a receipt to avoid them all together.
3. Use glass containers or stainless steel for lunches and food storage. There is no situation where the phrase “could leach into your food” is desirable. Even beets leaching into our mashed potatoes become a meal-breaker for some, so why tolerate potentially harmful chemicals leaching into our foods from plastic? Stick to glass food storage containers and stainless steel for lunches.
4. Choose a good, old-fashioned mug for your morning coffee. Grinding trees into pulp, compressing them into paper and then throwing them into a landfill after one use just does not make sense. Consider switching to a reusable cup, thermos, or mug. 
5. Your nose knows; trust it. If something gives off a scent that makes you cringe, it’s probably a good sign to step away. More likely than not, you’re smelling a Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and the less of those you inhale, the better.
6. Get a plant to improve your indoor air quality. Plants like what you exhale, you like what they exhale. Here's a list of the best air-filtering house plants.
7. Beware: “unscented” is not the same as “fragrance-free." No healthy relationship is ever based on secrets, and some synthetic fragrances, including the nefarious “unscented” fragrance, can contain hundreds of secret chemicals, none of which are shared with you. Improve your label literacy and be aware of what’s really inside the products you buy.

Not too difficult, right? If we all pull together and make small green changes, we'd be amazed at how much those small things add up to make a huge difference.

For more info about this campaign, and to find out how you can participate, visit

See Koyczan's poem "A Poem for a Toxin-Free Generation," here: