In honor of MCS Awareness Month, we are posting this co-written article in order to share more deeply regarding one of the most significant reasons that we undertook our current journey around the country. Because we both live with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), finding a safe place to call home is paramount to us, and those who have MCS understand what it's like to live like a "canary in the coal mine" in a world saturated with substances that undermine our health and impair our ability to function effectively...
We offer this article as a missive of support and hope to other canaries, as well as a plea to those without MCS---especially intentional communities---to more deeply understand our plight....
Hitting the proverbial road in a 29-foot mobile home, we began to scour the country for an intentional community or eco-village that offered an opportunity for healthy living. Traversing the East Coast, Deep South, Gulf Coast and Southwestern United States, we visited over two-dozen intentional communities in more than twenty states over the course of seven months.
Many of these communities profess to live close to the earth by using sustainable building and permaculture techniques, renewable energy sources, organic gardening, and other well-meaning practices. In our naivete, we did indeed assume that “sustainable living” would include the use of earth-friendly and non-toxic products, but we’ve sadly found that many such communities simply reach for the cheapest common denominator, with Tide, Bounce, Palmolive, Cascade and other products being the easy mainstream fix.
Our disappointment and disillusionment were great when many visits to such communities revealed that people were often unwilling to “walk the talk” when it came to using safe and healthy products. As to the issue of being fragrance-free and MCS-friendly, most communities appeared oblivious at best, much to our dismay.
---Mary Rives and Keith Carlson
Mary Rives and Keith Carlson are Travellers. Pete and I became aware of this couple months ago, when VardoForTwo was nearly finished as a safe haven home on wheels. As Pete and I search and live from our wee wheelie home, Mary and Keith also took to the road in search of safe community doing their reassembled life from a twenty nine foot mobile home. While the three day Canary Caravan Carnival is history now, this article which can be read by linking here or above, is an important picture of the search for safe housing and community we environmentally injured experience.
Mahalo to Mary and Keith for this real-life review of the Intentional Communities' measure of commitment to living 'safe enough for canaries.' Read the entire article for the ICs that are living with practices that might work for some of the chemically injured folk who search for haven on a toxic planet.