Meet Lori Alper. The founder of Groovy Green Livin blog is helping to shape the cleaning industry with passion, activism, and a Tide-reformulation petition that garnered nearly 80,000 signatures.
She gives nearly all credit to the more than 78,000 people who signed her Tide-reformulation petition (as a truly selfless activist would do). But green blogger and mom Lori Alper proves that change really can start with one person who believes in a cause—and who can get thousands more people to believe in it, too.
Alper makes an impact every day at Boston area-based Groovy Green Livin, an easy to read, actionable blog that covers everything from GMO updates to simple ways to green your life. But never has her influence and reach been so apparent as the past year, when she introduced her first-ever petition to get Tide to reformulate its Free & Gentle—touted as a better-for-you item. (Like Johnson & Johnson's No More Tears, it's just wrong that this product contains a known carcinogen.) Through change.org, her own blog and network of bloggers, and partnerships with organizations such as Healthy Child Healthy World, she became one of the key factors behind Tide’s announcement to significantly reduce 1,4-dioxane in this detergent by September 2013.
“It went viral because it was easy for people to identify with and say, What? How could this be? It feels wrong,” Alper said. “I started the petition, but it was really the people who stepped forward to show their support who were angry who said they would not settle for this—they’re the ones that deserve the true thanks.”
Between a growing awareness about what we put in and on our bodies and the products we use in our homes and the increase in high-performance products that support our shift towards truly clean and gentle living, we may very well have ourselves a tipping point. Just ask Johnson & Johnson and Procter & Gamble. Over the past three years, both have given in to consumer pressure and agreed to start shifting their practices. I know this is just the beginning.
Beyond major reformulations, on the large scale, we continue seeing promising updates to cosmetics and chemicals legislation and advancements in green chemistry—which will all be critical in effecting change.
But it's not without the work of people like Alper who are blending their passions with all of today’s tools—from digital petition platforms, social media campaigns, and well-connected nonprofits—that turn the one into the many so that we can truly feast our eyes upon a new consumer landscape.
Resources to support safer cleaning and beauty products
- The Environmental Working Group: ewg.org
- Groovy Green Livin; groovygreenlivin.com
- Women's Voices for the Earth; womensvoices.org
- Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families: saferchemicals.org
- Environmental Defense Fund: edf.org
- Campaign for Safe Cosmetics: safecosmetics.org
- Breast Cancer Fund: breastcancerfund.org