From the Grim Reaper side of things: Recent radio show guest Janet Nudelman, Director of Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and Director of Program and Policy, Breast Cancer Fund, pretty much provided scientific evidence that there are harmful chemicals in plastics, in our cosmetics, in our household products, in our food, and in our air and water. Maybe I knew all that but I usually tackle each one of those one topic at a time. Ms. Nudelman went on to inform me and our listeners about pregnancy and childhood exposures and stated that globally, breast cancer affects more women than any other type of cancer and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women. In case you were not aware of it, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, when pink ribbons blanket everything from cosmetics to food cans, urging us to be aware of breast cancer. But when 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with the disease, how much more awareness do we need? What we need is to go beyond the pink from awareness to prevention! I asked myself “What might I do to encourage the hundreds of people who read my blog to either 1. Listen to the entire show or 2. Visit the Breast Cancer Fund Website and REALLY spend some time there because if you do, you will know better, you will do better and the reaper will be grim no more. The show and the site will give you hope and the life you save may be your own or the life of someone you dearly love. Please?

On the Voice of Awareness side: We FINALLY have an international, famous, smart and amazing human being raising awareness about climate change! His name is Pope Francis and he is now officially one of my new heroes. The release of his 184 page Encyclical totally reveals that he has done what the Washington Post calls “deep dive into climate SCIENCE.” According to the Post article published on June 18th, Pope Francis warns of “synthetic agrotoxins” harming birds and insects and “bioaccumulation” from industrial waste. He calls for renewable fuel subsidies and “maximum energy efficiency.” And although he offers prayers at the beginning and end of his heavily anticipated missive on the environment, Pope Francis unmasks himself not only as a very green pontiff, but also as a total policy wonk. I ask you to press pause here and ask yourself – can you think of any other world leader even mentioning climate change on a regular basis let alone urging us all to make changes like taking public transit, carpooling, planting trees, turning off unnecessary lights, recycling – and boycotting certain products. Imagine that! Now if we can only get him on the show – I know plenty of people who would be more than happy to act as official interpreter. Disclaimer: I did not read the entire 184 pages of the Encyclical but if anyone out there has and would like to be a guest on MGW, email us!