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Less Toxic

Years ago some new "Green" organization was being created by a group of people and, among other things, one of their stated goals included something about making a new generation of "less toxic" houses.  This got me to thinking, if someone offered to sell you a house that was 10% less toxic, would you want to buy it?  My reaction would be "what about the other 90% of the toxins still in the house?".

  The fact is that we often accept without questioning the things that modern technology provides, when we should be asking ourselves "what are the down sides?" or at least, "what are the trade-offs?".  Our ancestors got along just fine without these modern "conveniences", so they are not necessities, and there is no reason we shouldn't take the time to ask these questions.  I am by no means anti-technology, but just because someone creates a product that sounds good doesn't mean that it is, or that we actually need it.

This is one of the reasons I am heavily involved in natural building (building houses out of natural and largely unprocessed materials such as straw bales, earth, stone, logs, etc.).  This is not to say that nature does not create toxic materials as well; however, we evolved in the presence of those materials and, most importantly, at the levels which are usually found in nature.  No solution is perfect, however, I would expect that the odds heavily favor us fairing better in the presence of chemical compounds that occur in nature, than in the presence of man-made chemicals which we were never exposed to during evolution, or chemicals which do occur in nature, but which in man-made products occur at concentrations vastly greater than occur in nature.

So do you want the products in your life to simply be "less toxic" or non-toxic?