It wasn't until sometime after her third child was born, that Kirsten McCulloch started work on what would eventually become Less Toxic Living, but it was the process of trying to get pregnant that fully started her on her journey to cutting as many toxins out of her everyday life as she could.
In truth, Kirsten's interest in reducing our exposure to toxic chemicals dates back to her time writing for the "Green Youth Group" newsletter as an eighteen year old, volunteering for The Wilderness Society.
But that interest was later revitalized when she was trying to get pregnant. Having been told in her early twenties that she might have “a few” miscarriages before her uterus learned to grow as it should, she decided to do everything she could do prepare her body to carry a baby successfully.
More recently, learning in the space of 12 months that her cousin, then her sister and finally her step-father all had cancer, suddenly the “she’ll be right mate” approach we often take to unknown risks, stopped sitting so well with her. It’s all very well to say “in my day we ate lead-painted toadstools and drove trucks with our babies hanging out the window, and they’re all right.” But what about the people who aren’t all right? What about the ones who developed cancer down the track, or who have asthma or other serious allergies or learning disorders or hormonal imbalances? What about the ones who died? And the ones who will die, ten years hence, with no clear explanation for their condition?
The more research she did, the more Kirsten realised that we are constantly exposed to a cocktail of toxic chemicals, and almost no-one realises it. Individually, many of the toxins might be safe in small doses. Unfortunately, when they mix together in our bodies the doses are no-longer so small, and the research into their effects is no longer so clear. Or in some cases it is all too clear, and we need to do something about it.
Kirsten is an Australian writer and mother, passionate about living a more sustainable and healthy life—for herself, her family and the planet. She writes about sustainable living, non-toxic cleaning, health, and parenting. She has a Master’s Degree in Writing and Literature, and a long history of working with environmental and natural health organisations, from her time volunteering for The Wilderness Society to working as a qualified massage therapist and teacher. After becoming a mother, it was a natural step to start considering how our consumer practices and environmental toxins are affecting not only the environment, but our children as well. She has written for various online and offline publications such as MindBodyGreen.com, The Shake, Artlook, and In Good Hands. Connect with her at SustainableSuburbia.net or on twitter @sustainsuburb.