Connecticut-based importer and wholesaler Benjamin International recently recalled 460,000 items sold between 2002 and 2007 due to high lead content. Apparently pewter pendants in “New Age” styles including signs of the zodiac, the runes, and a line called “Celtic Harmonies” comprised a substantial portion of the recall.
I know we’re all imperfect. Some of us have worn leather sneakers to animal rights rallies, and others who decry the record profits of oil companies don’t realize their dish soap and cosmetics are made of petrochemicals. I truly believe we do the best we can…but we need to start doing better.
Intentional Living, the foundation I feel the entire “New Age” movement is built on, has been defined as “[R]epresenting an individual and/or group effort to live with integrity in relation to her/his conscience and environment.” Buying cheap crap we don’t need at the expense of people we can’t see is in direct opposition to this. Where do you suppose those lead-filled trinkets were made? Probably in a country with little or no human rights. Why were they made there? Because we want them now and we want them cheap. Never mind that high concentrations of lead will be in direct, extended contact with our skin. (As long as we don’t ingest it we’re OK, right…?)
Living with intention doesn’t mean making the right choice all the time. Even if this were possible, what a boring existence it would be! But it does mean taking our blinders off, admitting that consumerism hurts the global community, and starting to act accordingly.