With a familiar pit in my stomach we pulled up to a Home Depot in Vermont. I had my two kids with me and a letter from Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, asking Home Depot to move away from selling products that contain any of the Hazardous 100+ chemicals that have been linked to numerous health problems and diseases.
I’ve done lots of on the street (or rather, in the legislature or at press conferences) activism and advocacy before. But that doesn’t mean I don’t get a little bit nervous.
And it was that time of day. You know, when the afternoon whining has started– and there are still many errands yet to be run.
The store parking lot was packed. I grabbed the letter and my two kids, walked in and asked the greeter where I could find the manager. I waited for him as he consulted with a couple. Thankfully, they were giving out free popcorn which is probably the reason why the waiting was just a-okay for my daughters.
Finally it was my turn and the manager listened to me talk about the progress Home Depot has made so far in lowering VOCs and providing more eco-friendly products. I told him about the Hazardous 100+ and he nodded, and even continued to listen when I showed him the broad coalition of organizations that support limiting or eliminating any products that may contain the Hazardous 100+ chemicals from store shelves to protect consumers. It was crowded, and I could tell my time was up, but I do think he will pass the letter and the experience along.
Here’s a video shot right after we came out of the store about what happened.
I was happy to have this respectful interchange with him despite the crowded store. I am hopeful that Home Depot will be a leader in providing healthy products to American families. Will you join me in asking Home Depot, and 9 other major retailers to Mind the Store?
Better yet, head in to stores and deliver the same letter. The more of us doing it the more impact we will make. And if I can do it with two hungry kids, on a crowded and busy Saturday, so can you!