The Eco-Minded Mama Podcast

Healthy Earth, Healthy YOU (with Dr. Chris Bantock)

February 11, 2022 Katie Season 1 Episode 5
Healthy Earth, Healthy YOU (with Dr. Chris Bantock)
The Eco-Minded Mama Podcast
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The Eco-Minded Mama Podcast
Healthy Earth, Healthy YOU (with Dr. Chris Bantock)
Feb 11, 2022 Season 1 Episode 5
Katie

Send Katie a Text Message sharing questions or encouragement about the show! :)

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we consume, and so on -- our health is directly impacted by our environment. As we begin to close out this pilot season of exploring the many well-rounded facets of living sustainably, this episode focuses on the big picture of our physical health as it relates to the health of our shared planet Earth.

Dr. Chris Bantock, doctor and founder of the Colorado Center for Functional Medicine, joins Katie Kurpanek, Eco-Living Coach and Podcast Host, to discuss the broad scope of physical health benefits within living sustainably. We cover a wide range of topics from water quality to air purification to plastics within our bodies to the gradual build-up of toxins and more! Dr. Bantock, as you'll hear, greatly cares about supporting his patients with education and training to unlock their truest form of health, not just cycling them through the "revolving door" of many traditional healthcare systems with no lasting outcomes.  (full bio below)

NOTE: post-editing, I realized at one point Dr. Bantock and I reference the U.S. being the biggest producer of plastic waste, but in double-checking for the sake of accuracy, we are actually the second, just behind China (more info here
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This show is brought to you by listener support, and I'm sending a huge shout-out to these patrons for making it happen: Elizabeth R, Nancy K, Sarah W, Jodi S, Julia B, Liliana S, Karyn W, Linda M, Detlef K, and Kelly K!
To become a patron and receive all the perks of this community, visit www.patreon.com/allthingssustainable and join for as low as $3/month!
-------
To learn more with your host and Eco-Living Coach, Katie Kurpanek, visit www.thatminimallife.com for blog posts and personalized coaching info!
Instagram: @that.minimal.life
Email: katie.thatminimallife@gmail.com
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TRANSCRIPTS FOR EACH EPISODE can be found here: https://allthingssustainable.buzzsprout.com
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Izzy's truly ZERO WASTE Mascara: Use this affiliate link and the code “THATMINIMALLIFE” to receive 10% off your single purchase! If you’re interested in buying a membership with multiple mascaras, use the code: “zerowaste10” for 10% off! *This affiliate link will also give me a small kickback with no extra cost to you.
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Resources in this Episode:
Environmental Working Group (EWG) Tap Water Database
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Dr. Chris Bantock's Bio:
Dr. Chris Bantock, DC practices functional medicine in Denver and surrounding communities. He certified through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. Bantock is a native of Colorado and graduated from University of Colorado with a degree in Integrative Physiology. He then graduated valedictorian from Cleveland University in Kansas City with his doctorate. Before starting practice Dr. Bantock volunteered for World Spine Care as a spine clinician where he practiced in Botswana, Africa.  Additionally, Dr. Bantock has received his certification in acupuncture. Dr. Bantock specializes in investigating under

Support the Show.

Ready for more guidance right now?? Visit www.ecomindedmama.com to download your free guide to help you save $2,000 hiding in your kitchen, plus a bunch of other resources!

Follow us on Instagram & TikTok @ecomindedmama

Show Notes Transcript

Send Katie a Text Message sharing questions or encouragement about the show! :)

The air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we consume, and so on -- our health is directly impacted by our environment. As we begin to close out this pilot season of exploring the many well-rounded facets of living sustainably, this episode focuses on the big picture of our physical health as it relates to the health of our shared planet Earth.

Dr. Chris Bantock, doctor and founder of the Colorado Center for Functional Medicine, joins Katie Kurpanek, Eco-Living Coach and Podcast Host, to discuss the broad scope of physical health benefits within living sustainably. We cover a wide range of topics from water quality to air purification to plastics within our bodies to the gradual build-up of toxins and more! Dr. Bantock, as you'll hear, greatly cares about supporting his patients with education and training to unlock their truest form of health, not just cycling them through the "revolving door" of many traditional healthcare systems with no lasting outcomes.  (full bio below)

NOTE: post-editing, I realized at one point Dr. Bantock and I reference the U.S. being the biggest producer of plastic waste, but in double-checking for the sake of accuracy, we are actually the second, just behind China (more info here
-------
This show is brought to you by listener support, and I'm sending a huge shout-out to these patrons for making it happen: Elizabeth R, Nancy K, Sarah W, Jodi S, Julia B, Liliana S, Karyn W, Linda M, Detlef K, and Kelly K!
To become a patron and receive all the perks of this community, visit www.patreon.com/allthingssustainable and join for as low as $3/month!
-------
To learn more with your host and Eco-Living Coach, Katie Kurpanek, visit www.thatminimallife.com for blog posts and personalized coaching info!
Instagram: @that.minimal.life
Email: katie.thatminimallife@gmail.com
-------
TRANSCRIPTS FOR EACH EPISODE can be found here: https://allthingssustainable.buzzsprout.com
-------
Izzy's truly ZERO WASTE Mascara: Use this affiliate link and the code “THATMINIMALLIFE” to receive 10% off your single purchase! If you’re interested in buying a membership with multiple mascaras, use the code: “zerowaste10” for 10% off! *This affiliate link will also give me a small kickback with no extra cost to you.
 -------
Resources in this Episode:
Environmental Working Group (EWG) Tap Water Database
-------
Dr. Chris Bantock's Bio:
Dr. Chris Bantock, DC practices functional medicine in Denver and surrounding communities. He certified through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. Bantock is a native of Colorado and graduated from University of Colorado with a degree in Integrative Physiology. He then graduated valedictorian from Cleveland University in Kansas City with his doctorate. Before starting practice Dr. Bantock volunteered for World Spine Care as a spine clinician where he practiced in Botswana, Africa.  Additionally, Dr. Bantock has received his certification in acupuncture. Dr. Bantock specializes in investigating under

Support the Show.

Ready for more guidance right now?? Visit www.ecomindedmama.com to download your free guide to help you save $2,000 hiding in your kitchen, plus a bunch of other resources!

Follow us on Instagram & TikTok @ecomindedmama

Katie Kurpanek:

You're listening to all things sustainable, where we unpack topics related to sustainable living, as well as how to apply specific actions to your own life. I'm your eco living coach and podcast host, Katie Kurpanek. Let's jump in. Hey, everybody, welcome to episode five of the All Things sustainable podcast. I cannot believe that we are already starting to wrap up this first season, it has just flown by so far, we have been setting the tone of this podcast with some foundational episodes, where we've really been zooming out and covering the big picture of what sustainable living really looks like. And all of the different things that that impacts reviewing a little bit in my introductory episode, the welcome episode, that's like episode zero. I shared with you what my own definition of living sustainably means, and kind of set the direction for this podcast. And then in the episodes one through four since then, we've talked about how climate change is really impacting the Earth big picture. We've talked about how living sustainably can not only help the Earth, but it also helps your finances your mental health, the connection between social justice and climate justice. And then here we are now episode five. I am so excited to share this conversation with you that I had with Dr. Chris bantock. Where we explore the connections between caring for a healthy planet means really caring for yourself a healthy planet in return provides a healthy you. So in this episode, we really dive into the big picture impact of our physical health in connection to living sustainably. I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with Dr. Chris, we talk about everything from water contamination to air purification to recycling to toxins building up within our bodies. And way more, a little bit of a background here on our guest speaker today. So Dr. Chris bantock practices functional medicine in Denver and the surrounding communities Colorado. He is certified through the Institute for Functional Medicine. Dr. bantock is a native of Colorado. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in integrative physiology and later graduated as valedictorian from Cleveland University in Kansas City with his doctorate, Dr. bantock has not only worked here in Colorado, but he's also worked as a spine clinician in Botswana, Africa, he has also received his certification in acupuncture, and in his own practices, he utilizes the most up to date laboratory analysis that is rarely done in conventional settings in order to help find the cause and answers to your illness. As you'll see throughout this whole conversation. Optimum wellness is so key to Dr. bantock, I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to chat with him and to be able to bring this conversation to you all this work could not be done without my patrons. So one quick shout out. Thank you so much to my patrons supporting the show financially, I really would not be able to spend the hours and hours of work that I do in order to have these conversations and prepare for them and then edit the episodes and put it all together out here into the world for you without your support. We'll talk more about Patreon later in the episode. But thank you so much. Alright, well with that, let's jump into today's episode, this conversation provides so many jumping off points for you as a listener to begin pursuing your own Optimum wellness, and living your healthiest life in this one body, this one physical body that you've been given. And I'm so excited for you to hear all of what Dr. bantock has to share and to pick out any of the most meaningful pieces that will be applicable to your own life. Dr. Chris, thank you so much for joining me. I'm really happy to have you on the podcast. I think we're gonna have a super exciting conversation today. How are you doing?

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Great. Thank you for having me. Yeah, of course.

Katie Kurpanek:

So I filled in my listeners a little bit in the introduction of this episode about your background, just a little basic information. But I would love if you could share with all of us. Anything that you feel is interesting or relevant. Maybe tell us just a little about yourself and how you got into your line of work.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah, so my name is Chris bantock. I'm owner of Colorado Center for functional medicine, and help people try to figure out and reduce chronic diseases. So that's kind of the premise of a lot of functional medicine is you focus a lot on lifestyle and nutritional factors. And while you're getting down to the root causes of their illness, right, because you have probably what frustrates me the most is you see urgent cares, new hospitals being built all the time, so many different clinics. And this is kind of this constant revolving door as opposed to trying to develop that patient into being their own doctor, and how can they potentially, you know, just keep their health and maintain their health right now because even even right now during a pandemic, we're kind of realizing Yes, medicine is awesome at dealing with acute care. But when we don't have answers, right, we're we're looking at people who are chronically inflamed and obese, and those are the ones that are kind of being most hurt by this. So we kind of sit back and we was like, Okay, how do we potentially save people from a system that doesn't value necessarily prevention and wellness? And how do we emphasize nutrition and lifestyle modifications, which, you know, two thirds, three quarters of our diseases that we have in our country are rooted in that yet, few people are talking about it, few people are talking about it, because again, we value a revolving door, as opposed to value results in a practice. So you know, 10-15 minute office visits, prescribe, see you later, I'll see you in three months, six months is not really changing lives. So that's kind of like, one of our big mission here is how do we create patients to become their own doctor have their own wellness be their own Wellness Advocate, and really stay out of offices,

Katie Kurpanek:

that's amazing. My, my journey into this whole sustainability realm started with my own personal health, actually. So looking into my health and wanting to feel better, and make some pretty big changes, it started with my own diet, and just choices of what I put into my body and surround my body with and then that kind of just naturally led into a curiosity that opened up this whole realm of sustainable living. And all these factors continued to connect with each other. And even within this podcast so far, you are now the the fifth interview of starting this podcast series. And we've been talking about how sustainable living connects to not only taking care of the planet, but also your financial well being your mental health state, and your connection to bigger social issues. And then finally, now, I'm so excited to talk to you about physical health and wellness. And so I'm super excited that you and your team are working with people to give them the tools that they need to, you know, become their own doctor, like you said, and to care for their bodies. And this is your own practice?

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yes. Yep. Our we have a couple of wellness coaches as well. So they're big, they're kind of the machines for the practice, because they're the ones who are carrying out certain specific food plans that all kind of prescribe. And they'll talk about the lifestyle modifications at where's the exercise come in? Where's, where's your stress management? How was your sleep, all these things that, you know, I can talk about a lot in a visit, but it's sometimes beneficial, sometimes have a coach potentially just focus on those things. And they can talk to the person a lot more frequent. So because we kind of always asked, you know, what defines a healthy person? Like, how do you define a healthy person? And somebody will say, Oh, well, I don't take any medications, right? And so or I don't have any symptoms, but instead, health is something that you have to work at continually every single day. And that is, you know, do you exercise? How is your food? How's your stress management? How are your relationships? How's your interaction with your community? So how was your sleep? Like, that's what defines a healthy person to us in true wellness? And that's what's gonna keep diseases at bay.

Katie Kurpanek:

I love that. That is so great. And could you share before we move on real quick, could you share just maybe a couple examples of like, what does your typical day look like? What do you tend to do when you're working with your patients that come in? Or what kinds of, you know, plans? Are you walking them through? Could you share a few examples of that?

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah, so a couple of things like some of the people who are seeking out functional medicine, many times have 10 to 12, different diagnoses, they're on multiple different medications, and they're sick and tired of being sick and tired. So whenever I do a consult with someone even meeting them for the first time, it's an hour long visit. And it's really, I you know, I do a lot of listening, I try to not interrupt too many times at all, and just let that person talk. Because it's amazing how many times if you can go back 20 or 30 years, and they've been that sick, they're like, Alright, I think we potentially figured out where we need to go as far as testing. Now let's, let's test and then see where we can go from there. And then we pretty much right away start people on certain food plans, too. So we kind of have a foundational food plan, elimination, detox diet, that everyone pretty much goes on and eliminates a lot of the most common inflammatory foods. We do this, with every new patient, we even do one at the beginning of the year, the starting like, I think, next week on where we do it as a community and we do it as a group because it's kind of a tough thing when you eliminate so many different foods. But we lay out great menus and delicious recipes to make that easy, and it's me and my wellness coaches on the call. So that's just a part of what we do as far as food plans. And then we do a lot of testing with people on to review a lot of labs and talk about their lifestyle and, and prescribe, you know, different types of nutritional supplements or lifestyle or behavioral factors to help enhance their laboratory work. So it's just a different way of rather than using medications to potentially correct labs or help somebody or treat somebody you're using Just lifestyle, nutrition and supplementation to help restore the body. And then, and then your retesting, making adjustments, things like that. So a lot of talking to people more. So we're not necessarily I say it's like I'm not the fanciest office out there, I don't have all this fancy equipment. It's simply a brain and you and the person is really the the facilitator of everything. So I'm kind of like, I don't get anybody better, it's usually always the patients that get people to themselves better.

Katie Kurpanek:

That is so amazing. I love that approach. And that definitely sounds really different than any personal experience I've had with a doctor so far, I don't think I could, I don't think I could pick out one instance where a doctor actually sat down with me for an hour and listen to my history and my concerns and really took that much time and attention to detail. So I'm sure that your patients are really benefiting from that and just excited that you're out there doing that work. Hey, just wanted to jump in real quick to talk about Patreon. Patreon is an online platform that allows you to become a patron of the arts, so to speak, a financial supporter of the creators who enrich your life with their content. Thanks to the generous support of my patrons starting as low as just$3 a month, I'm able to continue empowering individuals like yourself through these educational chats with various experts across the spectrum of sustainable living. As a patron of this podcast, you will have the privilege of joining the discussions with guest speakers via zoom and taking part in the exclusive q&a is within two. If you can't make the actual interview live, that's okay, you'll have access to the full recorded episode early before anybody else gets a chance to hear it. You also receive the added bonus of personal shout outs in podcast episodes, and other behind the scenes content sent your way. Plus, you'll receive unique discounts to more than a dozen sustainable businesses that have partnered with me so that you can save money and the earth while you shop. If any of the content that I create adds value to your life, or the perks alone have piqued your interest, check out patreon.com/all Things sustainable to join our community and become a patron today. Thank you so much for your support of this journey to minimize our carbon footprint while maximizing our positive impact on this planet we call home. Okay, let's get back to our show. So let's dive into our topic. I know that this is and we talked about this in preparation for this podcast episode, But this is a really broad topic, I'll just say that right from the get go. But talking about the connections between living sustainably and your own physical health are so vast, and we could go in a million directions with that. But in these first few, you know, introductory episodes to the podcast, I just kind of want to zoom out and get this big picture view of what a well rounded approach to sustainable living looks like. So for example, many of us have started to make more eco friendly choices in our daily lifestyle based on how we want to take care of the planet. And that looks different for all sorts of people. But I would love if you could just share from your own perspective, how could some of these sustainable choices have positive impacts on their physical health? You know, a really clear example that comes to my mind right away is like, all the plastic debris that is floating within our waterways and therefore polluting our water systems, and then we end up drinking that water. You know, that can't be good for us. So I wonder if you have a few examples that you could just share about the whole physical health impact of this?

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah, exactly. Um, there are when you think about inflammation, all right, and inflammation is a is, you know, kind of a buzzword right now. But it's how your immune system reacts. And your immune system is going to react to self or non self and primarily you do not want to react to self it's you want it to react to things that it's not it that it's not used to seeing, right, that's your bacteria or viruses or parasites things like that. But then also you have to think about it from a toxic standpoint too. So your family eats which are come from plastics, right? Your BPA comes from plastic. So these these plastics are completely synthetic made our immune systems not seeing that it creates a lot of inflammation as that component so I think plastics are I mean, we use I think in the United States more plastic than any other country. Right? And so drinking that water bottle, or, I mean, you just sometimes you go to the store and people just saw a 24 pack of case of water case water case a water case of water, like all the time and then maybe they'll leave it in their car. And then they don't think about that but that that plastic is leaching into that water. Now you're consuming it well who cares, right? It's just water I don't feel it right away and that's and that's some of the biggest issues I would say with with some chronicity or especially with toxins is you don't feel acute toxicity of BPA or you don't feel acute toxicity of phthalates or or two for the year. glyphosate or those types of things, you don't feel it. So instead, it just kind of continues to build up this toxic burden inside of your body. And what next thing, you know, oh, I've developed a thyroid issue, or now, you know, it's hard for me to get pregnant, or I'm having breakthrough bleeding, or you're having you just the other energy. And that's primarily what these are, are really big endocrine disruptors. So your endocrine system is your hormone system. And that these chemicals will bind, they might mimic estrogen, they might block estrogens effects, they might block productions of testosterone also. So it does affect your, your endocrine system. And, and of course, so again, that's where you're talking about our environment. And having those plastics do that. But then you can also extend this even further to, you know, clothing, to mattresses to your couch, to the plastics in your carpet, right? Because a lot of that, you know, the back end of that carpet that you're walking on. I mean, things are if you're thinking like, Hey, that's not natural, then isn't it definitely probably more synthetic, and your immune system is gonna react to it. And you have to think about everything that you, you know, don't pee out, poop out, or sweat out. If I can say poop on here just did. And it stays in you write everything that you touch and put on your body and breathe in. If you're not doing you know, being pooping or sweating that out, it stays inside of you, where does it go? Well, you know, lead might be more stored stored in your bones. And that's going to affect osteoporosis, right? We don't see that until you're 65-70 years old, you realize, oh, well, I go to the gun range, actually, every day, you know, or I'm gonna reload or I do all these types of things from that, right? Or we're dealing with, you know, the great water crisis in Flint, Michigan, which I'm sure you're familiar with, right? Oh, yeah. Right. And that's coming in. And that's even in Denver, Colorado right now, too. But it's mostly with the pipes leading from the main pipes into people's houses. And that's why when they get they have a, you know, a activated carbon filter, and it just takes out the lead. But that's how long that was consuming. Right? And some people that's the difference of acute toxicity, right? The diarrhea, the headaches, vomiting, those types of things from from there versus chronic or just the slow bile accumulation. I hope I'm answering your questions.

Katie Kurpanek:

No, you totally are. And and of course, while you're answering these questions, a million more coming into my head, because I think a lot of listeners might be thinking what I'm thinking, which is, how do we possibly avoid all of these plastics, and not even just plastics, but synthetic materials, like you talked about? It's everywhere. It's in our couches, our carpets, our clothes? So I don't know, what's your professional opinion on on how to take care of our bodies to the best that we can? Because obviously, we cannot avoid all of this entirely. Or if we can, I don't know how to do so I haven't learned that yet.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

I mean, those are some big things too. But I would say it kind of comes down as simple as you buy a water bottle and refill it with your carbon filter, or reverse osmosis can actually utilize a lot of water. But sometimes I will really recommend that depending on people's water. Because I guess, Katie you have you ever tested your water?

Katie Kurpanek:

No, not personally,

Dr. Chris Bantock:

your tap water, you drink the tap water? Right?

Katie Kurpanek:

I filter it, but I do drink it.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

And we're pretty lucky here to have great water. But there's a lot of chemicals, and plastics and pharmaceuticals found in our water supply. But it doesn't matter, right? Because it's in such small amounts? But it's like, well, for me, I'm like, well I don't really want even that small amount that's going to accumulate especially if we can't account for it. So um, but that's, that's sometimes as simple as you can avoid a lot of things. But you can think like, oh, this is plastic Tupperware, that I'm going to utilize, right and I hope everybody doesn't microwave plastic Tupperware, right? And getting glass Tupperware is such a more effective thing. It's easily reusable going into there and you can eat your food right out of it, you're not going to deal with the leaching of any of those plastics into there. So you just kind of tell yourself, I'm just saving my hormones if I'm going to have this plastic Tupperware. I mean, those are those simple things that you that just observing like how much plastic you're utilizing every day and how can you get it out? Because there's a lot of course, plastic is easy sometimes. Oh, it's completely sterile, right? I don't have to worry about getting affected. Look at hospitals, right? And they're they're using this stuff up like crazy everywhere. But that's just there's lots of those ways of what you would you would be thinking about even plastic forks, you know, we bought, I don't know what we were doing. We might have been camping or something like that. It might have been easier to have a plastic fork in that but we bought compostable plastic forks. Right? Well in this fine print on there because we compost and on the fine print it said, you know not suitable for home composting. For commercial composting. There's like because it will still it'll take forever for it to break down in other areas because, you know, probably because home composting doesn't get hot enough I would imagine. But there are other areas of just trying to avoid. Yeah, just simple ways of plastic and even Maybe after this podcast, people will kind of see and we have 200,000 plus chemicals out there, you can't you can't avoid it. But there's other things you could do, a lot of these things are water soluble, so they get out that way. Or they're routed through glutathione, or phase one, phase two detoxes, in the, in the liver. So enhancing levels of glutathione is very, very important. So glutathione is the most potent antioxidant, that you have in your body. And it's there to neutralize and detoxify many different things, from hormones to metals, to these types of toxins and plastics, to herbicides and pesticides. So simple ways of just increasing that are kind of, you know, green tea daily. So I'm a proponent for decaffeinated drinks. So yeah, so some decaffeinated tea, even match up that I know much is going to have some caffeine in that too. But that will help increase glutathione level. And I would say, you know, really, purified water is important. I mean, really good, clean drinking water is not, it's harder and harder to come by. And we have different things. And you can you can have, you can actually request from your drinking water board, like their tests, right? They need to be doing quarterly tests, you can see what is actually in our water, we have EPA standards, and then you have other types of standards, right? So for me, I want to have the cleanest water that that's there. But the EPA might be like, Oh, that's good enough to not make people sick. And that's important, right? Because different stuff. We don't want people getting sick. But at the same time, how can we actually have true Wellness or, you know, are true clean pure water? Because that's going to be important from detoxification? Because there's so because they're all water soluble, right? So are many of these, these toxins are water soluble. So testing your water is important. And you'll look at National Science Foundation or environmental working group, but they have their tap water database. Are you familiar with that?

Katie Kurpanek:

No, I'm actually not.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Okay, so the tap water database, they basically just, you know, bring all these, you put in your zip code, and they bring all the different water boards in and they're testing and say, Oh, this is where they failed EPA standards. This is when it was approved. I mean, my mom lives in us in a small town in Kansas, and she can't even one use her well anymore. It's actually a Superfund site, because of all the herbicides that that's being used in nitrogen, nitrogen, and benzene, all these things that are in it, so she can't even use her well or turn on her spicket. So now she's in city water, what was interesting, because in multiple quarters, it was failing their water, so that so so the water tests were failing, but all the time, they just, you know, it's not enough to make people sick. Yeah, we're gonna keep working on it. Right, you might get a slap on the wrist, slap on the wrist slap on the wrist. And then they finally come into, you know, into compliance with EPA standards. But no one really knows that unless you look that up. But here we are drinking this potentially toxic water, that's not passing these standards, that's not making you acutely sick. It's just maybe something and, you know, I don't have evidence for this at all. But it's like, you know, it's maybe at 75, it's, you know, Parkinson's or dementia that comes around, we don't have causes for that. But again, we know that they're affecting mitochondrial function, you know, they affect cell responses, and inflammation. And those are big areas where it's so much diseases rooted in.

Katie Kurpanek:

Well, so it sounds like it's really boiling down to assessing where you are, and trying to find the balance between what you can control and what you can't I mean, even with the example of plastic water bottles, and I think about Flint, Michigan, and I think about all these people who if they can't drink the water coming from their very own taps, then there are a lot of people that are reliant on plastic water bottles, or you know, huge jugs of water that are being brought in for safe drinking water. And that's what they need to rely on a lot of the time right now, but it's also not the end all solution, it's definitely not better in the sense of like not poisoning them at all, because there's still all these plastic and chemicals that are leaching into the water. But it's an ongoing process to fix the root of the water issues. And then in our own lives here in Denver, Colorado, or even particularly in my neighborhood, I know that I don't have to worry about that as much. But I think what's interesting is thinking about this balance of reusing and repurposing something, but also to what end like the plastic Tupperware example I feel so seen. And so like I need to fix this because I have a bunch of plastic Tupperware that I haven't wanted to get rid of, just for the sake of like, I don't want to get rid of this. It's a you know, it's a usable material. However, I could easily repurpose that for things that are not food related. You know, I could use it for storage containers. I definitely don't need to be microwaving with it. And and I also have my glassware that is perfectly capable of storing and microwaving my food and all that so I think it sounds like what you're boiling it down to really just looking at where you're at, and what kind of balance you can control.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

And again, and just, and really, and this is what I tell people all the time, like, this is something that, you know, I continue to gain knowledge on, like, I'm not an environmental toxicologist by any means. But as you gain more of this knowledge, you just have to ask, Is that normal? Is that something that my ancestors had 200 years ago? Right? Because we are dying earlier now even in our generation. So no, they didn't have that. So that wouldn't make much sense, right? Or is this how a caveman would be like, you kind of go back to these foundational things. If I can picture where it came from, then then potentially we can, we should question that is this is this Well, for me, and at the same time, it's like, we won't find out about things for 3040 or 50 years after it's been on the market. I mean, look at what was just happening with glyphosate. So glyphosate is being a primarily the main herbicide in in Roundup, I'm sure you know what I'm talking about, right.

Katie Kurpanek:

Yeah But I would love if you explained, for anyone who doesn't know,

Dr. Chris Bantock:

it's just you'll see it. So this is Roundup. So if you go to the Home Depot, Home Depot, right, or Lowe's or anything like that, you smell it. I mean, you can smell two, four D in there, too. But that is we just found out that that's right, causing lymphoma for people. And now you have these lawsuits and all these things that you can see on the television. From that one, it's still being sold. We know it's causing cancer now, but that's just another component of this toxin. Right. And it's like, now you put that in the bigger scheme of things. Well, this helps with a lot of our growing of our food, right? Well, because how do you feed 7 billion people? Right? On the in this world? Like that is a really, that's a really fundamental question. We'll talk about monocropping and other ways of, of that being, which could be a different whole different topic to have conversation. One thing too about the plastic bottles, many of us are like it's Okay, cuz I recycled those. Right, but where do we actually send all of these recycled bottles? Philippines right? I mean, at least that's, that's my understanding, right? The most of this goes to the Philippines, then becomes somebody else's problem. And we literally, so we take this recycling, if or it's either either incinerated, or we just end up throwing it in the trash, right, there's a little bit more, I feel more controversy that's come out with with this recycling, that we're not really using it and repurposing it like we are really supposed to be or at least that's what we're told. I mean, you know, it's like, I don't live in Denver, where everyone I think gets recycling, you know, I pay extra for the recycling. I don't know if I'm doing it because it makes me feel better. Or it's just easier for the cardboard, because that stuff's easily more easily recycled, recycled. But you know, here we are with this plastic bottle that uses oil, and these fossil fuels to make, then we put it on a ship, and we which uses a ton more oil and fossil fuels to send it back all there. It's like How sustainable are those types of things even when recycling it? And that's really the only differences. Are we really doing just by by that? Or do we really need to get beyond the thinking of these plastics, I guess?

Katie Kurpanek:

Exactly. It takes an entire shifting of perspective, and not just at an individual level, but definitely at a global level. And there are multiple countries that won't accept our recycling anymore. You know, from the United States, like, we we are notoriously so bad at recycling. There's there's just a lack of education out there for one, but a lot of our recycling ends up getting contaminated. And it's just being sent off, like you said, other countries as if it's not our problem, and then it becomes their problem, and then it's polluting their countries. And I think about the fact that climate change, well, actually, the World Health Organization had an article recently that talked about how climate change is the number one health crisis facing humanity today, in their opinion, and a lot of what they were talking about was that there are so many countries and people around the world that are doing the least amount that contributes to climate change. And yet they're receiving the most of the brunt of these negative results, for example, with water pollution and air pollution. And a lot of that does come with us shipping our stuff overseas, treating other countries like trash really. And then all of a sudden their waterways and air quality is being totally polluted. So yeah, this this is a very deeply rooted and deeply connected topic.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah, one thing too, we kind of look at what's not a big deal, right? Because because we're humans, and it hasn't really affected us that we see from a health perspective. But you still look at like the, you know, the canary in the coal mine, like how is this affecting the frogs? How is this affecting the other amphibians out there and these chemicals are truly affecting them and they're young too. And again, they're just the smaller aspects of it. It's it's really is affecting us too. We can't deny that we are separate from this world. We are living with this world or on it or any way you want to see it however you want it to work. We're not It's not just here to serve us, you know, so, and living with it is a much better way and understanding how do we just protect it. And that can go back to even, you know, water. I mean, again, it goes back to water. You know, I really just want clean food, clean air, clean water. And that's all I

Katie Kurpanek:

Is that a lot to ask for? want

Dr. Chris Bantock:

That's a lot of ask for, I guess. Right. And we and again, I think is it 4 million deaths a year are potentially associated with just pollution alone, because that's influencing cardiovascular disease, respiratory cancer, stroke, those types of things, again, just from pollution. So having clean air? Oh, that's I guess it's a lot to ask.

Katie Kurpanek:

It seems like it should be such a simple simple ask, but it's really not. And I wonder, are there some maybe personal examples within your own life choices that you make that you are really conscious of? This is benefiting your physical health, but it's also better for, you know, the planet or air quality or whatever the bigger picture is? I mean, you, you clearly I would assume, don't use Roundup, and you you refill your own water bottle. But do you have some examples of what else you do?

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah, I mean, so I guess a couple of things. You know, I don't know, if you have an air purifier, that's always something to have around, you know, and HEPA air purifier, which can sometimes go down to point one microns, because, again, that's just the air that you breathe. So And where's that supposed to go? I mean, that clean air that's that's your oxygen being brought in? There's a lot of particulate matter in that air too. So an air purifier is another simple way. And only maybe use it in your main room.

Katie Kurpanek:

Yeah, absolutely. I wonder I'm also thinking through just different, you know, places that people might be tuning in from their level of accessibility. What do you think about I don't know if you know much about this, but what do you think about having you know, houseplants within different rooms of your house as an air purifier naturally? if people can't afford to buy like, you know, a

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah, yeah, exactly. I mean, there's a couple of, you know, spider plants, the philodendrons. Peace lilies, those are, those are kind of your bigger ones. One, why not? Right. It's pretty to look at part of nature, we know nature can just help drop cortisol levels. Anyways, I think it's wonderful. I read some things that could be as upward as 100 plants to potentially that you would need to help in that equivalent of an air purifier. But you know, more. I mean, why not? When, when it comes to that, and it should just be another thing you think about? Just when you plant the plant, of course, you'd be in closer to nature, in that you're digging in the soil. So that's another benefit to by just finding it. But that's about my extent of that knowledge. What plants would you what other plants would be really beneficial for

Katie Kurpanek:

you know, I've heard that snake plants are really great air purifiers. I don't know if he already mentioned that one, the spider plant snake plant. But yeah, I would have to do some more research into the actual statistics of like how many this could take to really equal a standard air purifier. But like you said, it really can't hurt you know, you're you're surrounding yourself with a little bit more nature and being that more connected to it. And then it does purify the air. I think about you talked about earlier, you were mentioning something about I think air pollution and air quality. And then also, you know, people who are being affected by I think you said heatstroke or something. But I know we've also talked in the past about the urban Island heat effects, and how there are there are all these cities around the world that are not only getting increasingly warmer, due to global warming, but on top of that, due to the fact that there's just no greenery they're in this very, very urban concrete setting that just reverberates heat off itself. I'm not sure if that's quite the right phrase. But then all the people living there are a lot more susceptible to heat stroke and heat exhaustion and all those other health effects that come with this. So I don't know if there was something that maybe you wanted to expand on or could expand on with that.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah, go going back to that too. And then kind of going back to air quality and pollution, right? Because here in the last two years, or it's just been or even maybe the last five years, right? It's been rough with the wildfires, right. We weren't on fire last year, but the West Coast sure was on fire. And we shared it take the brunt of that you can even see the particulates there. That's really big when you're talking about some of the you know, the dioxin that's a chemical that that's just burning in those forest fires. That is we know that these as climate change starts to as it just continues on we're going to have these more extreme weathers, weather changes happen. And breathing in that chemical matter is only going to increase cardiovascular disease. It'll increase rates of cancer, it will increase rates of respiratory diseases too. So that's that's quite important and no, making just an another easy assessment but you know, they talk about being changing out your furnace filter, closing your windows, all these types of things to well keep in mind we breathe through our nose, so sinus rinsing and do doing a saline rinse is pretty simple when getting some of those toxins out. So it's not just sitting in our nasal membranes, that's another simple way to do you know, you can make your own saline washed with distilled water and use your own neti pot or, or squeeze bottle and just push it up and get those toxins out of there. Also, as far as as far as pushing on the urban heat islands, right where you have the well, just over time, or each day, the sun's shining on concrete and asphalt that's absorbing, absorbing a lot of heat. And then nighttime comes around and it releases a lot of that heat too. We know that there's potential for decreases in precipitation in cities because of that, and it might be a little bit more in surrounding areas where you're gonna have an increase in precipitation. But yeah, there is an increase in or there's a potential more for increase of heat, heat stroke among the elderly, right, which are more people who are going to be more susceptible to that, or the just those other heat related illnesses. With that heat island. There is a time I think I read this, this might have been 15 years ago, so who knows how much of it's changed, but Los Angeles like has so much concrete that it can't even absorb, you know, water anymore, because they've just constantly put down all of this, you know, man made matter.

Katie Kurpanek:

Wow, I haven't heard that. But I definitely want to look into it. And again, that goes back to what we talked about earlier where there are all these aspects that we cannot control. You know, as individuals we can't always control where we live and what you know our infrastructure is like around us, but you know, we can all be doing a lot more to think about this bigger picture. Hey, friends, if you know me, you know that I am all about minimizing the amount of unnecessary things and waste in your life. But there are always going to be those items that you just consider necessary. And for me one of those is definitely mascara. I spent years searching for the perfect mascara on my terms. Based on my ethics and my values. I wanted it to be zero waste. I tried a bunch I even tried making my own and it was such a fail. But I can tell you now that I have personally found the best Zero Waste mascara I've ever tried. Personally I have been using this mascara since early 2021 And recently I just became an affiliate with them because I am so behind their product and I want to share it with you. The Izzy Zero Waste mascara truly means zero waste. It comes with no outer packaging. In a reusable mailer made from upcycled materials. You get one tube made out of stainless steel and you send the old tube right back these stainless steel tubes are both American made and medical grade designed to be sanitized and refilled over 10,000 times Izzy puts their tubes through a triple medical cleanse. Same as surgeons and dentists and they receive a certificate after all cleanses to ensure that there is no microbial or bacterial buildup. The tube itself has zero plastic and the little plastic wipers and wands are reground melted and recycled at their facility to be used again using 94% less plastic than all leading mascara brands. They have even developed an antibacterial cleansing process to reuse their water at their facility rather than just dumping it into the ocean compared to the industry standard. Their mascara has a 78% smaller carbon footprint after 25 refills the more that these mascaras are reused, the smaller their relative carbon footprint becomes over time to encourage reuse and these refills they have a membership model which is what I'm personally a part of so that you replace your mascara every three months. This is necessary for the health of your own eyes and skin anyway, it helps combat dryness, redness and irritation or bacterial buildup from your mascara. The formula itself is clean, vegan friendly, cruelty free, certified organic by the FDA gluten free alcohol oil paraben free silicone free, basically free of all the bad things, their ingredients are ethically sourced and all manufacturing is slave free. And they even have a specific formula designed so that their tubes are underfilled meaning the formula is supposed to last you 90 days until your next refill and so there's less waste and then any leftover mascara is purified and reconstituted at their facility using the same cleaning process as their water. Does it work though? Yes 100 times yes. This is by far my favorite Zero Waste beauty product that I own. It is super luscious volumizing and really gentle on your skin. On top of all of this Izzy donates portions of their proceeds to three organizations consistently the National Forest Foundation, Her justice and Pencils of Promise. could I love them more? I really don't think so. I hope that you will try this out for yourself and love them too. In the episode description I have an affiliate link and you can use the code THATMINIMALLIFE all caps all one word to receive 10% off your own purchase. I hope you try this out for yourself and feel like an eco goddess with luscious lashes in the process. Alright, let's get back to our show. I think about even in my own kitchen, I've been trying to learn more about toxins. And honestly, that's not something that I'm super well versed in at the moment. But I am trying to learn a lot more about it. And I just switched out my cookware, because I had all of this like Teflon coated, you know, very toxic cookware that was nonstick. And that's how, you know, that's what had sold me on it when I first got it like eight years ago. But all of a sudden, I was talking with a friend and learning more about how awful this was in the fact that it was so old that all of that Teflon was starting to like, chip away while I was cooking. That's really what brought up the conversation between her and I because I was like, This can't be good. This cannot be good for me to be cooking with anymore. So now we've switched that out for either like cast iron or you know, a Dutch oven, like Enameled Cast Iron. Yeah.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Or stainless steel. You know, that's, that's really good to to have on there. But yeah, and hopefully you didn't like donate it to Goodwill, or ARC or anything like that. Hopefully, you threw those pans away. Because or something, you know, I don't know, I don't really have you repurpose it, I guess but, you know, just make it so it's not reused. Like we don't want those things coming back out there. Because those that P FOSS or PFOs those types of chemicals that octanoic acid, they will they will that's a part of those nonstick pans and flame flame retardants. And that's leaching into our water supply, which we have no regulated levels on what's acceptable in that again, so it's it's always about, you know, do we know that this toxin even exists? And do we even know it's getting into us? Well, if it's never been tested, then how do we know? So yeah,

Katie Kurpanek:

that's really, that's so scary. I threw some of it away. But the the rest that I have, I should really just throw away. It's seriously a constant battle in my mind between like, what do I absolutely refuse to throw away and try to repurpose as much as possible and then what really is just trash and it does no good by being, you know, here. So. But then again, it's also you think about where is away, if I throw something away, it still exists somewhere. It's not like they're just magically gone are gonna decompose anytime soon. But not being utilized by other people is definitely very important to consider.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah. Have you ever have when's the last time you've been to the dump?

Katie Kurpanek:

Oh, gosh, physically, it was a while ago, probably 10 years ago. But I feel like I'm surrounded by images of dumps all the time.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

I mean, for your listeners, if they've never been to a dump truly, where you have to take something there and you look at the trash, you look at the waste, we took down a shed recently, and we had enough took it to the dump. And you know, it's mostly just wood anyway, so I know it will compost. But the person next to me, literally, the entire semi truck was nothing but Styrofoam that was just going to the dump. And you just look at it. And you look at the waste that's being done from either new items to use items, things that aren't being repurposed at all. It's just if you've never been, I almost feel like it should be a field trip for you know, for kids or even high schoolers to have an understanding because no one realizes it right? You just put it in your bin outside your house, you bring it to the street and wallah, it's gone. But it's a whole different world. And we don't burn our trash here. And there's times in Africa that when I was there, you know, they're burning. They're incinerating their trash. That's only and again burning plastic. Jeez, that's just a chemical nightmare. So

Katie Kurpanek:

I know. Yeah, I totally think that that should be like a required field trip for everybody. I think that and then going to an actual, you know, recycling processing plant as well. If your city compost, then I think it would be amazing to also visit that. But unfortunately, that's not available to everybody yet. I'm going to believe and be hopeful that it will be, you know, becoming part of this system. Well, this has been a really fun, if I can use that word, and educational conversation. I think a lot of what we're talking about is also really quite scary. But thinking about what we can control, bringing it back to that helps. And then thinking about what we can share with others in conversation, and promoting education around all of these choices to benefit our health I think is super important. Really it for me, it boils down to you taking care of the climate is taking care of humanity. Because all of these things are so interconnected. I have a routine final question that I bring into every episode, no matter who I'm talking to you. And it's always just interesting to hear their responses based on their different backgrounds or levels of expertise. So considering the various levels of privilege and accessibility and backgrounds of our listeners, if you could think through your top one or two or three actionable steps that listeners could take to benefit both their own health and the planet. What would you share with us?

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Um, so I guess two things so easy on the first one would be, if you have that, like test your water or have an understanding about where your water is coming from, and don't waste it. Freshwater supplies or are down everywhere. It's such a concern. And you know, when you pay your water bill, you should, we should have to pay, you know, when we verify a picture of what Lake Powell looks like, or what some of these reservoirs because they're just so down but, and then so testing your water, understanding these chemicals are really important because that, again, 70% of your body is is water, and you want that to be clean and pure. So that's one thing. The other thing is have a garden, everybody can have a garden, whether or not you live in an apartment, and you have a couple plants, on your patio, one you have an understanding of where food comes from, you're putting your hands in the soil and in the dirt, which is very helpful from the mike the microbiome, and just microbial activity, right? I mean, if you're playing in dirt a little bit more, it's better for your immune system, you're going to eat better, you're going to be able to control whether or not you have the pesticides or herbicides on there, which you know, there's many other ways doing it, you know, potting or anything like that, you know, and pulling and picking the weeds, right? You'll get the exercise in that too. And it's cheap, right? I mean, you can save, save some money. Clearly, if you're going to plant a watermelon, that might be a little bit tougher. When you look at the amount of work that goes into that what you get out of it. You're like, geez, this was months of this and a lot of water. And this is what I got out of it. Right? If you're not, I mean, you'll have to be good at it. But even having an herb garden right now it's wintertime, you can easily have have some herbs in your window that you can utilize to help put fresh herbs on a meal that you've prepared. So I think I think having a garden is just such a simple way. And then of course, you're not, I mean, to get going into monocropping, right? We have to feed 7 billion people in the world, that's just going to help. But having more plants out there too are going to reduce co2 is going to help in that carbon fixation. Also,

Katie Kurpanek:

could you share in case listeners don't know what mono cropping is just like a brief definition.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

So if you've driven through Kansas or Iowa or anything like that, right, you just see they're they're just kind of planting one thing. So it might be corn. Now they may be rotating the crops since we've learned that since the dustbowl, right? You can't just keep planting the same crop over and over again. But it's going to be corn, it's gonna be soybean, Milo, you know, wheat, where these farmers get very good and very efficient at planting one or two crops and they're just rotating that, well, those one or two crops, one reduces the mineral content in there. And then they may be spraying it with a chemical too. So now we're reducing potential bacteria diversity in those soils also. So monocropping, one cropping, that's it.

Katie Kurpanek:

Thanks. Awesome. Yeah, I love the suggestion to you of having a garden no matter where you live, like you can have this in your windowsill, you could have it on a balcony. But then you can also do this for free a lot of the time, too. I mean, like, often we don't think about it. But if you've got a bell pepper, for example, and you just cut it open, and we just tossed those seeds. Like you could save those you could you know, start growing up bell pepper and see if it'll take if you can manage that whole planting process.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yep, yeah, sometimes a little bit tougher to But you think about the cost of organic bell pepper, which is way better, but you'd want to purchase right? When you're talking about just pesticides on these on the on the produce on this two or $3, right? I mean, you can grow a couple of them also. And it's not like it's that much work, especially when you get it going. I don't think having a garden is really that much work when you get when you get things moving.

Katie Kurpanek:

Yeah, it at least in my experience, it's really trial and error, and you have to be prepared and okay to know that it might not go so well, the first time or even the first five times you might have to have a lot of dead plants before you get to a really good thriving one. But I finally just figured out how to keep my house plants alive. So I'm going to count that as a win.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

It doesn't actually even have to be a vegetable garden or a fruit garden or anything like that. If you just have a flower garden, because then one of the flowers going to do they're going to help support these pollinators. So everyone else can do we know pollination is super concerning when you think about the bee populations too. So it could just be a flower garden. It doesn't have to be anything. But it could be something like that, that you can actually grow and be a part of. And you know, there's community gardens around too. So you get to know your neighbor, if you choose to do a community garden in some of those apartment areas that would help you too.

Katie Kurpanek:

I love these suggestions and just talking with you is so helpful. I feel like you are a wealth of knowledge and examples. And so I really appreciate you taking time to just share that with us today. And hopefully all of our listeners can feel you know, more motivated and inspired to take care of their own bodies and the global health and well being of the planet, than, you know, being scared and filled with anxiety most of the time when you hear on the news about the different health crises and climate change crises that we're facing, but I think that we can all do something about it.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Yeah, I just had one last thing too because sometimes when you think about all the toxins, it can be all about doom and gloom and oh my gosh, what's the point? The reality is you really just need to trust your body. It is detoxifying all the time. So trust your body just know that you're here. You were born, right and now and you're just you're doing what your body can do but it gets back to are you living a healthy person? And not everything is doom and gloom.

Katie Kurpanek:

Absolutely. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Dr. Chris Bantock:

Thanks for having me

Katie Kurpanek:

I hope you enjoyed today's episode. If so, please consider sharing it with a friend and subscribing to the podcast so you never miss a new episode. Check out the description for important links. And if you'd like to benefit from the perks of becoming a patron to the show, check out patreon.com/allthingssustainable. Until next time, do the best you can with what you have and remember that you can make a positive impact on this world one day at a time.