The High Price of Privilege

Eyeglassesby Sarah at ProgressiveKid

I live with two other people and five animals in a 1,400 square-foot house that includes my workplace. I know that compared to most of the world I live like a queen. I’m aware of this fact every day and I’m constantly grateful (except on really cranky days). But my home is in a community where most (although certainly not all) live in much grander style than I, and so I am in the somewhat unique position of being able to feel privileged while being reminded on a daily basis that I am merely a small wedge of cheese surrounded by wheels of brie. Continue reading

Home Turf Disadvantage

Grassby Sarah at ProgressiveKid

(Full disclosure: I am not a housewife, not that there would be anything wrong with that in my opinion, but some folks level the term irresponsibly as a way to discredit my opinions on turf, so let’s be clear about that; what I am is simply a professional writer who has written on a wide range of topics and who knows how to read the research of professional scientists and summarize it in an article for the rest of us to read.)

As a former soccer player well acquainted with the hazards of sand-based soccer fields in the rainy Northwest, I can appreciate a soccer club’s frustration and desire to do something to improve playing conditions for its members. I know only too well the taste of a mouthful of muddy water and the sinking feeling of seeing a perfectly timed pass floating in a small pond halfway to its intended destination.

All across the nation, more and more high schools, colleges, and park districts are installing artificial turf fields with the hope that they will be spared skid marks, puddles, and mudbaths. While improving upon some aspects of the situation, their choice creates other far more serious negative consequences, including potentially adverse health effects. Specifically, artificial turf exposes players, park users, and neighborhood residents to known inhaled carcinogens and dangerous bacteria and introduces the threat of aquifer and water supply contamination to the area. Continue reading