A Story of One Interrupted Walk

March 21, 2014 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

This beautiful, heart-felt story was written by a Shaman and Representative of SmartKlean in Alaska. Enjoy!


I’d like to share with you, my reader, a story of one interrupted walk; this story will be as short as was my walk. The other day, I was inspired to take a refreshing stroll on my neighborhood street. In anticipation of fresh, clean winter air filling my lungs, I quickly put on a couple layers of clothes and stepped out of the house. I love winter. Frosty freshness of winter air makes me feel joyful and vibrant. It brings memories of my homeland, Siberia, and the thrill of winter games I used to play with my childhood friends. Winter makes me feel like a child again.

I live in the outskirts of Anchorage, on the city’s mountainside. Streets here bathe in a green sea of grand woods and the immeasurable riches of wilderness are just around the corner. For my short, spontaneous walks I don’t have to get in my car. It’s all here, on my neighborhood street: fresh air and beauty. So that day, I stepped outside. Then I cheerfully sped up my driveway and … stopped.

A strong scent of laundry detergent hit my nostrils; a taste of chemicals spread through my tongue. “Oh, no!” I said and covered my nose with a mitten. Up the street I rushed away from the obnoxious smell. It, however, seemed to follow me around. As if my neighbors conspired in spoiling my walk, they all at once ran their laundry.

Giving up on my neighborhood street, I returned to the house.  There on a few acres of woods was a trail that stretched from the backdoor and looped through the property. The trail was short and sloping with patches of ice, yet in my yearning for clean winter air, I stepped on and moved carefully – away from the street. In spite of my effort, this change of direction brought me nothing but further distress. I stopped and turned back. I couldn’t believe it: even the woods smelled like laundry.

Domestic air pollution is a common problem for every city. It is as annoying as it is alarming. Through years of my work as an acupuncturist and healer, I have developed an acute sensitivity to the state of my environment. I’ve dealt with episodes of breaking into severe rashes after inhaling air tinged with laundry detergent. After these unpleasant experiences, even the slightest scent of chemicals in the air could put me into a state of alert. I switched to the earth-friendly laundry detergents decades ago, however, even the “greenest” brands are not 100% chemical-free. I’ve always wished for a better solution.

It is a common knowledge that air and water pollution are detrimental to our health. It is especially harmful for children and, on a global scale, for all life on earth. We contribute to the pollution by flushing household chemicals into the ground and then they return back to us with the water we drink, the plants we eat, and with the rain. Drifting from our laundry rooms, chemicals permanently settle in our walls, they pollute air in our houses and even throughout entire neighborhoods. Chemicals are one of the main reasons we get sick.

In the washing process, we engrain chemicals into our clothes and bedding, then absorb them through our skin and our lungs. Gradually we lose our sense of smell and taste, and eventually develop chronic health problems. On my trips to the grocery stores or other public places, I frequently detect traces of chemicals coming from people. It is especially unpleasant to walk through a sickening cloud of chemicals while passing another hiker on nature trail.

For almost three years, from 2010 to 2013, I have traveled the world with my healing work. While I shared my gift and wisdom with people, I emphasized the importance of creating a healthy environment in our homes, public places, and in the world at large. However, I didn’t have the answers to all the questions, for instance; is there a way to wash laundry without detergent or soap? When I worked in Australia in 2011, I used soap balls produced by nature, but it never occurred to me that there could be an innovative approach to the washing process itself.

Upon my return to Anchorage in the summer of 2013, I stayed with a friend who washed his laundry with the most toxic of laundry detergents, Tide. He believed that every product on a shelf, if approved by the FDA, was safe for customers. He was also convinced that Tide was “the best brand of all”. The strong scent of Tide in the air made me suffer tremendously. To bring awareness to my friend about the adverse effects of regular laundry detergents, I searched online for some information. At one point, I came across SmartKlean Laundry Washing Balls. I was delighted to learn about an unconventional approach to the washing process that made the laundry washing balls 100% chemical-free.

In the process of ordering the product, I realized that there weren’t any distributors in Alaska, “Would you like to become one?” the site asked. This could be my opportunity to move from words to action, I thought. However, I had no experience in sales—I actually was never good at selling anything—and between my acupuncture practice, classes, and writing a book, I would not have any time for the onsite business. Nevertheless, my passionate wish for a chemical-free world outweighed the logic. I decided to become a distributor of SmartKlean Laundry Washing Balls.

If we choose to live in a clean-air, clean-land environment, we have to start at our doorsteps. Doing something even as small as eliminating all chemicals from our homes could start a global movement. A steady drop in a bucket fills it to the top. One day new signs might appear in our cities: “Chemical-Free Household” and “Chemical-Free Neighborhood”. This could be your house and your neighborhood. This could be how sharing my story of one interrupted walk, might turn into a movement of thousands. They will be walking without disturbance through chemical-free neighborhoods, across a chemical-free planet.

Writer and storyteller Galina Vladi, is originally from Siberia and resides in Anchorage, Alaska. She is a healer, shaman, Qi-Gong Master and licensed acupuncturist. From 2010 to 2013, Galina traveled the world with her shamanic work, providing healing for people and the land, conducting ceremonies, and sharing her stories.


You can contact Galina at: galina.vladi@gmail.com or 415-871-0363.


Entry filed under: Home and Health, Natural Cleaning, SmartKlean News, Sustainability & Lifestyle. Tags: , , , , , .

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