Posts Tagged ‘Personal care’

Too Much Plastic!

I recently came across a blog called Plastic-Free Guide.  The author Beth Terry lists every possible way to reduce plastic usage in your life.  In fact, there are 95 clever suggestions!

Her top two ways to reduce plastic usage you are hopefully already doing – bringing reusable bags and totes to the store with you (and that includes all stores, not just grocery stores!) and drinking from reusable water bottles, preferably a stainless steel one.

Beth conveniently categorizes her other suggestions for easy reading, the most doable ones I have listed below.

  • Plastic-free Grocery Shopping

Shop from local farmers markets; buy from bulk bins when possible; eat whole fruit instead of buying sodas, fruit juices and other plastic- bottled beverages; buy fresh bread or bread wrapped in paper; buy milk in   returnable glass bottles; stop buying frozen convenience foods.

·      Plastic-Free Eating and Drinking on the Go

Carry your own containers for take out food and leftovers; carry a stainless steel travel mug or water bottle; carry reusable utensils and glass drinking straws.

·      Plastic-Free Lunches at School or Work

Choose glass/stainless steel food storage containers; store foods without freezing; avoid non-stick cookware; choose stainless steel ice-cube trays.

·      Learn to Make It From Scratch

Make your own soy or almond milk, condiments or snacks.

·      No More Plastic Trash Bags

Compost food waste.

·      Switch to Natural, Plastic-Free Household Cleaning Techniques

Clean with vinegar, baking soda and water; use powdered dishwasher detergent in a cardboard box; use natural cleaning cloths and scrubbers; wash laundry with soapnuts or laundry powders without a plastic scoop.

·      Personal Care

Use bar soap instead of liquid hand soap; give up shampoo in plastic bottles; use soap instead of canned shave cream; choose lotions and lip balms in plastic-free containers; choose toilet paper that’s not wrapped in plastic.

·      Travel

Bring your own water bottle or travel mug— even on the plane; bring your own snacks; don’t forget your headphones.

·      Plastic-Free Pet Care

Avoid plastic bowls; choose pet toys/furniture made from natural materials instead of plastic.

·      Get it Fixed!

·      Buy it Used!

  • Say No to Plastic Packing Material

Request zero plastic packaging when ordering online. (I love this one!)

·      Reduce Plastic in the Office

Avoid disposable plastic pens.

·      Plastic-Free Entertainment/Electronics

Look for secondhand electronics, games, and toys first; take care of what you have already; avoid buying CDs and DVDs.

·      No New Plastic Clothing

Choose natural fibers; shop thrift stores.

  • Avoid the worst plastics: Polyvinyl Chloride (#3 PVC), Polystyrene (#6 PS), & Polycarbonate (#7 other)

They  cause a host of environmental problems and can be toxic to the brain and nervous system.

Plastic is in practically everything! It’s impossible to eliminate it entirely from our lives, but Beth’s blog certainly makes us aware of our overuse and over dependence on it. Plastic has definitely made our lives more convenient, but at what cost?  I wonder given the harmful effects from the manufacture of and constant exposure to plastic; given that so much of it ends up in our oceans and landfills; and given that most of it is not biodegradable, why chemists aren’t coming up with more green plastic.  It’s time we demand it.

I encourage you to visit www.plasticfreeguide.com, read her tips, and take her plastic trash challenge.

For more green tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com. 

 

Information compiled from http://www.plasticfreeguide.com.

 

Safe Cosmetics

One of my readers asked about safe cosmetics.  I did a post on this subject a while ago, but I am reblogging it because it’s such an important topic.  According to the Environmental Working Group,  on average American women use 12 products a day and men average 6 products daily, which means an adult is likely to be exposed daily to 126 unique chemical ingredients in personal care products alone.

Personal care army

Personal care army (Photo credit: A30_Tsitika)

We might not realize that the make up we put on our faces or the hair and body products, sunscreens, and nail polish we use on a daily basis have a host of dangerous chemicals and allergens like mercury, lead, parabans, pthalates, and others. Watch out for products with fragrances. There are no regulations on ingredients and there are usually dozens of synthetic compounds.  I always wonder why American cosmetic companies sell the same products in Europe without the chemical additives! Well, the European Union strictly regulates the extremely hazardous chemicals found in everyday products in the United States and has banned about 1,100 chemicals, while the FDA has banned only ten!  Of the more than 10,000 chemical ingredients in personal care products, 89 percent have not undergone safety testing, according to the Environmental Working Group.  If you read about what these additives do to our bodies, especially young, developing bodies, you would only use organic personal care products!  It’s scary….

The average woman “eats” more than 6 pounds of lipstick over a lifetime, just one of many cosmetics used.  Fortunately finding safer products is getting easier. Whole Foods Markets and independent natural food stores have several lines of organic skin care products that are safe to use, like Dr. Hauschka, Mychelle, Badger, Burt’s Bees.  Some products are “cleaner” than others, so make sure to always read the label and be wary of names too long to pronounce.  A knowledgeable sales person will be able to help you find the safest products.

Organic cosmetics and personal care products are not only better for your health, but better for the earth too!  When discarding them, fewer chemicals will go down the drain or in the trash, seeping into our water supply and landfills.  Many watch dog groups like the Environmental Working Group and the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow are forcing pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies to eliminate these harmful chemicals.  To rate the toxicity of your personal care products, visit www.safecosmetics.or, which does an online safety assessment of 75,223 products.

Information from ewg.org and ecosalon.com.  

Let me know if you have certain topics you want me to write about.  I’m happy to do so!