Monday, May 24, 2010

Green Tips- Health and Beauty

Americans spend seven times more money per year on beauty products than the federal government spends on education. The health and beauty industry is a 160 billion dollar a year business. And because a product marked “natural” only has to contain 1 % of natural products in, consumers need to be weary. Especially since 60 percent of any substance gets absorbed by your skin. This means that you can absorb 4.4 poundes of man made chemicals through your skin in a single year.

Additionally, Americans use at least twice as much water per person as anyone else in the world. By 2025, the world will need to increase its water supply by 22 percent to keep up with the demand. We flush 40 percent of drinking water supplied to our homes down the toilet.
Source: The Green Book

Baby Oil- choose oils made from seeds from fruits and nuts rather than the traditional baby oil or mineral oil which is made is a by-product of gasoline production.

Bath Salt/Bubble bath- Buy a large bottle or bath salts in large packaging. Also buy it in concentrated form. Better yet make your own. Use a one cup of Epsom salt with ½ cup of sea salt. Mix with your favorite essential oil and let dry. Then place in a glass container. You can use an old baby food jar. You can also make your own oat meal bath bomb but putting uncooked unflavored oatmeal in a blender and then putting it in an old nylon stocking. You can add Apple Cider Vinegar to any bath.

Conditioner- buy a 2-1 conditioner/shampoo or make your own you can use mayonnaise, egg, baby oil, and avocado to create your own light to deep conditioner

Cotton balls/Cotton swabs- buy 100% organic unbleached cotton. A lot of cotton balls are made with polyester. Also choose a swab made from paper instead of plastic

Deodorant- a lot of people are going to look at me side ways but here it is: don’t buy an antiperspirant. Antiperspirants contain aluminum which is mined but is also a metal that can cause toxicity to your skin. Use a deodorant without aluminum.

Eyeliner- choose to use a wooden pencil instead of a plastic eyeliner. Wood is biodegradable and plastic isn’t.

Eye shadow- try to get a system that allows you to refill instead of purchasing several new cases.

Foundation- buy a glass bottle instead of a plastic kind

Lotions- buy them in a pump bottle as opposed to a flip top. You’ll use less. This can also be applied to shampoo and conditioner bottles.

Mascara- avoid buying the extra packaging and go for just the tube. Also steer away from petroleum based products and used ones that are made from plant materials.

Perfume/Cologne- the fragrance industry uses eight hundred million pounds of petroleum to produce their products. Try and find one that uses natural products.

Hair dye- buy a semi- or demi- dye instead of a permanent dye. Semi or demi typically use vegetable based dyes but I would check the box to make sure. Permanent uses synthetic.

Lipstick- considering how often women inadvertently eat lipstick, make sure that you buy a tube made from plant based products. Steer clear of paraffin waxes, synthetic oils, and toxic coal tar dyes which use FD&C or D&C followed by a number to demarcate them.

Shampoo- look for bottles made from post-consumer plastic and buy in bulk.

Shaving gel/foam- if you can’t forgo the gel/foam for good ol’ fashioned soap and water make sure not to buy it in an aerosol form. Although aerosols no longer use CFLs which damage the ozone, they use petroleum propellants.

Soaps- Use a bar versus body wash. Bar soap goes a long way and uses considerably less packaging than body wash. Look for soap bars wrapped in paper. Better yet buy a natural soap. Many people are making various soaps made from goat’s milk on etsy.

Sponges- Use a natural biodegradable loofah or use a washcloth instead of buying a nylon sponge or poof.

Facial scrubs- Save on the packaging and make your own sugar scrub. Use equal parts of brown sugar and olive oil add a little bit of your favorite essential oil and Voila!

Razors- use razors with refillable blades as apposed to a disposable razor. Refillable blades use less plastic.

Feminine products- try using a reusable cup or cloth pads. If that still grosses you out, use organic cotton/ cardboard tampons and skip plastic paper pads. Try to avoid using plastic as much as possible. Another plus: organic cotton that hasn’t been bleached is better for your body. Every day millions of women stick a bleached treated piece of cotton inside their bodies. This can’t be good for you.

Shower- take a quick shower with the least amount of hot water that you can stand. Plug the drain to keep water that you use that can be put into your toilet instead of flushing it.

Toothpaste- buy a toothpaste without detergent (that’s the stuff that makes your teeth feel foamy). You don’t need the foaming action anyway. It doesn’t clean your teeth better. In fact, it’s why you can’t swallow toothpaste. It’s harmful.

Bath- Plug the drain before turning on the water. You can save a lot of water that way. If you are going to take a bath, consider saving the bath water. If it’s clear enough, someone else can use it. If not, you can pour it in your toilet after using the bathroom. Thus you won’t have to flush and save more water. Or better yet, bathe together. (I think my husband might be smiling somewhere)

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