After reading this article by a friend from school, I decided to check out my household products here: I did not like what I found. The lack of regulations or labeling requirements on these products is perplexing. If I get to know what I eat, why can't I know what I put on my underarms every day? Or what I clean my kitchen counter with? Want to know more? Look here.
So, I decided it was time to experiment a little bit.
- I've also gone "no 'poo", which I think sounds gross but it really isn't. I've been washing my hair just as much, but now with baking soda and water instead of shampoo that's full of untested chemicals, many of which are endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, carcinogens, or reproductive inhibitors. Scary stuff.
- For the same reasons, I decided to see what I could do about my deodorant. My old antiperspirants are full of aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer's disease, among other chemicals which do other un-fun things. So I am currently using a powder of 1 part baking soda to 6 parts cornstarch which has been working pretty well, and I'm going to experiment making my own stick deodorant with coconut oil.
- The plan is once I run out of my "organic" soap*, to switch to handmade soaps which use natural ingredients like olive oil instead of chemicals.
- I've been using more vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice as household cleaners, and I've vowed not to buy any more normal bleaches or chemical cleaners.
Now, this isn't just about being "green" or "organic" or "hippie" or anything else. It's a combination of not wanting to get myself exposed to more risk factors than I have to be, not wanting to contribute to the huge amount of processing and plastics that go into (and out of) these products, and even saving a little money by spending a minute or two more doing these things myself. Plus, when I can, I can keep putting money into the local economy, if say, I splurged on a bar of local handmade soap at the farmer's market.
I'm also not going to give up on some things. I like laundry detergent, for example. But can I choose more efficient laundry detergent, which works well in cold water and comes in a recycled bottle? When I can, I will.
Anyway, I thought I'd share those thoughts with you. Doing something similar? Think I'm right? Think I'm wrong? Want to know how it's going? Let me know!
*Because of the lack of regulation for personal care products, companies are allowed to use words like "organic" and "natural" without actually meeting any standards for the product or labeling the package with the ingredients inside.