You don’t have to give up shaving or chain yourself to a tree to be environmentally friendly. The decisions we make every day as consumers can make a big difference.
Canadians have not been given all the information about the products they buy and are completely unaware of what’s in them. Take personal care products, for example. The average adult uses nine personal care products a day, containing a total of 125 chemical ingredients, many of which most of us can’t pronounce, never mind assess their safety. Check out my post on Toxic Beauty.
While the beauty industry likes to add so-called natural ingredients to its products, such as ginger and ylang ylang, “the truth is you’re drenching your lips, cheeks and hair in a largely untested and lengthy list of petroleum-derived, genetically modified, carcinogenic or animal- (even whale-) derived ingredients.”
There are approximately 10,500 chemical ingredients stirred into the personal care products that line shelves, neither Canada or the U.S. requires much testing for these products. We look to our governments to keep us healthy and Canada has not been a leader in these things. Europe has been ahead on this, getting rid of carcinogens in beauty products, the United States started catching up after bio-monitoring the population and finding that we are carrying a soup of chdemicals in our blood and breast milk.
You can however go to the health food store and find lots of great toothpastes, beauty products and cleaning products that are free of chemicals but you also have to keep in mind that not everything at the health food store is chemical-free. It’s a bit of a wild west, so you want to be a little bit dubious in what’s out there. Read the labels and ask a sales clerk to what products have the least amount or next to no chemicals.
Let’s face it we love killing bacteria, well at least manufacturers have us convinced we do, the problem is many of those products we are using contain triclosan to help us do it. This disinfectant can prompt the growth of resistant bacteria; what’s more, it can turn carcinogenic. Use vinegar instead (and remember that not all bacteria is harmful!).
Please inform yourself: not only can cleaning products keep their ingredients a secret, but they can label themselves organic, natural, non-toxic and biodegradable without any actual certification. If you’d rather not use household cleaners like vinegar, baking soda or Borax, definitely choose trustworthy green brands like Method, Seventh Generation, Dr. Bronner’s and Begley’s.
Well that’s my thoughts on products, it’s a win-win in my opinion, you stay chemical free and anything that goes down the drain wont be polluting our earth. You can also feel good to know that no animals were tested on. Who doesn’t love that! Happy shopping and cleaning, let me know if you find any great products out there.