Monday, June 2, 2008

Green Monday

Do you ever think about how what you use on your body affects the environment and your body chemistry?

Toothpaste - To be honest, I didn't switch to Tom's of Maine toothpaste because of the environment. I switched because it is one of the few toothpastes that doesn't contain pork. But they manufacture products in a way that is not so detrimental to the air quality in the area and they use recycled materials when possible.

Antiperspirant/Deodorant: I quit using antiperspirant deodorant about 10 years ago, but had to go back cause I was stankin! LOL! But I kept trying brands until I found one that worked for me. Why give up antiperspirant? Because perspiring is natural. Also, there has been much speculation about the connection of antiperspirant to breast cancer, mainly because of the aluminum in it. The National Cancer Institute has a great page, that shows how inconclusive the research thus far has been. For that reason, I am erring on the side of caution.

I gave up relaxing my hair for several reasons, but mainly because I felt it was a contradiction to my lifestyle of caring for myself and the environment. But finding hair products with ingredients I could name was damn near impossible. Carol's Daughter has worked great for me and baby girls hair. It's a whole 'nother post to detail it but I may do that one day. The BEST part is that it is a Black woman's company. (With Black celebrity financial backers).

The same attention should be paid to your soaps and lotions. Look for ingredients that you can read and recognize.

I know some women have given up paper sanitary napkins and tampons because they don't degrade and contain bleached paper. But Sister P has to draw the line.....right....HERE! I'm down for the cause but, this, I need some time to digest. Cloth diapers yes, no baby wipes, sure. But this is hard for me. My mom and mother in law often tell about how they kept a bucket in their closet during "that time", for soaking of cloths but they were born in 1939, I was born in 1969. I have considered that I'd be saving about $6 each month which is $72 per year which could pay for a trip to the zoo or aquarium for our family. Or could buy enough gas to go to Detroit one weekend! Anybody try this...if it's not too personal.

Challenges: All of these products are a bit more expensive. Sometimes I can afford them and sometimes I can't, so I do the best I can. I keep other deodorant under my bathroom sink if I run out of Tom's and am cash strapped, but I put it away as soon as I can. Natural hair is time consuming unless you wear it short. I'm trying to grow mine out and 3-4 inches of previously relaxed hair is tough to style unless I keep braids, which really aren't my thing (locs either).

Sustainability: I think I could maintain most of this lifestyle indefinitely. The hair though...I'm taking one day at a time!


Lakisa Muhammad said...

I love Carol's Daughter too! You've given me a lot to think about in this post, but Sis, I will not be giving up my sanitary napkins any time soon. Are they not biodegradable or something?

femmeautonome said...

Hi - thanks for your comment on my blog :-). I've been MIA for a few days due to a move.

I really liked this post. I tried giving up anti-perspirant last year, too. Here's what I found out : you have to watch what you eat and drink. I had to cut out coffee and eat mostly veggies and drink ALOT of water. Otherwise...pwew! I use an antiperspirant now but want to quit again. The organic deo that I bought was terrible.
I also stopped relaxing my hair in 2005. I'd wanted to since I was a teen and just do not see the need to put chemicals that haven't been proven 100% safe in the long term on my head to make my hair look like a white woman's hair.
I thought about giving up tampons ...but ya...that's tough.
I use organic toothpaste without fluroide - called Nature's Care.
I wear my hair in a fro. If you're transitioning, you could try a headband...that's what I did...until you do the big chop. Good luck. Let us know if you decide to cut out the pads/tampons. I don't know anyone who has done that, yet.
(btw, Ive gone back to my old name, from "is that so")

Sister P said...

Lakisa- Based on what I've read and heard, most sanitary napkins are not biodegradable which explains why you can't flush them. Others don't use them because they are made from bleached cotton which is "supposed" to be bad. But you know Black women...we bleach everything and don't wear rubber gloves!

Femme-I know what you mean about diet. I love onions and garlic and cook with it often. My 3yo has funky pits and my doctor said that's why. He said it's normal. I do bathe in the morning and evening using the natural products so I don't know if I'm wasting water in the's a tough call.

Don said...

I quit using antiperspirant deodorant about 10 years ago, but had to go back cause I was stankin! LOL!

Too funny. It's good to embrace the 'natural' aspect of everything, but not when it comes to deodorant. LOL. Readign your words made me smile. For the past few years I've seen how many people have moved away from the man-made, and are taking on a more nature-made approach.

What you speak about sustainability: this is prbably the main reason why I haven't entered ito a vegan lifestyle. I don't think I'd be able to maintain it. Maybe one day.

Hope all is well, sister p.

Sister P said...

@Don--you made my WEEK! I was worried about you, but now I understand your departure from the blog scene.

Re: Going Green-I'm blogging about it for accountability. I'm striving to be a more conscious person all around and this is a part of my healing. It's a struggle, but when I have healthy meaningful friendships, a happy marriage, another child and my high school dress size back it'll be worth it. (In my mind all of this is related, I guess that's another post I've got to promise to write :o)

Brother OMi said...

TOm's is dope
we found that Trader Joe's sells a toothpaste that has the same ingredients as Tom's but about 75 cents cheaper.

Smell Goods Lady said...

I thought of using Glad Rags and probably will. If I know I am going to be out of the house for a certain amount of time, I wouldn't mind wearing those pads. I could always alternate. There are sponge tampons out there too. I am considering these options not only for myself but for my daughters as well.

If you consider it, you should give Smell Goods deodorant and/or deodorant powder a try.

Sister P said...

@Omi--We don't even HAVE Trader Joe's. My mom loves it up in Michigan.

SG Lady- I have to give you a look. I didn't know you had deodorant. Thanks!