Thursday, March 13, 2014

Over the last five or so years I have been tiptoeing towards the popular idea arising: "going green". The idea is appealing to me on a lot of levels.  I like the idea of minimizing waste, keeping the environment free of non biodegradable trash as well as limiting the chemicals we put into our garbage, and water system.  I especially like the idea of being very aware of what we put on and in our bodies.  My real hesitations have been surrounding the validity of the claims from many "green" products as well as embracing the cost of having such a clean lifestyle.  I also felt that only changing one or two habits was not, in the grand scheme of things, doing a whole lot.  So I bought my "friendly to lakes and streams" dishwasher detergent, used biodegradable sponges and switched to cloth napkins, little thinks like that, and felt moderately good about myself- something is better than nothing- knowing in the back of my mind that the majority of my lifestyle habits were not all that green. They were more.. brownish. 

I also had a big fear of getting bamboozled. I tend to be idealistic or maybe... unrealistic...or maybe those are often interchangeable. It was hard to miss the breakout of organic, natural, earth/Eco friendly products that started covering the shelves over the last few years, all by well known brands:  Clorox, Windex, Palmolive, etc. Everyone suddenly had the token, economical alternative in their line, for a few extra dollars. Then, as the fad dissolved, so did the number of those products on the shelves.  

On the other hand, you see all these specialty stores, ones that only sell all organic products and earth safe, chemical free cosmetics, and you just about go broke from walking in the door. 

I felt like my choices were 1. Go with the big brands that follow the fads and bust out a maybe-green product, or 2. Get a guaranteed product from a specialty store and sell your first born in the process. 

So, over the last couple of months I have decided I really want to figure this whole thing out.  I don't just want to have to take the product label at face value because I don't know what being earth friendly means.  If I can't pronounce any of the ingredients, how do I know which ones to stay away from? 
And if there are only three ingredients, why do I have to pay for someone else to make it, put it in a cute, natural looking package, and then feel like I can't buy groceries for a week?

So, here I go: Figuring out what ingredients make a product harmful to my body and the environment, which ones are safe to use, which products can I make cheaper (and fairly easily) without sacrificing quality? 

Lately I've been doing a lot of reading, like... A lot of reading... on chemical break down: what to avoid, what is okay, what is debatable, what is untested, what to look out for, etc etc etc.  And I know I still have a long way to go before I feel satisfied with my research.  Honestly, this is probably something  I will keep up with from now on, on a small level.  But over the next couple of months I will be posting what I find; Not because I assume everyone is equally as interested in this as I am, or because I think everyone should do it, but just because I can; and who knows, maybe someone else does and is. 

So, as I find alternatives to harsh chemical products, I'll share what I find. 
A lot will probably be opinions based on what information I have found, and what satisfies ME (us) as alternatives, not necessarily what everyone should start doing.  I'm going to make some things myself (might be trial and error), and I plan to give feedback/a review on products I try. 

So here I go, taking on a hobby ( because I have so much free time...). Maybe you will enjoy learning with me. :)

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