So a while back I wrote about trying to green my life. The regular light bulbs have been replaced with CFLs, we use the ceiling fans and furnace fan on all but the hottest days, I dry 90% of my laundry outside. I’ve planted mostly organic seeds and haven’t touched a non-organic pesticide or fertilizer in the garden. I shop at our local farmer’s market , I try to buy foods with less packaging, local and/or organic on every grocery trip, I bring my own shopping bags everywhere and I’ve replaced nearly all our household cleaners with less harmful or all (or mostly) natural cleaners. Aside from a little more elbow grease when cleaning and slightly higher grocery bills this green thing is working well. Although I really do have to start the laundry earlier since five loads WILL NOT dry in three hours no matter how sunny and/or windy it is. Time management…it’s a beautiful thing and I need to work on it.
But, and there’s always a but, some of the organic/natural/green personal care products I have tried are not so great. I have happily substituted my Colgate toothpaste for Tom’s of Maine and quite honestly believe that it cleans my teeth better. I know it tastes better and it doesn’t leave a gross aftertaste in my mouth if I accidentally swallow some. Despite costing twice (or three times) as much as the regular stuff I’ll keep using it.
The deodorant sadly, did not fare so well. Even before reading my friend Kara’s blog post I had bought a stick of the Original scent and thought it was pretty good. I liked the way it smelled and while it was a little sticky upon applicaiton, it seemed to do the job. After a week of use no one had complained or passed out in my presence. Granted, by the end of the day there was a very slight “odour” about me, but since I was at home I could care less. Of course this was in May when it was still fairly cool out. When the hot weather rolled in a month later I had to go back to the regular stick. Quite honestly I smelled like a musk ox by noon. It was bad. Even DH noticed and I like to affectionately kid him about his lack of olfactory glands. So the Tom’s got put back in the drawer to wait for cooler times. It’s a good product, but not for me in the hot weather.
I also switched out my shampoo and conditioner. I am not super fussy about my hair (I’m stylistically challenged) and since my hair dryer died a month ago it’s gotten even worse. Aftersniffing every bottle of shampoo and conditioner in the organics aisle at the grocery store I decided to go with Avalon Organics Rosemary Thickening shampoo and conditioner. The first go round was great. I loved the smell and thought my fine, limp hair actually did look thicker. Plus the conditioner doubled as shaving cream and you can’t beat a product that does double duty and is still good for the environment.
The second go round has proved to be disappointing. My hair now looks vaguely greasy all the time. I have cut back on the amount of conditioner I use and sometimes skip it entirely but it’s not helping. And I seem to have to use more and more shampoo every morning to get the same amount of lather which at $7-8ish per bottle does not make me happy. Sorry Avalon but you’re being replaced with JASON. Maybe we just need a “break” and I’ll try you again in a few months. All is not lost though, I like your Vitamin C facial cleanser and think it smells pretty and does a good job. That will be a repeat purchase in a few weeks when I finally run out.
I’m a big fan of the Nature’s Gate body wash I found. I don’t think it’s hugely moisturizing, although it’s summer so it’s hard to tell really, especially given the fact that it hasn’t stopped raining here for weeks, but it smells great and lathers pretty well. And their toothpaste is also good…minty tasting, no aftertaste and does as good job as Tom’s. I will definitely use it again, just thought I’d like a flavour break, hence mixing it up with Tom’s.
So I’ll continue my quest for green personal care products that work as well (or better) than the kinds I used to use which contain sodium laurel sulfate and parabens and are generally toxic and nasty to the environment. Which coincidentally is the environment we live in and the only one we have. The extra few dollars is worth it. Not to mention, our furbaby Baxter also has to live in our house and given that she’s smaller than us and is that much closer to the ground, everything we use affects her much more (quickly) than us. And she doesn’t have a choice. But I do. As the saying goes, I’m being the change I want to see. One shampoo bottle at a time.