Go Green When You Go Home
My brother just bought a Prius, subsidized by his work. Patagonia gave him $2500 if he bought a Hybrid car. What an amazing company! He called and left me a message last week: 'I have Bluetooth. Now I don't have to do anything in my new Prius because everything is automatic. You're jealous. New York sucks. Go home.'
Gets a Prius and thinks he's God well, I'll show him.
Here's my way of getting even and giving back to the environment, New York style: putting together my top 10 list of 'green' household products:
- Best Toothpaste: JASON
The natural, Fluoride-free and sugar-free toothpaste tastes funny at first because I'm so used to chemicals and sugar in my toothpaste, but it is a plant-based product and my breath is smelling pretty fresh.
Dentists swear by fluoride because it kills bacteria that grows on teeth, but do you know why it kills bacteria? Fluoride is a toxic product used to make aluminum. I would rather get punched in the eye than put aluminum in my mouth, and God knows I need to look good so getting punched is not ideal either. According to Parents of Fluoride Poisoned Children (PFPC), we are actually overdosed with fluoride in our foods. It's in everything from juice to soda to water, and it is poisoning people who are not careful.
- Best Hair Products: Belegenza (email firstname.lastname@example.org for discounted purchase)
What's wrong with Silicon? Apparently everything. Think of it this way: what happens to your nails after you put acrylics on them? They get brittle, thin and dependent. The same goes for silicon and your hair. Silicon is made from sand and creates a "glass" coating on your hair, protecting it in an unnatural way, and hardening the hairs, the scalp, the nerves and the organs. Your skin is the biggest organ on your body. Imagine hardening and disintegrating it with a fake, glossy coat. That's what you are doing when you use a product with silicon. Essentially, silicon coats the intestines and/or may absorb and clog up certain processes in the body, like nerve relays, and such when ingested, even through the skin. Breast implants are back on the market again, not because silicone is safe, but because they found a better "baggie" container. Breast implant leakages may be responsible for all kinds of neurtoxic situations.
Keith Eschenburg, a stylist who has cut hair from Park Avenue to his kitchen sink, created a hair product line that does not use silicon. He has created a green-friendly, food-based, natural product that adds moisture to your hair and scalp, making it grow faster and healthier. There is no added water either, making it better value for your money because as Keith says: "Why add water to the product if you are already getting wet in the shower?" Not only is he smart, but he's practical. I can go on and on about this product that made #4 for organic new products in American Salon magazine, but I'll let it speak for itself.p>
- Best Household Cleaner: Young Living Thieves (email email@example.com for discounted purchase)
Essential Oils for cleaning? When I saw on Imus Ranch's website that the average home contains 25 gallons of hazardous chemicals (with a major portion of these found in household cleaning products), I wanted to find something more natural and organic for cleaning. Young Living has produced Essential Oils that you can cook with, so if the cleaning product is made from them, it has to be good for you.
Thieves contains clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon and Eucalyptus radiata. The story behind the essential oil is interesting: "based on the historical account of four thieves in France who protected themselves with clove, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing plague victims, this proprietary blend was university tested for its cleansing abilities and found to be highly effective against airborne bacteria."
In the summer with the humidity, this keeps my apartment smelling and feeling fresh.
- Best Deodorant: Desert Essence, Alvera (Aloe and Almonds Fragrance), and Cedarwood essential oils in almond or coconut oil
I really cannot give a recommendation because I don't need deodorant (It's true! Go ahead, ask my friends--they all hate me for it), but since regular deodorant has aluminum as an ingredient, and we know that aluminum is toxic in high levels from the fluoride information above, I went to get some ideas from my "green" friends.
The recommendation was Desert Essence and Alvera. I also received the recommendation to, again, use essential oils. It never ceases to amaze me how essential oils can be used for so many things, yet we know so little about them.
- Best Face Moisturizer: real coconut oil (health food stores, Any Town, USA)
I bought coconut oil for $2 in Chinatown and it does wonders for my skin. Two of my friends also use it and when one went to her dermatologist, she was given compliments about how amazing her skin looked. While Bikram yoga does the trick for making my skin soft and radiant from sweating out the toxins, it doesn't hurt to rub some natural oil on for the extra effect.
- Best Makeup: Bare Escentuals (http://www.bareescentuals.com)
My mom introduced me to Bare Minerals as a makeup foundation about one or two years ago when I decided to start protecting my face from the sun. I never liked the feel of cover up or foundation; it always looked faked. As soon as I tried Bare Escentuals, I never wanted to take it off, and I didn't need to because the makeup is so pure and good for your skin that you can sleep in it. They now have everything from eye shadow to lipstick.
- Best Soap: Dr. Bronner's Tea Tree Oil (http://www.drbronner.com)
Essential oils yet again, you ask? Well, once you start using them, you will understand. Tea tree oil has a long history of traditional use. Australian aboriginals used tea tree leaves for healing skin cuts, burns, and infections by crushing the leaves and applying them to the affected area.
Tea tree oil contains consituents called terpenoids, which have antiseptic and antifungal activity. It has been known to help the following: Acne, Athlete's foot, Dandruff, Vaginitis, Thrush, Periodontal disease, as an antiseptic, Boils, Lice, Eczema, Psoriasis.
It has been said that tea tree oil should always be diluted, and used it small quantities, which is why I am relying on Dr. Bronner's expertise from the laboratory.
- Most Versatile Product: Baking soda (grocery stores, Any Town, USA)
This is the cheapest and most versatile product I have found in all my research. It is so simple yet profoundly useful that a man who calls himself the "Tipking" created an online book to assist you in putting baking soda to the test at
http://www.bakingsodabook.co.uk. Let me count my favourite ways: Baking soda can be used to bring down a fever. Make a paste to heal a cold sore. Sprinkle it on foods that make you bloated to lessen the gassy effect you may otherwise have afterwards. Put it in the bottom of your garbage can to limit the smell. Take one cup baking soda and one cup vinegar and pour the mixture down your drain to cut grease and deodorize (Don't forget to wipe your greasy stoves while you are cleaning out your kitchen sink!) Add a half cup to your laundry to bring the colors and white out brighter.
- Light bulbs: Go Eco-Friendly (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=cfls.pr_cfls)
According to Wikipedia, compact florescent light bulbs are the energy-saver of the future: "Compared to incandescent lamps of the same luminous flux, CFLs use less energy and have a longer rated life. In the United States, a CFL can save over US$30 in electricity costs over the lamp's lifetime compared to an incandescent lamp and save 2000 times their own weight in greenhouse gases. The initial purchase price of a CFL is higher than an incandescent lamp of the same output, but this cost is recovered in energy savings assuming average lamp use."
- Best Detergent: Greening the Cleaning (http://www.imusranchfoods.com)
When looking for a laundry detergent, I heard of three options: Costco had an organic solution, Bio Kleen, and Greening the Cleaning. When I searched the Greening the Cleaning website, I had to give them extra points for donating all profits to Kids with Cancer in Ribera, New Mexico. Their household products are non-toxic, work well and are used in hospitals, school and businesses throughout the US. Greening the Cleaning is making a difference in the environment and for people.
The side effects of allergy medications keep some people from using them. Natural remedies can be a great alternative, but some are more effective than others.