Monday, January 03, 2011

to be more crunchy

I didn't make a list of resolutions this year; I just have one major resolution I'm planning to work on throughout the year. I want to help slowly move my family toward a safer and healthier way of life.

Helping the environment is great, but what I really want to do is reduce my family's exposure to toxins and chemicals. I want us to eat less processed food and use more homemade cleaners made from vinegar and baking soda. I want our containers and plastic items to be free of nasty stuff. I'm going to gradually transition all the makeup and beauty products I use to chemical-free versions, and make sure grody chemicals stay out of Mr. W's baby shampoo, butt cream, etc. (and JB's shaving/bath products, too)

I'm not an eco-crusader. And I know that generations (including my own) were raised with chemical-laden baby shampoos and plastic cups full of BPA, and most of us turned out all right. But the same could be said for the children of women in the 1950s and 1960s (and before) who smoked and drank while they were pregnant. No one told these women not to, and most of their babies were born OK, right? But who nowadays - except women with major issues - would drink or smoke while pregnant?

A recent article I read pointed out that we look down on women from that time for smoking a drinking while pregnant. And then it quoted a researcher who said that 50 years from now, what people will probably look down on us for is the amount of dangerous chemicals we allowed in our personal products, cleaners, plastics and other items.

I'm not trying to be that obnoxious greener-than-thou kind of person, and I know I have a steep learning curve. These kinds of sea-changes take a while to reach us in the South. My family recycles, we compost (when we remember), and a few other things, but we've been sadly lax about the kinds of products we use and in monitoring the healthiness (or unhealthiness) of the things we bring into our home.

I see this as a gradual move full of small, easy-to-implement changes. That's the only way it'll stick.

I'm starting the year off by learning to make baby food (it's going great! more on this later) and checking out the makeup from Alima Pure, a cosmetics company that has a low hazard rating from the Cosmetics Database. Alima is having a sale on eyeshadows right now ($5.50 each brings it down into the price range of the stuff I buy at Target and Ulta) and if you sign up for their e-newsletter, you can find out how to get free samples of their foundation - which, by the way, is cheaper than the Bare Minerals stuff I've been buying.

Speaking of cosmetics and beauty products, I found a little video that explains the basic reasoning behind transitioning from your (and my) beloved Pantene to something safer.

This video can be a little over the top and preachy at times, but the basic ideas are sound.

What do you think? Have you transitioned the products in your home to safer and full of less nasty chemicals? Any advice?


Tess said...

Love the title of this post. When we follow our instinct to make our lives and the world better it is always a good thing. I'm going to try to lean towards "crunchiness" too :D

Cerrissa said...

check it out, my friend heather is making her own baby food too!!

Julie Rodgers said...

I make my own baby food too!! You can do it, it's fun! And i have been using Dr Bronner's Magic Peppermint Soap for shampoo, body wash, and household cleaning. Check it out online! All natural, organic, etc. Go you! :)

writtenwyrdd said...

I think your idea is a good one. it's not necessarily the chemicals that go in you from products that is the hazard; it's the combinations they form in your body, which haven't been tested at all, that I feel are the most dangerous.

A few years back, there was an article in National Geographic by a fellow who had himself tested to see what chemicals were in his body. You had a wide array of chemicals, some hazardous, that they found. Sometimes they were in dangerous quantities, or ones that were of concern. (At least, that's what I recall.)

J said...

I am a vinegar and baking soda FIEND!! I don't even use other cleaners anymore. That's about as "crunchy" as I've gotten so far, but will be watching to see if I can get some more ideas from you!

Carrie said...

Great ideas! Please share recipes that you find for cleaners/baby food etc. Would love to hear about what works!