The basic premise;
There are many different ways of making your life a little more eco-friendly, in fact there are so many things that you might not have actually thought about it could take a good week of solid work on Google before you even make a dent. So on that note I am documenting going from a vaguely green pseudo-hippy to a full blown green freak, but without having to move to a shack in the woods. …
As I mentioned in the introduction; there is a massive number of things we do everyday (without thinking most of the time) that have an effect on the world around us. Everything from brushing your teeth to cooking your dinner has a string of consequences for the atmosphere, oceans, land, wildlife. Not to mention the socio-economic impacts on the developing countries producing our goods. So I’m going to start with something that a startling number of people think hippies go without; hygiene.
Some will ask; how does hygiene has an effect on the environment around us? the simplest answer is water use and pollution, however the problems are incredibly more diverse and complex.
On a typical day most will have a shower, brush their teeth, do their hair etc. this might not seem like something that would have much of an effect but everything you put down the plughole goes somewhere, in the UK our waste water goes to the local treatment plant before being pumped out into the wider landscape. Although our water treatment facilities do their best to keep the nasties out of natural water courses they cant prevent everything. our waste water contains a vast array of chemicals including SLS, Parabens and Pthalates all of which have a negative effect on aquatic environments. Pthalates in particular are a real problem due to their habit of effecting fish breeding habits and harming the ability of rare or endangered species to breed and increase their numbers.
over half of these chemicals come from cosmetics and cleaning products used in domestic homes, look at the back of you shower gel bottle, it will list all of the chemicals mentioned above plus a host more. Personally I don’t really like the idea of covering myself in chemicals which have known to alter the sex of fish, so here’s my starting point; natural cleansers. Every generic cleanser can be easily replaced with a natural alternative, sometimes they even work out cheaper than the generic version.
Soap is the most basic of natural cleansers, you can use it on yourself, your clothes and even household items. You can buy natural soaps which a simply made from saponified fats which do not harm the environment from most places, even better you can buy handmade soap from a vast number of craft makers around the country, or you can even make your own without too much trouble.
switching your cosmetics to the natural alternative is a great step towards having cleaner, unpolluted natural aquatic environments and its also better for your health too; SLS or Sodium Laurel Sulphate is used as a foaming agent in a massive number of cosmetics and has recently been discovered to be carcinogenic.
So I’m planning to replace all my cleaners and cosmetics to a natural alternative and being the crafty type I’m going to go the whole hog and make them myself.