Choices we make having to do with our health and our appearance, ranging from medications to bath and body products as well as clothing and accessories should be thought about for two reasons: First, the products we use come in close contact with our bodies and those of our loved ones (They also wash down the drain and end up in the ocean). Second, the products we desire are often made from materials which are destructive to the environment to harvest, are toxic at some stage of production, and traveled from far flung parts of our planet on a cargo ship that consumes fuel in mass quantity. The question is, what products exist which are made from ingredients and materials that are safe to come in contact with skin and which were made close to home?
Here is an example to consider: There is an antibacterial, antifungal preservative
called paraben, widely used in moisturizers, soaps, shampoos and cosmetics.
It is generally regarded by regulatory bodies
, such as the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, to be safe in low levels. Some studies have raised concerns about parabens having similar properties to hormones, in particular estrogen. There is enough disagreement about the safety of paraben to warrant the question, "Do I know what I am rubbing on my face?" Consider choosing a paraben-free moisturizer.
Another example: Cotton is widely desired for being a comfortable, natural
fabric. Those are great qualities. Consider how most commercial cotton is
raised: cotton tends to be grown in hot areas of the world, consuming large
amounts of water during growth, washing and fabric preparation. It is often
sprayed with heavy agricultural chemicals, shipped to one country to be made
into fabric and dyed, shipped to another to be made into a shirt, shipped
to a third to have the logo applied to it, and then shipped to somewhere
in the country where you will eventually buy it. Is all of that consumption
of resources necessary just to get your favorite comfy shirt? No, not really.
Looking for organic cotton fabric and clothing which was domestically produced
really does lessen the impact of that product. Click here:
for an overview of something called Life Cycle Analysis, or the examination of the inputs and outputs over the life of any product. Considering how well-traveled your clothing is before you buy it, or how many chemicals it took to raise the basic ingredients means you can make a better-informed choice the next time you shop.
Use the resources listed here to track down and learn more about environmentally conscious health and beauty products.