Archive for May, 2011

It’s been about three months since I started using clean cosmetics, and things are going well. I finally finished off that first beet and am onto my second – not bad! At this rate, I’ll be getting 9 months worth of blush out of three beets. I also just finished off my first activated charcoal capsule, which means the bottle of 50 capsules could potentially last me 150 months, or a little over 12 years. Hmm, 12 years worth of eyebrow filler and black eyeliner for $10.99? I dare you to find something that works just as well for less cash.

The first bottles of Aubrey shampoo and conditioner are still in the shower – I use them about once every four days, and Jay uses them only when he gets a haircut. We’re not even halfway through our Dr. Bronner’s eucalyptus castile soap-turned-shower-gel. We’ve hardly made a dent in our Jojoba oil-turned-moisturizer. I’ve replaced my Aubrey face wash (because I finished it) with a $6 bottle of Dr. Bronner’s lavender castile soap, which will last me eons, since I only need a few drops per wash. That’s like $70 for months of cleansers, makeup, and moisturizers. (And some for two people!) The financial savings is just an added bonus.

The real benefit is how much better my skin and hair look. I’m able to enjoy my natural curls instead of blow-drying my hair straight every day and watching it frizz in the humidity. Though my skin still gets that “dewy” look (sounds way better than oily), I haven’t gotten a concealer-worthy zit in three months, despite my hormones’ best attempts.  Probably my favorite part is how low-maintenance it is! No three-step cleansing routine. No layers of makeup, since I don’t need much. No tired arms from holding up the blow drier for 20 minutes.

Another step we’ve taken, mainly just for our benefit, is adding a filter to our shower head. (That was especially fun, since our old shower head was a custom fancy one.) Our shower water no longer smells like chlorine, and I feel okay about washing my face and body in there. Jay swears his skin is less dry, too. Though ours came free with our Big Berkey water filter, you can buy them right at stores like Home Depot. We’re also still using good ‘ole vinegar and baking soda to clean, though we’ve expanded our horizons by adding essential oils to the mix. At least then our counters smell like something other than fish n’ chips! (If anyone from work is reading this, I added it just for you.)

Now that summer’s coming around, our next step is to look into clean sunscreens (i.e. those with titanium dioxide and/or zinc as the active ingredient and not much else) and decent bug repellant. For sun protection on my face, I was thinking of trying this. Since I’m saving so much on cosmetics, I can splurge! As for the rest of me, we’ll see. It doesn’t spend too much time in the sun. We’ve already tried one bug repellant, and the jury’s still out on it. It’s a mix of essential oils, water, and almond oil as a carrier. We initially made it for Shadow (the dog), but since she’s deathly afraid of spray bottles, we’re using it on ourselves instead. Now if I could only have this much willpower and commitment when it comes to what I eat!

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Today is one of those days I would have been better off in bed or home snuggling with Shadow (our “new” dog). Not because it’s gloomy and drizzly—though I’m sure that doesn’t help—but because I allowed the thoughts I usually keep tucked away in the back of my mind to come to the forefront during my 25-minute drive to work. You know, the stuff we’re all aware of but most choose to ignore; the sorry state of the world and how it’s in that state because of humans. And today, for some reason, those thoughts were so overwhelming it almost took my breath away.

It didn’t just come out of nowhere, either. It was triggered by something that’s actually quite ridiculous and seemingly benign. Someone I know told me she bought a cow skin rug. Big deal, right? It’s a popular decorative item. But then I started thinking about how humans feel entitled to everything and anything they want, no matter what sort of impact it has on the world that’s so graciously hosting them. Why do you need a real cow skin rug when you can get a fake one that looks just as good and is probably less expensive? Why do you need leather couches and shoes? Why do you need real fur coats? Why should animals be tortured daily for our silly accessories? We’re the only species that does it. Isn’t it bad enough that animals get treated like crap so we can eat our millions of fast food hamburgers a year? Not to mention the thousands of animals used for testing household products and medicines, which I find funny considering how different humans are from mice and rabbits. But let’s keep squirting chemicals in rabbits’ eyes so we can tell people they shouldn’t use Scrubbing Bubbles as eye wash. And I thought we humans were smart enough to figure that out on our own. (Massive eye roll.)

I’m not saying that I’m 100% vegan. In this day and age it’s nearly impossible to totally avoid animal byproducts at home and at work. Plus, I like my dairy. But when I shop, I try and shop with the environment in mind. Organic and local foods when possible. No GMOs. Clean and cruelty-free cosmetics. Vinegar and baking soda for cleaning. Certainly no cow skin rugs. Items like those are the easiest to avoid, because they’re literally the skin of the cow. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out an animal was killed for it. Anything with an ingredient listing or tag will tell you what it contains. (And if you’re thinking of commenting with the rationale that by buying these products you’re helping use the whole animal, don’t even bother. That leather couch did not come from the same cow you ate for dinner the other night.)

Either people are completely lazy or just don’t care. I have a feeling it’s a little of both, but mostly the latter. People are so completely self-centered (or maybe it’s more like species-centric) that they’ll only take action if it affects them directly. They forget that they share the planet with other species. Yeah, share. A concept you learn about as a toddler. Which means animals and insects are not encroaching on your property, because it’s not technically yours. It’s the earth’s. You just decided to live on that spot, forcing out all the other beings that were there before you. Don’t forget that humans are a relatively new species.

Then, of course, my thoughts move on to other dismal things, like Monsanto trying to bully everyone into using their genetically modified seeds, wars over oil, oil spills, pollution, and the various other shitty things the human race does without considering the lasting consequences.

As Martin Gore wrote: “It all seems so stupid, it makes me want to give up.”

Here is a great blog post from someone who shares my opinion (but says it way more eloquently and from an obviously more tolerant—and stable—mental state).

Actually, that whole blog site is pretty damn good. You should read it.

Rant over – and I actually feel somewhat better now.

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