November 14, 2005

Is there such a thing as too crunchy?

Prolly not. But maybe too obsessive is a bad thing?? For me, it started gradually. I've always considered myself environmentally conscious. Not a fan of pesticides, have been eating organics as much as possible since before it was trendy, using mesh vegetable bags when we shop etc. I know that's not all there is to it. But I thot it was a start anyway, for my health and for the environment.

Then I got pregnant. I'd always said to myself that I'd use cloth diapers...since I can remember I said I would. I thot it would be a tough sell for my future husband. Imagine my surprise when Jon brought it up on his own, without me saying a word! I was thrilled! And a lot of you thot I was crazy. But I jumped in full force...researching different diaper systems and all that. Then a friend offered to sell me her entire stash of dipes she'd purchased at garage sales and didn't end up using at all...needless to say, that saved me a lot of $$. I ended up with several styles of fitted dipes for the price of 2.5
fuzzibunz. (which I would love to use btw...if only money wasn't an issue...) All I had to buy full price was different sizes of diaper covers. Score!

When I was pregnant with Iain, I started looking more into reuseable things. Decided to start using cloth menstrual pads and/or a Diva cup. I have the pads...still no Diva cup tho. But with the decreased bleeding I'm supposed to get with the Mirena, I'm thinking the pads might be enuf. Not that I ever had heavy periods anyway...painful as hell, but not heavy in the least.

I also discovered the miracle of baking soda for cleaning, as well as other common household materials. We started using biodegradeable laundry detergent and dishwasher soap. And I'm itching to use up the Vim bathroom cleaner we have so I can start using more natural alternatives.

I make my own flushable diaper wipes using the flushable diaper liners. Solution of water, tea tree oil, aloe gel and baby soap with a little lavendar oil so it smells pretty. ;) Dead easy and the quality is almost the same. And no more guilt over the number of wipes I throw in the garbage.

Then I was steered to this site maintained by the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia. I pored over the information for hours. I was floored. I mean, I knew cleansers and stuff were bad. But the info they give about toiletries and cosmetics was shocking to me. I guess maybe I knew, but was in denial.

So now I feel guilt. Guilt for not doing more...and not doing it sooner. I've been experiencing regular monthly bleeding for 17 years and have been using disposible products the whole time. Why didn't I start using cloth before this?? Its not like I have heavy bleeding and have to worry about overflow. And I'm a sucker for personal care products. Always trying new cleansers and creams. Love soaps and have a lip gloss addiction. Apparently the materials in all of those things can be carcinogenic. Lovely.

And a huge shocker to me...sunscreen doesn't neccessarily decrease the chances of developing skin cancer. So we've been slathering ourselves with sunscreen so we don't get bad sunburns, thus decreasing our cancer risk. Its a load of hooey. Partly from the chemicals, and partly because we don't use it properly. This is taken from the Guide to Less toxic Products that I linked to above:

Two University of California scientists believe that the rise in skin cancer is linked with increased use of chemical sunscreens. They say chemical sunscreens offer a false sense of security resulting in excessive sun exposure. A study by the European Institute of Oncology shows that most people do not apply enough sunscreen to reach the level of protection indicated on the label. They say, in fact, an SFP-50 sunscreen applied at a typical less-than-recommended rate yields a practical SPF of only 2.

After evaluating studies on sunscreen use and cancer, Marianne Berwick, an epidemiologist at the Memorial Sloan-Kittering Cancer Centre in New York concluded there is no evidence that sunscreens actually prevent skin cancer. In an article published in Preventative Medicine, Dr. G. Ainsleigh proposes that sunscreen use causes more cancer deaths than it prevents. He says more cancer deaths could be prevented by regular but moderate sun exposure instead of relying on the heavy use of sunscreens.

A new study from University of Zurich in Switzerland examined six commonly used chemical sunscreens for hormone-disrupting activity. Scientists discovered that five of the six chemicals, including benzophonones and cinnamates, seemed to mimic estrogen and recommended more studies to look at possible long-term effects. The Cancer Prevention Coalition, headed by Dr. Samuel Epstein, lists cinnamates and benzophonones as hormone disruptors.

Any truth to it? Who knows. Might just be a lot of panic for nothing.

I fully realize that there is a lot more to saving the planet than what I've talked abt. And I realize that no matter what I do, its just a drop in the bucket because some people don't care and won't change their habits. :(

So, in my browsing of the aforementioned guide, I stumbled upon Moonsnail Soapworks. Natural soaps and body care products...and some of them sound so yummy!! :D Thought I'd mention them as they are going to have a booth at the One of a Kind Show again this year and I know a lot of lurkers are in the GTA. ;)

**I typed this in a big hurry yesterday and of course thot of things to add I edited a bit instead of blathering in another post...**

**I edited again to fix typos and a bad link so y'all don't think I'm a total flake. ;)**


Anonymous Donna said...

Hmmm, interesting stuff that you're doing. We recycle a lot of stuff, try to reuse, etc and it really bugs me to see our neighbours put EVERYTHING in garbage bags on the curb on garbage day. I can see the boxes and cans outlined in the bags. Really, how much effort does it take? They have 3 kids who could be responsible for that if the parents were too lzay/didn't want to. Anyway...where do you buy the cloth menstrual pads? I think I'm allergic to the disposable ones.

15/11/05 11:38  
Anonymous Beanie Baby said...

You are already doing a lot. Every little bit helps, and it's ok to progress slowly towards your goal--jumping in overnight and getting overwhelmed and then quitting isn't going to help anyone. You know?

15/11/05 13:15  
Blogger Tanya said...

donna, i use these, and find them great. very comfortable...i was pleasantly surprised. i'm a bit wary of having to use pins "down there" tho. ;) so i might buy some of these to hold the ones i have in place. snaps are much safer. lol!

i agree with having the kids getting in on it. i fully expect the boys to help when they're older. tho i'm sure they'll have other! don't you pay for garbage in ottawa now? or do you just have a 2 bag maximum or something?

andrea, i know. its what i'm doing that use worrying about what others are or aren't doing. it just frustrates me. a perfect example...the neighbours put their worn out summer tires out at the curb for the garbage to take.. if they'd just taken the time to bring them to a garage, they'd have sent them to be shredded and used for other things. but no...disposal is more convenient. bah...

15/11/05 15:20  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

I started buying food that has ingredients that make sense and that I don't have re-read over and over. And I recycle. And I "reduced my chemical dependency" by buying more natural products (and cleaning less, LOL).

15/11/05 19:05  

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