Monday, May 16, 2011

Big Oil and Big Corp Out of My Life

Big oil is all over our lives in ways we rarely realize. Petroleum products abound in the most subversive places. Just look in your shower: petroleum in your shampoo bottles AND your shampoo. Big corporations that care nothing for the environment make your liquid soap in more plastic bottles. Disposable razors. Scrubbie poufs of plastic. That little tiny area in your bathroom is full of the worst of it, when you stop to think about it. Forget the rest of that room; the shower has enough horrors. Right down to the toxic chemical cleaners you use to clean it, the detergents on your towels, the frequency with which you wash said towels... (Seriously, anyone who uses a towel ONCE and puts it in the wash needs to leave the planet. Seriously. If you know someone like this, please feel free to push them off during the next rotation.)

I feel pretty good about my shower area. I've done away with shampoo and conditioner, having replaced them with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, neither of which come in plastic containers. I will NOT use liquid bath soap. I'm not sure why this particular product is so incredibly popular.  (Please tell me if you know!) Full of petroleum products and other chemicals. And fake fragrances. I've thought about it, and really I can't see why bar soap is not just plain good enough. It's surely cheaper. We do pay a little more for ours, because we just love Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap in bar form, especially in tea tree or peppermint. We are OK paying a little more for this all-natural soap because, frankly, we are saving so much not buying shampoo that it's basically a wash. (HAH! No pun intended.)  I make sure to use a razor that only replaces the head. I use them forever, and I've had the same handle for, I think, 4 years now. That comes out to be cheaper than the disposables, too. I use a natural loofah instead of a scrubbie-pouf. Those bug me. They work great with liquid soap, I suppose, but, see above. And I've done away with moisturizers in plastic containers with suspect ingredients: I have a little container in my shower with a bit of olive oil. I put some on my face after washing it, and the remaining time in the shower lets it sink in SO nicely. Turns out I really don't need to spend $20+ on something that only sort of works. Thank you, Mother Nature. Hugs.

So, I feel pretty good. I am not giving money to companies like SC Johnson and Dow; instead supporting the smaller companies. I am not throwing away countless plastic bottles every year. And I am not using petroleum on my hair and body. What can you do?

It's the little victories. And they add up.

***Aside anecdote: I have a few little hotel bottles on the sill of my shower window for just-in-case times. (And because I prefer to eventually slowly use them than throw them out!) I recently had surgery, and one of those very same just-in-case times came up: I dropped the soap, and could not bend over to pick it up! Ack! No worries - I used the liquid soap from the little sill-bottle. HOLY CRAP did that stuff dry out my never-dry skin. I love being given irrefutable evidence that I am doing the right thing. Nice reinforcement. But luckily I can bend over again, in case I drop my Dr. Bronners again. Shew.