I’ve been getting greener little by little lately. I don’t believe in global warming but I do believe that we can reduce waste and be more efficient. I’ve also been reading too much lately about the chemicals that are in the products we use on a daily basis and it’s a little scary, especially with two children in the house. However, I’m often torn between what’s organic, good for us, and/or good for the environment and what is a lot cheaper and more readily available. A lot of times, I think, “If everyone’s using it, it can’t be that bad. I’ve survived this far with my paraben-loaded shampoo.”
A few nights ago, I read the ingredient list on a can of “play” shaving cream Jack got for Christmas. Some kind of butane was listed as the 2nd ingredient and propane as the third! And of course Jack asks for the “silly soap” every night and wants to squirt some in the tub. One night Pat thought the tub was really dirty, but it was just the shaving cream floating around in there after Jack had swirled it around. Not only does it have very questionable ingredients, it doesn’t even look clean. The warnings on the back of this can are as dire as the warnings on a pump at the gas station. So, I kind of compromise with myself…he can finish the can, but no more after that. And please let the can be gone soon. Jack will understand when it is all gone, but probably not if Mommy tells him that the shaving cream has propane in it and she is taking it away.
Then there are the shampoo and body wash…they’re loaded with at least 3 of the top 5 synthetic chemicals to avoid, according to IdealBite.com. But the money is spent and we’ll use them until they’re gone. People have been using shampoo and baby wash for decades, right?
Last summer I found the Environmental Working Group website (www.ewg.org.) and it’s Skin Deep Cosmetics database which is a “safety guide to cosmetics and personal care products.” I used it to find suntan lotion for the kids. I bought an Australian product called Blue Lizard and used it all summer. One of my worst fears is the kids having a sunburn because it seems like it would be awful (and preventable) pain for them to endure (and might keep me up at night dealing with that). I’m proud to say that the lotion worked great (along with my dutiful application of it) and there were no sunburns. Today, in the middle of a Virginia February, we needed some lotion. Casey got the last of the good stuff and I gave Jack some Banana Boat that I had in the cupboard. Better a few chemicals than a sunburn. Except Jack got it in his eyes and his poor little eye was all read and watering. Add this along to the runny nose he already had and he was a bit of a mess. Buying new suntan lotion suddenly became a priority.
I haven’t seen Blue Lizard in any stores lately, so I jumped on the internet and went to drugstore.com. I ordered new suntan lotion, baby shampoo/body wash and even some organic toothpaste. Bonus – the organic toothpaste is made in Maine, my home state. Helped by the free shipping, the desire to de-chem the bathroom (and my kids) finally overcame the price required to do so.
As I was drying Casey off from the tub last night, Jack took one of the “bad” shampoo bottles and dumped it all in the tub. I should be upset that he wasted it all, but he probably did himself a favor and got rid of it all in one fell swoop. No more petroleum byproducts in Jack’s hair – which is so long that he has a pretty good mohawk after his bath.
While I don’t have my products yet, but I feel much better now that I have ordered them. (And it’s always fun to shop.) I’m not sure what I’ll be doing during bath time now, as I won’t be trying to read and pronounce the ingredients on the shampoo bottle. Maybe I’ll play with the kids 🙂
I had heard that blogging consumes a lot of time and now I see how, an hour after I started this.