Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Love My Formaldehyde???

Hi there,

So nice to see you again! And welcome! How have you been? That's for a drink?

So what will it be?

How about a nice steaming mug of siloxane? Or a refreshing pitcher of cocamide?

Whaat? You mean to tell me you have NEVER heard of those two? Well!...Neither have I! But, apparently, we have both probably ingested it sometime over our lovely little lives! Mmmmm....

Okay, so there is a LOT of hullabaloo surrounding Green cosmetics and it can get annoying, I admit, to be repeatedly told that you applying your favourite lipstick is like you being dumped in a pond of cancer...or something. My point is, I was getting tired of hearing again and again how everything I use is trying to kill me and how I should shell out twice or thrice the money to pay for some sparkling new Green products that won't destroy my soul (just my wallet...) Hm, tempting...But then there were also a bunch of "authorities"telling us that many of these "organic" and "natural" products were fake!

It got confusing and old, so I decided, like many people, to just let it be. I would continue to buy whatever I liked because I liked it. And after all, look around! Everyone else is using the same products and they aren't all wheezing out chemicals through their eyeballs! My grandmother used whatever she wanted and she's still alive after almost ninety years! Why should I be the sucker to pay more for products when I really don't need to?!

Well, then came into my life this lovely little book:

Pretty, isn't it? Well, it scared the living daylights outta me!

And it changed my mind for the better: I have now made some serious efforts to get safer products. I didn't run out to Whole Foods and buy a sack of organic apples but I did start with lip balm and lipstick. I stopped using all those conventional, drugstore products because, the truth it, they ARE harmful. And, I decided, doubly so, because you put lipstick RIGHT onto you MOUTH. And we have all heard how much lipstick women ingest all the time, right?

So, anyways, a couple of weeks ago, my Sustainable Practices professor showed us a video called The Story of Stuff. It was good and I guess I would recommend it to everyone, but it can get a bit repetitive for some. What I really recommend you watch (right now!) is The Story of Cosmetics. That one was a real eye opener and got me thinking...

Ok, let's just establish that pretty much all the products you apply to yourself are treacherous,  poisonous, murderous fiends. Got that? Great!

According to the video, companies insist that the doses of harmful chemicals in their products (all very popular products that you and I have used!) are low enough to be harmless...Right! I remember reading this amazing book called Can You Get Hooked On Lip Balm? (by the way, yes, you can get hooked on lip balm!) and feeling that maybe I had become overly afraid of chemicals simply because I'd inadvertently jumped on the Green bandwagon. Hm, not so.

Think about it. According to the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep database, we use triclosan to wash our hands (Dial soaps), oxybenzone to melt polish off our nails (Sally Hansen Extra Strength Extra Fast Nail Polish Remover with Vitamin E) , methylisothiazolinone to wash our hair (Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Shampoo), we smooth tocopheryl acetate on our mouths (L'Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Blazing Lava), brush quaternium onto our lashes (Maybelline Great Lash Mascara), smear octinoxate under our arms (Secret Antiperspirant) and so and so on!

We use hundreds of products in our household all year long! Every one of us in North America! Then, after realizing this, I applied basic math skills to realize that, hey! These products add up, these toxins add up! Right in our bodies.

So doesn't that mean that those "harmless" doses of harmful chemicals are actually harmful after all! When one dose of formaldehyde becomes two, three, ten doses, well...yikes!

Really, think about it, is there really a safe dose of, say, LEAD? No! Of course not! Then why, according to CTV, does a product like Maybelline's Color Sensation in Pink Petal contain 7.19 ppm of lead (in case your wondering, that is NOT a good number)! I say, there simply can't be a safe dose of toxic chemicals!

So, next time you think of indulging in a "high-quality", prestigious $24 tube of Dior Addict lipstick, be aware that tests showed it contains actual lead in it. Come on! This isn't Ancient China, is it? Do you think there is a safe dose of lead? No, really, do you think you should go and ingest some lead?


Indulge yourself, I'll wait...

Really, would you eat that? I didn't think so. So why would you put it right on your mouth so it can be absorbed into your bloodstream and trickle into all your food and drink, and every time you smack your lips, you can bet that you ingested some lead...why? Why would anyone do that?

If cosmetics companies were this clear on those nasty ingredients that they put in our cosmetics, then maybe we'd stop buying them. Then maybe the companies would realize that, hmmm, maybe they ought to stop trying to kill us off via their shampoos, lipsticks, deodorants, baby lotions, hand soaps, hair gels, etc, etc...

So, I suggest you check out the amazing Skin Deep database (click that link and you just might save your life!) and search your favourite products that you apply everyday and then, maybe, we can all work on reducing the number of chemical cocktails we consume all day, everyday!



Monday, September 16, 2013

Shocking Revelations and Confusing Monstrosities

Hi there! 

And so begins a blog solely dedicated to a little class known as Sustainable Practices. Well, welcome and stay if you dare. You might find that you care...(eek, sorry! I couldn't stop myself).

Alright, so being part of the twentieth century means being surrounded by talk of, well, "the climate", "the environment", "the poor Mother Earth", "rising sea levels", "melting glaciers", "species on the brink of extinction", etc...

In no way would I ever dismiss these very REAL concerns but...well, it can be hard knowing what to believe. And even harder to figure out what it all means for YOU.
Pretty sure that's not happening up north...

I remember being INTRODUCED to climate change and global warming and...all of that! I was in grade four and it was my first real Big Girl Project (you know, one with real Research and stuff). I did a report on endangered Giant Pandas and it was my first time realizing that animals can actually RUN OUT!

And then came middle school where, suddenly, we (the kids of today) were shocked to tears when our teachers drilled into us:

-All the animals, bugs, grass and clouds are going to DIE.
-The earth is going to burst into flames.
-We are all going to die. Horribly.
-And it is AAALLL our fault.

Hm, I guess I went into hippie mode and for a few years I was all Greenpeace this, PETA that, recycle everything, and oh, hey, did you watch that Al Gore documentary?

Ah, Al Gore...
Well, thank you Al! You turned me from a fan girl to a...lost... lost soul. Suddenly, it seemed saying the word "global w#@ming" was silly and paranoid. Everyone seemed to be shrugging it off as a hoax.

Ever since then, the global warming scene sorta cooled down for us all (by all, I mean my peers and the people that surround me) and people seemed to become a bit skeptical of what they really believed. That's when it all got so confusing for me that I actually stopped caring and trying to keep up with it all. 

Me.  My image as a treehugger quickly morphed into one of indifference.

Meh. All that aside, what I am trying to say (and I expect many can relate to this) is that I want a better world. I want to know what is going on and if something is wrong. I want to do something.

But what I want most of all? I want to know what is for real and what isn't. Who do I believe? Why? 

It is so hard to get the information I want! And it is even harder--impossibly so--to get it all...STRAIGHT!

There is so much mumbo jumbo, it seems, that it is hard to sift through all of that and get cold, hard facts.

Ugh. I don't know when, or even if, that confusing mess is ever going to change, but here I am trying to make sense of it all. And exploring how it connects to interior design. And how to do it all Fuchsia style!

Happy recycling,


P.S. I never stopped recycling. Never!