Monthly Archives: May 2011

Big Green Purse


I recently stumbled upon this book on the discount shelf titled, “Big Green Purse: Use your spending power to create a cleaner, greener world.” Ms. Diane MacEachern has created an enormous collection, within this book, of very important information about everyday “green” life opportunities and aspects. I love her application to her daily life and the many different options she offers to help everyone decrease their footprints…. I have been buying local food for awhile now, but I definitely feel like its time to take the next step. This book gives good information about the type of things I can buy local, what type of products I should and should not be using, etc.

The most disturbing, and eye opening chapter for me was Chpt 3: Beauty… or the beast? Cosmetics and Personal Care Products. I know that I should have realized, but I guess I just never put much thought into my hygiene products. Why would I not put any thought in it? They are on my body constantly, they are in my hair, in my mouth, all over me, Agh! Here are some fun hygiene product facts… enjoy!

  • Of the thirty six different ingredients in Revlon ColorStay lipstick, thirteen have not been assessed for safety by the cosmetics industry. Many of these chemicals have been linked to immune system problems and breast cancer (only 10% of breast cancers have been linked to smoking and heredity, these chemicals may be the other 90)
  • A product use survey of twenty three hundred men and women conducted by the Environmental Working Group showed that more than a quarter of all women use at least FIFTEEN products daily.
  • 89% of the 10,500 ingredients used in lipstick, nail polish, hair coloring, soap, etc have not been evaluated for safety.
  • Many brands of nail polish contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP) which increases polish flexibility but also is suspected of interfering with our endocrine system. The endocrine system is involved in cell growth, organ function, development, and reproduction. It is banned from cosmetics in Europe, and is considered a reproductive toxin by the state of California. (3 brands do not contain DBP: Sally Hansen, Orly International, and OPI)
  • Phthalates (commonly used in personal care products) appear to feminize the reproductive organs of baby boys, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

This isnt even the half of it. But anyways, this has really given me a swift kick in the ass to change my hygiene buying habits.

  1. I have switched my toothpaste to Tom’s of Maine. This one was an easy switch because its super convenient to find and the taste differences wasn’t too abrasive. They also have mouth washes and many more products.
  2. I have also been blessed with the ability to not have the need to wear deodorant, I did occasionally, but now I am off the stuff. If I really do feel the need at some point in my life to have it again, I might try Tom’s as well.
  3. Burt’s Bees was also not a switch I had to make, they have wonderful products and they are super easy to get. I may try their make-up down the road.
  4. I switched out all my lotion to this wonderful, Oregon-made lotion called Wild Carrot. Not only is it Oregon, but its pretty dang close to Eugene. Also, fragrances are extremely harmful as well, so I chose one that used essential oils. This one was scented using Oregon lavender.
  5. I also get bar soap from a woman who makes them in town
  6. Uncle Harry’s Natural Products is a pretty awesome source. I use their lavender or almond body and hair wash and the peppermint body and hand wash (leaves you feeling all tingly). I love this too, because Sundance (my local grocer) has big refilling stations for Uncle Harry’s Products. Oh, another plus, they are located in Washington. That is pretty close.¬†
  7. Another nice one is the Oregon Soap Company. They have nice bar soaps like Oatmeal Honey and Cinnamon Aloe. They are Certified Organic and from Portland.
  8. The last thing I did (well I have been thinking about doing this for a long time and actually did it before I read this book…) is buy reusable, organic feminine pads from Luna Pads. Normal feminine products can cause¬† horrible illnesses like Toxic Shock Syndrome and other not so serious, but pretty horrible things as well. Also, most pads and tampons are bleached and come from pesticide filled cotton, and you want me to stick that where? No thanks. So happy I got my luna pads, they are real easy. There is one part that attaches to the underwear and another piece that slips into the bands. Again, I have been blessed with a nice Aunt Flo, so I only purchased one pad per day. I also purchased a vinyl bag, you fill it with soap and water and let the pads soak. Clean the water everyday, and at the end of the week, or during laundry day, you can just throw them in with the rest of the clothes. Viola. Oh, the pad on the far right was purchased in town kind of as a trial run. I do not like it as much as the luna pads, but I do like to support a local lady (can be purchased at Sundance).

I know a lot of these things arent local, but I am working at first making the healthier switch, and searching for more nearby options. I am happy to be making this switch. Hopefully Shane can deal with my craziness and accept that if he sticks with me he will live to be 150 years old! Ha!