Going Green is about giving (and it’s not what you think)

You might be surprised by the actual meaning of my post.  Sure, you are giving back to the environment and to the future generations by going green, but what I mean here, is that by switching to all natural products, you are giving up “perfection” as you may have seen it, and accepting a natural alternative.  Now I know I may get slammed for saying that going green isn’t perfection.  But I will give you an example.
Until about a year and a half ago I used Biolage shampoo, Biotherm moisturizers and cleansers, and any pretty smelling, chemical-laden lotion I could get my hands on.  I admit I liked the “bio” part of the title of the first two, even though the only thing natural about these products were maybe a touch of aloe in them.  They worked very well.  They smelled fantastic.  And they were loaded with chemicals I certainly wouldn’t drink, but was naively slathering on my body.  It’s for sale, isn’t it?  It has green leaves on the packaging.  It must be safe.  And the best part:  it worked wonderfully!  So did my detergents, household cleaners, paper towels, plastic kitchenware and more. 

When I started searching for ALL natural products (and lets stick with my shampoo example) I tried a lot of different ones.  Many didn’t seem to work well.  Some left my hair feeling weighted down.  Some didn’t create any lather.  And to my disappointment, none compared to Biolage.  But that didn’t stop me.  I kept looking around and eventually found the one I am using now, by Green Beaver, a Canadian company that prides themselves in using many organic and local ingredients.  This shampoo works the best for my hair.  It doesn’t keep it as “fresh” for as long though.  But it works the best, and I am “giving” a bit by using it.  I am giving up the chemical-laden products that keep my hair smelling like fake flowers longest.  I am choosing instead, a product that is better for me.    And really, that’s what we do with many things unless we consistently indulge ourselves.  That banana doesn’t look as good as those french fries but I know it’s better for me so I will pass on the fries and eat the banana.  That mini van isn’t as sexy as that Ferrari and it doesn’t get me where I want to go nearly as fast, but the minivan works for me, is safer, holds the kids, and is all I can afford.  Our daily lives are about giving a little. 

I am using corn-based garbage bags because they are completely biodegradable and do so in a short time.  (Sometimes before I get them to the dumpster).  I am giving up the “tougher than tough”, never-leak, easy-tie plastic garbage bag that will be around 100 years from now in the land fill.  I used cloth diapers on my babies because I knew they were better for my babies, the environment and our bank account.  Not because they were easier.  I use cloth napkins and wash them rather than using paper and tossing them.  I grow my own vegetables instead of buying them.  It’s a LOT easier to buy them, believe me.  And so on. 

What I am trying to say is that, when looking for a natural alternative to something you know isn’t healthy, don’t look for something that is going to be equally effective.  It probably won’t be.  There’s a reason these items have been made in the first place.  They WORK.  WELL.  Or they take less time or space.  If natural products worked as well, as cheaply or as quickly no one would ever have invented the synthetic alternatives.  Look for something that pleases you, works well enough for you to be satisfied with, and makes you feel like you are doing something positive towards a safer future for your children.

And back to the shampoo… it may not keep my hair as fresh as Biolage did.  But my dry, itchy scalp that has plagued me since I was a teen, is totally gone.  I used to think I had psoriasis and maybe I did.  I used to buy and use tar-based shampoos to help my scalp.  I don’t, any longer.  There are rewards to giving a little and you might not reap the benefits of them until you have completely taken the cross-over step to a more natural alternative.  You might find, also, that when giving up a product you don’t actually even need it, or the others that follow.  Have you ever considered why you wash the oil off your face or hair and then slather it back on again in the form of a moisturizer?   I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what you get in return for what you “give”.  And you might even develop a new sense of “perfection”.  So go ahead!  Give a little!  And in return, get a lot!

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