What are we talking about today?
Some days are random, but a few of them have themes:
Thursday: What's in a name?
Friday: Green Living (or Healthy, or Budget, or a combination)
15 January 2011
Since some time in May, I've been doing research. When on the internet or in a healthy-living section of a store, I often wander over to the personal care products just to see what is available. And it turns out: A bunch of stuff.
To begin with, there are so many ways to make something "alternative" or "green" or just plain "healthy": oil-free, fragrance-free, carcinogen-free, toxin-free, locally-made, cruelty-free, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, the one thing all these "frees" have in common is a higher price tag than the Wal-Mart brand soap & shampoo I normally buy. (BTW, I only mention budgeting in these green posts as an acknowledgement that most of us live on a budget, and to prove to myself & the world that it can be done. It's not a "woe is me" plea for sympathy at my cash-free plight. I live on a student budget, but it isn't that bad.) And I'm reluctant to purchase any product-- especially one with a high price tag-- without knowing how well it will work and whether or not I'll be throwing it away in frustration a few weeks later.
After all that looking and considering, we've changed our laundry detergent. Otherwise, I'm still using the same stuff that I've always used. But I came to this conclusion instead: I could just use less.
If my own parents are any gauge of the conversations that happen inside a typical home, then the tendency to use a lot starts early. I lost count of how many lectures I heard about not needing to fill the bathtub to the rim, or that my hair would get clean without using half a bottle of shampoo in one go, or how wasteful it is to leave the soap sitting in water so it dissolves. And don't even get me started on how little dish soap my mother wanted me to use. But you know what? They were right. For a couple of months now I've been trying to make my shampoo dollop smaller and smaller--after all, I can always use more, but once it's on my hair, I can't use less-- and it turns out my hair still gets clean with less product. The same is true of soap, of toothpaste, of lotion-- it's always easier to start small and add more if necessary.
So, once again, I reject the new-fangled in favour of What My Mum Always Said. Did I mention that I'm an honorary Walton? I've practically turned into Olivia.
Have you ever had a realisation that you could just use less of something?