mommyonthegreen

Converting back to a green life, one week (and nap time) at a time

Week #1 – Switch to environmentally friendly shower gel

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January 4, 2014

I can happily report that my challenge for week one is complete. Today I purchased Nature Clean peppermint soap – made in Canada; not tested on animals; free of artificial fragrances and biodegradable. And it’s in a refillable pump container (which is also recyclable if I can’t actually find something to refill it with). Reasonably priced – about 6$ for 500ml. Worth it :-)

I know, to many of you this switch may not seem like a big deal, because you’re all doing it already. And so did I. It’s amazing how much having a child changed me, how selfish I became, and would indulge in little things (like a lovely scented shower gel made in who knows where) to make me feel good regardless of the consequences. (Or, more realistically, it was the first and least expensive item I came across while shopping between feedings). I have already been using biodegradable shampoo and conditioner for some time, but seemed to switch up my shower gel to something different (whatever I could find) each time I needed it.

To those of you I am hopefully reaching with this blog (if I could actually get it to show up in a Google search) here’s the concern. The problem with fragrances is that once they go down the drain, their chemical composition mimics that of hormones- yes, like estrogen and testosterone. When these chemicals get into other animals, like fish, they mimic estrogen and can actually “feminize” the fish.

Why is this bad? Well, it’s like when you go to a dance club hoping to pick up, and you can’t find a “mate”. If you have too many females in a population, the the animals can’t reproduce, because there aren’t enough available males to reproduce with (because they’ve been “converted” to females, due to these chemicals).

Here are a few links explaining more in depth how this works, and some of the folks researching this topic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endocrine_disruptor

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2009-11/what-feminizing-so-many-male-fish-our-rivers

http://www.seawa.ca/reports/SEAWA%20Watershed%20Report%202010-10%20In%20Our%20Water.pdf

http://www.ecotoxicology.ca/

The same thing happens with many of the medications we take, including birth control pills. But that’s a post for another day.

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