Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Goin' Natural

Well, maybe not totally natural, but I've been thinking about this for a very long time. And I've been doing things little by little - composting, gardening, saving & reusing grey water, cutting back on unnecessary car trips, reusing/recycling or just plain going without, etc. etc. I’ve been changing my habits, little by little to incorporate more earth friendly practices. I still have some vices that I’m not ready to give up, but I feel it’s time to start changing those chemical habits and move toward more eco-friendly products.

Looking in my cabinets, I see chemical cleaners and detergents. I read my shampoo bottle, my conditioner, body wash, moisturizer and the ingredients are all chemicals...and harsh ones at that – no wonder my skin feels so gross! My water is chlorinated, tastes gross and when drinking great quantities of it without boiling it, gives me an upset stomach (this has forced me to start buying spring water for drinking).

There are so many preservatives and so much processed crap out there, no wonder my body feels lethargic and well, just plain yucky. I admit to succumbing to the fast food nation, more than I should! But since March, I have almost completely cut out soda (to the point where I can probably count on one hand how many I’ve had in 5 months). My body completely rejects fast food now – which I am thankful for! And I’ve been trying to pick up my veggies/fruits at local farm stands (it stinks that our growing season is so short here).

My niece and I spent the weekend at my folk’s house and hit the local natural food store, just to check it out. I love natural food stores, the smells, the wall o’ spices, the dry goods, the essential oils…my heart sings in these stores and at farm markets; I just wish that the people at my local natural food store weren’t so…snooty (they tend to ignore you as much as humanly possible).

Rising Tides Community Market is a member owned natural foods cooperative in Damariscotta. It’s been around since the 70’s and as it grows, they just keep moving to bigger locations (they have over 1000 members now). I walked through the door of this place and fell in love (I’m lovin’ a lot of things lately and that’s a good thing). It’s not a huge store, but they just seem to offer soooooo much more than my local store. AND…while we were there, 4 people asked me if I was finding things alright and one person went and got me a basket (which I didn’t think I was going to need. Duh, I should know better!). Their dry goods and Wall O’ Herbs made me want to weep with joy and then I saw the bulk herbal soaps, shampoos, conditioners, laundry detergents, cooking oils, molasses and vinegars. I tell ya, I nearly swooned! My mother and I are going to join. It’s $10 a year to be a member and if you volunteer 4 to 8 hours of your time a month working there, you receive 10 to 15% off your purchases. You also get discounts and coupons. They invite you to board meetings and encourage you to participate with the board as much as possible.

I just started reading this book and thought, at first, that I would NEVER find half of the ingredients for these recipes, but as I traversed the isles of Rising Tide - oh look, there's french green clay and vegetable glycerin. Oh, castile soap and almond oil. Tea tree and orange essential oils and flax seed. And I realized that creating my own natural body care products was not out of the question. I even tried the face firming/pore shrinking egg white and cornstarch face mask (one small/medium egg white whisked together with 1 tsp of cornstarch till there's no lumps and it's foamy. Spread on face and neck, sit for 20 to 30 mins till it's dry, wash off). Wow! Seriously, WOW! It's a bit weird at first and once it dries it feels like you have cement on your face, but when you wash it off, your skin feels so soft without feeling greasy! They call it "a mini face-lift." When it's totally dry, your face does look rather corpse like - so this will make a great all natural halloween mask! My niece loved the idea; she's thinking zombie for this year's costume!

I preach to no one about their shoulds and should nots, so I hope that no one thinks I'm judging others for not being more eco-friendly. For me, going more natural is really starting to make sense. The more I read about the environment; about religion and spirituality - did I ever mention that I was 3 credits shy of double majoring in English and Religion in University? I have this deep-seeded (seated?) need to explore the realms of spirituality, I always have – and how it’s all interrelated to my health, the more I see a need for a change. The greener I go, the better I feel: physically, mentally and spiritually.

Try the face mask - you'll thank me!

1 comment:

gracia said...

Three cheers for all your green, recycling ways. Taking out buckets of grey water in the middle of winter has been a little bit of an added challenge for me, but oh so worth it.
take care, g xx