Let's all lower our standards
We seem to be a country obsessed with personal cleanliness and beauty regimens. Shower every day. Brush your teeth after every meal. Scrape out the earwax. Paint the toenails. Squirt on the perfume. Draw on the eyebrows. Smooth on the lips. Dye it. Curl it. Straighten it. Spray it. And then shave or pluck everything else.
Is all this necessary? How clean and sparkly do we need to be? Do we need to be that spic n' span every day? Only on work days? Black tie events? Our own funeral?
Very personal decisions. I sure as hell can't make them for you. But let's spend the whole month of August re-examining our personal "foofy factor" and seeing if we can't make some cuts. Because most of these beauty routines involve some sort of environmental sacrifice. Remember last week, when you checked the toxicity levels of your personal beauty products? Well where do you suppose most of those toxins end up?
They wash off our body (if they're not absorbed and peed out) and go down the drain. Or they get tossed in a landfill with all the other "old" makeups, buffs and lotions that no one wants anymore.
And it's not like this is medical waste. Or expired heart medication. It's nothing that is required for us to survive. It's stuff that we use because ADVERTISERS HAVE CONVINCED US WE NEED IT. But really? Do we?
Are we, as human beings, the only creatures so hideous as to require eyeshadow? So horrifyingly grotesque that we must, absolutely MUST have a gelled quaf? Are we that putrid as to require a thorough dousing of Aqua Velva before we can enter civilized society?
Good gourd, I hope not. So let's take a look at our personal hygiene routines this month and, one small step at a time, knock it down to something we can feel good about. Good about the way we look, as well as the way we treat the environment.
For some of you, this will be an easy month of challenges. For others, not so much. So let's offer lots of support to our fellow APLS to encourage them to make these changes. Because for some, exterior beauty has nothing to do with vanity but is more a measure of personal pride. And changing a lifetime's worth of ideals is hard to do. So remember Burbanmom's cardinal rule - no judging others.
And before you say "I can't do that", just try it. See what happens. Take for instance, toothpaste. A couple of months ago I switched to baking soda. It was ok. Great? No. It was ok for an average day brush, but didn't work so well on a garlic mashed potato day, if you know what I mean. So I compromise. On regular days, I use my baking soda. On stinky days, I grab the Crest. Guilt-Free. I have found my personal tolerance level and am ok with it. I would rather hear someone say "well, I'll do this 25% of the time, but not all the time" than to just say "it didn't work today so I'm not going to use it ever again".
Life is not an all or nothing proposition. Something is better than nothing. And you should try everything once (twice, if you like it ;-).
Today's challenge is super easy. Give up the disposable cotton balls and the Q-Tips. There are a number of reusable options available. Ones that don't require so much water and pesticides to grow. Ones that don't fill up our landfills so quickly.
Personally, I use washable, cut up cloth baby diapers for cotton balls. If you're not handy and need to get your hands on a set of these miracle cotton squares, simply drop me a line at emcoe AT verizon DOT net and let me know. Be sure to include your mailing address and I'll be happy to serge you up a week's worth of squares and get them out to you. So you just ran out of excuses.
And as for the Q-tips? Well you've got car keys, don't you?
Monday, August 4, 2008
Let's all lower our standards