This week’s Green Product!

There’s a stew of claims about the adverse health effects of deodorant. Did you know that Alzheimer’s patients have higher than normal concentrations of aluminum in their brain tissue? Did you know that antiperspirants use aluminum to close your pores so you don’t sweat?

Now, there’s no clear evidence that shows that the aluminum in your brain got there by being absorbed  through your armpits, or that aluminum is a cause of Alzheimer’s, but it makes you think. Plus the mining of aluminum is definitely not a good thing for the environment. There’s also chemical fragrances, formaldehyde (the stuff your frogs were in before you dissected them in grade 11), and talc. Talc was exposed as being illegally mined from an Indian wildlife sanctuary in 2003 and being sold to companiess like Unilever, which owns the Axe and Degree brands.

Guess we’ll just have to stink, right? Wrong!

I started using Crystal Body Deodorant. It’s made from Ammonium Alum, a rock salt. It leaves a salt film on your skin that stops bacteria from growing, and they’re the ones that stink. It’s working for me; I know because I forgot to put it on one day. I recommend re-applying if you put it on in the morning and are going out again at night, it doesn’t seem to last as long as conventional stuff. It was more expensive than conventional sticks as well, but I have a feeling it’s going to last a long time. It seems to get used up slower than a roll-on or a regular stick so I expect it will work out on the plus financially by the time you need to get a new rock.

** This does not stop you from sweating. Just from stinking. **

Thanks to the book Ecoholic by Adria Vasil, where I got my info for this post. It’s a great book for those concerned about what’s going in/on/around their bodies and what every thing they do does to the planet and how to fix it!

The Downside of Irrationality

I was listening to Quirks and Quarks yesterday and they had an interesting segment with Dr. Dan Ariely, the author of The Upside of Irrationality. He does some cool experiments that basically show we’re not the rational animals we think we are (Sorry Aristotle).

When faced with a choice that involves short-term pain for long-term gain, we will often forgo the gain to avoid the pain. Why save money for retirement in 30 years when I can buy a TV now? Why do we waste time and energy on revenge when it’s much more productive for us to move on? He also said that mass disasters don’t get the same attention as individuals. When we see a mass disaster, say a genocide, we become emotionally ‘muted’, probably as a coping mechanism; but when we see one person suffering, our heart goes out to them (think The Blind Side).

Anyway, that was just to give you the gist of what he’s about. The point he brought up that I want to talk about is this: ‘If you were trying to design a problem that people would not care about it would look like climate change”.

Eep. It’s true  based on what he was talking about. It’s going to happen years down the the road (well, it’s getting sooner every day I think!), it’s going to happen to other people first (poor countries, island nations), we don’t see individuals suffering, and anything we do personally will be a drop in the bucket.

So how do we get people to care about climate change?

We have to reward them! He used the example of people who drive a Prius. They might think of themselves as being such a good person for driving a Prius. And when they drive around, they see all the people looking at them and thinking ‘what a good person, they’re driving a Prius’ (whether people looking at them are really thinking this is irrelevant, as long as the driver believes it).

EGO! That’s the answer. We have to use people’s ego’s to make them want to help the environment. i.e. If you help the environment you’re a better person! We all look up to you! Way to compost!

Do you part, and pat the next environmentalist you see on the back and tell them good job!