Thursday, May 31, 2007

small things

Sometime a few months ago I was taking a shower, soaping down, and it occurred to me that I was probably polluting the ground water (let alone my body) with chemicals. Some communities recycle “gray water” – what comes from household and commercial drains. I wish we did.

I decided then and there to at least use body wash and laundry soap without chemicals. It may seem like a small thing for one house, but I think with each small step, expectations get lifted for the whole community and society. If I demand small measures of myself, I’ll start demanding bigger measures of my culture.

So here’s some free advertising.

Tom's of Maine Moisturizing Body Wash is available at our local drug stores and big grocery chain. The bottle says:

"Products & ingredients tested without the use of animals. No artificial fragrances, colors or preservatives. No synthetic detergents. Biodegradable. No animal fats."

What I love is that it smells like lavender – heavenly!

Ecos laundry detergent, which we buy more cheaply at Whole Foods (half the price, believe it or not!) than Meijer. The label reads:

"Plant-based surfactants, soap bark, chamomile, horsetail plant, lavender, rosemary, based softener (soy), essential oil of lemon grass, purified water, no SLS."

What else I love about it is a) it cleans very well, and b) you don’t have to use fabric softener.


lesleyanne said...

way to do your part mammas! i would actually like to start using both those products, so you're advertising worked very very well indeed.
i know it feels like one house doesn't make a difference, but it really does.

Ruth said...

Yippee! Way cool.

Don't you already use Tom's toothpaste/shave cream?

Sandy said...

Thanks for the great ideas Ruth. I absolutely need to become more conscious...

Ruth said...

Me too, Sandy. Every day it seems something new to do comes to my attention.

photowannabe said...

Thanks for the names of the products. I think I will try them too. I have heard of Tom's toothpaste but not the body wash. The price of the paste in our area is $4.00 a tube. Honestly that has hindered my buying it.

Ruth said...

PW, I can understand that! Yikes. But on the other hand, I've been willing, since it takes a while to get through the tube, the jar, whatever. But it is too bad these healthier products have to be so expensive.

Sharon said...

Way to go! I was aware of Tom's products but I never heard of Eco's before... I'll have to try it... not to mention I love the scent of lavendar!

Anonymous said...

Ruth, do you buy the laundry detergent online from Whole Foods? You don't actually drive to Ann Arbor to get it do you?

I will try the body wash once I find a local place that sells it.

Ruth said...

Heather, we make about one trip a month to AA and go to Whole Foods for Ecos and to Trader Joe's for three-buck Chuck (case of wine), pizzas and some other foodstuff we like from there. It makes a nice outing, you know, lunch at Zola's or the Indian place! Or coffee at Crazy Wisdom.

Rite Aids have the Tom's products, and also Meijer. Or you can search stores at the Tom's site I embedded.

Ruth said...

Sharon, real lavender just moves me, and in the morning when I'm showering, it's a soothing way to wake up, let me tell you.

Ginnie said...

I am totally psyched about this, Ruth. You know me and doing my/our part, one person at a time. Thanks for doing the homework for me! We have a Whole Foods here in Atlanta not too far from Amy's house, actually. I'll definitely look into this!!!

Ruth said...

Boots, I think you'd be very happy with both these products. I'm also guessing you could find way more options in Amsterdam than here. Do you think that's true? My impression is that they are more progressive there, but that's just me making assumptions based on legal marijuana and hash. ;)

Anonymous said...

Bravo!!! Little changes add up to big changes. My favorite laundry soap is "Charlies Soap", it is amazing & green.

The Today Show did a spot on green cleaners. You might be interested in it.

My very favorite thing....laundry hanging from the clothesline on a breezy day!

Anonymous said...

ohhh, I forgot...what is "three-buck Chuck" I've never heard of that wine company. It must be good if you buy a case!

Ruth said...

Anon., thanks for the Charlie's soap rec. and the link to the green cleaners. I'll check it out later on high speed at work.

I know, laundry on the line is satisfying on so many levels!

Three-buck Chuck started out as two-buck Chuck at the original Trader Joe's (CA?), but it's $2.99 here in the Midwest. Charles Shaw is the vintner, and he got it in a divorce settlement I think. He decided good wine doesn't have to be expensive. We buy it mostly for ourselves and usually get something more expensive for company, but truthfully I often prefer the three-buck Chuck.

Thanks for your visit and greenness! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information on the "three buck Chuck". Evidently there is a wide range available depending on the season. What are your recommendations? Thanks again, I had never heard of this. now i need to find this Trader Joes.

Ruth said...

Anon., in the winter we buy Cabernet Sauvignon, and in the summer we buy half that and half Sauvignon Blanc. I haven't tried their Merlot. Not sure if there are others.

We have two Trader Joe's within an hour of us. I don't know where you are, but you should be able to use their store locator and find out. Hope you have one! They're an inexpensive store for people who love good food. They have amazing testing staffs who keep weeding out products and introducing new ones. They also have fresh stuff that's ready to cook, like meat in marinade (bul kogi is great!).