Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I'm curious...

I recently came across this article from Reuters which states that the average UK woman wears 515 chemicals a day. Whilst this is scary, it does not surprise me at all. What did surprise me however, was the bit where it says that:
"More than 70 percent of the women polled said they were not concerned about the number of chemicals they put on their skin and only one in 10 opted for chemical-free toiletries when shopping."

I'm curious... if you're one of the 70% who is not concerned about the chemicals you put on your skin, and you happen to be reading my blog, can you please leave a comment and let me know why you're not concerned? Is it because you've never really thought about it? Because you've always assumed that the government wouldn't let the products be sold if they weren't safe? Because you're not eating the products the chemicals won't be absorbed into your body? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

And if you are in the sub-category of people who are concerned about the chemicals you are putting on your skin, but you are still not opting for natural or organic toiletries then I'd also love to hear from you... is it too hard? Too expensive? Don't know where to find safe products? Don't know which products are safe?

I spend so much time preaching to the converted, I'd love to engage with people who aren't necessarily looking for the certified organic logo on everything they buy. What do you care about? What's important to you? What would you like to know more about?

10 comments:

Katie said...

I would hazard a guess that people 'don't care' for the same reason they continue to smoke and they don't pay any attention to what happens to their superannuation... I think people are generally choose not to think about outcomes of their actions that are far off in the future. People are interested in the here and now. I think it needs a major program to educate people - can you imagine warnings on chemical-laden skincare products like those on cigarette packets?!

Annie said...

Thanks for the comment Katie, you are so right... I hadn't really been thinking about it that way, but it is a lot like cigarettes... I know a lot of women who are addicted to their beauty products and don't want to think about the future consequences... would they buy a lipstick if it had a skull and crossbones on the packaging?

madebymum said...

Hi I have just come across your blog. What a thought I try to minimise chemicals as much as possible, I make my own soap, laundry detergent, I reuse as much as possible and try to purchase ethically.

Yvonnie said...

Hi Annie,

I care. I think a lot of women care, and like myself, because they care about their children. I think it's because we don't know. I produce organic souvenir apparel for the Florida Keys and just producing, and finding organic apparel is very, very difficult. I think for those of us who do care...there aren't very many choices and there aren't very many websites and you know what - some organic apparel are just outrageously priced - I feel, just because. I enjoy your blog and try to be, go, and buy organic as much as possible as long as the pricing is reasonable. Thank you for the work you do.

nathalie said...

I don't think it's so simplistic as people not being concerned. Industrial growth is commensurate with distrust of nature - in medicine and health care, in food choices, toiletries and beauty products. Busy lifestyles resulting from today's measures of 'success' don't afford many people the luxury of critical consideration. What issues do you prioritise learning more about if you work/commute 80hrs/week with kids and a mortgage/debt/dependent parents/illness/etc? If not for parents from developing countries with simple natural approaches to food and lifestyle I'm not sure I'd be half as critical as I've been of market dynamics and products..

Claudia in Budapest said...

For me it's a combination of cost and convenience. Since recently moving to Budapest, I've found life to be a lot less convenient. For example, twice this week I've gone to take two different trams and both of them had been pulled out of the ground for construction. My hot water is unreliable and last week we had no heat. And this is in a 'luxury' apartment with a professional management company.

So, for me, in addition to not being able to read any labels at the store, sometimes I can't even find it. And, in terms of the Hungarians, I'm pretty sure they can't afford organic products. From what I understand, the average salary is somewhere around 400 Euros a month. But I do care!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Annie for engaging with the "non-converted". I am interested in leading a more organic lifestyle, but I feel overwhelmed by the information and messages. It seems like everything around us is toxic and when I start thinking about I just get so exhausted. Nurturing a toddler and a marriage, working full time, commuting and paying the bills every month takes up all of my time and energy. I'm not sure how I would make those changes without adding more anxiety/stress into my life. I'm not proud to admit that this is the reasoning behind my inaction, but it's reality right now.

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie,
The reason I don't necessarily look for the organic logo is cost and time. You obviously prioritise organic, non-toxic stuff in your life but other people have different priorities. For example, in one of your other posts you talk about having a meltdown about not being able to buy organic socks for your 4 year old and in another worrying about the toxins in a car seat and wearing gloves when handling receipts (although I suspect and hope that this was a joke).

This may be a valid lifestyle choice but for many it would be considered extreme. I don't have enough minutes in the day for my various family commitments, several jobs, relationship, etc let alone worrying about the provenance of my socks or if my receipts have toxins in them.

I suspect that you are an educated middle class person with a partner who is similar, probably living in a large city where access to services and products that suit your lifestyle choices are relatively easy to obtain. But the majority of people in the world are struggling to make a buck, get their kids to school and put a little bit aside for the future. Whacking on some lippy that their favourite movie star endorses is a touch of glamour for which they can hardly be judged. They don't have time to read your blog, let alone worry about how the cotton that goes into their kids' socks was grown. Perhaps it is a case of perspective.

Anonymous said...

Hi-just came across your blog as I spend yet another evening searching for an organic crib and mattress online for my baby who is due in 5 weeks. I live in NYC and you'd think I'd have all the options in the world here-I don't. Finding organic food (let alone children's socks!) here is a challenge in and of itself. I must go to 10 different stores in a week to find humanely raised/organic meats and organic veggies-and still less than half of what I bring home is organic. It's expensive, time consuming, and as someone else said, there is so much conflicting information that the choice becomes too stressful and overwhelming that I think, to hell with it. At this point I'm just trying to find an organic crib and mattress without spending $1K and I can't seem to do it-I'm almost ready to throw my hands up! Plus I feel like even if I do 100 things right, there will be things I can't control that will be even more harmful (air quality, paint on the walls in my apartment, etc etc) that all of that other effort will be for naught.

Annie said...

Thanks for the recent comments from Anonymous 1,2,3 - I will respond more soon... you've given me lots to think about, but for now I thought I'd write a quick response to Anonymous #3 - as I know you're in a hurry to solve your organic crib/mattress issue, which I can totally relate to. My recommendation would be to get an Arm's Reach co-sleeper with an organic mattress and sheets, all of which is quite affordable: http://www.armsreach.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=cPath=cPath=3_18_9

Hope this helps! More soon :-)
Annie