Friday, October 21, 2011

No more make-up (Change 133)

I had the best intentions of switching all of my cosmetic products to eco-friendly solutions.  Really, I did.  A few, I've managed to change.  But the rest are sitting in my bathroom drawer, waiting for me to use them up, so I can make the switch. 

It struck me this week, that even if I keep up this challenge for the next 5 years, I will never be able to completely make the switch.  The reason?  I don't wear makeup.  As a stay-at-home mom, I can't be bothered putting on my "war paint" just to hang out around the house.  I don't wear it when I go out to the grocery store or the drug store, either.  Lately, I've been putting it on to go to work, but a couple of times I forgot, and the world didn't come to an end.    I've also realized that I've gone out socially a few times, and haven't been wearing make-up then, either.  No one has said anything.

That got me thinking about why women wear make-up.  It is really to enhance their beauty, because they want to look beautiful, or is it because societal expectations are such that women are expected to wear make-up from the minute they wake up, until they go to bed at night?  Deep questions to ponder, and a discussion that is really to big to take in single blog post.  However, for those who are interested in persuing this discussion, I would be happy to take it off-line.   I also recommend reading Naomi Wolf's  The Beauty Myth.  A real eye-opener into a billion dollar industry.

So back to me and my thoughts on make-up.  95% of the time I don't wear it, don't feel like I need to wear it, and everyone who is important to me comments that I don't need to wear it - my beauty is natural.  I think I'll save it for really special occaisions - when I want to up and look extra pretty - family photo sessions, my brother's wedding, special outings with DH.  The rest of the time, I'm going with the conscious decision to go au naturel.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Recycle those K-cups (Change 132)

OK, I have a very un-eco friendly confession to make.  I now own a Keurig coffee machine.  For those who aren't familiar with it, it is similar to a Tassimo machine.  Each cup of coffee is brewed individually.  There are lots of choices of flavours and strengths.

The drawback is that this machine creates a lot of waste, and uses a lot of energy and resources to produce its little plastic coffee filters.  Instead of one coffee filter (made of renewable bamboo, unbleached and fully compostable) and organic, shade-grown RFA certified coffee, I now am using a little plastic cup, lined with a filter of dubious origin, filled with enough coffee (also of dubious origin) to make a single cup of coffee.

The great thing about the Keurig is that I am no longer wasting coffee by either a) making too much and pouring it down the drain because I can't drink it all or b) not getting around to my second cup of coffee for hours so the original pot ends up being bitter, and therefore making a fresh pot that ends up down the drain because I can't drink it all. 

My Keurig machine came with its own reusable filter, so I can use my own coffee brand from before (which I will once the prepackaged kind that came with the machine are gone).  As well, some of the packages that came with the machine contain up to 30% RFA-certified coffee.

So until I start using my own coffee and the reusable filter, I've decided to recycle the K-Cups.  The means tearing off the foil lid, emptying the coffee grounds into the composter, pulling out the filter and putting it in the composter, and then recycling the lid and empty plastic cup.  Lots of extra effort, but worth it to me.