Green “technology” has got to be the quintessential oxymoron. Technology, as it is defined and understood today is anything but “green”. Every energy-saving device being marketed to the consumer requires copious amounts of energy to create, not to mention the rare earth minerals that are used in most all new “green technologies.” You don’t find rare earth minerals, such as dysprosium, (used in hybrid car motors) lying around in big piles just waiting to be scooped up. They have to be mined. This fact alone should have greenies cringing. Go to Google earth and take a look at the largest rare earth mine in the world, located in China. That’s right. You can see it from space.
This is what distinguishes fake green from real green. Real green doesn’t leave a deficit of resources. It doesn’t create big holes in the earth or deplete resources. It doesn’t create big piles of inorganic matter or fill big pits with toxic junk. If you’re really concerned about living in harmony with your home, the earth, here are five things you can do that are truly earth-friendly; that will have a positive or neutral impact on your environment. There are many more, but this is a start.
Eliminate all commercially made toiletries regardless of how “natural” they purport to be. Before you look at the ingredients (if they’re even listed) look at the packaging. Is it plastic? (Plastic is made from petroleum.) Is it plastic in a slick glossy box? (Plastic coated paper can’t be recycled.) Literally every toiletry in your bathroom can be replaced with four simple items:
Deodorant Stone: This white slightly translucent “stone” is made of mineral salts – that’s it. You wet it and rub it on. It will literally last you a decade or more and it works. It will not keep you from perspiring – you’re supposed to perspire – but it will keep offensive odors at bay. If you want a scent, a drop of an essential oil is enough to scent both underarms.
Food-grade hydrogen peroxide or baking soda: These are substitutes for toothpaste and tooth whiteners. Food-grade hydrogen peroxide may be hard to come by depending on where you live. It’s a 35% concentration, so it has to be diluted – preferably with filtered water or rainwater. (More on that later.) The 3% hydrogen peroxide you find in the drug store is NOT suitable since most of it is contaminated with mercury. Diluted 35% hydrogen peroxide also makes an excellent mouthwash and tooth whitener. In the absence of 35% h.p., baking soda is also a viable option. And it comes in a recyclable biodegradable paper box with no plastic coating.
News flash: Offensive body odor, cavities, and bad breath are not the results of aluminum chlorhydrate, fluoride, or minty mouthwash deficiencies. They are all the result of an acid pH caused by a diet of over-cooked, over-processed foods. Want to smell good and clean up your mouth? Then clean up your diet. If you eat garbage, you’re going to smell like garbage, no matter how many toxic chemical-laden products you use.
Homemade soap: Making soap is easy and fun. If you use the cold process and rebatch it, you can make bar soap, soft soap, dish and laundry soap, and shampoo from the same recipe. Many people like the natural scent of homemade soap, but if you prefer something more foofy, a little essential oil goes a long way. (Essential oils are packaged in glass, which can be recycled or reused. They also last a long time because a little goes a long way.)
Extra virgin coconut oil: This can replace moisturizer, hair conditioner, and foot crmes. If you don’t like the smell of coconut, use expeller pressed. It has a neutral scent. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, the same as breast milk, and absorbs completely into hair and skin without blocking pours. It is also high in omega 3 fatty acids and helps repair sun damage. Now granted – if you’re living in a country where coconut is not a native plant, there is some fossil fuel consumption required to get it to you. However, a little goes a long way. Buy it in glass jars if possible (less petroleum consumption.) For skin and hair moisturizing, put about 1/8 tsp. in the palm of your hand and rub your hands together. Massage it into your face and neck and wipe the rest off in your hair, working it through to the ends. Adjust the amount for thickness and length of hair. Done right, it takes care of the frizzies and fly-aways and makes even sun-damaged hair feel soft. Don’t worry if you get a little too much on – it will absorb and interestingly won’t stay greasy looking. It can be worn under make-up, but it should be given time to absorb. It takes about hour. Massage about 1/8 tsp. or less into your feet to prevent heal cracking and athlete’s foot. Coconut oil has anti-fungal properties.
Just say NO to drugs. Remember that old campaign? What ever happened to that? Now pharmaceuticals are the most abused drugs in the US, outstripping street drugs, and TV commercials have replaced shady street corner drug pushers. We even insist that the government pay for our habit and they’re happy to oblige. What’s wrong with this picture?
Prescription drugs are a serious environmental hazard to water and soil. (Plus, they come in PLASTIC bottles – more petroleum.) Municipal water supplies do not and cannot filter them out. Imagine the outrageous combinations of pharmaceuticals, especially psychotropic drugs, which come through your tap and flow into surface and ground water. Drug pollution doesn’t just come from flushing outdated pills down the toilet. Drugs are prescribed assuming that you will pass up to 60% of them through your body without using or absorbing them. That means every drug user is flushing pharmaceuticals down their toilet, not just the surviving relatives of the granny who dies with 20 prescriptions in her medicine cabinet.
There is no disease known to man that is the result of a drug deficiency. There are no drugs that cure – they only treat. And your body doesn’t know the difference between a legal and an illegal drug. Think about that.
There are natural alternatives to every discomfort and most of those alternatives start with what you eat and drink. There is a plethora of information out there if you’re truly motivated to live earth-friendly and healthy to boot. You can’t live green and use drugs. It’s as simple as that.
Collect rainwater: Depending on where you live, rainwater is a relatively clean source of good water and if you set up a passive system, once it’s in place, the water is free. In urban areas with a lot of air pollution, this may not be a good alternative, but barring that, mechanically filtered rainwater is drinkable and certainly suitable for watering your…
Organic garden! Number four: grow your own food. Again, there is abundant information about growing food just about anywhere you live, from the average suburban lot to container gardening on an apartment balcony. You will be amazed at how much better food you grow yourself tastes, not to mention the satisfaction of realizing you can take care of yourself. In addition to that, organic gardening makes extensive use of a fifth way to be green….
Composting: Your kitchen scraps, non-coated paper, and even dryer lint can all be composted either in a collection bin or worm bin. Red wiggler worms make excellent composters and there are kits available that make worm composting easy and convenient even in limited spaces. There is no odor problem associated with them. Increasingly, offices are even using them in their lunchrooms.
These truly green tips are, let’s face it, not contributors to the economic recovery. In fact, if you continue down the path of truly living green, you will cut your consumption of marketed goods in significant ways. And less consumption, while good for the earth, is not good for an economy based on the unlimited growth of spending. On the bright side though, given that the whole system is foundational on a fiat currency and is destined to collapse anyway, regardless of whether or not you continue to over-spend and pollute, at least you’ll have some survival skills. While all around you panic, you’ll be fed, healthy, and clean. Now that’s sustainability!