After seeing the recent film sponsored by Sustainable Rossmoor titled “Poisoned Water,” most of us were horrified to learn to what extent our survival as a living species on the planet is being jeopardized by pollutants. There’s nothing like a movie to show you details of things in our water that are killing the living creatures in the sea, lakes and rivers. This includes us! During the discussion afterward, we learned that we could all do a few things at home to improve our world’s water quality.
What We Can Do
We can protect our local water by avoiding many of the chemicals and solvents in cosmetics, perfumes, detergents and cleaning products. Surprisingly, they have the same chemicals in them as paints and pesticides. Many of the ingredients in these items have not been tested and are not regulated despite the fact that they can be absorbed through the skin. Some ingredients are included that are known to not be good for other animal life. This revelation is made worse by the fact that even the most sophisticated water treatment plants cannot remove most of them. Then it gets worse – this water then becomes our drinking water. Thus the expression, “If you can’t eat it, don’t use it.”
We can start using safer products – safer for us, safer for animal life and safer for our planet. Be suspicious of any product that has more than five ingredients listed on the label. Start with what you smear on our skin. Look at the ingredients in your sun tan lotion and all other personal products. What chemicals do we use to wash our bodies and clothes?
There are organizations like EWG.org that have done research on hundreds of safer products. They share their findings free on the Internet. The following are just a few suggestions; all are available at local stores. Some are certified organic. The site also gives recipes to make your own concoctions from basic ingredients.
- LOTIONS and MOISTURIZERS. Look for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and sensitive-skin products. An example is Burt’s Bees Fragrance-Free Shea Butter and Vitamin E Body Lotion. Or, Coconut Oil makes a safe and effective cream or moisturizer.
- SHAMPOO. Again, look for fragrance-free, hypoallergenic and sensitive-skin products. • SOAP. Examples include: Dr Bronner’s Unscented Soap – good for body, clothes or dishes; Kiss My Face Olive Oil – as a liquid or bar,
- DETERGENTS. Arm & Hammer super fragrance-free washing detergent; Seventh Generation natural fragrance-free laundry powder; Seventh Generation chlorine-free bleach; Planet Delicate laundry wash hypo-allergenic; or Trader Joe’s fragrance-free dishwashing detergent.
- CLEANING PRODUCTS. Whole Foods Market glass cleaner; Ecover Cream Scrub; Green Shield all purpose cleaner and degreaser; Bon Ammi; vinegar and water for mirrors, glass and countertops; baking soda and vinegar for your drains
- MEDICATION. Dispose of unwanted medication properly: not in the toilet and not in the trash. Use the depository inside the entrance to Gateway.
Share this information with your family and friends. The Internet is full of nontoxic, healthy, fragrance-free products. Remember: read the label, and if you can’t eat it, don’t use it.
This article first appeared in the August 03, 2016 issue of the Rossmoor News, author Daliya Robson