Photo by Craig Blackmoore
The last few months, I have been deep in thought about stuff — more specifically, my stuff and my consumption of stuff. We all buy and use up and throw away too much stuff. I have done my best to be less wasteful and not buy into the horrible consumption loops so many of us live in today. I live frugally.
However, when contemplating moving to the woods this spring, I started to see things from a whole new perspective. That which I used to think of as “normal consumption” I now view as, “outrageously wasteful!” I’ve had a huge change in paradigm. When you begin to honestly evaluate the situation of living on your own in the forrest, with no trash service, no guaranteed water, and no sewage system except composting, you really begin to think about how wasteful we humans are (primarily those of us in the “first world”).
That said, now I can tell you about all the changes I’ve been making!
In June, I finally gave up shaving my legs. I just see no point in buying into that vanity and doing the whole shaving routine. Consumption loops closed: Razors, shaving cream, aftershave, body lotion. Also, lots of time saved ;) No, Cory doesn’t mind. It took me a long time to get used to it, though!
In August, I gave up wearing chemical deodorant/antiperspirant. Don’t worry, I don’t stink! And antiperspirant is terrible for you. It took about a week for my lymph nodes to “detox” and they STUNK horribly. But then they cleared up and I honestly never get smelly anymore (thank you, raw-foodism!) unless I’m working really hard and sweating. I hope to buy a salt deodorant bar soon for those kinds of days (salt kills bacteria = kills smell). Consumption loop closed: deodorant/antiperspirant.
In August I also vowed to never buy perfumes again, but to use natural oils for scent instead. I still have a few perfumes running out, and some body spray, but I won’t buy any more. Expensive, unhealthy consumption loop closed. I have several natural pure essential oils that I’ve had 15+ years(!!) that are still just as beautiful-smelling and interesting and safe as they were when I got them. Sustainability is the way to go! (And also, there’s just something seductive about oil scents :P)
Most exciting, I decided to give washable feminine napkins a try. I bought one washable pad from Naturally Cozy online in September to try out in replacement of my regular choice of tampons — I will be trying it out this month.
I really love tampons, but they’re just not sustainable. The wrappers are plastic, most of the applicators are plastic, the boxes are oversized… the only biodegradable thing about tampons is the tampon itself (sometimes). So until I plan on buying land, growing cotton and picking it and using a spinning wheel to MAKE TAMPONS (omg), I need something that is not a tampon.
These pads seem very promising — I will be trying this one out for my next cycle. The instructions say that once you’ve used a pad, just put it in a bucket of cold water and cover with a lid. Then, repeat with all other washable pads while you’re on your period, and then when your cycle is complete, pour all water and pads in the washing machine (even a Wonder Wash). She claims they will last at least 20 years, so if I like them I will be buying a lot! Hopefully I’ll be closing the tampon consumption loop soon.
[EDIT: My friend tells me there's a new menstrual cup called the Mooncup that lasts a long time. I used to be interested in the Diva cup, but I heard that it doesn't last long. I haven't been able to nail down the facts on how long the Mooncup lasts, but she claims it's something like 15 years! I'll keep you posted!]
So… how much of a hippie have I become! LOL I know. Hairy legs and pits, no deodorant, no chemicals… feels good. The best part is that none of the stereotypes I expected are playing out; I don’t look uglier, I’m not less sexy, I’m not smelly, I’m not dirty, no one looks at me sideways for my choices — it’s totally new for me…and totally natural! :P
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Tags: consumption loops, homesteading, mindset, musings, sustainability, tidbits