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Clean Living

Recently, I had an allergic reaction on my face. It was non-red, non-itchy bumps all over my face. I had no idea and still have no idea where it came from. I had many theories: my comforter has come open and whatever it's made out of my skin doesn't like, I touched the bird poop on the bird feeder and forgot to wash my hands before touching my face, I was deep-cleaning and my face didn't like a disinfectant, or I ate something. The possibilities are endless. I haven't used any different skin care products; I eat most of the same foods.

In this conversation about what my reaction could've come from led to a discussion with my mother about clean living. She had this book on her shelf that she passed on to me to read. It's a decade or so old, but it's about making skin care, housekeeping, and some other things instead of buying products with chemicals. It's called Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Less Toxic Living by Annie Berthold-Bond.

I've been looking up how to make different cleaning products that are all ingredients you recognize and you will usually have in the home. I've recently purchased a new comforter for my bed made of linen - it's from Parachute, an eco-friendly company. I've also created a document that includes eco-friendly shops from a plethora of categories.

Some of the shops I've found and researched:

Amour Vert: Women’s clothing and accessories; for every tee you buy, they plant a tree - in collaboration with American Forests; 97% of products are made in California; use Tencel modal, certified organic cotton, Tencel Lyocell, certified silk, ethical wool and hemp; all packaging made from recycled materials and printed with soy-based inks

Carry Courage: Sustainable travel bags based in Portland, Oregon; made from vegan cork fabric sourced from the bark of the Cork Oak tree in Portugal; the bark regenerates every 8-10 years - after harvesting, the tree absorbs about 5 times the CO2

- I recently got a luggage tag from here!

Clean-Faced Cosmetics: Zero waste cosmetics Etsy shop; come in reusable metal tins, or you can use a container you already have and order a refill packaged in a biodegradable cello bag; all products are vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil free, and as organic as possible; all labels are printed on recyclable paper using eco-friendly ink

Youth to the People: Plant-powered California skincare brand; uses biodegradable formulas that break down safely in the drain; packaged in reusable glass bottles and jars; sources its plant extracts from local suppliers whenever possible; supports nonprofits like Downtown Women’s Center in LA

Avocado Green Mattress: Eco-friendly mattress and reclaimed furniture brand; uses organic materials such as cotton, latex and wool

Peg and Awl: Gifts for sustainable living; use leather from baseball gloves, drawing-room chairs and WWII gun slings, pages from outdated medical texts and antique seed catalogs, misplaced photographs from people long dead, fabric from bedding, aprons and window coverings; use wood from old-growth trees - were cut down in the 1800s and turned into homes and became abandoned after time

Dropps: Zero-waste laundry and dish detergent; natural and dissolvable detergent pods; completely plastic-free and made with natural ingredients

A couple of sustainable online markets:

BLK+GRN: An all natural marketplace by all Black artisans; all products are toxic-free, plant-based and cruelty-free; features products in these categories: bath and body, skincare, beauty, grocery, hair, home, menstrual care, and mom and baby

EarthHero: Website that features eco-friendly brands; features products in these categories: clothing and accessories, baby and kids, travel, home, outdoors, audio and tech, pets, and beauty and care

I want to stop shopping at fast fashion shops. I have a gift card to H&M, but after I am done using it, I want it to be the last time I shop there. I understand that fast fashion is cheap, and there are some that do not have the option to shop at a place that is of a higher price. I want to buy something that will last me for years.

Climate change gives me intense anxiety. This planet is already past the point of no-return, but it still can be saved if we act now. The current administration would have people believe it is a hoax. The current administration who could help save us, isn't just disbelieving climate change - it's taking away policies that Obama put in place to help the environment.

I know the individual isn't to blame for this. I know that myself alone cannot save the planet, but it could help my anxiety. Slow fashion, reusable items, natural homemade products - all make up clean living.



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