Posts Tagged ‘consumption’

Letting go of vanity

Every time I see a movie or read a book on environmentalism, I get convinced of one more thing I need to give up or stop doing. Over the past couple of years, I’ve been convinced to give up mascara, to buy sunscreen without parabens (amazingly difficult to find!), to buy only organic, non-GMO soy milk, and many other small changes.

A combination of the Clean Bin Project and David Suzuki Queen of Green’s Dirty Dozen convinced me to finally give up dyeing my hair a while ago. And I have to say, I miss it. I have always had a very blah kind of hair colour… light brown, very nondescript. Since I was 13 years old, I have had blond, black, blue, bleached, red, purple, and auburn hair, to name a few. I love how hair is an impermanent thing that’s easy to change, and colouring my hair often gave me a whole new look.

But I knew that it was bad. Even with no knowledge of how it was bad, how can letting all those chemicals go down the drain possibly be a good thing? I couldn’t, in good conscience, let these chemicals pollute our water any more just because I didn’t like my hair colour. So I gave it up. Now my hair is boring, and healthy.

But one of my favourite blogs, David Suzuki’s Queen of Green, posted this week on eco-friendly hair dye. As part of my Social Media Marketing course assignment, I dugg her article, because she always gives great, accessible tips that are relevant to a wide audience. Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green, is a wealth of information on Do It Yourself projects and lifestyle-greening tips.

For a lot of people, who care about the environment but aren’t as hyper-aware of their own footprint, the kind of accessibility that Lindsay provides is invaluable. There are many things that I have been surprised to discover, and for me, new information has a strong impact on my future behaviours. The Queen of Green blog provides easy information on everything from what can be recycled to how to care for Mason bees.

Navigating a more sustainable world can be pretty tricky, when the norm is the opposite of sustainability. It takes more awareness and a little more effort to seek out the most environmentally friendly options for toilet paper, window cleaner, deodorant, laundry. It’s more time consuming and arguably more expensive (although I guarantee I spend less on things than most people) to shop at the farmer’s market, buy organic, local foods, make pasta from scratch. But for me it’s totally worth it.

Hair dye was a tough thing for me to give up. But it’s only vanity. I’m not sure yet whether I’ll seek out the eco-friendly dyes. Maybe I should just make peace with my natural hair colour.

Most people have something important to them that’s caused them to give up something or other. For some, the passion is fair trade, fair wages. For others, cancer has hit close to home, and cutting out toxins is key.

Have you ever given up something that you loved, on principle?