Sunday, 18 April 2010

Eco-shopping again

Going back to here I am continuing with our take on Lock's Challenges. We are up to 13 now.

Challenge 13: Does recycled toilet roll pass the test? No, it's not what it sounds like - it is used paper recycled to make toilet roll, OK!?! I think that Nouvelle is excellent value and soft enough. The YFG complains about it and asks regularly for softer stuff. Occasionally I give in. Not too often!

Challenge 14: Can a girl live without clingfilm?
Absolutely. No question. Hate the stuff!

Challenge 15: Staying lovely without chemicals. Mmm - I still use some Olay products, some Avon soap pumps, bubble bath - all full of chemicals. Lock "face-tests" three products, one of them a recommended Udder cream for cows, but of which she says, "I did like it, once I'd got my head around the fact that it was designed to be massaged into cows' dangly bits." She notes that it was unperfumed and that smell is an important consideration for her. I don't think I'd go so far as to try that particular cream, but there are others around which do not use parabens, and perhaps I should look for them. The girls and I have recently switched to roll-on deodorants with no aluminium so that is a start in the right direction.

Challenge 16: Can you make your own skincare stuff at home? Lock investigated this at great length, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to go on emulsifying courses or to grate beeswax. I'll go back to Challenge 15 and try to find some ready made simple versions. I don't use a lot of chemicals at all, anyway, so I don't need a lot!

Challenge 17: Do natural deodorants really work? Lock concludes that some of them do, but I am happy with my new roll-on, so I'll use that for now and look into PitRok, which she tried successfully, for next time.

Challenge 18: Sunscreens - what's the safety factor?
Well, the FH gets Factor 50 Australian stuff so we all tend to use that. I thought that was the right thing to do, but apparently there may be dangers in using sunscreens because of the nanoparticles. Yes, nanoparticles. No, I hadn't heard of them either. There is a concern that these tiny particles may be able to penetrate the skin and accumulate in the body in potentially dodgy areas, like the lungs. Then there's the aluminium question again. She recommends a couple of parabens-free sunscreens, but in general, she says that her new strategy is: "I take a short walk without suncream before 11am when the sun's not too high or too hot. I lurk indoors from midday to 3pm, after which, if I go out, I apply my sunscreen." The walk is to get some sun for the Vitamin D benefits. I think that I shall adopt a slightly different regime - my usual - wear a light covering of clothes, keep my arms and legs covered as well as the rest of me, wear a hat, and some sunscreen on the bits I can't cover. I shall look into the sunscreens she recommends, but they don't look mainstream so I am not sure how easy they are to get hold of.

Challenge 19: Girl talk - the gory details on sanitary protection.
No, I am not brave enough to try the Mooncup, nor the re-usable pads. At the moment.

Challenge 20: Does Fairtrade tea make the best brew?
It might, but I buy whatever's on special offer - sometimes Tetley, sometimes PG.

Challenge 21: Does ethical coffee hit the spot?
Don't need to worry about that one - I don't drink coffee.

Challenge 22: Does organic booze beat the hangover?
I don't drink to the state at which I would get a hangover, so this one is not a problem for us - we don't drink much at all.

Challenge 23: Juicy fruit - juicing your own.
We don't have a juicer so we don't do this, and I would worry about the amount of sugar the girls were having if we did. A friend had one, and I used to watch all the apple pulp having to be removed and marvelling at the waste of all that good fibre. I'd rather encourage them to drink water and eat the fruit.

Challenge 24: Water - what's the best?
Here, there is nothing wrong with the tap water and so we drink it by the glassful. We only buy the odd bottle of water, and we are usually buying it for the bottle, rather than for the water!!

Challenge 25: Do real nappies do the business?
They did, and I tried, but Oh, the relief at being past all that!!!!!!!!!

Challenge 26: Mother's milk or formula?
Boob juice all the way! I fed the EFG for 26 months - yes, she had teeth - and the YFG for 10 months.

Challenge 27: Which toys pass the toddler test?
The issues here are of cheap plastic tat, and the carbon footprint raised by importing said tat from China. The sad demise of the traditional English wooden toy.

I think that is enough for tonight. The EFG is back to school tomorrow so I am up early to get her off at 7.55am. Good night!

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