Don’t Make Fun of Fragrance Free

October 27th, 2010

I’ve steered clear of perfume, scented lotions and assorted other fragranced products like detergent for years now.

And, yeah, some people disagree with me.

I know folks who think the laundry just doesn’t seem clean unless it has a scent. I’ve even been told my towels don’t smell clean because there was no scent lurking about.

Well, if you want to use essential oils OK. That type of fragrance doesn’t bug me.

But I can’t take artificial scents. If I’m exposed to them, some angry thing starts banging away against my forehead.

So, of course, I loved reading about this new study. I don’t love that the study shows that even “green” scented products are unsafe, but I’m happy to have some backup on my fragrance-free crusade.

Fragranced Consumer Products: Chemicals Emitted, Ingredients Unlisted” published in Environmental Impact Assessment Review by University of Washington researchers

Details on Findings:
The research team analyzed 25 best-selling products like air fresheners, cleaners and detergent, and around half of them claimed they were green, organic or natural. However, the products tested (brand names not disclosed) emitted more than 420 chemicals, almost none of which were listed on the label.

A third of the products emitted at least one probable carcinogen. All of the products tested emitted at least one chemical classified as toxic or hazardous.

Lead study author Anne Steinemann suggests avoiding products with fragrance, and making use of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning.

Are you surprised by these findings?

(image via morguefile)

Review Spending Habits for Earth Day

April 11th, 2009

With Earth Day just around the corner, now’s a good time to take a look at how your spending habits may be affecting the environment. I was able to hear Jane Goodall speak at my local zoo recently, and she reminded us that we each make a difference each day. She wants us to think before we buy.

Here are some tips to help you revise your spending habits to be more green:

• Choose organic or Fair Trade whenever possible, and be aware that words like “natural” may mean nothing. Always read ingredients.

• If you don’t make your own green cleaning products, choose companies that produce only green cleaners. These are people like Ecover and Seventh Generation.

• Look at packaging. Many companies are finding ways to reduce packaging. If you think one of your favorite products needs a packaging overall, tell the manufacturer. They are listening more than you think.

• Look for the Leaping Bunny symbol when choosing cleaners and cosmetics. Animal testing isn’t required or necessary.

• Buy from local farmers and artisans. If you don’t, these people can’t make a living. The small farming way of life may be making a comeback, but they still very much need your help.

For more guidance on buying green, I highly recommend Big Green Purse. I reviewed it last year. Also, read more on the history of Earth Day.

Have a green Earth Day! And every day.

(Image via stock.xchng)