One Product Made My Life Go Green
The DM that changed the way I shop... and the ads I get.
The pleas for us all to “go green” have been everywhere for years. On TV, on billboards, in movies, in political debate, and yes, on our social media feeds. As a vegetarian, I thought I was already pretty thoughtful about using green products, but it turns out I was actually clueless.
One day a friend of mine shared a post from Versed skin care in my DMs, and sure enough I was bombarded by ads for them. Curious, I visited their site and since I was running out of my facial cleanser anyway, I picked up a bottle of their gel cleanser. I read about the brand and how their products are vegan, which sent me on a rabbit hole of vegan products and what makes some healthier than others. Everything down to the container matters when you’re trying to help the Earth and yourself.
And I was not ready for the barrage of ads for natural products that ensued.
The gel cleanser was so great that I started analyzing everything else in my bathroom to see how "green" they were. A self-described subscription box addict, I realized most of the products from my Ipsy and Fabfitfun boxes didn’t fit into this new natural way of life for me. I tossed whatever was nearing the 12 month shelf life and vowed to use the rest of it before getting anything else.
The next step was to check my lotions and hair products for parabens and that was shocking. I already knew parabens were bad from years of hearing people say, “parabens are bad” but I didn’t know why. Once I learned how they affect the skin, our largest organ, I regretted not heeding these warnings sooner. Needless to say, the green, organic, vegan hair care ads came pouring in.
While in my bathroom, I checked under the sink to look at my cleaning products. They were about as far from vegan as could be, because who can pass up the $1 knockoffs that do the same thing as the drug store brands? Being in the middle of a pandemic didn’t help either because let’s be honest, we all want the most aggressive antibacterial option available. So I ended up getting some products from Grove thanks to their endless ad campaigns, and I’m hooked. I clean even more than before because they just make everything feel fresher than the chemical-infused products I was using. However, I have to admit I’m still on the hunt for natural toilet paper that doesn’t feel like the kind at a rest stop bathroom.
My spelunking into “going green” continued, and the social media ads kept up with my fervor. I now use toothpaste tablets you bite into, which cuts down on the waste from plastic tubes. Who knew life was filled with so many plastic tubes! I got a reusable flosser instead of the single use ones I see on the sidewalk from time to time; hard pieces of plastic that will seemingly never break down. It’s easy to see how they could wash out to the ocean and affect the sealife.
However, I learned there’s a fine line between being wasteful in order to try and be green. For example, when it came time to greenify my closet, I realized that I’d be doing more harm than good to rid my closet of all of the fast fashion items I'd collected over the years. So instead, I made a promise to myself that whatever clothes I buy from now on need to be made with natural and sustainably sourced materials. Before my deepdive into natural products, I didn’t realize that much of the plastic in the oceans is caused by microfibers from our clothes!
I can’t even begin to list all of the tidbits of information I learned over the last year. But what I can say is that it’s all collectively changed the way I see just about every purchase I make, and the way social media targets me. I was already a bit of a minimalist thanks to my 400 sq. ft. apartment forcing that lifestyle on me, so adding this extra step when evaluating my purchases makes me feel like I’m actually doing something good for the environment and the economy.
I’m thankful for that friend and the “green” ads that followed after her recommendation because my body and my home are much healthier overall as a result.