Update on my life

Dear readers, I generally don’t post about personal events, but I have some very exciting news that may impact how much time I can spend on this blog.

Last week I started a new job at PCC Community Markets as their Social and Environmental Responsibility Program Manager. For any of my readers who don’t know me personally, and simply found my blog because of the content, I have been searching for a job in my field for the past year. I’ve also been wanting to work at PCC for a long time, so this is a dream come true for me!

What does this mean for my blog?  Mainly, I will post less frequently. I’m committed to keeping up with this blog, but I don’t have as much time to dedicate towards developing and publishing posts. I will feel things out over the next couple months as I settle into my new job and assess how much time and energy I have for researching and writing.

Currently, I’m in the middle of writing the next piece for my series on plastics, so stay tuned for that guy as soon as I finish it up! Thank you for your patience and support!

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Products I love

The range of choices for natural products can seem overwhelming sometimes, especially if you’re just starting your transition to safer products. Over the last several years I’ve tried tons of different brands and products. So, I’ve compiled a list here with some of my personal favorites that I highly recommend as being safe and effective.

I think it’s a given that you can find these products on Amazon, so in this post, I’ll provide info on where you can buy these aside from Amazon.

Desert Essence Cleansing Tea Tree Therapy soap

Why I love this product: I use this as an overall body soap, but more importantly, it’s the best shaving soap I’ve found. And I’m holding it against shaving creams and gels. It’s moisturizing, not strongly scented, and has a great lather. I’ve even used it as a face wash in a pinch. The ingredients are simple, and the palm oil used is certified as sustainably sourced (still not perfect, but it’s better than nothing).

Where to buy:  Vitacost https://www.vitacost.com/desert-essence-cleansing-bar-tea-tree-therapy-5-oz-3 ($3.09 for 3)

Desert Essence Thoroughly Clean Face Wash Original for oily & combination skin*

Why I love this product: I’ve been using this face wash for about 7 years now, it was one of my first “natural” products, and it’s been a staple in my shower caddy ever since. I use this as my basic everyday face wash and I think it works very well.

Where to buy: Vitacost https://www.vitacost.com/productResults.aspx?Ntt=Desert+Essence&N=1306725 ($3.79 – $11.69 depending on size)

Every Man Jack Manual Razor

Why I love this product: It’s the best “natural” razor I have found. The commonly sold brand is called Preserve, which uses recycled plastic – while cheaper, I don’t think they work well and I think I had to switch the cartridges more often. I like Every Man Jack because it’s a reusable one made of a hefty zinc alloy, it has a great feel to it, and the 6-blade cartridges result in a close shave. Additionally, the moisture strip is fragrance free and contains olive oil, chamomile and herbal extracts. Simple, sharp, and toxic-free.

Where to buy: (razor & four extra cartridges)

Gabriel Organics White Seaweed Calming Cleanser and Red Seaweed Gentle Exfoliator

Why I love these products: The ingredients are simple and high quality, and bottom line – they work well. The cleanser feels great to use – it’s not too oily, doesn’t leave a residue, and my skin looks good after using it. The exfoliator is gentle and subtle, but has great results.

Where to buy:

Schmidt’s Naturals Deodorant

I have tried dozens of natural deodorants and this one is by far the best (I will do a natural deodorant specific post in the future). I’ve been using their products for a few years now, and I’ve gotten my boyfriend on the Schmidt’s bandwagon too!

Why I love this product: It’s not gender specific, they have a wide range of scents (include unscented), a line for sensitive skin, and options for sizes and application methods. You can buy the product in a jar as a paste, or in stick for now. My favorite right now is the Lime Bergamot, but I’m also partial to the Ylang-Ylang & Calendula one.

Where to buy:

Jason Toothpaste

Why I love this product: This one is simple – it works. I think their formulations are better than other competing brands. They have a wide range of flavors and some versions without fluoride. Also, they are SLS free (not a guarantee even with natural toothpaste), which is important to me since I’m allergic to that ingredient. I use the deep sea spearmint gel and the powerful peppermint paste (which can be a little too powerful sometimes).

Where to buy:

Pacifica Beauty Alight Multi-Mineral BB Cream

BB Creams smooth your skin tone and even out complexion. Since I have freckles I generally don’t use any sort of concealer, foundation, or face makeup. It just washes out my skin tone and fades my freckles, making my whole face just look weird.

Why I love this product: It evens out my skin and gives me a bit of radiance, without having the fading effect! It’s subtle, moisturizing, and skin-tone matching, which means no hassle of trying to pick the right shade of product to match my skin color. I think this is what makes it effective for someone like me who basically has two skin colors. Also, a little goes a long way with this product, which is always a bonus.

Where to buy:

SheaMoisture hair care products

I’m a big fan of this brand in general, but I especially love their hair care products. I have a lot of skin and scalp sensitivities, and I’ve found their shampoos and conditioners to be the least irritating. SheaMoisture offers an extensive range of products for all different hair types. In general, they’re products focus on strengthening, hydrating, and curl enhancement. They have about 22 different collections that include shampoos, conditioners, and styling products designed for different purposes.

Some of my favorites that I’ve used so far include:

  • The Superfruit complex 10-in-1 Renewal system shampoos & conditioner
  • Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen & Grow Treatment Masque
  • Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
  • Coconut & Hibiscus Frizz-Free Curl Mousse

I have slightly frizzy, wavy hair, and I look for products that enhance curls, add volume, moisture, and strength.

Where to buy:

*I would recommend this version for most skin types. Why? Because for some inexplicable reason, the normal skin version has fragrance (parfum) and caramel coloring. Unless you have really, really dry skin, you can always adjust how often you use the face wash or how long you apply the product. I do this in the winter when my skin is a bit on the drier side.

I’ve been held up…

Hello everyone who maybe reads this? Things have slowed down later due to a couple things. I’m working on the second part of my alternative energy exploration, but its going a little slower than expected. First off, I got sick yesterday morning, so I’ve been spending most of my time sleeping.

Then, Friday evening when I arrived at my boyfriend’s apartment, I found a tiny little nestling on the pavement next to my car. He was about a day or two old, an inch or two long and completely feather-less. He wasn’t injured and was flailing his little limbs around on the pavement. I’m a big animal person, so of course I couldn’t just leave the poor thing there. I was up till 5:30 am keeping him warm and checking on him to make sure he made it through the night. I got a few hours of sleep and then drove up to the NW Wildlife Rehabilitation Center about 12 miles Northeast of Bellingham to give him to the properly trained animal rescue people. According to them, he looked in great shape and were surprised he made it through the night and was so lively. He chirped all the way up to the rehabilitation center and I’m going to call tomorrow to make sure he actually made it. They thought that at that age, even if I got him up there, he most likely wouldn’t make it. But anyway, that was my adventure Friday night and Saturday morning. I got home at about 11:30 am and went back to bed. After a couple hours, I started feeling sick. So I’m trying to get things still up on here, but I’m pretty drained right now. I’ll see what I can do.

In other news though – the International Contemporary Furniture Fair is happening right now in New York City, and according to Inhabitat.com, there are several eco-friendly oriented designers and products being featured.

Check out ICFF’s website: http://www.icff.com/

Or Inhabitat’s coverage of the fair: http://inhabitat.com/inhabitat-reports-from-icff-2011/