While we were aware that what we ate and what modes of transportation we used affected our health and the environment, we must admit that [bctt tweet="our eco-consciousness took a little more time to develop regarding household cleaners and body care products." But two events quickly opened our eyes!
By Chloé Rochette and Sophie Geoffrion, HappyFitness founders
Sophie’s aha moment: cursed foundation “I had been using the same popular (and expensive) foundation for years. It was a 7-in-1 product that, in addition to giving me a flawless peach complexion, also moisturized my skin, protected it from the sun, improved the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines and more. A dream product! I was really happy with it until I lent it to Chloé when we were getting ready for a gala. Within seconds, her pretty face was covered in red spots that burned. ‘It’s because Chloé has sensitive skin,’ I thought. But then the same thing happened when I lent my foundation to my sister, right before a photo shoot… Since my two favourite people&mdashwho have no known allergies&mdashreacted so violently to the product, I began to seriously question the safety of the ingredients in my foundation and other cosmetics.”
&mdash Sophie Geoffrion, cofounder of HappyFitness
Chloé’s aha moment: camping trip “Last summer, we hiked the Appalachian Trail in Gaspé for five days. It was such a privilege to take in the natural beauty in the huge national park! Since we had limited space in our backpack and didn’t want it to be too heavy, we opted for a tiny bottle of concentrated biodegradable soap that we used as a dishwashing liquid, shampoo and shower gel. Which got us thinking... Why choose our camping products so carefully when we don’t really think about what we use at home? Of course, municipalities have water treatment centres to clean the water we use, but it became obvious that as citizens, we could (and should!) be using household cleaners and body care products that are safer for the ecosystem.”
&mdash Chloé Rochette, cofounder of HappyFitness
If you want to start using more natural products in your home, here are a few tips that helped in our transition to more eco-friendly living:
Research your products
It’s not always easy to determine whether a cosmetic or body care product is safe and eco-friendly just by reading the label. Unless you’re both a chemist and a dermatologist… Thankfully, you don’t have to do all the research yourself. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an American non-profit organization, does it for you (ah yeah!). Enter your products in the EWG’s huge database to see their hazard score and get a complete summary of the reassuring or worrisome ingredients they contain. This will help you decide which products to keep and which to replace!
Look for certified products
- Certification seals on the package can also help you make an informed choice.
- For example, if a product is certified EWG Verified™, you know that it’s made with worry-free and hypoallergenic ingredients.
- The ECOLOGO seal guarantees that the product and its packaging were designed to keep their environmental impact to a minimum.
- And finally, if a product is PETA-certified as cruelty-free, it hasn’t been tested on animals. You can clean your house and stock up on all kinds of products for your family, guilt-free.
Consider using reusable accessories to apply or remove your body care products, like washable cotton makeup remover pads. Also avoid disposable plastic items whenever possible. A bamboo toothbrush will be less harmful for the environment than one made of plastic. They also make an excellent eco-friendly birthday or Christmas gift.
Raid your pantry for cleaning ingredients
In addition to being used in cooking, white vinegar and baking soda are miracle cleaning products. Vinegar costs very little and is excellent for washing different surfaces (diluted in hot water). And baking soda will get your bathtub and sink sparkling clean!
Wipe, rinse and reuse
Already using less-harmful household cleaners? That’s awesome! For even greener cleaning, opt for a good ol’ washable rag instead of disposal paper towels. Have stained, hole-riddled t-shirts lying around? Give them new life as cleaning rags! While we still have a ways to go to be 100% eco-friendly&mdashwe must confess that we still clean our oven with a highly toxic product once a year&mdashour goal is to seriously question our choices, then vote with our wallet by buying from companies that make safety for human health and the environment a priority. We only have one body and one planet. It’s important that we take care of them!