Saturday, August 20, 2011

Do You Need Green to Be Green?

A lot of people complain that being eco-friendly is only for the rich. Is it?

Sure, most eco alternatives cost a bit more, but for good reason. People (Americans, especially) are so used to buying things on the cheap, we forget to question what we're really buying. A bottle of shampoo may be three bucks, but it's nothing but cancer causing chemicals, hence why it's dirt cheap. You get what you pay for. To me, spending the extra money to get a cleaner shampoo is worth it: not only am I paying for better quality, but I'm paying for my health and my planet. It also teaches me to value what I buy, causing me to consume less, saving me money in the long run. Cheap products encourage more spending, more consumption, and more waste: three things we don't need.

But, I admit, times are tough. We all can't afford the better shampoo, whether we want to or not. However, there are eco-friendly ways that can actually save you money. Why buy cases of bottled water when you can get a re-useable one with a filter? Why use plastic bags when some stores pay you to bring your own? Why buy a gas guzzling truck when you can buy an electric one instead? Less consumption = less spending. It's that simple.

Wealthy people may have an easier time being green, but as a student and a hardworking waitress, I'm still making it work. Us 'commoners' just have to be a bit more crafty ;)

What to you think? Do you agree or disagree with my opinion?


  1. Do you have any suggestions on "green" shampoo? I tried making my own with terrible results and when I read the lables on the "green" ones at the store I end up confused and not sure if I am just paying extra for the lable to say "green" Would love it if you could recommend a good green shampoo! I'm new here so forgive me if this is somewhere on your blog.

  2. Its an interesting question. I don't agree with your focus on shampoo. A greener option would be to go poo-free and save that cost all together. Instead of following the consumerism in going green why not try to do things the way they were done for hundreds of years before?

    I do agree with you because if you have to have a MOT, a gas guzzling truck wouldn't be my first pick, but if I have the flexibility to do so I'd rather use public transportation or a bike. Find other people driving to the same place and car pooling. Some people are so lazy and entitled that they don't even search for better ways of doing something. Green is economical, if you let it be.

  3. anonymous: i haven't found a 100% green shampoo that i absolutely *love*, but i'm still hunting! i do like burt's bee's volumizing pomegranate shampoo, even though it isn't 100% clean. but it's a much better choice than, say, pantene. yarok makes an amazing conditioner (feed your volume) but the shampoo wasn't worth the price. sifting through ingredients can be tough, but don't get overwhelmed! check out the cosmetics database for a little help: ... in the meantime, just sample a few things here and there and i bet you'll find a perfect match :)

  4. Cam E. O: Thanks for your input! I love to hear other people's feedback. I'm glad that you said that green can be economical, as long as you let it be. Very well said! I admit, my focus on shampoo was a weak focal point for this topic. Shampoo isn't a necessity; many things we use aren't exactly necessary. And in my attempt to go green, there are things that I'm not gonna give up, like shampoo. But I can at least try to find the best alternative I can. I like a happy-medium approach :)

  5. :) I'm right there with you Kristine! Have you ever looked at the skin deep database? It shows you how toxic all the 'poos and deoderants (maybe make-up I can't remember) are. CRAZY. How's a girl to look good and not break the bank AND be green? Also, I've never tried the poo-free thing. My husband looks at me like I'm growing tree branches when I talk about it. But I've heard of a lot of people complain about the is it different?

  6. I completely agree. Folks just need to be a little more creative and think outside the box. Nowadays they are making it easier and easier for people to Be Green, we as a society just really have to want it an must explore all the options out there to find the alternatives. I work with a Green fuel additive company and we pay people on average about$.75/gallon of gas/diesel to pollute like 50% less....
    It just goes to show you that if you are willing to look for ways to Participate, they are out there.
    Great post and article, keep it up!!


  7. Have any of you ever tried 100% Pure's Honey Coconut Milk Shampoo? It's about as green as you can get in a commercial shampoo. It doesn't contain any synthetic chemicals, artificial fragrances, chemical preservatives, or sulfates. I tried it recently and thought it was pretty good. It gets your hair squeaky clean, which is a good thing if you have shorter hair, but can be a little tough to deal with if you have long hair. It doesn't lather in the same way that, say Pantene, does because of the lack of sulfates so I had a little trouble working it through my long hair. I had to slow down and take my time massaging it in, and then again rinsing it out because it really does make your hair feel squeaky. It worked really well though and my hair felt very soft and healthy when it was dry. And it smells just DIVINE. I wanted to eat it! Lol. It's also a bit runny because there are no fillers to make it gel up artificially (that's all that gel-like conventional shampoo is), so that takes a little getting used to. I also tried the matching conditioner and a little goes a long way there. The conditioner will probably last me twice as long as a conventional conditioner would. Anyway, if you haven't yet, you may want to give it a try and see what you think!

  8. I agree it's all about being crafty and being selective. It's the classic quality of quantity notion.

  9. for a 100% green shampoo, try baking soda.
    Use it in a salt shaker and sprinkle it in your roots, then rinse.
    For conditioner, use vinegar with cinnamon for fragrance- but only on the tips of your hair.

  10. I think with the right amount of creativity, we can all be green. It doesn't have to cost a fortune. From homemade cleaners to changing lightbulbs, little steps make a big difference.

  11. A bit of an extra effort can make the planet greener. Being rich or not, is just a state of mind. Sincere efforts can change the way we live.

  12. Hi Kristine :)

    You are very welcome to join our green network at

    GREEN WAY UP is a network that connects eco-focused people,
    companies, organizations and institutions.

    See you there!
    Green Way Up Team

  13. Hey Kristine, I don't know if you've seen our site or any of the other carpooling sites out there, but we actually think being green can actually you green. It's an idea promoted by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. He argues that most, if not all, of the sustainability initiatives they implemented at Patagonia actually ended up *saving* the company money in the long run. Our goal at is basically the same: we think saving money by ridesharing also reduces your carbon footprint. So I guess the short answer, you don't need green to be green. In fact, living a less resources-intensive lifestyle will probably save you money long term.

  14. Good question,for someone who has no choice of green cosmetics here,I have to ship it from either US or EU which cost me alot,and not that green either.Sure that makes me crafty.I make my own soap and shampoo,deodorant which save me lots of money.Something that can't be made my self will be make up and moisturizer.But since now that I'm picky,I only buy things based on its ingredients which is good for me in general,save money.No more excessive buying:)