Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Greening our HBA: A Job of Work

Going greener seems to divide into two categories.  

First, there are the Biggies - the major, sweeping lifestyle changes that usually require an output of thought, time and cold hard cash.  For us, last year's Biggie meant moving to a home served by excellent mass transit where most of our regular needs can be met via foot, bus or train.  Future Biggies will probably include adopting some solar technology and possibly replacing our (rarely-driven) Jeep with a lighter-on-the-planet, but still family-and-outdoor-activity-accommodating ride.

Then there are the Dailies - the habits that you can change slowly, that seem like they don't require much thought, that feel like they ought to trouble you none.

But as we begin the process of Greening our HBA, it feels like it would take less effort to install solar panels on the roof.  Myself.  While eight months pregnant.

Here's the trick:  Merely buying a product labeled organic doesn't do it.  My sister's favorite moisturizer looks like it's got green cred: Alba Botanica Sea Moss moisturizer.  And it's available at my local Target for a mere $15.  But it also rates a dismal 7 - or high hazard - at the Cosmetic Safety Database.

While I accept that nothing we ingest or apply is without consequences, it's dazzling - the same company can have products that rate all over the map, and some companies that look greener and safer are actually more hazardous than mainstream brands.

On my next trip past an organic market with a robust health & beauty section, I'm off to read labels.  Too bad I don't have a portable CSD to tote along.  This is gonna take some doing.

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