Friday, October 22

Wasting Doedorant

I have a deodorant dilemma. I know that sounds strange so let me explain.

I have been reading a lot about what is safe and what isn't lately. Food, cleaning products, health and beauty products, baby stuff, pet stuff, etc. Using this information I have been slowly "greening" the house and replacing products with safe options. We have also been buying as much organic, non pesticide and local food as possible.

But back to the household and beauty products thing. This is where the dilemma comes in.

Before we started reading labels, researching and making more informed and responsible choices, we bought the "regular" stuff. Deodorant, shampoo, kitchen cleaner, lipstick, toilet cleaner, and the like. If it was on sale, if we had a coupon, or if it was just the cheap option, we bought it. And we stocked up on things. I liked knowing that we had a supply of the things we needed on hand, even if they were not the greenest of options. And we really didn’t think about it that much. We were on a budget (still are) and that was the end of it.

When we started replacing with the green options, we waited until we ran out of said product. I did not see the point in wasting a half a bottle of Windex by dumping it down the drain (even though I would recycle the bottle). It just seemed like a waste, and part of what we are trying to do is NOT waste. So I would use the rest of the Windex, feeling a mix of guilt and resourcefulness.

And that is basically how we switched just about every cleaning supply and household necessity to a safe option.

My problem is with deodorant. And shampoo, nail polish, hair color, etc. I have a small stock of these things as well and the "use it up first" thing takes on a new meaning here. Using up a bottle of Mr. Clean before buying Green Works took about 2 weeks. Using my stock of Pantine and Herbal Essences would take significantly longer. I am kind of ok with that, and I am not sure why. (guilt? rebellion? conscious ignorance?). The problem is that I have 7 unused, unopened sticks of deodorant in various brands and scents. I also have 4 for Roy in various 'mens' scents, all unopened. Deodorant takes a long time to use up. (Yes, we use it every day. We do not smell. It just takes a LONG time!). And I am worried about the aluminum exposure and the studies that link it to alzheimers. Not to mention all the other chemicals.

But I do not just want to throw them all away in buy a stick of Tom's. It would be such a waste and a brand new product would just go into the landfill. A waste of resources, money, and landfill space. But do i want to use them, which would take quite a while, and keep exposing myself to aluminum and other nasty things?

I never thought that something like this would ever be such a stressful dilemma for me. I am also mad at myself for reading and learning about these things. For giving up my conscious ignorance and opening myself up to constant label reading and becoming one of "those people."

But, if I am going down that road, why aren't I replacing everything in my home? Furniture that has been treated with anti-stain chemicals, clothes that are not 100% sustainable, my lawnmower.

This is going to sound bad. And I think I might be black-listed from the homesteading and sustainable living blog society.

I don't see the need in going out and purchasing a new "green" item to replace something else that works perfectly fine. (gasp!)

Tupperware is a perfect example. I reuse the containers that butter comes in and I have durable Rubbermaid Tupperware that works very well. I am not going to toss it just because it is plastic, add to the landfill, and consume more eco-friendly containers. i just doesn't seem right. When it eventually cracks, the dog gets hold of one, or it just won't come clean anymore, I will recycle it and invest in a green alternative. But I will not make more waste just to say I have sustainable Tupperware.

So what do I do about the deodorant? Keep it and use it? Toss it? Does anyone know of any creative projects involving Speedstick?


  1. Why not donate the deoderant? I know that there are boxes that go to the soldiers and they are always looking for shampoo and deoderant among other things. If not them there are always homeless shelters, battered women shelters and the like that would love to have donations of your unused items.

    DH and I switched over to the "salt sticks" and they work great and last a long, long time. I'm thinking of going "no poo" but am kind of on the fence about it.

  2. This is my life too! Hilarious! Deodorant. I have no answers. But once you have some, by all mean, email them too me please. :)

  3. I have found a charity that accepts food, household products and health items. All must be new and unopened, of course. And I checked with the lady who is running the donations to make sure that deodorant was acceptable. For some reason I just get scared putting it in the donation box. It seems a little gross to me. But it is new and she said they can definately use it.
    So, it has been donated. Goodbye, speedstick!

  4. I would have said donate it as well.

    I also want to say that I agree with your point of not buying new "green" items until you have to. The other day my friend was at the Dr's office and they had preferred parking for "green" vehicles. And I wonder whose version of "green" they go by, because I'm thinking my used, 10 year old vehicle still takes up less resources than creating an entire new car out of the earth's resources. I really think NOT buying new things is the greenest option of all!