Category: ethical living

Update: more time passes, still nothing interesting to report

Product overload and avoiding / fighting being a product junkie

i shop therefore i am
There’s a great post, over on Science-y Hair Blog: about half of it follows here below. Screenshots, click on them, they’ll link you straight to the original blog. Everything that the wise “WS” says can be applied to any consumerist excess / addictive behaviour, of anything… yes, even chocolate…

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skin update 

Skin in a better state. Still constitutionally sensitive because that’s just how it is, but the extra horrors of most of the year seem to have abated. 

A CHANGE

Moisturiser: back to ShiKai borage dry skin remedy hand cream. Yes, on face and neck and around the eyes. Morning and evening. It is marvellous. It has a smell, and many people hate it. That’s borage seed oil. It’s OK if you hate it, that’s perfectly normal and human. I don’t mind it–and it goes away fast–and the stuff works well on my skin. It doesn’t hurt it and it moisturises it. That’s all I want from a moisturiser, so I’m happy.

I woild rather use something in a larger tube (less use of plastic) and that’s cheaper and at least as ethical as whatever I was using before. This stuff ticks all the boxes compared to Avène Cicalfate

NO CHANGE, COOL WITH IT

  • CoTZ sensitive / pediatric SPF 40. Good on all fronts: no irritation, does what it’s supposed to, OK ingredients, no animal testing, decent price.
  • Oil, mix of random quantities of meadowfoam and sunflower, mostly the latter: eye makeup remover, sunscreen remover and body moisturiser in shower, etc.
  • Balm, DIY, mix of shea butter + Badger unscented balm (olive oil + beeswax).
  • Primal Pit Paste deodorant, unscented regular strength.
  • Aloe vera gel, version with xanthan gum from Mountain Rose Herbs, as hair styling stuff

???

One thing could change.

La Roche-Posay Tolériane dermo-cleanser: very simple lotion cleanser. I have found nothing that is comparable (same or similar ingredients, similar formulation) in either the mainstream or “greener” brands, nor as easily obtainable (local drugstore) or cheap. 

If you have suggestions, please do drop me a line. I am open to alternatives but they must be serious alternatives. Not effing coconut oil or some trustafarian’s essential-oil-loaded concoction at several times the price. I would like to move away from LRP for reasons of ethical discomfort, but I do not want to test out lots of stuff (reasons: expense and waste) and I do need stuff that cleans my face without damaging it (reason: risk to skin a.k.a. to health). I’ve spent quite enough time in hospital this year. 

“cheeseburger ethics”

Looking after yourself (in a non-selfish way) 

Think you need a supplement? 

  
Maybe you just need a quick pick-me-up. 

(Maybe it’s more serious, so do see a doctor for anything that started on Monday or Tuesday and is still there on Friday, or that started on Wednesday-Friday and is still there on Monday. Or five days running if you work at the weekend. Do not count weekends and days off, we’re looking at stuff that affects the smooth humdrum daily routine.)
(Also: chocolate.)

Beauty supplements

  
I love the idea of a magic pill that makes you beautiful: perfect glowing skin, flowing shiny hair, slim and elegant of form, with sparking eyes and teeth, talons of steel, and immediately captivating to everyone. It would be a compromise to have to take such a pill every day for life; but many of us (women) do this anyway with contraceptive pills, and many people have to do more invasive things to themselves every day to stay alive, with scary-looking syringes. Having it all in one convenient pill would be great.  Continue reading

Link of the day: the perils of greenwashing and idiocracy

  

Read the full piece at Back From Nature. A lesson in scepticism. Think, learn, research, think again, question everything. But maintain balance and common sense. If you have little to no scientific background, do not reject and repudiate those areas of knowledge but make the effort to learn about them. 

  

That’s good scepticism too, learning stuff; remember that “science” in its full older sense just means “knowledge.” Being scientific means being sceptical, and being sceptical entails being scientific.

  

Learning and knowledge are interactive: consult experts, the first of whom is your doctor. Or any doctor. So: talk to–and that  includes listening to–your doctor. 

OK, my own doctor is fabulous, sane, and sensible. She includes more eco stuff and advice, but only when properly tested. I passed on her tips on meditation in a recent MUA green board discussion; here they are for anyone else.

The original question (anonymised):

 My GP’s answer, with apologies for any errors, my own via recollection and reporting:

  

Nice person thanked me (this discussion board is usually like that ❤️)

 

reviews for some pampering products

I’ve been using and liking some fluffy vain unnecessary stuff recently. Yes, ’tis Folly, and I’m somewhere between ashamed, making excuses, and just enjoying the damn stuff. The whole green movement can be irritatingly “holier than thou”: too much sanctimonious do-gooding, a surfeit of self-sacrifice and suffering (especially if you get to show off about it and berate others for their faults and foibles); a worrying preoccupation with purity, often of the selfish “my body is a temple” variety; and a desire for perfection, both absurd in its impossibility and lack of contact with the real world, and absurd if that’s what “desire” has sadly been reduced to. Grim and gloomy and all rather unhappy and unfriendly. Damn it, the world is shitty enough as it is, we all need more enjoyment, joy, and pleasure from time to time.

So here’s some frivolous foolish fun stuff that’s vain, self-centred, pleasurable, and also Good: no animal testing, small independent companies, good ethics on ingredient-sourcing and labour (as far as I know, correct me if I’m wrong), sustainable plant-based biodegradable ingredients, recyclable packaging (which can also be reused for repotting and decanting other things, DIY products, travel sizes, etc.). Most of the items below are from the small-ish online independent, Garden of Wisdom. I’ll also indicate the veganism, or not, of ingredients in the products at hand.

The products:

  • Garden of Wisdom oat enriched facial serum
    + Aubrey Organics aloe vera + Garden of Wisdom witch-hazel hydrosol
  • Garden of Wisdom Majik eye cream with CoQ10
  • ShiKai Borage Dry Skin Remedy Hand Cream
  • 100% Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream
  • Garden of Wisdom Pack your Bags and Say GOOD BYE… Eye Gel

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long time no see…

Life here in Vancouver continues. There has been the bad: heavy workload, work stress, and recent events in the outside world; that is, The Big Bad World that lies beyond my work-place, and indeed Vancouver, and well beyond the little bubble of pulchritudinous morosophy, such as the world of MakeupAlley. Some of the Bad Shit Going Down made me stop reading MUA altogether, because I just wanted to shake and spank MUAers for being vapid vacuous ****s.

“Spanking,” metaphorically-speaking–obviously one can’t actually go around and physically personally assault every irritating individual–and besides, however bad Things get, I absolutely must remain anti-violence. Also, it would be impossible in practice. Metaphorical spanking means expressing anger and home truths, calling a foolish spade a foolish spade. But I would be kidding myself if I thought for a minute that’s not violent too: it can hurt people. Like it or lump it, one’s own intentions are partly a selfish urge to express anger: to expel it from oneself, get it off you, no matter what the consequences are, not caring if anyone else is affected. That’s selfish. It’s uncaring: no care for others, and I think that I (and we all) have a duty of care towards others. It’s unthinking and reckless, not giving any consideration to consequences and to other people. All of these things make metaphorical spanking Bad, Immoral, and Unethical. So it is a thing that one should not do.

Also, in the online version, it’s one of the classic forms of trolling. It may start out as sincere trolling, but damn it, it’s still trolling and there’s the additional danger that one might get Into It. Keep doing it for the sake of doing it. Become more involved with goading other people and interested in their reactions (thus also: less angry, losing that original raging serious edge), invested in trolling itself (rather than one’s message). It could be enjoyable and addictive. As with certain very heavy and very illegal drugs, it may be a cowardly move, but better not to start at all… You all know my relationship with chocolate. I could be one of those addictive-personality types, I’d rather not risk finding out the hard way.

Furthermore, saying mean things to other people is mean. No matter what your intentions are, and no matter they have said and done. And meanness is something to be avoided. (Critical comment is different, but if and only if it is constructive and with the intention of opening, engaging, and continuing conversation.) Just like it’s wrong to murder satirical cartoonists. And that is all, on here anyway, that I’m going to say about that recent event in The Big Bad World outside.

And finally: it’s actually really nice and good to see everyday life continue, in its simple and often sweet way. One of the finest things about the online beautyverse, including fora like MakeupAlley, is that simplicity, continuity, and humanity. It’s peaceful. That peace is precious. Vapid and vacuous can be–usually is–wonderful.

On MakeupAlley, I often don’t have anything to contribute for good reasons (besides sitting back and enjoying normal human peaceful interactions). It’s great to just read what other people say, instead of blabbering on yourself. Sometimes I have nothing to say because the conversation is about something I know little or nothing about, and on which I have no personal experience: I can listen and learn. Sometimes I could say something useful, but by the time I read a thread–several hours later, or a day, or a week, or even longer–the moment has passed, and nearly every time someone else has said exactly what I would have said. Often better and in fewer words. Silence can be positive.

So I’m more at peace with myself, and the world, and the online world; however godawful yoga-selfie-Vancouverite that sounds.

There has also, as ever, been The Good of living in Vancouver and the happy positive uplifting aspects of my work. As ever, I don’t want to talk about work-stuff on here–I prefer to keep it and at identity separate, also it’s not really that relevant. It’s nice to have other places to talk about other things, relaxing, and helping to maintain perspective. Life in Vancouver is always brilliant, and the non-work stuff helps: simple things like going out the door and enjoying a pleasant walk in woods or along the beach, these too help with perspective, mood, thanking one’s lucky stars for the good things one has in life, going “OMG isn’t life brilliant!” at least once a day, and other aspects of basic good mental health and hygiene. Even if, as recently, it can be very foggy for days on end and it looks like our lovely mountains have disappeared.

So what’s up on the Products front? Continue reading

New Year’s resolutions for 2014

I should preface this by declaring, as I did last year and as I do every year, that I loathe and despise NY resolutions. They’re silly superstitious nonsense at best. At worst, when they fail (as they inevitably do) they do so at the worst time of year: some point between the third week of January and the end of February. Worst time as coinciding with late-winter down and glumness. High point of the year for depression and suicide.

But here’s one that might be feasible, tenable, useful, and constructive or productive. It’s spot-on for improving on 2013 in the online world. It might make virtual 2014 better than its predecessor. It looks pretty much guaranteed to make people’s lifestyles and lives better.

From the New York Times today: “Tweet Less, Read More”

From Granny (RIP, back in the 1990s): “empty barrels make the most noise.”

I’m off to do some more reading now. Resolution for next year: read more, post less, and have more of my posts being links to things to read elsewhere. First up: the link above. Next ones: get thee to Project Gutenberg and your local public library. We also have urgent issues of “use it or lose it” on the latter. For both, I’m sure there is no-one reading this post, or online right now, or alive anywhere today, who has read everything that has been written in the past that’s worth reading. Great writing that’s out of copyright and free.

All those horrors that unfortunate souls are forced to read at school and university.

A.k.a. some of the greatest writing ever; expressing some of the greatest ideas, feelings, impressions, observations; and sharing moments of wonder.

Sure, some of that fusty old stuff is nonsense, and some horrors are horrors; and some are horrors from horrid past times; and some are not worth reading, by the standards of their own time or of ours.

But most are not: they only seem like horrors to a reader with an attention span so limited as to be disabling. With stunted imagination. Weak creativity. Inability to follow someone else’s train of thought, at their pace, be it faster or slower than their own. Lack of patience and empathy. Blindness and deafness to others. Zero tolerance. No intelligent thought. No thinking. No work. Lazy and intellectually lazy; creative lacks coupled with a lack of curiosity.

Reading that’s deemed horrid because it’s hard.

A condemnation that says everything about the reader, and nothing about the writing. Fortunately, all these ills can be remedied. There is hope for everyone. Anyone can change. There are no limits to the human potential for self-improvement. (OK, except oneself, that’s the only limitation…)

Through reading.

Here’s to 2014: to reading, to making oneself better, to making the world a better place, to making a better world through the Republic of Letters.

See also: