Maybe it was conditioner itself, living by the ocean, my hair type, or something else, but I noticed that conditioner was leaving my hair with a residue. The solution was ridiculously simple. I cut out conditioner and replaced it with a monthly or bi-monthly coconut oil treatment. Back to soft and luscious...plus, I'm saving money! I'm not sure if coconut oil works well with all hair types, but I bet if you do a little research you will find something perfect for you! Sometimes I combine avocado oil with chamomile tea (great for blonde hair, otherwise probably avoid it), and sometimes just chamomile tea, which for some reason does a good job of making my hair soft. I've found green tea to work well for softening too.
2. Shopping for clothes on Amazon and other cheap outlets
For a while, I felt like I was getting awesome deals and amazing new outfits. But when I started paying closer attention, it was obvious that A) the clothes were very low quality; B) They were not ethically or sustainably made; and C) Many of them were drenched in nasty chemicals, possibly even formaldehyde, which is supposed to keep clothes unwrinkled and in "nice" condition. NO THANK YOU. You are not #winning when you get the cheapest deal, because there are always consequences somewhere when companies cut corners to bring down the price--the only difference is the consequence is in your natural environment and the well-being of your community rather than your bank account balance. When we go cheap, we're asking someone else to pay the price, and eventually, that comes back to us, because of course we are all connected in social and ecological networks.
I prefer to support people I personally know, and one day I'd like to learn to make my own clothes. Today I almost exclusively wear American Eagle and Aerie clothes. They are quality, flattering, and affordable (especially if you hit the clearance section, which often has great stuff!). I am not sure about their environmental impact but they are doing great things on the body positivity and inclusivity front. Thrifting is another great option. I have one shirt that I always get compliments on, and I got it at a thrift store for $1.50.
3. Denim & other uncomfortable materials
In high school I didn't really know that leggings and yoga pants existed, for some reason. I always wore jeans and was always uncomfortable. As I discovered the options out there and became more body aware, I became way better at selecting clothes that I love to wear. Today I exclusively wear clothes that feel soft, comfortable, and breathable. I love yoga pants, stretchy seams, palazzo pants, and cotton. I can't stand feeling restricted, and when we wear clothes that don't make us feel really great, it affects our mood and thus our poise. And on that note, underwire bras never feel right to me. They don't move with my body properly. They are not necessary for most people--bralettes are fine and they move with your body. That said, I am still on the search for a reputable brand that sells very simple, plain bralettes that are soft; comment if you know of any! Keep in mind that bras weren't always around...Society can get over itself, thanks :P
4. Corn syrup & artificial foods and products
JUST NO. There is no place for these things in our bodies and homes, and artificial ingredients don't even taste good! It's possible to get conditioned into enjoying these products but there is always the option to re-wire your taste buds by nourishing yourself with natural foods that obviously came from the earth or the sea. This is not complicated. Watch out though: "Natural Flavor" usually means artificial flavor. Choose environmentally friendly detergent, soap, and cleaning products as much as you can. Look for locally made options. Your nose will tell you if a cleaning product is toxic or not. Sometimes, you really do need something toxic. Let it be the exception, and otherwise, clear out your cupboards.
Unfortunately this one is inspired by what I could hear from the neighbor's house while writing this. Yelling can damage people's nervous systems and puts us into fight-or-flight mode. Our ability to think and communicate clearly and openly drastically decreases. Exceptions: haunted houses, talking across vast distances, spotting horses or tiny animals, special emergency situations, splinter extractions, acting. Lol.
What about you? What have you cut out or would like to cut out? I'm still working toward reducing waste and finding eco-friendly makeup products, particularly nail polish. Please comment!
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