Saturday, February 1, 2014

What I want to die of: Seven Quick Takes

1.  I'm seriously ticked off.

You know when you go to a friend's product party, intending to buy one polite thing but--primarily, let's face it--you're there to socialize?  And then, under the influence of friends, friends' really nice wine, and the approaching hour of midnight on the last day of the month before the "specials" cease to exist... you sign on as a consultant? And then you're immediately hailed as part of a team and invited to a pow-wow meeting on Monday night...

:)  But that's not what I'm annoyed about.

2.  Okay, I have zero intention of asking anyone to host, or leading a home party, like, ever again.  No amount of well-intentioned hype, spirit of camaraderie, or general goodwill could lead me down the (for me) shudder-filled path of a "home business."  

Not that I have anything against those who enjoy and succeed at these pursuits; I applaud and wish them the very best!  (That goes for all you lovely ladies in my "upline" who may read this!) But for my more timid self, I truly signed on just to get a good deal on cleaning, hygiene, and beauty products that aren't filled with toxic substances.

Which is why I'm annoyed.

3.  Granted, I'm also annoyed at the whole prospect of "fear-based" marketing.  "Buy this or die of cancer" is far from a model business slogan.  (No, that's not a real business slogan... at least I sure hope not.)  

But I do buy into frustration with unconscionable American greed.  I am annoyed, for instance, that (apparently) companies like Johnson & Johnson make a cleaner, healthier version of their products for Europe as demanded by the EU, but sell a much less safe (and cheaper to make) version of stuff like oh, baby lotion, in the U.S

Take this interesting quote, for example:

The EU Cosmetics Directive . . . bans 1,328 chemicals from cosmetics; the U.S. FDA has banned or restricted only 11. 
I won't go into it all here, but here's one that really got me: "Fragrance."  It seems that any time you see "fragrance" on a bottle, it's a "trade secret" word.  Which means that--legally--any number of toxic chemicals can be concealed under that word:

"More than 75% of the time, there are phthalates present [when "fragrance" is listed] which are known endocrine disruptors, and are linked to birth defects, breast cancer, infertility, liver cancer, diabetes, obesity, autism, and ADHD during pregnancy." (Dr. Landrigan, Mt. Sinai, Children's Environmental Health Center)

4.  No I don't really know how to pronounce "phthalates," but I understood the other stuff.  Unless they mean that pregnant women become ADHD... that part is a little unclear.  And a little funny.  But either way, on a personal level, I'm royally annoyed that I've been spraying "fragrance" straight on my pulse points during every pregnancy. Especially because absorption through the skin is the quickest way to the bloodstream.  

And that's just the tip of the iceberg really; dozens of actually listed ingredients on our soaps and lotions and lipsticks are linked to lovely things like reproductive toxicity, immune dysfunction, are known carcinogens, etc, etc, etc.   And these ingredients simply don't have to be there

In the end, I'd like to die of something not caused by a detergent I was using on my dishes.  Ya know?

5.  Yes, yes, I DO hate fear-based selling.  As a practical, penny-pinching mom... I harbor a deep fondness and appreciation for 99 cent shampoos.  I love the idea of organic fruits right up until the moment there's an awesome sale on regular pesticide-flavored strawberries. 

I refuse to worry about everything.  Like my mother so benignly would say, "Well, everyone has to die from something."  The healthiest, most organically-fed, well-exercised individual could easily die from an gravity-attracted coconut on a Hawaiian vacation, right?

Still, if one can avoid using potentially dangerous products and buying from those who manufacture them... that's a good thing.  Safe products all manufactured in the U.S.... that's a positive thing to sell.

6.  Most of the reason I hated being a "consultant" in my former business endeavors was that I never could truly believe, despite many, many pep talks and team conference calls, that the product I was hawking was absolutely the best for everyone I encountered.  Try as I might, I did not--in the end--feel I was "doing people a favor."  So I stopped.

But this Ava Anderson stuff... well, it comes a lot closer to that reality of being "best."  No, not just because it's from Rhode Island and was founded by passionate 14 year-old girl bent on saving the world.  :)  I've tried these products--from window cleaners to lip glosses--and they are, simply, great.  Particularly their legendary diaper cream, which has been known to also heal eczema and even work as a deodorant.  

Almost as good as Shimmer: a floor wax AND a dessert topping... :D

Therefore, when I can afford to, I will buy these products, and I will be available for others--who would otherwise search in vain for it's equivalent on store shelves--to purchase it through me. Because, unless you have an allergy to any of the clearly listed ingredients, these things aren't going to hurt you. Unless you massage lotion directly onto your eyeballs I suppose... don't recommend that.  All ingredients can be found listed... you could pretty much eat these products though no, I don't recommend that either.  

7.  In sum: Sales will not be a new focus for my blog.  But as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom with 1.5 graduate degrees, who spends the majority of her "free" time in volunteer work at hospitals, acting "pro bono" in community theater, and writing an ad-absent blog for free...

It wouldn't hurt me if you browsed and shopped here.   Use "party" ID number 21945 during the month of February. 

And--best of all--these purchases won't hurt you either.  For real.  Everything smells good, looks good, is better than the stuff you find at Whole Foods, and way nicer than the homemade bug repellent you're currently mixing at your kitchen sink.  And if your homemade cucumber flower anti-aging extract is indeed better, it's returnable. :)

Thank you for your support, for looking around, spreading the word about using safer products from conscientious small companies, and helping me avoid the temptation of putting my 11 year old who looks 15 into the work force. ;)

I will now continue with my long-overdue regularly-scheduled program: finishing my annual Christmas letter.  In February.  Oh the shame.  A new all-time low.  In my defense: my Christmas tree is still up!  (I know, I know, I know...)  Okay, I'll attend to the fire hazard first.

Happy Candlemas to you all! :)  

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