Itching for the Environment

Sitting here at my desk writing, a nagging itch creeps up my scalp.  I scratch at the discomfort gently noting how it now moves to a new spot.  Periodically, I check my shoulders for the flaky evidence of my itchy scalp, so far so good.  I’m clear. Still, it will be awhile before I don any black sweaters.

Why, you may ask am I sitting here in discomfort when a quick rinse with the newest dandruff/itchy scalp shampoo will take all my problems away?

It’s all my son’s fault.

Let the revolution begin!

Recently, our city changed from blue bag recycling to one large blue plastic container bin.  Who would have though this small change could have held to an uncomfortable conviction.  With this change, I became acutely aware of how much we were tossing into recycling, and while delighted that our recycling was always more than our garbage, I had a nagging feeling that much of my recycling just ended up in the same landfill as the rest of my garbage.

Then, the youngest member of my crew decided it would be a great idea to show his mom a picture of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  Lesson: Don’t let your kids show you things.

I now had visual evidence of my nagging feeling.

Thus, began my personal war on single-use plastics in our home.  I will list the tenets of my war in another post soon.

For me, lasting change takes time.  If I try to institute change quickly, I quickly burn out, become overwhelmed and give up.  I love the self-awareness that comes with getting older!

The battle began in the bathroom since I was running out shaving cream for my legs. At a farmer’s market, I purchased a bar of vegan soap wrapped in paper as a substitute.  The beautiful-looking bar smells absolutely lovely but dries my skin out.  I will use it up since I refuse to be wasteful; however, I will be experimenting with a locally made goat milk soap next. 

My second project was my hair.  This was hard for me because I tend to get an itchy scalp and have been using dandruff shampoo for years.  Conviction really is the pits.  First, I made my own shampoo which turned out remarkably better than I thought, but with the change in the season and the weather getting colder.  I am now more aware of my scalp which is one of those body parts you’d prefer not to have an awareness of.  I’m giving it a good solid 30-day run though while at the same time researching cures for itchy scalps which may include adding a few drops of tea tree oil.  Any suggestions are welcome.  I may try out a shampoo from a refillable product store which is about 45 minutes away; however, the shampoo cost may be prohibitive.  Stay tuned!

The conditioner was a big of a shock…apple cider vinegar.  The other conditioner recipes were too complicated and involved bringing in ingredients not readily available.  This has been my biggest success in that I don’t come out smelling like a pickle after my shower, and my hair really is nicer for it.  It almost calms the itchy scalp though does not take it away completely.  I will experiment a bit more with it when I re-dye my hair and when I perhaps change shampoos to see if the conditioner works with these.

Sometimes, my itchy scalp (and legs) feels like a high price to pay for such a tiny drop in the environmental bucket; however, anytime I live in alignment with my values, there is always the rewarding ripple effect, be it the fabulous Facebook groups I discover along the way who are 10 steps ahead of me, the local producers who take a little extra time to tell me about the product they are making, seeing your children make a different choice taking plastic into consideration and the many unexpected rabbit trails. 

At least that’s what I remind myself when the discomfort creeps in…just  sec, I have to scratch.

This is just the children’s…Ugh!