Posts tagged ‘toiletries’

In retrospect this may be straying into TMI territory…

I have an extremely minor but niggling medical complaint which is too intimate to discuss in public; suffice to say, I have finished the course of treatment the doctor prescribed, it has had no effect and I am now going to abandon this and attempt some natural/alternative remedies* to see if they help. I don’t plan to announce this to anyone (it is, after all, unfit for public discussion), but I can imagine the general tenor of their response were I to do so.

I occasionally tell people I use cider vinegar as deodorant. The unenlightened generally recoil in horror from my hippified body and gasp, ‘Does it work? Don’t you smell?’ Well, yes, sometimes I do. But sometimes I did when I used commercial deodorant. Sometimes other people who use commercial deodorant are a bit whiffy. The difference is that when I used commercial deodorant, I assumed it would work and assumed I wouldn’t smell. When people who use commercial deodorant are unintentionally fragrant, the default position is that this is somehow the exception to their normally un-smelly state and not because their deodorant is ineffective. However, if someone using a natural deodorant (there are many options besides cider vinegar, and, if you regularly shave under your arms and are not blessed with a freakishly high pain threshold, you may wish to consider these) were to smell, this would not be attributed to, say, the fact that they had done a lot of exercise or sat all day in a stuffy centrally-heated office, but would be because their deodorant was ineffective, because they are a dirty hippy.

So I was going to write a post on how we automatically assume that shiny modern things are better than simple old-fashioned things and always give the former the benefit of the doubt, while being quick to denigrate the latter. And then I looked at my blog feed and realised Sharon had already said everything I wanted to say, much better than I could.

Here’s the link.



* Neither of these terms seems ideal, but you know what I mean. Garlic ‘n herbs ‘n stuff.

March 26, 2009 at 5:57 pm Leave a comment


I want an alpaca, and I defy anyone to fondle my sock yarn and not agree with me.

Aww, look at that face. Don’t you want one too? 😉

I also have nice hair. Finally. It feels like my hair always used to feel when I used normal shampoo. Hurrah. I achieved this by actually rubbing the shampoo bar on my hair instead of trying to lather it up in my hands and using a weaker vinegar rinse. I don’t know which was responsible (bad science alert!) but it works and I’m soooo glad – everything else I’ve done to be greener has actually made me happier or healthier or in some way improved my life, but I have felt for a long time like a dirty hippy with greasy hair and like I am suffering in the name of some naive idealism. Yet the sheer efficiency of the Clairol (when I went back to using it) frightened me.

But now I have nice hair and nice food (and nice skin and 2/3 of a nice sock).

June 3, 2008 at 7:07 am 3 comments

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August 2020
The Heritage Crafts Network

Rob Hopkins, Transition Handbook

“Environmentalists have often been guilty of presenting people with a mental image of the world’s least desirable holiday destination – some seedy bed and breakfast near Torquay, with nylon sheets, cold tea and soggy toast – and expecting them to get excited about the prospect of NOT going there. The logic and the psychology are all wrong.”

Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

"Food is that rare moral arena in which the ethical choice is generally the one more likely to make you groan with pleasure."

Carlo Petrini

"A gastronome who is not also an environmentalist is an idiot. An environmentalist who is not also a gastronome is, well, sad."

Sharon Astyk

"I am, of course, firmly opposed to consumerism and corporatism in all its forms, and I believe that we are deeply confused about material needs and wants. Now let me explain how books and yarn are totally different than the material things that other people want ;-)…."

Raj Patel, at Slow Food Nation

"Biofuels, which is the preposterous policy that we should grow food not to eat it but to set it on fire."