The Great Product Switch

Hello, Greenies! Today is all about transitioning to green products. When it comes to making the switch to greener alternatives, most of us have the same question: should I keep using what I have now until it’s gone, or dispose of everything and go cold turkey? There is no one right answer, but hopefully this post can be of some help! The first thing is to determine whether you fall into the first category (products give you allergic or other reactions) or the second (you’re not adversely affected by products as far as you can tell).

Category One: products affect me adversely. If you have any allergic or otherwise unpleasant reactions to the cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, fabric softener, beauty products, hair care products, or skincare products that you’re using at the moment, stop using them right away. Either give them to someone else or find out how to dispose of them safely in your city. Basically, if anything is causing you physical discomfort and compromising your health or wellness, do not keep using it. Get rid of it now, but be sure to do so safely. Nothing is worth you compromising your health or well being for even a minute longer!

If you can’t find information about how to do safely get rid of toxic products on your municipality or local government website, contact someone in the government and ask around. It’s highly unsafe and unhealthy for the environment to simply throw away cleaning supplies or beauty products with toxic chemicals in them. According to some sources, it is safe to pour most cleaning products down the drain, but this is highly inaccurate, so please don’t do this. Contact your municipality for information. Here is information for those in Cape Town.

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Category Two: products don’t affect me adversely as far as I can tell. If the products you have now don’t cause any reactions that you’re aware of, it’s really up to you. Of course it would be better for you and your home environment to switch to green products as soon as possible. This is, of course, the ideal. But realistically, most people probably can’t afford to dump all the old things and go out and buy all new products at once. Not only that, but many products can be replaced by homemade ones, and it can take a while to adjust to this new system and way of thinking. Switching from one extreme (all store bought, toxic products) to another (all homemade products) can be overwhelming. There is no shame in transitioning slowly.

Personally, having done the cold turkey thing before and failed miserably, I will be going gradually, only replacing the old products as I run out of them. This is partly so that I won’t get overwhelmed, partly because I don’t want to waste what I have, and partly due to budget constraints. There are some Greenies who might look down on this slower way of doing things, but for some people it simply isn’t financially viable to do it any other way. It’s important every step of the way to not take on more than you can handle at once, or you’ll get overwhelmed and give up.

Once you’ve used up what you have, be sure to keep the spray bottles so you can use them to put your homemade products in, if you decide to go that route. I will be covering homemade cleaning, beauty, hair care, and skincare products in future posts.

Have you made the transition already? How did you go about it?

Until next time!
-africanstardust, aka Green Girl

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